4485 W CR 1000 N Rossville, IN 46065 Google Map 765-230-0735
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Farm News & Blog

Catch the latest news and information from our farm right here.
Posted 6/2/2013 10:22am by Nate & Emily Parks.

CSA store is open now until Tuesday at 9 am

Place your order here:

http://www.silverthorn-farm.com/store/silverthorn-farm-vegetables

IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A CONFIRMATION EMAIL FROM US WE DO NOT HAVE YOUR ORDER!

VEGGIES THIS WEEK include: strawberries, spinach, lettuce mix, baby swiss chard, baby kale, French Breakfast radish, arugula, spicy greens mix, green onions, salad turnips.

Veggies coming in the next few weeks are:

zucchini, cucumbers, head lettuce, kohlrabi, fennel, and fresh cut herbs.


Floating Berries

Sweet Potaoes and melons field

Potatoes off and runningLettuce, Kale and plenty of Grass on the way

Early Greenhouse tomatoes

Farm News:

A few pictures from around the farm to start this week's newsletter might help in your understanding of the good and not so good this spring!

The late spring is still throwing us a few curveballs this year. It is a hard balance between not enough, too much and just the right amount of rain, sun, heat and cold. We, as farmers, often "discuss" the weather. Why? Everything, from tilling, planting, weeding, harvesting and mowing, revolves around environmental conditions.

This past week we had just over 4 inches of rain. The plants that are in and established are generally doing well. The challenge is keeping up with planting and cultivating. We have a schedule of plantings that are generally on a 10 day rotation in order to keep a constant and quality supply. Each delay in planting affects another priority on the farm and interrupts product and cash flow. When cultivation falls behind (even if it's just a few days), simple weed control becomes a huge time consuming project. Managing a plan for the year is both a challenge and a pleasure for me. You might think maybe I cannot be satisfied with weather or crop conditions.  Know that you are probably right...but we are still loving every minute of it!

STRAWBERRIES:

This was the first real week of harvest on the berries. The flavor and size have been great. The yield of actual fruit and the dirt and mud accumulated on the berries has definitely been less than ideal. The first picture at the top of the page shows what we are dealing with in the strawberry field. There are lots of drainage problems here on the new farm, standing water on one end of nearly every field is a huge challenge. Berries need to be dry in order to last any time at all after harvest which means no washing them at harvest. It is much better to wash them right before eating.

With the conditions of the field and volume of berries, it is pretty clear that we will not have any u-pick at the farm this year. We should have at least two more weeks of berries possibly three. They will be available at our markets in Lafayette & Carmel, Joe's Butcher Shop, online through our Locavore Page and through your CSA membership.

The opening of our farm store has been pushed back again.  We are working hard to get it finished and are so excited to be able to have our product for sale right here on the farm!  Stay tuned....

CSA NEWS:

Berries and greens again are the main products this week, we have added green onions and salad turnips to the menu this week. Two of our favorite spring goodies. Green onions in all of our cooking, and salad turnips on our salads.  Turnips are also great sauteed or boiled and mashed. This is the Japanese version of turnip which are much smaller, with a great mild and creamy texture.

Have a great week...with perfect weather!

Nate, Emily, Jensen and Macy

 

 


 

Posted 5/26/2013 10:02am by Nate & Emily Parks.

CSA store is open now until Tuesday at 9 am

Place your order here:

http://www.silverthorn-farm.com/store/silverthorn-farm-vegetables

IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A CONFIRMATION EMAIL FROM US WE DO NOT HAVE YOUR ORDER!

VEGGIES THIS WEEK include: strawberries, spinach, lettuce mix, baby swiss chard, baby kale, red leaf head lettuce, French Breakfast radish, arugula, spicy greens mix.

Veggies coming in the next few weeks are salad turnips, green onions, zucchini, cucumbers, head lettuce, kohlrabi, fennel, and fresh cut herbs.

Farm News:

The berries are here! Last Tuesday we picked 5 quarts and were pretty nervous about how many were out there.  The second picking this past Friday was 100 quarts.  The quantity will double each picking  for the next few weeks until we hit the peak. 

37 degrees Friday morning was a shock for all of our warm season crops, but it looks as if everything has made it through with little to no setback. The lack of rain the last couple of weeks has changed our priorities to setting up irrigation as quickly as possible to give everyone a well deserved drink.

Another goal this week is to empty the main greenhouse of the remainder of the tomatoes, cucumbers, and melons. We are already looking for space to sneak in a few more plantings as most of the farm's ground is filling up. Wheat, oats, barley, popcorn and pinto beans are all poking through the soil along with the first 2 of 5 plantings of sweet corn.  It is nice to have the room for this treat that we all love. Sweet corn takes alot of space on a small farm, and is generally one of the least profitable crops we grow. With the extra few acres we have to work with now it makes sense to put a little more out.

This week marks the first week of having product available for purchase as Joe's Butcher Shop in Carmel.  If you're unable to make it to the market on Saturdays to enjoy what we have to offer, stop in at Joe's to get your fix!

Our Locavore page is open for the first time this week!  We utilize this page for CSA members as well as non-CSA members for online orders.  Here you will find products that are generally not produced by us, but are locally grown/produced.                                                        This week you'll find our delicious pastured eggs laid by our hens who are fed non-GMO, organic feed; their yolks are practically orange!  Asparagus, organically grown by Cooley Family Farm, will also be available as well as our strawberries! 

*Note for CSA members* remember, this page is for products not available through your membership (such as asparagus) and will need to be paid for via PayPal.

CSA NEWS:

Enjoy as many berries as you can handle, they will only be around for a few weeks. If you have a kid like Jensen in your family, you will probably need 7 or 8 quarts a week!  There's no stopping him once he sets foot in the strawberry patch!

Two of our other favorite foods are finally ready to harvest as well. We have been eating kale and chard daily this past week. This time of year the leaves are too small to bunch, but they are as tender and sweet as they get all year. If you have ever been apprehensive on trying them, now is the time. Try lightly sauteing a mix of kale and chard together with a little garlic and onion for a vitamin rich side dish.

Have a great week

Nate, Emily, Jensen & Macy


Posted 5/19/2013 8:21am by Nate & Emily Parks.

CSA store is open now until Tuesday at 9 am

Place your order here:

http://www.silverthorn-farm.com/store/silverthorn-farm-vegetables

IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A CONFIRMATION EMAIL FROM US WE DO NOT HAVE YOUR ORDER!

VEGGIES THIS WEEK include: Red Romaine, Red leaf head lettuce, French Breakfast radish, Arugula, spicy greens mix.

Veggies coming in the next few weeks are Spinach, Salad Mix, Salad Turnips, Kale, Swiss Chard and Strawberries!


One of our favorite activities as a family is walking the fields in the evening to see how the crops are looking, what is germinating and what may need a little more attention. Last night we saw potatoes poking through their hills, our first planting of corn is up as well as green beans, beets, peas and carrots. Jensen loves to walk the rows with me to check out all the new seedlings, but seeing a strawberry half ripe and just about ready to eat is what got him excited.

Most of the first plantings are complete, and about 22 of the 27 acres are planted. This week we will be transplanting the melons, peppers and the remainder of the tomatoes out in the field. Wheat, oats and barley have been planted which is an exciting new set of crops for us this year. Pinto beans and popcorn are on the schedule to be planted this week along with another acre of sweet corn; our second of five plantings this year.

Strawberry plants look great and are still blooming, which means a longer harvest through June!

CSA NEWS:

Adding arugula and spicy greens mix this week along with some regular round radishes. This is the time of year where growth really begins to take off and what is not ready today will be going gangbusters by the weekend.  You'll notice several new additions to our offerings in the next few weeks.

It was great to see you all this past week!

Nate, Emily, Jensen & Macy


Posted 5/12/2013 10:33am by Nate & Emily Parks.

CSA store is open now until Tuesday at 9 am

Place your order here:

http://www.silverthorn-farm.com/store/silverthorn-farm-vegetables

IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A CONFIRMATION EMAIL FROM US WE DO NOT HAVE YOUR ORDER!

VEGGIES THIS WEEK include: Red Romaine, Red leaf head lettuce, and french breakfast radish.

Veggies coming in the next few weeks are Arugula, Spicy Greens, Spinach, Salad Mix, Salad Turnips and Strawberries!

Farm News:

A great week of weather and work, has really helped us catch up.  We welcomed the 4/10ths of rain on Thursday/Friday.  Overnight, seeded crops popped through the soil and transplants really set in well. The day out of the fields let us catch up on stringing and pruning tomatoes in the greenhouses. It also let us stop and wait to set out our tender summer crops until after tonight's mid- 30 temps and possible frost.

We have been weeding and watching the strawberries closely this past week. The plants are smaller that I would like, but the fruit set and blooms look great. I still think we will be able to have some U-Pick here at the farm, but we really need to have the first picking before I know the quantity available. We have approximately 15,000 plants, which on average, should yield a pound per plant. I don't think we will hit that average, but even a third is still 5,000 quarts and that is a whole lot of berries!  If we get some heat and sunshine, I would imagine it will be two weeks and we will be picking.

We will open our farm retail store when strawberries come on. 

CSA NEWS:

Our first deliveries are beginning this week! We don't have lots of variety yet, but the quality looks great. Full heads of lettuce and nice mild little french breakfast radishes. Remember to check your inbox for a confirmation that we have received your order; without it we do not have your order!  We are looking forward to seeing you all this week, we will be at markets for weekend deliveries in both Lafayette and Carmel.

Have a great week

Nate, Emily, Jensen & Macy

Posted 5/7/2013 9:19pm by Nate & Emily Parks.

Farm News:

After a week with no rain things have finally dried out for us. The tractors on the farm have been getting a serious workout the past few days! 2400 pounds of potatoes have been cut and planted in the ground! What a relief!  A month later than usual, but the conditions are much more favorable and the sprouts look great. I may have gone a little overboard with 19 varieties this year, but how can you resist potatoes by the names of Irish Cobbler, Purple Viking or my favorite German Butterball. Onions are also in the ground, high tunnels are growing tomatoes, fruit is setting on the strawberries and head lettuce just about ready for market.

Once again we will miss Saturday market this weekend.  It's a difficult decision and situation but we are staying positive and pushing forward to the next weekend.

CSA NEWS:

We will open the online store this coming Sunday for next week's delivery; a newsletter will be sent prior to the store opening.  For those of you who are new this season, please feel free to email with any questions or problems.

 A few reminders for ordering and pick up:

   ~We do not know that you have placed an order until you receive a confirmation email. Make sure and check your inbox for confirmation.

   ~Orders have to be placed by 9am on Tuesday morning for Wednesday and Saturday deliveries of the same week.

   ~If you cannot make it to your scheduled pick up please let us know asap so that we can plan accordingly.

   ~Vegetables and eggs are included in your share this year. Meat, honey, and other local products will be added to the Locovore page in June and can be paid separately from your share.

   ~If you forget to order or would just prefer to come shop any of our market stands, either on farm, Lafayette or Carmel Farmer's markets, you are welcome to do so. We will manually deduct your order from your online balance within 48 hours.

Thanks again for your patience and we will see you next week!

Nate, Emily, Jensen and Macy

Posted 4/23/2013 8:59pm by Nate & Emily Parks.

I just got in from shutting up the chickens for the night. Nothing new or odd about that, but wearing rubber boots and looking at nearly lake front property has prompted this email.

We have transplants screaming to get planted, potatoes sprouting, onions overflowing their growing beds and greenhouses with water standing in the isles. The reality of the first month of market is grim at best. The best I can offer our members right now is to extend the season and time frame to Thanksgiving instead of our season ending of October 31st. We feel that giving you and extra couple of weeks at the end of the year will make up for the lack of options here early. Ever the optimist, surely the fall season will be better than this!

I no doubt have chosen my occupation; love it and would not want to change it. When the weather, crops, workload or some other out of my control thing gets to be a little much to handle, calling on the advice of a seasoned veteran in the world of farming is usually just what I need to keep me going. That veteran is usually my Dad.  I talked with him earlier this week, with my typical "what in the world are we going to do? What's next?" breakdown.  He reminded me of a great saying from and old friend of his when confronted with the challenges of farming, "after 49 years of farming, there has been 49 different experiences".

Because you are a part of our CSA and supporters of us and our farm, this is true for you as well. I have no idea what the year will bring, I am sure the weather will break, potatoes will be planted, lettuce and spinach will peak through the water logged fields and the bounty will be upon us before we know it. But today and for the next few weeks, it's going to be tough. We need sun, heat and no rain. The forecast is calling for the opposite of this. Hang tight as we are trying to do, and know that we are doing everything possible to get product to you. I would say to pray for the rain to stop, but then it just might!

Thanks,

Nate

 

Posted 4/14/2013 9:24pm by Nate & Emily Parks.

Is Spring really here?
What else could we expect from mother nature? Last year, I was trying to slow the strawberries down so they would not peak before the market season started. This year I am wondering if they will be ready by the end of May. The hopes that we had for early deliveries and early crops this year have diminished. I do think we will have some items finally ready by the first week of May but unfortunately, product won't be plentiful until the later part of the month.

Oh yes I almost forgot... Last weekend we moved into our new place! The house is 90% complete, and will probably stay that way for a while...sorry Emily! The last six months have no doubt been the most difficult of my life. It is hard to admit that my 37 year old body does not appreciate those endless hours the same as my youthful mind does. Being able to sit by a fire tonight with Jensen by my side and roast some marshmellows before bedtime in a place that we have poured our hearts into makes everything seem worth it to me somehow. The house, the barns, the greenhouses, the land; it has all come together how we hoped and now we can finally focus on the year ahead.

Thank you all for your patience as we worked on this project. I had hoped to be done a little faster...but that's me, the optimist. The way it has turned out has slowed our product availability down by a couple of weeks, but the end result for the entire season will be well worth it I am sure.

What is new this year as far as products being available?  We will have the same diverse lineup of all your favorite vegetables. This year I have gone a little crazy on the tomatoes with over 24 varieties of heirlooms. We will have 3 acres of potatoes with 10 different types, and we finally have the room to add 5-6 acres of sweet corn, nearly doubling production. Some other exciting news is the addition of grains and dry shell beans. We have wheat, oats and barley so far and looking into a few others as well. The beans will constist of mostly black, kidney and pintos with a few obscure ones thrown in just for fun. Emily already makes the best homemade breads, I can't wait to try it with our own flour. We should have a mill by late summer when these crops all begin to mature. I was lucky enough to come across an old Allis Chalmers pull behind combine from a friend that will work perfectly on the small plots of these crops that we will have.

There's more good news this year in regards to our hired labor.  We have hired four full time employees; two of which have potential to be year-round. I think the addition of these key people will really change things for us. Adding more livestock and expanding crop production will now be a resonable task with people around who are interested and qualified to make it happen!

We will be opening our farm store as strawberry season starts, towards the end of May.

Thanks again for your patience and get ready for a great season!

Nate, Emily, Jensen & Macy

 

Posted 3/3/2013 6:37am by Nate & Emily Parks.

 

Our fabulous eggs will be delivered again this week which could mean some GREAT news for our non-CSA members!  We are making them available to you as well as our current CSA members due to the overabundance.  Non-CSA members will find them in Locavore products under the CSA STORE tab.  You will be able to choose your pickup location and they will be paid for via Paypal only. 

What's the progress at the new farm you ask?  We are still trucking along.  It seems that's been the answer for 6 months, but we are getting there!

It's not too late to sign up for your 2013 CSA membership.  Spring is knocking on our door which means nutritious greens are too!  Come join us for the ride!   Click here to get started:                                                                 http://www.silverthorn-farm.com/members/types

Have a great week,

Emily, Nate, Jensen, & Macy

Posted 3/3/2013 6:36am by Nate & Emily Parks.

 

Our fabulous eggs will be delivered again this week which could mean some GREAT news for our non-CSA members!  We are making them available to you as well as our current CSA members due to the overabundance.  Non-CSA members will find them in Locavore products under the CSA STORE tab.  You will be able to choose your pickup location and they will be paid for via Paypal only. 

What's the progress at the new farm you ask?  We are still trucking along.  It seems that's been the answer for 6 months, but we are getting there!

It's not too late to sign up for your 2013 CSA membership.  Spring is knocking on our door which means nutritious greens are too!  Come join us for the ride!   Click here to get started:                                                                 http://www.silverthorn-farm.com/members/types

Have a great week,

Emily, Nate, Jensen, & Macy

Posted 2/17/2013 8:56am by Nate & Emily Parks.

Hi Friends,

We have good news for those of you who are missing our eggs!  After going through a period of dormancy, the hens are back to laying with a vengeance.  The online store will be open through Tuesday for ordering eggs and will be delivered on Wednesday.

Click here to order: http://www.silverthorn-farm.com/store/silverthorn-farm-vegetables

Members who pickup at the Lafayette Great Harvest Bread Co., please go inside the store to pickup your eggs.  We WILL NOT be in the parking lot this time around. 

Farm  & CSA News:

Seeding is in full swing inside the greenhouses this week!  The new wood burner is keeping temps so warm, it feels like Florida.  It's a nice reprieve from these chilly February days!  We will be working ground inside the unheated hoophouses this week as well.  The ground has finally dried out enough for us to be able to direct seed salad greens and more. 

CSA memberships are still open and will continue to be.  There's still time to recieve that last bonus of 5% if signup is completed by March 1st.  Help support our farm!  http://www.silverthorn-farm.com/members/types

Thanks!

Emily, Nate, Jensen & Macy

 

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