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Farm News & Blog

Catch the latest news and information from our farm right here.
Posted 8/5/2016 9:39pm by Nate & Emily Parks.

Blueberry season is coming to a close and this will be the last week for orders until next year. 
Please have your orders placed by Tuesday morning at 8:00am for deliveries Wednesday 10th - Saturday 13th. 
 
We will have apples and peaches starting next week! 
We have decided to purchase organic and conventional as we have a small market for both.  The organic apples will come from Stan and Judy Musgrave at Countryside Orchard in near Rochester and the conventional apples and Red Haven peaches will come from Doud's Orchard in Denver, IN.  
 
We will start with Monarch, Red Free, and William's Pride - organic.  The conventional varieties will include Pristine and Early Cortland. 
 
The apples will be in limited quantities until we know what kind of market we have for them.  We will be selling them at the farm store and most likely online as well.  Pricing will follow. 
 

 
Posted 7/22/2016 6:16pm by Nate & Emily Parks.

It's time again to order blueberries!

They are so good, you'll want more!

Delivery will be for next week July 27th-30th at any of our convenient pickup locations or on the farm if you're local. 

Please order by Tuesday morning at 8:00am. 

Pricing: 10lbs or more $5.00/lb

9lbs or less $5.50/lb

 



Posted 7/7/2016 9:39pm by Nate & Emily Parks.


We have Certified Organic blueberries from The Blueberry Ranch in northern Indiana and can be purchased online or at our farm store! 
 
Orders for quantities larger than 10 pounds
MUST BE PRE-ORDERED. 
 
Berries will be available weeks of July 10th, July 24th and August 8th.  Ordering deadline is Tuesday morning at 8AM the week of delivery.  If you are ordering for delivery off the farm, your pickup days will be Wednesday, Thursday, or Saturday depending on which location you choose. 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted 6/19/2016 11:32am by Nate & Emily Parks.

Looking for local pasture raised pork for your grill this summer?  Need bacon for your BLT's?  You don't have to be a member of our CSA to order pork!  Visit our pastured pork page, place your order, fill our your delivery information, then pickup at any of our 14 convenient delivery sites!  

Online Store The online store is open until Tuesday at 8:00am for mid week deliveries and Thursday evening at 8:00pm for weekend deliveries.   2016 members click here to place your order! Non-renewed members click here to place your order. Place your meat orders here! In the

In the Store This Week:

PORK DELIVERY THIS WEEK Tomatoes, Salad mix and Butterhead lettuce, Kale, Chard, Carrots, Cukes and Zukes, Kohlrabi, Fresh herbs, English Shell Peas, Green Onions

 

WHAT'S HAPPENING ON THE FARM

Nothing like a quiet night on the front porch looking out over the farm in the moonlight to gain perspective of a season. We love it here. Most of this spring has felt somewhat behind and rushed with the new greenhouse construction pushing deep into April, followed by super wet and cool conditions. The last couple of weeks of this warm summer-like weather makes us feel like we are deeper into the season then what the reality of the calendar tells us. July 4th is always what I consider our half-time of the season and we are still two weeks away from that. We have begun to harvest tomatoes in earnest now! I can remember many seasons scrambling around to find a few ripe fruits to take to friend at the lake on the 4th. This year that should be no problem! Strawberries were super slow to start, and then raced through a very short three week season. Now we see the spinach give in to the summer heat and the zucchini explode into what can only be describe as a summer bounty that even the cucumber beetles and squash bugs can't slow down....for the moment anyway! We are settling into the summer routine of very scheduled harvest, planting, weeding and delivery days. The set schedule helps all of us on the farm reach a real sense of direction and makes the pace easier to manage. Walking the fields this time of year shows many different stages of plants with the future bounty looking more promising with each passing week. Most of the transplanting is behind us now with only a few fall crops to go. This week during two pretty large harvest and pack days on both Tuesday and Friday, the crew and I looked at our harvest board at the beginning of the day and braced for what was sure to be a couple of very long drawn out days. What is incredible is how fast we actually moved through the list and the ease at which our well oiled machine worked! We are blessed with a lot of returning employees who are all very well versed in our farm and the processes which we have in place. Both days we finished early and had time at the end to accomplish other work, something unheard of around here only a couple of years ago! We continue to be encouraged by the growing demand for our products through all marketing channels and are excited for the main season to come flying in here in a few weeks!

NEW NEWS!

The farm store is open and has new summer hours: Tuesday-Friday 9am-6pm and Saturday 9am-4pm. We are closed Sunday and Monday. 

We will have blueberries for sale the second week of July! These are not from our farm, but from an organic blueberry farm in northern Indiana.  If you wish to place an order for bulk, please contact Emily.

APPLES! Yes, we will have apples this fall!  Again, not from our farm (our orchard is still growing), but from an organic apple orchard near Rochester, IN.  We are very excited to bring these local fruits into our farm store for sale. 

SIDENOTE: they will only be for sale in our farm store, not at markets or for CSA delivery. 

FUN NEWS: I have said many times how lucky I feel to be able to farm for a living and raise my family on this place and in this way. So much of my inspiration has come not only from our customers who continue to encourage us but also from publications, farmer associations, conferences, websites and Podcasts from other farmers around the country and world. The sustainable ag community is one that freely shares so much information. It is truly what has driven the local food movement across our country; if you need help or guidance there is usually a farmer or institution ready to show you the way at a moments notice. Chris Blanchard is one of those resources that is a "Rock Star" within our sustainable ag community. He done much over the years in supporting and helping to move this industry forward. His latest project has been a podcast heard weekly by more than 5,000 of my peers nationwide. This past week I had the opportunity to share our farms story on his podcast. I must say that over the years I have been asked to speak on many different occasions, never have I been more nervous than Thursday morning just before the podcast went live to all my peers! Check it out if you have an extra 1 1/2 hours on your hands! farmertofarmerpodcast.com/episodes/parks

CSA MEMBER NEWS: Thanks for the everyone's feedback after last week's newsletter.  We are never wanting to sound like debbie downers!  Email is the best form of communication we have with each and every one of you.  Most members we have met, some we haven't and we want to!  The next farm event for CSA members is scheduled for August 14th - we're thinking a pick and process event!  Check out the event calendar!   

From Emily's Kitchen

Kohlrabi.  You know, it's that funny looking and sounding vegetable that no one knows what to do with.  Roast it, saute it, eat it raw, make a slaw with it!  Here are a few ideas that might make your cooking experience more enjoyable!    

Posted 6/5/2016 9:35am by Nate & Emily Parks.

CSA Member News

Online Store
The online store is open until Tuesday at 8:00am for mid week deliveries and Thursday at 8:00pm for weekend deliveries. 
PLACE YOUR ORDER

***ATTENTION KNOP FAMILY DENTISTRY PICKUP LOCATION MEMBERS:
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE
DO NOT ENTER THE BACK DOOR if you are picking up after the designated time of Wednesday 4:30-6pm. We realize life gets busy, and boxes are sometimes forgotten.  If in fact you do forget, please enter through the FRONT door of the business if you are picking up the next day; ask the girls at the desk and they will let you in.  Thanks in advance.


In the Store This Week:
Spinach
Salad mix
Red leaf, romaine, red and green butterhead lettuce
Swiss Chard
Kale
Strawberries
Cucumbers
Mint/Rosemary

And here we come the crops!!
Strawberries really took off last week and probably were at a peak on Friday when our incredible crew of 10 picked 552 quarts! We were able to give everyone two quarts last week and hope to do so again this week; we will see how harvest goes. A much needed rain should help finish sizing them up, and hopefully not sacrifice their incredible flavor we have so enjoyed this spring. It's a catch 22 really; more water equals larger berries but also a bit less flavor as the water can dilute the sugars in the berries. In any case, fresh, local berries are far better than store bought!
We also hope to get some tomatoes out to you guys this week as harvest really begins to kick in on the early heirlooms in the big greenhouse. A few red tomatoes from the old seedling house that were planted in February are beginning to turn. We picked about 6 pints of cherry tomatoes last week as well - a sign of what's to come over the next two weeks! Zucchini outdoors is flowering like crazy and really setting some nice fruit with the above average temperatures we have had the last week or so, I look for them to be available early next week.
Spinach is back and we will harvest as long as the weather will let us. Spinach really likes cooler temperatures but we have been able to keep it really moist and it looks great! Enjoy it for a couple weeks here until the weather really turns to summer!

 

From Emily's Kitchen
It's getting hot outside and nothing sounds better than a homemade sangria!  I found one using strawberries and rosemary and wow, is it GOOD!!
GET THE RECIPE

Need a non alcoholic one for the littles?  TRY THIS ONE...I added mint, put some fun twisty straws in their cups and down it went!
 
 
Eggs are available this week, but they are now coming from Homestead Heritage in Kokomo.
We sold the last of our 175 hens last week and the coop is now empty! 
Brian will be returning soon from his 4 month long trip and will most likely start a new flock here on our farm when he returns...we'll keep you posted. 
 
 
Posted 2/24/2016 2:24pm by Nate & Emily Parks.

How bittersweet it is; our February break from deliveries, newsletters and markets is coming to a close. We will start deliveries again Wednesday, March 2nd.

 

WHAT'S HAPPENING ON THE FARM  

The months of January and February on the farm are some of the most intense mental days we will have all year. We plan out more that 65 field blocks with 585 beds, 204 varieties and 20 acres, so that we can have a constant supply of fresh food from May through November, with some storage and greenhouse crops on the front and back end of that time frame. The year will again be unpredictable and have some wild ups and downs, but with a solid plan from the beginning of the year through the end, we have a road map to follow to keep us on track. In the midst of the season there is no time to sit down at a computer and try to figure out what to do next!

CROP UPDATE:

Spinach is making a nice comeback and it will be our only fresh green available until probably the first part of April sometime along with some tasty microgreens. The month of March looks to only have a few delivery days with spinach, microgreens, eggs and pork available. We expect the variety to increase as we get closer to May. The greenhouses have all been cleaned out - the soil re-worked and new seeds planted. We seeded last week just ahead of this warm spell to help speed germination at this unpredictable time of year. A lot of seedlings have already been started in the heated greenhouse and we will really begin to fill it up quickly as March moves into April. My goal is always to be ready to go with a nice variety by May 1 which is a challenge and also very exciting to think that month is just weeks away!

OTHER NEWS:

Another project that we took on this winter is a large 20,000 square foot heated greenhouse space! This was brought on by a local nursery closing its doors after 25 years of service in our area, a commitment from Emily's father to see this farm be a staple in our small community of Rossville, and having a permanent position available for one of our most talented employees who graduates Purdue this spring, Micah Koehler-Marsh. It is a big commitment and investment from all involved.  We believe the long term benefits of this extra food production space as well as the opportunity to have a separate retail space and the addition of early season plant sales to cash flow will be well worth the risk. Behind the scenes, we have another fantastic employee (and also a Purdue grad), Hannah Thoman working on our event calender for the year (as well as numerous other things)!  We are excited to have these events planned with our first event on May 1st exclusive only to our CSA members!

 


 

New member?  Sign up here!

If you haven't renewed your membership now is the time! Hurry, with only 75 memberships left for the 2016 season, you might lose your chance!  Have questions? Contact us or visit our FAQ page for more details.

Posted 11/29/2015 10:24am by Nate Parks.

What's Happening on the Farm  

The holiday season is officially upon us. With nearly 40 people at our Thanksgiving feast this past Thursday it is easy to see that we are blessed with a huge family, all of who are still determined to spend time with each other several times throughout the year. Credit our grandparents for making this a priority that we all continue in their honor.  It also means it was the first time since the first weekend in May that we did not harvest, wash, pack and deliver food on a Friday and Saturday morning! The main season is a long never-ending haul, and the finish line always feels like a breath of fresh air!  

Here is the exciting part!!  This week we are back at it with loads of fresh greens, hearty storage crops and of course those candy carrots that you just can't stop eating! 25 items are still listed in our CSA store this week - and it's the last week of November! We have been working over the years to build our winter supply of local food to this point. Now the challenge seems to be keeping people engaged and informed that indeed we do still have a supply of food available. Around our table, the meals have certainly changed to a lot of salads, soups, sauteed greens and all those savory tomato dishes from the frozen and canned goods of the summer. 

Certainly, the pace has slowed a bit on the vegetable production side here, and now the race is on to make sure all the animals are in a nice comfortable place for the cold that is certain to come our way. The hens are in their winter quarters now, and this week we move the pigs from the main barn out to a hoop structure we are building on the edge of the woods. Why move them from the barn to the woods? We will be moving my Dad's herd of 5 Red Poll cows, who are due in March to calve (have their babies), to our farm and taking over the management on a daily basis.  We are so excited to be able to continue to build this herd that my grandpa began 70 years ago well into the future! It is a big step for my Dad to let the cows go from his daily routine. Imagine having these animals in your life on a daily basis for more than 60 years! I am excited to have Dad and my older brother Mickey continue with selection and breeding of the animals as we go forward in building the herd back up to 20-30 cows! I am lucky to have these two be a part of this farm in any way.  Their combined years of experience with livestock is approaching 100 years, and they will bring solid knowledge and experience that cannot be learned from any text.   

The vision Emily and I have had for this farm over the past ten years is now really coming together. We see the beauty of what will continue to be Silverthorn Farm in the coming years and it is exciting!  


 

Items in the store this week include:

Salad Mix, Spinach, Head lettuce, Kale, Chard, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Beets, Super sweet carrots, Cabbage, Turnips

2016 CSA members please login here to place your order.

Non-renewed 2015 members, please login here to place your order.   

 

From Emily's Kitchen

Greens, greens, greens....that's what's for my breakfast - in the form of a smoothie! I try to mix up the greens every time I make one and so I'm not getting an overload of one vegetable.  There are so many smoothie recipes out there to choose from and a lot of the time I just use whatever I have in my fridge or freezer! Here's a link to some that I've tried in the past - I sub plain yogurt or raw milk instead of using almond or coconut milk like some of these recipes call for.  Smoothies are such an easy way to get your daily dose of greens! Kids too!  


 

Become a Member!

Support our farm and enjoy delicious, healthy local food 40 weeks of the year.

Join now.  

Posted 11/1/2015 8:52am by Nate Parks.
WHAT'S HAPPENING ON THE FARM?


And the mild fall rolls on! Each week that we continue to harvest outdoors gives us one more week of harvest in the greenhouses this coming winter. Right now the greenhouses are full, healthy and basically ready for harvest. Each day brings about 10.5 hours of sunlight now, and when we drop below 10 hours, the plant growth slows to a halt until early February. The plan for the indoor crops is to grow as much weight and mass as possible as these crops will hold their quality through much of the winter weather.  This gives us a lots of fresh greens to add to our supply of root crops in storage!  Root crops in healthy supply for this winter include potatoes, beets, rutabaga, turnips, kohlrabi, fennel and onions. These crops should be available deep into spring. Sweet potatoes are not holding up well at all, but should be available through the first of the year.  It looks like we will be able to continue harvest and deliveries through at least the week of January 16th at this point which means only a small void in regrowth before mid-February.


 

From Emily's Kitchen
 

Lettuce wraps are my favorite thing to eat lately - now one might say it's because I'm 39 weeks pregnant and hungry...well maybe!  But if that weren't the case, I'd still like them!  The crunchy leaves of the romaine and iceberg are perfect to wrap chicken or tuna salad in.  I experiment a lot with my chicken salad by using plain yogurt instead of mayo (unless I make the mayo myself), grapes or chopped apples, chopped pecans, a splash of lemon juice, hard boiled eggs, onions, celery, oh and dill - lots of dill.  Did anyone else get dry their dill this summer?  I always do so I have plenty to get me through the winter!  Mix and match with any of these ingredients until the taste is right for you!

And who tried the rutabaga fries with the chipotle dipping sauce from last week?  Or the spinach pesto? 
It's 10:00am...I might be hungry for dinner already!

 


 

CSA MEMBERS

We are now accepting new members!  You can start ordering fresh vegetables as soon as you SIGN UP!

Existing members can renew your memberships by clicking here - it's that easy!  Remember, if you have an existing balance, it will transfer to our new model.  After signup, these balance transfers will be done manually and we will contact you via email. 

PIGS!  Many of you are wondering, "where is the pork?"  It's coming, we promise.  We haven't gotten the meat back from This Old Farm yet and just had our walk-in freezer installed this past Friday.  We are scheduled to pick it up sometime this week which will give us ample time to inventory and have on the order page for next week!

** Renewed members for 2016: please use the 2016 CSA member store to place your order - there will not be any prices attached to the items. You will login and choose the 2015-2016 CSA member store.   You may place your order here. **

** Non-renewed 2015 (and previous) members: If you haven't renewed your membership to 2016, please continue to use the old store with pricing attached. You will login an choose the 2015 CSA member store.   You may place your order here. **

Are questions regarding the new system still looming?
Contact us or visit our FAQ page for more details.

PLEASE NOTE:
CSA memberships purchased in the fall of 2013 are expiring or have expired due to the 24 mo rule attached to the old system.  Please check your old membership as your funds will be "donated" to the farm and will no longer be able to be used for ordering. 

 

 

 

Posted 10/11/2015 10:23am by Nate Parks.

What's Happening on the Farm

It is harvest season all across the Midwest and scenes like the one below can be seen all across the countryside. But what is different about this empty corn field? It is the end of one era and the beginning of another! The Meador family has been farming the land that we call Silverthorn Farm for more than three decades and this was the last season that they will be on our land. It is a bitter sweet moment for they have spent much time, effort and care in farming this land. Now it is our turn and I can hardly contain my excitement for the possibilities this will bring to us in the future. We will be growing mostly soil building cover crops over the coming years and establishing perennial forest crops, permanent pastures, water retention ponds, and swails where needed. When completed, our hope is for a farm full of life, diversity and resilience in an ever changing climate! What an opportunity that we are truly blessed to have in front of us.


 

CSA members

Place your weekly order here!

As you login (and you must login first), you will notice TWO different online storefronts - one with prices on the vegetables and one without prices.  If you have signed up for the 2016 season, please make sure you choose the 2015-2016 store (without pricing on the items) and select a pickup location.  This was one of the glitches we encountered last week.  If you're unsure if your order is correct, please check with us.  If you are still using your current membership, please choose the 2015 store (with prices attached) and choose a pickup location. 

 

EGGS:  The hens are in their molting phase which means a significant decrease in production.  There's not a thing we can do about this but to take eggs off the ordering page for the next two weeks. 

**If you ordered multiple eggs last week and only received one or none, your account has been credited. **  

 

As our new season and "system" for 2016 is up and running, we think most of the glitches have been addressed...thanks to some fabulous CSA members and our web hosts. Our new membership program has brought out much emotion from both members and fellow farmers. Our new system will be a perfect match for those who eat vegetables as a regular part of their diet and cook often. Our new model will not work well for those who occasionally like to add some local products or a favorite seasonal item to their diet. Our CSA continues to be a free choice model, in order for us to manage a free choice system such as this we must have consistency in orders. With our 2015 (and prior) model there was no incentive to order regularly and utilize your credit on our available product other than the 24 month expiration date. This resulted in a weekly order sheet that could be as low as 30% of total members up to a high of maybe 75% on any given week. This created a nightmare for planning crops and the waste stream flowing in our fields became too high to be reasonable. The new system puts more responsibility on our members to really reap the benefits of the membership.

Here's where the commitment lies for you and us:  We commit to growing you as much food as we can within each season and you commit to a monthly payment that we need financially as a farm to do so. The connection is now the support of the whole farm system and not the individual price of an onion or a bunch of kale. You are now in the same position as your farmer and his staff are. Here is the food we have produced this week, now just get what you need and feed yourself and your family.

Issues: The issue of children being "free" is that some with no children feel they will be subsidizing families. We have listened, hear you and understand that a 50 year old couple with no children at home eat less food than a family of four with two teenagers at home! Contact us directly about this while we will consider accommodations for these situations with our existing members.

2015 Members with balances: There was some mass confusion last week in regards some of the language used in our newsletter.  If you have an existing balance, your membership will NOT expire at the end of the year.  We will of course honor our 24 month commitment stated at the beginning of the 2015 season.  As we move forward with our business model, we want to strongly encourage you to use up your funds so we all can move on with the new system.

 

From Emily's Kitchen

The broccoli is beautiful this time around and it sure does make an awfully good cold broccoli salad.  It's one of our favorites and super easy to make (I like super easy, if you haven't guessed!) It calls for mayo as part of the dressing - remember, you can make your own OR substitute plain yogurt.  Get the recipe!

Freezing broccoli for the winter?  Yes, please!  Again, super easy and a great addition to your plate in February!

Check it out here!   


 

Become a Member

Support our farm and enjoy delicious, healthy local food 40 weeks of the year. Join now.

 

 

 

 

Posted 9/27/2015 9:01am by Nate Parks.

What's Happening on the Farm  

October arrives this week and the 7 month grind begins to slow as we head into fall. We still have about 5 acres of field crops that we are actively harvesting and maintaining for the next few weeks. A far cry from the 25 acres of actively managed, planted, weeded, and harvested land during the summer. The rest of the fields have been "put to rest" for the winter months. Our last plantings of the year consist of a diverse concoction of winter rye, tillage radish, hairy vetch, red and white clover, oats, and rye grass. This planting has more benefits to our land than any other of the year! Building organic matter, containing erosion from winter rains, fixing nitrogen, mining minerals from deep within the subsoil and creates an ideal environment for all of our little soil life to survive and thrive through the winter. Cover crops, as they are known, are planted anywhere and anytime that we have bare soil. This time of year we are planting winter hardy varieties that will survive the winter and take off with a vengeance in the early spring. Cover cropping has really gained attention and traction over the past few years.  While the benefits of this practice are just beginning to be known, there is little doubt in the spring when we go into these fields that the soil is much different than that of the field where we were not able to get cover crops in soon enough before the weather turns to cold for significant growth.

With time to breathe from the field work we turn our attention to infrastructure improvement and cutting the massive pile of firewood logs we have accumulated this summer. We had to purchase a 53' semi trailer with a reefer unit this fall for all of the storage crops coming in. We will be taking off the running gear and placing the trailer behind our packing shed for a much improved storage facility. New fencing in the woods for our latest set of piglets is next on the list, the protection along with the forage available to them throughout our woodland will be a great asset as we go into winter.

Look for the debut of our new CSA model by the end of the week!  Existing members will be the first to find out all of the details.  We are making changes within the website as we speak so bear with us if you're trying to find out any information as it's under construction for the next few days.  Thanks to those of you who have helped us with this transition behind the scenes.  

 

CSA members Place your weekly order here!  

New this week:

Salad mix is back!

Spinach

Beautiful heads of Red and Green butterhead lettuce

Broccoli raab

Green beans - if there ever was a time for canning these, it's now!  Contact us to place a bulk order for canning

Again, thanks for all of your patience as we set up the new system! Look for an email this week outlining the exact details of the changes!  

 

From Emily's Kitchen

Too bad we didn't grow any dry beans this summer, but you can always pick up some cannellini beans at the health food store for this recipe!  I eliminate the anchovies because, well, I just don't think I like anchovies!  Here's broccoli rabe's debut! Get the recipe.

Get your canners out one last time before the summer ends and can some green beans!  You'll be thrilled to be eating them in February!    


 

 

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Delivery Day on 10/25/2017March 6th, 2017

We deliver to the following areas on Wednesdays: Kokomo, Lafayette/West Lafayette Logansport On Farm - Rossville

Delivery Day on 10/18/2017March 6th, 2017

We deliver to the following areas on Wednesdays: Kokomo, Lafayette/West Lafayette Logansport On Farm - Rossville

Winter delivery season has come to a closeJanuary 14th, 2017

We made it! Your Farmers made it! This week will be the last of our winter deliveries. Not to worry, however! We will resume weekly deliveries the first week of May. Winter greens and veggies have

Happening on the Farm