Summer’s End, 2011

The end of summer is upon us, as the season will soon change from those nice warm summer days to the time of year when the chill starts to settle, and it gets chilly as soon as the sun goes down.

Summer 2011 was another good year for the farm.  While the peaches and apricots weren’t as prolific as we would have liked, the trees seem primed for a better year next year.  In the absence of the stone fruit, we had great years from our other varieties of produce.  We had an incredible amount of tomatoes, squash, onions, garlic, cucumbers, blood oranges, and even grew some giant watermelons.  Most of these goodies made it to our porch stand, and we’re very thankful for all of you that stopped by.

Like everything in life, all good things must come to an end, and as summer ends, so does the major growing window for produce.  We will have a winter garden, and our blood oranges will be ready mid-winter, but the variety and amount of produce won’t quite rival summer.  But that doesn’t mean we aren’t keeping busy and having fun on the farm still!

This little break allows us to do some other fun things, like making more of our own blood orange wine and also trying to make our own sunflower seeds.

We recently bottled both batches of our latest blood orange wine.  We still are trying to figure out all of the nuances, but we’re definitely having fun trying (and tasting!).

Bottling the wine using the siphon tube
Farmer Dave and Ryan in the middle of the bottling process
our 2011 Blood Orange wine

Another fun project that we’ve been undertaking is experimenting with sunflower seeds. In the garden, we have some big sunflowers growing, and instead of the letting the birds pick at all of the seeds, we decided to pick the flowers and try and make our own sunflower seeds.  We picked the head of the sunflower, and let it dry for a few days. Then, we removed all of the seeds and rinsed them off.  Then, we let them sit for a few more days in a salt-water solution (almost like brining a turkey) and the next step will be to bake them.  Will these taste anything like the seeds you buy in the store? Who knows. But it certainly gained us an appreciation into how much work goes into those snacks.

The head of the sunflower, will all of the seeds nearly plucked
Post-picking, setting out all of the sunflower seeds prior to soaking

So as we say goodbye to another wonderful summer on Promacks Farm, we are grateful for another good season, and hopeful for what our approaching seasons will bring.

Stay tuned for updates on what to plant now for your winter garden…

Get The Freezers Ready

Monday night was a big night on the farm.  It was time for our cow to be processed.

Our longtime processor Paul came out Monday evening and did the job for us, in a quick and humane manner.  We are already talking about getting another cow from him in a few months, as well as getting fresh pork since we didn’t enjoy raising pigs long ago. He recently relocated to Valley Center so we now have another local source for good meat.

Paul's the man!

He loaded the sides of beef into his refrigerated truck, one for David and Linda, and the other for Ryan and Lindsay.  For the past few cows we’ve raised, we’ve been splitting the cost of the cow with them and splitting the meat.

The meat, now ready for the butcher

In about two weeks, the meat will be ready for us.  Just in time too, as both of our beef supplies from the prior cow were getting a little thin.  Time to get our storage freezers ready!

When Do I Start Planting For Upcoming Seasons?

This morning, we had a wonderful surprise customer.  Our Farm Stand is about closed now, but people will still occasionally drive up to the front porch to see if anything is available.  One of our long-standing Stand customers, Anna, arrived this morning with her children in tow.  She talked with us about a wonderfully helpful “garden chart” from that helps gardeners plan when to start planting seeds for next season.  Anna, we loved chatting Farm stuff with you this morning, please feel free to contact Farmer Dave at david[at], he’d like to stay in touch and continue to talk Farm.

For those interested in the garden chart, here is that chart:

Our Growing Vineyard

Here are some recent photos of the expanding and growing vineyard we have on our property.  We added a few more rows of young vines to accompany our rows of maturing vines.

Next time you come by to purchase some Promacks Produce, you should check out our vineyard!

Porch Check: July 5, 2011

Good morning, hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July weekend.  Here is an update on our produce stand –

We are out of peaches for the season.  For those that picked some up, hope you enjoyed them!  Although we are out of peaches and apricots for the year, we do continue to have other great produce!  We have various veggies, including lots of tomatoes.

So please feel free to continue to come by the Farm to pick up our seasonal produce.  We hope to see you there.

Do You Think She Liked The Plums?

Meet Jordan.  She’s been to the Farm a few times before to help pick carrots, oranges, and to pick up pumpkin seedlings.  Over the weekend, her mom purchased some produce, including plums, from the Farm.  Earlier today, Lindsay got a picture text from her mom Suzanne with one simple question:  “Do you think Jordan liked the plums?”

Another satisfied customer

Looks like the answer is a definite YES.  Glad Jordan liked the plums so much.  And we love her outfit, by the way.

Porch Check – June 21, 2011

Happy first day of Summer! And on this wonderful first day of summer, here’s a “porch check” for what we have ready:

Tuesday morning Porch Check: Peaches are ripe and delicious, and the apricots are almost gone. We have a small supply of plums ripe now, and the tomatoes are about a week away. We have lots of zucchini, onions, beans, garlic, blood oranges, grapefruit, and cucumbers. Hope to see you on the Farm!

Peaches… Almost!

Well, our peaches are *almost* ready.  What a wacky year it has been for our stone fruit.  The winter season is the most important season for peaches & apricots, and this winter was a wild one.  Really cold, then really hot, then lots of rain, then more hot/cold indecision… our poor trees didn’t really know what to think of it all.  We had trees trying to wake up in the dead of winter which can spell doom for the summer crop.  Through it all, our trees persevered, and although it’s a little later than we are used to – normally our peaches and apricots are ready in the beginning of June – our crop is JUST ABOUT ready.

We’re thinking that by Sunday or Monday we’ll have our peaches and apricot harvest in full swing.  So like always, feel free to come by the Farm to check out what we have ready, or give us a call to check.  We should have plenty of squash, garlic, onions, blood oranges, zucchini, green beans, and tangerines ready for purchase. Fresh organic produce – what a great summer treat!

February blossoms have hopefully become delicious peaches

Porch Check – June 8, 2011

Porch Check update: our porch produce stand will be having a “soft opening” next weekend. Here’s some of what we should have ready: zucchini, crookneck squash, green beans, grapefruit, blood oranges, acorn squash, giant onions, garlic, and tangerines. Hopefully, the corn and peaches will be ready (fingers crossed!). Hope to see you at the Farm!

It’s What’s For Dinner

We’d like to introduce our newest addition to the Farm – “Socks” the cow:

Socks, the cow

He is about a year old, and he’ll be with us on the Farm for about another 6 months or so.  Make sure you stop and say hello when you are visiting the fruit stand over the summer.

Socks was delivered on Saturday by Cheryl Lange, who runs a livestock operation in De Luz.  We’ve known Cheryl for years, and used to get all of our pigs from her operation years ago.  Our last cow was also from Cheryl.  Socks is a Hereford/Mini-Hereford cross.

Here’s our first introduction with Socks – as he was coming out of the trailer:

Hi Socks!

After he was released into his cow pen, he was understandably unsettled. However, within a few minutes, he settled into the nice shady spot of the pen and sat down and looked very relaxed.  He even discovered the sycamore tree, a favorite of many of our previous cows, in the middle of his pen and ate a few leaves.

Enjoying the sycamore tree

We’ve enjoyed raising our own beef over the years, and look forward to having Socks on the farm through the end of this year.