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Friday, May 29, 2015

Where can you buy locally grown produce?

I am often asked about the produce we grow and our CSA program. Consumers are interested in how they can join our CSA or where they can purchase our produce. I am asked what farmers markets we attend. Our CSA program and our local farmers markets are where we sell our produce. We sell our produce directly the consumer.

We love to welcome new members to join our CSA program as it is a great way to experience a variety of produce throughout the growing season! CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and I talk about the program and its advantages here. Our CSA is delivered in weekly shares and I talk about that here. We have a smaller CSA program, but happily deliver about 20 shares each week to our town and surrounding communities. We also encourage consumers to attend our local farmers market. To find a farmers market near you check out Local Harvest, and it will show you all the local markets close to you. 

By selling the produce we grow directly to the consumer it is nice to build a farmer-consumer relationship with our customers. We appreciate when they give us feed back. We love to hear recipes they share with us on how the prepared the produce purchased from us. 

We also grow pumpkins! In the fall we have what we call Fall Harvest Days, about 4-5 weekends the end of September to October depending on how the weekends fall. This is where we invite the public to come out to our farm and pick out pumpkins and join in some of the kids activities. We grow our pumpkins off site, about 2 miles from our farm, so everything is picked and brought to our farm for the Fall Harvest Days. We also sell fall decor that we grow ourselves, such as grouds in all shapes, color, and sizes, straw, shocks, Indian corn, as well as fall produce. We also sell our pumpkins and fall decor to some local shops and stores to sell to their customers. 

We are proud produce and pumpkin growers and look forward to the growing and market season each year! You can support our farm and farms like ours by attending your local farmers markets or looking into a CSA program near you. Also by doing your yearly creative pumpkin carvings and decorating for fall, you are supporting my farm and others like mine! 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Backroad Life Favorites -Strawberry Revolution tiebacks

I thought a fun way to start summer would be to share some of my favorite products here on The Backroad.' I will be sharing a few of my favorite products over the next few weeks, and having a fun giveaway at the end of the series.

First up is a product I was introduced an tried not too long ago - Strawberry Revolution Studio Tiebacks!! 

Now I was skeptical to order as I have a hard time with headbands... Previous ones I have tried are too tight and not comfortable. I would get headaches after only wearing them for a short amount of time. Or they would have to be re-positioned several times a day because they would move or slide off - which to me is the most frustrating.

Right at the time I was wanting to order a Strawberry Revolution Tieback, they were having a giveaway on their Facebook page. I entered the giveaway not expecting to win, but hey it is worth a shot. I also placed my first Strawberry Revolution order. I was super excited that I did win the giveaway (which never happens - so I was thrilled!!). I couldn't wait for my new tieback headbands to come.

The Strawberry Revolution tiebacks come with a card folded around it with their website information and directions for wearing and washing. You can wear them thick or thin for two different looks!! I LOVE their motto "Confidence is Beauty"

When they came I tried one right away. The tieback headband was comfortable and I didn't get a headache.  AND it didn't slide!!

The next day I put it to even more of a test and wore it during my workout. Same results! Comfortable, no headache, and it didn't move! I wore it the remainder of the day.

So how did I find out about Strawberry Revolution? I am a newborn photography prop vendor  - {Simply}Sassafras - and follow several photographers on Facebook and Instagram. I noticed several photographers and prop vendors wearing these tiebacks and how they loved them for the same reasons I do. So I thought I would try them out too.

But of course you don't have to be a photographer or a prop vendor to wear them. I wear the tieback headbands for any type of work. Gardening, working in the field, cleaning, workout, shopping, anytime I put my hair up (you can wear them with your hair down too. I wear them casually, or to dress up an outfit. Really anytime is great! I LOVE them!!!

It is great to support small, handmade businesses and I do very often, especially being one myself, I truly appreciate the uniqueness! Strawberry Revolution also GIVES BACK! Here is information from their website.  
With our “Confidence is Beauty” statement in mind, we have recently partnered with the KIND Campaign and donate $1 out of every purchase to this non-profit who campaigns against adolescent bullying. With OUR donations and many others, they can provide FREE assemblies and KIND curriculum to middle schools and high schools around the U.S. - Teaching our kids and our future America how to take the power out of bullying. One KIND at a time.

They are super cute and there are a ton of designs available on their website. I have just tried the Studio Tiebacks, but there is also the Truefit Band that is more of a fitness band. I look forward to ordering more and adding to my collection. 

Head on over to the Strawberry Revolution website and find your favorite bands! Use my code STRAWREV1047 at checkout for 10 % off your order through May 31st! They also offer a kid's tieback collection and tees for kids and adults! Its a great time to purchase some of these bands! You will love them!! 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Rhubarb Custard Pie

Last year I added rhubarb to my garden. My aunt was thinning out her plants and gave me starts for my garden. My mom has always had rhubarb growing in her garden and she often gave me some to enjoy. Our customers at the farmers market also ask for rhubarb often. So I was excited to add 10 starts to my garden for ourselves to enjoy and also offer to our customers/CSA members.

I haven't made much with rhubarb before. I have enjoyed strawberry rhubarb preserves and strawberry rhubarb turnovers. 

But I wanted to try out a new recipe, so I searched through my mom's recipe box and found this one. 

Rhubarb Custard Pie. Sounds yummy! 

Old fashioned rhubarb custard pie recipe using basic ingredients from your kitchen.

1 box pie crust mix
3 eggs
3 tbsp milk
4 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups rhubarb - cut 1/2 -1 inch length 
2 tbsp butter (melted)
additional milk and sugar

-Make up your crust according to box instructions...or you can make your own crust. I made up the whole box, divided in half and used, half the dough for the pie crust and the other half for the lattice top. 
-Combine eggs, milk, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and vanilla in a large bowl and beat until well blended.
-Stir in fresh rhubarb
- Place the lattice top crust on the pie
-Combine melted butter, some additional milk and sugar and brush mixture on lattice top crust of the pie
-Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown. 

I couldn't wait for the pie to cool and so I could taste it. I loved it!!! It's mildly tangy, not too sweet, not too tart. The custard part is soft and the crust it the perfect amount of crust for the pie. It has an old fashioned feel and a great deliciously different recipe to do with the rhubarb in your garden. I know I will be making it again! Enjoy!!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Favorite things on the Backroad....Summer Giveaway Series

Summer is soon among us! I am looking forward to it!

 I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite products in a few posts as a summer series and at the end have a giveaway of some of these items. The products I use almost daily.

I will post a review of the product and tell you why I like it. I will also share the links to where you can get the product for yourself.

How fun is that!?

Stay tuned to future posts to hear about some of my favorite products! I am excited to share some of my favorites with you!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

What to plant in your garden?

Gardening season is here and I am already looking forward to fresh vegetables!! It feels great growing your own food! Growing a vegetable garden is one of the most rewarding activities you can do as a family. There is something about eating a juicy tomato picked right out of the garden. Or any produce for that matter. Homegrown vegetables taste better, have more nutrients, and are fresher than those store bought since you can pick them the same day you want to use them or at their ripest point.

I have gotten several questions from others asking about tips for what to plant in their gardens or suggestions on what to plant in their first gardens.

A great way to start is start with what you eat.
-Plant vegetable plants and garden seeds for the produce you know you will eat. You can try growing new things after you get some garden experience behind you. Growing produce you like, will help you give your garden more attention. Look at the food you eat regular and find out if you can grow what is in it.

If you are limited on space, there are a few ways you can look at what to grow for your garden.

Container gardening (also known as kitchen gardening or patio gardening)
-If you enjoy eating a lot of salads, this is a great option as lettuce has shallow root systems and do well in containers.
-Radishes and green onions grow quickly, you just need deeper containers
-You can also grow tomatoes and pepper plants in containers as well to add to your container garden.
-Container gardening is also great for growing herbs
Vegetable suggestions for container gardening:
      *leaf lettuce
      *green onions

Save money on groceries
-If you have more space you can grow a wide variety of vegetables, but make it easy for you.
-Are you a family that eats a lot of fruits and vegetables and purchases from the grocery store? Gardening is a great way to help your grocery bill.
             -for example: 1 bell pepper generally costs $1-$2 at the grocery store. You can buy a pepper
              plant for $2 or less (4 inch pot or a 4 pack tray) and yield several bell peppers.
Vegetable suggestions for gardening with more space:
           *green beans

You will find that having your garden and growing your own produce is so rewarding! You will taste it in the freshness of the vegetables you are eating.
Enjoy gardening season and producing healthy food!
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