Saturday, January 29, 2011


the grinder in front, and press behind
Friday was the final cider press with the rest of last season's apples - and it was quite a success yielding 50 gallons of sweet, tart, crisp apple cider! We use an electric grinder and a bladder press method.  The electric grinder saves on man power and time, and the bladder press uses water pressure to squeeze the juice out of the ground apple through a fine mesh weave basket. Then it is strained off and put into jugs.  Our new refrigerator at the farm stand is up and running so we were able to fill the shelves with half gallon jugs of fresh cider! Come on down to get some this weekend! Only $5 for a half gallon!

And cider is not the only thing for sale in our new fridge.  All of this lovely, but unseasonably warm weather we have been enjoying has really got our hens laying! Right now of our 85 or so chickens about 30 of them were already full grown and during the summer were laying about an egg a day.  In August we added around 50 more hens - a mix of Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks and Aruacanas.  We didn't expect them to start laying their pullet eggs until this spring, when the days become longer and warmer, but all this 75° weather seems to have given them a bit of a jump start! We let them out during the day to range in the fields, and although they never go too far they are so happy scratching for bugs under the oak trees.  Their beautiful free range organic eggs will be for sale for $5/dozen on the weekends, but they are in very high demand so come by early!

Another exciting addition to the farm stand are the DELICIOUS Satsuma tangerines we are selling for $2/lb.  grown by our neighbors at Bee in Harmony Farms.  I love finding other little local farms and working together to provide the amazing bounty that the Soquel Hills has to offer to our community! If you would like more info about them check out their website at and please treat yourself to some of their awesome tangerines for sale at our farm stand while they last!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Winter update

Hello to all of our neighbors, friends, family and wonderful customers! We have been keeping pretty busy here on the farm this time of year, as I am sure many of you driving by are seeing! Winter is a time for planning for and dreaming about all the wonderful crops we hope to harvest during the warmer weather, but the cooler temperatures also bring their own tasty bounty as well.  We have been keeping our Farm Stand stocked with healthy bunches of "broccolini" - the tender sideshoots from the hardy broccoli plants that can be used just like florets, as well as crisp leafy bunches of Rainbow Chard and Red Russian Kale and heads of baby lettuces.  The last of this years apples are not yet gone, and we still even have some persimmons left too, but get them quick - this may be the last week! We put our dehydrators to good use though, so as soon as the fresh fruit is gone we will be selling dried persimmons and apples.  They are so sweet, chewy and tasty - like candy!
Hachiya Persimmons

Persimmon slices ready to go in the dehydrator

We are very excited about our newest addition to the farm - a 1000 square foot greenhouse! The construction is 99% complete - and will be totally done just in time to house the 850 tomato plants that should be sprouting sometime in the next week! This is the first year we have started our own tomatoes and we are all learning a lot about the process. For now, we are waiting patiently for them to emerge...