News and Blog
April 1 2012 Strawberry Update
The fields should be open Monday through Saturday. Field opens at 8:00am. Please bring a container to put your berries in after you pick.
After three decades of growing strawberries I am still amazed each year to observe the process. I am also humbled as I attempt to affect certain changes. It reminds me of going down a familiar river that can change every trip and surprise you at every turn. What may seem routine as you pick strawberries every year is in reality a complex cooperation of numerous factors. It all begins with the soil and much of it’s unseen activity. Each year’s distinctive character holds it’s own package of reasons to be vigilant. Just like the river you have to be ready to respond to the "whatever" in a timely manner. Thankfully, the season has come through with a good beginning. We have lots of fruit, plants are in good shape, flowers still coming and the flavor is good for early berries. We are still working on the parts of the field condition wise but even that is showing progress.
Now is a good time for Asparagus, greens, spinach, beets, kale, kohlrabi and for organic lettuce, organic cabbage, organic turnips, organic chard, organic strawberries. Garden peas are just a few days away from harvest! They are really good in a salad.
At this point the blueberries, blackberries, plums and peaches look good. The fruit is really growing for this time of year.
We are planting corn. This year we are introducing a new super sweet, Silver Duchess. I like the name because for years people have grown to like and ask for Silver Queen. Silver Queen is a normal sugary type. That is good but it loses it’s sweetness quickly because the sugars turn to starch soon after harvest, especially in heat. The super sweet types retain their sugars much longer. I think you will like Silver Duchess.
Thank you for your interest.
Now is a good time for Asparagus, greens, beets, kale, kholrabi and for organic lettuce, organic cabage, organic turnips, organic chard, organic strawberries. Garden peas are just a few days away from harvest! They are really good in a salad.
At this point the blueberries, blackberries, plums and peaches look good.
Thank you for your interest.
Strawberry update March 25
The season has certainly been different from the past three years. With all the mild weather and few chilly nights it appears Spring has about a two week jump on what we normally see. For me it has largely been a challenge to do eight weeks work in four weeks time. Conditions such as these force me to be vigilant in many areas all at once. Insect pressures , disease pressures, weed pressures, timing of crops can actually can all become issues that need attention in conditions such as these. It has been somewhat difficult to know just when would come in. We ask that you bear with us as we work with this season’s unique character.
Strawberries look good. We are now beginning to pick for the market and anticipate opening the field March 31. The organic strawberries are being picked now also.
Asparagus is now being harvested. If you have not had fresh asparagus I recommend you try it. I did not like asparagus growing up because all we had was canned asparagus. Later when we grew our own asparagus was I surprised to find the difference fresh made.
Look for spinach, chard, turnips, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radishes, cabbage, much of this is coming in from the farm in organic and conventional.
If you want to get in on the spring tours we encourage you to plan early.
Indigo Farms Spring Tour 2012
Welcome to Indigo Farms! This tour is designed to provide an interactive and educational experience for children of all ages. Come enjoy spring on the farm!
The highlights of a tour are:
The hay ride around the orchards and fields. Your guide will explain what you are passing.
A walking tour of barnyard. Your guide will provide information about the various animals.
The experience of picking strawberries or vegetables.
A great opportunity to get out and learn about agriculture and our environment!
The instructional part of your tour will take 1 to 1.5 hours. Please allow extra time if you plan to eat lunch or a snack. Please let us know if you plan to eat lunch or a snack. We have picnic tables available and an on site bakery serving lunch and assorted baked goods. If you would like to place an order with the bakery, please call the week before your tour. See numbers below.
About the tour:
Enjoy a guided educational tour of the barnyard. You will see and learn about our horses, geese, peacock, turkeys, goats, sheep, pigs and Hershey the hinny . We usually have baby goats, spring chicks, and/or goslings.
In the greenhouse you will see dozens of plants, in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors! Students will learn what plants need to grow and why we can't live without them.
On the hay ride you will see our blueberry, peach, grape, asparagus, and strawberry fields as well as various other seasonal crops. At frequent stops along the way your guide will tell you which crops you are seeing and some of their uses. As you ride around the farm you will have an opportunity to learn about some of the native plants that we protect and why they are important. You will see our bee hives and learn the reason honey bees are important to farms. At some point along the ride you will stop and pick either strawberries or a vegetable, preferably strawberries.
What you will take home: Each student will receive an Indigo Farms Spring coloring book that reinforces the information presented during the tour. They will also take home a cup of strawberries and get a flowering plant to grow. We have additional educational information available, just ask!
The cost is $7.00per person. This includes all parents and siblings over one year old. One teacher and assistant are free per class. Special ed. classes may qualify to have additional adults free.
Additional Strawberries: There will not be time for adults to pick extra strawberries during the tour. If individuals or groups want to order berries let us know in advance of your tour and we can have them ready. Call the day before your tour to place an order. 910-287-6794 or 843-399-6902
Weather: If the weather is questionable please call to inquire about the weather here, or to reschedule. Should you cancel for any other reason it is important that you let us know a week in advance of our tour date.
Parking: We encourage you to car pool as we have limited parking. Please park behind the Farm Market. Park with your group. We like to keep groups together so that no one gets blocked in. Please try to be at the farm 5 - 10 minutes early. It usually takes that long to get everyone paid and ready to start. We want your tour to be relaxing and enjoyable, not rushed. If you arrive late your tour may be shortened. CALL FOR RESERVATIONS: 910-287-6794 or 843-399-6902 and ask for tour reservations.
Web address www.indigofarmsmarket.com for summer tours, fall tours and more.
Other Activities for the Whole Family!
Available year-round:Visit the Barnyard; Birthday Parties for all ages
Available in the Spring and Summer:
Pick Your Own Strawberries and Blueberries; Ask about picking tomatoes, garden peas, and other crops. Please call for the days and hours our fields will be open.
Our Summer farm tours are a relaxing way to spend your morning! Groups pick blueberries, receive a guided tour of the farm and barnyard, and get a group watermelon.
Available in the Fall:
Night time hay rides and bonfires; Pumpkin Patch Hay rides (Certain days and times only, please call for additional information.)
Free Fun For Everyone!
We invite you to our Fall Event Days. There is no admission fee, so bring the whole family! (There are fees for some activities.) Hay rides, pumpkin patch hay rides, our hay maze and Naspig racing are ongoing during both of these days.
Farm Heritage Day, October 6, 2012, is a time to visit the farm and learn about local history. We have lots of different exhibitors at the farm to show how this were done in the past. In pervious years we have had a blacksmith; the Horry County Museum demonstrating a 1915 engine; spinning, weaving, and dyeing demos; basket making, and much more.
Pumpkin Day, October 20, 2012, is a fun day to enjoy the fall. Activities include pumpkin painting; corn shucking/shelling/throwing races; sack races, a special section with activities for young children, and more!
STOCKPIG Racing on both event days!!
Thumbs up for NC State !
For many years research at Universities such as NCSU have largely focused on actions that affect production or controls to prevent problems. A breath of fresh air came in the last issue of the college of life science’s PERSPECTIVES magazine. It was clear that a shift to understand the biology and ask penetrating questions is bringing to light some very encouraging signs.
Dr. Keith Harris and NC State alumnus Whit Jones joined together to work with grower Ron Cottle to find a new way to capture the benefits of the goodness in muscadine grapes. Well established, the nutritional benefits of muscadine grapes are the focus of many seeking to improve human health and well- being. Here, this trio have come upon a way to consume the whole grape in a manner to ensure that processing doesn’t destroy the natural benefits of the grapes. After careful washing a powerful blender was used to pulverize the entire grape, hulls, seeds and all. This was made into a frozen smoothie. What is impressive about this are the efforts to maintain the qualities of the grape. It is well known that the hulls and seeds are concentrated sources of anti-oxidants, protein and fiber. The end result was real nice.
An article on addressing childhood obesity revealed an interesting twist to bring together several different areas of science to better seek how to effectively address many of the issues involved in childhood obesity. This included people from the horticulture and animal science fields as well as nutritional biochemistry and psychology fields.
Dr. Sopia Kathariou heads up an intense research to understand how the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes and Campylobacter function. Part of the problem with past approaches to problems is the solution only treats the surface of the problem and not the root. As with Listeria resistance to disinfects and exposure to antibiotics allow the bacteria to by pass many procedures that are intended to control food safety issues. By understanding the needs and make up of the bacteria the opportunity to reduce it’s presence in the food chain is possible without attempting to make food sterile or create future problems of stronger pathogen strains.
Dr. Heather Patisaul’s work on finding solid answers to tough questions concerning how manmade chemicals are affecting our lives and the lives of the next generations is very striking! How refreshing it is to see an earnest effort put into finding concrete answers to such important issues. Her work has brought attention to the chemical Biphenol A or commonly known as BPA. This chemical is commonly found most everyday products we use such as water bottles , eye glasses to linings for food and beverage cans. So common is this chemical, traces can be found in the blood and urine of nearly every person in the United States! One of the tough questions relates to it’s possible affects upon human reproduction. This is a serious work on a reality latently hidden from everyday consciousness.
All of this is a reminder of how important the food we eat is. Some healthy questions to ask yourself may well be , Do you know where your food comes from? Do you know how it was grown? How does it’s nutritive value compare to what could be? When our government will not allow the origin of food to be clearly known to consumers , it may be time to ask questions ourselves.
Would you like to know what the weather will be like in February, March and April? So far winter has been a dramatic contrast to the last two years. The warm weather has been nice but not for everything. Consecutive days of warm weather cause fruit trees to move auxins toward the terminal ends of the trees. This enhances bud development which brings on blossoming. As this process occurs the buds become more susceptible to cold weather damage. One of the difficulties with situations as these is to have the major tasks of pruning, freeze protection and the likelihood of numerous nights of running water on the trees at the same time. I write all this to help you appreciate the fruit when the season comes. Meanwhile the repairs continue, planting continues and we are thankful to have you as friends and customers.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us at Indigo Farms. The market will be closed in until February. However if you should want any vegetables , eggs, honey , jams, organic lettuce, organic diakon just call 843- 399-6902 or 910-287-6794 and let us know. We still have several things coming off the farm. Thank you for your being a part of what we do. We look forward to continuing to serve you in the future. The next few weeks will be busy catching up on repairs and preparations. Look for blogs that may reflect what is happening. The next email will likely not go out until late January. But blogs will be posted on the web site.
Fresh off the farm update.
We are now harvesting some crops that should help with the holidays and your late fall meals.
Broccoli, kale, rape, mustard both slick and curly, turnips, turnip greens, tender greens, radish, diakon, kohlrabi, collards.
Butter beans, ford hooks, green tomatoes, baby romas tomatoes, romas tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, organic cherry tomatoes, organic eggplant are still available.
Just starting our late harvest of peanuts. They look very good and won’t get any fresher so if you enjoy peanuts or if you want to make your own peanut butter here is an opportunity. Look for lettuce soon.
It is a good time for sweet potatoes (covengton and red jewel as well as some white sweet potatoes). These potatoes are grown from neighboring farms. We have much more that we are bringing in including apples, nuts etc.
Don’t forget our apple cider and baked pies as well as the Garden Center that has many items that would make very good Christmas gifts.
NASPIG NEWS from the STOCKYARD 100
The last week of STOCKPIGRacing for the 2011 season gives us the final standings and the official champion of NASPIG 2011. Jack Be Quick wins the championship with an impressive 344 points! He did it by overcoming some stiff adversity on October 15 to win all of his 12 races that day. It puts him in a rare class among STOCKPIG racing. Gold Rush finished second with 253 points and actually gained on the leader this past week. GOLD Rush was in fifth place on October 1. She gradually moved up each week to be a strong competitor. Magic Lantern had 190; One Too Many had 175, a strong comeback for the "headache kid"; Ironsides had 140; Happy Jack had 129; Merlin had 126; Muchkin had 102 and Little Boo had 101. For Muchkin it was the first time the pig got off the last place spot. She did have some fancy moves, spinning on the track and running in the wrong direction but she did make the most of her final races to advance upward.
Thanks for an exciting season.
NASPIG NEWS from the STOCKYARD 200
The last week of October’s racing continues the shifts that separate the top pigs from the pigs that seem content to just be pigs on the track. This week #8, Jack Be Quick, regains his winning edge with 5 wins. The # 1 pig , Gold Rush, took in 4 wins. The #6, One Too Many , gat 2 wins as did #3, Ironsides. Magic Lantern #2 got one win along. The points leaders are:
#8 Jack Be Quick 319
#1 Gold Rush 226
#2 Magic Lantern 186
#6 One Too Many 163
#3 Ironsides 128
#9 Happy Jack 114
#5 Merlin 111
#7 Little Boo 94
#4 Munchkin 88
This will be the last week of the season for
STOCKPIG Racing for the 2011 season.