Wednesday, October 19, 2011

10/19/11 newsletter

This Week at Trogg's Hollow

Well, this is the end. We packed our last 2011 summer shares yesterday. Yes, it's really been 20 weeks worth or wonderful veggies. And today's weather really puts an exclamation point on that ending, with the cold rain and winds and temps 30 degrees less than a week ago.

Extra Produce This Week!!!!!!

So here’s how it works – check out the list of what we have (we’ve included prices), then send us an email or give us a call and let us know what you would like and when you would like to pick up. We’ll send you an email back confirming that we have it and giving you our address. Pick up this week will be Wednesday and Thursday between 10 and 7 for both extra produce.

Extra shares!!!!!!!!!!

Hey, we've got 5 extra shares again this week. Just email or call, first to notify us is first on the list. They are $30, like usual and they have all the good stuff listed above. Let us know. Pick up this week will be Thursday between 10 and 7.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

9/28/11 Newsletter and extra shares

This Week at Trogg's Hollow

Hard to believe, but September is nearly over, as are the local markets. The Open Market at the Grove finished up last weekend, and this Thursday marks the end of the Harvest Market. It’s been an interesting first year doing the markets, and we have met so many wonderful and supportive people. We want to thank everyone for their support and patronage and for spreading the word about what we’re doing. Thanks guys – you’re the best!!!

Farmer’s Market This Week

THIS IS THE LAST AND FINAL WEEK!!! We will be at the Harvest Market, which runs Thursday from 10-4. Come see us – this is your last chance to see our smiling faces standing behind that booth for months!! This week we have beans, broccoli, eggplant, green peppers, Hungarian hot wax peppers, cucumbers, beets, tomatillos, jalapenos, habaneros, chard, kale, romaine, tomatoes, winter squash, baking pumpkins and decorative gourds. As usual, get there early to get the best selection! And hey, we have herbs! We don’t usually put them out because they wilt quickly, but if you’re looking for fresh herbs just ask and we’ll show you what we have.

Extra shares!!!!!!!!!!

Hey, we've got 5 extra shares again this week. Just email or call or show up at the market, first to notify us is first on the list. They are $30, like usual and they have all the good stuff listed above. Let us know.

More in the newsletter.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

9/21/11 newsletter and shares

Extra shares!!!!!!!!!!

Hey, we've got 5 extra shares again this week. Just email or call or show up at the market, first to notify us is first on the list. They are $30, like usual and they have all the good stuff listed above. Let us know

Farmer’s Market This Week

We will be at the Harvest Market, which runs Thursday from 10-4, and then again at the Open Market at the Grove (located behind the Tilted Kilt off Randall Road, north of 90), which runs Saturday morning from 7-11. Come see us!! This week we have Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers, Beans, Eggplant, Cucumbers, Radishes, Jalapenos, Romaine, Kale, Chard, Collards, Heirloom Tomatoes, Tomatillos, Watermelon, Spaghetti Squash, Acorn Squash, and Gourds. As usual, get there early to get the best selection! And hey, we have herbs! We don’t usually put them out because they wilt quickly, but if you’re looking for fresh herbs just ask and we’ll show you what we have. Only 2 weeks of Markets left, so if you haven’t come out to see us, now’s the time!!!

This Week at Trogg's Hollow

Well, it’s continuing to cool off and crops are changing – this week we have fall-y things, in celebration of the start of the new season. The kids are starting to talk about Halloween already (well, so are we adults), we’re seeding some cooler weather crops, and we’re generally gearing up for autumn.

More in the newsletter

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

9/7/11 newsletter and extra shares

This Week at Trogg's Hollow

Hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend. It has cooled off a lot! This is the beginning of my favorite time of year. Even though it is always hard to say goodbye to summer, I love it when it begins to cool off and we still have lots of great summer produce to eat and preserve. I always feel truly in love with our garden right around this time of year. We’re still busily canning tomatoes, but just this week we found a few orange pumpkins.

Farmer’s Market This Week

We will be at the Harvest Market, which runs Thursday from 10-4, and then again at the Open Market at the Grove (located behind the Tilted Kilt off Randall Road, north of 90), which runs Saturday morning from 7-11. Come see us!! This week we have bell peppers, carrots, mesclun, eggplant, Hungarian hot wax peppers, broccoli, summer squash, beans, chard, cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes, and beets. As usual, get there early to get the best selection! And hey, we have herbs! We don’t usually put them out because they wilt quickly, but if you’re looking for fresh herbs just ask and we’ll show you what we have.

Extra shares!!!!!!!!!!

Hey, we've got 5 extra shares again this week. Just email or call or show up at the market, first to notify us is first on the list. They are $30, like usual and they have all the good stuff listed above. Let us know.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

8/31/11 newsletter and Extra shares

This Week at Trogg's Hollow

Well, summer, at least as far as kids being home from school, is coming to a close (technically we have another month, so hang in there!) but things are still growing strong around here. We have lots and lots of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and summer squash. Everything is wonderful and fresh, so stock up! It’s also a good time to think about preserving some of these wonderful flavors for winter (I know, I used the “w” word). We have been making pickles, canning tomatoes and peaches, and making jam. There are lots of great books and websites out there with new canning ideas, and we’re also willing to share our experience when we’re able. And if you don’t want to mess with canning, most things freeze nicely. We may not put enough by to eat all winter long, but its so nice to have a little something when the grocery store offerings are so paltry.


Farmer’s Market This Week

We will be at the Harvest Market, which runs Thursday from 10-6. Come see us!! Come see our new baby! This week we have cucumbers, summer squash, lettuce, eggplant, broccoli, green peppers, kale, beans, carrots, and beets. As usual, get there early to get the best selection! And hey, we have herbs! We don’t usually put them out because they wilt quickly, but if you’re looking for fresh herbs just ask and we’ll show you what we have.

Extra shares!!!!!!!!!!

Hey, we've got 5 extra shares again this week. Just email or call or show up at the market, first to notify us is first on the list. They are $30, like usual and they have all the good stuff listed above. Let us know.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

8/17/11 Newsletter

This Week at Trogg's Hollow

It’s been a busy week here. As most of you know, our lovely little baby arrived on Monday morning. She’s great, and keeping us busy. Baby and Mommy are doing well and will see you in a few weeks.

Farmer’s Market This Week


We will be at the Harvest Market, which runs Thursday from 10-4. Come see us!! This week we have broccoli, summer squash, Beefsteak, Roma, Valencia and Juliet tomatoes, all heirloom varieties, and green peppers, and beans, as well as a limited number of Sungold Tomatoes, chard, Romaine, and eggplant. In addition, we’ll be selling more of those wonderful Walla Walla onions from our friends at Royal Soil Farm in Roscoe, Illinois. As usual, get there early to get the best selection!

Extra shares!!!!!!!!!!

Hey, we've got 5 extra shares again this week. Just email or call or show up at the market, first to notify us is first on the list. They are $30, like usual and they have all the good stuff listed above. Let us know.


More in the newsletter.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

8/10/11 newsletter

This Week at Trogg's Hollow

Hey there. For some reason this week has seemed really busy over here. But Dan just reminded me that we've worked longer days just to keep up the weeding in Hampshire and the picking in Elgin. Plus there was the early Saturday market at the Grove as well.
Well, This week we're really starting to get those tomatoes into the baskets. We have a Black Krim again as well as Beefsteak, Juliette, Sungold and Valencia. There's also the first bell peppers, real cabbage and some really great looking rainbow chard. Everything looks great, and the baskets are almost too full.

Farmer’s Market This Week

We will be at the Harvest Market, which runs Thursday from 10-4. Come see us!! This week we have cucumbers, lettuce, romaine, Chinese cabbage, kale, chard, Hungarian hot wax peppers, squash, beets, sweet corn, green bell peppers, tomatoes, mesclun mix, and eggplant . As usual, get there early to get the best selection!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

8/3/11 Newsletter

Hi ho, Trogg here. So the peaches are here. I hope everyone that pre-ordered is having a wonderfully tasty time with them. If anyone needs any help with canning or freezing or recipes for jellys, jams or butters let us know. If anyone needs any help eating them, call me. I definitely have some free space for more peaches.


We’ve got peaches for sale at the market, come and get them by the pound. These were picked fresh on Sunday/Monday by Rendleman Orchards in Alto Pass Illinois. We picked them up Monday and brought them all the way back here for your eating pleasure. These will be the freshest, tastiest peaches at the market!


More in the newsletter.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

7/27/11 Newsletter

This Week at Trogg's Hollow

So last week was hot, huh? And now it’s wet again, but we like that. So far we have had to water very little and that makes us very happy. Things continue to grow and we’re working to keep up with everything and keep things moving along.

Peaches!!

You should all have gotten our letter – so here’s a reminder. We’re heading to Southern Illinois this weekend to get some wonderful peaches from Rendelman Orchards in Alto Pass. These peaches are absolutely wonderful and although they’re not organic we have worked with Rendelman in the past and have always been happy. We’re taking orders for bushels ($64), half, bushels ($32), and pecks ($16) up until 8PM this Thursday, so email us and let us know what you want! We also hope to bring some back to sell at the Harvest Market next week.


More in the newsletter!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

7/20/11 Newsletter is here!

This Week at Trogg's Hollow

So, it’s been insanely HOT, but our boys have been out there in the thick of it. They’re packing CSA baskets as I type, and I’m sure they’re enjoying hanging out by the cooler.

Farmer’s Market This Week

We will be at the Harvest Market, which runs Thursday from 10-4. It will be HOT, so come see us and help us through the day!! This week we have very limited quantities of beans, cucumbers, scaloppini and peas, as well as lettuce, kale, romaine, and Chinese cabbage (leaves and hearts). As usual, get there early to get the best selection!

More in the newsletter.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

7/13/11 update

This Week at Trogg's Hollow

Another busy week here, but then that’s to be expected this time of year. The continued hot weather has been great for the vegetables, and I am happy to say we suffered no damage from the crazy storm that wrecked havoc on so much of the area.

Farmer’s Market This Week

We will be at the Harvest Market, which runs Thursday from 10-4. This week we have Radish and Beet greens, Peas, Lettuce, Kale, Chard, and Chinese Cabbage (leaves and hearts). As usual, get there early to get the best selection!

This and more inside this week's newsletter.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

7/6/11 Newsletter

This Week at Trogg's Hollow

Happy July! Hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July weekend. Ours was busy, but we had a good time. We even had a chance to check out the parade in town, and saw a few familiar Trogg’s Hollow faces.

Farmer’s Market This Week

We will be at the Harvest Market, which runs Thursday from 10-6. This week we have Swiss Chard, Red Russian Kale, Vates Kale, Collards, Peas, Radishes and Radish greens, Beet Greens, and 3 kinds of Lettuce.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

This Week at Trogg's Hollow

So, it’s definitely warming up and drying out and really beginning to feel like summer, which is good because it IS summer – time for BBQs (with wonderful salads and sides of vegetables), swimming, fireworks, and, of course, time for things to really take off in the garden. We’re seeing it – there are flowers on the tomatoes, the beans are getting tall, and the cucumbers and squash are starting to sprawl. Sometimes it feels like you wait forever for this time of year, and then here it is, and things just take off and nature takes over. It’s beautiful. If you look out your car window to the east as you drive by Meijer you can see the field there really taking shape – it’s pretty exciting to know that we’ve made just a little bit of difference out there, and that a place that used to be grow beans and corn is now home to countless green and growing vegetables.

And that’s about it for this week. The wheels are spinning here though and in addition to the planting, weeding, and harvesting, we are trying to put together a few programs on the farm for a little later this summer, so keep your eyes open. And finally, we would like to extend a congrats to our cousins Lou and Sara and welcome little June to the family! It’s definitely a fertile time!!

Thanks again,

- Marcy

6/29/11 Newsletter

This Week at Trogg's Hollow - So, it’s definitely warming up and drying out and really beginning to feel like summer, which is good because it IS summer – time for BBQs (with wonderful salads and sides of vegetables), swimming, fireworks, and, of course, time for things to really take off in the garden.

Farmer’s Market This Week - Yes!! We will be at the Harvest Market, which runs Thursday from 10-4. This week we have beets, spinach, Red Russian and Vates Kale, peas, and four varieties of lettuce. The beets, spinach, and peas will go fast, so come out early!

. . .and lots more in this week's newsletter.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

6/22/11 Newsletter

This Week at Trogg's Hollow

Well, we’ve had a rather wet and weedy week here at the farm. This wet, cool weather (June, what’s the deal?) has slowed down our vegetable growth a little, but doesn’t seem to bother the weeds one bit. We’re getting through them, though, and things we want to grow ARE growing. I am most encouraged by our healthy tomato plants, which started out so small and fragile, and are now happily growing along. We’re just very self-critical and want to see everything bursting with food, and have to remind ourselves that it’s only June, and Summer has only just started. If you look at our weekly CSA share list, you’ll see the selections growing and changing each week. It’s fun for us to harvest new things every week – hopefully you have as much fun using them.

Visit the website for more news and stuff!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

6-15-11 Newsletter

It’s been a very busy week here at Trogg’s Hollow. Now that the weather is behaving itself, things are really growing. We have had a week of plowing, planting, harvesting, and weeding. Special big thanks to John and Dan for all the extra hard work. And despite everyone in the house being sick, we’ve gotten a lot done.

Farmer’s Market This Week

Good News – Mother Nature has been co-operative and we WILL be at the Elgin Harvest Market this week. We will have baby lettuce greens, beet greens, Sugar Ann Snap peas, and two types of lettuce. Market takes place on Thursdays from 10-4!!. It’s in a new location this year -the old Gail Borden Library parking lot, which is across Kimball from the library.

PANASONIC PEOPLE:

We will have lettuce available for sale this week. If you are interested, send us an email and we will be at the building at 10AM on Friday. We will only stop by if we hear from someone, so please let us know if you would like to get some lettuce. The price is $2 for half a pound. (This is about the same as the bunches Chris was selling last year.)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

First Shares this week!

Well, it’s finally here - our first week of veggies! Our first CSA shares go out this week (some have already been picked up), AND we have extra lettuce available to sell!! That’s right (you heard me), we have lettuce for sale - Pirat or Black Seeded Simpson - both are available for $2/half a pound. We’re not at the Harvest Market this week, so we’ll try and make it easy - you can come by the Elgin (westside) farm tomorrow (Friday) before 4PM. Just send us an email letting us know you’re coming and how much you want, and we’ll have it ready for you. Cash or check only please.


More news and pics and recipes in the news letter - here!

See ya,Link
Marcy

Monday, June 6, 2011

A delayed part three.

The short of it - busy got busier and then there was more rain. So that was how the last full week of May went.

The long of it - we decided to stick with the long term plan and plant only about 1/2 an acre of the new plot at Abiding Peace Church in vegetables. The rest will go into green manure/cover crop to replenish the soil for next year. During that last week of May I was able to get two 100 square foot sections plowed before a huge day and a half of rain. During the first day of rain monkey number 1 and I made a trip to the Farm and Fleet for supplies and harvest market stuff: stakes, shelter, pea weave climbing stuff, yeah. By the end of the week we had to get out there and plant.

It was still a mess from all the rain but the plow helped me mound some beds and we put in the first veggie plants that Friday and Saturday. Thanks to our friends at Sweet Home Organics we were able to score a huge amount of extra seedlings to plant in the 1/2 acre I plowed. Note to self: mounding up soil soaked from nearly 2 days of rain makes for a horribly hard surface once it dries. Argh! But we had to get plants in so the learning continues.

Sunday and Memorial Day we took a little break. We took all the monkeys out to Des Moines to see They Might Be Giants at the Every Family Rocks Fest. A splendid time was had by all even though we got stuck for an hour just outside the campground because the van kept blowing a fuse.

So that nearly gets us through the end of the May. I'll try to catch up on the last week in the next few days. See ya. And if you haven't heard, CSA pickups start this Wednesday. Check you email for a letter from Marcy regarding this stuff.

Trogg

Thursday, May 26, 2011

May sum-up part 2

Okay hey! Rain! Mushy muddy fields. Argh.

So last time I forgot to mention that the second week of May was when I got my marvelous tan. 90 degrees for 3 days and out plowing in Hampshire and Elgin turned my arms and face 17 shades darker than the rest. I believe 'they' call this the 'farmer tan'. So yeah, surrounded by unseasonably cool weather was nearly 3 days of 90 degrees. And yeah, hail and wind and all that fun stuff - cover the seedlings! 4 days later there was a frost - argh, again.

So by now Hampshire was plowed, and strangely, not soaked, Elgin is plowed and partially planted and the frost threat has passed. This third week of May we planted broccoli, onions, beans, all the cole crops and more lettuce, carrots and beets in Elgin. On the Hampshire land we seeded up popcorn and dry beans for next year and late last week finished Hampshire with winter squash, pumpkins, melons, gourds, fennel, and some carrots.

Here's where is gets really exciting. In the second week of May we were contacted by Alex (hi Alex!) about buying veggies from us and asking some advice on her own gardens. She also said she knew of a church in Elgin that had land that needed planting. Long and short is that Abiding Peace Lutheran Church on Randall Rd. has 2-3 acres that they do not use and do not want to mow. They have in the past let another farmer plant corn and soy on it but he's moved away. So Mark and Pastor Tim got together with us that Saturday and we talked about what we do and what they want done with the land. It was a good fit.

During the next week we planted and plowed and seeded and planned. We were working out an agreement with the church regarding using their extra land as well. The planning was the difficulty. As we talked about at the "Meet and Greet" we have a business plan that is for slow expansions and we don't want to grow more than we can handle too quickly. This extra land kind of goes against that and we were trying to find a way to keep control but still expand. We explored hiring on a full time employee to manage this new land and develop a larger customer base. By the end of this past week we had an agreement with the church and had plotted the course for that land for this year.

Next step was starting that course, and continue the planting and seeding on the other land. That brings us to this week. But that's for next time. Looks like the rain has stopped this morning and I'm going out to trudge through the mud and weed and seed and stuff.

Trogg

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Gonna try this blog thing for updates from the field.

Hey everybody!

So I'm going to try this blog thingy for updates a couple times a week about what's going on in the field and stuff like that. For this first one I'm going to quickly go through the last few weeks at Trogg's Hollow.

I told everyone at the "Meet and Greet" that as of the end of April I would be losing my full time corporate regular person job to outsourcing. So, yeah, that happened. It was part of the plan for me to eventually quit the corporate junk and do this veggie farming thing full time, panaphonics just made the decision easier and a little sooner for me.

After that Marcy and I made the decision to go get what's called a walk behind or two-wheeled tractor. I had been hand digging everything, and while it is great for the soil, it will end up not being great for my back. So, we took along drive down to Frankfort, KY to Earth Tools and got some coaching on what tractor and attachments were going to be the least harmful to the soil and the best for us now and as Trogg's Hollow goes on. Joel and Chris helped us decide on a BCS 853 with a rotary plow PTO attachment instead of a till. The rotary plow mimics hand digging as much as possible - it doesn't pulverize and beat up the soil; it more or less turns it over. And, it can help make raised beds and turn in cover crops once we start planting them. So hooray for Italian farm implement manufacturers thinking about us small farmers!

We came back through southern Illinois right after they blew the dam in Cairo. Wow, even the interstate was inches from being under water. On our way through we checked out more peach growers for our yearly purchase in August. We're still trying to find a really good organic peach producer from Illinois. We may be going to Michigan, maybe even more local than southern Illinois. More news on that as peach season gets closer.

The second week of May was spent plowing the Elgin land by our house and seeding early May plants. By then we had peas and lettuce and carrots and beets and spinach trying to grow as much as they could. But nature was having none of it. What was/is with this cold May? First April averages the coldest since 1983 and now May has been like April should have been. The low temps have really put a damper on growth out in the field. We also went out and got a used cargo trailer that I have now converted into a 5x8 cooler on wheels. It'll be mostly parked in the garage to keep things fresh for market but making deliveries to drop-off spots is not out of the question.

Okay, that's a good stopping point for tonight. I'll do this over the next few days to catch everyone up. There is a lot more! Here is a pic of the tractor we got with the plow. And here is a video in Italian of what the rotary plow does.

Trogg


Friday, April 1, 2011

April 1st News from Trogg's Hollow

Things are here are growing nicely. I’ll start with the big news – we have gotten our hands on 2/3 of an acre to use as we please this season! Thanks to farmer Mark in Hampshire for helping us out. It’s a nice little piece of land, and we’ll use it to expand what we’re already doing. Our goal is to have plenty of extra goodies this year.

We have been hard at work here, getting the till going (thanks Dan), digging beds, and seeding seeding seeding. We’ve started peppers (!) – sweet and hot - as well as some flowers and herbs. Everything is coming up nicely and enjoying the warmth of the greenhouse. We have also direct-seeded some lettuce, so hopefully we’ll have fresh greens in no time.

Read more news at This week at Trogg's Hollow.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day (yesterday!)

Hi Everyone!!! Happy St. Patrick's Day (yesterday!), and Happy almost Spring (only 2 more days!!!). Here we are, time for our first newsletter of the season. We're finally really emerging from the winter freeze, dusting off the last of the snow (yes, it could snow again, but it doesn't really count anymore), and ready to dig our heels into the labors of the warmer months.

It's been a very busy winter around here, despite the cold and snow. We've finished up the classroom portion of our Stateline Farm Beginnings class, and have gained alot of useful information about keeping this kind of business going. We feel refreshed and ready to put this knowledge to work.We've also made alot of new contacts who have alot of great natural and organic products to offer, and we hope to be able to bring those treats to you soon. And check this out - Trogg's Hollow was featured in the recent Angelic Organics Learning Center's Newsletter!

On that note, we're excited to announce that we'll be mentoring with Alex and Allison over at Radical Roots Farm at Prairie Crossings in Grayslake this season. We're hoping to learn alot from each other and be able to enrich each other's businesses.

Of course, we've already started growing here. As you may know, the greenhouse has been up for a few weeks now and steadily warming (its been 80 degrees in there!). We've started seeding and have even seen some onions poking through the dirt.

Read more news at This week at Trogg's Hollow.