Utah Farmers Markets

We love our local farmers market.  The Salt Lake City area has several farmers markets, the largest is held from June until November in down town Salt Lake.  We have been to it and it is more like a fair than a farmers market.  The environment is fun but the crowds are huge and there are more arts and crafts vendors than farmers.

Over the years several of the local towns have tried to start their own markets with varying success.  Most are small affairs with only a few vendors.  But a few years back the Utah Farm Bureau moved their farmers market to the near by town of South Jordan.  The first couple of years I worried that they wouldn’t make it, there were only a few vendors and never a ton of people.  But last year it really took off.

As you can see from the pictures the crowds have grown and so have the number of vendors.  I like this market because it is all about local products.  Because it is sponsored by the Farm Bureau there are only farmers and other local food vendors.  There aren’t any vendors selling T-shirts and cheap jewelry.  Just good food.

There are a couple of vendors that actually serve food; funnel cakes and bar-b-que.  But the rest of the vendors are farmers selling veggies, fruit, herbs, honey and even fresh baked breads.  Each week they have some type of entertainment or big display.  This week it was a huge tent full of local goodies you could taste.  Last week it was a local band that was really very good for an outdoor street show.  We ended up staying for an extra half an hour just to listen.

This is the booth of our favorite local farm, they don't use pesticides and are only about 2 miles from our house

Because we are such big gardeners we don’t actually buy much of our produce at the market.  We primarily use it to fill in the gaps of items we don’t grow or to help with crop failures.  For example we don’t have enough space to grow corn for our needs, so we buy quite a bit at the market.  This year our pepper crop was an epic failure, so we bought a bunch from a local farmer.  We also found a great variety of garlic last year at the market.  We went back and bought more to use for seed and we are now growing it ourselves.  We also use the market to get a supply of fruit for the winter months as we don’t have any producing fruit trees on our small place.

I hope you take advantage of your local farmers market.  It gives local farmers a great place to sell there products and to actually earn full retail prices for they things the produce.

What are the farmers markets like in your area?  Please leave a comment and let us know.

Flowers of Stoney Acres

Okay for the most part if you can’t eat it we don’t grow it around here.  But we still have a few flowers.  Here’s a quick tour of what’s still blooming this fall.

Mrs. Stoney loves Morning Glory.  Any where there is an empty space she’ll plant it.

I really like Sun Flowers, the great thing about them is you really only need to plant them once and you will have “volunteers” for years to come.

This Rose of Sharon is at least 8 years old and was here before we move in.  It never seemed to do much until we transplanted it to a sunny spot near our deck.  Now it thrives!

The former owner of our place loved Hollyhocks, they planted them all over the yard.  We have thinned their numbers over the years but we still let a few seeds come up every year.

This Trumpet Vine is a favorite of the local humming birds!

Butterfly Bushes are easy to take care of and offer these nice bunches of flowers for most of the summer and fall.

This last picture is proof that even in the city there can be some beautiful scenery.    Believe it or not our 9 year old took this picture.  Maybe I should just turn the camera duties over to her.

Harvest Monday 9-26-11

It was another busy harvest week here at Stoney Acres.  This week will actually be the biggest total harvest week of the year.  We dug our main crop potatoes on Saturday which will always bring up the totals!!

Between the two types we planted, we dug a total of 160 lbs.  We do have about a half of a row still to harvest.  But that row is currently over run with pumpkins and we were afraid to disturb them as the pumpkins still have a few weeks of ripening to do.  These potatoes will sit on our curing table for only a couple of days and then they will be cleaned off and go down stairs in cold storage.

The tomatoes are still producing well.  We got another 12 pounds that we canned on Saturday.  Plus about a pound of cherry tomatoes.

The strawberries are a lot slower than they were a month ago but they are still producing.  We got a total of 2.5 pounds.

The raspberries are at their peak.  We picked them 3 times this week; each picking was about a pound.

 

So here are the grand totals for the week:

  • Eggs – 11
  • Potatoes – 160
  • Tomatoes – 13
  • Strawberries – 2.5
  • Raspberries – 3
  • Zucchini – 1.5
  • Cucumbers – 1
  • Yellow Squash – 1
  • Total – 182 lbs

 

That brings our yearly total to 570 lbs from our 1210 square feet of space.  Not including greens and other produce fed to the chickens.

 

Don’t forget to check back at Stoney Acres tomorrow for the next installment of our Winter Gardening Series.

First Day of Fall

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.” Stanley Horowitz

The Autumnal Equinox is today, this marks the first day of fall for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere.  Fall may be my favorite time of year.  The heat (and hard work) of summer gives way to cool evenings and bountiful harvests.

We live just a little over a half mile from the only major river in our area.  This adds some real ambiance to the outdoors around our place in the fall.  Starting in early September and lasting until November we have flocks of geese flying over our place.  You know fall has arrived here when you walk outside and hear the sounds of geese making their way south.  It’s an extra treat for us because they are usually flying very low on approach to or just leaving the river.

The first day of fall also marks an important time for the winter gardener.  Only 6 more weeks of 10 hour days.  It’s time to take extra care of our cold frame and hoop house crops as they only have a short time left to size up for the winter.

First Egg!!

After what seems like years of waiting (but what was really only months) we got our first egg on Sunday.  Our hens are 25 weeks old so it’s about time!

We found it tucked up under the nesting boxes (not in them) at about 3 pm.  It wasn’t there at 10 am when we checked so it was laid sometime between.  We are pretty sure it came from the hen we call red.  We didn’t really name our hens we just call them by the color of the band on their leg.  She is the largest hen of the bunch and also was the first to grow a comb and she seemed pretty pleased with herself all day.

We are pretty sure this egg came from the hen on the top right of this picture

Now were not sure we can eat this egg, we’ve been waiting so long that it seems anticlimactic.  It’s very small (as all first eggs are) and all we can seem to do with it is take pictures!!  We’ll save it for tomorrow and hopefully scramble it up with a friend or two for breakfast.