Gravel Road Farm Greenhouse Kickstarter Fund

2014-12-21 16.00.34UPDATE! We were successfully funded on February 7th, 2015! We are thrilled with the outcome of our campaign, and thankful for all the support.

We’ve created a Kickstarter campaign to fund our greenhouse.  As you can see in the above photo, we’ve already pounded in the ground posts, and built the framing, but need your help in order to purchase the rest of the materials.  Here is the list of things we need in order to have a functioning greenhouse:

Plastic greenhouse film to cover the whole building 523

Endwalls made of polycarbonate $1510

Wooden Baseboards, from untreated wood, likely cedar, $400

Insulated Doors, Roll up and Person sized $1750

Heating System $1775

Ventilation Exhaust Fans $855

We are offering some fresh food incentives from our farm, and some great rewards for anyone who is farther away.  Go to This link and help fund us and you too, can be a part of the positive community that surrounds and resonates from this farm.

 

Gravel Road Farm Holiday Gift Guide

Looking to support local food networks and accomplish gift giving as well?  Our small farm offers a couple of green and healthy gifts for the local foodie on your list, or anyone who appreciates small family farms.

1. Gift Cards  Our paper punch cards are available in two denominations, $25, and $50.  They are good for the 2016 season at our market stand.  If you would like to purchase one of these cards for someone this holiday, we will have them available at the Waupaca Saturday Winter Farm Market on December 12 & 19th, located in the lobby of the library/city hall.  Or you may also make arrangements to pick them up at our farm, or have them mailed to you directly.   Just email us at brigid@gravelroadfarm.com, phone 715-281-0812, call or text.

2. CSA membership   If you are interested in buying a CSA membership for someone, please contact us directly about this option.  Our 2016 CSA information will be ready after the first of the new year.  Our CSA membership is a weekly or bi-weekly box of vegetables delivered to a local drop site, or for pick up at our farm.  Each week we fill our wooden crates with the best produce that is in season. Here is a long list of everything that we grow on our farm.

3. Wool   We have bundles of wool batting for spinning, or fiber fill, or needle felting, or other crafts.  We also have queen sized quilt battings.  All of our wool is from our small flock of California Red Sheep, it is a natural cream color, with red and grey hairs mixed in. All of our wool is $20/lb.

 

Dill Pickles, 2 Day

20140727_112734I’ve made lots of pickles.  I’ve tried all sorts of recipes, but I end up going back to this one.  It says ‘2 Day’ in the title, because there is an important step included that I think makes a difference in the quality of the pickles.  Before you do any canning, you put the cucumbers in large crock, or stainless steel pot, and chill them down with water and ice, and salt for half a day.  If you can’t do the presoak, I find that making pickles with the freshest cukes you can get is the best way to have good tasting crisp results. Get nice firm ones, not too over ripe, maybe with a little texture on them still.  Different sizes are good, so you have some for pints, and some for quarts, and some for spears and some for slices.

Gravel Road Farm Dill Pickles, 2 Day

(Adapted From Balls Complete Book of Home Preserving)

8-10 pounds cucumbers (trim the ends, or not)
16 ice cubes
1 1/4 cups canning salt
6 cups apple cider vinegar (or you can use white)
12 cups water
2 tbsp pickling spice (I make my own, but anyone can buy this at a grocery)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (don’t skip this ingredient)
7 tsp. mustard seeds (red or yellow both are good)
10 fresh dill heads, or 7 tbsp chopped dill weed (I use a combo)
14 cloves garlic, peeled and halved

This recipe will yield approximately 7 quarts or 14 pints

DAY ONE
1. In a large clean crock, glass or stainless steel container, layer cucumbers and ice.
2. In a large glass or stainless steel bowl, dissolve 1/2 cup of the pickling salt in 4 cups of the water. Pour over the cucumbers and add cold water to cover the cucumbers, if necessary. Place a large clean inverted plate in on top of the cucumbers and weigh down with two or three quart jars, filled with water and capped. Refrigerate, or let stand in a a cool place) for at least 6 hours, but no more than 12 hours.

DAY TWO
1. Prepare canner, jars and lids: Wash jars, lids and rings with HOT soapy water, rinse and put jars and lids in large canning pot.  Fill pot with water half way up if you are using quart jars and turn heat on to medium.   (Do you have hard water?  Add a tablespoon of vinegar to the canning water to prevent sediment on the outside of your jars.) Let the jars simmer, you will want them relatively hot when you fill them with cucumbers, and the hot liquid.

2. Tie pickling spice in a square of cheesecloth, creating a spice bag.
3. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine remaining 8 cups of water, vinegar, remaining 3/4 cups pickling salt, sugar and spice bag. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring to dissolve salt and sugar. Reduce heat, cover and boil gently for 15 minutes, until spices have infused the liquid.
4. Transfer cucumbers to a colander placed over a sink and drain. Rinse with cool running water and drain thoroughly. Slice, or spear, or leave them whole, then pack cucumbers in jars to within a generous 1/2 inch of top of jar.  Add 1 tsp of mustard seeds, 1 fresh dill head, or 1 tbsp of chopped dill, and 1-2 cloves of garlic into each hot jar. Ladle hot pickling liquid into each hot jar to cover cucumbers leaving 1/2 inch head space, if necessary, by adding more hot pickling liquid. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
5. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes for pints, 15 minutes for quarts. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool, and store.

6. Don’t forget to label your jars!  Very important step so you can keep track of what you made.  I often will write the item, date, recipe book, page, or other info so that I can remember what recipe did well. My last piece of advice is to start a canning notebook.  I bought a bunch of notebooks at the end of summer a few years ago to keep track of things on the homestead, like one for my sheep, one of my bees, etc.  I tape recipes into it, where I bought produce, and note how fresh it was.  Sometimes there is just a date and the item I canned.  Whatever you make, I hope it turns out great, and best of luck with your canning.