2014 Farm Update
As we start a new year we’d like to first of all say thanks to all of our customers, whether you are local, online, carrying black garlic in your store or selling it to restaurants. It means a lot to know there is a community of consumers out in the national marketplace that is willing to give a small business like us the chance to provide healthy, wholesome products. Our goal is to continue to do so to the best of our ability.
Well, now that we’re through the holiday season, it’s a good time at the farm to plan for the new year. Mark your calendars, our second annual Obis One Farm Day is set for Saturday, May 3! Come join us for some food, fun and education about what we’re doing on the farm – more details to come.
To give you an idea of what you may see in the ground by early May at Obis One (besides all of the garlic we already have planted!), here’s this year’s seed selection:
Tomatoes: Extra-Early Glacier Tomato, Early Tomato Berry, Goldie Organic Husk Cherry Tomato,
Peppers: Shishito Pepper, Black Hungarian Pepper, NuMex Suave Orange Pepper
Beets: Golden Beet, Cylindra/Formanova Beet, Mammoth Red Mangel Beet
Lettuce: Flashy Butter Oak Lettuce, Rouge Grenobloise Lettuce, Tom Thumb Lettuce
Quinoa: Brightest Brilliant Rainbow Quinoa (greens and grains)
Radish: Long Black Spanish Radish, Rat’s Tail Radish
What else do we have going on? One initiative in the R&D phase is quite a departure from our flagship product of black garlic. The idea sprouted from some lavender plants we purchased at a local farm market in the spring of 2012. Along with some other crops, they were growing in the field where we planted our first garlic.
In September of that year, we had to get the ground plowed and ready for garlic planting the next month. Since lavender is a perennial and we didn’t want to lose what we had put in the ground, they needed to be transplanted. I’ll never forget rushing to dig up and move those lavender plants as the skies darkened and an impending storm was moving in! To add to the frenzy, our teenage son called to be picked up early from Septemberfest (a local annual town celebration), as it was already pouring rain on that side of town!
The lavender got into the ground just before the skies opened up at the farm but at that time there was no idea how they would grow the following spring, as they had to be moved to a location with much less sun than they were used to. What a nice surprise, then, when spring arrived and the plants sprang back to life! We got a wonderful early summer harvest and then a smaller fall harvest. In addition, the bees had a feast! The next step, then, was tying and drying the cut lavender. An empty closet on the third floor of our farmhouse was the perfect spot – dry and dark.
After a failed attempt at making a lavender bath soak the year before, the question was what should we do with it? After doing some research, we decided to try our hands at making all natural bath scrubs. It seems like a good way to combine aromatherapy with the skin health benefits of oil and sugar or salt. Here’s a great article about the benefits of salt and sugar scrubs.
So, what a better way to test market it but as Christmas gifts to friends and family! The jury is still out, but we’re hoping that the feedback will lead us to a new product we can offer to you this year!
For you foodies out there, don’t be dismayed! As a wonderful culinary herb, we’ll offer lavender from our 2014 harvest as well.