Homestead Review: May 2016

Down at the Feed and Farm, we too, are swept up into the energy of spring, as all the gardeners for miles around hustle to get their hands in the garden. The little chicks peep in the barn, where we keep them warm and comfortable for a few days before they go off to their new homes, to become the next generation of egg-layers. Soil moves in bulk, by the tote and by the bag, and a time lapse of the garden department would show a steady flow of leafy young tomatoes, peppers, and other veggies streaming out of the gates and dispersing into the gardens of our neighbors, as well as a great host of flowering plants, waving their wands of pollen and petal in the breeze, food for the eye and the pollinators. To celebrate the season, we’re happy to announce that we’ll be carrying a new line of specialty garden tools, many of which will be available online as well as in store.  There’s nothing like a quality tool, to make work feel both inspired and ergonomic. From Japanese tools like the indispensable hori-hori, to English made Clarington Forge broadforks, we’re proud to be a gateway for these tools to get out there into your garden landscape. Not all garden tools are created equal; this selection is truly a cut above the rest, spanning centuries of tradition and craftsmanship. Use them, and pass them onto your grandchildren. They’re that good.

Like a quality tool, a good knowledge base is also an important part of making sure that the work that you do is done well and wisely. Of course, we all learn by making mistakes, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It builds character! But it sure is nice to learn fully about something, before diving in headlong. To that end, we’re pleased to announce the latest series that we are teaching at the Santa Cruz Farmer’s Markets. The format will be a little different this year than last; change is a good thing! For this year’s series, we’re honing the focus down to individual vegetables for each class. Each (free!) hour-long class will explore the chosen vegetable from multiple culinary angles; raw, cooked, preserved through fermentation or the water-bath canning method. The first class, to be held May 14 at the Westside Farmer’s Market, will feature Beets, in all their vibrant colors and stripes. We’re calling it Beets, Beets, The Magical Root. (We just can’t help ourselves, sometimes…) In the following months, we’ll be teaching classes at various other markets throughout the county, covering topics from berries, to summer squash, to tomatoes. Come on down and get your hands on some seasonal bounty, and some learnin’, besides. Click here to see the schedule!

It’s the month of May, and of course May is when we celebrate Mother’s Day. Many a mother has been feted here, on her special day; it makes us feel good to see how many families include us in their celebrations. We’re hosting a Mother’s Day Pottery Sale, as well. From now through May 8th, we’ll be taking 20% off of all our pottery in stock in the store. Mothers love pottery. We love mothers. It’s just that simple.