Tips and news bits for the garden, kitchen or the barn with a little retail thrown in

Water Activated Cooling Vest Stay Cool with our Cooling Products

Beating the Summer Heat in Style

On Monday June 20th, 2016 we released a new product at http://www.hobbyhillfarm.com.  Our customers now have the opportunity to purchase our stylish water activated cooling vests with a Velcro closure in the front.  In addition to being easier to close they are easy to open in a flash.  Who should buy this vest?  Anyone looking to stay cool in the heat.  The Velcro allows for a quick and easy open.  This is relevant for our special needs riders.  Safety First!

The majority of our customers are Equine Enthusiasts wanting to enjoy the company of their horses.   If you fit into this category then a cooling product is for you. We have Ladies,Men’s  and children’s size in 6 colors and 3 styles. All are water activated and do not require any refrigeration.  We love that once the fabric is dry it won’t stand stiff as a board because there are no gels, beads or crystals inside.

Let’s not forget our Equine or Canine friends.  We carry a cooling vest that is ideal to apply during trailering your horse from point A to point B and special strap covers if you plan on leaving the vest on while riding.

Cooling Vests start at $69 and can be customized since all of these products are made right here in the USA.Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

Water Activated Cooling Vest

Stay Cool with our Cooling Products

 

Check out the article at Trailrider Magazine for the latest in keeping cool on the trail and what gear you should always have on hand.

 

Seeds are for sharing

I think it’s great when friends share seeds with you.  This past year I was blessed to have met many other local farmers.  I was gifted several two types of pumpkins – Long Island Cheese and French’s Pumpkins.  This was such an awesome gift because we make pumpkin bread by the truckload. With all of our friends on facebook I posed the question-What to do with the seeds?  Many responded with “DRY THEM” for next year – some asked if I would share.  Normally, I would just compost the insides but I took your suggestions and have a large amount of seeds from the batch of pumpkins someone had given me.  Therefore,  I would like to give away some seeds in turn.  If you would like a packet of seed for the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin please comment below and I will try to fulfill your request based on the qty I have.

The title of this article is – Seeds are for sharing.Long Island Cheese Pumpkin

Fall is upon us and boy have things have changed!

I just love the cool weather.  Cool at nite and warm during the day.  The one thing I do not look forward to is losing the extra daylight. With livestock you are an early riser so I like having light in the morning and light in the evening when tending to those livestock chores.

It’s been a while since I have been on the blog.  So much has happened this past summer.  We attended 3 farmer’s markets with our jams, breads and produce.  Teaching classes and doing anything and everything to keep a small family business open during these poor economic times.   These are rough economic times not just for one sector of society but for everyone.

Hoping that there will be a change in the economy so that we too will be able to keep our doors open for our retail business.  What many don’t understand is that if you are not spending your dollars then we are having to make up the difference by pulling from our savings.  Wouldn’t be a problem if I had an unlimited amount of wealth to draw from but sadly, like most americans we have lost a percentage of wealth over the last 4 years.

This is the time for reflection.  I am thinking about all the years I have spent in the private sector.  In the past I have readily helped those in need via charities, donations even loans. It’s scary now to think about the things(not monetary) that my brother’s children will never have.  What has happened?  When did all of these things dissappear and how did we allow them to go so freely?  I have been on both sides of the financial coin and no matter how rich or poor I will always continue to make a better product, offer better customer service and strive to be the best person possible.

I would love to be able to look back at this post in 60 days and say – whew! The Bad times are OVER – lets get people working and get back to business – we have to recover all that has been lost.  Praying you and yours will make it as we go through these next 40 days.

 

Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Tomatoes are everywhere

How’s your garden growing?  We have been inundated with Tomatoes.  Who knew all 69 plants would produce and boy have they produced.  Several bags were taken in for our tomato canning demonstration last week.  We were really lucky with the timing.  Some folks still have green tomatoes on their vines while we have tons of orange and red with very little green.  I processed approx 10 lbs into a tomato jam this afternoon and if I wasn’t out of chili flakes I would be processing some more.

Cucumbers and Beans have gone by the wayside so we are preparing the land to plant some more red potatoes for the winter.

We have put the dehydrator to use as well as the boiling water canner so our next feat will be the pressure canner.  Wish me luck!

Happy Canning!!

The Heat is on

For the past several months I have been praying for the weather to get hotter so the produce would come in.  Well my prayers worked and we have produce.  With the heat brings intermittent thunder storms that floods us with water at times.  We definitely need the rain but those storms always end up with me going out to tie up the tomato plants.  They are so full of tomatoes.  Just a few more weeks and they too will be ready to harvest with our endless abounds of Zucchini, Squash and Cukes.  Radishes and Lettuce are complete.  Land is tilled and ready for something else to grow in its spot.

I hope your garden is doing well.  I have heard so many folks express their contempt of the squash bug.  We have been fortunate and have so much extra that we are baking bread 6 different ways.  Keep the zucchini’s coming I am sure we will use them up.

Come see us at the farmer’s markets in Goochland, Powhatan and now at Centerville at My Manakin Market.

 

 

Back on Board

I can’t believe it’s been a month since I last blogged.  So many things have happened.  The garden was planted and the zucchini is coming in like crazy.  The tomatoes (4 varieties) are coming along with flowers and green tomatoes.  The herbs have been awesome and I have taken these to the butter making class.

Canning almost daily and picking veg’s morning and nite.  Did you know zucchini grows an average of 2 inches per day?  Pulling out the dehydrator to get the zucchini and squash started so I have mixed vegetables for the winter time.  Hope your garden is coming in nicely.

Quick update – we have done very well at the farmer’s market so I am ramping up production.  More products to come and we are looking at Kitchen Thyme for a commercial space.

 

 

Getting Ready for the Markets

Wow! Can’t believe it’s been 2 weeks since the last post.  We sure are busy at Hobby Hill Farm.  Working on bringing in new products such as the “Pour” top screw on lid for Mason Jars and Welcome Home Bakeware. This paper bakeware is perfect because I do not need to wash pans and then oil and flour them.  Cuts out the handling and the additional calories.  Look for us in Goochland and Powhatan.  We are so excited as the Markets open 5/5.  Looking forward to seeing you.  Feel free to check out our new facebook page just for the market – It is called Hobby Hill Farm-Fresh !  Because Fresh Food starts at the Farm!

Help us pick a winning design

We need some help picking a winning design and we want to reward you for your efforts.  Ladies do you love your ball cap and wear it all the time.  I don’t wear sun glasses just my ball cap and it can become filthy with dirt and sweat stains so I like to change them out often.

Two weeks ago we purchased a design called COWGIRL and embroidered that on our new style of ball caps.  These are great for ladies because the back portion is open allowing more room for someone with a lot of hair to put up in a clip or high top pony tail.This design was awesome and we wanted to come up with a few more that reflects our business and personalities. Some of our fans even suggested a few names to embroider on the caps.  What a great idea and the “post” was born.

I was speaking with Melissa at Tilly’s Nest and we were throwing a few names around and thought we could get the best results by teaming up, doing a poll and then having our fans submit pictures of their ugliest hat.  Besides who would know best – the fans who follow our pages. We would then select the person who was seriously in need of a new ball cap.

Here’s how it’s going to work – Starting RIGHT NOW – go to Tilly’s Nest and vote for the name you like best of the 5 names listed. Then start looking at your ball caps and take a picture – post that picture to the Facebook page for Hobby Hill Farm.  We will move those over to an album.   You only need to vote once on Tilly’s nest and upload your picture. Sunday we will pick the ugliest hat and if all goes well with the pics and voting then we will pick a winner.  That person can choose from the colors we have in stock as well as the name they would like to have on their new cap.

Sounds easy doesn’t it.  It is so easy – Ready, vote then upload picture to www.facebook.com/hobbyhillfarm

Please make sure they you like both of our pages on facebook & Good Luck!

 

 

 

Sunny Side Up Keep your Sunny Side Up!

Sunny Side Up

Although I do not have chickens on our property at the present time I do know one day they will come!  In the interim I want to gather as much information as possible.  Should I purchase day old chicks?  Where should I buy them?  Would it be better to hatch our own chickens? What will I feed the chickens?  So many questions swirling around.  I do not want to be confused with the person who goes into the feed store and picks up 1 dozen baby chicks without having a “PLAN”.  This includes more outside preparation than anything else.  If you have chickens you know what I am talking about.  Coop and Run are crucial for chickens survival.  Not only do I have other livestock but I have to worry about preadators from the land and air.  I love the fact that you can get fresh eggs on a daily basis and that chickens will help to clean out the fridge but I am more intune with the other factors that are involved with chickens. Everyone I speak with LOVES their chickens.  I think the Backyard Chicken Movement is perfect – you know where your food comes from and you determine the sanitation policies.  I can’t wait until we have our own backyard chickens but for now I will just have to enjoy our beautiful chicken and rooster designs on products we sell at the farm. If you have chickens in your backyard please feel free to comment or upload a picture to our facebook page.  www.facebook.com/Hobbyhillfarm

 

Sunny Side Up

Keep your Sunny Side Up!

 

Starting Plants indoors from Seed

Tomato Plants 2012

It has been many years that we have started plants indoors from seeds.  It just seemed so easy to go to the local nursery or garden center to pick out plants ready to put in the ground.  It didn’t matter if it was flower or vegetable.  Talk about being easy.

This year we have taken a different route.  We started all of our tomato plants indoors from seed.  4 different kinds (Big Daddy, Big Boy, Salsa and San Marzano).  I used the 36 cells from Burpee x 2.  Put 2 seeds in each.  Who would have thought that I would ever get 72 from each cell pack? Certainly, not I.  But it’s true.  I have already tranplanted into the 3″ sq and 3″ round peat pots.  Someone told me to bury down to the leaf to create a stronger root and stem system.  I did this and just 30 days from being in a package we have tomato plants that are almost 6″ higher and are not leggy at all.

I figure I have 30 days to get ready for the installation of these tomato plants so the next question is “where do I put them?”  I figure that I can find homes for some and will ultimately end up with 75 plants by April 15th.  Wow – I can’t wait until they start to produce fruit.