Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Warm Weather Means We’ll Be the Farmers Market

The warm weather is still with us so we are planning to be at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market Saturday from 9:00 until 3:00. Hopefully the rain will stay away until later in the evening.

Time is moving on and it won’t be long until spring is here. We are already beginning to start some seeds in the greenhouse. Although some days feel warm enough to plant in the field we have to remember it is still mid winter by the calendar. We can still have cold winter weather.

We have added another greenhouse this year so there will be room for more plants, herbs, and pre season vegetables. Market demand for more organically grown products seems to be on the increase so we want to provide all we can for you.

We have red kale, green kale, collards, upland cress, broccoli, and turnip roots from the garden.

There is most cuts of USDA grass fed Jersey beef and free range chicken in our freezers.

The laying hens are happy with the weather and slightly longer days and are laying lots of eggs for us. We have quite a few dozen for sale.

The last couple of Saturdays have been very good for sales and we are looking forward to seeing you this week at the market.

What Are the Bees Telling Us?

I know some of you got a good rain in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point. About ten drops here. Large urban areas have created a micro-climate where they receive violent storms while the surrounding countryside has more droughts. City planners and developers need to build up instead of sprawling out in order to be more environmentally sound.

We are now a certified farm with Piedmont Grown. This means we will be using the official Piedmont Grown logo at the market, on our products, and communications. View the logos at the bottom of this page.

Piedmont Grown is a marketing concept where certified food related businesses will use the official logo to help customers be assured the products they are buying are grown in the piedmont counties of North Carolina. Only registered and certified businesses may use the official logo. This will include farms, farmers markets, restaurants, grocery stores, etc. The plan is that the unique logo will become recognizable to the general public so those that want fresh local food products may shop with confidence.

Our farm will be featured in a searchable, map equipped listing of all certified businesses at www.piedmontgrown.org. This database is set to launch on June 20. In the meantime you may visit the website to learn more about the program.

Don’t miss the new film “Queen of the Sun: What are the bees telling us?” premiering in Winston-Salem, NC at the Aperture Cinema, playing ONE NIGHT ONLY, June 21st at 8pm!

Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us? is a profound, alternative look into the problems and solutions of the global honeybee crisis from Taggart Siegel, the acclaimed director of the award-winning, grass-roots hit The Real Dirt on Farmer John. To view our OFFICIAL TRAILER click here. Box Office Magazine calls it,”The Feel-Good Advocacy Movie of the Year.” and Roger Ebert calls it: “A remarkable documentary that’s also one of the most beautiful nature films I’ve seen.” and Current calls it: “Likely the most important documentary of the year.” Come celebrate the most urgent issue of our time. FOR MORE INFO VISIT: WWW.QUEENOFTHESUN.COM

Summertime is beginning in earnest and we have several things from our gardens. Items include romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, broccoli, arugula, zepher gourmet squash, zucchini squash, cucumbers, new Yukon gold potatoes, jade green beans, slender wax beans, and tomatoes. (Tomatoes include our exclusive heirloom German Johnson type, big beef which is a hybrid beefsteak, and three kinds of heirloom cherry.)

We have grass-fed Jersey beef steaks, roasts, stew beef, ground beef, etc.

Pasture raised chicken includes boneless skinless breast, split breast, leg quarters, wings, backs, necks, livers, hearts, and whole chickens.

Our hours at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market are Tuesday through Friday (10:00 until 3:00); Saturday (8:00 until 4:00); and Sunday (10:00 until 3:00).

Come on out to the market and enjoy the bounty of quality fresh local food from Peterson Farm.

Blessings,
Joe

Yes, We Grow Organic

It looks like summertime is here early again. Lets hope it does not stay as hot as last summer which was the hottest summer on record.

Vegetables from our gardens are coming in quickly now. We have lots of gourmet zephyr summer squash and heirloom green zucchini. Beets are ready as well as romaine lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, arugula, mesclun mix, and Swiss chard. We have a few tomatoes from the greenhouse.

We grow all of our vegetables using organic practices. We are not ‘certified organic’ so the USDA says we cannot use the term ‘organic’ on our signage. (Fines up to $10,000 and 5 yrs. imprisonment) In our opinion, something is wrong when good healthy food gets put in a category with illegal drugs. Anyway, we use the terms ‘no pesticides’ or ‘naturally grown’. I know these term are not very specific and have no legal meaning according to the USDA. By no pesticides we mean we use only organically approved pest controls. Naturally grown means we use only organic production methods.

I know someone is going to say, ‘Why don’t you get certified?” From our research it looks like we would need to have a PhD. in agronomy and another degree in book keeping just to fill out the application forms. And, by the way, it is a fee of $500 each just to submit the applications – one for crops, another for livestock, and another for poultry. And that is just the beginning. To top it off, we no longer have a certifier in NC so that means we would have to pay mileage for travel from some other state or foreign country.

We agree people need to have a way to have some certainty that what they are buying is what is represented to them. Since the certification process is such a nightmare probably the best way is to get to know your farmer. A farmer that uses the organic standards can tell you what he does in detail. One of the larger farmers at the market told me the other day he would not dare try to do what we are doing because there is too much to learn. There is a lot to learn and we will gladly answer your questions.

We have a good stock of ground beef and steaks from our premium grass-fed Jersey beef for those Memorial Day celebrations.

There is a good amount of pasture raised chicken and several dozen free range farm eggs.

Our hours at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market are Tuesday through Friday (10:00 until 3:00); Saturday (8:00 until 4:00); Sunday (10:00 until 3:00).

We will expect to see your smiling face at the market!

Blessings,
Joe

See You At the Market

If you have ever dealt with a government agency you know how frustrating it can be. We have been trying to get our production methods approved by the USDA and printed on our meat labels for over two years. It took over a year to find out what kind of documentation the USDA wanted. The application must be submitted by the meat processor and it took over six months to get them to do that. Now they tell us it will take at least three months to hear back from the USDA to see if they approved it or not.

The problem is, according to NC law, we can’t use any printed material at the point of sale describing our production methods unless they are printed on the meat label. Penalties for violations include substantial fines. So we can’t advertise what we are selling until the USDA decides to approve our labels.

If we were depending entirely on meat sales we would be out of business before this drawn out process is over. And even more troubling, a young beginning farmer would be hard put to hang in there until he could go through the process.

If approved our beef label will read: Raised without added hormones; Raised without antibiotics; Grass-fed. The chicken label will read: Not fed animal by-products; Raised without antibiotics; Free-range.

We have our first flock of pasture raised chicken ready for sale and will have them at the market Saturday. Prices right now are the same as last year. But be forewarned, the price will soon go up because all our inputs are increasing and we will be forced to pass them on to you as soon as we have determined the amount of increase.

We have whole chickens, split breast, boneless/skinless breast, leg quarters, backs, necks, livers, and hearts.

We have a good supply of grass-fed Jersey beef in steaks, roasts, ground beef, stew beef, etc. Our beef prices are still the same as last year but processing, marketing, and energy costs have increased so our price to you will soon have to increase.

From the garden we have romaine lettuce, broccoli, Swiss chard, mesclun mix, arugula, and red kale.

A couple of people have sent us an article about the meat industry’s ‘dirty little secret’. It is about taking meat trimmings and pieces and using ‘meat glue’ to form a much more expensive piece of meat such as a beef loin or steak. The process is so effective even experienced chefs sometimes can’t tell the difference. Besides being totally deceptive some of the materials used to make the meat glue are known to be cancer causing. Read the article and watch the video: http://www.naturalnews.tv/v.asp?v=343971EC58025F481B4E7A59CC83EC08 http://www.naturalnews.com/032315_meat_industry_secrets.html

Our hours at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market are Tuesday through Friday (10:00 until 3:00); Saturday (8:00 until 4:00); Sunday (10:00 until 3:00)

See you at the market!

Blessings,
Joe

Hormone and Antibiotic Free Food

We have certainly had lots of stormy and windy weather this spring. April is now a record month for tornados across the US. Our hearts go out to those that have sustained storm damage and loss of life.

We have a huge hickory tree in our yard that is splitting at the base from the strong winds. So we have called the tree trimmer to come ASAP. There is probably two years worth of heating wood in the one tree.

You probably heard the news reports about disease causing bacteria being found in grocery store meats across the country. Almost one half of the samples were contaminated with a high percentage containing antibiotic resistant bacteria. The cause is largely attributed to feeding antibiotics in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO’s). These huge industrialized farms produce cheap food but what is the benefit if it makes you sick or kills you? Here are two articles: http://www.naturalnews.com/032099_poultry_superbugs.html and http://www.naturalnews.com/032111_fresh_meat_superbugs.html

Our cattle and chickens are not given any antibiotics or growth enhancing hormones. The cattle are grass-fed and chickens are pasture raised. They are in a natural environment with clean conditions and are happy and healthy. By the way, I know some people want to buy unfrozen meats thinking they are fresher but what they don’t realize is the so called ‘fresh’ meats are probably packaged in cancer causing sodium nitrate or poisonous carbon monoxide as a preservative to maintain a fresh looking color. Our meats have no preservatives, are vacuum packed and frozen immediately. When you thaw them the meat is absolutely fresh without any added contaminates.

We have a good selection of vegetable plants for your garden and even some for those that only have a patio. There is also several varieties of culinary herbs.

Vegetables from the field this week include red kale, musclin mix, broccoli, Swiss chard, along with some leaf lettuce.

We have a good supply of grass-fed Jersey beef with all cuts available. Beef ribs will again be on sale this weekend at ‘buy three and get one free’.

We will be out of pasture raised chicken until about the middle of May. Since we can’t raise them outside on grass in the middle of winter the first flock of the season comes in May.

We have several dozen free range farm eggs.

Our hours at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market are Tuesday thru Friday (10:00 until 3:00); Saturday (8:00 until 4:00); and Sunday (10:00 until 3:00).

The weather is supposed to be beautiful this weekend so we hope you will come out to the market to see us and buy some of the finest quality food products and plants available anywhere!

Blessings,
Joe

Spring In Full Swing

Spring is now in full swing! The dogwoods are in full bloom and the pastures are green. The cows spend a lot of time just lounging around or laying in the sunshine.We have been busy planting lots of things in the field including corn, green beans, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.

Winter greens have bolted seed heads so we only have gorgeous romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, and arugula from the greenhouse.

We have lots of plants for sale including about 20 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, romaine lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, Swiss chard, squash, cucumbers, okra, and several herbs. All our plants are grown with natural organic fertilizers. We don’t force them to grow fast so when you set them out they will live better and should begin to grow immediately rather than going backwards. We have 4/pks., singles, gallon pots with huge plants, and some hanging baskets with bush cucumbers that already are bearing fruit.

In pasture raised chicken, we only have leg quarters, wings, backs, and necks left. They are on sale at 25% off until we are sold out. Our first flock of the spring season is already out on pasture but will not be ready until around the middle of May. Our chickens don’t just have ‘access to pasture’, we grow them out on pasture in ‘chicken tractors’ that we move regularly so they have plenty of fresh clean grass. According to research, and our own experience, this method produces the highest quality chicken available. We just uploaded some new pictures of chickens, cattle, and the greenhouse. To view them visit our flickr account

We have a good supply of our top quality grass-fed Jersey beef. Ribs will be on sale this weekend at ‘buy three, get one free’.

We have several dozen of our free range farm eggs.

April 26 is International Seed Day. The effort is to make people aware of attempts of giant seed companies to control the world’s seed diversity. Here are two articles highlighting the issues: http://www.naturalnews.com/031919_seed_day_farmers.html#ixzz1IHveqmAo and http://www.d-sector.org/article-det.asp?id=1190

Our hours at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market are Tuesday through Friday (10:00 until 3:00); Saturday (8:00 until 4:00); Sunday 10:00 until 3:00)

We will look for you at the market!

Blessings,
Joe

Farm Direct to Consumer Growing!

After several cool cloudy and rainy days it is great to see the sun shine! It won’t be long before we will be wishing for a cool breeze but for now bring on the warm weather!

According to a report from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service direct to consumer sales is the fastest growing segment in agriculture. Sales have more than doubled in the last ten years and have grown more than twice as fast as other agriculture sectors. We think this is great because people are eating fresher and more healthy food.

A food industry report lists the first item of importance for 2011 is consumers are demanding fresh and organic products. We think this is also great. Consumers have the power to change things for the better.

Here is the link to the two articles: http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5076729&acct=wdmgeninfo and http://www.foodprocessing.com/industrynews/2010/134.html

We are doing our part in trying to provide you with top quality organically grown vegetables and plants as well as grass-fed beef and chicken.

This week we have both red Russian kale and green Siberian kale, leaf lettuce, and some beautiful romaine lettuce from the greenhouse. We have several varieties of tomato plants along with cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, romaine lettuce, and Swiss chard plants. Also, there are several herbs.

Our freezer is well stocked with grass-fed Jersey beef and we have pasture raised chicken on sale at 25% off.

There is a good supply of fresh free range farm eggs.

Our hours at the Piedmont Triad Farmers market are Tuesday through Friday ( 10:00 until 2:00); Saturday (8:00 until 3:00); Sunday (10:00 until 2:00).

The weather is supposed to be better this weekend so we hope you will come out and visit with us. By the way, you, our customers, are our greatest asset!

Blessings,
Joe

Working Hard to Bring You The Best Food in America

Spring is Cranking Up

It has been a hot day here at the farm…87 degrees. My Mother used to say one extreme follows another. Of course, Moms are always right. I guess it’s making up for all those below normal temp days.

I am late getting this news letter out this week because things are really cranking up at the farm and at the market. We are busy planting and getting fields ready to plant as well as sowing seeds in the greenhouse. At the same time we have been setting up our permanent space at the market for the season.

We plan to be open at the market every week Tuesday through Sunday. However, we will be there this coming Monday, Easter Monday, 10:00 until 4:00. Our regular hours will be 10:00 until 4:00 each day except Saturdays which will be 8:00 until 4:00.

We have lots of Jersey beef as well as eggs. Remember. we are out of chicken until May.

In greens we have both green and red kale as well as turnip greens.

Offerings in plants include cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, several varieties of lettuce, escarole, Swiss chard, and about 20 varieties of tomato. About 15 tomato varieties are heirlooms. Some of them are Brandywine, German, Cherokee purple, Eva purple ball, striped German, mortgage lifter, June pink, Italian tree, yellow pear, red cherry, black cherry, druzba, pineapple, etc.

I know some of you will want to try the Italian tree tomato. It can grow 12 to 15 feet tall and has the potential to bear 2 to 3 bushels of tomatoes per plant.

Remember, all our plants are grown without any synthetic chemicals.

We will look for you at the market.

Happy Easter.

Love for Haiti, Year-round Veggies, GMO’s Are Bad News

Our hearts are heavy for the people of Haiti suffering from the disastrous earthquake. Our thoughts and prayers are with them as they endure unimaginable hardship.

The cold weather has taken a break with the temperatures rising above 50. The moderation is forecast to last several days so we are planning to be at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market this Saturday from 10:00 until 3:00. The cold has damaged the greens so we will not have anything from the garden until they grow out again. We have a good supply of grass fed Jersey beef, pasture raised chicken, and pastured free-range eggs. Remember we recycle egg cartons and can use all you bring.

We have had plenty of chores to keep us busy this winter. One of these is working on our new greenhouse. We plan to use it for vegetable and herb plants grown without added chemicals as well as a few vegetables.

One of the things we have been thinking about is with new techniques we are able to grow vegetables almost year-round. This involves the use of ‘season extenders’ such as row covers, hoop houses, cold frames, high tunnels, and climate controlled greenhouses. All these structures require a considerable investment. It has always been traditional for farmers markets to operate only during the natural growing season so many people stop going when cold weather arrives. We can grow local food in the off season but there must be a market to justify the investment. Of course, this would require an adjustment in the thinking and shopping habits of our customers. We are planning to gradually move in this direction and hope you will support us.

The use of closed in structures to protect customers and vendors from inclement weather would sure be a plus. Most farm markets were designed to be used only in the summer. Well, maybe in the future…. Hey, I understand there are about 13 indoor farm markets in NYC that are open all year.

According to reports there is now research to support the health dangers of GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) In an article published by the Huffington Post three of Monsanto’s GMO corn varieties were linked to organ failure in rats. This constitutes scientific proof that genetically modified seeds are dangerous to your health. Products derived from these seeds, such as corn, are in virtually every prepared food/drink product sold in the USA. It will probably be impossible to avoid GMO’s altogether but you can sure limit your exposure to them.

The organic standards forbids the use of GMO seeds of any kind. So if you purchase organic products you can be assured you are free from the danger as much as possible. However, prepared products that do not say 100% organic may still have GMO’s in some ingredients.

Although we are not certified organic, at Peterson Farm we follow the organic standards. We do not use any GMO seeds. We use organically grown seeds whenever possible. Most are heirlooms or open pollinated (non-hybrid). A few are F1 hybrids(first generation) which have been around long before GMO’s were developed. We save some of our own seed, in fact, we have a few varieties of family heirlooms available nowhere else. We wish the USDA would follow the lead of some European countries and ban GMO seeds altogether.

With the temperatures forecast to be in the 50′s Saturday we hope you will come out of hibernation and visit with us at the market. We will be delighted to see you!