Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Learning the Farm Business

A  Farm in  Jo Daviess County

I thought I would share a list of what I've done these past years to prepare me for farming.  I just wanted to lay it out and to also show myself - Do I have what it takes to run a farm? 

I'll never stop learning or volunteering. 

Garden/Farm Ventures:

            Kautz Family Farm
            2014 – Present
Kautz Farm organic garden & kitchen.
Assisting in the Kautz vision of organically grown food and beverage breakout brand.
Managing and forming the structure of buyers from local restaurants. Spreading the word on naturally grown and supporting the feeding of the less fortunate.

Community Nursing Home
2009 – Present
Acre Garden Plot - Grow vegetables and flowers
Fundraising and obtain donations yearly
Farmers Market with excess - all proceeds go to the residents

             Downers Grove Park District           
 8 workshops                   Canning and Preserves

Naperville West Street Park District Community Garden
2004 – 2008
2006 - Winner - 2nd Place Flower Division


Member of CRAFT – (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training) IL/WI Area
           Farms work/learn workshops
Member of MOSES – Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service
Member of The Livestock Conservancy
Member of Seed Savers

Food Education
College of DuPage
ServSafe Food Safety Manager Certificate
December 2014 – March 2015

The University of Illinois Extension Program
“Growing a New Generation of Illinois Fruit and Vegetable Farmers”
University of Illinois Extension Office, St. Charles, IL
December 2013 – November 2014

Class included this list and oh so much more! I wish I could take it over again!
•land acquisition and transfer                        
•cover crops and tillage
•business planning                                       
•variety evaluations
•legal issues                                                 
•pest and disease scouting
•integrated pest management
•pesticide application
•farm safety                                                
•pruning and thinning
•food safety                                                
•postharvest handling
•Farm to School                                         
•harvest practices
•equipment operation & safety                     
•visits to established produce farms
•conventional and organic production methods
•transplant production                                  
•high tunnel construction and operation         
•access to incubator plots
•discussions with experienced farmers           
•soils and soil testing 

Farm Events/Workshops/Share Labor 

Hoop Houses Installation                              
Farm Machinery
Mint Creek Farm Tour/Dinner                       
Garlic Planting - Acres of it!
Celery Harvest and Preparation                    
Chicken Raising
Chicken Butchering and processing                
Draft Horse – No Tractors
Butcher Beef and processing         
Organic Grain
Goat Keeping                                               
Goat Milking
Cheese Making                                              
Organic Vegetables
USDA Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food, Know Your Food Bill

Some extra things I thought of that makes me think of my sustainable practices.
Grew and processed Rye grass – 14 pounds ground into flour used to bake Cinnamon rolls for Residents
Tomatoes – processed into Sauce, ketchup, salsa

Canned and preserved food -  pickles, pickled beets, pickled hot peppers, spaghetti sauce, whole tomatoes and various jellies, including a crab apple jelly.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


Marigold Seeds

Seeds - Sorting

Baby Spinach

Blue Cherry Tomatoes
Seed Collecting. One of my favorite things to do. I save seeds from just about everything I grow.

I had paper bags labeled and drying for a few months now. Last weekend, I cleaned and sorted them and placed and labeled them in glass jars. I'm planning on adding them to the Etsy page soon.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Mini Garden Fence - Sold!

Made a sale this morning! Always nice to wake up to a sale. The mini fence is going to Hitchcock, TX.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Apple Bagging Success

Apples picked after Bags

Not a single Bug
The cotton covers worked beautifully through out the growing period. Not a single worm or pest got inside to ruin the apple.

The plastic bags caused too much moisture to build up and the wax paper bags blew or fell off. The cotton stayed on and are also reusable for next year so it's a complete success.

It's Labor Day and a day of not working!  Love this holiday. End of summer and beginning of the next season.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September 1st

Brother Tim and My Mom
My Mom always says that Tim is her favorite son. (He's her only son - he he)

September 1st. One more weekend and summer is officially over. If I remember correctly, when I was a kid, our schools started after Labor Day.

Baking cookies and the timer just went off. Until later.