Newsletter July 2013

This is our July Newsletter

Berry Patch Picking Nearing the End
We had a late freeze that diminished the number of blueberries and a late start due to cool weather, but the berry season has been a great success. 
For the first time in several years, we had lots of blackberries.  There are a few gallons still picked every day, but they are about finished for this year.  The older vines produced well and the ones planted two years ago are quickly coming into full production.  We will plant all the open areas in the berry patch this fall with additional blackberries.
The blueberries have been wonderful this year; large and sweet.  There are still lots of blueberries to pick and we anticipate they will last through the weekend of July 20 or later.  We will post online and on Facebook (Greer Farm) the status of picking.  Starting July 12, we will open at 6:45 AM to allow picking in the cooler part of the day.  We can stay open late if you desire and you pick in the shade after 4:30 PM. 
Post season work in the berry patch will include pruning out every blackberry branch that has a berry this year. and a major pruning of all of the blueberry plants.  If you like this sort of work, we invite volunteers to come and help a lot or a little.  For us it's a labor of love as it lays the ground for next year's harvest. 
Kick back on the Lake: Log Cabin Rentals
We will soon enter the slower time of the summer and have a lot more availability in our cabins and the barn loft.  Our price reduction special to 2012 prices continues until the end of July for a three night rental.  Regular rentals can be single nights during the week and two nights on weekends.  Many are lining up dates for the rest of the year, especially in the fall when it is cool and the forest changes into fall color.
Local Festival
The annual Naples Watermelon Festival and Rodeo is the weekend of July 26th.  It is a great family event to experience.  We have cabins and the loft available.  This is a once in a lifetime event for city folks.  Enjoy a small town parade, festive activities all day, free water melon in the afternoon and in the evening a rodeo that is as good as they get.  Check it out here.
Plan a Special Event
Special events appear to be very popular this year.  Think about creating your own event as a get-a-way with friends, family or a work retreat. There are many possibilities including renting the four cabins and the barn loft, having a private farm to fork cooking class, either a lunch or elegant dinner in the evening in the farm house, a cowboy breakfast, evening cookout around a camp fire or whatever you can imagine. The farm is an excellent place for a book club or other group to get away as a retreat site.  We can accommodate groups for events in the farm house.
Weddings on the Farm
Sometimes a photo is an easier way to illustrate an idea.  Both of our daughters were married here.  Each in a unique setting.  These photos are from our youngest daughter's wedding at the farm.  Our farm has every possible wedding venue you can imagine in a rural setting.  It's a natural place that allows you to plan your wedding around the environment we offer.  Give us a chance to discuss your ideas about a country farm wedding and see what is possible. 
Farm to Fork Cooking Classes
This month we have two farm to fork cooking classes.  Tomorrow, July 13, is focused on Salads and uses many products raised on the farm.  There is limited availability, so call now to reserve a spot.  July 20 is Cooking with Spirits.  Not the kind that go bump in the night, but the ones that come in a bottle full of different flavors when used in cooking.  Both of these classes are hands on by the participants. 
In August, Chef Eva's Farm to Fork Cooking Classes head south of the border.   Enchiladas, Moles and Tamales is August 3rd and Belizean Cooking August 24th.  Go to our website for more details on these and classes later in the year.
Now is a good time to plan a private cooking class for family or friends later in the year and make it a weekend booking the cabins and barn loft.  Contact us for the many different class menu options available. 
Greer Farm Jams and Sauces
Chef Eva is back on the farm after traveling to Colorado and Nicaragua. She has so many different kinds of fruit jams that she makes from our farm or local farmers.  Her popular fig and peach based jams and sauces will be available soon as the new crop ripens.  We have a variety of jams made with strawberries and blueberries.  Check our website occasionally for updates on what is available. 
All Natural Eggs, Pork, Beef and Chicken
A farm would not be a farm if it did not have chickens, pigs and cattle.  Ours is not any different.  All our animals are raised in as natural an environment as possible and we do not stimulate their growth with artificial substances. The cattle are 100% grass fed.  They never receive grain.  Our poultry and pigs are pasture raised free range and are supplemented with feed that is NON-SOY and NON-GMO (genetically modified). No Round-Up ready grain is fed to our animals.  We get our feed from a small mill near Waco and bring it here to the farm every few months; expensive, but we feel it is a necessity.  Our price list is dated.  We will be updating it late next week on our website when we get in a new supply of beef and pork.  This will include pork Cajun sausage, link breakfast sausage, sweet Italian sausage, summer sausage, and bratwurst.  These are all natural. We will have all cuts of beef and continue to have whole French Red Ranger chickens. 
This and That
We farm a piece of land that was first cleared in the 1840's and the farm house was built shortly thereafter.  Time moves slow here, we try to keep up with the things that matter.  This includes how we communicate with you.  At this time, our website is going through a complete revision to make it easier for you to find out what you want to know about our farm. More important, our blog will be easier to use and for once the photos will be right for each blog.  The cabin DIRECTV system was upgraded this week with a new satellite dish and system. Wi-Fi is always a challenge, but we think the system we have or wide area networking is as good as you can get out in the country. All of the cabins, barn loft, bunkhouse, shop, farmhouse and areas adjcent to them are now live.  In setting-up three DSL lines, we even were able to offer free long distance (for those with ATT, sprint or T-Mobile wireless phones - Verizon still is best, for the most part, in rural America) in the cabins.
 From Our Farm to Your Home
We want you to feel our farm is your farm.  Share our newsletter with your friends and family.  Continue to call or email us if you have any questions or need more information. Better yet, stop by and visit (call in advance if you can) and see what is happening at The Greer Farm.
Best wishes for a wonderful July,
Sid, Eva and all of us on the farm
We are approaching mid-summer quickly.  Memorial Day weekend and the 4th of July are now memories.  After a very cool week the end of June, we suddenly had more traditional summer hot days with mild evenings.   Things were starting to dry out and our pastures needed rain.  Yesterday evening we received about 3 inches from a passing heat storm so the lake is again fresh and things will turn green again. On the farm, hay has been baled, vegetable garden rows turned ready for fall planting, the berry season is in the last weeks, and cabin rentals are brisk.  It was amazing to see the lake covered with all of our paddle boats, kayaks, canoes and jon boats along with personal floats last weekend.  What a great place to gather and relax in almost total privacy.  Picking berries in the early morning and spending the rest of the day on the lake fishing and swimming.  We hear so often that Greer Farm is an "oasis of splendor", "a special place", or "this is my dream and you are living it".