February 2014

2014 Spring Farm Open House

. . . Feb 24, 2014 | posted by randy
Pig says Party Time!

April 26: Spring Open House and Bonfire Party!

We are happy to invite all of our CSA members, customers and friends to join us for our annual spring open house on Saturday, April 26th from 5:30 pm until the fire goes out .  Come see what’s happening behind the scenes of our CSA and market stand!  Kids are welcome and invited to come early to help feed the pigs and chickens and collect eggs.  It is a POTLUCK so please bring a dish to share.  BYOB.  Guests are welcome to bring a tent and camp out in the orchard.   
     

5:30 Animal Chores feeding the pigs and egg collecting both great fun for the little ones (Come early to be ready for the farm chores kids will love it and so will you.)
6:00 Farm Tours
7:30 (sunset) Bonfire

Extras:
Bring your own lawn chair, guitar or other musical instrument.
Recruiting help.
Saturday before the party we could use some help doing some last minute set up, picking up etc. We are looking for 2-4 people that can show up around 1pm. If interested please email Randy

Directions:
Here is a link to Google with directions
The Gin RD sign is missing. When coming south on Highway 5 just before Gin road you pass a MDOT( Mississippi Dept of Transportation) sign. Then you come to Gin Rd/Lamar Rd. The Gin Rd sign is missing BUT the Lamar RD sign to the right is still there.

In our front yard is a green house and a red building. Can't miss it.

See ya Saturday!

Our Produce is Now Certified Naturally Grown

. . . Feb 24, 2014 | posted by Josephine
Know your farmer, here is Josephine while planting potatoes

We are looking forward to the beginning of our CSA season with anxious excitement.  Our Saturday pick-up day is SOLD OUT, as are all of the egg shares.  We still have shares available for Wednesday pick-up at GrowMemphis  (on Southern by the U of M), and we also have a few broiler chicken shares available as well.
Starts in the greenhouse about a week ago
Winter seems to be hanging on as we are trying to launch into the growing season.  The greenhouse is filled to the gills with broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi, lettuce and bok choy ready to plant out as soon as we get on the other side of these nights in the 20s.  The leeks and garlic survived the winter, the kale and broccoli did not!  Onions and potatoes have been planted, and as soon as the ground is dry enough, carrots, radishes, arugula and mustard will follow.  Warm sunny days of late have led our young pigs to discover the joys of mud and a new batch of 85 Freedom Ranger chicks has just been moved out of the brooder and onto grass and clover.       

Tubby Creek Farm produce is now Certified Naturally Grown (CNG)

CNG logoWhat is CNG?  It is a third party certification program for farmers growing without the use of synthetic herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, fertilizers or genetically modified organisms.  CNG standards are based on the National Organic Program standards, meaning we follow the same rules as Certified Organic growers.  CNG is less expensive and more accessible to small growers like us because it relies on local networks to perform peer-inspections.  Our farm can be inspected by any qualified individual such as another CNG farmer, a Certified Organic farmer, or an Agricultural Extension agent.   In return, we are expected to make ourselves available if another CNG farm asks us to perform an inspection.  If you want to learn more about CNG you can visit their website.  While there, you can view our application and inspection form.  We love that degree of transparency! 

There are two basic reasons we decided to pursue this certification.  The first is marketing.  I spent several  days at the Oxford City Market last year next to Native Sun Farm listening to Will Reed tell customer after customer that all their produce is Certified Naturally Grown.  It sounded good.  I, on the other hand, was stuck with awkward phrases like “we only use methods that Certified Organic farmers are allowed to use ” and “we don’t use any synthetic chemicals” when customers asked if our produce is organic.  But sustainable farming is so much more than what we do or don’t spray.  It’s about biodiversity and soil building and stewardship.  Now we have a phrase that sums it all up; all of our produce is Certified Naturally Grown.  Sure, it doesn’t have the name recognition of Certified Organic, but it also lacks the corporate-farm baggage. 

The second, equally import reason is social.  We looked around the great state of Mississippi and saw a bunch of really cool, innovative farmers who are Certified Naturally Grown and we thought – we want to join their club.  We want Tubby Creek Farm to be associated with Yokna Bottoms Farm and with Hayes Berry Farm.  We wanted to be on the CNG team!  If we can educate customers about CNG, hopefully it will help other CNG farms as well.

Our American Guinea HogsUnfortunately, our chickens and pigs are not yet Certified Naturally Grown.  Organic feed is difficult to find and significantly more expensive.  We think we will be able to get there with the pigs since American Guinea Hogs can be raised almost exclusively on pasture.  The chickens are another story – unless we hear from our customers that they would be willing to pay more for CNG eggs and chicken, we will continue to raise them as we are doing now.