Archive for the ‘stanislaus county’ Category

Happy planting, harvesting and eating!

by Neal & Marie Curran


Spring is coming and so is our garden! Here at Nine Acre Farm, we are incredibly busy planting our spring/summer garden. Most of this work as of yet is indoors. Our plants go through quite a journey to make it from seed packet to the field. We are trying our hardest to keep conservation-intensive methods in mind even as we work indoors. We hope our process will be helpful to you as you begin your 2011 garden.

1)  A garden-ready greenhouse

Our greenhouse is small, but can fit many plants. We built tables for our plants. On two of our tables we have plastic tubing (a waste material) arched over the tables to support insulating plastic at night.  To warm the greenhouse when it’s cold and at night, we have use an old wood stove and a homemade chimney. Discarded fencing posts from the property fit perfectly in the stove. When it gets too warm in the greenhouse, the walls double as windows that lift open from the bottom.
Also, we make our own potting soil in our greenhouse. It is a mixture of homemade compost, peat, and perlite (available at most Lowes).

2)  Seed packet to greenhouse

In late December and throughout January we started plants such as broccoli, artichokes, celery, kohlrabi, beets, lettuce, leeks, brussels sprouts, and many more. Instead of using plastic trays, which aren’t always space efficient and are wasteful when they fall apart, we use soil blocks. We use the soil blocks to punch out a mold of soil. Each block mold contains 20 1-inch spaces: one for each seed. After seeding, we sprinkle our homemade potting soil over the block and water.

Currently we have begun seeding our tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. Because these members of the Nightshade family require higher germinating temperatures than our winter crops would find agreeable, we start them on soil blocks on an electric heat mat. This is an excellent way to get a jump start on summer crops!

3)  Greenhouse rotation

When our seedlings begin to grow out of their one-inch cubes, we move them to two-inch cubes made with a larger soil blocker. The two-inch blocks remain on the tables to be covered with plastic at night, just as the one-inch blocks. After a couple of weeks, we move them to our uncovered table. Here they begin the process of hardening off. The lack of plastic covering at night exposes them to lower temperatures.

4) The Cold Frame

After plants have spent a week or two on the uncovered table, they are moved to the cold frame outside our greenhouse. The cold frame is a wood frame on the ground with a tarp covering the soil. At night, the plants are covered with plexiglass (a waste material available to us). They are uncovered during the day but sheltered with sheet when it gets to warm/sunny. Plants spend about one or two weeks in here.

4) Greenhouse to field

I’m not going to talk much about this part, but I will tell you that once plants leave the nursery and go into the great adult garden, they still receive a little help. They are sheltered nightly with a light row cover. So far we have a few rows of transplants and additional direct-seeded vegetables (snap peas, carrots, turnips, beets, leaf lettuce, radishes, etc.) growing in our garden.

~ For more information about our farm or to join our CSA (starting in mid-March!) check our our website at www.nineacrefarm.com and email us at neal@nineacrefarm.com.

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There have been a lot of you interested in submitting a logo for the Turlock Farmers Market so we’ve decided to extend it until this FRIDAY, February 5th!

~ Lets be simply delicious & modern with a hometown feeling ~

Logo will be voted on by a very excited Turlock Farmers Market board, winner will receive $200 and much deserved recognition for their design!

Turlock Farmers Market is coming this May, the board and committee are working diligently to bring this town a healthy, locally sourced and supported market venue for our community!

Check out Local Choices on facebook to see more market action, and while your there become a fan & add your ideas!

Please send your questions & submissions to


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I am very excited to say that I am on a committee that is putting together a new Farmers Market here in Turlock.  Our goal is to offer our community a healthy local food shopping experience!

If you are a farmer interested in space at this market, leave your information in a comment and I will get back when the market is further along in its planing stages.

The survey that was posted has been closed, so check back soon for upcoming market news!

Happy Farming, Just Anna!

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Thanks to all that joined us at our “Womens Local Choices Night”, there were awesome local vendors, great guests, beautiful weather, tastey BBQ’ed grass fed beef , organic wines and delightful music by Rachel Rene!

*Congratulations to our gift basket winner….

Karen Sliger, who loved all her local goodies!

If you are disappointed you missed this event not to worry, there will be another in the fall….

who’s up for a relaxing dinner in the country with local foods?

We’ll keep you posted!

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  • Out with the old and expose the new with renewing hand treatment
  • Activate your senses with home fragrance oil samplings
  • Relax and unwind with chair massage
  • Refresh & moisturize with facial mists
  • Get up-to-date make-up tips with a make-up artist
  • Awaken your taste buds with a local homemade salsa, bread dippings and dessert!

For more info contact:

Cynthia G. Flesher, CMT
Young Living Essential Oils and Nature’s Sunshine Distributor
(209) 402-4884


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100_22412What will happen when our youth have forgotten where their food comes from and what it takes to create it?

What a great program Keys to Leaning Charter School has put together. They provide hands on learning experiences for their students, like getting their hands dirty to plant seeds in a real garden and watch them grow. They marvel at watching a turkey lay her eggs and incubate them. They interact with livestock, soil and each other. They problem solve and not just problems out of a book but in real life in real time.

The idea for this fabulous experience was Lee Ann Stangl’s and through her hard work and backing, Keys to Leaning Charter School was born. With Diane Sugarman as the instructor this team has created an opportunity for their students to really experience what many only wish they could, and now it many be gone.

Sadly, Diane Sugarman has received her pink slip along with many other teachers in the county. What a sad state of affairs when teachers are being laid off yet prisons are being built. What a sad program to let slip away. What a sad situation to loose the opportunity to educate our youth on the importance of agriculture.

What will happen when those who are able to vote have lost all connection with the food chain and to what is important in keeping this country healthy, strong and able to support itself?

Why should we stand by and allow it to happen?

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Lorina’s Edible Garden

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First Day of Spring Open House News Letter
March 20,2009 12-5pm

Come check out what we are growing in our little greenhouse!
We have a selection of veggies and herbs ready to take home, more will be ready as the weeks go on.

You will find Lorina cleaning up the gardens still getting ready to plant. She would love to visit with you and help you with any garden questions that you might have.

Lorina will do guest speaking for clubs, classes or anyone interested in gardening with herbs.

We also welcome field trips at the farm for all ages. Gardening activities and visiting with the farm animals are a treat at the farm!

Come on out any day after March 20 by appointment.
For more info call (209)838-1457

Lorina’s Edible Garden

17397 Enterprise rd
Escalon ca 95320

Take hwy 120 east of Escalon towards oakdale. Look for enterprise on the north side of road, look for sign at end of driveway!

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The Yoga MatMy new year commitment is getting back into shape…… like you haven’t heard that before!

I’ve decided to take the “WeFit Lifestyle Challenge “, being offered at my favorite yoga studio here in Turlock.  The Yoga Mat is owned by Victoria Donoso, who by the way gives a very rejuvenating  yoga class that will leave you feeling centered and connected with your inner self.

This challenge is a 108 day complete health awakening of walking, yoga classes, presentations and workshops with topics ranging from nutrition to financial planing. Registration fee is only $20 and includes 2 free yoga classes, best of all it comes with people who are interested in new friendships and healthy goals!

I believe it can be as easy as following the “100 Mile Diet”, remember that one …. eating foods that have been grown within a 100 mile radius?!

Namaste :)

If you are ready to join the group and improve your physical, mental and spiritual fitness check out “The Yoga Mat” news letter ….


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We want to help our Central Vallians take this challenge!

100 Mile Thanksgiving

The goal according to 100milediet.org kicks off on Thanksgiving day and challenges us to eat foods that have been grown within a 100 mile radius for 1 year….

What could be more healthier than starting a new year by being part of a sustainable local movement that is good for the body, soul & environment!

This challenge will be fun and not that difficult considering we live in the food basket of the world, not only surrounded by big ag but our favorites…the small family farms!

Where ever you live, a good place to start is with your local family farmers, most are already looking for new members wanting to supply you with their abundant harvest through their CSA’s. Give them a call, take your family and go visit these farms, you wont be disappointed.

And lets not forget the awesome foods that can be found at your local farmers markets, most markets will have more than just fruits and veggies, you can find breads, butter, raw milk, sweets, nuts, soaps, honey and even flowers.

For staples like flours, beans, rice, granolas and spices visit your local health food store, you can buy these needs in bulk and they are usually less expensive than individual boxes or cans.

And if you are really serious and are blessed with a green thumb…plant your own garden. Our friends from “Botanical Interests” can help you with your seed selections and all the information you will need to get going!

There is no better time than now to bring your family to the table and teach your children how to appreciate real food grown from the earth by local farmers who care about what we eat!

So…let’s support or local economy and join us in celebrating good local foods this year and discover who & what is growing in our communities!

We are here to help make this commitment by keeping current information on your Central Valley Local Farmers & Farmers Markets, also listing other sites with great information that will help you take on this “farm to table pledge”.

Please share with us how you will take the challenge!

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It was our first interview, that’s right, we were the intervieweees!

What a treat. Another friendship to our list, that is growing fast. We were asked, “what has been our biggest reward in our Local Choices journey?” Our immediate response was…. this interview and the local community taking notice what we are all about. The pleasure we get from creating community is our reward. When we post information about the local small farmer and receive responses like – “great info,” “we had no idea these farmers were here,” “never knew about a CSA”, it makes Local Choices a worthwhile venture.

Thanks to myturlock.com for giving us the opportunity to share Local Choices with our community.

As we always say…

Happy Farming,
Kat and Anna!

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