It’s bitter cold outside and any remnants of winter greens that were previously cheerfully growing in the field are no longer so cheerful… The animals have put on their winter coats and the wood stoves are burning.
Since I shared my lament over butchering Braeburn the pig this past spring, I find it appropriate to share the story of Gala’s last days on the farm. Gala was Braeburn’s wife, well, that’s the easiest way to explain their relationship. After I decided to butcher Braeburn (due to his lack of certain reproductive skills), I kept Gala in hopes that we might find a more viable husband for her after Braeburn’s unfortunate but necessary demise. This part becomes confusing to children when using husband/wife terms. At the end of October I contacted a breeder near Fort Scott who said he would buy her outright so I wouldn’t have to deal with the hassle of driving back and forth to and from Fort Scott to breed her to his boars and hope she took. I took him up on his offer. It was a Wednesday afternoon. I made arrangements to take the truck and trailer to Fort Scott that Friday afternoon.
Thursday morning I received a cryptic phone call: loose pig at the neighbor’s. I jumped in my truck, picked up a bucket of feed and headed over. I was nervous as to what I may find… She has a remarkably docile manner but when on an escape mission she can be friskier. I slowly pulled in the drive and began scanning for evidence. A moment later I spotted her standing at the foot of the house porch steps chopping on something. The neighbor girl was watching from the porch, smiling nervously. Gala was feasting on the cutely decorated Halloween pumpkins and carved jack-o-lanterns…
Poor girl just needed one last escape before her departure. Or perhaps she was nervous her future would turn out like Braeburn’s and she was getting in a “last supper” of sorts. I was very sad to leave her in Fort Scott but I recently received word she is cheerful and has already successfully executed her first escapee mission.
In other news, Katharine is HARD at work prepping for the holiday crates! They are going to be beautiful and delicious and a lot of work. Ben and George finished putting the crates together last week and Katharine is about to begin thawing blackberries for cobbler! You can order online for yourself, your neighbors and your friends in other states (we ship!).
We at Elderslie hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We spent the day cooking in our various kitchens, listening to music and children, and celebrating with great food and company. We are thrilled to have our online Gift Shop open to help you with your holiday shopping! Enjoy putting up your Christmas trees and lights this weekend, and stay warm!
Gift crates are coming!!! In Santa’s workshop, the little elves have been furiously cutting slats for the crates as the year’s wood scraps burn in the furnace, heating the wood shop. The elves responsible for the order form, however, have come in to a bit of a hiccup with internet ordering and as such, the online store and order forms will be ready very soon.
A few details about the gift crates:
Pick up dates for 2013 will be December 7th, 11th, 14th and 18th. We will be shipping on the Wednesday dates (11th and 18th) to ensure quality. If you have a sizable Wichita order for five crates and over to be delivered to one address, there will be a $10 delivery fee for the first crate, and $2 for each subsequent crate.
Options for this year will include the small gift parcel (blackberry scones, triple ginger cookies, and Elderslie blackberry preserves packaged with a stamped Elderslie trivet), a traditional gift crate (scones, ginger cookies, preserves and a famous Elderslie blackberry cobbler to serve 6-8 all packaged in a crate made from Kansas lumber), and a few a la carte items including a small and large blackberry cobbler, perfect for hosting holiday gatherings!
Quantities are limited based on the availability of blackberries. Get your orders in early!
Fall is passing and winter is beginning to chill our toes. All the water lines are drained and all the tractors are put away. Like ever they have, the bright red canes of the bramble are standing in rows, neatly cropped by Ben Byall. The vegetable field is covered with the soft green down of young rye grass to carry it through the winter. We are in the off season here on the farm, but we are far from idle.
Red cedar and mixed lumber in small piles marked “crates” is accumulating in the woodshop. Blackberries packed in their sweet surroundings and neat in their little glass jars are lining up. The thought of cobblers and ice cream on cold days enlivens the senses. Our gift crates are almost here for the holidays. Check back on Thursday this week for the order form and details.
Leaves are now fallen and the timber along creek banks, river bottoms, and high pastures is more visible as we begin to take in our winter stock of logs to be milled through the cold months. Lumber milled last year is now dry and ready for holiday projects in numerous species.
We have a wonderful inventory of mantle pieces and thick slabs for table tops to enliven and beautify your home with a truly unique piece.
In the woodshop new drawings are cluttering the project board and the rush to keep up through the holiday season is upon us with commissioned carpentry projects: built in book cases, tables, and carved hearth surrounds.
We are thankful for all our customers and look forward to any opportunity to serve.
click here to sign up for email updates from the farm!
Farm Stand Closed for 2013
Thank you all for a wonderful season on the farm! Our produce stand is closed for the season, but we will be excitedly looking forward to seeing you all in the spring of 2014 for produce, berries, and Farm to Table dinners!