Sunday, May 9, 2010

2010 Miami County Farm Tour

2010 Miami County (KS) Farm Tour - For Mother's Day, the kids and I took my wife out for an afternoon of goats, pecans, beef and herbs; compliments of the small family farmers of Paola, Louisburg and the surrounding areas. We started our day at Terebithia Dairy Goats where we saw the Oberhasli does, kids and the milking and feeding areas. The milk and cheese produced by the Thorpe family are rich and delicious. And at just $8/wheel I'll soon be placing my call to reserve a number of blocks of cheese; my favorite being the one spiked with chives from the family garden. It is a crying shame that the State of Kansas has thrown up so much red tape that the family can not afford to supply their product to local retailers and restaurants. Even more irritating is that they can sell their cheese in neighboring Missouri with relative ease!

Prothe's Pecans was another favorite stop of ours. We saw the harvesting and processing equipment, got a quick lesson in grafting pecan trees and sampled a number of different shelled pecans. Our favorite were the partially cracked/shelled Pawnee pecans and we left with a 3# bag of these large, dense, chewy nuts. I plan on saving the shells and putting them to good use on the smoker some day.

4 D Acres is an emu and free range chicken operation. Their main focus if emu meat and products derived from emu oil (soaps, lotions, etc.) We purchased a couple of logs of emu/turkey summer sausage. We also plan on purchasing some of their free range chickens when they are available again. The hatchling emus were so darn cute!

We got a lot of great ideas about raised beds and organic herb and vegetable farming from Nancy Kalman at Pickings & Pumpkins. What a beautiful arrangement she has. This was the first time I had tasted apple mint. My wife and I are planning to do a large organic garden (probably won't be up and running until next spring) and Nancy gave us a lot of great advice. Thanks!

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