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One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato, Four...

What a perfect jingle to promote what is at the Foothill Frolic Farm on Gammon Creek's Self Serve Stand. It is true we have four varieties... Heirloom Superior White(Buff skin with white center), Purple Sun (Purple Skin with golden center), Red Maria (Red Skin with white center), and Magic Molly Fingerings (Dark Purple Skin with vibrant purple center). Many have said that they are the best tasting potatoes they have ever eaten and of course I agree!! We have been digging these now for a little over a month and they are still going strong. When you get your potatoes at the Farm Stand they have been fresh dug, out of the beautiful soil, no more than a week out. I like keeping them in the gound and digging them about once a week to bag and put down at the stand. I presume almost everyone eats pototoes at least once a week, so I encourage locals to stop by and stock up. Also, I am still digging beets out of the ground. Their tops have more or less succombed to the hot summer sun, but the beet roots themselves are holding very well. The beet flavor has been exceptional, even raw. Our favorite here lately has been raw grated beet tossed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, onion or scallion, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. It keeps for a week in the fridge and is great to pull out for lunch, dinner, and supper. I harvested the last of the Touchstone Gold Beets and Ishikura Long Scallions today, so if you have enjoyed these you'll have to swing by to get your last bunch of the season. We will transition from the scallions to Gladstone White Onions here in the next few days. Large Leaf Italian Basil will appear here soon as well. The summer crops are coming along well, as the photos represent, and I hope to have those extraordinary tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and watermelon start to trickle in by mid to late August.

The cattle herd thus far is doing really well. They are at the start of their third full rotation of the grazing year. It sure was tight in the spring with the lack of rain, but we pulled through by holding over with hay in a paddock and have been foraging foward strong ever since. They have really enjoyed the Sorghum-Sudan grass that we drill seeded in select spots. The back pasture rotation was taller than the cattle when they entered, which was neat to witness. They will more than likely get to enjoy it, 2 more times. Despite it being an annual, it grows back after it is grazed or cut for hay, silage, or haylige.

The cows really look great and so do their calves. We will top off the 2021 calving season with 50 calves for the year. Everyone, especially the cattle, have been grateful for the break in the overbearing heat and sun, just this past Sunday on the first of August. In fact, I think it was exactly what conjured within in me that little extra energy and excitement to get this farm journal written. I believe, the heat mixed with a never ending to do list, somehow lowers creative writting power. I even find myself taking less pictures in the heat of the summer. It seems quite ironic when the height of a farming year comes to peak in the summer, a time in which writting material and photo opportunities are endless, there is never enough energy, time, or motivation to act upon the presentation.

Both the cows and us, are enjoying our two new bulls. Here lies a whole story within itself. We ended up having to find a third bull because one of the two new bulls we got back at the start of May developed a prolapsed prepuce. Dr. Monin our vet, told us that there was nothing that could be done and that he would just have to go to slaughter. I was quite sad that this happened, but despite the obvious loss, we searched and found a bull that I am even more in love with. He came from Kevin White, White Ridge Farm, down in Chuckey. He is pure bred Angus as well. His name is Acclaim 944 and has incredible EPD's and pedigree. To say the least, I am already looking forward to next calving season to see the difference these two bulls make in our 2022 calves.

Speaking of bulls, Acclaim 944 and Weigh Up 2008 are the only two bulls on the farm currently, as all our bull calves have been castrated to steer status. And wow was that ever a round up. This act was quite momumental here. Tt has been a many of a year since this has been accomplished. This was a huge goal of mine to and I am very pleased with the outcome and the management that it took to get here. The cattle all come in to the barn yard very well now, as they are use to me moving them in their rotations and therefore that was the easy part. The difficulty was having all 109 animals in the barnyard corral and then having to sort out 20 cow-calf pairs that would stay in the barnyard overnight in order for them to be worked the following morning. After a very long evening, Dad, Matthew, and myself did accomplish what we set out to do and successfully ran all the bull calves through the shoot the following morning. Dr. Monin, our vet, came to do the castrations and we had them all worked through in less than an hour. The average age range was from 3-5 months, and they were only apart from their Mamma for nor longer than 45 mintues which was great as she plays a very important role in the healing process....nurture and milk!!

As always, thanks to all our regular Farmstand patrons. Keep on spreading the potato, two potato, three potato, four...let other's know what "HOT" potatoes can be found at Foothill Frolic Farm's Self Serve Stand. If you are going to eat potatoes, why not support local regenerative-organically grown agriculture??!!!


Allison Mills Neal

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