Raccoon Forks Farms newsletter – Oct. 9, 2018

Dear Friends and CSA Partners –

We feel as though we’re always writing to you about the weather, this year – but the weather’s been so…robust! and so present! Even as we write this! Have you had enough rain? Are you growing gills and fins, yet? We feel as though we are!

In happier “wether” news, we have two beautiful new goats! One is a buck, and one is a wether – a castrated male goat. We want to expand our herd, and we’ll be breeding our goats next week. We already had one buck, and we’ll pair him with our mature ewes. We purchased the new buck to expand the herd’s genetics – we’ll breed him with our doelings (young female goats). Next year, you can expect to hear that we’ve sold a buck or two and acquired new ones, to keep our genetic pool growing!

Wether on the left, buck on the right

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Brick Street Bakery wins ‘Sweetest’ title!

Brick Street Bakery participated in the 2018 Best Buddies Chef Challenge on Thursday evening and was awarded the top prize in the "Sweetest" competition.

"It is an honor and joy for our Brick Street teams to participate and support this wonderful organization," said Bakery Brick Street Business Manager Peg DeLoriea.

The Brick Street Bakery team made pumpkin rolls from scratch for the contest, with bakers and job coaches learning to assemble, mix and bake the rolls.

Attendees raved over the pumpkin rolls, some returning for a second and third helping.

This is the 5th year Brick Street Bakery has participated in the event. This is the second time Brick Street Bakery has been named the 'Sweetest."

The competition is a major fund raiser for Best Buddies Iowa, a non-profit organization serving people with and without disabilities. The Brick Street businesses became involved with Best Buddies after John Kielgl, then director of Best Buddies Iowa, visited Brick Street Café for lunch and learned about Optimae’s mission of one-on-one job coaching for adults with disabilities. 

Also representing the Brick Streets at the event were Sadona Mondabough, Brick Street Bakery assistant manager, Kiersten Pryor, Brick Street Books and Café assistant manager, and Brick Street Books and Café employee Cara Kazor.

"I want to thank the Brick Street Bakery team for their hard work and assistance making this happen, and to Kiersten and Cara from the Brick Street Books and Café, assisting at the event," said DeLoriea. "Our Brick Street teams are amazing and do an awesome job supporting our bakers and café employees."

Raccoon Forks Farms newsletter – Oct. 2, 2018

Dear Friends and CSA Partners –

Welcome to October!  They say it’s going to be in the upper 80s tomorrow – just for one day – enjoy one last blast of summer! – but then back to cool temperatures.  Weather or  not, we’re well-embarked on fall chores!

At the Redfield farm, our summer tomato plants are still valiantly providing tomatoes, but they’re pretty scraggly, now, after producing heavily all summer.  We’ll be pulling them up, soon.  Don’t despair, though, if you’re a tomato-lover:  the tomatoes on our young plants, in the high tunnel, are just starting to get ripe!  We’ll continue to have delicious tomatoes until it gets considerably colder. 

We’re starting to pull in our irrigation lines from fields that don’t need them any more this year.  In fact, the ground at both farms is quite damp, after all the rain we’ve had.  We’re happy for the subsoil moisture to get replenished, of course, but the wetness is keeping us from harvesting all of our sweet potatoes and carrots!  We can dig them up, but they’re really muddy.  It’s difficult to remove the mud without damaging the vegetables’ skins, which protect them and are necessary if they’re going to store well.  So we’re waiting for things to get a little bit drier.

We’ve been telling you all summer how we’ve been preparing the fence lines for our new goat pasture at our Runnells farm.  Well, we’re getting close to finishing the prep work, and we finally took some pictures to show you!  As you can see, right now it's a wooded, overgrown area - the goats will help with that!

Did we mention that part of the challenge is vines?

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