As summer rolls in already, we realized it was high time to give you an update:
Notes from JFF
by Norm Oeding, farm manager
The last 2 weeks of May we have received about 5" of rain. Even with a wet February of 3", it has otherwise been a real dry winter and spring. We are very fortunate to have the moisture we got as many others around the country are still in dire need of rain.
The JFF herd has been calving and so far we have 8 calves from 8 cows. There is one more we are waiting on in our spring herd. Our fall herd will start calving about Sept. 21, 2011. The pastures have sure greened up since the rain.
Here at JFF, we have the opportunity to see lots of wildlife. In particular the number of unique birds. In addition to the common starling, blackbirds, etc., I have also seen yellow headed blackbirds, red wing blackbirds, bluebirds, scissor tail flycatchers, cardinals and a new bird I have yet to identify that I saw just down the road at John's house a couple weeks back. It was a bit bigger than a finch, but with light colored feathers and a soft yellow on its belly.
Our wheat looks good and we will be harvesting about June 15 - 20. Am looking forward to see how the past 6 months of weather have affected the protein level of our wheat.
This summer’s intern at Janzen Family Farms is Joe Kondziola, a sophomore at Bethel College, North Newton. In addition to helping around the farm, he has already done his solo presentations at farmers’ markets in Hillsboro and Wichita. He is not only an honor roll student, but also plays the string bass in the Bethel Chamber Orchestra, and runs cross-country and track for the track team.
Beef Marketing—Slight Change in Policy
Grass-fed beef direct marketing has been very successful this year. Demand is exceeding supply. At the current time, our late June beef is completely sold, and our late August beef, for early September pick-up, is already one-quarter reserved. We have sufficient ground beef on hand to last the summer. In response to this strong demand, and to satisfy as many customers as possible, all bulk orders will need to be limited to a quarter or smaller, with an advance 50% deposit. A big thank you to all our customers!
JFF at Locavore Conference
JFF participated in the first annual Locavores conference at Hesston College’s Dyck Arboretum of the Plains (http://www.dyckarboretum.org/) on March 19. In addition to donating food and bakery for the noon carry-in meal, our two main types of operations were featured in the day-long program of presentations: grain, flour and bakery production by Norm, our grass-fed beef operation by John. Conference organizer Brad Guhr, education director of the arboretum and trained prairie ecologist, had organized the sessions by producers according to a hierarchy of energy flows in a food source.
Presentations began with a discussion of the soil, and moved from there to gardens, fruit trees, crops and grains, and on to livestock, birds, bees. Special perspectives were provided on food preservation (with a focus on canning), and on the importance of imparting to children a grasp of the full scale of the food chain (by a hunter who conducts training for children and youth), including the origin of the sacredness of food. The afternoon session closed an ethnographic sketch of the food consciousness movement, and where locavores fit into the picture. This conference was a healthy antidote to our globalized food system.
We congratulate Norm Oeding for receiving the 2011 Friends of Education Award of Excellence for School Volunteer, presented at the annual meeting of the Confidence in Kansas Public Education Task Force, an advocacy agency that has been in existence for 30 years. The initial nomination was made by the Newton Alternative High School in recognition of a donation of flour. The students used the flour to make bierocks which were sold to raise funds for an educational trip to Colorado. This nomination was endorsed by the Newton School District (# 373), and enhanced to include Norm's work with the agricultural magnet program of the Walton School. This included hosting student visits to the farm, and donating JFF beef for school festivities. To read the full award citation about Norm, click here.
Take note of a forthcoming feature that will detail the restaurants and health food stores where JFF organic stone ground flour is available, with some testimonials by satisfied customers.
See Us at Our Local Farmers Markets
Come visit with us at the farmers market! We’re at 3 local markets in Peabody, Hillsboro and Wichita, as follows:
Kansas Grown Farmers Market in Wichita on Saturdays