News and blog

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Posted 2/25/2011 1:45pm by Gayle Ganser.

Monday, February 21st Tina and I traveled yet again through a bit of a snow storm to Lancaster, PA for a marketing managers conference sponsored by Penn State Extension.  Lots of people, good breakfast and great lunch. My philosophy is that if you walk away from a conference with just one good idea it was well worth it. This day started out very slowly. Tina attended two workshops and I attended two different ones. When we met for lunch neither of us had gotten our "one good idea" yet.  I was a bit worried that our time might have been wasted at this conference. But, alas, after lunch Tina sat through a retail display workshop and I sat through a money matters and SNAP( the new food stamp program) workshop. Tina made up for time by getting not one but many new ideas. I also pulled some good info from my talks. The end of the day was the keynote speaker, a business coach. He was interesting, informative and got you thinking. So as we drove home, a still dreary day, we decided we learned quite a bit and now have many great ideas to implement at the store this spring.

Posted 2/5/2011 10:50am by Gayle Ganser.

I realize that during a typical year most people have tired of winter by now. However, this year must be a record breaker. Even the most die hard cold weather lover must be growing weary. This past week Steve, Tina and I were to be at the Mid Atlantic fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference in Hershey, PA for three days. We were fortunate to actually get to one day, the last day. The rest of the week was spent shoveling, chipping and scraping. Our driveway at the farm is very long and keeping that clear has become a true challenge. This morning is the worst. I went down the hill with my ice grips on to feed my miniature donkey Noah and even with the grips had great difficulty. I guess it will be another day of inside cleanup and work. We were able to get out yesterday and visit my daughter Monica in Manayunk. Our son Joe joined us and we had a wonderful birthday celebration for her at a local restaurant.

We have just ordered a new 30' by 185' high tunnel which should be arriving Feb. 16th. Our hopes are to have this erected and ready to plant in by April. We had received a grant towards the cost of a high tunnel and needed to use it by May. Steve thinks we are crazy putting up such a large structure during a very busy time in the greenhouses, but we hope to have lots of help. I think this is a good move. We will be able to start tomatoes andpeppers much earlier and harvest much sooner than conventional growing outside. Plus we can extend the crops longer in to the fall. Keep posted for updates and pictures on construction.

For now its back to paperwork. Keep safe and warm. Think spring and beautiful Eagle Point flowers for your gardens!!!

Posted 1/14/2011 9:26am by Gayle Ganser.

Over the years as Steve and I attended conferences, trade shows and the like we noticed a disturbing trend. The farmers were getting older and there was very little new blood entering our industry. At times we were the youngest in attendance(and for those who know us we are not "young'). With todays focus on materialism and physical wealth, it is hard for any farm family member to feel the "call" to stay in there forefathers livlihood. Long hours, backbraking work and low pay are not on the top ten list of popular careers. Fortunately, we were not the only ones concerned about this dilemma.

In 1974 the beautiful 400 some acre Seem family farm located in Emmaus was sold to Lehigh County. Over the years many propositions for its use, like a golf course, were brought forward. In 2003 an "incubator farm"  to train new farmers was propsed. Groups like Friends of the Seed Farm, fought to keep the farm in an agricultural use. No decison was made and the farm remained a conventional farm for the time being. In 2006 Don Cunningham, Lehigh County, presented the "incubator farm" idea again along with enrolling the farm in farmland preservation. Finally, in 2007 the proposition was accepted, the farm was put in preservation and 25 acres of the 400 acres was set aside for this use. In 2008 Gerge De Vault suggested the name The Seed Farm, and it became so. In 2009 Tianna Du Pont, Northampton County Ag Extension, applied and recieived a $159,000 grant to implement the incubator farm. The demonstration grant enabled the farm to hire a manager, buy equipment and get started. In return the farm must periodically hold demonstrations on various farming practices, eg. irrigation, crop rotation, etc.

In 2010 a full time manager was hired and the first apprentices started planting in spring. Five apprentices started and three finished. Those three will now continue at the farm as stewards, leasing land and venturing on their own with the support of the farm. In addition they will serve as mentors to the incoming apprentices, of which there are five for 2011. We are proud to say that one of our employees Blake Unis has been accepted into this program.

This brings us to present day. Last night Steve and I were at the first official board meeting for The Seed Farm, of which we were asked to be members. I didn't know very much about this program but found it intriguing. I have learned much and am thrilled with the ideas and plans that were brought forth. This incubator farms makes it possible for people who are interested in farming to "test the waters", learn and experience farming before they jump in head first. I believe it is a great step in securing a future to agriculture in Lehigh County. Hopefully this can serve as a pilot for other programs throughout our commonwealth and continue to bring more young people into our industry. For more info check out www.theseedfarm.org.

Posted 1/7/2011 11:51am by Gayle Ganser.

Just enjoyed a day and evening at Longwood Gardens. Visited with one of our employees Kaitlyn Sterner, who is a professional gardening student enrolled there. It is quite an honor to be accepted to this program. They only accept 10 out of some 60 applicants from around the world. To think that our Kaitlyn gained this prestigious spot. We are very proud of her and look forward to hearing about all her experiences over the next couple of years. Longwood Christmas display continues through Sunday January 16th. If you have never seen this, it is a real must. It was absolutely beautiful. When we arrived we walked through and visited the tree houses, the Dupont house and then the conservatory. After visiting then with Kaitlyn we went outside and all the lights were on. It was amazing. Unfortunately the fountain show was not running due to a frozen pipe, but it was still a very worthwhile trip. These are the kind of things we enjoy during our short time off from the market, greenhouses and farm. Before too long we will be in the greenhouses planting for spring. But for now we can sleep in a bit, fix things in the house, and go for long walks with cooper. Till next time!

Posted 11/22/2010 9:15am by Gayle Ganser.

Sore backs, aching shoulders, coffee and donuts. Must mean the Christmas trees were delivered. Yes, bright and early this morning we received our load of gorgeous fresh cut evergreen trees from our dear friends Chip and Debbie Jarrard of Roaring Creek Evergreens in Bloomsburg. Thanks to Tina, Sarah, Kaitlyn, Alex and Blake for coming out so early to help with the unloading. It made for easier work for Steve and I. Tomorow we hope to get them all displayed and ready for everyone to see. Over the weekend Tina and I worked on making logs and decorating wreathes. Steve has been chained to the greenhouse making all the fresh wreaths. As usual he is doing a great job. They are beautiful. Stop in to see all our handiwork and pick up a fresh decoration for your home. Save the date, Dec. 4th and 5th for open house. I will be baking those kiffles soon. We hope everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving. Still plenty of apples, pumpkins and veggies for your dinners and desserts. Open Tuesday, Wed, and then Fri Sat and Sunday this week.

Posted 10/25/2010 8:26am by Gayle Ganser.

The market will be closed for vacation Monday November 1st thru Monday Nov. 8th. We will re-open Tuesday Nov. 9th. Hope this isn't too inconvenient for anyone. We are open all this week with regular hours and lots of great things. Our mums are still beautiful, lots of late bloomers. Pleanty of local apple varities, fresh cider. Plus we stillhave our own tomatoes, zucchini, beans, fall squashes and we have some sweet corn yet! Hope to see you this week.

Posted 10/18/2010 8:41am by Gayle Ganser.

Open gate brought two great speakers to Eagle Point Farm Market. Pam Ruch, horticulturist and landscape designer spole on Garden Journeling. This is a fascinating topic, and lots of fun forr anyone who is truly a gardener. Pam gave a short introduction to the art of journeling but hopes to run workshops. Pam is a gifted landscape designer and Garden Writer. It was greatto have her speak at our event. Thanks Pam. Our second speaker was Deb Martin on composting. An ever popular subject, many people had many questiond for Deb. She did a great job describing different composting methods, why we should compost and how to compost. Check out her book, The Complete Guide to Composting. Thanks Deb.

Posted 10/18/2010 7:27am by Gayle Ganser.

Our fall fest and open gate tour were a huge success. Thanks to everyone who came out. We know everyone enjoyed themselves. We are very tired today. These events take alot of work and prep. Thanks to my great employees present and past who worked their tails off all day. We had about 800 people in our small place. It was crazy but lots of fun. The bluegrass duo did a fabulous job, the kids had a ball dancing to the music. Vyncrest Winey's wine tasting was also a hit. Everyone specially enjoyed their Autmn Gold. You have to go there and get some. Its delicious. Thanks to Jaime for manning that stand along with Klein Farms delicious homemade cheeses and dips. We will be re-stocking at the end of this week. So stop on in and get some if you missed it this weekend. Stacy from "Ol Schoolhouse Bakery(our great baked good lady) had yummy apple dumplings, pies, pumpkin rolls.  Everyone who got some of those are enjoying them for breakfast this morning. Thanks for coming Stacey! New this year was Way Har Farms pumpkin ice ceam. Sarah was our premier dipper and people loved it. Delicious!!! Sarah is probably still sticky today, Thanks Sarah!!  We had lots of food tasting inside. Local apples, apple cider, our own homemade salsa and chips, vegetable dill dip, and our homemade peseves. It was had to keep the tastings full. Everyone enjoyed this! One of our most unique features and yesterday's  busiest was the "Make Your Own Caramel Apples".  Thank you to my dear friend Audrey Merkel(Strawberry Hill) for manning this stand again this year. Audrey did not have much time to breathe, but she handled it superbly, probably won't want to look at caramel for a long time!  Everyone should check out Audrey and Niel's farm in June. Pick your own delicous strawberries. I can't forget Neil who loaned us his big canopy, but also had to set it up and take it down. Thank you Neil!!  We almost forgot we had a face painter in the greenhouse, since we didn't see her all day. Jesse must have painted hundreds of arms, faces, foreheads, some more than once. Thanks Jesse, you did a great job. The kids loved both face painting and pumpkin painting. Next year we'll have to get you some help! Of course fresh produce is what we are all about and it was a challenge to keep the displays full. Thanks to my wonderful daughter who kept it under control. Probably the biggest challenge was making her way thorugh the crowd. Thanks honey, couldn't have done it without you! We figured about 400 cars came and went in our small parking lot yesterday and thanks to one of my newer employees Alex for doing a great job parking all those people. Thanks Alex! The line at the register was always very long! Anyone who has ever worked retail knows how demanding that can be. My two "register girls" never waivered. They were as nice and patient with the last customer as they were the first. Thanks Debi and Kaitlyn. I don't know how you did it all day!! I guess Tuesday will come around too fast! Of course I can't forget Steve. He was our PR man. He was actually hoarse by the end of the day. He doesn't get off the farm much and made good use of his time yesterday. Thank you Steve!!  Thanks too to Tina, who was drinking a margurita on the beach in Mexico during all this, but who of course keeps me straight, and organized us all week before her departure for vacation. We did comment how she didn't know what she was missing during all the craziness(or did she?) Thanks everyone, look forward to another great one next year!!!

Posted 10/13/2010 5:50pm by Gayle Ganser.

Don't miss our second anuual fall fest on Sunday Oct. 17th 1pm till 5pm. Check out all the info under our events page. We are at our peak with pumpkins, gourds, and mums. Steve has out done himself this year. The mums are gorgeous. Lots of beautiful colors.  We also have a great selection of local apples. Honey Crisp, macintosh, jonathan, stayman winesap, golden delicious, rome, empire and I may have missed a few. We are still picking our own tomatoes, green and yellow beans, all colors of peppers, red beets, leeks, green and gold zucchini, and we still have sweet corn. Come in and check everything out. We are still in strong produce mode. Hope to see you soon!

Posted 6/28/2010 11:36am by Gayle Ganser.

Don't miss our annual Three Day Only Perennial Sale. July 2nd, 3rd and 4th only!  Great selection of ready to plant perennials for the sun or shade garden. Quart size, two quart and gallons all on sale. Hydrangeas, hibiscus, peonys, hostas, ferns, and more. We are tired of watering. Please help us out. Come get some great plants at really great prices. See you this week.