About Our Farm & Philosophy
Sustainable Non-Conventional Farming, Inspired By Nature
The idea behind Schooner Farms was to take our little 20 acre corner of the world and expand our use of it by raising chemical free pick your own raspberries and blackberries in 2009. We already had a natural pond and lake management company, Inspired By Nature, established at the site. The focus of Inspired By Nature is to encourage pond owners to care for the water resources naturally and by using little if no chemistry at all. This notion of land stewardship and conservation was really the incentive of trudging forward into the berries. honey and now a CSA.
In 2010 we also began a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) garden. The response has been tremendous. We have had the opporunity to meet so many wonderful and like minded people. Naturally, we picked a rough year weather wise to begin but it ought to make the future garden season seem less difficult! In 2010 Schooner Farms CSA grew food for 60 families. In 2012 we had expanded our memebrship to 80. Our goal to keep the "Community" in our CSA program means that we do not wish to be like a subscription produce farm. We want to keep the "Community" in our CSA. We want you to know the farmer growing your food, we want you to feel like you are a part of our farm and to do that we chose to limit our membership to 30 in 2013. Along with our produce we also have 10 beehives that we harvest raw honey from for sale. Our three ponds are managed naturally and a full of healthy fish. The ponds provide the irrigation to our fields.
Our goal is to be able to offer classes on a variety of topics, such as: beekeeping, canning, organic gardening, nature crafts, land ethics and much more. We both enjoy learning and sharing with others - that connection to like minded people is something we cherish.
If you are in Weston, Oh please stop in! We'd love to show you around the farm!
Schooner Farms & Inspired By Nature from above
Posted by Don Schooner or Becky White - Schooner :: Monday, July 21 :: 1:03pm
August 16th, 2014 9:00am - 1:00pm
Like honey? We do too! Come be part of the Honey Harvest! Mike will walk you through the extraction process and you will get some hands on experience! There is nothing quite like honey fresh out of the hive!!
RSVP IS REQUIRED! Please call Mike at 419-494-2226
Posted by Don Schooner or Becky White - Schooner :: Wednesday, July 2 :: 4:17pm
Hello CSA Members!
I hope all is swell in your neck of the woods! I am so excited that the CSA season is almost here!
Just a quick note to let you know the CSA will start soon. Our first pick up for TUESDAY Members will be Tuesday, July 8th from 3-6 and for our SATURDAY Members, Saturday, July 12th 9am till noon. It was fantastic to see so many of you out to pick berries. Our first wave of strawberries are just about done but our second wave will start around late July. The gardens are looking wonderful, the crew has been hard at work getting the gardens prepped for all the fall plants to go in. This week we will be getting some much needed rain. The huglekultur beds are proving to be amazing! Schooner is hoping to get the Serpent Mound garden started soon. We harvested our first lavender of the season and will be distilling lavender essential oil soon along with lavender hydrosol - which I know many of you LOVE! As always, we are researching, discovering, sharing and loving life - so glad you are part of the experience!
Eggs will be available for sale at pick up - $4.50 for members. We have baby turkeys and a bunch of new laying hens to visit when you come. No, I have NOT gotten over my chicken phobia but I still enjoy admiring them from afar and I am forever grateful for their delicious eggs!
CSA 2014 Handbook is under the CSA tab.
If you have any questions give me a ring - 419-261-0908
and you are always welcome to pop in at the farm! Look for our first weekly newsletter of the season in your inbox Monday, July 7th. If you forgot which pick up day you signed up for just email me and I will let you know.
Thanks and we will see you soon! Can't wait to see you!
Posted by Don Schooner or Becky White - Schooner :: Wednesday, June 18 :: 1:54pm
Our first flush of berries has just about some to an end. However, we will have more in late July or early August. Blackberries too a hit this past winter but we hope to have some. Check back in July for a berry update!
Posted by Don Schooner or Becky White - Schooner :: Monday, June 2 :: 2:13pm
We do not use any synthetic sprays on our fields. Only sunshine and mother nature!
Little red gems of summer sunshine are ripening as we speak. Due to the harsh winter we lost a portion of our field but still have a nice amount for u-pick. This spring we added 2000 more plants to our berry field. Please call us to determine if the field is picked out or if we have any berries available that day. Hours vary depending on availability. General Farm Hours - Mon-Fri 9-3, Sat. 9-12 Closed on Sunday
Posted by Don Schooner or Becky White - Schooner :: Tuesday, May 13 :: 12:46pm
Hope this little note finds you all well. I have to be honest, this winter, like many folks, we were basically snowbound more often than not and jeez, I think I know what Jack Nicholson felt like in "The Shining". I scared Schooner a few times by putting on a crazed face and saying, "Heeeeeeere's Becky!" He does not appreciate my brand of humor, little does he know I may not have been joking.
What's happening at the farm? Better question is - what is not happening? Happy, crazy, busy people are we, so grateful for the sunshine and being able to get our hands dirty again. The Garden Staff has been cleaning the farm of blown in trash, prepping the fields, building more hugelkultur, accessing plant damage and planting away. We have a several new volunteers that are just awesome. The WSOS program will be sending us some new garden volunteers too.
Our spring has been on the cool side, so we aren't too anxious to get a ton of plants in the ground till Mother Nature says she is ready. On a very sad note - we have lost all but one bee hive. This winter our region has seen the loss of over 85% of honeybees due to the extreme cold and the collapse issues we are seeing in honeybees. I think in our next newsletter I will share with you how we care for our bees and the issues we are seeing. It is a labor of love - we need bees for our food system and their numbers are dwindling rapidly. New bees were ordered last fall but with the polar vortex winter we had bees are in very short supply. We may have to shrink the apiary from 2o hives down to 10 this season. Mike, our beekeeper has been out cleaning the hives and getting them ready for new occupants.
Our blackberries didn't fair well this winter. There is new growth but we don't think we will have the abundance we had last year. Strawberries have some damage but have been perking right back along. We will be adding 2000 more strawberry plants to the patch. Raspberries are being fickle. Not sure yet what to expect from them but we will be grateful for whatever we may have.
Several of the perennial herbs were lost to the severe cold BUT believe it or not - 23 of our 100 five year old rosemary plants made it. Now, rosemary is a tender perennial and we never expect it to make it year to year but 23 strappy little shrubs soldiered on! The lavender labyrinth is doing pretty well - we will need to replace about 1/3 of the plants but are thrilled we didn't lose more. The perennial herbs that have survived are strong and healthy and we look forward to enjoying their benefits later in the season.
Mike working on lavender labyrinth
Enough about the polar vortex and dead plants - here is some new fun news! Schooner has gone stark raving mad with making more hugelkultur mounds. The mounds were incredibly successful last fall and they have been a blessing this spring when the ground has been too wet to till - we could still plant on the mounds. Check out our Facebook page to follow along on the hugelkultur adventure. Schooner is very geeked up about this so he posts lots of photos. I marvel at how stinkin' smart he is. I told him he was a keeper.
Several BGSU Students Helping with Hugelkultur
We are moving more and more into permaculture and biodynamics. Here is a link to a wonderful and very insightful video that describes exactly what a large part of the farm will become. I encourage you to take a few minutes to watch it, it really is fantastic!
CSA member and good friend, Mary Dennis and I have been planning a Dye Garden. Mary is a spinner and all around talented lady so this is an honor to work with her. We are working on an example garden to share what plants make dyes and then we will do a lot of wildcrafting. The dye garden will be a work in process. I am dreaming of having a Woad Workshop next summer - blue sheets flowing in the wind - happy faces flush with creative inspiration. This summer Mary and I will experiment and develop some workshops for next season.
Speaking of classes - yes, we will have some. This brings me to my next piece of news-i-ness, we are in the stages of getting financing for a new building that will have classrooms, a commercial kitchen, a cooking classroom and sundry. That said, it will be next spring that we can have classes in the new building (hopefully) but I will still have some fun classes/workshops out of our house and at the farm this year. Bread making, cheese making, soap making and fermented food are all on tap. I have been all over the area giving presentations on medicinal herbs, history, cooking and more the past several weeks. I am a little "classed" out - but never fear, I will post the 2014 class schedule soon - so check out the website or wait for newsletters to arrive in your inbox. In addition to having classes at the farm, Becky is out and about doing workshops & presentations for a variety of organizations and private groups.
Becky giving a presentation on "The History of Aprons"at First Step in Fostoria. We are honored to be part of the Women's Enrichment Series.Here are a few of the specifics on upcoming events at other places,most require reservations and there is a charge for most of the programs -
Strawberry Summer Picnic
June 19th at 7pm
Spend the evening sampling some wonderful dishes made with STRAWBERRIES.
The Summer Kitchen - Helena, Ohio
Call the ladies over at The Summer Kitchen to reserve your spot.
Berry Jam Making Demo
June 30th at 6 pm
Learn the basics on making jam from our fresh berries. Take home a jar of fresh jam and recipes! This is my third class in the Women's Enrichment program. What a delight & what a wonderful cause to support.
First Step - Fostoria, Ohio
Call First Step at 419-435-7300 for reservations
Civil War Battlefield Medicinal Herbs
July 10th at 7pm
Learn how everyday "weeds" helped save the lives of many on the battlefield and on the home front. This is one of my newest presentations and I LOVE IT!
The Summer Kitchen - Helena, Ohio
Call 419-638-4205 for reservations
August 4th at 2pm
Way Public Library in Perrysburg, Ohio
Learn the basics on canning.
Call Way Library for reservation 419-874-3135
Jammin' with The Girls
August 14th at 7pm
Fun filled jam packed demo with the Karla and Kari. It will be a blast! We will be using honey and a low sugar pectin to create jars of fresh berry love. Schooner Farms Jams will be for sale.
The Summer Kitchen - Helena, Ohio call 419-638-4205 to reserve your spot.
Cooking with Herbs
September 8th at 6pm
Wonder what to do with those green things? We can help! Learn how to incorporate herbs into your everyday cooking.
First Step - Fostoria, Ohio
Call First Step at 419-435-7300 for reservations
We plan to have some Teas with members and guests. I love teas and I love my friends enjoying an afternoon of fussy goodies and a neat presentation. I have had several requests to do my Apron Program so I think we will tackle that along with a Jane Austen Tea. Who doesn't love Jane? We had a small tea last year and the ladies loved it - so let me iron a few ruffles out and I will set some dates.
As of this writing, our new strawberry plants arrived via UPS and we have a crew planting away. There are oodles of flowers on last year's crop - so let's keep our fingers crossed for lots of juicy berries! Berries won't be ready till mid to late June. The be on our "Berry Availability" list - go here
Becky and the crew at Schooner Farms
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