A year has come and gone since Windy Thistle has been closed. I feel like it’s been a lifetime since we’ve seen our family, friends and neighbors. I’m sure all of you have also felt isolated. The work didn’t stop, though it did take a lull over the winter. We’ve all remained healthy. I hope you have, too! The granddaughters are here until August, so our home is bursting with energy again!
Things are looking up. Our farm is open to visitors and our Fenton Farmer’s Market booth is going to be opening up May 15th. We’ll be there every Saturday from 8am to noon with our flowers, herbs, eggs and veggies!
Our farm stand will be open Sundays at 10am and is self-serve daily from 8am until dark. The farm stays open to visitors, Wednesdays through Sundays. (closed Mondays and Tuesdays, except by appointment)
A visit to the farm is always fun, Henrietta the Turkey loves to be petted and the goats do, too! Fiesta and Starlight are always up for a few pats and some grain while MJ, Blaise and Bucky are best admired from a distant. They would disagree and say, “baaaa.” But I’m still the boss. We added a second flock of chickens - white leghorns. They are named "Roo Paul and his Queens". Our old flock is Julius and the Mixed Flock. Our two flocks of chickens are always happy to see new folks, too and give us rich and nutritious brown and white eggs.
We have expanded our gardens to about 1200 sq. feet! Our main paddock garden beds are better defined this year and we’re trying new methods of trellising. We’ve added a second hügelkultur bed for more melons and squashes. Our sunflower bed has been expanded, too and we’ll be planting Amaranth along with the beautiful big blooms and they should make a stunning display. We doubled the size of the herb gardens and now have three big beautiful beds for me to fill with all the flowers and herbs that I can possibly fit in there! I can’t wait for the beds to dry enough for me to work. They’re all pretty damp right now.
The bees survived the winter and we’ll be adding one more additional hive in April. We hope to get a honey crop in June but we’ll see. The bee’s main job here is to pollinate the garden plants. Honey and beeswax are all just the bonus.
The trails to our camps tried to wash out over the winter but we'll be repairing that damage to better define the pathways through the campground. The underbrush is also being cleared, and the fire rings are being set in clay to make them sturdy. The tent spots are being tilled free of rocks and other things that make sleeping on the ground uncomfortable. We still only have two camps set up but we’ll be developing a third one this summer. We've cleaned out the smaller pen and we'll be setting up a sanitation station there for our camper's convenience. The paths will be all graveled soon.
We’re fine tuning the experience we’re offering to our campers and our visitors. We have three packages available to make your stay special as well as a kids special – ½ price to age 12. We’re only three miles from Big River Access, so fishing and swimming is nearby, too! The woods are greening up and it's going to be really pretty - right now, it's pretty muddy.
Hopefully, with the end of Covid in sight, we’ll be able to offer day classes again in old time arts and crafts like soap making, candle making, gardening techniques, and much more. We have bonfires on Saturday nights for guests to enjoy. Along with roasting marshmallows and making s’mores, there is also entertainment with singing, drumming and fire spinning. We’ve been known to tell a few stories, too. Our opening video is our Firedancer in the snow.
We have a fun project coming up that will need all the willing hands.. err.. feet we can get! We’ll be building a cob oven in the bonfire area so in the future we can bake a pizza in about 3 minutes. (think of the possibilities!) In any case, we’ll be getting down and dirty with mud, sand, straw and folks dancing it all together! Come to get dirty and have a blast getting that way. Stay because we’re going to be offering tasty goodies as incentives! Coming in July, if all goes well. We’ll confirm the date as we get closer!
The bonfire area is getting a complete makeover this year in addition to the new oven. Ambitious plans for the future are a retaining wall and seating in the curve with flower gardens behind them with the cob oven just to the right of the already existing BBQ pit and wood shed.
No matter if you want to come and get dirty or just want to get out of your house in a socially safe way, visitors are always welcome. Tours of the farm are free, so come out and bring your kids! We’re always involved in some project or another but we always love visitors and are glad to show you what we’re doing and how we do it! Or just sit on the front porch and listen to the quiet. Sometimes, that’s the best time of all! We’re just 42 minutes south of St. Louis in the beautiful Ozark Foothills. Make it a day trip, stay the night, or the whole weekend!
We’re looking forward to a new season of growth and fun at Windy Thistle Farm.