Friday, January 25, 2008

Get Your Share

In 2008, you can become a shareholder in Mule Shoe Farm. A partial owner. Without all the farm work (unless you really want to)

Click here for the Share Agreement. Print it out and mail it to

Anne Pouliot
Mule Shoe Farm
3120 River Road
Ashland City, TN 37015

Oh yeah, write checks to Anne Pouliot not Mule Shoe Farm. The bank doesn't know what to do with me already.

The harvesting season for Mule Shoe Farm is mid-April to the end of October. The pick up site for shares is the Ashland City Open Air Market on Saturdays between 9am and Noon beginning in mid-April. Arrangements can be made for another pick up site on a different day of teh week depending on requests and shares.

A full share is a half bushel of produce every week. It costs $750 for the year. You can divide that into payments. Click here for the Share Agreement which will have your choices.

A half share is a quarter bushel or peck every week. It costs $400 for the year. There are payment plans available for that as well.

This year we are planning to produce the following and anything else that strikes our fancy on the farm:

mulch, firewood, lettuce, beets, collard greens, mustard greens, kale, carrots, onions, spring peas, tomatoes, swiss chard, leeks, potatoes, corn, green beans, dried beans, summer squash, winter squash, dill, oregano, rosemary, green peppers, hot peppers, watermelon, goat's milk, and fresh eggs.

Share holders' input is welcome and encouraged. If you would like something that you don't see on the list, please tell us. We will try to grow it if at all possible.

This summer we will have a Family Day on the Farm sometime in July. There will be more details later, but expect good food, old-fashioned fun and games.

All Shareholders are welcome and urged to visit anytime except Friday and Saturday. You will want one of us to show you around, so please contact us before you plan to show up.

One more thing, before I forget, everything we produce will be done organically and as sustainably as possible. It will be fresh. Some things will be harvested on Friday and others will be harvested Saturday morning right before delivery. How 'bout that? Fresh. That's how we wobble.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Official Mule Shoe Farm Miscellany

Thanks to everyone who wanted a share and sent in your form with your payments. There are just a few shares left for the 2008 growing season. Click here for the form with instructions.

Now here's some stuff we just gotta share....

Honey bees are not native to North America.

Feral horses travel 10 miles a day grazing and usually don't need their hooves trimmed or shod - ever.

You can tell which continent a chicken breed was developed by the color of its eggs. Europe: white; North America - brown; South America: blue

Green eggs are a cross between a North American and South American chickens.

Dogs, chickens and cats are all carnivores. So are bears, but bears will eat anything.

Calendula flowers served originally as a dye in cheeses and for coloring butter.

Annatto is the name of the carrot juice used to dye things yellowish orange, like butter.

Chamomile is good for cabbage but must planted a yard away from onions.

Chamomile is also related to ragweed. So if you have allergies in late summer through early fall, you might not really like chamomile tea either.

People who suffer from gall stones and kidney stones should stay away from turnip greens, mustard greens, dock, spinach and swiss chard. The oxalate in those plants can make their conditions worse.

Gourds are pollinated by moths at night. It is not possible to over water a gourd.

Organic ketchup has five times the lycopene of regular ketchup

Goldfish eat mosquito larvae and make good water cleaners for standing water ponds.

Barley straw can combat too much algae in your pond.

A hen will lay an average of 2 eggs in three days.

Cover cherries with cold water. If some them float, throw them out. They're no good.

You can use old hose to store onions. Put an onion in the hose then tie a knot. Add another onion and tie a knot. When you need an onion cut the bottom below the first knot.

To keep moles and the like from eating your bulbs, plant them in cans. Cut off both ends and put the can in the ground. Fill with soil 1/3 of the way and put in bulb. Fill it with soil to the right level and the can should cut down on raiding rodents. Of course you could always get a rat terrier or a feist dog which will hunt the moles.

To keep cats out of your garden put down plastic mesh or chicken wire which they do not appreciate walking over.

Most wild herbivores will absolutely love your sweet potatoes. If you're going to fence in part of your garden, this is the part you'll want to fence in.

If you water your acid-loving houseplants with leftover tea or coffee once a month, they will love it.

You can use beer or salt to get rid of slugs depending on whether you want to get them drunk or dry them up.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

CSA Share FAQ with a link to the Share Agreement

Click to open.
Print the form and fill it out.
Send it with your payment to the address shown on the form.

What does CSA mean?

CSA is short for Community Supported Agriculture. Instead of selling to the grocery store and letting them store and mark up your produce, Mule Shoe Farm produce can go directly to you. To receive our produce, you become a partial owner of the farm by buying a share. We all share in this endeavor together. A CSA ensures that Mule Shoe Farm is a sustainable operation and that you can get the fresh organic produce that you need to be healthy.

How much does a share cost?

A full share is $750 for a half bushel every week from mid-April to the end of October. A half share is $400 for a quarter bushel every week from mid-April to the end of October.

What if I can't pay all at once?

That's fine. The share agreement has three different payment options available. If finances are an issue, call or email for arrangments. Mule Shoe Farm is proud to barter shares for needed goods or services.

How do I participate in the CSA?

  • Pick up shares on day and time specified unless you make other arrangements. Call 615-792-9955 or email
  • Buy your share at the beginning of the growing season. Fill out the share agreement and send in with your share amount.
  • Recycle the container used to pick up your share by using it each week.

What does a share mean? What do I get?

By buying a share, you become one of the farm owners for one year. You will receive a ½ bushel of fresh organic and natural produce each week during our season. A full share is enough produce to feed a family of four for a week. Half shares are also available for couples or singles desiring fresh produce. You will be invited to attend our Summer Festival and you are welcome to visit anytime. Please call in advance to make sure we are here to show you around.

The volume in a share will vary slightly over the course of the season. The peak of the season will have more produce than the beginning or end of the growing season. The produce will vary depending on what is at its peak of freshness. This means you will not be getting tomatoes or corn in April. You can experience the connection to your food by “eating with the seasons.” You may get vegetables you haven’t tried before. Recipes can be found in Friday posts at

Is Mule Shoe Farm certified as an organic producer? Does the farm grow its products organically?

Mule Shoe Farm is not USDA certified organic. We are currently building a paper trail for organic certification. We use organic production methods for our poultry and goats, as well as, our vegetables. Our animals are pasture-fed, free-roaming creatures and our vegetables are grown in organic raised beds, as organic field crops and as naturalized plants throughout our property.

Share Agreement
Click to open.
Print the form and fill it out.
Send it with your payment to the address shown on the form.

Be a Part-Time Farmer

I remember coming home from school in the spring and eating snow peas straight off the vine, munching on green peaches at the tree, picking and eating strawberries, all before I went inside to do my homework. There is nothing like the taste of fresh home grown produce. Nothing in the world. It is warm sun on your back, the flight of butterflies dancing across flowers and the gentle background buzz of bees making their rounds.

If you tasted it and become accustomed to it, then you know what I mean. But there is a great deal of effort that can go into your own garden, like weeding, pest control, planning and placemnt of crops and harvesting your produce. Not many have much time to do that anymore. When you work into the evening, the last thing you'll want to do is walk out the back door and harvest a half bushel of cucumbers or pull up great clods of weeds by the corn.

Since childhood, I have dreamed of growing my own food. As I started a family, fresh, whoelsome food became a priority. Now I have a small farm and I am offering you a partial share. I do the work, you get the produce. To be sure, if you are dying to wander around and pull weeds, I won't stop you, but I know most don't have time for that. I think local organic and frsh food is a cornerstone of healthy communities and I believe fervently in the idea that 'someone' must act now to make this dream a reality.

Over the past year, I have practiced a 'dry run' of the farm, through a drought no less and now I am ready to offer Community Supported Agriculture shares to interested folks. This is fresh, local, in season produce. Whatever we are producing: from vegetables to eggs and milk. I will post some more details later this evening and put up a link to an Agreement Form which you can print and fill out and send to me. Stay tuned...

Monday, January 7, 2008

And We're Back

photo by ☼ Sunshine

Even if you didn't celebrate Christmas, you probably had time off during the last couple weeks. Did you eat too much? See enough of your family? Wondered what to do with time on your hands and no work? OR Did you have an altogether different experience?

In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we are inundated with commercialism in the guise of the perfect Christmas.
Dinner magically prepares itself with multiple courses, perfect ham, perfect
turkey, perfect dessert. All carefully crafted by ... who? Oh that's right. You don't
have to actually prepare any of this yourself. If you go to the right store,
wear the right clothes, and buy the best gifts, these things will magically appear.
The Cha-ching Fairy will bless your lovely multi-million dollar dream home with
magical happiness.
Some folks help others in need at Christmas and others gather the few friends they have around them to celebrate a much smaller sparer version. Some folks are not home and celebrate in other places with foreign customs feeling reassured while strangely out of kilter. For many others, the holidays are a hard cold time. A time of remembering, unwillingly, things you don't want to remember.

Media momentum prevents us from really skipping Christmas. For those who are depressed and saddened by the holidays, there is a double burden of their own demons and the expectations of the dominant culture. Probably you know someone for whom the holidays are a difficult time whether or not they are alone. Maybe you take care of someone who has difficulty around the holidays.
You are not alone.
Let me say that again.
You are not alone.
The holidays are the most difficult time of year for many. If the dark wolf of depression stalks your Christmas table or you take care of someone who refuses to "play nice" at Christmas, there is Hope. Now is as good as time as any to tap into the wonderful resources at NAMI - a.k.a. National Alliance for Mental Illness. There is an affiliate just about wherever you are in the U.S.
I am a child, great grandchild, and great niece to people who have major holiday blues. I am also a cousin and a daughter. I never realized growing up how different things were at my house. NAMI has helped me learn to cope with the legacy I inherit from my wonderful family, who could no more help being who they are than I can. Perhaps you are in a similar position. Perhaps you have a close friend who is. There is help in Middle Tennessee and it is a phone call away.


NAMI sponsors local support groups. People who have been through it and taken care of their beloved family members. They have designed and present workshops providing tons of useful information, coping strategies and most of all, the support of generous, loving people who know exactly what you're going through. In Cheatham County, the NAMI affiliate meets the second Tuesday of the month at the Ashland City Public Library from 7-9pm. If you need them, they are there.
How has the "holiday blues" affected your family? What has your experience been like?
Feel free to comment by clicking on the comment link above. I want to see what you have to say.