Category Archives: Uncategorized

Visit our new Pop-up Shop in Waynesboro!

we are lovely.jpgWe are so excited to collaborate with Blue Ridge Bucha to bring our ecological vegetables and wood-fired sourdoughs to Waynesboro. On Wednesdays starting today from 4:30 to 6 PM, we will be setting up a table inside the beautiful new Blue Ridge Bucha Taproom at 1809 E Main St, right along the 250 corridor. If you miss market, or just need some mid-week groceries, stop by, and remember to bring your growler!

Plus, we will be opening up our bread & vegetable CSA to a small number of new mid-season members in Waynesboro, and we’ll be trialing a new bread & pastry subscription service.

Come say hello!

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About that tractor

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The May planting rush is upon us, and we rely on our old Ford tractor to prepare bed after bed. In the photo above, you can see the new blue paint on our tractor’s front axle “knee.” No, we’re not giving the Ford a touch-up paint job, it’s actually a brand new part, replacing the one that cracked all the way around the kingpin (the vertical shaft inside the knee). Hmmm! Not what you want to see when you’re preparing beds for your May-planted crops! So I limped back to the barn…….

When you use a tractor that’s 36 years old, you can’t be too mad when something breaks. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of aptitude or even interest in working on vehicles. It’s very satisfying to fix something on a vehicle and get it running again, but my experience level really limits my problem solving abilities. And anyway, I’d rather be working with plants!

So I knew I could probably tear it apart, but then watch in horror as some ball bearings and mangled bushings dropped out of the axle. (This is probably the first time I was glad that this tractor WASN’T four-wheel-drive!). I knew I was going to need some “supervision” putting it back together. After calling around, I found someone who could help. A guy named Bill Fenner came over last week. He told me he had worked for many years at an big company that made high-speed wrapper machines. (There was a slight pause where, in my head, I said to myself, “rapper like hip-hop?”) And he said, you know like cigarette and candy wrappers! Anyway, he rose through the ranks to middle management, but luckily for us, he decided that what he would rather be doing is fixing farmers’ vehicles and machinery.

Big thanks to Bill for getting us rolling again!

Help us fill our CSA!

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SIGN UP NOW

Do you have a friend who wishes she could make it to the Farmer’s Market, but can’t? Or how about that new guy at work who loves to cook?  Tell them about our CSA, and if they sign up by June 1, 2018, you get $25 in market credit with us, and they get a $25 discount on their box!

It’s win-win.

Or maybe you’ve been toying with the idea of signing up yourself.  It is so easy to let time slip by (don’t we know it), but really, now is the time to sign up! We’ll give you $25 off your box if you do.

We’re looking for FIVE new members, and we can do it with your help!

Our CSA is perfect for the busy family or professional who wants to eat ecological produce and good bread, and who wants to keep their dollars in the local food system, but doesn’t have time to go the farmer’s market. Our CSA boxes are pre-packed and ready to go with the best our farm has to offer, and our pickup windows on our farm, in Charlottesville, and in Lexington are long enough to accommodate tight schedules. Read more about our CSA here, or better yet, just hit the button below! And make sure you mention this offer so we can give credit where credit is due.

SIGN UP NOW

Thank you for supporting your local farmer and baker!

–Ben & Heather

 

 

Announcing two new plant sales locations

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We start thousands of seedlings every year in our greenhouse; this year is no exception! Many of them are destined for our fields, but nearly half of them are grown specifically for your gardens. We choose tried and true varieties of vegetables and herbs for our garden starts, grow them up ecologically in our wonderful new potting soil from Vermont Compost, and sell them in their prime. Buying plant starts is a great way to kick start your garden, grow successions of things like zucchini and lettuce, and to try several varieties at once. We think about seeding in February so you don’t have to! And we are always happy to pass on tips or help you with your garden planning, so come with questions!

You can find our plant starts at the following local plant sales:

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Special orders for the week before Christmas–including more Stollen!

We were taken by surprise by your enthusiastic response to our Christmas Stollen! We can only make so much at a time because we are a tiny bakery, so we quickly sold out for the Dec 16 delivery day.

But we know many of you, especially those of you in Lexington, never had a chance to order, so we want to offer it again. Please remember that quantities are still limited! We will also bring cookies and a small amount of stollen to the RVCC and Charlottesville markets on Dec 16, so get there early if you missed out on this weekend’s round of ordering.

Next week, the pickup dates and locations are:

Please see below for the full menu and ordering instructions.

SPECIAL HOLIDAY MENUall orders will be packaged in a clear bag with ribbon–ready for gift-giving! Cookies are sold by the pound (see photo above for an example of 1/4 lb bag).

  • Christmas Stollen (sold in 1 lb increments at $9/lb–a whole stollen is 4 lb, or $36)
  • Orange-anise biscotti, with toasted almonds ($20/lb)
  • Cinnamon-almond stars, painted with a meringue glaze ($25/lb) *gluten- and dairy-free*
  • Chocolate-rye drops, with smoked salt ($20/lb) *wheat-free*
  • Gingerbread snowflakes with bourbon glaze ($20/lb)
  • Kamut shortbread with candied rosemary ($20/lb) *wheat-free*
  • Kamut-hazelnut thumbprints with candied cranberry ($20/lb) *wheat-free*
  • Mix of all cookies except biscotti ($20/lb)

To place your order, please email us at littlehatcreek(*at*)gmail.com with “ORDER” in the subject line, and indicate:

  • When and where you want to pick up your order
  • Which products you would like (including the quantity)

We will write back to confirm your order with your total. All orders will be COD, so please plan on bringing cash or check to market, or a check to Lexington when you pick up. Please note that the order deadline for all three locations is Saturday December 16. Don’t hesitate to email us with any questions you may have!

Happy holidays from our family to yours!

Heather, Ben, Sam & Hazel

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We are hiring a full-time farm intern

General description: Little Hat Creek Farm is a 5-acre diversified vegetable farm and wood-fired bakery located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. 2017 will be our fourth season of selling at three farmer’s markets and through a 20-25 member CSA. We grow about 50 different annual vegetables on approximately one acre, we keep chickens for eggs. and we grow a few perennial fruit crops. In the spring, we also sell vegetable, herb, and flower seedlings for gardeners. Our growing practices, which include cover cropping, crop rotation, plastic mulch, and hay mulch, are geared towards promoting soil biodiversity and maximum nutrition. We avoid the use of chemicals. Our pastries and slow-fermented sourdough breads are mixed by hand and baked in a wood-fired oven. We strive to include as much local flour and produce from our farm in our baked goods as possible. While our wholesale business continues to grow, we are primarily focused on direct-marketing our produce and baked goods to our customers. In addition to ourselves, you can expect to work with another full-time bakery worker, and additional part-time workers from time to time. This is a full-time hourly paid farm position.

Skills desired: You are a good fit to for this position if you love making and sharing good food and if our farm+bakery business model excites you. You get pleasure in seeing (and eating) the fruits of your hard work. You want to learn more about what it takes to run a successful farm business, and how to grow nutritious and delicious food. You are a self-starter who can anticipate tasks and you work well independently and with others. You take pride in performing routine tasks quickly and efficiently while attending to detail, and you are able to problem-solve on the fly. You are punctual, able to safely lift fifty pounds, and able to meet deadlines. You are comfortable driving a van on mountain roads and have a clean driving record.

Duties: You will be responsible for routine farm tasks like seeding, watering, planting, harvesting, sorting, weeding, and mulching. You will be expected to help keep the greenhouse and packing station tidy, including washing flats and harvest containers. You will assist us at our busy farmer’s market stand, help us pack our CSA, and help manage our laying hens. Additional duties may include post-harvest processing like pickling, jamming and drying; egg-washing; deliveries; helping with production, packaging tasks, or cleaning tasks in the bakery.

Duration and Hours: You will work 30-40 hours per week starting in May or June 2017. The start date is negotiable, but we require you to commit to stay at least through the end of August. Beyond that, we are open to the possibility of extending the position through the end of October. Most weeks, your hours will not exceed 50 hours per week. We strive to keep your hours regular and predictable, with early morning start times required on market days.

Meals: You will have free access to unsold farm produce, eggs, bread and pastries. Should you live on the farm, you will have access to a shared kitchen and bathroom.

Compensation: $8/hr, plus trading privileges at market and free access to unsold farm produce, eggs, and baked goods. A room in our house is available for $150/mo rent (including internet and utilities), with access to a shared bathroom and kitchen. You will receive training in marketable skills, including how to grow nutritious and delicious vegetables, and how to start and run your own business. You will also have access to the logic behind everything we do. We make a point of sharing the details of our farming, baking, and business practices, so we encourage you to ask about all aspects of starting and running a business like ours. And because there are many ways of doing things, we also take you on visits to 2-3 other farms and bakeries over the course of the season.

To apply, please send a resume, cover letter, and three current references to littlehatcreek@gmail.com.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Your farmer and baker,

Ben & Heather

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Our 2015-2016 crew

Subscribe and save 50% off of your first order!

We want to keep our oven hot this winter and keep you in the wood-fired baked goods you know and love. But we need your help! Create a new subscription by December 10 and use the discount code SIGNUPDRIVE50 to receive 50% off of your first order! That’s on top of the 10% discount you get just for subscribing.

How to sign up
To get started, go to our online store. When you select a product, say, chocolate croissants, you will see a few choices, shown above. If you choose “one-time purchase” you generate a single order for the next delivery date at full price. The discount code doesn’t apply. If you choose “Subscribe and Save”, you get 10% off of the retail price of the croissant, and the discount code applies to your first order. You may opt to get your croissant every week or every other week.

Continue adding products to your cart, choosing whether you want them just once, every week, or every other week. (Yes, they can all go in the same cart.) Then, at checkout, select your delivery day and location (see options below) and put in your credit card information (or select our invoice option). You will also be prompted to create an account. We require an account because this allows you to manage your subscription.

Managing your subscription

Once you have your subscription, there are several changes that you can make. You may place vacation holds, swap out products, add or remove products from your subscription, or change quantities. To help you navigate these options, we have created this step-by-step guide. If you have additional questions, please see our FAQ, or reply to this email.

That’s it! We look forward to baking for you!

Click on this interactive map to view our pickup days and locations.

 

A new way to get bread!

After a couple of months in the works, we are thrilled to launch our new wood-fired oven subscription service! You tell us what you want us to bake for you every week, and we will deliver to a location near you in Nelson County, Charlottesville, and Lexington. We initially conceived of this service as a “Community Supported Bakery” share similar to Pannier Bread Company‘s share (Heather’s first bread-by-bike business), but wanted more flexibility. We think this oven subscription retains the philosophy of a CSB while offering you the ability to fully customize your subscription.

When we fire the oven, we want to make sure the heat produced by the wood we burn is put to good use baking bread and pastries for our community. By subscribing to a weekly bake, you support us by making it worth it to us to fire, because we know that many people are going to benefit every time we bake. You also help us predict our flour orders. Our most important flours are shipped directly from small mills, and we often need to know four weeks in advance what we will need.

In return for your commitment, we will give you 10% off of the retail price of our products!  You can either “set it and forget it”, or you can customize your subscription. If you know you always want the same loaf of bread every week, you can set up your subscription once, and guarantee yourself that bread for the coming weeks while never having to lift a finger again. If you prefer to switch it up, you can access your account and change types and quantities. Another improvement on the CSB is that you can also place your subscription on hold if you go on vacation.

Ready to get started?  Go to our store!

We look forward to baking for you!

Bakery/shed 5: Closing in

You could say we’re in the home stretch of this project now. Here’s what has happened in the last month or two.

The plumbing and electrical were roughed in.

Big red trucks came, replaced a pole, took down a pole, ran a new service and buried the electric to the house–bonus!

Ben moved lots and lots of gravel around.

We couldn’t excavate close to the oven, so in a feat of masterful framing involving strange angles, our contractor connected it to the building with a little interior alcove.

The foamers came and made it look like it snowed upside-down in there.

The doors and windows closed it all in.

Then the sheet rockers came and made walls appear.

And Ben took on a second full-time job as our painting subcontractor.

Now the exterior siding is going up, the interior trim is getting put in, the HVAC is installed and the building is energized.

It won’t be long now!

Ring in the new year with bread!

Update: As of Feb 1, 2015, we regret that we will not be baking bread this winter because we need to replace our oven.  Please check in with us once farmer’s markets start!

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Happy new year everyone!  We’re starting our winter bread deliveries!  Our first bake of 2015 is Friday January 9 on a pre-order basis only.  Want to know more? Please see here for more details. And don’t worry, if you miss this bake, you can still sign up for our February and March bakes at any time.