Summer is for farmer’s markets

Happy almost Summer! I wanted to write a blog post sort of explaining why we created Goat Island Acres. While it has been fun posting pictures on our social media of all our hobbies and hard work, there is a greater purpose we are striving towards.

A little back story might help! First off, Goat Island is a scenic island nestled in the Staunton River makes up southern-most portion of the Poindexter family farm. Currently, there are no goats inhabiting the island…but goats were plentiful on it in the days-of-old. These fertile low grounds were farmed by Blake’s grandfathers and great-grandfathers. More specifically, Granddaddy Billy Joe always raised world-class watermelons and cantaloupes that he would sell to local grocery stores and farmer’s markets.

When Blake and I first met, he would bring me here (remember we used to live several hours away), for weekends. Blake has always had the dream to raise his family were his roots are, and follow in his Granddaddy’s footsteps in being a steward of the land. I am just a wife who needed more hobbies and I wanted to help him transform those dreams into a reality. So together, we are working diligently to get the farm back to what it used to be in the past.

So, with all that being explained, we are hoping for a bountiful harvest this Summer with our gardens and are planning to find ways to sell and share all the produce. We have some ideas: First Saturdays (trade-lot) farmer’s market, a local general store out of the truck bed (watermelons and pumpkins), but we are open to any other suggestions! Eventually we would love to get into weekly customers, where we drop off bagged produce and herbs for the entire growing season-which is a definite goal if there is enough interest in this. In previous years, our watermelon and pumpkin patches have thrived, and we were able to harvest 150+ of each. We are praying that this year goes as well, and we can get creative on what to do with all of this sustainable produce.

Happiness is, fresh strawberry jam!

Hello! It’s been too long- things have been busy here getting planting season going! In the past month, we have: started/planted some raised beds by the house, began planting down on the river, received baby chicks via mail, and made several batches of homemade strawberry jam!

Now, we are brand new in the jam making, but I have a feeling this will be a new yearly tradition! You see, we go through SO much strawberry jam- and homemade is just that much better! I must clarify: we DID NOT grow the strawberries, that is one thing we have never planted. We go to a local farm that has a large pick-your-own patch this time of year.

So at the beginning of May we did a large batch of freezer jam. Super simple: just follow the instructions on the back of the pectin box, fill jars, and freeze- seriously that simple!

Freezer jam

A couple nights ago, Blake and I stayed up pretty late making more jam and this time around canning them for the pantry. Now, this was our first time doing this- new to the electric canner, and cooking jam. But it was so easy and fun to do together! If you’re like me, and it sounds intimidating, but want to try, I followed the instructions of Mary from the blog ‘Mary’s Nest’.

Mary broke down the instructions step by step. Step 1: wash and cut stems off strawberries

Step 2: mash (with potato masher) and add mashed strawberries along with juice (5cups worth) to the pot. Add 4 tablespoons of lemon juice- fresh or bottled, and whisk in packet of low sugar pectin. Once, it comes to a rolling boil, add 3 cups of sugar, stir and boil for another minute.

Best husband award-stayed up super late helping me make and can this jam! ❤️

Last: fill sterilized mason jars (I used 8oz) I made two batches, with 10lbs of strawberry totaling up to 15 jars of jam. You’ll want to wipe the rim of the jar with a clean paper towel and a touch of white vinegar before closing the lids up. Next, just place in your canner, to seal them up! Mary does a much better job breaking it all down- she has an extensive video.

But like I said, we had fun doing it, and now between the freezer jam and the ones in the pantry we are all set for quite some time on strawberry jam. Next month, we plan to go peach picking in the mountains and we will be making peach jam!

Thanks for reading! 🍓


Welcome to the blog- so glad you’re here! To be honest, I have no clue how to begin this blogging journey so here goes nothing! First, let me introduce myself. My name is Jessica (most call me Jess), and I am married to Blake. We began this adventure close to two years ago, by moving to the family farm which was a two hour move from all we’ve ever known as home. This has always been Blake’s dream, and once we got married it became mine as well. Long story short, we made the move, and got started on building our forever home. We recently moved into our new house December 2020, and couldn’t be happier with it! (I will share our building journey on a different post). Blake’s granddad used to farm this land, he was known for his produce- mainly the melons! So to be able to carry on this tradition is an absolute honor. Stay tuned, we have big plans for this blog and even bigger plans for this farm!

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