We hope everyone will come visit this weekend for the 2019 Loudoun County Farm Tour! We are open from 10-5 Saturday and 10-4 Sunday. We will have lunch being served both days, grass fed burgers and salad all from our farm! Baby goats to pet, bunnies, horses, donkey and more! Come on out and enjoy! Plus visit all the farmer children and adults!
We are enjoying seeing all the returning members and meeting the new “farm-ily” members! Thank you for being part of our farm! We have tons of great greens being harvested right now. Bok choi, Napa cabbage, chives, lettuce, radishes, and we still have some sweet potatoes, potatoes, onions. This time of year the roots all know it’s been winter so please keep them in cold storage (your fridge) or they will try sprouting! To keep your greens fresh and perky you will need to keep them in plastic bags in your fridge. There are some great reusable produce bags available if you want to cut down on plastic.
We have been super busy preparing for 2019 Farm tour (mark your calendars)! May 18-19th from 10-4pm both days. We look forward to doing a tour and showing you how we grow things without chemicals! The garden is looking amazing. As we were weeding the garlic and onions last evening a snake was also at work searching for mice and voles that damage our produce. I’m thankful for his help, but wish we worked different shifts!
We have two new baby goats! Last night I was harvesting red clover for teas and tinctures and heard a new voice from the goat field behind the barn. Sure enough, Heidi had two new kids! Watch instagram or facebook for pictures of them! We all got them moved into the barn stall and set up with fresh water, feed and hay. The first time mother had all the right instincts to clean her babies and get them nursing. Birth is always amazing and enjoyed here on the farm!
The walk in freezer was giving us trouble during the first part of the week. We had wonderful friends offer their chest freezer to help, but it would have taken 10 or more to fit all the meat! So we found some nice professionals that came and spent 10 hours trying to find the problem. We are back in good shape now and are thankful! There is a lot of yummy meat in there to protect! Whew!
Our quick meals this week have been sauteed bok choi, onions and ground beef. Another fun one is chopped napa cabbage, shredded roots like beets or carrots, chopped cooked chicken, all massaged with dressing of choice and topped with chopped almonds. We are looking forward to some grilled pork chops for Mother’s Day!
Happy Mother’s Day!
We are excited to get the summer 2019 Summer CSA underway. It’s so nice to see so many return customers and also new “farm-ily” members! We hope you are enjoying the wide array of green things! We have been loving the napa cabbage, it’s great used as cabbage or lettuce. My favorite quick meal is finely chopped napa cabbage, a handful of shredded roots (like carrots or beets), a large handful of chopped chives or onions, some cooked chopped chicken, a handful of chopped almonds and dressing of choice. All tossed together, it’s so filling and quick! We also like to make a quick oriental dish by sauteing some onions and chopped bok choi with some ground beef and ginger and liquid aminos. This time of year we need quick food fast since there is much to do! The baby salad this week is so tender and mild, it’s awesome salad growing weather! The cucumbers are right around the corner!
We have so many new babies around here! There are two barn kittens, 3 orphan goats from a friends farm, the calves are growing and are oh so cute! Just last night as I was harvesting red clover for teas and tinctures I heard some new, high pitched goat noises and sure enough…..2 more baby nigerian dwarfs were born! Talk about cuteness! Heidi had a boy and a girl.
We were weeding all the garlic and onions last evening and saw a big black snake at work for us! He or she was hunting moles and voles that like to chew on things in the garden. Thankful for his help, I think, but I wish we worked different hours! The garden is coming along so well, the tomatoes look great! The peppers are coming slowly, but given the hot days we’ve had they will be very happy soon!
The huge freezer that stores the farm meat wasn’t working right after pick up Saturday. That is on of our BIGGEST fears! We rely on it working properly to keep a lot of meat safe. The defrost cycle wouldn’t work so Farmer Sean was doing it manually. This is totally out of my expertise, but it had something to do with a propane torch inside the freezer, melting ice off some coils…..doesn’t sound fun! It took about two hours! So after his trip into the artic we called some professionals! We had some great friends offer their chest freezer to help, but sadly it would take about 10 chest freezers to do the job…..so we got the first repair man that could come on his way. Two guys worked tirelessly for 10 hours to get it working well. So thankful it’s back to normal!
Don’t forget the farm tour is coming up next weekend. May 18-19th from 10-4 daily. We hope to see you there!
Wow, we are always excited to serve our members with nourishing, chemical and GMO, soy free food, but this year we are super excited! Not only do we have a new crew member, Farmer Johnny, but we are off to a great start this year! Each year we concentrate on learning something new and improving how we do things so that we can farm better, and improve the part of the earth that we are stewarding. This winter Farmer Sean has been studying soil a lot and like most things in life, the more you know the more you realize there is so much more to know! We’ve been implementing what he has learned and are seeing great results in our crops already! We are barely disturbing any earth so the earth worms are all happy and no garden walkways are uncovered this year so that means no topsoil washing away! Yay!
This time of year there are still tons of greens, but some new ones we have missed for awhile. We have chard, kale, lettuce, bok choi, minuet, collards and chives! Radishes, potatoes, onions and some other items as well! For some real fun, try our nettle pesto! We ended the winter CSA with dandelion so why not start the summer with nettle? We all want good health right? Come on mom’s lets see if we can get the children and husband to like their spring tonics! Nettle gummes? Probably not! I vote for the pesto. See our facebook site for the recipe!
We enjoyed a week off to organize and have lots of farm meetings to figure out what projects can get finished and what must wait for next winter. This week we are all set for getting back to seeing you all at pick ups! Remember Thursday from 2-4, Saturday from 3-5pm and the first Thursday and Saturday for meat pick up! Herbal shares: Blueberry moon milk, pain bar, and magnesium gummies!Fermented shares: Kombucha and kimchi!
Animal update: We are awaiting the next three does to kid very soon! We are also fostering some nubian kids for a friend, you might get to meet them at pick up!
See you this week!
Well are we winding down or winding up?!?! Thank you all for participating in the Winter CSA, we are in the second to last week so let us know if you aren’t already signed up for Summer CSA. We have some spaces still, but they are filling up fast! It’s fun to have winter root veggies getting low in supply and seeing ALL the new seedlings in the greenhouse and garden looking so full of promise for summer yum!
This week we have some great ideas for your share!
I thawed 4 chickens this week and cut them into parts. We barbecued the leg quarters and wings with some homemade BBQ sauce with a salad last night. It was fantastic! The leftovers went into chicken chili for today. The breasts I saved for tomorrow night. We will be doing this recipe and use up some old chives from last weeks share, the spinach and mushrooms from this week. OH, and I’m substituting sour cream for cream cheese. I can’t wait! We’ll serve it over rice. The farmer girls are taking turns in the kitchen. Maddie cooks the meals Monday, Gracie is Wednesday and Emmy is Friday. I help with the younger girls, and Maddie fills in whenever needed during the rest of the week. It’s working great so far!
This week you also get tons of kale! Young Kale and regular kale. We have been doing rubbed salads and loving them. I just snip the kale with kitchen scissors and then add as much olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a little honey as you want. Then rub it all around and the kale relaxes and gets tender. We were clearing out the green house of the last winter greens and getting it ready for tomatoes. So enjoy the extra boost of greens! The next kale planting is growing happily outside so don’t worry you’ll see it again! 🙂
Use the shallots to spice up any dish! The roots are also dwindling! Sweet potatoes and rutabagas are getting all used up! Which reminds me I still haven’t ordered our sweet potato slips! I better get on that. We order ‘slips’ or cuttings of sweet potatoes and plant them mid May. And wait, watch, water and weed until October when we harvest them!
Well, Spring is really here…..how do I know? Because there is so much happening we are going in all directions! It’s what makes farming fun, some days you have everything planned out and operating smoothly and others don’t seem to have enough hours in them! We have been planting like crazy in the field already. It’s lovely planting in the greenhouse, but when you get back to field planting it just feels exciting! Another year is fresh and ready for us! We have done all the onions and potatoes, the first spring plantings of kale, broccoli, lettuces, cauliflower, cabbages, collards, bok choi, and romanesco. The greenhouse is full of ginger, turmeric and cucumbers! Wow!
Our special cow Ruby is due to have her first baby soon, and the newest little one in the front field is “Lilly Pop”, named by our friends son. She was born a few weeks ago to Libby. Petunia is also due soon! Babies everywhere! The chicks are all growing great and almost ready to head to pasture. Just in time as the grass starts to green up. The rabbitry is full of rabbits as well.
What is going on in the kitchen? Well we decided to do a home school study of countries and their foods so we will be sharing from time to time what delicious dishes we are trying. Maybe a week of each country? We started already with the Irish potato coddle we shared a few weeks ago. It’s super yummy and will eat it again. We have friends in Ireland so they recommended trying this wonderful breakfast, Potato Apple Farls!
I’m so excited about our new herbal item, Moon Milk! I’ve been taking it a few days now and I think it’s helping already. Since Johnny’s hospital stay, the farm mama has been having trouble sleeping deeply. Most of that can’t be helped since the farm baby keeps me up all hours! But when I get a chance to actually sleep, I find it hard to. The moon milk is supposed to help your sleep be deeper and a large variety of other things including help with adrenal fatigue! Read all about it and find the ingredients here, oh and I added black pepper to help with turmeric absorption.
This week is the last meat pick up for Winter CSA, so if you haven’t signed up already please e-mail us soon. PLEASE remember the pick up days and times: Thursday 2-4 and Saturday 3-5.The website inquiry button isn’t being reliable so if you signed up and haven’t heard from us please email or call. We don’t want you to miss out!
Have a great day!
We are so glad to be getting back to normal around here! The farmer baby and I are so glad to be home from the hospital and back to work! We were helping the goats have babies in this freezing weather! We had two sets of twins (one was very small and didn’t make it). We had to put them in the greenhouse to keep warm since even the barn was too cold! Thankfully they didn’t eat all the seedlings we have started for Summer CSA!
We have two calves expected in the next month so keep an eye out for them. We have tons of baby bunnies so make sure to request a visit with them once the weather warms up. The first batch of meat chicks also arrived in the freezing weather. 400 of them our thriving under heat lamps!
I’ve been missing seeing you all at the pick ups, but I’ll be back starting in April. The farm children have enjoyed serving you and visiting! Thanks again for all the prayers and support during our trial.
The farm is thriving despite some March Mud. We have tons of seedlings started in the greenhouse and are planting more each week! OH the wonderful things we can grow, I can’t wait for tomatoes, peppers and eggplants! Not to mention summer squash! Stay tuned as we will be opening Summer CSA sign up very soon. I am a little behind schedule thanks to our unplanned week in the hospital!
This week enjoy the cabbage! Whew was I glad to see that. One meal some one brought us was cabbage rolls and it really nourished my body and gave me energy! Try this recipe. You can also make kraut like this! The root vegetables are all great used in this Irish Coddle, I also add a splash of vinegar with the broth when making this. We have been enjoying roasted chicken pulled sandwiches for an easy make ahead meal. We roast a whole chicken and cool to room temperature, then pull the meat and chop it. Then its in the fridge and ready to use for a quick meal.
This months herbal share is a tincture for allergy relief (also good for congestion). You need to keep it in a dark place until at least the first of April, but longer is fine. Then strain the herbs out with an old tee shirt or cheese cloth and compost them. It’s Mullein and Marshmallow. Then the liquid left is a tincture that will last for years. Use 1/2 tsp as needed. Also enjoy our favorite roller bottle blend and some yummy tea!
Fermented shares are: Kombucha elderberry gummies and fermented cranberry honey. The gummies should be refridgerated and used within two weeks. The honey can be fermented longer on the counter (just leave the lid slightly off to keep air from building up). When you are satisfied with the taste then firmly cap and place in fridge. It’s got great health benefits and is yummy on pork, or rice or mixed with cream cheese as a spread.
Well, we enjoyed the snow, and not so much the mud, but that freezing weather it was a doozy! I’m sure there is more to come so I’ll just be thankful that it didn’t last too long! We have some greens growing that are experimental right now in the green house. We have never had head lettuce last this long into the winter with outside temps in the single digits or below. This is exciting to us farmers! We carefully selected varieties known for winter hardiness and they are working out great for us! Hopefully you are enjoying them too!
To jazz up a winter salad I love to add nuts and dried fruits. Today we had chopped lettuce, shredded cheese, raisins, candied walnuts and a sour cream and honey dressing. Here is another great salad to try. We also have been enjoying roasted garlic to keep germs away from us as we enjoy our sweet newborn! Really try this, it’s amazing how mellow and sweet it becomes, even our two year old loves it as a side dish! Enjoy the potatoes, carrots and turnips mashed or roasted! Or try this instant pot potato soup that a “farm-ily” member recommended, I can’t wait to try it! And if you have a celeriac hanging out in the fridge still, chop it up and use it like celery. The beautiful cabbage this week is Minuet, a napa cabbage. It can be used raw or just like any other cabbage. This stir fry sounds great, I think we will try it this week!
We look forward to seeing you at the meat pick up, February is around the corner! We have tons of pork we just picked up and all our normal chicken and beef too! This recipe was also recommend and I can’t wait to try it with our chicken, it’s instant pot Butter Chicken. We have been enjoying the cheeseburger soup we made and froze before baby arrived. So stock up on ground beef and try it! Remember pick up for meat at the farm is Feb. 2nd from 3-5 and Feb. 7th 2-4.
We are happy that all the puppies, new calf and baby farmer are thriving despite the cold weather! The puppies are snug in the heated area of the barn and the youngest calf has a barn stall all to himself so he’s staying warm and dry. The other animals are doing well and are comfortable with shelter and good food, but we’ll all enjoy when this cold rain is over. And the baby farmer and I are enjoying our ‘stay-cation’ while the other farmers do all the work!
Enjoy your week and farm goodness!
We are still waiting on our little farmer baby! This one wants to be well done! We hope you all have started off the new year with health! We are enjoying our mild weather and looking forward to some snow this weekend!
In this weeks share we have kale ( to our delight this is from the garden and there is still more in the greenhouse!) Just a fun farmer fact that this strong veggie can be grown outdoors without protection this time of year! We also have lettuce (from the greenhouse). I love a good salad this time of year. We like to add some cheese and dried fruit and nuts with a nice oil and vinegar dressings. And Parsley, Potatoes, Carrots, and Beets! We will be enjoying some roasted veggies for sure and this potato recipe. Who doesn’t like potatoes and butter?
Sorry for the substitute last week, I am a little out of touch with the outdoor production so I heard you got mustard instead of carrots! We all need more greens this time of year though! We got this recipe from a “farm-ily” member and she substitutes any greens that come in the share to make this Zuppa Toscano Soup. I can’t wait to try it!
My broken ankle is finally healed for the most part and I’m getting around the farm again. We enjoyed a walk today to check on the next batch of piggies in their winter house. They were so fun to play with! They were frolicking and playing with us! I love happy pigs! There were also some other expectant mothers to check on. We have a cow due next week, Lolipop, and our gaurdian dog Ruth is due today! So there will be no shortage of cuties soon! I was hoping to be first, but the animals might beat me to having their babies! The farmer girls have a birthing stall set up in the barn and are ready to be midwives for the puppy birth.
We hope you have a lovely week and enjoy the produce! We enjoyed growing and packing it for you!
The Baker Family
Are these names new to you? Don’t worry, they are delicious! We are several weeks into the winter CSA and it’s so exciting to me that there is so much variety! This is our 3rd season with winter production and I am still amazed at all the wonderful goodies to eat. Eating local in the winter is so good for us, the veggies are packed full of the nutrients and minerals we need when we are missing good sunshine and fresh air. Most of them are dense and delicious, but sometimes scary to prepare the first time!
So let’s talk about the veggies, if you got some weird looking rough, white/green roots then you got some celeriac. It’s got a flavor like celery and texture of turnip. We have a few favorites with this one…..this soup is great although I use chicken broth instead of veggie broth, but either way is great, and we also love to just stir fry whatever is in the swap bin after CSA pick up! This calls for all sorts of winter veggies (including celeriac and parsnips-the white carrot looking thing)! The Autumn crown that went out last week is a great winter squash. We made pumpkin pie with it and also pumpkin smoothies. It can be used like butternut.
We had a rubbed kale salad last week and some rubbed chard salad this week and boy to those greens pack a lot of nutrition! My kids were really going for them. I don’t use a recipe for the rubbed greens, but I like to chop them and massage on olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a tiny bit of maple syrup. The massage helps relax the greens and make them more like lettuce to chew on. OH and a special treat from another local farm was the mushrooms…..we love them sauteed with onions and rosemary. Mushrooms have lots of selenium which is a mineral lots of us lack.
I have been doing more bone broth since my little slip off a fence three weeks ago. My broken ankle is healing well and I hope to be back in good shape before my due date of New Year’s Eve! This time of year I like to add fermented cod liver oil back into our diet because of the lack of sunshine. I have also read that it’s great for broken bones so I have doubled my intake of that for the next few weeks. We made more elderberry syrup to have in the freezer so let us know if you’d like some or help yourself to it in the cabin freezer. It lasts a few weeks in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer. We are doing this daily so prevent another cold or any illness from entering the house before the farm baby arrives!
Well we hope you are enjoying the goodies. Please pray for all the animals in this rain, it’s quite difficult to keep everyone warm and dry, but I’m glad it’s not snow this time! Coffee, our cow that had twins (we named them Cream and Sugar) had to be dried off (not milked this season) because her delivery was too hard. So her twins are with another mama cow (Elise) who very sweetly adopted them. We are thankful we didn’t loose her, but will be tight on milk for about 6 weeks. So please make sure to always have your jars here on the scheduled fill up day for you or we won’t be able to fill your milk.