We just got back from a wonderful weekend away with friends at their farm. It’s always refreshing to enjoy their fellowship! We got to help with their hay harvest and attend a great program called Family Days on the Farm. We learned about organic orcharding, Lyme disease and some other great natural healing ideas. We are off and running again now and ready for fall planting! Isn’t crazy that we think so far ahead?
In the past month we have harvested our second batch of meat chickens, and started our batches of Thanksgiving turkeys! Tomorrow our next batch of meat chickens arrive and then the countdown to fall and winter really begin. Weeks of preparing to have lots of good things to eat this winter. We also had help from our friends little boy during our last chicken harvest. It was his first time experiencing it and watching his face as he pondered what was happening was amazing. At first he looked curious, then dismayed and then after being prompted by our eldest Tommy about whether or not he liked eating chicken, he triumphantly announced YES! And began to help! We take for granted that our children know and appreciate where there food comes from and how it gets to the table. Thank you to all who take the time to educate your families about this. We all love to eat and it makes sense that we should understand how that happens.
We have some great veggies coming out of the garden right now! Peppers, Eggplants, Tomatoes, Okra, Rutabagas, Beets, Garlic, Onions, Potatoes, Green Beans, HOT peppers, Squash, Cucumbers, and more! Here is a fun idea for using lots of them! We have also been pickling our okra and cucumbers and look forward to enjoying them this winter!
This week is meat pick up already for August, Thursday 2-4 and Saturday 3-5. Looking forward to seeing you then!
Well, the saying goes “make hay while the sun shines”……so farmer Tommy cut down two fields of hay Tuesday and we prayed for the weather to hold! Today Maddie raked the hay (for the first time) with the small tractor and hay rake. After about 2 hours (enough time for it to dry sufficiently) Tommy came along behind her and started baling! The sun was blazing and things were going great so the rest of us started setting up for CSA as happy as any farmer can be! The feeling of harvesting 40 acres of hay is really like walking on water or something amazing! About 1/3 of the way into CSA we heard thunder and began to pray. The Bible says, God works all things for the good of those that love him, but in this case His plan was for half the hay to get rained on! That wasn’t quite what we had hoped for, but we are so thankful to have half the hay nicely baled and safe! The rest will have to dry out and get raked 2 more times to dry again and then can get baled. The downside is some of the nutrients are leached out into the ground….think about making tea. When the rain pours over the dry hay the good qualities leach out instead of staying locked inside the stems. So the animals will have to eat a little more of it next winter to be nourished. But that’s how it goes sometimes! It was quite a joy to have the hay be all down by our two biggest farmer children! Everyone else happily pitched in to help with extra chores so we could get it all done.
The garden is taking off! Squash and cucumbers are coming on strong this week! Collard greens galore! I found this great post for using a whole chicken in case you are running out of ideas! We can’t wait to try this collards recipe! Don’t forget to use the greens on top of your beets for cooking as well!
Well we hope you enjoy everything and Remember the Meat pick up dates for JUNE are coming up! Saturday June 1st 3 to 5 pm and Thursday June 6th 2 to 4 pm! Delivery for meat is June 6th.
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!
Well, we had some dry weather, thankfully! We got several garden beds prepped for spring onions, potatoes and cabbage, broccoli, kale and lettuce! Then boy did the rain come! Lyme Kiln was flooded, but has since gone down. We have been so excited to be home and enjoying time with sweet Baby Farmer that time is flying by! Now it’s time to really get going in the garden. We have tons of baby plants started in the greenhouse and itching to get in the garden. We have just about emptied the greenhouse and refilled it again.
The first batch of meat chickens is doing so well in their brooder, when the grass first greens up they will head out to pasture! The farm cycle is always moving! Lately I’ve been in a pattern of using my veggies in my favorite ways. It’s fun to do creative things, too. My favorite way to use turnips is with carrots and a couple potatoes, boiled and then mashed with lots of homemade butter, cream and salt! I love to make kraut with cabbage, radishes and apples. There is no wrong way to eat potatoes! We have been doing hash browns again recently after forgetting them for awhile. Great with white or sweet potatoes! Great ideas for using extra milk are found here.
Our cow Libby had a little heifer last week. She is doing great and I think her name is officially Lilli-Pop! Look for her around the rabbit barn once this rain stops. We still have only 4 baby goats and waiting for three more mama goats to kid. Baby bunnies are popping out everywhere! One more calf is coming soon. We love to see if it’s a girl or boy!
I’ll be teaching a mini herbal class in Waterford this April, 25th. The details about signing up can be found here. It’s a short version of the weekend long class in July.
Remember to sign up soon for Summer CSA so we can save a space for you!
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.