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!
What lovely weather today is! It’s been so hot and muggy we appreciate a cool morning and so do the animals and vegetables! We hope you are all having a wonderful summer and maybe enjoying some travel. We will be going to a short family farming conference the last weekend in July. We are looking forward to staying with friends and enjoying some time in fellowship and learning good things to help us grow and live better. There will be come herbal classes by my favorite herbalist, Rachel Weaver, and we can’t wait to attend. She has several books that I find so helpful in keeping our family healthy. The first one I ever got is called “Be Your Own Doctor” and it’s packed full of great info.
We have been really enjoying our hams lately and I have posted before our favorite recipe, but I will recap here….
I make a brine of 3/4 c sea salt and 1 cup maple syrup, and about a gallon of water and mix it up in a stock pot. I then place a ham in it in the fridge. If I put it in frozen I let it brine for 5 days, if it’s thawed I do 3 days. Then I take it out of the brine and bake in the oven at 325 until it reached 160 degrees. You can make a glaze, but I never do. It is so amazing my family never leaves a scrap. We try and do a few at a time so we can also slice it thin for sandwiches the next day. The best part is the brine is reusable (assuming you keep it in the fridge). We like to put a chicken in it next and do the same thing. I have used the brine up to 4 times before dumping it.
Now for the exciting news! The tomatoes are coming in! I’d say finally, but really we are only at the brink of tomato season, but it never comes soon enough for me! Then when it comes, whew it comes! We will have canning tomatoes for extra purchase in the next few weeks. Just let us know if you’d like some (cabin pick up only). We have some kohlrabi still, lots of summer squash, first potato harvest is happening, the onions and garlic are all in and stored in the walk in cooler. That is a huge project and we are always thankful to see it finished. Cucumbers are going strong and peppers. The kale and lettuces are slowing down in the hot weather, but still some to be enjoyed. If you are running out of ideas for all the squash we are blessed with then try this au gratin recipe, it looks great! I for one, can saute it in butter with onions and never tire of it!
That’s it from the farm, hope you are enjoying it all!
I have been trying to write the post with delicious meat recipes for three weeks now! Not sure where time goes! We have had fun getting the spring push done! We planted 200 pounds of potatoes with the help of a GMU volunteer group! On our own we planted hundreds of raspberry and black berry plants, 1,000 strawberry plants and 6,000 onions! Oh my! This was in addition to several hundred veggie starts that go in every week. We are so thankful the rush is behind us!
As we bring the winter CSA to a close we are excited to begin again for the summer season (after a week off and a quick trip to Williamsburg!). Thank you all for your support! I wanted to share some of our favorite recipes. We love to eat what we grow, it keeps us going to be able to have enough energy to do all this! I try to make sure by 9 am I know what is for lunch and dinner and have all the ingredients ready. When that falls apart I grab for the instant pot and it all works out anyway!
Instant pot spanish rice goes great with some ground beef, sour cream, greens and there you go! Perfect for a quick and easy lunch or dinner.
Our bacon rub deserves mentioning because we use it on so much! Our bacon is unseasoned to avoid chemicals and ingredients we can’t pronounce! So we sprinkle 1 TBS of rub onto our bacon and place it on a rack with a cookie sheet (with sides) under it. We bake at 400 for 16 minutes…..PERFECT BACON is what we get! The rub is also perfect for seasoning our hams which can be made in the instant pot with little work. My simple version is to place a ham (sprinkled with 1 TBS per pound of meat) into the pot with 1 cup kombucha and cook for 1 hour at high pressure. This recipe sounds fun if you want some more details. I also think it’s perfect on chicken!
With just a little prep ahead of time we love to enjoy some short ribs after a long day working! Each time we enter the house during the day we smell the deliciousness that will be on the table later! Put on top of some instant pot mashed potatoes and a side salad of rubbed kale and you have some happy farmers! We just take our homemade dressings and massage in into the kale, but for some fancy recipes try this!
Lastly my favorite last minute dinner is to throw packages of stew meat (even frozen stew cubes will work) into the pot with some broth (about a cup) for 30 minutes on high pressure. Then I use the quick release and add 2 cups rice and 4 cups liquid (either water or half water and half tomato sauce) and any seasonings you like. Then I do 20 more minutes at high and serve with a salad. It’s really so easy to eat simple, wholesome meals and we love it!
We enjoy sharing our ‘fruits’ with you, our ‘farm-ily”! Blessings,