Summer Plans

We’ve planned our gardens and ordered our seeds. We watch the weather and the warmth of the ground and have planted the cold weather crops – potatoes, garlic, onions, pac choi, beets, carrots, Swiss chard, ….and have started the plants we want to transplant – eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers. We have watched the pastures and moved chickens, cows, and pigs out of the barn and into the fresh air and sunshine. Everything is growing as it can given the cold spring.

How can you get our items?

We use a weekly system in June – October.

  • You subscribe to our Currently Available email list and receive a weekly email about what we have available that week.
  • You let me know what you would like to purchase that week from veggies and/or meats.
  • You let me know where you want to pick them up
    • Fayetteville Farmers market (June-October),
    • Westcott Community Center (July-October),
    • the farm (all the time).
  • If you are reluctant to be around the markets, we can do curbside pick up at all locations.
  • You pay for what you want in the quantity that you would like, based on what we have available.

So make us part of your summer plans! Sign up now!

Serviceberry Shrub

The Serviceberry Shrub (also called the Juneberry) bloomed around May 3 this year. Folklore has it that once it blooms the ground is warm enough for the cold weather crops – potatoes, peas, cabbage, broccoli, Swiss chard, tatsoi, pac choi, winter lettuces, beets, carrots – those sorts of things. Once it stops blooming the ground is warm enough for the warm weather crops – beans, basil, squash, corn. Here we see it in April, not blooming, and then in May blooming. This is late, but we work with what we have. Happy planting!

May’s Baby

This mama gave us a doeling. She has wattles and is white with a light brown background.

Mama and baby are doing well!

Little Projects

One of my little projects is adding perennials to my flower bed, specifically perennials that have a name similar to children. So far we have Black-eyed Susans, Sedum Autumn Joy, Elijah Fescue, Timothy grass, and Joe Pye-weed. Something to tend, something to smile at, something to enjoy.

Rendering Beef Suet

Recently I processed some beef suet to make a useable fat. I took this chunk of fat, …

…let it thaw for about an hour, then chunked it up into small pieces. I did this with 2 pieces of fat…

…filling my 5-6 qt. crockpot about 3/4 full. I put a little bit of water in the bottom, covered it and set it to high heat for 2 hours. Once it was bubbling, I turned it to low and let it cook for 18 hours, stirring occasionally.

After 12-18 hours it cooked down. I turned it off and let it cool for about 30 minutes. Then I put a metal colander in a big bowl…

…and poured it all in, separating the cracklings…

…from the fat.

I carefully poured the hot fat into jars, put a lid on the jar, tightening it down, and let it cool.

Once the fat cooled, I took the rings off and stored it in the pantry.

After the cracklings cooled, we nibbled at them. I set them aside in a separate container that we could nibble from.

Notes: This is a very hot fat. BE CAREFUL!

Everything ends up with a layer of fat – the crockpot, the colander, the bowl, the spoons. To save the sink and pipes, wipe all the items off with a paper towel while still warm and throw the paper towels away. Otherwise you could end up with a clogged drain from the congealed fat.

Uses – you can use this in a fry pan OR to saute veggies, eggs, or meat OR to deep fry food. It is a fat that can be used in place of other fats. Suet will have a beefy taste. Lard will have a pork flavor.

The process would be similar for rendering lard. The unrendered pork lard bags are larger and so will probably result in more jars of fat.

This can be done in the oven on low heat. Put in a pan, cover, bake at 350 for 30 min to get it boiling, then reduce heat to 225-250, cooking for 12 hours, stirring occasionally.

Again, this is very hot. BE CAREFUL!

Views from the Farm – April

Nuffield Tractor, vintage 1960s, manufactured in England, diesel, new to us
Serviceberry or Juneberry can be used as a planting indicator. It blooms before it leafs out. Its bloom indicates that the soil is warm enough for cool weather crops. And when its blooms are done, that indicates that the soil is warm enough for warm weather crops. It should bloom soon!
We have been mucking out pens to make our compost for the 2021 season.

Chicks are mostly feathered out and will head outdoors in the next week.
Goats enjoy their morning hay.
Bucks like fresh air and sunshine!
Malegra and her calf enjoy the morning sunshine.
Last year’s mucking out has mostly been distributed to various garden beds.
Garlic is up. Soil is protected by the mulch hay.

Goat and Feta Sandwiches

Here is a recipe from The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook by Shannon Hayes with my adaptations.

Goat and Feta Sandwiches

Based on Lamb and Feta Sandwiches recipe from The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook by Shannon Hayes

Ingredients
  

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground goat
  • Salt & pepper, opt
  • 2 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 8 oz. feta cheese
  • Pitas, bread, or English muffins

Instructions
 

  • Saute the onion, garlic, celery in olive oil in a large sauce pan until the veggies are soft.
  • Add the ground goat, salt, pepper and oregano. Saute until the meat browns, 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the spinach; cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the feta cheese, sauteing another 3-5 minutes or until the cheese is fully incorporated and slightly melted.
  • Serve in pitas or as sandwiches.

Notes

Any 2 cup combination of sauteed veggies can be used for the onions, celery, and garlic – peppers and grated carrots would be other things to include.
I tend to cook my meat first so that I know it is no longer pink and then add and saute my veggies second.
Any cooking green will work in place of spinach – tatsoi, pac choi, Swiss chard, spinach, arugula.
Any cheese will work in place of the feta.
And if ground goat meat isn’t to your liking, ground pork, ground beef, or sausage will also work.  The key parts are a ground meat, a cooking green, a cheese, sauteed veggies and oregano.

Goat Curry

Here is the basic Jamaican goat curry recipe that I like to use. It was given to me by a dear Haitian friend. In discussing goat curries he told me that a Haitian curry would tend to have tomato paste and probably straight curry powder as part of the rue (sauce). A Jamaican curry tends to have allspice mixed with the curry powder. I have adapted this to satisfy my family’s mouths (mild) and tummies (a bit more veggies).

Goat Curry

Ingredients
  

  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3-4 garlic, minced
  • 3 lbs goat meat with bone, cubed
  • Salt & pepper, opt.
  • 3 Tbsp curry powder (2 Tbsp curry powder, 1 Tbsp allspice)
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp cubed coconut milk block, opt.
  • 1 large potato cubed
  • ½ yam or sweet potato cubed, opt.

Instructions
 

  • In large skillet or Dutch oven, heat oil, add onions, heat until they sweat 3-4 min. (do not fry onion). Add minced garlic, continue to cook 2 min. Remove onion and garlic, set aside.
  • Add cubed goat to pan with a little more oil and brown all sides, 7-8 min over med heat. Add salt and pepper, if desired, during this process.
  • Add back onion and garlic with 3 cups chicken stock. Add 2-3 TBS curry powder. Stir and bring to boil.
  • Lower heat to minimum setting, cover with tight fitting lid and let simmer for 2 hours stirring occasionally every 20-30 minutes. After 1 ½ hours add cubed potato and yam and coconut. It is ready to eat after ½ hours or when the potatoes are soft.
  • Serve over rice.

Notes

I use celery with or in place of onions and garlic.
I have used chicken along with the goat meat, if I didn’t have a full 3 lb. of meat.
The curry cooks a long time, and the meat will fall off the bones, and bones and meat will separate really well on the plate.
I have used extra chicken broth and added more potatoes, yams, or carrots.  I put these in with the broth and let them cook the whole 2-3 hours.

Here is a link to another recipe to give a more Jamaican version. I would recommend reading this recipe as it has helpful instructions. Enjoy!

Winter Farming: Planning for Summer – Seeds

Winter Pasture and Garden
Winter pasture and garden

All of life has its ebb and flow. In CNY, winter is less soil intensive, just because things don’t grow in the winter without a cover. That makes it a good time to evaluate the previous season and plan for the coming one.

The Garden Guys – this year Tim and Caleb, assisted at times by the young crew – have thought about things and planned what they want to grow. Next they looked through their seeds to see what they have – mainly squash and pumpkins – and to see what they need to order.  They place the order typically with Fedco Seeds, Maine Potato Lady, and Johnny’s Seeds. Finally the seeds arrive!

Seeds for 2020
Seeds for 2020
Then we wait for the ground and air to warm so we can plant!
Summer Garden
Summer garden