2021 Turkeys

We are raising turkeys for the holiday season. And once again we will be selling fresh turkeys on Saturday, November 20, the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The turkeys are being raised outdoors and are supplemented with organic locally grown grain. They are growing well. We hope that they will be 8-15 lb.

We are offering our turkeys for $5.00/lb. through Saturday, October 23.  (From October 24 to November 20, they will be $5.25/lb. And from November 21 on they will be $5.50/lb.) We are taking preorders on our turkeys, $20 down, with the remainder due at pick up.

Please email us to let us know that you would like a turkey and what size you are looking for. We will send an invoice for the preorder that you can pay,  or you can pay in person by cash, check or card.

Garden Orb Web Weaver

This is one of my favorite spiders. Many times it is smaller. Either way it has yellow patches on its belly and back. And its web always has the distinctive white zigzag pattern right now the middle. This day it made its web right across one of our doorways. I took pics before we used the door. The spider had to find another location for the next day.

New Calf (and other cow pics)

Here is Butter several weeks ago definitely ready to have a calf.

And here is the bull calf that she gave birth to late last week. He has figured out how to nurse on his own, and she is doing well tending him.

Here are some other recent cow pics:

Views from the Farm

We have had several new arrivals at the farm: A young calf that we are bottle feeding, baby poults (turkeys) for the holiday season, a year old steer taking to our pasture, and a newborn calf, Malegra’s latest son.

The pigs are growing, headed to the butcher next month. One has decided to lay near the feeder. Butter, the cow, is pregnant and due next month. She looks great with child!

Malegra’s calf was born last week without difficulty. He is doing well in the pasture with the other cows.

And one of the beauties of nature that we don’t domesticate, but do enjoy – the monarch butterfly!

Chicken Gravy

Recently we had chicken and waffles. I made a chicken gravy, a thin gravy with shredded chicken. Here is how I made it.

Because of the quantity of chicken I wanted, I used a whole chicken for this recipe. I put a frozen chicken in an 8 qt. stockpot and covered it with water. I put it on the stove to boil. Once it came to a boil, I turned the heat to low and let it simmer for 3 hours. This was the resulting broth with a nice layer of chicken fat.

Since I had a day until I needed the chicken gravy, I refrigerated the whole pot. The chicken chilled and the fat congealed. Also the broth was semi-gelatinous, always a good thing! At this point when you reach for the chicken it falls apart.

So I pulled off the leg and thighs from both sides and all the breast meat. I pulled the bones out and the skin off.

Because I wanted the chicken to be finely shredded, I pushed all the meat flat with my (clean) fingers. You could do the same thing with a kitchen mallet.

Then I chopped the meat up across the grain and ended up with finely shredded meat. (A 4 pound chicken gave me about 4 cups of meat, a cup from each section.)

Meanwhile, I was making the gravy. Recipes seem to have equal parts liquid and chicken. So 2 cups of broth would need 2 cups of chicken. And that ratio seems to make a nice chicken gravy.

I started with some fat, either the chicken fat from the broth or some butter. I used arrowroot as my thickener and mixed that with the fat, heating it and letting it thicken. Then I added most of the broth. I kept some back, so that I could add more arrowroot if it wasn’t thick enough. I let this heat almost to boiling. (Equivalency: 1 part arrowroot=2 parts cornstarch=4 parts flour)(Thickeners mix well with fats. They tend to clump when added to hot liquids, but mix well with cold liquids. So I tend to mix 1 part of thickener with 2 parts of cold liquid, either broth or water. I stir this until it is smooth, then add the smooth mixture to my hot stove liquid.)

Finally, I added the chicken to the gravy and had chicken gravy. You can see the meat blended in. I let this warm to almost boiling and then served it over waffles. It is a thin gravy, but works well over waffles or toast. And it would be a little bland by itself, but would be ok over most starches, potatoes, rice or noodles.

You can add your normal spices, salt, pepper, onions and garlic. Onions and garlic I would saute at the beginning in the fat before I add the thickener. Spices, salt and pepper, I would add at the end.

Chicken Gravy

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups chopped or shredded chicken
  • 3 tbsp fat, can be chicken fat, oil, butter
  • Onion or garlic, opt.
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch (or 1/2 tbsp arrowroot powder, or 2 tbsp flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1-2 tbsp cornstarch if needed (half the amount for arrowroot OR twice the amount for flour)
  • Spices, pepper, salt, to taste, opt.

Instructions
 

  • Cook and shred chicken.
  • Heat fat in medium saucepan. Saute onions and garlic, if using. Add thickener. Stir until thickened. Add 1 1/2 cup chicken broth and stir until thickener is unclumped and spread throughout.
  • Bring just about to a boil, stirring every 2-3 minutes.If it seems thick enough, add the 1/2 cup chicken broth. If it seems thin, add some thickener to the 1/2 cup chicken broth. Stir until smooth. Add to the heated mixture.
  • Add the chicken. Heat until just about boiling. Add salt, pepper or normal herbs or spices to taste.
  • Serve over waffles or toast, OR potatoes or rice or noodles.

Sauteed Veggies

This is a use-what-you-have sort of dish. I cook to a pot based on the number of people eating. I vary the veggies according to what I have and according to the dislikes of those I am serving. Some veggies retain their shape well when sauteed – broccoli, cauliflower, beets – and some shrink considerably – many greens – and some are somewhere in between – beans, pod peas, squash, cabbage, onions, garlic.

I use a cast iron Dutch oven. I put oil in the bottom and let it start to warm. I add my firm veggies and put some oil on top. Then I stir or toss the veggies and the oil. Next I cover it with the lid and let it sit for a minute or two. Then I add the next batch of veggies, again adding some oil on top, stirring and tossing. Once again I cover it and let it sit another minute or two. And finally I repeat with the greens. Once the lidded pot starts steaming, I put the heat to low, letting it sit for 4-5 minutes in between stirrings. When the solids are finally soft, then I serve this. It may be over rice or just a side of meat and potatoes. And the veggies still taste good the next day, though we don’t usually have many that last that long. Here is a printable form of this meal.

Veggie Meal

This is a use-what-you-have sort of meal. I cook to a pot based on the number of people eating. I vary the veggies according to what I have and according to the likes and dislikes of those I am serving.

Equipment

  • Pot with a lid

Ingredients
  

  • Olive oil, or whatever your fat of choice is
  • Firm veggies – ones retain their shape well when sauteed Beets, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, celery
  • Mid firm veggies – ones that will soften some Stems of the greens, pod peas, beans, onions, squash, tomatoes, corn
  • Wilting veggies – tend to be the greens Spinach, Swiss chard, beet greens, bok choy, tatsoi, garlic
  • Any already cooked veggies Canned veggies, leftovers

Instructions
 

  • Cut the veggies into bite size pieces.
  • Put oil in the bottom of the pan and let it start to warm over high to medium high heat.
  • Add the firm veggies and put some oil on top. Stir or toss the veggies and the oil. Cover with a lid and let sit a minute or two.
  • Add the mid-firm veggies and put some oil on top. Stir or toss the veggies and the oil. Cover with a lid and let sit a minute or two.
  • Add the wilting veggies and put some oil on top. Stir or toss the veggies and the oil. Cover with a lid and let sit a minute or two.
  • Stir in or toss any cooked veggies or leftovers. Cover and watch for the pot to steam. Turn the heat to low, stirring every 4-5 minutes until the veggies are all soft. Take off heat and serve.

Notes

We serve this over rice or as a side with meat and potatoes. These veggies tend to taste good the next day as well. OR if you have enough left over, you can freeze them for a meal another day.

Cooking Smoked Pork Chops

About 10 years ago one of my meat customers asked me for smoked pork chops. I had never heard of them, but sure enough my butcher could make smoked chops. So we started getting some of our pork chops smoked.

Smoked chops taste like smoked ham slices. The smoking and brine is the same. The consistency of the meat is more like regular chops. So you have a smaller piece of meat with a smoked flavor. If you don’t want to use all 3 at once, just thaw the meat enough to take one chop off and then refreeze the rest.

Our frozen pork chops, smoked and fresh (unsmoked), come 3 in a package. These fit on a skillet and pan fry nicely. I cook them over medium heat for about 4 minutes on a side, covering them with a lid.

Once that side is browned, I turn them for 4 minutes on the other side again covering them. Once that 4 minutes is done, I watch the fat and cook it maybe another minute or two on each side.

Finally, when they seem to be done, we turn off the heat and eat them. This would go well with steamed veggies and a lettuce salad.

Other ways to use these is to cook them over potatoes either in the crockpot or in the oven. The flavor from the meat goes down and flavors the potatoes and makes it all a good meal. In this crockpot recipe you could substitute it for the beef steak giving the dish a smoked ham flavor. All in all, smoked chops add good flavoring to dinner dishes.

Ragweed Update

Here is a more mature ragweed. It flowers on a long stem. And because the flower is green, it blends in better with other plants.

The flower reminds me of plantain, which also has a green flower. However, plantain is flat to the ground with the flower up above, maybe up 6 inches, where ragweed is more like a small bush and can come up 1 1/2 to 2 feet.

Other posts about ragweed can be found here and here.

August Views from the Farm

Here are recent views from the farm…