March on the Farm

March can have so many different faces.  Last week we were looking at 12 inches of snow with paths cleared, but a good snow cover on everything else.  With the freeze-thaw pattern – below 32F at night and above during the day – we will see the snow compact and will see some water leave the property, but much will get soaked into the ground.

If we didn’t have the snow cover, then we would be in mud season.

If it gets warm enough, then we will think about working in the garden and would probably hang the laundry out to dry.

With these different faces, what is one to do in March?  Well, we keep doing what needs to be done – feed and water the animals, pitch manure when it is above freezing, cut firewood for the summer and next year.  Then we plan for the summer growing season – what seeds and tubers should be purchased, what chicks or poults will we want, what equipment needs to be repaired.  Next we purchase those things and repair broken things.  Finally, we learn, read, and take classes related to farming, so that we are better prepared when it is time to do our summer growing.

May you enjoy your March as we enjoy ours!

March Challenge – Chicken

The March 2018 Local Food challenge is chicken.  As with other months, find chicken local to you, use it for a meal, and then comment here or email me about what you did and how it tasted.  For additional rules see the original post.

Whole chickens can be boiled, roasted, cut into parts and fried, or cooked in a crockpot or instant pot.  They can be served over rice or potatoes.   Leftovers can be used in soup or casseroles or sandwiches.

If you are local to us, chickens can be purchased from us for $5.00 / lb through March 31, 2018.  They were raised outdoors on our farm in fresh air and sunshine, were fed non-gmo grains, were processed by us and frozen, and are 4-6 lb.  I have been using them regularly as a main dish and for chicken broth and stock.  They taste good!

2 Liver Pâtés

Here are 2 liver pâté recipes that we have used over the years.  The EAS Liver Pâté with variations is blended liver, milk, eggs and spices.  Lunchon Pork Pâté is blended liver and sausage.   Both taste good and are not hard to make.  Both can be eaten warm with crackers or bread, or can be used the day after for sandwiches.  My children prefer the one with sausage, which is not surprising, as many things taste better with sausage!

Continue reading “2 Liver Pâtés”

Danish Liver Pâté

In the early days of our farm one of our customers was married to a man from Denmark.  His family made a liver pâté that was delicious.  I asked the customer for the recipe which she shared.  Her mother-in-law sent it to them in Danish, the son translated it, and the customer shared it with me.  This is that original recipe.  I have made edits to it here.
Continue reading “Danish Liver Pâté”

February Challenge – Organ Meat

I can hear it already – “What do you mean organ meat?  You mean, like liver? And why do it the 2nd month of the challenge? Can’t we wait until later in the challenge?”

Organ meat has to be included sometime.  It is a legitimate meat that local farmers will sell. It includes the odd pieces – heart, liver, tongue, kidneys, brains, ox tail, chicken feet, pig feet and hocks. (Ox tail, chicken feet,  and pig feet and hocks aren’t technically organ meat, but we will allow them for this challenge.)

We have scheduled organ meat in February because that is traditionally when our family eats heart (Valentine’s Day).  (And yes, we have eaten rabbit at Easter and would consider reindeer at Christmas!) Rather than have just heart this month we have included all organ meats.

What are ways to prepare these items?

  • The feet and hocks make good stock that can serve as the foundation for soup or for the liquid to cook rice in.
  • Heart and tongue I tend to boil and slice and serve as part of dinner or in sandwiches.
    • Chicken hearts I saute with onion, celery and/or mushrooms in oil.  Once the onion is limp or the celery is soft, then I turn it to low and let it simmer with the lid on to make sure that the hearts are cooked.  I have several young children that like this as their birthday meal.
  • Sliced kidneys or liver can be soaked first in milk.  If I soak them, I do it for 30 minutes, change milk, soak them again for another 30 minutes.  For the kidneys this reduces the urine smell/flavor.
    • Kidneys – I have made steak and kidney pie.  More recently I have made Tom Clack’s Deviled Kidneys from Shannon Hayes The Grassfed Gourmet. It is sliced kidneys in a spicy ketchup sauce that is then served with bread or over potatoes or rice. (Recipe to come later in the month.)
    • Liver
      • This can be ground or finely chopped and mixed in with other meats.
      • Before we moved to the farm, I always would cook liver with onions.  We would sometimes serve it as a sandwich with tomatoes and lettuce and mayo and call it a Real Man’s Sandwich!
      • One of my early farm customers gave me a recipe for Danish Liver Pâté.  Her in-laws were from Denmark.  Her mom sent the recipe in Danish to her, her husband translated it into English, and she gave it to me.  It is raw liver, blended with milk, egg, flour and seasonings, which is then baked and served on crackers or bread.  This is now my main way to serve liver.
        • A similar recipe adds sausage and omits the milk and egg.  My children like this a little better.  Lots of things taste better with sausage!
  •  If you have a good way to make something with some other organ meat, make it and include it in the comments.

Again, the rules are that this made from organ meat grown local to you.  Comment below by March 3, 2018, with what you made, how you liked it and how you would make it differently next time.

Organ meat is on sale for $3.75 / lb through March 3, 2018.



January’s Challenge – Beef/Wild Game

January’s challenge is beef/wild game.  The challenge:

  • Choose a cut of beef, venison, or wild game that was locally grown in your area. This includes anything that comes from beef or wild game – roasts, steaks, bones, ground beef, meaty shank soup bones, stew meat, ribs.
  • Make a dish with that cut of meat.  It can be cooked in the oven, on the stove top,  in a crockpot, on the grill, in the instant pot.  It can be a dish where it is mainly by itself or can be part of a stir fry where it is a small part of the whole dish.  The key is that it is a cut of beef or wild game that was locally grown.  Check our currently available page to get some beef from us.
  • Serve it with thankfulness and enjoy it!
  • Comment here or email me that you made this.  You can include a recipe,  and your thoughts on how it tasted and how those who ate with you liked or didn’t like it, and what you would do differently next time.
  • Deadline to comment or email me is February 6, 2018.

For details for the whole challenge – 2018 Local Food Cooking Challenge

What beef dish are you going to make?

2018 Local Food Cooking Challenge

Announcing – drum roll please! – The 2018 Local-Food Cooking Challenge!


  1.  Make a dish – main dish, side, dessert, whatever – from the category for that month.
  2. The category item needs to be local food for you. For example, if you make a breaded chicken dish in March, the chicken must be locally grown, but the breading ingredients do not.
  3. Comment to me by email or in that month’s item post about what you made and how you made it, how you and any that you shared it with liked it, and how you might change it until another time. Each item you make gives you 1 entry in a drawing. Limit 1 entry per month.
  4. On January 1, 2019, we will have a drawing from all the entries for 2018 for a $50 gift certificate to Treasures of Joy Farm. Members of our family living in our immediate household are not eligible for the drawing.
  5. Categories by month are:

Happy planning, shopping, and cooking!

Fresh Turkey for Thanksgiving

Benjamin Franklin, commenting to his daughter about the bird shown on the Great Seal of the US, stated the following:

“I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”
Source: Smithsonian Mag via the Franklin Institute

Yes, it is true that turkeys are a bit vain and silly. But I’m not sure about that courageous part.

The turkeys we raised this year are heritage-crosses, meaning that two heritage breeds were crossed. Like all of our animals,  the turkeys have been raised outdoors in fresh air and sunshine, regularly moved to fresh grass, and provided with non-GMO grain.

We will have six turkeys available Monday or Tuesday, November 20 or 21 (the week of Thanksgiving),  and they will be sold fresh (not frozen). We are guessing that they will be between 10 and 20 lbs and cost between $70 and $100 each.

Cooking helps with recipe links follow.

Continue reading “Fresh Turkey for Thanksgiving”

After-Thanksgiving Turkey Soup

After-Thanksgiving Turkey Soup

This is a soup that my children request year round. 
Course Soup
Servings 7 quarts


1 leftover turkey carcass (from a 12- to 14-pound turkey, or whatever size you have)

    Vegetables - Use mixture of vegetables, perhaps the ones below, to equal 4 cups

      3 medium onions, chopped

        2 large carrots, diced

          2 celery ribs, diced

          • Or include other veggies - broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, greens, squash, sweet potato, potatoes, green beans

          1 cup butter or oil or fat

            1 cup all-purpose flour (or 1/2 cup cornstarch or 1/4 arrowroot powder dissolved in 2 cups cold water or cold broth)

              2 cups half-and-half cream or milk or cream (or 2 cups broth)

                1 cup uncooked long grain rice (if you cook this separately and add it as you serve each bowl, then you can increase your veggies up to another 4 cups)

                  2 teaspoons salt, opt.

                    3/4 teaspoon pepper, opt.


                      • Place turkey carcass, including bones, meat, and skin, in a soup kettle or Dutch oven or 8 qt. stockpot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 3 hours. (This makes a nice turkey bone broth.) Let cool. Set aside 3 qt. broth. Remove carcass. Remove meat from bones and cut into bite-size pieces; set aside 2-4 cups.
                      • In a soup kettle or Dutch oven, saute the onions, carrots and celery (and other veggies) in butter, oil, or fat until tender. Reduce heat; stir in flour (or other thickener) until blended. Gradually add 1 qt. of reserved broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
                      • Add cream, rice, salt, pepper, remaining broth and reserved turkey. Bring to boil, reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until rice and veggies are tender. Stir about every 5-8 minutes as it has a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan. If it gets too thick, add more broth, water or milk.
                      • Any remaining broth can be added to any remaining turkey and frozen for use another day.


                      16 servings (~6-7 quarts)

                      Original recipe

                      Whole Chicken – Part 2: Chicken Soups

                      Recently we talked about how to thaw and cook a whole chicken. So the chicken is cooked.  It can be eaten as is.  The meat can be used in casseroles or stir-fries.  Or it can be used in soups.

                      Our 2 favorite chicken soups are Chicken Corn Soup and Hearty Vegetable Chicken Soup.  Enjoy!

                      Chicken Corn Soup

                      This is a family favorite from my growing up days in southern PA.  In August we would purchase corn to blanch and freeze.  In the winter we would use the corn to make this soup.
                      Course Soup
                      Servings 4 quarts


                      • 1 Whole chicken about 5 lb, can be whole or frozen
                      • 1-2 onions diced
                      • 1/2 celery head chopped
                      • Water to cover chicken
                      • 2 bags frozen corn may use 2 cans of corn
                      • 1 bag egg noodles


                      • Place the chicken, celery, onion and water in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken; cool.
                      • Put 1/2 stock and cut-up chicken in 8 qt. stockpot.  Add corn. Bring to boil.  Add stock if it is too thick. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  (This can simmer as long as you want.) 10 minutes before serving add egg noodles, and add stock so that it is on the runny side.
                      • Add salt at the table as needed/desired.


                      We vary this by using other starches in place of the egg noodles - rice, barley, potatoes, alphabet noodles or rivels. Rivels are just 3/4 cup flour added to 1 beaten egg. (Place the flour in a bowl; mix in egg with a fork just until blended. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls into boiling soup, stirring constantly. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until rivels are cooked through.) Rivel recipe

                      Hearty Chicken Vegetable Soup

                      Course Soup
                      Servings 4 quarts


                      • 1 roasting chicken about 5 pounds, can be cut up or can be whole frozen chicken
                      • 2-4 celery ribs sliced
                      • 1 large onion chopped
                      • 2-1/2 quarts water
                      • 1 can 14-1/2 ounces stewed tomatoes Or equivalent diced tomatoes
                      • 4 medium carrots sliced
                      • 2 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
                      • 1 medium turnip peeled and cubed, can substitute 2 potatoes

                      Seasonings - use ones you like - We especially like oregano.

                      • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh parsley opt.
                      • 3/4 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano and tarragon opt.
                      • 3/4 teaspoon salt opt.
                      • 3/4 teaspoon pepper opt.
                      • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder opt.

                      Additional veggies

                      • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
                      • 2 cups frozen peas optional


                      • Place the chicken, celery, onion and water in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken; cool.
                      • Remove meat from bones and cut into bite-size pieces; return to pan. Add the tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, turnips, seasonings; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add broccoli and peas if desired; simmer 15-20 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender. Yield: 16 servings (about 4 quarts).


                      Other veggies can be added.  Diced tomatoes can be used in place of stewed tomatoes.  We add salt and Parmesan cheese at the table.  Original recipe