Sunday, December 30, 2012

Our Regular Farmers Market is Closed . . . A Caramel Experience

. . . until Saturday, January 12th.

Just a reminder . . . the regular market is on Thursdays and we have a French Cafe where we serve breakfast breads and 50 cent coffee. Baskets are filled with freshly harvested produce. Goat's milk and cheese, Grano de Vida breads, honey, eggs, caramel and herbs are in our market as well.

If you have any questions, please email me at

Farm Life Right Now
Just because the markets are closed, doesn't mean farm life/work stops. It's never ending with one project after another.  We're busy planting more seeds, cleaning out goat pens to get ready for our soon upon us kidding season, re-organizing and cleaning out areas of the farm and making more of our new farm confection - goat milk caramels (you can pick up packages at the farm and order to be shipped online at  

Michael doing the morning milking of Karrie. We use stainless steel pails and filters. 

Hand-Made Salted Caramels
We had no idea (but were delighted to discover) how fast our newest (goat milk) confections would take off.  I know caramels are the "in" thing these days and will continue to be so - but I think we must have made at least 20 batches of caramel and we must have hand wrapped at least 2700 (don't know for sure) little salted caramels - because in 30 days (or so) we sold EVERY last one - of about 345 bags of our salted caramels made with Karrie's beautiful, sweet milk.  

We are so thankful to Crow's Dairy for being willing to sell us Karrie - because right now, she's our farms "caramel making goat" 

Our salted caramels have been experienced in New York, Portland, Malaysia and Kansas as well as all around our Phoenix Valley.  Question: have you had your caramel experience yet?  Order here -

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It's 8:13 PM - Farm Chores

Some nights are just like this. Tonights farm chores didn't get completed until after 8 PM.  Around 5:30 PM the goats are milked, the milk is processed (filtered a few times and then put in the freezer to chill the raw milk as fast as possible), the stainless steel pans are washed and sterilized.

Then, dinner. Tonight our daughter made comfort food - chicken pot pie for our family.  After dinner, Michael and I bundled up with coat, scarf and gloves and headed back outside for a few more farm chores.

For weeks we've been wanting to take the hens out of the blue coop and put them back into the big coop. We'd originally separated them because it seemed a bit crowed with all the hens in the one coop area, but since loosing so many this summer, we decided it was time for them to all be together again.  The girls in the blue coop have been a bit deprived. They have not had the liberty to be free ranging like their friends - because every time we let them out, sure enough...they find the raised beds and decided to pluck up and devour lettuce, spinach or whatever else is to be produce for the market.

So, we took a big enough wheel barrow and grabbed the top of a plastic table to use as a "lid" and headed toward the blue coop. One by one and sometimes taking two, we took all twelve hens, put them in the wheelbarrow with the plastic table top for a lid and headed toward the big hen house.

If you are ever going to move hens from one place to another, it's best to do it after the girls have started to roost...that would mean it's already dark outside.  It's not difficult to pick up a hen that's in a dozed off phase. Try moving hens in the middle of the day and you'll see why it's efficient to do this farm chore at night.

It was a good feeling knowing that they were all together again, and then in a day or two ALL hens will get to free range it in area of our farm we call the family gardens.

After gathering 17 eggs (eggs will be at the market in the morning), we set out to put the goats in for the night.  At night they get their minerals and a tinch of grain.  What I love about putting them up for the night is each and every time they are waiting at the goat yard fence in a line of 6. Goat have a consistent body clock and if you're off schedule, they'll let you know.

We have three night time pens - 1 for the boys and  for 4 girls to go in one and 2 in the other.  Our girls and boys are secured at night to protect them from anything that would like to use them for dinner...such as coyote.

By the time we accomplished all this - it was 8:13 PM. I just thought I'd let you know what evening farm chores look like sometimes.

Sage, petunias and Batavian lettuces

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My New Coffee Drinking Partner

As we all know, I love coffee. . . and particularly French press coffee. There's nothing like sipping a cup of French press right after morning farm chores.  I might have a new coffee drinking buddy.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's Going To Be A Busy Kidding Season

In the midst of making a ton of caramels - wrapping them and bagging them - we had one more ultra sound on Plum (Miss Storm's daughter) and Posey (Lavender's daughter) to see if they were pregnant. Both girls were bred to Mr. Samson on 10/31.  I knew clearly that Posey was in heat. She showed all the signs - loud, bossy, and a goopy back end - as well as frequents visits to the buck pen fence teasing the life out of the boys.

Plum, on the other hand, showed no signs of a heat. Kind of frustrating. However, on the day Samson and Posey had their date, Plum stood and watched. Michael and I thought, well, couldn't hurt to put her in the pen and see . . . lo and behold, she stood for Samson.

All this time, though, I still had my doubts. Just didn't think she "took."  . . .

Until, yesterday . . . .

So, what this means is that we are expecting 11 babies this Spring - of which all will be listed (soon) on our Sale Barn page.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


2000 is an interesting number for us. 

Since starting the goat milk confection piece of The Simple Farm (30 days ago) - we have hand wrapped and hand salted* and sold 2000 little pieces of caramel experience. . . 

* a specially selected sea salt too.

Not sure if you are aware but Karrie is the caramel helper right now. 

Happy Goat Karrie - making happy goat milk caramels.

Order our caramels ONLINE at

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Holiday Market Hours {New Blog Post}

The girls in the back coop have had a daily party being free to run around. They're having a grand time digging up everything in the back family garden area. You'd think with all that fun, they'd lay a few more eggs. Not. :-(

The Holidays are upon us - the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah with gift giving and games and lighting beautiful candle as we remember the Maccabean Revolt (an amazing piece of history) and the caroling and gift giving of Christmas as we remember the birth of Jesus Christ and then Auld Lang Syne - celebrating the start of the New Year.

We felt that this time was good for us to take a bit of a breather - to slow down, reflect and rest a bit and do some planning for the next season as well as get some things ready for a busy January/February kidding season.

In light of that we'll be closing the Thursday morning market. The last day will be December 22nd.  We plan to resume Saturday, January 12th and start at 9 am rather than 8:30.  However, that being said, sometimes weather decides to bring on a freeze and make things miserable and should that be the case, we might decide to take another week.  So, please stay in touch with our blog for updates.

What Will Be Open
Our HSM (honor system market) will remain open with everything available like Crow's Dairy Goat Cheese and goat milk, honey, our newest farm food product of Goat Milk Caramels with sea salt and bourbon vanilla.  We will do some harvesting of produce and put them in the market on a random basis.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Holiday 2012 Farm Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers

The holiday gift giving season is upon us and why not give something unique this year.  

Our farmstead goat milk caramels - infused with Madagascar bourbon vanilla and sprinkled with sea salt will accomplish a few things for those on your list:

1. It's made in the USA - it helps the economy
2. It's made by a small goat farm
3. It's an artisan - it's hand made - hand crafted in limited quantities (small batches)
4. It's a goat milk product - meaning those who are lactose intolerant can have an enjoyable experience
5. All ingredients are organic - (except sugar) - cream, butter, non GMO light corn syrup - all organic
6. Caramel is 'hip' these days - it's the new thing. Well, it should be causes it's delicious!
7. It helps our little farm
8.  We will ship as fast as we can (usually the same day of order) to anywhere in the USA.

Go {here} to order at from our farm store.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

An All Encompassing Market In Each Neighborhood

What Michael and I like about Essex Farms is that their coop provides a year-round, full diet coop membership. They produce grass-fed beef, pastured pork, chicken, eggs, fifty different kinds of vegetables, milk, grains and flour, fruit, herbs, maple syrup, and soap. Read about them here.

As we've been reading Kristin's memoir on The Dirty Life, we are seeing that much of our own personal farm journey parallels theirs.  Not only the journey, but that our farm's market has unfolded into almost a "full-diet" market.  We don't provide meat or syrup or grains, but we do provide milk, cheese, eggs, breads, honey, herbs, flowers, salted goat milk caramel (you can order them online and we will ship them to you quickly - go here to order) and a beautiful assortment of local/in season vegetables.

This neighborhood farm is also providing community.  We never ever ever imagined that our simple steps and thoughts to grow a bit of food for ourselves and some for others would lead us to The Simple Farm and what it looks like today.  . . a place where community has begun to gather - to converse and experience something most people 'different' than all the other places.

Food For Thought
Now, what would happen if there were a little farm and market like ours in EVERY neighborhood? How could that happen?  What would your part be?  What if each neighborhood had it's own farm coop like the one at Essex Farms?  Would you change the way you shop and prepare meals to be a part of such a coop?

Tomorrows Baskets of Goodness
So - all that said, what will you see at our market Thursday and Saturday? And, remember it takes a different mindset to shop a market than it does to go to the big box food place with a list. If you don't know how to properly Shop A Farmer's Market - read this post.

Beets, Tuscan Kale, Red Russian and Dandelion . . . . . . as well as potatoes, sweet onions, eggplant, yellow pear and cherry tomatoes, lettuce mix, tatsoi, salad mix, squash, honey, goat milk, goat cheese, caramel, some jelly and lots of herbs - fresh herbs. See you this week!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Miss Storm's 2012 Kids {Video}

Just a little something we're looking forward to and to think that the little brown tailed one is probably gonna be a mama now too. She will be on the milking line late spring - more milk for more caramels!

See here for our caramels.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Order Our Farmstead Confections Online Now

Want to order cute little bags of pure farmstead deliciousness . . .aka . . . salted goat milk caramels to satisfy your caramel cravings?  You can.  Of course they make perfect holiday gifts.

We've been busy in the farm's caramel kitchen - cooking and wrapping and bagging just as fast as we can.  Go {here} to order at from our farm store.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Little Simple Farm Store

Every woman goes on a periodic whim of cleaning out, shifting things around and deciding that what she's collected doesn't necessarily "fit" who she is anymore.  I am in one of those whim moods and made myself what I'm calling a "little simple farm store."  I moved somethings around on the prep/storage side of our market, stapled some of my Parisian linen up to make a wall and have slowly been looking around my house and voila...have created a little farm store.

Periodically, as the whim flows I look around my home . . . and I'll add more pretty things.

Yesterday, one of my very old vintage chandeliers I've been schlepping around were re-homed. A few luncheon plates too.  Vintage linens were scooped up in a big basket for a Hope Chest (something I think every mom/grandma might think about re-instituting).

Today, Michael's taking out my 38 year old Noritake Prelude china set. I loved it. I no longer love it. It's just doesn't fit my farmer life.  A few days ago I put this (quite adorable) Poinsettia Holiday set up dishes/mugs/soup urn/butter dish and put a $50 price tag on it.

There is no real rhyme or reason to what I will gather up and set in my farm store other than the fact that I am on a whim and I am having fun.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Farm Soup We Love

Now that there is some hope of cooler weather, I thought I'd share one of the soups that's a weekly mainstay at our home. You've got to try it and let me know!

I posted this a few years ago and got to thinking all our new farm followers might need to try this. 

It's Tortilla Soup from the Fix-It and Forget It Cookbook (Good Publishers) and it's done in your crockpot!

My husband LOVES this soup. Both our daughters make it frequently and everyone they serve it to LOVES it.

4 chicken breast halves (cook, debone and shred chicken)
1 garlic clove - minced
2 Tbsp. butter,
2 14 1/2 oz cans of chicken broth,
2 14 oz cans chopped stewed tomatoes,
1 cup salsa (mild, medium, or hot),
1/2 cup chopped cilantro,
1 Tbsp or more of ground cumin.

Melt the butter and add the minced garlic to it. Combine all the other ingredients in a slow cooker THEN add the sautéed garlic. Cover and cook on low for 8 - 10 hours.

Then shred or cube 8 oz of Monterey jack cheese - put this in your soup bowls. Ladle your soup over the cheese THEN sprinkle tortilla chips on the top and add a dollop of sour cream.

IT'S that easy and very yummy. I always double the recipe. It's great the first day and even better the second. And it freezes well— Enjoy! Let me know how you like it!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Beautiful Broccoli . . .

 . . . and kale and chard and mustard greens and yellow pear tomatoes and French sorrel and the last of the summer squash and the last of the slicing cucumbers and two lovely looking melons will be at our French market Saturday morning.

I have to say, that I've never seen such beautiful and tasty broccoli in all my life.

Don't forget, it helps us and the American economy when you shop local.  And, we have hand made farmstead confections which make wonderful holiday gifts.

See you Saturday morning from 8:30 until Noon.

Our Current Farm Read: The Dirty Life

We've had a several random people tell us we're "doing their dream" and that we should write a book about our (baby boomer) story in reclaiming 9080 and growing food and starting a small goat dairy to make and sell our artisan salted goat milk caramels.  In between milking goats, making caramel, fixing hoses, building raised beds and planting seeds and have a market - we're definitely considering and pondering . . . a book about our story.

In the meantime, Michael and I are currently reading The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball and we're thoroughly enjoying her memoir of farming, food, and love and at times feel as though she's peeked into our own life of love as we learn to farm and raise goats and do "the dirty life."

Together, Kristen and Mark farm 600 acres, in upstate NY, on their farm known as Essex Farm.  Here's a bit about their farm:

Essex Farm offers a year-round, full diet, free choice membership. We produce grass-fed beef, pastured pork, chicken, eggs, fifty different kinds of vegetables, milk, grains and flour, fruit, herbs, maple syrup, and soap. Members come to the farm on Fridays, from 3pm to 7pm, and take what they need for the week, in any quantity or combination they choose. We sometimes limit scarce items, like maple syrup or the year’s first tomatoes, but most food is available on an all-you-can-eat basis. Members are encouraged to take extra produce during the growing season for freezing or canning, to supplement what is available from the root cellar during winter and early spring. In addition to food, we offer members the opportunity to hike the farm, visit fields and animals, and join us as volunteers for harvest and field work.

We currently farm 600 acres and feed 222 members. We are powered by fifteen solar panels, nine draft horses, ten full-time farmers, and three tractors. We do not use synthetic fertilizer, herbicide, or pesticide. Our animals eat feed we’ve grown ourselves or local hay and local, certified organic grain.  

This is our wonky-but-useful mission statement: We strive to produce an abundance of high quality food while fostering the health and resiliency of the farm, the farmers, the members, and the community. Our desire is to build an agro-ecosystem that is sustainable economically, environmentally, and socially. We work to make a farm that is better tomorrow than it is today.

". . .a delightful, tumultuous and tender story of the author's love affair with the man who becomes her husband and the farm they work together to restore. " - Jeannette Walls

Thursday, November 22, 2012

55 Reasons Why To Buy Products Made In America . . .

. . . and that are local.  The article below explains why it's important for all of us to rethink how and where we spend our dollars.  I'm posting just the first paragraph in hopes you will click the link below to read the entire article. Do post any comments after reading it. We'd love to hear your thoughts. 

This is the time of the year when Americans run out to their favorite retail stores and fill up their shopping carts with lots of cheap plastic crap made by workers in foreign countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages.  By doing this, the American people are actively participating in the destruction of the U.S. economy.  You see, buying products that are made in America is not just a matter of national pride.  It is a matter of national survival.  If we do not support American workers, they are going to continue to see their jobs shipped out of the country.  If we do not support American businesses, they are going to continue to die off at a staggering rate.  Last year, the United States had a trade deficit with the rest of the world of 558 billion dollars.  More than half a trillion dollars that could have gone into the pockets of U.S. workers and U.S. businesses went overseas instead.  If that money had stayed in the country, taxes would have been paid on that mountain of cash and our local, state and federal government debt problems would not be as severe.  As a result of our massive trade imbalance, we have lost tens of thousands of businesses, millions of jobs and trillions of dollars of national wealth.  Both major political parties have sold us out on these issues, and we are getting poorer as a nation with each passing day.  We desperately need a resurgence of economic patriotism in the United States before it is too late.

The rest of the post is {here}.

So, by the way - our farm has very local value added products available for your simple gift giving. 

{Here} is one idea.  {Here} is another idea. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Our Thanksgiving Day Menu

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Our farm house is bustling with activity - little people playing and being all cute and big people (daughters and their families) interacting and enjoying each other and planning the menu for our special day to give Thanks.

Here's our Thanksgiving Day Menu

25# Turkey stuffed with a sage and apple cornbread stuffing {recipe here}
Creamy Mashed Potatoes (recipe here)
Brussel sprouts, cranberry squash
Butter squash (a childhood memory food)
Green bean casserole 
Sweet Potato casserole {recipe here}
Fresh cranberry sauce
Buttermilk biscuits 
Cranberry Spritzer
Farm made pumpkin pie
Banana Caramel pie {recipe here}

We'll be enjoying our meal of thanks in our farm courtyard. 

Don't forget to pick up your herbs, cider, goat cheese, baguettes, sweet potatoes and anything else you need for your Thanksgiving Day table at our farm.

 Our HSM is open until Wednesday around 6 and after that - we're closing the farm to enjoy a quiet time with our family on Thursday  . . .
BUT our French Cafe' and Market will resume on Saturday, the 24th.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

My mom always made the most amazing mashed potatoes. To die for!   
Here is Mom's Creamy Mashed Potatoes recipe.

photo compliments of foodnetwork 

3 pounds Idaho potatoes - peeled and cut into large pieces. 
 Place the potatoes in COLD water (cover the potatoes with the water) 
and add a tsp salt and - bring to a boil and cook until tender. 

Drain well and place back into the pan. 
Toss about 4-6 tablespoons of salted butter along with about a cup (we use a bit more) of 
sour cream (don't use the non fat stuff).  

Sometimes we'll add a bit of warm milk to the potatoes to increase the creaminess. 

We use our mixing bowl beaters rather than a potato masher to mix up the potatoes.

When it's all mixed up and nice and creamy - we transfer the creamy mashed potatoes into a big bowl add a big dollop of butter and a dash of paprika. 

Here's another fabulous recipe - Roasted Garlic and Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Farmer's Feet

The other night, my husband and granddaughter started dancing to this sweet was one of those moments that I will never forget. Unplanned. Beautiful. Love. Feet. Beautiful farmer's feet. Beautiful Princess feet.

Have a Beautiful Weekend.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Our Farm's Egg Dilemma

It saddens me every time someone comes to our market with their egg carton to pick up a dozen of our farm's amazing eggs. . . and we have to say, "So sorry, we're out of eggs."

Here's a bit of understanding . .
1. Summer heat can be brutal on hens. We do everything we can to bring down heat on our girls - misters, feed shifts, fans, sprinklers, etc.  Sometimes it helps sometimes it just doesn't.  It's a lot of work for a little hen to lay an egg - it's stressful on their bodies and add to that - other conditions like heat - sometimes they just don't make it through.  In spite of taking measures to protect and aide our girls through the heat times - they succumb.  We lost about 20 hens this summer.

2. Molting is what is happening now to our girls and in talking to other hen owners - it's happening to them too. When a hen molts - they just don't lay an egg - or if they do - it's few and far between until they get through that season.

3.  When they get through the molting season - they've already aged. Older hens generally slow down on egg production. They don't lay the average of 1 egg every 26 hours.  Most hen owners - at this point - look at the time to start to raise more chicks so egg production can be maintained.

4. For us - we're evaluating the whole egg/hen/laying thing for our market.  In spite of $6 a dozen (I know some gasp and I understand Singh Farms has theirs for $7 a dozen) - it's NOT something you profit on.  Time/care/feed, etc - add up. None of us that sell our eggs make an income  - it's more of a service.

So . . . at this point we're seriously considering (because of the direction our farm is going) - not replacing our hens except for our own family consumption.  I know...I know...bummer - but farm life demands continual evaluation and re-evaluation.

5. Until then. . . we'll put out the smattering of eggs - they will be available only at our markets and not until 8:30 am. Thanks for understanding.

We so appreciate your love and support. We couldn't do what we do without you.

Salted Goat Milk Caramel (Sauce)

With all the excitement at the farm about the launch of our new Salted Goat Milk Caramels, we surely don't want to ignore the jars of goat milk caramel sauce - the sweet stuff that you dribble on ice cream, stuffed french toast, morning oatmeal, add to hot chocolate or an apple cider float or eat just plain from the jar.

Artisan - farm made with our own goat's milk.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

French Cafe' and Market This Week = Amazing

Our buckets and baskets and vintage wooden boxes will be full Thursday and Saturday. 
Here's the scoop:

Butternut Squash
Spaghetti Squash
French Sorrel
Fresh Herbs of all kinds
Dried Pinto and Black Beans
Red Potatoes
Yukon Gold
Very limited amount of eggs
The end of the summer squash
Mustard Greens
Baby Spice Mix

and more.....

Grano de Vida Breads too
Fresh Coffee and Morning Glory Muffins

My Garden Notebook on Arugula

Arugula gone to seed.

Arugula has just about got to be one of God's greatest delights in a garden. I think it has a buttery taste with a kick and I love to top pizza with it, add it to Chicken Soup and use it in salad with pears, walnuts and goat cheese with drizzled evo and balsamic.

Looking for more creative ways to use arugula, I found La Table de Nana's Lindsays Arugula and Red Pepper Penne Dish . . .

. . . and her arugula mashed potatoes garnished with a parsley coin.

Does this NOT make you want to go grow arugula? Nana found this recipe here.

Salted Caramel Made With The Milk From Our Goat Girls. It's Ready.

It's holiday time and perfect to:
A. Support a Local Goat Farm - aka The Simple Farm
B. Think of your gift list
C. Buy that special person something very unique

Online sales are not quite ready yet and a new farm website - will be your online source for some of the most amazing goat milk caramels you'll ever experience.  Supplies will be limited. Purchase from our French-Vintage Market.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What To Do With Kale

Make a kale salad.

Kale Salad Recipe 
4 minced cloves of garlic,
fresh squeezed lemon juice,
finely chopped kale
finely grated Parmesan cheese
and EVOO.

Mix this all together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Since I didn't have ingredient amounts, I just did some guess work and you'll have to as well. It might need an extra bit of this or that, but I have confidence you'll do just fine. I like to serve this with a good - baguette. Enjoy!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sweet Potatoes Rock...Sweet Potato Casserole Rules

I've NEVER liked sweet potatoes - until now and I LOVE this. You've got to try it. It's been a constant on our Thanksgiving Day table for the past seven years. And, we have Crooked Sky's organically grown sweet potatoes at our Farmer's Market. 

5 medium size sweet potatoes. boil and mash - should be around 3 cups. Mix with the mashed sweet potatoes:
2 eggs beaten
1/2 c - 3/4 c sugar
1/2 stick of melted butter
1/2 t. nutmeg and cinnamon
1 c milk (we use whole/organic milk)
mix this together - well.

Place in a buttered 9x12 inch pan and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

the topping:
3/4 crushed cornflakes
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c brown sugar and 1/2 stick of melted butter Mix this and spread over the top of the baked casserole. then bake for 8 - 10 minutes

What We're Growing For You This Week and Next Weeks Market (Thanksgiving)

Did you hear me holler by any chance?  Thursday morning, I was giddy seeing little baby broccoli heads finally pop out of the big leaves. By the way those leaves are delicious to eat and I think they're the best part - but anyway besides eating, they protect the new baby broccoli buds from anything that would destroy it before it's ready. . . to be birthed (in a sense).

French monster spinach showed it's loveliness at the market this week too. That stuff melts in your mouth. Each week, we hope to harvest more and more.

Roasting radishes RULE!  Don't you know how amazing radishes are when roasted? HELLO're missing out if you don't give it a try. Just drizzle olive oil, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and voila - those radishes become sweeter. Add a few potatoes, and any other vegetable and you've got just about a complete dinner - serve up some slices of Grano de Vida breads or baguette with Crow's Dairy Chevre' and it's done!

I am seeing some happy little babies start to pop up on the sugar snap peas that line the beets. Both will soon be making a delightful appearance.

Each week, more and more of these beautiful vegetables will be picked and put in bags in my $3 basket.

Our FARM will be completely closed on THURSDAY - Thanksgiving Day.  I can hardly wait for my daughter from PDX and granddaughters along with my PHX daughter and all these grandchildren and husbands too - to grace my table of thanks.

The HSM will be opened all other days - EXCEPT Thursday. The farm is closed.

BUT - we'll be opened bright and early SATURDAY morning for our French Cafe' and French Vintage inspired Farmer's Market.

Thanks for supporting our little suburban farm!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Farmstead Creamy Buttery Goat Milk Caramels

Our granddaughter, Miriam's, goat picture....maybe we'll use part of this for our new labels. 

For at least a year, I've desired to use our girl's (aka Nubian goats) sweet goat milk to make caramel candy.

I shared here how the memory of those amazing salted caramels from France left such a sweet memory in my mind. . . kind of like comfort food on a cold, cloudy day.  That specific salted caramel candy taste was my inspiration for our Gourmet Goat - Salted Caramel (in a jar).

My next step was to begin to experiment in my test kitchen.  Somehow I needed to replicate that buttery, creamy salted caramel candy and use the milk from Lavender, Storm, Karrie and Nancy to do that.

For the past months, I've been experimenting and after much taste testing of my small hand made batches of caramel, I can honestly stand back, fold my arms and say, "I am pleased. . . I believe I've done it."

The best part is that our salted goat's milk caramels will be available at our market and when the packaging design is complete, we'll offer them online through our farm's Big Cartel and through Etsey.

Of course this is all perfect timing for the holiday and for gift giving!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Glorious Egg and The Beautiful Hen

Eggs are a wonderful food. A perfect food. Hens work very hard to lay an egg. Under more prefect chicken conditions, they lay an egg every 26 hours.  Hens lay according to light hours.  When there are less light hours to the day, they'll lay less.

Hens don't lay so well under stressful situations such as heat.  It's just so hard on their cute little chicken bodies when it's hot. You can use fans, misters, put ice in their water and use sprinklers, but when it's's hot.

Hen's also don't lay when they are molting. They don't look so pretty when the molt.

Eggs don't need to be washed or refrigerated. . . . at least as long as you don't wash the egg.  If you wash the egg, you'll be removing a God-given protective coating called a bloom.  I've read somewhere that commercial egg producers - dip the eggs in lye or wash them in a chorine bath.

It's not to difficult to have a few of your own hens in your back yard. Really, it's not.

Hens have personalities. They can be very endearing and sweet. They love to eat just about anything in a yard without fences. Yesterday ours ate a newly planted raised bed with little cute lettuce starts. Oh well. They were happy.

Hens also love goat's milk. See here.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Goat Life - A Farm Update

Just a little farm goat update. A pleasant surprise. Indeed. It might not mean much to you, but to us it means a ton.

We've bred all our girls except our "babies" who aren't really babies (born in March of this year).  I've been watching for signs of heat cycles which generally come close to every 21 days.  When a doeling reaches 90 pounds, many goat farms start breeding that doe.  We like to have a bit more weight on and breed at 110 pounds.

When does (girl goats) kid (have their babies) it's a good thing if those babies have other babies to "grow up" with - babies that are close in age.  So, we were really hoping and praying that the last two does would go into "heat" near each other so we could breed them and have them give birth pretty close together - thus baby goats (of similar age) hanging out together.

Yesterday, we knew Posey was clearly in heat and so we put her in the breeding pen with Samson for a date.  We'll do that two days in a row - and often twice in a day - the morning and the evening.

I've been watching closely for Plum to come into heat and for some reason have not noticed a heat from her.  Today, it happened. Plum - was in a "silent" heat. After Posey finished her date, we put her in with Samson and voila....if the girl didn't stand still so Samson could have his date.

So, we'll's hoping they do not come back into heat and both girls will deliver together 150 days from now. life. Never a dull moment.

Storm in March of this year,  pushing and pushing. It's such a wonderful time.

Storm's baby born. I'm trying to give him colostrum.
 As you can see, I'm quite the goopy, bloody mess - but full of joy with this new life.  

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Coffee Bean Caramel (in a jar)

New Fall Flavor - Coffee Bean Caramel
We recently introduced our new fall flavor caramel - Coffee Bean Caramel.  Fresh goat milk and Fair Trade French Roast coffee beans cooked to a creamy sweetness and bottled up in a little jar - perfect for pouring/spooning over brownies, ice cream, crepes, apples (we have apples at our farm now) and lots of other ways.

Our very popular Salted Caramel. 
All our caramels are great holiday gift ideas. We'll even ship.  Our caramel has a 12 month shelf life and once opened refrigeration is suggested.

Friday, October 26, 2012

New Farm Series - Places That Draw Me

Quick reminder - Saturday's French Cafe (with breakfast breads and organic coffee) and our French (Vintage-Style) Market at the farm opens at 8:30 and we'll close at Noon. Goat cheese, goat milk, breads (to die for), fresh harvested greens and some roots, herbs, goat milk caramel, local honey, sweet potatoes, yukon gold, eggplant and more.

So, I thought I'd share with you some of the places I've been to - the places that draw me - the places where I'd love to have a small goat dairy and sip French press coffee and watch my seven grandchildren grow.

 So, here's a random new farm series - Places That Draw Me.

This place draws me. It's a little spot in the world called St. Jean de Luz, located along the northern sea coast of France, just the other side of San Sebastian in Basque Country.

St. Jean de Luz is a small fishing village where Louis XIV built a 'fashionable resort' in the village Square. It's been said that the Square (below) was known as a "Little Paris."

beach house photo
Typical colors of Basque homes. This blue is my absolute favorite color to surround myself with.

photo taken on my trip to this spot

Charming. Absolutely charming.