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