Friday, September 6, 2013

Simple Inspiration: BackYard Livestock. The First Class - Chickens

When we began our idea of Simple Inspirations - it was to provide workshops and classes to the community around us - inspiring you in THREE AREAS of living.

Track #1 - Grow Your Own Food 
For the past five weeks we've presented as many workshops and classes as we can on everything to do with growing fruits, vegetables and now Herbs {here} on September 19th and Lasagne Gardening {here}on September 15th.

Track # 2  Reclaiming The Domestic Arts
This Simple Inspiration Track thrills me and I blogged about it here.  So far we've held one Pickling Workshop and the second one is scheduled for this Sunday here. We have every Sunday in October scheduled with more workshops that center around your meal table. I'll blog about them this weekend, but here are the subjects:

  • October 6th - Farm to Table - Indian Style (or Taking the Mystery Out of Indian Cooking
  • October 13th - Basic Cheesemaking (with an optional Farm to Table Dinner)
  • October 20th - Preserving The Harvest
  • October 27th - Basic Cheesemaking

Track # 3 Your Backyard Livestock
Today, we just scheduled the first class in this track. Michael and I are incredibly excited to have you meet Bobbie Roth. She's quite the farmer celebrity here in the Phoenix Valley with press here and here

Bobbie will be at the farm Sunday September 22nd to teach a wonderful and informative class: Raising BackYard Chicken.  The Class will go from 1:15 until 2:45 on Sunday afternoon. Class fee is $20. Register HERE.

IF this Sunday doesn't work for you, we've asked her to do a second Raising BackYard Chicken on Sunday, October 6th at 1:15 until 2:45 pm. Class fee is $20. Register HERE.

Psst....Bobbie's next workshop is Preserving the Harvest on Sunday, October 20th from 1:15 - 3:15. All about canning with a demonstration on how to use a pressure cooker.  Workshop description to come - but register now HERE.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Farm Update: 2 New Workshops and Thinking Pumpkins

Two Farm Updates....

Plant Sales
Plant Sales for Your Gardens - is closed down UNTIL we reopen the farm. This gives Suzanne Vilardi and her team lots of time to grow all the vegetables on your list for fall planting. I've been privy to her pipeline of what's going to be available and let's just say...I'm giddy. 

Farm Re-open Date
So - when WILL our farm REOPEN to the general public? Mark the date - Michael says:

Thursday, OCTOBER 17th
and every Thursday - 8:30 until Noon
Deliciousness at our Farm
Inspiration at our Farm
Us and you at our Farm

Some of the delicious herbs we grow at The Simple Farm.

2 New Workshops
Beginning Gardening - September 12th at 9 am 
Be inspired to start your own garden!  Learn all the steps needed to start gardening and growing your vegetables and herbs. Register HERE.

Herbs - All About Growing Herbs - September 19th at 9 am
As you know, if you come to our market, that I love herbs and we grow many wonderful culinary herbs along with some medicinal ones.  

The Herb Workshop Scoop:
Basil thyme, mint, oregano....Fresh herbs add life to salads and dressings, veggies, meat and even desserts and beverages. They also have many health benefits. Even so, they are an expensive luxury these days, one that many households bypass in favor of their dried (but less tasty) versions.  There is no need to buy expensive fresh herbs at the grocery story in order to experience their beauty, aroma and tantalizing flavors. The answer? GROW THEM Yourself! It's easier than you think!

In this workshop, Kari, will teach you the basics of starting and maintain an herb garden, as well as how to harvest your herbs. You will explore herb preservation methods and cooking tips!

Register HERE

Thinking Pumpkins and Pumpkin Pies and Pumpkin Scones and Pumpkin Butter!

Pie Pumpkins from Crooked Sky Farms
We're always evaluating the farm - redefining areas and right now the West Wall Inspiration Garden area is beginning to take on a new look.

Different farm members have been working hard to clean out and set up to get ready for a Fall Harvest ~ Pumpkin Patch area (details of all the fun will be blogged about in October), a Hands-On area for gardening workshops - the first one is HERE. The idea (just forming) is to create a garden learning center with kids and parents in mind.

But for now, won't you think PUMPKINS with me?  Just to help you think PUMPKINS with me - here's the most delicious Pumpkin Scone recipe ever!!! Go HERE.

Give Goat Gifts From Our Farm

More and more is being written about the benefits that come from products made from goat's milk. For the skin -it's the same ph as skin and for the food aspect - it's alkaline verses acidic and most lactose intolerant people tolerate very well cheese and milk from goat's milk.

Here are two gift ideas for you.

Salted Goat's Milk Caramels
Need I say more about our farmstead salted goat milk caramels AND our salted caramel sauce? Just this morning I started several fresh, small batches of our caramel sauce. Ice Cream, brownies, oatmeal, pancakes, coffee, crepes, apple crisp and ?

Pick up from the farm or ordering online at

Sorry, we do not ship this - right now.

Goat's Milk Soap
Want happy skin? Try Annabelle's Goat's Milk Soap - it's at our market and it's deliciously luxurious. I prefer the oatmeal that is unscented. Besides the goat milk - and the different oils she uses, I love the oatmeal - it's a wonderful and natural exfoliant. There's lots of different ones at the market and they're all amazing.

One of the benefits of goat's milk soap is that it's the same ph as your skin. Read this Top Ten Benefits here and then stop by our farm on Thursday to pick up a few bars.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Pumpkin Scones - You'll Want To Make These NOW

Photo from recipes.

A few years back, my acupuncturist Monica, gave me one of the scones she'd made the day before - an incredibly tasting pumpkin scone with a little jar of buttery sweetness to spread on the top.

You'll want to make, here you's the Starbucks Scones found here...which I've copied directly.  But, in Monica's recipe she added 1.5 tsp of pumpkin pie spice rather than all the individual spices (it was so good, I'd tend to do that too) AND for the yummy spice glaze she added butter and whipping cream and quite a bit of pumpkin pie spice.  You'd want to do that too....

  • cups all purpose flour 
  • tablespoons sugar
  • tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • tablespoons cold butter
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • tablespoons half-and-half
  • large egg

Powderered Sugar Glazze

  • cup powdered sugar
  • tablespoon powdered sugar
  • tablespoons whole milk

Spiced Glaze

  • cup powdered sugar
  • tablespoons powdered sugar
  • tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch ginger
  • pinch ground cloves

Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 30 mins

  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
  3. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Using a pastry knife, fork, or food processor, cut butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, half and half, and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Form the dough into a ball.
  5. Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle (about 9 inches long and 3 inches wide). Use a large knife or a pizza cutter to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut those three slices diagonally so that you have 6 triangular slices of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 14?16 minutes. Scones should begin to turn light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.
  8. Mix the powdered sugar and 2 tbsp milk together until smooth.
  9. When scones are cool, use a brush to paint plain glaze over the top of each scone.
  11. Combine the ingredient for the spiced icing together. Drizzle this thicker icing over each scone and allow the icing to dry before serving (at least 1 hour). A squirt bottle works great for this, or you can drizzle with a whisk.

Lasagne Anyone - Great Gardening Method

Cooler weather says it's time to think about fall meal time main dishes like lasagne. But the lasagne, I'm telling you about is a system/style of gardening that has profound effects on how happy your vegetables and herbs will be.

Jill Green of Sweet Life Gardens, who has been gardening with her husband Hal since her daughters will little people, is truly an expert when it comes to this method of gardening. We've asked her to share this method with you at a Hands-On Gardening Workshop.

Register Here!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Come, Pickle With Me - September 8th 3-5 pm Pickling Workshop

Creating a pickling pantry isn't hard - it's fun and easy and it starts with a group of new friends meeting at The Simple Farm and learning step one: pickling cucumbers and taking your jar home!

There is a sweet movement to reclaim the domestic arts on the home front and 
as an older woman, I couldn't be more thrilled to see younger and older women (men too) 
come together to want to learn some of these traditional skills - 
that only make the meal table more amazing! 

Our first pickling workshop filled up within a few days (see pics here)
and this one has only a few spots left, 
so if you've been thinking about it, register today. 

Love these faces and these jars of pure goodness!

Simple Inspiration: 
The Simple Home - Domestic Arts Workshops 
is offering the second pickling hands-on workshop.

When: This Sunday - September 8th
Time: 3 - 5 pm
Where: The Simple Farm Inspiration Patio
Fee: $25 Register HERE

This workshop fee includes your mason jar pint, spices, your organic pickling cucumbers and fabulous fun meeting other people who want to learn how to create a pickled pantry just like you do!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Simple Inspirations: The Simple Home - All About The Meal Table

My mind is whirling with lots of inspiration for The Simple Home ~ Reclaiming The Domestic Arts piece of these new workshops we've begun. I believe what happens in the home and really what happens around the meal table will guide the direction of the family.

Anyway, I saw this idea on a friends FB page and I then became a "woman on a mission" to put one together.

My first stop was the do-ability- of it with finding the gas stove top. I called StarLight - non-profit organization that has used building equipment.

Bingo. First call proved to be a success. They had ONE KitchenAid stove top. Done. Got it.  The story behind the price - you'll just have to ask me about it. Amazing and incredible are my two descriptive words.

Bingo. Second call proved to be a success. I found an appliance repair place - who knew exactly what was needed to convert the gas to LP. They called the manufacturer and ordered these tiny tiny brass fittings. Then for another price installed them for me.

Bingo. Went to HD and found the LP hose and converter that would connect the propane tank to the Kitchen Aid.

Bingo. The appliance repair guys had JUST the exact fitting to match the two pieces.

NEXT - I had in mind a butcher block counter top thing and bingo - found one on Craigs List. The counter top owner had it listed for $100 and when I showed up she said, "No, it's $250." Well, she rechecked her listing and made a mistake and honored her $100. They helped me put this incredibly heavy piece into the truck and I carefully put this incredibly heavy piece out of the truck when I returned to the farm.

My dear husband spent literally TWO days cutting out the spot where the burners would go and then adding little rolling wheels.

TaDa....I am thrilled. This beautiful stove top piece will be used over and over again teaching all sorts of workshops for The Simple Home - Reclaiming the Domestic Arts.

You'll be seeing lots of this beauty for all sorts of up and coming domestic arts workshops at our farm!