Thursday, April 26, 2012

Farm eggs

The chickens have been very productive over the last couple months. Between the days getting longer and them being on pasture, they are laying a lot of eggs. We get about 15-20 every day. 

Most of those are sold to our co-workers and a few folks in town. However, Farmer John and I always have lots of eggs in the fridge to use for our own dinners. We like to keep weeknight dinner simple so we use the eggs for frittata, quiche, egg salad, and (my favorite!) brinner. But, as you can see that's not a lot of variety. 

Do you have any suggestions for us? I'd love to hear about some recipes that either use up a lot of eggs at once or any that are your egg-y favorites. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spring dinner

We finally got to eat salad last night!

I have been so hungry for garden-fresh greens. Now I get to enjoy lots of them. Also, the asparagus is really growing fast. We've been throwing it into pastas and egg dishes regularly. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Poor Old Dirt Farmer

Levon Helm passed away today. Farmer John and I will be grateful for all his music. However, we can't even count how many times we've canned tomatoes, cooked dinner, or waltzed in the kitchen while listening to one of his more recent albums "Dirt Farmer". Thanks Levon. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Hungry Month

We are in the midst of the time some people call the "Hungry Month". Don't worry, we aren't actually going hungry. However, we don't have a lot of fresh food at the moment. Some of our frozen and stored food is starting to run low, and the garden isn't producing much yet. So the goal for this week was to use what we had on hand, even if it was weird stuff from the back of the cabinet.

Here are the week's menus:

Sunday - Brinner!
Toast - with jam from a wedding from at least 5 years ago.
Eggs - because we have lots of eggs right now!
Hash-browns - with last years potatoes

Burgers - with our beef
Beans and corn - from the back of the cabinet

Pasta with a pack of salmon that's been in the cabinet for quite a while now.
Asparagus - which is the one fresh veggie the garden is giving us.

Fajitas with frozen peppers, onions, and salsa from "Uncle John"

I worked late, and Farmer John attended another Local Foods meeting. So it was pizza from our favorite local pub. 

I really hope the most recent freezes haven't killed off our peas and lettuce, because I'm so hungry for a fresh salad! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


You know what I like to do when I get home from work? Usually relax a few minutes, have a snack, maybe play around on the internet. You know what I DON'T like to do when I get home from work? Wrangle livestock. But, that's exactly what happened this afternoon. 

Farmer John and I were on our way back to the farm, and right as we got around the bend in the road we could see we had some cattle outside of the fence. When we pulled onto the bridge we realized we had A LOT of cattle out of the fence. There was one cow in the yard, one in the barn (the people part of the barn),  several out in the hayfield and two standing at the end of the bridge!

I did not get photos of the cows near the bridge, or in the yard, or running through the garden, or ducking under the unhinged gate. But, I did get these photos of Farmer John herding some of them. These three were out in the hayfield. 

Two of the three just snuck their way back through the fence. But Clyde, it's always Clyde, was a bit more difficult. He had to be herded around all the gardens, around the barn, past the house, and through the brush above the upper building. It didn't take long to do all the herding, it just wasn't what we were expecting when we came home. 

After the bovine herding, we puttered around the house for a few minutes. Then Farmer John went outside to get started on chores. He was back inside in just a minute. At which point he said "#$%@! farm animals!" The chicks had escaped from their brooder. 

See all the chicks on the floor? They came out of that open door from the middle of the brooder. Farmer John and I spent the next 20 minutes chasing chicks around the shop. Fortunately, it wasn't quite as hard as we'd originally expected. Again, this is not what we were expecting to do this afternoon. 

I'm pretty sure this is the leader of the jail-break. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to Farmhand Dad!

Thanks for all your hard work around the farm over the past year. We hope that you'll get to have a relaxing day today so that you're well-rested for the next farm project we drag you into!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Asheville animals

One of the days we spent in Asheville included a tour of three farms. The farms were really in Polk County, which is south of Asheville, it was a gorgeous area. 

We started at a Leap Farm, which focuses on produce. It was a small operation, but the farmer's work with soil was very interesting. 

Next, was a tour of a bio-dynamic farm. Here things were familiar. They have three mini-Highland cows. 

I took this photo to make ours jealous. Not really, but two of their three cows are very tame and friendly, so it was fun to scratch their heads. 

Next it was on to something not so familiar. The third farm had a impressive array of poultry. 

Guineas may be in our near future. "Uncle" John is thinking of getting a few to keep near his garden. The ones pictured below were by far the quietest guineas I've ever met. And a quiet guinea is a rare guinea. 

This farm had a huge enclosure of peacocks. There must have been 30 peacocks and several different breeds. 

At the same farm with all the birds, they had the grand-finale of the tour. Bison! These guys and gals were HUGE, they made our cows look like lap-cows in comparison. I'm pretty used to being among our herd, but the bison were intimidatingly large. We all stayed behind the safety of the large steel gate.

Finally, we stopped by the Carl Sandburg home in Flat Rock, NC. It's a lovely site run by the National Park Service. There was a lake, winding paths and flowering trees, but the best part was the goats. Carl's wife raised prize-winning goats, and they still have some on the property. This guy was lots of fun to feed. 

Thanks again to Migrant Farm-Hand Becky for the fun visit. We knew we'd have a great time exploring Asheville with you, but we didn't know you would show us so many fun animals!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Good News

While Farmer John and I were on the road on Saturday we got a very happy phone call. A calf was born that morning. 

It's a bull calf, who appears to be very healthy. He's nursing, pooping and running around the pasture. 

Bonnie is his big sister, and she seems a bit confused about this new interloper. 

Last year all the calves were born almost exactly a month apart. We are interested to see if the same pattern will continue this year. For now we are so thankful and excited that this calf looks so healthy and that he was born to a very good mom.  

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring Break!

Farmer John and I are on Spring Break this week! We loaded up the car yesterday and headed South to Asheville, NC. Not only is Asheville proving to be a fun town with yummy food, beer and fantastic people-watching, but it is also the current home of Migrant Farm-Hand Becky. 

Today we all "hiked" to the top of Mt. Mitchell - highest mountain east of the Mississippi. Tomorrow - farm tours! 

We also got some very happy farm news yesterday, I'll post pictures as soon as we're back home - stay tuned. 

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