Food blogs (a follow friday #ff post)

On my personal blog I had the idea to share the blogs I enjoy and I thought that you all might enjoy this too. Here is the original post:

Now we come to the most tasty FF- Food! I love food. I love to eat food, I’ve learned to love to cook food, and I’m excited to now be growing and raising food! My fascination with eating good food began in college. Meeting friends from other cultures allowed me to explore true Asian cuisine for the first time. I studied abroad twice and was forced to adapt not only my tastes but also techniques. And I started reading newspaper food reviews and kept a journal so I’d know what was good and hip and fresh. This continued as we made our home in an inner suburb of Columbus where new styles and ideas on food were exploding. The reviews started coming from blogs instead of the paper, which gives everyone a voice (and some are better than others ūüôā

This is the longest list of blogs I follow. As I was posting these I noticed that I had put many farming blogs here too. Because food is farming and farming is food.

Why we do our own butchering

This article from the Washington post was released last week and just came to my attention. It helps to justify the painstaking process of doing our own butchering. Andy had some store bought chicken at his parents a few weeks ago, and is now sensitive to the bleach taste of the meat. If you are a regular customer, can you tell a difference?

Moving out the chicks

Yesterday’s post was actually from a couple weeks ago (April 14). Andy sent me this picture showing Linus helping with the transfer of the meat chickens to pasture. There is an optimum age to move them out, according to Andy via Joel Salatin. So it was time for these little guys to go out. Thankfully, I think we’ve finally rounded the corner and should have warm weather from here on out. With the craziness of spring I keep holding my breath!

Chicks moving out!

Old chicks and new chicks

After living in the chicken house all winter, a quick sale on baby chicks inspired us to get the layers out of the house and into their wagon. All on one Sunday afternoon.

At first I was manning the door, but then Lucy took over. Andy and his dad were catching and trimming nails and wings, and then Linus was carrying them out. These pictures are delightful because it shows that my kids are finally getting into the farming thing. Well, at least the big two.

   

If you can’t tell, Sally isn’t quite sure what to think.

John and Andy bringing out birds.

 

The baby chicks. This is our first time trying the ones from TSC. They were wanting to clear them out so we purchased 46 for a dollar each. The next day we only had 36. We quickly learned that our good barn/mouser cat had learned where he could get a quick meal. Andy stopped this by reinforcing the house and putting screens over the brooder. However, one little guy had to to spend the night in the house to heal from a wound.

 

A busy birthing weekend!

We have more babies to celebrate at the farm! Andy had walked out to the barn around 5 am the morning of Good Friday to find one of our ewes in labor. When he and I checked again at 9 we found momma with her two boy lambs- our first set of twins!

2013-03-29_09-43-25_172
Momma and one baby
2013-03-29_09-53-18_851
Oh, there’s his brother! Nothing better than watching a momma take care of her babies.

Then later that day we found another ewe laboring and Andy and the two big kids were able to witness/assist this little guy being born.

2013-03-29_17-31-05_160
I love that Tunis are born all red.

That makes for a total of 4 male lambs born in March. While we would’ve liked to have added to our breeding stock, it will be nice to have lamb to sell to our customers!

We’ve gotten a great response so far with the meat we had processed in January. Andy cooked up lamb shanks¬†the night before, and they were delicious! I joke that I really don’t like the taste of lamb, unless it is cooked in a really nice restaurant. But I loved this preparation and so did the kids.

To top off our weekend, Easter morning our pig (which has been residing at a neighbor’s house¬† since we didn’t have adequate facilities) went into labor. This was a disaster learning experience. She birthed one dead and one live piglet. Then stopped. After lunch Andy went up and watched for 6 hours as they tried to get her to birth the (supposed) rest of her litter. Unfortunately, nothing else happened. (Thankfully) Andy is done with pigs. I wouldn’t mind raising one for bacon, but I don’t see us getting into farrowing again.

2013-03-31_18-23-58_993
Yes, even pigs nursing are cute!

Why we do what we do, part one

The slowness of winter on the farm allows time to read, study, plan and think about the next year. I had the idea of doing a top ten style list of why we started farming, both for the sake of new readers and as a reminder to us, to be re-read in the summer when we are pulling the one thousandth weed in the blazing sun, or moving chickens at 6 am, and questioning our sanity

Reason 1: Both of my parents died from non-hereditary forms of cancer. My dad was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme (stage 4) brain cancer in February 2007 and died May 2, 2007. My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in March 2009 and died January 6, 2010. Needless to say, I hate cancer. I hate that it is so prevalent now, and that it attacks and affects¬† regardless of age, race or gender. And how and why you get it is (mostly) unknown. But I do know that, as a child and teen, I never saw my parents drink water. They would drink 4-6 cans of “diet whatever” a day.¬† And I know that there is research that links brain cancer with aspartame. I just wonder whether their cancer was due to environmental reasons or due to their diet, or if it was just an anomaly.

Reason 2: The majority of the American diet is engineered in a lab. This article from the NYT was just released and it is shocking but not surprising to learn that food manufactures are trying to make as much money as possible, by getting us addicted to their products. On the other hand, the local food moving is resurging. More and more people are realizing that the best food is the freshest food.

Reason 3: I love to eat and I love to try new foods. This began during my undergraduate years at Ohio State. Through friends from different cultures I was introduced to world cuisine. Living in the city also allowed me to explore local and unique restaurants. This passion continued to grow throughout my twenties and today. With the growing focus on sourcing local, we hope to become a supplier to some of our favorite places someday.

If you farm, what are some of your reasons? Or are you a consumer wanting to make more informed choices?

Happy New Year!

Wow, I am just now realizing how long it has been since I’ve blogged here! I’ll try to catch you up on our farm happenings. November was a crazy month at the farm. We had to get the place ready to host Andy’s family of over two dozen, and we also butchered the meat chickens and fifteen Thanksgiving turkeys. The turkeys were done the weekend before Thanksgiving and we learned that many of our customers loved having a fresh bird to prepare. The best part of farm life is reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, while showing people how their food is raised and processed.

turkeys2012
The turkeys almost ready to eat!

We also had two litters of rabbits born. A mix of New Zealand and Chinchilla.

rabbit
Baby rabbits and momma

In December we moved the chickens and rabbits into the chicken house, the sheep into the barn, and butchered the a small batch of turkeys for Christmas. Chore time is a little easier now, thankfully, because we are learning that this is going to be a snowy Ohio winter.

The new year brings new goals, ideas, and challenges for our farm. We hope to expand our operation and meet some new friends and customers by selling at local farmers markets. On-farm sales will continue as well. We feel blessed to be able to be have this opportunity and look forward to serving your local food needs in the coming years.