Search

Agrarian Harvest

Wholesome. Organic. Experience. All about our farm, food, and small farm life.

Category

Uncategorized

Spring Fever

The warm sunny weather this week has made us very eager for summer.  Is this Spring fever or just plain craziness? We have spent our week planting more seeds. We have several flats planted in the cold frame, planning to put some in the house, and are even experimenting with direct seeding in the ground with cold weather plants. This beautiful weather at the beginning of March leaves me a little worried about what the weather will be like the end of March and April.

We had another litter of piglets born this week. That makes two litters so far this year. We have two more sows left farrow this Spring. The sow that farrowed this week had 10 live piglets and four born dead. That’s a large litter and they are all looking and doing good. Here is a picture of a few of the cuties.20160305_082308 (1)

It looks like the weather this coming week is going to be cooler and rainy. That will leave us looking out the window yearning for warm weather again. And making more plans for what to plant, when to plant, how much to plant, and wondering how soon can we get our hands back out in the soil. Just like how we spent our January.  Speaking of January, below is our blog post from January that I forgot to post. Sorry. I tend to get distracted with homeschool during the winter and that is what I focus on. Apparently, I wrote a post for January and then forgot to publish it. So here it is:

It is that time of year again. The time when the farmer gets restless and the itching to plant and grow things. Our highs were in the teens for over a week in January, so it’s hard to motivate yourself to spend the time outside to take care of the animals and no chance of getting anything to grow yet. That leaves the farmer with lots of time to plan. The farmer has been spending his days looking over seed lists, making plans and then spending time on the web reading and looking at pictures.

So, of course,  more ideas will pop into his head and he can make longer lists of things to grow, do, and change this year. This can be a scary time for the farmer’s wife. The unknown and new ideas scare her and she realizes that the longer the list is, the more work is involved.  It’s an amazing how we balance each other out. The farmer is the dreamer and idea person. The farmer’s wife keeps him in check, keeps things realistic and within reasonable means.

Speaking of new things for 2016, we are offering a produce CSA! We are very excited about expanding our CSA program. And now is the time to sign up for a share! Produce CSA

Thanksgiving Traditions

For Thanksgiving, we go to the parents’ houses for big family gatherings. And we always eat turkey, the bigger the better, that way there are lots of leftovers. Four years ago, we started our own little Thanksgiving tradition. We cook our own Thanksgiving feast at our house for our little family the night before Thanksgiving. That way we have our own Thanksgiving leftovers to eat the days after Thanksgiving.

I usually cook a chicken or two, once again the bigger the better, or a turkey. Whenever I buy a turkey, I always buy the biggest one I can find. We love poultry leftovers and you can make freezer meals of the leftover meat! This year I didn’t buy a turkey since we raised so many chickens this summer and still have lots in the freezers. So the plan is to cook a couple of chickens.

It is has been a desire for me to cook or roast a whole pig. I know people do it all the time, we have customer who come buy small pigs from us to roast whole. So I’ve had this strong desire to roast a pig ever since this Spring when we had piglets that kept getting out and rooting up my yard, flower beds and garden. When they would get out and make a mess or kill my plants, my first reaction was being mad. . . . .  then I started looking at them a different way. . . . . . they were a feast on legs. They were the prime size to kill and roast whole.  We have not done that yet, but I have tried to convince the other half to do it since it is too big of task for me to do on my own.  I kept thinking that summer would be a great time to do it, but it was so very busy for us so we didn’t take the time to try something new. And those pigs have grown up and gone to the butcher, but we have another batch that are the perfect size to roast whole again. Now I’m thinking that Thanksgiving and Christmas is a good time to roast a whole pig for those large family feast! 20151125_102403

So if your family already has a tradition of roasting a pig for Thanksgiving or Christmas and you are looking for a pig, or if this is a new desire for you too and you need a pig, then give us a call (visit our Buy page or Contact Us page). We have pigs of all sizes and pork available by the cut.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Feasting!!! We hope everyone has a Thanksgiving full of blessings and love!

Camping

We had our first family vacation away from the farm this summer. We went camping this past week. I know some people don’t think camping is a vacation, but for broke farmers it’s a chance to get away from the farm and that is most likely the only “vacation” they will take. For the family member that has to do the packing, unpacking, and clean up it doesn’t feel like a vacation, but there are perks to camping.

20150811_143508

One of my favorite things about camping is the breakfast. It’s always the best tasting breakfast and a bigger breakfast than we normally eat – bacon, eggs, spuds & onions, sometimes toast, or pancakes. All cooked over the fire with coffee boiled in a pot with loose grounds, what we call sheep herder coffee.  Nothing compares to how good the food taste in the mountains cooked over a fire.

This leads to my next favorite thing about camping; I don’t do the cooking! Years ago the other half and I made a deal that he had to do all the cooking while we’re camping. That way I can consider camping a vacation – getting away from home, relaxing, having fun, and being taken care of. If I do  the cooking at home, then the other half does the cooking at camp over a campfire. Cooking over a campfire is not my specialty anyway, I’d much rather prefer to use a stove. It’s already way more work for me to go camping than it is to stay home. There is all the packing and prep to get ready . . . . . .  packing  clothes, bedding, tent, and then there’s all the food. Since we live as cheap as possible and homestead like there is no store-bought-canned food to pack. This means I have to spend a full day cooking just to get ready to go so I do the cooking to go, but don’t have to cook while are there. This involves making homemade snack foods like granola bars, caramel corn, muffins, chili, stew, salads, fried chicken, and baked potatoes. I also pack fresh fruits and veggies from the farm, bacon, steak, hamburger,and our indulgence – hot dogs.

20150811_141804

Sometimes I wonder if the only reason the  other half agrees to get away from the farm is because he sees it as a necessity, a working trip. We don’t just sit, read or enj20150812_102056oy hiking. We cut and load the horse trailer with firewood. Yes, another task that has to be done in the summer and fall because that’s how we heat our house in the winter, with a wood burning stove.

Once we are done loading wood and are dog tired, I make the family hike to the top of the mountain in search of every high mountain lake we can find.  I have an obsession with high mountain lakes. I would love to hike to as many high mountain lakes as possible i20150811_121816n my lifetime. High mountain lakes are such majestic, breath-taking works of art with the only way to view them is to hike into them by foot or horse. There is nothing like a strenuous hi
ke to make a vacation enjoyable, seriously. Even if you have to leave the other half and kids at the lower lake and hike up an over the mountain to the third lake by yourself. You truly feel like a champion when reach the saddle! There is also nothing like standing on top of a saddle, looking at all the peaks in view being eye level and feeling like you’re on top of the
world. And we might just be for just a short period of time.

20150811_121708

So, yes, we call camping a vacation. We work, we hike, we sit around the fire and read and, most importantly, we have fun. We may create more work for ourselves by making our vacation a working trip and then more work to unload the trailer of wood when we get home, but I don’t thi20150811_140325nk we would know what to do or how to behave on a real vacation

Now to get caught up on the farm work! There is lots of produce to harvest and a ton of very large overgrown zucchini to deal with.

Happy, Crazy, Busy Summer Day

It’s one of those summer days here that everything has built up and needs done now! We are feeling crunched by large projects on the to-do list for the day along with all the daily tasks:

  • get jam canned ( the fruit is picked and sitting in the bushel basket in the kitchen waiting)
  • sauerkraut made (several of our 400 cabbage plants cracked this week with the rain)
  • broilers caught and processed
  • weekly harvest for the farmers’ market
  • and the kids want to go fishing this evening

I’m feeling like it’s an impossible to-do list to get done in one day, but we are always willing to try to tackle anything that comes our way.  So it’s time to dutifully tie on the apron for me, put on gloves for the other half and get the work done. Tying on an apron, that relieves some stress in itself, and already makes me feel so productive.

Then I get phone calls from friends asking to help them out. Of course, I will help! I’m great at juggling . . . . . . .well, really I can’t juggle, but I’m great at multi-tasking. I love being that go-to person that friends can rely on to help out or fill in for them in a pinch. So friends if you are reading this: I love helping you with anything (seriously) and am willing to lend a hand anytime, please continue to call and ask me for favors. If you don’t, I will think you are mad at me or you don’t like me anymore and I will cry.

The exciting part of the day is the end is within sight! Or at least the end of broiler chicken craziness for the summer is within sight for us. We ended up raising broilers (lots of broilers) most of the summer, not the plan we started with this spring. Today is our last processing day for the summer. So this is the last day to order fresh, never frozen chickens. Otherwise, you can order our organic, grass-fed frozen chicken any day until they are gone. I’m feeling that once they are processed then we can breath, have more freedom (chore time won’t be quite so demanding on our schedule), and I will get my yard back. I’m getting tired of all those chickens scratching and pooping all over my yard. Then there is also the time consuming task of watering, feeding and moving or herding all those chickens daily. Really, the only part that excites me is getting my space back. And I just might get it back today.

So once again, tie the apron on and get back to work! Oops, better get this posted before the day is over too!

Garlic Scape Escapade

DSCN7023

We have been hearing a lot of these question lately: What are those things? What are garlic scapes? Where do they come from? How do you grow them?

A garlic scape is the flowering part (flowering stem) of hardneck garlic that doesn’t actually produce a flower . Each garlic plant will produce one scape. Once the flowering stem completes a full curl, it is time to start clipping them off and that is a garlic scape. Clipping the scape, allows the plant’s nutrients and energy to go to producing a larger bulb. Not all plants will produce the scape at the same time, so this calls for consistent clipping and checking of your garlic patch. For us that is a lot of row walking and continuous harvesting. We have a half acre of garlic this year. When we were tediously planting all that garlic by hand last fall, we were wondering what we were thinking when we planned to plant that much garlic. And seriously thinking we were crazy.

DSCN7026DSCN7028

Now that the garlic scapes are harvested, it is time to have some fun creating and cooking. Garlic scapes can be ate raw, used as a garnish, substituted for garlic in recipes, cooked or even pickled. We have been enjoying arugula garlic scape pesto. Mine is a bit on the hot or spicy side, the way we like it. Pesto is absolutely delicious on tomatoes with mozzarella. Or just saute scapes then eat on toast. Saute and put into homemade bread for a loaf of garlic bread.

DSCN7006

Pickling garlic scapes is something new I’m trying this year. We love anything pickled in this house so pickled scapes make our mouths water. Our kids even fight over who gets to eat the garlic out of the dill pickle jars. My solution: pickle garlic scapes. Now everyone gets their own jar and there is no fighting; until it’s time to go clip more scapes. We tried a recipe with sugar and a version with dill and pepper flakes. We prefer the dill, but if you prefer sweet pickles then you would probably like the sweet version.

DSCN7013We are chopping up garlic scapes and putting them in almost every dish we make. Even in my homemade dressings.  The possibilities are endless!

So far my favorite uses of garlic scapes are to saute them with kale and pickled. What is your favorite way to use garlic scapes? What kind of wonderful creation did you come up with using garlic scapes? I would love to hear from you!

DSCN7027

We’re in the newspaper

Here is an article about us that was recently published in the Capital Press. A very nice article telling about us. Enjoy!

http://www.capitalpress.com/20150522/small-farm-grows-larger-with-diversification#

Farewell Dark Clouds

DSCN6985

We are saying good-bye to the dark, gray skies that have been hanging over for the last couple of weeks. Although, it feels like months. It is so hard to get moving early in the morning when the dark clouds are hanging over and it is damp and cool outside. It’s so much easier to sit by the warm fire (yes, we have been building fires in the mornings) a little bit longer instead of having to go out to do chores.  Chores do get done reluctantly, then everyone hurries by inside to sit by the fire or wrap up in a blanket instead of staying outside to get rest of the days work done. Or the dark clouds roll in during the middle of the day with the wind, rain or hail. Then we end up having to stop what we are doing to protect ourselves and have to leave our work unfinished. There is nothing more frustrating than having to leave a project only partially done. We have lots of planting still to do; bits and pieces of it are getting done between rain storms. Who would want to stay out in the gray, dreary, wet weather to kneel in the mud to put down weed barrier or plant anything? We are ready for summer and all that it brings. Bring on the sun, the heat, the work, long days, sounds and smells of summer nights, BBQs, firepits, fresh fruits, berries and veggies and all the fun of summer.

Cloudy Start to Great Day

After a cloudy, cool start to the day with a threat of rain, it turned out to be a great market day. The sun came out and so did the crowd. Sorry to all who came to buy greens and we were out. We sold out of all our greens, rhubarb, and green onions. We had a storm that came through this past week that that poured rain and hail. Unfortunately, our produce was damaged so were short on product this week. We project that we will have more produce in the coming week than we did this week and possibly the first radishes of the season.

Spring Chicken

20150510_164900

Our following! Soon to be decreased. Our first processing date is set for broiler chickens. It’s this week! Spring chickens are here and available. Our chickens are grass-fed, organic and have lots of room to move.

Chicken dinner tonight? Contact us with to get your chicken and salad. One stop shopping and dinner is served.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: