Tapping time is here again! We are collecting and boiling syrup this week, here's to a great haul!
Our 100% grass fed beef and lamb is available. We want to let everyone know that our beef and lamb is all ready and available for pick up this Thursday at the Essential Eating market from 1
Patience is the word for this 2014 mapling season. The weather still wants to stay in the freezing temperatures and the trees are still convinced we are in the dead of winter and are holding on tight to the sap but its bound to flow soon. We hope.
Beet Green Recipie
1 Wash the greens in a sink filled with cold water. Drain greens and wash a second time. Drain greens and cut away any heavy stems. Cut leaves into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
2 In a large skillet or 3-qt saucepan, cook bacon until lightly browned on medium heat (or heat 1 Tbsp of bacon fat). Add onions, cook over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occassionally, until onions soften and start to brown. Stir in garlic. Add water to the hot pan, stirring to loosen any particles from bottom of pan. Stir in sugar and red pepper. Bring mixture to a boil.
3 Add the beet greens, gently toss in the onion mixture so the greens are well coated. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5-15 minutes until the greens are tender. Stir in vinegar. (For kale or collard greens continue cooking additional 20 to 25 minutes or until desired tenderness.)
Woods, hedgerows and untouched grassy areas are essential on a healthy farm. These areas serve as sanctuaries for the wildlife where they can thrive undisturbed by the activities of the farm. Its easy to lose site of the contributions of the wild animals as we go about our busy farm life taking care of the domestic animals and plants. But these creatures aid to the overall well being of the farm as insect control, ecological balance, as well as the feeling of serenity and a knowing that we are part of something much larger. These wildlife areas allow for a balancing of the animal populations so that wild animals can over grow and become highly competitive with the cultivated yields can be kept in check.
People have made suggestions to us such as " why don't you put in automatic waterers or other automations? It would save you time. " Our philosophy is to meet the needs of the animals on a day to day basis. This involves observation from a compassionate perspective. This takes time spent with the animals everyday. Manually attending to their basic needs leads to a deeper connection with the animals in turn leading to decisions that make for a calmer and healthier environment.
Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Rosemary-Pancetta Paste
Cuts of lamb, such as the shoulder and breast, that have rich, deep flavor and ample fat are delicious when well-done. You can serve the lamb with a pan sauce, if you like. I like to accompany this dish with cannellini or flageolet beans cooked with sage and garlic.
8 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 pound pancetta, diced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons finely ground black pepper
1 3-4 pound boned and rolled lamb shoulder roast
White Beans with Sage (recipe follows)
With the motor running, drop the garlic through the tube of a food processor and pulse until chopped. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the pancetta, rosemary and pepper and pulse several times to form a paste.
Trim the lamb of excess fat. Make 1/2-inch deep gashes 1 to 2 inches long at an angle all over the surface of the meat, taking care not to cut any of the strings. Fill each gash with some of the rosemary pancetta paste. Smear the remaining paste over the surface of the roast. (The meat can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated over night. Let the roast sit one hour at room temperature before cooking.)
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
Place the roast fat side up in a roasting pan and roast for 3 hours, until the meat registers 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. If not done, continue to roast, checking every 30 minutes. Let rest, loosely covered with foil, for 20 minutes before carving.
Slice the meat into thick slices. Spoon the beans into a large shallow serving bowl and top with the lamb. Drizzle any juices over the top and serve.
Chinchilla Summer Market
This week is the beginning of our first week of summer Essential Eating Farmers Market in Chinchilla. The markets will be every Thursday from 10 till 2 until the end of November We will be back in our summer location in the parking lot on the corner of Northern Boulavard and Holgate street, next to our winter location behind the orthodontic offices. We will have salad mixes, kale and spinach along with our maple syrup- both extra dark and medium and maple coated sprouted organic almonds. As always we will have our eggs from pasture raised/organic fed hens as well as our grass fed beef and lamb and organic fed pasture raised pork, turkey and chicken. Orders welcome.
We also want to take this time to thank all the people who supported us during the winter months and to Janie Quinn who has made this market possible. You are all loved and appreciated.
Fields have been ploughed, compost spread and today we started planting potatoes.
We are planting a mix of potatoes, as variety is the spice of life. Plus we have a few boxes of sprouted potatoes from last year which we are excited to put in the ground. While planting the potatoes, Scott and Todd where very inquisitive as to how their roots grow. Above is a illustration of the stages of potatoes.
Did you know the potato was first domesticated in the region of modern-day southern Peru and extreme northwestern Bolivia between 8000 and 5000 BCE. It has since spread around the world and become a staple crop in many countries.
Our greens, kale and large leaf lettuces are thriving with the warmer weather. We will have all of these available at the Scranton Farmers Market tomorrow ( Thursday 25th April). We also have some in stock in the farm store just incase you missed the Market and where in the area.
The Dark Maple Syrup is bottled, so if you would like some please call ahead to avoid disappointment.
Green Grass and Food In The Ground
This week has been a very productive week at the farm. The weather is slowly warming up and the buds are out on the trees. This is a very exciting time for us as we start putting seed and seedlings into the ground. Scott and Todd planted onions and peas today and looked rather sunburned when they were finished.
The last of the Maple Syrup was filtered today and we have some fantastic dark syrup in stock. Be sure to stop by and pick up a pint or a gallon.
Aaron's cows have been enjoying the warmer weather and eating the grass which has finally sprouted. Our Grass Fed Beef is a popular item, it sells out as fast as we have it come in. If you would like to learn a bit more about Grass-Fed animals here are a few facts.
A large part of growing healthy, wholesome veggies is composting. We compost pretty much everything we can on the fram. The compost is used for all the vegetable beds ensuring the best nutrients are available for our growing season. This past week we turned our compost piles ensuring they are aerated. Aaron keeps a close eye on the temperature of the compost piles so he knows when they can be used or turned.
Composting is fun and easy. Do you compost at home? Here is an insightful article on composting made easy.
We just finished a long, productive week of sugaring. Our maple trees where delighted with the season's weather and Aaron was kept very busy in the sugar house for a solid week. Today, Todd and Scott spent the entire day walking the sap lines and closing the taps, till they will be used again next year. They enjoyed exploring the far reaches of the farm and returned with tired legs from the days hike.
Usually a maple tree is at least 30 years old and 12 inches in diameter before it is tapped. As the tree increases in diameter, more taps can be added - up to a maximum of four taps. Tapping does no permanent damage and only 10 percent of the sap is collected each year. Many maple trees have been tapped for 150 or more years.
While we wait for the summer sun to arrive here's a recipe for some Maple Corn & Butternut Squash Soup.
Be sure to stop by the Farm Store to pick up your maple products... before they are all gone!
We Are Online and Stacking Wood
We are proud to announce that Back Achers Farm is online.
We have launched our new website and facebook page. This will make it easier to get hold of us and follow our progress through out the year. We will be posting photos, recipes and CSA updates throughout the year. Let us know what you think about our new online presence.
Mother nature has been treating us well this winter. We are about to start the sugaring process to create some delicious maple products. Todd (photo on left) was stacking wood for the evaporator last week.
We like to keep you aware