Fall Update and Great News

IMG_4390Wonderful news. We have been given a great gift and long-awaited happiness in our lives. On September 21, Asher George Nix was born to us. Asher is the first Hebrew word of the Psalms and one of Jacob’s sons in the Bible. The word means Blessed or Happy! George is Mathew’s amazing dad and the name also means farmer, rather appropriate huh? Please rejoice with us.

In farm news, we are still plodding along and continue to enjoy the fall harvest. Today was our first big frost with the temperature last night reaching 23 degrees F. With the high tunnel, we still have a bit of a growing season, but most of our produce is done. We’re also stocking up on hay for winter so the cows and pigs have plenty to enjoy.

Available products on the farm still include pork and chicken. We will also have tomatoes, spaghetti squash, peppers, watermelon, possibly purple potatoes, and tallow

lotion until they are all sold or the high tunnel gets too cold. Spaghetti squash is a wonderful keeper. The seeds we planted this year were from a squash I cut up in March that was still good from the 2016 harvest. Small are $1.50 and large are $3. Our tomatoes are down to $.75 per pound for seconds and $1.75 per pound for unblemished tomatoes. I highly recommend my favorite green zebra tomatoes. Our peppers are Marconi and $0.50. They are long and a lot like a green pepper, but without the belly ache that some people get from green peppers. Tallow lotion is great for winter skin and only $2 for a 4 ounce jar.

IMG_4249We ordered more chickens than were sold, so we still have some chicken in the freezer. On farm purchase of chicken is $4.00 per pound. Delivered to the Twin Cities is $4.25 per pound. USDA inspected chicken is $4.50 per pound.

Pork! We still have six hogs available for October and IMG_3488November butcher dates, mainly because our main marketing person recently had a baby… We sell in half or whole hogs. Some people have ordered with a friend and split up half a hog. Hogs are normally around 200 pounds. We charge $3 per pound hanging carcass weight plus the butcher fees which varies with your custom order of ham, bacon, pork belly, sausage, pork chops, roasts, etc. As with chicken, we also have USDA inspected pork in 1-4 pound packages for $6.50 per pound. There are still some tasty pork chops, roasts, ground pork and side pork. Small hams are available for $7 per pound and 1 lb. bacon packages are $8 per pound.

As always, our chickens and hogs are pastured and moved regularly. They are fed non-GMO feed and are soy free. We grind the grain ourselves and source much of it from within 30 miles. That also means the grain is fresh increasing the nutrient quality of the food given our animals.

Thanks for being part of our farm family. Without your supporting local, sustainable agriculture, we couldn’t strive to exercise careful dominion over the resources that have been entrusted to us.

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Enjoying the heat? – plus a recipe link!

Do you enjoy the heat of summer or would you rather sit in mosquito-free air-conditioning? This heat can be wonderful and joyful for little boys who love to frolic in water. However, constantly feeling 80 – 90 humid degrees for us full-blooded Minnesotans can become an exercise in endurance. I think that’s why so many enjoy pulling out Christmas songs and dwelling on the coolness of the Minnesota winter during the month of July.
For those of you who enjoy farm fresh food and supporting small farms, now is also the time to think about what foods you’ll want to have through the winter. Being small and seasonal we produce most of our meat when the weather is warm and the pasture is flourishing with extra nutrition for our animals. Are you going to want a ham or roast chicken for your holiday meals?
IMG_3488     Now is the best time to order your half or whole hog. We normally sell out. I am very proud of the pastured pork we produce and can say these are the best pork chops I’ve ever had. If half is too much for you (80-100 pounds of meat), some people get friends together and split it up between themselves.IMG_8795
You can also still get your broiler chickens and maple syrup, while the supply lasts. Though our beef is sold out for the year, we have some grass-fed goat available still. The meat is an excellent source of essential nutrients for your family and we have some by the pound if you wanted to give it a try before your buy a whole animal.

IMG_3486     The farmer’s market has been a big part of our summer schedule this year. We’d love to see you if you’re in Aitkin on a Saturday morning. We’ll have pork and goat by the pound, whole broilers, our maple syrup and lots of veggies to enjoy. You can also order tomatoes for your canning needs, so give us a call, set up a time to visit the farm, or send us a message by email, Facebook or Instagram. We look forward to hearing from you.

Flashback Recipe idea: Grill up some Maple Mustard Chicken!

Bundt Pan Roast Chicken

It’s been a few months since you’ve heard from us on the blog, but a few months seems like no time at all during springtime on the farm. We’ve been busy enjoying the new baby animals: chicks, turkey poults, calves, and goat kids. The human kids and I (Katie) have also been working hard to get all our tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and melons planted in the high tunnel while Mathew has been fixing what breaks and making more chicken tractors. Things are going well lately and we continue to persevere and see mostly good days in our busy season.

Life gets moving and sometimes we forget things, so I wanted to send this reminder that we’ll need to know your order for broiler chickens by Tuesday, June 6th. Our plan is to butcher July 8th and 15th. If more than 100 additional chickens are ordered from all of you, we plan to butcher September 2nd and 9th as well. With your order, please include your preference for which butcher date you would prefer.

You can also order pork, goat meat and maple syrup. Currently we have rhubarb for $2 per pound as well.

Please give us a call or email. Otherwise you can get a hold of us through Facebook, Instagram, and by mail. All ordering information is listed on this page: https://righteousoaksfarm.com/ordering-information/ . Here is a link to the downloadable printable order form if you need it: Printable Order Form

Now on to what was promised in the post title: Bundt Pan Roast Chicken. I stole this without regret from delish.com. It seemed like too wonderful a recipe not to try with our broilers. I just love roast chicken, and this all-in-one meal is sure to please. I hope you look forward to making this as much as I do come July (though you might want to go straight to grilling and wait for cooler days for this one):

Opportunities

We’ve been busy. Farm babies are coming nearly every day now. Goat kids and calves keep appearing. Of course we still have our puppies and piglets to care for too. It’s been a fun but always busy time of year.

I wanted to let you know about a few changes and additions to our website. Under our new “Opportunities” tab at the top of our page we now have a link to:

  • Our 2017 Events on the farm this summer
  • Our 2017 Newsletter if you missed it
  • A Survey to help us get to know you, a chance for you to tell us what you’d like us to share or give to you via email and a request for information for those who don’t want to miss out on news from the farm.
  • An updated Volunteer Opportunities page if you’d like to get involved on the farm this year.

Check out the changes and let us know what you think! We really would love to hear from you.

Enjoy the Spring weather to come,

Katie

Broiled Goat Chops

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For me I prefer my old go-to recipes. It is hard for me to try new recipes because of the time it often takes to implement something foreign to me. The new recipe I tried yesterday? Unbeatable. It took about twenty minutes, minus the marinading time, to get dinner on and that included all the sides (“Cream Corn Like No Other” and garlic cheese bread broiled with the chops).  I think the meat took ten minutes at most in the oven. Added bonus, the kids loved the meal. Another bonus, I’m finally not hungry. I’ve been so hungry the last few days and just can’t get enough to eat. Goat meat protein always fixes that craving need for me.

We’ve been getting a lot of interest in our goat meat from people who have never tried it. After explaining its qualities in a recent post, they want to take advantage of this healthy meat. After trying a great recipe for goat chops, I am highly recommending that you try it! We found an Indian blogger’s recipe entitled, “Broiled Goat Chops“.

The spice blend she recommends is just right. However, if you have picky kids, you may want to leave out the cayenne pepper. The other issue is that most American cooks do not have amchur (dried mango) powder in their spice cabinet. Luckily we have some we were given from an Indian friend a few years back. You can easily find it on amazon or at the Indian grocery if you live in the city.  Though you could leave amchur (amchoor) out, it does give it a tangy sweetness that really does add to the dish. Also, we used olive oil in place of avocado oil. This recipe was so perfect, I plan to try her recipe for Slow Cooker Goat Curry with one of our roasts very soon.

So now you know what to do with Goat Ribs and Goat Chops. We still have plenty of goat chops, shanks, shoulder roast and leg roast. Give us a call or email, we’d love to hear from you. Unfortunately, we have sold out of ribs and ground goat.

Happy eating! We’ll try to keep the recipes coming.

A Little of Our Story

There are so many reasons we came north to farm. Actually, not long before we made the move we thought we were to be missionaries in Cambodia, working alongside church planters to help others care for creation rather than continue the careless exploitation of the land that many have adopted. Why in the world are we here in rural Minnesota?

Well, maybe we needed to make the agricultural mistakes here first and learn a lot ourselves still. Maybe our boys will take over and we’ll still head out, maybe not. We have continually learned that we cannot determine our future in many aspects. Sickness happens, poverty happens, and good things happen too. We do know that we are to be faithful wherever God has us and in many ways we are doing exactly what we would be doing in Cambodia, but here among the rural people of Minnesota.

As we lived in the city we had worked with many over the years that had little knowledge of how to work and where food came from, so we started Gardens of Praise, an urban agricultural development project that strives to go beyond reconnecting urban people with nature to reconnecting them with their Creator and to bring the knowledge of how to produce their own food into the city through holistic farming experiences.

As that moved forward, we also sought to be part of a farm school project here on our farm. However, the community was quite against it since we failed to accurately portray who we were bringing to the farm. They thought inner city youth = thugs, druggies, etc. None of the youth we were thinking of were involved with drugs or had been in trouble with the law. Yes, their parents had, but these youth were trying to get out of the cycle.

As that was shot down, we still had the desire to bring young men and women that had been discipled in Christ, but were still in a hard spot, up to the farm to continue to be discipled and learn the value of work and where our food comes from. What about inviting mentors and youth up to a working farm to share a weekend working together, furthering relationship, and learning the amazing intricacies of how God has ordered this world? What about internships to teach young men and women the value of working as unto the Lord even when the work is tough and smelly? What about retreats where people can just get out of the city and find joy in God’s creation and those they retreat with?

Others came alongside us and pushed us this way. And now we’re here working out what it means to glorify God in farming day to day. We started with savings and the conviction to stay debt free. Mat’s family already had the land and some equipment that was necessary. Our objective was to become profitable within five years in order that we could then focus on our other goals of internships. We do have people up for retreats and such, but hope that with an established farm we would have more time and resources to devote to such things, such as building a larger housing area for groups or being able to spend more time teaching. Though we knew it would be a lot of work, I was surprised at the constant need to always be working. Our animals needed to be fed and cared for or they would not survive. Problems and equipment needed to be fixed or something would die, etc. We also had young children, so having people come actually set us back for the first few years. Also, with the constant work, it became a high stress job. A stressed out host isn’t much fun to be around.

Our story isn’t over, but we’ve come a long way in this farming endeavor. March 2017 will mark our fourth year on the farm. We started in March 2013. We have been so happy to host those interested in farming and to share what we can with them and our immediate community. Mathew is an amazing resource to myself, others and the church. What God has done through him here in Northern Minnesota has been a joy to see. Endurance is not always easy, but the fruit of endurance is so satisfying. Our practices are improving, our product has definitely become quality, and we’ve learned so much from our previous mistakes. Slowly we move forward.

So what am I getting at by telling you our story? Well, when you buy anything, you are supporting the farmers and producers and the practices of production behind that product. In buying our food you are supporting what we are trying to do here on the farm. We are in the business of practicing careful dominion over creation – land, animals, and people. Consider purchasing a portion of your meat supply from us this year.

How do you order from us? Visit our Ordering Information page (link also in top bar menu).

Keep up to date with what we’re doing through our regular Facebook or Instagram posts.

 

Valentine Eggs

Eggs! Our chickens are producing so many right now and we have very few customers. Our boys take good care of Chubb, Goldie, Floppy, Featherfoot, Nightshade, Featherina, Grouchy, Lanky, Bossy and all the rest that look too similar to name. We give our boys non-gmo and soy-free feed for their chickens and, in return, we receive all the eggs we would like.

img_1436The Nix boys would like to offer a dozen eggs for $3.50 to anyone interested. They range in size from large to jumbo. Most of the yolks are dark yellow, providing a high omega 3 ratio for a quality egg. The chickens are kept warm and run throughout our large high tunnel all winter and play among the grass and bugs the rest of the year.

Since we have dozens of eggs in our fridge, I found a fun recipe and an idea for our Valentine’s day celebration. Hope you have fun trying them out for yourselves!

First, my little guy and I made a delicious andimg_1614 flour-less (great for those who are gluten-free) chocolate cherry cake. I am not in the habit of creating baking recipes, but this woman sure knows her stuff:
Flourless Chocolate Cherry Cake
We sure enjoyed mixing this up together.

Second, I had fun making a simple, but surprisingly tasty lunch item for my men (little and big).img_16191 Basically, all you need is a hot dog or sausage cut almost to the end in two , a toothpick to cinch it together, and an egg for the center. Place the heart-shaped hot dog in a heated pan, drop an egg in each heart, cover and cook until they are done to your liking. It went well with an english muffin. Also, a little ketchup on the side is great for those of us who can’t eat a hot dog without it.

Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Eating!