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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Encouraging Thoughtfulness About Our Food Choices

 

Warning: The following contains information that may change your food habits. Please don’t hate me if you disagree.

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Ever since watching the documentary Food, Inc. we continually see stories of injustice in the world food system. Further research on GMOs has also gotten me more concerned about the future of our food and how it will affect future generations (see study on molecular difference in corn). For us this is a concern because of what we see in the Bible and how we are called to care for creation. Start in Genesis and you will see God makes all things, makes man in his image, then brings all things under man’s dominion. We have a responsibility to care for God’s creation. Shouldn’t we delight in all that He has made and care for it so that our fields and our guts are not depleted?

We also come to the injustice factor in our food systems. There are many large companies that are not hoping to build up our soil’s health and productivity resulting in healthier plants and animals, but are out to kill off the inconvenient weeds for a short term, yet quite large, profit. Spraying weed killer on my food is not what I would call healthy. The fact that the amount of weed killer only needs to be increased with time also exacerbates the situation, yet further increases the large company’s profit. As we can see in Food, Inc. and other documentaries, farmers have been sued rather than compensated when their field is cross-contaminated with GMO seeds. “Love your neighbor as yourself” is not played out in these situations and many others around the world.

And so I urge you to think more about this whatever your worldview. Read up on different opinions, watch documentaries from your library or there are many free with amazon prime right now or engage those who are interested in the topic.

Another very important factor in food choices is to know your farmer, how they raise their food and if it’s up to your standards. There are so many quality farmers around the state of Minnesota that we have come to know through the Sustainable Farmer’s Association and through the MN Organic Conference. Seek them out. Show them where your support lies.

Reputable reading:

Other reading:

Rhubarb Is Ready

Rhubarb is Ready: $2 per pound if you pick it up or $3 per pound delivered to your area. 218#927#1425

Rhubarb is loaded with vitamin C, K, calcium, potassium, manganese and more. It also has a good amount of fiber and has a very low glycemic load.* Now is the time to enjoy the first fruits of Minnesota. It’s a great time to can up some rhubarb sauce or freeze chopped rhubarb to enjoy all year long.

Be sure to order some maple syrup to go along with it. Maple syrup helps the rhubarb to not have the filmy after feeling on your teeth. You don’t have to use so much sweetener when you use it either. Normally if a recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, I’ll put 1/2 cup of maple syrup in for starters and can often decrease from there. You may also need to cut the liquid in a recipe if you do this. And for those of you who sometimes get heartburn with rhubarb desserts (likely because of the white sugar), it sure helps cut back on that as well.IMG_7472

Recipes we’ll be making again:
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
Blueberry Rhubarb Crisp
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Strawberry, Rhubarb, Lemon Rind, Yogurt, Maple/Stevia Smoothie
BBQ sauce (made with rhubarb)
Rhubarb Scones
Rhubarb Juice
“Refreshing Rhubarb Salad”
or this:

Maple Rhubarb Sauce

  • Servings: about 7
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 cup rhubarb, chopped (2-3 stalks)
1-2 Tablespoons maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like it)

Stir rhubarb and maple syrup together in a small saucepan. Stir over medium low heat for 5 minutes, simmer for about 3 more minutes or until the rhubarb has broken down and a pourable sauce forms. Taste and sweeten as desired.

Wonderful topping for ice cream, pancakes, oatmeal, etc. This recipe could easily be made in large batches and canned.

We never spray our produce and practice soil health principles to create healthy and yummy produce.

*http://foodfacts.mercola.com/rhubarb.html and http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/2056/2 (the ads on this site are not so good for the eyes, but I thought I’d let you know where I got this information)

Gearing Up For Spring

Our week in pictures: The boys and I took a week off to help Daddy with a number of projects. Enjoy some pictures from our week. Click a picture to read how it was part of a rewarding week of work.