Nothin’ Says Luvin’ Like Bread From The Oven

Nothin says luvin like bread from the oven!
Nothin says luvin like bread from the oven!

I have been baking my heart out and loving every minute of it!   I have some delicious pieces of art that I can share with everyone now….Here’s what I’ve got.

 

 

Rye oh Rye!  bread I developed having those with food allergies in mind.   This is a basic rye recipe with no wheat, milk or egg products.   I also keep this dough away from tree nuts and seeds.   Cost is $4.00 per loaf.

Honey Wheat  combines the aromatic sweetness of honey with our freshly ground whole wheat grown right here on the farm.   Hearth loaf  costs $4.00 and may be topped with poppy seeds, sesame seeds or flax seed.

Sprouted Wheat sour dough has all of the wonderful characteristics of the world’s best sourdoughs including a light texture, full bodied flavor and chewy thick crust.   Laced with sprouted wheat berries our loaves boast  added texture.   $5.00 per hearth loaf.

Triple rye sourdough-   Caution! This bread is highly addictive!    I make this bread with rye flour, rye berries and rye sprouts to create a rich, dark bread.   $5.00 per hearth loaf.

Baguettes for subs and sandwiches $5.00

Sourdough Baguettes $6.00.

 

All of my bread is made with freshly milled, organic flour that was grown right here on our farm.   Because we mill our flour on demand, our breads have a distinct fresh ground flavor you will find nowhere else.   Thank You for looking!

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Fun on the Farm!

Community Farm Day

Saturday June 8th, 2013

 

I have had so many people ask me if they can help on the farm.   So many are saying they would like to learn more about gardening, and animals.   I know that the best way for me to learn is from experience, so here it is.   Rob and I are opening the farm to the public for hands on experience for the day.   Rob and I will be working side by side teaching our ways to anyone who wants to come to learn, and providing the opportunity for those that just desire some good dirt therapy.   This will be fun for all who are interested- food will be available, and community efforts will not go unrewarded!

Work is so much more fun in good company!
Work is so much more fun in good company!

The details:

First and foremost, this is totally volunteer, you are not required to attend.   This is an opportunity we are providing to those that truly desire to learn more about growing food in a sustainable way.

You may come and go as your schedule permits.   We start at 7:30 in the morning with milking the goats and morning barn chores.   We will finish around 8:30 in the evening after evening milking and barn chores.   We will be open for you to come out anytime during these hours.   Afterwards, we will have a campfire for roasting marshmallows and socializing.   You may stay as little or as long as you like.   You may also choose to work with the animals, plants or both during your day to get the best experience.

If you plan to be here for a meal, you are welcome to bring a covered dish, but it’s not required.   We will be picking anything that’s available in the gardens to prepare, and you may help with meal preparation if that’s what you fancy.   You may use the kitchen, and I have a good supply of “staple goods” to use like flour, rice, eggs, milk and the like.

Please bring a water bottle to stay hydrated during the day.   We will have iced tea and water available all day.

If you have any special favorite tools you like to use, bring them on.   It would be a good idea to label them with your name, so if you forget, they can be returned to you.   We have lots of our tools to use as well.

Sunscreen, hats, gloves, good shoes that cover your feet- take good care of yourself!

This is our first time for opening the farm to people in this way, so I’m really anxious to see how it goes.   I’m putting together some semblance of organization so it can go as smoothly as possible.   When you come out, go to the greenhouse to register.   If you have a particular interest, the person at registration will direct you to your path on the farm.   So much fun, see you next Saturday!

 

Subscribing To a Farm Share Of Goodness Grows

This is such a lovely time of year!

Tomato plants snugly tucked in the greenhouse warmth.
Tomato plants snugly tucked in the greenhouse warmth.

 

Totally filled with anticipation, I am truly excited to meet our newest shareholders this year.   People are beginning to introduce themselves to our farm, with interest in subscribing to our products during the growing season.   We have many medical professionals getting their entire offices involved this year, which really hits home to me that what I’m doing for my community is really beneficial on so many different levels.   The concern for a healthy nutrient dense lifestyle with freshly harvested food items has been a buzz in our community, and I’m one of the few you can find available.

Of course, I am also very glad to see our loyal return shareholders renewing our agreement, I have missed seeing you all on the weekly basis.   I am looking forward to working with you all again this year.   It gets quiet during the winter, and the preparations for the growing season bring to mind the weekly interactions of friends that can enjoy our products season long.

So things are picking up on the CSA front of our farm.   I have promised all those who wish to renew from last year that they have a spot for 2013.   We have also had some new people join us this winter.   That leaves 18 spots available for the 2013 growing season.   I wish I could provide more, but I feel that I need to make absolutely certain that I can provide top notch quality and variety for everyone, and this is the limit I have set for our farm.

The 18 spots will be filled on a first come first serve basis, and our deadline for signing up is March 15, 2013.

So if you are reading this with interest in signing up for our 2013 CSA share,   You may print the following forms, fill them out and mail or drop them off to us at the farm.

https://goodnessgrowspa.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/goodnessgrowssignupsheet.pdf

https://goodnessgrowspa.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/goodnessgrowssurvey.pdf

https://goodnessgrowspa.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/goodnessgrowscostpershare.pdf

https://goodnessgrowspa.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/goodnessgrowswhat-to-expect-1.pdf

 

Now it’s time for me to get back to it, sorting, starting and sprouting seeds for our yummy veggies this year!

 

Bedford County Direct to Consumer Farm Marketing

whos_your_farmer

Marketing is something of an enigma to me.

I have been really fortunate to have so many great relationships with customers and friends that know how to get the word out.   And as a farmer, I don’t really dwell on the fact that yes, I need to market my farm.   I need to consider it as work that needs to be done.   For so long I thought that if I just throw money at certain organizations, they’ll do the marketing for me.   Well, it’s not that simple.   Some organizations actually require me to give them money all in the name of marketing- not to mention any names, but their initials are PA Dept of AG.   “Simply Delicious,” and ” Buy Local all got their start from farmers giving a certain required and fixed amount per year for the slogans.

Simply Delicious and Buy Local are definitely a good start for a great message.   It’s catchy, and finally catching on.   The problem is this,  where do I buy local?   There is not one single directory that is all inclusive for direct to consumer farms.   The other issue is this, if there were a directory, all inclusive for direct to consumer farms, people still would need to find the information about the directory first, then review the farms on the list.   Not all direct to consumer farms are on the lists either, even if they are free to list.   People need to know about Local Harvest, Locallygrown, and all others who are diligently trying to compose such lists.   Locallygrown and Local Harvest are on a budget too, how can they possibly get the word out about their websites to targeted local consumers?   Search engines produce some results, but not all.

So I look to local organizations.   I become a member of anything that resembles a networking platform, to my dismay.   Not only is it expensive, but I end up doing more work trying to redeem the “wonderful” benefits of becoming a member than I can really stand for.   Remember, I’m a farmer, I didn’t choose to have this profession because I want a desk job.  Very few direct to consumer farms are members of these organizations, probably for the very same reason, too expensive and too much time away from doing what we love.    I’m still left with people not really knowing what I do here.   And so many more not knowing where they can buy local food.

I am interested in pooling together with other direct to consumer farms in the county.   My idea is to get together and launch a Who’s Your Farmer Ad campaign in Bedford to help people identify where they can purchase local farm products.   I would use locally targeted publications and avenues that are sort of  “in your face”  like the local news.

I really think this strategy would close the loop on what has been tried with farm marketing.    By closing the loop, I feel like much has been spent to get people to think about buying local, but aren’t necessarily directed to where to buy local from.   Who’s Your Farmer would help connect our direct to consumer farms with more individuals looking for local food.
Could you help me spread the word?  If there are any questions, or suggestions, I am open and hope to hear from others.   What have your marketing experiences been?

 

Cattails-Nature’s Buffet

Cattails

Cattails are truly a gift to have on our farm.   Year round nutrition can be found with these native plants in all forms from roots to shoots, pollen and pods too.   Comfort and function accompany cattail lore as the fluffy seeds insulated clothing and blankets, while the reeds and leaves were used for making baskets and containers.

Where cattails are found it is said that no man will go hungry.   Perhaps if we started with this time of year, and throughout winter, the roots can be dug and eaten in a variety of ways.   I recommend that young roots are used.    The larger they get, the more fibrous and woody they become.   I have stir fried cattail roots with dandelion roots and wild garlic for a satisfying and nutritious root skillet.

In the spring, the young green shoots are tender and tasty in all sorts of ways.   I eat them raw in salads, and cooked in everything I can add a little spring green to.   It goes well in rice, pasta, soups and stews.

As summer emerges, the young pods that will later become the notorious “cat tail” shape that we all know can be picked while still green.   They can be roasted or boiled and husked like an ear of corn and eaten much like an ear of corn.

Later on the brown cat tail blooms start to pollinate.   The yellow pollen can be gathered by simply shaking the yellow dust into a bag.   Golden cattail pancakes can be made with any amount of cattail pollen, add flour to the pollen to make 2 cups.   Add 5 teaspoons of baking powder, 2 cups of milk and 2 tablespoons of oil.    Mix well then drop 1/4 cup of batter at a time onto a hot skillet with butter or oil.   Turn the pancakes when they start popping bubbles on top.   Serve with your own syrup or apple butter.

After the pollination the fertile seeds will emerge from the spires with white tufts.   These fluffy seeds can be used for stuffing pillows, blankets, mittens and slippers.   This is also just about the right time to harvest the reeds and stems for making baskets with.

What a great plant!

Family Farm Support Grows Strong!

I would like to introduce my cousins Jaime, Maveric, and Eric Moreland

Eric left a good job as executive chef for an even better job as an executive chef for Five Points Farm to Table Restaurant in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.   Eric understands the challenges he will face sourcing all of his ingredients locally.   What a great opportunity for the community to have fresh, locally sourced, professionally prepared food in their area.   Hats off to Eric and his family!   And if your in the Winston-Salem area, make sure to check them out.   For those of you who are close by, we have Horn O’ Plenty Freshtaurant here, our farm supplies them with a variety of ingredients, and they do a wonderful job at making it a meal.

Why eat local?

1.   It decreases you carbon foot print by less transporting of your food.

2.   Local produce contains more vital nutrients, some items that are grown far away aren’t picked at full maturity so the nutrients haven’t had time to develop in the     produce.

3. It supports the local economy, creating jobs for you and your neighbors, also generating revenue for your local community.

4. It just tastes better, being fully ripe when picked.

5. It creates biodiversity in the community because demand for specialty crops is increased.

6. Less chemicals are needed because the transportation is decreased.   This includes post harvest spraying of preservatives.

I am so happy that my cousin is joining the local food movement, I plan to check in with him this winter.

Ode to the Potato

Oh we have misunderstood you, dear potato, taking your children but only a few.   We depended on them to provide for us and when they got sick, we fled.

Oh how we massively mistreated you, giving you a bad reputation, slicing you skinny and frying you in oil.

We didn’t see the beauty, your rich history, your diversity and complexity.

How I long to find your real roots, so I may restore you to your former glory.

I will plant you today with your eyes looking up.

I will respect you whole.

Searching for Diversity