Welcome Spring!

BoyScouts-TourBlossoms on the fruit trees are keeping our bees busy. It’s time to think about scheduling a tour of the farm!

We’d love to show off our new babies, goat kids, lambs, bunnies and lots of chicks! Still waiting for calves, but it won’t be long. Our hoop house re model has proved successful with an extra early harvest of winter greens. This is my favorite time of year-planting seeds and looking forward to sprouting, growing and harvest!

We’ve already had our first tour, Cub Scout Pack 143 came by for a visit and learned about growing food. We welcome spring and hope you’ll consider a tour, it’s fun and free!

New Recipe – Ajvar

Hello and happy new year! This is Dianne, Nancy’s web mistress, guest blogging.

ajvar-doneA friend from Bulgaria introduced me to a wonderful thing called Ajvar – it’s a red pepper / eggplant sauce / spread. Between the sweetness of the roasted red bell pepper and the tanginess of the vinegar it’s absolutely delicious IMHO. You can top off some eggs from one of Nancy’s chickens, or use it as a dip on a cracker or chip as well as fresh veggies from the Green Barn green house. I have combined and modified a couple of recipes to make it my own. Bon Appetit!”

For roasting:

1 Medium Eggplant (or 2 small) – peeled and chopped into 1/2 chunks
3 Red Bell Peppers – seeded and chopped into 1/2 chunks
3 Garlic Cloves – (don’t skimp on the garlic… add more if you like!)
1 Medium Red Onion – chopped
3 Tablespoons of good quality olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Food Processor:

(all ingredients are a good jumping off point – if you want more tang, add a little more vinegar, etc.)
2 Tablespoons of tomato paste
2 Tablespoons organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

IMG_4362Cut the eggplant, bell pepper, and onion into 1-inch cubes. Toss them in a large bowl with the garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes, toss, then back into the oven for another 25 minutes or until the vegetables are lightly browned and soft.
Cool slightly (I’ve also cooled overnight in the refrigerator then processed the next day)

Place the vegetables in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the tomato paste and apple cider vinegar. Pulse until roughly chopped. Taste for salt, pepper and olive oil.

Transfer to an airtight container and store in refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Hasenpfeffer

What do you think of when someone says “Rabbit?” For me, it’s Bugs Bunny. Loved Saturday mornings as a kid following the adventures of this “wiley wabbit.”

So when Nancy approached me and asked, “Have you ever tried Rabbit?” my first thought immediately when to the episode “Shishkabugs” (click here to watch the video) where the King wants Yosemite Sam to make him hasenpfeffer. I chuckled to myself.

Then, my thoughts turned to a image of a cute little bunny staring at me.

My reply was a squeamish “Umm…. no, I haven’t.” She insisted that I try. A week later I was presented a freshly butchered rabbit. I have to admit, I couldn’t even look at it, I took it home an put it in my freezer. It resided there until I had the courage to summon my inner Julia Child… “no fear!”

I researched two things on the internet, first a good recipe for rabbit and the other was how to butcher the rabbit into pieces. I found two great sources (click on the links to see).

Along with the rabbit I prepared mashed Yukon potatoes and glazed baby carrots. The dinner turned out fantastic! And now have to admit I LOVE rabbit (sorry Bugs). Thank you Nancy for once again introducing me to something delightful and delicious!

 

 

 

New Vineyard

TRW-transparantFinally finished planting our new vineyard, Frotanac and Frotanac Gris for making wine. There are 8 rows of 18. Lots of work but already see new growth on them!

Tahoe Ridge has been so good to us, buying produce during the summer (we are listed on their menu). They asked us to grow these grapes for them to make their award winning wine that’s grown in Nevada.

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Kindness and Love for Chicken

With all the news about how chickens are being treated and mass produced (not to mention the how the poultry farmers are treated by the industry (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9wHzt6gBgI), honored and grateful to know that this chicken (Cornish Cross Breed) was raised with love and kindness. Being that it was raised locally and by an independent farmer, it didn’t have the fat and huge breasts that factory farms produce, sometimes roasting isn’t the best method. Poaching is my favorite, using the meat for enchiladas, soups, sandwiches… and bonus, a fantastic stock!

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Let’s talk bees!

Our hive of bees and queen are Italian honey bees from California. We picked them up April 5th, but it was too late to release them until the next day. They appreciate a mist of water while they wait. They literally get dumped into the hive, but the queen had her own little box. She has several attendants inside the little box with her, but the other bees swarm to get her out by eating the plug, releasing her. Now the work begins!

All the honey combs made this summer will provide the bees with food over the winter, but next year…..honey!

First calf of the season!

imageMeet Norman, the little Belted bull calf born on Saturday, March 14. Gestation for cows is nine months, but worth the wait! We are expecting more calves to be born soon, including mini calves from our herd of mini cows.