Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sun Tea!

One of our favorite drinks in the summertime is sun tea. It is the perfect addition to a hot sunny afternoon. We like to experiment with different flavors, and we have yet to find one that we didn't like.
Making sun tea is simple. First we stroll through the herb garden and pick some fresh herbs, usually lemon balm, peppermint, and spearmint. You can add most any herb, chamomile is good, or add other herbs like nettle (known as sting weed), which is high in iron. Then we tear up the leaves in order to release as much of the flavor as possible, put them in the jar, fill it with water, cover it, and leave it in the sun for the day. At the end of the day we strain out the herbs (squeezing them to get all we can out of them) and put the tea in the refrigerator to cool.
To sweeten our tea, we put equal amounts of water and cane juice crystals into a pot and heat them until the sugar is dissolved. We store the syrup in the refrigerator and add it to our tea. Only a small amount of sweetener is needed.
This Friday we will be giving out samples of lemon balm sun tea. We will also be having a special on our organic lemon balm plants - a dollar each!
Last year we had five lemon balm plants in our herb garden and that was not nearly enough for this family of sun tea lovers, so this year I added more plants to finish out the row. Lemon balm is a perennial and will come back every year, but it is a good idea to cover the plant for the winter; it is somewhat tender.
Join us this Friday on the Farm and pick up some lemon balm for your summertime treat - sun tea!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Making Soap

For years I have been wanting to make my own soap, and about a month ago I finally did it (with the help of a friend)! It was much easier than I expected. For some reason I had the idea that it would be really intense and time consuming. It wasn't. Although I did decide to render my own tallow from our sheep back in December, which was not hard to do, but did take some time.

Using olive oil, coconut oil, lye, tallow, and water I made a basic soap recipe. Once that was dry, I hand-milled that into many different kinds of soap - peppermint, lavender, tea tree, sage, eucalyptus, and rosemary. It has been a fun experience!
My friend that helped me make my first batch of soap, is going to be making soap for us to have available for you at our Farmer's Market. I would like to make it myself, but time will not allow. :) She is going to make goat milk soap (with our goat milk and sheep tallow, of course) , shampoo bars, and probably many others. I am excited to be able to add another healthy product to our market!

Hope to see you Friday! :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Let the Fridays on the Farm Begin!

Drum roll please!!! :) Housman Farms "Friday on the Farm" begins this week and runs through October. This year we changed our hours to be from 12pm-4pm. We also added "Educational Farm Tours" to the schedule. Tours will run every Friday from 2-3pm. To get more information on our tours you can click on the "Farm Tours" page. There you will be able to read a description about our different tours, and you can call to sign up for one.

This year we will have one butchering day per month. If you are interested in purchasing chicken, turkey, or lamb you can print out an order form from our blog and send it in.

We are excited to have another member on the farm team this year - my sister, Nadine. You will get to meet her when you come; she will be working with us all summer.

Our family is looking forward to serving you this season, and we are especially excited to teach you more about farm life through our tours. Come and enjoy the fruits of our labor with us, and remember we are "providing you with foods you are not afraid to eat"! :)

See you Friday!! :)