Monday, June 28, 2010

YOUR Turkeys Have Arrived! By, Em ;)

When the phone rings around 7 o'clock in the morning, everyone knows that a box of some sort of peeping birdies are waiting at the post office for us to pick up! This morning it was 100 turkey chicks..... called "polts". Cute, cute, cute!

When I went out to get some pictures of them, they were hilarious to watch! Turkeys are super curious. They were craning their long necks out towards the camera, with eyes bulging out of their sockets, examining me. :)

We still have some turkeys available, so pre-order your delicious, organic, free-range birds today! :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Butcherin' Emily

Friday, June 11th, was our first butchering day of the season! I woke up around 6:30 to pouring rain, thunder, and lightening...... ahhh..... lovely butchering weather ....... :/ Today was also going to be Aunty Nadine's first experience butchering chickens! :) After some hot coffee and homemade doughnuts, we headed out into the weather.

Dad has built an amazing set up for butchering... including a homemade plucker and dunker. Dad's job was to load up the chickens in crates, then .... umm... well, after that then he hooked them up to the dunker, then Ben and I got them. We had the hard job. :/ We had to pull each little pin feather that the plucker didn't get... no fun....especially in the rain!

After we finished inspecting them for feathers, they got gutted by Mom, Brandon, and Jonny... then sent down to Aunty, who inspected them for any mistakes. Occasionally one got sent back to the gutters if they forgot something. Then she put them into the cooling tank.

By 11:00 all 75 chickens were done, and we also butchered a few old hens that belonged to some friends.
Then we all cleaned up and set up the market. Between two and three o'clock, chicken customers began arriving. They had pre-ordered their chickens. We bagged them up and weighed them for everyone, and they went home with their fresh, organic chicken to enjoy!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Barnyard Tour

We had a group from the Dassel Lakeside (Senior Living) Home out for a Barnyard Tour. Due to the fact that it is hard for some of them to get around, and the gravel paths are not very conducive to pushing walkers, we seated our guests in the barn and brought all the animals to them.

Our guests got to watch a milking demonstration, feed a bottled lamb, listen to a presentation from Emily about cats, see one of our pastured poultry pens, compare wool that was cleaned and carded with some that was sheared off the sheep this spring, and learn about how we care for our animals.

Most of our guests grew up on a farm and were familiar with the care of animals, but a lot of what we do is not "typical farming". For example, we feed our animals herbs, both for daily nutrition and for medicinal purposes, and we do not use chemical wormers. And the way we process our milk is much different also.

Of course I had to talk about some of the foods we sell and why they are so healthy. There is a huge difference between organically grown foods and conventional foods, and that is my favorite subject to talk about! :)

After the presentation we all headed up to the tent where we gave them some samples of our foods. We even had some time to sit and visit before the bus came to pick them up. :)

If you are interested in a tour, please contact us and set up a time. Tour can be scheduled any Friday and run from 2-3 pm. We do not do tours the second Friday of the month because we butcher chickens those mornings and are not able to set up for a tour. See our tour page for a description of our tours. :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chocolate Goat Milk.....YUM!

If there is one thing my husband loves it's chocolate chip cookies. I can't tell you how many batches of those cookies we have made.....tons! Every time he walks by the cookie jar, he just cannot resist opening it up and grabbing a couple. You would never know it by looking at Mike. I have been trying, for 16 years, to fatten him up and it's just not working. :)

Another favorite of his is chocolate milk. My children have come to love this too! Of course we make our own chocolate milk, which is simple, and it's a great treat for a crew of hard workin' people. So next time your children get done helping you weed the garden, mix them up a jar of chocolate (goat) milk and watch them smile. :)
Here is our recipe:

1/4 cup of cocoa
1/2 cup cane juice crystals
1 cup of milk
Add these ingredients to a sauce pot, stir, and simmer for 5 minutes
Then pour this mixture into your 1/2 gallon jar of cold raw goats milk, shake the jar, then add some ice if you like. Enjoy! :) Enjoy it even more with a couple chocolate chip cookies! :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Free-Range Eggs

This is why you should buy your eggs from us, or from a local farmer that you know.......... or better yet start your own flock. :)

Please read the following article.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Bagels! by, Emily

Last winter a friend if mine told me she had been making bagels. I thought it sounded interesting, so I went on the Internet and found a bunch of recipes. I tried quite a few, not really caring for any of them until I tried the one I use now.

These bagels were AMAZING! First I put yeast and sugar in the bottom of our Bosch. Adding some warm water, I mix it up and dump in the flour and salt. After I get a consistency I like (I usually have to add a little more flour or water,) I kneed it for 5-7 minutes. Towards the end of kneading, if I'm making a kind other than plain, I'll add whatever is needed..... herbs, cinnamon, and raisins, etc. Then I put them in a bowl and let them rise for 2 hours. I must admit I'm not very good when it comes to following recipes..... I take short cuts and skip steps far too much. Sometimes the bagels end up rising for three or four hours.... others for just an hour. :) But, miraculously, they always turn out. In my opinion, it's just too much work to follow the recipe! :) Sometimes I even discover something new in my "mistakes"!

After the bagel dough is done rising, I divide up the dough into ball, making them as perfectly shaped as I can, and then after letting them rise for a couple minutes.... enough so they are puffed up... I put my two thumbs right in the center, and rotate the bagel around them, until the hole is the right size. Next I put them all on cookies sheets, cover them with towels, and put them in the fridge for the night. You can skip this step, and sometimes I do, but it does make it easier, because they get firm, and are much easier to manage, not being floppy. Sometimes I'll just put them in the fridge for an hour or so. They do puff up nice, too, though.

The next morning I get out Mom's HUGE roasting pan, and fill it up with water. I also sprinkle a bit of baking soda in the water, and put it on the stove. (It takes two burners.) When it's boiling I put the bagels in for 2 minutes on one side and 1 1/2 on the other. They puff up real nice.

After letting them drain on a wire wrack for a minute, I put them directly into the 450 degree oven. Here's where I learned another trick last week. I always used to bake them on a cookie sheet.... but it seemed the tops were always too light, and the bottoms too dark, or the bottoms too light, and the tops too dark! Then last time I tried baking them on a stone. WOW! They turned out BEAUTIFUL! They were evenly baked in less time. I'm not exactly sure how long they bake for.... the recipe says 20-25 minutes, but I just put 'em in 'till they look right. :)

Not to brag, but these bagels are GOOD. (Just ask my family!) Everyone loves them..... and I already have some regular customers who buy them every week... cinnamon raisin, plain, and herb are my specialties. They are awesome toasted, made into sandwiches, or just plain with some butter. Come by on Friday and buy a pack..... YUM!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Little Red Hen Market

On the fourth Thursday of every month the little town of Dassel starts rumbling at about 8:30 a.m. Why? Because all the ladies, far and near, with their purses full of money, are quickly making their way to the once-a-month sale at the Little Red Hen. :) The doors open at 9a.m., but there are usually a dozen women waiting outside for the store to open. It's an awesome shop! Kent and Brenda Rydberg, the owners, do an incredible job of repainting and fixing up old furniture and reselling it. But it's more than just furniture, much more! And there are other people that sell items there too. If you have never been to one of their sales, you really should go sometime.
Another reason to visit the shop is that every fourth Thursday, during the Little Red Hen sale (which is Thursday, Friday, and Saturday), Housman Farms will be set up outside the store doing a Farmer's Market. :) We only sell there on Thursday because we have our own market at our farm on Friday and by Saturday we need a break. :)
Emily and I do a lot of baking for this sale, and sell almost everything we bake! We also sell canned goods, sheep hides, herbs, and garden produce. The next sale at the Little Red Hen will be June 24, 25, and 26. Hope to see you there!! :)

Here are some pictures of us setting up for the sale last month.