Puppy Day, part 2

Sunday we had a sudden rush of puppy buyers.  After a frenzy of filling out the puppy questionnaires and scheduling appointments, we were so happy to find good homes that suited all the puppies personalities.  Hazel, who was perfect for a farm, will be a working dog, driving cattle!  Nell, who is more laid back and needed a special safe home, will be taking walks with a couple of empty-nesters.  So now we’ll have no more puppies until next year!  Having puppies is always fun while it lasts and matching puppies up with their families very rewarding.

Rosie continues to be a wonderful mother for another litter of the sweetest puppies ever!  Our dogs continue to be helpful protecting our chickens, watching over the family and occasionally herding our sheep of goats.

Puppy Day!

Today was a sad day for me, saying goodbye to many of our puppies.  But I was also very, very happy to see the new owners and know they are each in wonderful loving homes that will take good care of them.  I also feel that the puppies and their owners chose each other wisely and they will get on well together.

We now have two pups remaining: Hazel and Nell

You can view their Volhard Puppy scores to see that Nell will be a better dog around children, while Hazel has slightly more energy and spunk.  They are both excellent pups that will bond well with their new family.

If you are interested in Nell or Hazel please complete our Puppy Questionnaire and contact us to set up an appointment to come visit the pups.  You can contact us at: morganicfarmcsa@gmail.com

 

Puppy Visitation Hours

The puppies are almost 6 weeks old!  We are open for visiting the puppies from 1-2pm for the next 2 Saturdays: June 11th and June 18th.  By the 18th we will also know their volhard puppy score which we’ll share with everyone who has their deposit in.  If you’re interested in a puppy, the first step is to complete the puppy questionnaire.  Please email us with questions, or to give us a head’s up that you’re coming out to visit puppies during their visitation hours on Saturday.  We can’t wait to meet you, and neither can the puppies!

Omnivore Farm Credit Share

Have you signed up for a CSA share and been frustrated by the volume or types of product you are obligated to consume?  Have you ever wished you could get a variety of both produce AND proteins in your CSA share?  Have you ever wished you could modify your share content and volume with a week’s notice due to consumption changes in your life (family visiting, canning, tired of one of more products, etc)?

Morganic Farm feels for you and is pleased to offer you our Omnivore Farm Credit Share.  For a minimum of $300 down you can begin to start experiencing any proteins and produce that the farm has available any time of the year.  We give you access to our current order form and you select the items and volumes you’d like, giving us a week’s notice.  We can then pick or prepare your order and have it ready for you at the next Sara Hardy Farmers Market pick up (every Saturday morning through the end of October).  After that you can pick up your share on Three Mile Road or at our farm (until the following May when we return to the Sara Hardy).  With notice you can even skip weeks if you’re on vacation or can’t make it, with no penalties!

This share is available any time of the year and is good until your credit runs out.  Think of it like you invest your dollars in the farm to allow us to make seasonal and capital purchases and in return you get maximum variety and volume at an approximate 10% savings over our direct sale price.

Your share experience might look like this:

  • You access our online order form (see below)
  • You select the items and quantities desired
  • We fulfill the quantities to the best of our abilities (i.e. sometimes high demand items will be rationed for the week)
  • You meet us at the Sara Hardy Farmers Market and take your share home
  • This share might include combinations that look like:
    • Two pounds of pork (you select the cuts), a dozen eggs (select from chicken, duck, quail), a whole chicken, and five to ten pounds of produce that may include:
      • Chives
      • Shiitake mushrooms
      • Peas
      • Purple potatoes
      • Strawberries
      • Kale
      • Rhubarb
      • Garlic
      • Turnips
      • Beets
      • Onions
      • Broccoli
      • Tomatoes
      • Cucumbers
      • Etc

Bonuses we see with this share offering:

  • if you find you “get too much _________ one week” you can pull back on it the following week.
  • Week by week you can assess your food needs and adjust your order accordingly.  Not going through eggs as fast as you were?  Order few to none this week.
  • Decided you don’t like X as much as you thought you might?  Cross it off your list for the rest of the season.
  • You’ve decided that you only want rabbit and green vegetables each week?  Not a problem at all.
  • Disappointed because you expected a full share for the week and your share is light (and you feel ripped off)?  With our share program you will not be “charged” for that light volume like you would with a traditional “every week amounts to the same cost” share program.  Your share will only reflect the costs of the items in your share for that week.  You are not paying for product you don’t want.

Puppy pictures and names!

The puppies are getting so big!  They are getting close to four weeks old now, their eyes are open and they’re starting to walk!  Their personalities are also starting to emerge and we’ve given them all puppy names!  If you scroll over the pictures, you should be able to see their names.  These pups will be ready for homes in about 4 more weeks!  How time flies!  We still have a few left, the first step in being considered as a potential owner is completion of the puppy questionnaire, which I’ve included under the pictures.

Puppy Questionnaire

Rhubarb

Rhubarb is the bright red fruit of spring.  The plants that grow in my garden were transplanted by my mother from her parent’s garden, and considered by my family to be our own heirloom variety.  We’ve eaten rhubarb pie and rhubarb cake, with variations as long as I can remember.  Here are some of my favorite recipes:

Rhubarb Custard Pie

  • Pie crust for bottom and top (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tblsp butter
  • 3 Tblsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tblsp frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups Rhubarb diced and a few strawberries

Combine sugar with butter.  Add flour and salt.  Beat in eggs, juice and vanilla until smooth.  Stir Rhubarb in and pour into prepared pie crust.  Put top on pie crust, scallop edges and cut design on top.

Bake @ 350 F for 30 minutes.  Its done with the crust is golden brown and the inside sets.


Pie Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup lard*
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup ice water or cold wine or vodka

Mix flour and salt with lard and butter until it’s crumbly and about the size of peas.  Chill in the fridge for 1/2 hour.  Take out of fridge and dribble in the liquid mixing with a fork until it sticks together and forms two balls.  Roll out the larger ball until it fits the bottom of a pie plate.  Roll out the other ball for the top.  Add filling and top with remaining crust.  Scallop the edges and cut a design on top to let out steam.  Bake as directed.

*If you don’t have lard you can add more butter, but the lard will make a flakier crust.  Lard can be made by rendering pork fat.  To render pork fat, cut it into chunks and heat a large quantity (whatever you have) in a large pot until it starts to melt.  Ladle out the liquid fat, which should be clear, into a jar.  When it cools it will be a smooth white lard.  Keep the heat low as you don’t want to scorch your lard.  You can buy pork fat from us if you’re looking for a source.  It is pastured non-GMO Mulefoot fat and $3/lb.


Rhubarb Cake with oatmeal

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tblsp butter
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tblsp frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups Rhubarb diced and a few strawberries

Topping

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tblsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

Combine sugar with butter.  Add flour, oats and salt.  Beat in eggs, juice and vanilla until smooth.  Stir Rhubarb in and pour into rectangular cake pan.  Mix the toppings and sprinkle evening over the top.  Bake @ 350 F for 30 minutes.  Its done when the batter is golden brown, set, pulling away from the sides and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Stinging Nettles for Spring

I first heard of stinging nettles in the old fairy tale The Wild Swans, about a princess who’s brothers were all turned into swans.  She had to weave them shirts made from the fiber of stinging nettles and the nettles stung her fingers.

Stinging nettles are the first greens of the season!  I first discovered nettles while searching for a non-pharmaceutical cure for my allergies.  Ever since I’ve enjoyed the detox benefits to jump-start my spring health kick.  These nettles were first planted in the garden by my son when he was in third grade to keep people out of his section of the garden to protect his strawberries!  I’ve moved them to the outskirts of the garden since (it’s not fun to get stung while wearing shorts), but they spread quickly and easily and like to migrate.  In late summer I feed them to my animals and add them to the compost, the seeds that fall off during that journey show the paths I walk.  These nettles are tenacious survivors!  Spring is the best time for nettles, since after they go to seed later in the summer they become toxic for people.

We’re bringing our stinging nettles to the Sara Hardy Farmer’s Market this year, so come out tomorrow for a chance to try them for yourself!   We grow them organically, of course, and I cut them off the stems for you, however, the leaves still have a little sting to them.  Salad tongs are helpful, but getting stung isn’t that bad, so no worries.

How to Use Stinging Nettles

  1. Make a tea by pouring boiling water over the leaves.  Steep 5-10 minutes and drink (peppermint and honey can be added for flavor).
  2. Puree in your blender with your favorite fruit smoothie ingredients.
  3. Puree in a food processor with olive oil, salt, fresh garlic, basil, walnuts and Parmesan cheese for pesto to eat with zucchini noodles or pasta!
  4. Blend with your favorite sauces and add to your favorite dishes.
  5. Slice thin and add it to stir-fry’s or spaghetti sauce.
  6. Blend with eggs to make a green quiche or frittata.
  7. Slice thin and stir fry with garlic, onions, bacon and eggs!
  8. Anywhere you would use cooked greens, just remember that because they have the sting, it’s important to either blend them or cook them to deactivate the sting.

Benefits of Stinging Nettles

From: http://consciouslifenews.com/29-nettle-tea-benefits-sipping-nettle-tea-better-health/1161788/

  • Nettle stimulates the lymph system to boost immunity
  • Nettle relieves arthritis symptoms
  • Nettle promotes a release from uric acid from joints
  • Helps to support the adrenals
  • It helps with diabetes mellitus
  • Strengthens the fetus in pregnant women
  • Promotes milk production in lactating women
  • Relieves menopausal symptoms
  • Helps with menstrual cramps and bloating
  • Helps break down kidney stones
  • Reduces hypertension
  • Helps with respiratory tract disease
  • Supports the kidneys
  • Helps asthma sufferers
  • Stops bleeding
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Reduces incident of prostate cancer
  • Minimizes skin problems
  • Eliminates allergic rhinitis
  • Lessens nausea
  • Cures the common cold
  • Helps with osteoarthritis
  • Alleviates diarrhea
  • Helps with gastrointestinal disease, IBS, and constipation
  • Reduces gingivitis and prevents plaque when used as a mouth wash.
  • Has been shown to be helpful to in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Relieves neurological disorders like MS, ALS and sciatica
  • Destroys intestinal worms or parasites
  • Supports the endocrine health by helping the thyroid, spleen and pancreas

Farm Note for Week 20

This past week we began work on the next pasture for our proteins–which is also the site for a future big barn.  This involved me with a chainsaw a chunk of the day Saturday and my son Finn and I hauling pallets most of the day yesterday.  Thank you, Finn!  You are a dedicated and fun person to work with (pizza and mangos on the way!).  🙂  The site is a 200-foot diameter circle in the center of our property.  We hope to finish the fencing for it this week and get animals on it by Saturday, starting with the horse and goats and then the pigs.  It will then be the focal point from which we serve almost all of the mother pastures.  Next year we hope to get at least the well drilled and the concrete poured for the barn foundation (assuming we do a concrete or partial concrete floor).  Plans are still going through the design phase.

The layers continue to forage on the alleyway between their winter quarters and the sheep and horse pens.  The 100 Black Australorp chicks are doing great and look to have almost doubled in size in the ten days we’ve had them.  They seem more determined and vigorous than they did upon arrival.  The Rainbow Rangers too are showing their awesome growth rate and vigor–and like their chick-mates have wing feathers coming in quite prolifically.  They are easily outsizing the BA’s and we will look at getting them out on pasture in early June.  Next up for the poultry operation will be duck and quail processing (ask for them in your poultry share!), a new duck pen on the west side of the barn and quail chicks on their way.  If you are interested in having us raise any number of turkeys for you this year please get your order into us by JUNE 15th at the latest.

chickens 136 cropped

Hormones are on the rise in the pig pastures.  Henry–our gentle giant alpha Hereford boar–is sensing some testosterone wafting his way from the three rapidly maturing boars that are now sharing the pen with him and the sows.  He is very slowly and gently letting them know that he is the boss and that if anyone is going to court the fertile sows it will be him.  If you are driving by and hear any unusual screams it is those younger boars getting their feelings hurt.  We will be addressing these emerging boars this week.  They will either be castrated under sedation, sent off for processing right away, separated from the rest of the herd and then processed later this summer, or sold for breeding stock.  Piglets will be castrated starting tonight.  We have nine to do and hope to have them done by Friday at the latest.  Some are pretty big and this will be in the early evenings–so we want to pace ourselves.  At least two to three more sows look like they will be farrowing soon.  Two of them are first-time moms and are two that I would like to keep for the longer haul.

Finally–this past week our other barn cat Thief had a litter of two black kittens–bringing our spring kitten count to five (four blacks and one all gray).  They are all awesome and we are giving them TONS  of socialization.  🙂  They will be ready for adoption (Free!) as early as late June/early July.  If you would like one (or more) or know of someone who might please direct them our way.  Both Shadow and Thief will be fixed after their kittens move on so that we do not contribute to the stray population out here.  Both of them are incredibly social cats, receive love well and are fierce “mousers.”  Though they will also bring in grouse, chipmunks and voles.

That’s all for now.  Have a great and productive week everyone.  Looking forward to getting near 80 by week’s end and hope to see you Saturday morning at the Sara Hardy in TC!

Stuart and the crew at Morganic Farm

Find us at the Sara Hardy Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning May through October!

Morganic Farm is excited to attend the Sara Hardy Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings from 7:30am-12:30pm from now through the end of October.  We’re bringing in our pork cuts as well as chicken, duck and quail eggs!  We’re also bringing an array of our freshest organic  produce.

Our Pork Share, Egg Share, Poultry Share, Rabbit Share, Vegetable Share, Omnivore Share (all customized to suit your tastes and consumption rates) customers can schedule their pick-up at the Farmer’s Market in downtown Traverse City, during the longest pick-up window we offer.  Shares can be picked up any Saturday you wish–or, you can pick up multiple shares on one Saturday to minimize the delivery fee.  Please just communicate this with us a far in advance as possible to allow for adequate planning and processing times.

We’re excited to finally be at the Farmer’s Market, meeting new people, catching up with long-time friends and offering our products!  We’re on the east end of the market in spot 95 (between Bee Joyful Soaps and GT Culinary Oils).  We hope you’ll stop by and say hi!

Spring puppies, lamb and kids

Newborn baby animals are my favorite part of spring!  Last night at 2:30am, after being in labor most of yesterday, Rosie (our English Shepherd) began giving birth.  When she was done she had nine new little puppies, six girls and three boys!  Coloring can change a little over time, but most of them are sable and white!

Goats kids are probably the most entertaining of all our new babies.  Only a week after birth they are bouncing joyfully around without a care in the world.  Having a five at a time gives them plenty of fun playmates!

Lambing with our one ewe turned out fine and we love the beautiful black ram lamb who follows his mother very closely.  Luckily we sheared her before she gave birth.

I often get asked if we plan to keep all our baby animals.  I wish!  But no, we don’t need them all.  We are currently selling most of our goats and all the puppies.  Send us an email at morganicfarmcsa@gmail.com if you are interested in a goat kid once they are weaned.

People are already sending in deposits for the puppies, if interested in getting in line for one of our spring pups the first step is to complete our Puppy Questionnaire.  We use this to help us make sure the puppies are going to stable homes where they will be given structure and well cared for.

Other baby animals for sale include weaned rabbits (French Angora and New Zealand) and weaned kittens (kittens are free).