Clean Food

We returned home from the BioNutrient Food Association’s Soil and Nutrition Conference spinning with ideas and very optimistic. As if to egg us on, Laura clicked on a NYT op ed by Jacques Leslie entitled Soil Power! The Dirty Way to a Clean Planet. Quoting Dr. Rattan Lal, it read “Putting carbon back in the soil is not only mitigating climate change, but also improving human health, productivity, food security, nutrition, water quality, air quality — everything.”

In addition to catching up with regenerative farming friends, we were thrilled to attend sessions by heroes like Elaine Ingham (the soil food web is her gift to science) and many others as well as nutritionists and health practitioners. We learned tons, had breakthroughs about our practices and got inspired. We hope some of the films we were introduced to amplify the possibility of eating and growing clean food.

In the film Secret Ingredients, Dr. David Perlmutter explains how glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup – which is sprayed on most GMOs and many other crops – can compromise our microbiome, promote inflammation, and exacerbate numerous health conditions. The film highlights spectacular health recoveries, featuring Kathleen DiChiara, one of our favorite speakers from the conference. Check out the trailer via this link!

 

This week we also said our goodbyes to our oldest sows Ramona & Amelia, who had come to the end of this phase of their productive life.   These girls allowed us to learn AI (yep, Artificial Insemination) with/on them producing lots of great piglets.  They were supreme champs at the “Go to your bowl” command.  Amelia often going to her bowl, and drooling over it, at feeding time without even being prompted, reminding us how much pigs can learn.

They were pasture stars, raising their piglets to also appreciate pasture, respect the fence and move when called.  They were always receptive of a belly rub and scratch behind the ears and happy to share to share space with the chickens, taking advantage of the hens grooming skills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And those eyelashes, such beauties these Tamworth sows.

 

We served them up the last of the russet apples from a tree on the edge of their pasture as a last meal and then like always, they calmly and easily followed us into and then out of the trailer, no worries, just curiosity about what they will find in the next new space, because for five years, moves have always been good.

Goodbyes are never easy, and truly I don’t believe they necessarily should be. This is part of knowing your food and how it is raised.  They have been a backbone of the farm for five years, but their offspring will continue in those roles and these pigs, like many before them will provide clean, nutritious food for many.

Five years…that is a lot of moves, feedings, belly rubs, inseminations and piglets…and we thank Ramona Quimby and Amelia Bedelia for it all. And we remember that heartache comes with the love, joy, abundance and deliciousness.

Check out a full gallery of some great Ramona & Amelia moments on our website

Pregnant sows enjoying chard..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the Farmstand: December 7-13

Well, hello December.  The daylength gives it away even if the temps and lack of snow do not.  The farmstand is getting more and more stocked for  cozy winter meals and the holidays every week.  In time for the Sunday market we should be restocked with Maple Breakfast Sausage, Christmas Sausage and even Bloody Mary mix!

We continue to have a mix of fresh greens from our hoophouses, but the volumes aren’t like the early fall. With today’s maximum possible sunlight at 9 hours even, the plants are growing very slowly.  But we will keep managing them based on temps & sun to have some mix of fresh greens each week to brighten these short, darker days.

Holiday gift baskets, our own Popcorn! and some beeswax candles and homemade soap from Brookfield Bees are also now in the farmstand.

 

This week at our Farmstand you can find:

• Eggs (limited to members)

 

Fresh/Stored Veggies & Herbs

• Beets
• Bok Choy
• Broccoli, Frozen
• Brussels Sprouts
• Cabbage, Red & Green
• Carrots
• Chard, Frozen & Fresh
• Cilantro
• Delicata Squash
• Baby Fennel
• Garlic

• Ginger, Baby (LRF), Frozen
• Kale
• Onions
• Popcorn
• Potatoes
• Pumpkin
Salad Mixes
Shallots
Spinach
Stir Fry/Braising Mix
• Sweet Potatoes
• Tatsoi
• Winter Squash:Butternut, Red Kuri, Blue Hubbard

 

Meats   

Goat
• Goat Loin Chops
• Ground Goat
• Leg of Goat Roasts*
• Loin Roasts, Goat(small)
• Goat Ribs/Rack*
• Shanks, Goat

Pork
• Alsatian Christmas Sausage  (Sunday onward)
• Bacon
• Beer Brats
• Fat, Pork Leaf
• Fat, Pork Back
• Ham Roasts & Steaks
• Italian Link sausage, Sweet
• Kielbasa
• Maple Breakfast Sausage (Sunday onward)
• Pork Jowl
• Pork Chops

Poultry
• Chicken, Roasting
• Chicken, Stewing
• Turkey, Whole

• Bones, Pork & Goat
• Offal & Odd Bits – Trotters, hearts, liver, kidneys, necks, Pig Heads, etc.

Greenfield Highland Beef
• Ground Beef
• Eye of the Round Steak
• Sirloin Roasts
• Rib & NY Strip Steaks
• Delmonico Steaks
• Stew Meat

 

Pantry & Prepared Foods

 Applesauce – Maple Cinnamon & Pure
 Bone Broth/stock – Roasted Chicken & Roast Turkey
 Chimichurri Sauce – Sage, Mint & Regular
 Curried Green Tomato Pickles
Dilly Beans
• Lard
• Lemon Pickles
• Marinara Sauce
• Mojo Verde Sauce
• Pepperoncini
• Pesto, Arugula, Kale & Spicy
• Roasted Pepper Sauce
• Heirloom Tomato Salsas
 Salsa Verde
• Soup: Creamy Spinach, Broccoli-Spinach & Tomato & Roasted Veggies(V)
 Canned Tomatillos
• Tomolives (pickled green cherry tomatoes)
• Dried Hot Peppers
Dried Tomatoes

From our Farm Friends    Brookfield bees maple syrup 3

• Farmstead Pizza from Field Stone Farm: Garlic with Spinach, Feta & Pine Nuts; Tomato Sauce with chevre & pine nuts; Basil Pesto with Red Onion & dried tomatoes; Beet with Feta
• Blueberries, Frozen from Spotted Dog Farm
• Cider Syrup
• Honey, Brookfield Bees
• Maple Syrup, Brookfield Bees
• Beeswax Candles & Homemade Soap, Brookfield Bees

This Week’s Member Special

All of the above is available for members and retail shoppers, but we also offer some specials for our members.  To learn more about our flexible, free Choice Farm Share memberships, see the details on our website.

• Leg of Goat Roasts

• Goat Ribs & Racks

 

Asado Potatoes (or Beets)

asado-beets-and-potatoes

Adapted from Anya Fernald’s Home Cooked – Essential Recipes for a New Way to Cook, which is fabulous!  Let’s just say the first section is on building blocks and it includes lard and 3 bone broths, including Trotter Broth – she hooked me there.  She got her start with the Slow Food movement in Italy and now runs the largest sustainable meat company with a farm, slaughterhouse & retail outlets in California.

Ok..onto the super easy Asado Roots

Truly the photo in the cookbook (not so far from mine) hooked me, along with her description, “They are easy to make, and the result is fairly spectacular, giving you the best of both worlds – tender, buttery rounds of potato with browned, crunchy edges.” She is right and we’ve found they are an easy way to get something a bit different and festive.

Ingredients

  • Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes or Beets
  • Fat of your choice (Schmaltz or Roasted Chicken Fat is lovely, lard, bacon fat, butter or olive oil also work)
  • Salt & Pepper

Her ratio is 6 large potatoes & 12 Tablespoons of butter (6 to start and 6 at end).  I used perhaps 2-2.5 lbs (sorry should have measured) of potatoes of various sizes and much less poultry fat, perhaps 4-5 tablespoons and none at end.

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to around 450, or a bit lower if using convection.  Slice the potatoes, about 1/8 inch thick.  I used our small food processor with its thinner slice blade and it worked like a charm.  Larger potatoes required being cut in half so they would fit through the shoot.

Toss the potatoes or beets with salt, pepper & fat of your choice, if using a harder fat, soften or melt it first. If you sliced with a food processor, when tossing separate the potatoes a bit to get oil well tossed and so you don’t have too many stuck together. Arrange the potatoes in a cast iron pan on end in some sort of spiral or rows.

asado-potatoes-prepped-in-cast-iron

Don’t pack them too tightly so they will cook well.   My 2-2.5 lbs fit nicely in my 10 inch cast iron.

Put in the oven until tender and browned and a bit crispy on the top edges, about 45 minutes.  She suggests pouring additional melted butter on them at this point, but we didn’t find it necessary.

 

asado-potatoes-finished

Variation – Asado Beets

asado-beets-prepped

I figured if you can do it with potatoes, why not beets.  So at the same time I did a batch of beets, in exactly the same manner.  The beets were only in for 30 minutes, and weren’t as crispy, but lovely.  I did use small beets as they were at hand, and my pan was bit big for them to stand up properly.  If done with a better size match, a bit longer might make sense.

Both were also excellent right away for lunch and left over. And you can mix them too if you like!

 

asado-potatoes-beets-spinach-and-chicken

Holiday Markets & Festivities

Thanksgiving is coming and it is snowing like it means it here at the farm.

That must mean it is time for a variety of holiday markets and festivities.  While you are planning your holiday shopping and outings here are some to consider and where you can find our pasture-raised meats and organically managed veggies, fruits & herbs for your holiday table and for holiday gifts.  And we will have our farmstand all spruced up with localvore gift ideas from our farm and members of Floating Bridge Food & Farms.

 

We will have warm bone broth for sipping (and to nourish you ) at almost every venue and we look forward to sharing a cup with you.

Thanksgiving Farmers MarketSunday, Nov 19th 11am -2pm 
Norwich University Armory, Northfield VT


Whether you are hosting or traveling, lots of great treats for the holiday meal as well as around the edges and some nice gifts if you are off to visit others.

 

 

 

 

 

Common Spirit Celebration & Tree Lighting: Friday, Dec 1st 3-9 pm Northfield Common, Route 12 & Depot Square, Northfield, VT
In conjunction with Northfield’s annual tree lighting ceremony, the Northfield Farmers Market is hosting the Common Spirit Celebration, an old-fashioned, European-style outdoor Christmas market on the Common on Friday, December 1.  Event runs 3-9 pm, and we’ll be there until at least 7 p.m.

 

 

 

Scrag Mountain Music Concert in the Barn & Soup in the Farmstand: Saturday, Dec 2nd 6-9 pm

Photo by Rob Spring

At the Farm!
It is always a special evening when Scrag Mountain Music has a concert in our Barn event space.  Amazing performances from musicians with incredible talent and passion.  We will have a simple soup supper available in the farmstand (as well as holiday shopping!) before the concert.  Check out details on our website.  And the Farmhouse Inn and Barn Guesthouse are available if you want to make it a Vermont Farm & music get away or stay-cation.

 

 

 

Soup & Holiday Cheer in our FarmstandThursdays in December 3-6:30 pm At the Farm!
Join us for a satisfying cup of Farm soup and a festive holiday farmstand. Perfect if you are getting your weekly or holiday meal shopping done and need a bite to eat or a fun activity for the kids. Also Excellent for picking up some satisfyingly local and handcrafted holiday gifts!

 

 

 

 

 

December Holiday Farmers Market: Sunday, December 10th 11 am – 2 pm
Special for December, the Market is at: Northfield High School.
We are sure to be stocked with our popular Christmas Sausage as well as localvore gift & holiday meal items along with lots of other great vendors!  We will have gift baskets as well, and you can place a special order for a gift basket.

 

At the Farmstand: November 16-20

Thanksgiving is next week!  Wow, how time flies when you are scurrying to get ready for winter.  The farmstand is stocked with more treats to come this weekend as we finally get some additional time in the farm processing room.

Lots of great veggies, including some fresh greens though we are transitioning to winter greens season which will be lovely but not as prolific, especially if it stays grey.

Field Stone Farm pizzas are in the farmstand, several different flavors for some quick meals while you prep for Thanksgiving and Spotted Dog Farm’s Blueberries are also back in stock!

 

This week at our Farmstand you can find:

• Eggs (limited to members)

 

Fresh/Stored Veggies & Herbs

• Beets
• Bok Choy
• Brussel Tops*
• Cabbage, Red & Green
• Carrots
• Chard
• Cilantro
• Delicata Squash
• Garlic

• Ginger, Baby (LRF)
• Kale
• Napa Cabbage
• Onions
• Potatoes
• Pumpkin
• Salad Turnips (FSF)
Salad Mixes
Shallots
Stir Fry/Braising Mix
• Sweet Potatoes
• Winter Squash:Butternut, Red Kuri, Blue Hubbard

 

Meats   

Goat
• Goat Loin Chops
• Ground Goat
• Leg of Goat Roasts
• Loin Roasts, Goat(small)
• Goat Ribs/Rack*
• Shanks, Goat

Pork
• Bacon
• Beer Brats
• Fat, Pork Leaf
• Fat, Pork Back
• Ham Roasts & Steaks
• Italian Link sausage, Sweet
• Kielbasa
• Pork Jowl
• Pork Chops

Poultry
• Chicken, Roasting
• Chicken, Stewing
• Turkey, Whole

• Bones, Pork & Goat
• Offal & Odd Bits – Trotters, hearts, liver, kidneys, necks, Pig Heads, etc.

Greenfield Highland Beef
• Ground Beef
• Eye of the Round Steak
• Sirloin Roasts
• Rib & NY Strip Steaks
• Delmonico Steaks
• Stew Meat

 

Pantry & Prepared Foods

 Applesauce – Maple Cinnamon & Pure
 Bone Broth/stock – Roasted Chicken & Roast Turkey
 Chimichurri Sauce – Sage & Regular
 Curried Green Tomato Pickles
Dilly Beans
• Lard (Leaf)
• Lemon Pickles
• Mojo Verde Sauce
• Pepperoncini
• Pesto, Arugula, Kale & Spicy
• Heirloom Tomato Salsas
 Salsa Verde
• Soup: Creamy Spinach, Broccoli-Spinach & Tomato & Roasted Veggies(V)
 Canned Tomatillos
• Tomolives (pickled green cherry tomatoes)
• Dried Hot Peppers
Dried Tomatoes

From our Farm Friends    Brookfield bees maple syrup 3

• Farmstead Pizza from Field Stone Farm: Garlic with Spinach, Feta & Pine Nuts; Tomato Sauce with chevre & pine nuts; Basil Pesto with Red Onion & dried tomatoes; Beet with Feta
• Blueberries, Frozen from Spotted Dog Farm
• Cider Syrup
• Honey, Brookfield Bees
• Maple Syrup, Brookfield Bees

This Week’s Member Special

All of the above is available for members and retail shoppers, but we also offer some specials for our members.  To learn more about our flexible, free Choice Farm Share memberships, see the details on our website.

•Brussel Tops

• Leg of Goat Roasts

• Goat Ribs & Racks

 

Caramel Pumpkin or Sweet Potato Pie

– adapted by one of our favorite farm cooks, Donna Farley, from Fat Toad Farm’s Recipe

Pumkin/Squash/Sweet Potato Pie

Ingredients

  • 15 oz pumpkin, squash or sweet potato puree (see below)
  • 8 oz Fat Toad Farm Caramel – I use Vermont Maple flavour, FTF recommends Salted Bourbon or Original
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum/bourbon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup freshly whipped cream to garnish
  • 1 9” pie crust (see below)

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 425ºF.  Mix up a batch of your favorite pie crust dough, enough to cover a 9” pie pan.

In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, Fat Toad Farm Caramel and eggs. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Pour pumpkin mixture into pie crust. Spread evenly and gently tap to remove any air bubbles.  Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350ºF, cover the edges of the pie crust if they are already golden. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center is clean when removed.  Allow pie to cool before serving with fresh whipped cream.

Slice of Pumpkin/Squash/Sweet Potato Pie

Pumpkin/Squash Preparation

Slice in half , scoop out seeds & place cut side down on a baking sheet

Cover tightly with foil & bake at 350F for 45-90 minutes depending on size of squash, until soft.

Scoop out cooked squash and, when cool, puree with immersion blender or food processor.

Let it sit for about 30 minutes and pour off any excess liquid.

 

Sweet Potato Preparation

Bake whole potato(es) on a baking sheet, at 350F for about 1 hour until soft.

When cool, scoop out and puree with immersion blender or food processor.

 

Pie Crust Preparation  donna rolling lard pie crust with wcax

See Donna’s conversation with WCAX’s Judy Simpson for some tips

8oz All Purpose Flour

Pinch of salt

2 oz Lard (Green Mountain Girls Farm!)using lard

2 oz Butter

1/4 C cold water

 

Remove butter from fridge and leave to stand for about 30 minutes until it is not so hard.

Sieve flour into a large bowl, with salt.

Add butter to flour and chop into pea-sized pieces with a knife.

Add lard (straight from the fridge) and cut into similar sized pieces.

Use cool fingertips to quickly & gently rub the fat into the flour until you have a breadcrumb type texture.

With the knife, stir in all of the water.

Use your hands to quickly bring the mixture all together as a dough, using it to wipe up any excess around the bowl.

Wrap the dough in cling film, and put it into the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.

Roll it out on a floured surface and use to line a 9” pie dish.

There will be enough dough left to make a smaller pie.

Paw Patrol winning Hearts

Yes, famous dogs and cats is our naming scheme this year and Paw Patrol was suggested by our niece while at Auntie Camp this summer.  (Of course we thought she was saying “Papa Troll” and kept asking if there was a dog involved).

Anyway,  the group of 10 piglets we bought from Hogwash Farm this summer, who are mostly the Large Black heritage breed,  got named the Paw Patrol.  We are not sure about the hard working dogs in the Paw Patrol books, but these beasts are earnest, sweet and REALLY love their veggies whether grazing grass or crop treats, in addition to belly rubs. And they have these ridiculously cute ears.

Their last pasture spot offered a dramatic view of their black color against the deep green grass and them high up on the hill grazing daily, it was a color and joy feast for this end of the grazing season.  Here we share a little of the joy we get on a daily basis while these Paws (or hooves) are patrolling the farm.

Brussels (Sprout) Tops

So, the sprouts themselves grow on the sides of a long stalk, sheltered by the leaves  of the plant.  The top-most leaves, are delicate, almost like baby cabbages and a special treat when you are harvesting the plants.   This week, probably this week only, we have this special offer.  Brussel Tops.

What do I do with them? 

Sauté or Stir Fry them, toss them in soups, or as we did, just blanch them whole briefly in stock or broth and then set them on the plate for eating.

With a texture similar to a baby savoy cabbage and they are just delightful.  They have a sweet, cabbage-like freshness with a light flavor of brussels sprouts, but without any of the latter’s sometimes sulphury undertones.   As the Guardian noted, “They cook almost instantly to a submissive silkiness.”

You could go for this more elaborate (well more elaborate then dipping them in a pot of stock currently cooking on the stove), Spicy Stir-fried Sprout Tops from the Kitchenist Blog or Maple Glazed Sprout Tops with Crispy Pork (in this recipe, I think streaked pork would be jowl or belly)

 

Is it worth it?  Are they good for me? 

Yes, and Yes, of course.

First of all they are easy!  So tender, easier than almost any other green. And they can please folks that like Sprouts or cabbage definitely, but their flavor is also sweeter and milder that the other 2 so good for the folks that aren’t huge brassica lovers.

“Sprout tops are vitamin-dense, and have exceptionally rich stores of two vitamins in particular: anti-inflammatory vitamin K, which like calcium, helps build bone density; and vitamin C, which helps strengthen the immune system.  Along with broccoli, they have the highest levels of glucosinolate compounds (which are believed to protect against cancer) of the (glucosinolate-rich) brassica family. ”

Need more, read the entire article, Why Brussels Sprout Tops are Good for You, in The Guardian.

 

At the Farmstand: November 9-15

November, wow.  Certainly starting to feel like it with these temps, it has us scurrying a bit to get all the last bits of fall veggies safely into storage.  But lots of lovely root veggies for cozy meals and some fabulous chimichurri sauce to liven up meats & veggies.  AND another batch of fresh Field Stone Farm pizzas are in the farmstand.

 

This week at our Farmstand you can find:

• Eggs (limited to members)

 

Fresh/Stored Veggies & Herbs

• Arugula
• Beets
• Bok Choy
• Brussel Tops*
• Cabbage, Red & Green
• Carrots
• Chard (limited)
• Cilantro
• Delicata Squash
• Garlic

• Ginger, Baby (LRF)
• Kale
• Napa Cabbage
• Onions
• Potatoes
• Pumpkin
• Salad Turnips (FSF)
Salad Mix
Shallots
Stir Fry/Braising Mix
• Sweet Potatoes
• Tomatoes* (ripened off vine)
• Green Tomatoes
• Winter Squash:Butternut, Red Kuri, Blue Hubbard

 

Meats   

Goat
• Goat Loin Chops
• Leg of Goat Roasts
• Loin Roasts, Goat(small)
• Goat Ribs/Rack*
• Shanks, Goat

Pork
• Bacon
• Beer Brats
• Fat, Pork Leaf
• Fat, Pork Back
• Ham Roasts & Steaks
• Italian Link sausage, Sweet
• Kielbasa
• Pork Jowl
• Pork Ribs

Poultry
• Chicken, Roasting
• Chicken, Stewing
• Turkey, Whole

• Bones, Pork & Goat
• Offal & Odd Bits – Trotters, hearts, liver, kidneys, necks, Pig Heads, etc.

Greenfield Highland Beef
• Ground Beef
• Eye of the Round Steak
• Sirloin Roasts
• Rib & NY Strip Steaks
• Stew Meat

 

Pantry & Prepared Foods

 Applesauce – Maple Cinnamon & Pure
 Bone Broth – Roasted Chicken & Turkey
 Chimichurri Sauce
Dilly Beans
• Lard (Leaf)
• Lemon Pickles
• Mojo Verde Sauce
• Pepperoncini
• Pesto, Arugula, Kale & Spicy
• Heirloom Tomato Salsa
• Soup: Creamy Spinach, Broccoli-Spinach & Tomato & Roasted Veggies(V)
• Tomolives (pickled green cherry tomatoes)
• Dried Hot Peppers
Dried Tomatoes

From our Farm Friends    Brookfield bees maple syrup 3

• Farmstead Pizza from Field Stone Farm: Garlic with Spinach, Feta & Pine Nuts; Tomato Sauce with chevre & pine nuts; Basil Pesto with Red Onion & dried tomatoes 
• Blueberries, Frozen from Spotted Dog Farm
• Cider Syrup
• Honey, Brookfield Bees
• Maple Syrup, Brookfield Bees

This Week’s Member Special

All of the above is available for members and retail shoppers, but we also offer some specials for our members.  To learn more about our flexible, free Choice Farm Share memberships, see the details on our website.

•Brussel Tops

•Tomatoes

• Leg of Goat Roasts

• Goat Ribs & Racks

 

All in on Carrots

It has been a carrot (and beet) heavy week.  It was time to disturb those lovely, quiet rows of storage carrots and beets and bring them in for eating now and through the winter.  Just a few rows, doesn’t seem like that big of a job, right?

Well, pulling them isn’t too bad, but once they are out of the ground those important growing tops do need to come off.

Often we do this in the field, but the rains this week didn’t allow for that time, so we employed the entire farm team, including the big red dump tractor (known as Snoopy..or Clifford).  From the field to the wash shed, Snoopy not only hauled the carrots but served as a much more ergonomically friendly counter height for trimming the greens off.

When our taller teammate got in the mix, we did tip the height up a bit!

 

Only thing Snoopy couldn’t do was help Mari with the hours of washing that followed harvest & trimming.  But they look great!  Thanks to all.