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Focus on Food

Updated: Feb 6, 2023




Colonel's Blog, Earthdate 5 Feb 2023...

Hey Y'all!!


Happy Sunday from the farm! It was a cool morning with the potential to reach 60 degrees today! The slick ice covering everything should melt off today and things will transition to not quite as slick mud. All of the farm animals were doing well this morning. Happy, the milk cow, was not Happy all night. We moved a new large round bale of hay to their area yesterday and although we went a couple of layers into the bale, she was unhappy with the layer of hay she was offered last night. She lives just outside our bedroom and she complained all night that she didn't like the hay. We went a bit deeper into the bale this morning and she was quite pleased. Folks talk about the dairy cows on a farm being the princesses of the farm animals and I think that about describes the situation. We spend more time with them, are much more hands on with them, and we ensure they have all they have all of the highest quality hay they can eat. Their thanks is gallons of milk everyday, and a bit of a spoiled attitude...well worth it! We did things with milk yesterday, all day, about 15 gallons worth of things. We made sour cream, buttermilk, butter, pounds of cheese, and yogurt. We added a gallon and a half to the fermenting hog feed. We also used 5 dozen eggs making 7 egg loaves. We needed a couple of pounds of butter for the loaves...not to worry...we'll just skim some milk, warm the cream slightly, and make our own butter. We put a quart of cream into a half-gallon Mason jar and shook for about 5 minutes...voila...butter. So cool! We may take a break from doing things with milk today, if anything we may make more cheese. Everyone is eager to get outside and enjoy the warm sunny weather before the rains start next week. Shelley and I may even take a walk.


OK, Y'all, we eat good food in our house. That is why we started doing this farming stuff in the first place, so that we could eat the highest quality food. We have farm-fresh, non-GMO eggs for breakfast everyday. We have fresh, raw A2A2 Jersey milk to do all of the milk things with. When we are ready for pork, we have forested, heritage, non-GMO pork. Beef...absolutely! We have grass-fed, grass-finished Devon. Today we will spatchcock chicken we grew on our pasture, fed fermented non-GMO feed, and processed right here before shrink-wrapping and freezing. All that to say, we eat well and since this was our first venture into our own lamb, we were unsure of what to expect. We have had lamb before, both in restaurants and from the store. To be honest, both Shelley and I expected our lamb to taste somewhere between store-bought lamb and venison. Boy, were we surprised! We formed a pound of ground into burgers and seasoned with a light dusting of Greek seasoning and black pepper. We seasoned 2 loin chops the same way and pan seared both. Our goal was lightly season in a traditional manner and cook in such a way as to not change the flavor profile. The aroma of the cooking meat was the first thing that piqued our interest. There was not even a hint of 'gamey' scent, just a delicious smell of meat cooking. Then the taste; the flavor of the lamb was amazing! It wasn't even on the scale of store-bought lamb or venison. The best I can describe is a well-flavored tender beef, somewhere between the bold flavor of grass-finished beef and the very mild flavor of grain-finished beef. The top pic above is the lamb as we prepared it for cooking. The bottom pic is a lamb chop and burger plated with Harold's St Bart Habanero flavored egg loaf seared and topped with our own sour cream and tomatoes and chilies canned from my parent's garden. It was an absolutely amazing meal that I wish we could share with all of you. Our conversation since has focused on how we can do better with the sheep enterprise. We even mentioned buying feeder wethers like we do with the pigs. However we have to figure it out, we will make more lamb because it is amazing!


Shelley uploaded another short, "Happy Hogs Enjoying Breakfast." Check it out and subscribe to our YouTube Channel.


Local Farm Report for 4 Feb 2023:

Harvest:

20 Chicken eggs

7 Duck eggs

5 1/4 Gallons of milk

Sales:

N/A


Cheers! Rich & Shelley

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