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Foraging in the Ozarks





Colonel's Blog, Earthdate 23 Feb 2023...

Hey Y'all!


Good morning and happy Thursday! The storms passed our area yesterday without much fanfare. We had an initial gust-front but the Ozarks seemed to break up the thunderstorms so instead of major storms, we just got about 1/2" of rain. The sky is clear this morning and the animals are doing great. The newest bull calf that had us worried is doing well and sticking with the herd where he should be. Holly, the orphan calf, is taking her bottle without coercion and will soon be allowed out of her small pen. Shelley made a pork delivery into town yesterday, delivering the last of our bacon. We need to update the web store today to reflect it as out of stock. We have some bacon ends and pieces left so we will take some photos and put it in the web store. We also worked on the bar project and it's coming along nicely. We made ricotta and a dill-flavored paneer. Today we will work a bit on the website, make more cheese, and work on the bar.


For Shelley's birthday, my parents purchased us seats for the "Winter Foraging in the Ozarks" workshop at Finley Farms. Finley Farms is in Ozark, MO about an hour and fifteen minutes from us on the outskirts of Springfield. Johnny Morris, owner of Bass Pro Shops, owns Finley Farms and his daughter Megan Stack developed the vision and began operating it as it is today. It is an urban farm as well as a bunch more. One of the interesting things they do is they feature farm-forward restaurants where they seek to source as much as they can from local farms. We may set up a meeting with their lead chef to see if there is a market for our premium forested pork in their restaurants. Anyway, we went to the 2-hour foraging workshop and really enjoyed it! The top pic is us on a walking bridge looking over the river and mill at their farm. The next pic is us about to leave the house, in our 'regular' non-farming clothes. We laughed that in their info email, they said to come prepared for a farm-walk. On our farm, as you know from the pics, that means muck boots and coveralls. We used discretion and just wore some shoes that we didn't mind getting dirty. We chose correctly as Finley Farms is much more like Disney World than it is like our farm. We did venture off of the sidewalk a couple of times into the mulch. There was a chef that talked through many of the local weeds, er..., plants that are edible. We even got to taste them. Most tasted like a mix of leaf lettuce and arugula. Some had a more 'earthy' flavor, and one in particular (Yellow Rocket) was a big no-go for me. We had such a good time and laughed, cut-up, and joked that we were eating 'yard.' Our chef was a size zero, which added to the fun as we commented that if we only ate 'yard' we too would be tiny. The third pic is the pan fried mushrooms and plantain & wild onion pesto with black walnuts. The bottom pic is juniper berry syrup to be used in lattes or cocktails. The sitters did an awesome job with the evening rounds and milking so that we could get away and have some laughs. So, if you see us in the pasture grazing with the sheep, don't worry, we know what we are doing!


Shelley's YouTube Short for today is: We like forested pork butts!


Local Farm Report for 22 Feb 2023:

Harvest:

24 Chicken eggs

3 Duck eggs

1 Goose egg

6 1/4 Gallons of milk

Sales:

N/A


Cheers! Rich & Shelley

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Todd Campbell
Todd Campbell
Feb 23, 2023

You both should have showed up to the event dressed in some 'earthy' smelling coveralls.

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That would have been a hoot!

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