Friday, November 30, 2012

Online store almost ready ... volunteers?

The new Little Sprouts online store is almost ready!  We are very excited to change to this method of order tracking and management... making your shopping and our order filling more efficient and less time consuming.
There are some differences to note.
1. Subscriptions.... for any item that you'd like to have a "standing order" or a "regular order"... we offer the notion of subscriptions. You can subscribe to a dozen eggs, a half gallon of milk, quart of yogurt, quart of kombucha, etc.  You do this once on the website and it lasts forever so you don't have to go back each month and reorder. The subscription will be delivered every delivery automatically.
2. Automatic assignment to routes. When you sign up on the store as a customer... you pick which delivery method you prefer... by choosing your town . From that the system automatically assigns you to the proper delivery route and schedule. You can even choose farm pickup if outside the delivery area... or pickup at one of our drop points. Even out of state shipping is an option now!
3. Know what's available instantly. The store will track how much of each item is available and remove the items for sale as soon as we run out. So you know if the item is there..  you can order it and expect delivery. If the item isn't there... we are sold out. No more emails at the last minute saying we are sold out!
4. Automatic payments! We are setting up automatic checking account debits as an option. With this you can pay for subscriptions automatically with a online check on the day of delivery without doing anything further. The system automatically transfers the proper amount on the day of delivery. It even tracks additional items ordered and pays for them the same way. No more dealing with cash or checks writing! This is of course only an option. If you prefer to pay on delivery that's fine too.
5. Invoices. You will automatically receive an email invoice for each order showing exactly what was ordered and what it costs.
One of the most valuable benefits to us... quite frankly ... is this will free up a lot of time! All of the above and more is automatic where today it is a manual, time consuming process. This gives us more time to do what we need and desire to do.... create great food!
Right now we are looking for volunteers to test out the store. We need a few people in each area for an initial test run to work the bugs out. If you'd like to help out.... please keep in mind this is new... expect problems! We appreciate your time in helping us perfect this system before releasing it to the larger group.

Pickled eggs making a comeback soon

Are you patiently waiting for the return of our pickled eggs? Well if all goes well the wait is almost over! The combination of the holidays and the laying effeciency of the heritage ducks in winter has produced an abundance of fresh duck eggs that we will turn into tasty pickled eggs soon!
What are we waiting for? Well... quite simply... time.  Duck eggs are notoriously difficult to peel as hard boiled eggs. The membrane is thicker... and slightly tougher then chicken eggs making fresh duck eggs nearly impossible to peel when boiled. They must age a couple weeks to be peelable.  Even then its a little more difficult without the right technique.
So... hang in just a little longer.... and we will have Pickled heritage soy free duck eggs available for sale!  Yum!

Goat feed returns!

Good news all southern Oregon goat owners! The infamous Scratch and Peck goat feed has returned! It is a slightly different formulation, to deal with the lack of certified nongmo alfalfa. We have this wonderful feed in stock now for delivery or sale.

You may remember that we had to drop this feed from availability due to the inability to source nongmo alfalfa several months ago. The experts at Scratch and Peck have gotten around this problem now and reformulated the feed to be useful as a supplemental feed without alfalfa. It is a great way to supplement grain, nutritional supplements like yeast, and minerals so important to goats. You do need to continue the bulk of their diet in alfalfa or hay, but then this makes a great way to ensure the goats are getting everything else they need. We use it as a treat while the goats are milking on the stand and whenever we want to give them a little extra boost or treat.

The feed is immediately available at our farm and through our free home delivery service.

Stocking winter chicken feed now

With winter here we have begun stocking the winter version of Scratch and Peck feeds for chicken. What is winter feed? Simply... it contains corn. Not just any corn... but only certified non gmo organic corn.

Corn adds quick energy to the feed to give the birds a little extra help in The heat generation department. The corn helps them maintain body heat in the cold wet weather we face. Not all chickens need that extra boost but its nice to have the option.

For the next few months we will be stocking 2 additional feeds... soy free layer containing corn and Scratch with corn. The price is the same as the corn free varieties.

Our choice is to use corn Containing feed for most flocks for the winter months and switch back to corn free for the summer months. There is no scientific or even anecdotal evidence to demonstrate a direct benefit to this cycle... but it makes sense and has no negative effects. (As long as all ingredients are truly gmo free)

Be sure to specify corn or no corn when ordering scratch or layer feed.

Normal delivery route resumes

Thanksgiving is over ... and it was a good season all around. Things have slowed a bit here at the farm as the winter season sets in. Rains have come in a big way and days are quite short.

So this weekend we will resume regular home deliveries, starting with the Ashland area. The email has already gone out and orders are pouring in. It will be good to get back to normal schedules!

See you Saturday!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Heritage turkey review and recipe

We are starting to hear good reports from the heritage pastured  Thanksgiving turkeys. Its good to see them so enjoyed!
Here is one report... complete with picture and recipe! This customer bought a never frozen brined bird.
Had 10 around the dinner table and they all claimed this was the BEST turkey they had ever tasted! Thank you for raising a perfect bird!
Yes that was smoked, organic Beelers. Yes you can use my comments as a testimonial. I began by separating the skin from the bird and laying fresh sage leaves under the skin with some organic butter then I stuffed the bird with an orange, fresh sage leaves, 2 large sprigs of rosemary, 5 pieces of celery and a head of garlic. I squeezed an orange over the bird and laid 4 pieces of bacon over that. I put that squeezed orange in the neck flap and used a metal skewer to keep the skin in place. I put a yellow onion cut into quarters, the rest of the celery, another head of garlic separated into cloves and a quart of organic chicken broth in the roasting pan with the turkey on a rack and popped the pan into a preheated 475 degree oven (with a thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh). After half an hour I turned the oven down to 375 and cooked the turkey to 160 degrees, removing it at that point to let it rest for 40 minutes under a tent of foil. I only opened the oven once to take a look and never basted. I got almost 2 cups of juices from the bird while it rested (for the gravy) and it was magnificent! Thanks again for helping me wow my friends for Thanksgiving.

Beginning a new season

Thanksgiving is now behind us. What a wonderful fall season it was this year. The turkey production and sales went amazingly well.... aside from a few mistakes on little things. We more than sold out of turkeys, were able to spend a little time with many customers and quite a few new customers, and to top it off we had a fabulous Thanksgiving day ourselves. But... alas... the 2012 has come to an end. Little Sprouts Farm now officially moves into the slightly quieter winter season.
We follow nature in all principles possible... including honoring the seasons. Winter is a time when most of nature takes a break... rebuilds, and readys for a new circle of life. Our labor and projects match this cycling. Winter for us is more about fixing, improving, thinking, writing, planning, maintaining than executing big projects. Its certainly not "time off" by any means. There is no days when chores and maintenance quits even for a day... but it is a much different workload.
This winter we need to redo our brochures, get the new online store and private association up and running, publish those ebooks, plan out our next season offerings and get eggs or babies started, do a lot of fixing, rearrange the land use, etc etc. Some new things we are investigating is switching the bee hives to Warren instead of topbar, and installing winch drive systems on the moving bird coops. Its also time to first ally put in that sidewalk to the store and sell off unneeded items on craigslist.
Variety is good. We believe there is great value in honoring the seasons. There is a time and a season for everything and our ultimate long term success as people depends on recognizing that. One of the problems I saw in the tech workplace is the constancy of effort. Without seasons people burn out at almost everything. Factory type work where every day becomes identical year after year tends to deaden the spirit and dull the senses. Motivation thrives on newness, on promise, on challenge. Thats what the seasons give you... new promise and new challenge. It's refreshing and uplifting to forge on deeper and deeper into the forest of life, to expand our exploration into the mysteries of tomorrow.  That's what seasons give you.
So here we go! No black Friday here... the day after Thanksgiving for Little Sprouts Farm is about birth... the birth of a whole new year. Where will this year take us? I have no idea.... not yet... making goals is goal 1. But whatever it is.... whereever we go next... it will be an adventure!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Kombucha production expanded

Kombucha... that tart satisfying health drink so many have grown to love. It is the only "soda" our family drinks. Flavored or plain... its both good and good for you.

We have just expanded our brewing ability. Too often we have been selling out of this liquid gold. Now we can produce as much as 20 gallons per week. That should suffice for a while until demand grows yet again.

What is kombucha? In short... is is cultured sweet tea. A combination of yeast and bacteria ferments the sweet tea into a sugar free alcohol free, slightly effervescent health drink. Our kombucha is unique, due to our own unique recipe. Is is less carbonated... totally sugar free, bolder taste with a slight hint of heaviness in the background.

If you haven't tried kombucha... or if you tire of the commercially available heavily sweetened type... give ours a try.

Homemade gaps friendly marshmellows!

If you like hunter's now famour coconut oil chocolate...  here is a sneak peak of a new trial... gaps friendly marshmellows! Who knew marshmellows could be made low Carb friendly?

Ingredients? Simple. Grass fed gelatin, Himalayan salt, real vanilla extract, raw honey, and water.

This is one if our test batches.... ready to cut tomorrow for a thanksgiving treat. If this works out... hunter's chocolate might become chocolate marshmellow treats! And its all organic... low glycemic... reasonably healthy, and gaps friendly!

Stay tuned!

Cooking a heritage thanksgiving turkey

Now that the busy thanksgiving season is  coming to a close... our attention is turned to the final details of a perfect Thanksgiving meal. Heritage birds are quite different from conventional birds, and cooking must be adjusted for best results. Here are some general tips.

1: heritage birds cook faster.. much faster. Expect about half the time of a conventional bird.  Start checking for doneness at about what you would expect the halfway point to be, or earlier.

2: don't overcook! Heritage birds are best brought to no more then 165 degrees measured in the thickest part of the thigh. At 170 the meat will dry out quickly.

3: measure doneness with a meat thermometer, not a popular thing. Measure only in the thigh, not the breast.

4: stuffing is difficult. Due to the fast cooking, you have to precipitation the stuffing, otherwise it simply won't be done until the bird is much overcooked.

5: the temp you bake or roast at is not so important to the meat quality itself or doneness... but does determine the cripsiness of the skin. For golden brown crispy outside put some oil or butter on and cook at 375 or 400. For softer light brown skin cook at 300 to 350.

And remember... you will get equal portions of white and dark meat. These birds do not have the huge man made double breast. They have smaller divided breasts with a thick breastbone like a wild turkey.

Cooked right you will end up with a delightful juicy flavorful bird with meat texture that makes you doubt storebought conventional birds are even real. It really is that different!

After thanksgiving... do not waste the bones! It is incredibly simple to make the best turkey stock you ever tried. Just submerge the leftover bones in a large pot of water or slow cooker and lightly boil for a day or so. You can add a few peppercorns or a sliced onion and celery, and a little salt. When its done you will have excellent turkey broth that is both medicinal, nutritious, and delicious! Storebought canned broth can't even come close!

We wish you a happy holiday and encourage you to call of email if you have any questions!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Turkey harvest continues

We are at the start of the last week of turkey harvest! 3 more days to thanksgiving. Today and tomorrow are filled with processing the birds to be delivered fresh while packaging the brined birds for pickup.

The weather looks a tad challenging.... wet and cold with blowing winds... not exactly our preference! Hopefully we can get most of this done before the weather turns too bad each day. If not... well... we will just get  cold and wet.

Its all worth it... in the end being able to deliver these marvellous heritage free range birds is so rewarding. This week has been almost a year in the making and first ally we get to hand over the results to our customers. It feels good to complete such a long term project.

Oddly... in the grocery store recently I noticed the selection of turkeys available.  There were free range birds, organic birds, and heritage free range birds.  None were soy free and none were all of the above. Yet... the heritage free range birds were priced above what we are selling turkeys for.  I strongly suspect through what research I could do... there this definition of free range is quite different from little sprouts. When we say free range we mean free on open pastures. Our birds have acres of room to roam and hunt for forage. Most large scale turkey farms provide only feet per bird... where we give hundreds of feet per bird. We believe that birds are not intended to live in cages. Birds are the most inherently free creatures in nature given their ability to fly and soar above us all. To honor this.. we go to great lengths to provide our birds space and open range. We feel it is vitally important to their development and health... as well as the quality of the resulting meat.

So... watch for phrases like "pastured" or "free range" and ask the question... just what does that mean to this producer? These terms are not regulated in any way... so you really do need to know your farmer.

Here we go... the scalder is heating up and within a few hours we will be back at it!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Turkeys turkeys everywhere

We are at the halfway point in the 2012 turkey harvest. So far its been a good year, even amid the long hours and hard work.

Thus far we processed and brined and delivered to the smokehouse all the turkeys due for smoking. Everything went smoothly with them.

The second phase was processing all the turkeys to be delivered brined. As of tonight these are all resting comfortably in a near freezing brine for the weekend. This required two full days of work... pretty much dawn to dusk.

That brings us to a much needed day of rest. The equipment is cleaned and waiting for three more intense days next week in the final phase.

Our setup this year has been the best yet... other than a little quirk with the gas valve on the scalder... all went smoothly. We even set up a very nice radiant propane heater pointing into the covered work area. That one addition was a godsend! These heaters were purchased for the milking room but... from experience I k ow that the cold and Constant wetness of processing is the hardest part of thus job in the fall. The heater worked like magic... easily doubling our energy level and ability to get things done. What a blessing!

We also modified the running water outlets to give them a smooth gentle rain pattern. This stops splatter thematic just made things miserable. Plus we added vinyl aprons, heat resistent dunking gloves, and cut resistant cloth processing gloves.  All together it was the most comfortable and productive processing experience to date.

For Beijing we converted an extra large chest freezer. Inside is large food grade plastic buckets filled with brine and stuffed tight with turkeys. An external thermostat with a probe on the Brining  bucket holds the liquid temperature at 34 degrees.

Monday we try out our new packaging method and equipment. Heat shrink plastic bags and a large outdoor burner. We also added hokloks... those metal wire holders that keep the legs in place during processing and packaging.  The end result will be a very professional looking bird.

So... a day of rest... then back hard at it for three more days... and we will be giving thanks!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hard labor, low pay, constant problems....

Farming... an occupation of low pay, long hours of back breaking work, constant problems to solve, working through holidays and bad weather and sickness. Yes... that is all true and at face value it is easy to see why so many people left the farm for the promise of a better life. But I have to say... after a long day of processing turkeys in the cold with an aching back.... I wouldn't trade this life for anything. The payoff is not in vacations or money. The payoff of farming is much deeper... much more satisfying, much more valuable than the fleeting luxuries of the world.

I took a call the other day from a mom in California. She was desperate yet determined to provide a thanksgiving meal for her daughter. You see... the young girl has developed an actually rather common allergy to soy. Since soy is the primary ingredient in virtually all animal feed, this little girl can not eat common meat. No thanksgiving turkey or ham... ever.  The mom was overjoyed when she found our website advertising soy free turkeys. Finally her daughter can have a traditional thanksgiving meal!

Unfortunately the story doesn't end happy. I had to turn her down due to the legal restrictions on shipping our turkeys out of state.  Nevertheless... there are plenty of local people in the same boat... unable to enjoy meats due to one problem or another in the conventional factory farms.  We have dedicated our farm to helping those people, and the thousands that are soon to follow when realization of the failure of conventional factory farming becomes better known.

You see.. this isn't a job.... this is a life mission.farming is not about making a living... it is about helping people to live. Families depend on our food for life itself... just as there are those that depend on the medical profession for life. Farming is about people, about health, about enabling people to enjoy life.

As I lay here with an aching back from the days activities... there is a smile on my face and more importantly a smile if my heart. Nothing can satisfy more than realizing your efforts have helped someone else, made the world a little better, one meal at a time. That far exceeds any vacation.... any toy.... any sum of money.  It makes life and work worthwhile.

Sometimes I think that the average American focus on wealth is in itself stealing our joy. Wealth should be a potential side effect of our efforts, not the goal. Wealth didn't satisfy the heart.  I know from personal experience ... having livrdin both sides of the fence on this... wealth is not the answer. It is not evil, but it also doesn't make life worthwhile.

I encourage young people to embrace farming... it is an occupation... a mission, a ministry, a calling that is well worth the long hours, hard work, and low pay. It is one of the things you can do with your life that leaved you proud and satisfied at the end of the day as well as the end of your life.

Farming... who knew it was soon profoundly deeply satisfying.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

First round if turkey processing today

Well its here. As I awake this morning we start a busy 2 weeks of the Thanksgiving season, clearly our busiest time of the year. Over the next two weeks we will process and fill orders for thanksgiving turkeys while maintaining our full customer base support for other products... or try to! This is a real test of our effeciency and resolve.

The turkey orders are right now at five times what we had last year! And we are still getting several calls per day asking for soy free pastured organic heritage turkeys, or some combinations of those benefits. We have officially stopped taking orders but are trying our best to accommodate all those who call in. So far we have been able to fill all orders.

Today marks the beginning of processing. Those birds ordered as smoked are being processed and put into the brine to tonight. Then they go off to the smokehouse Friday. So... as much as we'd like to... we simply can't fill any more orders for smoked birds, that window has closed for the year.

We have made many improvements to our process over the last several months to make this more efficient, and today we put that to a first test. I am very happy so far with the timing, the bird coops we designed this year, the raising process we finalized on, the resulting size and size and demeaned and health of the birds, and anticipate our biggest and best turkey harvest ever.

Check back later to see if I am right!

Monday, November 12, 2012

The 2012 Turkey harvest has begun!

Today marks the beginning of the 2012 turkey harvest here at little sprouts.  It will be a busy two weeks indeed!

This morning we did some catching and test weighing. It was quite a challenge! These birds are feisty and strong.  I think I might have a couple bruises  to show for the experience.

The weights came out nice though.. we have a nice mix of large, medium, small birds. the largest were 20 lbs 6 oz live weight, which should come out to about 17 to 18 lbs processed weight.

If all goes well, the birds due for smoking will be processed tomorrow and placed in this year's new sugar free brine to soak until friday. then they get transported to the smoke house.  The rest of hte birds will be processed starting this weekend.

Busy times!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Turkeys, Sunshine, Apples, and Pears

It's a  - - P A R T Y! - -

Yep. mix open air, sunshine, turkeys with plenty of fallen apples and pears and you have party time! These guys are having a ball hunting and consuming the beautiful organic fall fruit leftovers!

The Great Turkey Escape

It happens every day...  the door comes open and a few curious souls peak out. Slowly they emerge from their safe hiding place. Cautiously looking around, sniffing, watching for anything that might be a danger. They venture further, a few more faces following suit behind. As the first few brave souls reach the edge of safety, the crowd behind is pressing them forward. Is it safe? can we relax?  They cant be sure.

then suddenly someone decides freedom is valuable. They cant go back against the pressing crowd so they keep moving forward and realize its a good thing!  Sunshine, fresh air, freedom! Wings stretch out, voices embolden, and then.. critical mass is reached and the whole flock takes off together... hopping, running, even flying through the air. They are free...

Until nightfall when they return to their safe haven, only to replay the drama on the next day.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Farmer beats monsanto!

I wanted to share this story... it is the first time I have seen a farmer actually win in court against the ridiculous lawsuits of Monsanto about genetically modified seeds. Well... win meaning he won the court case... we can be sure it cost him bundles of money fighting it.

My opinion is simple.... its ignorant to even consider that genetically modified crops can be contained in the fields wherein they are planted. Nature is not a lab. Things aren't nice and neat like the world of test tubes and science. It just doesn't work that way in the real world. Nature is designed to create as much genetic diversity as possible to preserve and tweak genetics over time.

Bottom line.. it is impossible.. patentedly impossible .... to contain GMO seeds, plants, pollination, genetics to a single field. Every force of nature is actively opposed to that.

Its like saying that if you kill all the weeds in your yard once... you will never have weeds like your neighbors again... no sprouts... no infiltration.. ever.  Is that reality?

No.. we know it isn't... and so do the scientist and businessmen behind Monsanto. Either they never studied pollination and are totally ignorant to the way plants spread or they know. I think they know.. and they know that with government help and support... these gmo seeds that are patented will eventually take over the world. Once that happens they have a free ride. Those crops can only be bought from Monsanto every year... forever. Real versions of the plant will no longer exist.

Why? Because as genetics spread in the plant world... genes are additive. They add to the unmodified plant... there is no way to remove it. All the forces of nature are currently at work right now ensuring that soybeans, canola, alfalfa, sugar beets, etc are no longer existing without Monsanto genes and thereby patent infringement.

GMO crops are bad... all of them.. simply because there is no way to contain them. They are viral. In twenty years science will decide they are harmful but by then... they can't be stopped... the genie is out of the bottle.

I applaud this farmer fifty fighting the giant and sticking to it. This I'd one thing it takes to stop this monster. Labeling laws are another important aspect. The monster must be stopped... or our children dont stand a chance.

 David vs. Monsanto—The Story of How a Lone Farmer Prevailed Against One of the Most Powerful Companies on the Planet 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sold out of Thanksgiving Turkeys

As expected, we are now sold out of this year's thanksgiving  pastured heritage soy free turkeys.  the demand has been astounding! Next year we hope to offer twice as many... well.. we hope to, lets see how processing goes  this year!

We will have some frozen turkeys available after thanksgiving, and hope to launch into having turkey available year round, or at least every few months.

For those that wish a turkey this year but didnt get in soon enough, we are starting a waiting list. There are always cancellations at the last minute. We will fill wait list requests on a first come first served basis as cancellations happen, but remember there is no guarantee!

For those who ordered a turkey, stay tuned to the blog, i hope to be posting cooking recommendations and recipes soon.

What is kombucha?

Strange name... strange taste.... what is this stuff? It is liquid gold!  Well.. when properly done....

Kombucha is fermented sweet starts with all the health benefits of tea ... then dramatically increases those benefits through fermentation. It is no longer tea... no more than yogurt is milk, or wine is grape juice. Here's how it works:

Sweet tea is placed in a container and the culture added. The  culture is called a scoby. This stands for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast.  It is a balanced world of yeast and bacteria living together and off each other. A simplified explanations is this: the yeast consumes the sugar in the tea producing alcohol as a byproduct. The bacteria then consumes the alcohol and oxygen creating acid as a byproduct. Both if these are present and working at all times so that.. as long as sugar and air are present... the result idle healthful acids in a tasty blend of flavors. The alcohol level never reaches a significant level because the bacteria consumes it as fast as it is produced by yeast.

Now.. if the oxygen supply is cut off.. you get alcohol. For this reason it is necessary to refridgerate sealed bottles. The act of sealing.. if any sugar is left in the tea, will produce alcohol at room temps.

The main benefit of drinking kombucha is in the acids ... meaning special vinegars. These vinegars have a long list of reported health benefits. And there is still the benefits of the tea itself, and a host of other compounds. Plus the yeast and bacteria, if alive, are powerful probiotics for our bodies. So powerful it is highly recommended to start consuming kombicha slowly... an ounce or two at a time in the morning only. Then slowly increase if no negative reaction occurs.

To gain these benefits... you must make sure of a few things....

1. There is no or very little sugar left... as we all know sugar itself is a powerful health negative wrecking havoc on the human body. Check the label.... sugar should be 0 or as close to it as possible.

2. Kombucha should be fermented long enough.. at least a week at room temps. Going faster at higher will produce alcohol since the bacteria can't keep up with the yeast. This happens above about 76 degrees. If it is left to ferment long enough the bacteria will consume all the alcohol eventually. How to tell? It should be strongly sour when consumed plain.

3. Organic... to ensure no negatives are inside.. water quality in the tea, sugar added, and tea itself is important. All should be clean of chemicals and organic.

Consuming kombucha is much like consuming wine... every batch, every recipe produces different flavors and aromas. just like no two wines or two years of wine are identical... no two batches of kombucha are identical. The producer can alter the flavor by adjusting the recipe (tea type and strength, water source, sugar type)  or adjusting the time to temp balance, or by adding flavorings after fermenting. Its quite a world of exploration.

We sell kombucha made in small batches of 3 gallons. Ours if fully fermented so that NO sugar is left (we test for sugar at the end)  and it is strongltly sour. We start with both green and black tea, and sweeten with both cane sugar and sucanant. The result is a robust sour healthy drink with a unique flavor that can be further flavored in many ways.

Many people drink kombucha plain but it can be flavored many ways. For ginger ale flavor just add ginger and sugar or honey and let it set for a while. For fruity add fruit juice, just an ounce of two per bottle of kombucha. You can also usr spices, herbs, or even essential oil flavorings. There is no limit to ideas and recipes. If its too sour, dilute with water.

If you prefer carbonated drinks... add a little sugar and cap it moderately tight, then let it sit at room temps for s couple days and fridge for a couple days.. the yeast will make co2 which will be absorbed in the cold making a naturally fizzy drink. Use Carr if you don't want alcohol... as alcohol is produced when fermenting without air!  Don't go too long or strong on this.

Our family uses kombucha as our "soft drinkñ now that we are past the negative probiotis effects (die off) . The health benefits if this drink are real. The probiotic effect way beyond and supplement pill. And the flavor is so versatile! We literally drink it like soda.

Can you overconsume kombucha? Sure... just like anything else. I remember a news story of someone dieing from drinking too much water in a radio station contest. Anything to excess is dangerous. We easily go through a glass of two a day with nothing hut good effects.

If you haven't tried kombucha... order some this week. If you have... give ours a try. I think you will find it unique. If you want to make your own... order a scoby from us and explore your own recipes.

Strange name... strange taste... with many health benefits and a world of exploration and fun. Try it!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Chicken eggs going down, duck eggs up

For the last year or so we have has ample chicken eggs for all the orders and enough leftover to do creative things like pickled eggs. Duck eggs have been in short supply and constantly sold out. Well... we have reached a point where this has switched. As of this week we may sell out of chicken eggs early and substitute with duck eggs.

Part of the reason is increased demand. In winter many small backyard flocks quit laying, creating higher demand for eggs. At the same time our base customer list has grown about 6x from where we were last year this time. So demand is up.

Supply is also down on chicken eggs. Our initial flock is getting older and slowing down the laying, even shrinking a bit. We added the sussox flock but it was only half the size we wanted due to a string of bad events. Top this off with our getting behind on lighting the coops due to other demands on our time.... and we have a decreased supply.

Ducks on the other hand are doing great. We are getting almost a full supply of eggs now each day from the khaki campbells.  They don't seem affected yet by the short daysx and hopefully won't be.

So.. there is a chance that we may sell out of chicken eggs this week and offer duck eggs instead. If so.. we try to fill orders ollgiving priority to those with standing orders first, then first orders first. We will know tomorrow where we stand when the final egg collecting happans.

Busy days... little posting

I apologize to you for a lack of postings recently. It is not for lack of activity! We are actually busier than ever, in fact too busy to post about it!

With the season change comes a lot of winter preparations .. and with close to 1000 birds now this is a lot of preparations! In addition we are changing our hog breeds, launching into the largest turkey harvest we have ever done, expanded our goat dairy to 3x what is was last year, replanted all the pastures, worked on the duck habitat, building an online store, investigating a new piece of property and .. oh yea.. sleep occasionally!  The customer base has grown 6x over the last 10 months since we introduced home deliveries, which has its own world of challenges.

Dont get me wrong.. these are all good problems to have, but they are still problems that take time to deal with. 

So, hang in there.. as things slow down a bit for the winter we will be more active here in publishing our story. 

The most important change coming in the very near future is the announcement of the farm Private Member Association.  This is BIG.. really BIG... and will benefit both you and us.  More details to come... stay tuned!