Category Archive: Farming

Henhouse Morning Mix and a Chicken Keeper’s GIVEAWAY

Black Australorp Chick at 1840 FarmFrom the moment that our first day old chicks arrived here at 1840 Farm, I was hooked on chicken keeping.  We built their coop by hand, using repurposed materials when possible, planning the best we could for the chicken keeping adventure that lay ahead.  We tended to the pullets through the first few months of a very cold New England winter.  We loved every cold minute of it!

Months later, on a snowy February day, something absolutely magical happened.  We discovered the first fresh egg waiting for us in the nest boxes.  Our son, who was a toddler at the time, declared it our first “homegrown” egg.  It was a proud moment for all of us, filled with the excitement made possible by months of planning and years of wanting to bring livestock back to the landscape of our farm.FEDBook

Years have passed, yet the excitement hasn’t faded a bit.  Each egg is still a reason to celebrate.  To ensure that our girls continue to provide us with a steady supply of fresh eggs, we do all that we can to keep them healthy and strong.  We prefer natural methods of boosting their immunity and providing them with the nutrition they need.  My favorite technique to accomplish that goal is to provide our hens with a nutrition packed start to their day.

I first tried this method after reading Fresh Eggs Daily:  Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally.  The concept was simple and brilliant.  By incorporating several healthy supplements into our flock’s morning ration, we could easily provide them with a nutritional boost and enjoy watching them excitedly gobble it up each morning.

I used the Breakfast of Champion Layers recipe from Fresh Eggs Daily:  Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally as a starting point and have incorporated a few of the components and supplements that we keep on hand.  Many of these products are also incorporated into the daily feed routine for our dairy goat herd.  I used the Fresh Eggs Daily mix as a guide and added in Luv Nest’s new Nibbles Healthy Herbal Treat.

LuvNest_NibblesThanks to Fresh Eggs Daily and Luv Nest,  you can enter to win your own copy of my favorite chicken keeping book and a package of Luv Nest Nibbles Healthy Herbal Treat.  One lucky winner will receive a copy of Fresh Eggs Daily:  Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally and a 4 ounce bag of Nibbles.  The winner will be notified via Email after the giveaway closes on Thursday, October 23rd.  Good luck to all who enter!

If you’d like to learn more about natural chicken keeping, visit Fresh Eggs Daily’s blog, and follow them like I do on Facebook, and Instagram.  If you’re interested in learning more about using herbs with your flock, you won’t want to miss the Herbs for Hens™ series of videos on YouTube.

You can learn more about Luv Nest and their amazing line of products by visiting their site and Facebook page.

1840 Farm Henhouse Morning MixPhoto Oct 17, 10 58 38 AM

We offer this mix to our hens along with a steady supply of their Blue Seal Organic Life Layer feed.  Our hens love it and I love knowing that it is packed with the nutrition they need and the taste they love.  Because we don’t rely on this mix as our flock’s exclusive diet, I can make subtle changes to this mix based on the seasons and use approximate measures for the components without worrying about our hens getting all of the base nutrition that they need.

During molting season, I add extra sunflower seeds and a healthy dose of dried mealworms to the mix in order to provide our flock with a boost of protein.  I blend these components by hand and store them in a pest proof container in the same manner that we store our other animal feed.

10 pounds Organic Life Layer Pellets
2 pounds raw old-fashioned oats
2 pounds Black oil sunflower seeds
2 cups dried, crushed egg shells
1 cup Luv Nest Nibbles Healthy Herbal Treat
1/4 cup Probotic powder
1/4 cup food-grade diatomaceous earth
1/4 cup garlic powder

 

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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/10/henhouse-morning-mix/

Mike the Gardener’s Seeds of the Month Club

SeedsOfTheMonthClubI am proud to introduce you to 1840 Farm’s newest sponsor:  Mike the Gardener’s Seeds of the Month Club.  The Seeds of the Month Club offers a unique opportunity to receive a collection of open pollinated, heirloom, non-GMO seed varieties delivered to your mailbox each month.  Their club offers seasoned and novice gardeners alike a wonderful opportunity to add new heirloom, non-GMO varieties to their gardens.

It’s no secret that I love to garden.  There’s something so fulfilling about planting a tiny seed and tending it for months until it produces a harvest to be served at our family table.  We grow our entire garden from seed and I can’t seem to say no to a new interesting variety when planning our garden each spring.  Throughout the season, I walk through the gardens contemplating how I might be able to squeeze in one more row of lettuce or carrots.  I am forever looking at a small bit of grassy yard space and visualizing how I can convince my family that we should construct a raised bed to plant more heirloom tomatoes next year.

Along with my continual garden planning, I seek out companies that offer non-GMO seeds.  I like to spend my gardening dollars on seeds that help to ensure the diversity that I so love to grow in our gardens here at 1840 Farm.  I like to support the companies that feel as I do, that more diversity in our seed choices and resulting food supply is good for everyone whether they choose to plant a garden or frequent their local farmer’s market.

For that reason, I encourage you to click on the “Join Now” button here on our page to learn more about the Seeds of the Month Club.  By using this link, you will receive a 25% discount on your membership.  As a member, you will receive non-GMO seeds hand selected for your growing zone.  The first shipment of seeds will consist of eight packets and will be followed by four seed packets each month throughout the length of your membership.  The producers of the seeds offered by the Seeds of the Month Club have taken the Safe Seed Pledge.so you can be confident that the seeds you receive will be non-GMO varieties.

My first month’s collection of seeds are in the mail, on their way to our mailbox here at 1840 Farm.  I can’t wait to plant them in our heirloom garden and share my experience growing these varieties with you throughout the growing season.  I’ll be sharing photo updates on our Facebook page, Instagram, and in our Garden Tour Photo Gallery right here on our blog.  I hope that you’ll join me in becoming a member of the Seeds of the Month Club and share in the fun with me.

You can learn more about Mike the Gardener’s Seeds of the Month Club by visiting them on Facebook,  I am proud to welcome  Mike the Gardener’s Seeds of the Month Club to our wonderful community of 1840 Farm sponsors and grateful that they are offering such a generous discount to the members of The 1840 Farm Community.  Here’s hoping that we all have a wonderful gardening season this year!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/07/mike-the-gardeners-seeds-of-the-month-club/

A Backyard Rabbit Giveaway

This is Herbert Menninger our French Angora Rabbit.  We first met him in the spring of 2011.  It was a casual meeting at a small family farm.  When I say casual, I mean that I casually mentioned how beautiful he was to the farmer who owned him.

We weren’t looking for a rabbit to add to our barnyard.  Instead, we had come to visit this farm to meet a pair of dairy goats we were considering purchasing.

It seemed harmless enough to mention that this rabbit was strikingly handsome.  He simply was.  Within moments, the farmer mentioned that they were hoping to find several of their rabbits new homes.  Then she went the extra step and suggested that this rabbit could come home to live with our family if we wanted him to.

We hadn’t gone to visit her farm expecting to see a rabbit, much less agree to bring one home.  As we left,  I told her that we would consider her kind offer just as we were considering the dairy goats she had available.  As I drove home, I came to a powerful realization:  we needed to make room in the barn for the most adorable rabbit I had ever seen.

As I said, we weren’t expecting to add a rabbit to our farm.  I had been poring over books about dairy goats and reading blogs written by goat keepers.  I had been putting myself through a crash course in preparation for adding a few goats to our farm.  Now I needed to get ready to bring this fluffy little guy home to live with us.

I had a rabbit as a child, but the world of fiber rabbits was new to me.  We started out by gathering information from our favorite homesteading publications along with the tools and supplies that would help this rabbit make himself at home.  A few weeks later, he did indeed take a car ride and come home with us.

In moments, he had surveyed his hutch, tested his water bottle, and settled in for a nap.  As we watched him, I came to another realization:  we had just brought our 170 year old barn back to its original purpose.  Our barn was no longer simply a place to store the tractor, workshop, and potting shed.  It was a shelter for the animals that helped turn our home into a working homestead.  Our barn had come back to life with the simple addition of this small rabbit.

Within days, we had renamed this handsome rabbit and had fallen in love with his gentle demeanor.  From the moment he arrived, he has been sweet and gentle.  Watching Herbert enjoy a sunny day outside is my favorite way to end a long day spent working in the garden.

A month later, our first Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats came home to join Herbert in our barn.  That was almost three years ago.  The barn is full of life and it is nearly impossible to imagine a time when it wasn’t.  I hope that it will always provide shelter for animals that call our farm home.

This year, GRIT Magazine published their annual Guide to Backyard Rabbits.  The issue is filled with a collection of useful articles covering topics from preparing to care for your first rabbit by gathering the necessary supplies and tools, helping your rabbit handle the summer heat, and exhibiting at rabbit shows.  It also includes something very special:  a photo of 1840 Farm’s very own Herbert Menninger!

Sure enough, you’ll find Herbert in a gallery of adorable rabbit photos on page 8 and 9 in this year’s issue.  Seeing his photo in GRIT’s Guide to Backyard Rabbits seemed like a moment to celebrate.  So, we’ve invited a few of our favorite rabbit loving companies to participate in a giveaway for all of you who keep rabbits in your life or may be adding new rabbits this spring.

Our Backyard Rabbit Giveaway is a fantastic collection of our favorite rabbit keeping tools.  Two lucky winners will be randomly selected and win:

Here at 1840 Farm, we look forward to receiving our issue of GRIT Magazine each month.  You might say that it is a family tradition that goes back at least three generations.  My Great Grandfather read his GRIT Newspaper each night after the day’s work was done and the dairy farm had been put to bed for the evening.  I find myself reading it over 50 years later to gather new ideas and information for tending to our family farm each month.

We have been using Blue Seal Feeds since we became chicken keepers in 2010.  Our chickens are fed Organic Life throughout each their lives.  Our goats love their Caprine Challenger feed and have maintained excellent health and lactation levels.  We love using Sunshine Plus as a nutritional supplement to provide beneficial yeast cultures and vitamins and minerals for our dairy goats and rabbit.

We do our best to keep a well stocked medicine cabinet in our barn.  While I would like to think that our good husbandry practices are enough to ensure that our animals will always be in good health, I know that some accidents and illnesses are far beyond my control.  For the unexpected moment when I find that one of our animals isn’t in top form, I find comfort in knowing that our medicine cabinet will have exactly what I need to help them fully recover to good health in a timely fashion.

We always keep VetRx on hand in each formula for our animals here at 1840 Farm.   Our medicine cabinet wouldn’t seem complete without VetRx formulas for our dog, chickens, goats, and rabbit.  I have found each formula to be incredibly effective at treating a host of ailments.  It’s no wonder that these formulas have been available for over 100 years!

I hope that you will take a moment and enter for a chance to win The Backyard Rabbits Giveaway.  We’ll contact the two lucky winners via Email on Friday, April 5th.  Good luck to all who enter!

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Giveaway ends Thursday, April 10th at 11:59 PM EST. Open to Residents of the US only.  Prizes cannot be shipped to PO Boxes.  Winner will be selected by Random.org and be notified by email. Winner will be given 72 hours to respond to notification Email before a new winner is selected. The products are offered for the giveaway free of charge, no purchase necessary. Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter are in no way associated with this giveaway.  The information you provide will be kept private and will not be shared and will not be used for any purpose other than to contact the winner.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/04/a-backyard-rabbit-giveaway/

Celebrate the End of Molting Season with an 1840 Farm Giveaway!

I have written before that molting season is the time that tries a chicken keeper’s soul.  It seems cruel that just as the weather turns cold and the days turn dark, we find ourselves without any eggs waiting in the nest boxes as a reward for our chicken keeping chores. Feathers abound, but eggs become scarce or nonexistent.

Today, I made the most wonderful discovery when tending the chickens.  After eight egg free weeks, there was a beautiful brown egg was waiting for me nestled in the straw lining one of our nest boxes.  I let out such a commotion that our girls couldn’t leave the coop to go outside fast enough!  Now I’d like to share the celebration with the entire 1840 Farm Community by having a good old fashioned Facebook page giveaway.

Visit our Facebook page to vote for the prize that you would like to have a chance to win.  I’ll tally the votes over the weekend and share the giveaway with you on Monday morning.  You never know, if I keep finding eggs in the nest boxes and comments on the post, I just might feel the need to offer more than one prize.   I can’t wait to hear what you would like to win in time for the holidays!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/12/celebrate-the-end-of-molting-season-with-an-1840-farm-giveaway/

1840 Farm and The Fresh Eggs Daily Blog Tour

When Lisa Steele from Fresh Eggs Daily asked me if I would like to participate in The Fresh Eggs Daily Blog Tour for her new book, Fresh Eggs Daily:  Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens… Naturally, I didn’t have to think twice.  Instead, I jumped at the chance to receive a copy of the book to review along with an autographed copy to give away to one of our lucky readers.

Lisa has been a trusted friend and mentor for well over a year.  I have been following the progress of her work on this book since it became a reality last year.  I have often joked with her that I was as excited as she was to finally see her book in person!

Last week, these beautiful books were waiting for me in our mailbox.  From the moment I saw the cover, I couldn’t wait to read it from start to finish.  As I read, I recognized the hallmark style that I have come to expect from Fresh Eggs Daily.  The whole book was warm in tone and presented the information in an encouraging manner.

The information was extensive, covering a range of topics from planning your first chicken coop, natural strategies for the daily maintenance of your flock and discouraging pests of all kinds.  Common chicken keeping challenges such as molting, coop cleaning, and potentially dangerous foods and plants are also covered in detail.

If you’re a Fresh Eggs Daily fan like I am, then you’re already familiar with their collection of posts containing tips and suggestions for raising and tending your flock naturally.  I am constantly learning new techniques from their blog and Facebook page and sharing their content on our own page.

Now Lisa’s natural chicken keeping knowledge has been assembled into a beautiful book. Fresh Eggs Daily:  Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally will teach you how to implement effective and simple strategies like drying herbs fresh from your garden for use all year long.  Lisa offers common sense tips for helping prepare your flock for Mother Nature’s extremes and handling inevitable chicken keeping challenges.  She also includes several recipes for natural concoctions and several DIY projects including creating your own brooder.  This book covers such a wide variety of topics that it is sure to be your go to chicken keeping resource for years to come.

I wish that I had been able to add Fresh Eggs Daily:  Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally to my bookshelf when I was beginning my journey as a chicken keeper.  Within the pages of this book, I would have found the information I needed to ensure that our first flock had the very best chance of thriving here on our farm.

Luckily, I can add it to my chicken keeper’s library now and so can you.  Whether you are in the beginning stages of planning to become a chicken keeper, tending to your first chicks, or have already earned your chicken keeping stripes, I know that you will enjoy reading this book as much as I did.

To make this giveaway even more exciting, I’m adding one of our 1840 Farm handmade fabric coiled egg baskets to the prize pack.  While all of our baskets are unique, this one is a true original.  It was designed in the color scheme of Fresh Eggs Daily:  Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally and features fabrics in Wedgewood blue, chocolate brown, tan, and garnet red with butter yellow stitching.

If you already follow 1840 Farm and Fresh Eggs Daily on Facebook, then you have already earned a few entries.  Simply click on the buttons below to claim them.  While you’re at it, you can claim a few more entries and increase your odds of winning.

In fact, I’d love to hear where you are in your chicken keeping journey in a comment below and grant you another entry.  I ‘ll go first and share that we have been keeping chickens for three years.  Now it’s your turn to share:  tell me about your chicken keeping experience.  I can’t wait to read all about it!

After you have claimed all of your entries in our giveaway, visit the other stops on The Fresh Eggs Daily Blog Tour by clicking on the links below.  You can read other chicken keeper’s reviews and enter their giveaways to increase your chance of winning your own copy of Fresh Eggs Daily:  Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally.

 

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Visit all the other stops along the Fresh Eggs Daily Blog Tour to read some more great reviews and to enter to win a copy!

Week One

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/10/1840-farm-and-the-fresh-eggs-daily-blog-tour/

VetRx Veterinary Remedy *GIVEAWAY*

I live with my family in a house that is over 170 years old.  I plant heirloom seed varieties in our gardens and raise heritage breed livestock.  I guess it’s no wonder that I always stock Goodwinol’s VetRx Veterinary Remedies in our farm medicine cabinet.  These formulas have been around for over 100 years.  They’ve stood the test of time and I can’t help but respect that.

VetRx is an amazing line of products offered from our sponsor Goodwinol Products Corporation.  There are VetRx formulas for a wide variety of animsls from hamsters to horses.  VetRx can safely and effectively treat a host of conditions, particularly respiratory diseases.

Here at 1840 Farm, we stock the rabbit, poultry, and goat & sheep remedies You’ll find VetRx in our barn medicine cabinet just in case we find a need to use them to treat our animals.  I love knowing that each product can be used to treat a variety of conditions.

The Rabbit Remedy is useful in treating colds, pneumonia, snuffles, ear mites and ear cankers.  The Goat & Sheep Remedy is useful for treating coughing, sneezing. rattling breathing sounds, and ear mites.

The Poultry Remedy is safe for use on chickens (including bantams), ducks, quail, turkey, geese, and game birds.  It is an effective treatment for colds, scaly leg, and eye worm.  It can also be used as a health tonic during times of stress such as breeding and showing.

You can learn more about Goodwinol and VetRx by visiting their website or Facebook page.  You can also enter to win a bottle of VetRx formula for your medical kit.  Leave a comment telling us which remedy you would choose as your prize and follow Goodwinol and 1840 Farm on Facebook for a chance to win.  Three winners will be selected and given the opportunity to select the VetRx Remedy of their choice as their prize.  Good luck to all who enter!

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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/09/vetrx-veterinary-remedy-giveaway/

Heirloom Tomato Profile: Blondkopfchen Cherry

The Blondkopfchen Heirloom Cherry Tomato originated in Germany.  In German, the word “blondkopfchen” translates to “little blonde girl”.  My daughter was a little blond girl when we first began growing this tomato here at 1840 Farm.  In fact, she was the reason that I first ordered these heirloom seeds and planted them in our heirloom tomato garden.

The incredible taste and production of this heirloom was the reason we kept planting them each year.  Every year, our Blondkopfchen plants are the most prolific in the garden.  A single branch holds dozens of tiny orbs waiting to ripen in the sun.  I am always amazed at just how many tomatoes these plants can produce.

I’m also taken by the unique color of these ripe tomatoes.  They are golden yellow with a tinge of lime green undertones when they are fully ripe.  They are beautiful when used in fresh tomato dishes or sauces, bringing a lovely contrast to the other red colored tomatoes in the dish.

The Blondkopfchen tomato has a sweet, earthy flavor with a touch of citrus.  It’s a perfectly balanced blend of sweet and brightness.  It is a disease resistant variety that consistently produces tomatoes without cracked skins.  It also tolerates our cooler nights here in New England, making it perfectly suited to growing in our garden.  One taste of this fantastic variety and you’ll understand why it is a favorite here at 1840 Farm.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/08/heirloom-tomato-profile-blondkopfchen-cherry/

Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta Pasta

When it comes to simple summer dinners, this recipe is as good as it gets.  In the time it takes for the water to come to a boil, I can have the entire recipe prepped and ready to cook.  By the time the pasta is perfectly cooked, the sauce is ready and dinner is served.

The inspiration for this pasta dish came from another summer favorite:  Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta with Basil.  We love to celebrate our beloved heirloom tomato season with fresh bruschetta on a warm summer afternoon.  So, why not prepare the rustic bruschetta topping and serve it with pasta instead of the traditional crusty loaf of bread?

The results are equally delicious.  It’s nice to have more than one way to celebrate the long-awaited arrival of heirloom tomato season.  It’s also nice to be able to serve a delicious, fresh dinner at our family table in less than 30 minutes from start to finish!

Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta Pasta
Serves 4 as a main course

1 pound heirloom tomatoes, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ounce sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
1 Tablespoon oil from sun-dried tomatoes
1 Tablespoon  extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces mozzarella, cut into cubes
2 ounces smoked mozzarella, cut into cubes
12 ounces penne pasta
1 handful basil leaves, torn
salt and pepper to taste
Balsamic Vinegar Glaze

Bring a large pot of water to a roiling boil.  Add 1 Tablespoon of salt to the water and return to boil.  Add pasta and cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, combine the oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes with the olive oil and minced garlic in a large skillet.  Warm gently over low heat until the garlic is fragrant.  Roughly chop or julienne the sun-dried tomatoes before adding them to the warm oil.  Add the fresh tomatoes to the skillet and warm over low heat.

Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss to coat.  If the pan is dry, add water from the pasta pot to moisten.  Remove from the heat and add the basil and mozzarella.  Gently stir the mixture.  Taste for seasoning and add more salt or pepper if needed. Serve warm garnished with balsamic vinegar glaze.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/08/heirloom-tomato-bruschetta-pasta/

Slow Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

During the height of heirloom tomato season, we harvest several pounds of cherry tomatoes every day.  It’s intentional:  we plant two dozen cherry tomato plants every summer in our garden.  We have found that they store amazingly well in the freezer, allowing us to make this fresh sauce all winter long.  When the snow is flying outside, a pot of this sauce bubbling on the stove is a wonderful way to remind ourselves that summer will indeed come again.

At 1840 Farm, we enjoy this rich sauce served on fresh polenta made from cornmeal we grind ourselves.  It is also delicious tossed with spaghetti or served with pasta and meatballs. The flavor is rich and earthy with just the right amount of acidity and natural sweetness.

To freeze cherry tomatoes, simply wash them and allow them to dry fully on a clean kitchen towel.  Line a baking sheet or pan that fits into your freezer with freezer paper or parchment.  Place the tomatoes on the pan and place in the freezer.  Allow the tomatoes to freeze solid overnight before transferring to a freezer bag.  Don’t be concerned if the skins rupture as they freeze.  The tomatoes will still store incredibly well and produce a delicious sauce.

Slow Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

We love to use our favorite heirloom cherry tomato, the Black Cherry, in this recipe.  You can substitute your favorite cherry or grape tomato variety with equally delicious results.

1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ounce dry vermouth
2 ounces tomato paste
1 pound Black Cherry Heirloom Tomatoes or your favorite variety
1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
salt and pepper to taste

Place a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add butter and olive oil.  Once the butter is melted, add the onion and stir to coat.  Cook until the onion is translucent, approximately 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for one minute.  Add the vermouth, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any caramelized pieces of onion or garlic.  Add the tomato paste and stir to fully combine.

Add the cherry tomatoes to the pan and stir to combine.  Allow the tomatoes to cook for 2-3 minutes or until they begin to soften and release their juices.  Using the back of a spoon or a potato masher, lightly crush the tomatoes.  Reduce the heat the low.  Allow the sauce to simmer for 10 minutes or until thick.  Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed.   Add more broth if necessary to achieve the desired consistency.

Reduce the heat to low and allow the sauce to continue to simmer, adding liquid if necessary.  The longer the tomatoes are allowed to cook, the more intense their flavor will be.  Serve the sauce spooned over polenta, spaghetti, or tossed with your favorite pasta, topping with freshly grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/08/slow-roasted-cherry-tomato-sauce/

A Custom Egg Basket for Little Hawk Farm

Earlier this year, Ruth from Little Hawk Farm in Baldwin City, Kansas contacted me about ordering a custom egg basket in her favorite colors. We worked together to select the colors for the fabric and thread. The basket arrived before her hens had begun to lay, so I waited in eager anticipation to hear that happy news that her little basket was being put to use.

That happy pronouncement arrived a week ago. Doesn’t it look as if her hens created eggs just to match her basket?

 

LOVE my basket that you made for me. My hens are finally laying! The cute little pullet eggs match the basket, too.

 

You can learn more about Ruth,her hens, and Little Hawk Farm by visiting them on Facebook or on Little Hawk Farm’s website.

 


 

You can order your own custom basket in The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.  We always have a rainbow of fabrics and thread on hand and we’d love to work with you to create a truly one of a kind basket in your favorite colors!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/07/a-custom-egg-basket-for-little-hawk-farm/

Great Grandma’s Daffodil Cake

Angel food cake was one of the first recipes that I taught myself to bake.  I was around twelve years old when I first separated a dozen eggs and followed the recipe in one of my mother’s cookbooks.  I marveled at the egg whites as they were transformed into a light and airy meringue and baked into a delicious angel food cake.

That was decades ago.  Now I find myself with my own daughter who is twelve years old.  We love to spend time in the kitchen baking and cooking together.  I also find myself as a chicken keeper with a supply of fresh eggs to use in our baking recipes.

It’s the chicken keeper in me that shies away from making traditional angel food cake.  My reason is simple:  I can’t bear the thought of having a dozen egg yolks that are purposely cast aside from a recipe. I make an exception when it comes to meringue cookies.  It’s no great feat to find a way to use the three egg yolks left behind.  Twelve egg yolks left from an angel food cake are quite another thing.

Luckily, I don’’t have to.  Earlier this year, my Mom shared my Great grandmother’s handwritten recipe for daffodil cake with me.  Instead of twelve eggs, it called for only six.  My great grandparents were farmers and chicken keepers.  Apparently they didn’t want to cast aside twelve egg yolks either.

Instead, they baked Daffodil Cake.  As soon as I read the recipe, I understood why.  The technique was altogether simple and brilliant.  This cake would allow me to celebrate the best of both the egg white and egg yolk in one delicious cake.

My daughter and I gathered in our farmhouse kitchen this spring to make our first daffodil cake.  I watched the look on her face as she whipped the egg whites into a beautifully made meringue.  We worked together until the cake preparation was complete.  She slid the cake into the oven, set the timer and we wondered aloud how the finished cake would look and taste.

I am happy to report that we loved both the taste and appearance of the daffodil cake.  The color of the egg yolk mixture was a strikingly beautiful yellow.  The texture was light and airy and the flavor was everything I love about an angel food cake and more.

The egg yolks added a delicious richness to the cake without compromising the lightness of the meringue.  It wasn’t a fancy cake.  Instead, it was the cake of a farmer, the dessert of a chicken keeper.  This cake celebrated the beauty of fresh eggs.  Each bite reminded me that I was proud to be a chicken keeper and collect fresh eggs from our coop every day.

More than that, the whole experience created a memory that I will hold close for a lifetime.  Standing in our farmhouse kitchen with my daughter baking a cake from a recipe in her Great great grandmother‘s handwriting was a moment that connected the generations of my family past and present.  Having a delicious cake to share around our family table was merely a bonus.

Daffodil Cake
Makes 8 servings

The light, airy texture of this cake depends on a properly beaten meringue.  A mile high meringue is easily achievable with one easy step.  Simply wipe your mixing bowl and beaters with a paper towel moistened with white vinegar before beating the egg whites.  This will ensure that your bowl and beaters are free of any traces of fat.  Fat residue jeopardizes your ability to whip the egg whites into a meringue with stiff, glossy peaks.

To prevent batter from falling into the center tube as you are transferring the batter to the pan, place an overturned cupcake wrapper over the tube.  Fill the pan, remove the wrapper, and bake as directed without letting any of the batter go to waste.

6 large eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
¾ cup (144 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons warm water
½ cup (96 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Position the oven rack in the bottom third of the oven.

Separate all six eggs, placing the egg whites in a large bowl that has been wiped clean with a paper towel moistened with white vinegar.  Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl and set aside.

Add the salt to the egg whites and beat at medium-high speed using a hand mixer or stand mixer until foamy.  Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat at high speed, adding the ¾ cup sugar a few Tablespoons at a time until the mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks.  Set the meringue aside as you prepare the egg yolk mixture.

Add the warm water to the egg yolks and mix on medium speed using a whisk or mixer.  Add ½ cup sugar, vanilla extract, baking powder, and flour.  Mix until the batter is completely smooth.

Using a spatula, gently move a portion of the meringue away from the side of its mixing bowl.  Add the vanilla and ½ cup flour to the space created by moving the meringue.  This step prevents the weight of the flour from deflating the airy meringue.  Using the spatula, gently fold the meringue until the flour and vanilla extract are fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth.

Transfer two thirds of the meringue mixture to an ungreased angel food cake pan, spreading lightly if necessary to cover the bottom of the pan.  Add the egg yolk mixture to the pan.  There is no need to spread the yolk mixture or completely cover the meringue.  Add the remaining meringue to the pan. Using a skewer or toothpick, lightly swirl the two batters by moving in a random pattern around the pan.

Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.  When fully baked, a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out with crumbs attached.  Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cake to cool.

Once cool, run a sharp knife or small metal offset spatula around the outside of the pan to loosen the cake.  Invert the cool cake onto a plate.  Slice the cake into slices and serve plain or dressed with fresh berries and whipped cream.


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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/06/great-grandmas-daffodil-cake/

Heirloom Tomato and Eggs with Roasted Potatoes

In my experience, cooking with great ingredients requires more restraint than technique.  The better quality the ingredients, the less needs to be done in order to make the final dish extraordinary.  In fact, having the best, local and seasonal products from our farm and neighboring farms allows me to prepare simple meals that deliver incredible flavor without extra effort.

This was definitely the case earlier this week.  My husband had visited Butternut Farm and came home bearing the gifts of freshly picked strawberries and a few early season slicing tomatoes. The strawberries were destined to be enjoyed with my Great grandmother’s Daffodil Cake, a delicious way to welcome summer’s arrival.

As soon as I saw a tomato, I knew that it would be featured on our dinner plates.  We also happened to have fingerling potatoes on hand from a recent visit to Rosemont Produce Company.  Add in the fresh eggs collected from our beloved heritage breed hens and baby lettuce from the heirloom garden and dinner was indeed beginning to take shape.

I sliced the fingerlings into thick coins and sautéed them in a hot skillet with a generous Tablespoon of butter and rosemary, sage, and thyme pulled fresh from the garden.  I harvested our first Stuttgart onion and sliced it thinly before adding it to the potatoes and herbs.  I sautéed them for approximately 20 minutes, turning occasionally and seasoning liberally with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.

I transferred the pan into a preheated 425 degree oven and began preparing the tomato and eggs.  I sliced the washed tomato into thick slices and placed two on each dinner plate.  I would usually season the tomato with sea salt and fresh pepper before I placed the egg on top.  Then I remembered that I had a new seasoning waiting to be used in the spice drawer.

A few months ago, I was invited to participate in the Fennel Friday Cooking Club by The Hungry Goddess. I happily accepted the invitation and joined Fennel Friday.  A few days later, my package of ingredients from Pollen Ranch arrived.  Last month, I shared my recipe for Smoked Cheddar Gougères with Fennel Pollen.  They were delicious and I had every confidence that the Zen-Sational fennel pollen would also help transform a simple slice of tomato into something extraordinary.

As the potatoes were nearing the end of their time roasting in the oven, I placed a cast iron skillet on the stove top over high heat.  Once the skillet had come up to temperature, I placed a large pat of butter in the skillet and swirled the pan to cover the entire surface with melted butter.  Cracked eggs were added next and each was seasoned with salt and pepper.

I placed the lid on the pan, reduced the heat to medium, and removed the potatoes from the oven.  As soon as the eggs were barely set, I removed the pan from the heat.  I topped each tomato slice with a sprinkle of Pollen Ranch’s Zen-Sational Blend.  An egg was placed on top of each tomato slice and then I decided to add a dash of Zen-Sational to each egg for good measure.  As soon as I did, the intoxicating aroma of fennel began to fill the farmhouse kitchen.

The roasted potatoes were added to each plate and dressed with our favorite roasted potato topping:  sour cream and sriracha,  Once a salad made with greens harvested from our garden was added, dinner was served.  It was simple and delicious.  The fennel was a perfect pairing to the acidity and earthiness of the tomato and richness of our fresh eggs.

Everyone agreed that this was a dinner plate we wanted to see more often on our family table.  Lucky for us, heirloom tomato season is fast approaching.   I know that I’ll be making this simple and delicious dinner all season long.

Heirloom Tomato and Eggs with Roasted Potatoes
serves 4 as a main course

The beauty of this recipe is its simplicity.  You can substitute your favorite herbs and use the best of your locally available, seasonal produce.

Fingerling potatoes,  sliced into 1/2″ thick coins
butter
fresh herbs
1 small onion, diced
1 large heirloom tomato, sliced thickly
8 fresh eggs
Pollen Ranch Zen-Sational Pollen Blend

Prepare as directed above.  Serve hot and enjoy!


To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form. In a few seconds, you’ll be the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/06/fennel-friday-tomato-and-eggs-with-zen-sational-fennel-pollen-blend/

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