Category Archive: Farming

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 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!

This post was featured in our newsletter. 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 to become 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, Instagram, 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!

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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 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.

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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!

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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

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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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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.

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 to become 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!

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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.


This recipe was included with our Heirloom Tomato Collection in The 1840 Farm Heirloom Seed Collection.  All of the varieties in our collection are accompanied by plant profiles, planting instructions, and an 1840 Farm recipe so that you can enjoy my family’s favorite preparation with your family. 

The original illustrations for our collection were created by Jennifer Sartell of Iron Oak Farm.  They are available for purchase in the Iron Oak Farm Shop on Etsy.  The heirloom, non-GMO seeds in our collection are from family owned seed purveyor Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.

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 to become 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!

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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.


This recipe was included with our Heirloom Tomato Collection in The 1840 Farm Heirloom Seed Collection.  All of the varieties in our collection are accompanied by plant profiles, planting instructions, and an 1840 Farm recipe so that you can enjoy my family’s favorite preparation with your family. 

The original illustrations for our collection were created by Jennifer Sartell of Iron Oak Farm.  They are available for purchase in the Iron Oak Farm Shop on Etsy.  The heirloom, non-GMO seeds in our collection are from family owned seed purveyor Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.

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 to become 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!

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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!

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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.

This post was featured in our newsletter.  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 to become 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, Instagram, 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!

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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
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!

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Growing Our Own Thanksgiving Celebration

It’s early June, but I’m already dreaming of Thanksgiving dinner.  I can almost picture the homegrown feast that will grace our family table.  The herbs for our favorite sage and artichoke heart dressing are already growing in the garden.  Sweet potato slips have been planted, seed potatoes are taking root, and heirloom corn, squash and beans will be sprouting in the coming days.

Now you can join in and learn more about the gardens here at 1840 Farm, the heirloom varieties we love, and the Thanksgiving feast that will follow.  I’ll be sharing updates and harvest notes throughout the growing season and hoping that you’ll share the news and notes from your backyard and garden here and with The 1840 Farm Community on Facebook.

Long before Thanksgiving dinner arrives, we’ll be enjoying berries, tomatoes, and a host of other heirlooms fresh from the garden.  I’ll be sharing our favorite recipes so that you can enjoy them on your family table.

You can learn more about our Thanksgiving garden and the history of the holiday itself by reading my How to Grow Your Own Thanksgiving Series on The Daily Meal.  The slideshow contains beautiful photographs from our friends at Iron Oak Farm and detailed planting and harvest information for herbs, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and pumpkins.

Now it’s time for me to get out in the garden and plant our Stowell’s Evergreen Heirloom Sweet Corn.  It’s the first step in our Three Sisters Garden and I can’t wait to watch as it grows in our gardens.  Our heirloom three sisters garden will provide Stowell’s Evergreen Heirloom Sweet Corn, Sunset Heirloom Runner Beans, and Long Island Cheese Heirloom Squash for our Thanksgiving menu.  I can almost taste it already!

Are you growing crops in your garden specifically for your Thanksgiving table?  I’d love to learn more about the varieties and recipes that you enjoy at your annual celebration.

From The Farm Blog Hop

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Taking Time to Tend the Farmer’s Soul

Yesterday, I did something out of character for me.  Instead of spending all day working here on the farm, I packed the car and headed to the beach with my son.  I was inspired to stop and smell the roses, or the fresh sea breeze in this case, by my friend Meredith at Green Circle Grove.

She did the same on Saturday, leaving chores behind and spending time on a beautiful day with her husband.  They took a drive in their convertible, visited a local festival, and just enjoyed the moment.  Later that evening, she shared the experience on her Facebook page.  When I saw her post in my newsfeed, I realized how long it had been since I did the same.

Don’t misunderstand me.  I tended the animals here on the farm before leaving them behind.  They were fed and let outside to spend their days as they usually do.  They were blissfully unaware that I was leaving chores behind and driving towards the beach.

Yes, there were chores that could have been done.  Seeds could have been planted, the yard could have been mowed.  But sometimes, it’s your soul that most needs tending.  While I love the daily work of our farm, it never looks so appealing as when I am away for even a short time.

The work of our farm doesn’t seem really seem like work in spite of how difficult it can be.  Yes, the labor can be back-breaking, but there’s nothing I would rather spend my days doing.  My son, while young, is wise beyond his years.  He often tells me that, “If you do what you love, it just doesn’t seem like work.”

That seems like a statement far beyond the wisdom of his seven years.  That is, until you consider that he has spent his entire life here at 1840 Farm.  He expects that there are daily farm chores necessary to keep the animals and gardens tended and healthy.  He accepts that without that work, the food produced in our backyard would cease to exist.  It just seems natural to him.

We had a wonderful time at the beach.  We visited one of our favorite spots in York, Maine.  Nubble Lighthouse is beautiful, an iconic New England spot. We explored the rocky tide pools and enjoyed the cool breeze.  My son fancies himself a fisherman, so we spent a few minutes talking to a local fisherman as he tried to catch something for dinner.  They had an instant connection.  They both knew that it was hard work of the best kind to bring fresh food to your dinner plate.

After our time at the Nubble, we traveled from the lighthouse’s surrounding park to the nearby beach.  We visited the open air arcade, and then the small downtown.  We walked along and even stopped in a locally owned shop for a little salt water taffy.

As the car headed towards home, I naturally started to think about what I needed to accomplish before the day ended here on the farm.  We arrived home and headed to the barn to get started.  Several hours later, the day’s chores had been done and the yard had indeed been mowed.

I was exhausted at day’s end, but I felt good about our day.  We had achieved the impossible:  tending to the needs of our farm and recharging our psyche in the process.  My day was made when my son proudly proclaimed that it had been, “the best day ever!”  I had to agree.

It had been the best day ever.  I hope that I’ll remember that and try to achieve the impossible more often.  I’ll add tending the farmer’s soul to my list of recurring farm chores.  Here’s hoping that you’ll do the same.  Thanks, Meredith.

From The Farm Blog Hop

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Brinsea EcoGlow Brooder Giveaway

Raising baby chicks is a wonderful experience.  Here at 1840 Farm, we have counted ourselves lucky enough to enjoy the process twice.  Each time, we were captivated by the sight of the tiny birds in our brooder.  We couldn’t help gathering in our barn to watch the little, fluffy birds mill about.

Both of our brooding experiences were positive.  The day old chicks matured into young pullets, moved into their coops, and went on to become beautiful, egg laying hens.  The major difference in our brooding experiences was our use of my favorite piece of brooding equipment:  The Brinsea EcoGlow Brooder.

I can’t say enough about the quality and effectiveness of the EcoGlow.  The EcoGlow provides the warm environment that chicks require without bringing the danger of a brooder or coop fire to your farm or homestead.  Instead of worrying about the brooder’s temperature or our safety, we could simply enjoy the experience of raising our chicks, content in the knowledge that all was well.

Now you can do the same.  Our sponsor, Brinsea Products has generously provided a Brinsea EcoGlow 20 Chick Brooder for this giveaway.  We’re proud to share Brinsea and their line of high quality line of products with our readers.  We use Brinsea products here at 1840 Farm and believe that they are the best products on the market.

I know that you will be just as happy with the Brinsea EcoGlow as I am.  You can learn more about the EcoGlow by reading my posts at Community Chickens detailing our experience using it here at 1840 Farm.  But first, take a moment and enter the giveaway to win your own EcoGlow Brooder.  Good luck to all who enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Black Cherry Heirloom Tomatoes

We love cherry tomatoes here at 1840 Farm.  It just wouldn’t be summer, or tomato season as we like to call it, without enjoying the experience of strolling through the raised bed garden and plucking a warm cherry tomato directly from the vine before popping it into your mouth.  Every year, we plant several varieties of heirloom cherry tomatoes and every year we declare the Black Cherry to be our favorite.

We plant dozens of Black Cherry Heirloom Tomato plants in the 1840 Farm gardens each year.  At the height of the harvest, we pick pounds of these beautiful little orbs every day.  We eat an abundance of them fresh and oven roast others for fresh pasta dishes.  We also put them up for the long New England winter that lies ahead.

We have found that these cherry tomatoes are ideally suited for long term storage in the freezer.  Washed Black Cherry tomatoes are allowed to air dry before freezing them in a single layer on a baking tray overnight.  Once they are frozen solid, we transfer them to freezer bags and store them for use during the long winter season.

This method of preservation is simple and effective.  We enjoy fresh tomato sauces with the intense flavor of these cherry tomatoes all winter long.  With each delicious bite, we are reminded that the next tomato season is one day closer.  During our long New England winter, that reminder is a very welcome sight!

The Black Cherry is a member of The 1840 Farm Heirloom Seed Collection as part of our The Tomato Lovers Garden Heirloom Seed Collection available in The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.  The heirloom, non-GMO seeds in our collection are from family owned seed purveyor Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.

1840 Farm

1840 Farm offers four other heirloom seed collections for purchase. The 1840 Farm Favorites Garden includes six of our favorite varieties to plant in the gardens here at 1840 Farm. The Easy Keepers Garden includes four varieties that are perfect for the beginning gardener and can be sown directly into a small garden plot or containers. The Pollinators Garden features six flowering plants that will help to attract beneficial pollinators to your garden.  Our Three Sisters Garden includes four packets of seed that allow you to enjoy delicious produce and an American history lesson as you put into practice one of the oldest forms of companion planting.

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Fresh Eggs Daily has assembled an amazing collection of heirloom seeds to offer this year. These collections will to help ensure the good health of the chickens and ducks in your care. With their collections, you can freshen up your coop’s nest boxes, boost your flock’s respiratory health, and grow fresh supplemental treats for all life stages of chickens and ducks.

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Hungry for Change – Food Bloggers Against Hunger

As a mother and a farmer, I spend a great part of my day feeding my family and the animals that call 1840 Farm home.  Six people representing three generations of my family live here at 1840 Farm.  We all tend to the daily needs of our three Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats, seventeen heritage breed hens, and two pets.

With that many living beings residing here, someone or something is almost always asking for a meal or reminding me that they are hungry.  I quell that hunger with the food that we produce and the items that we purchase off the farm.  By the time I turn in for the evening, I feel content in the knowledge that all of us will have a night free from the pangs of hunger.

I can also allow myself to take comfort in the knowledge that tomorrow will bring another day that follows this predictable cycle.  People and animals will be hungry and I will assume the role of ensuring that everyone is fed and well nourished.  This is the continuous cycle of life here on the farm.  The work of today ensures the production of the food that will grace tomorrow’s dinner table.

But what if it wasn’t?  What if I couldn’t answer the call when my children told me that they were hungry?  What if we didn’t know where tomorrow’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner would come from?  My family would spend their days suffering from hunger and I would spend my nights worrying about the challenge of putting wholesome food on our family’s table.

Sadly, many Americans spend their days in this terrible cycle of hunger and despair.  According to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign, one out our every five children in our country live in a household that is at risk for hunger.  Statistically, that equates to over 16 million American children.

This issue takes center stage in the documentary A Place at the Table.  The film profiles three families who struggle to put food on their tables.  It is a call to action for all Americans to stand together and tackle the problem of hunger in together.

YouTube Preview Image

I haven’t had the opportunity to see the film yet. I have been following its progress since last year when I first became aware of the film and began following their Facebook page.  I will be front and center later this month when it is finally screened at my local performing arts center.  It’s the same hall where I first saw Food, Inc.  It’s the place where I first decided to make a drastic change in my life

My relationship with food had begun to change before I saw Food, Inc.  I had immersed myself in the work of learning more about food, its production, and the changes that had come to our modern-day food supply.  I read books as fast as I could turn their pages.  By the time we left the theater when Food, Inc. had ended, I had made a decision.  I was going to take back control of the food served at our family table.  As a family, we were going to hold our food supply firmly within our grasp.

Months later, we were building our first chicken coop and expanding the garden.  We have continued to increase the amount of food that we produce for our own table and animals that we raise to produce eggs and milk for our family.

Many Americans don’t have that option.  For a multitude of reasons, they don’t have the ability to plant a garden, build a chicken coop, or visit a farmer’s market for seasonal, regional produce.  In fact, many of them live in food deserts where they don’t even have access to a store that carries fresh produce for sale.  Instead, they are faced with a dizzying array of super processed packaged food that contains empty calories and little nourishment.

Many of these families are beneficiaries of government assistance to help them bridge the gap between their paycheck and the cost of putting food on their table.  The benefit amount can be as little as $4.00 per day towards paying for their breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  That isn’t much, and doesn’t go all that far, but it’s a start towards addressing the problem of food insecurity.

Unfortunately, even that small bit of assistance is at risk.  With governmental budget cuts looming large, these children and their families might see a reduction or total elimination in their benefits.  Fortunately, we can all do something to help.

This morning, I sent my personal message to Congress asking them to protect the programs that ensure that our nation’s children are insulated from hunger.  I encourage you to do the same.

I also encourage you to take measures to ensure your family’s food security.  Use the same tried and true methods our grandparents did.  Plant a garden, build a chicken coop, purchase goods from local farmers and seek out restaurants and locally owned shops that do the same.

I believe that we all need to deepen our relationship with the food we eat.  By doing so, we strengthen our nation’s food supply and the society that it supports.  We also take a bold step towards raising a new generation of Americans that understand the true value of food.  I hope that they will be hungry for change and will literally take matters into their own hands.

Those hands have the power to help solve this problem.  They can refuse to relinquish control of their own food supply.  Hopefully, they will also refuse to let other Americans suffer from hunger.  I’m hoping that my two children will be part of that solution.

So, when I go to see A Place at the Table later this month, I’ll have my oldest child in tow.  I’ll hope that by the time the movie ends, she will have made the decision to forever hold her food supply firmly in her grasp and help others to do the same.

As part of The Giving Table’s Bloggers Against Hunger Campaign, I am including a recipe in this post that provides a nutritious, healthy meal for a family with a tight budget in mind.  This pasta recipe is healthy, delicious, and cost-effective.

Instead of the typical heavy macaroni and cheese sauce, this version utilizes carrots to bring richness and nutrition to the dish.  Carrots are inexpensive, less than $1.00 per bag at my local grocery store for an organic brand.  They are also available year round.

Fresh fruits and vegetables can be difficult to afford on a tight budget, but carrots are a great value.  They are also full of nutrition and have a lengthy shelf life.  They are a wonderful way to dramatically increase the nutrition on your family’s dinner plate without seeing a noticeable increase in your grocery bill.  Pasta is inexpensive and readily available.  I like to use sharp cheddar when making this recipe, but another cheese could be substituted in order to stay under budget with equally delicious results.

Carrotoni and Cheese
adapted from Food & Wine April 2009

It took me several attempts to get this recipe just right.  While the original recipe calls for baking the dish in the oven, I find that baking the pasta leads to a drier macaroni than suits my taste.  I prefer to skip the baking step and enjoy a creamier version of this dish.  Either way, the end result tastes delicious and is packed with beta carotene, vitamins, and minerals.  If you have fresh or dried thyme on hand, adding a pinch to the sauce provides a lovely accent for the carrots.

16 ounces carrots, peeled and sliced
8 ounces vegetable stock or salted water
6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
12 ounces dry pasta
salt and pepper to taste

Combine carrots and vegetable stock or salted water in a medium-sized saucepan over medium high heat.  Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and cover.  Simmer for 15-25 minutes until fork tender.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the boiling water.  Add pasta to the pot and return to boil.  As pasta is cooking to al dente, remove 1 cup of pasta water.

Add pasta water to carrot mixture.  Using blender, immersion blender or potato masher, process the cooked carrots until smooth.  Add cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Taste and season accordingly with salt, pepper, and fresh or dried herbs if desired.  Add cooked pasta to the mixture and stir to combine.  Serve hot.


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Friends of 1840 Farm – Iron Oak Farm

This post is long overdue.  Truth be told, I have considered Iron Oak Farm to be a friend of 1840 Farm for years.  I first came to know Jennifer Sartell in the fall of 2010.  She was merely a name behind an Email address back then.  We had both been selected to be among a new batch of contributors to the Community Chickens blog.  More than two years have passed and I am happy to say that I have learned so much about her and from her during that time.

I have learned that we share much more in common than our first name.  We both love the daily life on our farms.  We both keep chickens, goats, and rabbits and love sharing the experience with our readers on our blogs.  We are also passionate about gardening and enjoy learning more about heirloom varieties.Jennifer and her husband Zach are also both talented artists.  The Iron Oak Farm Etsy shop is full of Zach’s fantastic hand forged steel items and Jennifer’s original photography, artwork, handmade goat’s milk soaps, and fiber produced by their goats and rabbits.

Our shared love of heirloom vegetables led me to ask Jennifer to join me in bringing The 1840 Farm Heirloom Seed Collection to life.  I was thrilled when she agreed to participate.  I was awestruck when I saw the amazing artwork she produced.  I am so proud to have such beautiful artwork to accompany the seeds in our collection.  I know that you will be just as impressed with her talent as I introduce you to each variety in the collection and each piece of art that she so lovingly created.

I follow Iron Oak Farm’s blog and Facebook page to make sure that I don’t miss out on their fantastic handmade products or the adorable animals that call their farm home.  From Oliver the dog to Ichabod and newborn Harriette in their goat herd, there seems to always be a photo in my newsfeed that makes my day.

I hope that you will take a moment to visit Iron Oak Farm, and follow their blog and page.  As you can see, you won’t want to miss the photos of all of the adorable goat kids that have been born at Iron Oak Farm over the last few weeks!

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Moxy Restaurant – Portsmouth, New Hampshire

When I am asked what I write about, I often find myself saying, “I live and write at the intersection of family, food, and farming.”  More often than not, the food I am writing about is of the homemade and homegrown variety.  When I do venture down the long drive at 1840 Farm to have a meal out, my destination tends to be predictable.

There are a few local spots that I love to frequent when I do leave the farm.  It’s no coincidence that these establishments share a few common traits.  They are locally owned and locally run.  Their atmosphere is friendly and inviting.  They proudly use local ingredients and celebrate the work of local farmers just like me.

If pressed to select my favorite of these spots, I wouldn’t need much time for deliberation.  Without a doubt, that place is Moxy in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  I love everything about Moxy, not the least of which is the photo of Julia Child, my culinary idol, hanging on the wall nearest the kitchen.

The food at Moxy is billed as “Modern American Tapas.  I concur and would like to add: inventive, creative, and delicious to my description.  The menu is ever evolving, updated to feature the day’s best farm raised goods produced in our area.  I have eaten at Moxy innumerable times since they opened, yet I can honestly say that I haven’t come across one dish that didn’t delight me from start to finish.

The ambiance at Moxy is relaxed, yet lively.  Upon entering the front door, I know that Jillyin will greet us with a warm welcome before we have the opportunity to do the same.  There are plenty of wonderful tables on both the first and second floor, but I have never sat at one of them.  Instead, we always gravitate to the corner seats along the bar where James skillfully holds court, treating each patron as if they were a welcome visitor in his own home.

There always seems to be something wonderful in the works behind the counter at Moxy’s open kitchen.  That’s where the magic happens.  It’s the place where Chef Matt Louis and his staff achieve so perfectly what very few restaurants can. Just as the restaurant’s name and wall decor suggests, there is an element of bold fearlessness in each dish they create.

Each menu item celebrates the best of local ingredients and elevates each component in a way that I might never have imagined.  Yet after tasting the first bite, I am left to wonder why I hadn’t ever thought to combine the flavors and textures that work so beautifully and naturally together on the plate.

The cocktails at Moxy are every bit as inventive and delicious as the cuisine.  They feature local and seasonal ingredients and change regularly.  On a recent visit, the drink menu included house made sangria, a Brown Derby made with locally produced honey, and a gin cocktail garnished with a beautiful, paper-thin slice of a watermelon radish grown at a local farm.

During my last visit at Moxy something amazing happened.  Fresh eggs from 1840 Farm made their first appearance in the kitchen.  They were destined to be the star in one of my favorite dishes on the menu.  It should come as no surprise that this dish is listed on the menu under the heading “the farmer told me to”.  It is here that local ingredients from family farms just like mine are given their moment in the sun.

This isn’t a brilliant stroke of marketing.  It’s a deeply held philosophy supported and reinforced with every choice made at Moxy.  How else could you explain adorning the walls with handmade wooden plaques proudly bearing the names of the local farms whose products are celebrated on the plate and in the glass?

I’m not the only one who has taken notice of Moxy’s greatness or Chef Owner Matt LouisFood and Wine Magazine recently included him in the elite group of 100 chefs from across the country that are in the running for the title of “The People’s Best New Chef“.

The first round of voting will narrow the 100 chefs down to 10 finalists. Another round of votes will be cast to determine the chef who will be named The People’s Best New Chef.  I have read the biographies of these chefs, learning more about their restaurants, signature dishes, and inspiration for becoming a chef.

Their stories are as varied as their restaurants.  For someone who loves food as much as I do, it makes for fantastic reading.  I am certain that their restaurants are amazing and that they are all deserving of this award.

I can’t give you my personal opinion of the other 99 restaurants and chefs being considered for this prestigious award.  I can only share my vote with you.  I proudly cast my vote for Matt Louis, hoping that many others would do the same.

I am glad to see that Moxy, Matt, and everyone who makes it such a wonderful place to visit are getting the national recognition they deserve.  I am sure that a whole new flood of patrons will soon walk through their front door and experience the best that they have to offer.  I only hope that I can still find space at the bar the next time I am lucky enough to visit and that 1840 Farm eggs will be on the menu.

To learn more about the Best New Chef contestants, visit Food and Wine Magazine.  While you’re there, cast a vote for your favorite chef, or perhaps mine if you’re so inclined.

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Cast Your Vote for The 1840 Farm Heirloom Seed Collection

Tennis Ball Lettuce at 1840 FarmOver the last few weeks, I have immersed myself in seed catalogs and gardening history books.  While it has taken some time, I have finally narrowed down my wish list of varieties to include in The 1840 Farm Heirloom Seed Collection for 2013.

All of the seeds offered in our collection will be non-GMO, heirloom varieties.  The collection will be offered for sale in our Etsy shop in the next few weeks.  Each seed packet will be paired with a brief history of the variety and my family’s favorite recipe for enjoying our garden harvest at our family table.

Throughout the course of the growing season, there will be opportunities for you to share photos and news from your garden with the other members of The 1840 Farm Online Community and a few surprises in store.  I can’t wait to share all of the information with you in the coming weeks!

So, cast your vote for each variety that you would be interested in growing for your family.  Vote for all of them if you want every single one to make the cut.  If you have a variety that you would like me to add to the list, leave me a comment.  I can’t wait to see your responses!

The 1840 Farm Heirloom Seed Collection - 2013
Vote for all of the varieties you would like to see included in our 2013 collection.

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From Scratch Magazine

I’m proud to be a contributor to From Scratch Magazine. From Scratch is filled with beautifully illustrated articles covering a wide array of topics of interest to homesteaders and small farmers just like me.  I am honored to be included in such a fantastic group of contributors.

I shared my Great Grandmother’s recipe for Daffodil Cake in the February/March issue.  Within the pages of that issue, you will find articles from some of my favorite blogs and bloggers from Farmhouse 38, Fresh Eggs Daily, Keep Your Memories in Your Shoes, Lessons from the Homestead, Our Little Coop, A Suburban Farmer, and Sunshine Sisters Farms.  I enjoyed reading it from cover to cover and can’t wait to see what wonderful articles will appear in the next issue.

You can view my recipe for Daffodil Cake on page 62 of the February/March 2013 issue by clicking on the image below to open a PDF file.  You can also visit From Scratch Magazine and read the magazine from cover to cover in an interactive format on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

To celebrate the launch of their fantastic publication, From Scratch Magazine is having a giveaway and 1840 Farm is thrilled to be included.  You can enter to win one of our handmade fabric coiled egg baskets as well as products from some of our favorite blogs and Etsy shops:  A Suburban Farmer, Garden Delights, Fresh Eggs Daily, and Green Circle Grove. I’m hoping that a member of The 1840 Farm Community will be selected as one of the winners.  Good luck to all who enter!

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