Working The Farm When You’re Not As Young As You Use To Be!

Never before have we felt our age more than we have this winter. Never before has the phrase “it’s all in what you’re use to” been more fitting.

We have seen temperatures in the single digits quite a few times – no in Virginia we are not use to this. There have been several minor snows but even with the insignificant amount of snow, working outside has been a bear. Hauling water…most people don’t have a clue how heavy a 5 gallon bucket of water really is…its 40 pounds, that is carried 300+ feet, 5 to 6 times back to back, some days 3 or more times in a day. The livestock needs water and it needs to be thawed – the animals are not fond of ice chips. You find yourself getting really excited when the temps are predicted to be in the 30′s only to be disappointed because it’s going to rain for several days. A cold miserable rain!

Once you have a single spare moment it’s time to hit the woodpile for log splitting because Lord knows that fire breathing woodstove must be fed.

It’s at the end of these kinds of days that you become way to aware that 60 is just around the corner for both of us. The farmer seems to always have a personal heat source wrapped around his back during his breaks. The farmHer hasn’t been able to sit or stand without fear that this is going to be the time those knees just stop working. If we aren’t reminding ourselves we’re not 20 anymore our friends are quick to point it out.

As I sit here writing this we have one eye peeled to the up coming weather forecast. Some say 8-12″ of snow with sleet. Others are saying 20+ inches of snow. I don’t think we’re going to get missed this time. That’s okay, spring will come soon and the aging muscles will finally get a break before it’s time to break the earth to plant the garden, cleaning out the chicken house, doing hoof trims, sheep shearing…okay,  that’s enough!

A New Yarn

There are so many times in ones life when your level of excitement about something actually makes you feel like a kid. A renewed youthful feeling. I’ve been feeling that was a lot since the first of the year. Today, though, has taken the prize!

I had my first meeting with my fiber processor about creating Breeze Hill Farms’ first yarn line. After spending hours “developing” blends using only natural colors and seeing a sampling of the end result – yep, I feel like a kid and yes, we are ready for this.

It is amazing how beautiful a pile of natural colored wool and alpaca can become when transformed into the perfect rovings and yarn. I took photos but I’m not sharing yet. You must be patient. I’m pretty sure you will agree it was worth the wait.

I love my super cool yarn from Breeze Hill Farm!

I love my super cool yarn from Breeze Hill Farm!

New Year New And Exciting News!!

It seems that every time I add a post, I apologize for how long it’s been since my last post and I promise to be better at posting. Well I’m going to do that again but assure you that I will be back writing more often in 2014. We have some new and exciting things about to happen with our farm and farm business..I know you’re gonna love it!

Within the next few days I will be adding a page that highlights products from the farm. This is a temporary page until the “NEW” website becomes active. On this new page you will be able to order our products as well. It’s kind of a backwards way of putting all of this together but it works for me and should be very easy for you to navigate…I hope.

Also, coming soon will be our Farm Fiber CSA…stay tuned for all of the details and how to order your “shares”. This has literally been 20 years in the making and I am now happy to offer it to you all.

This is it for now…be back soon with lots of great new posts!

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A Great Day

It’s been a while again since I last posted. I always promise to be better about making Blog posts then life happens and next thing I know it’s been months!

I wanted to make a post today because of the delightful couple we met yesterday at the Dairy Queen in Gun Spring, VA from Colorado. We hope that everything ended up OK with your car trouble and that you made it to your families place last night. Hopefully, when you get back home and get settled, we will hear from you.

 

Romantic Valentine Meal Done The Local Way

I have been asked to put together a Romantic Valentine Dinner, using as many local ingredients as possible, to be published in several of our local newspapers. As many of you know, it has been almost 2 years since I have purchased foods from the grocery store..we are an all local foods home these days and that seems to amaze everyone we know. It really isn’t that difficult of a task with so much available all year now. I thought it would be a nice extra for everyone if I posted it to the Blog as an easy reference for others to try it too!

Ok, so here is the menu: Local Leaf Lettuces served with a Lemon-Honey Vinaigrette, Beef Burgundy, Root Vegetable & Butternut Squash Bake, and Fresh Raspberries with Shave Chocolate. Keep reading…here are the recipes…

Lemon-Honey  Vinaigrette

¼ c.        Light oil (EVOO, Canola)

¼ c.        Water

2 T          Lemon Juice

3 T          Local Honey

Salt & Pepper

Mix all ingredients thoroughly and set aside. I do not refrigerate this..takes away from the flavor!

 

Beef Burgundy

This is a super easy recipe and takes only 35 minutes from prep to eat!

2 lbs.      Sirloin (cut into 1 inch cubes)

8 oz.       Fresh Mushrooms

1              Medium Onion

2              Cloves Garlic, minced

½ c.        Butter

¼ c.        Flour (or Cornstarch)

¼ t          Sea Salt

¼ t          Black Pepper

¼ t          Fresh Thyme (chopped)

1/8 c.     Fresh Chopped Parsley

1              Bay Leaf

1 C          Red Burgundy Wine (Pinot Noir)

2 C          Beef Broth

1 C          Pearled Onions

Optional : 2 – 3 slices of crumbled bacon

Combine flour (cornstarch), salt, pepper and one minced garlic clove in a zip lock bag. Add in cubed beef and seal. Shake to coat the beef. Set aside. In a sauce pan, melt ¼ cup of butter, add mushrooms and onion. Sauté until soft. Set aside. Melt remaining ¼ cup of butter in a large sauce pan. Add second clove of minced garlic and coated beef. Brown beef on medium heat. Once the beef has browned, slowly add the Burgundy wine and beef broth. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Add the Thyme and Bay Leaf. You want to see the liquid reduce by about 1/3 and the sauce thicken. Keep simmering and scraping during this process. Towards the end of the simmer process, add the parsley, bacon crumbles and pearled onions. Serve against the Root Veggie & Butternut Squash Bake…it’s great if some gets on it. The combined flavors..yummy!

 

Root Veggie & Butternut Squash Bake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1              Large White Potato, cubed

1              Large Sweet Potato, cubed

1              Large Carrot, cubed

1              Medium Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed

2              Cloves of Garlic, minced

2 T          EVOO

¼ t          Sea Salt

¼ t          Black Pepper

Several pats of butter

Put all ingredients into a zip lock bag..shake to coat. Spread in a flat baking dish and drop a couple of pats of butter on top. Bake until tender (approximately 45 minutes).

With this meal I have chosen not to make a super delectable, over the top fattening desert. Instead, take a couple of handfuls of fresh Raspberries and put in a bowl, shave really expensive Semi Sweet Chocolate on top and sprinkle with confectioners sugar. It’s easy, it’s romantic and sexy to feed to each other and clean up is a breeze!

I hope everyone who tries this loves it..enjoy and remember, with few exceptions, all ingredients can be locally sourced.