Farm Update - JoJo + Delivery Survey, Movie Screening and Spring Chicken Sale
With our switch to once-a-day milking last month, I am spending less time milking cows which gives me more time to work on other things, such as getting out a weekly farm newsletter. My plan is to set aside 3-4 hours every Friday afternoon/evening to get it done on a consistent basis.
The calendar says its spring but the weatherman is forecasting 10-12 inches of snow overnight and tomorrow morning, so we had to delay moving the laying hens out to their pasture shelters for a few more days. But with our first batch of chicks arriving the first week of April we have to get the hoophouse cleaned out and ready for brooding chicks. That is the very same structure where the layers spend the winter, so we have to get them out whatever the weather looks like next week.
On the topic of layers, their egg production has picked up with the warmer weather, so for the first time in many months we have plenty of eggs in the store with no limit. And the ducks have started laying eggs again, just a few dozen a day but we do now have a limited quantity of duck eggs available in the store.
JOJO CARRIES ON THE TRADITION
Many of our long-time customers may remember JJ (that was her nickname, short for Joyful), one of our favorite Guernsey cows for many years, dating back to when we started milking cows in the little horse barn behind the house. Unfortunately we lost JJ to milk fever complications after a difficult calving a few years ago, but were able to save her calf Joy. And now Joy is all grown up and just had her first calf, we named her JoJo. She is a tiny little thing with spunk and attitude, just like her grandma. And lots of white coloring - not sure where that came from both her mom and grandma were darker Guernseys. I was cleaning out the cow shed yesterday and JoJo was sprawled out in there so I snapped a few pictures of her before she ran off to grab a snack from her mama.
SHIPPING AND DELIVERY SURVEY
As mentioned in our January post, we are planning to roll out a much improved home delivery program this year, which will likely include both ground shipping as well home delivery in or own van. To get a better sense of what our customers would like in a home delivery program, we put together a short survey to gather some information about your preferences. Please spend a couple of minutes completing our survey!
SPRING CHICKEN SALE
With new chicks coming in soon we need to clear out our inventory of whole and 8-piece cutups. Purchase online or in the store for 15% OFF both regular pasture-raised/organic fed chickens as well as those batches we raised on a corn-free and soy-free diet. Save even more with 20% OFF on 4-packs of chickens and 25% OFF on 10-packs. Purchase online only for store/curbside pickup or home delivery on our pastured poultry page. And don't miss Jackie's fantastic chicken with sour cream marinade and spices recipe below.
JOIN US FOR MOVIE SCREENING NEXT WEDNESDAY IN CHICAGO
Crate Free Illinois is hosting a screening of "Meat Me Halfway," with director & Reducetarian co-founder, Brian Kateman. Leader of the Reducetarian movement, Brian Kateman explores this issue through the lens of his own personal decision to reduce eating meat. Grappling with how to sort through conflicting advice, Brian seeks a practical path forward. MEAT ME HALFWAY is a groundbreaking investigative journey that seeks to create some common ground at the dinner table. I will be there for a panel discussion after the movie to discuss sourcing good meat. Get tickets here.
FARM STORE UPDATE
With so much interest now in raising backyard chickens, we are now carrying a larger inventory of certified organic no corn/no soy starter, grower, and layer feed in 40 lb. bags for sale to customers. This is the same feed we use for our chickens. Milled locally it doesn't get any fresher than this. Order online or just stop into the store for a bag or two.
We have a large selection of nitrate-free Easter hams available this year
Seed Savers organic and heirloom vegetable seeds are back, stop in now for the best selection
Lots of chicken eggs and a limited supply of duck eggs
Great assortment of local/organic sourdough breads, pastries, muffins, and bagels.
RECIPE OF THE WEEK - CHICKEN WITH SOUR CREAM MARINADE & SPICES
This tasty recipe comes from our long-time customer Jackie, she writes a wonderful local food blog called My Roots and Recipes. This is a whole chicken marinated in a blend of warm, savory spices and sour cream, then roasted on a bed of gold potatoes and onions. The potatoes soak up the heavenly juices, as does the shredded chicken after roasting. This is beyond words and needs to be tasted to fully understand.
(1) 4lb whole pasture-raised chicken (gutted)
2 tbsp salt + 1/2 tsp (divided)
1 tbsp Ancho chili powder
1 tbsp Chipotle chili powder
1 tbsp coconut sugar (Sub: brown sugar)
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp Ajika
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp dried garlic (or garlic/onion skin blend)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 pinches of pepper
1/4 cup sour cream
4 tbsp olive oil (divided)
1 onion (divided, halved and the other chopped)
6-8 gold potatoes (quartered)
Cooking Instructions Night before, pat chicken dry and rub all over with salt, including underneath the skin. Let sit uncovered in fridge overnight. Next day (or night before) combine all spices together.
4 hours before roasting, combine sour cream and spice blend to form a paste. Dump any blood that the salt pulled out. Pat dry again and rub sour cream mixture all over chicken, including underneath the skin. Let marinade 4 hours.
Take the chicken out 30 minutes before roasting. Preheat oven to 425F. Place 1/2 of an onion (chopped) in roasting pan along with the potatoes, 2 tbsp oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix around and lay evenly. Rub rest of oil on bird. Place breast side down onto veggies. Roast 40 minutes. Baste with juices, cover pan with foil and roast another 35 minutes. Baste with juices again. Remove chicken to let rest on a cutting board for at least 10 minutes. Pull chicken apart and place back in juices. The potatoes can either stay in the juices or move to a separate plate. Coat the chicken in the juices. Squeeze lime all over and enjoy.
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Cliff, Anna and the Farm Team