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  • Writer's pictureCliff McConville

May Healthy Eating Newsletter

Updated: Jun 1, 2020


We are finally getting a few nice, dry days after another record month of May rains (3rd year in a row). We have been maneuvering the laying hens and Guernsey cows around the wet spots in their shared pasture, which has not been easy. See the Moo Crew munching on some lush spring pasture below. While our raw milk production is up a bit now, we have not been able to find any glass jars available in the area the last few weeks due to Covid-19, and so we strongly encourage customers to bring their own wide mouth containers to the store if they want some of our golden delicious A2 milk.

The hens have also been enjoying the lush spring pastures. They spend their days pecking and scratching around in the long grass and have really kicked their egg production into high gear. For the first time in several months we have a good supply of eggs available in the farm store. Enough supply that we are now able to bring back the discount egg bundles for purchases of 6 dozen or 10 dozen eggs.

We also have a huge inventory of grass fed beef and pastured pork cuts available in the store now. To maintain the store inventory at these levels we turned off sales of bulk beef and pork and the beef sampler packages as well for now.

And at long last we will have pasture-raised broiler chickens available this week. Our first batch of the year is going into our poultry processor on Wednesday and will be back in the store Thursday by noon. Due to the high demand we will be keeping most of these chickens fresh (not frozen) for sale through Sunday, if we have any left at that time we will freeze them. Thereafter we will processing chickens every 1-2 weeks through the end of October. We are putting about 40% of the available chicken inventory up on the website for pre-order, the rest will be available for in-store purchase only on a first come/first served basis.


Well, at least a few are ready for harvest this early, One of our vegetable farmers, Kyle Dionne of KRD Farms has brought us some breakfast radishes, kohlrabi, and kale, with more on the way soon. The wet, cool spring weather has slowed vegetable growth to some extent but with recent warmer weather things are really taking off now.

Kyle and his wife Rebecca operate a certified organic farm in nearby Marengo, and all of his produce, including sweet corn, is grown in real organic soils (no hydroponics or pots). He is one of the few certified organic vegetable farms in the area, and will be producing a wide variety of produce for our farm store in the coming season. His farm was profiled on the Real Organic website last month, to learn more about Kyle and his farm, please watch their farm profile video HERE.

We are also sourcing many of our farm store vegetables this year from Karolina Kowalczyk, who was our farm store manager last year and decided to focus on growing her farm business, Blacksmith Acres, this year. She produces all of her vegetables right here at our location, based out of the big hoophouse and vegetable plots southwest of our main barn. Karolina uses organic practices with all of her produce (no herbicides or pesticides) but is not certified organic. She also grows some seedlings for the store, you can follower her progress on Instagram.


We have added some great new items in the farm store recently including Joe's Blues Blueberry Ice Cream (yum), along with frozen blueberries & preserves from Michigan.

Early season local vegetables from Mick Klug farm and KRD farms including radishes, asparagus, and kale, with more to come.

Janie’s Mill is bringing us a wide variety of organic, locally grown/stone ground baking flours and now yeast in 3 lb. bags. And several varieties of local, organic crackers made in Madison by Potter’s Crackers (pairs perfectly with our selection of cheeses like our new Nordic Creamery Mozzarella!


The COVID-19 vaccine may in fact be the most fast-tracked vaccine ever created in all history, which necessitates the elimination of required safety testing steps, such as animal testing. Pfizer in collaboration with BioNTech began human trials in the U.S. of a COVID-19 vaccine on May 11, 2020. If successful, the vaccine could be released as early as September 2020 with an FDA-approved Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)

Like Moderna and several other competitors, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is using messenger RNA (mRNA) rather than live or attenuated (inactivated) viruses grown in animal cells. Previous attempts to create coronavirus vaccines have failed due to coronaviruses triggering production of two different types of antibodies — one that fights disease and one that triggers “paradoxical immune enhancement” that often results in very serious disease and/or death

Vaccines that caused paradoxical immune enhancement initially looked very promising as they produced very robust antibody responses. Yet when exposed to the wild virus, ferrets and children became severely ill and many died


This recipe comes from our good friends Jen and Bryce Riemer at Riemer Family Farm in Brodhead, Wisconsin...I often run into them either dropping off chickens or picking up chickens at our poultry processor, Twin Cities Pack. This recipe was published in the Band of Farmers Cookbook (we still have a few of those left in the farm store).


4 chicken leg quarters

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 - 12.5 oz can mango nectar

1/4 cup dark rum

1/4 cup orange juice

1 lime, juice

1 Tbsp. honey

2 tsp. chili paste

1 Tbsp. New Mexico chili powder

1 Tsp. ancho chili powder

1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Add all ingredients to list. Cut chicken leg quarters at the joint without cutting all the way through. Arrange chicken on a baking dish. Mix New Mexico chili powder, ancho chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, kosher salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. Rub chili powder mixture over chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat chicken with olive oil. Bake in preheated oven until browned, about 45 minutes. Chicken will be cooked through. Preheat grill for medium heat and lightly oil the grate. Heat mango nectar, rum, orange juice, lime juice, honey, and chili paste in a skillet over medium-high heat. Simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Brush mango glaze over chicken legs. Grill chicken on preheated grill until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, 10-15 more minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone should read 165 degrees F.


We are trying to figure out a way to get the free farm tours going again soon, in the meantime we welcome visitors to come stroll around the farm on the forest preserve trails and say hello to the pigs, lambs, and goats that are near the barn. Also please remember to bring us your egg cartons and bags to recycle.

Get outside and enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!

Cliff, Anna, and the Farm Team

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