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  • Writer's pictureCliff McConville

Turkey stuff back in stock, new bull, best beef jerky ever


Another hectic week culminated with an overnight trip down to Colfax, Indiana on Sunday night to deliver 16 fat beef to This OId Farm for processing at 5 AM Monday morning. We borrowed a really big livestock trailer and combined a load of 8 All Grass Farms beeves with 8 from Levi and Emily Powers to save on trucking time and costs. We loaded the beef around sunset when it was cooling off and I headed down there for the four hour trip around 10 PM. Good news is Levi gets to drive down the next load in mid-September so I get a month off from beef hauling!

While I was dropping off the beeves I picked up six boxes of beef jerky from our June processing dates that was finally ready. This was the first batch of jerky we've had This Old Farm make from our grass-fed beef so I was eager to try some....and was blown away! This is the best beef jerky I've ever had and I consider myself a bit of a jerky afficionado going back to my childhood days growing up in Texas. This nitrate free jerky has just the right amount of salt and spices and the texture is firm but not too chewy. We have it available in the farm store and online as well.


A few weeks ago I talked about the end of the Boom times, as the reign our previous Guernsey herd bull was over (but we will have Boom Burgers in stock soon!). His replacement has now arrived on the farm and is getting acquainted with the moo crew.

The new bull is now known as "55", - a catchy name assigned by Hoard's Dairyman Farm where we purchased him (we are working on a new name). Hoard's is based in Ft. Atkinson, Wisconsin but they are known around the dairy world for their herd of prize-winning Guernsey cows and the Hoard's Dairyman Magazine.

55 is a youngster - only a year old - but we hope he gets the hang of things pretty quickly. His situation would be the human equivalent of introducing a scrawny 16-year old virgin boy with raging hormones to a group of older, more experienced but newly-single ladies, all staying together 24/7 at a resort (many consider our farm to be a "cow resort"). Should be interesting...


The free-ranging turkeys missing from our front pasture are back in the store in the form of boneless, skinless breast tenders, ground turkey, smoked drumsticks, necks, wings, livers, gizzards and delicious and nourising turkey bone broth prepared by Hometown Sausage Kitchen. Next week we should have turkey breakfast sausage, Italian sausage, and smoked Kielbasa in the store as well. We have included many of these turkey products in our 0nline poultry store available for curbside pickup or home delivery.

On the topic of turkeys, we moved the first batch of Thanksgiving Turkey poults out to the mobile range coops (MRCs) last week, as they were gettingh big enough to hop over the walls of the heated brooder areas and were "free ranging" all over our hoophouse. The poults will stay inside the protective confines of the MRC's for another 5-6 weeks until they are big enough to graduate to the open field shelters.

We are also getting a lot of inquiries about when is the right time to order a fresh Thanksgiving Turkley. My advice is the sooner the better, as we already have quite a few reservations and we are reducing the number of fresh turkey pickup days to two this year which means only half as many reservations are available as last year. The remainder of the turkeys will be frozen and sold in the farm store on a first come/first serve basis. Reserve a fresh turkey.


No fresh chickens this week, but we will be processing again next week and the following three weeks so fresh chickens available every weekend thereafter through mid-September.

  • New in the store we have RP's Artisan Pastas, and cottage cheese from Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery

  • This week Karolina is harvesting cherry tomatoes, yellow squash, kale, eggplant, green beans, zucchini, and jalapeno peppers from her organic gardens here at the farm.

  • Fresh local fruits this week include Michigan blueberries, Illinois peaches, and watermelons from Broadview Farm in Marengo.

  • We will also have heirloom slicing tomatoes, onions, green peppers, kohlrabi,shallots, cabbage mushrooms, microgreens, and lettuce mix fresh from other local farms.

  • And more of the fresh sweet corn from Van Laars Family Farm in Harvard - harvested Friday and in the store Saturday morning. And their delicious Apple Cider donuts as well.


This is an unique recipe with interesting ingredients, and can be made in one pot so easy on the dishwashing chores:

- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided - 1/2 cup white onion, roughly chopped

- 3 cloves garlic, minced

- 3 teaspoons ancho chili powder, divided

- 1 teaspoon salt

- 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth

- 28 oz. can tomatoes (can be diced or whole)

- 5-6 eggs

- 1 cup diced potatoes

- 2 cups Kale, chopped finely

- 4 ounces goat cheese

SAUCE: Heat one tablespoon oil in a deep pot over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until very soft. Add the garlic, salt, two teaspoons of the ancho chili powder, vegetable broth, and tomatoes. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.

POTATOES: In the same pot that the sauce was in, heat the remaining one tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the potatoes and remaining one teaspoon of ancho chili powder. Saute the potatoes for a few minutes until browned on the outside. Add the sauce back to the pot (be careful - it might splatter if too hot) and simmer for another 10 minutes to cook the potatoes.

EGGS and KALE: Stir in the kale. Use a spoon to make the little holes for the eggs on top of the sauce. Crack the eggs directly into the warm sauce and cover. With the heat on low (sauce barely bubbling) and the cover on, cook the eggs for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and keep on cover for another 5 minutes. This should give you medium-soft yolks. Leave the cover on as much as possible during this time so that heat does not escape - I found it easiest to just shake the pan lightly to check the doneness of the eggs (if they jiggle a lot they're probably not done). Top with goat cheese and serve with crusty bread for sapping up that yummy sauce.


Thats it for this week, hope to see everyone in the store or on a farm tour soon.

To Your Health,

Cliff, Anna, and the Farm Team

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