Archive for October, 2013

Caution! Farm Girls Working!

Just a couple of photos of my two favorite ladies taking care of critters on the farm.

Rosie wants to drink from the hose.

Rosie wants to drink from the hose.

The pasture princess is helping to take care of the pastured poultry.

The pasture princess is helping to take care of the pastured poultry.

Super simple Pastured chicken recipe.

This past Saturday, we processed 101 chickens and so Sunday I took one to the fire station. I was looking for a simple recipe and I found one that is my new favorite.

The ingredient list is really simple:
1 whole 4-5 lb. pasture raised, soy free, organic grain fed chicken
Unrefined Sea Salt (we use Sea 90)
Black pepper
You may also add fresh herbs such as rosemary and thyme to stuff in the cavity if you so wish.

The instructions are equally simple.

Start with a DRY bird, if you wash, be sure to pat it dry, and make sure there’s no excess moisture.

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
Cover the bird all over with course, unrefined sea salt.
Sprinkle black pepper to taste.
Stuff the cavity with your choice of herbs.
Truss the legs.*
Place bird in a well seasoned cast iron pan uncovered.
Place in oven for 60 – 90 minutes.

While it is in the oven DO NOT open the door to look at it. If you’re lookin’ you’re not cookin’. The cooking time is approximate, small birds take less time, larger ones require more. Now a note about *trussing a bird. When we process, we cut a small slit in the skin above our cut for eviscerating. We then tuck both legs into this slit and this hold the legs together nicely. If you buy a chicken from somewhere else and the legs aren’t trussed already, you can take what is known as kitchen twine and simply tie the legs together. This helps the bird to cook evenly. You can get all fancy tying the wings but it’s not necessary.

Our birds come with a nice dose of vitamin rich fat so about half way through you will start to hear it sizzle. When you have about 20 minutes left to cook, reduce the heat to 375, baste it with it’s juices, and let it cook some more. After it’s done, take it out of the oven, and smear the skin with some raw, grass fed butter. Let it rest for 15 minutes then serve.

I ate half of this delicious bird in one sitting, it was so good, I almost ate the rest. The skin is salty and crispy. The breast is juicy all the way through. This goes great with green beans parboiled then sauteed in olive oil and butter.

I had the other half cold today and it was almost as good as it was fresh from the oven. I gave both of my nephews and my mom a taste and their eyes said it before they could speak.

Learn about keeping a family milk cow.

Whether you hope to one day have your very own milk cow(s), or you are an avid consumer of the awesome, creamy food they produce and just want to learn more, this class is for you. We will be covering the various aspects of what it takes to make milk. You must register to attend this class, good news is that Georgia Organics members get a discount! Visit the Homestead Atlanta to get signed up.

 

If you wanted milk, this is what had to be done before industrialization.

If you wanted milk, this is what had to be done before industrialization.

Freedom Lovers Needed!

If sustainable, family based farming is going to survive, more people need to make it their chosen vocation. Right now in our county, there are only two other operating farms that I know of. That is simply not enough. Agriculture has been pushed out so that people never see where food comes from and they see little to no value in having family farms as a part of their community. What is really needed is for farming to become more visible so that a farm like ours is not just seen as a novelty, but rather is recognized as a necessity. As it stands right now, the zoning laws here have been developed under the guise of protecting quality of life and property value that they deprive us of the very unalienable rights the founders of our country gambled their lives and fortunes to preserve; Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. 

Not only have the citizenry accepted these laws as necessary, but they have been made unwitting accomplices in enforcing them and infringing on their neighbors’ freedoms. “Violations” are usually only cited if there is a complaint filed. So someone could be minding his or her own business, using their property as they see fit or right, doing no harm to anyone, but then a passerby sees something that looks out of place and possibly detrimental to the community, a vegetable garden, a compost bin, a woodchip pile, a green house.  A while back I wrote a blog post titled This Land is Your Land, or is it? regarding my own experience with zoning. After this experience, I found that we are treading a fine line and we are always dangerously close to being zoned out of existence. 

So unless more people choose to use their property for growing food rather than letting it sit fallow, our society will only continue to devalue and dismiss the idea that a patch of land one can call his or her own, and use it to sustain their Life, express their Liberty, and Pursue Happiness, is something blood was shed to preserve. So even if you don’t own more than 1/2 acre, dare to plant blue berries instead of shrubs, figs instead of crape myrtles, and potatoes rather than petunias. Should you be one who possesses a tract of land, challenge the ideals of your local government and populate it with cows, chickens, goats, and/or pigs. Call up a guy with a tractor and till in a bit for a market garden. If you find yourself dreaming of feeding yourself and others but you’re short on land, look up the owner of that overgrown pasture you pass on your way to farmer’s market and he just might let you use it. Dare to get dirty, it was a popular notion once.

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Hold Harmless Release Form

Please print and fill out the following form when coming to the farm for the first time.

 

East West Farm Hold Harmless and Release of Liability

 

I___________________________, agree to hold East West Farm, it’s owners, tenants, affiliates and associates (i.e. “The Farm”) harmless and release them of any liability for any injury to my person or to any person in my party, whose name(s) I provide below; except in cases of severe, gross negligence or maliciousness. I agree that I will hold “The Farm” harmless and release from liability for any damage to personal property belonging to myself or someone in my party such as but not limited to; vehicle, clothing, toys, cameras, phones, etc. I understand that I, and members of my party can and will be held responsible/liable for any actions that are in any way destructive, harmful or show disregard for “The Farm”, other guests, animals, plants, crops, and structures. Such actions include but is not limited to; teasing, chasing, striking, or otherwise harassing any animal; damaging any plant material whether it be garden crops, trees, flowers, shrubs etc. by climbing, pulling, stepping, breaking, and so forth. I and/or members of my party can and may be requested to leave, and understand that any legal manner may be utilized to seek compensation or restitution for any damages incurred. Any legal costs and fees shall be at my own expense.

 

I understand that when I come onto the property known as East West Farm, I am entering an environment that is populated by a variety of animals such as, but not limited to cattle, dogs, chickens, rabbits and while these animals are domesticated, they may act unpredictably in a manner that could cause injury such as biting, kicking, pecking, pushing, etc. I understand that certain activities carry an inherent risk at I choose to engage in or indirectly take part in said activity at my own risk. These activities can include, but aren’t limited to hay rides, horse back riding, camping, cooking, handling, tools, operating power tools or machinery. I also realize that due to the existence of a variety of animals, I should expect to encounter their manures in most any area of the farm and that I will wear appropriate foot wear such as closed toe shoes or boots also for the purpose of protecting my feet from sticks, rocks, hooves, or any other object that could cause injury.

 

Lastly, I understand that East west Farm is a FAMILY farm and I will help to support an environment that is nurturing, uplifting, and encouraging.

 

 

Signed x__________________________________________Relationship to guest____________

 

Printed name of guest_____________________________________________

 

Date _______________________________________________

 

List below additional persons in your party. Any minors who are not immediate family members, must have a release form signed by a parent or legal guardian.

 

1.___________________________________________________

 

2.___________________________________________________

 

3.___________________________________________________

 

4.___________________________________________________

 

5.___________________________________________________

 

6.___________________________________________________

 

7.___________________________________________________

 

8.___________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

Updated January 20, 2012 by Daniel Seedorf