right now

right now

May 2, 2009

What's that smell?!

Today was the day our beef share was ready for pickup, so we headed out to Full Quiver Farm, anxious to be done with feedlot raised meat and get on with the good stuff!  I figured the kids would want to wander around and check out the animals, pet the goats, etc...WRONG!  My youngest decided he didn't like the smell of the farm and hung back, which is why only my oldest is in these pictures!  Now this kind of rubbed me the wrong way because, hey, I grew up in Minnesota and LOVE these smells, especially now that I live in suburban sprawl!  And to be fair, this farm had only a mild, pleasant scent of a small family farm...geez, one day I will have to drive by a feedlot or massive hog operation with the windows down so he can get a whiff of THAT!  It just shows me that I have a little work to do to make sure my kids know and appreciate all that goes into the food that arrives on their plates.  Come on...who can resist this face....!!!!

About the meat:  this is the good stuff!  Humanely raised, humanely slaughtered, pasture-fed, local abbatoir processed.  I don't put as much stock in the official "certification" as I do in seeing the farm for myself and talking to the farmer about their practices.  Certification is wonderful, but it is costly and thus prevents many excellent small farms that are otherwise qualified from obtaining it.  See the farm, talk to the farmer, taste the meat...pasture raised happy animals taste better than their grocery store feedlot counterparts! 

I thought I would show what a standard "share" or "variety box" that many farms use consists of, since I was nervous about having enough room to store it all, and had no idea what it contained until we picked it up!  Of course there are other cuts available for purchase separately, or you can go grand-scale and get the side of beef that some farms offer, but this "variety box" is becoming very popular with the urban/suburban population due to its manageable size, which is roughly 45-50 lbs.  

Here is the box on my dining table for size estimation.  This baby could fit in the back of your old college CRX! 
This is how much came in the box.  All vacuum packed & labled.  While probably a little much for your standard freezer (it would fit, but you would have no room for anything else!), this easily fit in my little deep freeze I purchased last year along with all my other stuff (my freezer is pictured above behind the dining table, as I have no room in my kitchen for it!)  It's a tight fit, but that's only because I am full of frozen veggies still from last years harvest and also a share of pork in there.  I think with a little creativity like plastic baskets or such I can get it to not just fit but be organized as well.  Freezer was under 200.00 and has already enabled me to not only preserve my garden produce for winter but also buy in bulk thus saving on my grocery bill.
The contents of the beef share:
1 lb Sirloin Steaks
4 T-Bone Steaks
4 Rib Steaks
2 large Chuck Roasts
1 Tip Roast
1 Bottom Round Roast
1 Shoulder Roast
2 lbs Short Ribs
3 lbs boneless Stew/Kebab chunks
5 lbs very meaty soup bones
16 lbs ground beef packaged in 1 lb segments

So there it is, if anyone was wondering what's involved in a Beef Share program at a small humane farm!  Farms usually offer the same type of share program in pork and lamb if they raise them.  And of course, we picked up eggs while we were there...nothing like fresh eggs!
To my sailor/farmer husband who is out to sea right now...sorry you missed it...we'll save you the soup bones, that is, if the Garden Dogs don't get to them first :)

Apr 27, 2009


Gaaaaahhhh, it's HOT!  We went from cold to 90+ degrees overnight here, and it looks after 4 days, it's here to stay.  What happened to spring?  Since the husband is off fighting evil forces, or at least "training" to do so and all my veggies are now in the ground...we decided to do just about NOTHING all weekend, and it was glorious!  I am not used to doing nothing so the first day was a little uncomfortable for me, but by dinner we were at the park.  Kids playing, me in the shade reading a book and not even checking my watch.  The next day more of the same, kids to the park, then home to veg out in the A/C until late afternoon until they begged to go in the pool.  The pool was just filled a week ago, so I thought they were crazy and explained how cold it would be, but they didn't care one bit and it was so hot out I was even contemplating it.  I had a group over to the house on Saturday night and hoped to adopt out all my seedlings that were ready for their new homes, but I still have some left!  I am hoping to find homes for them all by the end of the week since I will be drowning in tomatoes if I don't get them out of here!  So that's it for the action around here over the weekend.  And if my sailor-farmer is reading this from afar...your Hops are growing and are about a foot tall now, loving the heat!  I will leave you all with a few pics from around the homestead of what's blooming now...enjoy!

Azaleas Blooming...Finally!

Prostrate Rosemary

Peas with Garlic & Shallots in background

Cool groundcover called Mazus...spreads far and flowers look like little butterflies!

Hosta peeking up

Bee Balm I think...