Farm Blog

Udon Noodle Soup

Udon Noodle Soup

This soup has just a few ingredients so it’s important to use the best.   Using homemade broth is a great way to make this soup over the top delicious. We used beef broth, but you can easily make this with chicken.   If you’d like to 

Harira Soup

Harira Soup

This Moroccan lentil soup comes from the N.Y. Times food section and is originally vegetarian.  We’ve used chicken or beef broth in the soup and added a pork meatball at the end.  But, it would certainly be delicious without these changes.   Fantastic recipe especially those 

Herbed Chicken Salad

Herbed Chicken Salad

This delicious farm inspired Chicken Salad is so simple and packed with a ton of flavor and farm goodness.  All inspired by meat, veggies and fresh herbs we’re growing right here at our organic farm and good food from our farm partners like Organic Roots Olive Oil and Bushel & Peck’s raw ferment.

You can create a salad just like this by using the best farm sourced ingredients.

Here’s how it comes together.

 

BBF Whole Chicken – Simply braised with salted water in our crock pot until cooked through.  Meat was picked and remaining bones, etc. were returned to the crock pot to continue creating the most aromatic broth for a future soup. Meat was shredded and refrigerated.  Shredding is our preferred texture for chicken salad – the meat has more contact with remaining ingredients.

 

BBF Veggies – A bed of salad greens dressed with Organic Roots Olive Oil, ACV and sprinkle of salt. Tossed and placed in bowl.

 

Chicken Salad – Created by Brian with BBF Shredded Chicken, BBF Diced Red Onion, BBF diced red Chard stems, Organic Mayo, Organic Dijon Mustard, splash of ACV, Salt, Pepper, fresh BBF Parsley and Dill

 

Toppings – Any seasonal vegetables and fresh herbs will work but at the time, we used tomatoes, cucumber, Cilantro PLUS Bushel & Peck’s raw fermented Immunichi containing cabbage, carrot, apple, ginger & turmeric.

 

There is a misconception that healthy eating doesn’t taste good. Or, even look good.  Thank corporate, bland tasting food for this misguidance.  This delicious salad certainly debunks that myth.  The fact this salad is healthy is not the point.  It’s incredible because the food is fresh and locally inspired.  Not difficult, not complicated.  Just real food that tastes really good.
Fried Green Tomatoes with Herbed Ricotta

Fried Green Tomatoes with Herbed Ricotta

It’s a shame not to make use of the bounty of green tomatoes left when cold weather comes in late September and October.  When a hard frost is imminent, we harvest all the tomatoes including the green.  The unripe fruit store for several weeks and 

Tomato Basil Salad with Fresh Mozzarella

Tomato Basil Salad with Fresh Mozzarella

The sweetest tomatoes and fragrant basil come together in this simple late summer salad.   Serve as a side or atop a bed of greens for a beautiful salad.   No extra dressing necessary.  The juice from the tomatoes combined with the EVOO and Balsamic Vinegar make 

Tzatziki

Tzatziki

Classic Tzatziki sauce is hard to pass up and it’s way easy to make.   We use it as a creamy salad dressing, on top of our homemade falafel or just dipping for a delicious fresh pita bread.  Great way to use the cucumbers!

2 cups organic whole milk yogurt

2  tablespoons olive oil

1 med. cucumber, peeled and shredded on a box grater, about 1 cup

2 T Lemon juice

1-2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, chopped mint is a nice addition as well

1 med. garlic clove, finely diced or smashed to a paste

Place yogurt in a medium bowl.  Grate cucumber onto a plate.   Squeeze out all juices from cucumber (reserve) and add shredded cucumber to yogurt.   Combine remaining ingredients in bowl and blend thoroughly.   If the consistency is too thick, stir in a little cucumber water.  Ideally, place in refrigerator for a couple hours to let flavors blend.   But, it’s so good, it’s hard to wait!

 

BBF Pulled Beef BBQ

BBF Pulled Beef BBQ

This recipe uses BBF beef cuts like Chuck, Arm and Brisket that love a low, slow braise.   Braising transforms these less tender cuts into moist, fall apart meat for your favorite pulled beef sandwiches.   Grilling the meat is purely for infusing your recipe with authentic 

Garlic Scape Hummus

Garlic Scape Hummus

1 – 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans 1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas 3-5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (depending on taste) 2 tablespoons tahini 2 garlic scapes, bulb removed and set aside, tender part of stems chopped 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 

Creamy Buttermilk Spinach Dressing

Creamy Buttermilk Spinach Dressing

Just a forewarning…..this may be the best creamy salad dressing you’ll ever try.

My mother, Barb, made this dressing every year when spinach was being harvested from her garden.   Mom grew a beautiful garden and there were staples on the table every spring – tender Black Seeded Simpson lettuce, red radishes, green onions and fresh spinach.   We always had trimmed radishes and green onions kept fresh in a cold bowl of water in the fridge.  We’d eat them raw dipped in a little salt.  Can you imagine your kids eating green onions like french fries?   We did and we loved it.

But, the spinach dressing was the highlight.  Don’t let the bacon drippings deter you from making this dressing.   Leave them out if you like but a little adds good flavor to the dressing.   Feel free to adjust the ratio of buttermilk/mayo for a thicker or thinner dressing.  You just can’t go wrong with this dressing!  Enjoy!

1 c buttermilk

1/2 c mayo

1 tsp dried dill or 1 T fresh, finely chopped

1 green onion, entire stalk diced including greens

Crispy fried bacon, one or two slices, diced

Bacon drippings, couple teaspoons, must be warm!

Freshly ground pepper

If you do not have buttermilk, make your own by combining whole milk with 1 or 2 T lemon juice.   Taste after one tablespoon and add more if you like more acidity.   Place in mixing bowl and whisk in the mayo until creamy.   Add remaining ingredients and combine well.   Taste for seasoning.   The dressing gets even better the next day but certainly delicious immediately.

We serve this over a fresh spinach salad with finely sliced red onion and sliced hard boiled BBF Eggs.

Herbed White Bean and Italian Sausage Stew

Herbed White Bean and Italian Sausage Stew

We’ve taken a N.Y. Times recipe, tweaked it to our liking and come up with a stew that is definitely a keeper. We’ve added a few chopped sweet peppers to the stew from our stash of our frozen 2021 peppers.  They add sweetness and color 

Cheese Blintz with Fruit Topping

Cheese Blintz with Fruit Topping

Laura treated us with these beautiful Cheese Blintz for a recent breakfast.   They are a simple crêpe, filled with a ricotta filling and topped with a fruit sauce or jam.  This is not an overly sweet breakfast.   But, if you have a sweet tooth, feel 

Winter for the Laying Hens

Winter for the Laying Hens

The growing year for our laying hens is divided into two seasons – active grazing and winter.  During the active grazing season, we are rotating our hens through a series of pasture areas with our movable electric netting.   Depending on the rate of recovery on the forage and the grazing pressure from the hens, a new area is given about every 7 days.

In the winter though, the forage is dormant and the rotational grazing comes to an end.  But, that doesn’t mean the hens aren’t still foraging and getting some green in their diet.   

Winter presents more challenges than just grazing – cold temperatures and biting wind, frozen water, hungry predators, boredom – are just a few. 

Here’s how we tackle these challenges with the goal always to keep our hens healthy, occupied, well fed and watered.  

Shelter, Water, Nesting Boxes

Our hens are overwintering in our 20′ x 40′ chicken hoophouse, otherwise known as the Beatles House built in the spring of 2020.   This structure is used for our meat chickens, but the house is empty over the winter so the laying hens were transitioned to the hoophouse over a period of a few weeks in December 2021.   Laying hens don’t like change so we moved them slowly in a series of many steps – first feeding them in the hoophouse, then moving nesting boxes one at a time over a few days, etc.   Finally, when the hens had all their “stuff” in place, we began closing them in at night inside the hoophouse.   If we didn’t close them in for the night, the hens would huddle together outside on the ground where their former shelter sat.  Despite having a perfectly safe, protected shelter just 15′ away to roost overnight, the hens would choose to stay outside on the ground.  As I said, chickens do not like change!   

After a couple nights of closing them in the hoophouse, the hens decided to call their new place home returning to the hoophouse on their own each night.

The hoophouse has their nesting boxes, heated water, roost for overnight and plenty of room to shelter if the weather is bad.  Deep bedding that is continually composting provides some heat for the hoophouse plus the body heat of the hens helps raise the temp.  The eggs laid fresh each morning do not freeze even when temps have dipped below zero.   

  

Ranging, Foraging & Keeping the Hens Busy

Hens like to keep busy. During the warmer months, the hens have so much to do! Foraging throughout their pasture, catching bugs, scratching to find any yummy morsel in the soil – they are always on the move until they roost overnight. Over the winter, we try to provide multiple options for the hens to keep harvesting their own snacks. It’s healthy for them and keeps them on the move.

If there is not too much snow on the ground, the hens are roaming over their large area we’ve designate for their winter pasture. The area is approximately 1/4 acre which is plenty of space to range and is surrounded by electric netting. We use Certified Organic in-the-shell sunflower seeds to provide a seek and find snack for the hens. Spreading them far and wide over their grazing area draws all the hens outside to hunt and peck for the seeds. The hens are only allowed in the grazing area during the day and the area is closed at night. If snow is completely covering the ground, the hens do not have much interest in using the area.

We also give them Certified Organic round bales of straw/hay for bedding and foraging. They LOVE their bales and when the weather begins to transition to spring and the ground is wet, round bales of straw are key to keeping their feet dry. But, the bales can also be climbed, used for a nap, pecked at and foraged. The bales are good entertainment especially when there is snow on the ground.

It won’t be too much longer before the weather starts to change and the active grazing season returns for all our livestock.  The hens will be at their fence anxiously waiting for us to let them out into their first real grazing of the season.  That is always a wonderful day.    

But, until then, we’ll keep them as content and healthy as possible so we can keep providing you with delicious BBF Eggs!