Monthly archives "December 2012"

the new year is upon us!

We all made it through another potential doomsday, and it’s nearly 2013! Winter Solstice marks the beginning of the days lengthening again, and that means spring is in the air, but it is very cold for now, and we have 2 more months of subzero temps to look forward to. Yikes! Love it or leave it… we enjoy the drastic temperature change. It makes spring seem even more miraculous. Thanks to our Kickstarters- we have frost free hydrants to water the animals now, which is SO saving our backs and wrists! Lugging water out of our bathtub in the previous winters was not fun at all….so many many thanks to you! The animals are all enjoying our organic hay, eating their “grass jerky” all winter long. This green, fragrant goodness keeps the ducks, rabbits and goats well nourished, providing entertainment and a cozy, snuggly bed. We are signing up CSA Shares for 2013, and we’d love to be your personal farmers! Get a big bushel box of our farm products once a month, delivered to a drop spot in the Twin Cities. Our Shares are full of beautiful products & nutritious foods that we grow and raise here, featuring seasonal organic veggies and fruits, our fabulous duck eggs and our handmade goatmilk soaps. $350 for 6months of goodness! It’s been a wonderful season and we are so full of gratitude! Some of the many highlights include: building our new duck barn and implementing a custom system for our lady ducks, expanding our garden, which showed the beautiful effect of our own compost, hosting Open Farm Days to show people our farm, raising organic Jumbo broiler chickens in our new day-range pasturing system, hatching out our own heritage ducklings, hosting a wonderful Market on the Farm day in September, raising meat rabbits on pasture and receiving excellent feedback about the flavor and texture difference, raising up our Turkeys over the summer and fall in their huge pasture, and having very nice weather for the Harvesting weekend before Thanksgiving, lots of sampling of our duck eggs at the co-ops, and our ducks continue to lay eggs much later into the year than ever before, which means we are doing it right! We also had our 1st Wedding Anniversary in July….2012 has been a blessing, and we look forward to the coming season with joy and glee in our hearts.

frosty frost

After quite a brown & dry beginning to winter, the region has been blanketed with snow. In the mornings, we’ve had relatively warm air currents leading to some spectacular hoar frosts. Don’t you just love it? Our animals are all doing fantastic in this new season- rabbits come with their own fur coat, and we are raising our youngsters outdoors so they can grow healthy and sound with lots of hay and room to romp about in the sun and fresh air. We’ll be offering fresh rabbit throughout the winter, email us to reserve yours. Rabbit is an incredibly nutrient dense meat, very healthy and lean- delicious marinated and grilled, or stewed with herbed dumplings on top.

Rabbit is the new local grass fed meat!The ducks are insulated with not only a down jacket, but also a plump layer of fat. Our lady layers are blessing us with eggs MUCH later in the season than ever before….which can only mean they are very content and happy with their new duck barn, deep bedding, hay for snacking, constant fresh water and days spent sitting outside in the sun. We absolutely love our ducks! Look for the Holiday Special going on now until Christmas at several of the Twin City Co-ops. We did have a couple of episodes with a hawk scoping out our ducks, which is very scary for them and for us. The safety of our ladies is extremely important to us! And so- we got the ducks some guardians, a pair of French Toulouse Geese. They are drop dead gorgeous, very calm and are doing a great job patrolling the duck pasture and keeping an eye on the sky.Still scratching your head over gift ideas? Please know we have set up a PayPal account in order to sell our handmade goatmilk soaps online, and shipped directly to your door! These soaps are the most moisturizing EVER, being made up of 50% goatmilk! There are 8 “flavors” to choose from, let us know if you have any questions about ordering. We can customize your mix of flavors and wrap up gift bundles with festive ribbon so they are ready to go. Our soap is sold by the pound, as the bar sizes vary (they have a rustic look from being handcut.)  Thanks so much for your support!

Gluten Free Baking with Duck Eggs–a sampling!

Title: Gluten Free Baking with Duck Eggs–a sampling!
Location: Mississippi Market Co-ops
Description: Khaiti will be serving up samples of a delicious gluten free gingerbread cake made with the amazing duck eggs from our farm. Duck Eggs are simply fabulous for Gluten-free recipes, as they add a heavenly richness and also have extra protein, which helps bind the cake together better. Saturday 12/22 -Come visit the Selby store from 11-2, and West 7th location from 3-6!

Here’s the recipe!

Gluten & Dairy Free

Black Sticky Gingerbread Cake

adapted from www.101 cookbooks.com

by Khaiti French, LTD Farm

What more can you ask for? Moist, delicious, unique…this whole grain cake is easy to make, dairy free, has a crunchy, delicious top and serves a crowd!

3 large Duck Eggs eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup Almond Breeze
1 cup / 8 oz earth balance
1 cup unsulphured blackstrap molasses
1 cup  flavorful, real honey
1 cup dark brown sugar
3 cups Cooqui Multi-Purpose Gluten Free Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tbl ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Combine the butter, water, molasses, honey and brown sugar in a large (10-12 cup size) metal mixing bowl and place bowl over a pot of simmering water, stir the mixture frequently until the butter is just melted, and all of the ingredients are well blended. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Heat the oven to 325F now, with a rack in the center. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with parchment paper, letting it hang over the edges. This will help you remove the cake from the pan later.
In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, all-spice and cloves, and set aside.
When the molasses mixture feels just warm to the touch, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the milk and stir to combine. Fold the dry ingredients into the batter, and don’t be overly concerned if you can’t get every lump out.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for ~45-60 minutes. Start checking for doneness after about 45 minutes. When the top of the cake springs back when touched you’re good. For me this is usually ~55 minutes, but the baking time will depend on your oven and the shape of your pan.
Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes, then, using the overhang of parchment (if you’re using a rectangular pan), lift the cake out of the pan and cool completely on a wire rack before cutting. If refrigerated, the texture becomes dense and sticky – in a good way, just let it come up to room temperature before serving.

Serves 12-16.

Seward Co-op “Growing With Purpose”

We finally got our hands on a copy of this new book by Patricia Cumbie & Kari Cornell, with photography by Chris Bonhoff. It documents and celebrates the 40 years that Seward Co-op has been in business, growing with the community. We both spent our formative years employed at Seward Co-op, learning the basics of good business practices as well as developing a passion for local food and farms. Actually, Khaiti (and Jenni) hired me to start washing dishes in the deli. She moved onto managing the grocery department and I moved on to managing the deli for awhile. Yet all these years later I’m still washing dishes…

This a great looking book with all kinds of insight into this very successful food co-op, which is still our favorite place to shop, and sell our duck eggs at! We recognize a lot of folks in here, and it has great stories on staff members and suppliers throughout the years. We’re happy to be part of it. Take a look next time you’re at the co-op picking up some duck eggs!

how to properly cook a duck egg

How to cook a Duck Egg? Go easy on the heat. Here’s how we do it:

Warm a cast iron skillet on Medium high with a little oil in it. Crack your eggs in the pan, break the yolk if desired and salt and pepper them. As soon as you can flip the egg over “safely,” do that, and then TURN THE HEAT OFF. Leave the cast iron pan on the burner and then your egg will finish cooking for a couple minutes with this gentle heat. Duck eggs have a considerably higher amount of protein, so if you cook them too hot, too fast, the protein will seize up, causing a tough & rubbery egg. If you cook your duck eggs as described above, they will be silky, luscious & have a rich creamy texture.
We’d love to know how do you cook your duck eggs as well as your favorite recipes!