Monthly archives "January 2014"

Pastured Pork!

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Look at that beautiful fresh pastured pork –  this is what half a hog from our small farm looks like after processing and packaging.  What an amazing spread of deliciousness: smoked bacon, pork chops, a loin roast, smoked ham roasts, shoulder roasts, baby back ribs, ham hock and breakfast sausage. YUMMM!

We work closely with our local butcher, Mike from Northwoods Locker. He, his family, and his great team do an amazing job! Our Duroc-cross pastured pigs are raised with all the love and care that we can give them, and given the best life outdoors, able to root in the dirt, scratch on the tree trunks, gallop around in the sun, and snooze in their shelter. We feed our pigs all organic feed; grains, a variety of fruits and veggies from our gardens, as well as the all natural salad bar of their pastures.

Here’s how you can reserve this rare and amazing pork for yourself right now: Print our our 2014_Order Form and mail us a deposit. We raise our pigs all spring, summer, and fall then they are harvested here on our farm in the late fall. We will notify you that they are ready and let you know the hanging weight of your 1/2 pig (The hanging weight is the carcass of the pig, minus the  skin, head and offal, and this is what we base your balance due upon). We pay the processing fees to the butcher, and you pay us $8/lb, minus your deposit. Then we deliver your pastured pork to your door (within the twin cities metro)!

That is all there is to it – Sign up today before all the pigs are spoken for!

More info here: Pastured Pigs

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“What’s in your CSA box?”

We just had a great question posted, “what’s in your CSA box?”

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This will be our 6th year operating a CSA program from our farm. We begin deliveries in May and run through October – that’s half a year of glorious and delicious food grown by us on our farm, with care and conscientiousness for the planet. We grow everything with ZERO chemical fertilizers or weed killers, our crops are fed nutrients by the animals we raise here – a complete cycle of fertility. All of our CSA produce is raised by our own hands with love, and we even sing to our plants! (Well, one of us does.) How can we do all this? Well, we eat really well (of course!), we just love this work and this life, and we also set a  limit to the number of members we take on, so that we can give each of them the best service possible!

We’ve made our crop plans for our 2014 CSA, and this list is what we’re planning to have available each month, in different configurations. Farming is completely dependent on nature though – Sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate, a crop may fail or ripen later than planned, but we will always do all we can to provide you with a gorgeous and full CSA box each month. In addition to our beautiful and nutritious produce, you’ll also be getting our fabulous duck eggs, our Handmade Goatmilk Soaps, and a wildcrafted bouquet in every share box!

Here is our CSA Sign-up Sheet! : 2014_CSAform-new
Thanks for stopping by our farm website, we’d love to grow food for you!

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May:

Swiss Chard
Spring Mix/Baby Lettuces
Heads of Lettuce
Spinach
Scallions
Parsley
Arugula
Sorrel
Cilantro
Dill
Bok Choy
Mustard Greens
Radishes
Kale

 

June:

all of the above, as well as the following:
Beets
Cabbage
Garlic Scapes
Carrots
Baby Onions
Sugar Snap Peas
Broccoli Raab

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July:

Green Beans
Hot peppers
Nanking Cherries
New Potatoes
Zucchini & Summer Squash
Cucumbers
Garlic Scapes
Beets
Carrots
Swiss Chard
Kale
Head Lettuce
Scallions
Sugar Snap Peas
Radishes
Spinach
Onions
Dill
Basil
Parsley
Oregano
Thyme
Sage

August:

Green Beans
Celery
Sweet Corn
Potatoes
Melons- Watermelon and Cantaloupe
Peppers- Sweet Bells and Spicy ones too
Tomatoes
Eggplant
Tomatillos
Cabbage
Cucumbers
Summer Squash/Zucchini
Early Garlic
Kale
Head Lettuce
Onions
Zucchini
Chard
Apples
Dill
Parsley
Basil
Cilantro

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September:

Apples
Broccoli
Celery
Cauliflower
Tomatoes
Cucumbers
Brussel Sprouts
Winter Squash
Rutabagas
Turnips
Onions
Scallions
Garlic
Kohlrabi
Winter Radishes
Daikon Radish
Parsnips
Fennel Bulbs
Sweet Potatoes
Celeriac Root
Head Lettuce
Melons
Dill
Basil
Oregano
Thyme
Sage
Rosemary
Lavender

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October:

Apples
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Garlic
Brussel Sprouts
Winter Squash
Rutabagas
Turnips
Potatoes
Leeks
Sweet Potatoes
Collard Greens
Kohlrabi
Winter Radishes
Daikon Radish
Parsnips
Fennel bulbs
Sweet Potatoes
Celeriac Root
Kale
Chard
Parsley
Cilantro
Oregano
Thyme
Sage
Rosemary
Lavendar
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Our Review of “Duck, Duck, Goose”, By Hank Shaw (Part 1)

At Living the Dream Farm we have a passion for raising happy ducks and geese on pasture. Waterfowl is close to our hearts for many reasons- they are a joy to raise, their eggs are amazing, the meat is delicious, and both ducks and geese are dynamic ecological partners for us on our farm. Hank Shaw’s new cookbook “Duck, Duck Goose” is right up our alley. This book truly is a beautiful piece of information and inspiration, thoroughly educational, and helps demystify some of tricks and techniques behind preparing waterfowl in the kitchen.

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Hank Shaw first came into our lives a number of years ago from an online search for “how to harvest waterfowl,” which led us to his award winning blog “Hunter Angler Gardener Cook” at www.honest-food.net.  Shaw’s beautiful website features recipes for and preparation of what many would consider to be exotic ingredients, the wild products from hunts and forages.

Shaw’s new book is focused on the joys of duck and goose cookery. “Duck, Duck, Goose” includes information about both wild and  domestically raised waterfowl, with an abundance of recipes for both. Since there aren’t many recipes for goose out there, we were elated to dig in and see what techniques we could glean.

Right away we noticed this is a very beautiful book, a lovely minimalistic hardcover with mouth-watering photos and a very clear layout. The glossy paper will help the cookbook last a little longer in the kitchen, working with these fatty birds.

Overall, the book is a detailed in-depth treatise on the the joys of cooking and eating waterfowl. Reading it, you can’t help but want to try out each and every recipe. As he purports in the book, waterfowl are the new pork! Delicious, fatty, versatile, and endlessly varied, cooking waterfowl can offer a lifetime of enjoyment. The joys of hunting are clearly illustrated in the book, and we would love to add that there is nothing more rewarding then raising these beautiful birds as well.

The book starts with an overview of  the different types of duck and goose, and proceeds to explain how to pluck and gut them. This is the kind of cookbook we like! Everybody plucks and guts there birds a little differently, but his methods seem tried and true.

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The book goes onto explain a few different methods of how to cook whole birds. Every recipe induces mouthwatering hunger, so make sure you are well fed. We found so many interesting and unique ideas that we are extremely excited to try – especially Smoked and BBQed duck.

Then we move into the biggest section of the book which is about the preparation of the various pieces of the bird; breasts, legs, wings, preparing sausages, and using duck eggs. At the end we find a section on stock preparation. We have our own method for preparing stock, using a slow cooker and vinegar, which has been tried and true for us, so we only glanced at these pages.

Overall this is fantastic book, one which every hunter, farmer, or cook of waterfowl should have on their shelf.

In Part 2 of this review we will document some of our own experiences with these recipes – Stay tuned!

 

LTD Design

LTD Farm Permaculture Design

It has been 3+ years of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears to build up what we have today here on the farm on a shoestring budget. There have been many wonderful moments and some very stressful events, and through it all we have kept our eyes on the future. Ideally, what do we want to be doing in 5 or 10 years? We feel that when we understand our deep-seated goals, it is much easier to work toward them. To make well-considered choices every day, week, month, or year, it is important for us to have our end goal in mind. We also know that our goals change, so we revisit these on a pretty regular basis.

Over the past few months we have put efforts into drafting our first basic whole-farm permaculture design. This design is the result of 3+ years of talking, sketching, working, fencing, building, and of course, dreaming. To some this design may look complicated, to others it may seem simplistic, but to us it is just right.

One of the goals of our current permaculture dream is to provide our core CSA members with the majority of their food, using resilient perennial systems as our primary agricultural methods. We love the one-on-one interaction and feedback we get from our customers, and find it to be one of the most rewarding aspects of being a farmer. We also know that the food we grow is the best food that there is to eat, and want to be able to share our own eating experience with the most appreciative of partners, our CSA members.

We have other goals, and there is much to discuss about our LTD Permaculture Design. We will keep you updated  in future blog posts as we build our systems and implement the design! Thank you for being part of LTD!