Results for tag "pastured-duck-eggs"

Spring tornado & all the updates

  

Last week a tornado came very close to the farm. It was the most surreal experience, my sister and I watched from inside the house as two enormous pine trees came toppling down, right into the driveway. Somehow, amazingly, the trees fell in the perfect spot, right between the two vehicles. After the storm passed (we didn’t know it was a tornado whipping by, just saw the insane straight line winds happening) we went outside. The barn was ok, the ducks were ok, the cows were terrified but ok, the hoophouse miraculously still had it’s plastic on. Then I saw that the monster maple in the front yard had succumbed to the wind. This tree is ENORMOUS….and it fell RIGHT NEXT TO THE HOUSE, just hitting the very corner of the roof on the rather janky sunporch. What a blessing to not have that tree land in the middle of my house!!!! What a relief that all the animals were unharmed. What a shock. Neighbors from the region were instantly out driving around to survey the damage and check in on everyone and make sure no one was in major trouble. Sadly, the tornado did touch down north east of here and caused many injuries and one casualty. So much heartache and damage, and a completely unpreventable situation makes this tragedy even more frustrating. Feeling totally powerless as a human is humbling to say the least.

Otherwise, spring has been trucking along here at LTD Farm. The lady ducks have been totally joyous rabblerousers taking advantage of the wetness to find spots to sneak out of the pasture rotations! I have been enlarging their pastures and monitoring their fences, but ducks are sneaky sneaksters and they will always find a way to get their way! They are laying eggs like maniacs and this is the most lovely time of year for eggs with all their foraging of spring greens and bugs and worms. I have a special price going on at all 3 Mississippi Market Co-op locations through the end of May as a “Thank you” to all  my St. Paul customers!! You can find my duck eggs for sale all over the Twin Cities, click here for a list of all my locations!  Somedays I wish I could just let them all be out on the entirity of the farm land, but there are just too many predators around to allow that and keep them safe. I just saw an actual wolverine crossing the road just a mile away last week!!

Lola’s calf is due in the next week, she and the two boy calves (Mr. Flash and Shorty) are growing well and flourishing on the lush pasture. How I love cows, my friends! I can’t wait to see if Lola has a girl calf, she is bred to a jersey, so if she has a girl I could have a half scottish highland/half jersey milk cow in a few years. Lola won’t give much more milk than what her baby needs, as highlands are primarily a beef breed nowdays, although they used to be more dual purpose in Scotland where they originated. Someof you who have been following the saga know Lola lost her calf last year and I am happy to report that I am much better prepared this year to raise her baby safely.

I also got two sweet little piggies for my birthday, they are American Guinea Hogs and are helping out enlarging and fertilizing the garden for next year, as well as eating all my extra cracked eggs and surplus kitchen snacks. I named them Tom Tom & Muffin Butt. They are hilarious and gentle, and being heritage hogs, Guineas are known for their excellent fat and flavor. I like their size too, I think this might be the first year I am able to handle the entire processing of my hogs myself. I urge you to find a farmer who raises and harvests meat ethically and then go support the crap out of them! You will feel so good & the meat tastes so much better when you know it’s entire story and have a connection with the people who put in the work and love to raise it right. I am still considering raising pastured broilers and turkeys this summer for fall harvest, so let me know if you are interested.

Chocolate pudding & a NEW documentary!

 

What is it like to “Live the Dream”? Here’s the trailer for a short documentary made this summer on the farm, by the very talented filmmaker Jila Nikpay. Go to her website to watch the whole piece for free! Click HERE. It is very personal and honest and….it made ME cry! Jila was able to collect and capture all this information, all my ramblings, all these images, all the sounds and craft them into such a beautiful piece. I am so honored to have had the privilege of working with her. Thank you Jila and Mike!!

Dreaming with Lola (2016) / Trailer from Jila Nikpay on Vimeo.

The goldenrod has already come and gone and the hint of fall is in the air. This happens every year …What?! Summer’s almost done? If you live in the midwest you probably also “sort-of” like winter.14362436_10153954401246448_8669829185709533780_o

It has been a crazy but hard yet also wonderful summer for me and the farm. My Ducks are absolutely rocking it due to the cool and wet year, the geese are enormous, hilarious and LOUD, so they are ready to for harvesting (please contact me if you want a delicious all organic pastured Holiday Goose!) the broilers and summer turkeys have been harvested, the Thanksgiving birds are growing well, the two pigs are monstrously huge, and the two cows are up to their eyeballs in luscious grass.14188647_10153933162941448_2556383787366049248_o

Lola had her first calf this summer. It went wonderfully and I got to watch him being born, but tragically her calf died after being attacked by something. It was a horrible and extremely heartwrenching experience, but you cannot control everything, ever. I did want to have a Scottish Highland milk cow, so that’s what I now have. I milk her once a day and am making all kinds of dairy delights… my very first butter, melty cow cheese and an absolutely heavenly chocolate pudding which is completely ridiculous when made with Duck Egg yolks! Here’s that link, you are VERY welcome!! Make a double batch, you won’t regret it! A couple notes- I use semisweet chocolate chips instead of the bittersweet baking bar that you have to chop up, maple syrup instead of the sugar, and whole milk instead of the cream and milk. I pour the hot pudding into pint size canning jars and immediately put the lid on to avoid the “skin” forming. This recipe works great for frozen pudding pops too. Yummmmmmm.13937885_10153883152596448_6347625148290197272_o   14124246_10153928190096448_7425627787009195793_o

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blow-drying baby geese

Boy oh boy, it’s been quite the time out here. The lady ducks are laying like bonkers and I had all my spring baby birds arrive within two weeks of each other. Broiler Chicks, Turkeys, Ducklings and Goslings! I have had my hands full, to say the least. Meanwhile, you can find my Duck Eggs on special right now at several of the Co-ops in the Twin Cities area, including The Wedge, Mississippi Market’s 3 locations, River Market in Stillwater, and Linden Hills Co-op. 13047900_10153619113551448_6917617099106820175_oWhen the duck ladies lay eggs like crazy, I lower the price as a thank you and to share the richness of the bounty, so go buy em up! Duck Eggs are a magnificent pairing with many of the spring treats arriving in fields and forests- like stinging nettles, green garlic, asparagus, ramps, and wild mushrooms.13086818_10153626683126448_2741124613188181096_o

Never a dull day around here, this morning I was blow-drying my goslings. I let them out this morning even though rain was in the forecast, because they want to be out grazing and I figured they could handle a bit of rain even though they are still down-covered and don’t have their adult (waterproof) feathers in. The broilers and turkeys they share a brooder room with also rambunctiously ran out as soon as I opened up the door. I did my other chores and collected eggs, then it began sprinkling. As I walked to the house, arms laden with heavy buckets of duck eggs, I saw that the broilers were wisely heading back to the brooder, but the goslings and little turkeys were grazing voraciously down the path. Geese, even baby geese, just attack grass, it is quite the sight to see!

I came back outside when I could hear the rain had picked up twenty minutes later. And I am sure glad I did. The goslings were over by the brooder door, but instead of going IN, they were standing out there, in the rain, looking up, soaking wet and making the most pathetic calls. Geese are in my experience very smart, so why didn’t they go back in then? The broilers all had, and most of the turkeys too. So in the pouring freezing rain, I used my arms to guide them in, all 55 of them. They were chilled and wet and a few were almost comatose and barely able to walk. This was not good, hypothermia was a real and sudden threat, so I grabbed the hair dryer and a wool blanket and began to focus the hot air on the most stiff and smallest goslings. If I had been thinking ahead, I would have actually gotten a bucket of almost hot water to submerge their bodies in, this warms up the core of a little animal much more quickly. Of course then they would have been extremely soaking wet, and I didn’t want to stop the process I had begun. The ones who were less wet I grouped in a corner so they could warm each other with their thermal mass, and along with the dry broiler chicks (who make a lot of body heat!) they all rebounded quickly. There were two goslings who were in really bad shape, and I wrapped them in the blanket and kept moving their legs and rubbing under their tummies to encourage circulation as I blow dried them. An hour later, those two were calling to me, back to normal. The other goslings had been enjoying chewing on my boots and leggings as I had sat coddling the two tenderest ones the whole time!

I share stories and pictures from my farming life to show my wholehearted love and dedication to my animals. They are my life! I hope my plan works and I can be one of your farmers, whether it is you purchasing my Duck Eggs at your local co-op, or signing up for some of my Meat CSA shares ( I have Pastured Broiler, Turkey and Goose shares available still.) Just let me know if you’d like the reservation form, shoot me an email farmerkhaiti (at) gmail.com     THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!12931134_10153594946816448_5251871588328481168_n 12496165_10153555311566448_1880718720836337452_o12961367_10153604005811448_7237508116951345717_o

The following photo was taken at Mississippi Market, I cannot guarantee this is the price at any other co-op!12998375_10153623328516448_7123741808120456452_o

The Farmstead Kitchen- Duck Eggs

Summer’s here, the grass is lush, the trees and weeds glow emerald. Every year it is simply breathtaking to behold this magical transformation. It is truly the most fulfilling time of year for pastured animals and the people who tend them!

The lady ducks are doing SO awesome, enjoying their rotational grazing paddocks where they forage among the grass, milkweed, brambles, bushes and goldenrod for tasty treats. The yolks of their eggs are golden and vibrant, reflecting all the nutritious goodies they feast on each day. 11221840_10152746531777751_1671917935355263859_n

We’re excited to have our Duck Eggs available at a few new places this year, including Fresh and Natural Foods in Hudson, WI and served at Broder’s Terzo Vino Bar and Le Town Talk Diner in Minneapolis. Support the awesome food establishments who are making the effort to work directly with small scale, local and sustainable farmers! We’d also love to extend our on-going appreciation for the Twin City Co-ops who regularly stock our pastured Duck Eggs on their shelves: Lakewinds, Mississippi Market, Wedge, Seward, Linden Hills, Eastside, River Market, and also Willy Street’s 2 locations in Madison, WI.

Here are a couple of delicious Duck Egg recipes:

Anyone-Can-Do-This “Omelet”

Sautee a handful of (any kind of) mushrooms and onions in olive oil on medium heat, until the mushrooms soften and then just begin to turn a bit dry, then crack 2 duck eggs on top, break the yolks and swirl around to get the eggs to completely cover the mushroom and onion pieces. Salt and pepper, turn off the heat and then cover the pan (leave it on the burner to soak up residual heat) and let it sit ten minutes. Slow cooking Duck Eggs will lead to the most unbelieveable silky texture! The meaty/woodsy flavor of the mushrooms is ridiculously complimentary to the richness of the eggs. I know you will enjoy!11220913_10152813842697751_2572291420390475465_n10419618_10152813842997751_4206226250641488458_nDuck Eggs with Wild Greens

Gather a generous handful of nettles, lambsquarters or any other wild green you have growing, or use kale or chard. Chop and sautee in olive oil with a bit of green pepper, onion and garlic, then crack a couple of duck eggs on top. Turn down the heat to low/medium, and as soon as you can flip the eggs, do that and finish cooking to your desired doneness. This is a splendid way to get the amazing nutrition from wild greens, and is a perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

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Duck Egg Power Breakfast Salad!

Fry up a bit of Pastured Pork Breakfast sausage and a duck egg as well. Shred and serve on top of a bed of spinach, with a spicy and probiotic kimchi and drizzle some of the juice on top as a “dressing.” We are currently in love with the Daikon and Ramp Kimchi (her original classic one is fantabulous as well!) made my our dear friend Angelica of Angelica’s Garden, which you can pick up at many of the Co-ops in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Don’t you just want to shove your face into that salad?!

 

 

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DUCK EGGS are back in season!

Hooray! The lady ducks of LTD Farm have declared the end of their winter vacation and have begun laying their delectable eggs for 2015. They are out on pasture during the day, currently foraging through last years’ garden space, helping us prep the garden by eating all the leftover plant materials, as well as leaving lovely fertility deposits at the same time. You can barely see them, but there they are!10986658_10152638751462751_4355233579003939913_n 11081499_10152632544142751_2299372496179372246_n

Their happy quacking rings through the valley, and when we come around the bend after taking a walk down the road, it is hilarious to hear all their sassy quacking sounding like rolling laughter! We’ll begin deliveries to a few of the Twin City co-ops tomorrow (Seward, Wedge and Lakewinds Richfield), and then will deliver eggs to the rest of the co-ops the following week. We’re also excited to announce our Duck Eggs will be on the menu at Le Town Talk Diner in Minneapolis very soon!  We thank you for enjoying our duck eggs, and also for supporting our farm and the good work we do here.

Following our Hearts

Last fall we had a group of our ducks reach the end of their 3rd laying season, and we’d planned to cull them as is the usual practice with egg laying poultry. But we just couldn’t do it. While 4 year old ducks aren’t going to be laying many eggs, we feel that our ducks give us such a bounty through their lives, and all they ask is to be well kept; content and happy. So, as of last fall, we’ve officially become a NO-KILL Egg Farm, which is practically unheard of. Most commercial egg producers cull their layers at the end of their first or second year. Even keeping our lady ducks into their 3rd season was pretty crazy, but we have the numbers to prove it makes sense for us, as well as having the emotional burden off our shoulders of culling birds who have given us so much, just because they won’t be laying as many eggs as they get older. Older birds also help teach the younger ones the ropes, and unlike chickens, ducks don’t have a pecking order. They are very sociable and group minded, more like a school of fish or a swarm of bees.

While we do raise animals for meat, there is a differentiation with our ducks. It may not make sense to have this line drawn, but it feels right for us, so we will follow our hearts. We really love our ducks and thank them everyday for all the goodness they bring to this part of the world. Enjoy your duck eggs!