Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Farmer Friday is Back and a delicious soup idea

We will be at Catawba Valley Brewery this Friday 5-7pm. Look for us inside because it will be a little chilly.

This week the menu includes:

The wonderful Buttercrunch lettuce
Napa Cabbage-good for slaws, salads, or cooked
Swiss Chard

We will have our full selection of pork and chicken. Just last week I made a simple and delicious soup with our chorizo sausage.

Pureed Pumpkin, sweet potato, southwestern soup

Serves 6 with leftovers-scale up or down as needed

Pureed pumpkin- about 4 cups
Pureed Sweet potato- about 4 cups
Chicken Stock-about 4 cups
One onion
1-2 lb chorizo
1-2 cans black beans

Heat pumpkin, stock, and sweet potato.
Saute onion (optional puree onion for a creamier soup)
Cook chorizo

Add onion, chorizo, and black beans to the soup. Salt to taste, serve with fresh diced cilantro and cornbread.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

A happy thanksgiving from all of us here at Bluebird Farm. We took a pause from the farm work to enjoy family and give thanks to a year of bountiful harvests. It is always awe inspiring to share a special meal with loved ones and take stock of the connections between each other and the land. Simple foods like rice become a full story when I met the man who grew that rice right here in Burke County. Besides the wonderful nutty flavor not present in most rice form the store that rice now is attached to the knowledge of how it was grown, with a memory of purchasing it on a breezy crisp afternoon, and a happy morning in the kitchen with Marie cooking a wonderful meal.

We also want to thank all of you for your support for what we do. We had a great market season with all of your help. Happy Thanksgiving!

Okra with sidekick rodent patrol agent Raven

This fall one of my projects has been training a new member of the rodent patrol team. Okra is a corgi, collie, terrier mix from Burke County Friends for Animals. We went to the shelter in search of an energetic, intelligent, and friendly farm dog. Okra fit the bill perfectly. She is a pretty good listener who loves to run around all day following me on chores and projects. Unfortunately, she enjoys chewing just a little too much. However, we are channeling her chew energy into rodent hunting. In Okra’a world all rodents from rats to squirrels and ground hogs are “MOUSE!” All we have to do is whisper “Mouse!” and she snaps to alert looking to us to show her where to hunt. Once she is on the trail she won’t stop until she’s found something. Sometimes, when we come up empty handed (or empty mouthed as the case may be) I literally have to carry her away from whatever hole she is just absolutely convinced harbors the enemy.

The fall is when we raise next year’s layer hens. The brooder shed provides a cozy shelter for 150 beautiful birds. It is so fun to see them grow in all their interesting colors. We look forward to all their equally colorful eggs in the spring.

Chicks are very fun to time lapse photograph. Click on the photos to animate.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Holiday Market Meat orders

Hello all,
In the coming week we will be attending the final holiday farmers markets of the season in Hickory and Conover. We are taking orders for our pastured chickens and forest raised pork for pick up at market. Remember we can only produce chickens seasonally, we are butchering our last birds before April of next year.

The Holiday market dates are:
Catawba Valley Brewery Farmer Friday 11/18 5pm-7pm
Conover Holiday Market Saturday 11/19 10am -2pm
Hickory Holiday Market Wednesday 11/23 Noon-5:30

Making your Order

At the bottom of this blog is an order form for our holiday market selection. Use the order form as a menu. Choose chickens and pork cuts from the list and copy and paste your choices into an email. Don't forget to include the quantity of each item you wish to have.

Select which location you would like to pick up your order at:
Catawba Valley Brewery Farmer Friday 11/18 5pm-7pm
Conover Holiday Market Saturday 11/19 10am -2pm
Hickory Holiday Market Wednesday 11/23 Noon-5:30

Special notes:

We will also have our fall vegetables available at markets. We raise our vegetables following all organic rules: no synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides. We will have crunchy head lettuce, and other great fall crops available.

We will not be taking preorders for eggs because of limited supply (they don't lay as much in the short days) and high demand.

We look forward to seeing you at the holiday markets!

Order Form

The end of the Farmers market Season is just around the corner. Order your pastured pork and chicken for pick up in November at the final Holiday Markets of the season. Stock up on Bluebird Farm pastured chicken.

The birds will keep all winter in your freezer, but they won’t need to because there’s nothing better than a warm fresh roasted chicken on a chilly winter’s day.

Delivery Locations Date Time
Catawba Valley Brewery Farmer Friday 11/18 5pm-7pm
Conover Holiday Market Saturday 11/19 10am -2pm
Hickory Holiday Market Wednesday 11/23 Noon-5:30

Pastured Chicken Quantity
3.75-4.25 lbs 4.00/lb
4.25-4.75 lbs 4.00/lb

Pastured Pork Quantity/Number of Packs

Pork Chops, bone in 2/package 7.50/lb
Bratwurst Limited supply: about 1 lb 5.66/lb
Italian Sausage, links About 1 lb 5.66/lb
Italian sausage, ground 1 lb 5.66/lb
Country Sausage, mild 1 lb 4.90/lb
Country Sausage, hot 1 lb 4.90/lb
Chorizo 1 lb 4.90/lb
Fresh Ground Pork 1 lb 4.75/lb
Fresh Ham Roast Limited supply: 2.5-3.3 lbs 4.60/lb
Shoulder Roast Sold out until Dec. 4.60/lb
Spare Ribs 4.50/lb
Country Backbones 2.00/lb
Uncured Bacon (sliced side meat)
About 1.1 lbs per pack 6.50/lb
Whole Belly Great for smoking: 1-2.5 lbs 6.50/lb
Fat Back, unsalted 1.50/lb
Leaf Lard, unrendered The best biscuits ever! 1.50/lb

Artisan Salami Aged for 2 months
Sweet Soppressata Red wine, garlic, and herb 7.99/ea
Pepperoni Excellant peppery flavor 7.99/ea

We will continue to have special orders available for delivery to Conover and Hickory monthly or twice a month from December through March.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Bluebird Farm at Brewery Wednesday 11/9

Special Notice:
We will not be at Catawba Valley Brewery this Friday 11/11, we are attending a sustainable agriculture conference in Durham.

This week you can find us at the Brewery on Wednesday 11/9 5-7 pm.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Killing frosts

Well, it took a little longer than usual. But we have officially had our killing frosts. The tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant are all kaput, lying brown and dead in the field. The most dramatic death goes to the Basil. The moisture in their stems froze, rupturing the stem and exploding out into spectacular ice crystals.

All of out greens have spent the week snug under double layers of row cover. The row cover moderates the climate around the plants by holding some of the ground heat close to them. Swiss chard, kale, radishes, and beets are all happy to keep on trucking in the cold. Even our lettuces have been doing well under cover.

The cold actually brings out some great flavor in fall vegetables. The beets are especially good. Last night I sliced beets thinly and tossed them with olive oil, powdered ginger, cinnamon, and a little salt. Then I roasted them at 350 until they were tender-delicious!

The fall is also a time of planting. Early this week I cleaned out the eggplant beds and reformed them. After pulling some weeds, adding some organic fertilizer and raking them nice and smooth, they are all ready for garlic. In the southeast garlic is a fall planted crop. It will sprout about 4-6 inches before it gets to cold to grow. Then it will sit dormant for the winter. In the spring it will begin growing as soon as the weather warms up enough. It is then ready for harvest next June.