Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Heritage Chop Sale

Winter Sale!   
   Stock up on these delicious heritage chops, and help us free up space in our freezer.  Very tender and succulent heritage pork chops with beautiful marbling and topped with a thick cap of fat. These heritage chops are amazing, and this type of pork chop is beyond compare!
   These are the last of our thick heritage chops- this is your last chance to get these rare, succulent chops.  We won't have chops from the English Large Black heritage hogs again. (We're incorporating the breed into our entire herd, and our regular chops will have enhanced marbling.)  
>>Order here<<
2 bone-in chops in a pack, pack approx 1.5-2.3 lbs each.
Sale price 
$8.80 per pound for 1 pack of chops
$7.80 per pound for 2 or more packs of chops
Regular price $10.50/lb.



Photo: This individual chop weighs approx 1 pound.  All chops are packed 2 per pack.

What do I do with all that fat? The fat on these pork chops has not been trimmed off, so you can cook with it on or you can slice it off with a steak knife.  We love to cook with it on, and eat some of the fat after it is well cooked (similar to pork belly.)  The fat from this breed is a delicacy.



Is it done? We prefer our pork cooked to medium or medium well. A slight bit of pink is safe and very juicy.  The great thing about these heritage chops is that you can cook them well done and the meat is still tender from the advanced marbling.

Cooking tips: Use med to med-low heat on the grill to roast the fat without cooking the pork too quickly.  Or lower your broiler rack one shelf in the oven and use a drip pan below the rack.

Advanced tip: We like to hold the chops with tongs vertically on the narrow side (on edge) on a med heat  on the grill for about 5 minutes.   This effectively cooks only the fat first.  Then I turn down the grill to a med low and put the chops (broad side down this time) on the top rack  until the pork is finished cooking to your liking.



What if I want to cut the fat off before cooking- can I use it for something? You can cure the fat in your fridge! You can trim the fat off, and then lightly roll it in kosher salt.  You want a lot more salt than you would season with, but you don't want a solid layer of salt.  Then put the fat into a ziplock bag, press the air out, and store in your fridge for 7-10 days.  After that put the entire bag into the freezer.  Cut off thick "butter pats" and crisp it in the pan like bacon. You will have little golden crisps and some good cooking oil in the pan. Remove the crisps or "lardons," and use the oil for cooking greens or any recipe that calls for bacon fat.
>>Order Here<<
Fed organic grains
cut 1.25-1.5 inch thick
Total weight varies: 1.5-2.3 lbs
Purchased by the pound
Each pack of chops is slightly different weight.

actual totals vary with weight

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Pasture Meat Packs. Buy in Bulk and Stock Up for Winter.

Yep, fall is here and the farmers are bringing in the fall harvests, stocking up food, and preparing for winter on the farm
You should too! Order a meat pack and enjoy a months with a full freezer for savory winter meals.

MEAT PACKS
♦All beef, pork, and meat chickens fed certified organic grains.
♦All our livestock are raised with forages, fresh air, and sunshine.
♦No added hormones.
♦Meats are individually labeled, vacuum-sealed and frozen, keeps well for 1 year from pack date.

        Chicken
        Pork
        Lamb
        Beef



Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Fall CSA sign up now open!

2015 Fall CSA Membership
Vegetable Share: Wednesday September 30- Wednesday November 11th
A subscription to Bluebird Farm allows you to share our harvest! Members buy a "share" of our harvest and receive an assortment of seasonal, fresh, vegetables and herbs weekly for 7 weeks.
Chicken Share:  Enjoy the taste of chicken raised on pasture. Stock up for winter! Pickup your chickens once a month in October, November, and December.

We grow a mix of vegetables in the fall for the fall vegetable share.  All kinds of greens like kale, collards, arugula, and lettuce.  Enjoy storage crops like sweet potatoes, garlic, carrots, winter squash, cabbage, and salad turnips.  We'll have broccoli, scallions, and radishes.
Cost- The fall veggie share is $160. ($22.85 per week, average)
The weekly vegetable average is based on an average weekly amount through the entire 7 week season. 9/30-11/11. The amount of vegetables in your box each week may be worth less or more than the weekly average depending on crops and weather.
Veggies diversity and box value- Just before fall frost (October 14-21st), we'll give you winter crops that store well like sweet potatoes and winter squash so we can get them out of the freezing weather! Your box will be bigger and worth more in the first 6 weeks...we will have less diversity of fresh green veggies the last 2 weeks of the CSA due to freezing temperatures.
Egg Share
Egg shares are only available if you have signed up for a vegetable share.

Chicken Share
You can sign up for a chicken share only (vegetable share not required.)
Get the special CSA chicken price of $5.75 lb for whole chickens when you purchase a chicken share!


Bluebird Farm pastured broiler chickens are fed certified organic non-GMO grains.  We raise a hearty outdoor chicken breed outside on fresh pastures in clean air.  Meat from healthy, happy birds takes on a whole different flavor and texture-it tastes like chicken for a change!  
Our chickens are frozen and keep without freezer burn for at least 6 months in our heavy duty vacuum packaging.  

Share combinations and sign-up options:
-You may sign up for a vegetable share and add on egg and/or chicken.
-You may also sign up for the chicken only share.  

-We only offer the egg share as an add on for the vegetable share since our hens lay less eggs in the fall.

Enjoy the fall farm bounty! >>Learn more and sign up here<<
We're growing the veggies right now!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

What are we doing these days?



(Above L+R) Working late in the big farm truck. Sunset and dark....


Sunset over the farm road

15 week old hogs-  They are lined up along their fence seeing what sort of food or fun we brought them.


Daniel at our Charlotte market stand.

Daniel at the Charlotte market- spring bounty

Giant broccoli!!


Winter squash seedlings
Marie loves harvesting broccoli!

Purple sweet potato transplants- we've planted half of them. These will get planted soon.

buttercrunch lettuce-  a beautiful harvest

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Transplanting

This week was the first big transplanting day!  We've been preparing for the last several weeks. Spreading compost, trying to kill rye cover crops, forming beds, more removing rye, spreading organic fertilizer....and finally planting.  The new transplanter took some learning to get it right.  But once we were running 5 us could spend 3 minutes planting a space that used to take more like 1.5 hours!
It was almost too big and heavy for the tractor, I had to drive slowly and carefully! 

And the planter does a better job!  The rows are straight and parallel so later weeding will be a snap.  Also the waterwheel part automatically adds water and fish emulsion to each baby.  This will give them a great boost.  In the past we had to rush around to get our drip irrigation running as quick as we could so the newly planted small plants wouldn't wilt to nothing in the afternoon sun (its a big change for them to go from greenhouse to field-even when we try to toughen them up by putting the trays outside and watering less).

Red Cabbage

Awesome crew!





Monday, March 9, 2015

Compost Day!

One week ago the farm looked like this:
Chickens huddling in the snow!

Sliding around on farm roads in 4 wheel drive

Today I spread about 3/4 of the compost for the year.  About 60 tons on a little under three acres.  20 tons/acre of compost does wonders for the vegetables.  Our sandy soil has greatly benefited from the increased water and nutrient holding capacity of compost.

 The first year we spread compost we put it in the back of our F-250.  Then someone slowly drove while I shoveled like mad.  It was slow and painful-my shoulders did not appreciate that treatment!  Now we rent a neighbor's spreader truck.  Loading with a loader then spreading with the truck is fun spring job now!  This year I got to learn how to drive the ol' '67 spreader truck so I didn't get any videos of it in action.  So below is a video from last year.
Next step plant veggies-sSpring greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, radish, and more are just around the corner!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Grateful Farmers...We Thank Our Farm Members, and Our Future Farm Members.

     The farmers are waiting for spring, and spring is near! William and I are getting ready for the rocket growth of our grass, vegetables, and animals...all we have to do for now is plan vegetable maps, prepare the soil, and wait for the ground to warm and the soil to smell like spring for the rush of growth.

Become a Farm Member!

We can't do without you!  Every group needs its core members. Our Community Supported Agriculture members (CSA) are our core members. No farm= No food.   But we think... No members= No farm.  We love sharing our farm's bounty with folks who are searching for that connection with one of their most important everyday actions. Eating food.  How about eating healthy, local food? When you support Bluebird Farm by becoming a CSA member, you are directly supporting local sustainable agriculture, and supporting the people who are the next generation of agriculture.

The excitement and rewards of planting and harvesting our vegetables, tending our animals, and building soil tilth and structure is held in a secure framework of people who eat our foods and support the stewardship of our farm! We thank you!  We care for our farm's people and our farm's families.

>>>Learn more about our Community Supported Agriculture memberships here<<<



Marie sneaks in a hug of a 2 day old January lamb.
Our beautiful December hogs: these are Duroc, Spots, Berkshire, and Yorkshire crosses.  That pink color from the Yorkshire comes through strong!


Okra the dog gets her own computer chair for office work with Marie
Flopsy the sow shares her dinner with squirmy piglets. They like their sow's milk better than grain!
Preparing for spring with soil samples and maps.



Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Sign up for our CSA today

Share our harvest with Community Supported Agriculture!
Vegetable, egg, chicken, and pork shares. 


Eat delicious, local farm food in 2015.
We hope you will join us for another great year of local agriculture! 

Vegetable share members receive a “Farmer’s Pick” assortment of season, fresh vegetables, and herbs weekly for 20 weeks from m id-May to the end of September. Our vegetable share members receive weekly newsletters about the farm with special seasonal recipes.
Our chicken, egg, and pork shares complete the  delicious variety of our farm’s bounty throughout the growing season. 
  


Vegetable, egg, chicken, and pork shares.
You can join our vegetable CSA and add-on protein shares.
You can also join our Meat CSA or "Protein-only".
Vegetable Share: weekly, mid May-end of September
Egg Share: weekly or every other week, mid May-end of September
Chicken Share: every 5 weeks, mid May-end of September
Small pork share: Feb and May pickups. Large pork share: Feb and May and July.

We have CSA pickups at the following locations:
Bluebird Farm
Morganton Natural Foods
Wednesday Hickory Farmers' Market
Saturday Charlotte Regional Farmers' Market


    Taste the difference in our farm food!

    Our free-range, pasture meat chickens and pigs are fed certified organic grains.  Our free-range, pasture hens are fed non-medicated grains with flax seed and alfalfa.  We rotate the livestock to different pastures, fields, woods, and deep bedded hoop barns around the farm depending on the season. We work (and think) hard to meet our high standards of pastured animal husbandry and welfare at Bluebird Farm. 

    Our fresh vegetables are raised in living soils without the use of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, fungcides, or insecticides. We use compost, cover crops, organic amendments, and lots of brain and work power to grow our vegetables.  Our vegetables glow with fresh color and flavor!


    Tuesday, January 13, 2015

    Winter Special Order for Hickory

    Warm up with our pork and chicken!

    Check out the Honey Roasted Pork Chops with Apples and Onions recipe below. It's one of our favorites, and it's easy!

    Order now!
    Pickup this Saturday, January 17th in Hickory.

    Pickup at Youssef 242 Restuarant, 11-noon.

    Order by this Friday, 1/16, at noon for pickup this Saturday,1/17,  11-noon.

         Chicken selection: Boneless chicken breasts, leg quarters and wings, whole chickens, chicken backbones, necks, and liver.
         We have pork tenderloin (1 pound) and boneless pork loin roasts again! Enjoy all our pork sausages: chorizo, sweet Italian, country, fresh ground, Bratwurst, Cajun. We also have thick pork chops, fresh hams, pork belly, side meat, and shoulder roasts.
         Order as little as 1 pound of sausage, or 1 pack of chickens breasts, or as much as a 1/2 hog.
    Check out our Family Pork Packs; we have 20 lb and 40 lb packs to stock your freezer with.


    Apple and pork is one of my favorite combination of flavors.  Here is a fail proof way to make the juiciest, sweetest chops you have ever tasted.  I often double or triple the amounts to cook for more people or to insure a tasty lunch the next day.  Use fresh sage if you have it, just finely chop and increase to 2 tablespoons. Another amazing recipe from The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook, by Shannon Hayes. 

    Honey-Roasted Pork Chops with Apples and Onions
     
    "A homey dinner for two, this is a nice way to enjoy a fall harvest of apples and onions.  It takes only 10 minutes to prepare, then fills your kitchen with sweet scents while you relax as the chops cook." -Shannon Hayes
     
    1 tablespoon salt
    1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    3 teaspoons rubbed sage
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 pork chops (rib, shoulder, loin, and country ribs are all okay to use)
    1/3 cup apple cider or juice   (I sometimes substitute for 1/4 cup water and extra honey)
    1 tart, firm apple, cored and cut into thick slices, but not peeled
    1 small onion, thinly sliced into rings
    1/4 cup raisins
    2 tablespoons honey
     
    Preheat oven to 350 F.
     
    Combine the salt, pepper, and sage; rub into the meat.
     
    Pour the olive oil into a heated oven-proof skillet, and sear the chops over medium heat, minute per side or until browned.  Remove from heat, add the cider, sliced apples, onion, and raisins. Drizzle with honey, cover and roast for 1 1/2 hours or until fork-tender.

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

    CSA sign ups are now open! Vegetable, chicken, egg, and pork shares

    Share our harvest with Community Supported Agriculture!
    Vegetable, egg, chicken, and pork shares. 


    Eat delicious, local farm food in 2015.

    Vegetable share members receive a “Farmer’s Pick” assortment of season, fresh vegetables, and herbs weekly for 20 weeks from m id-May to the end of September. Our vegetable share members receive weekly newsletters about the farm with special seasonal recipes.

    Our chicken, egg, and pork shares complete the  delicious variety of our farm’s bounty throughout the growing season. 

    Happy New Year all!
           2014 was a big year for us here at Bluebird Farm.  After a freezing winter last year we enjoyed a mild growing season with regular rain and bursting with vegetables in rich organic soils. Our vegetables were more beautiful and tastier that ever, with our soil getting better with every year of organic management. An end of year cold snap in November shocked us all with a few nights close to 10 degrees.  But most of our vegetables survived and the fall season finished with a bounty of roots, greens, and broccoli.
        The year was filled with a few escape artists.  We had a flock of marauding sheep running back and forth down a farm road like a plane taxiing,a fence jumping sow, and a pig breakout parade the day after Thanksgiving!  The livestock like to keep us on our toes.  We work and think hard to keep the animals rotating over the farm to maintain robust, beautiful animals and improving pastures and fields. The fall also included butchering the first hogs we farrowed (birthed) here at Bluebird Farm.  The sow and piglet operation is an exciting new addition that will help us grow more tasty, healthy, organic fed pastured pork.  
           Right now we are enjoying the slower pace of work as we turn our thoughts to 2015's season.  We might not be in the field, but we are spending days in the office crunching numbers, looking over plans and catalogs, and dreaming of the bounty of delicious organic vegetables.  We hope you will join us for another great year of local agriculture!  


    Vegetable, egg, chicken, and pork shares.
    You can join our vegetable CSA and add-on protein shares.
    You can also join our Meat CSA or "Protein-only".

    Vegetable Share: weekly, mid May-end of September
    Egg Share: weekly or every other week, mid May-end of September
    Chicken Share: every 5 weeks, mid May-end of September
    Small pork share: Feb and May pickups. Large pork share: Feb and May and July.

    We have CSA pickups at the following locations:
    Bluebird Farm
    Morganton Natural Foods
    Wednesday Hickory Farmers' Market
    Saturday Charlotte Regional Farmers' Market


    Taste the difference in our farm food!

    Our free-range, pasture meat chickens and pigs are fed certified organic grains.  Our free-range, pasture hens are fed non-medicated grains with flax seed and alfalfa.  We rotate the livestock to different pastures, fields, woods, and deep bedded hoop barns around the farm depending on the season. We work (and think) hard to meet our high standards of pastured animal husbandry and welfare at Bluebird Farm. 

    Our fresh vegetables are raised in living soils without the use of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, fungcides, or insecticides. We use compost, cover crops, organic amendments, and lots of brain and work power to grow our vegetables.  Our vegetables glow with fresh color and flavor!