Tag Archives: DIY

Feeling the Fall

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Here on the farm we have been really busy.  We wrapped up one CSA season with good company and tall cans, and rolled on into the fall season with more good company.  I tried to think about the number of people who have shuffled through our door this season with the WWOOF program, or otherwise…and I couldn’t get an accurate count.  To those of you who know that you have been here, thanks.  I’ve enjoyed feeding and gossiping with you all.  I’ve really been enjoying this fall weather here in Fayette-town.  So mild, yet not quite coat weather.  For me, this signals apple season.  Apple pie, apple crisp/crumble, apple turnovers, apple sauce, apple muffins, on and on.

 

Here is a recipe for apple turnovers that is easy, and delicious

Apple Turnovers

(Simply Recipes)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large tart baking apple (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 3 Tbsp dried currants
  • 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 frozen puff pastry sheet, thawed OR 2 pâte brisée dough recipes (enough for a double crust pie)
  • 2 Tbsp butter, cut into bits
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon milk

METHOD

1 Put oven rack in lower third of oven and pre-heat oven to 400°F. Butter a large baking sheet (or use Silpat).

2 In a medium bowl, mix together apples, currants, and walnuts with the sugar, cinnamon, and corn starch, making sure the fruit and nuts are well coated. Mix in the apple sauce and vanilla.

3a Unfold the thawed pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Depending on the size of your puff pastry sheet you are going to want to cut the sheet into either four 5-inch-by-5-inch or six 4-inch-by-4-inch squares.

3b Roll out your pie dough on a lightly floured surface to a 16×11 inch rectangle. Trim the edges to 15×10 inches and cut into six 5×5-inch squares.

4 Divide the apple mixture among the squares, leaving a 1-inch border. If you are using an already prepared puff pastry sheet, dot the mixture in each pastry with a little butter. (If you are using a butter pie dough, you can skip adding the extra butter.) In a small bowl mix the beaten egg with a teaspoon of milk. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg mixture on the border of the pastry.

5 Fold each pastry into a triangle, enclosing the filling, and crimp edges with a fork. Brush the tops of the pastries with more of the egg wash. Cut 2 or 3 small steam vents in the top of each turnover.

6 Place the pastries in the oven and bake at 400°F for 20 minutes, or until puffed and golden.

Cool turnovers to warm before serving.

If you have extra time (because we all have loads of this right?) try your favorite apple recipe and fill your house with the smells of the season!

I Like Farm Friends

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The other evening, we were out, and when we came back there was a present waiting for us. A farm friend from down south in the land of Greenwood Arkansas swung by, waited, and left leaving a very nice present.

Thank you David for the home-made soap and the home grow loofah!  Are you trying to tell us something?  For any of you locals, David’s wife makes and sells home-made soaps at Ozark Natural Foods here in Fayetteville.  Her brand is called “Dixie Flower Soaps”  They are exceptionally delightful, for we have received some of them before.  So be sure to check out her products on the shelves.

Cue the Banjo(s)

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Steve Martin said you can’t play a sad song on the banjo, so hopefully that sentiment will set the tone.  First let me mention that yesterday the Missouri Angels have left the farm to continue their adventures elsewhere, insert whatever sad breakup song here: __________.  There was also a system of severe thunderstorms that rocked and rolled through the heartland of America.  Here in Fayetteville, the front of the storm came through really strong, the winds were extremely high.  This morning, when Grace and Paul were doing the rounds, they came upon the mothership, our original hoop house, and what was left of it.  I must also mention yesterday that Alice, Grace and I were weeding and watering in the mothership, while the wind was whipping through it.  So….here you go.  Remember banjos!

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Paul told Grace that I get really upset about stuff like this, so she had open arms when she came in for breakfast.  Yes, I am upset, but in the same way, really relieved that it wasn’t my house, or any one else’s for that matter.  Maybe we can start a kickstarter campaign for a new one!  Brothers, I had all of these nice words to describe your time here, but I’m at a loss right now.  Dear readers, if you have a farm, I hope you can find quality help like the brothers Jones.

A little Orr-chard maintenence

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Our neighbor, Sir Richard Orr (The lion-hearted), is a certified arborist.  We needed his help the other day trimming trees, specifically the fruit orchard that we put the chickens on.  Those trees had never been trimmed and were in need of serious help.

Richard’s advice was to get Zen with it.  Here he is telling Jake about the exciting world of tree trimming.

Richard let everyone have an opportunity to make cuts.

Phone went ding*

As you can see, these trees got a TRIM!

The Master at work.

Grace is taking a picture of her feet right here.  I found it funny to look over and see this happening.

The chickens were eating the blossoms.  It looked really pretty to see them frolicking among the downed branches.

This was a different kind of tree than the others.  It had a whole new set of challenges, but remember: ZEN.

Almost done with this mad tangle of a tree: zen zen zen zen zen zen zen zen zen!!!!!!!!

And last, but not least, Isaac showed up to hold a chicken.  AAAAWWWWWWWWWW.  That chicken was very zen.

 

 

 

The Pirate Ship

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A recent turn of events has brought a new (old) hoop house into our lives.  These pictures tell a story of their own.

Paul and the boys went to go look at it, and this is what they found.  This vessel has definitely seen better days, but it’s still seaworthy!

I feel like we need Linus to come over and wrap his blue blanket around this and tell us it just needs a little love.

Paul, Jake, Patrick, Grace, Yosha, and Paul Z. went to the site to take it apart, and were able to get the whole thing down in one day!  The hardest part will be where to put it!

G-Hock and ADUB= REGULATORS…the Bros. Jones too!

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My hands hurt.  This morning I was determined to revamp the ol’ herb bed.  It had been neglected and the crab grass, real name escaping me from sun/ wind whipped brain.  Anywho, the grass, grew great, and was choking out my herbs, so Grace and I used  compost forks and dug the whole thing up and weeded it.  We removed all of the plants and replaced them when we were done.  I split her away from the other work that was being done in the hoop and beyond by the brothers Jones.  I told her, “This will only take us an hour or so.” No one should listen to a word I say…ever.  It took forever.  And the bed isn’t even that large, twenty feet or less.  While we were keeping it real up front, the bros. were in the back planting carrots and kale and laying drip tape.  Busy day, I felt so accomplished and to top it off (by midday), Paul made cilantro pesto for lunch!  He took it to another level folks by blending it with avocado and adding lime…HEAVEN IN THE MOUTH!!!!  Scroll down and get the recipe!  I posted it a few days ago.  The photo of Grace and I in all our glory is currently being held hostage on her cell phone, but here’s a pic of the bros. working their magic.

You’re welcome!

Is there such a thing as too much cilantro?

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Around here, we just pulled out what was left of our winter cilantro crop from the smaller hoop house.  I had a grocery sack full of it in the fridge, and i stood gazing at it yesterday just before dinner.  I want to ask you dear reader, what would you have done with it?  The old me, say a few months ago, that me, would have thrown it away.  At that time, I only ate it fresh in soups, salads, and other foods like salsa and burritos etc.  The new and transformed me, made cilantro pesto with it.  Have you ever heard of that?  Have you ever tried it?  OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!  I’m going out on a limb here and saying that I like it more than basil pesto.  Yup, it’s that good, and so easy to make.  If you have a food processor, get to it!

Cilantro Pesto

1 bunch cilantro, fresh (or more if you’re hooked)

5 cloves garlic minced

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup walnuts

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

salt to taste

Put it all in your food processor and whiz it up.  Taste it.  If it doesn’t taste how you want it to, add more salt, or more walnuts, or more cheese, or even more oil.  It’s something you have to work with and design how you like it.  Cook up some of your favorite kind of pasta and add the pesto to the pasta and stir it up.  Serve and enjoy.  It’s totally yum, it would even turn a cilantro hater, like my son into a cilantro lover.

A little here a little there, and all of the in between

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Lots has been going on lately.  So much so in fact, that I’ve been distracted, but fear not dear reader, here’s your update!

Everyone, meet Carolina Proudfoot, yes that’s her real name.  She’s a student at the University of Arkansas, who is doing a chicken project on the farm to earn a minor in sustainability.  The sustainability minor is a new thing on campus.  Our farm is on a list serve for volunteer opportunities for students, and I think that’s how Carolina came our way.  She’s a wealth of chicken knowledge and we’re looking forward to gleaning lots from her.  In this picture, she’s standing next to one of two mobile chicken coops she and her friend are building.

This is Carolina’s friend.  Sorry dude, I never caught your name.  You look pretty tough though, wielding that power tool.

WOOF-pack  planted peas.

The crew also helped Carolina and her chicken coop mission.

This one makes me laugh.  John’s face is so intense.

In other news, Paul has brewed a batch of beer, after talking about it for years.  Here is his inspiration for starting his first batch, Roy Emerson.  He’s about to syphon the beer out of the fermenter and into the keg.  Fun times, and great beer!  It was one of those why didn’t we do this earlier moments.

There was a peanut gallery waiting for the spoils.

Here we are hunting for carrots and weeding in the process.  It’s fun to work inside the new high tunnel….WINK* (ahem, potential WOOF’ers).  The roof of the structure totally changes the mood, like you’re in a room outside, I don’t know, but you can help any time you want.

We were trying to accrue 60 pounds of carrots for some farm to school meal thing.  For two days we were pulling out babies, the tiniest of tiny.  We definitely met our quota of weeds.  After the first day of picking we had only ended up with 7 or 8 pounds.  It didn’t look like we were going to make the goal, but we kept at it…for the kids.

This awkward photo of me bending over, is meant to accompany the good news that we eventually did pick 60 pounds of carrots.  Paul led the team to a different bed entirely where they were able to pick carrot after carrot, with Damian picking the monster of all monsters that weighed a half a pound.

 

Hello All

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Just a little note, Mother Earth News has taken me on as a blogger for their “Happy Homesteading” Blog.  Here is a link to my first blog post for them.  And for those of you who are finding this blog for the first time through them perhaps, welcome!  I encourage you to start from the beginning…and the rest of you for that matter.

Up and Over Rover

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Today it was 60 degrees.  Now, some of you might be thankful because in general people are winter shy.  Me however, am mourning the lack of winter, and have nothing but complaints over the beautiful, gorgeous, epic day today.  One thing I can’t complain about however is the lack of wind.  Why?  Well, because we’ve had this hoop house going up, and have been waiting all month, or longer possibly to get the plastic up and over the top of this behemuth…it’s been a long wait, but TODAY was the day.

In other news, a side note that helps propel this story forward, we received a new WWOOF’er yesterday, around evening time.  His name is Damian.  He comes to us from the great state of Texas, Dallas area (represent).  Now that you all have been introduced to him, the pictures that he’s in won’t seem so unfamiliar.  Moving on…

Why don’t I just cut to the chase and start feeding you pictures with captions.

Everybody, this is Damian.  Damian, this is everybody.  I’m assuming by this picture, I didn’t take it, that he has a sense of humor.

Whilst I was at school, the crew was working on finishing the south end wall construction.  Patrick, I like that you’re wearing the sweat band I crocheted.

I like this shot a lot, I titled it in my folder “Intimate Hands”.  I feel like we’re peeking in on this intimate moment of teamwork.

Whoa, the pull back reveals that it’s the brothers…that would make for an interesting plot.  I say this in jest men, thank you so much for the help.

Here is the finished end wall.

This is my artsy end wall shot from the other side.  This right here, is exciting!  Not the shot, although I think it’s neat, but the end wall.  It’s almost finished!

Forgive me, I was premature, I should have put this picture in the mix a little earlier.  This is the finishing touches to the end wall.

I like this little series here of Paul cutting the door out after the construction was complete.  I must admit, this has been a long road, putting up this hoop.  Even though the top is not on at the moment, this cutting of the door plastic, felt like a ribbon cutting of sorts.  Enjoy.

Suspense building…

HERE WE GO.  This means that the top is near.  A quorum of farmies came together to pull the plastic.  A lot of the faces were the same faces that helped us last year when we pulled the plastic on our first hoop.  Last year it was soooooo windy.  Not as windy as it has been lately, but windy none the less.  It seemed really frantic and critical to get it done and get it done quick.  This year, today, it was so calm and work at your own pace-like, totally a different mojo.  It made this process a whole lot easier.

Here’s Patrick.  Patrick is laying out wiggle wire.  The wiggle wire fits into a c-channel, which attaches the plastic to the structure.

The posse assembling, getting a tentative set of instructions.

Laying out the plastic.

I think this picture is neat.  I couldn’t decide between this one and one that turned out a little warmer. But, I like the coolness of this one.  Since it is February, we should all get the illusion that it’s cold outside…unless you’re standing underneath that plastic.

Photo credit: Mark Landry.  Awesome shot!  Richard Orr, prepare to become a star my man.

They are attatching the plastic here.  Working on the wiggle wire.  Most people are holding up the plastic.  For a time they were working in a bubble.  A few of us bystanders helped hold up more of the plastic so those guys could breathe.

Hi.  I was there too.  I pretended to be a tough girl and helped hold the plastic.  I almost dropped my camera trying to get a shot of me being tough, but this is what I snapped.  It’s tough to maneuver a camera with one hand.  But now you know that I was there too, and did some.  Thanks y’all who did most of the work, ahem*, Patrick, Jake, Paul Z, Barry, Pauly…and for those of you I’ve forgotten…I’m getting the flashing light, I’ve got to go…I love you all!

Patrick sacrificed and climbed up on the wall to cut the plastic to lay flat, so as not to interfere with the top plastic.  Hardcore Patrick…really hardcore.  Someone agree with me.

Here it is.  It’s happening.

Holy moly.  I can’t tell you how happy this makes us.  This was a feat.  Like the building of the pyramids, just not on such a grand scale.  High fives all around!  That’s Jo-nathan Bame down there.  He’s the CSA manager for Northwest Arkansas Local Harvest.  He’s giving a thumbs up, which you can’t see, but now you know.

There.  It’s up now.  This is EPIC.  A humble thank you to everyone who was present today, as well as throughout the entire process.