Monday, August 30, 2010

Waht a day!

Today is the day after our momentous task of processing. It is amazing the things you learn and how you learn them. Sometimes we get in huge binds, but we learn a huge lesson, other times, not so big. Yesterday, as far as the processing world goes, was a sort of big one. Nothing "serious" or bad happened, but a huge lesson for me was learned. We processed 190 chickens, and 10 huge turkeys. It was a blast, sort of. The good news is that it is done, and I suppose there is no bad news thankfully, other than I can barely use my fingers to type! Some really good friends spent the day, and part of early this morning with us, which is the only way it could have been accomplished! All of the kids worked together really well, so over all it was a memorable and fun day! That being said, we have a lot of chicken available, whole and cut up. We also have turkeys ready for those of you that requested them. I suppose the only way to do the turkey is to list the weights and fill request in the order of returned emails. I have one set aside for "couple in Millers Creek" so have no fear! We also have a lot of the carcass's (couldn't find a neater word, sorry!) available, from the cut up birds, for soups/broth, but they will need to be picked up by Tuesday, as we will not be freezing them. They still have a fair amount of meat on them, enough to make a great broth or soup! This week we will have no extra produce outside of the CSA memberships (go CSA's!), but fall crops are in and growing! Our market in Clemmons is going well, and we are excited about the potential. Tonight will be our second Monday, so if you get a chance come out and support whats going on if you happen to be in the Winston area! Sadly, blueberries are finished for the season, unless something miraculous happens!


Whole Chicken - $3.00/lb.
Chicken Breast - $8.00/lb.
Legs/Thighs/Wings - $3.50/lb. (packaged together)
Whole Turkey - $3.50/lb (2 unaccounted for so far)
Broth/Soup Carcass - $3.00/each

Here are the weights of the turkeys: (being held aside for those of you that made early request, and the price will be $3.00/lb) -
26 lb. - 2
18 lb. - 3
22 lb - 3

I am going by memory on these weights, but they are in that ball park! Outside is too far away for my tired legs!

Please make arrangements soon to pick up your turkeys, we are slim on freezer room. There are a few that will be refrigerated for the next few days, then put in the freezer as well. Chickens are in the process of being froze, so if you would like one not frozen, now is the time to get one! (we have noticed no difference in taste, just a little more planning needed)
Have a good week, and enjoy the cool nights!
Oh, and the lesson learned was to not do that again! Spread it out over a several week period!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Blog from a good friend...

Local Milk

We want to continue this week sharing our thoughts on how to get away from the conventional, corporate food system and how to develop a dependable, community-based food system free especially of chemical and pharmaceutical abuse. This week our focus is dairy. Increasingly, dairy cows are being kept (like poultry and hogs) without any access to forage or any fresh feed at all. Fortunately (unlike poultry and hogs), real, significant fresh feed is a part of the USDA organic requirements for dairy cattle. Of course, as with all rule-based programs, there are producers that seek to meet the minimal letter of those rules without following the spirit of the rules in order to gain cost advantages and increase their market share. However, there is one fairly big organic cooperative with farms in Iredell and Rowan Counties (and all over the country) that has really impressed us with their integrity, and that's Organic Valley. If we had to buy milk and butter, etc., in the grocery stores, we would definitely choose Organic Valley. First, so far as we're aware, there is no other government-regulated dairy or cooperative with farms in North Carolina that sells organic milk. Second, we've seen a couple of the farms that sell to Organic Valley and we've talked to some of the farmers, and what we've seen up until now are real family farms with real grass-fed cows. If you're going to buy government-regulated dairy products, the Organic Valley cooperative would be, by our recommendation, the best option (and well worth the price compared to any other options in the stores.) Of course, even the best milk in stores still leaves a whole lot to be desired in terms of community accountability; dependency on conventional transportation, processing, and distribution systems; and other issues of sustainability.
At this point we're forced to confront the hot button issue of "raw milk." We wish it hadn't become such a hot button issue. It's an issue that the mainstream food/agricultural system clearly feels threatened by. We would much rather just mind our own business and let the people that want the government to oversee and guarantee the safety of their food supply remain in their own little world. Ideally, we would definitely want to offer milk (and cheese and butter, etc.) from our cows and goats for sale, but as things are, we just want to steer far away from the whole controversy of distributing "raw milk." There are still a lot of things we can actively encourage you all to do, however. We are very happy to share what we know about keeping a family cow or goat, and we would love to help you figure out how to get started milking your own animal, if you're at all inclined. Even if you live in town or can't keep an animal on your own land, there are other ways to keep a dairy animal. We like the idea of a real "cow share" where several families share not just the milk but the actual work, taking turns milking over the course of a week, such that the milk is only ever handled by the consumer himself. In the past, we have milked neighbors' animals when they've wanted to get away or take a vacation. If these kinds of ideas interest you, we'd be more than happy to talk to you and try to help you become more self-sufficient with regards to dairy. Even if you're simply buying all your milk, we would encourage you to learn how to take control of more of the processing, e.g. butter and ice cream and cheese and yogurt, etc. Making yogurt is often a very cost effective thing to do at home. It may be cheaper to simply buy finished butter than to buy cream in the store and churn it, but the more you get away from the industrial food system, the more opportunities you'll find to do these kinds of things and save a few cents along the way. We'd be very happy to talk to you about any of these dairy-related things, so don't be shy!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Trip to Switzerland...

 Today we went on a drive, and took advantage of  living in such a beautiful part of the country! A long drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is only 20 minutes from the house, led us to Little Switzerland.  It took about 2 1/2 hours to get there, and when we arrived, we stopped at the only place to stop, and had lunch. It was great! Amazingly, as were waiting for our drinks, several ladies recognized the boys (sitting at another table; ever try to fit a family of 10 in a little bitty cafe!?!) and proceeded with loud admiration concerning the Soap business, specifically the bug spray. You see, we are famous! Well, at least in the world of soap families. It was a fun day! Our first week with 8 children...about the same as our last week with 7! All is well! Cory is recovering quickly, and Glory is doing great! Now, we know that it is not possible, outside of reflexes that happen when gas occurs, but Glory intentionally smiles a lot! It's really too early, age-wise, for that, but she is doing it, maybe she is a prodigy of sorts! Well we realized that Monday and Wednesday were slower days for us, (right, on a farm...) so we have gotten ourselves involved with another farmers market near Winston. It is in Clemmons, and apparently, it is off to a good start, and very well encouraged by the locals. That being said, we will not have any extra produce outside of the CSA memberships, at least not until next season. We strongly encourage everyone that is not involved in a CSA, to do some research on the subject, and get involved! This is a good thing for both parties, it gives a strong start for the farmer in the spring, which is needed after a cold, snowy winter, and it conveniently guarantees weekly, freshly picked, organically grown, affordable produce! Enough commercial time, now with the list:

     However, CSA members can expect some sweet corn, shoots of some sort, okra, squash, sweet potatoes, and Green Zebra tomatoes. There will more than likely be a few more items as well.
     Hope everyone has a good week! If you get a chance, visit Crabtree Falls off the Blue Ridge, towards Asheville! It was worth the drive and hike!  Also, Little Switzerland is a neat little stop as well, right before Crabtree Falls. Check it out!


Crabtree Falls, NC
A tomato farm we passed on the way home, wow thats a lot of tomatoes!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Day # 2!

All is well with baby Glory! She is growing fast, and I think she is saying daddy or something close anyway! What a smart girl we have! Her first attempt at the dishes was a flop, but what do you expect from someone who can't even hold her head up yet! Actually, she is very well rested and sleeping a lot. Cory is recovering very quickly, which makes it harder to remember to rest, but we are keeping her down the best we can! The kids and friends have stepped in and provided a ton of help! I always love having a new baby or birthday, it always seems to draw people to our place, even during the busyness of summer, which is always a blast!
     Now, for a tid bit of unasked-for advice. How do you teach your children to not volunteer unasked-for advice? Well, the easiest way is by example! Naturally we all like to give advice to others. Why is this? It probably has something to do with insecurities, or maybe even just the desire to teach others what we know, or maybe even just to keep others safe. The problem with unwanted or unasked-for advice is that it is usually not accepted, in fact it usually causes some sort of division, due to the lack of trust or even respect that is portrayed, and maybe even more importantly, it keeps people from growing up (hmmm, maybe that's why so many children grow up to be, well, followers.?.)! So how do we give this advice? Wait to be asked! Weird answer, but if you think about it, it makes a ton of sense, sorta like the pearls before swine thing. We take in what we really want to know. This is another way! You see, no one is forced to read this, or a book that I may write someday about how great I am (right). We have all been exposed to or on the other end of unwanted advice, and it is not fun! As parents, we strive to teach our children how to be capable adults, that are likable (with in reason, no compromising involved). It always saddens me to meet an adult, that is much older than myself, that continues to give unwanted advice. Maybe, just maybe I should give them the same unwanted advice and let them know why they are having such a hard time making friends after 50 years, nahh, that would not do...I'll will just wait, and maybe they will read this!
Newly lifted sweet potatoes...

Cute Emmons feet...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Rainbow has arrived!

We have a new one! Its a girl! She was born at 1:30 this morning. All is well! Her name is Rainbow Moonbeam Emmons! Actually, its really Glory Zion Emmons. She is beautiful, just like her daddy! (really more like her mommy!) She is 19 inches and 7 lbs. 5 ozs. Everything is going very well! Thank you everyone for your prayers and help! The kids are extremely excited, in fact, Cedar asked, "Can that baby do dishes?" Jewel is walking around with a big grin saying "baaaabeeee".

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Week of Aug 8th

Hello! Well, still no baby, but we do have a happy-to-be-pregnant-past-her-due-date mommy! Cory is still doing great, and we are all curious as to when the day will be that we get to see our new one! Keaton had hoped that was going to be on his birthday, the 5th, and Journey still hopes that it will be on hers, the 11th. Cory hopes that it will be now. The crops are slowing down for a period, but we are starting a few fall crops early. We still have plenty of tomatoes, and more than enough green and yellow beans. Our corn is coming in strong, and we have been enjoying it daily! CSA members should see a few ears of corn in your bags this week, and hopefully for a couple of weeks. Here is this weeks list of extra veggies:
Tomatoes - $2.50/lb.
Squash - $1.50/lb.
Potatoes - $2.00/lb.
Swiss Chard - $3.00/bunch
Beets - $3.00/bunch
Yellow Wax Beans - $4.00/lb. (stringless)
Provider Green Beans - $3.00/lb. (stringless)

Please let us know if you are interested in local honey. Also, we will be processing our third batch of chicken in about 2 weeks, so if you would like to put your name on the list for breast, and the legs/thighs/wings, please email us. These go fast! The breast are $8/lb. (avg. 1 lb. per package) and the legs/thighs/wings are $3.50/lb. (avg. 2 lbs./package). Thanks, and have a good week!