What do Farmers do in the Winter?

Many folks have wondered and asked what we do during the winter.  Here are a few things at the top of our list:

  • Keep shoveling and plowing the snow!
  • Provide our animals with warm shelters, fresh water and feed
  • Look at lots of seed catalogs.
  • Look at the “maps” from last year to plan where to plant the vegetables.
  • Take care of a lot of paper work.
  • Create/Update  a new website
  • Visit family and friends
  • Meet with our 4-H groups
  • Plan where to put the new chickens
  • Wonder when the weather will cooperate to start the chickens
  • Like you dream of warmer weather!

Boiled Eggs

Have you ever tried peeling a boiled egg? If it is older and/or from the store it is pretty easy. If it is farm fresh it is pretty frustrating. The peel sticks to the egg and a lot of the white peels away with it. This leaves it with a rough look especially if you are making deviled eggs. I came across this recipe on Facebook and it really works.

Boiled Eggs in the Oven

Ingredients

  • 12 eggs (still in shell)
  • 1 12 hole muffin tin

Directions

Step 1 Using a 12 hole muffin tin put one egg still in its shell in each hole.
Step 2 Place pan in cold oven then set temperature for 325 degrees
Step 3 Cook for 25 to 30 minutes.
Step 4 Remove eggs with tongs and place in a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes.
Step 5 Peel and eat! Refrigerate any left over.

 

Where’s The Beef?

Located between Gaylord and Alpena, Hunt Family Farm raises black angus cattle, hogs, and chickens.  Our farm is pesticide, herbicide, and chemical free.  We do not feed growth hormones or antibiotics.  We practice natural and sustainable methods with the goal of producing the best.

We deliver  monthly, free of  charge, to the eastern half of michigan, south of the bridge.

I can be reached through email ……..huntbfarmer@gmail.com

Organic Fruits and Vegetables in Mid Michigan~Central Michigan CSA Goes Organic

The Central Michigan CSA farm has been growing and delivering fresh produce to families throughout the Mid Michigan area for several years.  Along with a  thriving CSA (community supported agriculture) program, Joe Crawford and his team also supply two farm stands, one is located north of Clare Michigan and the other is located at the corner of U.S. 10 and M66.  The spring of 2014 marks the first time the farm will offer certified organic produce to it’s CSA members and customers who stop by one of the farm stands.  The CSA membership is open and they are currently enrolling new members.  Current pick up locations are:

  • Midland Michigan
  • Mt. Pleasant Michigan
  • Gladwin Michigan
  • Clare Michigan

If you would like to suggest a CSA pick up location near you, feel free to get in touch and let them know.  They are open to new CSA locations where there is enough interest.  You can learn more about the CSA program by visiting there CSA page here: organic CSA farm

The farm consists of around 15 acres in vegetable production and around 2 acres in fruit.  Most of the fruit for the farm stands is purchased from local Michigan growers organic vegetable marketand won’t be certified organic, but is grown with utmost care and as little spray as possible.  The Central Michigan CSA farm utilizes a 30×100 high tunnel to get a jump on the veggie season and usually has a nice variety of fresh organic vegetables available in late May or early June.  The CSA drop offs start the first week of June typically and run through October.

The farm prides itself in offering value and grows a full line of vegetables, pretty much whatever can be grown in Michigan is grown at the Central Michigan CSA farm.  There are several share option, so whether you are just feeding yourself or a family of 6 or 8, you can find a share option that works for your dinner table.  Along with a great line of vegetables and fruits, the farm also operates a farm fresh egg CSA program.  By spring they will have around 600 laying hens in production, all free range chickens that are offered strictly Non-GMO grain.

If you are in the Mid Michigan area and looking for organic fruits and vegetables for your family, I encourage you to look into the Central Michigan CSA program.  You are also invited to stop out at the farm, by appointment, or visit one of the farm stands when you are in the area.

Chore!

See the rest of their parodies on the ThePetersonFarmBros YouTube Channel

Fresh Pumpkin

3 small pumpkins sitting next to each other

Baby Pam


We still have some of our fresh pumpkins available. They can be used for any pumpkin recipe you have from pies, to cookies and bread and even soup. My favorite soup is from www.allrecipes.com and you can use chicken broth instead of beef broth if you prefer for the Pumpkin Black Bean Soup.

Just wash the outside of the pumpkin, cut off the top, scoop out the seeds and stringy fiber. Bake at 400 degrees upside down for about one hour. Let cool so you can handle it. Scoop out the pumpkin flesh into a blender or food processor to puree. Nothing needs to be added. You now have pumpkin with no preservatives. It can be put in freezer containers and kept in your freezer for six months. You can have pumpkin pie anytime of the year!

Turkey Time!

Roasting your Turkey (Alton Brown has an easy to follow video at http://www.foodnetwork.com/altons-good-eats-roast-turkey-how-to/video/index.html  This has become our favorite way to cook a turkey!

If frozen, thaw the turkey a few days in the refrigerator. It takes one day for every four pounds. Just before time to cook, rinse and pat dry with a paper towel. Place in a roasting pan.

Combine 1 apple, ½ onion, 1 cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey’s cavity along with the 4 sprigs of rosemary and 6 leaves of sage*. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.

Using a piece of foil, shape it tightly over the turkey breast. Remove and place on counter. This is the breast shield.

Place turkey feet first in a 500 degree oven for 30 minutes. This sears the skin, locks in the juices and browns a little. Remove from oven, baste and place breast shield on. Put turkey back in oven with a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. (breast meat should be 161 degrees and the dark meat at 180 degrees)

A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving. This allows all the juices to stay in the meat instead of running out as you cut.

*One year I forgot to add the aromatics, the turkey still turned out great. So this step is optional now.

Fresh Whole Chicken

Our latest flock of chickens are ready! We raised them free range with no hormones or antibiotics.
We sell them whole for a few reasons. Ask us in person and we can tell you why. Some people are unsure of how to cut a chicken up. I found this very helpful video on the internet:

People tell us our chicken have “that old fashion taste from when I was a kid”.

You can also cook them whole in the oven, slow cooker or my favorite way “Beer/Coke Can Chicken” on the grill. I cover the outside of the chicken with lemon pepper, YUM!

Dirty Veggies?

Sometimes when people see our freshly picked veggies they ask how it is grown. Often they are surprised at what they learn. Another common comment is, “Oh, there is dirt on it!” We tell them why. This got me to wondering how many people don’t ask and think there is something wrong with our products. There is a good reason for the dirt. Since we don’t use any pesticides sometimes there are little bug bites or holes in the produce. If we rinse it off the water can get trapped and make the vegetable spoil quicker. Most vegetables start to decompose when they get wet, so it is best to wash them just before preparing or eating them.

Purple and white turnip on the table.

Turnips still have garden dirt on them.

FRESH FREE RANGE TURKEYS!

a flock of turkeys in the grassy field

Our free range turkeys!

The free range turkeys we raise here on our farm are ready! The birds are cleaned and quickly chilled but not frozen. Special farm hours for pick-up:

  • Thursday: 9 am – Noon
  • Friday: 9 am – 7 pm
  • Saturday: 3 – 7 pm
  • Sunday: 5 – 7 pm

It’s a great time to grill or smoke one for yourself or freeze for later use at a family gathering or party. We’ll also have some just-picked-that-morning fresh veggies from our gardens.

Our Hartland, Michigan farm is located at 2656 Clark Road. Drive up to the garage and honk your horn. Someone will come from inside or out in the fields to greet you.

Sorry, no deliveries. Cash or check only. No credit or debit cards accepted.

a  clean turkey ready to cook

A Roeske turkey ready for the oven, grill or smoker!

A turkey out of the oven.  A nicely browned skin.

We raise ‘em you cook ‘em!

Traverse City Sweet Cherries

Jessica is selling concert tickets

The only time Jess stood still long enough to snap a photo!

 

Early this week we took a couple days off from our farm. Our daughter Jessica has been working as an intern for the Traverse City Cherry Festival. Months of preparation go into putting on any festival. We went to see what it was all about. Their hard work really showed!

It is a beautiful area. We walked through the town, the festival and the beach.
The festival had to use sweet cherries from Grand Rapids. On our last day a local orchard opened up for U-pick. We picked dark sweet cherries to sell at our Farm Markets this weekend. So, along with our cuts of pork, fresh radishes from our garden we will also have genuine Traverse City sweet cherries.

Cherry Orchard with Lake Michigan in the background

Cherry Orchard on Mission Peninsula

Eric picked sweet cherries from the tree and put them in a bucket.

Eric picked a lot of sweet cherries in Traverse City

A large sailboat on the water of Traverse City Bay

Enjoying the view!

The weather was a perfect 70 degrees and low humidity. We drove to a couple of the peninsulas to see lighthouses too. We had a wonderful visit!

Sweet cherries in quart containers to sell at the market

We picked these all by hand!

Pork, Early Veggies at this week’s farmers markets

5 radishes with leaves still attached bunched together

A bundle of radishes

Each week we are spending more time in the gardens. We spend a lot of time thinning and weeding everything!! Just a few things are ready to harvest but it is a start.

All our animals are growing and getting extra water on these hot humid days.

Thursday, we will be at the Fenton Farmer’s Market from 5 – 8 PM near Fenton’s Community Center. We may have rain setting up, but it should clear for opening at 5 PM. The market is open rain or shine except in very severe conditions. If it’s cancelled, come to our farm for vegetables and meats from 4 to 7 PM. We have beets, kohlrabi, radishes, garlic scapes, pork and LaLumiere’s raw honey. Some of their hives are on our farm.

Saturday: White Lake 9 AM to 1 PM located in the parking lot of the middle school on the Lakeland High school campus on Bogie Lake Rd south of M-59 Patty and Ann will be there with a limited supply of pork and whatever veggies are ready. If you want something specific please reply to this e-mail.

Saturday: Hartland 9 AM to 1 PM located in the parking lot of the Hartland Educational Services & Support Center (the old high school) on M-59 west of US-23 past the Target store. Eric will have the trailer with a well stocked supply of pork and whatever veggies are ready.

Sunday: Green Oak 10 AM – 3 PM [new time] US-23 and Lee Rd, Brighton MI We are in the middle parking lot of the Green Oak Shopping center near Victoria Secrets. We will have the trailer with a well stocked supply of pork and whatever veggies are ready.

Ever Try Garlic Scapes? We got ‘em!

the tops of the garlic plants

a small bit of garlic

We just finished cutting the scapes off of our garlic plants in the garden. They smell delicious!! We will have them available at the farm and at the farmer’s markets this Saturday and Sunday.

Garlic scapes are the “flower stalks” of hardneck garlic plants, although they do not produce flowers. They have a delicious mild garlic flavor. They can be eaten raw, steamed, or cut up and added to any sauce for a mild garlic flavor. The season for garlic scapes is very short, so keep your eyes peeled in late spring, or you might miss them. If you scoop up more than you can use, freeze them for later.