You are Invited to NMP Farm Visiting Day and Next Season
- Early Bird Special Share Prices if you Sign Up by May 30th
- New Super Variety Share Add-On : pastured duck, rabbit, wild salmon, & more!
Dear Friends and Customers,
We welcome and celebrate the gorgeous spring weather! Our allergies aren't as happy about it as we are, but nontheless we are glad that the grass is really growing again. The steady gentle rain today promises more green growth.
Construction on our butcher shop continues. We have finished the installation of the interior walls! We're using a wallboard that is waterproof and designed for “wash down” facilities such as what ours will be. In order to comply with USDA guidelines for sanitation, everything in the shop must be “wash down”-able, by 180 degree hot water. So we have special lights, special electrical outlets, special wall coverings, and floor drains. We are excited to work in this environment when it is all done, and think the cleanup will be much easier and more thorough.
The broilers have been out on pasture for over a month now, and we have butchered our first two batches. They are carving a path across the meadow that our son Kaj calls “the racetrack”, because it is wide and smooth: pecked and packed down with a thin even layer of manure. Later in the summer, this same path will be brighter green than any of the surrounding field due to the extra nutrients and nitrogen. Raising chickens is good because we enjoy eating chicken, as do most people! However, our second though just as important goal is to improve the pasture and build topsoil. The reason for this is that there is very little nutrient rich topsoil left in most areas that have been farmed for some time like ours. Any crop, including forage for livestock (grass and hay), that is grown there will be sub-optimal until the soil is restored to the proper nutrient levels and biological activity. Fortunately, there is a growing amount of research being done on how exactly to do this, much of it indicating that incorporating livestock on pasture is the ideal and fastest means to that end. The knowledge of both soil conservation and also soil regeneration are necessary if we want to be able to continue to grow healthy food in the future.
If you haven't done so yet, mark your calendar now for our end of season farm visiting day:
Saturday June 23rd 1-5pm
You and your family and any interested friends are invited to visit the farm for an afternoon of seeing the animals, a guided farm tour by farmer Brooks, hiking the lovely path through the woods, and joining in a potluck feast. If we're lucky, the wild black raspberries that grow all over the farm will be ripe for the picking.
We will be roasting a pig – please bring a dish to share if you can! Children are welcome, please dress kids in clothes that can get dirty and boots for everyone. Also if you will be walking around the farm or picking berries, wear long pants to prevent getting a tick or poison ivy, the ever present pests on the farm!
Directions to the Farm (GPS doesn't always work to our adress):
From Harrisburg and 83-
Take 322West to the Newport exit for route 34. Make a Left off of the exit ramp, and go about 3 miles into the town of Newport, crossing over the Juniata River. Go straight at the 4 way stop, and stay on that road as it bends sharply to the right and turns into Middle Ridge Road. Go about 5 miles and make a left at Cold Storage Road (just after passing a sign reading Village of Skyline Corner on your right). We are the first driveway on the left.
Take 34 North all the way to New Bloomfield. Make a left at the stop sign/circle of New Bloomfield onto 274 West. In less than a mile, make a right onto Cold Storage Road. Go about 5 miles, passing signs for Little Buffalo State Park. Just after a shale pit on your right, we will be the last driveway on the right. If you get to the stop sign, you went too far.
There are two months left and it is going by quick. We are now taking renewals for next season. The next season will run from July through November 2012.
Receive an early bird discount if you sign up by May 30th!
New Share Add On
We have one new change that we are very excited about: the Super Variety Add-On. If you love your regular meat CSA share, but are an adventurous food lover and occasionally look for an extra something for variety or a special dinner, the Super add-on is for you. Basically, you continue to get your regular share contents, and in addition each month receive a unique item. This extra will be different for each of the five months:
- duck (locally raised on pasture by Brooks' brother)
- wild salmon (wild caught in Alaska by PA purveyors Wild For Salmon)
- goat meat (organically raised on pasture by North Mountain Pastures)
- veal (grassfed humanely raised by North Mountain Pastures)
- rabbit (raised on pasture by North Mountain Pastures or another local farm).
If you have any questions about the CSA shares or add-ons, delivery sites, payment methods or anything at all, don't hesitate to contact us by email at email@example.com.
It is not too late to sign up for the remaining deliveries for this season; email us for the pro-rated prices and to sign up for May and/or June.
We thank you in advance for your continued membership. Thank you for being part of our farm and supporting local agriculture. We hope to see you on June 23rd!
~Brooks and Anna
We have given out quite a few pork belly roasts in the past month, and we hope that you have been enjoying them. If you still have one in your freezer, be brave and give this recipe a try – it will be good I promise!
Dong Po Pork Belly
This is a traditional Chinese braised pork belly, which is widely loved as a special dish. Pork is the meat of choice in China. One blog that I found with a good recipe (kitchenoffriends.com) says the following: “A good Dong Po Pork... means the pork must be tender. The sauce must be sweet, savory, and aromatic. The fat must melt in your mouth. And the color of the dish must be appealing.”
A note about the fat: As you may have noticed and are certainly aware, the pork belly is quite fatty and is the cut that is used to make bacon. When you cure the belly and slice it and fry it as bacon, much of the grease comes off in the pan. The same thing happens when you braise it in this recipe. The fat that remains loses some of its greasiness, and becomes quite smooth and palatable, similar to what happens to the fat on a well braised beef short rib. The fat enriches the sauce, and is very satisfying. This dish may be served with rice and greens, and a little goes a long way.
Also keep in mind that pastured pork fat really is different than store bought pork fat. It contains no toxic residues of antibiotics, pesticides, or any chemicals; and it likely contains a high level of omega 3 fatty acids. A healthy dose of natural fat keeps us satiated, is a source or fat soluble vitamins (vit D in particular), aids in the absorption and digestion of protein, and won't make you fat [unless you eat doughnuts with it :) ]. Fat is where the flavor is - and it's good for us- with pastured pork NOT industrial pork!
When I tried this recipe, I had never before eaten this dish. The smells that wafted out of the kitchen were both exotic and amazing. We loved it and hope you do too.
Pork Belly ~ 2lb chunk
2 “thumb” lengths of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small bunch of scallions, chopped into 1 inch lengths
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
4 Tablespoons of rapadura or brown sugar
6 Tablespoons of natural soy sauce
2/3 cup shaoxing hua tiao asian rice wine (I could not find this and used the Japanese sake which is not traditional I'm sure, but it came out great as far as I can tell!)
2-4 cups water
1 Star anise (optional)
2 teaspoons cornstarch (optional)
On medium high heat, fry the onion, ginger, and garlic in a wok until fragrant. Add the sugar and stir until it starts to melt. Add the wine and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Rinse off the pork belly in hot water (traditional recipes say to pour scalding water over the pork, but I skipped this and don't think it is necessary), and place in a braising pot with a lid or a crock pot. Pour the prepared sauce (do not strain) over the pork, throw in the star anise if using, and add enough water to just cover the meat. Bring to a boil, and then turn down to lowest possible simmer (low heat on a crockpot). Simmer there for 3-4 hours. When done, gently remove pork pieces (they will be sort of falling apart), and strain sauce. At this point if the sauce is very oily, you may put it in the fridge overnight and remove the solidified fat (lard – save it for frying potatoes!). This step is totally optional, and will create a lighter finish. Bring the sauce to a simmer, and add the cornstarch (mix until smooth with a ¼ cup water first). Stir well until the sauce becomes a shiny sticky glaze (yumm). Serve pieces of the pork belly over rice and spoon over the sauce. Enjoy!