Good morning local food eaters!
As I sit here, the rain is coming down and it is a bit chilly. You know why? Cause we're having a real spring. Not a winter-straight-to-summer like we have had in recent years. But a true spring season, complete with lots of rain, sun, and cool temperatures.
For the animals, and us, that means GRASS. Grass growing abundantly, swiftly, in plenty all around.
A lot of the current farmwork consists in setting up fences. We move the animals around every few days to best manage the grass. We do this for livestock nutrition: to make sure they have access to new growth and clean paddocks. We also do this for optimal grass growth and pasture recovery. Moving livestock at the right window when they have eaten their fill but not overgrazed, is called rotational grazing, and is more of an art than a science.
It is also super fun letting pigs out of their winter home - a straw bedded greenhouse shelter surrounded by mud - to fresh grass. Maybe we're anthropomorphizing, but it just looks like pure delight. They frolic.
There are lots of babies this spring, as usual. We've got a little herd of piglets following their mothers around.
And this spring is complete with bottle babies! These lambs hang out at our house... for now...
As I mentioned a few months ago, we've been really happy with the improvement in quality of our sausage that is being made at Mark's Butcher Shop. Last night, I made this super quick and easy stir fry that I have to share.
Spring Vegetable Sausage Stir Fry
I like kielbasa for this because it is hot smoked and therefore already cooked. It really just needs to be reheated. The texture is firm because of the smoking and the natural casings, which makes it super easy to slice. It is also a simple sausage seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic. That makes it really versatile, and could adapt to various types of dishes and ethnic flavors.
I sauteed an onion, a bunch of asparagus, some garlic, and a couple handfulls of spinach. While this was cooking, I sliced the sausage, and threw that in. It literally took 10 minutes.
And then I added some pineapple and cashews because I was feeling crazy like that...
Yum! This could be a stand alone meal in a bowl, or served over rice.
The kids oohhed and ahhed over it, which is the highest marker of success.
In further news from the farm, Brooks has recently taken on work doing some online marketing with his brother's supplement company Earth Fed Muscle. We are trying to make ends meet for our family by continuing farming as well as working another job. This is the first time in over 10 years that we have had off-farm employment. If you're interested, check out this recipe post I wrote for them on healthy-ish cupcakes made with their grassfed whey protein in the frosting!
Enjoy the spring everybody!
And thanks for supporting local foods,
~Brooks and Anna