It’s breakfast time, now with sweet maple sausage links

Maple sausage, new to our store.
Maple sausage, new to our store.

Our pork processor let me know a few weeks ago that they were working on a new sausage formula, maple breakfast sausage. They asked if I was interested. Does a cat have a climbing gear?! Of course I was interested!

Ninja Cow Farm is the first farm to have the new maple sausages and of course I had to try them immediately. As in, I left the processor and drove down to the little country diner 2 minutes away. I walked in the door and handed them a pack of Ninja Cow Farm sausages. “Cook these please, with some eggs.”

The wait staff was all laughing, saying they’d never heard of someone bringing in their own meat before but sure, why not. I kept a straight face acting like it was totally normal. The plate above was the result.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t a fan of the way they cooked the sausages (fried in the deep fryer) so the flavor was hidden by the cooking method but I could tell it was there and would be better served if it was cooked properly, on the griddle. That’s ok though, we have 75 pounds of these little guys tucked in the freezer and it’ll be breakfast time at the NCF farm house shortly. In the meantime, we’re open from 2-6 today, and 8-5 tomorrow, so stop by and get some goodies for breakfast. We are still hugely stocked on beef, overflowing on pork, and we have eggs and dairy stuffed to the gills again.

The only thing we are short on is chicken as we keep outrunning our poor chicken farmer. But they will hopefully catch up next week. In the meantime, better get the chicken you need for the week. It’ll go fast this weekend.

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Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

Ugh! Not more nerd stuff

To look at our public page you’d think that I haven’t been doing much. Unfortunately, I’ve been doing too much on our website, none of which is fun.

It all started when I received a notice that our website was down. It was down a couple of minutes during the middle of the night so bad, but not the end of the world. Then I received a notice that the site was down for almost an hour. That’s extremely unacceptable. Like sirens going off in my head unacceptable. So first thing that morning I hopped onto our admin site and found…..that…….the…….site……….was………sloooooow.

I’d had an issue with this before, and our hosting provider ended up having had an issue with the server we were on. Surprise, spending more money had solved it so I planned on calling, yelling at them, and getting them to fix it on their dime this time.

The nice support guy answered immediately (Why I love GoDaddy) and jumped right in. Server issue? Nope. Configuration issue? Nope. Hey wait, what’s this? You have 91 gigabytes on your website storage?! That’s insane for a small site.

Hmm, I do upload a lot of pictures. Maybe I’ve gone crazy and didn’t know it?

Hey, what is Updraft plus? That folder is HUGE!

That’s my backup program.

Turned out the backup program had gone crazy and had backed up, to itself, 81 gigs of backup files. Instead of offloading them to our storage site, it was trashing the web server instead and our hard drive space was nearly full. I’ve been fixing this issue ever since. So apologies for the lack of postings. I’m in full on nerd mode, working through the intricacies of web hosting, API calls, and whatnot. We’ll return to your regularly scheduled farm goodness shortly.

Btw, stop by Friday between 2-6. We have LOTS of goodies in the store. Including some new stuff you haven’t seen.

Dan Moore on sabtwitterDan Moore on sabgoogleDan Moore on sabfacebookDan Moore on sabemail
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

Wow what a huge cow, stop by and get fresh beef!

When we first started taking cows to the processor, we were struggling to get to 500 lbs of hot hanging weight. We didn’t have scales, we were woefully behind on production, and frankly we were pretty new at finishing cows.

A few weeks ago, I took two cows to the processor, LF07 and 63.

Our crazy cow, #63
Our crazy cow, #63

63 was normal sized but crazy so he got a free ride.

Our porker, #LF07
Our porker, #LF07

LF07 was pretty big and he was the number one candidate to go.

On Friday I picked them up so we’d have fresh beef in the store for this weekend. I put 21 baskets in the truck to hold all the meat, plus a pickup at the goat dairy on the way home. I usually only take about 9-10 for one cow so that should be enough. When I got to the processor, they handed me my bill which has our hanging weights. #63 weighed 685 pounds hot hanging weight! Now that’s a great weight. That means that we really have these cows finished well. That we have lots of fat, lots of meat on the bones, and we are delivering a quality steak to our customers. Then I was I saw LF07’s weight.

820 pounds!! Oh my God! I’ve never heard of a weight like that.

So to make a long story short, 21 baskets was about 4 short of having enough. I had to scramble to get the meat loaded, and still get our dairy order on the truck. I made an emergency stop at a customer to drop off 60 pounds of hamburger just to get something off the truck and when I got back to the farm, it was all hands on deck. Lucy, Erin, and I all worked to stuff every inch of every freezer on the farm with beefy goodness. We BARELY made it, after I’d taken all of our beef bones to the dump just to make room. Don’t worry, I held back some of the fresh beef bones but we are literally bursting at the seams.

If you want some beef, or pork, or whatever, we are loaded for bear. Steaks, ribs, whatever, we’ve got it. Plus SWMBO is working the store today between 8-5 so stop by and work her hard! I’ll be at the Garner pop up market today on Old Garner Road working that event so she’s unsupervised.

Dan Moore on sabtwitterDan Moore on sabgoogleDan Moore on sabfacebookDan Moore on sabemail
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

Shh, it’s a secret

Freezer full of beef
The beef freezer, finally happy again

I couldn’t say anything, because I wasn’t sure if the processor would have our cows ready on time. But I got the call (after multiple attempts to get an answer  this week) that our cows are ready as of this morning.

I’m on the way now to go pick up two cows worth of beef and to stuff our freezer to the gills. I will be back, and unloaded, before Lucy opens today at 2pm. That means ribeyes, NY strips, eye round roasts, etc. All the goodies will be in stock this afternoon and tomorrow.

We are open 2-6 today, and 8-5 tomorrow. No appointment needed! Stop by and get some fresh beef!

Of course, we are fully stocked on pork, chicken, dairy, etc. as well so we have all the goodies for you.

Dan Moore on sabtwitterDan Moore on sabgoogleDan Moore on sabfacebookDan Moore on sabemail
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

What a view

The view of cows off of the porch
The view off of the porch

I don’t talk about our leased farm that much. Other than stopping by to check on things or go catch an errant cow, we don’t have to go over there that often anymore. We used to have our entire herd over there but now with just the brood cows and babies, it’s pretty quiet.

But at least once per year, I’m fortunate to get to go over and visit with the owners and talk about the upcoming year, visit with the kids, and pay the annual lease.

The picture above was taken from their back porch as we talked about the upcoming year and some fencing projects we need to work on. The picture doesn’t do the view justice. It was absolutely gorgeous as the sun was setting. In the medium distance, you can just see the cows and calves grazing in the fading light.

It was about this time that I told them we’d be coming to get the cows before too long, to take them to our farm for the winter. Lips were poked out all around. Nobody was happy to see the cute and cuddly cows leave. Oops, I thought they’d be happy to know we’d have them at our place over winter giving their farm a rest. I guess I don’t have to worry anymore that the cows have been misbehaving and wearing out their welcome.

But truth be told, I miss them. I’d spent some time before our meeting just hanging out with the girls and their new babies in the pasture. They came right up to me and started asking where I’d been, complaining loudly that I didn’t come visit often enough. You know how moms are. I’d committed to them they’d be coming home before long and you never go back on your word to a mom. They have a memory like a steel trap!

Dan Moore on sabtwitterDan Moore on sabgoogleDan Moore on sabfacebookDan Moore on sabemail
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

Overall results from the CFSA farm tour

It’s now Wednesday and we are finally getting over the farm tour from last weekend. Not because it was any problem, but because I still don’t have everything put away (Sorry Lucy! I’ll get your chairs and tables back as soon as it stops raining!)

At the end of the weekend, we’d hosted over 200 people through our farm. Nearly everyone received a personal tour from SWMBO or Spork.

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Overall it seems that the reaction to our farm was positive and people seemed to enjoy themselves. We didn’t have any kind of formal feedback mechanism so all I can judge by is the comments from people I talked to personally, which I tried to do as much as possible.

We had a bit of a crisis Sunday afternoon as Jennifer from Buck Naked got hung up at her farm and was running late. And our guys we hired to park cars also showed late. Of course all the customers were right on time quickly filling up the parking spaces. Couple that with the fact we were all moving a bit slow that day due to the previous nights festivities and there were a few minutes of excitement. Luckily everyone was so good at what they did that I was pretty much free to step in and handle it till everyone was in place.

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On Saturday Miguel had brought one of the baby pigs out for everyone to hold and pet.

Gran SWMBO with her baby pig
Gran SWMBO with her baby pig

On Sunday Gran-SWMBO came out to fill in for him and hold the piglet. Grandma is the master at holding baby piglets so she was the perfect person for the job. Unfortunately our baby piglet was not too pleased and peed all over her. I felt bad for her but she shrugged it off and made sure everyone was happy. There is nothing better than having a grandma around. 20160917_125848

Abe Froman was on hand again cooking all day. I don’t know how many packs of sausage he went through, but everyone got all the samples they wanted, the help was able to scarf everything they wanted at the end, and we still had sausage left over so he did an awesome job.

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I think our best seller of the weekend was ice cream, but we did sell a bit of meat. The real question is how many people will come back and shop now that they know we are here. We’ll see over the next few weeks but overall we had a bit time on the tour and we are looking forward to next year.

Dan Moore on sabtwitterDan Moore on sabgoogleDan Moore on sabfacebookDan Moore on sabemail
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

London Broil with Goaty Grits

Ruth Reichl is one of my cooking icons.  When Epicurious ended I was gutted. Was her career over, would she continue to write? She is incredibly inspirational to my own cooking style. The recipe I made tonight was inspired by her. She would collect ingredients in the street markets on her way home and make a dish.  I went walking through our little market at NCF and came up with dinner.

London Broil is Flank Steak’s big brother. Have a large crowd to please? Get a London Broil. Tonight’s dinner is an indulgence, the London Broil is $10 lb and then the grits have Skyr Tykke  $5 (goat sour cream) & Garbo goat cheese $5. Our goat cheese products come from Celebrity Goat Dairy. With the veggies and stone grits this meal runs around $45.  This was our big family dinner of the week. This meal can be broken up or served with other items. The grits are a heavenly meal all on their own. Luckily we have lots of grits left over and I’m eyeing them for breakfast. There are 3 separate recipes in this one blog post. Please be patient with me.

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London Broil

  • 2-3 lb London Broil
  • 1 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/3 cup Lime juice
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  1. Combine spices, herbs, lime juice, & soy sauce. Place London Broil in a 1 gallon zip top bag, pour marinade over, close & place in fridge for 8-12 hours.
  2. Pull out 90 minutes prior to cooking. This is a very thick cut of meat that you want at room temp all the way through,
  3. Line a jelly roll pan with foil, place a wire cooling rack on top on the jelly roll pan, place the London Broil in the center of the rack
  4. PreHeat Broiler at 500
  5. Place Broil under the Broil for 12 minutes flip then cook for another 12 minutes ( London Broil is typically served rare to mid rare, my family choose the rare option)
  6. Rest Broil for 7 minutes slice thin and serve over Goaty Grits.

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Peppers, Onions & Mushrooms

  • 2 Bell Peppers any color other than green slice thinly
  • 1 medium red onion sliced thinly
  • 12 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 TBSP Lime Juice
  • Salt Pepper to taste
  1. In a large heavy bottom skillet heat the EVOO over med heat
  2. Add mushrooms and onions cook for 5 min turning frequently
  3. When onions & mushrooms start browning add in the peppers cook for 2 min
  4. Turn heat to high add lime juice let veggies caramelize getting a bit dark.
  5. Serve immediately with London Broil

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Goaty Grits

  • 1 tub Garbo Goat Cheese
  • 4 ounces Skyr Tykke
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (In meals like this I prefer to count the loving smiles at my table not the calories)
  • 1 Cup Stone Ground Yellow Grits
  • 2 tsp salt

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  1. In a 6 quart pan bring water, milk & heavy cream to a boil
  2. Add salt & grits stirring often you don’t want to scorch you milk
  3. As the grits thicken up  about 10 min stir in remaining ingredients stirring often. Cook for another 5 minutes or until grits are tender.
  4. Serve under London broil &  Pepper, Mushrooms, & Onions Mixture.

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Lucy lives and works on Ninja Cow Farm. Most days you'll find her tending to the garden or working in the store. She has worked in restaurants and as a personal Chef.

Your local source for beyond organic beef and pork