Freezer cleanout sale!

Calling all dog lovers and fatback lovers.

Yesterday we brought home our latest load of fresh beef. As part of getting everything ready, Lucy cleaned out one of our freezers so it could defrost before all the beefy goodness showed up. In the bottom of the freezer we’d tucked away beef hearts, kidneys, salted fatback, things like that. Rather than put all that stuff back into a freezer, we popped it into our emergency backup freezer which normally isn’t running. We are going to hold this stuff through the weekend and we are blowing it out for you fine folks.

Princess with a beef heart
The Princess, modeling a beef heart. One of seven we have on hand.

If you are a dog lover we have all the awesome bits for you. Today and tomorrow, we will be selling everything in that freezer for $1.00 per pound. Whatever it is. Just come in and ask to look through the pile of stuff and see if Fido can get some awesome treats for this weekend. We also have a bunch of salted fatback from our delicious, never grain fed pigs.

We’ll be open today from 2-6 and tomorrow from 8-5. Just pop in and take a look around. We’ve completely changed the store and we have new products showing up today. I haven’t even had time to write about them yet.

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Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, 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.

We are hosting an event on April 19th, and you’re invited

Last year I was the (wholly ineffective) President of the Wake County Agribusiness Council. This year, on a day when I was absent from the meeting, they decided to have their annual farm tour at our farm. That sounds like a “you missed the meeting so get the bad job” description but it’s actually very cool.

The spring farm tour has always been really cool when I’ve attended. The agribusiness council always picks an awesome place and has a great event. Having it at our place is a really big honor.  Plus, they serve breakfast which makes it that much better. If having breakfast isn’t enough, the fact that the who’s who in Wake County shows up to see what is going, makes it all the more enticing. By who’s who, I mean County Commissioners, Court Justices, local dignitaries, that kind of thing.

Now I know what you’re thinking.

“Why would people like that come to your farm?”

I know, right? I thought the same thing. But then I received the announcement that Taylor Fish whipped up (Hi Taylor!). If I didn’t see my name on the top and already know better, I’d want to go see this place too. Here is a link to the invitation Taylor sent out.

Sounds pretty cool. So I already have to pretend to know what I’m doing at this thing at Fearrington Village. Now I have to pretend to be an adult at my own place on April 19th. That’s not to mention our open barn day on May 6th. Boy, spring got busy in a hurry!

If you want to attend, simply RSVP to 919-250-1053 or email Dale Threatt-Taylor by April 17th so we can order
enough breakfast for everyone.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, 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.

Capturing a swarm, the ninja way

Last Saturday we were enjoying the beautiful weather and all the goodness that is a busy Saturday. As I was walking over for a late lunch I looked into the pasture and stopped in my tracks. I saw bees flying. A bunch of bees. I’d seen this once before and not known it was a swarm. This time I was older and smarter. I stopped and checked to see where the swarm was heading while simultaneously texting Jennifer with Buck Naked Farm “Swarm at my place!” I grabbed Spork and pulled him into this, while I hoped that the bees would go to the tree they seemed to be meandering towards. About 10 minutes later, the bees had settled onto a high branch in the tree and Jennifer had texted she’d be here in 15 minutes. Since she lives 15 minutes away, that’s a pretty stunning response. That was 15 minutes from when I texted her originally. A swarm is a big deal!

I tried to use our bucket truck but we’d broken something inadvertently while fixing it that week which I didn’t realize till I tried to raise the boom. Oh well, plan B.

I went and grabbed the backhoe and pulled it into place while Jennifer was gearing up in all her bee paraphernalia. We had a funny moment as we were both quickly and professionally setting up when Jennifer looked at the backhoe, then looked at me and said, “Who’s going up in the bucket?” Since she was wearing all the bee gear, and I was garbed in a t-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops I kinda assumed she was going up. However my response was, “Can you run the tractor?” “Um, no.”  “Then I guess it’s you going up.”

This is important, because Jennifer is afraid of heights. Like, a lot. However that swarm wasn’t going to get itself so she steeled her courage and hopped into the bucket. You’ll note in the picture that I’ve put down the rear stabilizers so that there was no wobble in the tractor as she moved around. That and moving very slowly was the best I could do.

Jennifer in the bucket of the backhoe getting a swarm of bees.
Jennifer in the bucket of the backhoe getting a swarm of bees

When you capture a swarm, the way it works is the bees all cluster around the queen and hang out while the scout bees go look for a new home. The swarm is very docile during this period so it’s just a matter of getting under the swarm with a box, and then brushing the bees into the box. No bid deal as long as you don’t mind 20,000 bees falling into your lap.

Then you check to see if the queen made it into the box. If so, you simply wait because the rest of the bees will eventually work their way into the box to be with the queen. Simple.

After brushing the first batch into the box, Jennifer checks for the queen. luckily we got her the first time so this one was easy.

Btw, as an aside, as Jennifer is up there in all her gear. I’m standing on the hood getting this video, in the previously mentioned flip-flop attire. Yes I did get stung. Yes, I need sympathy. The things I do for you folks.

Success! The queen is in the box
Success! The queen is in the box
Swarm in a temorary box
Checking for extra queens

Jennifer was very happy to be back on the ground with a captured swarm. I’m not sure if the ground was the highlight, or the capture. Either way, she was pretty happy.

Swarms are not good for a beekeeper. It means that the remaining hive will not have any real production that year. However swarms are a result of having a really good beekeeper. They are a sign that the hive is doing well. In fact the bees are doing so well that they decide that they should split in half and make two hives. That is what a swarm is, it’s reproduction, almost like a cell dividing. It’s natural and a good thing.

By capturing the swarm and giving them a new, safe, warm home, we haven’t lost production, we’ve gained another hive. Neither hive will have much production individually but having both is a net gain. Couple that with the package bees Jennifer had already ordered, and we have a very active bee yard this year, which is great because we are powering through the honey in the store. I had to do an emergency order with Jennifer because we were out of our big honey and almost out of our mediums. I didn’t realize we sold so much.

The swarm, almost all in the box
The swarm, almost all in the box

It was a pretty cool afternoon. The only downside was the bucket truck not working, but Miguel fixed that the next week so all is good on the farm.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, 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.

Arroz Con Pollo

My family has only been in NC for 2 years. We moved here from Orlando, FL in March of 2014. I miss my friends, my family, and not much else except for food. Cuban food to be exact! While in Florida, Cuban food became a mainstay not only in my house but also for my clients. We all loved it.

My favorite Cuban Restaurant was The Columbia. When we left Florida our last meal was from there. My first trip back I grabbed their family cookbook & history. Every time we visit ¾ of the meals we eat come from there. Seriously it is great food.   My recipe today is based off of The Columbia’s  Arroz Con Pollo which if you heard me pronounce it sounds nothing like how it should be pronounced. The difference is in the marinade.

The ingredients from the NCF store in this recipe are Chorizo $8.00lb & Chicken Leg Quarters $5.00 lb. In each pack of Chorizo is typically 4 links. The Chicken Leg Quarters are from Brittany Ridge Farm and are typically packaged 2 per pack.  The total cost for this family meal was a bit high at  around $22 for all for the ingredients.  I still have ingredients left over though for another meal down the road.

Store Manager and resident chef at Ninja Cow Farm LLC
Lucy lives and works on Ninja Cow Farm. Most days you'll find her tending to the garden or working in the store. She's cooked in restaurants and as a Personal Chef.

Don’t go around hungry

We are open today from 2-6. Stop by and see Lucy and get something good for dinner.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, 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.

We’ve picked our first new vendor!

I’m placing my first order today, for our first new vendor for the store. As we bring in new folks, I plan on letting everyone know what is coming and why we picked them so be prepared for lots of posts like this. But our first vendor is special beyond being a supplier of goods to us.

We’ve looked at farmers, sauce makers, etc. But the first question SWMBO asked herself when we decided to expand the store was, “What do I buy at the grocery store all the time.” The answer? Peanuts.

You see, I have an affliction. It’s not my fault, it came from my father. My father always had peanuts on hand. He ordered them special from Georgia I think. He gave them out as Christmas presents to his customers every year. He routinely, when walking through the kitchen, would grab a handful. When he ate ice cream, he’d dabble a few on top. He didn’t pour through them. He didn’t eat large quantities, but he always had a few here or there as a quick snack.

SWMBO can’t have bread in the house. Or potato chips. Or chocolate. They all call to her and she must obey. With me, it’s peanuts. Despite my protests that she quit buying them, she lovingly (and evilly) keeps the pantry stocked with peanuts for me.

So when it was time to look for something for the store, peanuts were the first thing she went for. In that search, she came across a very special place. Oberry story, history, slow nuts

Maybe we are the last people to hear about this place. Like most things of this nature, we tend to ignore it unless we have a loved one who is affected. But as we learned more we were very interested in helping the O’Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center.

Potter working pottery at the O'Berry center
The picture located just below the story in their store

They have limited production, as you would expect. They were worried we might ask for too much product. We won’t.

We were worried that some of their products weren’t as wholesome or natural as we’d normally carry. Some of the candied nuts have corn syrup in them (it’s how you make a candy shell). There was much debate over if this was acceptable.

In the end, we found that helping the O’Berry center in our tiny way was absolutely what we were going to do. Plus their peanuts are awesome so I’m happy. The kids, who also love peanuts, are happy. And the Mrs, who is watching my pants get snug, is happy.

I hope you are happy.

We don’t have an exclusive deal and we don’t want one. You can drive to Goldsboro and visit their gorgeous store. Maybe you’ll get to meet Shirley, who is our contact there. At 70 she has more energy than SWMBO and I combined and she is a delight to talk to. (Hi Shirley!) They have peanuts, snack mixes, pottery, crafts, soaps, and lotions. We are ordering a smattering of all of it for the store. It will all be priced at the same price they sell it for. It’s all made by the residents there, with lots of help from the professional staff.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, 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.

Parmesan Pork Chops

You’re probably going “Lucy knows it’s chicken parmesan, right?”. Yes I do know, when a craving hits & there is a chicken breast shortage hits (now remedied), you substitute. In this case I used Pork Chops from the NCF farm store coming in at $9.50 lb. It makes for a good fall meal on these still cooling off nights.

In my pictures you will notice the bone & extra fat. Don’t do what I did and leave those on. My crew was startled to find they couldn’t cut their meat under layers of sauce and cheese, from now on I will use my noodle a bit better and remove the extra fat as well as the bone.

There is no Parmesan cheese in Parmesan dishes. Why?? The dish is named for the area it is from in France.  Also I do not add my seasoning to the breading. I season the meat after egging. I’ve found that this adds a bit more flavor to my fried dishes. And please make sure to let the meat come to room temperature before frying. Cold meat in a fryer = burnt breading

Store Manager and resident chef at Ninja Cow Farm LLC
Lucy lives and works on Ninja Cow Farm. Most days you'll find her tending to the garden or working in the store. She's cooked in restaurants and as a Personal Chef.

7125 Old Stage Road Raleigh NC