I need a quick meal

I am always searching for quick meals to prepare on the fly for my family on those crazy schedule days. Last week happen to be one of those weeks. We had one package of defrosted bbq pork left over from the open barn day. I decided to make southern nachos…I call it southern since it’s vinegar based and I’m a northern girl who loves my sweet bbq.

My nachos are always prepared in the oven on a cookie sheet and of course with mamsita.  I jokingly tell everyone who asks my opinion about Mamasita’s tortilla chips that they are “crack in a bag”. Once you open that bag, you will eat them all…lol. Lay the chips evenly, top with bbq pork and cheese. Another layer of chips, meat, cheese.

Pop in the oven set at 350 for less then 8 min. As every oven varies, keep watching so not to burn. I pull out and top with more cheese. Divide up and top with more deliciousness like salsa, tomatoes, sour cream, jalapenos, olives, avocado or even guacamole.  I’ll share with you one of my cheats….mash avocado, pour some salsa and stir to desired consistency.

We are officially out of raw cow milk

Friday I spent the day hauling cows, specifically milk cows, off the farm. Milking on this farm has ended and all of our milking will be happening at our other farm going forward. Unfortunately that means we will be without cow milk from now till August/September of this year when the cows at the other farm have their calves. We are working on a way to have limited goats milk as early as next week.

Our now former milk cows have moved onto other farms, Hedy specifically moving onto a nice family farm in Oxford along with all of our milking equipment. This family had just moved back onto their family farm and they were making a go of turning it into their own style of farm. They were excited and nervous to get into milking. I gave them as good of an explanation as I could, and dropped off an excellent cow. The biggest thing I told them was to not expect to have success for the first week. It takes about a week for a cow to get into a routine and with milking, routine is what you want.

When I checked in with them they of course had the usual problems in their first milkings. Equipment problems, accidentally contaminated milk, etc. Hopefully my setting expectations prepared them so they weren’t too disappointed. Yesterday I received this picture.

Two gallons of milk on the counter
Two gallons of milk ready to go in the fridge. Success!

Milking had gone well and they’d finally gotten some usable, clean, fresh milk. They are a nice family and I couldn’t be happier that Hedy has gone to such a nice farm.

So we will only have Simply Natural Dairy cows milk in the store for the next few months. Once we start getting raw milk in the store again, we will post and let everyone know.

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.

Open Barn Day was a success

Last year, we had the kind of success that you want to have, until you have it. Over 2000 people visited the farm! It was crazy, and too much!

The mantra for barn day this year was “keep it under control.” We did a small ad on Facebook, and I really didn’t talk about it on the blog at all. We didn’t approach any of the local media outlets nor advertise at Angie’s. Basically we kept it quiet hoping for a more relaxed and in control event.

Prior to opening, we had about 360 people on Facebook who said they were coming to our event. Traditionally, I heavily discount whatever Facebook says but since it was the only place we had any kind of a count going, it was our best guess.

At 10am, cars started arriving but unlike last time, it was never overwhelming. We had plenty of parking staff and plenty of capacity. In fact is was a little slow, but that was a good thing. This open barn day was exactly what we wanted, a nice steady flow of people and an opportunity for new people to find out about us. 

Our plan was the same as last time. Invite some of our partner farms, show off the farm with our normal tour conducted every 1/2 hour, and get a chance to visit with customers one on one as much as possible. We also added in $5 for parking, which was one of our control measures. Some people simply won’t pay for parking. Good, we didn’t want to get overwhelmed.

Jason and Ru handing out samples
Jason and Ru handing out samples

We also had samples again, once again manned by Jason and Ru who live here on the farm. This time it was our delicious pork BBQ.

Spork giving a tour
Spork giving a tour

Spork , The Princess, and I took turns giving tours. We averaged between 10 and 40 people per tour so the group sizes were such that everyone could hear. Much better sizes than last time.

Samples from KW Collards
Samples from KW Collards

We had our vendors here as well, setup under the shade trees in the front yard. People were able to sample their wares and purchase the product in the store or if it was something we didn’t currently carry, right there at the booth. It was great for us as well, as we could bring in some new products we hadn’t tried. 

It was also an opportunity to do a little business with our partner farms. I think I wrote a check to just about everyone present either for something they delivered as part of visiting or something that was already owed and we’d just settle up when they were here. It sure saved a lot of stamps, and more importantly, it was great to visit with our farmers and catch up.

I promise we’ll post a better picture, Jennifer.

I’m trying to get this post out this morning before everything kicks off. SWMBO will get me a better picture of our good friend Jennifer from Buck Naked Farm. Sorry your eyes are closed!

Jennifer, as always, did a fantastic job with her booth and with educating people about what she does.

Aaron from Buck Naked Farm doing a lathe demonstration
Aaron from Buck Naked Farm doing a lathe demonstration

A surprise last minute add was Aaron from Buck Naked Farm. He has been teaching himself lathe turning since last year. Jennifer asked if we’d mind if he brought his lathe and did a demonstration? Of course he can! The wood lathe is my favorite tool. I love doing lathe work and grew up doing it from a very early age. I was excited to see what Aaron was doing. He did not disappoint!

All in all we had an excellent day. The weather was forecast to get bad in the afternoon but all the storms missed us. We had benign weather and good turnout. We counted cars, and then estimated people based on the cars. We had about 180 people visit the farm for Open Barn Day 2018, a number we were happy with. It was actually a little slow, but we really tried to limit our numbers after last year. We undershot, and that was on purpose. Now we know that for 2019 we can put a little more effort into getting the word out and maybe have that 300-400 number that keeps us hopping but under control.

This event is just the warm up though. We have two mud race events scheduled for this fall, one in September, one in October. One is expecting about 350 people, and one is expecting about 2000!! However we will be prepared for these numbers this time. Plus we won’t have vendors here, just the event, so there is a bit less for us to manage. 

But for this event being in the books, we are all smiles.

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.

Update to pet milk availability

The problem with getting info out as fast as possible is that it changes.

We will have milk till Friday of next week. Erin has agreed to do some extra milking to get through till then. We will still be limiting milk to one gallon per family from now till we run out.

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.

Raw milk will be temporarily out of stock starting Saturday

No sugar coating today.

Raw milk, with NC required warnings
Raw milk, and all its warnings

We are going to be without raw milk for about 2-3 months starting this weekend. We had an unexpected personnel change, which has prompted some overall changes here on the farm. Our entire milking operation is moving to our leased farm and that is going to take a couple of months to happen and be back into any sort of production. Once we are back in production at the other farm, milk will arrive once per week, not the every day delivery that we receive now.

Milk will be on allocation until we run out. That means one gallon per family.

We are still working on the details of all this as it is a work in process but for now this is the plan. We will be stocking up on Simply Natural Dairy milk for our own family as well as our customers who still want to get good milk from a small farm. For those who have to have raw, please come back and see us once we get resettled in August/September.

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.

Fall CSA is open (and almost full!)

This is my fault, not Jenn’s. She texted me the first of this week about her fall CSA. By the time I got to it today, she is down to five spots left. We had about 20 spots for the Spring CSA so things obviously went very well for Chickadee this year.

I’ve stopped in the store and spoken with customers picking up their CSA boxes. The people here have been very pleased with the quality of the produce they’ve received and I’ve heard nothing but good things.

To sign up for Chickadees fall CSA, follow the link for information.

As before, we don’t take a cut of the CSA business. We offer it as a convenience for our customers and as a way to help another small farmer  succeed.

I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t bring in another CSA as well so if you try to get in on this one and it is full, let me know and I’ll put you on the wait list.

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 have all cuts of beef in stock

I just picked up our latest cow at the processor this week, just in time for the holiday weekend. We have steaks, roasts, hamburger, everything you need in the freezer.

We also have normal stock of pork, chicken, rabbit, etc.

Ribeye steaks, ready for sale
Ribeye steaks, ready for sale

We are open today from 2-6pm, and tomorrow from 9-5pm. We will be open on Monday from 2-6pm as well.

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.

Open Barn Day June 2nd

Time: 10 am – 4 pm 

Vendor List:

Buck Naked Farm – Lathe Demonstration

Two Chicks Farm

Celebrity Goat Dairy

Yo Momma

Alarita Salsa

Cooterville Farm Goat Soap

KW Collards

Celebrity Farm House Dairy

Black Dog Gourmet Sauces

*Parking $5, No Dogs Allowed,No Smoking, we encourage carpooling & to come later in the day*

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.

What a nice surprise

Yesterday was year end testing day for our home school year. There was of course some tension as tests were taken, questions were questioned (I couldn’t figure them out either, who writes these things?) and overall it was a head down, stay busy kind of morning. I was at the house, post lunch, doing a bit of work on the laptop while the kids were doing kid stuff. I was basically waiting for Spork to finish his testing so we could work together the rest of the afternoon on the plane.

As I sit there quietly, I hear a very slight knock on the front door. Must be a kid who walked up I guess. I head over to open the door it is our lovely beekeeper from Buck Naked Farm, Jennifer. She’s holding two combs of honey in her hand, dripping honey. While working the bee hives she ended up needing to remove two partial combs and hey, Mr. Farmer, would you like some? Boy would I!

I thanked Jennifer and quickly made my way over to grab a plate to set the honey comb onto so they honey didn’t drip on the floor.

Honey comb from the 2018 season
There is no honey better than surprise honey

I used to bring this kind of thing to the kids back when I was the beekeeper. You just take a slice of the honey comb and shove it in your face and chew. The wax acts like chewing gum and the honey gushes out as you chew. It is a short lived experience, which makes it all the better. I quickly grabbed the kids from all over the house and very soon they were fighting over the last scraps and licking the plate, the stress of testing day quickly forgotten.

What a nice surprise to just show up at the door. Thank you Jennifer!

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.

#72 has a little bull calf, number 128

Wednesday of this week cow #72 had a new little bull calf, #128.

#128 lounging in the grass after being ear tagged and banded
#128 lounging in the grass after being ear tagged and banded

The calf had weak tendons in his back legs, something we’ve seen before on our farm. It isn’t very common and something we don’t normally want to see. It usually goes away after a couple of days, as the calf gets his feet under him and gains some strength. If #72 has another calf with weak tendons, then that will end her career as a mom here. Since #128 is a bull, he will not be used for breeding anyway so he can stay and be part of our program.

#72 checking on her calf
#72 checking on her calf

Update from Lucy. #72 is a cow that she had to bottle feed because when she was born she had, wait for it, weak tendons in her legs. #72 definitely has to go. She is passing bad genetics down to her offspring at this point and that cannot be allowed. Once this calf is 6 months old, which will be this fall, #72 will be heading to either the market or the processor.

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.