Tuesday, March 30, 2010

St. Paul Drop Site

We have a St. Paul drop site!
We will be delivering shares to Mississippi Market Co-op (West 7th location) on Wednesday afternoons.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Baby Pics

The brassicas are up and running!

Feel free to print out wallet sized photos and pass them around to friends and relatives.

Actually...these babies are now much older...with true leaves and everything. It goes so fast! One minute you are seeding soil blocks, the next, they are asking for the keys to the car!

Draft Horse Ploughing

The Plow: "An implement used to cut, lift, and turn over soil."
(Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

And, a thing of simple beauty! We wanted to see if the definition of a plow really didn't contain the need for diesel fuel and soil compaction. We decided to embark upon a grand experiment.

We began with an old walking plow. And had no idea how to use it.

We found Fran. He learned to plow back in the 40s at the ripe old age of 1o years old. He leaned on the back end of our pick-up, gazed long and hard at our newly acquired plow and said:
"Well.....you sure got yourself a beauty there!"

We took his word for it. Asked him if there was anything we needed to know about plowing behind horses with one of these things:

"Well....you'll figure it out when you're doing it.
So we found Ken.
Ken has 10 lovely Shire Horses. (With a Capital S.) He helped us bring the old girl back. Soon our ploughshare was shined and ready for the soil!

Indy and Dance came walking up our driveway. The hens scattered. The cats hid. The goats...admired these two fine looking giant goats.
Here Shane and Ken are hooking them up to the double tree and the plow.
And they're off! The first furrow was a bit wobbly. Old-timers say that the measure of a man's success in life, and whether he will amount to anything in life can be seen in how his field has been plowed.
No pressure though.
Shane and Ken did indeed figure it out as they went. They found out how to set the plow lower in the earth, and adjust the cutting wheel. The tool is a thing of simple well-thought out beauty.
When you walk behind the horses you can hear the sound of the plough slicing the earth like butter, as it lays the sod and soil over. Indy learned to walk in the furrow and they both pulled like champions.
Did it work?
Bet your life!
We have a nicely plowed ring around the CSA vegetable field. Next week: more! And also: horse-drawn discing!
Experienced Teamsters and Ploughmen say that when you plow year after year with horses your soil is spongy as foam.
Happy Horses. Happy Soil. Happy Farmer.

Meet Pepper and Salt!

Ginger dropped two lovely does as the sun was setting Wednesday.
With a little help they were up an nursing right off! We've christened them Pepper and Salt!

There really isn't anything quite like birth! The initial gasp of joy and emotion, the panic to rush in and do something, the reason telling you to leave Mama to her work, and then....the beautiful wave of humility that washes over a farmer when he realizes he had so little to do with this grand miracle. We have never experienced Spring so deeply!
We lost Dixie's twins. It was a hard birth, and one was born almost dead.
Mama is doing fine, and the hens have come to keep her company this morning.
The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Heaven on Earth

There are few things in this world that will bring as much domestic bliss to you and your family as a roasted chicken will.

A chicken slathered in butter or rubbed with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper and your herb of choice, and roasting away for an hour in a hot oven will:

calm your nerves
enflame amorous passion in your spouse
delight your children
and pretty much heal the world of all its ills

Yet oddly enough, in this strange age, many are unfamiliar with whole chickens. They are a sublime and simple Sunday dinner, and yet they are largely untried.
In my own childhood I was only ever acquainted with packages of cellophane wrapped breasts and thighs and legs resting sedately on thick pads of styrofoam. I had never ever seen with my own eyes the kind of bird that could stand on its own two legs on the kitchen counter and entertain its guests with a little rumba before being popped into the oven.

And then one day I happened across "Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home" at our local library. It was in that book that I found the words:

"Not everything that I do with my roast chicken
is necessarily scientific. Many aspects of my method
are based on my feeling
and experience...."

(So far, yawn. But now comes the next part:)

"For instance, I always give my bird a generous
butter massage before I put it in the oven. Why?
Because I think the chicken likes it-and, more important,
I like to give it."

That's the imcomprable Julia Child. Jacques Pepin proved equally educational and entertaining.

And when you hold your first whole chicken, naked, in your hands, you will know instinctively that every word she wrote about the subject is TRUE. Absurd. Silly. And even slightly risque, but oh so true!

Since we are offering little flower farm CSA members the opportunity to purchase pastured whole chickens, we thought it only right we pass on our tried and ture family recipe so that you will:

1. Spread the Joy!

2. Send in your meat order!

First off: Obtain a good chicken.

Jacques Pepin writes:

"I always try to get real organic free-range chickens.
I find that they have more flavor- a result, I believe, of
more natural diet and growing conditions."

(Need I mention that our chickens are not only free-range, but they are also sung old irish airs and ditties and are soothed by gentle petting before they are dispatched?)

Next: Preheat oven to 400-425 degrees. (Don't be afraid of the high heat! It's the cook's best friend!)

Now: Rinse and pat chicken dry. At this point get the kids involved. Allow them to put on one last "chicken can-can dance".

Next: Slather their hands with olive oil or soft butter and, as Julia says, massage that chicken because "it likes it."

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and your herb of choice. We often use sage or thyme. Sometimes Rosemary.

Rest the chicken in a baking dish and add about 1 Cup of water to the dish to increase pan juices for a gravy later.

Roast for 1 hour and 10minutes to 1 hour and 1/2.

Now: (IMPORTANT!!!) Remove chicken from dish, place on a plate and cover with foil. It must rest for 20 minutes. This is what gives you a moist chicken instead of a dry one which you apologize to dinner guests for. After 20 minutes the juices will have distributed evenly and all will be well.

While your chicken is resting, and composing itself for its big entrance, make your gravy from the pan juices.

The word "roux" is French, and as such presents something of an obstacle to the midwestern mind. But contrary to all the rumours it is the simplest thing in the world.

Take a TBsp (or 2) of butter and melt it in a small saucepan.

Add a heaping giant spoonful of flour and whisk it together.

Next add your pan juices in a steady stream whisking all the while, and then add 1/2 cup (or more if you wish) of chicken stock, white wine, or water even.

Let it bubble away till thickened and your last magic ingredient (besides pepper) will be salt. Salt to taste- which means TASTE IT! Salt has made the difference many a time between a gravy and something too rapturous and scrumptious to decently and dignifiedly elaborate on.

This chicken is how you:
1. Make toddlers happy (and quiet.)
2. Greet a hungry husband after a long hard day at work
3. Greet a hungry wife after a long hard day at work
4.Propose to the girl of your dreams
5. Create domestic bliss in exactly one hour and a half
6. Change the blessed world one meal at a time.


When you take that first bite
I guarantee you will SWEAR
Luciano Pavorotti is singing
"NESSUN DORMA" in your head.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


We will be delivering veggie shares on Wednesday afternoons to:

River Market Co-op, Stillwater

2634 Westergren Ct., White Bear Lake

Eastside Co-op, Minneapolis

St. Paul , Mississippi Market (West 7th location)

You are also welcome to come out to the farm to pick up your share.


We will be at the Eastside Co-op CSA Fair
April 10th from 11:00 to 2:00
(2551 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN)

and also at Seward Co-op's CSA Fair on
April 24th from 11-3.

There will be plenty of pictures for you to see of Ginger and Dixie
(the most bodacious dairy goats of the St. Croix River Valley,) and of our lovely laying hens et alia. Drop in for more info about our farm....or just to say hello!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Eggs are now available for sale at
Loomes Booksellers in Stillwater. (Coolest place to shop for old tomes ever!)

320 North Fourth Street
Stillwater, MN 55082

$3.50/dozen for non-members and $2.50/dozen for our CSA members
All layed by extremely lovely free rangin' ladies. Watch their color deepen as the grass (and all good green stuff) emerges. They welcome notes of appreciation (and rapture) as well as boxes of chocolates.


Monday, March 8, 2010


We will be at River Market's CSA Fair
this Saturday (March 13th) from 1-4.

221 North Main St.
Stillwater MN

Stop by for a chat!