Sunday, January 31, 2010

Secret supper # 1

Last night we held the first of a series of farm to fork dinners. We had about 20 guests and featured our farm raised Mangalitsa pork. It was truly a delightful evening and everyone had a great time and he food was delicious. heres the menu.

Appetizer: Crispy Mangalitsa bacon wrapped water chestnuts.

Starter: Maple Rock Farm winter foraged mixed greens served with hand crafted multi grain rolls.

Main Course: Roasted leg of Mangalitsa (fresh ham) served with garden fresh broccoli, braised cabbage, grits and red eye gravy.

For dessert we had kabocha sweet squash cheesecake with a bourbon sour cream topping.

I really had a fun time doing this and am happy that a long standing ambition has become a reality. My goal is to provide great food created from what we and our friends grow in a unique setting to create a food memory that will last a lifetime. We'll be doing more dinners soon. You can e mail us if you would like to be on the list.

Keep well,

Farmer John

Saturday, January 23, 2010

This little piggie goes to market

We slaughtered our last two hogs this past week. It all went pretty well. Those guys sure are wooly this time of year. Scraping them is no small task. It's about a four to five hour job to get one in the cooler ready to be cut and wrapped. Mostly done, I need to cure my bacon and grind a few pounds for sausage and I'll be done. I've been nibbling here and there. They sure are tasty.

It's been a busy January. Getting a few folks re-upping their CSA accounts for the season. Nice to see a little cash flow. The school lunch went well and all sights are now set on the first farm to fork dinner we are hosting on the 30th. We booked up in about two days. I will have another scheduled in a few days. I think we're onto something here. I'm very excited.

With the warm weather I should be out there planting some things. Just havn't worked up the gumption yet. Soon, I promise. Seed orders will start going in this week. I have some seed remaining from last year which will help keep my cost down. I also have three tons of fertilizer on hand and will not need to purchase any this year. Thats a fairly substantial cost for us that we don't have to worry about. Cost cutting is a big theme this year. We've got a few things to rein in on for sure.

Our internship posistions are filled and it looks like we have a great crew set for this year. I sometimes have returns from the previous year. This year it's a clean slate. Looking forward to the promise of a fresh start.

I have a feeling that this is going to be a great year.

Keep well and thanks for tuning in.

Farmer John

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Post #100

Seriously this is my 100th post. It seems with the coming of facebook, myspace, twitter and the like that blogs like this may fall behind. People are perhaps not nto a longer post. I'll keep them to the poignent.

There is seriously alot to do right now. Feeling those mini waves of anxieital rush. Seeds to order, seeds to sow, farm plan to write, farm clean up and organize, maintenance and getting equipment ready to go, pigs to slaughter, fences to build and mend. finalization of intenships This is supposed to be my down time isn't it. Ahhh no rest for the wicked. Don't forget to paint the bathroom dude.

CSA mailers just went out. Tha's always a good feeling. I hope those of you whom are existing members and or are becoming new members will realize the importance of sending in your payments as soon as you can. We've got alot on our plates this year that is going to require a continual flow of cash.

The first farm dinner is set for the 30th of this month. I need sixteen people to make it happen. We'll be featuring the Mangalitsa hog we raised. For those of you in the know, a rare treat indeed. This may well be the first and last time we have them. The breeder of the Wooly Pigs has moved to Iowa and it's unlikely it will be cost effective for us to get piglets from him in the future.

Also, next week I'm cooking at the school cafeteria. Beef stew, grandma's mac n' cheese, coleslaw and applesauce. Cost is just $5.00 and I'm hoping to serve 400 lunches. I need your help to hit that mark. It's happening on Thursday the 21st from 11:30 till 12:30ish.

Ok there we are short and sweet as promised. Take care all,

Farmer John

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Iron Chefs In The White House Garden

Did anyone see Iron Chef on Sunday? The secret ingredient was anything from the White House garden. They also were using naturally grown pork, chicken and turkey raised within a 100 mile radius of DC. Pretty cool. A marketing coup deluxe. Someone was very much thinking ahead of the game on this one. Hats off and my utmost respect to our first lady. Mrs. Obama... you rock and thank you for starting a garden.

The best part was seeing the garden. Now I've seen a lot of gardens and this might be the nicest first year one I have ever seen. Everything looked healthy and verdant. Beautiful fennel and the sweet potatoes looked perfect. Really nice!

I noticed online that the garden only cost $200.00 start. That's my only problem with it. No one starts a garden for that sum and how much were the care takers paid to maintain it? I wish they would just give the real dirt here. If I am wrong and the garden was tended by amatuers I'd be very surprised but happy.

Anyway, way cool in my book.

Farmer John