We have improved our CSA

CSAs for meat are a little tricky. For example, explaining our “no mystery cuts” assurance is best done in person. We also have more flexibility in our program than most – don’t hesitate to talk to us with any questions and suggestions!

The meat CSA is designed to give you the variety, flexibility and value to meet modern tastes in an economical way.  By working together, we can meet your eating requirements while making Webster Ridge function better.

Here is a chart of typical contents for the three current size offerings:

Cut (all in pounds) Small Medium Large
Ground Beef 2 3 4
Stew 1 2 2
Sirloin Steak 1.25 1.25 1.25
Chicken 4.5 4.5 4.5
Pork Chops 1 2 2
Ground (Sausage or plain) 1 1 2
Bacon 1 1 1
(Pork and/or Beef) Braise or Oven Roast N/A 2.5 2 @ 2.5

Our CSA ranges from $95 to $155 per month, in 3 month increments. By signing up for 3 months, you help us to predict and meet demand.  We give you a discount from retail prices and you get convenience,  menu planning and Webster Ridge Quality.

The expectation is that you are pretty much finishing last month’s share when you pick up this month’s share.

We are going to a new Farmers Market on Tuesdays

I tried my hand at drawing the Contoocook Farmers Market on July 4th.
I tried my hand at drawing the Contoocook Farmers Market on July 4th.

We are attending another Farmers Market on Tuesdays at Horseshoe Pond in Concord 2 o’clock to 5:30pm. Come on down to the Market!

What to do with a pork shoulder for New Years Eve or anytime-updated

posolePosole is the answer! It is a pork stew with hominy and can be hot or not. My husband and I first had Posole in Albuquerque New Mexico while visiting my best friend at Christmas time  close to 20 years ago. It can be soupy or more like a stew. You can use turkey,beef or lamb when making Posole and it can be made with red chili or green chili/Tomatillo.

It is best to braise the meat a day before and then put together the rest of the soup or stew. I have found a variety of recipes and they are all different. The condiments we serve with the Posole are cilantro,sour cream,red onion and lime wedges ,but you can add anything you want. Since it was New Years Eve we had Pomegranate-Ginger champagne cocktails using Fre Brut (alcohol removed Champagne) producing a slightly sweet and tart drink that went well with the Posole. Try it sometime I think you’ll like it!

 

I am very thankful for my neighbors and my mother in law……

Thanksgiving Brioche with cranberries and crystalized ginger.
Thanksgiving Brioche with cranberries and crystallized ginger.

We lost power on Wednesday at 4pm and got our power back around 4pm on Thanksgiving day. We were lucky that we got our power back so quickly. We

Thanks Arthur Mountain for growing such a delicious turkey
Thanks Arthur Mountain for growing such a delicious turkey

are also blessed with awesome neighbors who had a generator and we cooked the 1/2 turkey on their grill. My mother in law was a trooper with the cold and lack of running water at our house. She stayed cheerful and was bundled up like the Michelin man, but she never complained. We did get our wood stove going, but we didn’t have much wood as we normally don’t use the stove. We tend to keep our house pretty cold, but we raised the heat to 63 and when we had power my mother in laws room had an oil heater to keep her toasty.

The snow was so heavy it was difficult to shovel and again our neighbors came to our rescue and lent us their extra snow blower, which made clean up easier. Despite the power outage we had a great thanksgiving thanks to the kindness of our neighbors and the positive attitude of my mother in law.

Out in the field on Thanksgiving morning
Out in the field on Thanksgiving morning

Summer is almost here! Look at that long lush grass…..and it is 49 degrees…….

From L to R Mertz & her 2 lambs ivory and ebony and Miss Donkey enjoying the green grass!
From L to R
Mertz & her 2 lambs ivory and ebony and Miss Donkey enjoying the green grass!

The Month of May has just flown by.We have been busy putting up more permanent fence and chasing sheep who are determined to jump any low or sagging piece of electronet. In order to keep the sheep from jumping the fence we ordered more rolls of the tallest electronet and it arrives today.

Rocky the Mighty Rooster! Who ate you?
Rocky the Mighty Rooster! Who ate you?

We woke up on Friday morning last week to find out that  some predator  ate our rooster Rocky…he was such a nice rooster and was  awesome at protecting the hens from aerial predators. We miss him!

 

Spring has sprung and is quickly moving right into summer, black flies, ticks and all!

The Pear tree is just staring to bloom!
The Pear tree is just staring to bloom!
Finally they decided to come up!
The asparagus finally  decided to come up!
Red Feathered Broiler
These chicks may look ugly now, but they are great foragers enjoying the grass and the bugs!

We are in the middle of May and I  look at the calendar in amazement. Where did the month of April go? Wasn’t there snow on the ground a little while ago? Now all I see is clouds of black flies framed on a light green background.  The landscape is getting greener, the asparagus are coming up and  the chicks are  bigger and look less ugly.  I love this time of year as we have access to our own asparagus,eggs and greens from local farmers and we are enjoying each dish and every bite!

We are moving along with our permanent fencing and have endured black fly attacks ,escaping/leaping sheep and  the ticks  that are trying to make us miserable.

But I wouldn’t give up this time of year for the world. I love the change from the light green,somewhat bleak spring landscape to the green leafy cool of the summer forest. Earlier this week at dusk while I was walking by a neighbors farm and the noise made by the peepers was deafening . At the same time I could here the pair of loons on Walker Pond just south east of our property line. Yes, as my mother would say “Spring has sprung”!

Lamb Polenta “Lasagne”-Pick up ground lamb at the Weare winter market or at the farm!

lplasagne
end view of the Lamb Polenta “Lasagne”

*Please note: Sorry for the inconvenience but we will not be at the Contoocook market 4/26 & 5/3-But I will be at The Weare Winter Market 4/25 & 5/2 or you can arrange to pick up at the farm- I will have eggs with me on 4/25 & 5/2 at the Weare Market!

We have  lean ground lamb and if you are looking for a rich tasting and filling main dish you need to try Lamb Polenta “lasagne”. This recipe is a great chance to use the stew tomatoes you put up on the shelf or in the freezer last fall. The recipe says not to use lean lamb,but I found that it tasted great,I just didn’t drain the cooked lamb before I added the tomatoes. I don’t use ready-made polenta ,but make it fresh the day before(or earlier in the day I plan to use it) and put it in a 13x9x2 pan ,which is larger than the pan I plan to use for the “lasagne”.  By using a larger pan to make the polenta, it guarantees that you will be able to overlap the layers in a smaller pan.

added some Mexican cheese ,since the Mozzarella was a bit skimpy.
added some Mexican cheese ,since the Mozzarella was a bit skimpy.

Polenta

1 cup instant polenta, 3-3 1/2 cups (a mix of) stock or water & Milk+ 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional but adds zip to the polenta), 1/2 c  grated Parmesan, 1/2 tsp salt(optional,especially if you are using stock)

Bring the liquid to a boil , slowly stir in polenta , whisk constantly for 2-6minutes till the polenta pulls away from the sides of the pan. Take off heat and add cheese, mix and pour into greased pan -cover with plastic wrap or greased parchment paper pressed lightly against the surface of the hot polenta,chill 3-4 hrs.

When you are ready to make the “lasagne” take the polenta  out of the fridge and release the polenta from the pan and cut it through the middle like you would with a cake  to put in filling. Then cut it into equal squares/rectangle to place in your pan and follow the directions in the Epicurious recipe for assembling the “lasagne”.  ENJOY!

 

 

 

 

The Chicks are Here!!!!!!!!!!! We will have lamb and eggs at the Weare Winter Market!!

chick Pictures from 2 yrs ago
chick Pictures from 2 yrs ago

*Please note: Sorry for the inconvenience but we will not be at the Contoocook market 4/26 & 5/3-But I will be at The Weare Winter Market 4/25 & 5/2 or you can arrange to pick up at the farm- I will have eggs with me on 4/25 & 5/2 at the Weare Market!

The Meat chicks are here and soon the egg layer chicks will arrive! The picture on the left is from 2 yrs ago when we had a very early warm spring and we could start the chicks in an outdoor pen. This year we need to start them in the hen house on the north side of the house.
Due to the predation problem ( aerial  and weasel type predators) we have to raise the chicks in the hen house. But once they get bigger we can let them out onto the grass in an enclosure and close them back in the hen house at night to keep them safe.

The lambs are growing in leaps and bounds! But the fields are greening very slow due to the latest cold snap. With the nice weather(some of the time) all the animals  are getting restless to get out in the fields and are trying to escape through any opening possible. We have the electric fencing up and  running but only in a limited area. Once the ground dries out a bit we will start stringing up permanent wire fencing. I am hoping to get more fencing up before the tick population takes off.

The Chicks will arrive soon!* Please read note below

*Please note: We will not be at the Contoocook market 4/26 & 5/3-But I will be at The Weare Winter Market 4/25 & 5/2 or you can arrange to pick up at the farm-Sorry for the inconvenience!

Yes, Spring has finally come, even though there is still snow on the ground! It is time to order chicks, we will order meat bird chicks and The Chicks are due soon!25 layer chicks! The lambs are getting big and all the animals are hoping it won’t be long till they get out in the fields. They expressed their desire  to get out in the fields on Friday afternoon when they pushed open an untied gate . Luckily they are easy to move , I came out of the house and said ” what are you guys doing?” , their answer was to run back through the gate they had pushed open. We still have too much snow in the fields to activate our electric fence and it is too early to work on setting posts and running solid wire fence. Mud season will be here soon enough and after the ground settles down we can get the animals back out in their fields.

We had more than a foot of snow…………. Time to make Pork Ragout with polenta!

It isn’t that cold,but working outside makes me hungry! I am using a recipe from the Williams-Sonoma  cookbook called ” Cooking At Home”(pg.293) and  I used pork Kabobs  from our freezer . I used White Balsamic vinegar  instead of Balsamic vinegar and didn’t add the dried tomatoes ,as I don’t have any. The recipe I am putting in this blog is from Food.com and it is the same recipe as in the Williams-Sonoma cookbook. For some reason Williams-Sonoma website does not like my web browser and complains , it makes it very difficult to give you the recipe directly from them. I made a marmalade cake and of course I didn’t follow the directions, but it looks good,we will see how it tastes…………. The recipe is from the New York times and made my Melissa Clark. I should have watched the video while I was making the cake, but I was too busy with the stew……….oh well, I’ll let you know how it turned out!

Update 2/18 :The cake was pretty good, maybe next time I can follow the directions!  The Pork Ragout was very tasty but I wouldn’t cut the pieces as small the next time and cook longer till it falls apart.

Looking outside our front window
Looking outside our front window

As I write, it is snowing again and we expect to get 6-8 inches. The difference between this storm and  the one last Thursday is  the heaviest snow  will fall over a 6-8 hr period(1pm-7pm) . I am still helping my former bottle baby with her lamb Snow. The lamb is getting some milk but not enough to make her fat. I really don’t want to bottle feed her,but we may still have to supplement her once or twice a day for a while.