Remember the still, sunny evenings when you would eagerly approach our front porch with anticipation of viewing the treasures in our white coolers; beautiful, whole chickens with plump legs nicely tucked, little packages of vibrantly colored livers and hearts, and big ol’ bags of chicken feet for world-class soup stock? Remember picking the perfect bird for your Friday night family dinner, the one to accompany the fresh green beans you picked from your own garden? And remember having to run to your car to find a quarter and three pennies because you were $.28 short on the total? Well all of this is about to change (pun unintended)…at least the part about rummaging through the center consol for pennies.
Our Family Farm is now able to receive your credit or debit card as a payment option for whatever your weekly menu may demand. We’ll slide it for those delicious, rich eggs. We’ll run it through for that grass-fed and finished ground beef. We’ll swipe it for the chickens you want to fill your freezer, or the turkey you want to fill the holiday platter.
So leaved the change for the parking meter, and keep the check book in the desk collecting dust. We’ll see you soon for some good food and maybe swap a story and a smile.
A friend of Our Family Farm, Kelli Matthews decided to have a little fun with us on the farm during a perfect summer evening a few months ago. Kelli and her son met us on pasture, ready to wrangle chickens and shoot some photos for a project we are working on together. In addition to all of the cuteness of kids having conversations with baby chicks reassuring the little yellow fluff balls of their safety in little hands, Kelli captured this photo of our “Curious Chicken”. Actually, she grabbed a bunch of really nice photos we hope to share with you soon. But the reason to share our “Curious Chicken” with you is because there is a bigger story happening with it right now.
Kelli, on a whim entered her photo in the Lane County Fair agriculture photo contest. “Curious Chicken” won honorable mention! (We’re so proud of our lil’ chicken, and Kelli). Relishing in the excitement of ribbon winning, Kelli decided to take “Curious Chicken” to the next level, the Oregon Cultural Trust photo contest.
If you like the photo and care to vote it up in the ranks, check out this link to vote for it, and our chicken:) Otherwise, enjoy a really cool photo of a humble bird.
After rereading our 2010 post about tracking down local fare for your holiday meals, we decided that it was worth reposting. We hope after reading it (or maybe rereading like us:) you feel inspired to do something new and adventurous with the dinner feasts to usher out Autumn and welcome Winter.
Purchasing and eating local, natural, and seasonal foods is a growing reality for many people, perhaps even you. And why shouldn’t it be? It is exciting to provide food for your family this way; perusing colorful displays of root vegetables staring back at you from the local farmer’s market stands, and short drives out of town to visit the farms and meet the farmers raising the meat that will fill your freezer for the year. It is a healthy lifestyle that has potential to be easier on the wallet than one might think. For now, let’s unpack what is exciting about the realization of eating naturally raised, local and seasonal foods.
The cold months have arrived, and that means the excitement of the holidays has arrived as well! In whatever fashion your family gathers and celebrates, food is likely the centerpiece and if your family is lke ours, there is always plenty of it. But before great-grandma’s pumpkin pie recipe, before the hand crushed cranberry salad, before the cornucopia can cover counter tops and tables, tracking down a turkey and the rest of the holiday feast’s usual suspects needs attention.
Add Excitement to Your Family’s Holiday Food Experience
- Take advantage of the modern map and compass…the Internet. And I don’t mean to research whatever delectable delight you can dazzle your guests with from the Barefooted Contessa’s website. I mean, find the farms in your area that are working hard to raise the ingredients you will need for your menu. You might be excited to find your turkey and cranberries can be found at the farm, just past the other farm where you found your pumpkins and pecans for pies.
- Reinvent your menu to highlight the delicious abundance in your area. For us in Oregon’s ripe Willamette Valley, ‘delicious abundance’ is an understatement. Cork a host of local wines for before, during, and after the meal. Challenge yourself to find local producers for a cheese and charcuterie platter. Kick the excitement up a notch by moving your stuffing away from a Stovetop version, toward something like a chorizo and cornbread stuffing with that spicy sausage from the farm over the river and through the woods.
- “Meet your farmer. Meat, your food” was the title of a field day we had at our farm last year. Plumes of people came to visit with the intention of getting to know us, the people who raise the food, and to witness the practices by which we raise our animals. We had a big BBQ featuring our pastured poultry, and we received a ton of turkey preorders because people came, saw, ate, enjoyed, and believed. We believe we eat the food our food eats, so it is important to us to know what our food eats. With this said, take some time to go to the farms in your area and visit with the farmers (call ahead because we can be busy with chores or various farm projects). These are passionate people, experts in their craft who can open up a world of excitement with the placement of a baby chick in the hands of your child, or expose the delicate and brilliant integration of the animals on the farm.
- Understand that Butterball Turkey is neither fresh nor local. Plan your holiday feats with the understanding that local fair is on a very different timeline than the food in your grocery store. When gathering the ingredients for your holiday menu, it will require connecting with a local farmer earlier than the Friday before the big event. Turkeys are best preordered as early as July. Ask your farmer, “Why?” when you pay them a visit. Other meat products for that charcuterie platter or chorizo stuffing will need time to make as well. The produce you will want may be in high demand. Calling the farm ahead of time will let you know what is in stock and allow you the option to reserve what you will need. In all cases, planning ahead helps your farmers give you the best possible experience with their products. There is nothing like the excitement of knowing you have the items on your menu accounted for, well ahead of time, with the fresh turkey to be picked up from the farmer a day before Thanksgiving.
Gather the troops together this holiday with the deep satisfaction and quiet excitement knowing you walked the path of an American Pilgrim by:
- Reinventing your menu to highlight the delicious abundance in your area.
- Finding the farms in your area that are working hard to raise the ingredients you will need for your menu.
- Take some time to go to the farms in your area and visit with the farmers.
- Planning for the ingredients on your holiday menu well in advance.
We are hard pressed to recall moments that are better than bright days filled with delicious, homemade treats crafted by thoughtful hands, assembled on festively adorned tables. Or days surrounded by good people, familiar and unfamiliar with their sweater slated babies running under foot. It is hard to recall moments that are better than sun faded evenings filled with warmed beverages, or the colder beverages that surely warm one through and through.
For the past four years Our Family Farm has hosted a fall cider press. We are happy to report each pressing has involved all of the aforementioned highlights…good food, good people, and dang good beverages. If you couldn’t make it this year we look forward to adding your smiling face to the good times next year.
Here are some pictures from the day.
Everyone Getting In On The Action
Cascades Of Sweet Cider
Good People- Hans
Good Food- YaYa's HummusGood To The Last Drop
Good To The Last DropSoup BreakGathering The Good Stuff For Hard CiderSoup Break
Soup BreakGathering The Goods For Hard Cider
Gathering The Good Stuff For Hard CiderWe Love The Local Orchards
We Love Our Local Orchards