The team has been staying busy on the farm this summer! Its hard to believe that we are flying through the month of August! Chores start bright and early where a team sets off to milk cows and bottle the milk, while another team loads up the old farm truck and heads out to tend to the poultry. A few hours later all the cows are milked and taken back to fresh grass, the chickens are moved to fresh grass and fed, and everything is cleaned up and put in order. Everyone heads inside where we “feed and water” the people with a hearty breakfast and Bible time. Then we disperse and work on other chores around the farm and in the house. The farm life is a lot of work but it’s such a joy!
Until next time, Hope
The past few warm days have been absolutely wonderful! We have really been enjoying this beautiful sunshine; and it has really been helping out a lot with all the farm jobs that need to get done:-) The hustle and bustle grows more and more as the spring and summer seasons quickly come upon us. Plans and preparations for our Fourth Annual Open House are beginning, and the outdated chicken house for our broilers had to be taken apart and rebuilt. We all gathered around the white board as we planned and sketched out how this chicken house would be built, to make it even more effective. These are just to name a few of the fun projects that are being done around the farm along with daily life. Washing eggs, milking cows, loading deliveries, watering gardens and the list goes on. But we would not trade this life for anything! The lessons we learn and the time spent together is worth everything.
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9
Some pictures from our winter snow storms!
Brine and Cooking Directions
1 Our Fathers Farm free range delicious healthy turkey 🙂 (this also works with our chicken, just reduce ingredients)
2 1 bottle of sweet white wine (chardonnay is what we prefer)
3 bouquet of fresh herbs if you can acquire them: parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
4 fresh garlic 4-6 cloves peeled and smashed to release flavor (i smash them with the end of a knife handle)
5 1-2 onions peeled and quartered (optional)
6 1 C kosher sea salt (i use Himalayan sea salt)
7 handful of rainbow peppercorns (or plain if you prefer)
8 water and ice and a cooler
first dissolve salt in a small amount of warm water in a large stock pot as well as you can and add about 2 cups of ice to cool the water. Next add the peppercorns, fresh herbs (you can use dried if you like. about 6 Tb total), garlic and onion followed by the bottle of wine and cold water until pot is full. Place turkey breast side up in cooler. Pour your pot mixture over all and add ice and water until turkey is covered or nearly. Turn turkey around in mixture a few times to coat and let it rest breast side down in brine. I push the cooler to the “dark side of the deck” and check it at least one time daily to turn it around and add ice if needed.
On cooking day: remove turkey from brine to the kitchen sink (I discard brine under the deck). Rinse well and allow to dry. Melt 1-2 sticks of good quality butter and more wine and herbs and pour this over your turkey before cooking (if you desire… you can substitute with olive oil).
Suggested roasting times vary and recommendations are below. The most accurate measure is with a meat thermometer placed in the thickest “leg part” 180 degrees is recommended. I check for doneness by wiggling the leg and seeing if it’s loose and also by piercing at the thickest part and checking for clear juice not pink. You don’t want to overcook your turkey! We sometimes cook breast side down and then use silicon baking mits to grab and flip the turkey at the end to brown the breast and make crispy skin. This is a two man job :-).
Use the pan juices from your turkey. I use organic corn starch to thicken, but you can use organic flour. Here’s How:
1. First you make a slurry. For each cup of liquid you want to thicken, start with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in a small bowl. Add an equal amount of cold liquid and stir until a smooth paste forms. This is your slurry.
2. Whisk the slurry into the hot, simmering liquid that you want to thicken. Bring to a boil and simmer until any starchy taste has been cooked away. Don’t cook longer, though, as the starch may break down and the liquid will thin out again.
Roasting times are for a preheated 325 degrees F. oven.
Approximate Roasting Times for Stuffed Turkey:
Turkey Weight Hours
6 to 8 pounds 3 to 3-1/2 hours
8 to 12 pounds 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours
12 to 16 pounds 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 hours
16 to 20 pounds 5-1/2 to 6 hours
20 to 24 pounds 6 to 6-1/2 hours
Approximate Roasting Times for Unstuffed Turkey
Turkey Weight Hours
6 to 8 pounds 2-1/2 to 3 hours
8 to 12 pounds 3 to 4 hours
12 to 16 pounds 4 to 5 hours
16 to 20 pounds 5 to 5-1/2 hours
20 to 24 pounds 5-1/2 to 6 hours
One musn’t forget this all important element of your farm raised healthy turkey! Save all of the bones 🙂 and skin and pan juices that didn’t get used or enjoyed. Put the bones in either the biggest stock pot you have or in a crock pot. Add 2 Tb raw apple cider vinegar with the mother or 1 C white wine, peppercorns, 2 Tb sea salt, garlic and onion (peeled and smashed if desired). Cover all with water and cook for 12-36 hours. Strain out bones (and if using a small crock pot repeat). This makes a nutrient dense broth that can be used for sauces, soups, stews or enjoyed straight out of a mug as is. I add my left over veggies: sweet potatoes, roasted pumpkin or potatoes etc and puree them to make a delicious creamy veggie soup.
Tell us how you enjoyed our turkey and recipe!
The summer seems to have sped by! Now here we are in one of my favorite months. The reason it is my favorite is because of its beauty. (Not because of it getting chilly 🙂 Summer on the farm is much more busy than winter but I like the warm days, beautiful sunshine, and out-door frolics of summer:). Here we are speeding up to frosty days. We do have lots of fun when the snow comes though! Snow ball fights and extreme sledding are just to name a few:) I am thankful for all the changing seasons God has given us. I know this winter holds many new changes for everyone lots of school is planned and new dreams for each life. What is October’s glory? It is the crisp air, golden leaves and sparkling blue skies that all gather and make you swell with joy!
If you feel heavy laden and that your cup is not full remember “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Life is SO busy that it’s hard to put it into words! I could go on about the daily grind of it and make us all tired :-). But there are so many everyday surprises! When I see every little thing with full optimistic eyes it all changes! The boring ol’ scenery turns into beautiful sunshine and amazing reminders of our creator everywhere. The most annoying task can be transformed into a new beautiful adventure!
One morning, early this week, we welcomed a small new life to the farm. One of our heifers was unintentionally bred too early. (The bull broke through into a pasture uninvited or unknown to us)… So this morning, we found this small cow a mother with the tiniest little calf next to her. We brought them down to the barn for milking as usual, but this new mother was not bonding with her calf like normal. Sometimes this happens when it is the mother’s first calf. Because she doesn’t know what to do, she rejects her baby. So the calf was rejected and we carried it to a stall in the barn where we could take care of her (the baby calf). It has been fun to feed and take care of this tiny delicate creature! She is less than half the size of a regular calf. When I would have to usually be wrestling and sitting on top of calves to feed them she simply stands there blinking her long eye lashes at me and drinks. What a precious reminder of innocent life this little calf is. Now this little calf and her mother are just animals. But to our farm and business they are important! The same with the lives of other humans each life matters! God knows all life, loves all life, and rules all life from the tiny people to the elderly people we are all HIS own!
SHARING IS CARING!
Date: April 25th 2015
Time: 10:00AM to 3:00PM
Tour Times: First tour, 11:00 Second tour, 2:00
Where: Our Father’s Farm
2664 Deer View Road Gretna, VA 24557
Rain Date: May 2nd 2014
Directions! Click Here.
There is an Our Father’s Farm sign at the top of our driveway also there will be a sign that says Open House. If you need any help please call, 434-656-1188.
Come out and see the farm! See how it works, see the animals enjoy a bit of country time with your whole family and friends! Be here for a farm tour! To view the whole farm life! Hold little baby chicks, pet cows and feel the coarse mane of a horse, collect fresh eggs straight from the chicken house, snuggle fluffy 8-week-old puppies and more!
Learn more about Our Father’s Farm and enjoy what great things the LORD has done for us!
Come and a have a great day in the country on a farm!
What is there to do?
See touch and learn about the FARM and ANIMALS!
There will be 2 farm tours in the day
The first tour will be held at 11:00 and the second will be held at 2:00.
You will see and learn about:
The milk cows, calves, chicks, broiler chickens, laying hens, the horse, dogs and maybe puppies, cats and kittens!
Bonus! There will be a milking demonstration and milk samples.
What kind of animals can we see?
There will be cows and calves! Laying hens, broiler (meat) chickens, chicks, our chocolate lab puppy 2 big great Pyrenees Dogs and great Pyrenees puppies, Cats and maybe kittens! A horse, a donkey and more!
A FARMER FOR THE DAY DRAWING!
A bed for the night, Breakfast Lunch and dinner if you choose to stay!
If your name is drawn you and one other person can come to Our Father’s Farm! Spend a comfortable night in the farm house wake up in the morning with the cocks crow come out and milk cows, feed chickens, collect eggs, herd cows, tend to chicks, and more! Than enjoy a hearty farmer’s breakfast.
Enjoying the rest of your day how ever you like sitting by the still pond enjoying the scenery, or giving a hand with what ever is going on, if you would like you can work in the house baking fresh bread making pies and more!
Come and enjoy a farm life just for 24 hours!. It will be the best time you have had in a long time.
More about the drawing!
Come to our open house and put your name in the drawing by:
Buying $15 of products in our store, we will offer you to put your name, phone number and address on a paper in the drawing basket! The name will be drawn at 4:00pm assuring that everyone you wanted to join the drawing have had a fair chance to do so. The name which is draw will be contacted. And we will plan dates for the day!
Late spring, Summer, or early fall are the best times of year!
Bring a picnic and hang out on the farm!
There will be picnicking areas and we will be selling baked goods and some snack bars, candies, and cheese.
Will the store be open and what will I be able to buy?
Yes the store will be open to all who come! There will be fresh whole chickens, and chicken parts, leg thigh packs, tender loins, breast, and wings, There will be ground beef, steaks, roasts, stew meat and bones, Eggs, and all the other things will sale in the store (a small health food store type). Also there might be baked goods! Such as whole wheat bread, cakes and cookies.
How do I contact you if I have questions?
Email or call us!