We have been having so much fun in the greenhouse. We are so blessed and so grateful to have it! This is our first spring growing in it and everything has been going really well. I hope you enjoy the video! I've had a cold so please overlook all my sniffles.
*One clarification-We have had regular bak choi just not the baby version.
With the greenhouse doing so well, and multiple crops ready for harvest, I headed out to get some veggies for our dinner- stir fry. This is what I came back with: baby pak choi, spinach, Swiss chard, and onion trimmings. Dinner is going to be yummy!
Happy, healthy , clean eating!
Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs. It complements such a variety of meats. We use it on lamb, beef, duck, chicken and turkey. When I smell it I instantly think of warm, spongy, focacia. Mmmmm.
This year I'm working on growing enough rosemary to offer it with our CSA baskets and to sell at our plant sale. Today I had a few more starts that were ready for planting.
It is very important that they have a good root system. The plant can't grow well if it doesn't have enough roots to nourish the foliage. The roots on these plants will allow the plants to start growing as soon as they are planted. These little plants already have little branches growing out of the main stem. They should be a nice bushy little plant in no time.
This is was my favorite focaccia recipe before we went gluten free. We may not be able to have it any more but you should so this is for you!
4-4 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup warm water (about 105 degrees f)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast (make sure it is non-gmo!), or about a cup of pre-made sour dough starter
1 cup warm water, same as above
2 teaspoon salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Fresh rosemary and salt
1. To make the sponge, combine 1/2 cup warm water, 1/2 cup flour, and yeast. Mix until smooth then cover and let sit at room temperature overnight. Or if you are like me, and just decided you want focaccia and don't want to wait until tomorrow, wait at least a couple of hours, This time of rest is to allow the sponge to ferment and is what gives the focaccia it's unique flavor. So you need to let it sit for at least a couple of hours.
2. After your sponge has set, gradually stir in 1 cup warm water. The yeast is more active when it is warm but not too hot or you will kill it so make sure it is just warm. Add the salt and enough of the remaining flour to cause the dough to pull away from the edge of the bowl when you mix it.
3.Now lightly flour your work-space with any leftover flour and knead the dough until it is thick, smooth and eastic-y. I know that's not a word but that is what you want so just go with it. When you are done place the dough in a bowl that has been lightly greased with olive oil. Cover and let the dough rise until it is doubled in size.
4. Pre-heat the oven to 475 degrees F. Most recipes will tell you to turn the dough out on a floured surface again but I usually skip that part. I can't wait for the sponge to rest over night so I definitely can't wait any longer now that I'm so close to the finished product. I never really notice much of a difference doing it the two different ways so out with that step for me. The next part is very important though. You must be very careful when shaping the dough. You want to keep as many of those little air bubbles that have formed in the dough, in the dough. Place the dough on a floured baking sheet or pizza stone. Gently pull and press with your finger tips until the dough is about 1 in thick and round in shape. Then carefully make indentions every 1 in or so.
6. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt and fresh rosemary. Bake for 15- 20 minutes. Check after 7 min to make sure there aren't any giant bubbles forming. If so pop them with a sharp knife. When it is done cool on a wire rack.
Focaccia is best eaten warm so you don't have to wait to long here either. Mmmmm, enjoy that scrumptious focaccia with rosemary for us, oh, and yourself to of course.
Happy, healthy, clean eating!
What you are looking at is over 100 different varieties of fruits vegetable, cover crops and flowers! And this isn't even all of them. We order from several different companies as well as save our own seed. You are looking at the order from just one company.
Every year we study our favorite seed catalogs researching the best types and varieties of plants to grow in our climate and our unique growing conditions. Over the years we have found many reliable varieties that we continue to grow every year. We are very grateful to have found some real winners for this short growing season and our taste buds alike.
We have looked really hard for flavorful melons will be able to fully ripen in our short growing season. We are praying that the cantaloupe and watermelon we found this year will be the winning ticket. They do look very promising.
The fun begins! We will be spending the next few months starting plants for the garden and for our plant sale in June. This will be a great opportunity for everyone to come and meet us, tour the farm and get everything they need for a tasty garden and a beautiful yard. The sale is planned for June 4th. Please sign up for our mailing list to receive our monthly newsletter and you won't miss any updates or important happenings at Rolling Hills Farm.
Now you are free to go and dream about the overflowing baskets you will be receiving as a CSA member this season and all the delicious meals you will be making with them! Don't forget that when you sign-up and make your first payment before April 1st you will receive 10% off.
Happy, healthy, clean eating,
Have you ever had lamb? This is the first leg of lamb I ever cooked. It was absolutely delicious. The most tender meat I have ever had and there is not one thing I would have changed about the flavor. It is now my families favorite meat!
To cook the leg of lamb heat your oven up to 500 degrees. While it is heating up cut slits on the bottom and top of you lamb, About 1 to 1.5 inches apart and the same length, then rub with olive oil and a few tablespoons of lemon juice. Slice 10-15 garlic cloves into 2-3 chunks each and set aside. Roughly chop about 5 sprigs each of fresh rosemary and sage and place with the garlic. Starting with the bottom side, stuff the slits with the garlic, rosemary and sage then sprinkle the surface with oregano and thyme. Now repeat on the other side. You can also use roughly chopped onions. We did that the second time we cooked a leg of lamb and I found my self eating all the onions that were left on the bottom of the pan. So yummy.
Now let your lamb cook for 15-20 minutes at 500 degrees. I usually lean more towards 20 minutes. Then turn the heat down to 325 degrees. Set the timer so you don't forget this.
It will take a couple of hours to cook depending on the size of your leg. That sound funny doesn't it? It is done when the temperature taken in the middle of the largest part of the meat, usually next to the bone, has reached 170 degrees. Juices should run clear. If you want to make gravy, it makes wonderful gravy, with the drippings you might want to consider adding a little bit of water to the bottom of the pan durring cooking. I have cooked it on the roasting pan shown and also in a caserole dish. I prefer the roasting pan but the caserol dish works as well.
To be completely honest with you, I've only had lamb about two times before eating our lamb. It never really left a great impression, not bad, not great. Now I question how that lamb was cooked because we have eaten two of our lambs( as in two whole lambs) since these pictures were taken earlier this fall (I told you they were our favorite now) and it has always been amazing. Tender and flavorful every time. Even when I had to increase the cooking temp on a certain occasion because I didn't get it in the oven as soon as needed. Oops! It was still perfectly tender and delicious! That makes it my favorite thing to prepare too. So easy!
Perhaps it is the breed we have chosen. Jacob sheep are said to have a more mild flavor and tender meat. I believe it. Maybe it is how they are raised and fed........
Ruminants are very unique animals. They can take grasses and convert them into proteins. No other animals are designed in this way which is precisely why we finish our lamb and beef on grass rather than grain like many others. It is what they are designed to do. Not only does this greatly reduce the risk of GMO contamination, it also makes for a very lean, healthier meat.
Grass fed and finished is far healthier than traditional grain-fed. It has up to a third of the fat content which also means that is lower in calories. It has all the good fat- Omega 3 fatty acids (LNA, DHA, and EPA), two to six times more than grain fed. As soon as cattle leave the pasture and head to a feed lot they start losing all three omega 3 fatty acids. The longer they are on grain the more they loose. Milk and meat from grass fed ruminants contain the highest known source of CLA or conjugated linoleic acid. Omega 3 fatty acids and CLA can reduce your risk of cancer as shown in studies from Utah State University and also studies in Finland and Switzerland. Grass fed and finished is the healthiest choice.
We, as of December 2016, have grass finished lamb and beef available. If you are interested in either than give us a call or send us an email. I'd be happy to answer any questions.
Do you eat lamb? What is your favorite way to prepare it? Please share!
Happy, healthy, clean eating!
Rolling Hills Farm Fall Season CSA- 10 weeks of organically grown heirloom vegetables, herbs and flowers.
Today I delivered the last basket of our Fall season. I'm so grateful for the mild weather we had this fall. It sure made it much easier on us! Our Fall season lasted ten weeks. I thought I would share with everyone a little recap of all the baskets. Here goes!
Sorry, I don't have a picture for week 3.
10 weeks of fresh vegetables and herbs including:
Now for all of you that didn't participate in our CSA or a CSA in your area, think about all those tasty, fresh picked, and super healthy for you veggies that you missed out on.
Three quarters of Americans don't eat enough fruit and 87% don't eat enough vegetables. Most likely you are one of those people. I encourage you to eat your veggies, and fruit too! Find your local CSA and get a basket of fresh produce every week. You are far more likely to eat your recommended daily servings when you are delivered a basket of them every week.
"People who eat just five servings of fruits and vegetables a day lower their risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other conditions." http://www.nbcnews.com/health/diet-fitness/youre-still-not-eating-enough-vegetables-n389466
The Average North Dakotan only eats 1.4 servings of vegetables a day. The recommendation is 3-5 servings. We got some work, or should I say eating to do North Dakota! It is so important that we instill the habit in are children now.
"The best place to start is with kids, who are setting up their habits for a lifetime." http://www.nbcnews.com/health/diet-fitness/youre-still-not-eating-enough-vegetables-n389466
Our Fall season has come to an end but before you know it Rolling Hills Farm and CSAs across the country will be kicking off their Spring season. You might even be able to find a CSA with a Winter season if you live in a warmer part of the country. If you live in our neck of the woods then be sure to fill out our contact form so that we can keep you informed about our Spring and following seasons.
Are you already a member of a CSA? What is your favorite part? Do you think it helps you to eat more fruits and vegetables? Let us know in the comments.
Happy, healthy eating!
This is what we call the "Big Garden". I guess we will have to call it something else next year when "the the "Little Garden" is complete and becomes the new big garden. It is amazing how well it recovered from the hail damage. We are so grateful! I can only imagine how it would have been right now if we hadn't got the quarter size hail. I'm sure those cucumbers (middle left) would be to the top of the trellis but you would never know that the tomatillos were down to stems after the hail. They are to the top of the trellis and as bushy as can be. In the distance you can see the strawberry garden. The strawberries that made it are doing great! They are sending out runners like crazy! I think we are going to recover some of our losses there after all. The sunflowers are about 10 feet tall now. The cardoon was another thing that came right back like nothing ever happened. The cardoon is on the middle right. It is the spiky, silvery leaves with the pink zinnias poking out from in-between.
In the middle is a second round of carrots, spinach, kohlrabi, and Lollo Rossa lettuce. We already harvested one round of carrot and lettuce here, prepared the soil again and replanted it. In the bottom right corner you can see the German Foxtail millet that I planted after harvesting the multiplier onions. It is happy.
Butternut and Tennessee Sweet Potato Squash taking over in the back garden. Persienne carrots in lower right corner. We like to pickle these little round carrots whole.
A row of grapes in the vineyard and a row of Yellow Pear tomatoes in the green house garden. Below, inside the green house, King of the North peppers and Costoluto tomatoes.
Last, but not least, basil. So yummy in so many things.
This is not all the gardens and everything in them. Just a quick update. So much I couldn't fit it all in at once!
I hope you enjoyed your mini garden tour.
Here we are at the final week of our regular CSA season. This weeks baskets included: cabbage, peppers (3 types), tomatillos, onions (2 types), garlic, green and purple beans, zucchini, beets with greens, eggplant, spinach, celery, tomatoes (3 types), basil, sage, tarragon, chives, carrots (red, purple, and round), cucumbers, Swiss chard, and a bouquet of zinnias and sunflowers. Above is the contents of a large share basket and below are some close-ups.
As of now the gardens are very happy. It is supposed to get down to 38 degrees on Monday. That would make a lot of them not very happy. The green house plastic is out and were are covering the eggplant and peppers when it gets too cold. They become unhappy even before freezing temp so we keep them warm with their very own little blanket. Come Monday we will be covering many more things. Usually it freezes once or twice then we have another stretch of time before it freezes again. We just have to get through that first frost. Below left is covered
Poblano peppers, ans below right is covered eggplant.
The green house looks pretty much like a tomato jungle! We also have English cucumbers and bell peppers growing in the green house. Soon I will be transplanting basil. I'm also going to transplant some of the eggplants into the green house and see how they do.
Inside the house I have starts of cabbage broccoli and cauliflower that I started in early August. They will be planted in the new low tunnels that should be here any day. They prefer the cooler weather. When the temps get colder than they like we will roll the plastic down a give them their own mini greenhouse. We also have another round of lettuce that is coming up. The kale is leafing out in the center again as well. The flea beetles are shrinking in population and I think we are going to be able to have kale again. They too prefer the cooler temps.
Our goal is to have a fall and spring season to go with our summer season. We do have some customers that are going to keep getting baskets even though the summer season is over and pay for them individually (an unofficial fall season). We can't put a set amount of weeks on it because it is our first time growing with a green house and low tunnels in the fall.. Next year we should have it all figured out for an official fall and spring season. If you are interested in participating in our 'unofficial" fall season then contact me here. The produce is very much "official". The only thing that makes it "unofficial" is that you would be paying weekly instead of for the entire season at once because of the stated reason above. We don't want to charge for a eight week season to find out we can't go that long. So we are doing it week by week.
We want the green house to go through the entire winter. We are insulating the tin. We used double wall poly ( this is the clear part if the green house) so that is already insulated and we will be adding a thermal mass to collect and store the heat during the day to be released at night. We also built it short. The peak of the roof is only 10 feet high. This means a lot less space to heat. As we watch how all these measures affect the temps in the green house we will determine what other measures we need to take to keep it heated through the winter. So excited about this!
Thank you to all our CSA members for your support and involvement in our first CSA season!
Today marks the first CSA basket of the season. We had a lot of fun putting together the baskets and getting them delivered. It is so nice to see everyone's grateful faces and hear the encouraging words after many months of labor!
I hope everyone enjoys their CSA Baskets this week! Happy, healthy, eating!
Hello, I'm Jaci. I love gardening and being outside in God's amazing creation. I'm passionate about whole foods and clean eating. I look forward to sharing my farming adventures and helping you reach your gardening goals!