Summer is in full swing here on the farm. The chicken chicks have been moved to their outside pen, though not allowed completely outside just yet - not until they learn to go back inside at night on their own. The turkey chicks are enjoying their freedom in the great wide open... well, being in their grassy pen anyways. They make the most lovely chirping sound and race to the fence whenever anyone walks by... pretty cute!
The pigs are growing like weeds and are especially entertaining. They are very curious and enjoy visiting with people through the fence. They'll even sniff your hand or fingers if you'll let them. Have you every touched a pig snout? It's quite the experience! Kind of wet and rubbery. :-) Just like the pigs from last year, these two like to run "relay races" in the evening. The game begins with both pigs waiting inside their sleeping area and then one of them shoots out and runs as fast as he can across the pen and then jumping back into the sleeping area. The other one immediately does the same routine while the other waits. It's just the funniest thing to watch, but you have to be sneaky because if they suspect they are being watched, the stop immediately!
The goat kids are now spending their nights out with their moms and the rest of the herd. Mornings find them bouncing around in the corral, head butting and playing king of the mountain with each other. Happy as can be!
The garden is coming along and the greenhouse is exploding with green goodness as well as lots of beautiful flowers. This year we are experimenting with planting some vegetables directly into the ground, rather than using the planter boxes like last year. We'll use the boxes for onions, salad mix, kale and some other things, but want to plant cauliflower, broccoli and carrots directly in the ground. Farming is a lot like playing the lottery... you just never know if it's going to pay off!
Kathy Sarns and her "Little", Sonja Blackmon were two of our first official farm visitors this past Saturday. Kathy is Sonja's Big Sister and they both are part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Homer. Finding things to do that a sixteen year old will enjoy is difficult sometimes, says Kathy, but Sonja really enjoyed her time here, especially the animals.
We began the tour with a trip to the farms newest structure on the farm... our gorgeous outhouse! It really is a treasure and so nice to have... thank you Randel and son Kevin!
After saying a quick hi to Terry and admiring the eight pounds of cheese she and her student/farm share owner "Gloria Wild Mountain Joy" had made, we headed down towards the barn for some serious baby goat time!
Before leaving the goat barn Peppermint Pattie obliged and let us all milk her. Good girl Pattie! Billy Bob enjoyed everyone's attention, especially all of the handfuls of grass!
Of course, no visit to the farm is compete without a "Walk with the Goats". We guarantee this is one of the most unique and special things visitors can do. It's just an amazing thing to walk with a herd of goats!
We loved having Kathy, Sonja and Gloria visit and look forward to all the visitors who will make Kackle Berry Farms part of their summer!
Part of the cheese making process is the seasoning we add after the curds are removed from the kettle. Seasonings like garlic, sea salt, dill, caraway and cumin are mixed into the curds which are then squeezed in cheese cloth to remove the excess whey. This liquid is reserved and sold as Soup Stock and it is a delicious start to a savory dinner!
Here's a recipe for stew made using one quart of stock. Enjoy!
Soup Stock Stew
1 quart Soup Stock
4-5 quartered potatoes
1 bunch Kale or beet greens
3 carrots sliced
1 onion, chopped
1/2 purple or green cabbage, chopped
Any variety of cooked meat (chicken breast, stew meat, hamburger...)
Enough water for consistency
Season to taste
Simmer all ingredients until potatoes are cooked and serve.
***we used red cabbage, beet greens and carrots from the garden - blanched & frozen last fall***