A True Family Farm

When our boys help in the gardens they represent the fifth generation of the family to work the soil on Kimker Hill. Four generations still live on the farm today. Strong family bonds and a deep love and respect for the earth influence all of our farm practices.

Our gardens provide us with the best and purest of food, matchless beauty, and the ultimate earth science classroom for our homeschooled boys.

Sustainability is a popular buzz word among small scale agriculture. To us it means giving more than you take. Putting back what you use. Remembering that this beautiful earth will last forever and it's our commision to care for. In our gardens we try hard to follow these ideals and work with the earth's design, not against it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pictures of the keats!

Green tomatofest at our stand this Saturday!

Get out your best recipes for green tomatoes! My husband and sister informed me that we now have an abundant supply of large green tomatoes! I will be bringing boxes of them with me this weekend.

If you have a favorite green tomato recipe, please post it for all of us to try!

Here are a few recipes I found and want to try.

4 to 6 green tomatoes
salt and pepper
bacon grease or vegetable oil
Slice the tomatoes into 1/4 - 1/2-inch slices. Salt and pepper them to taste. Dip in meal and fry in hot grease or oil about 3 minutes or until golden on bottom. Gently turn and fry the other side. Serve as a side dish - delicious with breakfast!

Or, try this variation:

4 to 6 green tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
salt and pepper
flour for dusting
2 eggs, beaten
cornmeal or bread crumbs
bacon grease or vegetable oil
Salt and pepper the tomato slices; dust lightly with flour. Dip slices in beaten egg, letting excess drip off, then coat well with meal or crumbs. Fry in hot grease or oil until browned, turning gently (about 3 minutes each side). Keep warm in a low 200° to 250° oven if frying in batches.

For a healthier option, try:

4 to 6 green tomatoes, cut in 1/4-inch thick slices
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/3 cup water
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Sprinkle tomato slices with salt and pepper on both sides. In a shallow bowl mix beaten eggs, milk, and water. Put the all-purpose flour in a shallow bowl. Dip each slice into egg mixture, then into flour.* Dip each slice into egg and then into the flour again. Arrange tomatoes in large, shallow, greased baking pans, or bake in 1 pan, in batches. Tomatoes should not touch. Bake uncovered in 400° oven 20 minutes, turning halfway through.
For crunchier coating, dip slices the second time into egg mixture then into seasoned bread crumbs or corn flake crumbs, with a little Parmesan cheese, if desired

I even found a recipe for:

This spiced green tomato cake is surprisingly delicious, and it's a great way to use green tomatoes before the frost gets them.
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil or melted shortening
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup pecans or walnuts
1 cup raisins
2 1/2 cups diced green tomatoes
coconut (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°. In mixing bowl, beat sugar, vegetable oil or shortening, eggs and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg; slowly beat into egg mixture. Blend well. Stir in pecans, raisins and tomatoes.
Pour into greased 9x13-inch pan. Top with coconut if desired. Bake for one hour, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. .
Serves 12.

I think I may bake this in muffin pans for Saturday.

4 quarts sliced green tomatoes, loosely packed
1 quart sliced onion, loosely packed
1 cup pickling salt, divided
1 pound light brown sugar
6 cups apple cider vinegar (5% acidity)
2 small red chile peppers
1/3 cup mustard seeds
1/4 cup celery seeds
1 tablespoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground cloves
Place sliced tomatoes and sliced onion in a large bowl; sprinkle salt over them; stir. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours. Place in a cheesecloth bag, and squeeze gently to remove excess juice (personally I would just drain well). Discard the salt liquid. Combine remaining ingredients in a large kettle. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, over low heat for 2 minutes. Pack tomato mixture and liquid into hot sterilized 1-quart jars (with 1 piece of the chile pepper in each jar - cut if necessary), leaving 1/2-inch headspace; wipe jar rims. Cover at once with metal lids, and screw on ring bands. Process in a boiling water bath 10 minutes.
Store in a cool dark place. Store opened pickles in refrigerator. Makes 4 1-pint jars or 2 1-quart jars.

For more recipies check out this website: http://southernfood.about.com/od/greentomatoes/r/bl10712d.htm

Hope to hear more suggestions from all of you!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Reminder, I won't be at the market tomorrow!

Just wanted to remind everyone that I won't be at the farmer's market tomorrow! We get to do something as a family. We'll be going to the Special Assembly Day in Spanish Lake to learn more about putting Bible principles to work in our everyday lives. We're all looking forward to it.

It's been a very productive week putting up a lot of produce. My little sister came and picked even more today. A little break will be greatly appreciated.

With help from friends and family, I had a record breaking day (for me) making dill pickles. Today I made 33 quarts of them. Yesterday I only managed 14 quarts. Plus, we put up tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos and squash in the freezer.

We are all ready to call it quits for the night.

Oh, I have to tell you, I got a bunch of pictures of the guineas this morning. The parents have started bringing them nearer to the house. They are so fun to watch, I kind of got carried away with the camera! I'll try to get Zach to post them for me.

Another exciting thing happened today, Danny brought in our first honey from the hives after he went out to check on them and put a super on the second hive. It tasted wonderful! He says both hives are very busy making more!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rain, Rain Go Away!

Our gardens are water-logged again, thanks to the remnants of Hurricane Ike. At least the rain seems to be over, it was nice to see the sun this afternoon. I hope we get the warmer weather they're promising for the week ahead. We have lots of produce just waiting for the heat to make them ripen.

We're finally getting enough tomatoes to continue making salsa and start putting some up in the freezer too. I love being able to take out a package of frozen heirloom tomatoes in the middle of winter and make fresh spaghetti sauce or use them in my Mixed Beans and Peas Soup. It makes up a little for all the hard work during the summer.

If you haven't tried it for yourself, pick up some at the market. All you do is wash them in cold water, cut them in half, take out the core and them put them in freezer bags. Be sure to squeeze out as much air as possible before closing the bag. After that, just put the bag in the freezer. Then you, too, can enjoy fresh tasting, naturally grown hierloom tomatoes in the dead of winter. It's worth trying!

I'll be putting up a couple gallons of them tomorrow!

I won't be at the market this weekend, but I'll be back again on September 27th.

Friday, September 12, 2008

New babies on the farm!

What a nice surprise we got yesterday. We found 10 tiny keats (baby guineas) trailing behind their parents! They are so cute! I'd like to show you, but they have very protective parents and we haven't been able to get pictures of them yet. I'll keep trying.

The boys are so excited, they keep running outside to watch them. Then they come back and give me the latest update on them. Apparently, 6 or 7 of them are brown and 3 are white. Strange, both of the parents are grey and white. Of course, they'll all change colors as they mature.

I'll try to post pictures soon!