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Posted 8/11/2016 9:29pm by Renee Savary.
 
Sheep shearing at the farm this week ... 
Mr. Elmer is our sheep shearer and has been since the start. He comes from Iowa, travelling most part of the country, has done it for some 40+ years and is a Master at it ...
I usually call him in January to get a spot in April or May, this year I forgot to call and that is how you end up shearing in August ... 
In years past as Mr. Elmer shear we would trim the hoofs but this year, taking advantage of helpers availability,  we did manage time to do the hoof part last week, that was a great help and we were able to finish in 10h.
We had 2 groups, all the ewes and kids and Ramses, our ram, down at the barn and at the end we did the remaining rams up at the garden.
Here a few pictures of our day ...
 
Early morning look at the waiting room !!!
The night before we got everybody in the big barn ...
Needless to say nobody is willing nor thrilled !!!
 
waiting room ... sheep shearing 2016
 
Mr. Elmer is setting up, he has several shears and will alternate them as they heat up ... his set up is very simple ... 
 
set up ... sheep shearing 2016
 
and here we go ... first girl getting a much needed hair cut ... I have to say Mr. Elmer has a way to do it that looks very easy but it is not !!! First you deal with a 100+lb animal that is not willing, then the shear itself weight a few lb, you have to do it pretty quickly and without chopping down your sheep ... in a 100F barn ... 
 
first sheep ... sheep sharing 2016
 
Close up of our fleece ... the inside is butter color and very high in lanolin that is what make their wool water resistant ...
 
fleece ... sheep shearing 2016
 
 
Ramses, our ram, not liking a bit of it but being very quiet now .. this horn are dangerous, he is not aggressive at all ... just not his usual setting ...
 
Ramses
 
 
As the day progress we got some visitors ...
 
Mama visiting ... sheep shearing 2016
 
This year we have a few lambs with a big perfectly round black spot ... they had it when they were born and then it looks like if it was fading out as their fleece grew but then when sheared the big spot is right there and the fleece is 1/2 dark brown and 1/2 whitish ... 
Ramses is a new ram and he is bringing some very interesting genetic ....
 
 
Loading up ... we recycle our feed bags to collect and store the fleece ...
 
fleece ... shearing 2016
 
Once they are sheared we released them on their pasture ... They all look so skinny ...
 
pasture ... sheep sharing 2016
 
When done at the barn, we packed up back to the house, we had a quick lunch and we were left with 5 rams ... By nature they are belligerent and have big huge horns and we are tired ...
 
rams ... shearing 2016
 
Just another day at the farm ... 
 
 
 
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Twin Oaks Farm - USDA Certified Organic - Bonifay FL 32425 

 
 
 
 
 
Posted 4/14/2016 9:19pm by Renee Savary.
Farm UpDate
 
We got a bunch of babies yesterday ... of course running in every direction I did not check the dates and the mama (she was early too) gave birth in the fields. I have to say it was not easy to move them, in torrential rain, to a secure and covered pen. This picture was taken this morning and looks like everyone is doing pretty good ...

 

 
piglets
 
Update on the geese laying situation (if you missed previous "episode" please check our web site .. it is posted there) ...
Well none of our shenanigan worked and we are exactly at the situation we were trying to avoid !!! Meaning geese sitting on top of eggs in their coop and others on the island !!!
Here 2 of them laying on top of a bunch of eggs ...
 
geese
 
please note the other two on the outside .. they are not tearing me to pieces because Paola is behind "covering" me ... 
 
geese
 
We can not move the coops anymore, if we do the geese wont return on the eggs (yes been there done it) 
and we have at least 2 other sitting on eggs on the island ...
 
geese
 
How many geese do you see ??? ... I did not go on the island but we at least 2 sitting on eggs and then 3 that were patrolling ...
Later in the morning as I was coming back from the barn, I stopped at the coops and the geese started to scream like crazy which prompted 3 of the "guards" to rush back from the island ... They are really incredible how they team up and help/fight for each other ...  They are a perfect team !! Any of the other animals I have on the farm if one of them get in trouble the rest just run away ... not the geese they will all turn against you as a block, not only they are impressive but their bills are lined by razor sharp tiny teeth ... Over the years I did loose some skin to it, let me tell you :it is painful !!!!
Here the 3 geese running back (I do need a GoPro!!) ... as  you can see we are over flooded everywhere ... 
 
geese
 
 
Follow us :

www.facebook.com/twinoaksfarm

Instagram: twinoaksfarm

Please froward this email to your email list and help us spread the word about Real Food.

Thank you for supporting a better way to produce healthy and wholesome food.

Twin Oaks Farm - USDA Certified Organic - Bonifay FL 32425 

 
 
 
 
 
Posted 9/2/2014 8:06pm by Renee Savary.

The pix was taken late afternoon yesterday as the storm was kinda rolling in ... it looks like a lot of chickens but when they see me they all run toward me ... no worry NOT out of love for their farmer but for that bucket of grains I was carrying ... !!! 

Raised on pasture

Posted 7/31/2014 4:30pm by Renee Savary.

We got 14 piglets in 24h!!!

I spend the last two nights in the field making sure they stay safe: I am beyond exhausted !!!
On Tuesday, at the end of the day, as we were letting everyone in, our big mama-to-be was missing. It was strange as they (all the hogs) stay together. We look and look and walk all the ditches which are almost dry for once ... Finally we find her, all the way at the other end of the pasture, she had gone through a whole under bush overgrown jungle and build herself a nest and when we got there the first baby was already snacking.
By then it was pass 6pm and I needed to get the rest of the gang in before the night. I knew that both of our sow were close to have the babies, but I was off like 2 weeks !!! As we lock the rest of the hogs in their enclosure I decide to remove the second sow and to put her in a large enclose where we have the rams at night, they usually don't bother each other.
Then run to the house and call my friends to find a tent. I had decided to go spend the night close to the new babies because they were in an area not secure and I did not wanted to take the risk of a predator attack.
Back to the mama, she already got 6 of them !!! 
My friend got to the farm with the tent and we install it.
Check on mama ... 7 little punks sucking the life out of her ...
Libellule with babies
A couple of hours later and I am ready for the night ... very little sleep, super uncomfortable, noisy like hell ... and yes mama snores !!!!
The next morning as we go around opening to everybody we find out the second mama has crawled under the fence and is nowhere in sight !!! 
The enclosure she was in is made for our rams and the fencing is not that strong ... 
Again game of looking but this time is much easier, she did not go far and we find her a few hundred yards away in the ditch WITH FOUR BABIES !!!!
As the sun raise, she is now in full sun, we get some of the old market tent and stretch them over her to create some shade. By then her 7 babies are in or actually out !!!
Coccinelle babies
14 babies in 24h !!! 
There is no way I am going to let that mama spend the night without protection, she is in the open ditch much less protected than the other one ... that is when it is really useful to have camper-friend !!!
Day 2: moms and babies are doing wonderfully well ....
will tell you the rest of the story next week ...
I am dead ....
Libellule and babies 2014
Posted 1/13/2014 10:58am by Renee Savary.

The first babies of our lambing season were born earlier this morning,

a boy and a girl from mom Ortie ....

1 13 14

My first glimpse of them earlier this morning ...

first look ...

Mom had moved them close to the gate, away from the rest of the flock ...

Baby lamb

I moved mom and babies to a shelter were they will stay for a couple of days before returning with the rest of the flock. It gives the babies time to bound with mom ...

mom Ortie and babies

cuties

The rest of the crew checking on the new ones ...

donkeys

Posted 12/12/2013 8:30pm by Renee Savary.

Predators wise this year has been a disaster … It all started with a coyote invasion. For those of you who have never been to the farm, the chickens are roaming freely on 2 different pastures (between 15 to 20 acres each). One fairly close to the main house and the other one about ½ miles away but from the house I still have a clear view of it.

I have a pine forest on the south side and my neighbor horses pasture to the north side and west a 3nd pasture, with a big barn, that was not used and very much overgrown.

At night all the chickens are cooped and the donkeys usually sleep around the coops. Never had an issue at night. The coyotes would just boldly attack during the day time. From the house I could see them crossing the second pasture, grab a chicken and run. It would take them no time and they would vanish into the woods. Once one of them snatch a chicken less than 100 feet from me !!! and the donkeys would be of no use, they usually graze with the sheep during the day.

The solution was not easy to implement, we first had to clean up all the fence line, over the last 5 years I had painstakingly let them overgrow to give small wildlife, birds and other pollinators an habitat, most of it had to go. Then we covered the exiting barbwire with chicken wire, expensive but still the cheapest long term option. We also cleaned up that 3rd pasture and we destroyed one of their habitat behind the barn. 

During that same time I had to deal with a bunch of alligators in the ponds, those were easier to stop as the ducks and the geese would just not get into the water and makes some serious noise until I took care of the problem !!

When I finally thought the situation was under control we started to have every bird of prey, from hawks to turkey vultures, getting at it. My poor chickens would live in fear and hardly get out of their coops. I tried every flying, shinny, noisemaking gimmick I could find !! None of them worked !!! I was really getting desperate. Then two weeks ago I decided to move everybody around the house, it sounds much easier than it is, you have a better chance to herd cats than chickens !!! It means that we had to catch every chicken, load them onto the trailer, move the empty coops and then relocate the chickens !! Two days of work and we are pretty good at it …

Now I have all the chickens around the house, as there is always some kind of commotion the raptors have not been around that much and when we see the chickens running for cover we can spring outside and check it out … much easier to react 10 yards than ½ mile !!!

My girls are back to their happyself and their target now is to get INTO the house !!!

Marmelade with his catch

Posted 3/28/2013 6:56pm by Renee Savary.

From our farm to you table : Easter Brunch Essentials

Organic duck eggs to poach over greens ....

Poached duck eggs ...


Fresh ducks ready to be roasted ...

Roasted duck


or if you prefer a fresh chicken ?? 

chicken to roas


... chicken eggs to make custard and other meringues ....

wild berries custard with meringue top


Still not too late for some egg coloring ...


Posted 3/24/2013 10:48am by Renee Savary.

Finally last week I got to start getting the garden ready for spring planting ... Here are some pictures of the cleaning process ...

The Cleaning Crew at work ...

Cleaning crew

One of my favorite sign of Spring : the Dandelion ...

Dandelion

More Helper ...

cleaning crew

The bees were so beezy over the brocoli flowers that we will keep them in the garden till we get some more flowers going on ...

beees

The Blackberries are in bloom ...

Blackberry flowers

Cleaning the Herb Spiral ...

cleaning crew

Gorgeous Thistle colors ...

thistle

Everything pulled from the garden beds was tossed over the fence for the sheep to snack on ...

snacking

More Thistle ...

thistle

Lots of wild flowers ... many think of them as "weed" but the bees and other polinators love them ... We keep them ...

flowers

Here the chickens have nicely spread a whole line of hay where melons and zucchinis were planted last summer ...

hay spreading

More beautiful colors ...

thistle

At the end of the day we found 2 eggs under the garden bench, no time to go back to the coop when you are hard at work in the garden ...

eggs under the bench


Happy Spring ...

Posted 3/14/2013 9:00pm by Renee Savary.

Easter Eggs with Natural Coloring


Easter is just around the corner and it is time to think "coloring" ..
With just a few simple ingredients you will have a rainbow of eggs ...

 Here is what you need to create your rainbow:

RED
2 cups of beets, grated - 3tbsp white vinegar - 2 cups water

YELLOW to GOLD
3 large handfulls of yellow/brown onion skins - 3tbsp white vinegar - 3 cups water

BLUE
1lb frozen blueberries, crushed - 3 tbsp white vinegar - 2 cups water

Green:
Boiled spinach leaves - 3tbsp of white vinegar - 2 cups of water

Purple
Make a strong hibiscus tea with 2 cups of water then add 3 tbsp of white vinegar

 

Coloring ingredients


Mix combinations of the primary dyes (in separate cups) to make secondary colors : red and yellow for orange, yellow and blue for green, blue and red for violet.

 

Coloring

The vinegar acts as a fixative, without it the dyes won't stick to the eggs.
For uniform color, strain each dye mixture through a cheesecloth or a fine strainer.
For a mottled, tie-dyed or spotty effect, leave all the ingredients in the pans.
Use crayons to make designs on the eggs.

eggs coloring
The longer the eggs remain in the dye, the deeper the color.
For special effects, dip half the egg in one color, the other half in another.


Happy coloring ...

... et voila ...

Posted 12/12/2012 2:07pm by Renee Savary.

Thank you for All of you that ordered this morning special ...

we are sold out on the little candles but we still have some of our honey ...

By purchasing a jar of our honey you will help us increase our bee population and be an integral part of the bee preservation.

The whole $25 will be use to increase our bee population in the spring 2013.

http://twinoaksfarm.net/store/preserves-chutneys-and-more-100-honey?page=1

Posted 11/23/2012 3:28pm by Renee Savary.

At the Seaside Farmers Market every Saturday 9am to 1pm

and from our e-commerce :

 FREE GIFT WRAPPING WITH YOUR PURCHASE ...

Our preserved goodies make the perfect gift and are always loved ...

For a complete list of our products please visit our web site :

http://www.twinoaksfarm.net/store/preserves-chutneys-and-more

   

Free gift wrapping

 

Please forward this email to your email list and help us spread the word about Real Food.

Thank you for supporting a better way to produce healthy and wholesome food.


Twin Oaks Farm - 
USDA Certified Organic - Bonifay FL 32425

www.twinoaksfarm.net - www.facebook/twinoaksfarm

 





Posted 10/11/2012 7:57pm by Renee Savary.

The New Leaf Market 5th Annual Farm Tour is upon us and we are doing some serious feathers fluffing around here to be ready for it !!!

The chickens are rehearsing, the ducks are running around, the geese are keeping everyone under controll and this year you add to all the commotion a flock of turkeys !!!

Farm life is an ongoing circus and we invite you to it !!!

We are open on Sunday the 21st from 10am to 4pm.

Aside from touring the farm with your farmer at 11am - 1pm - 3pm we have a tractor load of activities :

our Bistrot under the Oak will be open for lunch, featuring our farm products,

learn about our backyard beekeeping and help us raise funds to increase our bees population,

kids (young and old) will make seed bombs and miniature garden to take home,

check out our new garden worm composting installation,

get up close and personal with our turkeys and our geese,

meet our small herd of Gulf Coast Sheep

... and our shop with all our goodies will be open too ... (a good idea to bring a cooler).

All this is made possible because I have a great group of friends who come to help me ... To Them a huge thank you ...

Thank you to New Leaf Market in Tallahassee for inviting us and for their ongoing support to small local farms.

We hope you join us for a day of fun ...


A few tips :

wear closed comfortable shoes, we will clean up nice but it is still a working farm.

No pets, No smoking.

Restroom available.

Thank you for respecting our bio security zone.

Driving to the farm :

I-10 to exit #112 Bonifay, go north on SR 79 for 7.5 miles,

Pass a small bridge with kids play ground at the coner of SR 79 and Creek Road, turn left into Creek Road ...

3207 Creek Road

Phone : 850 547 5636

For a complete list of farms open that week end please visit :

http://www.newleafmarket.coop/events/farm_tour/

Farm Tour

Please forward this email to your mailing list and help us spread the word about Real Food.

Thank you for supporting a better way to produce healthy and wholesome food.

Twin Oaks Farm
USDA Certified Organic
Bonifay FL 32425
www.twinoaksfarm.net
www.facebook.com/twinoaksfarm

Posted 9/24/2012 2:32pm by Renee Savary.

From our Farm to your Table ....

We now offer Free Gift Wrapping

Visit our store :

http://www.twinoaksfarm.net/store/preserves-chutneys-and-more

$ 5 flat rate shipping

Twin Oaks Farm Preserves are the perfect choice.

 Our preserves are for all occations, order from our e-commerce and have it shipped directly ... 

You place your order online, you email us the occasion and we will add a nice card with your best wishes ....


All our preserves are produced right here at the farm the old fashioned way :

just fresh fruits, that we either grow or pick from small local growers, and

certified organic evaporated cane juice and all organic ingredients.

No pectin, No citric acid, No ascorbic acid or any other colorants/fillers or chemicals.

Free Gift Wrapping

Free Gift Wrapping

We just added to our online store  :

Fig Butter

Fig Butter


Lemony Sage Mustard

Lemony Sage Mustard

 

We are at the Seaside Farmers Market

every Saturday from 9am to 1pm all year around.

Please Forward this email to your email list and help us spread the word about Real Food.

Thank you for supporting a better way to produce healthy and wholesome food.

Twin Oaks Farm

USDA Certified Organic
Bonifay FL 32425

www.twinoaksfarm.net

www.facebook.com/twinoaksfarm

 





Posted 8/16/2012 9:12pm by Renee Savary.

Tonight I found a small patch of Chanterelles at the edge of the little wood behind the house ... I have been looking for them, our summer has been really wet and they are everywhere ...

Chanterelles patch ...

10 minutes picking, most of the time spent fighting with the jungle ...

Nice pick ...

The cutest little snail was amoung them ...

Miniature snail ...

Saute some onions (would have been better with shallots but I did not have any) then add the chanterelles, let it cook for a few minutes then add the parsley and a dash of white wine, salt/pepper to taste, ...

Chanterelles fricassee

... a few more minutes of cooking ... et voila ...

Fricassee de Chanterelles

I mixed them with a tomato, olive oil and a splash of balsamique ... Great impromptu salad from the wood .. Bon appetit ...

Chanterelles - Tomato salad


Posted 7/16/2012 9:26pm by Renee Savary.

Summer at the farm brings an abundance of fruits and long hours spend in the kitchen ...

We start the season with Strawberries, ours are locally grown, in the dirt for good taste, and they are never fumigated, the result is a premium preserve ...

Fresh Strawberries

This year, for the first time, we offered Strawberry-Rhubarb Preserve, we only made a small batch of it not knowing if our customers would like it .. Well it was a huge success and we are already out of it !!! ... Next year we will make sure to order much more of this beautiful organic rhubarb ....

Fresh certified organic rhubarb

Then comes the Blueberries. They grow very well in this part of Florida and for a few weeks everything is in the shades of blues. Mixing different varieties is the secret of our wonderful preserve, some are sweeter than others, some have more natural pectin than others ... The right mix makes the right Blueberry Preserve.

Blueberry Preserve in the making ...

Late June brought the first Figs. Our Fig Preserve is a hit and a favorite with cheese Lovers. Aside from selling fresh figs at the Farmers Market, where they are very popular, we also made chutneys and butter with figs, another way to eat those delicious fruits ...

Fresh Figs

Two weeks ago we got peaches, another delicious fruits. Just the smell and the color of ripe peaches is a feast for the senses ...

... et voila ... Peach Preserve for b'feast ...

Ongoing throughout the summer our Tomato - Basil Sauce is made and Ratatouille and then our Eggplant Chutney etc ... making it a never ending arrival of fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables ... Cooking with them is a pleasure and we wish we could post online the smell in the kitchen certain days ...

Enjoy your summer ...

Posted 7/5/2012 6:36pm by Renee Savary.

All our preserves are made right here at the farm.

We only use fresh fruits that we either grow or buy from small local growers. For sugar we use certified organic evaporated cane juice and we make a point to buy the one grown in Florida, it comes at a premium.

Today, in this country, 96% of the beet sugar is grown from GMO seeds. Introduced in 2008, the beets are Monsanto’s most recent Roundup Ready product, genetically engineered to withstand loads of the direct application of the herbicide glyphosate. They took over the sugar beet market within two years. By 2010, 95 percent of the sugar beets grown in the U.S. were Monsanto’s genetically modified variety.

This matters to us all because about 50 percent of white sugar sold in the U. S. is made from sugar beets. In other words, unless that bag of sugar you just bought is labeled “Certified Organic” or “100 percent cane sugar,” it almost certainly contains sugar made from GMO crops.

This has created a rush on alternatives and certified organic cane sugar is one of them. Today we have to buy our sugar months in advance and in much larger quantities as we never know how much and when it will be available, and the price almost doubled compared to 4 years ago when we first started.

No pectin, No citric acid, No ascorbic acid … I am often asked why ?? to give you just one example: 90% of the world production of citric acid comes from China, all raised from a petty dish. I have nothing against China, but I don’t want it involved in my food, just a personal choice !!

The No pectin also means a preserve packed with fruits and not watered down.

If we use spices they have to be certified organic, all spices mix are made right here.

For years I suffered from debilitating food allergies and I learned the hard way to stay away from any “mix” whatever. Food labeling law does not require the detail of the “mix” as long as the use is under a certain percentage of the serving size … in other word: you have no way to find out what is in it but be pretty sure it contains MSG or some version of hydrolyzed soy.

We also stay away from any “natural”, by now we all know it does not mean anything.

Aside from the fruits preserves, you can choose from our chicken in curry sauce or chicken in mushroom/cream sauce both are 100% organic which means all in the ingredients are certified organic. Our chicken broth: just chickens and sea salt. We also have a whole line of confits, chutneys and other compotes either sweet or not, spicy or not ... some are just seasonal like our Ratatouille, you can buy zucchinis all year around but if you want to use only local harvest then you have them just for a few months. The beauty of local and seasonal !!!
Little Preserve Trivia : Fig is our all time best seller !!!
We work hard to bring you the best preserves and your ongoing support made them a success …
Check out our new Preserves Album on Facebook :

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.106883413013.96940.104138533013&type=1

Strawberry Preserve

Posted 4/26/2012 8:44pm by Renee Savary.

Finally this week I got all the material I needed to split my beehives. I am doing better around my bees still I highly appreciate the help of my friend Dawn and we decided that bee handling was a two people job anyway !!! …

Getting ready

As we did for my friend’s hives a few weeks ago, the idea is to take 4 frames from the established hive and move them to a new one while replacing the old frames by 4 new ones in the established hive.

Pulling out frame from the super

Both of my hives have now two super (the additional boxes you see above the brood box), we had set the first one like 5 or 6 weeks ago and the second one 2 weeks ago. The top box was still fairly empty of bees and honey but the one below is almost full, we could not resist and took a frame to harvest the honey. The box was so heavy we had to move it together !!

frame caped with honey

Once we had the two super set aside we started to work on getting the 4 frames at the center out and moved them into the new brood box. In one of the hive we were able to locate the queen, trust me it is quite an accomplishment for beginners. I try to take a pix but between the veil and the huge gloves to try to zoom in, the pix was off focus …

view of a frame

Once we were done with the frames, we put back  the two super on the established hives and then  drove the two new ones to my friends at Working Cow Dairy, they are also certified organic so no risk for my bees to splurge on GMO’s or pesticide. We got them in a really nice area, surrounded by organic fields, with a little forest on one side and a nice stream running through, plenty of wild flowers all around.

I will check on them in a week or so and will keep you posted on the progress …

Posted 4/10/2012 2:02pm by Renee Savary.

Thank you

Seaside Times

for featuring me, the farm and my feathered co-workers ...

We love the article and all the pictures ...


http://www.theseasidetimes.com/






Posted 4/5/2012 12:40pm by Renee Savary.

Easy Duck Roasting ....

A few times a year I have Muscovy ducks available. They are raised slowly, over a 10/11 weeks period, on pasture supplemented with organic soyfree grains. The result is an incredible meat probably one of the best I ever had.

Most duck recipe are quite elaborate and can be intimidating. Raising ducks slowly on pasture let them develop their own flavor and I found out, like with our chickens, the simpler preparation was the better one and let you taste it’s true flavor. 

I first rub the duck with our Grey Sea salt and lemon and olive oil and black pepper, then cut the breast skin in a cross hatch pattern without cutting into the duck ... just to open the skin to let the extra fat drip ...

Warm up your oven to 325F and in a roasting pan cook it for 45 minuter per 1lb of duck ... for example a 4lb duck would be 3h ....

*** Note: on cooking time, if you get a larger duck, like 5 or 6lb, roast it like a 4lb one and then check the temperature, larger duck gets larger in lengh ... 3 to 4h cooking time should be enough for a 5 to 6lb duck. Also all temp/time are for a conventional oven and do NOT work for convection oven.

The first hour the duck is roasted breast side down, then turn it for the remaining time .. at time of turning I add 1 or 2lb (depending the size of the duck) of onions, cut into big chunk, to the bottom of the roasting pan .... the onions will caramelize in the duck fat ... 

Once the cooking time done I take the duck out of the oven, cover it with foil and let it stand for 15 minutes ... then carve it ...

In  the meantime  “deglace” the bottom of the pan into a smaller pan and scooping out the onions, add salt/pepper to taste and 1tsp of Dijon mustard, some dry white wine bring it to a boil cook it for a few minutes, strain it and serve it aside the onions.

I like to serve it with roasted potatoes (roasted in duck fat) and some Twin Oaks Farm cranberry sauce...

 Best duck ever !!! ...

Do not remove any of the extra duck fat and make sure to save all the left over fat and render it ... it will keep really well in the fridge and will do marvel with spring potatoes ...

Et voila ... Bon appetit ...

Roasted duck

Posted 3/28/2012 9:32pm by Renee Savary.

Easter Eggs with Natural Coloring


Easter is just around the corner and it is time to think "coloring" ..
With just a few simple ingredients you will have a rainbow of eggs ...

 Here is what you need to create your rainbow:

RED
2 cups of beets, grated - 3tbsp white vinegar - 2 cups water

YELLOW to GOLD
3 large handfulls of yellow/brown onion skins - 3tbsp white vinegar - 3 cups water

BLUE
1lb frozen blueberries, crushed - 3 tbsp white vinegar - 2 cups water

Green:
Boiled spinach leaves - 3tbsp of white vinegar - 2 cups of water

Purple
Make a strong hibiscus tea with 2 cups of water then add 3 tbsp of white vinegar

 

Coloring ingredients


Mix combinations of the primary dyes (in separate cups) to make secondary colors : red and yellow for orange, yellow and blue for green, blue and red for violet.

 

Coloring

The vinegar acts as a fixative, without it the dyes won't stick to the eggs.
For uniform color, strain each dye mixture through a cheesecloth or a fine strainer.
For a mottled, tie-dyed or spotty effect, leave all the ingredients in the pans.
Use crayons to make designs on the eggs.

eggs coloring
The longer the eggs remain in the dye, the deeper the color.
For special effects, dip half the egg in one color, the other half in another.


Happy coloring ...

... et voila ...

Posted 3/15/2012 8:29pm by Renee Savary.

Last Sunday I went to help my friend Dawn to split her beehives, well ... help !! ... Let's just say I stayed a good 2ft away and try to generate as much smoke as possible.

To split beehives, you take 4 of the central frames of the hive to split, including the queen, move them into a new empty hive, close it and move it away a few miles for a month or so. It will give the "older" hive time to raise a new queen then you can bring all the hives back together.

It seems fairly simple but it is not, you have thousands and thousands of bees buzzing around, you are kind of suffocating with the smoke (that is when I help) and for the not trained eyes to locate the queen in the middle of the multitude is kind of locating that pin needle in the hay story... ...

But we did it and I am happy to report that after a few days both hives, the new and the old ones, are doing well ...

 Then we came to the farm to look at mines. Last spring I got 3 hives, I still have 2 of them. I have to be honest I am not super comfortable dealing with bees ! I can confront a charging donkey but I am afraid of bees ... go figure !!!

I had not open my hives in several months, I knew they were well sealed by the bees and I did not find a reason why to open them when it was cold or windy or wet ... I did supplement them with some honey/water tea once a week in January and February and I am sure it did help them ...

I am well aware of all the problems the bees are encountering from pesticide to GMO's but I think their worst enemy is us, human, so without pretending saving the bees, I will just let the ones I have at the farm be bees and do their bees business and on my side I will make sure they have enough quality food.

 opening the hive

On this picture we are just opening the first hive and looking at it ...

I am happy to report they are doing wonderful, I was so relieved to see them doing so well. Now the next step is to split my hives, probably in a week or two. Here are some more pictures of our beezy Sunday !!!

frame

me holding a frame ...

frame with nice brood partern

Hive with super installed ...

Go to www.facebook.com/twinoaksfarm for more pictures on my beesy Sunday ....

Posted 5/19/2011 8:50pm by Renee Savary.

Local and organic food and farming : The Golden Standard.

by Ronnie Cummins

Director, Organic Consumers Association

More and more consumers and corporations are touting the benefits of "local" foods, often described as "sustainable," "healthy," or "natural." According to the trade publication, Sustainable Food News, local as a marketing claim has grown by 15 percent from 2009 to 2010, and it's likely that number will increase in the coming year.
But, beyond the greenwashing and co-opting of the term by Wal-Mart, what does "local" food and farming really mean? What is the impact of non-organic local food and farming on public health, nutrition, biodiversity, and climate?

Jessica Prentice coined the term locavore for World Environment Day in 2005 to promote local eating, and local consumption in general. Her goal was to challenge people to obtain as much food as possible from within a one hundred mile radius. Her success was more than she imagined. In 2007 the New Oxford American Dictionary selected "locavore" as its word of the year. Local had arrived!

Some chemical farmers claim that local is better than organic, because it stimulates the local economy and reduces the distance (food miles) that food travels between the farm or feedlot and your table. But does so-called local farming, utilizing toxic pesticides, GMO seeds and feed, chemical fertilizers, and animal drugs mean that the food is safe and sustainable? Obviously not.

We believe that there shouldn't have to be a choice between local and safe organic; but rather that consumers should look for food that is not only local or regionally produced, but food that is also organic and therefore safe and sustainable. Organic and local is the new gold standard!

The locavore phenomenon brings up several important concerns including: food miles, chemically grown food, greenhouse gas emissions, factory farming, genetically engineered animal feed, and the value of organic labeling. All of these crucial issues relate to the central question: what should be in your market basket?

Does Local Mean Safe?

Chemically grown foods produced locally may be cheaper than organic and may aid the local economy but they pollute the ground water, kill the soil food web, broadcast pesticides into the air, poison farmworkers, and incrementally poison consumers with toxic residues on their foods. "Local" pesticides, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and chemical fertilizers are just as poisonous as those used in California, Mexico, Chile, or China.

Does "Pesticide Free" Mean Safe or Sustainable?

Often, growers at farmers markets will say, "I don't use pesticides, I only use chemical fertilizers." Sadly, what many people do not realize is that chemical fertilizers are extremely hazardous. A high percentage of these fertilizers seep into our wells and municipal drinking water, or else run off into our streams, rivers, and finally end up in the ocean. Two-thirds of the nation's drinking water is contaminated with hazardous levels of nitrogen fertilizer. High nitrogen and phosphorous levels in rivers and oceans kill fish and other marine wildlife.

"Local" Factory Farms and CAFOs: Destroying Public Health and Climate Stability

According to Wal-Mart and Food Inc.'s definition of local (anything produced within a 400-mile radius), meat, dairy, and eggs, reared on a diet of GMO grains, slaughterhouse waste, and antibiotics, qualify as "local." According to the USDA, the majority of the nation's non-organic meat, dairy and eggs are now produced on massive factory farms, euphemistically called Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). CAFOs are typically overcrowded, filthy, disease ridden, and inhumane, not only for the hapless animals imprisoned inside their walls, but also for the typically non-union, exploited, immigrant workers who toil in these hellish facilities.

And where does methane pollution come from? Mainly from factory farms and the overproduction of non-organic meat, dairy, and eggs.

Food Miles and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Food miles are the average miles that food travels from the farm to the consumer. Since more than 80% of the U.S. grocery purchases are now processed foods, a huge percentage of the carbon or fossil fuel footprint of industrial agriculture comes from transporting factory farm crops or animals to the processing plant or slaughterhouse and then transporting these processed foods from the processing plant to the dinner table via the supermarket. By reducing the processed foods in our diet we can greatly reduce the food miles or carbon footprint for which our households are responsible, since the shorter the distance food travels, the lower the greenhouse gas emissions.

"Fresh food miles" indeed contribute to the high CO2 emissions from the U.S. food system, but these whole foods are certainly not the major greenhouse gas contributor in our food system. That dubious honor belongs to factory-farmed meat, eggs, and milk, which generate 30 to 50% of all of the U.S. greenhouse gasses, more than industry and fossil fuels combined.


Chemical and Local versus Organic and Local

If they are talking about comparing supermarket fresh organic with fresh chemically grown local, we should still choose supermarket organic, because, whether they are used locally or nationally, pesticides and fertilizers are more dangerous and deadly to your health and the health of the environment than chemically-free organic foods transported from outside your local region.


The Gold Standard: Local and Organic

Local organic food and farming are the gold standard. Organic farmers gladly adhere to a set of regulations, use non-toxic products, and accept the need to be scrutinized by an independent third party inspector.

There are no regulations governing "local" chemically grown or GMO-derived food. When the local chemical grower tells you that local is better than organic, tell them that they should switch to organic so that you can trust their food to be safe, clean, inspected, and environmentally friendly. Local-organic is the gold standard.

 

Tags: local, organic
Posted 12/14/2010 9:05am by Renee Savary.

Need some stocking stuffers or want to create a holiday gift basket ??

Twin Oaks Farm preserves are the perfect choice.

 All our preserves are produced right here at the farm the old fashion way : just fresh fruits, that we either grow or pick from small local growers, and certified organic evaporated cane juice.

NO pectin, NO citric acid, No ascorbic acid or any other colorants/fillers or other "ingredients" put in a jar in today's world ...


Golden Plum
SouthernLiving December 2010 edition picked 36 artisan foods representing the South's best authentic flavors and our Golden Plum Preserve was part of them ....

We pick our plums locally at the pic of the season, to enhance their natural flavors we added a dash of the islands best spices : star anise, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg ...

3 "Agrumes"
to celebrate the citrus family we added Meyer Lemons and Florida Oranges to our own Satzuma Mandarines,
some cinnamon sticks and cardamon pods to make you forget it is tart ...

Pear - Calamondin
we sliced Calamondins into our Kieffer's Pears to give it a kick,
add some star anise, fresh vanilla beans from our friend Susan in Madagascar and just enough organic sugar to make you want to eat more of it ....

Blueberry
Made from the freshest local  blueberries, this preserve is made 100% out of fruit with only organic evaporated cane juice.
 It doesn't get any more natural than that

Peach
Sunny locally grown peaches and organic evaporated cane sugar make this farm-made preserve a Twin Oaks favorite!


Strawberry
This Strawberry preserve is made with real strawberries, locally grown in dirt for good taste and not fumigated with methyl bromide : a rare find in todays's strawberries production. We just added organic evaporated cane juice ... et voila !!!

Mango chutney
Try our fabulous Mango Chutney made from fresh Florida mango, organic evaporated cane juice, organic apple cider, organic onion, organic grapes, water, ginger, and lemon juice!


To place an order go to our web site :

http://www.twinoaksfarm.net/store/69

or you can visit us at the farmer's market :

Holidays Schedule :

Saturday December 18, 2010
9am to 1pm Farmers Market in Seaside
Wednesday December 22, 2010
Special Christmas Market in Seaside
2pm to 6pm Farmers Market in Seaside
Thursday December 23, 2010
3pm to 6pm Lafayette Steet Organic Growers Market in Tallahassee

Preserves

Twin Oaks Farm
USDA Certified Organic
Bonifay FL 32425
www.twinoaksfarm.net

Please forward this email to your mailing list and help us spread the word about real food

Posted 10/13/2010 9:45pm by Renee Savary.

The New Leaf Market 2010 Farm Tour

Sunday October 24, 2010.

The farm will be open from 10 am to 4 pm.
Farm tour every 2 hours starting at 11am.

Ongoing throughout the day :

Chandra Hartman of CFH Design Studio will provide an opportunity for farm-tour-goers to discover the world of permaculture (ecological design); an ethics based design system for creating sustainable communities. Chandra will also display and discuss how to create a small hugelkultur bed that can be created from readily available natural resources. This is a great way to make raised or sunk beds that retain moisture and are nutrient rich with minimal cost.

Raw food chef Jenifer Kuntz, owner of Raw and Juicy Organic Juice Bar, will show you how to make raw yogurt from cashews and coconuts and, will demonstrate how to boost your vitamin and nutrient
intake by preparing kale into a delicious ready-to-eat salad.  Increase your energy, and learn new easy raw food recipes during your visit.

With Arix Zalace learn the importance of earth worms for a healthy planet.  Arix will talk about vermicomposting, and the many ways you can use earth worms at your home and in your garden.

The SoapPedaler, Celeste Cobena will be here with her line of organic soaps and skin care products. Besides using organic components and essential oils, Celeste use locally produced ingredients from local honey to our own duck eggs in her organic soap ....

Our shop will be open and all our goodies, from eggs to preserves, will be available for purchase.
(good idea to bring a cooler)

Take time to have lunch under the oak tree ...
light lunch, featuring the farm own products and some of Jenifer delicious raw food available for purchase.

A few tips :
close shoes, we will clean up the place nice but it is still a working farm.
No pets ... sorry ...
No smoking ... not sorry about that one !!!
Restroom available.
Thank you for respecting our bio security zone.

Driving to the farm :
I-10 to exit #112 Bonifay, go north on SR79 for 7.5 miles,
Pass small bridge with kids play ground at the corner of SR79 and Creek Road.
Turn left into Creek Road
3207 Creek Road
Phone : 850 547 5636

Join us for a tour of the farm ....
Farm tour

Please forward this email to your mailing list and help us spread the word about Real Food.

Thank you for supporting a better way to produce healthy and wholesome food.

Twin Oaks Farm
USDA Certified Organic
Bonifay FL 32425
www.twinoaksfarm.net

Posted 9/14/2010 6:52am by Renee Savary.

Jen Bronson wrote a great blog about the farm on Eat Local, America ! ... Thanks Jen we love it ....

http://eatlocalamerica.coop/node/509

 

Posted 2/12/2010 1:21pm by Renee Savary.

Weekly Food Thoughts 02/11/2010

Good article this week in the NewYork Times about "A federal effort to push junk food out of school" (link below). While I think the effort is somewhere praiseworthy, I also think it totally miss the real problem and here is why ...
Beyond the point, the article mentionned the whole "business" of selling, let's call it junk,  to help raise money to pay for new sport uniforms or other extra cruricular programs !!! quite paradoxal : selling junk to pay for sport equipments !! it is really sad to think that schools have to go to that extend because they don't have the adequate fundings!!!
Now to the point missed: I have cookies or cake every afternoon and I would not want someone to take it away from me (make me unpleasant).
BUT I bake my cookies/cake which usually include: sugar/flour/eggs/butter and, depending the mood and the week, from nuts to dry fruits to chocolate ... in short the usual home made organic taste delicious cookies.
NOW have you ever read mass produced cookies's labels ??? (yaya I went back to the store with my little notepad) I found out that they all have more or less the same ingredients from : palm kernel oil with TBHQ for freshness (no kidding and I am quoting) (see my google result below), cocoa processed with alkali, Polysorbate 60 (often used in cosmetics to solubilize essential oils into water-based products. Polysorbates are oily liquids derived from PEG-ylated sorbitan (a derivative of sorbitol) esterified with fatty acids.) yup I did not know either !! Vanillin : an artificial flavor (sic) (all spelled out), soy lecithin (even my chickens dont eat soy) etc etc etc from yellow #5 to red #40 you got it and here where the real problem is NOBODY goes after the manufacturers of that junk, of course kids (and grownups) are going to buy it : it is available in quantities and it is CHEAP (here again) and as long as nobody will forbid the food manufacturers to put in your food the same stuff you find in your body lotion (polysorbate) why should they stop ???
If we want to stop the health problems of generations of kids let's stop to produce the crap ... if kids are not buying it at school then they will buy it somewhere else.
Let's teach the kids to bake their own cookies with real ingredients, they will love it and dont give me the "no time" crap ...  
In the meantime you can buy real cookies at the farmer's market.
See you all on Saturday ....

TBHQ is another ingredient that is in alot of food products.
TBHQ, tertiary butylhydroquinone, is an antioxidant derived from petroleum.
TBHQ is a form of butane, i.e LIGHTER FLUID, that the FDA allows processors to use sparingly in our food.
Ingesting a single gram of TBHQ can cause “nausea, vomitting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse.” TBHQ used in lab rats has cause cancer, stomach ulcers, and damage to DNA.
Ingesting 5 grams can kill.
And here’s a gross fact about McNuggests from McDonalds (they love to see you smile). TBHQ is sprayed directly on the nugget or on the inside of the box is comes in to “help preserve freshness.” They “promise” that each nugget has 0.02 percent of TBHQ oil.

The next generation of Laying Girls ...

4 weeks old layers

Posted 2/8/2010 7:27pm by Renee Savary.

Weekly Food Thoughts 02/04/2010

I got an email from someone looking for "ways" to produce organic chicken feed CHEAP!!!

Ok People we need to get out of Cheap Food LaLaLand, either we change the way food out there is getting subsidies or we accept the fact that real food comes at a price and we need to change the way we eat.

Here is how the system works now : MegaFarm is producing corn at $10 a bushel (please don't quote me on numbers or names this just for the purpose of the example) so their cost is $10, here comes UncleSam giving MegaFarm $10 subsidies to each bushel of corn. At this point the cost of producing corn is Zero (0), arrive HFCS inc., mega food manufacturer, willing to pay $5 for the same bushel of corn, of course MegaFarm is happy to sell and makes a $5 profit. I simplified it but this is the principle. Now let's remove UncleSam subsidies. MegaFarm is still producing at $10/bushel and still wants to make $5 in profit therefor they will sell to HFCS inc. at $15/bushel !! Right here the price of your food tripled !!! Of course I am not taking into consideration all the ugly scheme this corn will go through before hitting your plate. Now you wonder where the $10 in subsidies comes from ??? I have news from you ... WE are paying with our tax $$ and subsequent Health Royalties for ever and this is the "beauty" of it : WE pay before we even buy !!! ... There is no miracle or magic formula, Real Food cost to produce, at $6/dozen for my eggs I pay the feed for the chickens that's all !!!

I went to a workshop called "small scale poultry raising" or something like that. Given by UF, the first speaker, PhD in nutrition, spent 17 minutes bashing organic practices, stating that if you want problems, snags, headaches (his words) that was the way to go !! I was wondering what I have been doing for the last two years or so ?? of course the only way he was promoting was factory farms, it amazed me that someone at that level was not more knowledgeable or at least open to organic practices, it shows how brain wash most people are about food, pretending that the food system in this country is one of the safest in the world ... welcome to LaLaLand. Then, at the other end of the spectrum, I was part of a backyard chickens workshop full of people wanting to raise their own chickens and realizing how dysfunctional the food system is. I loved it and made me want to start having backyard poultry workshops here at the farm, I will give you full details next week ...
Back to reality I have a ton of feed (literally) to unload ... hahaha ... see you all tomorrow ...

PS: I watch a great documentary called : food beware: the french organic revolution (Netflix) about how a small village gets its school cafeteria to go all organic and the impact on the community from the parents to the local farmers, a perfect example of how when there is a political will "things" happend. Watch it you will love it ....

Happy Hour at the farm  ...

Happy hour at the farm

Posted 2/11/2009 10:06am by Renee Savary.

WE GOT EGGS

.... and our eggs are unique ....

let me explain why ...

First our hens are fed a USDA certified organic feed without soy added. Which  means that we know what is in the feed, all the ingredients are certified organic and there is no filler or plastic pellets (yes it does exist). The feed is made of real grains not some pelletize form of you dont know what.

Second our hens roam freely, that is called pastured (not to be mixed with free range), all day long. They scratch for greens and bugs and just have fun being hens. At night they are cooped mainly to keep them safe from every foxes, coyotes and other predators that I am sure is waiting for a free diner at every corner of the property. Their coops are equiped with nesting boxes where they lay their eggs. We moved their coops around to make sure they get new and fresh pasture.

Third our hens have never been medicated. We do not give preventive medecine (and yes most bag of feed out there as some kind of antibiotic included). We keep their coops super clean and between the fun outdoor activities and the good food they just keep healthy. We also have a strict bio security system in place.

We are not yet USDA certified organic and therefor can not sell the eggs with the organic label but we are working on it.

If you want to try REAL eggs or just taste and feel the difference we are THE place and you know we do not cut corner to produce the very best.

We sell our eggs by the dozen from $5/dozen to $6.50/dozen depending on the eggs size, the inventory/production and the volume of the order.

You can call or email us to place an order.

Let's have a look at them :

Production line

Production line 1
Production line 2

The pick of the day

eggs 3
 

eggs 2 

Hummmmmmmmm.... delicious ....

Eggs au plat
Eggs sur assiette