Farm Journal

Posted 11/10/2017 5:20am by Renee Savary.

Sip .. Shop and Au Revoir ... 

Join us for our Holiday Party
Vin Chaud and Edibles ...
 
Wedneday, November 15, 4pm to 7pm.
 
 
xmas 
 
The FarmStand is open everyday till the end of the month ...  
 
Our Edible Gifts make the perfect stocking stuffers or that "little something" ... Most of them are under $10 ...
Local AND Organic ... you can not beat that ....
Free GiftWrapping with all your purchases ...
 
This week we have a good supply of eggs, the girls finally got back to work !!!!
We also got some nice zucchinis, bell peppers, cucumber and the persimmons are back in stock ... All Local and Organic ...
 
Working Girl 
 
... and much more ...
 
Our FarmStand is open Monday through Thursday 8am to 4pm
Friday and Saturday 7am to 4pm
and Sunday 7am to 2pm .... 
Serving breakfast and lunch on the week end ...
 
See you All ...
  
Follow us :

www.facebook.com/twinoaksfarm

Instagram: twinoaksfarm

We are located 26 Logan Lane in Grayton Beach Fl

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 - Bonifay FL 32425 

 
 
 
 
 
Posted 10/5/2017 10:05pm by Renee Savary.
 
Letter of resignation from your FarmHer,
 
 
  September 19 .. is the day I decided enough was enough and I was going to stop this nonsense …
 
Early that day we had to move some chickens coops over a few hundred yards passing a flatten cross fence.
 
Usually when we move the coops, every other day, it is for 12ft, we do it with the chickens in the coop with one person, in the coop, making sure the chickens move forward, then we feed them and they go lucky with their day …
If you move chickens more than that or turn the coop around then they have no clue where they live anymore so when we have to do this kind of major move, we leave the chickens in their coops for 3 days after which they remember … as weird as it sounds that is how it works and if you don’t do it that way you get stranded at the end of the day with your chickens scattered all over the place and you do not herd chickens … I got stranded countless of times over the years and  I learned my lesson the hard way ..
 
That day we had to make a kind of tricky move but nothing too complicated either … That is when my helper decided, against my very clear order, to let the chickens out making it easier to move the coops .. I was furious !!! but we could not wait another day to do it as the fence needed to get up to keep donkeys and sheep in …
 
Forward to the end of the day … 6:30pm, the night is falling and I find myself with hundred chickens that have no clue where they live.
You don’t have much options at that point : either let them out and take a chance on wild life being hungry that night or not or get them into something … I went to get one empty coop, moved it to the area the chickens were. 
 
Chickens don’t have night vision and even in front of the door they won’t move in. When they get stranded like that they congregate in small pods pretty much where their coop was, snuggling tight.
The only way to get them in is to hand pick them and put them in the coop. If you are fast you can grab 3 or 4 at a time before the pod runs off and reform a few yards away … it took me 3h to pick them up … 3h at the end of the usual 12h shift … 9:30pm  when I finally got in and could make some diner !!!!!!!!!!!
 
That is when I decided enough was enough,  I just can not keep doing it anymore, I am tired, that’s it … it is over …
 
As for the FarmStand, we lost so much business over the last few weeks that I am obligated to close it …
 
Here we are my Friends … I will produce on a much smaller scale, for those of you interested  I will do delivery once a week, not sure yet how I will organize that but will work on it …
 
The FarmStand is going to be open till December 4, and we are stocking up nicely, think of us for all your Holiday shopping … we would love it …  
 
I am very sad to reach this point … There is much more I could say but I will leave it here for now …
 
Don’t forget, the FarmStand is open till December 4th …  Hopefully I have enough creativity left to come up with another original idea !!! …  
 
Cheers …
 
Renee  
 
 
 
Come see us 
Our FarmStand is open Monday to Thursday 8am to 4pm
Friday to Sunday 7am to 4pm .... 
Serving Breakfast and Lunch Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
 
 
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 - Bonifay FL 32425 

Our FarmStand is located at

26 Logan Lane in Grayton Beach, Fl 32424

We are open every day 7am to 5pm (Sunday 4pm)

Our kitchen is open till 2pm.

 
 
 
 
 
Posted 12/6/2016 10:07am by Renee Savary.

Our FarmStand in Grayton Beach is getting into

Winter hours  :
Everyday 7am to 5pm.
(we are located 26, Logan Lane, Grayton Beach FL 32459)
 
 
 
PARTY TIME
 
 
Wedneday, December 7, 4pm to 7pm
 
Join us for our 
Shops of Grayton Holiday Party
Vin Chaud and Edibles ...
All the shops will be open to help you with your Holiday Shopping List ...
 
xmas party
 
 
 
Our Friends Annie and Alicia will have their Christmas Wreath and Floral Pop-up at our FarmStand.
 
 
 
Florals
 
Our Edible Gifts make the perfect stocking stuffers or that "little something" ... Most of them are under $10 ... Local AND Organic ... you can not beat that ....
Free GiftWrapping with all your purchases ...
We have a whole line of organic Soaps using the farm products ...
 
 
Free gift wrapping
 
 
... and much more ...
 
Come see us at the market, Saturday 9am to 1pm.
Our FarmStand is open Saturday 7am to 5pm
and Sunday 7am to 4pm .... 
 
See you All ...
 
 
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 11/17/2016 10:11am by Renee Savary.

Turkey lingo or what you should know before buying your bird …  

Turkey frenzy is under way and what is on the label will tell you a lot ... or nothing ... here are my 2 cents on it :

Fresh ….

What you think it means : The turkey was slaughtered this morning (or maybe yesterday) and was rushed to my local grocery store.

What it actually means: "Fresh" has nothing to do with the time between slaughter and sale. Instead, it means that the turkey has not been cooled to below 26 degrees Fahrenheit. In other words, it was never frozen.  

Young …

What you might think it means: This bird was killed at a younger age than most turkeys and is therefore more tender and delicious. Maybe it also suffered less.

What it actually means: The bird was likely killed at the same age as most other turkeys at 16 to 18 weeks, compared to the roughly 10 years turkeys live in the wild.  

Natural ...

What you might think it means: The turkeys have been raised in a "natural" environment, wandering around on a farm with a red barn, scavenging food and gobble-gobbling their cares away.

What it actually means: “Natural” is a non regulated term  and means whatever the user wants !! It has nothing to do with whether the turkeys got antibiotics or not, were living in filthy conditions or were confined indoors.

  Which bring us to a basic question : how exactly are most turkeys in the U.S. raised

The majority of turkeys are living in crowded houses,  football field-sized sheds that are entirely enclosed,  by the tens of thousands. Birds typically have their beaks cut to prevent them from injuring or killing one another, and are allotted an average of two square feet of space.

Manure often piles up beneath the birds, and ammonia hangs thick in the air. Many turkeys are routinely given antibiotic to prevent them from getting sick. Plus, modern turkeys have been genetically bred to mature quickly and have extremely large breasts (for more white meat).Many have trouble standing.

To be clear, turkey producers must still meet basic safety standards and the meat should be safe. But terms like "natural" are misleading consumers about how the birds are actually raised. Paying extra for "natural" is most of the time a waste !!!

Let's look at a few more dubious labels :

Free-Range ...

What you might think it means: These turkeys roam freely on a farm, pecking at the lush grass and getting more exercise than you do.

What it actually means: In some cases (on some small farms like Twin Oaks Farm), it does mean what you're picturing. But in the vast majority of cases, "free-range" turkeys are raised in the standard, crowded warehouses and as long as somewhere there is a door it can then be called “Free-Range” …

If the animal never even went outdoors, but you sort of open and close the door everyday then it can be called “free-range” !!!!  

Cage-Free ...

What you might think it means: This turkey had a better life than most, because at least it wasn't stuffed into a tiny cage.

What it actually means: This turkey's life was probably the same as most, because turkeys are not raised in cages.  

Premium ...

What you might think it means: This turkey is a higher grade of meat, and is more delicious and healthy.

What it actually means: Basically, nothing !!! Save your money …  

No Hormones Added ...

What you might think it means: This bird is healthier than most because it wasn't pumped full of the hormones that turn some turkeys into the Incredible Hulk

What it actually means: Once again, this term is misleading. By USDA law, turkeys (and other poultry) are not allowed to be given growth hormones. This said the use of “growth promoter” is common.

Humane/Non-Certified Humane ...

What you might think it means: Finally, a bird that has been raised according to an ethical set of principles. It was probably treated fairly and lived a decent life.

What it actually means: If there is no certifying agency, the label is probably meaningless. That's because the USDA allows companies to come up with their own definition of "humane" . That's most of the virtually meaningless terms. Let's move on to some labels that have at least some significance.

Kosher ...

What you might think it means: The turkey was raised according to a stricter set of hygiene standards. It was probably kept cleaner and healthier.

What it actually means: The turkey was probably raised in the same crowded house conditions as most turkeys. The only difference is that it was slaughtered according to a set of kosher principles.

Vegetarian-Fed/Grain-Fed ...

 What you might think it means: This turkey enjoyed a lush supply of greens and grains, replicating its natural diet.  

What it actually means: The bird probably ate what most turkeys eat: corn and soy. But these birds have not had their diets supplemented with animal by products, which does happen often. The irony, though, is that turkeys are not natural vegetarians. In the wild, or at Twin Oaks Farm, they eat a variety of bugs and worms, along with grass and other plants.  

Raised Without Antibiotics/No Antibiotics Administered ...

What you might think it means: These birds were never given any antibiotics of any kind.

What it actually means: These birds were given drugs only if they were sick, but not for growth promotion, feed efficiency or to prevent disease. It does not mean the birds were raised in more sanitary conditions, only that they were not given routine antibiotics.  

Heritage ...

What you think it means : Your turkey breed hark back to an era before industrial agriculture and genetic manipulation, bread naturally on a sweet red barn farm.  

What it actually means : There is no official certification program for the identification and labeling of heritage birds the way there is for organics. If you get a turkey from any grocery store you probably certain that the term “heritage” was stretched out meaning those birds have some of the genetics of heritage breed … you will find that on the very small print on the label … “Heritage” is the new fad, just don’t be fooled by it …  

Organic ...

 What you might think it means: These turkeys were raised on a steady diet of organic vegetables, green smoothies and yoga.  

What it actually means: To meet the requirements for the USDA Certified Organic, animals must have some access to the outdoors (though there's debate about whether or not most organic turkeys actually go outdoors), be fed only organic feed (non-GMO and grown without chemical pesticides) and must not be given antibiotic drugs on a routine basis. Commercial organic turkeys are a better options still knowing that  are raised in far from ideal conditions.  

Here at Twin Oaks Farm we try to raise it right and it is not cheap … no miracle …

And like everything else in food, cheap come at the expense of animal welfare, the environment and your health just to name a few ...  

Purchasing one of our turkey not only support your local farming but has a much broader impact that you may think of ... to give you an example … yesterday, as we were harvesting our birds, I noticed bees were buzzing on the  wheel barrel full of feathers .. Probably getting some minerals out of it or who knows what but this morning it was covered with bees … yesterday bees must have spread the word in BeeLand that we were running a Thanksgiving special on the other side of the house !!! … I will let that wheelbarrel out an extra day before composting those feathers … yes, composting is another by product  …  

Choose wisely my Friends …  

Turkey pre order

Posted 9/27/2016 3:00pm by Renee Savary.

Our Farm Tour scheduled for

Sunday, October 23 has been cancelled ...

Thank you for your ongoing support ...

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 ... 
 
 
 
Follow us :

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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 5/23/2016 9:20pm by Renee Savary.
Our FarmStand in Grayton Beach is now open
 
on Tuesday too ...  
 
Open everyday 7am to 6pm.
 
(we are located 26, Logan Lane, Grayton Beach FL 32459)
 
Serving Breakfast and Lunch everyday from 7am to 3pm
 
 FarmStand 
 
Our patio is ready ...
 
Patio
 
We even grow tomatoes ... I mean the ones I can save from the raccoon !!!!
 
Tomatoes
 
See you soon ... 
 
 
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 5/19/2016 8:08pm by Renee Savary.
I am very happy to announce our first Farm To Fork diner at the FarmStand prepared by
Chef Kevin Korman of Rosalie Dining and Seafood Bar ...
Friday May, 27 from 6pm till late ...
For reservations call/text 305 282 5999 or stop by the FarmStand .
Farm to Fork menu
Posted 4/28/2016 10:13pm by Renee Savary.

This week we got new bees, they arrive through the mail and the post office called me around 6:30am to let me know they were in !!! Here what the box looks like : 3 lb of bees and a queen. The box is really well sealed and contain a can of sugary liquid to feed the bees during the trip. 

BeeBox
 
I started by setting all my material, boxes, frames, cover etc .. Last thing you want is missing some part when you have bees all over ... and yes been there done it !!!!
 
Hive set
 
The Queen is inside the box in a box !! I will have to install her first in the hive, I move a bunch of frames to give me some space and once the bees are in I will put them back ... At this point I will lift the metal can and pick up the Queen box ...
 
setting new bees
 
This is what a Queen box looks like, the Queen is attended by a couple of bees, the white part to the right is a sugary substance that the bees will go through and release the Queen in the new hive ... 
 
Queen box
 
I staple the box in between two frames, it just needs to hold for a couple of days and then will be removed ...
 
Queen box installation
 
The next step is to dump the bees from the box into the hive by first removing the can and then a good shake and most of them clump down.
On a side note during all this bees are flying around but they are not aggressive at all ... then I install the 4 remaining frame and can close my hive.
 
Bees in the hive ...
 
Because I did not get all the bees out of the box, I will just leave it in front of the hive and by the end of the day they will all be in ...
Now I will leave this hive grow over the summer, I dont harvest honey the first season, I let them build up their hive and build their reserve for the winter.  They have a lot of work in front of them.
I let the garden go wild and it is full of wild flowers and herbs that reseeded themselves, the bees should have plenty to forage.
 
all set
 
I thought I was done with the bees when I found this out !!!!
Yes a swarm !!! ... from one of the hive at the Bee Garden next to the pond ...
But it is late so this is going to be next week story ...
 
swarm
 
Please visit our Apiary section of our web site and learn what we do and how we do it ... and you can help the bees too, at the FarmStand we have a nice collection of flowers seeds and mixes ..
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 :

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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