Farm Journal

Posted 10/19/2009 3:03pm by Renee Savary.

Sunday October 25, 2009 from 10 am to 4 pm,
with the help of friends and volunteers,
 we are taking part of the New Leaf Market 2nd Annual Farm Tour of North Florida and South Georgia.

Don't miss the chance to experience the most exciting farm tour in our area. Thirty-three farms are opening their doors and inviting you to come see local farms in action. Families can enjoy tours that include barnyard animals, fresh-baked goods and refreshments and of course, purchase amazingly fresh goods directly from the farm.

I will give a tour of the farm every 2h starting at 10am.

Peter and Susan Horn from Artisan Builders will create a spiral herb garden using recycled materials, compost at different stages and organic herbs.

Jenifer Kuntz from Raw and Juicy will demonstrate a quick and easy raw vegan dessert made with real ingredients like dates, avocado, and cacao. No fillers, ever. You can have your cake and eat it too !!

Arix Zalace will demonstrate how to turn your table scraps and paper waste into valuable fertilizer through worm composting.

Our shop will be open and we will have all our products for purchase.
Make sure to bring a cooler if you want to buy eggs and/or chickens.

We will have lunch available for sale, take some time to enjoy it under the big oak tree.

As you are in the area, our friends at Dragonfly Fields in Defuniak Springs are part of the tour and they will be open Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm.
Their address is 1600 County Hwy 192.

Here is a link to the complete list of farms and directions :
http://www.newleafmarket.coop/events/farm_tour/

The farm tour is an opportunity for you to learn about local food production, where it comes from, and the farmers who produce it. Eating is one of the most important things we do every day. It has life long implications for our health, our children's health and the health of the planet. Getting to know the people who grow your food is a powerful way to reconnect with food. When you support your local farms, you get the freshest food, build local economy while protecting our precious environmental resources, and keep farms as part of our landscape.

Thank you for forwarding this email to your mailing list and help us spread the word about real food.
The ducks taking a tour of the farm
The ducks taking a guided tour of the farm

Twin Oaks Farm
USDA Certified Organic
Bonifay FL 32425
www.twinoaksfarm.net
Thank you for supporting a better way to produce healthy and wholesome food.

Posted 9/17/2009 9:57pm by Renee Savary.

For the last 2 weeks the ducks have decided that it was much more fun to spend the day hanging around my house instead of theirs. Which on one side drive me crazy because ducks are really sloppy but on the other side they are so totally cute and funny ...

Yesterday morning I suddenly heard that really loud cacophony of couacks it made me rush outside ....to find out that the ducks had found the pool (abandonned by me I have to say) ...

Those were happy happy ducks, it was hillarious ... and they knew how to get in and out using the stairs .... 

This morning as soon as I opened their coop they rushed toward the pool for some more fun ....

ducks at the pool 2

ducks at the pool 3

ducks at the pool 

Posted 7/13/2009 9:25pm by Renee Savary.

Twin Oaks Farm
USDA Organic Seal
by Quality Certification Services (QCS)

I am very proud to announce that the farm is now USDA certified organic. Hard work, commitment and the profound belief that this is the only way to farm led us to the certification.

 What does it means? Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones.  Organic food is produced without using conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering (GMO); or ionizing radiation.  Before a product can be labeled ‘organic,’ a Government-approved certifier, in our case Quality Certification Services (QCS), inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. 

This last year has been an incredible adventure and a great learning experience. Raising chickens and ducks has been fun but being able to produce real food, knowing that no corners were cut and tasting the difference has been the most rewarding.

I worked very hard but without the help from the volunteers that came here to work for a day or for a month and to all of you that are buying my products from the eggs to the preserves I would like to say thank you.

 You, and only you, can change the way your food is produced and you are doing so by supporting small farmers like me. 

Thank you very much,

Renee

Posted 7/13/2009 8:56am by Renee Savary.

The word 'locavore' is officially in the dictionary!

No more excuses ... I hope by now you are all enjoying the cornucopia offered by your local farmer's market, road stand, community supported agriculture and all the like ... If you still buy your produces from the supermarket shame on you !!

No more excuses ... start by eating locally grown once a week ... visit your farmer's market, it is fun to talk to the people that are actually growing the food you will be eating .. just adding taste to it ...

Taste .. ... start to educate your taste buds ... local food don't just taste better it taste different ...

Monday is a good day to start ...

:):)

Morning harvest

First figs of the season

Tags: localvore
Posted 4/27/2009 8:41pm by Renee Savary.

At two weeks old the ducklings started to jump out of the babypool ...

Looking a little anxious once it is done ... scarry world out there ...

outside the pool

so ... I decided it was time to move them out to their pasture hoops ... Weather is in the 80F during the day and I kept a heat lamp for the night ....

First taste of grass

..... and they went crazy for the grass .. it was incredible to watch ... they were running around munching on every bit of weeds ...

great salad bar

Great salad bar ....

looking around

Looking around ...

Group pix

Ducks are much more friendly with each other than chickens, I am amaze how mean the chickens are with each other .... the ducks dont fight or jump on each other for food ...

After a day or two I could not resist and I put a small bowl of water in their pen ... Let me tell you : ducks are aquatic birds ...!!!! ... they loved it ...

Testing the water ....

Testing the water

Getting ready to jump ....

Ready to jump

Zoupah .... so much fun ....

done it ...

They are so funny to watch ... once in the water they kind of shake their body under water and jump out to leave space for the next one ...

Drying up on the boardwalk ... ducks watching ...

on the boardwalk

more later ....

Posted 4/15/2009 11:06am by Renee Savary.

 

Free Range Eggs and More: What You Need to Know

An Easter Lesson in Five Parts

April 10, 2009

By Tabitha Alterman 

You may not think of eggs as a seasonal food, but eggs are in fact a biological product, and as such follows an animal’s life cycle. “But I can get eggs anytime I want,” you say? Well yes, of course you can. That’s thanks to our modern industrial food production and distribution system. We can all enjoy a seemingly unlimited supply of year-round eggs (and strawberries and tomatoes and apples and juicy steaks … you get the idea). But it wasn’t always so. And this year-round supply comes at a price. Lucky for you, there’s no better time than spring to learn about real eggs, because there’s no better time to enjoy them!

1. Eggs are Seasonal
2. Eggs are Colorful
3. Eggs are Healthy
4. Eggs are Legislated
5. Good Eggs Come From Good Farms

Lesson 1: Eggs are Seasonal

When young lady hens are about six months old, they start laying eggs, and continue to do so for about a year. They produce the most eggs during the first couple months of the cycle. You’re more productive in nice weather too, right?

Then, when daylight and temperature decrease in the fall, egg production declines, too. After all, it was the gorgeous sunshine that was stimulating the birds’ egg-laying hormones. Plus, in cold temperatures the ladies divert their egg-laying energy into keeping-warm energy. You stay in, throw on the sweats and curl up with a blanket in the winter, right?

Production continues to decline until most birds take a rest for several weeks in the winter. Now full of new vigor, they begin the cycle all over again.

So springtime is egg time. Maybe that’s why folks started dyeing eggs for Easter — what better way to celebrate an abundance of fresh eggs than with bright party colors?

In large egg factories, however, artificial light and heat stimulate off-season egg production. The birds don’t get their natural rest time, and instead keep on pumpin’ out eggs. You can decide whether you want to eat stressed-out eggs from stressed-out birds. I don’t.

Lesson 2: Eggs are Colorful

Speaking of Easter egg colors, why are some eggs brown and others blue? And what about those white eggs in the grocery store — is that natural?

Yes, it’s natural. The color of eggs is actually determined by the breed of the chicken. Stark white eggs are ubiquitous mainly because commercial chicken breeds make up most of the laying hen stock in the country, and their eggs are white (though some large producers may employ a process that further whitens the shells). Here’s a short list of natural egg colors by breed, and you can find more detailed info on this Handy-Dandy Chicken Chart.

  • Rich dark brown: Barnevelder, Marans, Rhode Island, Welsumer
  • Light brown: Buckeye, Chantecler, Plymouth Rock, Wyandotte
  • Cream: Ancona, Andalusian, Dorking, Dutch
  • White: Appenzeller, Buttercup, Hamburg
  • Blue or blue-green: Ameraucanas, Araucanas

Lesson 3: Eggs are Healthy

Since the late 1950s, eggs have had a bad rap for their potential to cause heart disease. But many new studies are now turning the conventional advice to avoid animal fats and cholesterol on its head. It would seem that dietary fat and cholesterol do not cause heart disease.

Not only are eggs not bad for you, but they are great for you. Eggs are a nutrient-dense food, providing a complex array of both macro- and micro-nutrients. And new research into the differences between eggs from hens raised naturally on pastures rather than in factory farmed cage operations has revealed a host of other nutritional plusses. Pastured eggs are higher in lutein and zeaxanthin; folic acid; vitamins A, B12, D and E; beta carotene; and omega-3 fatty acids. Learn more about the health benefits of eggs in Meet the Real Free-Range Eggs and at Eat Wild.

Lesson 4: Eggs are Legislated

The differences between true pastured operations and factory farms cannot be overstated. Real “free range” or “grass fed” eggs come from birds that run around outside, in sunshine and on fresh grass; have room to move around, flap their wings and get exercise; eat a diverse diet of grasses, weeds, bugs, seeds, etc.; and behave, well, naturally. Some egg producers say their eggs are free range, because labeling regulations simply require that they provide a little door at the end of the facility to give the birds access to the outside, which may or may not feature any grass at all, or enough room for all the birds to wander freely. You can learn more about the differences between industrially produced and naturally produced eggs in the following articles:

Good Eggs Come From Good Farms

Simply knowing that you want eggs from happy hens with plenty of pasture under their feet may not be enough to help you find them in the grocery store, given the complexity of claims on egg cartons these days. (See How to Decode Egg Cartons.) But the best way to be sure you’re getting eggxactly what you want is to talk to the people who produce the eggs. And of course the best way to do that is to buy directly from farmers!

Visit farmers markets or purchase eggs through community supported agriculture (CSA) operations. To locate markets and CSAs near you, check out the food-finding databases featured in How to Find Local Food and Farmers. Not only will you be able to find better tasting, more healthful and more environmentally preferable food this way, but you’ll also connect with your community, circulate food dollars in your local economy and provide farmers with a much more sustainable income than they can get by participating in the industrial food complex.

According to Joel Salatin, who produces real pastured eggs, “When it happens, this synergism between season, farmer and patron is a dance that honors the natural ebb and flow of production. Cyclical menus stimulate an awe and respect for local food connections. And such conscious planning is good for pocketbooks — of both farmer and patron.” Read more about how you can support passionate farmers raising healthy, natural food in Eat in Sync with the Seasons.

And finally, for all your chicken and egg knowledge needs, visit our Chicken and Egg Page.

Did you know that cooks once used eggs differently at different times of the year? For example, when fresh spring grass is abundant and the yolks are plump and bright orange as a result, you might serve up gorgeous frittatas or homemade egg noodles. Then later in the season, you'd concentrate on recipes that benefit from high quality egg whites, such as a lovely meringue pies. Do you have any ideas for making the best use of fresh spring eggs? Post your comments below.

Posted 4/14/2009 9:31pm by Renee Savary.

We got a new addition to our farm ... baby ducks ...

ducks 3 days old

We got them through the mail, like for the baby chicks, but if the baby chicks were cute .. those are cute of cute !!!

They are Khaki Campbell and we are going to raise them for eggs production ...

Ducks 3 days old

They were very clumsy at first and dropped into their waterer when triing to drink ... we ended up with a bunch of wet ducks  ... But quickly they got where the food was and snacking became their favorite with drink or should I say splashing around ...lol ....

When they eat they shake their body like to make the food goes down, it is very funny ...

here they are one week old already ... they got over the dropping into the waterers and are starting to be quite noisy.

Ducks one week old

Watercooler rush ... fresh water is always a hit ....

Ducks one week watercooler

Happy hour ...

ducks one week happy hour

Like for the baby chicks, we keep them in a kidpool for the moment and we are working a lot to keep them somehow dry. With all the splasing it is not easy. Within 2 or 3 weeks we will start to pasture them.

They are getting the same USDA certified organic feed the baby chicks got and they seem to do great. Of course no medication or other scarry stuff ...

To be continued ....

 

Posted 4/9/2009 9:06pm by Renee Savary.

.... from all of us at the farm ....

 

Easter egg

Posted 2/19/2009 7:21pm by Renee Savary.

We have 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 don't 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 equipped with nesting boxes where they lay their eggs. We move their coops around to make sure they get new and fresh pasture.

Third our hens have never been medicated. We do not give preventive medicine (and yes most bag of feed out there has 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 therefore can not sell the eggs with the organic label but we are working on it.

If you want to try REAL eggs and just taste and feel the difference we have them,  you know we do not cut corner and we are producing the very best.

We sell our eggs by the dozen from $5.00/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.

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

Renee

eggs 3

 

 

Twin Oaks Farm - 3207 Creek Road - Bonifay FL - Ph: 850 547 56 36

order@twinoaksfarm.net - www.twinoaksfarm.net

 

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