Farm Journal

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 5/3/2012 3:42pm by Renee Savary.

From our Farm to your Mother ....

... just in time for Mother's Day ...

We packed Gift Bags with goodies ...

Visit our store :

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

$ 5 flat rate shipping

Includes gift wrapping as in the pictures


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 and all organic ingredients.

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


Breakfast Bag :

One jar of our Blueberry Preserve, one jar of Pear - Calamondine Preserve and one jar of 3 Agrumes.

Breakfast Bag


Afternoon Tea Bag :

One jar of our Mandarine Preserves, one jar of Peach Preserve and one jar of Fig Preserve.

Afternoon Tea Bag


The Happy Hour Bag :

One jar of our Lemon Confit, one jar of our Caramelized Onions and one bag of Grey Sea Salt with Herbs de Provence.

Happy Hour Bag


Or you can pick and choose and we will be happy to gift wrapped it and ship it to your Mother !!! 

Orders to be shipped for Mother's Day need to be received by Monday May 7, 2012 

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

 





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 4/16/2012 12:14pm by Renee Savary.

Local strawberry season is here in North Florida.


Strawberries

The strawberries we use for our preserves are locally grown, in dirt for Real Taste, we just add organic Florida cane sugar to it …

Our first batch is available for purchase at our e-commerce :

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


Strawberry preserves

As you are there check out our new products :

Shallot confit in Port Wine


Shallots confit in Port wine over beef terrine

And our

Mandarine Preserve

is finally available online :

Mandarine Preserve over pancake

 

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 ...

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 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 12/22/2011 8:04pm by Renee Savary.

Best Wishes for a Wonderful Holiday Season

and

and a New Year of Health and Happiness!

Holiday Season 2011

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