The Stone Grain Mill we’ve been waiting for! It arrived in Montreal from Austria last week. It’s all set up except for the motors that we still need to buy. This mill has a sifter attached to it with five different options for fineness. The stones are made of Naxos, which is a special volcanic stone that self-dresses (or sharpens). The whole mill is made of wood and is beautifully hand-crafted! The mill is going to be an amazing step in grinding most of my own flour to bake bread with. Can’t wait to use it!
Finishing Cob Oven #1
The last phases of construction. Last week I took the sand form out from under the first layer of cob. It took forever! I had to tape a trowel to the end of a stick to reach the very back of the oven. The second layer went on very quickly-clay, water and sawdust for insulation. Today I lit my first small fire to start drying the oven out. I can’t wait to bake in it!
Our spring building projects! The first three photos are of the timber frame structure we built to shelter the future bread oven. The oven is now our highest priority. The foundation is going to be built in the next few days. The last photo is our in-progress chicken/turkey brooder. All it needs are walls, a door and some electrical wiring.
A short film about a cheese-making dairy farm in BC. I went to culinary school with John Gattey, one half of Fed By Hand. The other half is his brother David Gattey. They have decided to mesh their two passions-food and film-making. A very touching and informative film. I’m looking forward to seeing their next episode. There is nothing cooler than seeing a herd of cows put out onto pasture for the first time in the spring!
Our first episode! Filmed on-site at The Farmhouse Natural Cheeses in Aggasiz, British Columbia, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to George and Debra. They are two vital parts to an equation that produces some of the best cheeses I’ve ever tasted (their cloth-bound cheddar and Alpine Gold are standouts). The milk from the herd which George keeps happy and healthy travels barely 100 feet to the cheese-making facility where Debra takes over. They are one of the only cheesemaking operations in BC, that I know of, where this is the case, and it shines through in their product. We hope you enjoy their story.
Not the best photo, but this was delicious homemade split pea soup. Homemade chicken stock, homemade ham from the pig slaughter this fall, and homemade crackers with local flour from Castor River Farm. The ham we made was from the back leg, brined for about ten days in a mixture of salt, brown sugar, beer, bay leaves, juniper berries and black pepper. We then hung it in our garage for a few weeks before soaking it, boiling it and baking it. We ate the ham for weeks before using the last of the meat and the bone to make this soup. Best pea soup we’ve ever had! Take that Habitant!
Last weekend we roasted a herb brined chicken on an open fire. We needed a stand to set up the spit, so my boyfriend made one out of a left-behind satellite dish. This was the most delicious chicken we had ever cooked! Brining the chicken for about 12 hours in a 3-4% salt brine, infused with herbs, garlic scapes and citrus kept the chicken extremely tender and flavourful. Cooking it rotisserie-style also help baste it constantly as the melting fat dripped back onto itself as it spun around. To top it all off, the fire gave it a hint of smoky flavour!
Ben Falk on “Good Design”
Great lecture on Ben Falk’s point of view of good design systems and his business Whole Systems Design in Vermont.
Farm Celebration Dinner
Last week I took it upon myself to cook a special dinner for our farm. One benefit of being on a farm is that you get to eat the fruits of your labour everyday throughout the growing season and year. But not often does a farmer get to sit down …