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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Happiness is a Hot Bath

For me, the hardest part of buying beef in bulk this past year has been planning dinner two days in advance to allow for the meat to defrost in the refrigerator. The refrigerator has always been recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture as the ONLY safe method of defrosting beef. It was said that every other method keeps meat in the “danger zone” of temperature too long, possibly permitting the growth of bacteria that can make you ill.

According to this article in the New York Times, the government is getting ready to change its mind. A study has determined that dunking a package of frozen beef in a bath of hot water will defrost it safely, and the resulting meat is just as juicy and tender as refrigerator-defrosted meat. And it only takes ten minutes! Yay!

Now if only the government would also discover that we don’t have to exercise 30 minutes every day…

Cow in Bathtub by Michele Bornert

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Meet Patrick

Patrick Fournier is a freshman at Alvirne High School in Hudson. About a month ago he approached me about working part time at the farm. He now collects eggs, he waters and feeds the laying flock, and he uses his own ATV and trailer to take feed out to the broiler chickens and pigs, avoiding the compaction of the soils from heavier vehicles. What’s more, he also monitors and records the weather from a little weather station he and his Dad set up. I hope you will join me in welcoming Patrick to the farm, next time you stop by to see us.

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Our friend Marty Michener sent us this link to an article about scientists injecting cows with human genes to create cows that produce human milk. I’m always skeptical this close to April 1st, but so far it seems the story is true.

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Jerry Brunetti

Steve and I attended the 5th annual Granite State Graziers Conference this weekend. We came back inspired, invigorated, and overwhelmed with all the ideas. After hearing Jerry Brunetti talk about biodiversity, I think I am finally ready to start drinking the same Kool-Aid Steve has been drinking about the value of weeds. In fact, I’m feeling a bit sheepish about the hours I spent on the tractor last summer mowing the weeds to try to stimulate a little bit of grass growth. (Prompted by my sister’s snide remark: “Grass fed? So where’s the grass?”) I’m also looking at our precious open space and thinking maybe a couple of hedgerows would actually improve it.

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After a succesful trial period last year with pasture raised chickens for meat and eggs, we will be offering both chicken and eggs  again for this year.   Click here  for more information on how to order for the upcoming season and for more detailed information about our pastured poultry operations.

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The USDA has just adjusted the official nutritional information about eggs after testing a random sampling of eggs throughout the country. The last time they did this was in 2002. Present-day eggs average 14% less cholesterol and 64% more vitamin D than previously measured. Everything else is about the same. Nutrition labeling on eggs will soon reflect these new data.

According the American Egg Board, “Some researchers believe the natural decrease in the cholesterol level of eggs could be related to the improvements farmers have made to the hens’ feed.”  Well, duh! And what would happen if we let hens eat living plants and bugs out in the sun?

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The annual New Hampshire Grazing Conference is coming up, and this year Steve will be one of the presenters. The conference is a great opportunity for farmers to get together and learn from each other. The date is March 5, the location is Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, and the registration fee is $50. Steve will be discussing his experience with mob grazing tall pastures.

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We got nice coverage in an article about grass-fed beef in the winter issue of Edible White Mountains.

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Keeping it Clean

The NRCS has given us a grant to install a culvert where our farm road crosses a seasonal stream to help us keep the livestock out of the stream. We are also beefing up our fencing along the stream. This is a shot of one of Kevin Sweeney’s guys putting on the finishing touches.

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Pork Available

Although we are sold out of beef and chicken for the rest of 2010, one consolation is that we now have pork available from our pastured pigs. Supermarket pork, as you may know, comes from confinement factory farms that always top the lists of industrial agricultural horrors. By contrast, our pigs lived very happy lives at edges of our pastures, munching on roots, grass, and acorns in addition to the organic pig feed we gave them. If you are interested, give Steve a call soon and stock up—after we sell our supply, we won’t have pork again until this time next year.

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