Thursday, December 20, 2012

Everything but the cluck!

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the concept of “Nose to Tail” eating; by which I mean consuming all the parts of an animal. But I think some folks might be inclined to think of that concept in a way that recalls an episode of “Fear Factor” where participants choke down spoonfuls of mealworms or something equally cringe-worthy. We however, embrace Nose to Tail in its many delicious forms. Recently we posted on our facebook page an image of Buffalo Chicken Necks. This was recipe testing and market research rolled into one, but got me thinking about how we could sell some of our patrons on unusual parts by providing some practical and delicious ways to use them. So first, those chicken necks. Being that these apparatuses are used each day and that chickens are rather nosey, the neck meat is full of flavor from all that blood flow. The necks are primarily dark meat and contrary to initial consideration the meat is tender and not at all stringy. We prepare a sauce made of equal parts hot sauce and melted butter, pour over the necks and bake, covered 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees. Then remove the cover and bake or broil to reduce the liquid.
Another dish that is seductive enough to tempt even those who protest, “I have never liked liver” is Cheryl Wixson’s (pictured at left) recipe for John Thomas Pate. Now I find amusement in the name itself, but this pate is no joke.
I’ve made it up for several poultry processing days, potlucks and similar events and have always found one attendee who claimed they wouldn’t touch liver eating this pate with a spoon. You can reduce the butter if you are feeling health conscious by not leaving enough for the top “crust,” but save this recipe for a decadent or draining occasion when you won’t be calorie-counting, because it is worth it. I also must admit to being less than careful with this one and have yet to add cognac, but season to taste and make something you enjoy eating. It is my hope that these dishes will entice eaters out of their comfort zone, but if not a simple roast chicken is always delicious, followed by a rich homemade chicken soup to use up the leftovers.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Taking two farms and making it one family.

As some of you know, when Jake moved back to Maine in May of 2009 he wanted to farm the land he grew up on in Bowdoinham. He began to co-manage the herd of cows and flock of sheep with Pete, his father, and part time help from his brother Arek who lives in Rhode Island. What he didn't expect was to meet a lovely lady with a farm of her own. But, indeed that is what happened. Abby bought a farm in Unity in August of 2009 and soon Jake was spending weekends there while they plotted their combined farming futures. Three years later Jake is now splitting his time between two farms: one in Unity and the other in Bowdoinham.
The farm in Unity, Bacon Brook Farmstead, is certified organic and is where these two farmers raise poultry, goats and cows. Apple Creek Farm is the home farm where Jake and Pete raise grass-fed beef and lamb. They do this by utilizing the original land base of Apple Creek along with over 50 acres of leased land.
As the farmers continue to plan for their future, they see Bowdoinham as their final destination. The support of Janet, Pete and the Galle siblings - Arek and Jillian and their families, along with the robust connection to the local community are all attractive. For the moment though, all of the products from Apple Creek & Bacon Brook are available through Bowdoinham Farmers Market and Brunswick Winter Market in Fort Andross, opening Saturday November 10. We hope you'll continue to support the farms and help us on our way to our combined farming futures.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Spring Shearing

The end of April was so beautiful. The weather was down right hot but welcomed. We were able to get all the ewes sheared in a shorter period of time than we normally do - a wet sheep cannot be sheared; not easily. Some of our wool is sold to End of the World Farm and they add it to the other wool they purchase and make rugs from the fiber. Additionally last year a guy purchased some wool for "all natural" dog beds he was creating. He called last week interested in more! And some of the real nice Romney fleeces are sold the Common Ground Country Fair held at MOFGA each September. Here are some pictures of Pete shearing our rams; Spike and Onslo. Also the bags of wool in the barn loft.
The before and after!

Friday, March 30, 2012

new spring

Here are some of new faces around the farm...wicked cuties!
Apple Creek Farm wrapped up the lambing season in the evening on March 22nd, exactly a month from when it all began. The weather was a balmy 63° and we were in the barn without coat or hat, which was a far cry from the February 22nd lambing. With the temperatures in the 60s and 70s last week I think all the mums were about ready to stand in line to get sheared. Good thing we held off since this week was back to being late winter with some snow and cold rain. Our season at the Brunswick Winter Market is soon to wrap up as we are almost completely out of meat inventory. The chickens are laying great and so we may continue to go with just eggs. Abby has been down to help out around the farm and there should be some goats kidding at her farm (Bacon Brook Farmstead) in another month! Also there will be pictures from shearing once we get going on that. And hopefully a blog post about lamb vs. mutton - there have been a lot of people at market asking about the differences.
Check our our Facebook page for updates throughout the summer as to where to find our meat and eggs.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

They're callin for zero tonight.

The wind has picked up and the air from up in Canada is moving in swiftly. They're calling for zero tonight, maybe colder. I have spent a lot of time contemplating the shifts in the weather this winter and I have come to the conclusion it must drive the livestock nuts; more so than us humans. Four days of sunny, above average temperatures and we all jump for joy. The cows start thinking the ice and snow might be on its way out of the pastures. And the sheep think there will be green grass soon. Only to be disappointed or worse yet, frightened by the fact the air dries and drops 45 degrees in 12 hours. Our stock are hardy and spend each winter outside, but I can't help but feel a little more sorry for them this winter.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It was a roller coaster of a winter heading into 2012. A large snowstorm hit the day before Halloween, then another the night before Thanksgiving. Below are some photographs from the snow we got at Thanksgiving. It sure made things feel cozy and festive.

The snow melted away again and it was pretty mild until we got into January. Even now as I write this we're at 40 degrees and rain - all the ice and snow are shrinking away, but I'm sure there will be more. You can tell the animals wish it would just do one thing and stick to it for a few months. Weather at 10 degrees or weather at 37 degrees, but not both, and not within 24 hours of itself. Roller coaster indeed.

Friday, January 20, 2012

updates coming soon

Sorry, but farmin is busy work. There will be some new pictures and posts up soon enough. But in the mean time come by either the Brunswick Winter Market or the Midcoast Winter Farmers' Market in Topsham and say hello. Beef and lamb, eggs, wool and lamb skins - Saturdays 9am to 12:30 pm.