Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Herbal teas

I have talked before about us making more herbal teas and selling those as well. Something more to add to our herbal products.

With everything that has been going on, I will admit I have kind of neglected the herbs a little. The teas...neglected quite a bit.

Today I spent the whole day working on teas. I have been doing a lot of research and things prior but have also asked a few people what their favorite teas are. Of course I do not have a huge variety of some herbs because I did not plan on things selling as well as they did. We also planted fresh plants last spring, so they did not produce a lot.

I changed the packaging. They are now available in a 2 pack, giving you the opportunity to try them and not have to buy a bunch to try 1! 2 packs will be available for $1.50 each.

So here are some that will be available at our next indoor market at the Metrocenter in Downtown Binghamton on Friday from 5pm-8pm.

Bee Balm Tea

            I will admit this is one that I had never tried. But when I tasted it, I believe this is my new favorite go to tea. There are so many benefits as well.
            A little background on the herb itself:
            The plant is native to Oswego, NY. Therefore giving the plant the nickname "Oswego Tea." Of course history suggests that both the town and the tea got their name from the indians inhabiting area.
           It is medicinal as well as flavorful and edible.
           Uses: colds, sore throats, headaches, gastric disorders, reduce low fevers, relieve flatulence, nausea, menstrual pain and insomnia.
            It is classified as a stimulant, antiseptic, diuretic, diaphoretic, carminative

Bee Balm tea needs to be steeped for 10 minutes. You can add sweetener, but Eric who is the "sweet" king didn't even need to add sugar. I thought it was great just the way it was. If you do add a sweetener, I would recommend honey or stevia. Remember....natural!
      Another interesting tid bit of information. Bee Balm is a good companion to plant with Tomatoes, giving the tomatoes better growth and flavor. However, Bee Balm is evasive, so I would be careful planting them too close.

Chamomile Tea

         Apple like fragrance and flavor.
         Has a tonic effect as well as antispasmodic properties.
         Uses: Calm nerves, remedy delirium tremens, and prevent nightmares

I will say that we personally used this to treat both Eric Jr and Julianna's colic when they were younger and I still give them some if I think they have an upset stomach.

Chamomile needs to be steeped for 10 minutes.

Goldenrod Tea

 We all know what Goldenrod is. Most of us believe it is just a weed that grows all over the area and turns the fields a golden yellow.

But Goldenrod is actually a very delightful and healthy choice for tea.

It has a mild anise scent.
Goldenrod is a stimulant, carminative and diuretic.
Uses: fevers, chest pain, spasms, sore throat, urinary tract inflammation, exhaustion and fatigue, and chronic diarrhea.


I did a Chamomile/Lavender tea today, but that was for a special order and I used all of my lavender that I harvested this summer. I plan on having more next year. We planted 50 lavender plants and will probably plant more this year!

We will also have Peppermint tea, Spearmint tea, Lemongrass tea, and Calendula Tea available on Friday as well!

* I would like to make sure you understand this is information I have obtained through reading books. "The Rodale Herb Book," The Herbal Drugstore" by Linda white and Steven Foster and "The Complete Guide to Herbal Medicines" by Charles W. Fetrow and Juan R. Avila. 
I am not a doctor and am not diagnosing or trying to cure anything. Please make sure you discuss all herbal treatments with your physician. There are many herbs that interfere with drugs.*

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Newark Valley Farmer's Market- update

We have had a huge response from potential customers and vendors for the Newark Valley Farmer's Market. All in all a lot of local people are excited to be able to go to a farmer's market that is close to home and has fresh products.

I have talked to a few local groups and organizations and told them that we would encourage them to have some fund raising events to co-inside with the markets. Anything from baked sales, performances, registrations....and more.

There will be no charge to your group or organization.

We have full use of the pavilion and electric is provided if needed.

If you or your organization is interested in hosting some sort of fundraiser, please make sure you contact us. We will have to schedule these events so we don't have conflicts and not enough room. Either call 607-657-8251 or email us.

We are also still looking for demonstrations. We want to have some "How-to" demonstrations and events. This was thought of to help provide knowledge to the community on specific topics. Canning, spinning, weaving, quilting, .....and more.

There will be no charge to you.

If you are interested in this as well please make sure to contact us. This will also have to be scheduled.

We are scheduling all of this also so that we can advertise it as well.

We are still looking for some vendors....mainly artisan and craft vendors.

We are still searching for another produce vendor. If anyone is interested please contact us ASAP!

Please make sure if you are interested to contact us ASAP. There is going to be a vendor meeting on February 24th from 5-6 pm at Cardinal Cafe in Newark Valley.

I will tell you we have already filled some spots.

ProduceWest Creek Family Farm- (We have another farm interested but have not received confirmation)
FruitCross Creek Farm
Goat Milk Soap- West Creek Family Farm
Fiber Products-West Creek Family Farm
Baked goods- Boer Bakery (Endicott NY)
Goat Meat- Boer Bakery (Endicott NY)
Chicken Meat- Cross Creek Farm
Turkey- Cross Creek Farm
Rabbit Meat- Cross Creek Farm
Fruit Butters- Cross Creek Farm
Herbs (Plants and dried)- Cross Creek Farm
Food/Beverage- Cardinal Cafe

We have some potential vendors that have not yet fully committed. If they all commit there will be some great variety of products there!

Please spread the word! Can't wait to start the season!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"CA" Apples from Cornell Orchards

This is the very first year that we have been allowed to have the "CA" apples. We have always wanted to try them but have not had the opportunity until now!

What is a "CA" Apple?

"CA" stands for Controlled Atmosphere. Controlled Atmosphere is a technology developed at Cornell Orchards.

They take choice fruit selected at harvest, in a sealed room for a period of 90 days.Nitrogen is used to bring the oxygen level down from the 21% that we breathe to around 2.5% with carbon dioxide from fruit respiration allowed to accumulate to around 2%.

This slows fruit aging and preserves fruit firmness, acidity, sugars and Vitamin C.

The fruit with the "CA" label has higher nutritional and sensory quality than the regular cold-stored fruit of the same age.

*This information was taken from Cornell Orchards pamphlet on CA Fruit.


When we read that, we thought it was extremely interesting.

Now most of you know that I cannot stand soft apples or soft any type of fruit for all that matters. So when Eric took a bite and I heard the nice crisp noise I was immediately excited to taste it.

My first bite was astonishing. Now we all know that the longer a fruit is stored the softer it tends to get and the taste tends to disintegrate.

This apple was extremely juicy, crisp, and the taste was unbelievable!!! It was a Jona gold.

I am extremely excited to announce that we will have them at market for the rest of the season. They have numerous different varieties of apples that they put through the "CA" process.

Make sure you come down this Saturday to the Metrocenter in Binghamton from 9am-noon and pick some up. They tend to go fast so get there early.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

West Creek Family Farm - Lotion bar review

I was asked by one of our farmer friends if I would be willing to do a review of their lotion bars. Being that my son tends to have really dry skin during the winter months and my hands are always dry I figured why not.

So a little information about the bars and then my review!

* The review is purely my own thoughts and opinions. I am not being paid for what I say.

West Creek Family Farm is owned by Ken and Peggy Vanvorce. They have been farming all their lives.They now raise dairy and beef cows, merino, cormo and romney sheep, alpacas, llamas, nubian goats, angora goats, cashmere goats, english angora rabbits, satin angora rabbits and jersey woolie rabbits. They make goat milk soaps (all with their goats milk). Spring they make Maple Syrup and Summer they grow vegetables.

And now my review:

The lotion bars are made from shea butter, beeswax, olive oil and essential oils. 

They are available in Lavender, vanilla, patchouli, apple cinnamon, mayan gold, arabian spice, peppermint and no joba joba.

When I first got it I immediately smelled the scent. Not overpowering but enough to take notice. I immediately pulled it out of the plastic and rubbed it on my hands. 

I think the bar idea is great. Personally myself I hate having the creme to rub on my hands...this definitely makes it easier and not so messy. It is also something that I can give my 2 year old son to rub on his hands and not have to worry whether he is getting gooey lotion all over the place. 

I used it a few times a day for a couple weeks both on myself and my 2 year old son and 1 year old daughter. I will have to say that my son loved it! One of those "Mommy me do" moments.

I felt that it was a great product. It definitely made my hands feel more nourished. No longer dry. And of course they smelled amazing.

The one thing I will have to say is that I did not like the little bit of oily feeling it left on my skin. However, most lotions and body products do the same so it is not necessarily a flaw of this product. 

I left my father-in-law "test" the product as well. He has psoriasis on his hands and will try anything to see if it helps. He said that it felt more to him almost like a soap than a lotion. He said he liked it and even though it had the scent in it it did not "sting" his hands like most lotions or creams. It is not something that he would continually use for his hands because it did not improve or change his psoriasis and he has a cream that does help him. 

That being said, 
I would recommend this product for anyone who loves lotions, creams and body products. It is great quality, and of course LOCAL!!!!! Great for gifts or just a treat for yourself.

You can find her products and more on their farm on her facebook page for sale.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Blast from the past!

Oakdale Mall Farmer's Market a LONG time ago! Or so it seems!
Before kids, Before Marriage.

I am having trouble with writing inspirations so here is Wordless Wednesday, a blast from the past!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

BBQ Ribs

I haven't posted for Tasty Tuesday lately, things have been a little busy.  But on Sunday I made a delicious BBQ ribs with our Beef and made my own BBQ sauce.

My BBQ sauce recipe:

2 Cups Ketchup
1 Cup Honey (Sunny Hill Farm)
1tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp A1 Steak Sauce
2 Tbsp Grill Mates Smokehouse Maple Seasoning

I mixed all the ingredients together and simmered on low for 1 hour.

The ribs were ours from our cows that we had processed this year.

I rub the ribs with salt, pepper, and some Old Bay seasoning. I then wrapped them in Tinfoil with a little bit of water and cooked them in the oven 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. I took them out put the BBQ sauce on them and Broiled them for 15 minutes to crisp things up a little.

This is the first time that I have ever made ribs or my own BBQ sauce for that matter. I got the original BBQ sauce recipe online and then added some different items too it. I will have to say it was absolutely delicious and great to eat for Sunday Night Football!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

What the heck, Why not kind of year!

For 5 years now we have been trying to find a niche. Every time we think we have it, it doesn't necessarily work out the way we had planned. We have been planning and organizing everything through out the seasons and have just been making it. We have not had that, "Wow" item.

So this past year (2011) we did a lot of things flying by the seat of our pants. For example we decided to throw a Fall Festival with only 2 weeks to plan it and get everything together. Well, that went ok. Not great but ok. However, it did start a ball rolling that we never really thought would be something we would do.

As I said before when I first originally told you about the Fruit butters it was one that was asked of us by Cornell Orchards (Ithaca) and then we just said ...hmmm "What the heck, Why not?" That then led into.... Englebert Farms (Nichols), Hollenbeck's Shurfine (Newark Valley), Cardinal Cafe (Newark Valley) and Greenstar (Ithaca).

After getting those accounts the winter was here and with winter comes a lower income for us because we don't have markets every weekend. So I was searching for more accounts to get a hold of. I had a few different wholesale distributors that we had met at a meeting in Caroline, I think. So I picked one that I had heard about through another vendor at Ithaca Market and had heard that they were easy to work with, they loved to work with you and were very easy going. They distribute through out all of NY state, Rochester, Albany, NYC and more! I said "What the heck, Why not?" I then emailed then. Of course I was thinking that I wouldn't get a response wouldn't get nothing.

Well not even 10 minutes later I had a response of huge excitement that they wanted to meet and they were very interested in carrying our fruit butters. He said they wanted them for the fact that they are made with local fruit and produced locally.

!!!!!! speechless !!!!!!!

This was before the holidays and he had stated in his email that he wanted to meet after the holidays just because it was a very busy time. So through the holidays we were thinking about it in the back of our minds!

We then set the meeting and the uneasy, nervous feeling set in! Can we do this? What are we thinking! Then this feeling came over of....We deserve this, we CAN do this..."What the heck, why not"

Headed to the meeting we knew that if it didn't turn out it wouldn't matter. There are others interested and other ways to do it.

As we met them we felt an extreme relief with the first few sentences. We had brought samples and they sampled a little and then continued through the whole meeting. They were enjoying them. They continuously said how good they were and that they definitely had a different taste compared to a normal Apple Butter. The chunks gave it texture and a different feel. Adult food, instead of baby mush.

So here we are meeting over and excited to no end.....We are working out some cosmetic issues but 1st order has already been placed!!!!!  

What does this mean?

This means, I am freaking out!!!!! I am so excited I really don't know what to do with myself! Is this possibly the thing that is going to start to help our dream of living the farming life be a great thing and not a constant struggle? Is this going to bring us to that next level that we have seen so many times and been so close...just not quite?

The thing that makes it even better is that the original Apple butter recipe is one I found in my Grandmother's cookbook. So it makes it that much better to know it started in a previoust generation and we are continuing through to this generation.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Cross Creek Farm Poultry and Rabbit CSA!

We originally said we were going to wait until February to launch our very first CSA. But as we finished getting details and things organized, we decided that we were ready now and would launch it now.

I will make a separate page on this blog that will give you all the information to refer to so you don't have to continually search for this post. I am also going to post it on our Facebook page as a "note" and on our Website.

So here are the details......

Cross Creek Farm Meat CSA 2012

What is a CSA?
            Community Supported Agriculture. CSA’s were originally started to help farmer’s have the funding that they needed while also providing the consumers with great product. It is a balance of trust. The consumer needs to trust that the farm will produce what they have paid for. The farmer in turn does not have to focus as much on the financial aspect of it, therefore giving more time for the farmer to concentrate on growing top quality products. This is one way for the community to be more connected and for consumers to get to “know” their local farmers. Knowing and trusting in your farmer creates a greater aspect and quality of life for farming and food being produced for the community.  It helps the shareholders know what is going into their mouths as well as their family’s mouths.

            This is our first year offering a CSA. We have been trying to figure out how to better start off our season. Due to financial strains, the beginning of the season is tough with seed orders, animal purchases and needs for any farm. We have asked for any input from our customers and you have expressed a lot of interest so here it is:

Our meat CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for 2012 includes:
The advantage to purchasing our CSA is a 10% discount on purchased products.

Chicken (Frozen)- We free-range our chickens. They are White Cornish Rock Crosses. They tend to weigh between 3-4 lbs. They are raised humanely in pastures that are continuously changing. Giving them fresh grass to scratch. Leading to a cleaner and more flavorful bird. We use no medications or hormones.

Rabbit (Frozen)- Our rabbits are a New Zealand, Californian, Flemish cross. They generally weigh between 2-3 lbs. They are mainly grass-fed with pellet supplements during the winter to maintain their health. No hormones or medications.

Turkey (FRESH)-(November only)- Free range Turkey between 15-16 lbs. They are raised on a rotating pasture. Giving them fresh grass to graze and better taste quality. We use no medications, no hormones, no chemicals.

Dried Herb Shakers- Our herbs are grown pesticide free. We do not add any additives to our herbs, no salt, just OUR herbs grown on OUR farm.

Brown Eggs- Our eggs come from a set of 100 Free-range chickens. We have some Black Giants, Buff Orphingtons, Black Australope and Barred Rocks.

How it works:

The CSA will run from June-November.

You will get a monthly package that will have to be picked up at the 1st Wednesday (Vestal Farmer’s Market), 1st Saturday (Otsiningo Farmer’s Market), or 1st Sunday of the month (Newark Valley Farmer’s Market). You may pick up at the farm (Berkshire) on the 1st Monday or Tuesday of the month. If you are picking up at the farm you must notify us 48 hours in advance.


Full Share: $382.50
            Option 1:
                   -4 whole chickens, 2 dozen eggs, 2 dried herb shaker each month.
            Option 2:
                        -3 whole chickens, 1 Rabbit, 2 dozen eggs, and 2 dried herb shaker each month.
            -Each month, you will have a surprise item added to your basket.
            -All meat will be frozen.
Half Share- $171.25
            Option 1:
                        - 2 Chickens, 1 dozen eggs, and 1 dried herb shaker per month.
            Option 2:
-          1 Chicken, 1 Rabbit, 1 dozen eggs, 1 dried herb shaker per month.

-          Each month you will receive an added surprise item in your basket.
- All meat will be frozen.

Fresh Free Range Turkey- $45.00
-          Fresh Turkey in November
-          You may get the turkey ONLY- Must be paid by April 30, 2012.
-          You can add this to your CSA and the total amount must be paid by April 30, 2012.
All Shares must be paid in full by April 30, 2012. Payments are welcome but must be paid in full by April 30, 2012. NO REFUNDS.

Please Sign this Rules and Regulations page as well as fill out the application and return to us with a $100.00 deposit by March 1, 2012. 

We only have a limited number of shares available on first come first serve basis. Get your application and deposit in ASAP to guarantee a share.


You may either get an application either by emailing us or picking one up at the Otsiningo Winter Farmer's Market. We will be there this Friday (Tomorrow) from 5pm-8pm. 

Remember there are only so many available....please make sure to get your spot!

We are very excited to do this and hope that you are excited to do this with us!