Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Family Fun Day- Newark Valley Farmers Market

This Sunday August 26th is Family Fun Day at the Newark Valley Farmers Market. We are very excited and hoping it will be a great success. We figured just before the kids go back to school we can have a great time and enjoy the end of summer for the kids. And it is all FREE- except for the Chicken BBQ of course.

Being our very first full fledged event at the market, we have been trying to think of ways to get everyone involved. We have recruited some local groups (Revolutions Dance Studio, Newark Valley Soccer Club) to come down and set up to get the word out about their programs. Get more kids involved in activities. What a perfect time. If there are any other groups that are wanting to participate this Sunday please make sure you contact us ASAP.

Some of things we are planning:

Story time- Books by Senator Libous - bring the kids to listen to some stories throughout the market.

Bounce House- We will have a bounce house for the kids to play in while you shop.

Firetruck and Ambulance- let the kids come check out a firetruck and ambulance in person. What kid
                                            would not enjoy that?

Sing -a-long songs and music- performed by Dannielle Swart, Trish Englehard and Judy Stock.
                                                  Danielle has been great and played many different times at the market. She
                                                  coordinated the Community Jam Sessions that occur the 2nd Sunday of
                                                  every month.

Coloring Contest- Bring the kids down, have them color a coloring page and submit it to win a "Let's Go
                               to the Farmers Market" package. Package includes a bag, book, activity cards, and
                               shopping lists all pertaining to fruits and vegetables and farmers markets. Each child that
                               enters will receive a small party bag as well. 

EMS BBQ- The local EMS will also be hosting a chicken barbecue at the market.

Alex the Clown-Alex is Providence Farm owners son. Alex is a goofball by nature so it was just
                          appropriate that we had him as our clown. He loves to do silly things and play around with
                          the kids.

Hope to see you all there. Spread the word. In today's economy when money is tight FREE events for the kids to enjoy themselves are always a great thing.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Butter Cooker

We have begun to expand greatly. We originally started with 4 small crock pots. We then moved to four 7 quart crock pots and we were currently sitting at six 7 quart crock pots.

This week we purchased two 18 qt commercial roaster/cooker/warmer. This will more than double my batches. I am so excited.

There have been a few times already when I get a bunch of orders in all at the same time and I rush to get them done on time. That is even with stocking up when I don't have orders.

But markets have been selling very quickly as well, so most of the time I do not have that much back up even though I am making butters everyday except for Friday, Saturday and Sunday due to the farmers markets.

Now I will have to say as excited as I am about this new toy, the bigger we get.....when we make our first million! = ) This is what I would like to get!

This is a 200 gallon steam jacket kettle! Everyone has those wishful items that they want. This is one of mine!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Duck Eggs


Yes we received our first duck eggs today!

We knew that the 8 Khaki Campbells that we kept would be laying soon. We have been keeping a  close eye on them.

We actually took the 3 dog houses that we had and made them into the nests for them.

The ducks roam free. They have made their favorite spot underneath the unfinished addition to our house. We were worried that they would start laying under the house and that would not be easy to get them.

We found the egg on the side of the addition so that being said we moved the dog houses to the back side of the addition so that they can still be in their area but also lay where we want them to lay!

This is exciting. We are hoping that we will have duck eggs very soon at market!

What is the difference between a chicken egg and a duck egg?

Have you ever had a duck egg? If not you are not the only one. To be completely honest I (Jessica) have never had a duck egg. Hence the reason I am very excited to try them.

Either way, there are many different opinions on the difference between a duck egg and a chicken egg.

Obviously a chicken egg comes from a chicken and a duck egg comes from a duck.

A duck egg looks like a chicken egg only larger. The duck egg yolks are a deep orange. The flavor is very rich.

Just like with a chicken egg the yolk of the duck egg will become lighter during the winter months when they have less foraging and are forced to eat mostly feed.

Nutrition and structure duck egg vs. chicken egg:

Duck eggs have a higher fat content and somewhat more cholesterol than chicken eggs.

There is more protein in the white part of the duck egg than there is in a chicken egg. This being said some chefs believe that using duck eggs in cakes tend to make the cakes be fluffier.

The egg shell on a duck eggs is harder as well.

Appearance and Flavor:

Our eggs from the Khaki Campbells will be white shelled.

The flavor of a duck egg tends to have a hint of duck flavor to it. Makes sense since eventually one day it is meant to become a baby duck.

That being said some have described duck eggs as being oily. This makes sense in the fact that the fat content is higher in the duck so therefore an egg coming from a duck would essentially have a little bit of a more oily taste than a chicken egg.

Are you ready to try some duck eggs?

We will have them soon!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Harvest Time- What do you do with your extras?

Now is the season when everyone is over run with produce. As you are driving down the road you will see everyone and their brother has a table or "stand" by the road with zucchini and yellow squash. The price ranges from 50 cents to FREE.

We over the years have not done much with our zucchini and yellow squash. But this year we decided to make Zucchini and yellow squash pickles.

When we did market at the Oakdale mall years ago we had a customer that used to pick on Eric Sr because he grew all these vegetables but doesn't like to eat them cooked. He will if I make him but he does not like to generally. So this customer stopped one day with a jar of what looked like pickles cut into pieces. It was zucchini pickles and from that day on he has been begging me to make them. They were delicious. Almost like a bread and butter pickle only a little less cucumber tasting.

So finally this year I decided to make some. Because I have all this time on my hands. = )

What do you do with your Zucchini and yellow squash?

Here is the recipe that I used:

Zucchini Pickles

3 cups sugar
3 cups cider vinegar
1/3 cup canning salt
1 tbsp mustard seed
1 tbsp celery seed
1 tbsp turmeric

Sliced onions
Sliced green peppers

Wash zucchini and slice thin. Layer in a jar with onions and green peppers.
Combine ingredients and heat slightly until sugar is dissolved.
Let cool, then pour over zucchini slices stirring gently to mix.
Cover and keep in the fridge one day before using.

This recipe keeps several months in the fridge.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Butter Up

We have been continuously stock piling  or should I say trying to stock pile the fruit butters so that we could have a large supply ready to go.

Well with market going as well as they are and with the wholesale accounts picking up butters have been dwindling.  Not such a bad thing.

But this week will be "Butter up" week. I will be making fruit butters until I am blue in the face. I still have a few orders to fill so that will be my first priority.

For those of you that came to market for our usual apple and blueberry apple butters sorry we didn't have them this week. We will have then this coming Saturday and Sunday!

We are finally starting to get our specialty varieties going.

Our newest varieties are:

Peach butter
Sugar Free Peach Butter
Black Raspberry Butter
Sugar Free Black Raspberry Butter
Cantaloupe Butter
Sugar Free Cantaloupe Butter

We will soon have

Plum Butter - made with Beach plums
Pumpkin Butter
Green Tomato Butter
And our Pear butter that everyone loves will be following closely behind. We are waiting for Pears to come back into season again.

We have a few more concoctions up our sleeves that we are going to try out but we will see how things go.

The kitchen is moving along again. All the electrical is hooked up and waiting for NYSEG to hook us up. Insulation and sheet rock installation will begin this week.

I cannot wait for this kitchen to get done. It would have helped out tremendously this week if I we were in there.

I once again am going to apologize about not writing on here as much. I am having an extremely bad writers block and I am trying to think of things to write up. For some odd reason my brain is so discombobulated that I cannot think of things to write.

So here is to me hoping I can think of a few more things to write about in the next couple days/weeks.

Thanks for being loyal fans of the blog. I know a few of you had contacted me to make sure that we are still doing ok. We are here we are doing wonderful just extremely busy!

I have a few posts in mind for the next few days so I will update you on all the happenings on the farm. Stay tuned, check back and we will hopefully get rolling again with this blog and I won't keep you out of the loop!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and we can't wait to get rolling more!