Soaring Hearts Farm BLOG
Sunday, January 22, 2012
One Hardy Vegetable- Kale!
3:28 pm pst
Seattle area just experienced record making snowfall. We know that isn't much compared
to many other areas of the country, but for us it was impressive! In this picture of the large garden, several vegetable soldiers
remain standing waiting for the thaw/melt to serve the many farm residents.
Kale is one of
the most powerful vegetables and has been a staple for centuries in most areas of the world. We shared over 200 lbs of
this bounty with the Snohomish food bank this year. Here is a wikipedia link to read more about
this wonder. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kale
Maybe the most important aspect of Kale for us Northwest folk, is the fact that it will pretty
much provide food all year long. If everyone had a few kale plants in their yards or even on decks, balconies or porches,
fresh nutritious food would be right out the door. This is a rather intimidating veggie for many, and I will be honest, it
has taken years for me to embrace Kale. I am learning to include it in many dishes and different ways to prepare it. Some
basics, remove the center stem and usually slice into thin strips about 1/2 inch wide. For a fresh salad it can be "rubbed"
with salt to break down some of the chewy texture. There are dozens of recipes for kale salad on line, I like to be creative
but always have a sweet and sour combination of ingredients. Oranges, dried fruit some apple cider vinegar based dressing.
Pasta and Kale are nice combinations. I saute onion and garlic until soft (in a bit of olive oil) then add the kale
(ribs removed and sliced into strips) stir that a bit, add maybe 1/4 cup of water, cover and simmer until tender. Then it
can be eaten as is, or added to any dish, lasagna, spaghetti, potatoes etc. Soups and stews are another way to incorporate
this staple into the diet. For fun, make kale chips by tossing bite size pieces of kale with olive oil and salt, or favorite
seasonings. Bake in hot oven (375- 400) for about 10 minutes checking for crispness. The small fragments that are left can
be saved and sprinkled on eggs, casserole or anywhere you might want just a bit of color (and added vitamins).
OK I am a convert and could go on forever, but you get the idea! Look for educational poster about kale at the Evergreen fair
this year. Write to me with a favorite easy dish using kale, I take recipes that have ingredients food bank visitors are likely
to have at home so they will know what to do with this huge green leafy veggie. I just thought of another one, baked crispy
kale crumbled over ramen noodles! My parting comments have to do with the varieties I planted from Wild Garden Seeds- Rainbow
Lacinato (my favorite) and "Wild Garden Kale Mix" a beautiful diversity of leaves and hues. Visit this
Organic sustainable seed source here- http://www.wildgardenseed.com/ Enjoy!
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Soaring Hearts Farm Blog
For this new year of 2012 I am going to try my hand at a blog about Soaring Hearts Farm, activities, all residents,
human, mammal, bird and plant life. Today Gracie was bred (again) to Bravo for what I hope is the last breeding of the year.
Of course this means if she settles her kids won't be here until early June...no show for her in Stanwood! We had our first
snow of the year and all the goats took a quick trip out to see it and then bustled back inside to eat some more!
12:49 am pst
to come, but wanted to get the first posting under my belt (bathrobe as it is past midnight)!
Happy New Year we have
hopes for happy healthy kids and lambs.
Wendy Valentine RN
Soaring Hearts Farm
has been falling steadily for the past few days. What that means on the farm is more indoor time for all of the farm animals
EXCEPT the Dogs! They love the snow.
Goats aren't fond of, but do fine in the snow as
long as they have a place to escape wind and wet, but they do still need good ventilation.At this time of year I actually
let stall bedding build up a bit as the manure and urine help create some heat. However, amonia fumes can cause respiratory
problems. Several things I have learned over the years include placing bedding pellets in the base of the stall and regularly
top dress with wasted hay (they do this for me!), and straw. I also keep the doors to the stall open since most of the areas
are draft free and this helps with air circulation. Also, If I can smell it, they are breathing it...this is my clue that
it is time to add bedding, or clean it out.
The second thing to be concerned about is fresh
water that is not frozen. This is true for all of the farm animals. Over the years I have carried many buckets of warm water
and broken ice on stock tanks. Last year, I purchased a heated water bucket and stock tank de-icer. Of course with goats extra
care to keep them from access to chew the cords is important...but I want to tell you how nice it is to only carry two small
buckets for one distant goat shelter and the poultry.
For pregnant does, excersize is really
important. Whenever the weather lets up a bit I am outside encouraging movement and play, sometimes even walking a doe around
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