Soaring Hearts Farm Mini Nubian Dairy Goats Snohomish WA

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Soaring Hearts Farm BLOG

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

One Hardy Vegetable- Kale!

     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.
     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-  Enjoy!

3:28 pm pst 

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 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!
More 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
12:49 am pst 

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Winter Wonderland!
The snow 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 the house. Enter content here




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