Your asking, I know. What in the world do chicken's have to do with tea? Isn't this a tea company? Don't you blend tea? Drink tea? Have tea time? With tea treats? That whole pinkies up thing, you know?
The answer is, yes, well except for the pinkies up thing. We only do that for fun, mostly! You see, chickens hold an important role here down on the farm. While they might seem worlds away from having anything to do with tea, they are actually one of the first steps in making our tea.
Our teas feature locally grown ingredients. Such as our Cherry City Chai, with it's heirloom Royal Ann cherries, grown here in the capital of Salem. Or the beautiful lavender in our Rose City Repose tea, grown in Eagle Creek, Oregon by Eagle Creek Lavender. Some of the local ingredients in our teas come right from our farm. Herbs, flowers and berry leaves, are just a few of the things we grow.
While our farm is not certified Organic we make an effort to keep all chemicals out of our farming. Growing in this way can really get time consuming unless some other tactics are applied. One of those tactics we use is putting our chickens to work for us.
You see there are 24 of them and only 6 of us. They are also some mighty bug eating machine's, with claws that till (while looking for worms) and a LARGE appetite for all the things in the greenhouse that we needed to weed. They also fertilize the soil in the process. The agricultural method that takes the problem of say a hungry chicken to solve the problem of a garden that needs weeded is called Permaculture. Where multiple cultures (chickens and gardens) work together to solve a problem.
Normally I would have these cute little people help me pull the weeds and get the greenhouse ready. They were glad to find out that the chickens were going to do that work for them, we just had a few things to get ready before we let the feathered crew in to take care of the mess.
Check out our latest YouTube video to see how it went. The before and after of the greenhouse is amazing.
If you enjoyed watching that video and all the work those feathery friends can do for you, you might be interested in our free download on 8 Tips for Keeping Chickens. As a BOUNUS there are two printables for keeping track of chicken expenses and how many eggs are laid daily. Thanks for joining us on the farm and we will see you next time!
Oh March you were so wet, so cloudy and so windy!!! Despite the wet and windy weather St. Ignatius Vineyard was still so beautiful that I had to stop and take pictures. The clouds just made the bright green grass even brighter and the blues bluer! We took a little trip off the farm to pick up some of these beautiful dried Royal Ann cherries from Cherry Country to add to our chai tea blending turning an already fantastic blend into Cherry City Chai, a chocolate cherry chai!
Aren't these cherries beautiful! They add such a wonderful aroma to our chai tea and knowing that they were grown right here in Salem, Oregon and that they are an heirloom to the area makes us feel like we are drinking history in a cup. Check out our Cherry City Chai here.
Around the Barnyard ...
Chicken's and tea? Who knew? We are loving our Great American Farm Tour cup, great for drinking tea hand blended down on the farm.
We have two new additions down on the farm! Meet Hey Ewe and Dodge Ram! They are sure sweet little ones and babies are always welcome down on the farm!
In the Farm Kitchen...
Kefir grains, they make the fastest yogurt with the biggest probiotic punch! We have been loving them in our morning smoothies with bananas, Bliss Nut Butter and local raw honey from Flying Bee Ranch!
Mixing up some purple dilly kraut! Fermented foods make the gut healthy and happy and this one is beautiful to boot!
Local granola with some of our kefir yogurt, a tasty breakfast and treat!
Crepes? Yes please! Filled with Bliss Hazelnut Butter, cocoa powder and local raw honey to make a fantastic "nutella" like spread! Complete with a bright yellow tint from our farm fresh egg yokes.
Building the tea studio...
March brought us the completion of the bottom level framing! Getting a little bit closer to that tea studio being complete. Estimated competition date is Summer of 2017
In the Farm Store...
Ahhh... Cherry City Chai, beautiful and delicious. Sporting our new Mexican hot chocolate mixer which we used to help froth our Cherry City Chai milk for latte time!
So in love with these flowers from Floating Petal Confetti! They are the beauty in our Oregon Harvest Berry Tea!
Rain or Shine its Market time! We are back at the Salem Saturday Market doing tea tastings! Come down and have a try. Salem Oregon Capital area from 9 am to 3 pm.
We welcomed a new piece to our tea business. Our new dehydrator will allow us to dry even more local goodness from black berry leaf to cranberries, aronia berries, haskap berries and more! We are super excited to be able to provide local goodness without any additives or chemicals!
These beautiful cranberries from the Bandon area just make us want to drink tea! Coastal Cranberry Spice tea that is! We hand sliced 40 some pounds of berries in order to bring this wonderful tea to Made in Oregon. We are now located from Portland to Eugene and to Newport!
Thanks for joining us down on the farm!
We are excited to be providing a hand-crafted, artisan loose leaf tea featuring Oregon grown ingredients. Local farmers. Local Families. Small Business. Just plain good tea! No nonsense! Visit our store and make sure you get free shipping through April 21st using coupon code HEisRISEN17 on orders $25+.
Our chickens to new grass that is! Check out the work they have been doing to get our garden spot ready, what it takes to move them around and our new baby lambs.
Last week we built a portable chicken coop and this week on our Farm Channel we are putting the chickens in their new area surrounded by electric poultry netting. They will till, fertilize and debug the space for our future tea garden. Check it out below!
If we could sum up our July in a few words I think they would be: Plant, harvest, eggs, zucchini, dirt, rocks..... and God's beauty. Pictured above is our 'coming soon' download in our Simple and Easy Steps to Ditch the Grocery Store series. If you haven't read part one you may find that here and the part 2 of 6 is coming early this week.
In the Barnyard...
Chickens! Now that we ferment and regulate their feed (thanks to Justin Rhodes and family at Abundant Permaculture) they know that I feed them and are SURE that I have food every time they see me. Or hear me. Or think they do! One was sure my camera was food and took a nip at it and me.
See that mean look in her eye?! Watch out!!
Ok moving on to something MUCH cuter. My buddy Tiny is the sweetest little lamb. We will see how this Farmer's Wife does when it comes time to butcher in the fall.
In the Greenhouse...
Transplanting round two of the pole beans hoping they survive the pill bug infestation.
Yep, that pill bug infestation! Timmmmmmber! I call them little lumber jacks. The Oregon extension office told me they only eat dead and decaying matter. Maybe after they fall over the bean plant... but it wasn't decaying when they fell it. Accepting all tips of how to be done with these things. A live trap so I can feed them to the chickens would be awesome. So far nothing has worked.
Harvesting spinach seed from the green house plants. I think we have enough for quite some time.
Harvest from our spring greenhouse clean up. Learning out the cabbage patch, it did ok considering it didn't look like it was going to do anything a month or two ago. Some bits of lettuce, green onions and the eggs.... those came out of the barn not the greenhouse. ::wink:: ::wink::
Around the Farm...
Our list of reasons for LIKING all the abundance of wild blackberries is actually growing though we are still constantly cutting them down and using every thing not made from chemicals to get them to go away. List of reasons we DO like them: #1 Pigmy Goat food = less animal feed #2 Blackberry leaves make great tea, check out our Bloom'n Hibiscus #3 Those lovely blackberries! Some work but they are worth it.
Red clover.... red clover.... send some Farmer's Wife tea right over! We love this time of year when the tea grows in our yard.
Bloom'n oregano! The bee's are loving this!
Lavender has to be the Farmer's and my favorite herb. Its such a pleasure to see it bloom and then to have that beauty in the yard. I have such a hard time cutting it down to dry it but here it goes! Featured in our Rose City Repose and Lavender Earl Grey Teas.
Oregano, rosemary and thyme from the yard going into one of our farm fresh meals.
Breaking ground on our up and coming tea studio!
After being sick for six weeks last year I'm finally making it back into the Mary Garden to clean it up and hopefully find a way to keep all the weeds (unwanted plants) out. Trying out some watermelon plants up here for now since we ran out of space in the crop garden.
In the Farm Kitchen...
One of our last salads with snap peas in it, good bye spring and yellow summer!
Sourdough Breakfast Braid featuring Mt. Hope Farm's Aroina Berry Fruit Spread.
Chicken Pesto Salad Sandwich with Kale Pesto and dehydrated tomatoes from last years garden.
Local grass fed beef, organic tomato sauce, garden fresh zucchini, and onion/garlic/mushrooms from the farmer's market...... all going into this.....
Farm grown lunch; eggs from the chickens, zucchini from the garden, Rosemary from our herb garden and cherry plums from our wild trees.
Kale Grain Salad with locally grown quinoa, wild black berries, locally picked blue berries and wild cherry grapes with a watermelon from the farmer's market.
Its been hot so salads are in order! This was a Chicken Grain Salad with kale and zucchini from the garden topped with tomatillo salsa from last years garden.
In the Crop Garden...
Pulling grass and remulching the crop garden to give the starts a better chance at out growing the weeds.
The tomatillos and zucchini are coming along. Also a few cabbage seed pods in the greenhouse.
The crop garden is filling in and looking good. The tomatillos are in bloom and so are the potatoes!
Our nasturtiums are blooming! We planted them in the crop garden to help with insect replant and bee attraction.
A baby cantaloupe! Sweetness is in our future...
Our first pickling cucumbers are in their jar fermenting. Its super simple and a great way to skip the heat of canning. If you would like a short video tutorial make sure to follow us on Instagram!
In the Farm Store ...
We are still spending every other Saturday at the Salem Saturday Market enjoying meeting new customers and sharing our tea. Pictured below is some sample tea, make sure to stop by and try a cup at our next market August 6th!
Our lovely sign carved by the Farmer's brother-in-law and our bulk single teas.
Trying out a new tea display and trying to beat the sun! St. Fiacre is on guard making sure they don't get too hot.
This lovely photo is from Elizabeth Looney at the ModernHippy87 on Instagram. We swapped some goods during the #trademethursday swap. She took this lovely photo of our end of the trade. She did such a good job!
Thanks for visiting us down on the farm for July's update! We hope to see you in a day or two with our newest blog series; Simple and Easy Skills Make You Grocery Store Free . From our farm to you home we hope you have a blessed week!
In the Hoop House …
The hoop house at the beginning of January. A few things survived the winter but were not in the ground soon enough to give us much more than a snippet here and there. Just a little note, there are links contained in this blog post that help to finance our little farm if purchases are made through those links. Thank you for helping us out #downonthefarm !
Around the Pasture …
In the Farm Kitchen …
Our daily sourdough bread, still rising strong and happy thanks to Saint Anthony (patron of bread makers) and our Good Cook Stoneware pans are still holding up after 3 years of daily use.
Whole Wheat Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls… a favorite Sunday breakfast down on the farm. And served in another Cook Cook Stoneware piece, their pie plate. Lov'n how these hold up and how affordable they are! Stoneware cooks up so beautifully!
We are still fermenting away, or as the Farmer calls it, science experiments. He has told me I need a lab just for them. Pictured above some strawberry flavored kombucha and some kefir in the process of straining.
It's been a busy month in the kitchen I guess but with the cold and wet weather I guess one is inside more! These are some lovely whole wheat blueberry sourdough muffins we had one Sunday.
Lov'n that cast iron! Pictured above Skillet Dairy Free Green Bean Casserole.
Lentil Skillet Tamale Pie. (Click the link for our tutorial and recipe.)
Some of this month's kitchen inspiration comes from this lovely spice set that was a Christmas gift. We have been traveling the world in our kitchen in the middle of January. Taking these spices and turning them into seasonal down on the farm food. Its been quite a fun adventure! So far we have been to Morocco, India, Mexico, Kansas City, Lebanon and Greece.
A day in the life of our farm stove. It gets a work out that is for sure! This Christmas/birthday was the season for kitchen giving and I'm rather enjoying the new tea kettle. Our last one was five years old or more and it would always drip hot water when it was poured insuring a good burn. As you can imagine, blending our own teas on the farm, this tea kettle was used all the time. And then we were blessed with this Sori Yanagi Stainless Steel Kettle. Its shorter and built really well and heats up fast!
There are some beans in the pressure cooker, our daily sourdough bread and some onion/apple mix in the cast iron skillet for our Morrocon dish we had that night.
What's New in the Farm Store…
We were blessed with some wonderfully warm sunny days down on the farm this month and this tea is perfect for those days. A bold green tea with a hint of citrus and the ever nutritious goji berries. Check out our Organic Orange Jasmine Loose Leaf tea blend here in our Etsy shop or right here in our online store.
We busy updating our photos in our Etsy shop as well as adding our products right here to our own online shop. Granny's Everything Salve is just great to have around for every occasion be it a cut, burn, bruise or bump…. or perhaps when you lost your work gloves and ended up with a blister after trying to dig out tree stumps… what ever it may be! ;) Check it out here in our shop and on Etsy.
I have been wanting to make our own mayo for some time because the recipes always look super easy and the ingredients are usually at hand. Its been too easy to grab it off the shelf and just be done with it though. So last week I made a conscious decision to NOT buy mayo… except for today I forgot I did that. When lunch time came and the tuna was out there wasn't any mayo to be found, and that is when I remembered my decision to not buy any! I figured if we didn't have any I would be forced into making some from scratch and the plan worked. I'm just glad that it didn't happen on a day when hubby was home and I was running errands!
Five Minute Homemade Mayonaise
1 whole organic egg
1 organic egg yoke
1 cup of light Olive Oil (Pure Olive Oil from Costco was used here)
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
2-3 drops of lemon flavoring (lemon juice would do too!)
1/4 tsp sea salt (Real Salt is a good brand full of minerals)
In a small bowl, or a canning jar (works great because of the height and keeps splatter down), add the whole egg and egg yoke, along with the garlic powder, salt and lemon flavoring. Using a stick blender mix it up well. Slowly add the olive oil while blending and the mayo will get nice and thick. Blend until all the oil is added and the mayo is the desired thickness.
I believe a high end blender like a Blendtec or Vita mix would do the same, though I've read that it may be necessary to let the ingredients come to room tempature to get it to work. The eggs came straight out of the refrigerator and it blended up wonderfully. I won't be buying mayo again! It is much cheaper this way, very quick and easy, and we used mostly organic ingredients though we were low on organic olive oil … and it has a stronger taste too.
Welcome to our Family Tea Farm!
Howdy from our farm to your home! It is said that the, "farm is the nursery of the family," and that "the family is the nursery of the nation." We hope you enjoy your visit to our blog as we share with you the happenings on our little "nursery". Thank you for following us on our journey and watching us GROW! Read more about our farm HERE.
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