It's that time of year where the stores start stocking up on roses and other flowers. Boxes of chocolate begin to line the shelves. St. Valentine's day is only a little over a week away.
While St. Valentine is remembered by the giving of gifts and notes to those we love, this month is also American Heart Health Month. Those roses and chocolate not only bring smiles to our faces as physical proofs of love, but they also have medicinal effects on the body as well.
I don't know about you, but I'm always happy to find out more good news about my favorite herb, chocolate. Are you ready to read all of the reasons that you SHOULD be eating more chocolate?
The leaves are falling, the grapes are changing colors. The fall and Christmas decor is already in the stores. Wait! What? What is the date?!
While the official first day of fall is not until September 22nd (not too far off), down on the farm we are ready for this slower time of year to come. Summer is such a busy time on the farm planting and harvesting, trying to get our building project sealed up before the rains start and thankfully we don't have wood cutting on our list this year with the stash we have!
The local coffee shops are advertising pumpkin this and that, gingerbread is surely not far behind but you know what?! Its CHAI SEASON! While chai is the name for all kinds of tea in India, marsala chai is what us American's are familiar with. That spicy drink filled with cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and other spices that warms us up in the cooler months and makes us all comfy cozy.
Back to those coffee shops... most pumpkin spice latte's are flavored with synthetically flavored syrups and the sweetner in them is usually corn syrup. Far from a health food! Along with that is usually added a conventional milk. Today we are going to turn this unhealthy drink into something very healthy by just changing up what we use in the recipe.
Brewing the tea
First stop on our recipe journey is to get our tea brewed. Our preferred way to brew loose leaf tea is by using a french press. Typically used for coffee, french presses are very simple to use. Simply place the tea inside the press, pour your hot water over the top and place the lid/press on the top to steep. (Check out the demo in the video below)
We are excited that we were sent a new french press to review called the Espro P3. The most common french press is Bodum, which we have many of, because they are the easiest to find locally. We also have a couple of others that are lower end and we use all 5 of them every week when we brew tea for our farmer's market tea tastings.
I was super impressed with the Espro 3! Mostly for 3 reasons:
1.) The Double Filter System - Typically a french press has one filter that is made from metal mesh and some times the tiny tea bits will sneak through there. The Espro has a double filter system and catches all of the smallest particles making it great for any kind of tea. I'm sure it would work with fine ground coffee as well!
2.) Lock- This lovely lock keeps the glass carafe attached to the exterior case and handle which is great for when it comes time to hand wash. We have broken many carafe's because they fall out during washing and hit the sink then shatter. This lock ensures that won't happen during washing.
3.) Double Thick Glass- The carafe on this french press has double thick glass which helps keep the tea warmer longer and makes it more durable if dropped. Ask me how I know that its more durable if dropped ;) Yep, I dropped it! Not on purpose of course but I was super glad to see that it held up!
Check out the Espro in our video review below and also on Amazon.
Yes these are affiliate links, they provide our family farm with a wee bit of income so we can continue to bring you great recipes and local teas! There is no additional cost to you, if you decide to purchase. Cheers!
Espro P3 Standard
Espoo Stainless Steel
Large Espro Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel Frothing Pitcher
Mix'n it up
Now that we have covered the WHY we are drinking the chai and the how of brewing the tea lets get on to the actual recipe, because that's what you all are here for right ;) Bring on the tasty yummy (and healthy) Pumpkin Spice Bullet Proof Chai.
Pumpkin Spice Bullet Proof Chai Tea
4 - 6 TSP Loos Leaf Chai
( Recommended Decaf Chai, Cherry City Chai and/or Gingerbread Spice)
2 TSP Butter from Grass Fed Cows, melted (also known as grass fed butter, no - butter doesn't eat grass.... why do I say that, because the Farmer asked me.)
2 TBL Organic or Homegrown Pumpkin Puree
2 TSP Organic Coconut Oil, melted
2 TBL Organic Maple Syrup (the real stuff from trees!) or Local Raw Honey
1 C. Grassfed Milk (no milk doesn't eat grass... the cows, they eat the grass and make the milk... vs grain fed. That reason is a whoooole other post... leave a comment if you would like me to write it.)
1/4 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (or to taste, see recipe below)
1.) Steep the tea (any way you like) in 12-16 oz of almost boiling water for 7-10 minutes.
2.) Add the pumpkin, maple syrup, butter, coconut oil and steeped (strained) tea to a blender.
3.) Blend on high for about 2 minutes (we used the hot chocolate setting on the Blend Tec) until fats have emulsified and mixed together with the other ingredients.
4.) Warm up milk on stove so that its warm to the touch but not boiling and turn the heat off before the milk creates a skin over the top.
5.) Froth the milk using an electric frother or by placing it in a clean french press and pumping the press up and down until frothed.
6.) Pour pumpkin mix from blender into a mug, top with frothed milk and sprinkle on Pumpkin Pie Spice. Enjoy!!!
Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix
4 TBL Organic ground Cinnamon 1/2 TSP Organic ground Nutmeg
2 TSP Organic ground Ginger 1/2 TSP Organic ground Allspice
1/2 TSP Organic ground Cloves
Mix all the above spices together an store in an air tight container in a dark location. Should keep up to a year, if you don't use it by then!
Thanks for stopping by the farm and we will see you next week! Enjoy that cup of Pumpkin Spice Bullet Proof Chai!
P.S. Don't forget to grab our FREE Cooking with Tea E-book for more tea time treats!
It is getting cooler here down on the farm and the out door garden is done, the greenhouse is slowing down and our projects have slowly been moving inside the house as we finish up preserving food for the winter. Thanks for stopping by the farm, we hope that you enjoy your visit!
Around the Farm...
Our squash harvest curing on our front porch. We have probably consumed 1/3 of it all ready so it probably won't get us through the winter as a family of 6 but its a start to some food sustainability!
A few rose beauties bloomed this fall so we snatched them up to dry for our Rose City Repose Tea and Willamette Berry Pie Tea. Nothing like fresh herbs/tea from the farm!
Our chickens started molting at the start of the month and as a result we had very few eggs. It appears that they are back at it and making up for lost time. This poor chicken must have though she was a goose because her egg sure looked more like a goose egg than a chicken egg!
It wouldn't even fit in the egg crate. And to our disappointment there were not two yokes just one huge one!
In the Barnyard....
Sock's Jr. getting some snuggle time away. Kittens are just so adorable aren't they?!
There is much joy in farm life but it certainly comes with its sorrows. This month we lost our lamb Tiny, he is the one standing with his back turned. This was the last photo we have of him. He came to us very sick and wounded which we though we had fixed but he was always a little off. It seems it got the best of him as he slowly wasted away regardless of the helps we applied. Now we are just down to Little Bitty and Big Boy. Hopefully they will provide us with a nice herd.
I spy, a kitten in our sage plant. As I knelt down to take product photos with our wooden planter as a back drop I became eye level with this cute little fluff ball. Quite the surprise but it made me smile.
In the Greenhouse...
Fall had not quite come yet the beginning of October, leaves were just starting to change but not drop yet. The greenhouse was still going strong. Over the month though the leaves have all fallen off the grapevine leaving our greenhouse a little bare. Mold has started to hit some of the decaying bean and tomato plants. We are busily cleaning up and translating winter crops to hunker down for a few months.
Green beans the start of October, getting a decent harvest for the start of fall!
Its still harvest time!
In the Farm Kitchen...
Italian sausage, with fresh basil and garden fresh tomato sauce over spaghetti squash. Grown from our farm and what wasn't was purchased from a local farm. Topped with a bit of raw cheese!
Enjoying the last of our fresh apples with some local cranberries, maple syrup and cinnamon, yum!
A special event in our family called for some off the farm treats. Chocolate covered pretzels are always a request.
A tea party for a little pumpkin coming our way, tomato and cheddar cheese filled croissants.
Enjoying a Pinot Noir Sourdough from Cascade Baking Co. in Salem, OR topped with free range chicken salad and local cranberries. Delish !
Pumpkin Cheesecake dip with probiotic cream cheese and farm grown buttercup squash.
Farm made pumpkin bread with our buttercup squash topped with probiotic cranberry cream cheese.
That says it all, no need to mess with God's creations here!
Venturing away from OUR farm...
This full size sheep makes our lambs actually look like lambs, this one was very friendly!
Pumpkin pick'n for our Little Pumpkin Baby Shower, complete with a field of solar panels.
Cute little root'n piggies!
I wanted to take this sweet calf home, he was so friendly!
Tea Studio Progress ...
Construction on our tea studio continues with pouring the final pad on the foundation, next are walls... yay walls!
There is quite a bit under that cement pad many wouldn't know was there! Building a solid foundation....
Smoothing it out to perfection...
In the Farm Store...
Sharing our goods at the Fall Oregon Poultry and Homesteading Faire, we are excited to be back to their winter Faire in Feb.! Eugene here we come :)
Lip balm and salve display, decking out in our fall colors with flowers from the farm.
Introducing a new box to our farm store, the Men's Tea and Salve gift set, check it out here!
Another set with three of our most popular salves/balms for new mothers: Nursing Salve, Baby Bum and Body Balm and Belly Balm. Grab the details here in our farm store!
Last but not least our most purchased item from our farm store sans tea, our Expectant Mother Gift box. We have customers who love to gift this to friends and family who are expecting babies and need a little extra TLC or cheer up during the trials of the first trimester. The gift recipients have enjoyed this box so much that they send one of their own when their friend is expecting and so it continues to go. Get the skinny on this lovely box over at our farm store.
Thank you for stopping by the farm!
Looking back I think we could name June spring harvest month! We have been busy down on the farm harvesting our spring crops and putting in our summer crops. It sure has made for a busy month out in the garden but one full of many blessings. Welcome to our farm!
In the Farm Kitchen
First up on the harvesting list is our nubby carrots. These were intended to be short, a mere 6 inch carrot, but they decided to go wide as well. We would have liked to leave them in the ground longer but needed the space for other crops so out they came!
This was probably our biggest strawberry harvest in one picking from our small strawberry patch. Much too small of a patch for our liking, we will be finding a place to expand it for next year. There is nothing better than home grown, fresh from the vine strawberries!
A nightly harvest from the greenhouse garden: a few beets which don't grow so well in our greenhouse, a lovely green cabbage, carrots and lots of salad greens.
Cabbage cabbage! After figuring none of it would actually make a cabbage head it turns out that patience is fruitful.
Nope not green beans but kale pods! When kale flowers it shoots out these pods and the seed is inside. We picked some early and fermented them in a salt brine for a few days on the counter then let them rest in the fridge. They came out like a garlicky green bean. We used them similar to capers cut up on some salmon with lots of butter and salt. It was fantastic!
One big radish! Kidding, a turnip snuck in with our radish harvest. We made sure to put it to good use.
Dinner all from the garden, now to replicate that 364 more days and we will have met our goal of being self sustaining with our food! Roasted beets, turnip and radishes with a balsamic honey glaze and garden fresh salad.
The purple cabbage was ready and my was it dense, which is great! A little on the spicy side so I'm thinking it didn't get as much water as it needed. It has been adding color to our salad for weeks now.
Lunch down on the farm made and grown on the farm. Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread from our fresh ground flour and made with local honey, eggs from the chickens soon to be egg salad, peas and carrots as our veggies.
Home made mayo in less than 5 minutes, grab the tutorial here. This was a shot intended to go with our first video DIY but the iPad died just before the end so it go set on the back burner for now.
Fresh and local Sunday breakfast tradition down on the farm! When we can't grow our own there is no better sub than locally grown from other farms in the area! This is truly a Farmer's Market Breakfast from the Salem Saturday Market. Eggs provided by our own chickens, nitrate free bacon, fresh fruit from the market, marion berries from family, Cinnamon Raisin toast from The Bread Board of Falls City and wonderful Haskap Fruit Spread from Mt. Hope Farms. Delicious tea from our farm store with a bit of local raw honey from Beeline Honey Co. in Salem, OR.
One of the things we love most about Oregon is all the wonderful seasonal fruit, it is a real treat for our family every year! Oregon strawberries are some of the best around and while the season is short we make sure to enjoy God's wonderful strawberries! Salem, Oregon is also known as the Cherry City and so cherries are in order for sure along with some marionberries grown by our family members. Such a treat!
Eggs are still abundant down on the farm though it seems we have one chicken having a ruff time. Chicken egg colors are based on their breed and the two breeds we have are suppose to lay brown eggs which they usually do. It seems this chicky isn't getting enough nutrition but my guess is that she is low on the pecking order since all the other eggs look well and fine.
The Farm Animals...
Oh how we miss this little kitty, we are not sure what happened to her as she just disappeared one day but she rather enjoyed my gardening shoes when she was with us. Farm life is always teaching us about life, loss, love and sometimes death. God's cycle is always a lesson.
Our lambs are getting rather big! July proved our last month for bottle feeding Little Bitty who isn't so little bitty any more. The lambs are enjoying their free range and pasture grass with a nice rub under the chin here and there.
Mama cat is still parked in front of our door with her furry babies. She is having a ruff time with the loss of 2 of her 3 kittens especially when the one left took a ride to town under our truck. St. Francis must have been looking out for her because she survived two trips under the truck and came back home. We call her spunky because she is always looking for a fun time and hitching a ride.
Around the Farm...
The outdoor garden went in this month. Lots of digging, tilling and then mulching and cleaning up the area. Talk about motivation for a different way of preparing the land. We hope to use our chickens as our tillers this fall and work on a deep mulch system that will save us the work and hopefully build better soil while feeding our chickens. Thank you to Justin Rhodes of Abundant Permaculture for inspiring such an idea.
In go the plant starts and the straw mulch. Nothing like crawling around in your garden ;)
Ahhh! Done, what a happy moment and thankful the garden was smaller rather than larger at least in this regard.
When plants bloom it sure is easier to identify them! We discovered after being here two summers that we have St. Johns Wort growing along the front of our property. Oh happy day to know that we have such a wonderful herbal medicine right in our yard!
Lavender harvest has begun! I always hate having to cut the flowers off the plant because they make the yard look so beautiful and we really enjoy having these plants around but they are so beneficial that flower cutting must commence.
Hand tying lavender wands for drying. We use lavender in three of our teas in our farm shop; Floral Repose (Soon to be renamed Rose City Repose), Raspberry Repose (soon to be renamed Riverfront Repose) and our Lavender Earl Grey.
Evening Lavender Harvest, the best way to relax down on the farm!
Harvesting chamomile from down on the farm which may be found in many of our teas including Orange Jasmine Green Tea, and Floral Repose (Rose City Repose).
Our grapes are coming along well and we are so excited to see fruit on the vines for the first time!
Sometimes there weeds, sometimes their food. Blackberries in Oregon can be so bitter sweet (pun intended). They take over any yard and are near impossible to kill off unless you want to use chemicals or let pigs free range on the farm. Our pigmy goats are helpful in keeping them down some what by eating the leaves which kill off the canes. But when this time of year comes around we are thankful for their fruits!
In the Greenhouse...
Harvest basket hanging out in the greenhouse collecting kale pods and the like.
Chickory bloomed this month, the flowers were so pretty!
Radish pods ready for harvesting for seed. We didn't manage to pickle any of these but perhaps next radish season.
View looking out from the greenhouse on a wet day. A dash out to grab salad greens for dinner while the sun peeks through the clouds.
Mid-spring harvest pulling up radish seed and chickory root making way for summer plants.
Farm girl #2 packing Spunky around the garden. Spring peas falling over and summer green bean starts in the ground.
Tomato starts in the ground with beet going to seed in the background.
Down come the peas to make way fro green beans.
Baby bean starts hoping they hold off the pill bugs ... we shall see....
Kale, lots of kale. Kale in the winter, kale in the fall, kale in the spring and kale in the summer a green for all seasons. I must confess we started sautéing it as we are rather tired of kale salads.
Trips off the Farm to other Farms...
Blueberry season is here and we could not be happier... so happy we picked 91 lbs of these lovely things for the freezer. Check out how huge they are! If you ever get a chance to pick at Satterwhites Farm off Hwy 22 make sure you take it!
Earlier in the month we picked haskap berries for our Willamette Berry Pie Tea blend from the local test farm in the Eugene area.
In the Farm Store...
The Salem Saturday Market is always bringing us surprises with the weather! This particular day was so hot we made sure we had plenty of iced tea to share!
Bloom'n Hibiscus and Bullet and Bean tea were in order for sampling this market day served with a bit of local raw honey from Beeline Honey Co.
We introduced a couple of new teas this month made especially for mothers. The one pictured above is a lactation tea called Our Lady of the Milk in honor of the devotion to Nuestra Señora de la Leche y Buen Parto a Spanish devotion to our Lady of the Milk and Happy Delivery.
Our other new addition to our tea selection is a monthly tea for women called Our Lady's Mantle in devotion also to Our Lady but also because the main ingredient is called lady's mantle that has great properties for assisting women during their monthly menstrual cycle.
A few of our organic hand blended loose leaf teas ready to go in their new home at Bear Branch Farms in Stayton.
We were so excited to welcome this St. Fiacre statue to our Salem Saturday Market display. Its quite a treasure to find such a rare saint statue in our area and one of good quality. We are happy to have our patron with us now where ever we go. May St. Fiacre bless all of your gardens and thank you for stopping to see what is new down on the farm!!
The other day, it was a particularly warm day, we were inspired by one of our customers to make a cold version of our Peppermint Patty Tea. Until now it was most popular as a hot winter time tea because of the peppermint bringing thoughts of Christmas trees and candy canes. When our customer mentioned they drink it iced it put this winter tea into a new perspective. We decided to give it a try and the results were delicious! We hope you will agree.
BLENDED PEPEERMINT PATTY LATTE
1/4 cup Loose Leaf Peppermint Patty Tea
2 cups filtered water
2 cups ice
1/2 cup of milk (we used kefir for a probiotic kick!)
4-5 TBL raw honey (We love our local raw honey from Bee Line Honey Co.)
Add your 2 cups of filtered water to your tea kettle or pot and bring to a boil. Place your Loose Leaf Peppermint Patty Tea in a French Press (or use other steeping device) and add boiling water. Let steep for about 5-7 minutes. Once your tea has steeped strain into a blender (Vitamix or Blendtec works best). Add remaining ingredients starting with ice (it will help cool the tea down for blending) and blend until ice is chipped to your liking. Serve in a pretty glass, top with some cocoa nibs and fresh mint. Sip and enjoy!
Farm Animals …
Foodstuffs & Farm Kitchen …
I'm not sure about you all but I always enjoy seeing people's kitchens and how they are organized especially if they do a lot of cooking/baking and preserving! Here is a little peek at our farm kitchen where we bake our wild yeasted sourdough bread, brew our kombucha, preserve our garden produce and make our herbal teas and salves.
Spring is here down on the farm and we have plenty of greens for our nightly salad! Chickory, beet leaves, spinach and kale, oh my! Nothing "beets" home grown greens! Except for maybe some free range pastured chicken eggs and daily baked sour dough bread. God has sent abundant gifts and we are thankful!
In the Greenhouse …
In the Farm Store …
From our family and farm to yours...
May your family enjoy all the blessings God sends and hopefully He has sent some sunshine your way today. Thanks for visiting our little family farm!
The Hoop House …
In the Garden …
farm animals …
in the kitchen ….
Our sourdough is really happy lately with the double batches of english muffins and so it made for some good cinnamon rolls. Fresh whole ground wheat sour dough- refined sugar and dairy free. Some coconut sugar fills the middle with a little drizzle of raw honey and lots of cinnamon. A double batch of these did not last long around here… especially with their carmel coating on the bottom. Thanks GNOWFGLINS for a super recipe!
In the farm store …
We have been working on adding teas to our shop this week in anticipation of our grand opening on Saturday. Check out our Bloom'n Hibiscus Blend great for cooling off in the last days of summer. Especially good iced with some raw honey this red blend also goes great with lemonade. Click picture for pricing and details.
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.