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April 2016 Newsletter

From Helen:

Most of the babies have arrived. We are still getting a calf here and there but most have been born. We should have a baby donkey any day now. The Rent A Chicks have all returned to the farm. Now we feed and care for them until September or October when they start laying then we'll see some return on them. We are starting CSA vegetable deliveries this week. We will be harvesting cool season vegetables for a few weeks along with new potatoes and green onions. Yellow squash and zucchini is almost ready. Tomatoes will not be ready till June but the bushes are looking good. We're getting them tied up and pruning them.

We're still planting some vegetables like okra and some flowers. We don't do a lot of flowers but have been planting a few for ourselves and added a few more to sell. Hope this experiment works out. We also have some oyster and shiitake mushrooms spawn being inoculated into wheat straw and gum tree logs. We should have mushrooms in a few weeks. We also have mushroom kits available for purchase, if you want to grow your own.

Be sure to look at the calendar HERE. We have some many events coming up. I think it's a good mix of things to do so everyone should be able to find an event to attend. Here's a brief synopsis of some of the things coming up.

Wine Tasting and Food Pairing at the Pickled Palate on May 12th. We're doing a Wine Tasting and Food Pairing with our girls at the Pickled Pallet in Mt Pleasant. Fabulous food and good wine. I'll be there hanging out with you for dinner. We have the Big Red Barn event on May 15th. I'll cover that more in the Feature of the Month.
I'm really excited about our Brisket Dinner May 28th. I have tried brisket in many local restaurants and none can beat Eric Britton's brisket of Britton's BBQ. Britton's BBQ is cohosting this dinner with us on May 28th National Brisket Day.

We're offering Canning Classes in June when the tomatoes are ready. We're working with Clemson Extension to offer these classes.

On June 25th, we're having the BrewMoo Beer Festival with great beer from Charleston area breweries along with food and music. Then we have 4 weeks of summer camp, 2 in June and 2 in July.

I'm exhausted just thinking about all of these things. Hope you will find at least one that interest you, more than one would be better.

Laser Skeet Shooting at he Big Red Barn Festival
Here's Linda's contribution to the newsletter:

This time of year always makes me ready to garden. Even now when we have acres of vegetables planted and employees to work them I always have the urge to get outside and get my hands dirty. I’m really not sure why this is, since I really don’t like hard work (and there’s no question about it, gardening is hard work.) As a child I REALLY hated it. Everyone in the house, except Grandmother, had to help with the garden and Grandpa would not accept excuses from anyone no matter how young. Daddy helped, as did Aunt Mary and our cousin Marsha when they were home. However, in my memories, Grandpa and Mama did the majority of it with us kids pitching in. Mama and Daddy argued their entire married lives about when the right time was to plant a garden. Mama had been raised in north Georgia, which has a different climate, and she went by her Grandfathers wisdom which said you plant on Good Friday. Daddy disagreed, he said that some years that was too late and some years too early, depending on when Easter was. I’m still not sure when he thought other things should be planted but I know he thought corn should be planted on March 15.

We never planted a fall or winter garden. I’m not sure why except there just weren’t that many winter vegetables we liked. Mama and Grandpa were the only ones who ate greens. Broccoli and cauliflower were unheard of as was kale. We liked cabbage but the Jenkins family grew huge fields of it so we just got some each year from “Cousin“ Frank Jenkins. So this time of year was really when we gardened.

One of the earliest crops to come in was cucumbers. Grandpa planted a few plants in the garden to pick and have on the dinner table. He and Daddy liked them soaked overnight or longer in vinegar and then salted and peppered. Grandmother and then Mama kept a bowl sliced up in the fridge and just added to it when they started getting low.

The Jenkins family, Cousin Frank and his son Benjamin, planted acres of cucumbers and we were always welcome to help ourselves. Mama and both of our grandmothers took advantage of this generosity and made pickles. I have dozens of pickle recipes in my family cook book and we made them all. These included ones that took just a few hours to ones that took up to six weeks. There were always shelves full of jar after jar of pickles in the pantry. (I love my house but the one thing its missing is a large walk in pantry. I can’t think of too many things more satisfying than a pantry full of home canned vegetables.)

Cucumbers are a member of the cucurbit family, technically considered a fruit. There are 3 main varieties: slicing, pickling and burpless. Within each variety there are a number of different kinds. It is a creeping plant with a yellow bloom. They originated in India about 4000 years ago and quickly spread to the rest of the known world. They are mentioned in the Bible as one of the foods eaten by the Israelites. They were brought to the New World by the Spaniards and shared with Native Americans.

More vegetables next month.

May 12th Wine Tasting and Food Pairing at Pickled Palate
May 15th  Big Red Barn Festival
May 28th Brisket Dinner 
June 11th Canning Class 
June 14th Canning Class
June 13-17 Summer Camp 6-8 year olds
June 20-24 Summer Camp 9-11 year olds
June 25 BrewMoo Beer Festival 
July 11-15 Summer Camp 6-8 year olds
July 18-22 Summer Camp 9-11 year olds
September 17th Backyard Chicken Workshop
October Pumpkin Patch

Special of the Month
We have a new flavor of beef sausage Jalepeno and cheese. Try it while it's on sale for $6/lb. Don't forget we have onion brats, garlic brats, andouille, chorizo, zesty Italian, and hot Italian sausages. 

Recipe of the Month
Baked Red Rice

2 small cans tomato paste
4 cans water
4 tablespoons bacon grease
salt, pepper, and sugar to taste
1 onion, cut up
1 bell pepper, cut up
1 ¾ cups Uncle Ben’s converted rice
½ lb. Hillshire smoked sausage, cut up (I use Legare Farms sausage like onion or garlic)
Heat to boiling the tomato paste, water, bacon grease, onion, and bell pepper. You may prefer to sauté onion and pepper in bacon grease first. Remove from heat; stir in rice and sausage. Put in casserole dish and bake, covered, for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Take out and stir up; cover and cook for 30 minutes more.

Lots of opportunities for you to visit us in the next few months. I hope you will try and come out for one of our events. We try to be open every Saturday 9 till noon so come by and visit.
If you have any questions or suggestions, call or email us,

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