Around the Farm – March 10th 2014

We are a local farm located in the Pensacola, FL area (Molino, FL to be exact). We like to educate and provide local food to our area. Not everyone gets to enjoy the farm like we do so I wanted to shoot a video to give you the sights and sounds around the farm (you’ll have to imagine the smells for yourself!) Enjoy!

Notables in this video:

  • Maude and her piglets
  • our 2014 spring lambs
  • Strider, our Great Pyrenees Livestock Guardian Dog
  • Santa Goat
  • Betty White and Cloris Leachman (our white ducks)
  • Sochi, our new Great Pyrenees puppy (about 10 weeks old)
  • All of our horses – Henry, Duncan, Sheldon, Tookie and Echo
  • Delaware Chickens
  • Tom the Turkey
  • William Albert, our Peacock
  • Our plum and apple tree blooms

 

27 Pints of Canned Green Beans

We at Green Cedars Farm are not completely sustainable.  We depend on several other local farms to provide us with fresh raw milk, assistance at various times, and especially with additional produce.

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 We purchased almost a bushel of green beans from a good friend of ours who grows lots of produce.  In my opinion, these beans are worth their weight in gold!  Today, I canned them to help feed the family through the next year.  We had some fresh green beans for supper last night (along with squash, new potatoes, pork chops, and biscuits) and it was delicious!

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It is such a joy to know where our food comes from and to know exactly how it was grown and processed.  We value our food so much more when we know how much work has gone into growing and harvesting it.  And we feel so rich when we see a pantry full of home-canned food! 

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Canning can be a daunting task, but really isn’t so hard.  Most canners come with instructions and there are multiple books, such as the Blue Ball Book Guide to Preserving, that have recipes.  Of course, it’s always easier to get with a good cook who’s done it before to observe the process.  I’ve been fortunate to learn from my mother, who learned it from her mother-in-law as well as trial-and-error.

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Canning Green Beans Step-by-step:  First acquire fresh beans, either from your own garden or from a local farmer.  Snap off the ends and then snap the bean into equal bite-sized pieces.  (You can give the ends to the pigs or chickens).  Wash the beans (I refrigerated mine overnight), then cover with boiling water for 5 minutes, pack into hot clean jars (I did pint jars) leaving 1 inch of space at the top of the jar, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and then fill with hot water or cooking liquid (what the beans were cooked in), leaving 1 inch at the top of the jar.  Place the lids in boiling water and then place on the jar and screw on a band finger-tight.  Place the jars in a pressure canner with 2-3 inches of water simmering and lock the lid.  Allow to vent for 10 minutes, then place 10 pounds of pressure on and process for 20 minutes.  Turn the heat off and allow the pressure to drop naturally, then remove the gauge and allow to cool an additional ten minutes before opening.  Then remove the jars to a dry towel to cool.  Each pop of the lid as the jars seal is a reason to celebrate!

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Left jar is a can of green beans that has not been pressure cooked.  The jar on the right has been processed.

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2013 Lambing Season has begun

Lambing season started with a flurry of activity.  Five lambs all born on the same night, during a thunderstorm that swept through the Gulf Coast a couple days ago.  Scroll down to see a short video.

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Green Cedars Farm Lambs February 2013 from Michael Newman on Vimeo.

Green Cedars Farm on WEAR News 3

We are excited for Farmer Roger of Green Cedars Farm to be on WEAR News Channel 3 talking about the Agri-Business conference going on Thursday, February 21st 2013.  Be sure to catch the evening news tonight and tomorrow morning.

Here’s a few behind the scene photos.

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Our farm dogs sure do love attention!

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Our curious pigs were giving this cameraman some “pig kisses”

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Lemons!

It was a good year for our young Meyer lemon tree. This year we harvested about one hundred large, juicy lemons. Here’s how I processed these useful fruits. Lemon juice is needed for canning tomatoes, making lemonade, and flavoring tea, as well as other recipes. I found a recipe online (thanks, Google!) for a lemon household cleaner. All the fresh lemons are gone, but I did enjoy squeezing them into my morning water as a tonic for the body.

Lemon juice: To make lemon juice, first I put in a good movie, then sit at the table with a sharp knife, a cutting board, a hand juicer, and three large containers (one with lemons, one for lemon peels, and one for juice. After juicing lemons, I strain the juice through a strainer, then heat it up. Meanwhile, I heat water to boiling in a water bath canner and sterilize half-pint jars and rings. About five minutes before sealing, I put lids in boiling water and set aside. I fill the hot jars with hot juice to about one half to one quarter inch from the top, wipe the top clean, seal with lid and ring, then process in the water bath for five minutes. This summer I will add this all-natural lemon juice when I can tomato juice, tomato sauce, and tomatoes. I use it like store-bought lemon juice, but it’s much tastier.

Lemon household cleaner: This was my first time to try this. I put leftover lemon peels in a jar, then added white vinegar, left it for about four weeks, shaking occasionally, then strained the vinegar with a metal strainer, then strained it through a paper towel (and used the paper towels to clean with). I put some into a spray bottle to clean the glass door (doggy noses and slobber), the countertops, the cabinets, and even the floor. I am pleased to have an inexpensive, all-natural cleaning product underneath my kitchen sink!

The Farmer’s Wife

2012 Escambia County Farm Tour

Thank you to everyone that came out to the 2012 Escambia County Farm Tour!  Green Cedars Farm was honored to be a part of this tour highlighting many great farms in North Escambia County.  Here are a few pictures we captured, for more photos please click the link at the bottom.

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Farmer Roger welcoming the 2012 North Escambia County Farm Tour

 

Fertilizer at Green Cedars Farm

Farmer Roger talking about the benefits of using chicken poop as fertilizer.

 

Pastured Pork at Green Cedars Farm

Farmer Roger talking about Green Cedars Farm Pastured Pork

 

 If you missed the tour be sure to check out the write up and more pictures from NorthEscambia.com

 

 

 

Polyface Farms

Yesterday Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms celebrated 30 years of full-time farming!  He first became widely known in his featured role in Food Inc. and Michael Pollan’s book “Omnivore’s Dilemma.”  He’s written many books and a quick search on YouTube will also show many videos from Joel’s various speaking engagements and farm tours.

If there was a mascot for the local foods movement I believe Joel would be that mascot (hmmm..idea for a bobblehead, maybe?)!  He has been a beacon of light and a source of inspiration for common sense and creative farming.  If you’ve heard Joel speak you know he is both passionate, humorous and persuasive (he enjoys a good debate).

My wife and I had the opportunity to visit Polyface Farm earlier this month and meet Joel, his family, and their staff/interns.  Finally visiting Polyface after ready so much about it was very exciting, to say the least.  This farm tour was a fundraiser for the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund.

Thanks to the Weston A. Price Foundation for putting this all together and the Polyface Family for having us.  Congratulations to Joel for 30 years of farming, here’s hoping for many many more!

A side note: Green Cedars Farm will be hosting a local chapter of Weston A. Price Foundation on Satuday, Sept. 29th at 3pm.  Everyone is invited for a tour of the farm, so come on out!

 

A Pig’s Life

One of the things I love about our farm is that a pig can be a pig.  They get to root, snort, eat, run and play on pasture.

Rambler | Green Cedars Farm New Ram

Rambler, Green Cedars Farm Ram

Rambler is our new breeding ram, following our former rams, Rambo, Rambunctious, Rampage, and Ramses. Rambler is a White Dorper and was purchased from a breeder in Reform, AL. He is very docile and easy to work with, always meeting me at the gate at dinner time. We have stepped up our breeding program with the purchase of Rambler and expect to see an increase in our already high quality in our next set of lambs. We use White Dorper and Katahdin genetics due to their reputations of having the mildest flavor of all the sheep breeds.  We will turn Rambler in with the ewes around October 1st and expect lambs about the 1st of March. Until then, Rambler’s pasture buddy is Santa Goat, a pygmy goat wether.

Here’s a few rams from the past:

Ramses – White Dorper Ram

Rambo – Katahdin Ram

(front) Rambunctious – Dorper Ram | (back) Rampage – White Dorper Ram

Our Rabbits

Our rabbit, Brownie, gave birth to eight kits on June 7, 2012.  We almost didn’t notice since they were hiddenby the fur of the nest.  Brownie had pulled out her own fur to make that warm, soft nest for them.  As newborns, the kits were hairless and their eyes were closed, but they grew very quickly!

By the time they were a week old, they had fur.

When they were about two weeks old, they opened their eyes.

At three weeks, the kits left the nest and were eating solid food.  They love kale, collards, and figs!

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