Dogs & Cats Love Pastured Meats Too!

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Dogs & Cats Love Pastured Meats Too!

We love our meat. It nourishes us and grounds us. Do you share this wealth of nutrition with your pets? Dogs and cats both thrive off of and love when we share great food with them. Cats are natural carnivores that instinctively hunt, whereas dogs are omnivores and scavengers by nature and must be trained to hunt.

Eating raw meat, bones, organs and some vegetation was the norm until kibble was introduced in the  1940's. In just 70 years, how could our animals body's adapt to this drastic of a dietary change? There is now a rise in animals who are experiencing human health problems like diabetes, cancer, and kidney issues.

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Can You Do Us a Favor?

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Can You Do Us a Favor?

Can You Do Us a Favor?

This past year has been filled with a move from Oakland and adjusting to life on a farm, learning a new business, and listening closely to members to hear what support they need in order to be a part of the best CSA on the market.

If you've been a member with us this last year, THANK YOU! Thank you for your support in the ownership transition and the feedback to make us who we are today. Because of it, we are officially dialed, ready to grow, and impact our community in a big way. But we need your help in getting the word out!

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Are you involved in a local non-profit?

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Are you involved in a local non-profit?

The Tara Firma Farms Institute (TFFI) was founded with a clear goal: to educate our friends, families, and communities about their local food source, share and develop techniques for proper animal and pasture management, and to promote knowing your farmers!

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Join Us in Supporting Our Community!

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Join Us in Supporting Our Community!

Tara Firma Farms is now supporting Worth our Weight

Worth our Weight (W.o.W.) is a non-profit organization in Santa Rosa, CA led by Chef Evelyn Cheatham for the last 10+ years that provides housing, culinary training, and job placement to young adults in the community who have faced significant hardships in life such as homelessness, aging out of the foster care system, or on probation. W.o.W. has a 100% job placement rate. The students execute their donation-funded culinary training during their weekly Sunday brunch, serving the public from 9 am - 3 pm and also through their monthly "Third Thursday" fine dining dinners, by ticket reservation only.

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Get to Know the Faces Behind Your Food!

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Get to Know the Faces Behind Your Food!

Kris, Oona, and their family bought Tara Firma Farms (TFF) last year to know exactly how their meat was being raised and to provide you with that same information. We want you to feel apart of the process, which includes knowing it. We bring you complete transparency from our animals, to our staff, to our partners. Call or stop by and ask us any questions you have!

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Did You Know?

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Did You Know?

Did you know?

The CSA membership is SO much more than getting customized meat orders delivered right to your door. Our farm is your farm! We want you to feel at home. As a CSA member you have FREE access any day of the week to fun activities

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Happy One Year Anniversary to the Squires!

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Happy One Year Anniversary to the Squires!

Happy One Year Anniversary to the Squires! 

A Letter From Farmer Kris:

A little more than a year has passed since my family and I took over Tara Firma Farms. Challenges abound, we are feeling more and more confident each day running the CSA and farming the land responsibly. "Learn something new every day is our mantra" and there is still so much to learn. With that said, we want to take the next four weeks to share with you a little about where we came from, where we are now and where we hope to be in the near future!

 

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Summer Farm Update & 50/50 Burger

Farm Update and the 50/50 Burger

Hi all, Oona here ( Farm Manager and Mom :) )

Summer has taken over the farm by storm! It’s here for good… is the 4th of July already here? The farm has been bustling with activity-- we have been getting ready for piglets (fingers crossed that we should have them the first or second week of July), and the chickens are happily continuing their good work with the compost piles and egg production.

The cows have been experiencing the seasonal changes as well- they’ve been eating away at the now golden grass (or standing hay as we now call it). We have a suspicion that a few of them may be pregnant- courtesy of our neighbor’s bull who busted through the fence this spring.

Already preparing for fall, the Turkeys for Thanksgiving are starting to arrive in batches and the pumpkins are growing in the ground for Pumpkins on Pikes. Save the date for that event (10/28) and for an upcoming barn dance on 9/16! Yee Haw!

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We also have a new flower farmer/ designer  -- Mandalion Designs -- growing flowers in the field so look out for the newly planted beauties on the property. We have 2 nature/farm day camps operating on the property (check out Vilda Nature, hosted by one of the residents of the TFF land), and once again the resident Barn Owls have a clutch of 3 owlets in our owl box in the drive through barn, so look to your left at the far end.

So much is happening and it’s staying light so late that we often don’t have time to stop and think of what to make for dinner (I have fallen off the slower cooker wagon, which I need to get back on). Crazy, right?!

Now On To The Recipe... The 50/50

These two meats, as well as the heat, inspired me to take a breather and ring in some help to make an exceptionally delicious burger for dinner.  I’m calling these the 50/50 burger for simplicity reasons- it contains 50% ground beef and 50% ground pork. The combination makes a unique and perfect balance of flavor that is mouthwateringly good!

-Ingredients-

1 lb  package of TFF ground beef

1 lb package of TFF ground pork

½ cup diced Onion

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Optional- 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce  

Buns

+plus your favorite burger toppings- we used goat cheese cheddar, caramelized onions, dill pickles, romaine lettuce, and Mayo.

 

 

 -Directions-


Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl- (washed) hands are the most efficient.

Form the patties we used a ⅓  cup scoop for each.

This is the step I called upon assistance for... Make sure to wash all hands involved and place the meat on a hot BBQ- or if you are out of charcoal like we were, an oiled cast iron pan will do just fine. Cook on each side for 4-5 minutes.

Considering the pork, we recommend cooking them on the well done side of things, keeping in mind that pasture raised meat cooks faster than other conventional meats.

If adding cheese add it when you flip the burger.

Toast your bun, caramelize the onions etc.

Serve Hot and enjoy with friends and family.

Eat Well and Happy 4th of July!

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Simply Delicious Pancakes

Elizabeth here!

 

Breakfast of champions!

Breakfast of champions!

Today I am sharing one of my favorite go-to's for breakfast. It is quick, nutritious and delicious!

Growing up, I loved pancakes.

As I grew older I realized that I am one of the many gluten intolerant people in the world. It was a sad day to realize a lot of foods were no longer an option. (But my health and happiness improved when I began to honor my bodies needs) 

I like my meals simple, easy, and wholesome. I connect with each ingredient. Processed flours can be mysterious (although I love coconut or almond flour...only one ingredient there). In this way, preparing gluten-free foods CAN be delicious! :-)

I found the foundation for this recipe online and created my own version, adding the flavors and textures I find complimenting 

I present to you….

2+ Ingredient pancakes!

(gluten-free, healthy, delicious!)

All you’ll need is a banana, 2 eggs (or more of each for a bigger serving), and any other goodies you want a part of the mix.

I add cinnamon, vanilla extract, hemp seeds, ground flax, and cook the pancakes in ghee or virgin coconut oil. You can also use butter or another preferred cooking oil.

You can add fresh berries on top like blueberries or peaches, or you can go down a savory route (my favorite), which is a sunny side up egg and avocado on top. There’s nothing quite like the marriage between sweet and savory!

I like to fill up for breakfast (it's the most important meal of my day), so I add hemp and flax for extra fiber and protein. The raw yolk and avocado add healthy fats- I love it! I also make some sauteed greens & sauerkraut for the side with salsa, goat cheese or both for a complete meal with satisfying and complimenting flavors. This is an easy meal that the whole family can enjoy ( or for one- I don't always like to share (: )


~Ingredients~

Banana

Pastured eggs

(Optional)

Cinnamon

Hemp seeds

Ground flax

Vanilla extract

~The Process~

  1. Mash your banana with a fork in a bowl

  2. Whisk 2 eggs in with the banana

  3. Add 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 handful of hemp seeds (chia is good too), 1 tsp of ground flax-- mix it all together

  4. Heat your pan and put your ghee, butter, coconut or other oil of choice on plentifully

  5. Pour the mixture on the pan and make your 'cakes however big, small, or crazy shaped you want

  6. Flip them after they start to golden (the color is gorgeous!) and repeat until they’re defined and to your ideal state

  7. Serve with sides, a smoothie, or simply some of your favorite sweetener on top (I go for local honey)

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Bringing fat back into the kitchen

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well
— Virginia Woolf

Hey everyone, Elizabeth here with some good news about cooking with fat (get ready- your taste buds will throw a party after you've tried this!)

 

Happy pigs who live outdoors are loaded with vitamin D- this is the most concentrated and natural way for us to get this important nutrient!

Happy pigs who live outdoors are loaded with vitamin D- this is the most concentrated and natural way for us to get this important nutrient!

We’ve been taught to banish fats… Low-fat milk, no fat this and that...you turn on the TV and hear "to get skinny, cut the fat". It can become quite the headache with all of the information. So here I offer you a simple solution to try- and with this option you have the chance to build your immune system up and make your food taste BETTER than you could imagine.  

Fats have amazing health benefits and add another dimension of flavor profile to whatever you’re making. Since our ancestors had no way of cultivating or processing oils (besides olive and coconut), our bodies don’t digest them as well.  Animal fats, which have always been easy to acquire, are available in mass amounts, make our food taste better and our health more in balance. Studies show that the further away we travel from the diet of our ancestors, the more diseases persevere.

Before the 20th century, animal fats were a staple in the kitchen...then the cotton happened. Cottonseed was plentiful and, until a process was invented to make oil from it, was worthless. Crisco was marketed as a “healthier and cheaper” alternative to animal fat for cooking and even gave away free cookbooks with their product to entice people to buy from them.

When processed oils are heated, they become chemically unstable and oxidize, which contribute to an unhealthy imbalance to our Omega 3:6 ratios. These disproportions are the core in the rise in inflammatory-based diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, anxiety, fibromyalgia, and more. These diseases were incredibly rare before the introduction of these oils and now we see them everywhere. Food can be thy medicine or thy poison. Choose mindfully.

 

Simple = better. Vote with your dollar for sustainable and nourishing whole foods. We can inspire a healthy food system and stay satisfied and healthy!

Fats sourced from pastured animals eating a natural diet and living outside can give us a wide spectrum of health benefits. Plus they are cheaper, more sustainable, and most importantly, they make everything taste better! Canola and soy oil are an absolute disgrace to food tastewise.

Personally, I’ve noticed a difference since I’ve ditched the vegetable oils (I still drizzle avocado and olive oil on meals raw and use coconut oil like it’s my Bible). My food tastes a lot better and I feel fuller faster. I ate a plant-based diet for a while and found myself in a constant haze of spacey confusion and anxiety...plus I was always hungry no matter what. Everyone is different and I believe that myself and many others need healthy animal fats to thrive and live life in homeostasis.

pastured animals are the best way to go when it comes to self-nourishment & serving our planet

pastured animals are the best way to go when it comes to self-nourishment & serving our planet

At Tara Firma Farms, we give our animals stress-free lives and allow them to live as nature intended. Our pigs live outside and soak up the sun so we can reap the benefits of their high content of vitamin D (and flavor)! We have lard available for just $3/pound.  Experience it’s tasty, healthy goodness!

The best source for your animal fats come from pastured farms, and pure. We have a bunch ready for you here! When you get it pure, you'll have to render it. There are two ways to render fat: dry rendering and wet rendering. You can cook it in a pot of water, in a crock pot, on the stove or in the oven. Either way, you will reap the tasty benefits of the cooking fat. Before the rendering process, cut off any flesh or muscle meat still attached to the fat as that would cause the fat to spoil. You can save those pieces for cooking later. It may take you some time, so play some music and get in the zone.

Dry Rendering

Slow cooker - place the fat in a slow cooker and set the temperature to low, let it go for a few hours, and make sure to stir from time to time. Clear fat will render out of the fatty tissue.

Oven - set the oven to 250. Place the fat in an oven-safe pan with a lid and stir occasionally.

When it is ready you will know by the small dry looking and browned fatty cracklings in a bath of clear fat. Strain the fat through a fine mesh strainer to separate the cracklings from the rendered fat. You may choose to utilize a cheese cloth for this process as well. Be very careful- hot fat can burn your skin worse than hot liquid.

When dry rendering, you can keep the brown cracklings and use them as a snack!

* The total time depends on the amount of fat being rendered, the temperature, and size of fat chunks. *

 

i utilize ice cubes for conveniece!

i utilize ice cubes for conveniece!

Wet Rendering

Put some water in the pot with the fat chunks. The amount of water doesn’t matter entirely, however, be mindful of the water evaporating- your fat may end up burning. It is ready when you get a feel that most of the fatty tissue chunks have given up their fat content. You might end up with less rendered fat when using the wet method because you don’t get the dry cracklings.

[I used this method and found it incredibly easy- just check on it every 15 minutes or so to stire]

Once you’re done with either method, place it in the fridge to harden. Once it is hard, break it up so you can reach and drain the small amount of water that will be on the bottom of the jar.

 

To summarize the wondrous world of pastured animal fats:

Healthy

-fats balance omega 3:6 ratio- critical for health & reducing inflammation in the body

-energy-dense & will indicate a message to brain that you’re fuller faster

-contribute to the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (like vitamin D and calcium)

-act as structural elements to cell walls

            (which aids with blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation regulation)

 

Tasty

-When used for frying, it will make things crispier

-The taste is unbeatable...have you had duck fat french fries?? Still to this day the french use animal fats to make tasty meals.

 

Sustainably Good

We have more pork fat than we know to deal with...will you help us? Rather than paying top dollar for a vegetable oil from a big company, support your local farmer and try ours for a low price and help us use every part of the animal so we can minimize our footprint. Share your favorite meals with us using our lard!

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Italian Sausage with Broccoli Rabe and Polenta

Ingredients:

  •  4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 sweet or spicy Italian sausages
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 12-ounce bunch broccoli rabe, trimmed
  • 1 cup homemade chicken broth
  • 12 ounces basil and garlic-seasoned polenta roll
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 

Directions:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add sausages. Cover skillet and cook until sausages are brown and cooked through, about 8 minutes per side. Transfer sausages to plate; tent with foil to keep warm.
  3. Add garlic to drippings in same skillet and stir 30 seconds. Add broccoli rabe and 1/2 cup broth. Cover skillet and cook until broccoli rabe is crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. 
  4. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add polenta; mash with potato masher until smooth. Mix in remaining 1/2 cup broth and cheese. Simmer until polenta is warmed through, about 5 minutes. Season polenta with salt and pepper.
  5. Spoon polenta onto 2 plates. Top with sausages and broccoli rabe. 

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Beet Green, Peppercress and Tangerine Salad

Don’t throw those leafy beet tops away! Beet greens make fresh beets a two-in-one bargain because the leaves look, taste, and can be prepared like Swiss chard. Other greens to try in this recipe are Swiss chard, spinach, or flat-leafed kale. 

Ingredients for Horseradish-Tangerine Dressing 

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh tangerine juice
  • 2 Tbs. cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. prepared horseradish

Ingredients for Beet Green Salad: 

  • 2 large beets, peeled and grated (4 cups)
  • ½ cup chopped shallots, leeks or green onion
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 3 cups beet greens, tough stems trimmed, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 bunch peppercress, stems trimmed
  • 2 tangerines, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup soaked, toasted and chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese, optional

To make Horseradish-Tangerine Dressing:

Whisk together olive oil, tangerine juice, cider vinegar, and horseradish in small bowl. 

To make Beet Green Salad:

  1. Toss beets, shallots and dried cranberries with 1/3 cup Horseradish-Tangerine Dressing in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.  
  2. Toss beet greens and peppercress with remaining dressing in large bowl, and divide among serving plates.
  3. Top each serving with 1/2 cup grated beet mixture, and garnish with tangerine slices. Sprinkle with pecans and feta cheese, if desired.

 

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