Farm News - Summer/Fall

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Farm News - Summer/Fall

Happy Summer, I mean Autumn!  It has been a busy summer, now I missed a summer blog post so here is our fall farm update. In this part of California it still feels like summer almost;). Farmer Rowan’s has headed back to preschool and the mornings are crisp and the nights are getting colder.

Farm Update - It is a great time to visit the farm! We have moved the weekend tours to 11 am to avoid the heat of the day.  The weather has been really nice out here, excluding a few hot days. It can be a bit hot if your carrying a bundle of electric fence up a steep hill, but besides that, very pleasant.  There are lots of baby animals right now as we have two litters of piglets. We recently harvested a bumper crop of squash that is available in the farm shop. Pumpkins on Pikes was a great success, hope you all were able to make it. We are beginning the slow clean up.  It’s almost the the time to plant trees, and we hope to get as many as we can in the ground this winter. We have also been planting an herb garden for animal health, it will be a treasure trove for keeping all our animals healthy. New on the farm we have a friendly chicken named Pecker that lives with the goats and runs around the parking lot.  The animals are all doing great.

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Turkeys -  The turkeys are out standing in their field. Turkeys are one of my personal favorite as they are very inquisitive and friendly, if you have a chance to visit us, I recommend taking the time to visit them as well.

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and we are expecting to sell out this year, so I would recommend reserving yours soon. We still have a few left ;-)

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Cows - The big exciting news is we have borrowed a bull from a neighbor and are expecting calves in February of next year. We have one Calf right now who was a pleasant surprise (we had purchased a pregnant heifer without knowing).  Although close to the birth it was obvious that the mom was expecting, and not just growing really big.


Pigs - The pigs are loving this cool weather,  We are still recovering from the summer when the electric fences did not work as well. We have a few sections of the property that have a perimeter fence, back up for our electric fences when the ground is dry and little piglets are not heavy enough to have the fences work. The breeding pigs are still in the corrals by the drive through barn.  Come check them out.


Chickens- Our new batch of 500 chicks have grown into teenage poulets. They are close to the parking area in the corner brooder. During the day they are out grazing with the sheep.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more animal cuteness and farm happenings.


Events at Tara Firma Farms

We love events on the farm! As the sun goes down the whole farm is filled with golden light, kids love to run and visit the animals.  A magical place and time to share with friends while the event barn lights twinkle and the stars come out, with a glass of wine in hand, the air is filled with music. No place I would rather be! Ask about our event space rental.

Autumn Wreath Workshop by Mandaliondesigns (SOLD OUT)

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Join us and our Lovely sustainable flower grower Mandy, for a crafty day on the farm of wreath making. No experience needed.

November 18th 11am-1:30pm $65 All materials included (a wide selection of design materials), light snack and beverage. This is a gem of a class and last year it sold out so get your tickets soon:). BONUS pick up your Turkey after the class and be Thanksgiving ready!

Contact mandaliondesigns@gmail.com for tickets.

Turkey Pick up- Open Farm Day

November 17th & 18th

Please join us on the farm for a hot drink and to pick up your Thanksgiving turkey. Take a self guided tour of the farm, regular guided tours at 11:00am Saturday and Sunday.

Our Pasture raised turkeys are now available. You can reserve yours online. These birds have been organically fed and rotated on our organic pasture.


Recipe:

Nothing extends those summer time vibes quite like the smoky-sweet flavor of BBQ. We love eating outside on the grill and these fall days are perfect for cooking up some mouth watering eats. This recipe is a great way to up your BBQ game, perfect for a special get together with friends and family. Our Membership coordinator Brandon has been drooling over this method of grilling all summer and has put together this recipe for us. It is a great recipe for when you have a little extra weekend time to be at home to keep an eye on things.

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Brandon’s Pork Loin

1 TARA FIRMA PASTURE RAISED BONELESS PORK LOIN (approx 3lbs)

1 CUP SONOMA COUNTY SPICE QUEEN BBQ DRY-RUB (Now Available in our CSA) or similar BBQ rub.

1 CUP AVOCADO OIL

1 CUP SALT

¼ CUP WHOLE PEPPERCORNS

EARLY NOTE FOR GAS GRILLS:

Your choice of wood chips to add smoke (soaked overnight)

PREP TIME: OVERNIGHT

TOTAL COOKING TIME: 5-6 HOURS

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Place the pork loin in a glass bowl. Add salt, whole peppercorns, and add filtered water until loin is covered. Let soak in brine overnight or 12 hours in the refrigerator. Start your wood chips soaking the night before as well.

Remove from brine and pat dry. Allow loin roast to come to room temperature (tempering the meat)

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Rub loin down with Avocado Oil (this will help the dry rub to stick to the meat). Cover with BBQ Dry-rub and rub in to cover whole loin roast

 

PREPPING THE GRILL: Remember. INDIRECT HEAT is the key to cooking this cut to perfection.


Charcoal: Start the coals using a chimney so you are not having to use lighter fluid. Once they are ready, pour the coals on one side of the BBQ. Place your grilling surface over the coal until it is nice and hot, then move it to the opposite side of the BBQ away form the coals.  Have a place you can prep more coals as needed as you will need to keep adding them as you go.




Propane: MAKE SURE YOUR PROPANE TANK IS FULL. THIS IS A LONG COOK TIME. Start the night before by soaking mesquite or apple wood chips in water overnight. Drain the water off and place on the smoking rack in the preheated grill (you can use a tin can to lift it up if you do not have a smoking rack).


Place your roast fat side down on your grill on the opposite side from the heat. CLOSE THE LID. Check it every 30-40 mins to be sure your coals are OK. THEN LET THAT PUPPY COOK FOR 4.5-5 HOURS!


ENJOY THAT AMAZING PORKY GOODNESS. Best accompanied by potato salad, grilled apples and some ‘slaw.

-Brandon C

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Farm News - Spring

Farm News - Spring

The farm has sprung full force into longer daylight hours and warmer weather, and this means there is always too much to do and everything needs to happen all at once. Alas such is the way of the farm and the life.  

Take Note- In May we are switching our weekend tours to 11am Saturday and Sunday.

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This Month -This past weekend we had a bee hive that swarmed and that was after we had split our hives twice already. Pepper the goat is a new mama and baby Billy Bean is getting cuter every day. Our new Babydoll Southdown Sheep, Shawn and Raisin are settling in nicely. Spring Farm Trails was a blast, we had over 680 people visit our farm over the farm trails weekend! We have a few new items in the Farm Shop. We especially excited about Mandalion Designs bouquets in the Farm Shop.

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The Cows- In the last week the grass has shot up almost a foot and the cows are in heaven in a sea of knee high grass. The grass is starting to go to seed which is not as palatable to the cows but they are doing their best to keep up with it.

 

 

The Pigs- We have been experimenting with keeping the pigs in one spot for the rainy season as we need to drive the tractor into their paddocks a fair amount. We are bringing them bins of yummy ‘gleen’ organic fruits and vegetables from the Good Earth Kitchen. We need to fill their tank of water when they are not near a water source (which is most of the time). When we are driving continuously on saturated pasture it can be detrimental to the soil, grass and the land. Our new method keeps them in one location close to everything during the wet times and we can then come back and seed the area after the pigs have moved onto greener pastures. We are committed to doing what is best for the land and when things are saturated, it is the most vulnerable to pigs.

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Piglets- We are also excitedly getting ready for the next litters of piglets. The projected date of our next piglets is May 16th, give or take a few days. We will post on FB and Instagram, please follow us!

 

 

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The Chickens- 2 new hen houses have just start laying eggs, so consequently now we have an eggsplosion. Check out our sale page here. We have had some issues with hawks and are experimenting with different deterrents for them, that have met limited success. We are hoping that once the rodent population takes off, the hawks will leave our chickens alone.   

 

Turkeys- We will be getting our first batch of turkey chicks the week of July 24th.

Long term projects- We would love to put up semi permanent internal electric fences that will facilitate multi species rotational grazing. Right now we are setting up each cow paddock by foot and with so many moves and our extra steep hills it becomes really labor intensive. We have started installing pieces of the plan in our spare hours, but as always, everything takes longer than we would hope. We also are offering fishing passes for the fisher people in your life.

Spring is one of the most beautiful times on the farm, please come visit us. Members are always welcome to come hike, fish and picnic. Please sign in at the store before you explore the land. If you are visiting for the day and are not a member, Trail Access is just $10 per car

Join us for a free tour Saturday and Sunday at 11am starting in May.

Please sign in at the store before you explore the land. If you are visiting for the day and are not a member, Trail Access is just $10 per car.

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What's on Sale- Eggs, eggs, eggs are on sale, please see our sale page with items that change weekly. CSA Webstore

 

 

2018 Events-

- SOLD OUT - May 12: Mother's Day Picnic and Open house - Hosted by Mandy of Mandalion Designs who grows beautiful heirloom flowers by the event barn.

June 16: Father's Day Fishing Tournament - A Catch and Release Tournament and BBQ Picnic. $20 Entry Fee includes Lunch and a chance to win a Tara Firma Rib-Eye Steak, as well as bragging rights for the year. Register at the Farm Shop for details.

August 18: End of Summer Barn Dance -

Come enjoy a fun community event featuring musical artist Evie Ladin. A fundraiser for the Tara Firma Farms Institute to help fund farm connection and experiences for youth.

Come early and tour the farm from 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm!
Dancing from 7:00 pm-10:00 pm. All levels encouraged.

https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3405863

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October 20 and 27: Pumpkins on Pikes - A Magical Family Tradition at Tara Firma Farms. One last party to welcome the fall. BBQ, Pumpkin Carving and so much more. This has been such a popular event, we made a second day!

Oct 20:

https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3426075

Oct 27:

https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3426221

Kitchen News-

We are always looking for easy ways to eat healthy unprocessed dinners while saving time in the kitchen. Our families new favorite is a recipe to cook once and enjoy 2 to 3 meals (depending on how many people) from one main dish. To me this is a win win win, and if this is meat too many nights in a row, skip a night with a large salad.

This Slow cooker Apple Cider Pulled Pork can tie your week together first as a main, then as tacos and lastly as a hearty veggie and pulled pork soup.

I am such a noodle, Now that I’m re-reading my original recipe it calls for unsweetened apple cider. Me, in my haste (and what I had on hand) assumed apple cider vinegar, and that is what I used:/ needless to say it came out great, more of a North Carolina style you could say;) and so I’m going to say use either one :). I cooked the Apple Cider Pulled Pork with yams and slaw on a Sunday night, had delicious pork tacos and Salad on Monday and Hearty Vegetable Soup on Wednesday. All surpassed my expectations of deliciousness.

Dinner 1:

Slow cooked Apple Cider Pulled Pork Recipe:

-One 3-5 Lb pork Butt- I used 2 Tara Firma Farms Pork shoulder boston Butts, both around 1.5-2 lbs

- 1 large sweet onion, peeled and sliced

- 1 ½ cups unsweetened apple cider.

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Sweet Spice Rub Ingredients:

1 Tbsp Sea Salt

2 tsp smoked paprika

2 tsp garlic powder

1 ½ tsp chili powder

½ tsp ground ginger

½ tsp fresh ground pepper

Instructions:

Combine all of the spice rub ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle the rub over all parts of the pork roast, gently rub it in.

Place the cut onions evenly over the bottom of the 6 quart slow cooker, then place the seasoned pork on top of the onions. Making sure each piece of meat is pushed down. You can cut the pieces of meat in half if that will make them fit together better.

Then add the apple Cider

Cover with lid and cook on high for 7-8 hours or on low for 8-10 hours, or until meat is easily shredded with a fork.

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If Making Yams- 1 ½ hours before eating, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and dry yams, wrap each one in tin foil and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for an hour and 15 minutes or until a knife easily pierces them. Time depends on thickness of Yam, if you have really big yarms bake for 1 ½ hours.

Turn off the slow cooker and when cool enough to handle, Carefully transfer meat to a large platter or wide bowl and let rest for a few minutes.

Shred the pork using 2 forks.

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Pour the cooking liquid through a sieve. Add ½ cup of liquid back to the shredded meat (more if you like it really moist) Discard the rest of the liquid and onion (or save for another meal:). Season with salt and pepper to taste.

½ hour before the meat is ready. Make the coleslaw.

Coleslaw recipe- This makes enough for 2 nights and then some.

Ingredients:

1 Cabbage outer leaves removed- can use green, red or napa cabbage- Look for a small cabbage or use half if large.

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1 large carrot

Extras - 5-10 kale leaves de-steamed.

2 large heaping spoonfuls of mayonnaise

1 tsp of favorite mustard- we like a dijon.

½ tsp sea salt

½ tsp celery seed

¼ tsp fresh ground pepper

2-3 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar or more to taste.

Quarter the cabbage (remove the core) Either chop thinly or use your food processor with the slice blade. Place shredded cabbage in a large bowl.

Next in the food processor grate the carrot and add to the large bowl. Then destem the kale leaves and thinly hand chop.

In a small bowl or cup add mayonnaise, mustard, celery seed, ground pepper, and apple cider vinegar. Mix until smooth. We like a coleslaw that is just sweetened by the carrots and cabbage, if you like a sweeter coleslaw add a pinch of sugar to taste.

Mix all ingredients in the large bowl and ADD Most OF THE DRESSING, Mix thoroughly, add more dressing to taste. Add salt or more apple cider vinegar to taste.

Refrigerate. We love a spoonful of coleslaw on top of our salads, gives it a nice mild kick.   

Dinner 2:

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In a small pan heat up the shredded pork (1 cup per person) add a splash of water to the pan.

Prepare a salad and heat up the tortillas, we like corn but any variety would be delicious. The key to great corn tortillas is having a medium hot oiled pan, and rinsing the tortillas briefly in water. This lets them steam a little for a soft tortilla. When first placing tortillas in the pan, let them cook for a minute before flipping them. Fill tortillas with the apple cider pulled pork and top with coleslaw.

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Optional toppings-

Finely chopped cilantro

Finely chopped red onion

Or any other taco topping you like.

 

 

 

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Dinner 3:

Rustic Veggie Soup

We are still in soup weather! And after I made this soup it was so delicious and nourishing, I decided on the west coast it's always soup weather.

Ingredients:

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1 Tbsp high heat or coconut oil

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Medium onion- finely diced.

1 medium carrot- sliced

1 stalk sliced celery (about ½ cup)

2 cloves of garlic, roughly minced

5 Cups bone broth, veggie or chicken stalk- preferably homemade

1 (14oz) can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes

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1 tsp of italian seasoning blend

1 small butternut squash, about 4 cups

1 tsp sea salt (more to taste)

1 bunch of kale or chard (chopped about 3 cups firmly-packed)

The rest of the pulled pork.

Directions

In a large soup pot over medium heat, add the high heat or coconut oil. Then add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic and saute for about 3 minutes or just until the onions start to get translucent.

For a quick soup, put all vegetables except the greens through a food processor with the slice blade. Or for a rustic look- hand chop;)

Next-

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Add the stock, diced tomatoes, italian seasoning, butternut squash, and salt. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Then add the chard or kale and simmer for another 15 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft. Add the pulled pork during the last 5 minutes, serve with hearty bread or rice, or by itself.

I had leftover soup that made a great lunch for the next day!

Let us know if you try the cook once and enjoy 2-3 times meal, and how it comes out. Tag us on instagram or Facebook.

 

Thank you and Eat Well,

Oona

Farm manager

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Benefits of a Pasture Raised Turkey

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Benefits of a Pasture Raised Turkey

Benefits of a Pasture Raised Turkey

The nutrition content of meat is directly related to the animal's diet, which is why organically raising our pastured birds is so important to us at Tara Firma Farms.

The reason is simple.

Omega-3 fatty acids are formed in the chloroplasts of green leaves and algae. As the turkeys run around eating grass, they are storing those "good fats" in their muscle meat. Eating a diet rich in omega-3 fats supports healthy brain and heart function, as well as reduces inflammation in the body. These health benefits can aid in prevention against chronic illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.

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How to Select a Turkey Breed for Thanksgiving

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How to Select a Turkey Breed for Thanksgiving

Selecting a Turkey Breed for Thanksgiving

Picking a bird for the big day can feel confusing so we want to tell you a little bit about the different options so that you can feel sure the one you're buying is going to be a crowd pleaser at Thanksgiving dinner.

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Sonoma County, We're Here for You.

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Sonoma County, We're Here for You.

Dear Sonoma County,

Our hearts go out to our members who have lost their homes or are still evacuated and unsure. As we go through the next few weeks and figure out what the "new normal" looks like in our area, please let us know if you need a temporary hold or to change your address.

If school is closed and your children are getting antsy inside, air quality out on the farm is O.K. so we're open all week! Bring a mask just in case and come out and walk around the farm to let your kids run out their energy. 

Click here to read more...

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Reserve Your Thanksgiving Turkey!

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Reserve Your Thanksgiving Turkey!

Thanksgiving Turkey Time!

Thanksgiving starts early here at Tara Firma Farms as we work on raising amazing birds for your dinner table. As you can see from the little guy in Farmer Oona's hands, we're still a ways away from the holidays but we want to give you the opportunity to guarantee your bird in advance.

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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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