Farm Markets, Nettles, and the Start of Summer

This past weekend was the annual nettle harvest, and Chad made a batch of nettle and asparagus soup (a favorite of Chad’s homemade soups, perfect with crusty bread, and a dish the vegan will eat). I’m excited to begin the Farm Market Season. This weekend, Cairn Hill Farms will have a stand at these markets:

  • 5/25 Middleville (8-1)
  • 5/26 Hastings (9-1)

We offer the following products:

    • Beeswax Lip Balms: A blend of coconut oil, avocado oil, beeswax, and vitamin E
    • Sprays: Enjoy as a room spray or facial toner
    • Essential Oil Blends: Add to a favorite lotion, make a spray, or use for aromatherapy
    • Salt Scrub: Treat your feet with this lovely new product!
    • Farm Fresh Eggs, Veggies, and Nettle Iced Tea

Can’t make it to the market or want a custom blend? Please message me cairnhillfarms.net

Orders can be shipped.

Nettle and Asparagus Soup

Below is Cairn Hill Farms Summer 2018 Newsletter.

Thanks for reading!

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Cairn Hill Farms Summer 2017

  

Hello Friends!

The 2017 Farm Market Season has finally arrived!! Hope you have time to visit this summer:

Friday’s Middleville (8-1)
Saturday’s Hastings (9-1)

This year, Cairn Hill Farms is offering the following products:

Farm fresh eggs from our happy hens who wander the farm and surrounding woods

Beeswax Lip Balm:

Paddy’s Peppermint
Just the Bees (unscented)
Tangerine Tea
Wild Irish Roses (tinted with hibiscus powder, unscented)
Lavender Nettle
Cherry Hibiscus (natural cherry flavor tinted with hibiscus powder)

Sprays (Use as facial toner, in the kitchen, or even on linens):
Now in two sizes (8ml sample size and 4 oz)!

Lavender
Citrus
Morning Mist (a blend of jasmine, orange, and lavender)
Sinus Blend (peppermint, eucalyptus, and rosemary-8ml only)

Nettle iced tea by the glass and dried nettles gathered on our farm (many products are infused with nettle as well)

Body Butters (Perfect when heavy moisturizing is needed):
Peppermint (infused with nettle and lemongrass)
Lavender

A final bit of fun…
Sparkle plenty-I made a small batch of sparkle lip balm and shimmering lotion (at this time I have VERY LIMITED quantities, so stop by the market or send a message if interested).

Can’t make it to the market? Many of these items are also available on my website.

Happy summer!! Thanks for reading!

image

 

 

Cairn Hill Farms Summer 2016

We have had a busy spring, hatching chicks, harvesting nettles, learning to grow fodder, another graduation, and preparing for the 2016 season at the Hastings and Middleville Farmer’s Market. Included are a few pictures of the fun times on the farm:

Last month, Chad loaned me a pair of chemist gloves, and I set out in the nettle patches, collecting the healthy plant to dry for tea and fresh nettles for pesto.  While the pesto sold out within a few days, I’m excited to offer some tea at the Farmer’s Market this year.

  
 

MK working with Reuban and Rosie…

  
Some of our new layers, hatched on the farm in March…  

 

You may also enjoy reading our 2016 Summer Newsletter.

This season we will carry beeswax lip balm, goat’s milk soap, nettle tea, lavender or citrus spray, body butter, eggs, fresh veggies, and some other treats. Hope to see you at the Farmer’s Market!

Middleville, Friday 8-1

Hastings, Saturday 9-1

You can also find our products at the Farm Store.

The Farmer’s Market and the Return to Community

farm market 4

The journey to running a farm market stand has been a fun and challenging learning experience. We built a home in the country in 2013. This was my first time as a country gal, and I fell in love! I fell in love with the slower pace, the fresh air, the tasty food, and taking the time to prepare some products instead of purchasing them. I started making my own lip balm and room sprays. I gave samples to friends and in the summer of 2014, prepared a small batch for the Farmer’s Market. I quickly sold out and made a decision: The Farmer’s Market was the place for me!

farm market 1

Unfortunately, occasional doubt sets in. During frugal moments, I tell myself, if you really want to make money, contribute more to the family budget, and help your children even more with college, you would make much more teaching full time! However, something draws me back on this path. I keep returning to why Farmer’s Markets are important:

  1. Making a few bucks…While no one gets rich at the Farmer’s Market, I do make a few bucks to contribute to family needs.
  2. Offering fresh and natural products…People in our community appreciate a fresh product sans chemicals. We also use these items at home, helping all of us lead healthy lives.
  3. Coining a phrase from my college mentor, John Willson, Family, Church, and Local Community…Farmer’s Markets all across our beautiful country have a common element, community. Every week, we visit with regulars who might not purchase a thing, but thrive through interaction within their communities. When I have a poor day financially, I remind myself that perhaps I was there for more important reasons.
  4. More about Community–Farmer’s Markets are full of amazing people. From the Maple syrup vendor or the gals at Nodding Thistle who always help me put up my tent, to the little girl who hands out extra bouquets to people at the end of market, these kind and helpful people are there to lend a hand, aid in problems if they arise, and share news of other markets worth visiting. They make the market worth attending for both vendors and patrons.
  5. You never know who you will meet…At a recent farmer’s market, I was discussing my husband’s Great Grandma Timinski’s famous pickles. The lady in the booth next to me said that name is not familiar, we must be related! After comparing notes, we discovered that her Grandfather and my husband’s Great Grandfather were brothers who emigrated from Lithuania together!
  6. Teaching my kids…The Farmer’s Market offers many lessons for children, how to write a business plan, product display, advertising, money management, sales, taking inventory, and most important, when those regulars stop by to visit, remembering their name, looking them in the eye, and welcoming your community.

Farm market 2

As the summer season draws to a close, I appreciate the few market days remaining. Have you visited your local Farmer’s Market? There’s still time! Thanks for reading!

farm market 3

Chevon: The Other Red Meat

My adventure with goats started through a unique set of events. I made the decision to sell my dad’s 1957 DeSoto because we lacked the proper space to store and protect her. I wanted half of the money from the sale to go to the kids’ college fund, but I wanted the other half for something special, an adventure for me. I decided to hire the local high school building and trades to construct a 24 x 24 barn. I wanted to raise goats (and other farm animals)!

mk and goats

Two goats and two lambs joined our farm in the spring of 2014. One of the goats and both lambs were processed for our freezer. Darryl, the freebie goat, ended up becoming my daughter’s pet. Unfortunately, he thinks he’s human and hops the fence and climbs our back deck to look in our slider, wanting company (hubby wants to shoot him). Back to the reason for this post, we now have a goat or two per year for our freezer. When I mention that we eat our goats, or chevon, most people are grossed out.

mk and d

I will admit in my current foodie status, chevon is still in the beginning phases. However, this meat source is a healthy, low-fat option (similar to venison), and I question why more families do not try chevon. While a few dishes are not worth repeating, the following were worth our time. Here are a few options added to our family menu:

Chevon is ideal low-fat option to add to meatballs, spaghetti sauce, and chili.
My daughter, who wishes to be a vegetarian, loves this dish!

Goat Italiano:

1 lb. ground chevon
1 T minced garlic
1 T minced onion
5 shakes hot sauce (or more if desired)
Salt and ground pepper

Form in patties, coat in bread crumbs.
Heat oil on skillet. Cook until medium.
Add a slice of provolone or mozzarella for last few minutes of cooking.
Heat up one cup marinara. Coat top of each burger. Coat each plate and set burger on top.

Roasted Leg o’ Goat:
This recipe tasted even better as left overs!

Whole Leg o’ Goat:

Mix the following and coat leg:
Fresh Rosemary, minced
Minced garlic
Olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground pepper

Heat oven to 425 degrees

Place the following in covered cooking dish:
3 large carrots, peeled and cut in half
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
Place veggies on bottom of dish
2 1/2 cups white wine
Coated goat leg

Place cooking dish in oven and cook covered for 30 min.

Then, reduce heat to 300 degrees and cook covered for 3 1/2 hours.

Enjoy!

Thanks for reading! I hope you give goat a chance!

Down on the Farm

Farm pasture

 

We have added some new farm animals and had some new adventures here at Cairn Hill Farms. In addition to our flock of chickens and Heritage Turkeys, we purchased two goats and two lambs. They are settled in, but not without some challenge. The large goat (named Darryl by the high school building and trades) gave us a great deal of grief. He is a one year old 1/2 Alpine 1/2 Boer and thinks he’s human. Refusing to remain in the barn or pasture, Darryl wanted to be in the house with us, as he would frequently try to accomplish by jumping the fence, climbing our porch, and looking at us through the window. Luckily for Darryl’s sake, he agreed to stay in the pasture after the installation of an electric fence.

 

Farm Darryl

 

Farm lambs

 

We also had five Heritage turkey poults. We lost the first one because he was alone and refused to eat, another fell out of the nest, and a third was the victim of the local nocturnal population. The two that remain are an 8 week old who thinks she’s a parrot and one that hatched yesterday.

 

Farm parrot

 

The poult that arrived yesterday reminds me of the power of life. Its mother and the other 11 eggs were destroyed last week. I found the single egg in a pile of feathers and my daughter put it in her room, under a heat lamp. While I assumed the endeavor to be a lost cause, these hardy birds keep proving that “life goes on.”

My daughter and I are also running a stand at our local Farmers’ Markets. We have ten products under development over the past nine months. Two are ready for sale, all natural room sprays! I started making these for our kitchen and bathrooms because I found the chemical sprays smelly and bad to breathe. We hope to add items throughout the summer as they are ready for use. Stop by and see us!

 

Farm Product