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Posts Tagged ‘grass-fed lamb’

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We survived the Polar Vortex of 2014, and so did most of our animals.  Unfortunately, we did lose three or four chickens in one of our houses.  Our version of the vortex included 12” of snow.  It was below 0 degrees from early Monday morning through Tuesday afternoon with a recorded low of -13 degrees.  It wasn’t the cold that worried us though, it was the wind.  We had been well warned by the weather forecasters and closed up the animals to the best of our abilities.  We were most thankful that we did not have any new lambs during the cold spell.

We will be at the Farm to Fork Market at Normandy Farms this Saturday, January 11.  If you are like us, you will need to re-stock your pantry and freezer after being stuck inside for a few days.  Betsy’s Kitchen will be offering Paleo pumpkin muffins and Paleo almond power bars.

As always, we also sell all of our grass-fed meats at the farm.

Full Circle Farm. Working with Nature.

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May yours be joyful.  All is well on the farm.  We didn’t get as much rain as others and for that we are thankful.  The animals only have a few large puddles to deal with in the barnyard.

Today we are hosting Farmer Betsy’s Indianapolis-area family.  Our Christmas dinner would not be complete without our own leg of lamb and another of our own turkeys.  Saturday we will celebrate with Farmer Paul’s family and enjoy some Full Circle Farm ham.

The Farm to Fork Market at Normandy Farms will not be open this weekend as the vendors celebrate the holidays.  We will see you all again after the new year.

As always, we also sell all of our grass-fed meats at the farm.

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Last week was a busy week for lambs.  Not only did we deliver last spring’s lambs to the butcher, the first lamb of this season arrived on the farm two months early.  Hopefully this is just an anomaly.  It’s hard to tell since we don’t separate the ram from the ewes during the summer so we don’t really know when the ewes become pregnant.  If we continue to start getting lambs too early, that is a practice we might have to change.  So this week, we have a picture of the new lamb sleeping with her mama and to reminisce, a “all grown-up” picture of Bambi, our bottle and school lamb from last spring.

This week, Farmer Paul and Farmer Betsy are in Springfield, Illinois for the annual Acres USA conference.  Young Farmers Sid and Amy are taking care of the animals for a couple of days.  They will also be at the Farm to Fork Market at Normandy Farms this Saturday, December 14.  Don’t forget to plan for your Christmas dinner.  We only have five hams remaining.  We will have plenty of other pastured pork and plenty of pastured whole chickens though.  Betsy’s Kitchen will be on hiatus this week.  The Farm to Fork Market will also be hosting Santa this week and next and will have Christmas music and artisan vendors to supply your Christmas gifts.

As always, we also sell all of our grass-fed meats at the farm.

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This week we delivered eight lambs to the butcher.  Getting them loaded onto the trailer wasn’t really that bad.  I started by taking the whole day off from work.  I usually only take the afternoon off but then I am rushed and stressed, and the sheep can sense that.  By having plenty of time and staying calm, they herded fairly easily into the barn.  We had also finally developed a sorting system using some tube gates given to us by a neighbor.  The sorting system turned out to be more of a holding system when all of the sheep loaded onto the trailer at once, but it helped.  It was then that I had to wrestle 30 sheep to determine the wethers from the ewes, unloading them one by one from the trailer.  Next year, we will use ear tags to make our sorting even easier.

We won’t be selling any lamb though.  All of our lambs were delivered for The Loft Restaurant at Traders Point Creamery.  Please watch their website for meals featuring Full Circle Farm lamb.  Next year, we hope to become their main provider of grass-fed lamb.

We will be at the Farm to Fork Market at Normandy Farms this Saturday, December 7.  It’s time to start planning your Christmas meal. We have plenty of pastured whole chickens but only six hams remaining.  We will have plenty of other pastured pork though.  Betsy’s Kitchen will be bringing Paleo Apple Pie Bars and Paleo Sandwich Bread this week.

As always, we also sell all of our grass-fed meats at the farm.

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The seasons are a changin’.  Last week we had snow flurries, tonight we are experiencing 60 degrees and thunderstorms tomorrow.  The leaves are finally becoming more colorful.  Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend.  Our last 74 broilers will be butchered this week.  And, the Farm to Fork Market is changing from a summer market to a winter market.

Beginning this weekend, November 2, the Farm to Fork Market at Normandy Farms (79th Street and Marsh Road) will be Saturday mornings from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  The winter set-up will be in a newly erected greenhouse on the Normandy Farms property.  We plan to be there throughout the winter (with some time off during the holidays).  We will have pastured pork and lots of pastured poultry available for sale.  Betsy’s Kitchen will also continue to bring tasty gluten-free treats.  Stop by and see us.

We continue to sell all of our products at the farm.

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There were several news stories this week debating whether conventional or organic farming could really feed the world.  Yet just two weeks before, it was announced that 1 in 7 Hoosier households had difficulty providing food for their family.  How can we worry about feeding the world when we can’t even feed ourselves?

I still contend the issue is that we rely too much on convenience.  Too many people don’t know how to provide food for themselves without going to the store and buying ready-to-eat, prepackaged food.  Instead, we need to learn to provide for ourselves and our neighbors as much as possible.

One of my favorite examples of self-reliance is the house in which I grew up.  I was raised in Union City, a small town in east central Indiana.  The rain gutters of the house, as well as the barn, drained into the cistern, which was piped into the basement of the house.  (Yes there was a barn in town.  They still had carriages when the house was built.). The lady of the house had a vegetable garden, an apple tree, a pear tree, and a small cherry grove.  The family also had a sizeable chicken coop.  All of this on just a half acre lot.

Before we moved to the farm, we lived in a subdivision in town for nearly fifteen years.  Our lot was only a quarter acre lot.  On our lot, we had two vegetable gardens, an herb garden and several other herb beds, a plum tree, a peach tree, a strawberry bed, raspberry bushes, grape vines, and blueberry bushes.  That didn’t include our inedible bushes, flower beds, sycamore tree, white pine tree and compost pile.  All that, with a 16 x 16 deck, on a quarter acre lot and I still had to mow the yard.

The opportunities of our greenspace abound.  The only way we are going to feed ourselves, and the world, is to stop relying on corporate farms and chemical companies to produce our food and to begin providing as much of our own food as we possibly can while working with our local farmers to provide what we individually cannot.

New this week, Betsy’s Kitchen will be offering Paleo pumpkin treats as well as the Paleo sandwich bread and Paleo Spicy Chocolate Brownies.

We will be at two markets this week:

Farm to Fork Market at Normandy Farms, Friday, September 27, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – 79th Street and Marsh Road

Zionsville Farmers’ Market, Saturday, September 28, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. – corner of Main Street and Hawthorne. This is the last market of the season.

Decatur Township Farmers’ Market is closed for the season.

We also sell all of our products at the farm.

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Our lives are quite convenient.  We enjoy the pleasures of refrigeration, air conditioning, the ability to run to the grocery store when we run out of flour, and the ability to visit a restaurant when we don’t feel like cooking dinner.

What do these conveniences cost us?  Lynn Jenkins, a local columnist, recently argued that the convenience of air conditioning cost us the pleasure of hearing the natural sounds of the night.  Refrigeration allows us to preserve food without fermentation, smoking, or salting and costs us not only the pleasures of such tastes but the benefits of the preservation methods to our own health.

Grocery stores allow us to have all types of food, from all parts of the world, whenever we want.  We no longer relish the tastes of the season since we can have that taste and season anytime of the year.  Many restaurants cost us the benefits of healthful food and beneficial interactions that could be had through the enjoyment of cooking, eating, and of course cleaning up.

I’m not suggesting we give up our conveniences.  I rather enjoy them myself.  Just recognize the costs of your conveniences and occasionally enjoy life without them.

Allow me to offset the cost of this convenient medium and visit with us face-to-face at the farmers’ market this week.  We will be at the Farm to Fork Market at Normandy Farm, Friday, August 23, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.  We will only have a dozen eggs and we are down to roasts on our grass-fed beef.  Betsy’s Kitchen has plenty of treats though.  This week, she is trying a new Paleo bread, Paleo Spicy Chocolate Brownies, Paleo Zucchini Bars with Cashew Frosting, Paleo Apple Cider Donuts, and Flour-less Chocolate Cake.

Please continue to support:

Zionsville Farmers’ Market, Saturday, August 24, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. – corner of Main Street and Hawthorne

Decatur Township Farmers’ Market, Tuesday, August 27, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – 5106 S. High School Road

We also sell all of our products at the farm.

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We had a new addition to our farm this week.  Meet Bea, our newest lamb.  One of our older ewes has begun to cycle out of season, giving us a lamb in August each of the last two years.  Bea is the latest.

Most of the Full Circle Farm family had the opportunity to visit the Indiana State Fair this week.  We enjoyed visiting Pioneer Village, seeing the antique tractors, and visiting the animal barns.  Farmer Paul also visited the new Glass Barn.  Below is my take on the Glass Barn.

*Bea will not be raised on a 2,000 acre farm.

*Bea will not be raised in a slatted-floor climate controlled building.  She will be raised outdoors, as nature intended.

*Bea will not be micro-chipped so that we can track her temperature and general health.  Her health, as that of the rest of the animals, will be evaluated through daily visits by the resident farmers.

*Bea will not wear a pedometer and GPS locator.  We’ll find her on an easy tour of the farm.

We will be taking a hiatus from the Zionsville Farmers’ Market.  Thanks to your support, our supply of grass-fed beef is going quickly.  We plan to be back at the Zionsville Farmers’ Market September 14, September 21, and September 28.  We will have pasture-raised chicken and pasture-raised pork.

In the meantime, we will continue to sell at the Farm to Fork Market at Normandy Farm.  We will continue to sell organically supplemented free-range eggs and the remainder of our grass-fed beef.  Betsy’s Kitchen will continue to sell gluten-free and paleo treats.  This week she will be selling Spicy Chocolate Paleo Brownies, Paleo Zucchini Bars with Cashew Frosting, Paleo Apple Cider Donuts, and Flour-less Dark Chocolate Cake.

Friday, August 16, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – Farm to Fork Market at Normandy Farms (79th and Marsh Road)

Please continue to support the Decatur Township Farmers’ Market

Tuesday, August 20, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – 5106 S. High School Road

We also sell all of our products at the farm.

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A couple of weeks ago, we attended Farmer Betsy’s family reunion.  This reunion has been held for more than 60 years on her great-grandparent’s homestead.  Earlier in the year, the current resident of the homestead had applied for the Centennial Hoosier Homestead Award.  The application was initially denied because the farm was not at least 20 acres and did not earn at least $1,000.

The family bought 70 acres in 1913.  Those 70 acres were owned and farmed for 99½ years until the family matriarch passed.  The settlement of her estate reduced the homestead to 8 acres that was not farmed for profit.  Thankfully, a well written letter to the Indiana State Department of Agriculture detailing the history and tradition of the homestead as well as the income that could be made were the land farmed for profit, finally garnered the cherished award for the family homestead.

Is that what we have been reduced to that even our farms must be large and business-like?  What about those cultures where subsistence farmers truly make a “living” on much less land with much fewer resources?  What about the new urban “farms” that raise animals and grow produce for city dwellers using much fewer than 20 acres?  By those standards, Full Circle Farm, (currently with 31 sheep, 6 cows, 2 goats, 9 turkeys, and more than 200 chickens) doesn’t qualify as a farm.  While our earnings have improved thanks to your support, we operate on only 19 acres.  I suppose we will have to change our name to just “Full Circle”.

We still have grass-fed beef available.  Eggs are running in short supply as the daylight begins to dwindle.  We are currently sold out of chicken and lamb.  We plan to have more chicken by October but more lamb will not be available until at least January.  We also plan to offer a limited supply of pork beginning in October.

We will also be selling gluten-free treats from Betsy’s Kitchen, including the newly popular apple cider donuts.  To celebrate National Farmers’ Market Week, we will be offering special deals on the treats.

We will be at three markets this week.

Friday, August 9, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – Farm to Fork Market at Normandy Farms (79th and Marsh Road) (Our grass-fed beef will be part of the feature picnic this week.)

Saturday, August 10, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. – Zionsville Farmers’ Market (Main Street and Hawthorne)

Tuesday, August 13, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – Decatur Township Farmers’ Market (5106 S. High School Road)

We also sell all of our products at the farm.

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Full Circle Farm is located at the intersection of two roads.  The road at the south end of the farm is a nicely paved road.  The road at the east side of the farm is a dusty gravel road.  The gravel road leads north to another gravel road.  The residents of that road have been trying for some time to get their road paved.  Due to the recent closure of a nearby highway, the traffic along all of our roads has increased quite a bit.  Now they are trying even harder to get the road paved as the dust has increased substantially.  I’m not sure that is the best idea.

Our paved road has people driving too fast, recreational bicyclists yelling in conversation at each other in the early hours of the morning, and a markedly higher traffic rate.  The gravel road is less traveled.  While some still drive too fast, if they are using the road, you know they belong in the neighborhood.  Gravel roads also give a certain ambiance to the farm and deter the development that will eventually come to the area.  Like Robert Frost, I’d rather take the road less traveled and keep my gravel road.

We will be at three markets this week.

Friday, July 26, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – Farm to Fork Market at Normandy Farms (79th and Marsh Road)

Saturday, July 27, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. – Zionsville Farmers’ Market (Main Street and Hawthorne)

Tuesday, July 30, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – Decatur Township Farmers’ Market (5106 S. High School Road)

We also sell all of our products at the farm.

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