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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Merry Christmas from Stoneyfield Farm!

You might be thinking that I'm bit late and should be wishing you a Happy New Year. Well, it's still Christmas around here. We have 7 family Christmas parties in 9 days this year with 2 to go. So we're getting there.

As you might have noticed from Ethan and my blogs, or lack thereof, December has been a busy month. I read once that winter was supposed to be the down time for farmers. I feel like that is quite the opposite here. Chores go A LOT slower in the winter, equipment is harder to work with, and the animals need extra attention - especially with record setting snow storms and rain/sleet/ice/snow storms that go for days.

I have had multiple times where I have just about been ready to sit down and write a blog post, and then something comes up (or our home computer stops working for a few days here and there). So I now decided to just take a moment and let anyone who still happens to lurk know we're still hanging in there. We have managed to keep the fire going too, literally, with the help of church friends blessing us with a few truckloads of wood on a few separate occasions - without being asked and always when we just run out.

So to end this quick, random update - may the promise of Christmas continue into your New Year, even if you don't have 2 more Christmas parties left. :) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

How to Avoid Thawing a Turkey

Usually around Thanksgiving time, Ethan cooks a turkey and I freeze it for the meat for the year. We didn't get around to getting one last year with all of the building and moving, but the year before that we did. I remember that it was a big one, and I remember Ethan saying, "I'm never getting one this big again!".

Well, this year Ethan brought home a turkey. Obviously he didn't remember his declaration because it was a 24 lb turkey. In order to save freezer space, I canned all of it this year. So here is what a 24 lb turkey yields - along with a few meals and turkey sandwiches.
Next year we hope to have a non-Walmart turkey. I will see if I can convince Ethan into getting another 24 lb turkey so we can see the difference in amount of meat.

(Also, if you don't get my title, you will have to read the previous post.)

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

How to Thaw a Chicken

Step 1: Raise free range chickens who like to sleep pell mell across the farm.

Step 2: Assume that the chickens will take cover during a storm.

Step 3: Wait for a ginormous snow storm.

Step 4: Look outside and see a chicken wandering around in the snow storm.

Step 5: Go outside and find chickens hunkered down in snow drifts with chunks of ice frozen on them.

Step 6: Gather said chickens.

Step 7: Place said chickens in rubbermaid tubs and bring into the house to thaw.

After chickens have thawed, bring a pen into the shed. Leave them in the pen for 2 weeks until they realize that it is their new home. (Otherwise they will likely return to their pell mell roosting around the farm.)

Note to self - gather all pell mell chickens in the fall and pen up in the shed for 2 weeks prior to snow.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Stoneyfield's Winter Meats

A lot of what I do in my free time now is farm related. Someday I will get back to my quilt, photos, and other hobbies (I hope), and I'm fine with that for now. I would rather do business work here than work on my quilt in town any day! With that said, this week we sent out a newsletter about our winter meats. For those interested, here it is:

Happy Thanksgiving from Stoneyfield Farm!

We hope you had a great Thanksgiving and that you were able to reflect on the blessings from the year. We have been blessed so much on the farm this past year through friends and family. We were glad to be able to spend the holiday with our families and happy to share a Stoneyfield ham on Thanksgiving Day with so many who have helped us.

With more holiday parties coming up and people looking for a gift for that person who has everything, I thought I would take a minute to share with you what we will have available this winter for meat. Right now we have 3 different options with our pork: sampler packages, individual pork cuts / sampler add ons, and orders for wholes and halves.

As always, our hogs are raised according to the same standards as Niman Ranch. They are kept outside free of confinement houses and have been allowed to live the way pigs were designed to live - rooting up the ground, wallowing in the mud, and relaxing in the sun. They have not been given or fed any antibiotics or hormones, and their custom rations contain no animal proteins.

~+~ Wholes and Halves ~+~
We are now taking orders for our winter pork that will be sold as halves and wholes. Our processing date is scheduled for January 14 with the pork being ready around the last week of January. The price per pound hanging weight to Stoneyfield Farm is $1.85. There will also be a locker fee of around $0.60 - $0.65, depending on the types of cuts chosen. We have attached a locker worksheet showing the various cut options.

~+~ Mix and Match Pork Sampler Packages ~+~
Our Mix and Match Pork Sampler Packages are still available while supplies last. Although we currently have a variety of choices, we do only have one package left for a couple of our sampler package options. A comparison chart of our sampler packages is attached and prices for packages are as follows:

Sampler 1 $25 (~6 – 6.5 lbs) SOLD OUT
Loin End Roast, Sandwich Ham, Bacon, Cottage Bacon, Breakfast Sausage

Sampler 2 $25 (~5.5 – 6 lbs) SOLD OUT
Butterfly Chops (2), Ham Steak, Bacon, Breakfast Sausage, Ham Hock

Sampler 3 $30 (~7.5 – 8 lbs) SOLD OUT
Loin End Roast, Ham Roast, Cottage Bacon, Italian Sausage, Soup Bone

Sampler 4 $30 (~7.5 – 8 lbs) SOLD OUT
Iowa Chops (2), Ribs, Ham Steak, Bacon, Italian Sausage

Sampler 5 $35 (~7 – 7.5 lbs) SOLD OUT
Tenderloin (2 unbreaded), Sandwich Ham, Shoulder Roast, Bacon, Ground Pork, Soup Bone

Sampler 6 $40 (~9 – 9.5 lbs) SOLD OUT
Butterfly Chops (2), Ham Steak, Shoulder Roast, Bacon, Italian Sausage, Ground Pork, Ham Hock

~+~ Individual Pork Cuts / Sampler Add Ons ~+~
Our Individual Pork Cuts / Sampler Add Ons are new and will be available as supplies last. If you found a sampler package you like but want just a bit more, you can buy individual cuts of pork by the pound. These cuts are also available without purchasing a sampler package if you just want to give our pork a try. Prices for individual cuts are as follows*:

~ Ham Cuts ~
Sandwich Ham - $5.00/lb
Ham Steaks - $5.00/lb SOLD OUT
Ham Roasts - $5.00/lb SOLD OUT

~ Bacon Cuts ~
Cottage Bacon - $5.75/lb
Traditional Bacon - $5.50/lb

~ Loin Cuts ~
Iowa Chops - $4.25/lb SOLD OUT
Butterfly Chops - $4.50/lb
Tenderloin (unbreaded) - $5.00/ lb

~ Roasts ~
Shoulder Roast - $3.75/lb
Sirloin Roasts - $4.25/lb

~ Ground ~
Ground Pork - $3.00/lb SOLD OUT
Breakfast Sausage - $3.25/lb SOLD OUT
Italian Sausage - $3.50/lb

~ Ribs ~
Ribs - $3.75/lb SOLD OUT

~ Soup Bones ~
Soup Bones - $1.80/lb
Ham Hocks - $1.80/lb

~+~ Pork Delivery ~+~
The Mix and Match Pork Sampler Packages and Pork Sampler Add Ons / Individual Cuts can both be purchased from our farm. We are also able to deliver into Knoxville most days and can deliver to drop off locations in Pella, Des Moines, and Cedar Falls when we gather enough orders for a trip. We will consider other delivery locations if there is enough interest.

~+~ Grass Fed Dexter Beef ~+~
We have been getting quite a few inquiries about our Grass Fed Dexter Beef. Since we are building up our herd right now, we are not yet selling by the whole and half. We are hoping to have sampler packages available on a limited basis this winter. All we are waiting on now is making some additional room in our freezer (by selling a few more pork sampler packages) or by acquiring another freezer. We are currently taking names to be put on our waiting list for our beef. Our waiting list is getting quite long, but we will work our way down the list as soon as we have beef available.

If you have any questions about our grass fed beef or naturally raised pork sampler packages, individual cuts, or wholes and halves, please feel free to contact us. May your blessings continue to be evident as we move into the advent season!

*Some prices have been adjusted since our newsletter.
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