Friday, April 29, 2011

Spring Peepers!

As some of you know, I work at a farm cooperative.  Today, our first order of 25 Hobby Farm Assorted chicks arrived (Jumbo Broilers, Special Blacks & Browns from Sunnyside Hatchery).   One of the chicks didn't make the trip, but the rest were peppy and chirping away.  I love having chicks in the office, particularly when little children come through.  I get to show them off and the kids get so excited at the chance to pet a chick!  Many of the adults that swing through aren't as enthused; they are more curious about how I tolerate the chirping for the day.  Hearing these guys & gals doesn't bother me at all, as a matter of fact, these cute little critters made me want to order more for myself.  I've resisted the temptation-at least for now!

Monday, April 25, 2011

The FRESH Test!

Ever wonder how to test your eggs for freshness?  Wonder no more!  If you put your eggs in a bowl of water and they sink to the bottom, they are fresh.  If they bob in the water, they are still okay, but not for long.  If your eggs are floating, it's time to say goodbye!

Since it's National Egg Salad Week, I thought I'd pass on another word of advice.  Hard-boiled eggs can be kept in the refrigerator in the shell for 1 week, that's it!  Egg salad shouldn't be kept longer than 3-4 days.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Egg Safety for the Easter Holiday

Here's a quick video from the USDA about safely handling, storing and preparing eggs for the Easter holiday.  I heard from a farmer the other day that the brown eggs color beautifully; I'm excited to give it a try this year!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Backyard Tip #2: Dust

Here's the deal, chickens create TONS (not even a tidbit of exaggeration here) of DUST.  The picture shows exactly what I mean.  If you house chickens in an enclosed space, for example-your garage, EVERYTHING will be covered in a fine, creamy colored dust similar to that of chalk.  It looks like a little sugar fairy sifted powdered sugar over all of our things, except you wouldn't want to snack on this stuff. 

Long, horrible story short...If you are someone who can't stand dust, like myself, you'll want to avoid EVER housing your chickens in your garage for an extended length of time.  I have been cleaning chicken dust for months.  The day that my Silkies will have their permanent house outside and I can have my sparkley clean garage back can't come soon enough!  I'd like to take a moment to thank Craftsman for creating such a wonderful shop vac; it has been my right hand, dust-clearing man.     

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Local Tummy Ticklers

This post may sound familiar to some of you who have been reading since I started writing last year, but I figured it was worthy of an encore appearance!  I've added a few new things though, so don't pass it by just because you read Let's Get Fresh last year! 

In just a few short weeks the Farmers' Markets will be up and running.  I was chatting it up with a farmer the other day who participates in many of our local markets and he said that it's been tough to get into the markets this year because so many farmers are jumpin' on the Farmers' Market hay wagon! 

With consumers becoming more aware and concerned with the freshness and production methods of their foods, Farmers' Markets are growing in popularity. Many cities and towns now host weekly Farmers' Markets which benefit producers, consumers, the environment, and the local economy!
  • Producers are able to sell direct to consumers on a regular basis, eliminating the middle-man and increasing profits. Talking directly with the consumer helps them understand the needs and desires of the community.
  • Consumers are able to buy fresh, sometimes organically grown, food which aids in providing a healthier diet and better nutrition for themselves and their families. The ability to speak directly with the producers allows the consumer easy access to information about how their fruits, vegetables, honey, and meat are grown and produced.
  • Environmental benefits include the reduction of food miles, vehicle pollution, fossil fuel use, and packaging.
  • Economically, Farmers' Markets can help bring new life to cities and towns. They encourage consumers to buy locally and can help draw consumers to local retailers near the market. has a great Farmers' Market page to help Wisconsin folks find markets in our neck of the woods, and, Local Harvest has a stellar search tool to help folks all across the US find a Farmers' Market as well. Just click Farmers' Markets in the What are you looking for? box, enter your Zip, click Search, and you are on your way to finding the most fresh grub in town.

Going to the local Farmers' Market is a great way to get your weekend started. Rather than laying around in your PJs and bunny slippers until half the day has gone to pot, why not gather the munchkins, jump in the family grocery-getter, and hightail it to your local Farmers' Market for some FRESH fun?  Don't forget to buy yourself some farm fresh eggs while you're there too! 

P.S. I'd love to know you're all alive and listenin', so feel free to post information about your favorite markets or some of the things you can't wait to buy in the comment section of this post!!