Nov 18, 2014

Ohio selects a Presidential Candidate for the White House

Just to be clear we are "talking turkey" candidate for the White House Presidential Turkey pardon. The presentation of the National Thanksgiving turkey takes us back to the Ulysses S. Grant era in the late 1800's. Turkey has been gracing the table since before America was America.  In 1989, President George H.W. Bush began the official presidential pardon of the turkey and ever since, this bipartisan tradition has continued. The honor of presenting the National Thanksgiving Turkey goes to the chairman of the National Turkey Federation. In Ohio, we know a thing or two about turkeys, as we raise 219 million pounds of turkey each year, that is 9th in the Nation in turkey production. This year’s chairman is Gary Cooper, an owner of Cooper Farms, a family-owned farm in western Ohio. The Cooper family has been raising an extra special flock of turkeys since the beginning of July. Two of their turkeys will make the trek to our Nation’s Capital.  For more details on how the turkeys were raised read this article in Ohio's Country Journal.

Much like the Presidential Turkey is a tradition to the White House it also begins a tradition for the Cooper family. This will be their second run at raising the turkey for our President and his family. Gary's brother was also Chairman of the National Turkey Federation back when President Clinton was in office. 

Meet Tom the Turkey.
A tom is a male turkey and a
 hen is a female turkey.
The turkey is a time honored tradition and is something we eat often in our house. There are so many options now in the grocery store. Turkey burgers, brats, sausage, tenders and the traditional whole bird. We have been raising a few turkeys over the summer too for the first time. It has been a fun experience to watch them from a tiny poult (baby turkey) grow into a 30 pound tasty turkeys. I am surprised by how many people have never cooked a whole turkey. If you fall into this category or just want to cook the perfect turkey, here are a few simple tips when it comes to preparing the perfect bird Thanksgiving Day.
Plan ahead: Buy a turkey that is the correct size based on your dinner guests. If you serve a large crowd prepare two birds or a whole bird and a turkey breast. I have cooked a few big birds in my time and fitting a 41lb turkey in your oven can be a challenge (yes I have roasted a turkey that large, I have pushed the limits of my oven). I love leftover turkey so I always prepare a little extra. Visit the Butterball page for all your turkey calculations and conversions.
Don't forget thaw time: Unless you are purchasing a farm fresh turkey you need to allow for ample time to unthaw your masterpiece.
Get a good meat thermometer: This is a must you want a moist perfect turkey and a thermometer will make sure this happens. Here are the recommended cooking times based per pound. 
Budget in extra time: There is nothing worse than rushing and not enjoying time with family and friends. Add in at least an extra hour before you want to make the presentation of the bird. This will allow the bird to rest to keep in those delicious juices, make your gravy and allow the bird to cool so you can carve it.
Have the correct tools: Use a sharp knife, it makes carving the main event an art to watch. Use a turkey baster to baste your turkey and keep it browning and moist. Use a disposable roasting pan for easy cleanup and a turkey cooking bag of you want to cut your cooking time down and not baste your bird.  Keep Wondra Flour on hand for lump free tasty gravy.
Keep it simple: Turkey is naturally full of flavor. Keep your recipe simple and allow the turkey to speak for itself.
He is one of my favorite ways to prepare our Thanksgiving Turkey.  Be sure you are using a turkey that has not already been brined some maybe pre-brined when store bought.
 Turkey Brine
1 gallon vegetable broth                                                     
1 cup sea salt                                                    
1 tablespoon crushed dried rosemary                                                    
1 tablespoon dried sage                                                    
1 tablespoon dried thyme                                                    
1 tablespoon dried savory                                                    
1 gallon ice water
1. In a large stock pot, combine the vegetable broth, sea salt, rosemary, sage, thyme, and savory. Bring to a boil; stirring frequently to be sure salt is dissolved. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature.
2. When the broth mixture is cool, pour it into a clean 5 gallon bucket. Stir in the ice water.
3. Wash and dry your turkey. Make sure you have removed the innards. Place the turkey, breast down, into the brine. Make sure that the cavity gets filled. Place the bucket in the refrigerator overnight on rest in a cooler full of ice.
4. Remove the turkey carefully draining off the excess brine and pat dry. Discard excess brine.
5. Cook the turkey as desired reserving the drippings for gravy. Keep in mind that brined turkeys cook 20 to 30 minutes faster so watch the temperature gauge. Stuff the inside of the turkey with wedges of onion, celery, carrots and garlic and a lemon. It adds a fantastic flavor. Brush the turkey with melted butter and bake at 325*
I would like to introduce you to my favorite turkey farmer, Katie Olthoff from Iowa. Katie writes at On the Banks of Squaw Creek has always dreamed about authoring a children’s book. Recently she combined her love of turkeys and her dream of being an author. In honor of Thanksgiving Katie has agreed to autograph and do a giveaway for her first book. "My Family's Farm has been a dream of mine for over two years, since I realized that there are very few children's books showing today's livestock farms.  Farms have changed over the past 50 years, but their portrayal has not.  This book is an effort to change that."


 For a chance to win her book all you have to do is leave a question or comment on my Local Farm Mom Facebook page before Friday November 21, 2014 at 8pm. I will randomly select the winner and send out the book.  Be sure to subscribe my page as well!


Nov 11, 2014

Hunger in America
I have so much to be thankful for as do all of you! No matter where in life you are, there is always something or someone to be thankful. I am very grateful that I have the opportunity to raise my children knowing where their food comes from, the farm. When my children say mom "I am hungry" it is the perfect time to share with them that fortunately they do not really know what being hungry feels like and I hope they never do. As a mom it truly breaks my heart to know that there are little children here in America that go to bed hungry each night.
46 million adults and children are truly going hungry in America. That is 1 in 6 people struggling  with some type of hunger. We are fast approaching the holidays and I would love it if you would help me and my farm community across America partner with +Bayer CropScience US and +Feeding America fight hunger on a big scale.

To take part all you have to do is visit and create a digital meal with your 4 favorite Thanksgiving meal foods and share it on Social Media.  Each time this is done +Bayer CropScience US  will donate $1 to +Feeding America. $1 provides 10 meals to people who are struggling with hunger.  When you make the fastest Thanksgiving meal ever, it will even share some fun farm facts with you about your meal.  If only fixing the perfect Thanksgiving meal was this easy!

All it costs is a minute of your time to help those who need a little extra assistance. NOW through December 19th we hope to have 200,000 meals donated to +Feeding America.

As if providing those in need with a warm meal is not enough, when you share your virtual meal on social media and use the #T4AgGrant to your post (must be a teacher or student) +Bayer CropScience US will enter your post for a chance to win a $5,000 grant for your school. 


Oct 30, 2014

Just like that...They are off!

After  6 months of watching this amazing little seed be planted, germinating, growing into a beautiful green plants and then dry and die down, the soybeans have been harvested. Rain is coming the guys worked near round the clock to get these beans harvested and in the grain bins.

So we watched these plants grow what now?

This particular field of soybeans yielded around 70 bushels per acre.  (this is pretty good)

They had around an 11% moisture level. This is important because the bean has to be dry enough to store in the grain bin on the farm or be taken to town and sold at the grain elevator. You will get docked on price for too high moisture or the beans will rot if you put them in the bin too wet.

The price of soybeans now is around $10 per bushel.

Each semi can hold approx. 1,000 bushel of beans that is about $10,000. Talk about a precious load that semi is carrying down the road.

Now that $10,000 is not a profit, in fact with commodity prices being as low as they are and the cost of fertilizer, seed and fuel prices being so high, farmers are seeing a much smaller profit margin than would be liked.
Farmers have lots of overhead to take into consideration and lots of risks too. Project #watchthemgrow


Oct 28, 2014

Barbasol Blowout!

In 1919 a gentleman by the name of Frank Shields a former professor at MIT developed the first shaving cream that did not have to be worked into a lather. He wanted a product for men that could be used in a tough beard and on sensitive skin like he had with little effort.. In the 1920's and 30's even through the depression the company Barbasol continued to grow with nearly 400 employees. They got famous celebrities, athletes and musicians to endorse their product. Barbasol even ran ads in the 50's stating that men who used their product were more likely to get the ladies! You could have all this for merely 75 cents. There were marketing geniuses even back then.
  When Frank developed this product I think it would be safe to assume he never had a thought in his mind about this product being used on cattle.
Last week I helped some friends get their sale cattle ready for their farm open house. They have shorthorn cattle and have a beautiful farm, Turner Shorthorns check them out to learn more about shorthorn cattle. I am now officially trained in foaming cattle using non other than Barbasol. Getting calves ready is a pretty time consuming process. This is an old technique that can be used to add some body to the cattle's hair to make it look fluffy  (in simple terms) and it costs much less than some other products.
I am a sheep girl not a cattle girl but  have learned a lot about cattle in the last few years. It appears my children have a hankering for cows. I never thought I would become a seasoned pro at using shaving cream on cattle.  Here is the beautification using shaving cream works.  

This is a serious blow dryer for livestock. It blows heated air
on the animal to dry the hair or wool. We do use this on sheep too.


All the hair is brushed up and towards the front of the heifer.

Using a stiff brush you brush the shaving cream into the hair.


Final step is to blow out the hair to be fluffy!

Oct 24, 2014

Project #Watchthemgrow Week 24

Week 3
May 9th the soybean seeds were planted in the ground. 6 months ago they were not event a little sprout and now they are ready to be harvested. It should be in the next few days that the fields dry out so the combine can get into the field. The beans are ready but with the wet chilly weather we have had here in Ohio, the field conditions have been a little set back.

Week 9 Plants are getting a little foliar feed aka (vitamins for the plants)

Week 14

The beans are ready for harvest. Week 24 

Oct 18, 2014

These are a few of my favorite things...

This will be a new mini series I will run on the blog. There are some things that I just love and want to share. This could be a product, app, article of clothing, kitchen gadget or product I find to be fantastic. 
I am by no means a product junkie. In fact I have said many times the kids heifers (young female cows) use more products in their hair and get more pampered  than me.
I randomly picked up this hairspray at TJMaxx a few years ago and have used it ever since. It has a stong hold but doesn't  have a build up and make your hair feel stuck in one place. Its name fits it well #w8less. It has become a must have on hand tool for my hair. #Rusk 

Who Says you Can't Have Everything!

This is such a great recipe to serve a crowd if you want a hot sammy but do not have the time to make individual servings for a crowd.  Make your bread if you are an over achiever. I like to over achieve from time to but lets get real right... it is not always possible. Go to your local bakery or grocery and pick up a fresh loaf or two.  I do some canning and I used my hot pepper pickle mix to substitute the pepperoncini slices.  Another shortcut is instead of using fresh herbs from the garden use an Italian dried spice blend. Your taste buds will water on this one and you will appear to have Everything Together including the bread, even if you used some shortcuts.
Italian Toasted Sub
1 loaf Italian bread (I used an everything bread)
1 C mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
4-5 basil leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 T pepperoncini brine from the jar
1/4 C red onion, sliced
1/4 C pepperoncini pepper slices
Assorted salamis
Sliced provolone
Sliced mozzarella
Sliced muenster cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Slice the bread at 1-inch intervals, but don't slice all the way through the bottom.  Mix the mayo, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, and the pepperoncini brine together.  Spread this mixture down in between the sliced parts of the bread.  Alternating the cheese varieties, shove a slice of cheese into each cut.  Then alternating the salami varieties, shove about five slices into every other cut.  Shove the pepperoncini slices and red onion slices into the remaining cuts, meaning the cuts with no salami in it.  Wrap the whole thing tightly with foil and bake about 25-30 minutes or until the outsides are a little crispy and the cheese is all melted.

Get Fresh in your Kitchen

This is my favorite tomato soup recipe and it is so simple and freezes well. I make this soup when the tomatoes are ripe and can enjoy it all fall and winter long. Serve this up with your version of toasted cheese and you have a meal that not only comforts but tastes like a Fresh tomato straight from the garden even when those tomatoes are not in season. The excess onion and carrots are perfect to add to tomato sauce and it great flavor instead of tossing when finished.

Tomato Soup
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1½ cups chopped red onions (2 onions)
2 carrots, unpeeled and chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
4 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped (5 large)
1½ teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
¼ cup packed chopped fresh basil leaves
3 cups chicken stock 
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup heavy cream
Julienned fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and carrots and sauté for about 10 minutes, until very tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, basil, chicken stock, salt, and pepper and stir well. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are very tender.

Add the cream to the soup and process it through a food mill into a bowl, discarding only the dry pulp that’s left. Reheat the soup over low heat just until hot and serve with julienned basil leaves and/or croutons.

Oct 12, 2014

Back to the Basics

Over the years I have developed a list of things I like to keep on hand in the kitchen. This list ranges from pantry items to freezer and the refrigerator. If you have anything to add I would love to hear it and add it to the list.
I hope that you find this helpful useful.

High Fructose CORN Sryup Facts

A bushel is measured by pounds, that is 56 pounds of shelled corn. There are approximately 72, 800 kernels of corn in a bushel.
That is around 40-60 ears depending on ear size.
The U.S. is the largest producer of corn.
123.4 bu/acre is the average bushels harvest in 2012.
 Things you may not realize that are made with corn










shoe polish



rubber tires



High Fructose Corn Syrup us also made from corn. There is lots of mis information out there about HFCS. Here are some common myths.

Myth: Sugar is healthier than high fructose corn syrup.

Reality: Afraid not. High fructose corn syrup is basically the same as sugar—both in terms of composition and in the number of calories they contain. Since high fructose corn syrup and sugar are so similar, the human body absorbs them the same way.

Myth: High fructose corn syrup is to blame for obesity and diabetes.

Reality: Nope. There is no scientific evidence that high fructose corn syrup is to blame for obesity and diabetes. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture data shows that consumption of high fructose corn syrup has actually been declining while obesity and diabetes rates continued to rise (see chart). Around the world, obesity levels are also rising even though HFCS consumption is limited outside of the U.S. Many other factors contribute to rising obesity levels including changes in lifestyle, diet and exercise and are unrelated to HFCS.

Oct 10, 2014

Clownin Around

This has been a busy week. We are home to the last county fair in Ohio and fair week brings all kinds of fun. There was a rodeo and I snuck  over in between fitting sheep. If you are not from the sheep world that is a  glorified  name for a sheep wool (hair) stylist.  Each sheep is washed dried and then carded (fluffing the wool) then we trim it.
I got to meet the rodeo clown. And he was indeed quite the  clown. I decided my life is part civilized  and part refined red neck but I love it. It's not every day you run into an Amish rodeo clown called "Showtime". 

Oct 8, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

I love this photo! Campbell is being judged in her first pee-wee showmanship for sheep. Such determination at a young age.

Oct 7, 2014

This Bud's for you!

When you say Clydesdale often times what comes to mind are the famous Budweiser Clydesdales. What started as a gift from two Busch brothers to their father has turned into a time honored American icon. In 1940 they started breeding  Clydesdales and today there are over 100 horses in the breeding program.

The requirements to become a  Budweiser horse is pretty specific:
  1. Age: four years of age or older
  2. Height: at least 6 feet tall from ground to shoulder
  3. Weight: between 1,800 and 2,300 lbs.
  4. Appearance: Bay coat, four white legs, white blaze, black mane and tail
These are some pretty massive gentle giants but they sure can put away the feed. Their food is usually delivered to the event location via UPS prior to the horses arrive. Each Budweiser Clydesdale hitch horse will eat as much as 20 to 25 quarts of whole grains, 50 to 60 pounds of hay, and drink 30 gallons of water per day.

The Fairfield County Fair is pretty proud to have the Clydesdales at our fair this week. A lot of work was done by local business owners, distributors and the fair management to make this possible to bring them to our fair.  Ten horses are transported in three 50-foot tractor-trailers. The first rig that pulled in was driven by a female which was pretty impressive, then she jumps out of the cab and she is the tiniest cute little thing maneuvering this big tractor-trailer, like it was nothing.  What a fun job! The team stops each night at local stables so the horses can rest. Each trailer is equipped with air-cushioned suspension and thick rubber flooring to ensure a smooth and comfortable ride.

Clydesdale horseshoes measure more than 20 inches from end to end and weighs about 5 pounds - a regular horse's shoe is about 10 inches and weighs about a pound.

Meet Clyde the Dalmatian mascot. He was such a friendly dog, loved the crowd, the people and even took a little self guided tour around the fairgrounds.

Oct 6, 2014

Take a hop back in time

I like to think that I a techy but I am really not. I like gadgets but I also need to keep things simple and easy. I came across this app called Timehop I thought I would share with you. This application  will allow you to log in with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, Dropbox, Google+ and your photo Gallery.

 It pulls from your offline  folders from each application you link to timehop. It will show you photos that you took one year ago on that day. It uses the embedded date stamp from the photo to remind you of what you were doing on that day.

This only takes a few minutes to get up and running and more less is a walk down memory lane. The great thing about this is it is private to you. Only you can see what was happening one year ago on that day, unless you choose to share with whomever you choose.
Another cool feature is it will randomly give you a fact about something that occurred on that same day on a random year.

Oct 5, 2014

Save the Best for Last

The one the only Fairfield County Fair gets underway today. I realize that not all of you will have the chance to attend our great county fair in Ohio. I wanted to highlight some of the best things that represents my county fair. Let me know what you enjoy most about your county fair. The fairground consists of 65 acres, was founded in 1850, and is the oldest fair of continuous operation in Ohio.  After gas was discovered in 1889, the Fairfield County Fair was famous for “Racing by Gas Light”, and the “Lake of Fire”. Can anyone tell me what the Lake of Fire used to be? I am not familiar with this one.

10. We have some really old buildings that have been maintained. The most famous is probably the Round Cattle Barn. I appreciate mixing in the old with the new buildings.

9. Mt. Pleasant overlooks the is just magical!  It is a striking and picturesque rock formation rising abruptly almost 300 feet above the surrounding plain.  The view from the top has been described as “sublime”.  Much Indian lore is attached to Mt. Pleasant and the surrounding country.  Mt. Pleasant aka Standing Stone  was a well-known and famous landmark to the Indians, traders, explorers and early settlers.

8.The camping. While you may not spend every night in the camper, having a spot is a must. To get a spot is difficult. We all joke that if you end up with a good spot someone must have died or moved out of the county. We have a great spot but it didn't come easy. I slept in a lawn chair overnight in the rain so I could be first in line to secure this spot. For the record, it was completely worth it!!

7. Mule Races, who doesn't like to see adults bouncing on the back of a stubborn mule around a sand track. It never fails to be entertaining.

6. Combine Demolition Derby is where retired combines and their drivers bash one another until there is only one moving Combine left.  This is something I have always wanted to participate in and it on my bucket list. There are sparks, parts falling off and pure redneck entertainment.

5. Fair Food: Everyone has their preferences. I must get a Madison's Fish Sandwich, a hot ham and Cheese sandwich from the Bloom Carroll Lion Club, pork tenderloin sandwich from Rubes and the Cider slushy from Hugus Fruit Farm is a staple.

4. The Panorama When you are in 4-H and FFA this is the main event to kick off the fair. The new Queen is crowned all the state winners are recognized and the outstanding 4-H'ers are named. Over the years there have been corny skits, flash mobs and lots of entertainment, always a great way to start the fair off and let the livestock competitions begin.

3. The competition of the kids. Seeing the 4-H and FFA kids show off their year of hard work and watching the excitement in their eyes is something that can not be described. There is an element of everyone is a winner but a love of good competition. Win or loose there are so many life lessons to be learned from both experiences.

2. Time of Year Fall is a perfect time to have the last fair in Ohio. The leaves are turning and for the most part the temperatures are perfect. It just sets the mood and welcomes in the fall fashions and boots.

1. The people, when asking some of my friends what their favorite part of the fair is, the majority said "The People" It really takes you back to some pretty darn good memories of 4-H and FFA. You do not have to stroll very far to see a familiar face. It is a sort of Homecoming and the perfect time to reminisce the good ole days.

What are you county fair favorites? I would love to hear.

Oct 4, 2014

Irons in the Fire

What a day! Today was move in day at our county fair. There is 35 minutes left in this day so I am barely getting my blog in today, but by golly I am getting it done. #write31days

It is after 11pm and I am ironing a turtleneck if that tells you anything, and trying to think about what to write. When you resort to ironing after 11pm on a Saturday night it tells you need more time and a friend willing to watch you iron so you can catch up.

So when you are short on time and have a list of to-do's longer than when you began your day you need  wine....just kidding but not really.

We all have crazy days  so keep what you can simple and don't stress about the small things. Enjoy this recipe that is nothing to stress over and it will keep your kids bellies full, smiles on their faces and time for you to catch up on ironing turtlenecks.

Heavenly Ham Sandwiches

6 pound bone in ham
8 ounces yellow mustard
1 pound brown sugar
24 dinner rolls

Cook ham in a crock pot (be sure to use a crock pot liner for easy cleanup). Cover with water. Cook 8-10 hours on simmer. Remove and cool. Shred  ham and put back in crock pot. Stir in sugar and mustard. Cover and cook on low just until heated.  Serve on dinner rolls.

In honor of this ham recipe take a few minutes to watch this fun clip to learn more about who is raising the ham you buy in the grocery.
Meet an Ohio Ham Farmer and my friend Mike!

Oct 3, 2014

Project #WatcthemGrow Week 21

These plants were planted 21 weeks
ago and will be harvested soon.
 Soybean harvest is under way here in Ohio. These soybeans were planted 21 weeks ago. Where has the time gone? It seems as if we were just getting these seeds in the ground and now we are just weeks away from a harvest. The beans are now brown but they are not quite ready be to harvested.  

These little soybeans provided me with an opportunity to travel all the way to Beijing, China last week. I traveled on behalf of the United States Soybean Export Council with three other farm moms to chat GMO's  with Chinese women. This is a very important market for our U.S. soybeans. Every third row you see in the field is exported. Stay tuned for more writing on GMO's. This is not just a hot topic here in the U.S. but mom in China have lots of questions too. We will get to the bottom of the GMO debate.

The pods are not quite dry. When ready
to harvest the soybean will be completely
round. The beans on the left is what is
inside the pod on the right.

Here are some fun facts about the soybean!
  • The soybean was first cultivated in northern China and from there it spread into Japan, Korea and the rest of southeast Asia
  • The soybean is a legume
  • Elevators in the Statue of Liberty use a soybean-based hydraulic fluid
  • Soybeans are an important ingredient for the production of crayons. In fact, one acre of soybeans can produce 82,368 crayons
  • Soy crayons have been created to replace toxic petroleum-wax crayons. Soy crayons are safer to use, brighter in color, and less expensive to produce
  • The FDA approved soy as an official cholesterol-lowering food
  • Soybean oil is the most widely used edible oil in the United States; you can find it in mayonnaise, salad dressing, processed cheese products, dessert frostings and much more
  • Some of the better known soybean products include soymeal, soymilk, tofu, meat alternatives, tempeh, miso, soy sauce, soy cheese, soy cream cheese, soy flour, infant formula, biodiesel fuel and animal feed

  • Oct 2, 2014

    Getting Saucy in the Kitchen

    This is a Cortland Apple. It has a red
    peel and a very white center.
     It has been a long standing tradition in my family to make applesauce when the apples are in season. This helps you to enjoy a taste of fall all year long. Today is the big apple saucing day.
    This is such a healthy nutritious fruit or as my kids call it dessert. I prefer to freeze mine verses can. Pull it out a little before you wish to enjoy, it is a frozen applesauce slushy and we serve it as dessert.

    Each bag here is 1 bushel.
    This is so simple it is not even really a recipe. I do use a Cortland apple, this is what my Grandma always used and by cooking the apples with the skins on, the applesauce will naturally be a light pink. You can add sugar or choose to enjoy it its natural state. Did you know that two-thirds of the fiber, and many of the antioxidants, are found in apple's peel? So when possible try to use and eat the peel to gain all that extra goodness.

    To me cooking is not just about cooking, its about memories, remembering the old and making new. Applesauce is something I used to do with my mom and Grandma, now I do it with my daughter and friends. I have shared my simple sauce with many who have now made this an annual tradition. The smell of the apples cooking down  takes me back to a place in childhood that I loved and will always remember.
    On a side note this is a fun apple craft


    Core and slice apples. Place into a pan and place on stovetop. Add about a half and inch of water to the pan. Turn your burner onto medium heat and cook until apples are soft and mushy.  Place cooked apples in a food mill, ricer or colander. Applesauce will come out the bottom and *discard the rest.  Add sugar to your liking.

    *We raise laying hens and they absolutely go wild over the apple peel scraps. Or if you do not have chickens it is perfect for the compost pile.

    Oct 1, 2014


    Here is to a month of what I know best Farm-Food and Fun!
    Excited to be taking art for the first time in The Nester's Write 31 Days.  Like many of you I have no idea how I am going to make this happen but who doesn't love a little challenge.

    I am a mom from a small town in Ohio who lives on a small farm. I am looking forward to writing about the happenings on the farm, what we eat and all the fun things in between. October is a crazy busy time of year for our family and I am looking forward to giving you a little view into our world. I am looking forward to sharing recipes, food facts and maybe even some of the fun things we try to squeak in our busy lives.

    My friend Sara from Saras-House encouraged me participate in this crazy idea so be sure to follow her as she writes about travel tips. I have traveled with her a few times and she has some great tid-bits.

    Did I mention we raise sheep? Here is a great recipe that uses one of my favorite proteins and some of that cider coming straight from the apple orchards.

    Serves 8-10
    1 Boneless butterflied leg of lamb (6-7lbs)
    1/2 cup  apple cider
    1/3 cup Dijon mustard
    3 Tbl Olive oil
    2 Tbl fresh chopped rosemary
    1 Tbl apple cider vinegar
    4 cloves garlic minced
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Combine all marinade ingredients, adding the salt and pepper to taste.
    Sprinkle both sides of leg with light salt and pepper rubbing into the meat. Place in a bowl or plastic bag. Pour marinade over lamb to coat. Cover dish or seal bag and place in refrigerator over night.
    Preheat grill to medium heat. Place lamb on grill brushing some marinade over meat. Grill approximately  15-20 minutes on each side brushing with marinade until internal temperature reaches 135*. Transfer lamb to platter and cover with foil. Let rest at least 10 minutes. Internal temperature of lamb should be 145*-150*.
    Carve lamb at an angle and slice thin.
    The key to great lamb is to not over cook!

    Try one of my recipes or have any comments or ideas let me know!

    31 Days Farm-Food-Fun


     Welcome to 31 days on Farm-Food and Fun!

    Click on the links below, each day will have a new link. Thanks for stopping by!
    Day One  Intro

    Day Eight Clowning Around

    Day Ten High Fructose CORN Syrup

    Day Eleven Know GMO

    Day Twelve Back to the Basics

    Day Thirteen

    Day Fourteen

    Day Fifteen

    Day Sixteen

    Day Seventeen Who Say's You Can't Have Everything

    Day Eighteen  Get Fresh in the Kitchen

    Day Nineteen

    Day Twenty These are a few of my favorite things...

    Day Twenty One

    Day Twenty Two

    Day Twenty Three



    Sep 9, 2014

    Cowboy Up!

    There is no season I love more than Autumn. The humidity disappears, the leaves begin to change and jeans and jackets can once again appear.  Two of my favorite comfort foods are cornbread and chili. Here is a way to put them together for a super simple meal combination. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did. Add a dollop of sour cream some fresh chives "bam" you have a hearty fall dish any cowboy will love!

    Cowboy Cornbread Bake

    1 pound Ground Beef or (your favorite meat)

    1 can 15-15 1/2 ounce can chili beans with sauce

    ¼ c chopped peppers  

    ¼ cup chopped red onion

    ¼ teaspoon Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning

    ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

    1 cup Shredded Colby Jack Cheese

    Preheat oven to 350*.

    Grease a 9 in round pan. Brown ground beef until no longer pink, drain if necessary. In the round pan mix together cooked ground beef, kidney beans, peppers, onion and seasoning.  Sprinkle a little shredded cheese on top. In a small mixing bowl prepare your favorite cornbread recipe. If in a pinch use two boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix and follow box directions. Pour batter over beef mixture. Bake in oven uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.

    Run a knife around edge of pan to loosen cornbread. Carefully invert onto a heat safe plate or platter. Sprinkle the top with remaining cheese and put back in oven for about 3 minutes or until cheese is just melted.  Slice into wedges and top with sour cream.

    Yield 8 servings

    Sweet Cornbread

    1 cup flour

    1 cup yellow cornmeal

    2/3 cup white sugar

    1 teaspoon salt

    3 ½ teaspoons baking powder

    1 egg

    1 cup milk

    1/3 cup vegetable oil

    In a large bowl combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir in egg, milk and vegetable oil until well combined. Pour batter into a greased 9 inch pan.

    Bake at 350* for 30 minutes or until cake tester inserted into center comes out clean.

    Aug 21, 2014

    GMO Farming, Healthy and Smart

    I get this question a lot. Do you eat GMO foods? Absolutely I do and so does my family.  A local farmer talks to me about why he plants GMO seeds. 

  • What are GMO foods?
    • The World Health Organization defines genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally. It allows selected individual genes to be transferred from one organism into another, including between nonrelated species. Such methods are used to create GMO plants – which result in GMO food crops. This technology is called biotechnology.
    • Farmers and gardeners have been creating plant hybrids for as long as they’ve been growing plants. Biotechnology simply serves as a more technologically advanced method.
    • USDA says that while particular biotech traits may be new to certain crops, the same basic types of traits are often found naturally in plants and allow them to survive and evolve.

  • What do we know about GMO food safety?
    • Every plant improved through the use of food biotechnology is examined by the FDA and EPA for potential health risks. Tests are done on plants before entering the food and animal feed supply. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that current foods containing biotech ingredients have passed human health risk assessments. In addition, the WHO says no effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of biotech foods.

  • ·         The following organizations have studied the issue and say genetic engineering is safe:
    o   The National Research Council of the US National Academies of Science
    o   Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
    o   The United Nationals Food and Agriculture Organization
    o   The World Health Organization
    o   The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
    o   The American Medical Association
    o   The American Dietetic Association
    o   The Council on Agriculture Science and British Medical Association
    o   The European Commission
    o   Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
    Have more questions about GMO's? check out

    Aug 19, 2014

    Project #Watchthemgrow week 15

    This week we have one of my favorite farmers, Billy Pontius from Lazy "P" Farms in the field. Billy was kind enough to let me pester him and do this video.  A huge shout out goes  to him for always participating in my strange requests and educating me about what they are doing. I ask a lot of questions but by now I think he would expect nothing less.

    Billy walks us through what he is looking for when he does his checks in the field. It is very important to keep an eye on what is happening not only for this year's crop but years down the road.

    Aug 16, 2014

    National Honey Bee Day Get the Real Bzzz

    I don't know about you, but I am not a fan of bees. I am actually terrified by them. I swell up like a balloon and itch at the sting of one of those little boogers. I do however realize that the honey bee is very important not just to make pollinate flowers but to allow us to enjoy many of our favorite foods.

    Bees play a vital role in our agricultural system, making the care and protection of bees critical to the future of our planet’s food security. In fact, more than a quarter of all plants consumed in the U.S. are dependent upon honey bee pollination for their very existence. That’s how important bees are to our food supply. 

    Bayer Crop Science has put together a really neat  Bee Care Program to ensure the protection of quite possibly the most important piece of our food system.
    Want to get more information on the honey Bee Care Bzzz? Sign up for the e-news letter.

    Aug 7, 2014

    #Watchthemgrow Video Blog Update

    Roll that Beautiful Soy(bean) footage: Week 13

    Campbell and Parker wanted to make a video blog this week, I think they did a great job!

    Jul 22, 2014

    The Selfie: I am "THAT MOM"

    I am pretty pumped that I have the opportunity to attend the 10th anniversary BlogHER conference in San Jose, California this week. What makes this even more exciting is that I get to attend with some other Farm/Ag Friends from across the country and meet some blogging pros. This is the blogging conference of all blogging conferences!  I have always wanted to attend but have never taken the time. When you are a mom to kids or pets when is a good time to get away? NEVER.

    The conference is using the hashtag #selfiebration to share selfies of attenders. Embrace your #selfie because we are the people behind the blog
    We planted a new field of alfalfa this past
    Spring. We have now already baled
    the first cutting. This is Parker and I making
     sure theplanter had enough seed.
    name and a part of an entire community. Anyone who blogs takes a risk to share what they are passionate about. We put a lot of information out to the public and this can bring both positives and negatives. Regardless, we keep on blogging and generating conversation with our readers.  I have yet to embrace the selfie (not sure I ever will) but I will give it my best shot. Brace yourselves, you may be seeing some Kristin selfies this week in honor of the big conference.

    What I have learned before I even step foot on an airplane to attend this event is that I don't have many personal selfies. I looked back through my photo stream and I realized I am "that mom" who takes a billion photos of their kids and shares them with the world. In general I take lots of photos of everything. I have developed quite the photo archive over the past few years. 
    Since I am "That Mom" I will share some of my favorites.

    The kids got to ride on the tractor while we were baling hay.
    This is why woman need wax. I should never ever have a mustache
    because I look like a man. If ever I become incapacitated someone please
    make sure I never have a mustache, it is not very becoming on me.  What you do
    for your children. This is Campbell on "mustache day" at school.
    Me on the beach prepping to talk on a TV show about food farming and share some of my favorite recipes. 
    This is my kind of selfie.
    I have no idea what in the world I was doing in this photo. I am hoping
    it was Christmas time.
    I wear an apron often as I love to cook!
    This is me with my dad and brother Alex in Louisville, KY at NAILE.
    This is the breed of sheep we raise, Horned Dorset.
    My Knight and Princess at trick or treat in our small town.