Sustainable Farm Day – Save the Date!

john ikerdOur first Sustainable Farm Day of the 2015 season will be on June 28th!

We are excited to announce that  Dr. John Ikerd will be here to speak about sustainable agriculture.

 

 

Professor Emeritus of Agricultural & Applied Economics  University of Missouri Columbia

College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

John Ikerd’s Personal Website

http://www.johnikerd.com

 

 

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Save the Date! June 28th Farm Day updates

In addition to our main speaker – Dr. John Ikerd  (http://www.johnikerd.com) – we will also be joined by Ed Bell from Belfry Bees. He will bring a display hive and information on how we can protect bees. He will also have some honey! You can find more info. on him and his bees @ BelfryBees.com

In order to cover travel expenses for John who will be traveling from his home in Iowa to join us, we will be asking for a $5.00 donation from each adult who attends our Farm Day. John has offered to stay with us overnight rather than in a hotel in order to reduce his expenses and leave more for the charity. ALL donations above John’s expenses will be donated to the tornado relief fund through the Rockford branch of the Salvation Army.

 

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Meat chickens

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This morning I picked up our first batch of broiler chickens for the season. They will spend their firs t 2 week’s  under heat lamps in the protection of the border. After that, they will move to their portable shelter outside where they will be moved to  fresh grass daily. They eat certified organic feed in addition to what they find in the pasture.

We are planning to try a new processor this year. They are closer and we’re also very excited that they Air Chill rather than water chill. Because they are just starting to process chickens, they are not offering cut up chickens. We are thinking that the Air Chilled trumps the cut up!

We have a small batch that we plan to take in on May 7th. If you would like to try one or 2 ,let us know.

Pre-orders – we are accepting orders for this batch. It will be ready the beginning of June. If you want more than a couple, you can email your order along with a $5.00 deposit for each chicken ordered. Our price will be the same again this year, $4.00 per pound.

Email pam@creeksidenaturalfarm.com

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Road trip

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On our way to pick up organic chicken feed and lambs and Baron is doing his best to stay awake. Not very successfully.

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Red Lady Bugs

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Lady bugs coming to life under the crabapple tree. Love the red lady bugs!

Posted in 3. 2013 Harvest | Comments

Greenhouse Help

Baron found the coolest spot in the greenhouse

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Posted in 3. 2013 Harvest | Comments

Eggs in the stand

The stand is open for the season and stocked with our Animal Welfare Approved and organic eggs.

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We sell our eggs in cartons of 12 for $5.00 or 18 for $7.50

Creekside Natural Farm Egg facts:

Our eggs are not graded for size – that means you will get a variety of egg sizes in your carton.

Our eggs are only washed if they are dirty. On muddy days, we tend to wash more because the hens get muddy feet. When we do need to wash them we use warm water and let them air dry – no bleach!

Our hens have free access to the outside from sun-up to sun-down. They are currently in a smaller area until their pasture starts to turn green.

Our hens eat a blend or organic layer feed (from Yorktown Organics) mixed with oats and Floriani Red Flint corn that we grow. They also eat whatever they can find outside, and during the growing season they get lots of our veggie scraps. We also sprout some organic wheat seed for them in the winter.

Because we only sell our eggs from the farm, we can re-use clean egg cartons. We have a tray on the shelf to the right of the cooler where you can leave them.

Our stand works on the honor system and is self-service so you will need to bring cash. There is a slot in the island as you walk into the stand for you to drop your payment in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Baby chicken time

We were expecting 100 Barred Rock hens this morning and this mornings surprise was an extra box with 25 Easter Eggers and 25 Cornish Rocks!

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We had to come up with an emergency spot for the Cornish to get them out of their box.

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Posted in 3. 2013 Harvest | Comments

Planting in the high tunnels

This morning we planted spinich, beets, carrots, radishes, sugar snap peas and lettuce in the smaller tunnel

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And Bill rototilled the bigger tunnel for planting later this week.

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Posted in 3. 2013 Harvest | Comments

Starting Seeds Today

I planted lots of little pepper, eggplant and early tomato seeds today.

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We also have some cabbage,  broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi and lettuce growing from last week’s planting.

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Baby purple cabbage pushing out of the Cowsmo  compost.

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Phone problems

if you need to reach us for eggs today, please email

pam@creeksidenaturalfarm.com

Or call 815-715-3590

Posted in 3. 2013 Harvest | Comments

House Cleaning Day

Todays job  (cleaning out the winters worth of deep bedding in the chicken house) wasn’t nearly as enjoyable as yesterdays job (starting seeds in the warm greenhouse). However the girls were very happy with their fresh shavings and especially with the wheat grass we’ve been growing in the greenhouse for them.

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Free Movie Screening -GMO OMG!

I just checked with the library and there is no need to register – just show up
They will also have Free popcorn!

This coming Sunday at the Black Rd. Branch of the Joliet Library.

Event Date: 
Sun, 03/01/2015 – 2:00pm – 4:00pm

What is GMO? Why should I care? Bringing awareness 
Joliet Public Library and Food & Water Watch are co-sponsoring a free movie screening of GMO OMG. This film tells the story of a father’s discovery of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in relationship to his 3 young children and the world around him. Each of us unknowingly consumes GMOS on a daily basis without knowing the risks to our health and the environment. Come learn what GMOs are and information about the new proposed State of Illinois GMO labeling legislation. Following the film, an expert from Food & Water Watch will be available for a Q & A session. Light refreshments, non-GMO popcorn and bottled water, will be provided by Fruitful Yield Joliet. 
Black Road Branch 
Sun, March 1
2-4 pm 

 

 

Posted in 3. 2013 Harvest | Comments

Animal Welfare Approved

Creekside Natural Farm has again been approved to use the Animal Welfare Approved label on our eggs. 

AWA is the Gold Standard of humane farm animal care.

you can find more information on the Animal Welfare Approved program at www.AnimalWelfarApproved.org

In addition to being AWA certified, our hens are fed an organic diet with regular “treats” of oat grass and sprouted oats that we raise in our greenhouse. In summer and fall, they get veggies from the garden including tomatoes, beet greens and pumpkins. We raise about half of their feed here and the remainder comes from an organic feed mill in Tampico, IL.

Our eggs are available at our farm for $5.00 per dz.

Call 815-467-5259 or e-mail pam@creeksidenaturalfarm.com to arrange pick-up

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Bakers Creek catalog

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The cold temps last night kept the crowd down at the Pre- Garden party so we still have some Bakers Creek Heirloom seed catalogs to give away.

If you’re coming out for eggs, Floriani cornmeal or whole wheat flour, let me know that you would like a catalog.

We will be open by appointment until the weather warms enough to keep the eggs in the stand (hopefully mid-March).

Please call 815-467-5259 or e-mail pam@creeksidenaturalfarm.com before you come out.

 

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Pre-Garden Party – Tonight

Getting ready for the Pre-Garden party tonight sponsored by the Joliet Park Dist.

Come out and see us. The first 20 people to visit our table will get a free Bakers Creek Heirloom seed catalog. Just looking at the beautiful pictures will warm you up!

 

Creekside Natural Farm has been invited to the Joliet Park Dist. Pre-Garden Party! We will have Bakers Creek Heirloom seed catalogues for the first 20 people to visit our table.

We will also have our Floriani Red Flint cornmeal and our 100% whole wheat flour.

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Pre-Garden Party

Getting ready for the Pre-Garden party tonight sponsored by the Joliet Park Dist.

Come out and see us. The first 20 people to visit our table will get a free Bakers Creek Heirloom seed catalog. Just looking at the beautiful pictures will warm you up!

 

Creekside Natural Farm has been invited to the Joliet Park Dist. Pre-Garden Party! We will have Bakers Creek Heirloom seed catalogues for the first 20 people to visit our table.

We will also have our Floriani Red Flint cornmeal and our 100% whole wheat flour.

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Katahdin Lamb – Sold Out

We have taken deposits for all the whole lambs we will have available this year. We will still have lamb available by the piece (chops, leg, sausage)in the fall.

Lamb chops

We are considering raising an additional lamb to sell in its entirety. This will give you the opportunity to have it processed the way you want at a substantial savings.

  • How it will work:You will make a deposit of $100.00 between now and March 1stWe will raise the Katahdin lamb on our grass pasture with no grain, medication or growth hormones.

    In mid October, we will take it to the locker for processing and notify you.

    The following day, you will call the locker with your cutting order.

    Approximately 2 weeks later, we will pick up the meat and bring it back to our farm where you will pick it up and pay us the balance due.

    Your cost will be $10.00 per lb. on hanging weight (45-50 lbs.)

    We will pay for normal processing. If you want something unusual like a standing rack, they may charge extra. They also charge extra for sausage.

    We charge between $10.00 (ground lamb) and $20.00 (chops) for the lamb we sell by the package, so you can see this is a substantial savings over buying it by the package. You also get the option of ordering it they way you prefer. We only sell chops, legs and a very limited amount of ground.

  • If you are interested in reserving a whole lamb, we will need to know by March 1st and will also need your deposit to hold it. You can either e-mail pam@creeksidenaturalfarm.com or call 815-467-5259
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All Clear

IMG_5077 (800x533)Bill was able to clear the driveway this morning and the county has done a nice job of clearing Bell Rd. so if you need eggs, flour or Floriani cornmeal give us a call @ 815-467-5259 or e-mail pam@creeksidenaturalfarm.com

 

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Snow Day

As you can see, we got LOTS of snow and it’s still snowing now! We don’t want anyone to get stuck in all the beautiful snow that has filled our driveway, so please do not come out for eggs today. When the snow stops later today, Bill will get it all cleaned up. Hopefully it will all be clear tomorrow, but please call or e-mail before coming out.

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First seeds of the season

We received our first seed order of the season – beautiful seed packages from Bakers Creek!IMG_5024

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Early morning walk

Our morning walk started out good on the nice frozen ground, but was ended early by the very large coyote! Fortunately, I saw him before Baron did and was able to get Baron back on his leash. I guess that’s the down side to walking early.

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Time to order the potatoes

I know it seems early, but today I ordered the potatoes. Bill made the raised beds last fall and we are adding a bed since we ran out of potatoes to sell in early September last year.

Some of the new varieties for this year are Sieglinde, Crackled Butterball and Kipfel Fingerling. We will also have some of our favorites – Austrian Crescent and LaRatte fingerlings, Purple Viking, Red Gold, Desiree, Maris Piper, Nicola, Carola, King Edward and Katahdin. And, believe it or not, this is fewer varieties than we grew last year. Clearly, I have a potato addiction!

Creekside Natural Farm - Maris Piper Fingerling Potatoes

 

Posted in 3. 2013 Harvest | Comments

It’s COLD out there!

Until things thaw out, we will be working on a “by appointment” basis. If you need eggs, flour or cornmeal PLEASE call or e-mail ahead of time. There will be no eggs in the cooler, and other than taking care of the animals, we will be spending as little time outside as possible. That means we most likely will not see you pull in the drive.

Call 815-467-5259

E-mail pam@creeksidenaturalfarm.com

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Even during the deep freeze, there are still lots of things to do @ Creekside Natural Farm. Yesterday, Bill used our stone grinder to make whole wheat flour and Floriani Red Flint corn meal. Our flour and cornmeal are both whole grain, un-sifted and contain the full “germ” unlike most at the grocery store. Because of this, we recommend keeping it in the refrigerator. Some of our customers like to buy a larger quantity (so they never run out) and keep it in the freezer. Keeping it cool also helps retain the nutrition and prevents it from becoming rancid. Because all grain starts to loose it’s nutrition after grinding, we grind in very small batches and sell through before we grind another batch. If you have a grinder, we will also sell the whole grain.

100% Whole wheat flour – 3 lb. bag for $5.00

Floriani Red Flint cornmeal – 2 lb. bag $6.00

 

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We THINK we’re ready

IMG_5004  IMG_4999 IMG_4990The little guys and pregnant girls have their coats on and the barn is closed for the night so Tiger can choose his own sleeping spot outside of his “condo”. Uncle Smoky, the lovely Merideth and the rest of the girls have their treats and the porch is full of wood for the stove.IMG_4994 We hope we’re ready!

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Floriani Red Flint corn

This is a note from one of our customers about our Floriani Red Flint corn

Hi Pam,

Last week I made hominy from your corn. Amazing. I used it in Pazole and it was perfect.

Also tried corn bread with the ground corn. The most flavorful cornbread I have had.

Thank you for growing such good food.

Matt

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This stone ground cornmeal is available in a 2 pound bag for $6.00

We also have stone ground 100% whole wheat flour in a 3 pound bag for $5.00

Eggs from our AWA hens are $5.00 per dz.

And we have a limited amount of lamb chops from our 100% grass pastured Katahdin sheep  – 2 chops per pkg (aprox. 1/2 lb.) $10.00

If you are interested in any of the above, either e-mail pam@creeksidenaturalfarm.com or call 815-467-5259

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Floriani Cornmeal Pizza Crust Recipe

This cornmeal crust is nutritious and will taste wonderful adorned with your favorite cheeses, veggies and herbs.
PHOTO: KAREN KEB

Ingredients: 

1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees Fahrenheit)
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 tsp honey
2 tbls extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup stone-ground whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour
1/4 cup coarse Floriani cornmeal
1 tsp salt

Instructions:

1. Whisk together the warm water, yeast and honey in a large bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes to activate the yeast. When the surface appears foamy, add the olive oil and stir.

2. In a separate bowl, stir together the flours, cornmeal and salt. Add to the liquid, blending with a wooden spoon until a ball forms.

3. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes, adding only as much additional flour as needed to keep it from sticking. When the dough is soft and pliable, place in an oiled bowl and flip once to coat all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm spot to rise until doubled or tripled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

4. After the rise is complete, cut dough in half (or quarters), placing unused portions in plastic bags. Refrigerate if you plan to use within two days; otherwise, freeze.

5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a pizza stone or cast-iron pizza pan in the oven to preheat.

6. Roll out the dough into a thin round. After your baking vessel is preheated, place the crust on it and assemble toppings. Bake for 15 minutes, or until browned and bubbling. Makes 2 large crusts or 4 individual crusts.

Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/floriani-pizza-crust-recipe-zwrz10zarc.aspx#ixzz3LuF0CZgi

I made this today using our Floriani cornmeal and whole wheat flour and it was fantastic!

 

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Freshly Stone-ground grain

We put the stone grinder to work this week on our Floriani Red Flint corn and wheat berries.

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Floriani Red Flint’ is a rare, open-pollinated red flint corn from Italy with unforgettable flavor — and the possibilities for cooking with it are endless.

This heirloom corn is an old variety from the Italian Alps that was originally selected for qualities that make great polenta. This particular variety is a landrace (a locally adapted variety that has more variation than a variety bred for specific qualities) from the Valsugana Valley, where subsistence farmers grew it as the staple food until the mid-20th century. While the hulls are red, the meal is a deep yellow with a hint of pink. It is physically beautiful and has a rich, complex flavor to match.

Floriani Red Flint cornmeal is far more nutritious than store bought, degermed cornmeal (see chart below). Fedco, a Maine-based seed company, had this to say after they tried this exceptional corn: “Floriani’s richly sweet, delicious, corny taste beat the competition silly in our pancake and cornbread muffin bake-off.”

We have the Floriani available in a 2 lb bag for $6.00

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 Our flour is 100% whole wheat with all the nutritious bran included!

It’s available in a 3 lb. bag for $6.00

Because our flour and cornmeal are 100 % whole grain, we recommend keeping it in the refrigerator or freezer to retain its fresh flavor.

I will be adding recipes to our page as I test them. This morning I made the buttermilk pancake recipe using both the Floriani cornmeal and the whole wheat flour. It was delicious!

to arrange purchase

Either e-mail pam@creeksidenaturalfarm.com

or call 815-467-5259

 

 

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Found Keys

I was emptying a large Kohl’s bag of egg cartons today and found these keys in the bottom of the bag. If they are yours, please e-mail pam@creeksidenaturalfarm.com or call 815-467-5259.

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eggs

eggsJust a reminder that during daylight hours, our eggs will continue to be in the cooler in the stand for as long as the weather stays above freezing. If you need to come by after dark, please call or e-mail and we will have them at the house.

815-467-5259

pam@creeksidenaturalfarm.com

Animal Welfare Approved Logo

Certified Humane Logo

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