Who we are

Who are we? What do we do around here? We are just a bunch of animal loving country folk. We have chickens, goats, ducks, dogs, cats, and lots of squirrels and rabbits running around. We plan to expand and add bees and dairy goats. Running a family farm is a lot of work but so rewarding. We just thought we’d share a little of us with you! We hope you enjoy this little clip. If you want to come see us send us a message. 😊

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Hatching chicks

It’s that time of year again. The kids are studying life cycles and we are hatching eggs in the classroom. We set 18 eggs in a teacher friends classroom and also set 22 at home. Such an exciting time for us all. The kids love watching the chicks develop and hatch and we love watching the enjoyment it gives them. They get so excited to learn about the growth and development of the chicks. We will keep some of the chicks at school for a few weeks so the kids can watch them grow. Last years hatch at school was not very good so we bought a new incubator, a Farm Innovators Pro Series circulated air that that keeps track of temperature and humidity with a built in thermometer/ hygrometer . We used it twice last year and had good hatches. We are using the older one (a little giant still air professional) at home and it’s harder to keep the temperature regulated. The one with the built in control is much easier. Once we got the temperature set we haven’t had a bit of problem. It has maintained a perfect 100 degrees and around 60-65% humidity. We are trying to keep the humidity about 60% until the eggs come off the turner. Fingers crossed for a good hatch this year and a room full of happy kids!

If only the world were like egg salad……..

Just a little side note since this blog was published. We were a featured blogger on Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop! I’m so thrilled to display this button. Thanks to Nancy from On the Homefront and thanks to all of you for reading. 😊 Veletta

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop
Making egg salad!
Making egg salad!

I was making egg salad the other day and as I was cracking my blue, white, light brown, dark brown and other varying shades of egg colors into the bowl I started thinking.  Each egg is different in color and shade and variety  but each is absolutely beautiful. Yet when cracked open the egg on the inside is exactly the same. Some smaller, some bigger, some even with 2 yolks, but yet still the same, an egg. A delicious farm fresh egg that when boiled and mixed together in my bowl with mayonnaise, pickle relish,a little mustard, salt, pepper, and paprika makes a most delicious egg salad. Some how these eggs that look different on the outside mix together and make a beautiful meal. Big sigh here. I’m so saddened by all the arguments going on in our world lately. So much hatred. Racial tension, flag controversy, LGBT bashing, Christian bashing. No matter which “side” you are on the hatred is wrong. We are all beautiful eggs in this world. Regardless of what you believe it is time that all of us stopped hating and started being just a little nicer. That doesn’t mean you can’t express your views, your faith, your beliefs etc. It just means you need to express it lovingly so we all mix together in the bowl and make egg salad.

 

 

Shades of browns and white
Shades of browns and white
Beautiful colors!
Beautiful colors!

May is National Egg Month! Do you know where your eggs really come from?

Where do your eggs really come from? What do all those confusing terms and labels really mean? Hopefully we can clear up a bit of the confusion for everyone by answering some common questions.

Is there any difference between white eggs and brown eggs? Nope. They taste exactly the same. In fact some hens lay blue, green, pink and other colored eggs! They all taste the same and have the same nutritional value, depending on where you get them of course.
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I buy “cage-free” eggs from the supermarket. Doesn’t that mean the hens get to roam outside? Not necessarily. It just simply means they have unlimited food and water and roam around freely in their habitat which is usually indoors. Most likely they are very crowded.

Farm Fresh, that means I can be sure my eggs are fresh right? Only if you know your farmer and you get them straight from them! A factory farm is still called a farm. And that is the worst possible place to get your eggs.

I’ve heard free-range are the best eggs to buy. Is this right? Well…. Just like cage free this really means they can move around in their habitat. They may have a door to the outside but they may also be so crowded they might not be able to find it. Their conditions are usually unsanitary and crowded most the time. Again, know your farmer.

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Unfortunately all three of these pictures you see here could be classified in your grocery store as “cage free”, “farm fresh” and even “free range” as long as there is a door leading outside. Disgusting isn’t it?

Here are a couple more labels you may have seen.
Omega-3 Enriched –This means their food is supplemented with foods higher in the Omega 3’s such as soy,flax-seed, and fish oil.

Natural– Simply means minimal processing but has no regulations on the farms or food used.

Organic– Organic has the USDA seal stating that the hens are fed organically and are free of hormones and antibiotics. They are usually free-range which we know means access to the outdoors. They might not be grazing in a field. Know your farmer.

Pasteurized – Pasteurization is exposure to heat to kill off any possible bacterial. This might be good if you eat them raw but it destroys the nutritional value. Getting clean eggs from a farmer you know makes this not necessary.

Pastured Eggs– At the moment this is the only label you can trust. Hopefully it will stay that way. Personally I don’t trust any egg from a supermarket. Pastured or grass-fed is what you are picturing when you see the hens out in the fields grazing away all day. At night they will head to their coops. This is true FREE-RANGING! They come and go as they please, have access to plenty of water, bugs, earthworms and other critters. They are living the high life. Their eggs have up to 20 times more healthy Omega 3’s than those poor factory farmed hens. So who needs Omega 3 added eggs? Pastured raised is how it was done “back in the day”. It is how we do it here at Cheese Acres. Our chickens have a huge fenced in area they stay in for protection against predators when no one is home. When we are here they are let loose for true free ranging of all the property. They go where they want to.
The nutritional value of such eggs far exceeds others.
From Mother Earth News pastured eggs have:
• 1/3 less cholesterol
• 1/4 less saturated fat
• 2/3 more vitamin A
• 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
• 3 times more vitamin E
• 7 times more beta carotene

I’m concluding today with this final advice. Don’t let grocery store labels fool you. Buy truly fresh eggs from a local farmer. Know your farmer.

Inside the fence
Inside the fence

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Outside at play
Outside at play
Enjoying my free range freedom!
Enjoying my free range freedom!

Delicious Frittata

If you are like us and love eggs and always have too many then you may love a good frittata! It is easier than an omelette, no flipping required. And it always gets completely done, which I like. I will usually make one big enough that I can have a few slices all week-long for breakfast on the go. The first thing I do is brown sausage using my cast iron skillet.  I use venison sausage, probably near a half pound. When the meat is partially brown I add onions, chives, peppers, and a good-sized handful of spinach or kale and let it all sauté. In the meantime I’ve cracked and stirred, salted and peppered a dozen eggs! When the meat mixture looks just right I pour the eggs in and  stir. Last I sprinkle a little of whatever cheese I have on hand and let it sit until it gets bubbly and begins to firm up. It just takes a few minutes. Meanwhile I’ve turned the oven on 350 degrees. The skillet goes in the oven until the top is nice and browned.  Try not to brown the top too much because it may get over done on the inside. And there you have it, a simple breakfast or dinner!

  

Eggs set, cheese added ready to go in the oven

 

Finished product! Ready to cut and eat! 

Farm Fresh Eggs!

Making an omelet
Making an omelet
Fresh eggs!
Fresh eggs!
Eggs everywhere!
Eggs everywhere!
Beautiful eggs!
Beautiful eggs!

We all know that people say eggs fresh from the farm looks better and taste better. And it is so true. I can tell the difference in scrambled eggs from the store and farm eggs just by looking at them. The yolk is so much more vibrant in color. And the taste is not comparable. I have not eaten store eggs in a while. Did you know that farm fresh eggs are actually healthier too? Studies show that eggs from pastured or true free ranging hens were found to have:
1/3 less cholesterol
1/4 less saturated fat
2/3 more vitamin A
2 times more Omega-3 fatty acids
3 times more vitamin E
7 times more beta carotene

Fresh eggs make your cakes bake better and your breakfast taste yummier!
Support your local farmers, buy fresh!