Sunday, October 30, 2016

Fall farm news, 2016

John & Elizabeth

I preface this by saying the more things change, the more they stay the same!  It is farm life, baby!  And there is nothing like struggling to keep the pigs in, working hard on the fences, and waking up to the front yard full of pigs!  We now have about 65/70 pigs, all sizes, two boars, lots of sows, many pregnant, and about 15/18 little ones.  It is pretty crazy!  We have a number is sows that have Yorkshire and Hampshire in their back ground, and we have a very diligent red wattle boar.  We also have a sweet Hereford boar, but usually the red wattle has been there first.  Recently, we have added a big bunch of large blacks to the herd.  They are very friendly and a little longer legged than many of our pigs.

So, in this proliferation of pigs, you have an opportunity: we have, and will continue to have, lots of pigs to sell.  We have spent the last several years discouraging the sale of pigs from the farm in the interest of maintaining our stock for breeding.  Now we are well placed to be able to supply our restaurants, our retail customers, our farmers market and sales from the farm.  Whether you are looking for sausage for breakfast, a ham for Christmas, piglets to raise or a pig for your luau we have the selection you are looking for!

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To brine, turkey, chicken

From the California Culinary Academy cookbook, 1988
1 gallon of water
2 cups of Kosher salt
1 cup of packed brown sugar
1/2 cup of molasses
2 tbs black pepper
1/2 cup fennel seeds
1 Tablespoon of sage
Zest of a tangerine or orange
Zest of a lemon

Make enough of this brine to fully cover your bird.  Pack the bird into a cooler big enough to hold it with extra room.  Weight the bird down, to keep it beneath the surface.  Cool the brine with several frozen icees.  A chicken may brine in 24 hrs, but the turkey may take several days.  Change the icees at least once a day.

John & Elizabeth

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Brining a chicken or a turkey (for flavor and moisture)

John & Elizabeth

From the California Culinary Academy cookbook, BBQ, Grilling and Smoking, 1988
1 gallon of water
2 cups of kosher salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup of molasses
2 Tablespoons of black pepper
2/3 cup of crushed fennel
1 Tablespoon of crushed sage
Zest of one tangerine or orange
Zest of one lemon

Make enough of the brine to cover your bird, and pack the bird into a cooler large enough to allow the bird to move a bit.  Weight the bird so that it stays below the level of the brine. Cover the bird with several frozen icees.  A chicken may be brined in 24 hours, but it will be a couple of days for a turkey, based on weight.  You may experiment with the seasonings as well.  Drain the bird well and season and bake as usual.  Enjoy :)

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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Well its been a very busy spring but we promised to update this blog before things get completely out of hand so here goes.

The big news is that JEM Farm has a full time Grower (yippie). Her name is Kara and if its green its her responsibility. She's doing a great job whipping our fields and hoop houses into shape. No doubt you've seen her with Elizabeth at the market but if you haven't please make a point of stopping buy to say hello.

Let see.... JEM farm is swimming in pigs so far this year. We were able to buy a lots of Red Waddle pigs early in the spring and they're gaining weight nicely. We also have several Large Black pigs that we just acquired, they're small and we never have raised them before so time will tell. Its a little impossible to keep our large Red Waddle boar behind any sort of fence these days. He really likes to fight with our big ole Hereford boar and they've been tearing each other to shreds so time will tell if we go back down to 1 in tact boar.......

We recently acquired 2 ponies from a neighbor, apparently he thought we didn't have enough to do......we know little about horses but the girl horse was pregnant and the boy is just pretty. We had no idea how pregnant she was until she had a baby on Mothers Day. They're healthy and happy and somehow we're chiseling time out of each day to spend a few minutes with them.

This year we are raising and breeding rabbits for meat. We are starting slowly and only have a few for sale at a time but with good breeding schedule we should have a full freezer in no time.

Our meat chickens are growing nicely. We've been approved to process these birds on the farm which means we can do a few birds at a time mostly to order and sell them fresh (not frozen) at the market.

I could ramble on but I know your as busy as we are. I promise to be more diligent with our news and keep everyone informed as to whats happening out here.

John & Elizabeth

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Monday, January 4, 2016

JEM Farm Grower Needed           

JEM Farm needs a Grower for the 2016 growing system. This is a full time 6 day a week position either “live in” or commuter applicants are accepted. 

The candidate for this position must be well rounded with mechanical, horticultural, customer service, agricultural and driving skills. Heavy lifting is sometimes required; candidate will be wet and dirty most of the time. Bugs, insects and small animal pests will be the a daily occurrence. Appropriate clothing and footwear is required.  Workdays start early and end late, 6 days/week. 

Compensation: Weekly pay commensurate with experience 

This is a GREAT opportunity for the budding farmer. We have a LOT of information to pass along for the right person.

John & Elizabeth

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New Season, 2016

John & Elizabeth

       It is wonderful that we have all made it to 2016!  And believe it or not, we are just about to start a new Farmers Market season with the beginning of Nourish Knoxville's indoor Winter Market this coming weekend.  We will be there, and hopefully it will not be too rainy!
       We move into the new year with pigs, chickens, goats, and even a couple of sheep!  We have also embarked on a new venture with rabbits, although we are still learning how to grow and breed them.  The chickens we have here now, are layers and we will be adding to our flocks (and singing them lullaby's to get that lay up!).  We have been working on the budgets for the broiler chickens, and it is discouraging to know that they have to be relatively expensive, but that the return to us in terms of buying more feed, and paying our electric bill, is very small.  We want to raise turkeys for our favorite customers for Thanksgiving and Christmas as well.

        We have decided to hire a plant person to help us with our growing season.  We have had such a hard time these last couple of years keeping up with the seed starting, planting and harvesting and rotating, we feel it makes sense to hire a person to live here, and keep up with all of our plant business.  The posting will be available in a separate blog post, and we would appreciate it if you would spread the word among the people who might be interested.  We feel this is the only effective way to keep plants going in our hoop house.
           You know we always have something going on here at the farm, so please talk to one of us and plan your trip to our sweet little town!  As the weather gets a bit better we would welcome your visit, and put you to work.  Thanks as always for all of your support, and hope your holiday season was filled with good food, friends and family, and some time to relax.  May 2016 bring more of the same, for all of us.  See you soon!


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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Knoxville Mercury, pawpaw interview

John & Elizabeth
Elizabeth was featured in an article in the Knoxville Mercury!  I brought pawpaws, foraged from my own property and from a neighbor's property, to the farmers' market.  It was much to the delight of many of our patrons, and an interesting aside about things we do on the farm.  Follow this link to the article, and ask me about pawpaws the next time we meet!

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