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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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Pear Green Chili Relish

John & Elizabeth

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Pear Green Chili Relish, from The Salsa Book, 1989, the Olive Press, by Jacqueline Higuera McMahan

3 lbs, ripe pears
3/4 lb onions
4 ea JalapeƱos, seeded
2 ea Anaheim chilies, charred and seeded
2 ea red bell peppers
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
2/3 tsp turmeric for color (and health)
2 tsp dry mustard
1 rounded Tbs honey
2 tsp soy sauce

Peel and core the pears.  Place 1/3 of the pears at a time into the food processor fitted with the knife blade.  Mince the pears with quick on and off pulses.  In batches, mince all of the vegetables.  Put all of the ingredients in a 6 quart saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Simmer for about 30 minutes.  Spoon the hot relish into sterile jars and add rings and lids.  Simmer in a water bath for 15 minutes to seal.  Enjoy!  Roast pork, sliced turkey, pork chops, grilled chicken- it is all good!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Busy season

John & Elizabeth

Now it is full summer in East Tennessee.  Each day it is warm and sticky, really exhausting if you are out in the sun, and each evening is still warm, but not nearly so humid (thank the Lord!).  The downside of all of this beautiful weather is that we have had hardly a sprinkle of rain in more than a month.  The cars are covered with dust, the soil is cracking, the stream is drying up, the fields where we have several animals are a pile of dust and all of plants are stressed.
    On the up side, we have finished our mid sized, middle aged RV, and have it fully outfitted for visitors.  It has a real bed and is suitable for two folks at a time.  It has been a long time coming, but it is cute and very nice for this time of year.  Now, we will get cracking sometime on the solar shower and the composting toilet.  John built the fire pit one Saturday when he was by himself with Raul.  It will all happen!
      Speaking of happening, we have big broilers going to the butcher this week, and a smaller bunch of rabbits (about 15).  We are so thrilled to have this nice batch of animals that will be available fresh this week, and frozen thereafter.  This week is also the week that we return to Portjer Rd in Kentucky. John has delivered almost 1000 lbs of pig to be made into the really excellent bratwurst, the sweet Italian sausage and our all natural, with natural casings, hot dogs.  We will not be making the 12 hour drive to Princeton, KY again until the hot dogs are more throughly cured, so we will plan that trip when we get a phone call!
     And the elderberry soda, made with the probiotic sweet green tea Kombucha is really killer.  I think my version would not be good with gin, as the British prefer, but I would bet rum and vodka would make excellent drinks with a twist of lemon or lime!  The latest syrup is elderflower and raspberry.  Some of our raspberries were very ripe, and this seemed like the way to go.  Ask fo some at the Saw Works next week after the market!
    Finally, this is the week that our friends Rachel and Matt are getting married.  Rachel is the herbalist behind "reclaiming our roots" and has helped many of you with herbal teas, personal consultations and her knowledge of our natural world from her home and at the farmers market.  I am cooking the whole pig for them at their wedding reception location, and will be cooking and pulling the pork for their BBQ reception.  My daughter is so excited!  I know we will have a wonderful time and a wonderful meal.  Pictures after the function!

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