Just a quick post to finish out our January edition of Plant, Pick and Prepare. For our final Saturday Evening at Sunbird Farms in January, we had another delicious meal with family, centered around what is arguably my one culinary weakness…meatloaf. We dined on in-season veggies from the farmer’s market like broccoli, arugula, onions and potatoes, along with wonderful grass-fed ground beef from Springville Ranch. We paired the hearty dinner with wine from Jada Vineyard & Winery, our favorite stop for wine and cheese in Paso Robles, and a few fine IPA’s from Sierra Nevada Brewing. Coffee and homemade brownies sealed the deal. It was an all California dinner!
Soon to be all the rage in France, Sunbird Farms is now leading the way in our innovative American Bresse rearing program… no longer satisfied just to be “man’s best friend,” meet the new best friend of the pastured American Bresse flock:
Not content to be outdone by the truffle hogs of Europe, our Bresse have their very own walnut dog.
How many times have you gone to the Farmer’s Market and “oohed and aahed” over the wonderful offerings, only to find yourself at home without any idea what to do with that Romanesco broccoli, Buddha’s hand, and raw milk cheese curd. It sounded so cool when you were there, right? Or what about that first moment of spring when the local DIY rolls out the luxurious cart of greens, and you run home ready to plant a garden that Alice Waters would love, only a week later to throw away those little green plastic containers that now hold the brown and brittle remains of good intentions gone wrong. We’ve all been there and it’s not pretty.
With the beginning of a new year, we’ve decided to make a better plan, a plan to help us in the garden, the market and the kitchen. Each month we’re going to highlight what you should be planting in the garden (Zone 8), what you can expect to find at the Farmer’s Market and some delicious recipes to bring it all home. We’re setting aside Saturday Evenings at Sunbird Farms as a night to share with friends and family, and we encourage all of you to look for one night a week that you can cook a wonderful meal at home, locally-sourced and in-season, and share it with loved ones. Whether it comes from your garden or that of a local farmer, if everyone made just one meal at home from local produce, we would save 1 million barrels of oil a week, that’s barrels not gallons. This is of course a work in progress, and we hope to be able to assemble a guide for an entire year at the end of 2015, so send us your comments and suggestions. Here we go…
If you’ve been paying attention at all (Sacramento Bee), you know that some major changes are coming to the Egg Production Industry in California. Proposition 2, and subsequent regulations, now mandate that all eggs produced or (important word) sold in California must come from chickens that are able to stand up, lay down, and spread their wings without touching their enclosure or another chicken. Approved by more that 2/3’s of voters in 2008, the law becomes effective January 1, 2015, a little over a week from now. While some are fearing a massive egg shortage (Washington Post), others are wondering just how much meaningful change this new law effect. An informative story from NPR demonstrates the “reality” of many label claims currently associated with eggs, like “Farm Fresh.” Continue reading Meaning What We Say… A Brief Primer on Label Claims and Our Practices→
Twenty five years ago, the Slow Food Manifesto came into being, reminding us of the value of local food, time at the table with family, and a slower pace of pleasure. In collaboration with Slow Food International, we are encouraging you to take a minute and sign this manifesto, committing yourself to cooking a meal at home tonight for family, brewing craft beer, or just spending time with friends over some of your favorite home-made snacks. For all those who believe “a firm defense of quiet material pleasure is the only way to oppose the university folly of Fast Life,” follow this link and sign your name in agreement.
Well it’s been quite some time since we last shared anything about our farm. Since the last update, we’ve harvested our walnuts, coming in slightly ahead of last year’s harvest. We’ve also made some hard decisions about the breeds we are planning to work with for at least the next year. When I think about all the breeds we’ve experimented with in the past, it’s truly amazing. Here’s a partial list of the last 2-3 years from memory: Buckeyes, German New Hampshires, White Jersey Continue reading An Update from the Farm…→
The Isbar was created by Martin Silverudd, a catholic monk from Sweden. During the 1950’s and 60’s, Father Siverudd created a number of interesting breeds, one of which was the Isbar. While a few varieties exist, the blue is perhaps the most beautiful of them all. It was Father Silverudd’s desire to create an auto-sexing bird that would lay a large number of uniquely colored eggs. The Isbar was the actualization of this dream. Strikingly colored in dark blue and with shimmering metallic hackles, the blue Isbar rooster is a treasure to behold. In addition to their good looks, the Isbar hens lay an egg that is as unique as the man who created them, a khaki green, sometimes speckled delight. Because of the blue color patterns, the auto-sexing traits may be nearly absent, but the charm of these birds far outweighs this inconvenience. We first brought Isbars to our farm back in late 2012/early 2013, when we purchased a couple of the last breeding stock from Greenfire’s first imports. We found the birds delightful, and thoroughly enjoyed their eggs, but unfortunately lost the majority to a predator attack. Now, in the fall of 2014, we have again been enticed by the lure of these beautiful layers. We are thrilled to have this new line of Isbars coming to Sunbird Farms, and we look forward to sharing them with you in the coming months. We also want to thank Greenfire for their work and research with this breed and are excited to carry on the preservation of the blue Isbar.