This Week at Peaceful Heart Farm: 7/24/19

This Week at Peaceful Heart Farm: 7/24/19

Hello everybody,

Finally, a break in the dry heat. We have rain today and the temperature is barely 70 degrees. After days and days of 95+ degree heat, this is a very welcome change. I hope you all have been safe in this hot summer weather. 

The animals are all doing very well. All of our heritage breeds are hardy and can handle these weather extremes without distress. We are blessed with a healthy flock of sheep and healthy herds of cows and goats. And the donkeys just go with the flow. 

This week I led a farm tour for some friends and their grandchildren. Everyone had a wonderful time. The morning started off with instruction in milking and how to feed the calves. Following that was a trip into the pasture to visit the goat and sheep girls along with their offspring. The goats were quite shy but Lambert rose to the occasion and allowed some petting to be done.

Daisy and Cocoa were very amenable to the additional human attention. I don’t know if you are aware, but donkeys are very personable animals. They like nothing better than human interaction. In fact, they will follow you around and push and prod if your attention strays somewhere else. The kids loved it. 

After a short tour of the cheese facilities, we took a trip out to the orchard and picked some blackberries. Johnny and Sweet Pea, the other two donkeys, were near by with the other group of animals. It didn’t take much to coax them over for some human affection.

We finished up the morning with a bit of cheese tasting. A good time was had by all. Looking forward to the next far tour. Let me know if you are interested. Go HERE to send me a message. 

We have cheese available via herd share. Peaceful Heart Gold is available for the next two months. Herd share owners are picking up their cheese at the Wytheville Farmer’s market or here at the farm. Let us know how much you love it!!

Stuart Jack cheese is the next one to be available. Look for it in about a week. As you may have guessed, it is a Monterey Jack style cheese.

Cheese is now available year-round. As always, fresh products such as milk and yogurt are currently available until the last week of October. 

Send me an email with your desire to participate as a herd share owner or if you have questions.  

Please go HERE to learn all about it. Download the jar cleaning protocol and FAQs. 


News This Week

  • Products Available to This Week
  • This week’s FarmCast is Am I Allergic to Quail Eggs?. I had a bit of an unpleasant experience seemingly related to quail eggs. How will that change our plans for raising quail?
  • Most Recent Recipes

Products Available to Herd Share Owners

Choose 1 per week 1/2 Share Whole Share
Whole Milk 1/2 gal 1 gallon
Skim/Low-Fat Milk 1/2 gal 1 gallon
Full Fat Yogurt 1 quart 2 quarts
Butter 1/2 pound 1 pound
Cream 1/2 pint 1 pint
Peaceful Heart Gold Cheese 1/4 pound 1/2 pound

Products Available to the General Public

Beef Price / Pound
1/4 Beef (approx 100 lbs) $7.00
1/2 Beef (approx 200 lbs) $6.50
Whole Beef (approx 400 lbs) $6.00
Ground (approx 1 lb) $6.00
Marrow Bones (approx 2 lbs) $2.00
Lamb Price / Pound
1/2 Lamb (approx 20 lbs) $10
Whole Lamb (approx 40 lbs) $9.50
Ground Lamb (approx 1 lb) $10
Lamb Soup Bones (approx 1 lb) $3
Chev (Goat) Price / Pound
Ground Chev (approx 1 lb) $12
Meaty Goat Bones (approx 1 lb) $3
Meaty Goat Bones (approx 10 lb) Ask about discount

Let’s Get Together
As always, we’d love to meet you in person. Come see us at the Independence Farmer’s Market on Friday or the Wytheville Farmer’s Market on Saturday. We can talk about Herd shares and I will have the required documents at hand so you can sign up right away. 

Visit our dairy farm in Claudville, Virginia Tuesdays from 10 am to 12 noon and Saturday afternoons from 3 pm to 5 pm. Come visit us in person, find out how we raise our animals and why you will love the taste of tradition that is inherent in all of our products. Herd share holders will be able to see up close how their cows are cared for and where the cheese is made and stored. 


Peaceful Heart FarmCast

We thought long and hard about how to provide eggs for our nutrition. We decided on quail. However, the best laid plans of mice and men must be changed from time to time.

Last week I talked about how to deal with stomach viruses and such with Activated Charcoal as it helps with alleviating stomach issues. I had yet another episode of stomach upset. I have come to the conclusion that it is due to quail eggs. Listen to my story and the updates on how our plans are altered for poultry and eggs.

Listen to “Am I Allergic to Quail Eggs” here

Free Downloads

I want to follow up on a previous FarmCast, The Taste of Cheese where I talked about developing your expertise with using descriptive words. The FREE downloads of Classifying Cheese by Type and Category and Expand Your Cheese Vocabulary are still available at our website. Please stop by and get your FREE resources. 

You can LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HEREOr, if you have an Alexa device, just say:Alexa, play podcast Peaceful Heart FarmCast.

And don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the Peaceful Heart Farm podcast on Apple PodcastsAndroidTuneIn, Stitcher or Spotify


Recent Recipes

Click the links and check them out. All of my recipes are printable.

instant pot quailInstant Pot Quail: The reason that I go for the Instant Pot Quail rather than oven roasted quail is the heat. It is really hot outside and to roast quail requires a 500-degree oven. That’s right 500 degrees. The roasting time is short but just the thought of preheating an oven to 500 degrees makes me sweat.

Simple but luscious seasoning.

Ginger TeaGinger Tea with Honey and Lemon: Ginger tea has been used for thousands of years as a cure for nausea and digestive problems. It offers a variety of health benefits and healing compounds to alleviate upset stomach. Many people reach for the ginger ale when feeling symptoms of stomach pain or nausea, but ginger tea contains higher concentrations of the compounds that alleviate these digestive issues; making it the better choice for feeling better faster.

This tea is made using fresh ginger root and packs a punch when it comes to healing symptoms of upset stomach. Ginger is a natural remedy for nausea and is often used to treat morning sickness in pregnant women and motion sickness caused by planes and boats. In fact, a Thai study examined pregnant women with symptoms of morning sickness and found that 28 out of the 32 individuals saw an improvement in nausea when given a daily dose of 1 milligram of ginger root. As a rule of thumb, one cup of ginger tea contains about 250 milligrams of ginger so aim to drink two to four cups of this tea to alleviate feelings of nausea.

crab and artichoke dipCrab and Artichoke Dip: This recipe calls for our Peaceful Heart Gold aged raw milk cheese. However, you can substitute a nice Havarti when we are sold out. Our Peaceful Heart Gold is only available beginning about July and lasts through January or February.

Dip into this rich and creamy snack and a favorite bottle of wine. Use your slow cooker to make this recipe—it’s a perfect fit for a relaxed “friends” night. This recipe is keto-friendly if you leave off the crackers and dip your bacon in it.

keto chocolate ice creamKeto Chocolate Ice Cream: Just in time for your 4th of July Independence Day celebration. There is nothing better than a cold dish of ice cream with friends and family. Use our wonderful A2A2 cream with this recipe.

Dairy, used properly, can be a great part of a ketogenic diet. I love my ice cream. This recipe does not use an ice cream maker. With egg whites and heavy whipping cream whipped to soft peaks, the result is similar to a fluffy chocolate mousse.


Am I Allergic to Quail Eggs

Am I Allergic to Quail Eggs

quail eggsWe are raising quail for eggs – or are we? Maybe we are raising quail for meat. Or perhaps it is a combination of the two. That’s the topic of today’s podcast. Settle in and let’s get cracking on figuring this out.

But first, it is important for me to take some time to say welcome to each and every new listener and a heartfelt thank you and welcome back to veteran homestead-loving regulars who stop by the FarmCast every week. I would not have a show without you. And I’m so excited to share with you what’s going on at the farm this week.

Today’s Show

  • Homestead Life Updates
  • Am I Allergic to Quail Eggs?
  • Instant Pot Quail

Homestead Life Updates

As many of you know, that “To Do” list for the homestead always seems to grow and never shrink. Every day stuff is checked off the list and every day something is likely added to the list. One is never bored here at Peaceful Heart Farm. And there are those wonderful moments of appreciation for this creation. Just this morning I walked outside on my way to drive and hour to the Farmer’s Market. I looked around and listened and smelled and felt the peace of our beautiful piece of God’s creation. Scott was standing beside me and we shared a moment of bliss as the day was dawning. Ummmm. Peace.

Wytheville Farmer’s Market

I had a great day at the Wytheville Farmer’s Market this morning. The crowd was small but the people were engaging. I had several lovely conversations with neighbors and visitors from across this great country. We had a small band playing and singing. It was fantastic. There is nothing like a small-town farmer’s market with lots of good people.

Scott on the Homestead

Back here on the homestead, Scott was handling the milking on his own. It takes him much longer to accomplish that morning chore without my help but he gets it done and he does it well. His cleaning skills are exemplary. I know it is trying sometimes with only one person bringing up the cows. Claire likes to plod along while Butter zooms ahead as if going to the races.

Changes to Our Milking Routine

I have talked a lot about how busy, busy, and busier we are here on the homestead and, in an effort to streamline the time spent with milking and gain time for other things, we have made a couple of changes. First, we changed the schedule to once-a-day milking. We have filled our capacity for aging cheese and the only reason for milking twice a day is making cheese. Once-a-day milking changes the quality of the milk in a small way but it is enough to change the cheese. So, milking twice a day is required when we are making cheese. The next change was combining two milking sessions.

Up to this point we were doing three. Butter by herself, then Claire and Buttercup together and finally Violet and Cloud together. However, Cloud never had a calf. So in essence, we ended up with Butter milked by herself and Violet milked by herself. Cloud will either not have a calf this year or it will be much later. We don’t really know yet. Anyway . . .

Re-Training Violet

We are re-training Violet so she can be milked at the same time with Butter and that is a major undertaking. There are two milking stanchions and that is what allows us to milk two cows at once. Since her indoctrination to the stanchion, Violet has occupied the one on the left. And Cloud has been to her right in the other stanchion. Now we are trying to train Violet to the stanchion on the right. She, like all cows, is quite distressed when anything changes in her routine. Eventually she will get the hang of it, but currently she still goes straight to the left-hand stanchion. The problem is Butter is always already in place there. She always wins the race to the shed. That means Scott has to urges Violet off to the right. At this point she complies with varying degrees of cooperation.

When we first made the change, she tried to exit the milking barn completely. Something was not right, someone was in her spot, and she was getting out of there until everything was back to normal. We chased her around in circles for a few days before she finally gave in and put her head in the stanchion on the right. But over time she has gotten better and better at the new routine. One day she will just start doing it and anything else asked of her will become the oddity. Once the routine is ingrained, cows do it nearly the same day after day after day. They are predictable in that way.

The Calves

So, the cows are being milked more quickly, only two sessions with the portable milker instead of three. The calves are getting more milk because we have more available for them since we are not saving it for cheese. They are growing quickly. Being bottle-fed calves, they are easy to touch and pet and hug. They constantly push and poke trying to find a bottle, but still, we can handle them and they don’t run away. That’s important. Even though the Normande breed is a very docile breed, they still need to be handled when young. They need to be taught to lead and so on.

Goats and Sheep

There is not much to say about the goats and sheep. They are out there eating grass and weeds and such. The lambs and kids are growing. Scott handles the pastures very well and there is plenty for all of the animals to graze on. There is a great deal of work that Scott will have to do to get the back fields prepared for them. That microburst storm from two or three weeks ago took down at least 3 dozen trees back there. Many of them are on fences. I think Scott’s plan is to clear and repair each fence line as they are needed. Eventually it will all get done as the animals rotate through all of the paddocks one by one.

Garden and Orchard

Is it hot where you are? It’s certainly hot here. Day after day after day of intense summer heat. July and August are the hottest months of summer and we are really getting hammered this year. Fortunately, there are also summer thunderstorms and occasionally we are the benefactor of that 50% chance of rain. We hit the jackpot one day where the chance of rain for us was about 10% and we got all 10% of that bit of storm cloud.

That heat and lack of consistent rain is hard on the garden and the orchard. Time is our biggest asset here on the homestead and to water the entire orchard takes quite a few hours. The garden usually takes at least two. We have drip irrigation systems that are non-functioning at this time. That would save time if taking the time to fix it were higher on the priority list.

Tomatoes

I’m getting lots of tomatoes. In a couple of days I’m going to start my first batch of tomato sauce. I’m so excited. A lot of my veggies got overrun with weeds and bugs this year but my tomatoes are looking really good. I am picking them before they are completely ripe or I would lose most of them to the raccoons. They are eating them before they are ripe. My solution is to pick them every couple of days and I get anything that has the slightest bit of color change toward ripening. It’s not ideal but it works. I have shelves of tomatoes ripening in my beautiful wall of windows in the living room.

Crowder Peas

My favorite vegetable to grow is crowder peas or cow peas as they are sometimes called. The plants grow prolifically. The Mexican bean beetles don’t bother them. They require minimal amounts of fertilization and even the hot, dry weather hasn’t taken much of a toll. The only pests I have ever seen on them are the ants farming the aphids. The ants keep the aphid population under control – at least I’ve never had a problem with the little buggers. The problem is when picking the peas, ants are always crawling all over me and I’m slinging them around to get them off of my arms. Sometimes I look like a scarecrow flapping in the wind, waving my arms around and slinging ants. They are those big black ants and they only bite if they get trapped.

I’m getting so many peas and they are really good. I always pick a few of the small sprouts and snap them like green beans. Just a few. I pick the cow peas when the pod is full but before it dries out. In the end I will dry some to be planted next year, but during the summer, I pick them while still moist and a little green. Usually they get canned in pint jars, though sometimes I will have enough in one batch for quarts. Open a jar, add just a small amount of bacon grease, make sure to have some hot cornbread on the side and you have a little piece of heaven.

The last homestead topic is actually the topic of the day. What to do with the quail? Here is the story.

Am I Allergic to Quail Eggs?

The answer is likely “yes”. Or at the very least I was made very aware that they don’t sit well with me.

Raising Quail

As you know if you are a regular listener, we started raising quail so we could have the eggs. Coffee and eggs are just about the only thing we buy from the grocery store these days. I do buy other items like flour, sugar and salt but I get those in bulk. Those items last a long time in storage and I buy large quantities for a really good price. I store some coffee but that is only for a real emergency. Fresh ground is what Scott prefers that’s why it comes from the local grocery. And of course eggs need to be fairly fresh. Raising laying chickens was the original plan but the time needed to get that set up and maintained was more than we were willing to invest at the present time. That is not to say that it won’t happen in the future. I’m sure it will. In the meantime, raising quail seemed the next best option.

The plan was to have six breeding sets. Each breeding set would have 5 hens and a rooster. The required housing was reasonably small. Six small cages and one large cage for growing out new birds. We would also grow out regular batches of quail for the meat. It is a fantastic meat. And quail are just so easy to raise. Well, that was according to all of the information we looked at via YouTube. And in truth, we have found that to be the case. They are really easy to care for, they grow quickly and produce eggs and meat within 8 weeks. It is the ideal situation for us at this time.

The First Batch

We ordered eggs in the spring and received them a couple of months later. There is always a waiting list for quail eggs, so get on the list early. Anyway, we ordered three dozen and received 40 eggs. Twenty-four of those eggs hatched and we still have 23 birds. We lost one to a black snake a few weeks back. It was a small snake and got through the ½” hardware cloth cage sides. I have no idea how this snake killed the bird. It had to have gotten the head in its mouth and smothered it. I can see no other way. But the snake was less than ½” in diameter and the birds head had to be at least ¾” or more by that time. I don’t know how it happened, I just know I found the snake in the cage and the bird dead. The other birds are just running around and not defending themselves. It would have been comical if not so tragic.

Bottom line, we lost zero birds from the time they hatched. That is part of what I mean about how “easy” they are to raise. Some baby chicks seem to die within days no matter what you do but these quail are hardy. Make sure they have food and water. Get the snake out of the cage. That’s it.

The Second Batch is in the Incubator

We are getting 6 to 8 eggs a day at this point and we had two wonderful meals of quail from the extra roosters we raised. It took 6 days to save up the 47 eggs that are currently in the incubator.

The incubator is currently at day 10 of 18 with those 47 eggs nestled in there, rocking back and forth in the automatic egg turner every 2 hours. At day 15 I will open the incubator, take out the egg turner and close it back up. Then it does not get touched until 3 days after we hear the first bird chirping. They have enough energy to last 3 days after hatching. Some eggs will continue hatching during that three days. It is important not to disturb the hatching eggs. A sudden change in the humidity and temperature can seal in a baby quail that is trying to get free of the egg. The inner membrane collapses and suffocates it. So no opening the incubator until we are sure all the eggs have hatched that are going to. Last time I did close it back up and left it for three more days. We got one more to hatch but that was it. All in all it was a good hatch and I’m excited to see how our own eggs turn out.

I Love Quail Eggs

Now that the incubator is up and running, the quail eggs are collected each day and set aside for eating. It takes 4 quail eggs to equal one large chicken egg. Basically, 8 to 12 quail eggs for breakfast along with sausage or bacon and perhaps some grits. Well, I don’t eat grits, but Scott does. He needs a stick-to-your-ribs breakfast for all that hot sweaty work he is doing building the creamery.

I loved the eggs but it seems they didn’t love me. Or maybe I love them in my mind but my body said “no way”. When I first started eating them, I did feel a little queasy later in the day. I chalked it up to them being too rich and decided to eat less of them at one sitting. No problem, right? I can always get by on fewer calories.

They Don’t Love Me

Between the time that I first became queasy after eating quail eggs and the time I decided to eat fewer in a given meal was about a week. About half way through those days I was sick for about 12 hours. I mean really sick. It seemed obvious to me that it was something I ate. If it was a virus or something, I think it would have lasted at least 24 hours. At this time, I assumed it was something that I had eaten the day before, not suspecting the quail eggs I had eaten a few hours earlier. I threw out a whole salami because that was the only thing new that I had consumed the previous day. I used Scott as a guinea pig to test out some other foods. He didn’t get sick.

In the end, I missed my farmer’s market debut in Independence, VA as I was still recovering from the effects of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea from the day before. All of those issues stopped within 4 hours or so from their beginning, but it does leave you pretty weak for a period of time. I didn’t want my first day at the market to be a disaster so I postponed that market appearance for another week.

I had quail eggs again on Tuesday. Only six this time but the same thing happened again that had happened just five days earlier. I was sick as a dog. My experience was slightly milder but no less debilitating. Bummer, at this point I was sure it was the quail eggs. So now what?

Plan B

Well, if my body doesn’t like them, I’m giving them up. And not just quail eggs. All eggs. We will still raise quail for eggs but we won’t need so many because I’m not eating them. My mind right now is thinking that we will raise a lot more for meat. Chicken is a rarity in our household because we don’t raise any and I don’t shop much at the grocery. We have beef, lamb, and goat. The poultry is nice and I will sometimes pick up a rotisserie chicken while picking up eggs and coffee. But the future holds more quail for us.

And that leads me to today’s recipe.

Instant Pot Quail

The reason that I go for the Instant Pot rather than oven roasted is the heat. It is really hot outside and to roast quail requires a 500-degree oven. That’s right 500 degrees. It’s a short time but just the thought of preheating an oven to 500 degrees makes me sweat.

As with all Instant Pot recipes, this one is quite simple. (By the way, I actually have a Cosori but it works the same. Instant Pot is to multi-function pressure cookers as Xerox is to copy machines.) The prep time for this recipe is 12 minutes, cook time is 23 minutes. Another advantage to Instant Pot cooking. Quick and easy.

What You Need

  • 2 whole quails, 4 to 5 oz each
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 Tablespoon cooking oil of your choice
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 3 ½ oz bacon, chopped
  • ½ small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf

What To Do

  1. Season quail with salt and pepper
  2. Stuff cavity of quail with fresh thyme
  3. Place oil in Instant Pot and select “Sauté”. Add the bacon, onion, dried herbs, bay leaf, and cook for about 3 minutes.
  4. Place quail in the pot, breast-side down and cook for about 4-5 minutes or until browned, then flip breast-side up.
  5. Select “Cancel” and add the broth to the pot.
  6. Secure the lid and cook using “Manual” and “High Pressure” for about 7-9 minutes.
  7. Select “Cancel” if needed and carefully do a “Quick Release”.
  8. Remove the lid, transfer quail onto a plate. Remove the herb sprigs from cavity.
  9. Strain liquid into a bowl.
  10. Return broth to Instant Pot and select “Sauté”. Cook for about 3 – 4 minutes.
  11. Add the quail back to the broth for about 2 minutes, basting with the broth/sauce.
  12. Remove from Instant Pot and serve with the sauce.

Final Thoughts

That’s it for today’s podcast. I hope you enjoyed catching up with us on the homestead. Sometimes we plan and plan and then God steps in and alters our path. Oh well, I trust him and will roll with the punches. I’ll be having quail meat rather than quail eggs. Scott will continue to enjoy both.

I hope you are having fun with friends and family this summer as we continue on with the dog days. Kids will be back in school soon and the cycle will move on to fall. I’m already ahead of myself. Summer is not my favorite season. It has its beauty and advantages, but I really like moderation. But isn’t it the contrast that gives us appreciation of moderation? Something to think about.

And remember, don’t heat up that kitchen with the oven. Use your Instant Pot. You’ll be glad you did.

If you enjoyed this podcast, please hop over to Apple Podcasts, SUBSCRIBE and give me a 5-star rating and review. And even more importantly, please share it with any friends or family who might be interested in this type of content.

As always, I’m here to help you “taste the traditional touch.”

Thank you so much for stopping by the homestead and until next time, may God fill your life with grace and peace.

 

Recipe Link

Instant Pot Quail

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Instant Pot Quail

Instant Pot Quail

The reason that I go for the Instant Pot Quail rather than oven roasted quail is the heat. It is really hot outside and to roast quail requires a 500-degree oven. That’s right 500 degrees. The roasting time is short but just the thought of preheating an oven to 500 degrees makes me sweat.

Instant Pot Quail

Without the Instant Pot, your oven would have to be hot, hot, hot. Not bad in the winter. But in the summer, go with the quick and easy Instant Pot method.
Simple but luscious seasoning.






Prep Time12 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Hot Entrée
Cuisine: French
Servings: 2

Equipment

  • Instant Pot or other multi-function pressure cooker

Ingredients

  • 2 whole quails 4 to 5 oz each
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 Tablespoon cooking oil of your choice
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 3 ½ oz bacon chopped
  • ½ small onion finely chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf

Instructions

  • Season quail with salt and pepper
  • Stuff cavity of quail with fresh thyme
  • Place oil in Instant Pot and select “Sauté”. Add the bacon, onion, dried herbs, bay leaf, and cook for about 3 minutes.
  • Place quail in the pot, breast-side down and cook for about 4-5 minutes or until browned, then flip breast-side up.
  • Select “Cancel” and add the broth to the pot.
  • Secure the lid and cook using “Manual” and “High Pressure” for about 7-9 minutes.
  • Select “Cancel” if needed and carefully do a “Quick Release”.
  • Remove the lid, transfer quail onto a plate. Remove the herb sprigs from cavity.
  • Strain liquid into a bowl.
  • Return broth to Instant Pot and select “Sauté”. Cook for about 3 – 4 minutes.
  • Add the quail back to the broth for about 2 minutes, basting with the broth/sauce.
  • Remove from Instant Pot and serve with the sauce.
This Week at Peaceful Heart Farm: 7-18-19

This Week at Peaceful Heart Farm: 7-18-19

Hello everybody,

I know I said I was trying out a new market last week. Well, that didn’t happen due to illness. However, it is on the agenda for this week. The market is in Independence, VA. The hours are 9 am to 1 pm. We will have grass-fed meats (lamb, goat, beef) and information about our herd share program. 

We have cheese available via herd share. Peaceful Heart Gold is available.Herd share owners are picking up their cheese at the Wytheville Farmer’s market or here at the farm. Let us know how much you love it!!

Cheese is now available year-round. Fresh products such as milk and yogurt are only available during the milking season, 1st of May through last of October. 

Send me an email with your desire to participate or if you have questions.  

Please go HERE to learn all about it. Download the jar cleaning protocol and FAQs.

Now for  a brief update on other things going on around the farm.

Tomatoes are coming in now and there are a lot of them. I’m very pleased. Likely next week I will start on making tomato sauce for canning. I’m exited. 

It just started raining here. Now I feel blessed. It has been very hot and very dry. This is one day that I will not have to water the garden. It takes a long time to water the entire garden well enough to do any good. I usually schedule 2 hours for the task. Today I will be able to use that time for something else. 

The quail eggs in the incubator are doing great. We are already at day 7. Likely less than 10 days before they start hatching out. I can’t wait to hear the little peepers. 


News This Week

  • Products Available to This Week
  • This week’s FarmCast is The Traditional Family Cow. The desire for a family cow was the gateway fro us to now have our small creamery where we make hand-made artisan cheese.
  • Most Recent Recipes

 


 

Products Available to Herd Share Owners

Choose 1 per week 1/2 Share Whole Share
Whole Milk 1/2 gal 1 gallon
Skim/Low-Fat Milk 1/2 gal 1 gallon
Full Fat Yogurt 1 quart 2 quarts
Butter 1/2 pound 1 pound
Cream 1/2 pint 1 pint
Peaceful Heart Gold Cheese 1/4 pound 1/2 pound

Products Available to the General Public

Beef Price / Pound
1/4 Beef (approx 100 lbs) $7.00
1/2 Beef (approx 200 lbs) $6.50
Whole Beef (approx 400 lbs) $6.00
Ground (approx 1 lb) $6.00
Marrow Bones (approx 2 lbs) $2.00
Lamb Price / Pound
1/2 Lamb (approx 20 lbs) $10
Whole Lamb (approx 40 lbs) $9.50
Ground Lamb (approx 1 lb) $10
Lamb Soup Bones (approx 1 lb) $3
Chev (Goat) Price / Pound
Ground Chev (approx 1 lb) $12
Meaty Goat Bones (approx 1 lb) $3
Meaty Goat Bones (approx 10 lb) Ask about discount

Let’s Get Together
As always, we’d love to meet you in person. Come see us at the Independence Farmer’s Market on Friday or the Wytheville Farmer’s Market on Saturday. We can talk about Herd shares and I will have the required documents at hand so you can sign up right away. 

Visit our dairy farm in Claudville, Virginia Tuesdays from 10 am to 12 noon and Saturday afternoons from 3 pm to 5 pm. Come visit us in person, find out how we raise our animals and why you will love the taste of tradition that is inherent in all of our products. Herd share holders will be able to see up close how their cows are cared for and where the cheese is made and stored. 


Peaceful Heart FarmCast

Before the dairy, there were the herbs. Well in truth, the herbs still exist. I just don’t have time to give that business any attention. However, the knowledge I have gained over the years still exists. This week was a time to use that knowledge.

Activated Charcoal has many uses. It is used in emergency rooms all over America to treat accidental poisoning. It can also help with alleviating stomach issues related to viral and bacterial infections. This weeks podcast is all about activated charcoal.

Listen to “When and How to Use Activated Charcoal” here

Free Downloads

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Recent Recipes

Click the links and check them out. All of my recipes are printable.

Ginger TeaGinger Tea with Honey and Lemon: Ginger tea has been used for thousands of years as a cure for nausea and digestive problems. It offers a variety of health benefits and healing compounds to alleviate upset stomach. Many people reach for the ginger ale when feeling symptoms of stomach pain or nausea, but ginger tea contains higher concentrations of the compounds that alleviate these digestive issues; making it the better choice for feeling better faster.

This tea is made using fresh ginger root and packs a punch when it comes to healing symptoms of upset stomach. Ginger is a natural remedy for nausea and is often used to treat morning sickness in pregnant women and motion sickness caused by planes and boats. In fact, a Thai study examined pregnant women with symptoms of morning sickness and found that 28 out of the 32 individuals saw an improvement in nausea when given a daily dose of 1 milligram of ginger root. As a rule of thumb, one cup of ginger tea contains about 250 milligrams of ginger so aim to drink two to four cups of this tea to alleviate feelings of nausea.

crab and artichoke dipCrab and Artichoke Dip: This recipe calls for our Peaceful Heart Gold aged raw milk cheese. However, you can substitute a nice Havarti when we are sold out. Our Peaceful Heart Gold is only available beginning about July and lasts through January or February.

Dip into this rich and creamy snack and a favorite bottle of wine. Use your slow cooker to make this recipe—it’s a perfect fit for a relaxed “friends” night. This recipe is keto-friendly if you leave off the crackers and dip your bacon in it.

keto chocolate ice creamKeto Chocolate Ice Cream: Just in time for your 4th of July Independence Day celebration. There is nothing better than a cold dish of ice cream with friends and family. Use our wonderful A2A2 cream with this recipe.

Dairy, used properly, can be a great part of a ketogenic diet. I love my ice cream. This recipe does not use an ice cream maker. With egg whites and heavy whipping cream whipped to soft peaks, the result is similar to a fluffy chocolate mousse.

parmesan peasParmesan Peas: Peas are not exactly peace but close. Especially peas straight out of the garden. And don’t forget that wonderful cheese. You can use frozen peas if you need to. However, this time of year, fresh peas make all the difference in the world.

Let that flavor of fresh Parmesan peas bring peace to your tongue and tummy. This recipe calls for fresh, but feel free to use frozen in the off season. If you don’t have Parmesan, try another cheese that grates well. Be creative and use what you have on hand.


When and How to Use Activated Charcoal

When and How to Use Activated Charcoal

activated charcoalToday at the farmer’s market speaking from one herbalist to another, I was reminded that activated charcoal is a simple treatment to use. That will be my topic for today. It has been years and years since I’ve been sick with anything and even longer since I’ve had any kind of stomach or gastrointestinal illness. Activated charcoal can help.

But first, welcome to all the new listeners and welcome back veteran homestead-loving regulars. That you so much for stopping by the FarmCast. I appreciate you all so much. First up on the agenda, I’m so excited to share with you all the great activity going on at the farm this week.

Today’s Show

  • Homestead Life Updates
  • Stomach Virus – Traditional Remedy
  • Ginger Tea with Honey and Lemon

Homestead Life Updates

The Quail

We have 47 quail eggs in the incubator. These little guys are a joy to raise. They are so hardy. We started with 24 hatchlings and still have 23. The only one we lost was due to a snake. With baby chicks, almost always you lose one or two – or more – due to failure to thrive or some early disease. Not so with quail. We had them outside before they were 2 weeks old. Almost fully feathered, they were fine with the temps in the 70s during the day and high 50s and low 60s at night. They are hardy birds.

In less than three weeks we will have new babies.

The Creamery

The concrete block walls to the milking parlor are complete. There is a video on Facebook with a short tour of that part of the building. Scott has spent quite a bit of time today moving the milking parlor equipment into the area. For the longest time it has been stored just waiting for this moment. Who knows when the actual installation will happen, but it is exciting to see the first portion of the creamery coming into being? In addition to the milking parlor equipment installation, it still needs a roof. There is still so much to do.

The Cows

The cows are moooving along nicely and munching down on all that grass. If you’ve never been around cows you are missing the perfect example of peace in action. One of the reasons that I wanted a milk cow in the first place is the sense of peace that comes from working with them and there is no closer relationship that when you are milking them. They are truly beautiful creatures. Smelly but beautiful.

We still have one more bull calf available. You can call us at 276-694-4369 to get more information on these guys. There are two to choose from, but we are only selling one. The last one we will keep for beef. He will take a couple of years to grow out, but these Normande cows make some great steaks and roasts.

Speaking of beef, we have a limited quantity of beef available. This will be the last for a while so get in touch with us now if you are interested in a quarter or a half.

The Lambs

The lambs and goat kids are frolicking in the grass and growing like weeds. It is amazing how fast they grow. The lambs and kids are nearly the height of their mothers already. Watching them get down on their knees to nurse is comical. Well, it doesn’t look like so much fun for mom, but they seem to patiently endure. They are all old enough to be weaned and we will separate them in the next couple of weeks. It is important to get the boys out for sure. Otherwise, we end up with unauthorized breeding and we can’t have that. No we can’t have that.

The Garden

Let’s talk about the garden. The tomatoes are coming on strong. I have lots of them sitting on shelves ripening. I would prefer to pick them when they are already ripe but the raccoons make that impossible. Every night they go out into the garden and pick a few and take a bite or two out of them. Then they get another one and take a bite or two out of that one and so on. These guys are grabbing them before they even get all the way red. I wonder if they would like fried green tomatoes. No matter. I’ve taken things into hand and am just circumventing their intrusiveness and picking the tomatoes as soon as they show any sign of ripening. The plan is to make lots and lots of tomato sauce. I made some last year for the first time. It was much easier than I thought and I look forward to making more this year. I use tomatoes in stews. I use a lot of tomatoes in stews. Up to four quarts in a 4-gallon batch. If I use tomato sauce instead, I think I can use 2 pints instead. Much less storage space for the tomatoes.

Last night we shelled Mississippi Silver Crowder peas. There is a large bowl ready to be cooked and eaten. There will also be some left over to be canned. I love growing these. The plants are resistant to everything and they put on lots and lots of pea pods. The pods are 7-8 inches long with about 20 peas per pod. They shell easily and they taste of good. They can be dried and cooked similar to black-eyed peas, but I prefer these to be green and I like to add a few snapped green pods. Again, these are very easy to grow and produce very well.

The Orchard

We had a neighbor come over and pick some blackberries a few days ago. I simply do not have time to pick them and process them. Blackberries are a lot of work. I don’t like the seeds and always take the extra steps necessary to get the seeds out. It’s not really hard, but it is time consuming. Besides the issue of time, I still have tons of blackberry jam and blackberry syrup from last year. Our blackberries are always prolific. We grow several varieties of thorn-less and the berries are large and juicy.

I’m probably leaving out a bunch of other stuff that is happening here, but I’m going to close off the farm updates for this time.

The Farmer’s Markets

Oops I almost forgot to mention the Farmer’s Market. Come see us at the Wytheville Farmer’s market on Saturday mornings 8 am to noon. Starting this Friday you will also find us at the Independence Farmer’s market from 9 am to 1 pm. I’ll have lamb, beef and goat as well as lots of information on herd shares. Who knows, maybe even some cheese samples.

I was going to start at the Independence Farmer’s market this past Friday, but I had an incident that has not happened in many, many, many moons. I had a stomach virus or perhaps it was that salami. I don’t know. It was one or the other. In any case, I was sick as a dog for a good 12 hours. Let me tell that story and provide some info on the perfect remedy.

Activated Charcoal – Traditional Remedy for Nausea and Vomiting

And as I mentioned earlier, while at the Wytheville Farmer’s market I spoke with another herbalist and she reminded me of activated charcoal when having issues with stomach upset. In the heat of the sickness I was trying to think of what to do and I was so sick I couldn’t remember what I had on hand to deal with it. When she promptly said “activated charcoal”, it was one of those face-palm moments. Of course, I have tons of it on hand for exactly that purpose. Number one, I’m almost never sick and number two, my head hurt so bad I couldn’t think straight.

I did act on the headache. My sinuses were inflamed and I don’t know why. I was sure that a massive head cold was about to take me out for days. Well, I took out my trusty echinacea and goldenseal formula and dripped some directly into my nasal passage. It burns. Only a couple of drops but POOF, gone. No more sinus issues. If I could only have thought so quickly about the activated charcoal. It’s a matter of what I use more often and what I have never had the occasion to use. Now I’ve had the occasion to use it but didn’t but it’s unlikely I will forget next time. Let me give you the goods on activated charcoal.

Activated charcoal

Charcoal isn’t just for your backyard grill. Even though charcoal makes most of us think of glowing embers and yummy barbecued kabobs or steak, it has stomach soothing medicinal properties too. The CDC reports that 19 to 21 million Americans will get the stomach flu, and charcoal might just help you get back on your feet faster.

What is the Stomach Flu?

What’s often referred to as stomach flu, stomach bugs, or even food poisoning can be caused by bacterial infections or viruses. This inflammation of your gastrointestinal tract might be referred to as gastroenteritis or norovirus, but in either case the symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. The illness comes on quickly and can have you off your feet from one to three days. Common treatment recommendations include drinking fluids, getting rest, and following the BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) diet. None of those are on my eating list so an old Native American remedy would have been a much better option.

What is activated charcoal?

Activated charcoal is made with a variety of burned materials including bamboo, wood, coal, or coconut shells. This treatment was used by Native Americans hundreds of years ago, and there’s even some record of it being used by Egyptians. Activated charcoal is processed at high temperatures and results in a black powder that is incredibly effective at absorbing a variety of substances. Charcoal is “activated” when a high temperature is used in combination with an activating agent that expand its surface area. This is what gives activated charcoal its incredible absorbing powers.

Why do people take activated charcoal?

Most commonly used to treat poisoning and drug overdoses, activated charcoal is now gaining attention as a remedy for stomach bugs that cause nausea and vomiting. The theory is that activated charcoal can absorb the bacteria responsible for causing stomach flu (the same way it is used to absorb poisons). You can also have a virus that can cause the same sort of tummy troubles, and activated charcoal may help with the symptoms.

How should I take charcoal?

You can buy activated charcoal online in capsules or powder. If you feel the nauseating symptoms of a stomach bug coming on, or if you are actively vomiting, you can put the powder in some applesauce, if you have capsules you can open them up. A common recommendation is 500 to 1,000 mg, two to three times per day. It is recommended that you take other supplements at different time as the charcoal can absorb good nutrients as well as the bad stuff. If you notice any worsening symptoms after taking the supplement stop taking and call your doctor.

It’s important to note that activated charcoal should be bought from pharmacies and health food stores, it is not the same as regular charcoal. Activated charcoal, unlike regular charcoal, is food grade and safe to take internally.

You can give it to children, but check with your pediatrician beforehand. If you get the okay, start with ¼ of a capsule (about 200 mg) in some applesauce and repeat no more than 2 times a day. If you or your child continue to have abdominal pain or persistent fever, you must see your doctor. Home remedies are great but they are not the be-all, end-all for medical treatment.

Side Effects & Safety

Activated charcoal is safe for most adults when used short-term. Side effects of activated charcoal include constipation and black stools. More serious, but rare, side effects are a slowing or blockage of the intestinal tract, regurgitation into the lungs, and dehydration.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Activated charcoal might be safe when used short-term if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, but consult with your healthcare professional before using if you are pregnant.

Don’t use activated charcoal if you have any kind of intestinal obstruction. Also, if you have a condition that slows the passage of food through your intestine (reduced peristalsis), don’t use activated charcoal, unless you are being monitored by your healthcare provider.

Medications taken by mouth (Oral drugs) interact with Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal absorbs substances in the stomach and intestines. Taking activated charcoal along with medications taken by mouth can decrease how much medicine your body absorbs, and decrease the effectiveness of your medication. To prevent this interaction, take activated charcoal at least one hour after medications you take by mouth.

Alcohol Interacts with Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is sometimes used to prevent poisons from being absorbed into the body. Taking alcohol with activated charcoal might decrease how well activated charcoal works to prevent poison absorption.

Syrup of Ipecac Interacts with Activated Charcoal

Ipecac is taken by mouth to cause vomiting after suspected poisoning. It is also used to treat bronchitis associated with croup in children, Amoebic dysentery (a severe diarrhea), and cancer. Ipecac is also used as an expectorant to thin mucous and make coughing easier. Small doses are used to improve appetite.

Activated charcoal can bind up syrup of ipecac in the stomach. This decreases the effectiveness of syrup of ipecac.

For lesser stomach issues there are lots of teas that can help.

Ginger Tea with Honey and Lemon

Ginger tea has been used for thousands of years as a cure for nausea and digestive problems. It offers a variety of health benefits and healing compounds to alleviate upset stomach. Many people reach for the ginger ale when feeling symptoms of stomach pain or nausea, but ginger tea contains higher concentrations of the compounds that alleviate these digestive issues; making it the better choice for feeling better faster.

This tea is made using fresh ginger root and packs a punch when it comes to healing symptoms of upset stomach. Ginger is a natural remedy for nausea and is often used to treat morning sickness in pregnant women and motion sickness caused by planes and boats.

In fact, a Thai study examined pregnant women with symptoms of morning sickness and found that 28 out of the 32 individuals saw an improvement in nausea when given a daily dose of 1 milligram of ginger root. As a rule of thumb, one cup of ginger tea contains about 250 milligrams of ginger so aim to drink two to four cups of this tea to alleviate feelings of nausea.

What You Need

  • 1” Fresh ginger root, grated
  • ½ Lemon
  • Honey, to taste
  • 2 cups water

Equipment

  • Grater
  • Glass container or teapot
  • Strainer

What To Do

  1. Peel one-inch piece of fresh ginger root and grate into a glass container with a filter.
  2. Thinly slice lemon and add it to the container with the ginger.
  3. Add honey.
  4. Pour boiling hot water into the container and steep for five minutes.
  5. Strain and serve hot.

Final Thoughts

Are you keeping up with all the stuff going on at the homestead? It’s a lot to handle but we love it. The cows, sheep, goats, donkeys and quail are a barnyard variety that keeps us in a constant state of wonder and amusement. These guys are a hoot. We love sharing it all with you. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram and come see us at the Farmer’s markets in Wytheville and Independence. Or heck, come see us on the farm. Tuesday mornings and Saturday afternoons. We’d love to share some of this more directly.

Get some activated charcoal and keep it on hand for that occasional stomach upset. It doesn’t to bad. There is no expiration date. It is the porous form that absorbs the toxins and that doesn’t change once created.

And remember that mild upsets can be alleviated with a little ginger tea.

If you enjoyed this podcast, please hop over to Apple Podcasts, SUBSCRIBE and give me a 5-star rating and review. Also, please share it with any friends or family who might be interested in this type of content.

As always, I’m here to help you “taste the traditional touch.”

Thank you so much for stopping by the homestead and until next time, may God fill your life with grace and peace.

Recipe Link

Ginger Tea with Honey and Lemon

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