Tuesday, December 14, 2010

‘Tis the Season

December 3, 2010

‘Tis the Season

Winter is fast approaching and all efforts at the farm are changing dramatically. During the summer and early fall, most of the jobs around the farm consisted of daily harvests and overall maintenance of the farm and crops. Once the cold weather starts creeping into the forecast, the daily chores switch to winter preparations for the entire farm. The past few weeks have consisted of prepping the green houses and poly-tunnels, which act as seasonal extenders for the crops that Epiphany wants to keep harvesting year round. The main greenhouse, which is located in the back garden, will contain most of Epiphany’s plants, especially ones that have a hard time surviving the severe winter freeze. In fact, the large greenhouse in the back garden is basically where Epiphany all started.

Ken Myszka, the founder and head chef of Epiphany Farms Enterprise, mentioned that all of their tropical and garden plants were stocked in the greenhouse when he first moved back to Downs, IL back in January of 2009. He said, “The whole greenhouse was being utilized and them some”. He also mentioned it was extremely difficult to divide the limited amount of space in the greenhouse and share growing room for all his crops. Now, the whole Epiphany team has utilized the majority of the land in the back and a small portion in the front for more garden space.

The seasonal changes have a large impact on what happens on a daily basis here at Epiphany. The mornings that I work during the week start at 8a.m. when I walk into the kitchen and I’m immediately greeted by either Ken or Stu Hummel. They are always drinking coffee and staring at the television set propped above the fridge checking out the daily forecasts on the weather channel. In fact, the T.V. never changes channels. The weather is all they care about on the farm. It’s funny, whenever I try to make any sort of casual conversation with the guys and Nanam and I happen to mention a T.V. show or a movie, they never know what I’m talking about. All of them rarely have any free time to themselves. So, as you can probably tell, most of the “casual” conversation is usually only about work. That is how dedicated these motivated individuals are at what they do, and what they want to accomplish. Everyday, it is the same routine: chores, work, jobs, lunch, and more work until they finally make their way into the kitchen and fit in dinner party preparations for the night. It never stops for them. The amount of work they put in on one astounds me. However, the most awarding factor is how well they work together and how efficiently they get what needs to be done on the tightest of schedules.

One whole side of the wall in their office is covered with monthly planners and a staggering amount of multi-colored post-it notes full of upcoming meetings and dinner parties. Like the old saying goes, behind a good man, there is always a great woman. While the guys maintain the farm and prepare for dinner parties, Nanam is constantly working downstairs in the office on scheduling, accounting, and keeping in contact with their correspondents. She is the woman behind all the hard labor and what makes all of Epiphany’s operations run as smooth as they do. Now that winter has made itself evident in the last week or so, everyone at the farm has had to chip in and help prepare for the winter jobs. Today, Kevin Marquardt (intern), Nick Stuberg (volunteer) and I had to help with the morning chores consisting of distributing feed and water to all the animals on the farm, milking the EFE dairy cow, Pam, and grinding feed. Later in the morning all three of us lined the 1/3 of a mile long driveway with colored steaks as guidelines for snow trucks that come and plow the pathways on the farm. From there, we headed back to the the front garden and worked the seasonal extender poly-tunnels that incubate the winter crops from dying off. All three of us had to line the plastic covers with bricks and barrels of mulch in order to capture as much heat as possible. The poly-tunnels are the driving force that allows Epiphany to harvest all year round and still have organic ingredients for their high demanded dinner parties.

Overall, the beginning of the winter has been a dramatic switch of jobs and tasks on the farm, but has also presented the opportunity with more time to keep up with my journals, blogs and pictures. So I hope that all of you will stay in touch with Epiphany’s Facebook, website and blog to see behind the scene action of the farm and coming soon in January, construction at the restaurant location.


Tim Blakemore



Thursday, December 2, 2010

I am Thankful for Epiphany Farms: Thanksgiving Market Sale 2010








I am Thankful for Epiphany Farms: Thanksgiving Market Sale 2010

The anticipation had been building up for the last few weeks. Epiphany Farms had been promoting their daily harvests through local market sales for the last two weeks in front of their restaurant location on East Monroe Street in Downtown Bloomington. To all of them at Epiphany, the Thanksgiving Market Sale was the quintessential effort to provide Bloomington-Normal select sorts of their freshly picked organic harvests including:

o Assorted radishes

o Carrots

o Scallions

o Arugula

o Kohl Rabi

o Pak Choy

o Leeks

o Kale

o Turnip tops

o Mustard greens

o Head lettuce

o Fennel

o Napa Cabbage

o Salad green mixes

The harvests alone at the farm had been back-breaking work for the past few weeks since most of the crops were dying off from the threatening frosts of the fall and fast approaching winter. However, the weather had been extraordinarily mild for all of October helping with the prolonged harvest of most of the crops on the farm. I remember going to the Farm all of October wearing nothing but work jeans and an old beat up t-shirt embracing the unusually warm weather. However, I wasn’t the only one enjoying the warm weather. All of the fall crops had been basking in the warm sun, especially in the front garden which is solely divided on south facing slopes (at a 30 degree angle) in order to capture the full potential of the sun. It was peculiar though; every other sign outside told me that winter was fast approaching, the absent leaves, bare tree branches, grass turning a grayish green, but the warm weather allowed the farm to fully produce to its potential and make a killing at the end of the year market sales.

The morning of the Thanksgiving Market Sale, all efforts were focused on getting the harvest to the US Cellular Coliseum. The entire arena was invaded with trucks and stands of local farmer’s products ready to be engulfed by the swarm of market “goers”. The first hour before the actual sale started was saved for the very cream of the crop visitors who wanted to get a first stab at all the stands before the remaining crowd would flock into the stadium and snatch up everything in sight. The first few hours seem like a trippy blur that were spent continuously re-stocking the front stand and taking shouted orders from long lines of people who were lining up to get Epiphany’s fresh produce . Within only two hours, the stand was wiped clean. People were continuously disappointed to hear that most of their favorites were gone for the day. On the other side, everyone at Epiphany couldn’t have been happier with the result of the sale. At one point, I saw Ken Myszka and Stu Hummel were jumping up and down like little kids, joyously proud of the amount of produce they had all sold at the market in only a few short hours.

In the end, the success of the Thanksgiving Market Sale provided a huge sigh of relief to everyone at the farm, solely because of all the strenuous work that had put in during the fall harvesting season; including the never-ending dinner parties, week-long harvests, and the farm winter preparations. Overall, everyone couldn’t have been happier with the result of the Thanksgiving Market, myself included. The rest of the year, most of the work will be focused on booked dinner parties and efforts toward the new restaurant opening in the spring of next year. I hope everyone is excited as I am about the opening of the best fine dining restaurant in Central Illinois. Get ready!

Written by:

Tim Blakemore

(Epiphany Farms Marketing Intern)






Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thanksgiving Farmers' Market

Epiphany Farms will be at the Thanksgiving market from 10am till 1:30pm today.

Available vegetables are;

Salad Mix
Assorted head lettuce
Purple top turnips
Korean daikon
Easter red radish
French breakfast radish
Assorted beets
Leeks
Scallions
Red cabbage
Napa cabbage
Broccoli
Mizuna
Pak Choy
Collard greens
Kale
Red frill mustard greens
Arugula
Fresh herbs - roasting mix
Sunchokes - Jerusalem artichokes
Mugwort
Cilantro
Carrots

The 'Dinner party for two at the secret location' raffle drawing will be at 12:30pm.
We look forward to meeting you soon!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Epiphany Farms Upcoming Events

Epiphany Farms Team's all doing great and busy to prepare the winter season. Houdini (calf), Dennis (goat), Pam (dairy cow), Gary (Texas long horn bull), Guanciale (boar) and many other animals are getting hairier and ready for the cold weather as well. Our mom pig 'Pancetta' (if you had a chance to visit our farm, she is the spotted one) delivered 13 little piglets yesterday, so our family even got bigger before it gets too cold!

Before the ground gets frozen, we are planting our last seeds of the year. GARLIC!! We are having collaboration with a garlic preserver in town, who's renown as one of the biggest garlic collector. We have several endangered garlic variety and hundreds of different garlics to test and examine the taste and its use. For this reason, four people (us) are not enough for sorting and planting all these garlics, and we are looking for
volunteers who can help us to accomplish this mission. Please let us know if you can come out and help us, just for a couple of hours to several days. Send us an email (info@epiphanyfarms.com) or phone call (309-378-2403). Your help will be truly appreciated. We are planning to plant whole this week and until next Wednesday.


Our fall vegetables are all covered under season extenders - green houses, and still producing amazingly. Since the Bloomington Farmers Market finished its season and only Thanksgiving market has left (November 20th-Sat., from 10am till 2pm), we are going to have our own market stand in downtown Bloomington, in front of our restaurant place, at the corner of East & Monroe st. Epiphany Farms Liaison will be selling lots of fresh vegetables on
November 6th-Sat. and November 13th-Sat. from 12pm till 2pm. Available produces are;

Salad Greens
Spinach
Kale/ Collard Greens
Hot/Bell Peppers**
Mustard Greens
Leeks
Turnips / Turnip tops
Sweet Radish
Pak Choy
Daikon Radish
Red Cabbage**
Broccoli**
Arugula

We will bring lots of vegetables but if you want to make sure that you are getting what you want, please email or call us and order for your pick-up. (**not available for order)


Also we are planning to give out a holiday present to our customers to show our appreciation for your support. There will be raffle tickets available at Epiphany Farms market stand on November 6th, 13th and 20th (Thanksgiving Market). The prize for the raffle will be ‘Dinner Party for two with Epiphany Farms at the Secret place. We will provide amazing experience and delicious meal for you and your special guest for the day. Every $10 purchase, you will get one ticket to enter a chance to win. (no limit per person) The drawing will be at the Thanksgiving Market, EFE stand at 1:30pm. (Dinner party will be scheduled upon availability)


We are so excited to finish our second phase with lots of lessons, and cannot wait to start the next season with improvement and even more energy & passion. Thank you so much for being a great supporter of Epiphany Farms and we look forward to taking adventure together with you for upcoming year as well!



Wednesday, October 27, 2010

CSA # 22

Lettuce
Radish
Pak Choy
Turnips
Cabbage
Kale
Cilantro
Arugula


This is our last week. we really enjoyed the csa program, it was a lot of fun. Don't be scared about an empty refrigerator, you can still get our products at the farmers market.
Saturday October 30th 7:30 - 12:00 Downtown bloomington
Saturday November 20th 10:00 - 1:00 US Cellular Coliseum

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

CSA Harvest Week #20

Hello our CSA members,
Hope you enjoyed recent 'unusual' warm and sunny days. Weather seems back on track of 'usual' fall days now and I'm half sad and half happy to witness the global warming v. longer warm days (I need layers and layers for cold season).

Our crops are doing great in both conditions and we are happy to post this week's harvest.

Head Lettuce
White Radish
Purple Top Turnips
Red Russian Kale
Pak Choy
Tomatoes
Arugula
Kohl Rabi

We had insane marathon of dinner parties last weekend so have very limited eggs available today. However as time goes, our chickens will produce more and more and we will have lots of surplus for all of you.



I'm sure you all received our newsletter, but here's the information about this Sunday's brunch at the Medici in Normal. Our chefs are preparing 6 course brunch (little lighter than our dinner party menus) from 11am till 12:30. Price is $50 per person and the profit goes to non-profit organization The Land Connection to help and guide farmers to start organic/sustainable farm. Tickets are sold at the Garlic Press, TLC website (www.thelandconnection.org). Or let us know then we can get it for you.




Hope you have a great afternoon and look forward to seeing you soon!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

CSA Pick Up #19

Hello everyone! Fall is here and I guess the Indian Summer is right behind it. We were able to save a good amount of the summer crops by covering them with some temporary hoop houses. Because of this you will be able to expect a few summer vegetables for the coming weeks.

Today in your share:

Pak Choi
Chinese Cabbage
Fall Salad Mix (Mainly oak-leaf and red-sails)
Arugula
Beets
Tomatoes
Big Bunch of Basil (Enjoy it while it last, maybe the last week)
Kohlrabi
Zucchini

This is week 19 so that means there are only three pick ups left. So enjoy the fresh, local produce while you can. Also, be sure to mark your calendars for the CSA member pig roast on October 24th. We would also like to announce that our CSA members will have first dibs on our amazing pastured eggs. They will be available for purchase at next weeks CSA pick up. Supplies are limited so they will be sold on a first come basis.

Enjoy the weather and healthy food.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New Photos

I have been getting a lot of requests for photos of Harry Houdini. It is tough because he likes to jump around a lot. I'll keep trying to get it just right. In the meantime, I posted new photos for the gallery. Check them out.

CSA Harvest #18

We finished harvest for your CSA bag this morning, and all the veggies are packed and on the way to the pick-up place.

Here's what we are going to have today;

Lettuce Green
Arugula
Choice of Zucchini or Kohlrabi
Italian Basil
Green Beans
Red Russian Kale
Eggplant
Pepper, Bell/Hot


Night temperature's getting lower and lower and we are getting ready for the first frost as well as cold season. Some of summer vegetable's will be gone soon - zucchini, eggplant, basils etc., but don't be sad, lettuce green's back in season with many other fall crops! We are working on putting our greenhouse back on and setting low tunnels to extend our fall season and to provide delicious veggies for a longER time to your family. If you want to know more about our low poly-tunnell, please check our previous post on Oct 25th, 2009 for the picture.

Our beef is completely sold out and planning to have it available in next year. However our pigs will be ready by November and we are going to take orders soon. If you are interested in or have any questions about our pork, please feel free to contact us at 309-378-2403 or info@epiphanyfarms.com.

We usually consume arugula for salad, however we found great cooking recipe for it today! Hope you enjoy!


Arugula Saute

1/2 bag arugula

1 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped

2 onions, chopped

3 tablespoons oil from sun-dried tomatoes

1/3 cup white wine

2 ounces feta, crumbled


Place pan on medium heat.
Add oil to the hot pan.
Add the onions and saute until softened. (Do not browned the onions)
Add the arugula and the wine and cook until the arugula is wilted slightly.
Season to your taste with salt and pepper.
Remove the pan from heat and add the feta cheese on top of sauteed vegetables.
And ENJOY!



Arugula plot and Hairy Houdini in the back...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

CSA #17


Wow!! Week 17, five weeks left so enjoy the veggies. Cherish them and be sure to, "Put Up" your surplus.

Here is what you have to work with this week:

Bag of Green Beans or Bunch of Long Beans
Cucumbers (Multiple varieties, maybe the last of the season)
Red Russian Kale
Breakfast Radish
Pak Choy
Zucchini (Floridor, Raven and Goldbar)
Turnips (Hakuri and Purple Top)



The farm is really looking sharp lately. All of our fall crops are doing great and a lot of the summer crops are still producing. The rains lately have been spectacular and the cool nights are really sweetening things up. Our last planting of beans is very healthy and producing a lot. As far as, the long beans... well we will have them at the market this week but that might be it for them. Same with the cucumbers, they are almost finished. But, the Russian Kale is almost perfect, very nice size, little bug damage and amazing flavor, so enjoy. Saute them how every you prefer, season and consume. The Breakfast Radish are also amazing this week. Mustard has harvested some of his favorite varieties of Pak Choy and they are the size of his head. Zucchini, the last planting has been very healthy, so we may have a few more harvest. Stu has been making Zucchini bread for months now and he is starting to get them in the freezer for winter consumption. The Turnips are also record size, I will be demoing how to properly peel them during the pick up.


All of our grass fed steers are heading to the locker tomorrow and it is all sold out. Thanks to everyone who wants to enjoy the healthy alternative to corn feed stuff. We also tasted a baby pig after the wedding this weekend. It was delicious, so get ready for the pig roast.

Turkeys are looking good, Ducks huge and happy, Guineas doing work and getting around like crazy, Dennis the goat is rooming with Hairy Houdini the Bull Calf. They have the nicest pasture on property and get along great. Pam the dairy cow is getting milk twice a day and yielding about 5.5 - 6 gal a day. That healthy goodness sits for 24 hours and then gets feed to the little pigs. A diet of wild forge, lots of nuts, cracked barley, oats, wheat, corn and roasted soy beans, kelp and some salt to season. Yes... they are enjoying life right now.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Good food revolution! Milwaukee suistainability conference

Hello everyone !



Welcome to Milwaukee, our great city by Lake Michigan.

In the fall of 2009, I was thinking about how we will grow Good Food Revolution. I realized that we did not have all the players at the Good Food Table. Over the years, many people have been working hard on getting good food into our communities in many different ways, but all too often they were
working only in their own sectors. I feel that for us to fundamentally change
the food system, we must work together as a team.

I have worked at, spoken at, participated in many gatherings and conferences over the years. At these conferences, it seemed there were never all the players needed, to know each other and eventually work together. This conference is my attempt, and Growing Power’s attempt, to bring to the table folks that have never worked together to build a new food system that works for everyone in every community. Some of these folks are farmers like myself, urban planners, government officials, financiers, corporate
companies; teachers and university academics; doctors, dieticians and nutritionists; folks in the fitness field; people in renewable energy; aquaculturists, composters, recyclers and reusers; environmentalists including freshwater, wastewater and stormwater experts; brownfield specialists; and perhaps most importantly, youth, whose world will be shaped by what we do or not do, here and wherever we all return to.

Over the next few days, working hard while eating some good local food from our local and regional producers, I hope that all of you will learn more, gain new partners, get inspired to go back to your communities and Grow the Good Food Revolution. Our ultimate goal is to make sure everyone, in all our communities, has access to healthy, safe, affordable and culturally appropriate food. Food is the one thing we all have in common. Building a Good Food system is the No. 1 thing that will lead us in building sustainable communities.

This is really what social justice is about.

Will Allen

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

CSA Harvest #15

This week includes;

Green and Purple Longbean
Hearty Green Mix (Arugula, Mizuna, and Mustard Greens)
Purple Top Turnips
Hykuri Turnips
Pok Choy
Zucchini
Eggplant, Bitter Melon, or Cucumbers
Hot peppers for those who dare...

As always the farm has kept us very busy this week. Our dairy cow Pam is now in full swing of the twice a day milkings and our calf, Harry, is getting use to separation from his mom. I saw Ken feeding him last night and it looked like full contact bottle feeding! Harry couldn't get enough! He is really healthy and has plenty of appetite.

We have had a battle with the weeds all summer but now have a good handle on them so the cooler season crops should yeild beautiful results. We have beds made with peas, cabbage, beets, radish, greens, spinach and plenty of cold loving vegetables for us all to look forward to in the upcoming weeks.

A few thoughts for your csa this week:

1. Do not dispose of those turnip tops! They are a good source of vitamin A, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K and calcium. Need only a quick saute in a light oil and season.
2. The hearty greens will truely benefit from a sweet dressing such as an asian viniagrette. Here is what I recommend:
1 clove garlic finely minced
1/4 teaspoon ginger finely minced
2 ounce rice wine vinegar
6 ounce vegetable oil
2 tablespoon local honey
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
to taste salt, pepper, chili flakes
Mix all components well and apply immediately. This dressing will not stay emmulsified so a bottle to shake it in prior to application will ensure even coating of greens.
3. Be sure to give your long beans a quick blanch in boiling salted water and shock in lots of ice water. This ensures the cooking stops at the desired point and your beans will have a viberant color.
4. All of the vegetables this week would do well in a fresh pasta with olive oil or a soft fritatta. A small amount of spicy habanero pepper will go a long way to add new depth to an old favorate.
5. Lastly, as our farming practices stear us away from pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides to promote better health and wellbeing, there is a tendency for bug damage to occur. Understand that if our crops are something other creatures will consume that is also what we need to eat aswell. If an insect dies when it ingests a vegetable sprayed with poison it's not something i want in my body. Our product is full of nutrition and flavor, enjoy!

Thanks so much for your support.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

CSA Harvest #14

This weeks harvest includes;

Beans (Long or short)
Basil
Turnips
Beets
Squash
Your choice of eggplants or cucumbers
Bell Peppers
Radish


We had finally sweet rain last night and our fall seedlings look great this morning as well as the harvest for today. This year, since Ken and I got back from Korea we didn't have solid 'raining day off' throughout the summer. I call it 'raining day off' because the rain soaks the land and we cannot work in the garden for a day or two. Plants need those days badly and we need it sometimes.. It wasn't that much rain but still we are happy to see some water from sky not from our sprinkler..

Last Friday, we had a great addition to our farm family. Our mama cow Pam had delivered a baby cow! It was little earlier than expectation but we were all excited to watch amazing moment together here. He's doing great and follows mom everywhere. We started to milk Pam and started to feed that to our pigs. I know. I cannot wait for a CSA pig roast party as well!

Since we have beets for this week's harvest, I'm so excited to share the link for the beet cooking video with you again on the You Tube. Below is the link to the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkNHTO0MExI


Here's one more oriental recipe for squash from Nanam's recipe book;

Hobak Buchimgae (Squash Pancake)

1 Squash (300g)
3 chili peppers (green & red)
1 Egg
1/2 cup A/P Flour
1/2 cup Water
1 ts Salt

1. Remove the seeds and thin slice the squash. Finely chop chili peppers.

2. Put all ingredients in a bowl. Add egg and flour and mix all together.

3. Heat up your pan, add oil. Spread out the dough and griddle the pancake until the color turns to brownish yellow.



Wednesday, August 25, 2010

CSA Harvest #13

This weeks harvest will include;

Bell Peppers
Zucchini
Pak Choy
Radishes
Basil
Cucumbers
Beans (Long or short)
Choice of Eggplant or Corn

The nights have been getting much cooler. This is great for all of the fall crops that are in the ground. As I walk into the fields and look at the new sprouts, I can only think about the sweetness in these late season crops.

We have some very tasty new products in the bag today. My favorite is the Pak Choy. This is a thinning of a very large plot, so be ready for them to become fuller in the coming weeks.

Another new crop: Breakfast Radishes. This is our first late summer planting of them. Radishes are very unique since the temperature and moisture affect them so much. The general rule is the hotter the days the hotter the radish. So, since the days have still been hot, expect these to still have a kick. Over the coming months you can look forward to the radishes becoming much more sweet.

Over the last week we have been staying busy, like usual. The animals have been making some moves. The pigs have new pasture, the hens should be laying soon and the ducks have been growing like crazy. We are getting ready to harvest some honey and Dennis the goat is really doing a good job with the ragweed.

Well, I would like to leave you with a quick poem that I wrote.

Days getting short,
nights turning cool,
baskets becoming over full,
with your help...
Local Sustainability can become the rule.

Thank you for your support.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

CSA Harvest # 12

This weeks harvest includes;

Watermelon
Eggplant
Beans
Cucumber
Squash
Bell Peppers
Shishito Peppers
Tomatoes
Corn
Beets
Basil

We have a few new things in the csa than we have had in later weeks. The watermelons that you will find in your bag today are so ready to be eaten, they explode when you are cutting them up. They are very sweet,and juicy
Your varieties include;
Black diaomond
Charleston Gray
Crimson Sweet
Sunshine Yellow

Beet Varieties include Bianca, and Gold

I will be posting cooking videos this week, check back in a few days.

Last Monday Ken and I, Mustard, left on an educational endevor. We went to work on Henry Brockman's farm in Goodfield, IL. Our day started at 6am and ended at 7pm.

All we have to say is "Henry Brockman is the man".

We harvested for his 220 member CSA, weeded, and learned how to keep good records, saw new techniques and learned efficency. Kenny and I were like dry sponges, we absorbed tons of information. By the time the day was up, all we wanted to do was reflect on everything we had done, and wirte it all down. It was definately a great experience for the both of us. We'll definately be visiting him again.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

CSA Harvest #11

This week’s harvest includes:

Potatoes
Carrots
Zucchini
Cucumbers
Bell Peppers
Spicy Peppers
Corn
Beans
Herbal Tea Pack – Lemon Basil, Blue Spice Basil, Lemon Balm, Shiso, Cinnamon Basil, Peppermint, and Vietnamese Mint


Pork with Fresh Cornbread and Shishito Peppers we served at a dinner party this week.

We have been having some great products lately that need a bit of extra protection. Rather than add more plastic into circulation we would like to reuse the black plastic containers we used for packaging your peaches and tomatoes. Those containers must be returned at the CSA pickup each week.

You can make the tea in the same way we described on the July 2nd post.

Our hot pepper plants are really loving the heat that we have been having, so we thought we would share some ways to help you love the heat and make these guys a little bit less intimidating.

Peppers are part of the nightshade family (along with eggplants, tomatoes, and potatoes), and are native to the Americas. When Mexico became a Spanish colony chiles became a popular item of trade, and were quickly integrated into cuisines around the world. Capsaicin is the chemical that gives peppers their spiciness. Though the seeds contain a small amount of a pepper’s heat, the majority of the capsaicin lives in the veins of the pepper.

If you decide you want to dive into the world of hot peppers it is important to use care when handling them. While working with chiles be careful not to touch your eyes or nose, and thoroughly wash your tools and hands once you finish using them. If you forget to wash your knife everything you cut afterwards will become infused with a bit of a kick.

To capture just a little bit of a chile’s heat try adding the whole pepper to a dish that you’re cooking. Just take it out when you’re ready to serve your meal, so that someone doesn’t mistakenly munch on a whole pepper.

Another way of using peppers is to dry them. Hang them somewhere that gets good airflow. Once they’re dried you can use them whole for seasoning, crush them for chile flakes, or grind them. They’ll last for years when dried.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

CSA Harvest #10

Be ready to fill your CSA bags with:

Tomatoes
Peaches
Melons
Ground Cherries
Shishito Peppers
Bell Peppers
Summer Squash
Cucumbers
Basil

…And for those of you who like things a little spicy we will have a variety of hot peppers to stock your bags.

We will be using the same format as last week for the CSA pickup, so make sure to bring a bag to carry all of your fresh produce!

With the heat and humidity we’ve been having, a chilled soup is a great way to avoid the stove. Gazpacho makes for a refreshing addition to a meal, and this recipe http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Fresh-Tomato-Gazpacho-105333 is a perfect way to use some of your week’s harvest.


A recent gazpacho from a dinner party; the tomato broth was poured tableside.

Ground cherries grow wild in every state except for Alaska, but they are sweeter and more productive when cultivated. These intriguing fruits, which taste like a combination between a pineapple and tomato, are related to tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, and tobacco. If you’re trying to figure out a way of using them, besides just husking them straight into your mouth, we like to put them in a fruit salad. Add the ground cherries with sliced melon, and for a more grown-up taste try pouring a splash of vodka and sprinkling a bit of hot chili into the mix. You can even garnish it with some basil. We have to thank the land for the inspiration for this dish, where the ground cherries grow by the melons, which grow by the chilies.


Melon and ground cherry salad we’ve been serving at dinner parties.

The plants around the farm are really enjoying the summer weather, especially since we’ve finally managed to catch-up with the weeds – at least for the time being. However, the animals are definitely giving the plants a run for their money on who can grow the fastest. We have 28 heritage turkeys that we just put on pasture, and they will be ready for Thanksgiving. The piglets have upsized, and now reside on 4 acres of pasture, including a nice patch of woods with plenty of shade to protect their fair skin. Also, we have two steers that are ready for slaughter next week, so let us know if you’re interested in purchasing grass fed beef.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

CSA Harvest #9

This week’s CSA harvest includes:

Tomatoes
Assorted Bell Peppers
Peaches
Shishito Peppers
Thai Hot Peppers
Basil
Carrots
Eggplant

It is amazing that August is just around the corner. We have already started counting down the days to the first frost, as we try to figure out what we can still get in the ground that will have enough time to grow to maturity. Around here we frequently spend our time looking forward– the next harvest, crops to plant and where to plant them, plans for the restaurant, etc. We are continuously working hard with a strong image of the future. But at times it can be equally valuable to look back. Look back at what we have accomplished in the last two years as a farm, but also look back at what those before us have done in the field.

Farming depends on so many factors, many of which we can’t control. We have no say over how much it rains or doesn’t rain, but we can work hard to learn as much as we can about those things that are within our power. This is when looking back becomes particularly important. So much of farming relies on a certain type of knowledge that is cultivated through an intimate relationship with the land; an innate way of knowing what the plants and animals need and also when they need it. People spend their whole lives accumulating this knowledge and then passing it down to the next generation.

The shared wisdom and support of the agricultural community is a fundamental part of farming. Looking back gives us the chance to show gratitude to all of those people who have shared their time and wisdom with us. Dave and Karen Barron are some of those people who have been monumental in this process. Dave has shared both his time and his land to help cultivate us into better farmers. His mistakes and successes from a lifetime of farming have helped our plunge into the world of agriculture to be a little less daunting.

The relationship between the Barron’s and Epiphany Farms Enterprise, at that time just Ken, began in 2003 at the Downs Farmer’s Market. Ken was visiting home, on a vacation from culinary school in New York, when he struck up a conversation with Dave about his interest in farming and food. Dave proceeded to invite Ken back to his farm, where the seed of Epiphany Farms was planted. At the Barron’s Ken had his first interaction with a potato plant; learned how onions grow; and shucked his first ear of corn. Through this encounter the idea of Epiphany Farms Enterprise, a restaurant supplied by its own farm, began to blossom.

Freshly graduated from UNLV Ken moved home to Downs, IL and jumped into the Epiphany Farms concept accompanied by Mustard. They just started planting things, not quite realizing what they were getting themselves into. Very quickly they realized they were in over their heads, but Ken knew where to turn. After five years without a word from Ken, Dave and Karen welcomed them into their home and proceeded to spend the evening explaining when and where to plant things. From that point forward the Barron’s have been Epiphany Farms’ go to for knowledge on all things agriculture.

During the 2009 growing season we set up shop next to the Barron’s at the Downs Farmer’s Market, where the connection first began. Wednesday’s became a day of anticipation, an opportunity to pick Dave’s mind and learn from his wisdom. As time progressed Dave became more than just a mentor, but a partner to Epiphany Farms Enterprise. We are constantly grateful for his dedication to our vision. He helped plant that first seed, and when it eventually germinated he has been there to help us grow.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

CSA Harvest #8

In your CSA bags this week you'll find:

Potatoes
Purple Bell Peppers
Shishito Peppers
Sweet Corn
Carrots
1 Thai Pepper - more than enough to add some heat to your next meal
Cucumbers
Muskmelon

It's been another eventful week for the farm. All of the plants are looking very happy after some much needed rain, and the animals have made some big moves. The first flock of black astrolorpes moved out to pasture in the egg mobile, and should be laying eggs by August 15th. Our baby astrolorpes are also getting acquainted with their new home on pasture and will be laying by the beginning of November. The ducks now call the back garden home, and seem to grow bigger every time we turn around!

The young pigs are growing quickly, and will be ready for the fall. In the meantime the mamas and papa are reunited and should have some new litters on the way. We have four steers at slaughter weight. Grassfed beef will be available soon, so let us know if you are interested in customizable cuts.

Check back for a new recipe and video featuring the products from our latest harvest!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

CSA Harvest #7

This week's CSA bags feature:

Cucumbers
Potatoes
Basil
Carrots
Shishito Peppers
Onions
Sweet Corn

The shishito pepper's mild and sweet flavor make them perfect for snacking on raw, but can also be a delicious addition to a stir-fry. For a quick and tasty appetizer you can also try frying them.

Heat your skillet or grill pan on high. Toss your peppers with a bit of your favorite cooking oil and then drop them onto the pan. Turn occasionally until the skin is soft and charred in spots. Remove and sprinkle with salt - and if you'd like things a little spicier add some extra heat with a dash of cayenne. Make sure to enjoy them while they're still hot.

We know you have basil in your herb guild, but we feel there is no such thing as too much basil. If you're having trouble thinking of ways to use it try making a fresh pesto with this recipe:

1 large bunch of basil leaves
1 cloves of garlic
small handful of pine nuts (walnuts will also work)
3/4 cup parmesan
extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Add basil, garlic, and pine nuts to a food processor and pulse until chopped. Slowly add olive oil to mixture until you get a smooth paste. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in parmesan by hand.

If your batch is more than your family can eat, or if you have surplus basil that you don't know how to use you can freeze the pesto in an ice tray and cover it with plastic wrap. This will keep for months in the freezer, and then even during winter you can pop out a few cubes to add to your meal and enjoy the fresh taste of summer. If you decide to freeze your pesto make sure to wait to add the cheese until you defrost it.

As for life on the farm the family just keeps growing. The latest addition to the clan is Dennis the billy goat, thanks to Keith and Donna from South Pork Ranch. In the last few weeks we've also gotten ducks, guinea fowl, a long horn bull, a dairy cow, turkey, and a lot more chickens. All of the summer crops are really kicking into gear with all of the sunshine we've been getting, but the heat hasn't kept us from the fields. We're continuing to plant for what looks to be a delicious fall harvest!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

CSA Harvest and Beet Video

Here is the harvest list for your CSA's this week.

Zucchini
Cucumbers
Beets
Potatoes
Leeks
Onions
Herbal tea package

This week in your herbal tea package
Lemon Balm
Shiso
Anise Hyssop
Penny Royal
Chrysanthium Flowers
Wild Gooseberries

You can use last week's recipe for the herbal tea, As for the Wild gooseberries you can bruise them a little and add them to the hot water.

I made a cooking video for "how to cook beets" You can add a multitude of different things to your marinated beets. Cooked diced potatoes (Boiled), Sliced cucumbers (without seeds, slice lenghtwise and scoop out with a spoon), Parsley, Basil, thinly sliced onions... All which have been included in your CSA and herb guild.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkNHTO0MExI

Whats new on the farm??

Stu and I are glad that Kenny and Nanam are back from their honeymoon. The whole team is back together on the farm and the addition of our two new interns from Heartland Community College. John and Emma have been kicking major butt on the farm. We got a our first seeder in the mail this week and hooked it up. This thing is the best new tool on the farm other than Henry Brockman's Asian Weeders. I can now seed a bed in about 5 minutes when it would have taken me about 2 hours by hand. Now that the rain has been holding off, we have tilled up new ground and seeded everything for a plethora of winter vegetables.

Hope you enjoy the video, I made it in a new style this week. Let us know what you think of it.

Epiphany Farms-

Friday, July 2, 2010

Meat 'N' Potatoes for the Midwesterner Video

Here is the cooking video for this week. It is a Ribeye with Turnips and Potatoes, You can use your herb guild to elevate the taste. In the video we used parsley but you can use any of those, You can also add more vegetables to the dish, cook them the same way as the turnips (featured in video).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXaZte0z7O4


As for the Herbal Tea bag, You have the following inside.

Chrysanthemum (Flowers)

Shiso (Big Leaves, Tastes like Mint, liquorish & Apple Also has Purple Hue on bottom side)

Lemon Balm (twigs with leaves and buds)

Anise Hyssop (Smaller version of the big leaves taste like sweet liquorish)

Vietnamese Mint (looks like a hand, very leafy and Minty,



The Microwave is the fastest way to heat a water molecule. Put a glass of water in the microwave. Heat for 1 min. the water should be about 160 - 180 it will also depend on how much water you are heating up. I think that 160 - 170 is optimal steeping temperture. Choose your flavors, mix and match, take notes on what you like about the flavor combo and design your own. You only want to steep for 4-5 minutes, by then your water will be about 130 degrees. 130 is optimal honey temperture. add some honey and taste. You only want enough to sweeten a little, too much and you can't taste the flavors, too little and it tastes bland. After adding the honey it should be perfect drinking temperture.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

CSA Harvest #4

Hello everyone! We are super excited about some of the new product today in your bags. We have been harvesting all morning and think that you will really enjoy. It's been raining so much and we can not wait for the clear skys to come.

Todays Harvest:

Spring Peas (Most likely the last week)
Baby Onions
Purple Top Turnips
New Potatoes
Red Beets
Assortment of Berries (Mulberries and Alpine Stawberries)
New Zealand Spinach
Fresh Chamomile for tea
Chervil

We hope you enjoy. Good luck with this week's recipe, "Spring Onion Flan".

The Turnips, Peas and New Zealand Spinach are perfect for the sauteed vegtables on top of the flan.

Spring Onion Flan

This flan acts as a great base for some freshly sauteed vegtables. We will use any combination of vegtables based on what is in season. Cook the vegtables seperately in salted boiling water to insure uniform doneness. Cool the vegtables and then once the flan is finished in the oven, saute the vegtables in butter or oil, season with salt and place on top of the Spring Onion Flan.

Onion Flan: Step One
6 spring Onions
4 cloves Garlic
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1 Tbs. Butter

- Slice the onions and Garlic very thin
- Heat a non- stick saute pan and add the butter. Once melted add the onions, season with a few pinches of salt.
- Once the onions and garlic become very aromatic but not colored add the cream and continue to cook for about 10 minutes on low. The onions and garlic should be completly soft.
- Once the milk mixture is cook through, place in a blender and puree until smooth.
- Be sure there are no lumps. We always blend the mixture for three minutes longer than we think we should. This insures a velevety smooth base.
- Let the base cool and proceed to step two.

Step Two:
Onion Puree
1/2 cup Half and Half
4 whole eggs
4 oz milk
2 Tbs Parmesan
Salt and Pepper

Method:
- Combine the onion puree with the “Step two” ingredients and taste. Adjust seasoning and strain.
- Portion the mixture using a scale (if you don't have a scale use a laddle and mesure the same amout of each dish); make sure each dish is filled with exactly the same amount of liquid.
- Cover each dish with aluminum foil.
- Place into a hot water bath inside a 325 F oven. (The water level should be higer than the flan level inside the dish)
- Bake until set (the flan will be solid when set) and assemble the dish.




Some Pics of a recent variation.


Sauteed carrot, celery root, sunchoke and arugula.


A set flan with vegtables on top. We usually add some sort of foam to finish it.

This is a very rewarding recipe so good luck and enjoy!







Basic Salad Dressing

Emulsified Vinaigrette:

1 part Vinegar
.5 part H2O
Dijon Mustard
Honey
Red Chile
Pepper
Salt
1 Yolk
3 parts Oil

Method:

- Combine all ingredients except for the oil and stir. Using a whisk, blender or immersion blender, begin to agitate.

- Start incorporating the oil one drop at a time. Then progress to a very small stream until all is added.

- Once the ingredients are together you will need to adjust to the taste. Questions that you will need to ask yourself are:

o Is it too tart?
o Does it have enough sweetness?
o Enough salt?
o Does it need more flavor? Mustard, Pepper, Chile?

Use this dressing on anything that you need to season. Sometimes we will even add a little to sauteed vegtables and fresh herbs.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cooking Demo Vinaigrette

I'm having difficulty uploading videos directly to the blog. The link below will take you to youtube and you can see our cooking demos

Here is the first of many cooking videos. Hope you enjoy this vinaigrette!!



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7mAx2HmdU4

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bloomington Farmers' Market

Epiphany Farms is having a booth in Bloomington Farmers Market on every Saturday from 7:30am till noon.
Come and check our booth and catch up with our Epiphany Farms team in person!

For locations and more information about farmers' market, please check Bloomington Farmers' Market website. (http://www.downtownbloomington.org/index.php?id=6)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New Photos

We have been taking a lot of photos in the recent weeks. We have posted some today and will continue to post often, Keep checking the site. Let us know what you think of them.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sustainable Agriculture Program

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Sustainable Agriculture Program?
The Sustainable Agriculture Program (SAP) is a hands‐on vocational training program for low‐income
individuals. This program provides training through internship placements and periodic training
institutes.
This program is an intensive job training experience and participants must be prepared for the physical
demands of their positions.

2. How do I apply?
Potential students can call (309‐268‐8160) or visit Heartland’s Community and Corporate Education
office (Workforce Development Center, Suite 2400) and ask for an application package. This package
contains the participant’s handbook and the SAP eligibility application.
Once you have received your application package, complete and return eligibility application (making
sure to complete all three pages of the eligibility application and the MCCA intake form). After eligibility
has been confirmed, HCC will send an eligibility notification and a background check form. After
background check has been conducted, HCC will schedule a full‐day orientation session with the
student’s potential host. After the intern orientation session, an HCC representative will meet the
student and host at the work‐study site to complete the final enrollment process.

3. What are the eligibility qualifications for acceptance into the program?
Primary eligibility is determined by the federal poverty guidelines, for this program students must be at
(or below) 200% of the poverty level. To be accepted into the program, students must be 18 years of
age or older. Students must also be able to fulfill the functional abilities of the internship. Students
must also be able to commit to a 3‐5 month internship (full‐time or part‐time)

4. Where will I be placed?
Students will be placed at one of six local farms. The following farms are part of our program:

• Henry’s Farm (Congerville, IL)‐
specializing in agricultural diversity

• Teresa’s Fruit and Herbs/Sunny Lane
Berry Farm (Eureka, IL)‐ diverse farm
focused on fruits and herbs and a berry
farm

• ISU Horticultural Center (Normal, IL)‐
Outdoor laboratory and demonstration
gardens

• Ropp Farm/Ropp Cheese (Normal, IL)‐
dairy farm specializing in cheese

• Dearing County Farms (Bloomington,
IL)‐ specializing in eggs and chickens

• Epiphany Farm (Downs, IL)‐ Farm to
fork concept farm; Specializing in food
produced for the Epiphany restaurant

5. Am I required to provide my own transportation?
Students will be required to provide their own transportation to their worksite and the training
institutes. However, MCCA may be able to provide financial assistance for car repairs or other
transportation needs. If the training institutes include a field day, HCC will provide transportation from
HCC’s Normal campus to the site of the field day.

6. Are the vocational credits transferable?
Vocational credits are non‐credit, but do show up on your transcript. Transferability will be determined
by each transfer institution. HCC cannot guarantee that any educational institution will accept the
credits towards a degree program.

7. How does the scholarship work?
A limited number of scholarships are available for eligible low‐income students who enroll in
the work‐study internships. These scholarships are intended to enable students to participate in
work‐study internships and include a waiver of the training institute costs.
Scholarship award amounts will be based on multiple factors, including, but not limited to:

1. Internship terms (i.e. full‐time or part‐time; length of placement)
2. Additional benefits interns may receive from hosts (e.g., food, housing)
3. Estimated transportation costs to/from host site

8. Do I have to pay taxes on the scholarship?
Students will be required to complete a W‐9 after they are enrolled in the program. While the
scholarships are taxable, Heartland Community College will not take taxes out prior to payment.
Students will receive a 1099 form from HCC at the end of the fiscal year. Students should consult a tax
preparer to see if they will need to pay taxes on their scholarships at that point.

9. I’m not eligible for the scholarship; can I still participate in the program?
Select workshops will be open to the public, however there will be a fee associated with the workshops.
HCC may assist non‐enrolled students in locating an internship, but there will be no scholarship available
to these individuals.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Give me light and i'll give you Life...



Spring equinox has just occured for the 2010 season. I think even the plants got excited because they seemed to reach and stretch a little taller than the day before. Under the protection of double coverage (that's a low polytunnel inside a greenhouse) we are able to extend our growing season far into the winter and start months before we normally could without coverage. This has allowed for a great harvest through most of our coldest weeks and now we are back to more than 12 hours of sunlight a day. Winter reminded me of how much i love spring!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Permaculture Design Principles

We were able to sign up for the web content of the latest Winter Permaculture Design Course. Although we were not able to attend the full course we were given access to some amazing powerpoints, handouts and recorded discussion. Over-all it was awesome!

Everyone should look into Midwest Permaculture in Stelle, IL and get signed up for a Design Course.

Fundamental Permaculture Design Principles

Each function is supported by multiple elements.
Catch, store and recycle energy and materials.
Each element performs multiple functions.
Use biological and renewable resources.
The edge effect maximizes yield.
Abundance is unlimited.
Observe and Connect.
Accelerate succession.
Mistakes are tools for learning.
Use small scale, intensive systems.
We can turn problems into solutions.
Make the least change for the greatest effect.

Lack of Posts!

I am extremely sorry for the lack of post on the Blog. Over the last month we have been focusing on the new Facebook Fan Page. It is really coming along and we have quite a following already. I hope everyone will come join in on the fun.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Power of compost (youtube)

We have been trying to post videos on the blog, but we are having some trouble. In the meantime I will be adding videos to Youtube and posting the link on the blog.

A little info on the video; The video was taken about 9am on 2-7-10. Our greenhouse has a hole in each corner. it is designed that way, so that in the spring, summer and fall, I can roll up the sides. If it didn't have the holes I think that it would be much hotter inside.

Hope you enjoy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bjlu_YjrAWA

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Recent Party

Here is a quick look at a recent party. It was hosted by Kara Leak and Xandra Lee. Xandra's kitchen was a pleasure to cook in and we had a night full of good food, fun laughs and great people.


Chef Stu drawing the connection. Locally Produced and Globally Influenced Cuisine.


Slow Roasted Pork, Carrot Linguini, Potato Puree and Caramelized Onion.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Chef Stu's Latest Master Piece



Grass fed pate with carrots and celery root, in- door greens and a fresh baked epi. A little parsley puree, mustard cream and pickles.

It was the best that I have ever had.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Potato Salad

Lately we have been working on a deconstructed potato salad. Yet, every-time we do the dish it ends up going down a different path. Depending on a million different things, the dish becomes unique.

You never step in the same river twice, a dish is never duplicated.

Front: Potato Leafs, Pickled Red Onion and Celery


Back: Potato Balls, Tomato Preserve, Mustard and Parsley Cream

Monday, January 18, 2010

When it's time to grow; it's time to grow...


When sub-zero temperatures arrive in central Illinois it's near impossible to protect any crops still in the ground. We gained a huge advantage through green housing and low lying polytunnels which extended our growing season for months. However, we are approaching the end of our winter harvest. Not to fear because we have full germination of all our crops in a full growing station with another in construction. This will carry us through the next cold winter months with fresh product ready in succession. It's understood that we can't change mother nature.. We can only try our best to adapt with what we have. Function over form.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Potato Salad...

Potato of Pont Neuf, Black Eyed Peas and Micro Kohlrabi.
Marinated in a 50 year aged sherry vinaigrette.

Pont Neuf meaning "New Bridge" refers to the cut of Potato, it represents the bridge that was finished in 1607. It spans over the Seine River and is actually the oldest bridge that crosses this river today.

The Tartar is Back!


A look at the marbling of our grass fed beef,
Filet Center Cut



This is what it ended up being the other night.


Beef Tartar, Giardiniera, Onion Cracker and Whole Grain Mustard

The Giardiniera is a mixture of pickled summer vegetables from the garden. The literal translation means, "female gardener". Since the literal translation doesn't properly describe our situation, I looked deeper.

The true Italian version, is called "sotto aceti",which include onions, celery, zucchini, carrots and cauliflower, pickled vegetables in red- or white-wine vinegar.

Chef Stu worked on this project when he first arrived. With the amount that he made I had no doubt that it would be enough to get us through the winter. Yet, I forgot about the possibility of it being absolutely amazing. Therefor, it was gone after a month of it being ready.

The Onion Cracker was developed by Chef Mustard a few years back at Company American Bistro, Las Vegas. We used to put it on a Beef Tartar dish that Adam Sobal had created. Since then I had forgotten about it.

Mustard brought back some good memories with this cracker and I was really happy with the way the dish turned out. Simple and Satisfying





Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Living in Corn Country and Raising Grass Fed Beef?

Living in corn country and raising 100% Grass Feed Beef is defiantly not the norm. Since, we started the grass fed beef program we have heard criticism from almost everyone around us, especially other cattle raisers in the area.

The argument is that corn fed taste better, the cattle grow faster and feeding corn is the cheapest way to get them to a slaughter weight.

When we started raising cattle we had a decision to make.
"Would we like to serve corn fed or grass fed beef to our customers in the future restaurant?"

Next question, "What has nature intended cattle to eat?"

Cattle are herbivores, they are built to eat grass, herbs and legumes. Not grain and certainly not animal fat mixed with the grain to make it taste better and keep the dust down.

"Does corn fed taste better?"

We would have all agreed before tasting our first batch of grass fed beef that the corn fed would have more fat and probably more flavor. Yet, we were way wrong! We had never tasted real beef until we had our grass fed, the difference in unbelievable. It is far leaner, much tastier and even healthier for you.

I came across a study from Clemson University and they outlined the 10 reasons why grass fed is healthier for you. Here they are:

1. Lower in total fat.
2. Higher in beta-carotene.
3. Higher in Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol).
4. Higher in B vitamins and riboflavin.
5. Higher in the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
6. Higher in total Omega-3s.
7. Healthier ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fats.
8. Higher in CLA (potent cancer fighting qualities).
9. Higher in Vaccenic Acid (which is converted by the body to CLA).
10. Lower in saturate fats linked with heart disease
.

Source: S. K. Duckett, J. P. S. Neel, J. P. Fontenot, and W. M. Clapham; Effects of winter stocker growth rate and finishing system on: III. Tissue proximate, fatty acid, vitamin, and cholesterol content; Journal of Animal Science; 2009 87: 2961-2970.

With all the health benefits of grass fed you would wonder why we ever started feeding cattle corn to begin with. I guess the answer is that feeding corn is cheaper, easier and faster.
Three words that we want nothing to do with, here at Epiphany Farms.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Lessons in Permaculture

Perhaps you like fresh herbs in nearly every meal. Where should you plant your herbs? The cofounder of permaculture, Bill Mollison, offers some guidance.

"When you get up in the morning and the dew is on the ground," he says, "put on your woolly bathrobe and your fuzzy slippers. Then walk outside to cut some chives and the other herbs for your omelet. When you get back inside, if your slippers are wet, your herbs are too far away."

Gaia's Garden, by Toby Hemenway