Valatie, New York
Local food/farms
8 November 2019 01:52PM
Jody Bolluyt


Looking at the forecast, Friday is going to be full on winter temperatures. This will be the last week of grazing for the 2019 season. The steers are still out on pasture happily munching away. Their water on pasture isn’t frost proof so we will be moving them to their winter home later this week. The cows and calves are already in the barn for the winter.

We have two barns set up for winter housing for the cows, calves, and steers. Each has a freeze proof waterer so the livestock have access to fresh water at all times. They can come in out of the wind but also can go out on their winter paddock to sit in the sun and chew their cud on nice days. We feed them hay and baleage made on the farm each day. Baleage is fermented hay that is higher in protein and easier for cows to digest than dry hay. The dry hay adds variety to their diet and gives them something to snack on.

Yesterday morning I walked out to the steer pasture to move them to new grass. Since early May we have been moving the cattle from paddock to paddock every 2 to 3 days to give them fresh grass. The steers get excited when they see the farm truck drive up to the gate. They start calling and jumping around in circles. They follow right behind me mooing loudly as I walk out to open the fence. One of the friendly steers often nudges me with his nose as if to say hurry up. At the rope fence they line up as I untie and roll it up to give them an opening to run through. And run through they do. They jump and bounce to the far corners of the paddock to check it all out before they put their heads down to start grazing again.

The cows are in the barn eating baleage and hay already. I went for a Sunday walk past their barn. As soon as they could hear our voices coming down the road they started to call. They needed their baleage pushed closer to the barn so they could reach it. We do that a couple of times a day. As soon as they see us round the corner they run from their paddock to the barn to wait. Then they push each other out of the way to get the first bites of baleage as we fork it up to the barn. Once the whole feeding area is full again they settle down and eat from their pile of feed. Happy again.

Besides giving the farm fertility through their manure, the cows add something to the farm that we would miss without them. Their lively natures and their antics make us smile when we work with them. The daily chores give a rhythm to the day over the winter. And like our pets, the cows are always excited to see us.

Sign up today for the Winter Vegetable Share. The winter share provides winter work for members of the farm team while giving you the opportunity to eat from the farm for three more months of the year. The winter share is delivered once a month in December, January, and February. Each month you receive a 30 pound box of root crops, cabbage, onions, and winter squash. Enough veggies to get you through the whole month! For $130 total it’s about $1.40 a pound for your winter veggies.

First Delivery is the Week of December 10 to 13.
CLICK above to sign up for a Winter Share today.

Cooking Tips and Recipes

Potato and Celery Root Mash
2 lbs potatoes, peeled, cut into 2″ cubes
1 pound celery root (celeriac), peeled, cut into 3/4″ cubes
1 6″ piece of horseradish, peeled, coarsely grated
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
Kosher salt
Place potatoes, celery root, and horseradish in a large pot. Add water to cover by 1″. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high, and simmer until vegetables are tender, 25-30 minutes.

Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Return vegetables to pot; add sour cream, Dijon mustard, and butter. Using a potato masher, coarsely mash vegetables. Add reserved cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls if mash is too stiff. Season to taste with salt. http://www.epicurious.com

Celeriac and Beet Salad
2 lbs of beets
1 (1-lb) celery root (sometimes called celeriac)
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, plus additional to taste
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (2 oz), toasted and cooled
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F.
Wrap beets tightly in foil to make 2 packages (3 beets in each) and roast until tender, about 1 1/4 hours.

While beets roast, peel celery root with a sharp knife and cut into 1/8-inch-thick matchsticks. Whisk together lemon juice, shallot, oil, salt, and pepper to taste in a large bowl until combined well, then add celery root and toss until coated.

Keep at room temperature, covered, until ready to add beets.
Carefully unwrap beets and, when just cool enough to handle, slip off skins and remove stems. Cut beets into 1/8-inch-thick matchsticks and toss with celery root.

Let salad stand, covered, at room temperature 1 hour. Taste salad and season with more lemon juice and salt if necessary, then toss with walnuts. http://www.epicurious.com

Kale Salad with Root Vegetables and Apples
2 pounds curly kale, stemmed and leaves thinly sliced
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon agave syrup
1 medium carrot, julienned
1 tart apple, peeled and julienned
1 cup peeled and julienned rutabaga
2 scallions, thinly sliced
In a large bowl, massage the kale with the vinegar, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the lemon zest and juice, soy sauce, syrup and remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Toss the carrot, apple, rutabaga and scallions with the kale. Add the dressing and toss again. Season with salt and pepper and serve. http://www.foodandwine.com

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