Recently I tried my hand at making elderberry syrup - just another tool in my immune boosting toolbox. WHY elderberries? They are very high in vitamins A & C, high in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory & possess antiviral properties that have been shown to treat colds & flu.*
*1/2 cup dried elderberries
*2 1/2 cups water
*Herb pouch (optional): 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 to 2 cinnamon sticks, 1/2 to 1 tsp ground clove.
*3/4 cup honey (local, raw & organic are best)
Place the water, elderberries & herb pouch in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes. Pour the mixture through cheesecloth or strainer and press the berries to release more juice from them. Allow the liquid to cool to room temperature and then pour in the honey & stir until well mixed. Pour into a glass jar and store in the fridge for 2 months or so.
It doesn't take much to help build your immune system. I am following a dosage recommended to me by one of my health practitioner which for adults is a 1/2 to 1 tbsp daily. Or when I feel a bug coming on, I take the dose every 2-3 hrs until symptoms subside.* Best to check with your own health practitioner on dosage.
If you decide to try making elderberry syrup - feel free to post on my Twitter (@afarmdaughter) or Facebook page (The Farmer's Daughter). So much fun to try out a new homemade recipe!
Yours truly the farmer’s daughter,
*Disclaimer: For educational purposes only - this information has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.
I was born in the spring, it is my absolutely favourite time of year. There is a smell of the soil coming alive again, of new growth, of birds singing. When you work closely with the land you start to realize signs of spring real early and I think it was designed this way to give us hope! (Especially after the insanely long and cold winters!)
In my opinion spring, more than the beginning of the year is a great time to think about your life and where you want to go. There is something lovely about new life that gets us into the spirit of thinking anything is possible. We “spring clean” our homes, and sometimes our lives and maybe even our Facebook friends list.
Only when we become clear about what we want, and even what we don’t want can we truly spring clean all areas of our life and move closer to a life we are in love with.
There is a really cool thing that happens when clarity happens, there is a focus of energy. All of a sudden doing things that required “discipline” before, become easier. Not to say it’s effortless, but you have a greater sense in your whole being of what you want. I’ll give you an example from my life recently. I have become very acutely aware of how foods affect my body (it’s always an ongoing journey I think as it changes). I no longer have to actively avoid eating certain foods, I just don’t want them. I know the experience I want to have in my body and I just do not want the Cadbury or New Zealand’s own Whittakers chocolate made from poor quality oils and various sugars and additives it doesn’t even satisfy my taste buds anymore.
Getting to know the experiences you don’t want in your life is as valuable as getting to know the ones you do. Sometimes you have to experience the yucky experiences to know you don’t want them. Embrace them, this is new growth. I always say after something doesn’t really feel good, “well that’s going on the don’t want list”.
Clarity is a fleeting thing, it’s confusion first and then you move through that to clarity. Sort of like when you move through the rough cold winter into the bright sparkly new spring, new growth, new opportunities, fresh air.
Take a deep breath and take notice of the experiences you love and even the ones you don’t. Use the spring energy to get clarity and move closer to the life you are madly in love with.
Yours truly the farmer’s daughter,
The differences between chickens... the good the bad and the ugly
I wrote an article about heritage chicken a while back for Rare Republic you can find it by click on the highlighted text. It was about how heritage chickens and what we refer to as hybrid chicken (hybrid chickens are what most people eat and come from grocery stores) are so different. Its hard to explain to anyone who maybe hasn't seen them side by side or spent much time with them.
Well, yes I guess if you want lots of breast meat and not a lot of much else. Which you will probably agree with me is the major market for chicken. As we get away from green farming and more toxic laden feed is fed to these guys there is a scare on eating too much animal fat... I agree I don't want to eat the fat from them either so the breast is the leanest.
The bottom line...
In farming as a business, if you get a chicken to be able to eat less and produce more meat, in a shorter amount of time.... well that's just good business! So we still get chicken meat, and its more financially sound for farmers, RIGHT?
Well, maybe. But in order to produce these guys, the feed needs to be super high in energy (aka corn and then you risk GMO's) You also have genetic hybridization over many many years. Humans deciding what qualities to select for in breeding and maybe leaving out things like health, robustness, natural instincts, but surely they remembered to look for big breasts... its like hollywoodizing chicken farming!
2) Hybrid chickens have a tendency to break their legs. To me this shows a lack of bone density, and what we know about bones, even in humans a lack of bone density suggests a whole host of other issues. I'm not totally sold on chickens that break their legs even when they are given the most prima donna type environment to live in. Meaning they don't have to go up and down ramps into the house where their food is, its all on one level. We use a very dense and very absorb able micro nutrient supplement (and very organic) and still there are leg and wing issues. Hybrid birds tend to also bruise their wings more because when they are outside they will flap around more, and sometimes I'll see one with a broken wing. If a bird can't do what a bird is essentially designed to do... to me that begs a question or eight.
3) Hybrid chickens as they get older - up to 10 weeks, if you feed them all the feed they can consume (just keeping feed in front of them), will start to randomly keel over with heart attacks. I decided to hold back their feed a bit, and sort of ration their consumption so I could maybe prevent this. Some farmers put cayenne pepper in the feed to help with inflammation. Still there are heart attacks daily.
4) If you start to slowly raise them, sort of allowing them to build up more leg strength to handle their heavy bodies, and slowly feed them, they will start to consume SO much feed towards the end of their cycle because they are designed to eat eat eat... repeat. The cost of raising the birds out weighs what we can sell them for. So in some ways we are forced to grow them the way they were intended, intense feeding and short life.
5) The cost of hybrid chicken vs heritage chicken. Heritage chicken does cost more because they are being fed less intense or high energy food, they take longer to grow. However if a hybrid chicken were to stay alive for as long as the heritage chicken, farmers would experience much more loss, and much higher feeding costs than heritage because they are putting on less weight and still eating that much food towards the end. In the end heritage is actually the best nutrient bang for your buck (in my opinion). Their legs don't break! Their wings are less bruised, as Kathryn from Vibrant Farms experienced, they "Just look healthier" and flap around and fly around sort of like you'd expect birds to do. Laura from Vibrant Farms who raises chickens on the farm also reports having to force the hybrid chickens outside (on a beautiful sunny, not a cloud in the sky type of day) where as the heritage are waiting at the door to peck at grubs and worms and dirt and grass.
Which ones do you want to eat?
Here is a little article on hybrid and heritage layers... hybrid layers are built for production, as you can see in this article he suggests to scrap they heritage if you want any sort of egg production. I guess you have to decide whats important to you
We've always wanted to have a hay wagon ride. We grew up hosting them for our local neighborhood community.
This year we as 4 Baer siblings grew an acre of garlic and we want to show it all off! Come bring the kids for a day on the farm, get some garlic, taste some garlic, have a hay wagon ride, play with farm animals and various games on the farm.
Entry is FREE with the purchase of a pound of garlic! (Or 10.00 per family!)
Welcome to The Farmer's Daughter Blog. Most of my posts are found here at www.theorganicfarmersdaughter.com
I was born on the farm in the farm house, my parents were maybe a little ahead of their time (or behind the times, depending on how you look at it). I was raised eating organic food and grass fed pastured animal meats. The conversations around my dinner table were of things such as, "why do we eat carrots instead of fruit roll ups in our lunch".
I started to play varsity rugby at Western University in London. While I was not at the farm I started to eat food only available at grocery stores. I started to experience some ill health and various things such as candida, depression, an inability to lose weight even while eating very healthy. My teeth also started to rot. While I was at school I studied business thinking that whatever I chose to do I would be able to develop it into a business.
When I came back to the farm I realized my family and the families I grew up around have been farming in a way that is sustainable, healthy and basically AWESOME! So I started selling the products and quickly realized that much of my role as a sales person involved educating consumers about food and meat and where it comes from and how its raised.
I decided I would go back to eating the food from my farm in hopes that it would reverse some of my recent health challenges. I started to have a greater understanding about health. Many of my customers often have sensitivities and health challenges so I was curious about a lot of what they were experiencing and took it upon myself to ask questions. Just to give you an idea of how important health of our animals and our own health is we grew up attending seminars put on by Bio-Ag - the natural and organic supplement company that ensures their supplements are super absorbed (many times more than the industry average).
I've enjoyed a very blessed life having grown up the way I did. If you wonder about local food and how to buy healthy. I have lots of tips and tricks as well as inside information from the farming side of things that will help you be the most informed and healthy consumer - the way you want to be.
Best of luck in your journey of food, I'd be honoured to be apart of your journey if you want to come on over and check www.theorganicfarmersdaughter.com or my Facebook page and even Twitter!
Who is The Farmer's Daughter?
Well I was born at home, and raised on a 200 yr old farm that became organic the year i was born, so I guess you could say I'M certified Organic!
"A big shout out to you & Vibrant Farms Organic Beef... best chicken EVER! And the beef is great too!" ~Sue M., Niagara