News from the Farm at Pastures A' Plenty
We are coming to the end of summer again which brings us to several welcome events. Fairs, of course, have been important to farmers for generations, coming as they do at the time when the battle against weeds is ending again for the season and the hopes for crops and livestock are about to bear fruit. Thus the Pastures children/grandchildren will be showing the farm's hogs at the Chippewa County fair in Montevideo on August 12th through the 15th. And then we look forward to the Minnesota Cooks event at the Minnesota State Fair on September 1st from nine in the morning until four in the afternoon at Carousel Park. Our pork will be cooked for the crowd at one and the chef is our own J D Fratzke of the new Strip Club on the east side in St Paul. We are looking forward to tasting what he has for us. We will be sampling our products at the nearby tent in the morning and most of us will be there. Come and visit with us and celebrate the local food idea you helped create! And then remember our annual on the farm open house and customer appreciation September 26th this year. We will have more on that next time. Enjoy these days of the waning sun. Winter comes soon enough!
You may want to check out the August 31 issue of Time Magazine article
"The Real Cost of Cheap Food." LeeAnn
News from the Red Tail Valley
Bursts of rain, rain and more rain was the story for this weekend. We received about 2 1/4" over the past three days, about five times the previous total from mid May. This morning I stayed home to take advantage of the cooler temperatures to do some of my farm work and the humidity that accompanies the rain had me sweating little puddles into my boots by 9:30. Mind you I'm not complaining! Three days ago I wasn't sure what the cows would have to eat next week and I can now see a grazing strategy into late November.
It's time for some steaks on the grill and we're well stocked. Remember, grass fed meat cooks more quickly and at lower temperatures than corn fed beef. The interstitial fat insulates the protein in conventional meat requiring higher temperatures and longer cooking times. On the grill, that means move those steaks further away from the heat source and watch them carefully! Also, defrost thoroughly and take the steaks out of the refrigerator for awhile before grilling so they cook evenly.
I tried some burgers on the grill with our new ground beef and pork mix and they were great. Since the ground pork tends to be a little softer I brushed the hot grill with a little oil before I put them on.
Stew meat is great on a skewer on the grill. Or, order some of our regular round steak and cut it into strips or chunks. (If you're grilling for a crowd, a chuck or an arm roast works well for this too.) These cuts brim with flavor but they will be tough unless tenderized in the cooking process. Marinating with any citrus acid helps. One of my favorites is equal parts orange juice, soy sauce, and olive oil with chopped garlic and ginger. Flavored vinegars are also effective and can really enhance the flavor of the beef
Have a great August! Let's hope the rains keep coming and the rough weather stays away.
See you soon!