Tuesday, January 1, 2019

January Newsletter for a New Year

Happy New Year
Mother Nature decided to give us a "TADAAA!" moment on the 30th of December, giving us a sunset and cloud display that was absolutely stunning.  It's a good reminder that she is still a beauty, even if her temper can really cause you troubles when you are trying to grow produce and raise poultry.

We hope that you have been enjoying our end of year 'best of' photo journal.  We are sorry to interrupt them with our monthly newsletter.  But, you know how it is, our fans demand a monthly newsletter - and you just can't disappoint them.  Right Mom and Dad?  (We're hoping they agree - because if we don't, then we're not sure who are fans are!)

The good news?  There are actually more of the photo journal in the pipeline and they will continue to post for the next week.  We have a few more goodies in the pipeline for January as well, so we hope you enjoy them.  In this newsletter, you will see some important announcements, so we hope you take a moment to read them.

Weather Wythards
All we can say is that two inches of rain in December gives us the symmetry that comes with the 2 inch rainfall we had in January.

December's Report

High Temp: 50
Low Temp: 2
Rain: 2.13"
Wind: 33 mph from SE
Barometer Range: 29.29 to 30.56
Snow: 2-3 inches

2018 Final Report
High Temp: 97
Low Temp: -20
Lowest Windchill: -34
Highest Heat Index: 119
Highest Wind gust: 46 mph from NE
Rainfall: 54.49"
Barometer Range: 29.29 to 30.89

Veggie Variety of the Month - Northern White hardneck garlic

Garlic - We still have about 20 pounds of high quality garlic available to those who have interest.  We'd love to move as much of it as we can before we take our break.  We are NOT going to interrupt this break to sell more garlic.  It may still be in decent shape in February, but we can't be sure of that. 

The Basics for roasting whole garlic heads: Peel off most of the loose paper until just a couple layers hold cloves together.  Using a sharp knife, cut of the top ¼ inch of garlic cloves. Put garlic head into a greased muffin tin, then sprinkle and rub in 1-2 tsp olive oil per garlic head. Cover each head with foil (or put heads on baking sheet and tightly cover the whole sheet with foil). Bake at 400 for 25-30 min. Cloves should be lightly browned and soft when pressed.  Let cool until you can handle, then pull cloves out with a small fork or squeeze out.  Delicious in soups or spread on bread. https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/roasted_garlic/

Roasting garlic cloves: I found recipes for both peeled and unpeeled cloves.  Both involve spreading cloves on a baking sheet (one recipe suggests lining the sheet with parchment, foil or silicon sheet), tossing with olive oil to coat (about 2 tsp per 4 cloves?) and roasting at 375, stirring or shaking to move cloves around at least once.  According to online recipes (including https://savorysweetlife.com/how-to-roast-garlic/), peeled take longer to cook (45-60 min), while unpeeled cooks in about 30 min.
Freezing roasted garlic: let cloves cool, then put into a ziplock baggie or other airtight container.  I’ve kept them frozen for 2 years with much negative consequence.  They are so easy to pull out a few cloves at a time and mostly melt into soup, so no chopping needed!

Song of the Month

Farm News and Announcements 
Rather than create something completely new, we are relying on the egg and CSA email we sent out for our Wednesday egg delivery.  There is much to unpack here, but we hope this gives you an idea as to what we are up to and where the Genuine Faux Farm is going next.

Eggs WILL be available in January - Rob and Tammy will begin taking a break from farm-stuff starting January 4 until the end of the month.  During that time, Lauren will be looking after the hens (and their eggs).  We will be providing Lauren with the email distribution lists and access to the eggs@genuinefauxfarm.com email account.  It will be up to her to determine her schedule for egg deliveries.  We encourage you to continue supporting our farm by supporting Lauren as she watches our hens.  The hens will NOT stop laying eggs in January and we need for them to go to our favorite people (you)!  Egg income during January will go directly to Lauren to help pay for her efforts.  We anticipate that there will likely be two deliveries at each location during the month (Waverly and Cedar Falls), but the actual number is up to Lauren. 

Farmer Break (Jan 4-31) - Tammy and Rob are taking a much needed break so we can reset our attitudes and improve both our mental and physical health.  January is probably the best month of the year for farmers such as ourselves to back off for a while, but we are taking 'backing off' even more seriously than usual this time around.  We have come to realize that our farm is at a critical junction that requires innovation, energy and new perspectives if we want the farm to continue.

We care about this farm.  We care about growing good food in a sustainable fashion and we care about providing all of you with the best service a personal farmer can provide.  To do that well, we need to take care of us for a little bit.  Thank you so much for understanding!

Cedar Falls Possibility - we are exploring the option of splitting our Cedar Falls distribution/delivery between Hansen's and Jorgensen Plaza (Western Homes).  Nothing is set in stone, but we do have support from Western Homes to explore this option.  This would include an option for shelter during inclement weather and indoors location during the cold month deliveries.  Nothing is decided at this time.  Instead, we would appreciate your thoughts if you have them.  We are not suggesting that we abandon the Hansen's Outlet in any way with this idea - so do not worry about that.  We hold Hansen's Dairy in the highest regard and are proud to work with them as well.

Waverly and St Andrew's - St Andrew's Church has been very supportive of our farm over the years and we are grateful for the chance to use their facilities for CSA and egg deliveries throughout the year.  They have also been undergoing a series of transitions and can use our support as we are able to give it.  A small thing our farm can do is to donate $5 for each full Waverly CSA share signup in 2019 to help defray their costs.  But, if you have other ideas that might help this church community, please contact Jeff Cornforth or Jean Schenkewitz.

Caraway Cafe, Gilmore's Pub and Table 1912 at Jorgensen Plaza in Cedar Falls (Western Homes) - we came away from a meeting today (Dec 31) with chefs and members of the staff at Jorgensen Plaza feeling optimistic that more of our produce and poultry will find a home here in 2019.  This is one way we feel our farm can evolve in a changing world.  We are seeking to diversify our sales by catering to some of our strongest crops.  In the last year, we have sold broiler chickens, turkeys, lettuce, onions, kale and a few other items to the Jorgensen Plaza kitchen.  They would like to do as much as they can with local foods, but it is still up to the customer base to make it possible.

Crazy Maurice, the willow, wishes you all a Happy New Year!
What can you do?  Check out Table 1912, Gilmour's Pub and/or Caraway Cafe and let them know that you are excited about the possibility of local foods on their menu.  Even if the server looks a little confused at first, have them tell Chefs Brice, Corey and Jim that you are looking forward to seeing what they can do with fresh, local produce and local meats.  And, if you have an event coming up - consider their Diamond Event Center and ask them to cater the event using some of our local produce!

2019 CSA Opportunities - With all of the news above, it might be tempting to think that we have no enthusiasm for our CSA program.  We can say that we WILL have plenty of enthusiasm for this AFTER the farmer break.  We continue to formulate the appropriate modifications that will keep the CSA program relevant without forsaking the qualities many of you have told us you appreciate.  February will be the grand unveiling of the revamped program and we will move forward at that time with promotions and sign-ups.  Those who have indicated interest have a place reserved in the program at this time.

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