Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Here is a photo of a Black Jersey Giant Rooster

Made it Through Thanksgiving!

Well, we survived Thanksgiving here at Happy Chick Farm! We had lots of family and new friends from Australia (our son-in-law's brother, wife and kids)stay the week with us. It was a lot of fun! I am sure many of you had a full house too!!

The bad news is that egg production is still slow from our older chickens. As I mentioned last time the Jersey Giants are now laying like 16 eggs a day but of course they are very small. But the are just as good as larger eggs (you just need more of them)so I am selling them for $1.00 a half dozen in my self serve fridge so stop by or call. The good news is that I have lots of regular weekly orders coming in now....I just need some more eggs!

The sale of the persimmons did not go well, but everyone around here seems to have a tree so I am not too surprised. But my chickens love them!

I participated in a holiday farmers market with my friend Paula from Windmill Farms in Colusa in November. The few eggs I was able to round up for the market sold well, but unfortunately, it was not that busy. I think it was because it coincided with another holiday event that same day at the fairground. But we still had a lot of fun and this was the markets first year so I am sure next year will be even better!

I have a couple of recipes you may enjoy for the holiday season or frankly, anytime!
The first one is an old recipe from the 50's but it is a classic and delicious as a side dish with meat. It is from a book entitled Sasha Cooks Cuisine Bourgeoisie:

Pommes Sasha
(Translucent Apples)
Serves 6 to 8

5 tart apples – Pippins are the best
3/4 C sugar

Peel, quarter and slice paper thin your apples. Keep them as near the same thickness as you can. Put them in a saucepan and add water – not quite enough to cover them – remember some juice comes from the apples. Add 3/4 cup of sugar and a little lemon juice. How much sugar will depend on the apples and your taste.

Bring your apples to a boil and then let them simmer until they are translucent – 5 to 10 minutes.

Be very careful not to overcook your apples or you will have apple sauce. Do not stir more than necessary to separate the uncooked slices. Remember they become more translucent as they stand in their thin syrup.

These may be served in small side dishes when your main dishes when your main dish is fowl or pork or, if you like, with veal or beef.

These apples will keep a week or two in your refrigerator.

NOTE: If you cannot get Pippin apples be sure to get tart apples which keep their firmness and shape in cooking.

This isn’t a sauce but if you over-cook it you will have applesauce!

The next recipe is from Emeril Lagasse. My sister served this as a side dish with beef. But I think it would go with anything:

10 large russet baking potatoes (about 7 pounds total)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
1/2 pound sharp white Cheddar, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 pound mild Cheddar, grated (3 cups)
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
3 eggs, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Scrub the potatoes well and rinse under cool running water. Pat dry with paper towels and prick the potatoes in several places with a fork. Place the potatoes in the oven and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the oven and set aside on a wire rack until cool enough to handle.

When the potatoes have cooled, cut each potato in half and, using a spoon or a melon baller, scoop the flesh out of the skins, leaving as little flesh as possible. Place the potato flesh in a large bowl and add 1 stick of the butter, the sour cream, heavy cream, salt, and pepper and mash until chunky-smooth. Add the bacon, cubed white Cheddar, half of the grated Cheddar, the green onions, and eggs and mix thoroughly.

Butter a 9 by 13-inch casserole with the remaining tablespoon of butter and reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

Place the seasoned potato mixture in the prepared casserole and top with the remaining grated Cheddar. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until bubbly around the edges and heated through and the cheese on top is melted and lightly golden. Serve hot.

Yum! Thanks again for your interest in my eggs and your business!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Egg Business

Well, I am happy to report the local egg business is going well, both the self serve fridge and a regular customer base. For that I am thankful. However, this is the time of year (due to the reduced amount of sunlight due to daylight savings time) egg production has decreased. This is a natural cycle for laying hens. The good news is the Jersey Giants have begun to lay eggs. It will take a few weeks for the eggs to each "adult" size. Once the production gets going with these girls, we anticipate about 7 to 8 dozen eggs to be laid a day! So while now egg availablity is a little low, it will be picking up really soon! So hang in there, it will be worth the wait!

We have a new item for sale at the self serve fridge for a short time only: persimmons from our tree. These are the large tear drop shaped variety, not the small, short, squat type. The are a great deal at 2 for $1.00.

Thanks again to all of you for your business. Don't forget, we offer free delivery for regular customers in Glenn County. Our next post will contain more updates on the Jersey Giant's egg production and some holiday receipes.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

It is Fall!

Well the farmers markets are over for now. But good news, Happy Chick Farm is working to develop a client base locally (or from afar if you wish to drive by our farm!). We have set up a self serve fridge for your egg buying pleasure! It is located here at the farm at 6221 County Road 15 in Orland. The eggs are $3.00 a dozen so just drive up and purchase any time. Or if you have a special order please call us at 530-865-7203 or email us at happychickfarm@gmail.com As we develop a regular client base, we will consider free delivery in Glenn County. With the holidays coming up shortly, I know many of you will be using a lot of eggs for your baking and cooking so why not make your dishes special with farm fresh eggs. You will not believe the difference and your family members that love eggs will be very impressed!

Our Jersey Giant hens are getting ready to lay this month or next. We are anticipating extra large to jumbo eggs from these birds. So keep your eye on the blog. We will announce when we will have these eggs available.

Speaking of the Jersey Giants we now have roosters! We would like to produce our own hatchlings and sell some to interested parties if production goes well. This breed is very mellow and as you can read from this blog, very large. They are also beautiful black birds with a green sheen to their feathers. I will post a picture of one of the roosters soon. They are huge and beautiful!

Did you know that pumpkins and their seeds are natural wormer for chickens? So if you have chickens, consider giving them some pumpkin for their health. Pick up the latest edition of Backyard Poultry for more information on natural wormers. You can purchase all sizes and kinds of pumpkins at Windmill Farm in Gridley. Very pretty and very affordable.

Thanks to all of your for purchasing Happy Chick Farm eggs and we look forward to meeting those of you who for the first time wish to try our farm fresh eggs.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Colusa Farmers Market

Well, the folks in Colusa have been good to me and are returning to the market for more of my eggs. I am so glad that I could "turn them on" to farm fresh eggs or just remind them of the eggs they had on the farm when they were a child or before they retired from their Ag business. I have met so many lovely people. It has been a pleasure for me to chat with them and hear their stories.
I was absent this week at the market due to other commitments and Gene my fabulous husband and I will be out of town over the long labor day weekend, so I will not be at the Colusa market next Monday.
Speaking of going out of town, we love to go to Modoc County. It is the California county that is on the most north east border of California (Nevada on the east and Oregon to the north). It is a great place to beat the valley heat and enjoy some lovely cool nights. Not to mention enjoying the pleasures of such a beautiful diverse county. Lots of wildlife (elk, deer, geese and other aquatic life, bears, etc.) and you can go from the high desert, to the mountains, to the dry lake beds, to beautiful valleys and lakes. A fabulous place. I love the diversity of California. We are so lucky here.
So, if you ever decide to go to Modoc County there are many wonderful places to stay. Check the Modoc County chamber of commerce web site for ideas and personally, our favorite is Mahogany Ridge Guest Ranch in Jess Valley just to the east of the little town of Likely on Highway 395. If you want to check it out go to their website at mahoganyridgeranch.com. I have put their link on the blog. Check it out, you and your family can go for a very reasonable price. Not to mention that you can take your horses, dogs and ATVs too!
Well, just a couple of more weeks left at the Colusa farmers market. When I return, I hope to see you there! And again, thanks for your business!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Farmer's Market News

Well, we just became a "certified grower" so now we can sell our eggs independently at farmers markets around the north state! The folks at the Glenn County Ag Department were very helpful and gave me lots of wonderful advice for the novice egg seller. If you ever have occasion to go there ask for Jean she is super!

I tried the market in Colusa Monday night. Although it was a bit of a slow evening, heck it was only a 102 degrees in the shade :-), I managed to sell all but a dozen of our eggs. It is a wonderful market and if you ever are in Colusa County, stop by. It is on Monday evenings from 5-8 p.m. near the airport.

My dear friend Paula from Windmill Farm in Gridley has graciously allowed me to share her stall at the farmers markets. Windmill Farm produces fabulous vegetables, flowers, and fruit and it is nice to present a wide array of products, even if I just do the eggs! Check out Windmill Farm's blog link on this site. Paula always has inventive and beautiful ways to display her bounty so I am very fortunate to be working with her. Right now she has fabulous peaches, cantalope and watermellon that are just yummy! Not to mention tomatoes, basil to die for and lots of other fresh veggies. Pumpkins will be coming soon in time for fall. It looks like we may do Colusa again this coming Monday so look for us if you are in the area. If you are not in the area, contact Windmill farm or us at Happy Chick Farm to purchase fabulous farm fresh delights!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Egg recipes

Love Eggs?

Here is a great recipe from Jimmy Dean for a breakfast or brunch cassarole. I think it would be good anytime and it is super for pot luck offering! I have modified the receipe a bit and the great thing is it can be assembled and chilled up to 12 hours before baking. Makes 6 servings.

1 lb sausage (any kind you like)

10 eggs lightly beaten

3 cups milk

2 tsp. dried mustard

1 tsp salt

6 cups cubed bread (great way to use up bread that is stale)

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or more to taste)

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)

1 chopped onion

1 chopped bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped celery (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large skillet cook sausage, onion, bell pepper and other veggies over medium high heat stirring frequently until thoroughly cooked and non longer pink. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, mustard and salt; stir well. In another bowl with the bread in it, stir in sausage and vegetable mixture and 3/4 of the cheese. Distribute evenly in a buttered 9 x 13" baking dish. Pour egg mixture evely over casserole. Top with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered for 55-60 minutes or until eggs are set. Tent with foil if top begins to brown too quickly.

Got a LOT of Zucchini?

Here is a receipe for you! while it only uses one egg, it is a yummy way to use zucchini from your garden. This zucchini cassarole is an old fire house receipe from when my dad served with the Los Angeles fire department:

1 lb zucchini, grated
1 bunch chopped green onion
1 cup saltine cracker crumbs
1egg beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup grated Jack Cheese (or more to taste)

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grate zucchini and add onion, crumbs, seasonings, and butter. Fold in beaten egg. Place in a buttered baking dish. You can use up to a 9 x 13" pan but I prefer a smaller one such as a souffle dish. Top with grated cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

The Story of Happy Chick Farm

Welcome to our blog! We hope you will find the information useful and that you will consider purchasing our farm fresh eggs. Since one of the most important things about food is knowing its source, we would like to tell you a bit about our farm and how we got started.

Happy Chick Farm became a business just this year. We have always raised chickens, but just recently decided to sell them. If you have not done so already, please read our pledge to our customers on this page, as it will tell you in depth what our farm is all about. In a nutshell, we are "no kill" and raise cage free, free roaming, well cared for chickens. In return, we get fantastic, beautiful, fresh eggs from our "girls".

Gene was raised on raised on a farm in the south, and I grew up a city girl in southern California. We came to Orland for a job opportunity for me, and fell in love with the area. We purchased our home on 7 1/2 acres 10 years ago. Both of us have always loved animals, but living the city life where you can't afford a home, much less one with room for a farm type animal was impossible. Not only did our move up north provide me with a wonderful job, it provided us with the opportunity to own a home with some acreage! First came then chickens and then we got involved in small animal and farm animal rescue. Needless to say we have several of each. The farm animals consisting of goats, miniture donkeys, horses, geese, a former 4H sheep and a pot bellied pig, are all what they say up here "hay burners" or "pasture pals". In other words, they eat a lot and don't do much else. But that is a story for another posting.

As our small chicken flock grew, we started giving our eggs to family, neighbors, friends and co-workers. As the demand for our eggs grew, we started raising more chickens. People really liked the taste of a farm fresh egg which you can't get from store bought eggs. This year Gene and I are retiring, that is from our "regular" jobs, and have decided to make our eggs available to local consumers. I have started selling them at small local farmers markets and they have sold out each time. Right now the laying flock is small but our new, larger flock should be laying in September/October and production will go up considerably.

So if you are interested in trying our fresh eggs please call us 530-865-7203 or email us happychickfarm@gmail.com and we would be happy to help you. We know you won't go back to store bought eggs once you try a few from Happy Chick Farm!

In future blogs we will keep you posted on the progress of our flock and farm, provide you with some great egg recipes, and information regarding raising chickens and what that means to you as a consumer.