Fresh From Our Farm

How Beneficial is Wine?


glass of wine_rec

Since we are hoping to open a winery in the next year or so, I thought I would add articles on wine to this blog as well.

Winemaking is as old as civilization itself and has been a part of living. Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding feast so the host would not lose face by running out of wine!

But wine is an alcohol. Is it bad for us or as good as some of the articles want us to believe?

Wines contain antioxidants. The amount depends on the fruit, usually grapes, that the wine is made from and the age of the wine. Several antioxidants are lost as the wine ages, so, maybe the vintage wine in the cellar tastes good, but, it may not be as good for your body as a younger wine.

How quickly do these antioxidants disappear? One study reported that 90% of the anthocyanin* content is lost in the first few months. So while none of the flavor is lost, the health benefits that we are looking for could be.

Wine also contains tannins. While grapes, red grapes in particular, have the highest concentration of tannins. Tannin can also be added to a wine if the fruit does not contain a sufficient amount. In wine, the tannin adds the bitterness, astringency, and dryness to the wine. It is also a natural antioxidant, which is good for the wine and those of us who drink it!

As far as most research goes, there is no conclusive proof that wine is as good for you as we would like to believe, but, just eating grapes would not provide the same amount of tannin and other antioxidants that are contained in wine. That is because all grapes are not created equal. American grapes, regardless of how red they might be, do not have the same benefits as red wine grapes. That’s because it was bred out of them!

My philosophy is – eat a well-balanced diet and pair it with a good wine!

Na zdrowie!

* Anthocyanins are water-soluble vacuolar pigments that may appear red, purple, or blue depending on the pH.
KeiLin Farm, a producer of farm fresh beef and eggs, as well as premium hay, is located in Rose Township, Michigan and is in the process of acquiring the required licenses to become a small wine maker.

 

 

Storing and Keeping the Egg


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Have you ever wondered how long you can keep eggs? Or, what is the best way to store and egg?

Don’t wash fresh eggs

An experiment conducted by Mother Earth News tried different methods of storing and preserving eggs and reported that at the end of seven months, non-refrigerated, unwashed eggs stored the best followed by eggs placed in sealed container in the refrigerator.

But, aren’t we told to always refrigerate our eggs? Yes, especially if you purchase them from a store. Eggs taken right from the hen and not washed are covered with a light coating of nature’s sealant called “bloom” and this protects the contents of the egg from air and bacteria. You can see the bloom shine on the egg that the hen in the picture above is laying.

The egg shell is porous, so anything, including air, that the egg is exposed to once the bloom is washed off, can contaminate the contents.

Store in a container

The refrigerated eggs held up, but, I suspect not because they were in the refrigerator, but because they were stored in a sealed container which also protected it from bacteria.

That being said, I would not keep fresh eggs in the refrigerator door for any length of time unless you are like us and eat at least a dozen a week! A better investment would be those camping egg containers.

Point down

Whether you store your eggs in the door, a sealed egg container, or the egg carton itself, be sure that your egg point is down. There is an air sac on the wider end of the egg. This is the air the chick would breathe before hatching. This air also acts as a barrier to bacteria entering the egg – unless, of course, the egg still has its bloom. Storing the egg with the point down also keeps the yolk in the center of the egg which is a plus if you like to make deviled eggs!

So, don’t wash fresh eggs and store them in a container pointy-end down, and they will keep for you.

KeiLin Farm, a producer of farm fresh beef and eggs, as well as premium hay, is located in Rose Township, Michigan and is in the process of acquiring the required licenses to become a small wine maker.

Sugar – Part of the Diet?


SONY DSC

A few days ago Skittles® made the headlines in Wisconsin and beyond. No, they were not introducing a new color or flavor. A truckload lost its load and they were dumped on the highway! So the question was, where were they going? Was someone going to eat this candy of candy that was not packaged in its traditional red bag? Why was it in the bed of that truck?

The candy were rejects – because they were missing the “S” on them – and were being sent to be part of the feed mix for cattle. Cattle? Who would give candy to cattle?

I decided to do a little research because, knowing that our horses liked a peppermint from time to time, I thought maybe I needed to get some candy for our cattle as well.

The answer was – Yes, candy not suitable for human consumption is often mixed with feed for cows – primarily dairy cows. Other livestock can also be fed candy as part of their diet. Notice, the key word here is PART – not solely, not primarily, but PART. Just like sugars are part of a human diet.

But isn’t sugar bad? For the cow or for the human? Over ten years ago fats, oils, and sugars were added to the food pyramid. I remember that because I was always watching sugar intake for both myself and my children.

It turns out the sugar, added in small amounts, is actual good for digestion. The sucrose in plain table sugar helps break down other complex sugars so your body can absorb, process, and distribute them to other parts of your body.

Similarly in cows, sugar is used to break down the healthy bacteria, fiber and protein found in the cattle’s feed. By adding the candy to their feed ration is actually helping their system to absorb the nutrients in their food. Remember – the cows are not fed pure candy any more than you would serve your child candy for dinner. It is simply used as a supplement that has a job to do.

I then checked out nutritional information for our horses. First and foremost, the horse’s digestive system is nothing like a human’s or a cow’s. Most of the simple sugars and carbs are broken down in the small intestine and absorbed. A look at the amount of simple sugar and carbs in different hay or grasses told me that they receive a substantial amount every day.

My thoughts? Skip the peppermints for the horses, but candy for the cows may be the better choice than having it go into a landfill.

KeiLin Farm, a producer of farm fresh beef and eggs, as well as premium hay, is located in Rose Township, Michigan and is in the process of acquiring the required licenses to become a small wine maker.

How do I cook that?


beef-shank

When you buy a quarter of a steer, you get a quarter of all the cuts available from that steer. You know you get steak – porterhouse, T-bone, chuck, and ground. You get roasts – English, rump, and chuck. But what about these other packages? There are soup bones or shanks, stew meat, and short ribs! What do I do with those?

These cuts could end up being your favorites once you know how to use them.

Soups

The crock pot can be your best friend. Put the soup bones in the pot with a generous amount of water and your favorite spices. Experiment with the spices – thyme, oregano, and basil make a great Italian seasoning. Mix rosemary with black pepper, lemon zest, garlic, and salt (optional) for another great flavoring. Add some vegetables and let it cook on low for about 8 hours. The meat will fall off the bones! Dice it, add some barley if you like and cook it for another half hour. If you don’t like barley, boil some noodles and mix with the soup.

Stew

Stew is another crock pot favorite. Just like the soup, cook the meat for about eight hours on low with your choice of spices and vegetables. Thicken the broth when it’s done. Hearty meal on a cold day with little effort from you.

Fajitas

Any dish that uses small, sliced meats can also be made with the stew meat. We love fajitas. The stew meat is already chucked, so I only cut the larger pieces, stir fry and follow our favorite recipe. Done!

Short ribs

This cut also works best in a crock pot. I like to add my favorite bar-b-q sauce and let it simmer away all day. Serve with a microwave baked potato and salad for another delicious and effortless meal.

Just as a note, we’ve recently added an electric pressure pot to our kitchen. We’ve made the same meals that we made in the crock pot quickly. It’s been a life saver on the days that “someone” forgot to start the crock pot in the morning.

These are just a few ways to serve these lesser-known cuts of meat. How many have you tried? What is your favorite ways to prepare them? Let us know in the comments below.

KeiLin Farm, a producer of farm fresh beef and eggs, as well as premium hay, is located in Rose Township, Michigan and is in the process of acquiring the required licenses to become a small wine maker.

5 Fast Facts About the New FDA Antibiotics Guidelines — Facts About Beef


When it comes to healthy animals, no one cares more than farmers and ranchers. The beef that farmers and ranchers raise and sell to restaurants and supermarkets is the same beef they feed their own families, so it’s no surprise that they want the best care for their livestock to ensure everyone has safe, healthy beef.

via 5 Fast Facts About the New FDA Antibiotics Guidelines — Facts About Beef

What Are the Popular Cattle Breeds in the United States? — Facts About Beef


Cattle come in many different shapes and sizes – much of which can be attributed to various breeds of beef cattle. Not all cattle breeds are created equal – some are well-known for their meat quality while other cattle breeds are well-known for the amount of muscle they possess. Here’s an introduction to five popular […]

via What Are the Popular Cattle Breeds in the United States? — Facts About Beef

Hay is for Horses


And cattle, goats, and sheep

Bales on wagon

Our busy hay season is over for the year, now we start selling our stored hay to people who need extra hay to get their animals through the winter. Finding good hay, the right hay, is not always easy. You know your animal best. Even though the available hay is good, it may not be right for you.

Know your animal

Most people know that cows and other ruminants can eat hay that is unsuitable for horses, there are exceptions there. Certain sheep and goats have diets similar to horses.

Among horses, the age and health of the horse can be a factor when selecting hay. We have a horse who is nearly 30 years old. For the past two years she has been fed second cutting or a very soft first cutting in order to maintain her weight. In addition to her chewing capabilities, her digestive system could not assimilate the nutrients from the stemmier first cutting hay. Horses with Cushing’s or other metabolic diseases may require certain blends of hay.

Know your hay

Everything that is green is not hay. Take the time to learn and recognize the different grasses that can be present in a bale of hay as well as the weeds. Some weeds are harmless; others can be poisonous for your animal.

Before committing to a hay purchase from a farmer who has not provided you with hay before, ask if you can examine the hay first. We allow prospective customers to break open a bale, check through the hay, and, purchase one bale as a test for their animal. Even the best looking hay may not be the “flavor” that your animal prefers.

Remember too, that if you are offering hay to an animal that still has pasture, the hay will be ignored for the greener, tastier pasture.

Know your farmer

If your hay farmer is out of hay and you are looking through the hay listings on the internet, how do you or would you decide on which farmer to select? Are you looking at the lowest cost? Closest to your farm? Both of these factors come into consideration, but, neither may be appropriate for selecting the best hay for your animal.

Ask your friends for the name of their hay farmer. If that person is out of hay, don’t’ be afraid to ask the hay farmer you are calling for the names of people who have purchased hay in the past. Visit the barn where the hay is stored. Was it put up dry and stored dry? Do you see or smell mold? Examine the hay for weeds. Are they lose or tight bales? A lower price for loser bales could end up costing you more in the long run.

Your animals depend on you for their food. The hay you provide during the winter must be the best you can afford to keep them warm during the cold, snowy months ahead. Know your animals, your hay, your farmer – then select the best hay possible for them.

KeiLin Farm, a producer of farm fresh beef and eggs, as well as premium hay, is located in Rose Township, Michigan and is in the process of acquiring the required licenses to become a small wine maker.

 

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Contact Information

9160 Eagle Road
Davisburg, MI 48350
248.634.7276

KeiLin Farm website