Summer is Back!
Phew...we have been busy! This last year has been one for the record books. With new businesses, new job and working on new farm projects the year flew by and we are back to summer. As we continue to get farm work done we are also planning on events starting back up again soon. Besides the annual lavender wreath making class, we plan on more farm to table dinners, our fall festival day and more classes on soap making, sewing, canning and beyond. Here are some highlights from the farm, family, bookstore and community garden. If you would like to be involved with the Willow Creek Community Learning Garden or the Willow Creek Farmer's Market please reach out to me or to another volunteer.
Oh...summer...where did you go?! This summer has flown by between working on Flood Town Books and trying to keep up on the farm. We didn't get very far towards our farm goals this year with drought, wind and a lack of time. However, we were able to host our annual lavender wreath making class, which was wonderful! We also have had a smaller garden...enough for us, but not enough to sell produce boxes. Our trees got a good trimming; a job that has been on the bucket list for a few years. Much of this summer went to maintaining and sometimes that is the best we can do.
I had high hopes of hosting a farm to table dinner this September, but Justin has helped me see the reality that it ain't gonna happen this year....again:( Between the new rise in Covid cases in our area, the lack of produce in the garden and the fact that the whole place looks like it has been through the dustbowl we decided to postpone for another year. I will say that the theme for the next Farm to Table has been set and it is a good one...so keep an eye out for more information next spring/early summer.
We plan to end the season with a little yoga on the farm this next week, which will be a fun way to say hello to friends and do a bit of relaxing before school starts again.
ALSO....a new project is under works here...which will make classes and dinners so much better! Here is a sneak peak. Any guesses?!?
Even though we have been very busy working on our new business, check out www.floodtownbooks.com, we have still been making progress on farm projects as well.
The garden has been cleared, we have started plants, rotated goats and working towards our apothecary kitchen. We are also excited to start offering events and classes once again! Our first event will be a Mommy and Me Tea on May 8th...Lita and I are working on perfecting our macron recipe.
Other events being planned include:
Annual Lavender Wreath Making - June
Hand Built Pottery Class - July
Farm to Table Harvest Dinner - September
* Class sizes will be a bit more limited until we have the all clear to open up fully. If you would like to pre-register for any of the above mentioned events, please reach out to me.
I have slowed down on making natural beauty products, due to lack of time and lack of open venues. However, I plan to continue making my all natural goat milk soap. I am working on getting my apothecary kitchen complete and then will again offer soap making classes as well.
My last post was at the beginning of what would be a very long eight months...for everyone! What started out as a nice two week breather with family and the farm turned into a much longer, stressful and unfortunately uneventful 2021. Like many of you, we were faced with homeschooling, work and learning how to all get along for months on end without our normal breaks, camps, work weekends, etc. We survived....at least thus far and I am sure we will look back and remember the good that came out of 2020.
With that being said, it was a hard year for Black Acre Farm. We had set an intention that we would take a break from events, classes and the such at the end of 2019. We planned to be back at it by June of 2020....well as they say, the best laid plans. We were hopeful and had tentatively planned a late summer farm to table, a hand full of summer classes and a fall pumpkin patch....that of course was all canceled. Just as our events had to be canceled so did so many others, and so many other businesses shut their doors. Without a market for our products, we stopped making soaps and lotions and instead focused on improvements around the farm.
We have painted fences, gave a facelift to our chicken coop and planted over 100 new lavender plants...and we finally got our high tunnels up and running proper! Also, we are working towards getting a working canning, soap making and bread baking kitchen completed in our old wash house. We are very excited to host classes in our new space...this spring?!?
So here is to 2020...the year that went by so slow, yet so fast that we didn't even post to our website for eight months! Keep a lookout for news of upcoming events this spring...we have a goal to update at least once a month for 2021.
Stuck at Home? Make a Pie
To celebrate Pie Day as well as to kick start the next two weeks of staying home, Charlie and I decided to make hand pies today! Recipe and instructions below:
My go to pastry crust recipe: (I use this for all my pies and quiche)
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced
1/4 cup ice water
Jam- whatever kind you like
Pie spice or cinnamon
turbinado sugar or any coarse sugar
To make crust I am careful to measure the flour precisely. Using a 1/4 cup measuring spoon and helps! I also dice the butter and then place it back into the freezer for a few minutes before combining it with my dry ingredients.
Step by step instructions are given in the captions of each photo:
Once the dough has had time in the fridge to rest and cool down I begin rolling it out onto a lightly floured surface.
Now to add some jam! I use approximately 1-2 tablespoons of jam for each hand pie. Today we made strawberry and cherry. I also sprinkle pie spice onto the inside with the jam. If you don't have pie spice, just add a bit of cinnamon.
The pies will not expand much in the oven, so you can place them fairly close together on a baking sheet. I stick the whole baking sheet with the pies in the freezer for about 10 minutes to chill the dough again. After removing from the freezer I give each pie a quick and light egg wash and sprinkle turbinado sugar over the top...you can use any kind of coarse sugar.
After the egg wash and sugar, I place the pies into a 450 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown on top. After removing from oven let them set on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before plating. If you wish to also add a glaze wait until the pies are completely cool.
This is a fun and easy baking project to do with kids. Charlie loves to help out with everything and making hand pies is a great way to teach him some baking basics and make a treat for him and Lita to share.
Teacher. Student. Mother. Daughter. Sister. Wife. Farmer (well... I try).