These days, when I am not out working in the fields, you can generally catch me in the kitchen. I’m either making apple sauce or tomato sauce. Many people ask me how to make tomato sauce and there are as many recipes as their are tomato varieties, but this is how I make it.
I am a pretty low maintenance kinda gal, so my method is to dump whatever I happen to have at the time.
I wash my tomatoes, generally the split or damaged ones. Then I core them and cut out any bad spots. I tear them in half and place them on a jelly roll pan (you could also use a 13 x 9 pan). Then, I pile on anything else I have around, onions and garlic (of course!), peppers, eggplant, celery, etc. A little salt and pepper and then sprinkle on some olive oil. Place in the oven for about 20-30 minutes at 350.
Once that is done, throw in some fresh herbs. Then, you have two options. Dump it all into a food processor or blender, or put it in a stockpot. I put mine in a stockpot and let it simmer on an extremely low heat to let the herbs blend in. Then, I use a handheld blender to mix it all up in the stockpot. You can make it as chunky or smooth as you like. Since I don’t skin my tomatoes, I blend it pretty well so all the skins will get chopped up. Then you can either can it, or pour the cooled sauce into freezer bags and freeze it.
Now, if you are thinking that this recipe looks great, but you really would rather not make your kitchen into a sauna when it’s already 90 degrees outside, don’t worry. Wash your tomatoes and place them whole into a freezer bag. Pull them out when the weatherman announces our next blizzard and you’ll have plenty to do to keep you occupied AND well fed!
Posted by blacksheepfarms on August 30, 2010
Posted by blacksheepfarms on August 25, 2010
Want to get up close and personal with your food? Our friends at Pawnee Pride are offering a Kids Tour on September 10th, starting at 10:30am. It’s a family-friendly walking tour of the Rohrbaugh ranch, ending in a picnic at Burchard Lake.
The Rohrbaughs are good friends of ours, and we purchase our beef from them. The beef is 100% grass finished, and the cattle are never subjected to unnecessary medications or hormones. Pawnee Pride is very similar to Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farms, and the Rohrbaughs have hosted Joel in their home.
Pawnee Pride is located in Pawnee County, about 2 hours south of Metro Omaha. If you’d like to make reservations and get directions, contact Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by blacksheepfarms on August 23, 2010
Our farmhouse was built in 1900. The City of Omaha hadn’t yet spread the next 20 miles to border our town of Bennington, and the Ford Model T was introduced in 1908. At that time, our farm was truly rural.
The first modern air conditioner was invented in 1902. In the pre-AC days, temperature control meant planting trees to shade the house, plenty of windows to create cross-breezes and cold baths. Well, not much has changed.
Today’s high temperature is 97F. We’ve been experiencing a long stretch of hot and humid weather, and this has made life difficult on the farm. Morning temps in the kitchen are usually 80F, and the nights haven’t been providing much relief. We have a couple of portable or window air conditioning units to help us sleep, but the heat is still a major factor in our daily lives.
Farming is a lifestyle, and it can mean that you make sacrifices. Heck, it’s a completely different life altogether. In my city life, I left my air conditioned house, hopped into my air conditioned car and drove 15 minutes to my air conditioned office. Now, I drive 22 miles one way while my family sweats out their day. I plan my nights and weekends around weeds, fallen trees, hungry pigs, fences, escaping dogs and, right now, sweating and showering.
If you are considering farming, sleep with the windows open tonight. We can talk in the morning.
Posted by blacksheepfarms on August 11, 2010
Here is your chance! Some friends of ours are selling their farm, so we can attest to the fact that the land was well cared for and they are good people.
Check it out!
Posted by blacksheepfarms on August 1, 2010
It’s been a fantastic season for us on the farm. Of course there have been some setbacks, but all in all, we’ve been so fortunate. But one of the main hassles we deal with on a daily basis is weeds. I’m not sure if it was all the rain, or weed seed in our mulch, or the fact that we tilled and planted in an area that was especially weedy before or a combination of all of that, but we’ve got WEEDS and LOTS of ‘em! Make that HAD weeds because here is the before:
and here is the after:
We ask our CSA members to give some of their time to help us work throughout the season. The last Saturday of every month we set aside the morning for volunteer time. This month, we were so overwhelmed with weeds, we decided to open it up to anyone who wanted to come. We put the call out for Crop Mob 2010 and ended up with a delightful and dedicated group of people who were rockstar weeders! In the four hours we worked, we got 14 rows weeded! It would take my poor little hands a week to get all that done. But aside from the amazing work we got done, it was also a great opportunity to make new friends and experience farm life first-hand. I think our volunteers had fun and we are so very appreciative for what they have done for us. Thank you, rockstars!
Posted by blacksheepfarms on August 1, 2010