Hill Family Farm

fresh from our fields to your table


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What Can I Do With A “Crock Pot” Chicken?

crock pot chickenLast Friday we began “recycling” our oldest egg layers. These birds were over 2 years old and had served us (and many of you) well, but it was definitely time for them to begin moving on.

Now I know some of you may be asking, just exactly how do you recycle a chicken? Well, we send them off to our friendly processor and they come back to the farm as “crock pot” chickens!

Back in the good old days, Grandma would call them stewing chickens. That’s because Grandma knew the older a chicken was, the tougher it could be if not cooked properly. So she simply put the bird in a stew pot all day long, knowing it would be nice and tender by dinner time.

Today, crock pots have replaced stew pots in most of our homes, but the concept is still the same. Low and slow makes for a tender, tasty “crock pot” chicken. While there are tons of crock pot chicken recipes out there, I thought I would share this one with you. It’s very simple and gives you great flexibility in how you use the pulled chicken once it’s cooked. Quesadillas? Check. Enchiladas? Check. Chicken salad? Check. Any other chicken dish you can think of? Check!

As most of you already know, our egg layers are raised on pasture and fed non-GMO feed just like our meat birds. This means you get all the positive health benefits of an all-natural, pasture raised chicken without all the negatives associated with confinement raised birds. All in all…a win/win!

Beginning today, we will have crock pot chickens available for sale ($3.49/lb). To get yours, you can stop by the farm most anytime, or visit us tomorrow (Aug 31) at the White House Farmers Market or Saturday at the Hendersonville Farmers Market.

Thanks and we look forward to seeing around the farm soon!


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Corn Chowder Salad

Don’t know about you, but I love a good chowder. Unfortunately not so much in the summer when it’s hot outside. However, when I saw this recipe from our friend Katherine at CookWithWhatYouHave.com, I knew I had to share it with you. Can’t wait to try it out this weekend! If you agree, be sure to let us know how you liked it…

corn-chowder-salad

No time for chowder but have the same ingredients on hand, more or less?  Make this, robust and bright salad with a buttermilk dressing. Skip the bacon, add a few diced cherry tomatoes or any other variation–cilantro or basil instead of parsley . . .

Serves 4 as light main course

Ingredients:

4-5 ears corn, kernels cut off the cob

3 slices bacon, fried, cooled and chopped (optional, see headnote)

5-6 small to medium potatoes, boiled, cooled and diced

3 tablespoons onion, thinly sliced or finely diced

1/3 cup chopped, fresh parsley

Dressing:

1/3 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt

2 tablespoons cider vinegar, more to taste

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

Cook the corn kernels in the pan in which you cooked the bacon, if you’re using bacon, for a few minutes until just heated through and tender. Or cook it in a teaspoon of butter and little splash of water.

Put all the salad ingredients in a serving bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients in a bowl or small jar. Dress, toss, taste and adjust for seasoning.


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What Does “Producer Only” Mean?

HFF 2016This season marks our 3rd year as a vendor at the Hendersonville Farmers Market. Since it was our first market, we are definitely invested in it being the best market it can possibly be.

What you may, or may not know, is that we are now 1 of only 2 “producer only” farmers at the market. This means the two of us are the only vendors selling exclusively what we grow. As a result, we can tell customers exactly how something was grown, when/how it was harvested and what, if anything, has been sprayed (only organic certified in our case) on the different crops.

Unfortunately some of the other vendors try to be all things to all people. They call themselves farms, but do not grow a great majority of what they sell. Instead they go to auction houses, or regional distribution centers, to buy the produce they turn around and resell. In effect they are buying from commercial farms (probably not local) with no idea how the produce was grown. As long as they are upfront and honest about where their produce comes from, we have no complaints. We learned the first year that people wanting the least expensive “grocery store” produce, with no concern for where or how it was grown, are not our customers. Where we have an issue is when someone is less than honest about where their produce comes from. We feel this hurts the credibility of the market and places those of us who are selling only what we grow at a significant disadvantage.

When visiting a farmers market, whether it’s the HFM or another market, don’t be afraid to ask questions of the farmer before buying. How was it grown? Can we come and visit the farm? When did you harvest this? These are all valid questions and ones we enjoy answering, as we love talking about what we do and how we do it. In addition, be aware of what produce is in season here in Middle TN. If you don’t see it at a producer only vendor’s booth, chances are pretty good it was trucked in and not from around here.

We believe strongly in our slogan, “know your farmer, know your food” and think you do as well. Just know we appreciate you guys and love working hard to provide you and your families with healthy, all-natural produce!


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Announcing Our New Fall CSA!

IMG_3045Fall is a great time for fresh produce here in middle TN. Not only do we get to enjoy the cooler weather crops such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuces, kale, radishes, turnips, greens, etc, we also still have some of the summer veggies around. This means the best of both worlds!

With that in mind, we are excited to announce registration is open for our Fall CSA. Our new Fall CSA will run for 8 weeks, beginning the 2nd week of September and ending the 1st week of November.

With the uncertainties of our fall weather, we have opted to simplify our offerings. For our Fall CSA we are offering one size (half share) and two pick up days here at the farm, Monday and Thursday, from 3:00pm – 6:00pm. (Unfortunately this means no full shares and no off-farm delivery locations.)

Given our small size, the number of shares we offer are limited and will sell out rather quickly. To help you decide if joining our 2016 CSA is a good fit for you and your family, here are links to additional information:

What Is A CSA?

2016 CSA

Once you’ve decided whether or not our Fall CSA is for you, signing up is easy. Simply download the agreement below, complete it and then return to us along with your $50 deposit to confirm your share. That’s it!

2016 Fall CSA Agreement

Of course, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call or email. Thanks and we look forward to hearing from you soon!

 

 

 


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It’s Almost Market Time!

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It seems like just yesterday we were dealing with old man winter and now we’ve pretty much skipped spring and gone straight to summer. While some of the cooler weather crops aren’t thrilled, the good news is…it’s almost market time! This year we are happy to announce we will be selling at three different markets, Goodlettsville, Hendersonville and White House.

At each market we plan to have farm-fresh eggs, pastured chicken and pork and all-natural produce for sale. Actual offerings will vary each week so we suggest checking out our Facebook page for the latest offering details. Below is information and a link for each market we will be attending:

Goodlettsville – This market takes place every Thursday, beginning May 5, from 3:30 – 6:30. The market is located off Dickerson Rd in the grassy area next to Goodlettsville Church of Christ. This is supposed to be a “producer only” market, but I’m not sure how strictly that is being enforced. When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to ask a few probing questions to determine if the person really grew/raised what they’re selling.

Hendersonville – This will be our 3rd year at this market and it just keeps getting better. The market will be every Saturday, beginning May 21, at the Streets of Indian Lake and will run through September 24. Times for the market are 9:00 am – 2:00 pm. This market does have both local farms and resellers. While there’s nothing wrong with the reselling of produce (as long as they’re up front about it), you may or may not actually be supporting local farmers. Much of what they sell has been trucked in from outside Sumner County. Again, when in doubt, ask questions such as where and how it was grown.

White House – We are very excited to be a founding vendor in our new “hometown” market! The market will be every Wednesday, beginning May 25, from 3:30 – 7:00 and will be located on Highway 31 W, next to the city’s new kids’ splash pad. In addition to being a strictly enforced producer only market, there will also be food trucks on site each week. Splash pad for the kids, fresh/local meat, eggs, fruit, veggies, jams and more, plus food trucks. What more do you need to make this market a don’t miss event each week?!

Well, there you have it. A busy summer ahead. We hope to see you often at one or more of these markets. Come on out and support your local farmers. We all depend on you!

PS – For those of who might not fully understand why we emphasize the importance of “producer only”, here’s an excellent article that was recently published in the Tampa Bay Times…

” Over several weeks, I visited Tampa Bay’s outdoor markets. At a dozen different markets, I counted 346 discrete vendors, many of whom sell at multiple markets. Of that number, only 16 sold their own produce, honey, eggs, meat or dairy. Plenty of wind chimes and hot sauces, but less than 5 percent represented Florida farmers growing their own food.” Click here to read the full article.


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April Specials!

Spring has finally arrived here on the farm and we’re celebrating with 3 different specials this month!

Breakfast Special

Breakfast Special

  • Breakfast Special – $10 (1lb sausage and 1 dozen eggs) Breakfast sausage comes in mild, medium and hot varieties.
  • Super Breakfast Special – $20 (1 lb sausage, 1lb bacon ends and 2 dozen eggs)
  • Pork Grilling Special – $30 (2 pork chops and 3lbs of sausage links) Pork chops are 6-8 oz each and links come 5/lb with your choice of Andouille, Bratwurst, Italian, Irish Banger and Chorizo.

As a reminder, all of our chickens and pigs are raised on pasture and supplemented with non-GMO feed. Also, our sausages are made with all natural ingredients, containing no MSG and our bacon is made using a nitrate-free, all natural curing process.

To place your order, simply complete the order form below and specify when you would like to pick up. The farm hours for April are 8:00am-5:30pm Monday-Friday and Saturday from 10:30am-4:00pm. We also will be delivering to the Glenbrook parking lot each Saturday morning in April from 9:30-10:00.

Thanks and we look forward to seeing you here on the farm soon!