Monday, March 20, 2017

Family Traditions

Do you ever wonder how traditions get started? Why do we do the things we do and when we do them. Maybe you're not a nerd like me? I'll admit...I do have a motive behind my questioning. We just happen to have several large turkeys left from the fall harvest. I wondered to myself "Self, do people eat turkey for Easter?" The answer is, not traditionally.

This led me to even deeper thinking, luckily for me I had already had plenty of coffee and could muster deeper thoughts, BUT WHY? It made me think of the story about pot roast. Maybe you know the story? The one where the woman is fixing pot roast and slices off the ends and her friends asks why she is slicing off the ends and she says "that's the way my mother did it and she taught me to cook" and so she asks her mom "why do we cut the ends off the pot roast?" and her mother says "that's the way my mother did it and she taught me to cook" so then the mother asks her mother "why did you cut the ends off the pot roast?" and she says "because it wouldn't fit in the pan I had"! 🙄

So, do you know why we traditionally eat ham for easter? I'll say, my suspicion was correct. Back in the days before mechanical refrigeration hogs were harvested in the fall when the weather was getting colder so the meat wouldn't spoil while it was being cut into those precious chops, bacon and sausage. Think refrigerator temperatures. Turns out those hams that were set to cure in the fall just happened to be ready about the time of easter! It was convenience food!

So aren't we lucky to be living in the days of deep freezers? We can think outside the proverbial "small pan" and eat turkey for Easter if we want to! So, if you're like me and didn't get enough turkey at Thanksgiving you're in luck! Eating a turkey for easter will be just as convenient as ham. AND to further entice you to break with tradition we are offering these turkeys ON SALE!  Regularly  $4.50 per pound now $3.50 per pound. These turkeys are in the 19lb range so that will be about $20 off regular price!  A great deal even if you just want to stock up on delicious, non-gmo, pastured poultry

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

How About Out With the COLD!

I really hate to complain, I really do. We have had such a mild winter so I really feel bad whining about the cold now. But, I'm going to whine anyway. That's whats farmer's do I guess. The weather is never just right for us it's either too hot or cold, wet or dry, Windy or humid. Why, you'd think we're hard to please or something! We had April weather in February and now it seems we're having February weather in March. I shudder to think what April and May will bring. We really aren't that hard to please at all. What's good for us is good for the planet...no extremes.

In spite of the cold the farming must go on and we are gearing up for our busiest year yet! We have over a hundred little chicks in the barn waiting for the weather to break so they can go out into the chicken tractors and start gobbling up that green grass that we know is hiding under this (hopefully) last blast of winter. In an effort to be more safety and energy conscious we purchased a new brooding system. Rather than the scary, energy-sucking heat lamps we purchased heat plates for the chicks. We have dubbed them the "Big Black Hens" because they emulate a mother hen. The chicks run underneath and touch the plates and warm themselves that way, just like they would with a hen. So far so good... the chicks seem content with their surrogate moms and we aren't worried about a bulb exploding and burning our barn down. Win-win!
You'd never guess there are 125 chicks hiding under the Big Black Hens!

In other farm news we are thrilled to announce that we have been accepted, once again, to the Canal Market District Farmer's Market in downtown Newark . It's quite the beautiful setting and perfect for vendor's and shopper's alike. With it's covered shopping area and large ceiling fans, no matter the weather, it's perfect for perusing the market and picking up your groceries for the week. While you're there you can enjoy live music and food trucks! It's the perfect Friday night date!  We will be there every Friday   evening from 4-7pm beginning May 5th until the end of October. We hope you'll come out to support not only Cherokee Valley but all the local farmers. We will have bison available opening night so, put it on your calendar! That's all the time I have for today...gotta get back to stoking the fire and dreaming about spring! :)


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Out With the Old

It's hard to believe another new year is upon us. It seems to come faster every year. This year on New Year's Day, besides eating the requisite pork and cabbage, we took down the christmas tree. In usual fashion when we were done with the tree we threw it out for the herd to play with.
Taking in that pine fresh scent
Freedom, drunk on piney goodness, wears the tree on his horns...always the life of the party!

As we watched them play I remembered how we first came to find out that bison enjoyed playing with Christmas trees... Rewind back to 2007 when we were newbie bison ranchers and still made dumb mistakes. We had hosted a lively slumber party for our dear daughter the night before so we may have had a little exhaustion working for us. At the time we only had a couple of pastures and the pasture the herd was in was "land locked" if you will, in order to throw hay over the fence you had to be in  the pasture to the left or right it instead of from the outside.  So, we turned off the electric fence and headed through the gate with our wheelbarrow loaded down with hay. Since we took the wheelbarrow in we would have to bring it back out so we didn't close the gate behind us. Makes sense right? Well, bison are magical, one of the things we enjoyed then (and now) is watching them play. They were feeling extra frisky that day for some reason, maybe they knew what was about to happen, so we walked along the fence towards the back of the pasture and watched them running and bucking and kicking. That's when we got the great idea to let the herd over into the pasture we were in. Bison just LOVE to run through gates. So we opened the gate and ducked out of the pasture at the far end of the field and watched them play and frolic...WHEE!  Right about the time we saw the open gate...so did they! We watched every single bison run through the gate into the great wide open! As soon as we recovered from the temporary heart attack we headed for the house. We opened all the gates and each one of us hopped in a vehicle. At that time we fed a little grain to the herd just to get them to like us, grain is like crack to a buffalo, so we threw a bag of grain in the back of the truck and tried luring them in with that...ha ha they had acres of uncharted field to explore, our bag of buffalo crack meant nothing to them. 

At this point we had to call for reinforcements. I do not remember how but we ended up with a posse of cowboys and girls on quads and in trucks blocking openings and herding them towards the gate. The sight of our big bull Charlie running neck and neck with those quads, his mane flowing in the wind as he ran with that look of freedom in his eyes, was breathtaking.  Well, when we finally had the last bison in the pasture and stopped shaking and swearing our undying gratitude to the bison roundup crew, we were able to take stock of any damage. There in the front yard, where trees from christmases past were lovingly planted, remained stumps! It seems as though Charlie felt they were giant bison play toys or he needed some cologne? We knew it was Charlie because he had pine boughs stuck throughout his mane for months! Thank goodness that was all the damage they did, besides shortening our lives by 10 years from the stress. Turns out he did us a favor, we needed those trees moved anyway for building the front pasture. ;) Needless to say we don't leave gates open anymore and are quite obsessive about checking two or ten times to make sure all gates are closed before moving the herd. It's much less stressful to bring the trees to them...

Happy New Year from the Ranchers!


Charlie...the ultimate BULL-dozer

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Buffalo Gal Makes Good



We've got bison, yes we do!
We've got bison, so can you!



That's right! Bison is here...after weeks of waiting you can enjoy our fabulous, mouth watering bison once again. The Buffalo Gal hitched her wagon and headed north yesterday to pick up precious cargo.  She skillfully dodged road construction and kept the horses running at a steady gait to make it back to the ranch and fill the freezers just like Christmas Morning!

We have all of your favorites plus a few new things to try. Meaty Bison Short Ribs are perfect for your labor day cookouts slap a few on the grill to share or eat them all yourself ! We also have Rump Roasts perfect for slow cooking with some carrots and potatoes...a meal worth waiting for. The ranchers have completed the difficult task of quality control and have handed down the Rancher Stamp of Approval for this harvest! We know you'll be just as delighted as we are.

We will be at the Canal Market District Friday evening with our freezers bulging with bison and our other delicious pastured meats. We have killer bacon that goes perfect on bison burgers.  Meat you there!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Chicken pieces are in!

This Just In: 

Our chickens have gone to pieces! In today's busy life convenience is king. We realize many of you don't always have time to defrost and cook a whole chicken. Or perhaps you're like my mom and only like the breast meat? Need a quick meal for the kiddos to accompany one of our delicious pork chops? Whatever your reason we have you covered! 

We now have our delicious pastured chicken breasts, thighs, legs and wings in convenient, quick to defrost, quick to cook,  don't have to plan ahead, vac sealed packages.  

We will have a full selection of chicken, pork and turkey tonight at the Canal Market District Farmer's Market from 4-7pm...looks like the rain will hold off until after the market! Stop out and see us. 

We also launched our new online store this week!! You can pre-order and pick up at the market (just tell me that you're coming to the market in the comment when you check out) or you can pick up at the farm. Check it out! 

https://squareup.com/store/cherokee-valley-bison-ranch

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Pastured Chicken Special!!  


Buy 2 pastured chickens get 10% off buy 5 or more and get 20% off. 


Stock up for winter (when there are limited supplies of pastured chickens)! 
We grow an alternative broiler who is slower growing than the commercial white broilers so they have time to develop flavor and are vigorous foragers making for an exquisite taste. Our chickens are pastured in chicken tractors and enjoy a fresh salad bar with all the grass, seeds and bugs a chicken can eat! We supplement with a nutritionally complete,Non-Gmo verified feed. Enjoy such meals as Beer Can chicken, jamaican jerk rub chicken, or my favorite fried chicken. Our meaty chickens are the perfect meal stretcher as well, cook the chicken one day and use the meat in several meals through the week such as topper for a salad or in a stir fry. Save the bones and make a stock for a nutritious soup. 
Regularly $4 per pound.
 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Eggsplosion!

To get all of you hooked on our most delicious , orangest yolked, free-range chicken eggs we are offering a special, a sample to take home. FREE EGGS with the purchase of, eggs favorite plate mates, bacon or sausage. We have Hot Italian, Sweet Italian, and Salt & Pepper Sage in bulk one pound packages and Bratwurst in links, 4 links per one pound package. Our Tamworth hog bacon, processed at Ohio's top butcher, cured with the natural nitrate cure makes for the best bacon your taste buds have ever met! Join us at the Canal Market District Farmer's Market tonight from 4-7pm!