Beneficial Booch (Kombucha)

I’ve had a lot of people ask me lately about Kombucha. What is it? Why do we make it? Why would they want it? All good questions. My simplest answer to “what is it” is that it is fermented tea. Completely organic, made with organic tea leaves and organic evaporated cane sugar, and filtered water….

Independence DayS

Reflecting on yesterday’s National Holiday, I found myself remembering an inspirational book that I picked up at a Mother Earth News fair in Monticello, seven or eight years ago. At that time, were still fairly new to country living, but trying like heck to learn skills that would help us raise and store our food….

Blueberry Honey?

I was picking blueberries yesterday and noticed a lot of honey bees on the blueberries. That is new to me. I researched it and found that bees will feed on ripened fruit, but it’s not usually a large portion of their foraging. Next time I inspect the hive, I’ll be looking for dark nectar that…

Finally, honey!

After a few disappointing years losing hives to weather, beetles and swarms, it was finally honey harvesting day on the farm yesterday! One of the three captured swarms from last year really devoted their efforts to making honey. Yesterday’s haul was three gallons from that hive alone with over twice that much left. Non-chemical bee…

Black ants in your house?

I’m hearing from friends and neighbors that they are seeing infestations of black ants in various rooms of their homes right now. This is a seasonal problem that we encounter each year, around this time. Instead of buying poison traps, here is a simple and effective non-toxic solution and also safe around pets and kids….

Sourdough? Sweet!

A true sourdough does not contain added yeast. That’s right. Check your recipe. Does it call for yeast? Probably! When I set out on my quest to make good-tasting, 100% whole grain loaves of bread for my family, I eventually wandered into this unfamiliar territory. I found plenty of information on the Web regarding how…

Spring is in the…milk!

One look at our farm butter now, and you’d know that the pastures are greening up. With Spring comes more carotene in the grasses, and that translates into more golden milk. Raw butter changes from pale yellow to a beautiful deep gold. The pasture fence expansion is really paying off now. Lots of room to…

Hello, baby!

Esther finally calved on Wednesday, October 19. Exactly one week past her due date. Her second calf is a healthy, vanilla colored bull. This is good news for herd share members who have been anxiously awaiting the milk to start flowing again! Just a few more days for her milk to clear up, and we’ll…

Sage Advice

As the summer winds to a close and the forecast shows cooler evening temps approaching, I realize I am running out of time to get some of our herbs harvested and dried. I neglected my beloved thyme this year, but thanks to my friend, Debbie, I have some lovely potted sage that still looks healthy….

Heirloom Baking

Baking bread by hand seems to be a lost art, an artisan skill that only a select few would ever take the time to embrace. Those who know me know that, aside from a passion for cheese making, bread making is something that I am fascinated with – constantly tweaking and revising recipes in search…

Purple is the new green

We want to congratulate Herd Share Member Cecilia F. for her winning Okra entry in this year’s Middle Tennessee District Fair! Bringing home a blue ribbon and green cash prize, Cecilia shared some of this unusual okra with V.D.L. Farm.  What a surprise it was for us when the tender purple pods turned green as…

Labor Day

Most people I know make special plans Labor Day. Maybe fire up the grill, or put the boat in the water. But when you live on a farm, its business as usual. Cows still need to be milked. Equipment needs to be washed. Butter needs to be churned. Laundry has to be rotated. Supplies checked…