Category Archives: dairy

Inspiration Number Ten-Stress Reduction

To me, having a farm means less stress…well, maybe the same about of stress, just a different variety. Having worked in sales and marketing for nearly 20 years and then working construction for a handful in there, farming brings a completely different aspect to my life. A place to escape……
When I get stressed out too much from work overload, I go sit in the pasture with the cows.

Davy, when he was young, greating me and wondering what I am doing.

When I just get sick of dealing with people and all of their drama, I go sit with the chickens and watch them dig and scratch around the yard.
Barred Rock hen digging for bugs and worms

When I just get tired of everything, I go hang out in the barn. When I get agrevatiated or too upset, I just spend hours outside around the animals.
Relaxation Time in the Barn

Sometimes, I think it would be better for me to just live in the barn and not have phones, cell phones and computers…to live the “old way” of life. To have no electricity. When running water meant having to use the pump. When you went to the basement to pull root vegetables out. When ice was delivered during the winter months to keep our “ice boxes” cold during the warm summer months. To use horses to plow. All of that sounds like heaven to me.

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Inspiration Number Six-Teaching Children

Well since the last one was a big toss up between quiet times and when there is a flurry of activity. Today, I will talk and show the flurry of activity.
My number six inspiration for being a farmer is to pass down what has been taught to me. To be able to work with kids to show them that farming is hard work but, with the right temperment it is extremely rewarding. Farming also teaches us all valuable lessons in where our food comes from and what goes into that food.

One of the neighborhood kids petting "Big Momma"

Fresh corn off the cob for the birds on the farm
Learning about how tall corn grows and how it's harvested

Talking Turkey with three farm visitors

Our daughter and son-in-law are even doing what they can to pass the farm legacy on.
Our granddaughter and her first calf

Each and everyone of us that farms knows that it takes lessons to learn and grow to love what farming can do for an individual. In my prespective, every kid we show increases the chances of the future of agriculture on the family farm sized scale. We listen to our president all the time talk about how important an education is to the youth of today. Why not work with a kid, teach them valuable lessons so they can provide for themselves and spark their imagination and dreams in ways we may never be able to understand.
If you are in my area and would like to bring your children for a hands on visit to the farm, please contact me to set up an appointment. We NEVER charge and if you ask nicely, you might even get a farm fresh breakfast with most of the items provided directly from our farm!

Another day…

Happy St. Patty’s Day everyone! I hope that you began the morning with an excellent breakfast of Green Eggs and Ham! Not that Dr. Suess has anything to do with St. Pat’s Day but, the color is just too cool to pass up!

That is about the extent of how much I celebrate St. Patty’s Day. To me, it is just another day full of things to do and things to get done. I spent about an hour yesterday just assessing the damage and the standing water that is in the pastures and fields. We have a lot of work to get done! Barn roof that collapsed needs to be torn down and removed. The hoop barn needs to be pulled down and reset because of the leaning walls due to extremely high winds (they gusted at over 70 mph). We need to scrap out all the barns, get the compost pile moved to the garden, clean up all the residual build up from feeding round bales and the lawn is littered full of broken pieces of tree branches and stones from the snow plowing.

We have standing water in about 1/2 the pasture and by the way, we still have a ton of snow spots here and there. I can’t wait for the grass to start turning green. Spring is so close…I just can’t wait!

Celebrating AgDay 2011

The folks here at Barrows Farm have very good reason to celebrate AgDay 2011. We are located in a state that uses 23% of the state’s land, approximately 7 million acres for farming production! Agriculture is important to New York State as its production returned almost $4.7 billion to the farm economy in 2009.

Milk is New York’s leading agricultural product and is produced all across the state. Milk sales account for one-half of total agricultural receipts. Production in 2009 was 12.4 billion pounds with a preliminary value of $1.7 billion. New York is the nation’s third leading producer and Wyoming County leads the state. New York ranks first in the nation in the production of creamed cottage cheese, low fat cottage cheese and sour cream.

New York livestock producers marketed 228 million pounds of meat animals (cattle, pigs, and sheep) during 2009. Ducks, broilers (chickens) and turkeys are also raised. New York ranks 20th in egg production.

Nationally New York ranked second in apple production, fourth for both tart cherries and pears and ninth for strawberries. We placed third for wine and juice grape production behind California and Washington. Sixty-six percent of the grape production was for juice and 34 percent went into wines in 2009. New Yorkers can also get locally grown peaches, sweet cherries, blueberries and raspberries in season.

The value of all vegetables produced in NY totaled $408.9 million in 2010. NY ranks fifth nationally in fresh market vegetable production. Cabbage, sweet corn and onions lead the way. NY ranks second in the production of pumpkins, third in cauliflower, fourth for snap beans, cucumbers, and squash, and ninth in tomatoes. We also produce many vegetables used for processing such as beets for canning, cabbage for sauerkraut and peas for freezing. Don’t forget about all the great road side stands and farm markets that will be opening soon.

New York produces a variety of field crops largely in support of its dairy industry. Corn, soybeans and wheat are most widely grown. New York ranks third in corn silage, seventh in oat production, 21st for grain corn, 25th for soybeans 27th for hay and 31st in wheat production.

Maple syrup production in New York for 2010 was 312,000 gallons (valued at $17.8 million) ranking us second behind Vermont. In 2009, New York floriculture products were valued at $171 million. Bedding and garden plants top the list of commodities. The wholesale value of New York’s floriculture output ranks seventh nationally at $171 million.

Many people may forget where their food, clothes and alternative fuels come from…but farmers keep doing the thankless job of putting food on your plate and clothes on your back. I know there are others within the change for production but without someone out there tending to the harvest and shipment of your meats, vegetables, cotton for clothing, grains for breads and such…we would be a completely different society. Everyone should be very thankful for each small thing a farmer does to make OUR lives better!

Old Fashion Cheesecake

This is a 9 inch round cake. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pastry

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 pound butter, softened
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Filling

  • 1 pound cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs, seperated
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Make the pastry first. Mix the flour and butter until well blended. Add the egg yolk and sugar, blend well. Take apart the 9-inch springform pan with a removable bottom and press about half of the pastry into the bottom. Bake for about 8 minutes and cool. Fit the rim of the pan onto the bottom, then press the remaining pastry all around the inside of the rim about half way up. Don’t worry if it is uneven.

Lower the oven to 350 degrees, set the pastry aside and proceed with the filling. In a mixing bowl, cream the cheese until soft. Add flour and sugar, mix well. Add yolks, heavy cream, sour cream and vanilla, beat well. Beat egg whites with salt until they hold stiff peaks but are not dry.Β  Folk into batter and pour into the pan. Bake for 45 minutes.

Cool and serve at room temperature. Top with canned cherries and serve!

Canned Cherries:

Stem and pit cherries, wash and pack tightly into a jar. Fill with boiling light syrup, 2 cups of sugar (I used 1/2 sugar and 1/2 honey) to 4 cups of water makes 5 cups of syrup, leave 1/2 inch of head space. Cover and process in a boiler water bath (20 minutes for pints or 25 minutes for quarts).