Haystack Farm

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Progress in Reverse

I've never liked to back track, in anything. Hiking, driving, career plans, finance, I have always thought to go backward was to waste energy.  Over the last couple of years, once again, farming has been a wise and demanding teacher. It has taught me the value of retreat. 

Now I'm not talking r…

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State of the Farm Address


Some of you may have known the kids and I were away from the farm for most of the summer. While we were away our lone farmer was forced to deal with all manner of things gone wrong. So this is our state of the farm address to explain where we are at and where we are going. The weather, though grea…

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Baptism by Drought

It is unlikely one has never heard discussions of farming and drought. I've seen pictures of deserts in Africa, and dry fields in Saskatchewan. This year, however, put the idea of drought into a whole new perspective for me. Drought doesn't mean you have to work a little harder to produce a crop. Dr…

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An Inuit Inspired Philosophical Farming Moment

Here's my philosophical moment for the day. Though it doesn't come from a farm setting I think it is very relevant. I've been reading a book called "The Long Exile" by Melanie McGrath. It's set in a changing Inuit culture. In describing the culture and the changes brought about by contact with white…

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Crockpot Lamb Shanks

 
I had to use 4 shanks in total to feed our family of 6. I served it with a mix of roasted potatoes and carrots. We had just enough leftover for a lunch for tomorrow. The biggest problem with the recipe is what to do with all th…

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Easy Cranberry Chicken

This was a great way to use a whole chicken that we cut into pieces and just used all the pieces in the recipe.

Ingredients:

1 chicken 3-4lbs

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tbsp butter

1/2 c onion diced

1/2 diced celery

1 can whole berry cranberry sauce

1 cup bottles barbecue sauce

Directio…

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Alberta Lamb Recipes

If you're looking for new ways to cook your lamb check out the Alberta Lamb website www.albertalamb.ca.

Pigging

Our sows have become surprisingly enthusiastic when it comes to meal times. They actually break into a run to get from the building to the trough. I'm hoping this is a sign they were both bred by the boar and they have the pregnancy munchies. We'll have to get some more alfalfa hay in to them this w…

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A Long Telling of a Short Story About a Morning Walk

When you enter a forest with peace, you never know what she will show you. Miraculously I had no children for a few hours on Friday morning.  The two youngest successfully convinced their Dad to save them from just another morning home with Mom.   Driving into town for a load of lumber must be more …

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Farming and Church

I am not a church going person but I am not completely unfamiliar with what happens inside those sacred walls. The sights, sounds, and feelings of Catholic mass are etched into my childhood memory.  This spring, one of my goals, aside from keeping everything alive and where it is suppose to be, has …

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A Salute to Prairie Heroines

My fixation with the homestead era on the prairies dates back to who knows when really. It has always been a period of history that has captured my imagination.  I often ask myself the question "Would I have wanted to live back then?" I think the answer is, if given the chance I would love to visit …

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For Whom the Farmer Farms

The mental mulling of this issue of planning seems endless. It would be simple to set stock numbers and profit targets for the next three years, at least seemingly more simple.  Where our machine has become mired is the balance between principles and profits.  Our production methods are not up for n…

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The Fine Art of Farm Planning

We are approaching our third year of farming. When we first began we knew the learning curve would be steep but we were optimistic that by year three we would have a few systems in place that would make the spring start up a little more smooth. Oh how wrong we were. It turns out the longer you farm,…

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Cooking a Whole Chicken from Frozen

You want to cook up a tastey pasture-raised chicken but you forgot to take it out in advance. I don't know if this sounds familiar for your house but it's a regular event in mine, or at least it used to be. After using this method a few times it has become one of my favourite ways to cook up chicken…

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Six Hour Pork Roast

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Six-Hour-Pork-Roast-102530?mbid=ipapp

 Ingredients
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
10 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons coarse salt
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon dry white wine
1 tabl…

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Herb Encrusted Roast Leg of Lamb

 

The FoodNetwork - http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/herb-encrusted-roast-leg-of-lamb-with-garlic-roasted-baby-potatoes-recipe/index.html

 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh mint
  • 2…

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What a difference the breed makes!

Last night we had the honour of sharing our first meal of Icelandic lamb with some good friends. Though we were hesitant to share the unveiling of our latest endevour with lamb conosieurs, our fears were unfounded. The company was great and the lamb was amazing!  I can honestly say I thought twice a…

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Air Chillin'

Haystack Farm is proud to announce we can now sell our chickens as "air chilled". We just came back from Pigeon Lake Poultry Processors with a load of beautiful looking "air chilled" birds!

When chickens are processed the carcass must be cooled quickly to prevent bacterial growth that can lead to sp…

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Food Security

The news is a swirl of alarms about the safety of beef products from the XL Foods plant here in Alberta. This is the perfect time to think about what you are supporting when you buy your meat directly from a local farm. Not only are you supporting that farmer but also all the smaller independent ind…

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Great Day for Farming


As the weather turns to fall it's tempting to wish our busy season was during these cooler, bug-reduced days. Though with days like these maybe it's perfect that the farm starts to get quieter so we can enjoy it to its fullest. If only all our animals didn't get a late start this year.  We should be…

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20 Blog Posts