Author Archives for caciafarms

Who are you?

“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” ― Dolly Parton

Deep down inside I have always known that I am a farm girl at heart.  I have always gravitated to animals since I was young so it is no surprise that as an adult I bought a farm.  Recently I have acquired a new pony that has a few behavioral as well physical problems.  Sassafras or Sass for short is a half Arab half Pinto pony that is trained to drive.  When I arrived in Florida to meet her I knew immediately that we would be fast friends as her personality is quite like mine.  I took a huge leap of confidence in myself as I have never driven a horse before but I thought to myself why not that sounds terribly fun so I forged ahead.  I ground drove Sass for the first time when I was in Florida the day before we left Florida and it was SOOO much fun!  She was an absolute angel for me while I worked her and she was patient with me that I didn’t exactly know what I was doing.  After arriving in Oklahoma I wanted to work Sass for the three days I would be there until I left to go home to New York.  The first day after I arrived I harnessed her up all by myself and ground drove her beautifully.  I have no doubt in my mind that Sass and I will be just fine once we get home even if she is mad at me for leaving her in Oklahoma for a month.  All this is to say find what you love and do it life is to short to wait until your old and gray to do the things you have always wanted to do!

Bone Broth

Post Written By Sarah Sweeney

Bone broth. If you haven’t heard of it yet, this nutrient packed broth has been gaining popularity in health circles in recent years.

The collagen rich liquid can improve chronic inflammation, does wonders for skin, hair and nails, improves joint and bone health and is even known to boost metabolism. Not to mention is highly digestible making it easy for your body to utilize all of the brothy goodness. The magic happens when you simmer good quality grassfed chicken or beef bones in water with a splash of vinegar.

The best quality bone broth starts with naturally raised, pastured animals. Roasted bones are best, whether you use left over bones from a meal or you roast the bones just prior to use. The veggies and herbs I add will vary depending on what I have on hand. The fresher the better! I prefer to use naturally grown produce from our own farm and use our plant based veggie wash to give them a good cleaning since you’ll want to leave skins and tops on. These portions of the veggies are packed with nutrients, don’t throw them away!

Chicken Bone Broth

1 roasted pastured chicken carcass

1 onion skin on, quartered

1-2 carrots tops on, roughly chopped

2-3 cloves garlic skin on, rough chopped

1-2 stalks celery tops on, roughly chopped

Handful of fresh herbs of your choosing (thyme, sage, oregano, basil and rosemary are all good ones)

1 T sea salt Or Himalayan pink salt

1 T peppercorns

2 T apple cider vinegar

Add water until the bones and veggies are just covered

Cover and simmer, try to keep it to a very gentle simmer you don’t want a rapid boil.

Allow to simmer for at least 12hrs, longer is better! Once it’s done allow it to cool for a bit then strain the broth. I use a fine metal mesh strainer sitting on a mason jar funnel so I can pour directly into jars. Keep refrigerated for 3-5 days or you can freeze or pressure can for later use.

**Don’t be tempted to add extra water to get more broth. You’ll end up diluting the broth too much and you won’t get that beautiful jello effect once it’s cooled.

Are We There Yet?

Every one can I’m sure imagine that annoying child who asks 300 times if they have arrived at the destination… it’s me I’m that kid. We have reached mid January also known as half way to cabin fever crazy can’t wait until spring time. As I aimlessly scroll through Facebook and see all my fellow sheep farmers have started lambing my farming soul gets itchy. Much to my ewes dismay I start staring at them. The staring is usually followed by the eye in the sky also known lovingly as the lamb cam. I go to the barn hoping to find an adorable squishy soft lamb to snuggle and hug only to find my ewes staring back at me daring me to ask them “are we there yet?”. Hopefully the mid winter dullness will soon be broken by lambs … until then I will continue to shamelessly be that kid!

Tortilla Soup

As a busy farm mom the need for me to have quick easy healthy meals is huge!  Let’s be honest I’m also super cheap so when everyone was getting a Instant Pot I got a electric pressure cooker.  In essence these are in fact the same thing but mine only has three buttons which makes converting recipes sometimes difficult.  Here is a super simple soup recipe for those nights you totally forgot to get anything out for dinner.  I put the chicken breasts in frozen straight from the freezer and honestly getting them out of the package was the hardest part of the whole recipe.

I also am a huge fan of multitasking items that save on space.  This recipe calls for using Young Living’s Vitality Oils in it as seasoning. Not only are these a great space saving alternative to having a cabinet full of dried spices, they also serve as health supplements. And I get the same great taste without the short shelf life of fresh herbs. When you serve up your soup be sure to put a drop of the Vitality Lime Essential Oil in your favorite Cerveza!

When using essential oils in cooking recipes be sure to use Young Living vitality oils. You want to be sure you are using the highest quality pure oils and in my research that is YL hands down. To grab some for yourself click here!

Young Living

Ingredients:
3 large chicken breast
1 large diced onion
1 can Rotel tomatoes
12 cups chicken broth
2 drops lime essential oil
1 drop cumin essential oil
4 drops black pepper essential oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 t red pepper
1/4 t celery salt
1 sliced avocado
1 cup grated Monterey jack cheese
1 bunch cilantro

Instructions:

Place all ingredients except cilantro, avocado and tortilla strips into pressure cooker.  Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes then release pressure. Shred chicken breast, give everything a good stir and presto your dinner is cooked.  Serve with cheese, cilantro and tortilla strips on top.

My life flashed before my eyes…

I have really loved doing morning chores every morning. Listening to the horses munch on their breakfast, collecting those yummy farm fresh butt nuggets the chickens leave me and greeting my sheep each day. Most days this is the best way to start my day … except today was totally different.

There is an order in which things must be done each morning to prevent total mayhem and chaos. First you fill the horse feeders and add their supplements. Next you open the back of the barn door walk out and grab ace to hand walk him to his stall while badger and dickens fallow behind. This was all going great until I went to walk outside and felt something on my face. Thinking it’s just my hair falling out post baby I wiped it away. This is when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I had walked into a spider wed and said spider was on his was to wrap me in silk and drain me of my soul. In complete panic trying to escape with my life and flail my arms wildly to avoid being taken alive I tripped over the boards on the ramp. I’m now falling through the air as chickens are angrily flying everywhere. See what I didn’t mention is that those super delicious butt nuggets come from super obnoxious chickens who can’t be controlled. As I fell out of the barn door to escape death by spider I was set upon by a gang of chickens. Now I’m pretty sure they had assumed their farmer had just had psychotic break and they needed to defend their lives. As chickens descended upon me I’m sure to either rid me of my demons or eat me I look up to see the loving face of my dear wonderful paint horse. His face quite clearly said have you lost your mind quite playing around it’s clearly my breakfast time and you are in my way.

What a delightful way to start my day, rest assured my heart is working just fine if there was any question!

Poor Life Choices

In an effort to protect my husband, my girls and the lovely woman who does barn chores for us I chose today to try to catch Rooster Soup.  You might be wondering why we named our rooster Rooster Soup well he was originally called Handsome Rooster Man.  Rooster decided it was fun to charge the humans and try to maim them hence getting him a new name.

I began my approach to the lair of Rooster Soup hoping to have the element of surprise.  As I rounded the coup he let out a loud crow telling me he was ready for the showdown and the OK Corral.  Not to be daunted by his threats I stepped over the electric net fencing. . . catching my foot in the net and gracefully almost going facedown in the foot deep mud that is my laneway behind the barn.  As Rooster laughed at my misfortune I mentally prepared myself.  My plan was to just grab him. . . be fearless of the GIANT HUGE ROOSTER hell bent on pecking out my jugular and watching me bleed to death.  Well to say after he started charging me I was gripped with fear.  Putting my hand anywhere near said charging heap of evil feathers was not going to happen in that moment.  Cursing myself for not bringing a weapon with me . . . scratch that an item of self defense I resolved to get the job done.

Plan B herd Rooster into a smaller space inside the coup and catch him there.  In my mind this was a good idea less mud for me to walk through and less room for him to get up speed charging at me.  As I entered the coup behind him I saw the gleam in his eye . . . he had the home field advantage.  He walked into a corner and I thought now is my chance!  I realized to late as I reached down that it was a trap.  Rooster had led me into a false sense of courage and tried to promptly remove my hand.

At this point my judgement might have been clouded by the annoyance at being bested by a Rooster.  I made one last attempt to catch him.  Taking a deep breath armed with a trash can lid I made my move.  I thought that I had him pinned however he was in the corner making it impossible for me to fully pin him.  As I realized my mistake he came flying at my face I’m sure planning to pluck out my eyes.  I escaped narrowly deciding I would in fact need reinforcements to get the job done.

Rooster Soup lives to fight another day and I live to reevaluate my life choices in letting the roo live in the first place.

Well that’s awful…

I pulled my very first lambs ever last Friday and only the little ram lamb survived. Mom didn’t want the little lamb and he was really struggling so we brought him into the house to feed him as a bottle lamb. Over 24 hours he did great and I was really hopeful for him! When the little buffalo had her lambs Purl the ewe’s lambs I had pulled Friday seemed extremely interested in them so Jeff and I brought the little ram lamb out to see how they did. Surprisingly Purl was so happy to see her lamb and I made sure her milk was still coming out which it was and he nursed really well. I watched Purl and the little lamb on the camera all night and they did so well. Today we brought the little guy in to dock his tail and when we came back out to bring him back to the barn he had died. Jeff my husband who happens to also be a veterinarian believes he had some sort of problem from the beginning and his death was coincidental to doing his tail. I am super bummed that both of Purl’s lambs died but there is nothing I could have done to prevent either death. She does however get herself redeemed as mother of the year for taking her lamb back even though he didn’t live.

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