A bunch of bull at Christmas?

A bunch of bull is what we’ve had rotating through our pastures over the years. For various reasons they have moved on to other purposes as we’ve rotated in new ones. We’ve had a bully bull, Ferdinand the Bull, Buster the bull. Currently, we’re hosting a fully-aware-of-his-studliness bull.

FullSizeRender (9)

Interesting that his name is Nick. And, now that we’re in the Christmas season, well, St. Nick is his occasional epithet. Of course, the original Nick was dubbed a Saint. According to Wikipedia, “a saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness, or likeness to God.” Now, that’s quite a tall order to fill for anyone, let alone a bull. I mean, whoever heard of a holy cow … or bull? The fruit of the saintliness of the original St. Nick was reflected in his extraordinary character qualities as a protector and a helper to those in need.

However, the current Nick on our pasture is quite difficult to ascertain with regards to his character qualities. Granted, he is a bull. And we can accurately assess that he is indeed a bunch of bull. 2000 pounds or so worth. Which is a great asset to our farm for practical purposes.

As far as character is concerned, we’re still pondering. Given the season, it seems appropriate to attempt to draw analogies between the manger scene and this studly bull. For instance, we’re not sure if the Nick on our pasture is the type of bull that would have been safe and humble enough to be lowing near the manger next to baby Jesus. Or, would he offer more of a bull-in-a-china shop type of experience (which would, of course, contradict the stories, songs, poems and carols written about the manger scene). While we don’t know much about what this bull would do, we do know that all involved in the event that occurred long ago dwelt in peace on that Silent Night , that Holy Night  with the Prince of Peace who was center stage in a little town. Surrounded/witnessed by Mary, Joseph, shepherds, wise men, a heavenly host … and farm animals that perhaps dwelt near the manger or accompanied the shepherds. And all was calm on that Midnight Clear.

Peace-full.

Bliss-full.

Deep sigh.

As we celebrate with friends and family during this Christmas season and beyond, may we all know this peace, this otherworldly peace “that God imparts to human hearts” in our particular barnyard worlds of life.

Merry Christmas to each and every one of you!

IMG_6007

 

Posted in http://lighthousefarm.com/ruminations/ | Comments Off on A bunch of bull at Christmas?

It’s (one of) the most wonderful time(s) of the year

During this season of Thanksgiving, may you reflect on all the good that we’ve been given.

cowcalf

haybales

And as you gather with family and friends on Thanksgiving Day, may you take it all in, one by one: from the special relationships and perhaps fun memories you have with each person you’re sharing the meal with, mercyconrnoncob

to the scrumptious aromas that delight the olfactory senses from meat-enhancing spices to cinnamony-sweet sugar and spice, to the mouth-watering deliciousness that each dish draws from specific taste buds traveling the palette of the tongue, to the beautiful displays adorning the table from the centerpiece to each eye-catching dish, to the satisfying sounds of contentment as each person partakes of the Thanksgiving meal … FullSizeRender (1)

Sigh! Life is indeed good and wonderful to behold. Don’t miss it!

Posted in http://lighthousefarm.com/ruminations/ | Comments Off on It’s (one of) the most wonderful time(s) of the year

Seasons

‘Tis a season for nearly everything. And, on the farm, we live the seasons in unique ways. ‘Tis a season to plant and to harvest. Autumn, of course, is the season of harvest. It’s when the fruit of the labor of summer is realized and enjoyed.

FullSizeRender(41)

Currently, we are also enjoying the beautiful fall colors as well as the gorgeous fall weather we’ve been having. What a gift!

familycopyright

In addition, we’re preparing to have meat processed off the farm (making room in the schedule, making plans for loading, delivery, etc.). And, we’re making sure all is ready for winter – timing the rotation of the animals such that they eventually nest in their winter pasture.

FullSizeRender(39)

Each season has its ebb and flow. In reality, this is true for many occupations and seasons of life. During the fast flows, when life seems to be a blur, there is a need to be mindful to capture the still moments found in the blur as well as to enjoy the adventure as it unfolds.

sarahmercyfast

And during the ebbs, it is entirely appropriate to stop, reflect and be grateful for those still moments as well as the fruit born from the blur moments. During the ebbs and flows of this autumn season, may you enjoy bonfires with your loved ones, hot apple cider and, of course, some beef on the grill due to the fact that grilling season has been graciously extended to us this year :)

cattlepasturefallcopyright

Posted in http://lighthousefarm.com/ruminations/ | Comments Off on Seasons

KISS pricing

That’s how we rock and roll and I’m not talking about the rock and roll group either. I’m referring to the way we price our products. In the beginning, we spent a considerable amount of time explaining to our confused customers the difference between hanging weight, packaging weight, live weight, etc. In all honesty, they/you just wanted our meat, not a tutorial on all the behind the scenes work and what–on-earth-do-all-these-weight-costs-mean and what-do-I-pay the processor-and-what-do-I-pay-you and why-is-this-so-complicated? So, we bucked the complicated status quo details that no one ever really wanted to know anyway and decided to go with the KISS principle for our pricing.

Keeping

It

Simple,

Sweethearts!

The price you see is what you get. There are no added on costs. No seemingly hidden fees. It’s all in there. Processing fees, transportation fees, raising-the-cattle fees, trailer rental fees, packaging fees, etc. It’s all done. Simple. You get to buy it and eat it while we do the behind-the-scenes work. And you know what? Everyone is happy with this arrangement. It’s what our customers prefer. It’s win win all the way around.

Our customers rock!

Thank you for your business and your appreciation of what we do :)

 

Posted in http://lighthousefarm.com/ruminations/ | Comments Off on KISS pricing

More-pizza-than-crust recipe!

Some of us around here prefer more pizza than crust for our pizza’s. The trouble with that preference is that there seems to be no such thing as that. At all. Anywhere. So, I’ve been on the look-out and had the thinking cap on trying to figure out a solution. And, I think I’ve found it. The family approved of it (even the teenagers who prefer more-crust-than-pizza). So, for those who are in the same preference category as some of us here, I will share my secret. And for those who are trying to cut down on the carbs, here you go. This recipe makes four pizza’s. You’ll need 4 cake pans or pie plates, one pound grass-fed ground beef (recipe below), tortilla wraps (I use sprouted grain or brown rice tortilla wraps), pizza sauce ingredients (below), 6 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, pizza toppings to preference (i.e. onions, peppers, pepperoni, mushrooms, etc). Mix pizza sauce:

  • 1 can tomato sauce (15 1/2 ounce)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

For sausage-flavored grass-fed ground beef, brown 1 pound of ground beef, then mix in the following ingredients:

  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

Place one tortilla wrap in a greased (I use coconut oil) cake pan or pie dish and top with pizza sauce. IMG_5091Top with seasoned, browned beef as well as pizza ingredients of choice. IMG_5094Top with 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese. IMG_5095Place an additional tortilla wrap on top of cheese. IMG_5096Repeat previous steps: spread pizza sauce on tortilla wrap, add pizza topping ingredients along with seasoned ground beef. Top with 3/4 cup of mozzarella cheese. IMG_5101Place in preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. IMG_5104

Serve these as individual pan pizza’s with a side salad and enjoy!

Posted in http://lighthousefarm.com/ruminations/ | Comments Off on More-pizza-than-crust recipe!

Abundant hay harvest

We are thankful for an abundant hay harvest this year! Thick, lush hay fields. A new-to-us tractor and one that seems to enjoy learning to drive it. A barn filling up with hay. An absolutely gorgeous summer.

Life is good.

IMG_5120

Posted in http://lighthousefarm.com/ruminations/ | Comments Off on Abundant hay harvest

Waiting can produce a harvest of patience

It is a virtue after all.

Waiting can also can build …

Anticipation

An-ti-ci-pay-eee-ay-eee-shun!

There is no shortage of occurrences which bring about the need for patience. Ask any parent. Ask a commuter. Ask an entrepreneur. Ask a gardener or farmer. Ask anybody in this wonderful world.

The building anticipation for something long-awaited-for (such as the arrival home after a long commute or the arrival of a sweet baby after nine months of pregnancy or the arrival of the first tomato in the garden) is worthy of pushing the pause button of life to and pondering.

Sometimes, pondering what it took for that long-awaited for “something” to arrive in the midst of the waiting builds anticipation, which may, in turn birth gratitude for the what-have-you that one is waiting for (which is something the world could use a little more of). In this article, the what-have-you we’ll focus on is the wait for …

the first tomato from the garden.

Now, if you don’t like tomatoes, please accept my apologies and try to substitute some other garden produce that you prefer. If you have no affinity for any garden produce, perhaps it’s time to talk to your doctor or do a google search about the benefits of eating your veggies (I’m a nurse, what more can I say?).

The first tomato: After waiting all winter long (which is longer here in Minnesota, than, oh say, pretty much the rest of the country), we wait for the frost line to completely thaw in the ground. If one lives anywhere south of Minnesota, this step can probably be skipped.

Then, the soil is prepared. This involves adding nutrients such as compost as well as loosening up the soil. The accomplishment of this task is done with the use of a spade or a rototiller – depending on what equipment one has.

Next, the variety of tomato one would like to grow is decided upon. This can take a considerable amount of time for there are a plethora of interesting varieties from which to choose and, therefore, this decision is best accomplished during the winter months. If researching tomato varieties is not on one’s list of favorite things to do, gaining the advice of someone who likes to eat tomatoes is a viable option – we grow Roma for salsa and sauce and beefsteak for sandwiches.

One may start growing tomato seeds indoors or purchase plants from the local nursery. Once all danger of frost is obsolete, the plants may be planted in your garden. Upon accomplishing this task, one must water, wait, weed and watch and allow patience to take root as well as anticipation.

Then, one must water, wait, weed and watch.

Repeat multiple times while reminding oneself that patience is a virtue.

Keep watch for the first signs of fruit – which in the case of a tomato plant means that tiny starburst-shaped yellow blossoms will begin to appear. And when one sees those, note that a lovely tomato will be birthed from that little blossom in due time.

IMG_5047

Then, perhaps one’s mouth may begin to water at the anticipation of biting into a delicious BLT – T for big, juicy, sweet, scrumptious tomato. Sigh, but one must remind oneself again that patience is indeed a virtue (and there might be children watching).

So, once again one must water, wait, weed and watch. Repeat.

Until, something else of particular interest is noticed.

Folks, this is when it’s time to stop the press, because the first tomato of the season has now appeared! True story. Yes, it is green, but this is incredibly significant. There is even a movie with “green tomatoes” in the title. And, a posh restaurant in Washington DC actually serves delicious fried green tomatoes. Another true story (they were delicious).

IMG_5048At this point, the executive decision is made to save and serve this tomato after it is fully ripened – while being aware there will be other green fruits that will be consumed in due time.

So, once again one must water, wait, weed and watch and anticipate. Repeat.

Not to end this with a cliffhanger, but (spoiler alert) this is a story with a good ending.

If I do not have sweet, succulent tomato juice dripping from my hand and risk ruining my camera, I fully intend to stop the press once more to capture the grateful moment when the long wait and building anticipation are finally satisfied with the consumption of …

the first ripened tomato from the garden.

Posted in http://lighthousefarm.com/ruminations/ | Comments Off on Waiting can produce a harvest of patience

Ham and egg cups

IMG_4953These are delicious!

Ham and egg cups
• grease muffin tin with coconut oil
• place/nest thinly sliced nitrate-free ham in each muffin cup tin
• add a few chopped veggies inside ham nest (I use whatever we have on hand – peppers, asparagus, onions)
• beat egg and pour one egg into each nested ham
• top with cheddar cheese
• bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes
• add salt and pepper to taste
Enjoy!

Posted in http://lighthousefarm.com/ruminations/ | Comments Off on Ham and egg cups

How ’bout those twins?

The Minnesota Twins made their debut on Mother’s Day and are doing fantastic. Thriving, in fact. And, their maternal unit is hitting a home run – able to put growth on those in her charge while maintaining her physique. Of course, she has some help from the manager who provides her what she needs in order to be able to accomplish all she does. They don’t even use any artificial hormones! The rest of the team is grateful to play a part in the show. The spectators are entertained. … and we’re just in spring training!

IMG_4388IMG_4392 IMG_4288

Posted in http://lighthousefarm.com/ruminations/ | Comments Off on How ’bout those twins?

Happy Mother’s Day!

To all the mothers who know what it’s like to feel as big as a cow (remember that last month of pregnancy?), to all the women who mother (whether or not their wombs have ever carried a child), to my own mom whose laugh I love to hear, Happy Mother’s Day! Your mothering is greatly appreciated :)

IMG_8511cc

 

Posted in http://lighthousefarm.com/ruminations/ | Comments Off on Happy Mother’s Day!