Typing, invoicing, phone calls, map searches – getting our grass-fed beef to your table

I sat down to the keyboard a bit before 8:00 this morning, and now it’s after 1:30PM. How is that possible?! Well, there were all those emails with a subject line I love to write: Your beef is ready! Then there were the follow-up calls with customers to confirm delivery to drop sites in and around the Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN metro area. And there were Google Map searches to find out where I’d have to make home deliveries. And, of course, while all of this was going on, I was keeping a mental inventory of beef just picked up from … Continue reading

Video

What comes before focaccia? Before ciabatta and pizza? Quick video tells it.

Ciabatta, pizza and focaccia


It’s just three weeks before this Fall’s first artisan baking class at Bull Brook Keep!

What? You haven’t signed up yet!? Is it because you’re not sure you can bake great flavor, luscious crusts, and tender crumb in your home oven?

Never fear, my classes are designed for success in home ovens and for new, and experienced, bakers with busy schedules.

You can focus on breads built from poolish – a bubbly batter – used to make focaccia, ciabatta and pizza dough. Or you can get up to your elbows in flour to make the crispy crusts and delightful flavor of mild French sourdough. The basic formula can be used for all kinds of variations – with cornmeal, sweet potato, whole wheat, roasted beets, raisins and coriander, and more. In this class we explore two or three of these.

All classes are limited to 4-6 students because they are hands-on, include lunch, bottomless cups of tea or coffee, sampling and lots of conversation and fun.
All classes are held in my teaching kitchen. Our farm is an easy and scenic drive from the Twin Cities. And yes, you’ll see the cows.

Oh, about poolish and focaccia: here’s a 4-minute 50-second video that quickly illustrates the process.

Questions? Just give me a call. Want a private class? No problem. Get 4 to 6 people together and we can schedule it. What better way to warm up the house!
Sylvia
651-238-8525

Sliding seasons

Two days ago, it hit nearly 90 degrees. And the humidity – it was awful. It felt as if I was breathing through a sponge. This morning, the dogs and I walked to the mailbox in a cool drizzle. It was 58 degrees and I was glad I’d pulled on my old denim barn jacket and cap. Although our driveway’s only 600 feet long, my low boots and the hems of my jeans were drenched before I got to the road. Our driveway ends at a cattle grate that works to keep the cows inside our property (they balk at … Continue reading

Weston A. Price Foundation’s Sally Fallon Morell: the need to regain childhood and adult health with traditional foods, cooked right

I usually introduce these Deep Roots Radio podcasts by saying that I hope you enjoy them.

Well, this time I’m taking the extra step to encourage you to listen for the sake of your health, and for the critical dietary needs of every infant and child within your circle of influence.

Over the last few years, news reports have pointed to research debunking long-held food “truisms”: that butter is bad, oils are good, red meat leads to heart failure, cholesterol will kill you, wine is a no-no, children should eat low-at foods, fat is what makes you fat, etc. What we’re learning now is that eggs are good, butter is better, pastured livestock provide critical nutrients, sustainably-produced lard is healthful, we need cholesterol to heal, it’s sugar that leads to obesity, we need to eat some salt, and more.

Bone broth & sourdough bread


In this Deep Roots Radio interview, Sally Fallon Morell, founding President of the Weston A. Price Foundation, explains how her organization taps science and provides cooking instruction to bring traditional foods and their preparation back into households all over the world. Yes, there is lots of scientific research pointing to the life-long benefits of eating like our great-grandparents did.

You can find a wealth of information – documentation and cooking techniques – on the Weston A. Price Foundation website, www.westonaprice.org; in their quarterly journals; Sally Fallon Morell’s books; and at the Foundation’s annual meeting – WISE Traditions – being held in Minneapolis, Minn., November 10-13, 2017.

Sally’s books include:
– Nourishing Traditions: The cookbook that challenges politically-correct nutrition and Diet Dictocrats (2000)
– Eat Fat Lose Fat (2005)
– Nourishing Broth (2014)
– Nourishing Fats: Why we need animals fats for health and happiness (2017)

In 2009, Sally and her husband Geoffrey bought a farm in southern Maryland. P.A. Bowen Farmstead is a mixed-species, pasture-based farm producing award-winning artisan raw cheese, whey-fed woodlands pork, pastured poultry and pastured eggs.

Sally holds a B.A. from Stanford University, and an M.A. from UCLA.

It was a pleasure to converse with Sally, and I look forward to meeting her at the November conference. There’s still time to register.

Till then, I hope you enjoy this interview.

Sylvia

Debbra Anne’s Jam it On! – taking jams, jellies and preserves to the grill, seafood, bar and more

Late summer – a time for capturing the season’s best fruits and vegetables for great eating when the snow flies. One way to enjoy warm-weather flavors and aromas is by making jams, jellies and preserves. In this Deep Roots Radio interview, Wisconsin author Debbra Anne highlights easy ways for using her creative Slippery Moose jellies to create layers of flavor in meat, fish and vegetable dishes.

Yup, jam isn’t just for toast anymore!

I hope you’ll enjoy this interview.

Sylvia

Taking jams, jellies and preserves way beyond toast

Dexter cattle – a thrifty, small cow for small-acre farms offers “right-sized” portions to meet demand for grass-fed beef

Docile Dexters at Birch Grove Farm

I love trading stories and learning from other cattle farmers, or ranchers as they say out West. And being able to attend the Region 12 annual meeting of the American Dexter Cattle Association was a real treat. Held at Birch Grove Farm, Deer Park, Wisconsin, the event was hosted by farm owners Kevin and Barb McAnnany and near neighbors Cherrie and Steven Woods of Plum Creek Little Cattle Company.

Although my husband Dave and I raise 100% grass-fed BueLingo cattle, the Dexter group welcomed us with big smiles. I’m so glad we were invited.


The gathering pulled Dexter ranchers from throughout the Region 12 area: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota. The meeting started off with official business, featured three presentations (research on hay storage, about vaccinations, and direct-marketing beef), and a delicious pot luck. I was honored to give the brief talk on marketing.

I was also glad for the opportunity to interview a handful of the leaders and attendees. I hope you’ll enjoy this Deep Roots Radio in-the-field interview.
For another account of this meeting, take a look at detailed news article in The Country Today.

Sylvia

Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin – how rainforest stories of “Green Man” fuel his values and demos of regenerative ag systems in Minnesota

I know you’ll be fascinated by Reginaldo (Regi) Haslett-Marroquin’s new book, In the Shadow of Green Man. Get a copy at your earliest opportunity and be prepared for a memoir unlike any you’ve encountered. Half bio, half legends, it’s a page-turner.

In this Deep Roots Radio interview, Regi describes how and why he weaves his personal biography with the tales of Green Man, an alter ego that personifies the challenges, ravages, questions and watershed decisions within the multi-storied ecosystem of a threatened rainforest – the rainforest in which Regi farmed with his father and brothers as civil war raged.

Regi is the chief strategy officer for Main Street Project, a nonprofit headquartered in Northfield, Minnesota. He is the principal developer and engineer of the innovative poultry-centered regenerative agriculture model that is at the heart of the organization’s work. His focus is on multi-level strategies for building regenerative food and ag systems that deliver social, economic and ecological benefits. He does this work in the U.S., Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras.
He began his work with Indigenous Guatemalan communities in 1988. He served as a consultant for the United Nations Development Program’s Bureau for Latin America and as an advisor to the World Council of Indigenous People. He was a founding member of the Fair Trade Federation in 1994.
Regi served as Director of the Fair Trade Program for the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy from 1995-1998, and led in the creation of Peace Coffee, a Minnesota-based fair-trade coffee company.
Regi lives with his family in Northfield, Minn.

I hope you enjoy this interview.
Sylvia

Artisan baking classes scheduled for Oct., Nov. and Dec. Get up to your elbows in flour and fun!

Beef, bread and brewed tea. What can I say, I really enjoy all three.

Dave and I raise 100% grass-fed beef using sustainable practices because of the wonderful results: great-tasting beef, happy cows, restored pastures, living soil.
I love baking bread for similar reasons: using healthful ingredients; employing the power of sourdough to raise the dough and to combat many of the anti-nutrients that make breads, seeds and beans difficult to digest; listening to the “yumm’s” when friends and family savor the loaves, pizzas or biscuits; and, sharing the baking experience with students. YOU CAN all bake artisan loaves in your home oven.
Oh, and the tea? Well, I just like milky, sweet tea – English style.

Please click here for the schedule of baking classes in Oct., Nov., and Dec. Classes will focus either on baking with sourdough or baking with poolish (the basis for focaccia, ciabatta and pizza). Classes are hands-on (minimum 4, maximum 6 students, unless otherwise arranged).
Register online, or send me an email and pay with a check.
I’ll soon post the January and February schedules. Email me if you’d like an alert to the schedule.
You can also arrange for private classes with family and friends. Just contact me to schedule, 651-238-8525, sylvia@bullbrookkeep.com

Bring an apron and prepare to eat well, to get your hands covered in flour, and to have fun!
Sylvia

Jessica Manderfeld – about sensory exhibit of bees in art, food, drink and agriculture

Honey Bee


Bees – a hot topic in agriculture, food and in art.
Bees are essential to the pollination of hundreds of crops all across the United States. Bees’ critical role is why scientists, farmers and food lovers are alarmed by hive collapse and environmental threats to these pollinators.
Bees’ contribution to food, cosmetics, and beverages, like mead, are on display at the gallery space of the Farm Table Foundation in Amery, Wisconsin. The exhibit was developed by, and features the detailed artwork of, Jessica “Turtle” Manderfeld, the foundation’s marketing and creative director.
With extensive formal training and experience in art and cooking, Jessica’s paintings are reminiscent of the detailed botanical drawings of yesteryear.
For information about similar exhibits focusing on wildlife and habitat conservation, visit www.naturalheritageproject.org.
I hope you enjoy this Deep Roots Radio interview and plan a visit to the exhibit:

Sylvia

Amery Ale Works – creative, new micro-brewery with real local flavor

I can practically smell the hops from my farm – the brewery is so near!
It’s a big statement of trust and faith when an entrepreneur brings her funds, hopes and dreams to your community. Amery, Wisconsin, population 2906, couldn’t be happier that Jenna Johnson chose to build and operate Amery Ale Works, a new craft brewery, here.

I hope you enjoy this Deep Roots Radio conversation about Amery Ale Works. It launched to great reception, and Jenna continues building local relationships. For example, she’s reached out to nearby sustainable farmers who will grow the herbs and crops she’ll use to develop unique brews.


Listen in, or download, and then come on out to enjoy craft brews and good food at Amery Ale Works.

Sylvia