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

Video

New calf, sights and sounds from Bull Brook Keep

Spring has arrived on Bull Brook Keep. We greeted our first calf, a little bull, yesterday morning. He’s now tagged #82, and he the cow are doing fine.
I’ll be at the CSA Fair at the Farm Table Restaurant in Amery, WI tomorrow afternoon, March 25, 12noon-4:00.
I thought you might enjoy some pics and videos, old and new, from the farm. This brief slide show includes a short video clip of the new calf.
I hope to see you at the Fair.

Sylvia

Video

Video: moving cows to fresh pasture. Great beef starts with the soil and grass.

My husband Dave and I are committed to a handful of values: living in thanksgiving to God, nurturing our marriage and family, producing delicious and nutritious beef, using agricultural practices that regenerate soil and pastures, improving our financial sustainability, and contributing to a thriving local community.
These core principles matter to us, to our neighbors and to our customers.
Moving our cattle from paddock (small field) to paddock is one of the things we do to regenerate soil, reinvigorate our grasses, and promote the health and growth of our BueLingo beef cattle. This practice, called rotational grazing, accomplishes several things at the same time: it puts fresh, sweet grass under the noses of the cattle; their hoof action churns up the soil and exposes dormant seeds to sun and rain, thereby increasing the diversity of plants in the field; the herd deposits fertilizer as the move; and it avoid spending money and fuel to move feed to the cattle and to remove waste from a barn. At the same time, the cows move as a herd across open fields. This is important because cows are social creatures – they are most calm and healthiest when they are with their herd. Because they are on pasture, the herd is also in open sunshine and moving on springy grass and soil. This promotes strong bodies.
I hope you enjoy this very short video of moving the herd from one paddock to the next. Although it takes time and effort for me to set up the electric fences for the temporary paddocks, moving the herd is easy because they’re always eager for fresh grass.

Video

Dirty, dusty, messy little Siggy

*An ongoing adventure story for children of all ages*
It’s time, thought Sylvia.
She looked down at her little dog and noticed his smudged nose, dirty paws and matted fur. Hmmmm.
Siggy is 10 weeks old and loves his home, Bull Brook Keep. Sylvia and her husband Dave raise beef cows on the farm. The cows eat grass, and only grass, their entire lives. This makes them big and strong and very healthy.
Siggy likes to watch the cows and the new little calves running in the fields.
Siggy also runs and plays every day. He rolls in the wet grass, splashes through muddy puddles, runs on dusty roads, and digs in the dirt. Sylvia looked at Siggy and saw that his fur was covered with dried mud, loose dirt, wood chips, and who-knows-what! Phew!
Sylvia leaned down and petted his little head. “Siggy,” she said, “it’s time to clean up.”
Siggy didn’t know what she meant, but sat and listened as the laundry tub filled with water. When it was about five inches deep, Sylvia gently lifted the young puppy and placed him in the warm water.
Siggy whined. He didn’t know if he liked this at all.
Sylvia gently spoke to Siggy as she bathed him with a very gentle soap and then rinsed him off. Siggy was glad the bath was over. As soon as he was out of the tub, he shook and shook and shook the water from his fur. Sylvia laughed as water drops flew everywhere.


Soon Siggy was dry and comfortable again. He was clean and ready for his next adventure.
Clean and ready to go

Clean and ready to go

For more stories about Siggy, click here.

Video

About spring-time farming. Deep Roots Radio, May 17, 9-9:30AM Central. Calf video.

Calving began yesterday with the arrival of two red and white BueLingos. Just one day old, they’re walking around on firm legs and nursing heartily. This means spring chores have zoomed forward to include tagging and, in the case of bull calves, castrations. Yup, that’s how you get the steers that’ll graze for 24-30 months and reach 1,100-1,300 lbs.

BueLingo heifer born May 15, 2015

BueLingo heifer born May 15, 2015

Red and white BueLingo born May 15, 2015

Red and white BueLingo born May 15, 2015

We’re also brooding several dozen Freedom Ranger chicks. That means that we’re caring for them in a warm and controlled environment until they’re ready to be put on pastures. That’ll happen this week.
And, of course, there’s lots of fence to build and repair. And maybe start sketching out a larger chicken coop??
Tune in to Deep Roots Radio Saturday 9:00-9:30AM Central,as Dave Corbett and I chat about spring-time farming. We’re on WPCA Radio, 93.1FM and www.wpcaradio.org.
See you on the radio!
Sylvia

Chickens and apples. Not a recipe.

Our free-range chickens are built to forage for themselves

Our free-range chickens are built to forage for themselves

No, this isn’t a recipe for chickens stewed with sautéed apples. (Though that does sound like something I’ll try.) It’s a very short video demonstrating just how hardy free-range chickens can be. Because our chickens are breeds that forage for themselves, and are well suited to our cold winters, they happily leave their coop in the mornings and begin searching for any blade of grass or dried fruit that might be exposed in the snow. These happy hens get lots of natural sugars and fiber from apples I pull out of storage. These are wild apples grown without any type of chemical. (When just picked in the fall, I make cauldrons of applesauce and rich apple butter.)
Our small flock get sun and exercise every day (as well as fresh grain every morning). Dave and I enjoy their antics (I had no idea chickens could be so entertaining), and lots of nutrient-rich eggs.

Sylvia