Friday, February 27, 2009

Foodie Friday :: The Greenhorns

I've had this preview for The Greenhorns bookmarked for a while now, and thought it would be a cool thing to share for FF. The documentary will take a look at the current movement of young men and women returning to farming culture and who can be found working the land rather than working the office. I'm looking forward to seeing this.



A snippit from the director's statement:

Our job in this generation is to rethink, recycle, retrofit and restore our land and our community; the Greenhorns have come to this revelation and taken action. This film is a way to convene a movement that is for now quite thinly spread out on the ground. Population density of young farmers might be as low as 1-2 per county in America. Yet, once seen as a whole in the film, you will find it an attractive and coherent sub-culture: proud, strong, tough, and a little bit nuts.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sheep Shearing Day (2/14/09)

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of visiting Rising Meadow Farm in Liberty, NC for their annual open sheep shearing. It's about an hours drive from Durham, through some lovely rural areas, which made me long for a home in the countryside.

Rising Meadow Farm
Rising Meadow raises Corriedale, Morrit, and Pulled Dorsit sheep, which create a lovely natural palate of neutral fleeces -- from fluffy whites, to caramels, to a deep chocolate browns. It's enough to make me want to take up spinning! Although I managed to hold off (don't need another addiction right at this moment, heh).
Sheep waiting to be shorn
To shear the sheep, the shearers would pull a sheep from the corral, flip them onto their backs, and start shearing away, turning the sheep as they went. They used old school hand shears, which to me looked terrifying but they handled them with ease. After shearing off the entire fleece in one large piece, another person would bring it outside of the barn to be skirted (picked through for any leftover vegetable matter (or other) matter. Then the fleece would be weighed and put into a large garbage bag to be sold.
Shearing

Skirting Fleece

Fleece from "Puffy"
I got to pet my first llama. Every field with sheep also held a few llamas, who offer protection from coyotes and other predators.
Llama
Although the activity of the day was sheep shearing, they did have the added attraction of showing off a few lambs born just that morning. They are adorable! They mostly were sleeping, with their mothers staying over them protectively. The barn had classical music piped through the speakers to help with the calming mood, even with hundreds (seriously, hundreds) of visitors coming through.
Lambs born that morning
Some more photos (and then see more here):
Fleece (still on the sheep)

Sheep waiting to be shorn

Sheep waiting to be shorn

Shearing

Fleece

Lamb

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Christmas Poffertjes

At Christmas time, Oma gave my parents a kit for making Poffertjes. Poffertjes are a Dutch snack of small, silver dollar-sized sweet pancakes. They are made in a special Poffertjes pan, which has round divits where you pour the batter. Apparently, these treats are seasonal, and are served particularly in the summer months.

The kit contained a mix, to which we add some milk and egg. There is a bottle which we were supposed to use to dole out the batter into the pan cleanly (the nozzle kept clogging so we didn't really use it properly).

Poffertjes
When they are just done on the bottom, and before the top has set, you use 2 forks and try to flip them quickly. It's a tricky maneuver.
Poffertjes
Shake on some powdered sugar (Oma tells me I use too much... like that's even possible!)
Poffertjes
Eat AT LEAST 25. They're small and tasty, and after all that flipping, you've surely worked up an appetite.
Poffertjes