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What's Happening at Stonecrop

You know what might just be the trickiest part of raising livestock over the winter? Water.  

Imagine us here at our farm with our flock of laying hens and 4 different herds of pigs out in the fields. It's relatively easy for us to bring organic grain to the animals once or twice a day, after we get bundled up and shovel a little snow. But in the wintertime, when the temperatures drop, the portable waterers, water tanks and spigots freeze solid and this means we don't have water where the animals are.

In previous years, we carried buckets of water from our basement to our animals 2-3 times per day. And, if this sounds terribly inefficient to is! It takes a lot of time and it also wears on our hands, and our backs, and our spirits. 

We've always known that if we were going to be able to keep doing what we love most in this world (FARM!), we needed to figure out a better system for water over the winter. But, after our barn renovations this year, it just wasn't in our budget.  

That is, until a customer of ours, who we named our Fairy Godmother, told us this summer that she wanted to help finance a project on the farm!  To be honest, we thought she was joking at first. I mean, who just offers to give money to a farm!? 

We thanked her profusely and then tried to politely refuse, saying that we couldn't accept such a generous gift.  But for months, she shared how our farm was giving her joy and kept asking us when we were going to tell her how she could help. It seems strange to write this, but it was actually really (REALLY!) hard for us to accept her gift. But, after talking with family and doing a lot of soul searching, we eventually realized what was stopping us from saying yes (our pride and fear of being vulnerable) and accepted her offer.  

Greg immediately got busy researching and drawing up plans. We wanted to use her gift wisely and needed to design a structure which is movable (since our winter paddocks move from year to year), economical, and gives us more days with flowing water...while keeping the animals on pasture where they belong.  We wanted it to serve our laying hens first and foremost (since our Fairy Godmother is a vegetarian!), but have some duel purpose for when the temps were super low and the pregnant sows are delivering.

Farmer Greg came up with a grand plan and it is AMAZING! It gives our hens more sunlight and more warmth (which will help mitigate the drop in egg production over the winter) and it will help prevent our water from freezing for most of the winter.  

We are happy to report that as of this week, construction is finally underway!  How amazing is this? 

Your Farmers, 
Greg and Jenney

PS- Don't you just want to give our Fairy Godmother a hug or shake her hand? We can't share her name (we've sworn to secrecy) but, we want to invite you to send her a message of gratitude!  It can be a few words, a poem, a full letter, or even an emoji!  Just hit reply to this email with a message for our Fairy Godmother and we will compile all the love-letters and send them to her this week so she knows how amazing she is and what her gift means to our community!! I think this will fill her heart with even more joy, which is what this holiday season is all about, right? 

This Week's Offerings:  

Seasonal Recipe of the Week

Do you still have some of our baby ginger stashed away in the freezer? Here is one of our favorite winter-time recipes for baked tofu that will knock your socks off. We cook a big batch at the start of the week and throw these delicious cubes over rice for a quick lunch or on salads for dinner. It's the best tofu recipe we've ever encountered (Jenney has been using this recipe since college!) and we can't wait to hear what you think. 

Moosewood's Easy Baked Sweet and Sour Tofu
1 cake firm tofu (about 16 oz)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 teaspoons grated Stonecrop ginger (or chopped is fine, but remember to let it sit on the counter for 3-4 minutes before using)
2 tablespoons viegar
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup (we like syrup best) 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the tofu into slices, cubes, triangles or sticks. Lightly oil a baking dish large enough to hold the tofu in a single layer. Whisk together the marinade and drizzle over the tofu. Gentle turn or toss to coat thoroughly. Bake uncovered, stirring once or twice until the oil is sizzling and the tofu is firm and chewy, about 40 minutes. Serve hot, at room temp or chilled. 

Copyright ©2018 Stonecrop Farm, LLC, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
1396 Rush-Henrietta Townline Rd. Rush, NY 14543

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Stonecrop Farm · 1396 Rush-Henrietta Town Line Rd. · Rush, NY 14543 · USA

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