What a year we have had here at Harvey Hills Farm! We would first like to thank everyone that has supported us and that support comes in all shapes and sizes. Cheers to those that purchase regularly from us all the way to those of you that "like" our posts and follow us daily. We say it all the time but truly know that we couldn't do what we do without your support! THANK YOU!!!
We will keep it short and sweet. : )
We had a great year and we are very much looking forward to the upcoming year. We have some new things in the works and are looking to make some changes to our farm operation. You may see some changes coming next season that will be needed to build our farm operation for the future. Our nursery operation, however, is not changing and will be fully functional come Spring and we can't wait to get in the greenhouse next month! Seed sowing will begin sooner this year....in just a few short weeks we might add!
We have added Alpine dairy goats to our farm recently and these ladies will hopefully help provide some great goat milk soaps next season. Our doe, Trouble is set to deliver her baby in early March so we will for sure keep everyone posted. More details to come. We are also set to receive some new laying hens in a few weeks so the farm will be bustling with babies soon!
Thanks again for all your continued support and we hope that you continue to follow us in 2016! We are ready to get started on another year and look forward to serving you! We love to hear from our followers and supporters so if you don't regularly comment or contact us please make sure you do so! We would love to hear from you!
We hope that you and your families have a wonderful Christmas season and a prosperous New Year!
- Harvey Hills Farm
- Keith, Carrie, Amber, & Travis
Time flies when you’re having fun!! I haven’t written in awhile so I thought I would take a minute to reflect on where we have been and where we are going!
I can’t believe the year is a little more than half-way over!! It just seems like yesterday that we were heating the greenhouses to sprout spring seedlings and now were starting to think fall! Crazy!! I can already tell that our operation has gotten ever so slightly a little bit bigger than last year. For those of you that come out to the farm you have seen the transformation and know what I am talking about! So with that being said here’s what we have been up to:
- Our nursery added vegetable plants for home gardens as well as we were able to offer more variety of perennials with additions of hanging baskets, mixed herb pots, and potted annuals in six packs. Our herb varieties grew to 15 different varieties that can be used for both culinary and medicinal purposes.
- We added a few more goats to our herd and our yard now houses ducks that have just started to begin to lay delicious eggs. We raised our first batch of broiler chickens and we now have pastured raised chicken in our freezer. We have received awesome compliments from our customers on how well they taste and are glad to say they are pretty much sold out! We do have feet and necks left which make great broth!
- We made huge strides in our egg program by partnering with Relish Café & Bar and Raleigh Cake Pops. We love to support local whenever possible and working with these two local establishments has been wonderful! We did however have a small set back with our laying hens recently. We had a raccoon come visit us just a few weeks ago and took out approximately a dozen of our layers before we were able to trap him. We thought we had done a pretty good job in securing the girls in the coop but this little bugger found another way to get in on multiple occasions. Anyone that raises pastured chickens knows that a few losses here and there is inevitable but in all the years that we have been raising chickens we have never had loss like this at one time. The raccoon really had us stumped as we tried countless times to nab him. We finally did but not before he made a dent in our laying flock numbers.
- Our vegetable garden is a little more operational this year than last year and we are now offering a few vegetables at the markets. Speaking of markets we added another market to our schedule which means we are reaching more people each week. The Vance County Regional Farmers market is a beautiful brand new facility that houses a classroom, restrooms, and 18 vendor spaces. We have met a lot of great new people and customers at this market. We look forward to be long term vendors at this location.
Although I am thankful for all of our accomplishments so far there is still a lot yet to be done. I keep a log of all things that we want to accomplish in the future to keep us on track. We are constantly thinking of how to make the farm better and how we are going to meet the needs of our customers. Having full-time jobs slow us down a bit but I keep telling myself….there is always next season. Add a little bit here and add little bit there and we will get where we want to be. Just keep moving forward!!!! : )
So what’s in store for us the second part of the year??
- We will continue to be at both the Oxford Farmers Market as well as the Vance County Regional Farmers Market. All of our items that we offer can be ordered through our website as well.
- Our pumpkins and mums have been planted so be sure to look for those come fall time. We will be planting some fall vegetables in the garden this season so our vegetable offerings at the market should continue.
- We have been asked if we are going to continue to offer broilers for sale. We are still undecided as to whether or not we will be raising another batch of broilers. The processing plant that we used to process the chickens has since closed their poultry operation so our only method would be to do on-site processing on the farm. We will keep everyone posted on our plans for more broilers. If we decide to raise another batch it won’t be until the spring.
- We will be adding more laying hens to replace the hens that we lost to the raccoon as well as to replace some older laying ladies. This will boost our egg production and ensure that we have enough eggs to keep everyone happy! : ) These girls will start laying in the spring.
We have a few other exciting items on our agenda and as the year progresses will share details once things start coming together.
In the meantime we want to say thank you to all of you that have supported our farm in one way or the other. From sending us messages, sharing our facebook posts, and telling others about our farm we are grateful! We always say that we couldn’t do what we do with you and we mean it!
Thank you for supporting our farm and we hope the 2nd part of the season is just as great as the 1st part!
Harvey Hills Farm chickens are here!!!!!
We took another step forward in knowing where are food comes from by raising and eating our own poultry!
Our supper last Friday consisted of our pasture raised chicken and oooooh was it good! I have included the way that I cooked them below for anyone that is new to cooking pastured chicken. Pastured chicken is not like the chicken that we buy at the grocery store in that it is not injected with any added broth or solutions. Our chickens are not given any hormones or anything unnatural that makes the chicken grow faster. Our package consists of straight up chicken! : )
I used a very simple brine solution for one of the broilers because I wanted to see if I could taste the difference. Since our chickens are out on pasture and not confined like a commercially raised chicken I knew that the meat could be a little tougher than store bought chicken. I have to say I noticed a difference but not enough to say that I will be brining my chicken every time. The chicken that sat in the brine solution was a little moister then the other’s but I was pleasantly surprised that the non-brined chicken tasted just as good.
Simple Brine Solution
- 1 gallon of water
- ½ cup to 1 cup of Kosher Salt
- Bay Leaves
Place all ingredients together and stir until the salt is dissolved. Once salt dissolves place chicken in solution and ensure that the whole chicken is covered. Put in fridge and keep in solution anywhere from 4 to 24 hours. It is really what your preference is at this point with how long to keep it in the soultion.
There are many ways to cook a chicken but if you’re looking to start simple here is the way I cooked the chicken last week.
- 1 (2.5 to 3.5) broiler
- Olive Oil
- Thyme, Sage, Basil, etc
Heat oven to 450 degrees
Coat the chicken with the olive oil and sprinkle herbs on top of bird
Place in roasting pan and cook on high heat (450) for 15 to 20 minutes. I covered the chicken with a lid.
Turn oven down to 325 and cook for an additional 55 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165.
Once internal temperature reaches 165, take out of oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
Slice and ENJOY!!!
We would LOVE to hear any of your delicious recipes for pastured chicken. Share them here or post to our Facebook page!
We will be sharing more recipes as the summer progresses! : )
I have been making homemade chicken noodle soup now for the past few years and it is a family favorite. Sunday I made my traditional soup but with a farm fresh chicken...from the backyard! Oh was it good!!!
In our last batch of laying hens we discovered that the hatchery had given us a rooster which is pretty common so we had every intention on keeping him. We love the sound of roosters and don't mind having a few around the girls. Well let's just say this guy didn't know how to play well with others so he made his way to the crockpot. I took great pride in preparing a meal for my family with a chicken that was raised here on the farm. This has also made me more anxious to process our batch of broilers so others can experience eating pastured chicken that is raised locally, humanly, and so much more healthier for you than store bought chicken. We think it is important to get back to how things once were when knowing where your food came from and how the animals were raised was important.
I have included my super easy soup recipe below and with market season fast approaching you will for sure be able to find farm fresh chicken in abundance. This soup also freezes well so don't worry if you make too much!
For all of you Harvey Hills Farm fans..........be sure to try this recipe with one of our chickens that will be available the beginning of May!
- 1 whole roasting/broiler chicken - Sprinkle with dried basil, cracked pepper, and a little salt
- 1 onion cut up
- 1 cup water
Place chicken in crockpot with onion and water and cook on high for 5 hours or until meat is falling off the bone. About 3 to 4 hours into cooking add the following:
- 3 to 4 celery stalks cut in bite sized pieces
- A half to a full bag of baby carrots
Once vegetables are soft and meat is done take out of crockpot. Pull off all meat from the bone. Place in stock pot with all juice and vegetables that were in the crockpot. You may need to add more water or chicken stock depending on how much natural broth you end up with.
Bring to boil.
As this is boiling take a bag of egg noodles and cook according to package in another pot. Once the noodles are done combine with the soup. Stir and heat for another 5 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!
As with any of our recipes we would love to know how you liked them!
Source: Harvey Hills Farm
WOW! What a 1st year it has been for our
First and foremost we want to thank everyone that
has supported us and our farm this year. If you have "liked" our Facebook page, posted comments on our Facebook page, “liked” a status on our Facebook page, shared one of our posts on our Facebook page, viewed our website, came out to see us at the market, wore one of our t-shirts in public, and/or purchased any of our products THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! We couldn’t have done what we have done this year without your support and for that we are truly grateful.
To say that we have learned a lot over the last 12 months would be an understatement. Who ever knew that growing plants could make someone lose sleep or that mums and pansies could make someone breakdown in tears or that raising 130 chickens would make you want to raise another 130 more!! Seriously, though we learned from our mistakes as well as our successes this year and will be able to apply this to the upcoming year. Some of our ideas worked and others didn’t but
that comes with the territory. We also were faced with the challenge of starting our farm while working 40 hour work weeks (Yes, we know were crazy… day jobs and starting a farm…WHeW!). All in all we found a good balance and were able to manage both without any major problems. Now
don’t get me wrong there was little room for any down time and most days we
worked from sun up to sun down but it was worth every minute of
Over this last year our farm became home to 130 more chickens, 2 goats, and a horse. Our children raised turkeys and showed 2 of them at the NC State Fair which they both took home 10th place out of 15th. We also ate our very first Thanksgiving turkey raised right here on the farm!! We pledge never to eat a store bought turkey again!! Hmmmm do I foresee some heritage birds in our distant future?!?! We also raised Black Australorps and New Hampshire Reds for the 4-H Four County Poultry Show and Sale. Our New Hampshires took Grand Champion and our Australorps took 3rdplace! Our remaining 13 4-H birds were donated to The Interfaith Food Shuttle Teaching
Farm. We were very happy and proud to be able to raise these lovely ladies for them and will hopefully be making this a yearly practice.
Along with raising all of our animals we also had a successful first year selling our products at the Oxford Farmers Market. Although we didn’t offer as many vegetables as we wanted to our eggs,
herbs, and plants held their own. We were able to support our community while meeting new people!
Sooooooo……..What will next year bring?
Although, we are still hashing out all the details for next year I can tell you that we will be adding a few more products to our market line-up and will carry more of a variety of plants and herbs. Our
nursery stock will grow a little bigger this year! We can’t give away all details just yet but you will want to keep checking our Facebook page and our Website for details as spring gets closer!! Let’s just say we don’t have much down time this winter either. Major chores for the upcoming season will start very soon.
We can share one new item for the upcoming year and that is our email newsletter. Starting in
2014 we will be sending out a weekly newsletter containing product availability, announcements, and promotions. This is a great way to stay informed with us. Plus you never know when we
will be having a promotion or discount just for our email folks! We will never give your email address to anyone else nor will we bombard you with tons of emails. If you’re interested in signing up please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to our contact page and send us your email address. Sign up today!!!
Again, thanks for all your continued support and look forward to
a bigger and better year to come!
Just in time for the holidays! Sweet Potato Pie is a great alternative to pumpkin pie. Pick up some fresh sweet potatoes at a farmers market near you and enjoy!
This recipe makes 1 - 9 inch pie but is easy to double up if you want to make 2 pies. If you make this delicious pie for the upcoming holiday season please be sure to let us know how you liked it!
1 pound sweet potatoes
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs (hopefully farm fresh!)
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 (9 inch unbaked pie crust
These 2 recipes are great if your looking for something that is quick, easy, and tasty. Fresh basil and tomotoes from your garden or local farmers market make these recipes even more tasty!
2 cups basil, packed
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves
salt & pepper to taste
Combine basil and pine nuts in food processor - pulse a few times
Add garlic - pulse till chopped
Slowly add olive oil in a constant stream
Add Parmesan Cheese
**This recipe freezes well. If you freeze don't add the cheese until your ready to use. The cheese doesn't freeze very well.**
1 prepared whole wheat pizza crust
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Prepare pizza crust according to package
Top with a generous amount of pesto
Add Mozzarella Cheese
Top with tomato slices
Bake for 10 minutes or until bubbly.
We are in the full swing of market season and I am sure a lot of you have been picking up fresh zucchini at your market or have been growing it in your own garden. We have added our very own zucchini recipe. We hope that you enjoy it.
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 medium sized zucchini, grated, well drained (don't peel - makes about 2 cups)
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup nuts, chopped
1. Beat eggs lightly in large bowl. Stir in oil, sugar, zucchini and vanilla.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir into egg mixture till well blended. Stir in raisins and nuts. Spoon batter into well greased 8x5 loaf pans. Makes 2 loafs.
3. Bake in 375 degree oven for 45 minutes or until done. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely.
Source: Harvey Hills Farm
Yummy... Tomato Basil Pie
We have been at the Oxford Farmers Market for 3 weeks now. We sell a variety of different basil plants but our most popular is our sweet basil. I had a customer ask me yesterday if I had a good recipe for cooking basil. This is the recipe I gave her. One of my favorites.
Please be sure to let me know how you liked this recipe if you decide to try it.
9-inch prepared pie crust, unbaked
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
4 medium tomatoes
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp ground white pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Unfold the pie crust, and place in a 9-inch quiche or pie plate. Flute
the edges or press with fork tines. Pre-bake according to the package
directions. Remove from oven and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the mozzarella
cheese. Cool on a wire rack.
Cut tomatoes into wedges and drain on paper towels. Arrange the wedges
on top of the melted cheese in the baked shell. In a food processor, combine
the basil and garlic, processing until coarsely chopped. Sprinkle over the
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the remaining mozzarella cheese,
mayonnaise, Parmesan and pepper. Spoon cheese mixture over basil mixture,
spreading to evenly cover the top.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden and bubbly.
Serve warm garnished with basil leaves. Serves 4 to 8.
YAY! Today was seed planting day! You wouldn't know that it was spring time from the looks of the weather! I swear at one point it was snowing this morning!!
I have been waiting for the new greenhouse to get our seeds started so I feel like I am way behind in planting, but today I made up for it. The whole family was out in full force in the new greenhouse mixing up dirt and picking out what seeds they wanted to plant. Today we planted many varieties of herbs, vegetables, and flowers.
As I stood in the greenhouse and happily planted away listening to everyone talking about which seeds they have planted already I suddenly realized the amount of work that lay ahead when all these tiny little seeds become seedlings and have to be either transplanted into bigger pots or planted in the garden. As crazy as it may sound...I CAN'T WAIT!!! The work will be never ending I am sure but I take pride in knowing that I am making a difference not only for my family but for others as well!
Now.......Mother Nature......bring on spring already!!!!!!!
We have always had a dream to own our own farm and take pride in working hard to produce our own food. That dream is now coming true before our eyes and we look forward to sharing our experience!