Check our calendar for store hours or call Marilyn to set up an appointment
That'll Do Farm is proud to offer My Peruvian Frontrunner for breeding services and we also offer for sale many top quality females that have been confirmed pregnant to him for 2016 crias.
Frontrunner needs no introduction. He is an elite herdsire, having sired many, many champion, high-selling offspring.
No surprise here -- Christmas is a lot about the food.
While the turkey or ham, may think its the star of the show - grabbing all the attention - in my book, its all about the appetizers, sides. leftovers and perhaps most importantly: The Pie.
This also comes as no surprise (considering we raise honey bees), but honey plays a prominent role in many of my Christmas dishes, starting with the appetizer, holding its own with the side dishes and coming on strong through dessert.
Not many appetizers are needed on this stuffed-to-the-gills day. Just something simple to keep the crowd happy while they smell the Christmas dinner cooking.
One of my go-to appetizers is Baked Brie with Honey & Cranberries.
It's really a very easy recipe. You can throw it together while the relatives are arguing over football or waiting for Santa's arrival.
Baked Brie with Honey & Cranberries
Place a 6 - 8" round of brie on a microwave serving dish. Combine about 1 cup of dried cranberries with 1 cup of toasted chopped pecans. Place this mixture on top of the cheese. Drizzle with honey. Microwave on high for about a minute, or until the cheese just begins to ooze. Serve with sliced pears that have been dipped in lemon juice to prevent them from browning.
And that's it. Easy as can be. Just stand back and let the compliments begin.
But don't limit your honey use to just an appetizer.
If you need honey for your Christmas table, we carry in our farm store or call to check our Farmer's Market schedule.
Recently, I had the good fortune to win a clambake from Edible Cleveland magazine. Now don't go thinking skill had anything to do with this win. It was a simple, luck-of-the-draw kind of contest -- something I had an actual chance at winning!
I've attended plenty of clambakes before and they've all been great fun. But I've never had to put one on. And frankly, the idea was a little intimidating. It looked like a lot of food that had to be ready at once ... and all cooked outside. Over a little burner. A tiny burner.
But, when you win a clambake, you win a clambake. There was no way I wasn't going to do this. So with my gift card to Heinen's in hand, I threw myself on the mercy of the seafood person behind the counter. Luckily, she could spot a rookie a mile away and took pity on me: One clambake for nine ordered, detailed written instructions included.
Clambakes are typically held outdoors. However, when the National Weather Service assures you it WILL rain, and maybe even sleet, the day of your party, you make alternate plans.
The alpaca barn was the only logical choice.
Most people think clambakes are all about the clams. But I'm here to tell you they're wrong. Clambakes are all about the pumpkin pie and cider. At least in my book they are.
Thanks to the time-sucking, love-of-my-life that is Pinterest, we found a cider recipe with a little bit of kick to it. You start by combining some cinnamon and sugar together on a plate. Then you take an orange wedge and run it around the rim of your glass before dipping the rim in the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Next comes a splash of whiskey followed by the fresh cider. They suggest garnishing with a sprig of rosemary, but since I loathe the taste of rosemary, we left it out and never missed it.
Setting up the bake was much easier than expected. It was a simple matter of layering everything in a gigantic pot.
First, the bags of clams went in, followed by the chicken on one side and sweet potatoes on the other. A bit of water and some seasonings were added and the lid put on.
And then it was hurry up and wait time.
So we visited with the alpacas.
Did a bit of gate climbing.
Sampled some local pumpkin beer from Fat Head's Brewery and kept our fingers out of the pie . . . for the most part.
An hour or so later, everything was almost done so we took the chicken out and threw it on the grill to crisp it up while we put the corn in the pot to cook.
And that was it. Fifteen minutes later, we drained the broth, plated up the bbq chicken, clams, sweet potatoes, corn and coleslaw and sat down to eat. It couldn't have been any easier. (The fact that I had two good friends who happen to be excellent cooks helping may have contributed to the ease of the whole thing!)
The youngest among us went straight for the broth and sweet potatoes.
The rest of us didn't discriminate. We ate it all. Every last bite. It was a flurry of eating.
The food was outstanding. One hundred percent, totally delicious.
I'm thinking this will have to become an annual tradition at the farm.
That'll Do Farm
- Feel the alpaca fleece
- Tour the farm
- Learn about raising and breeding alpacas
- Shop for alpaca products
- Interesting for the whole family
Bring the kids and your camera. You won't want to miss them feeding the goats. (Heck with the kids. YOU'LL want to feed the goats!)
honey In our Farm Store, we carry raw honey straight from our 30 hives and raw alpaca fleeces straight from our 30+ alpacas.
Plusthe raw wildflower honey, we have creamed honey, homemade vinegars, handmade soaps, laundry soap, yarn, roving and art batts for spinners, alpaca socks, gloves, scarves, hats, alpaca toys and much, much more.
The farm is located at 34634 State Route 303, Grafton, OH. 44044. We are about 1.5 miles east of Route 83 and and about 3 miles west of Valley City.
For more information or directions, call Marilyn (440) 821-4104
Yoga and farm-fresh food -- a perfect combinat
Maggie Osborn, the farm's ace soap maker, is also a certified yoga instructor. She'll lead us through an easy hour of stretching and relaxation as we enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the farm's fields and pastures.
Don't worry, you won't actually be IN the pastures with the animals. Although I do believe the alpacas have been known to practice yoga.
Both beginners and experienced yoga practitioners alike will enjoy this class.
After a class, we'll take a stroll to the hen house to gather eggs for breakfast, which will be cooked outside as you're visiting with the alpacas. Hash browns, fresh fruit, juice, coffee and pastry will round out your breakfast
You can register on-line or by calling Andrea at 440-829-3644.
Yoga and Breakfast
Spring on any farm is a busy time, and That'll Do Farm is no exception.
We are expecting 16 new crias to be born starting this May of 2016!
Vegetables to plant
Almost every weekend we set up at Farmer's Markets with our creamed honey, flavored vinegars, yarn, art batts, roving, handmade knitted gifts, laundry soap and a surprise or two.
Our handmade soap is a popular
The garlic is growing happily and it's time to harvest garlic scapes.
Scapes are the curly flower stalks of a hardneck garlic plant. They can be left on the plant, but we cut them off the so the plant's energy goes into bulb production and not stalk production.
Plus, using the scapes is like getting a two-for-one plant: harvest the scapes now and harvest the bulb in another month or two. One time planting, two times harvesting. I like the work to harvest ratio of that.
Scapes can be used like green onions: cut into salads for a mild garlic flavor, sautéed in butter and tossed over chicken, mixed in with scrambled eggs, or even made into pesto.
Try this garlic scape pesto over some pasta for an easy meal.
Put a dozen scapes, 1/3 cup pistachios, 1/3 cup grated Romano chees, and some salt (omit the salt if your pistachios are salted) and pepper into a blender or food processor. While the motor is running, slowly pour in 1/3 cup really good olive oil.
Pour over warm pasta and start smiling. It's delicious. So much flavor from such a little bit of a plant.
Scapes are sometimes hard to find in a grocery store. But check out your local farmers' market. This should be a big week for scapes.
I spent the good part of today weeding the garlic, but finally had to give up. Clover has taken up residence between the plants. It needs to come out because it's robbing the garlic of water. But whenever I started to pull the clover, it buzzed to life with many, many, MANY honey bees.
So after carefully weighing my options (pull lots of clover in 90 degree heat vs. leaving clover for the honey bees), for the good of the bees, I decided to leave it. I can just tell people that my garden isn't really messy, it's a planned haven for honey bees.
We've had a nice, long string of outstanding weather here in Northern Ohio. I really even hate to say that in writing for fear of jinxing it. But I'm throwing caution to the wind and stating it in bold letters: It Is Beautiful.
And we deserve it. It was a long, cold Winter ... and early Spring wasn't exactly a picnic either with much more rain than we needed, wanted or could use.
But the last two weeks have been beautiful.
It's a pleasure to work in the garden.
The bees have found the chive blossoms and are hard at work.
And while we are not growing vegetables for a CSA this year, we are still putting in a large garden. Most of the tomato plants are in. I say most because I'm never sure if we have enough.
Are 25 plants enough? Fifty? I'm in the camp that says you can never have enough tomato plants. I think 60 tomato plants sounds like a nice number. Not too many to keep up with, yet enough to have some for canning. Let's hope I don't get to August and regret this conservative number and wish I'd gone with 75 plants.
Spinach, lettuce, herbs -- all are in.
After today, the melons and squashes will be in.
Planting is the fun and easy work. Now comes the hard stuff.
And more weeding. And after that, even more weeding.
But it will be worth it come August when we are rewarded with this:
After a Winter spent indoors, it is a pleasure to be outside digging in the Earth again.
Saturday was opening day at the Farmers' Market for us. Every Saturday through October, we will be at the Countryside Farmers' Market at Howe Meadow in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Peninsula, from 9 a.m. to noon.
This past Saturday, however, we were at the market's Winter home, inside the Old Trail School's gym. You see, we've had a bit of weather in Northern Ohio lately.
O.K., maybe more than a bit. You could say it's been raining cats and dogs. The kind of rain where you think it might actually be time to build that ark. But a "little" rain couldn't stop hundreds of market shoppers from coming out to support their local farmers. And we appreciate it.
We had our creamed honey, lots of beautiful yarn, roving, colorful art batts and our bird nesting material for sale.
Long before we became a vendor at the market, this was my favorite one to attend. It's in a great location in the national park, there's music, fabulous food trucks and friendly people. Not to mention outstanding fresh vegetables, grass fed beef, the best chicken you've ever tasted and pie. How can you not love a market with pie!
So put this market on your calendar. It's every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon through October, when it moves indoors.
The address is 4040 Riverview Road in Peninsula, south off of State Route 303.
See you Saturday.