Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving From the Anderson Farm to You

Happy Thanksgiving

As we gather to celebrate a bountiful Thanksgiving with family and friends, this farm-wife would like to give you a insight on who the Anderson Farm family is, so as you sit down for your dinner, you might feel a connection to those of us who grew the wheat for your rolls, breads and baked goods.  Plus you might be interested to know that if you are serving hummus for an appetizer, there is a very good chance it came from this area & maybe even our farm, and lastly, if you are spreading mustard on anything, it could have come from our farm too.  We are 1 farm family out of roughly 259,000 more full-time farm families who, just like us, grow the food we all eat.  And as you are saying your prayers, and if you think of it, please include a special blessing for all of these hard working farm families. =)
Me, Farmer Joe & Josie - the spoiled dog
Farming has come a long way from the days of Farmer Joe's grandpa and dad as shown below

to being able to provide more food with less ground and less of a carbon footprint

Below is a short Flickr photo sideshow of our farm family.  Although our girls chose different careers and no longer work on the farm as they once did, none-the-less they are proud to have been raised with an Agriculture background.  So far, the 2 oldest grand-angels have told their grandpa that they want to drive the tractors and combines. Zack, our nephew and son of  Farmer Jay and Lisa is a great worker when he goes out to work on the farm  and he likes to hang out with his dad and uncle Farmer Joe. So who knows, we may have Zack, Brinley and Natalie running the farm in a few years. 

And lastly, as the Thanksgiving holiday is a focus on food, I wanted to know what consumers thought and what questions they would ask a farmer.... so last Sunday afternoon, Farmer Joe and I went out and posed that question to random folks.  We went to several different grocery stores from national chain stores to the local organic food co-op to ask the question, "if you could ask a farmer a question, what would you ask?"..... and here is  what I found out.

Here are the answers to the questions asked:
97% of U.S. farms are run by families, farmer partnerships or co-ops, per Farm Facts.   If a family farm is incorporated (i.e. Corporate Farm) it simply refers to the organizational tax structure of that farm operation.

• The crops grown by the farmers are based on what can be grown in their particular area as well as what is profitable to grow. For instance, we grow garbanzo beans vs peas as the market price is much better for garbanzos than dried peas.

• The use of herbicides or pesticide on crops is only used when needed and the products we use are highly regulated and tested by the Food & Drug Administration. The rules that govern what can be used are far more stringent in the U.S. than in foreign countries. When we use products on our crops, it could be compared to when a person gets sick and goes to the doctor for medicine to help them get healthy; it’s the same for plants- we are trying to keep the plants healthy for optimum yield results. We eat the same foods we produce as the consumer eats and as a practice, I try to only buy products grown in the U.S.A.

• We have not noticed an increase in conventional farmers converting to organic methods, but a few farms may do small organic sections as a speciality. We feel the consumer should have a choice of conventional vs organic. Typically organic is more expensive, for example one grocery store had a dozen eggs for $1.39 produced in a conventional way vs the $4.59 for organic, free range eggs.  It simply depends on what the consumer wants to pay for their food. Americans spend just 9.5% of their income on food- less than any other country, plus it is the safest as well, per Farm Facts.

• As for the question about baby animals from dairies, it depends on the sex of the animal and the operation of that dairy. As we have friends in the dairy business, the females may be kept and added to the herd for milk production, and as for the males, they may stay for breeding or get sold.
 • And lastly the women who talks about Ireland’s practice of telling you who raised that product… well it goes back to what I am trying to do, connect the consumer to the farmer. Let them see the regular American Farm Family who raises the food that they eat.

And I can't let you go until I share my latest cake find located on the Cake of the Month page...

Pumpkin Poundcake
Are you drooling yet? 

Again, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Please make sure to check the At Home on the Farm as I'll be posting more on what a farm engagement party looks like. We have invited our family and farm friends to meet Kaitlyn's financee, Andrew on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so quality time in the kitchen is definately in store for me. As always, thanks for stopping by and let me know if you have any quesitons by either posting a comment or emailing me at idahofarmwife@gmail.com. All my best, Gayle

Friday, November 11, 2011

When Nature Gives You A Break, You've Gotta Take It

Today is Veteran's Day and we give our eternal and heartfelt thanks to all who have served to make our country safe.

In our part of the country, any nice day after October 20 is a bonus as the weather can turn cold, rainy or snowy and we can count on being out of the field until Spring.  After last week's light dusting of snow, Mother Nature has granted us a few more spectacular warm Fall days here on the "Palouse". Farmer Joe and Farmer Jay took the opportunity to get a few more things done on the farm as the weather forecast is calling for rain and snow this afternoon as well as the rest of the week.

Here is a video from the seat of the tractor cab to give you a peek at what it looks like driving down our country back-roads.

Next are two videos Farmer Joe shot of us planting some grasses and plants along the ditch as part of our on-going wildlife conservation efforts.  Farmers take our environmental conservation efforts seriously as well as do our part in promoting wildlife habitat.  The first video shows the tractor planting the grasses and the second video shows you what it looks like from the seat of the tractor.

And of course, I wanted to share my newest and perfect Fall  yummy, "Apple Butterscotch Squares" on the OMG Dessert page.

Tomorrow this farmwife will be heading 100 miles away to see the newly engaged daughter try on wedding dresses and where her older sister, Jen will also be trying on bridesmaids dresses.  So my part, as well as my mom's, will be doing the appropriate "ooohs and aaawwes" as the girls try on all sorts of dresses. =) More on that will be on the At Home on the Farm page.

As always, many thanks for stopping by, I hope you will try some of my favorite recipes and settle in for cozy moment with a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy your baking efforts.  Please feel free to email me at idahofarmwife@gmail.com or leave comments, as I love to read them and appreciate the time that you have put aside to read the blog. All my best, Gayle

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The wheat has been seeded all comfy in their beds, with visions of harvest still in our heads…. okay so maybe I won’t quit my day job to write off-beat versions of that favorite Christmas poem, but  I am a serious holiday junkie and now that harvest is over and our "fall working season" is on the down-hill slide we are rolling into a quiet time on the farm and straight into the holiday season!  I love this time of year and am seriously thinking of starting my holiday movie watching tradition a bit early as we just had our first dusting of snow….. But first, here on the farm, Farmer Joe kindly taped a short video to show you what we are doing on the farm before it goes to sleep for the winter.

As for life on the farm..... well we have some big news, and invite you to read about it on the At Home on the Farm page

And if you love desserts, check out the Pumpkin Chocolate cake with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting and a chocolate ganache glaze ...... yummmmm on the Cake of the Month page.

As  the quiet winter season on the farm is settling upon us, I will be taking you on "field trips" such as getting to see barges being  loaded with wheat that will make their way down the river system to get shipped overseas and whatever else I can think of.  Plus  if YOU have any requests, let me know and I'll see what I can do to make it happen.  As always, thanks for stopping by. Well my friends, take care and feel free to email me at idahofarmwife@gmail.com or leave me a post.  All my best, Gayle