Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Pastured Broilers

Our pastured broilers are growing nicely! Cornish Crosses are not a heritage breed and do grow quite fast. If you give them hormones or feed them too much,they will likely be unable to walk around after 6 or 7 weeks old. However, we feel growing them on pasture and giving a clean area of grass to pick around each day, is much better than packing thousands of birds in an enclosed building. In the shelters they have room to move and are able to eat grass and bugs. A chickens natural diet. We don't feed them GMO-free feed this year (nobody's perfect), but we hope to be in a position where we can do that next Spring. The chickens grow pretty quickly, but we do not give them antibiotics or any growth hormones. Just fresh air, clean grass, and lots of sunshine! Each morning we move the shelters, feed the chickens, and give them fresh water. They love moving time! They rush over to the new patch of grass and start searching for bugs and grass. Pastured poultry is not necessarily the most sustainable thing on the farm, yet it's very rewarding and quite easy and a cheap way to get into farming! We are enjoying giving these chickens a great life and soon we look forward to having fresh tasty chicken to eat for dinner! (Don't tell the chickens that yet, we don't need them unionizing on us ;)

March 27, baby chicks arrive in the mail!
A few things we have learned so far:

  • These chickens drink a lot more than our egg layers. Next year we hope to get an automatic waterer.

  • We need a new board on top of our current shelter. We used a cheap piece of siding to put on the top because it was light weight, however it warped right away and anytime it rains or the sprinklers come on water sits on the top and we have to push it off. 

  • We need some sort of handle on one side to help us move the shelters around. They are heavy and the rope we are using always has chicken poop on it and is hard to hold. 

  • We need a better quality food for the chickens. They eat a lot, I think part of the problem is the food we give them. 

  • You're going to have lots of flies and your lawn is not going to be beautiful anymore. Watering will help with both of these problems and help the poop disintegrate faster. We try not to water the lawn here in California too much as we have limited water. 
Have you raised pastured poultry before? What do you feed them and what kind of waterer and shelters do you use? What breed do you raise? We'd love to learn more about your set up! 
Checking out their new home until they are big enough to go outside

Good morning! Enjoying a new patch of grass!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Homemade Chocolate Lip Balm

*Links in this blog may be affiliate links. It costs you nothing to use them, but provides Agape Farm with a small commision. Thanks for supporting the Farm!*

I went through my cupboards last week and threw away all of my cough medicines, aspirin, anti-diarrheal medicine, antacids, allergy medicines, and more. I haven't used shampoo, conditioner, or face wash in months. What am I using instead you might wonder? Essential oils! Therapeutic grade essential oils, like Young Living's, can replace so many things in your household. There are endless recipes for beauty products, from lip balm to insect repellant, and guess what, these items are so safe you could eat them! Have you ever accidentally gotten bug spray in your mouth? It doesn't taste good! One of my favorite books for learning more about recipes with essential oils was written by my friend Lindsey over at Her book, Homemade Mommy Beauty Essentials: 35 DIY Beauty Recipes to Use Everyday, contains 35 wonderful DIY recipes for everyday beauty products. Check her page out for recipes, healthy eating, and much more!

A picture of Homemade Mommy's lip balm!
 (Picture is property of Homemade Mommy)

One recipe I am looking forward to making is Chocolate Mint Lip Balm. Yum! It sounds delicious!


Equipment You'll Need


Gently melt the cocoa butter, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and beeswax in a double boiler (or in a glass bowl set on top of a sauce pot of simmering water).
Remove from heat and then stir in the peppermint essential oil.
Quickly pour the melted oil into the tubes. You have to move very quickly before the oils start to set. You can use a small funnel, but it may get clogged in the process. Using a medicine dropper is not recommend because it will quickly clog up as well!
Allow the lip balm to set and then cap the containers.

- See more at:

Monday, May 5, 2014

Cinnamon Rolls

Links in this post may be affiliate links. By clicking this links you are charged nothing, but we might earn a small amount. Thank you for supporting the farm! 
Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had a fun relaxing weekend. Hubby's new work schedule consists of working Saturdays every other month, he has this month off, so it was nice to get to spend a Saturday with him. We woke up early on Saturday morning and went to the local park and went on a nice bike ride. Then we went to another park and went down some cement slides and hiked along the river. We are blessed with some great parks in this town! I can't wait to have kids and be able to enjoy the parks more. Before we left for our bike ride, I whipped up some dough for cinnamon rolls so they could rise. Once we got home I was able to finish them up. They were so yummy! I will definitely double the filling recipe next time though. I like them with lots of cinnamon and delicious filling. We worked in the garden this weekend as well, lots of weed pulling has finally resulted in a lot less weeds. They have finally stopped coming up so ferociously. Our veggies are doing great and coming up so nicely. I will add more information in our next post though. Sunday was spent going to church, hubby did sound and I taught Sunday school. It's so much fun teaching the kids more about our wonderful Savior! My mother-in-law came to church too and took us to lunch afterwards. So yummy. The rest of the day was spent around the house and babysitting. A relaxing weekend for sure, which was nice as the rest of the month is going to be crazy! Lots of birthdays! My nephew turns one and my sister is having a baby on the same day!! The next weekend my big brother will be marrying his beautiful fiancee! They have been together for a long time and I am happy to welcome her to the family. I am blessed with wonderful siblings and sibling-in-laws. Now onto the reason you are reading this post: those yummy cinnamon rolls. This was one of the first times I ever made homemade cinnamon rolls from scratch. They are time consuming, but so yummy.

Recipe adapted from New Cook Book, Limited Edition "Pink Plaid" : For Breast Cancer Awareness (Better Homes & Gardens) (one of my favorites!) Pg. 154.

Next time I will double the filling. Feel free to use a cream cheese icing or no icing at all. You can prepare the rolls ahead of time and place in fridge immediately after placing in pans up to 24 hours. Leave a little room on top for them to rise. When ready to bake let them stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

For the dough:
4 to 4&1/2 cups of AP flour
1 package active dry yeast or 2 & 1/4 tsps.
1 cup milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs

For the filling:
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup AP flour
1 T. cinnamon
1/3 cup butter

1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup golden raisins

Vanilla Icing:
In a small bowl stir together 1 and 1/4 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 1-2 Tbs. of milk. Mix together until sugar is dissolved.

In large mixing bowl combine 2 cups of the flour and the yeast; set aside. In a small saucepan heat and stir milk, g. sugar, 1/3 cup butter, and the salt until just warm and the butter is slightly melted (about 120 degrees, don't let it boil). Add to flour mixture along with 2 eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds. Beat on high for 3 minutes. Stir in as much of the remaining 2 to 21/2 cups flour ( I just used my stand mixer and used the dough hook for several minutes).

2. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead in more flour if needed, to make a soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3-5 minutes). Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl, turning to grease the ball. Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled.

3. Punch down dough and divide in half. Let rest 10 minutes. Lightly grease 2- 8x8x2 or 9x9x2-inch baking pans and set aside. Mix together the filling and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to mix in butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add in raisins and pecans if desired.

4. Roll out each half dough into a 12x8 rectangle. Sprinkle half the filling over each rectangle, leaving 1 inch unfilled along one side of the roll. Roll up each rectangle, starting from the filled long side. Pinch to seal seams. Slice into 12 equal pieces. Arrange in greased pans. Cover and let rise about 30 minutes.

Golden Brown with icing on. 
5. Preheat oven to 375. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes and remove from pan. Pour icing over top.