The Sunworks Blog

Mexican Style Pulled Beef/Pork with Cumin Infused Cauliflower Rice and Poached Eggs
Author: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • Pulled Meat Ingredients
  • 1.5 lbs Sunworks farms pork shoulder roast, cut into cubes
  • 1 lb Sunworks farms beef rump roast, cut into cubes
  • 2 Tbsp ghee
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 2 ½ tsp celtic sea salt
  • 1 tsp smoked black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 ½ Tbsp cumin, fresh ground
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 3 Tbsp fresh oregano, divided
  • ¼ cup cilantro, minced
  • ¼ cup parsley, minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 cups homemade beef or chicken bone broth
  • 1 bunch green onions, for garnish
  • Cumin Infused Cauliflower Rice Ingredients
  • 2 large heads organic cauliflower, pulsed into “rice”
  • 1 small yellow onion, small diced (about ¾ cup)
  • 2 Tbsp ghee
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp celtic sea salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin, fresh ground
  • ¼ cup fresh dill, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, minced
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • Poached eggs Ingredients
  • 8- 12 organic Sunworks farms free range eggs
  • 2 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups filtered water
Instructions
  1. Procedure 1. In a large stew pot, add cubed meat and brown, about 3 min on each side. Remove from heat and place in a large bowl. Set aside. 2. Add ghee, onion, garlic spices and herbs. Saute for 2-3 min and add browned meat back to the pot. 3. Add chicken stock and cover. Lightly simmer for 4-6 hours or until completely tender – meat should shred easily with a fork. 4. When done, season with additional oregano, parsley, cilantro, limes and additional salt and pepper to taste. Set aside your meat while you prepare the cauliflower rice and poached eggs. Cauliflower Rice Procedure 1. In a large skillet add ghee and onion. Saute until onions are golden. Add cumin and garlic and stir to combine. 2. Add “rice” and cook on low for 5-7 min or until cauliflower is soft but not mushy. Stir in fresh dill and fresh parsley. 3. Season with lemon juice and additional salt and pepper to taste. Poached eggs Procedure 1. Add 4 cups of water to a small saucepan and add vinegar. Bring water to a simmer. 2. Crack your eggs into a small bowl, one or two at a time and slowly pour eggs into the water. 3. Cook for 3 min or until desired doneness. (I like mine runny) Assembly 1. Gather serving bowls and spoon cauliflower rice into the bottom, next add pulled meat and lastly place your poached egg on top. 2. Garnish with fresh green onions, salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon or lime. Enjoy!

 

Apricot Chicken Stew
Author: 
Serves: 12
 
Sweet and savoury fans, this stew is for you! :)
Ingredients
  • 8 cups homemade chicken stock
  • divided 10 chicken thighs
  • skin removed, bone removed and cut into cubes
  • 1 yellow onion
  • sliced 4 cloves garlic
  • minced 3 Tbsp fresh thyme
  • minced 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 bunch parsley plus ¼ cup minced
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • 1 cup organic dried apricots
  • sliced 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 4 large carrots, roll cut
  • 1 Tbsp celtic sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chives, minced
  • ½ lemon, juiced
Instructions
  1. Gather a large stew pot and add ¼ cup chicken stock. Add onions and sauté for 5-7 min or until translucent. 2. Next add garlic, salt and pepper, thyme, parsley, paprika, cayenne and apricots an stir to combine. 3. Add chicken cubes and cover with chicken stock. Bring to a simmer, cover and simmer for 45 min. Add yams and carrots and cook for an additional 25 min or until yams are soft but not mushy. 4. Stir in fresh chives, remaining parsley, lemon juice and season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

 

Building Soil

IMG_2848One of our main occupations that we do on Sunworks Farm is build soil. Animals are an integral component of how we grow soil. When we look at the history of soil in western Canada we can understand how animals and especially the buffalo helped create our bountiful land and topsoil.  The buffalo were a herding animal that grazed all across western Canada but the tall grass prairie that surrounded Edmonton and the Battle River was one of the richest areas of grazing for the buffalo herd. The buffalo would graze in a tight knit group of a couple hundred to many thousand animals. When they grazed in the tight herd all the grass behind the animals would be totally trampled down and the urine and manure would totally cover the ground. The grass could have been 3ft to 6ft high when the buffalo first arrived and when they finished grazing all the grass that wasn’t eaten would be trampled down and a thick layer of trampled grass would add to the organic matter of the soil. The buffalo would only spend a couple of hours in one spot as they were constantly moving and grazing. Sometimes if the herd was being harassed by wolves or bears the herd would go rumbling across the prairie chewing up the land with their hooves and leaving nothing untouched.  As the summer thunderstorms came rolling across the country side, with lightning and rain, the earth would come alive again with all the manure and organic matter as fertilizer. With so much organic matter in the soil it acted like a big sponge and all of the rain that fell wouldn’t run off but would be soaked up. 

IMG_2581The grass would grow so fast that you could almost see it grow and the buffalo would come back in a couple weeks or months and graze again and the cycle would start all over. The grass that the buffalo never ate in the summer would go into the winter 4 to 6 ft high and trap snow all winter. In the spring fires would sometimes come. The wind on the spring days could be a 80 to 100 km per hour and the fire would burn at a massive speed across the tops of the oxidized tall grass. As the grass burnt in milliseconds it turned into carbon and settled down onto the ground to provided carbon as fertilizer. The fire blew through the willow thickets around the sloughs and in the poplar thickets and burnt all the leaves off of the willows and poplars so the prairie grasslands were kept intact. The fire created its own wind and blew through at such a high speed that the topsoil never was burnt and the fire never got down into the thick organic matter that had been built up for centuries. Year after year the organic matter from the plants decayed into topsoil and this is how we have such fine soils in many parts of western Canada.

Our cattle are time controlled grazed in the summer time, this means we give our cattle small areas of grass so all of the grass is either eaten or trampled down. We move our animals onto a fresh piece of land every day to prevent the land from becoming overgrazed and barren. We spread chicken compost from our winter broilers on the land about every 2 to 3 years to add to the fertility. We have pictures of the grasses growing to over 7 ft tall. If we don’t get all of our land grazed completely in the fall this grass is left to collect snow so our ponds and dugouts are always full. The land has so much organic matter that our soil acts like sponge and pulls all of the moisture down into the earth. When we have finished grazing the land becomes alive again with a tremendous regrowth of grass.

Our chickens are raised in shelters with no floors in the summer and are moved every day, leaving only a skiff of manure across the land. Again this fertility kicks the grass growth into high gear so we have more grass for our cattle.  The manure has a tremendous amount of minerals and bacteria to contribute to the billions of microorganisms that live in a healthy soil.

Photo of dirt with description_edited-1We have seen tremendous growth in our soil over the years. The land that we bought in 1992 was poor quality land, with minimal topsoil over the clay. We now have soil that has a deep layer of black earth with layers of organic matter. We no longer have bare spots of clay showing throughout the fields, but instead we have beautiful soil that is full of bugs and worms and the grass is so thick that it is hard to walk through during the summer.

We really believe in making our land better for the future generations because we don’t inherit the land from our ancestors we borrow it from our children. Being able to care for a piece of land and make it better than when you received it is the most gratifying experience that we can have as a family and being able to leave an ecosystem that can contribute to the well-being of the earth adds a tremendous amount of joy.

By working with nature and not against it we can give you the healthiest, cleanest food in the world. 

Thanks Ron             

Zuppa Toscana Chicken Stew
Author: 
 
Zuppa Toscana Chicken Stew just for you, with love from Justine. :)
Ingredients
  • 1 whole sunworks farms chicken, cooked and shredded ( I cook the chicken when I make my broth and add an additional chicken neck and back, onion, carrots, celery, parsley, rosemary, black pepper, salt and paprika. Remove the meat after 1 and a half hours of cooking and place the bones back into the stock for 2-3 more hours)
  • 2 packages sunworks farms bratwurst chicken sausage
  • 1 package sunworks farms pork bacon,
  • 1small diced yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp celtic sea salt
  • 12 cups homemade chicken stock (instructions above)
  • 2 ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • ¾ tsp cayenne
  • 1 bunch organic dill, divided (about 1 ½ cup minced)
  • ½ cup parsley, minced
  • 4 large turnips, peeled and small diced
  • 4 stalks celery, half moon sliced
  • 1 can organic full fat BPA free coconut milk (Nature Valley)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
Instructions
  1. Heat a large soup pot and add diced bacon. Cook until brown. 2. Remove all but 2 Tbsp of bacon fat and add onion. Saute until translucent. Add paprika, cayenne, ¼ of your minced dill, parsley and garlic. Stir to combine. 3. Remove the casing from the chicken sausage and cut into bite sized pieces. Add sausage to your soup pot and stir to combine. 4. Next add shredded chicken and chicken stock. Bring to a light simmer. 5. Add coconut milk, diced turnips and celery and cook for 5-7 min or until vegetables are tender but not mushy. 6. Stir in remaining dill and season with lemon juice and additional salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy! Source- Justine Stenger

 

100% Grass Fed Beef

IMG_2568 

We recently had some questions from customers about how our beef are raised and if they receive any grains during their life. 

Our cattle are finished on organic grass or organic hay depending on the time of year. During the summer they are rotationally grazed (also called time controlled grazing) on our land. This means that the cattle are moved onto new grass allowing them access to fresh grass, allowing the pasture time to recover from grazing, and preventing compaction of the soil. The exact time spent on each piece of grass can vary from half a day to a few days and is dependent on the quality of grass, how much rain we have had, how mature the grass is and many other factors.

During the winter our cattle are fed hay and are given a large pasture to roam in. The hay fed is certified organic round bales that are put through what is called a bale buster. It takes the round bale and chops and fluffs it up and spreads it on the ground in a long line. This allows the cattle to all eat at the same time and not feel crowded. The placement of this hay is rotated throughout the pasture so that they are not eating on their own manure and also the hay is getting spread throughout the land to add organic matter to the land. They are given shelter from the wind using windbreaks that can be moved each year to prevent the build-up of manure in the same spot year after year. They are given access to clean water that is pumped from our dugout during both the winter and summer months.

Our calves never receive any grain (including oats), grain by-product or sprouted grains during their life time. The calves are born on grass in the spring when the weather is nice and warm. They are then on grass for their entire life. The only supplement they receive is mineralized rock salt, kelp and certified organic alfalfa meal/ pellets. (alfalfa meal or pellets is alfalfa grass that is harvested at peak nutrition, dried and then pressed into pellets or left lose as a meal). Our cattle are 100% grass fed for 100% of their life.  If you buy fresh beef in the summer they would have been finished on fresh grass. If you buy fresh beef in the winter they would have been finished on hay (dried grass).

All our animals are certified organic. This means that our cattle receive no antibiotics, growth hormones and no animal by-products. All the grass, hay, alfalfa pellets/meal and minerals that they receive have to be certified organic and by being certified organic have had no pesticides, herbicides or fungicides applied to them. The land they are living on has to have been certified organic for a minimum of 3 years.  Our land has not had any chemicals applied to it since 1992 and was certified as organic in 1995.  We strongly believe that being certified organic is very important as it provides the same standards for all certified organic products and producers throughout Canada.

We are inspected by the BC SPCA and are certified under their farm welfare program. We believe that animals should be treated with respect from birth to plate.  The BC SPCA has a very comprehensive program that includes an on farm inspection of the animal’s condition, our facilities and our record keeping.  http://www.spca.bc.ca/welfare/farm-animal-welfare/spca-certified/#.U583f5AU_IU

Grass fed beef is a healthier meat.  Numerous studies have shown that grass fed beef have higher levels of vitamin E, vitamin B, vitamin C, beta-carotene, lutin, omega 3 and CLA. It is also healthier for the cattle as it is their natural diet. When cattle are fed grain it triggers negative changes to the acidity in their digestive tract. This causes sickness and increased stress on the animals that in turn creates more use of antibiotics. By feeding the cattle their natural diet of grass on pasture where they are free to exhibit their natural behaviors they are healthy and not stressed. This is important because healthy animals are less likely to get sick and require treatment. From pasture raised animals the manure is also spread by the cattle, this provides nutrition to the soil while spreading grass seed and pressing organic matter back into the soil. This allows birds, bugs and other wildlife to thrive.

Grass Fed Beef is a tender and wonderful meat that is healthier for the cattle, the environment and us.