The Sunworks Blog

Family Farm Day 2014

Family Farm Day for Facebook final draft

You are invited to our 13th annual Family Farm Day on September 1, 2014. This is a day that we look forward to all year as we are excited to show our customers how their food is raised. On this day you will be able to see how our certified organic, certified humane, beef cattle, free range chickens, laying hens and turkeys are raised in the summer and in the winter. You will also be able to see our new humane poultry processing plant that is under construction and will be operational by the end of the year. There is an organic BBQ lunch provided by Ron and Sheila, musical entertainment, a questions and answer session and a tour of the farm. Last year we had over 600 people register for the day! There is no charge to attend however there are limited spots available, so please register early and please only register if you are sure you will be able to attend as we do not want to make more food than is needed and we would like to have as many people out to the farm as possible. Registration deadline is on August 24, at 5:00pm. Registrations cannot be taken after this time as we need time to prepare the food.  To register message us on Facebook, email us at info@sunworksfarm.com, call us at 1-877-393-3133 or visit us at one of our farmers markets.

We hope you can join us and look forward to seeing you at the farm.

Thanks Ron and Sheila Hamilton

Farmers/Owners of Sunworks Farm. 

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