One of my favorite childhood memories was listening to my parents read to us farming stories like Baby farm animals, Johnny apple seed, Charlottes web, Anne of green gables, Farmer boy and Little house in the big woods. I am so grateful to my kind parents for reading to me as a child. I have always been a big fan of learning about people lives growing up on a farm and my thirst for these stories has only grown stronger this past year since I bought the farm. Today I wanted to share some of my favorite books that I have read about farming with you all. Some of these books I listened to on Audible while I was driving a tractor in low gear around the orchard.
What are some of your favorite farming books, friends? These books have been so grounding, normalizing and inspiring to me in my first year of farming. I have cried big fat tears along with these authors as they bravely shared their losses and I laughed out loud when they shared funny mishaps and farming wins. I really want to encourage you all to take the time to read one of these books and learn more about how your food is grown. All this is vital to the sustainability of farming, growing food and carrying on life on this planet. I am so grateful to these farmers, authors, pioneers for taking the time to write our these important stories. xoxo your grateful farmer
PS I love book recommendations if you have one that I would love please share it forward with me.
This morning our electric fans fired up around 5am. The buzzing sound gently woke me up from a beautiful dream I was having about the orchard that involved a gathering of some of my favorite peeps. I slipped on some yoga pants, a couple of jackets and my trusty gardening slip ons and happily headed out the door to inspect if all 3 fans were working together. My heart smiled when I saw that indeed they ALL three fans were protecting and defending our future crop. The rays of the sun were beginning to peek above the mountains and I looked up at heaven and said, "thank you Papa, that I get to be a farmer."
Friday mornings are such a sweet gift on the orchard. Mondays are a non stop full day of farming and then I work back to back days as a nurse practitioner. Once Friday arrives I am starting to feel a bit spent from the week. The beauty of friday mornings is that I have some freedom and flexibly to choose which jobs I do first and when I get to start. After being outside since 5am in the morning I am cold so I came in and warm up with my favorite Roobios tea and local honey. This morning after I came in from the fans I was pretty famished so I decided I would make an Old World family favorite, The Swiss German Oven Datch Pancake.
Oven Datch was one of my favorite Swiss breakfasts growing up mostly because its a nice platform to enjoy Nutella for breakfast. Its also a great way to use up farm fresh eggs which are plentiful this time of year. When we have fresh fruit I always add what ever in season but this morning I am going to grate some orange zest so I have a nice chocolate, orange dreamy treat. (Adding cherries, peaches, nectarines, apples and pears are a treat as well). Recipes follows below...
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 6 large farm fresh eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Nutella, for serving
- Local Honey, for serving
- Powdered sugar, for serving
Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place a large, seasoned cast iron skillet in the oven as it preheats, at least 5 minutes.
Combine flour, salt, and orange zest in a large bowl and whisk to break up any lumps and incorporate; set aside. Combine eggs, milk, and vanilla in a separate bowl and whisk until the eggs are broken up. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, dump in the egg mixture, and whisk until the batter is thoroughly moistened and slightly lumpy, about 1 minute (do not overmix).
Combine flour, salt, and orange zest in a large bowl and whisk to break up any lumps and incorporate; set aside. Combine eggs, milk, and vanilla in a separate bowl and whisk until the eggs are broken up. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, dump in the egg mixture, and whisk until the batter is thoroughly moistened and slightly lumpy, about 1 minute (do not over mix). Using a dry kitchen towel or an oven mitt, remove the skillet from the oven and add the butter. Once the butter melts, tilt the skillet to coat the bottom and sides. Pour the batter into the skillet and bake in the oven until puffed and golden brown on the side, about 20 minutes. Remove the pancake from the oven and serve immediately with nutella and local honey.
This week the pumpkin seeds from Johnny's seed company came in the mail and when it warms up we are excited to get them planted for our Mt. View Orchards Pumpkin patch in the Fall. Its a beautiful day at Mt. View Orchards and I for one am the most grateful to get to farm here in the Hood River Valley, along side my mother and my father to grow local fruit we proud of for our friends of our farm in our region. I believe every good and perfect gift comes from above and I am one blessed receiver this morning....xoxo your grateful farmer