September 18th, 2011
It’s Really Awesome… Come take a look!
The coop currently has a fence around it, to train the chickens to roost. However it’s a tractor coop, so once the chickens are trained it can be moved around, allowing the chickens to fertilize different areas of land, different trees, various spots. The coop is equipped with a beautiful white picket ladder, appropriately raised chicken wire flooring, a spacious perch, a breezy open plan doorway, and five nesting boxes with the potential capacity to hold up to ten chickens if they aren’t too fat or persnickety.
The eggs can be accessed via the back latching door, and a view of the perch and interior is clear through a side door. It is our hope that these chickens along with this custom designed and built (collaboratively by Gail, Pennan, and Billy) will contribute to our hopes of obtaining greater sustainability both through the organic production of our goods and the tasty production of edibles, like eggs.
So… What’s missing from these pictures? Chickens! We have a few, but they’re running amok. We will be getting some laying chickens. “Perhaps tomorrow,” as Gail says. Check back for an update…
July 27th, 2011
We at Fire Mountain Farm certainly don’t coddle our animals, because they are animals, and they have every right to their own identity as animals. However, we do our best to provide a nurturing home for them. Recently we acquired a donkey so loving and so sweet (and so enormous, weighing 300 lbs at only 3 weeks of age) that we had no choice but to name him after the rude, crude, and deficient in stature dictatorial general with a pension for hiding his right hand in his breast. OUR Napolean is quite the opposite, hence the name, and himself has a pension for hiding YOUR hand in his mouth. We’ll call those love bites. -No- We’ll call those extra special Donkey kisses. With such a tender beast on our hands we can’t help but coddle him just a little bit. He even kisses our puppy, as you can see. And our ears. And sometimes if you’re not careful when you’re walking away from him, you never know what he’s going to kiss. Napoleon, an ass though he may be, is also a strategic actor on our farm, protecting the sheep from dogs and eventually packing our heavy loads of coffee and macadamia nuts from field to plant. We feel lucky to have him.
June 3rd, 2011
When we first came to this property there were several vehicles, at least half a dozen, including tractors, Jeeps, and various motorized farm implements. Very few were in good working order, and even fewer remain on the farm, refurbished to either above and beyond their original glory or revamped to a new use, transformed into a hybrid machine, cooler than the Transformers we played with as kids because they’re real. This Jeep is one of those awesome hybrids. As you can see from the pictures, it appears to be Army issue, with a pesticide tank in its trunk. However, as you may already know, we at Fire Mountain Farms use no such thing as pesticides, and have even started the process for our organic certification (and have been operating as an organic farm since our founding eight years ago).
It was actually the fire inspector’s idea to use the Jeep as a fire truck. In our efforts to naturally fertilize our whole property, especially our mac nut trees, we burn our extra brush and use the nutrients from the ash for our soil. The Jeep acts as our safety fire truck in case anything gets “out of hand.” Our farm manager, Billy, is experienced at burning brush, but occasionally the wind can change direction with swift, unpredictable gusts. So it was great that we kept this Jeep/Transformer on hand.
May 30th, 2011
He may not be a black sheep, but he certainly stands out from the flock, as you can see from feeding time. Jeffrey’s personality can best be described as “species confused” and explained most easily by his youth here at the farm. He belongs to an… “elite” group of sheep: the first group of sheep we purchased, to whom we feel a special attachment, and who we simply could not bear to butcher or sell. Therefore these sheep all have names: Ankatrine, Stephan, PigPen, Whitie, and Jeffrey. Pigpen has since been lost or stolen (yes, really, that happens). As a group, they were the first animals on the farm belonging to us (after the kitty) and Jeffrey came to us as a lamb with his mother, both of whom were attacked by a neighborhood dog. Jeffrey was only wounded but his mother did not survive. Shortly after we began nursing him, Maisy, our puppy arrived, and the two of them were weaned together. We think this started Jeffrey’s species confusion. Sometimes he thinks he’s a dog… sometimes he thinks he’s a sheep. Occasionally we see him chasing the kitten or chewing grass side by side with the donkey. Then he got a little older and began mounting things, and the confusion translated. He will never grow to full height because he never received enough mother’s milk. He will probably never receive status in the flock. But he is unafraid of humans, playful, adventurous, and sweet. And of all the sheep, he’s the only one that can tolerate our dog… because he thinks he is one.
October 16th, 2009
In the spirit of the holidays I have a new recipe to share with those of you interested in using our honey and macadamia nuts.
Fire Mountain Farm Macadamia Nut Pumpkin Cake Roll
Grease and flour an 11 x 17 x ¾” ht. pan. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Beat 4 eggs until thick and foamy then beat in 1 cup sugar (adding slowly)and 1/3 cup Fire Mountain Farm honey until pretty thick. Stir in 1 cup cooked pumpkin puree and 1 tsp. lemon juice. Add 1 cup white whole wheat flour, 1.5 tsp. baking powder, ¾ tsp. salt, ¾ tsp. nutmeg, 1 ½ tsp. ginger, and 2 ¾ tsp. cinnamon and blend until combined. Pour mixture into the prepared pan. Top with roasted and chopped Fire Mountain Farm macadamia nuts (approximately 1.5 cups) and bake for 20 minutes.
While the cake is baking, prepare a tea towel by spreading it out on the counter and sprinkling it fairly heavily with powdered sugar. When cake is done, immediately turn it up side down onto the sugar covered tea towel and roll the cake up in the tea towel to cool. Then prepare the filling by combining 10 oz. cream cheese with 1 cup powdered sugar, ¼ cup butter and 1 tsp. of vanilla. When cool, unroll cake, spread with filling and reroll without the tea towel. Refrigerate well before serving. For a more fat free version one could probably substitute yogurt for the butter with decent results.
We are making progress with the farm. Recent accomplishments include the addition of some new equipment to keep our farm more tidy looking. Our pineapples are starting to produce. Macadamia Nuts are all over the ground and being picked and processed as we are writing. We hope to have our nuts ready to sell one of these times soon so stay tuned to our web site.
June 13th, 2009
A friend of mine recently asked me if honey was good or bad for allergies. While I believe that research is still being done on this subject, the studies that have been done show that eating honey from the area where you live may help with allergies. Honey is made from pollens gathered by the local bees, so that makes sense.
May 23rd, 2009
Fire Mountain Farm honey is a wonderful addition to granola and granola bars. I thought I would share my recipe with all of you.
First make the granola.
Combine 1/2 cup Fire Mountain Farm honey with 1/4 cup of cannola oil. Set aside. In a large bowl combine 2 cups old fashioned oat meal, 1/3 cup each of wheat bran, oat bran and wheat germ. Add 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, 1/2 cup raw sesame seeds, and 1 cup unsweetened coconut. Stir then add honey and oil and thoroughly mix. Spread in a 13″ x 9″ pan and bake in a 300 degree F oven for approximately 1 hour or until golden brown. Stir every 15 minutes while baking to insure even browning. When done, add 1/4 cup chopped dried mango, 1/4 cup dried currants and 1/2 cup golden raisins. Mix into warm, browned grains and allow to cool. Mixture may need to be broken up when cool. This granola is delicious by itself, with milk or cream for breakfast or made into granola bars as follows.
To make granola bars measure 4 cups of home made granola into a large bowl. In a 4 cup measuring cup place 2/3 cup of Fire Mountain Farm honey. Bring to a boil in the microwave (1-3 minutes on high.) Measure 3/4 cup of Fire Mountain Farm macadamia nut butter (or substitute peanut butter) and stir into hot honey. You may also substitute Fire Mountain Farm macamania for the honey and macadamia nut butter and heat it in the microwave until very spreadable. Mix into the granola and spread it evenly in a 9″ x 13″ pan lined with waxed paper. When cool and set cut into bar size shapes. Makes 36 bars. May be stored for some time in a tightly closed container.
I hope you enjoy these recipes. More to come…
May 20th, 2009
Hi Fire Mountain Farm visitors,
Welcome to the first blog post! We plan to use the blog to post updates on new developments at Fire Mountain Farm, post new recipes or new ideas for eating and cooking with our products, and maybe even a new picture or two occasionally. We’d also love to hear how you are using Fire Mountain Farm products.
At Fire Mountain Farm we have been busy! Just recently Chips and I created a new room at Fire Mountain Farm that makes a good place for extracting our delicious Fire Mountain Farm honey and doing other processing activities. We are excited to begin using this room and hope that it will allow us to make and ship more of our products. When we bought Fire Mountain Farm we had 4 bee hives and now we have seventeen thanks to our very able bee keeper, Pawnee Pillsbury. It was no longer practical to extract honey with our four frame hand powered extractor. Thus, Fire Mountain Farm’s new 9 frame honey extractor will be used in it’s new home.
I also came up with a new bread recipe, Fire Mountain Farm Honey Oatmeal Bread, using Fire Mountain Farm honey. To make Fire Mountain Farm Honey Oatmeal Bread for one large loaf, or two small, combine two large tablespoons of Fire Mountain Farm honey with 1 1/2 cups of warm water and 1 tablespoon dry yeast. Stir in 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten, 1 cup quick oats and 1 cup all purpose flour. Beat at least 100 times. Allow to sit until doubled in bulk. Then add 2 teaspoons salt (or less if desired,) 1/4 cup cannola oil and enough whole wheat flour to make a stiff dough suitable for kneading. Knead until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, cover and allow to double in bulk. Punch down and allow to rise again. Roll out on a floured surface, form into one large or two small loaves, place in pans and allow to rise until nearly double. Then bake in a 350 degree F oven for approximately 35 minutes or until slightly browned and it sounds hollow when you thump on it. Remove and cool on a wire rack or serve warm with butter and more Fire Mountain Farm honey. It is hard not to eat several slices at once. It makes good sandwiches too.
Honey Tasting–Try this at home!
Fire Mountain Farm honey was recently taste tested in San Francisco where we had a blind honey tasting with some friends. Four of the honeys were different batches of Fire Mountain Farm honey. Two others were also Hawaiian honeys but not from Fire Mountain Farm and one was orange blossom honey from California. I think all tasters were amazed at how different each honey tasted when compared side by side. I am proud to report that our honeys were placed mostly in the first and second spots. After the tasting, done mostly with plain bread or plain spoons, we also enjoyed the honeys paired with a variety of cheeses including brie and blue cheese. If you try this at home report back your findings!
–Gail and Chips
April 24th, 2009
Thanks for checking out the Fire Mountain Farm blog. We are very excited about this new feature and are looking forward to blogging here soon. Please check back regularly for updates.