Tag Archives: organic farming

Organic. It’s Worth It-New Website

This weekend the whole family had a chance to experience the MOSES Organic Farming Conference. Over 3300 farmers were in attendance making it the largest organic farming conference in the nation. This conference is one of my favorite conferences of the year. I am not sure if it is all the delicious organic food, the great chance to meet awesome and inspiring organic farmers, or all the new ideas that we take away. While wondering the trade show with a sleeping baby, I found the Organic Trade Association booth.

They have a new website that is a go to for all things in organic information. Need information on what the Organic label means? What to learn why did it is important to eat organic food? Need tips to make buying organic affordable? This website has it all: Organic. It’s Worth It.

organic worth it food family farm usda

There is a lot of great information on this website. I recommend it to anyone who has questions about organic food and organic farming. There is also a section with recipes (but  any recipe can be organic, just use organic ingredients).

Enjoy!
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Southern BBQ Pork Chop Recipe-CrockPot Recipe

Here is a real simple BBQ pork chop recipe that you can either cook up in the crock-pot or in the oven. I included all the prices of the ingredients I used to show how eating organic can be affordable. This recipe is so simple, I put it together with a baby attached to my hip and two fighting preschoolers in the background. Go Go Gadget MOM!

Ingredients:

  • 6-bone in Zweber Farms pork chops (about $7.00)
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced (organic $.33)
  • 1/4 vinegar (I used malt vinegar, but you can use any kind of white) ($.66)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon honey (organic $.37)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce ($.13)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup (organic $.38)
  • 1 teaspoon pepper (organic $.88)
  • Dash of cayenne pepper (organic $.50)

Mix all ingredients together. To make in the crock pot pour sauce over pork chops and cook on low for 6-8 hours. To make in oven: oven to 350, place pork chops in a 11×15 sheet pan , pour sauce over chops and bake for 30-45 minutes.

I paired this meal with organic long grain white rice ($.50/serving), organic mixed veggies ($1.88/serving) and of course a glass of Organic Valley milk ($.50/serving).  Total cost was: $4.50 per serving.

This meal was super simple, super yummy and super inexpensive. Now that is Affordable organics!

Hunk of Meat Mondays
Enjoy!
Emily

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Filed under 30 Minute Meals, Cooking, Cooking with Pork, Food, Hunk of Meat Monday

Zweber Farms in 2011

What a year 2011 was.

We had a record of over 60 inches of snow. The cows could walk right over the fences. Remember when they took for a walk in the woods?

cows, storm, pasure, organic, rain, tornado,

When we had all that rain! We never thought we would get corn planted. In the summer came the extreme temps and sever storms. Remember when Tim took this picture minutes before a tornado touched down?

Sam winning Grand Champion at fair

The summer was filled with exciting events. Hannah was born and Sam won Grand Champion at our county fair. She then went win Honorable Mention at the State Fair.

BigFoot At World Dairy Expo-The Boy's Favorite Stop

Hannah being a beach bum on vacation this year

It wasn’t all work and no play. We went on a short vacation and then headed to World Dairy Expo in October.

chicken, jonnie, summer, 2011

Don’t forget all the funny stories about our pigs and chickens throughout the year.

It was a very memorable year. Thank you for making it so wonderful.

Happy New Year!

The Zwebers

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Organic Valley Coupon, Calendar and Swag Give Away

Right before Christmas we received a large package from Organic Valley. In it were ten beautiful 2012  Organic Valley calendars. Much to our surprise, our family was chosen to adorn the April page and our cows are the background on each page. Organic Valley calendars are known for their beautiful pictures. We have even had friends who work for other dairy companies that say they wish their calendars were like OV’s.

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This year Organic Valley is celebrating the International Year of Cooperatives. The United Nations has designated 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon writes,

“Cooperatives are a reminder to the international community that it is possible to pursue both economic viability and social responsibility. “

That is exactly what Organic Valley set out to do 25 years ago. Back then, the cooperatives founders wanted to make organic farming both economically viable for its members while at the same time improving the community and world around them. Now with over 1600 plus farmers owners in the United States and Canada, I think OV is doing a great job on both accounts. It is the number one reason we chose to go with Organic Valley when we first went organic. A company owned by farmers and for farmers is important to us.

Would you like a free Organic Valley 2012 calendar, coupons and swag? The prize is a $30 value ($15 in coupons). Tell us how you work or play cooperatively or support cooperatives in your area . Do you carpool to work? Have a community garden? Support local farmers working in cooperatives? Teach cooperation to your children or students?

Rules:

  • Leave a comment on this page about how you work or play cooperatively or support cooperatives in your area. Comments should be no longer than 20 words in length.
  • Comments need to be received by 11:59p.m. central standard time on January 2nd.
  • Winners will be chosen on creativity and originality.
  • Winners will be chosen by our family.
  • Winners will be contacted by January 3rd, by emailing the account associated with the comment.
  • Disclaimer: Yes, we are OV farmer owners, so we have an interest in Organic Valley and its brand. Please void where prohibited.
Good luck and have a blessed New Year!
Emily


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What is all the STINK about?

Ahh, the wonderful smells of the country. Fresh cut hay, wild flowers blooming, dew drying on the grass, but there is one smell that stands out above the rest…manure. While it is debatable if manure smells “good”, farmers know that manure is the healthiest way to improve the soils of their land.

When applied correctly, manure can:

  • Increase soil carbon and reduce atmospheric carbon levels,
  • Reduce soil erosion and runoff ,
  • Reduce nitrate leaching ,
  • Reduce energy demands for natural gas intensive N fertilizers.
  • Organic farms, such as ours, rely on manure to provide the nutrients needed to grow healthy crops. We have a  natural nutrient cycle on our farm. Crops grow on fields fertilized with animal manure and the crops are then fed to the animals. Grazing cattle makes it really easy to fertilize our fields. As the animals graze, they leave their manure spread out in the fields. It is easy to spot the places that the cows have fertilized by the bright green grass that is taller than the grass around it. The manure that we collect in the holding areas and dry lots (around the barn) we compost and then spread on our fields and pastures.

    Manure is a very valuable “crop” on many farms. Farmers educate themselves so that they are knowledgable about effective manure application. By following best management practices (BMPs) farmers prevent excessive manure runoff and potential pollution.

    On our farm, we have a manure management plan. Each time that manure is applied to a field, we record the location and amount in a calendar book. We also try to avoid applying manure when rain or other weather events could increase chances of wasted nutrients through runoff. And out of respect for our neighbors, we try not apply manure on weekends when they are outside enjoying their days off.

    For our farm, it is very important that we keep our soils healthy. This translates into healthy animals and therefore healthy milk and meat for our family and customers. If you want to learn more about the benifits visit the University of Minnesota Extenstion website: http://www.extension.org/pages/Environmental_Benefits_of_Manure_Application

    Meat update: Chickens are now available. Please call Lisa at 952-461-3428 to order or pick up. We are also taking pre-orders for pork. As always we are more than happy to show you and your family around our farm when you come and visit.

    So the next time you are driving in the country and smell that destictive “country” smell, open the windows, unplug your nose and say “that is what healthy soil should smell like.”

    Your friends,

    The Zwebers

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