Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Mid November Markets

We are having the most delightful Spring! There's been a few hot and muggy days, but on the whole the weather has been quite pleasant. Usually it is so hot and muggy that it's hard to focus on anything work related. The days are fairly nice and the nights can even get too cool! It bodes well for a good summer ahead. We've had good amounts of rain - not too much, but enough to fill our dams and keep the grass growing madly. It does help that we look after our country - some areas of Queensland that we drive through have very short grass, so while it's green when it rains, there's no body in it for it to last and because it's short, most of the rain would run off. We would have good feed even if it didn't rain again for a month or so.

This weekend finds us once again at the Yeppoon and Rockhampton Markets, as well as Gladstone. We will have beef, pork, lamb and goat again this time. What did you all think of the lamb last time? Previously we were selling mutton and then lamb/hogget. For those that don't know, hogget is lamb that is approx 1 year old, but has started to get adult teeth. When they still have their milk teeth, they are called lamb. Last market it was proper lamb - Spring lamb we are calling it. They are only about 6 months old. This is what we'll be selling for the next little while, and if we sell any mutton we will let you know at the time.

This years goats are almost finished - I think we only have one more left after this market, and we'll only be bringing one in this time, so Yeppoon will get first crack at it. Last market we held it over for Rocky.

We are once again looking for a farm hand to work with us. If you know of anyone that would like to learn about food farming and regenerative agriculture, please tell them to get in touch with me. It could be a good job for someone over the school holidays too - any year 12 students looking for some work before they start Uni? The position is live in and the food is pretty good! Resumes can be sent to this email address -

The Frequent Free Rangers Subscription is going very well with a few more people joining each time. If you've thought about joining but want to know more, just catch up with me at the markets or send me an email. If you are a FFR subscriber and would like to leave a testimonial in the comments, that would be fantastic.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Rain, Grass and Markets

Last post I asked for a bit more rain......well we got it. We have had some really lovely rain - not as much as some, but plenty for us! The place is looking so green and the grass is just growing so well in this heat.
This is some of the new development and has only had pigs in it for a while. It was originally fairly lightly grassed, but has come back a richer green colour.

Leauceana looking very lush - this is what makes our beef tasty and tender.

Our original pig farm was on approximately 18 hectares and surrounded our house. It comprised 21 separate paddocks with some smaller paddocks that we used as farrowing paddocks. The external fencing is ring lock and the internal fencing is electric.

Last year we underwent a significant development program and set up a whole new area for pigs. Pigs are very harsh on the land, mainly around their watering points and wallows. They also deposit an incredible about of poo. This is fantastic fertiliser and to make the best use of this, we need to give the paddocks a spell and the graze other animals in them.

One particular section has had goats and sheep in for the last few weeks before it rained. We were running very low on grass and were madly trying to finish a new section of ring lock fencing to move these animals into, so we had them in here as there was timber that we could cut down to feed them on.  The internal electric fence had been turned off and the goats soon knocked the wires off the insulators etc, so we decided to pull out the internal fencing - we've called it un-fencing.

We may stick rake this paddock as it looks a little untidy, and then plant some sort of forage crop. This will use up some of the fertility that has built up over the years, and also even out some of the bare areas.  We'll gradually do this with all the old pig paddocks.

Pigs are quite harsh on country - they need to have a wallow and they take a long time to recover.

We will leave strainer posts in, just take out the steel posts and wire and if we decide to run pigs back in there in about 4 or 5 years, we can just redo the electric fencing.

Some fences yet to be pulled out. You can see why we need to renovate the paddocks - there's a few bare areas.

Some new wearers just put into a new paddock. We keep them in a large pen for about 1-2 weeks and then let them out into the paddock proper. They were very excited to see this grass!

Before I finish up this post, I must remind you that we have the markets this weekend in:
  • Yeppoon - Community Markets at the Showgrounds 
  • Rockhampton - Kern Arcade Carpark Markets 
We will have Pastured Pork, Lovely free range Lamb, Gorgeous grassfed (and finished) Goat (Rocky only) and Bush Friendly Beef.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Rain...."but please sir may I have some more?"

The sheep were very happy to get some rain recently. We have been rotating them around some of our paddocks, but because they require different fencing, we were running out of grass and had to feed them (and the goats) hay. They've now got a nice green pick, which is just as well as we have also been doing more fencing to give them some more space, but haven't finished it yet!

We ended up with about 70mm. All of it soaked in, there was very little run off. One of the advantages of regenerative farming is that because you try and maintain a good ground cover of pasture, the rain tends to soak in rather than run off. This means that you get to hold onto the moisture and it also means that there is less run off/soil loss. This is also a benefit for the reef. So our kind of farming is also Reef Friendly, as well as Bush Friendly.

October has 5 weekends - the 1st of October was a Sunday, so that was a market weekend. This weekend coming - the 14th and 15th is the third weekend, so once again a market weekend. It does mean that there will be a two weekend break before the next market (4th and 5th November), so you may want to stock up! We will have pork, beef, lamb and goat.

A reminder too, that we will head down to Gladstone this weekend. We will park up under the trees near the nursery at the Benaraby Turnoff. We'll be there from 2.30 to 3.30. Thank you to those fantastic Gladstone Area customers that make the effort to come out and also for your referrals. It's always great to increase our customer base there.

I haven't had much of a response to my Oktoberfest Competition, so please have a think about cooking something and posting it on the Facebook Page.

The Rules:
  • The meat used must be Dawson Valley Free Range Pork. 
  • A photo and brief description of main ingredients and the connection to "German Style" to be posted on the DVFR Facebook Page between the 1st and 31st October. If you don't do Facebook, please email it to me and I will post it on your behalf.
  • Open to Yeppoon, Rockhampton and Gladstone Area customers only, as the vouchers and discount is only available to the regular market customers. If you are prepared to travel to a market to purchase our meat, then you can enter and be in the chance to win.
  • You can enter as many times as you like, as long as it's a different dish each time.
The prize winners will be chosen before the first market in November. 

  1. $50 Meat Voucher
  2. $20 Meat Voucher
  3. $10 Meat Voucher
Every entry will earn 10% off their next purchase - all meats are included in this offer.

Saturday, September 23, 2017


It's almost October and that means Oktoberfest in some places.  I've done a quick google on the origins and apparently it started in 1810 to celebrate the marriage of one of the Princes. It did change to be celebrated in September because the weather in Germany is better in September than October, however the name remained. I've decided that at Dawson Valley Free Range we are going to celebrate for the entire month of October - Starting on the 1st of October, as we will be at the markets that weekend.

To celebrate, we will start a competition for the month. I think that pork is synonymous with Oktoberfest, especially pork sausages and pork shanks/knuckles/hocks. To enter this competition, all you need to do is post a photo of your best German Style Pork dish on the Dawson Valley Free Range Facebook Page.  It is going to be hard to judge just by a photo, so a little description of the dish will be needed, as well as what makes it "German Style".

The Rules:
  • The meat used must be Dawson Valley Free Range Pork. 
  • A photo and brief description of main ingredients and the connection to "German Style" to be posted on the DVFR Facebook Page between the 1st and 31st October. If you don't do Facebook, please email it to me and I will post it on your behalf.
  • Open to Yeppoon, Rockhampton and Gladstone Area customers only, as the vouchers and discount is only available to the regular market customers. If you are prepared to travel to a market to purchase our meat, then you can enter and be in the chance to win.
  • You can enter as many times as you like, as long as it's a different dish each time.
The prize winners will be chosen before the first market in November. 

  1. $50 Meat Voucher
  2. $20 Meat Voucher
  3. $10 Meat Voucher
Every entry will earn 10% off their next purchase - all meats are included in this offer.

The meat doesn't need to be sausages or shanks, however I have reduced the price of shanks for the month. They are now $10/kg. 

Next Markets:
Yeppoon - 30th September
Rockhampton - 1st October
No Gladstone this time, but we will be there on the 14th October.

Disclaimer: These are not my photos, I didn't have any german style ones.......Just wanted to give you an idea or two.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Markets - Mid August

Since last post, we've had just over an inch of rain so the place has greened up a little. Hopefully that bodes well for a nice early start to Spring rain. The weather is still quite warm, so it's also good grass growing weather. Our sheep have finished lambing I think and the goats are almost finished. We have as many baby goats as we do adults now and we've got 3 poddy goats that we are hand feeding. We did have a fourth one, but we gave it away. Baby pigs, baby goats and baby sheep and out in the Bush Friendly Beef herd we've got calves starting to drop. Spring is Sprung (early).

The newest piglets on the farm. Bacon Seeds.

We've just had a visit from the owners of the Sunshine Coast Organic Meats butcher shop. The shop has recently changed hands (well about 3 months ago) and so we hadn't actually met these guys and they also wanted to see where the pigs come from that taste so incredibly good! We've been supplying this shop for quite a few years - it's the one in Forest Glen, next to Kunara.

Yesterday afternoon we went for a walk to show them the pigs and after fighting their way past the 3 pet lambs and one pet pig inside the house yard, they had to give the other pets outside a pat as well - the three musketeers, Charlie (pigs) and then Misty and Shifty the sheep and of course Patch the dog as well. Then Misty joined us for the paddock walk - I'm sure she thinks she is a dog. I've never met a pet like her. She will often follow us around the farm, running along behind or beside the quad bike.

You can't walk anywhere without pets crawling around your legs! Tripping Hazard!!!!

This morning they came back out to help us feed the pigs and to learn a bit more about how we farm. It's been great to meet them and for them to gain a better understanding of what it takes to provide them and the Sunshine Coast customers with our pork. It's all about building relationships and gaining an understanding from both points of view.

Markets are on this weekend in Yeppoon and Rockhampton. We will have Pasture Raised Pork, Bush Friendly Beef and Melt in the Mouth Mutton! Who enjoyed the mutton last time? I certainly did and in fact we are having a mutton roast for dinner tonight!

Looking forward to seeing you over the coming weekend.......


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

August Already!

Well, last month of Winter and we haven't even really had one! It's been a little cool at nights, but the days warm up nicely. It's also gotten very dry here, so a little rain wouldn't go farmers are never happy!!

Markets are this coming weekend and it will also be a Gladstone delivery.

Yeppoon Community Markets at the Yeppoon Showgrounds - Saturday 6 - 9.30am
Gladstone - Benaraby Turnoff under the shady trees - Saturday 2 to 3pm
Rockhampton Kern Arcade Carpark Markets - Sunday 6 -12.

We will have Pork, Bacon, Ham, Beef and Mutton available.  If you have been thinking about joining our Frequent Free Rangers Group (read more here) it's not to late - just send me an email with the necessary details (as per the link)

Pork - we should have plenty of paleo sausages (we do these in thick and thin), and I've asked for more diced pork and pork mince, as these two are proving very popular lately. Also should have heaps of chops, roasts and all the rest!

Bacon and Ham - Nitrate Free and Conventional - remember our conventional cure is simply the old style quick cure-it, no nasties like you would find in the supermarket or even the butchers bacon. If in doubt, ask the butcher for an ingredient list. So if you prefer the conventional bacon, you don't need to feel too guilty as there is very little nitrate left once it's been smoked and cooked.

Beef - there should be plenty of the usual cuts available - have you tried the beef ribs? I love these!

Mutton - we have had some mutton ordered already, but should have plenty left for on the day! I'm not sure what it will be like and I'm hoping to try it before Saturday. But I would imagine it will make the most delicious stews, casseroles or just roasted.

Just a final note that if you are sending in any orders or any other enquiries after Wednesday lunch time, I may be slow to respond. I am going into Rocky tomorrow afternoon for a family matter and won't really be doing any work until Friday the 4th August. Seeyou all on the weekend.....


Monday, July 17, 2017

Goat Meat

You either love goat or hate it! I certainly love it! We are developing quite a following for the goat meat that we supply, but I've noticed that the most popular by far is the diced goat, closely followed by the goat roasts and shanks. Neck chops, ribs and loin chops are not so popular. One of the reasons we do the little loin roasts are to do something other than chops. They are very good too and quite popular.

A lot of the traditional goat curries that you find in the restaurants are made with a bone in cut of meat. My butcher and I can't quite work out how to cut it like that, so the closest thing we do is offer the loin chop and just the bones. Some of our Frequent Free Rangers received goat loin chops in their order last week, so I thought I'd cook some last night just to confirm what I did suggest to a couple of people. It worked quite well.....

Chops or Ribs - oven baked with vegetables

Slice up some veg as you would if you were doing a potato bake and layer them in a baking dish. I used the following, because I wanted to clean out my fridge of old vegetables before I put in my new lot.

  • Potato - normal and sweet
  • pumpkin
  • zucchini 
  • squash
  • capsicum
  • carrot
  • garlic
  • onion
I sprinkled the layers with some salt, poured over about 1/2 cup of bone broth and then placed the chops and ribs on top. I baked them for 1.5 hours, turning the meat over half way, and then sprinkled with a mix of coriander, parsley and mint. Or you could layer the herbs in with the veg.

The chops were perfectly cooked and tender, but the ribs could've done with another 1/2 hour.


One thing to remember with our goat is that it will always need to be slow cooked in some form - either in the oven, crockpot/slowcooker or even just braised on top of the stove. I'm sure it would also work okay in a pressure cooker, I just haven't done it. Even the little loin roasts would need a good hour in the oven to ensure that they are tender and tasty. If you would like to have goat chops that look more like grilled chops, they can be oven roasted on their own, just toss them in something nice * and place on a tray on the oven and cook for a an hour and a half, turning half way. * I really like garlic, rosemary or parsley and lime juice as a marinade.

Goat is really flexible, so don't be scared to try it. If you have a favourite lamb shank recipe, try it with goat shanks. Cook the neck chops like you would cook beef osso bucco. Marinate and oven cook the ribs like you would beef or pork ribs. Slow cook the goat roast and pull it like pulled pork, and serve on tortillas with salsa, yoghurt and avocado. 

If you do something nice with Goat or even any of our meat, please feel free to post it on our Facebook page. It might help to give inspiration to someone else to give it a try.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Frequent Free Rangers, markets and recipe ideas

Markets again this weekend in Rockhampton and Yeppoon - 15/16th July. We will have beef, goat, pork, ham and bacon available. We will also be supplying our Frequent Free Rangers with some great value meat. If you haven't heard of our CSA style subscription, then please read through to the end for more information on it. If you want to be involved, please email me with the required information and we will include you in the next market delivery. We have a three week break before the next market - 5/6th August.

If you live in South East Queensland, Maitland our son will be visiting the area on the last weekend of July. If you would like some of our great tasting tender meat, please email me for more information.

Bacon Chops
This weekend we will have some bacon chops. We had some last night - ours were loin bacon chops from a sow we processed some time ago, where as the ones this weekend will be shoulder bacon chops. I just fried them and served with onion and parsley white sauce and vegetables. They were really good and a nice change. Why not give them a go?

Sausage Rolls
This is not my recipe, but an idea from one of That Wholefood Place's customers. Leanne bought some of our paleo sausages and made a quick dinner for her kids. Lucky them! What a great idea.

Frequent Free Ranger Group
This is a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) inspired group, where subscribers pledge to purchase between 4-6 kg of meat on a regular basis, at the fixed price of $15/kg. The meat will be randomly chosen by Lucy House and will be roughly based on the following approximate amounts:
  • ·       1 pack Prime cuts of steak or chops (beef or pork)
  • ·       1 Roast Type (Beef, Pork or Goat) – this could include pickled pork or cornbeef
  • ·       1 Stewing cuts –  could include diced, osso bucco, chops, stewing steak, diced goat or bones etc
  • ·       1 Mince or sausages
  • ·       1kg Bacon and Ham
  • ·       or whatever else I have a lot of at the time

I will try to swap this around each week so that you don’t get the same cut, but if we have a lot of subscribers this may prove to be too difficult. Please let me know if you aren’t getting enough variety or if you really like one particular cut.  The main purpose of this is to clear some of the items of meat that don’t sell as readily, or that I have an abundance of one week. It is also a way to reward regular customers and to try to reduce the cost for those regulars.
  • ·       Nominate whether Fortnightly or Monthly
  • ·       Nominate if you don’t want goat
  • ·       Nominate preference for Nitrate Free or Conventional
  • ·       Nominate number of people to feed (eg, don’t include babies or toddlers that don’t eat any or much)
  • ·       If you are unable to collect – please arrange for someone else to, and failing that, you can drop out for that weekend, but please let me know by Friday night.
  • ·       Cancelation – if you find that you are not happy with the selection you get and want to opt out of the subscription, you can cancel at any time. Please give me as much warning as possible, but at least by the Friday night before the market.

If you would like to join the group, please email me on:

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

How can we Meat your needs?

Pigs are our main business and we sell free range pigs directly to a couple of butchers (Sunshine Coast Organic Meats and Sherwood Road Organic Meats in Brisbane). However when it comes to our local markets, we aren't just a free range pork business. Most of you are aware by now, that we also sell beef and goat. And Lambs are coming! We like the idea of being a one stop shop for our customers meat needs, although it may be a little while before we start doing chicken and fish!! We already have a few customers that buy most of their meat from us and we really appreciate this. Thankyou.....

I've been trying to work out a way that we can offer mixed packs of meat, a bit like a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) where you would get an order every fortnight that may include cuts that you wouldn't normally try, as well as the regular cuts. I've been worrying about how that would work, especially as I don't have a lot of control over the butchering and therefore packing at the butchers. But the idea of a CSA interests me as we could better manage our stock control and I would think that we could then offer that cheaper. One of the problems at the moment is having meat left over - which is why we've put meat in That Wholefood Place, to try and move some of the left over stuff. I'm open to suggestions, but the following is an idea that I would like to trial.

Customers would subscribe to a regular meat pack, that I will put together each market weekend. I'm thinking that it will be around 5kg's and $15/kg, which would be guaranteed to have a roast/corn meat, some steaks/chops, mince/stewing meat, ham and bacon. The fresh meat would be either beef, goat or pork.  I would package it up so it would be a bit of a surprise in the fact that one week it could be Roast Pork, Beef steaks, pork osso bucco, ham and bacon (which I'd try to keep around the 1kg combined) and the next it could be Beef Brisket, pork chops, pork mince etc. Ideally this would be a subscription type setup and you would get it each fortnight. I would keep a list of what you had each week so that it was different the following week. I may also include some other random cut if I had more of something than something else, sausages instead of mince or whatever......

You could also add to your order when you collected it, if you wanted something special or extra.

If this is something that would interest you, please send me an email and tell me your preference of nitrate free or conventional, and if you would prefer NOT to have goat included. Also let me know how many in your family - e.g. adults and kids, so that I can make sure the packs are big enough. After the first week, you can nominate whether you would like it fortnightly or monthly, or if you would prefer more meat than the approximate 5kg's. I can also send out recipes if you get something that you are unsure about cooking.
Pork Spare Ribs, marinated and then roasted in the oven

Paleo Pork Sausages, we also do beef, and you can choose fat ones (pictured) or skinny ones.

Corned Beef - we also do Pickled Pork and while this one is conventional, if you prefer Nitrate Free, we do that too.

Our steaks are becoming popular - they are tasty and tender. We do all the regular cuts. This one is Rump, but we also do Rib Fillet (Scotch Fillet), Porterhouse (Sirloin), Eye Fillet and Topside, which is a more economical cut of steak.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

TV stars

A busy month for all of us at Dawson Valley Free Range, as per usual! We have had a small taste of Autumn - cool nights and the sting has gone out of the days, although they still get pretty warm. As I write this post, it's cool and a little drizzly outside. Hopefully we may get a shower to settle the dust.

We had an interesting morning last week when ABC Capricornia came out to interview us for a segment to be aired on Landline. The main purpose was to discuss our thoughts on using backpackers to help us and their (voluntary) time being allowed to be put towards their second year visa application. Backpackers visit Australia on a working holiday visa and if they work on a farm for 88 days, they can then apply to stay for a second year in Australia. There were quite a few cases of mistreatment of foreign workers - usually by unscrupulous contractors in the fruit and vegetable picking industry. Because of this, farms like ours would attract people - we wouldn't pay full (or any, in our case) wages, but the backpackers would in most cases have an enjoyable cultural exchange. We made many long lasting friendships - which happens when you live in close proximity for 3 months.

This all came to an abrupt end in 2015. The rules changed and the workers had to show a payslip or group certificate proving that they had been paid a full wage for work preformed. We still get backpacker helpers, but they don't stay as long - two to three weeks is the norm these days.

There's a couple of reasons why we would like to see the volunteer labour still being acceptable to count towards the second year visa. Also I think it can be controlled and workers not getting abused. My thoughts below:

  1. All volunteers to be registered with Workaway, Helpx or Woof Australia - these are organisations already established to match helpers with hosts. They are monitored to ensure helpers don't get abused.
  2. It should be treated as a cultural exchange and work should be limited to what the helper is happy to do - e.g. crawling around on hands and knees picking zuchinis all day should not be something a volunteer should be doing day in day out. It's volunteering, so helpers can leave if they are not happy and they have the ability to lodge a complaint with the organisation.
  3.  Helpers should be fed well and have clean and suitable accomodation. 
  4. It's difficult to pay a full wage to a foreign worker that has not had any experience with farm life, or who may not have a good command of english. In fact many of them come to us to learn english so that they can get a job elsewhere. 

Anyway..... the filming was an interesting experience and several hours of filming will result in about 10 minutes on TV. I will let everyone know when it's going to be aired, but it will be a few months.

Some photos of the filming below.

Cat (our current backpacker) and Lucy talking about important stuff while being filmed

Lucy and Mick checking over the gilts as they feed

Farmer Mick fixing up the wallow for the sows

Farmer Mick trying to impress Amy from ABC Capricornia

Cat being interviewed whilst trying to keep Ruby the dog under control

Amy trying to take a selfie with Misty the pet lamb


Markets are this coming weekend in Yeppoon on Saturday and Rockhampton on Sunday. If you want me to put anything aside, please email me.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

May Market Update

We have had some lovely rain in the last little while and because it has stayed warm, the grass has continued to grow. We are expecting more rain this coming weekend, and I think it'll come in cold after that. I hope so, I'm looking forward to lighting the fire and just enjoying being cool rather than hot!

The way we farm is called Regenerative Farming. We believe that this term is better than being called sustainable farming. We want to leave the land in a better state than how we found it. In 2003 we put cells in (small paddocks) and starting moving our cattle around the paddocks, resting them for a couple of months to enable the grass to recover fully before grazing again. This has so many benefits, but the two major benefits are that our cattle are eating the grass at it's most nutritious AND we are doing our bit towards an environmental improvement through increasing soil carbon sequestration, encouraging plant diversity and improving the ecosystem for our native animals. I like to think of it as the ultimate ethical farming - looking after the environment as well as the welfare of animals.

In recent years we have focussed  on our core business of free range pigs and have allowed our children to take over the cattle side of the business. They own the cattle and sell them to us for the markets. They will be branding their beef - Bush Friendly Beef. Our property is certified organic and the cattle, goats and sheep are managed organically. The pigs are free range and it has been a challenge to manage their grazing as it's not as easy as the cattle.  Cattle are kept in one big mob, with different aged animals, a mix of steers and heifers, cows and calves. Pigs on the other hand are kept in mobs of 30-50 for the weavers to growers. The sows are usually in mob sizes of 12 to 20 until they farrow, when they are separated from the mob to have their babies, and then we need to keep the boars in separate paddocks where we take the sows when they need to have a visit! It takes quite a bit of planning and labour to keep everything operating the way it needs to be.

This is why free range pork is so much more expensive than commercial pork. It's also why it tastes so much better! So not only are you supporting a local farmer by purchasing our products, but you are helping to improve the environment for all Australians, you are improving your health by eating products that are more nutrient dense and because they are ethically farmed, you are doing your bit to ensure animals are better cared for.  A win/win for everyone!

This post is also a reminder that we have markets in Yeppoon and Rockhampton this weekend coming - 20/21 May. We will also deliver to Gladstone on Saturday afternoon. Please email me if you would like more information or would like me to put something aside for you to collect.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Changing Seasons

We have had a pretty good summer season this year. We've managed to get under some pretty useful rain falls and so our pastures are looking pretty! Hopefully the grass we have now will get us through the winter, as we are unlikely to get much more useful rain now. When I say useful, I mean that our pastures are predominantly summer grasses and don't respond very well to winter rain. If we get rain now and have a few more weeks of warm weather, we will continue to grow grass. By early May it can start to really cool off. Our winters are usually reasonably mild, although we can get frosts in the morning, the evenings are often really cold, but the days warm up so that you don't need a coat by about 9am (or earlier). I have planted most of my winter garden, although have a little room left to buy some more seedlings this weekend and I have also got to plant some garlic in the next few weeks (waiting for it to get a little cooler). So bring on the winter and some coolness!

Markets are on this weekend. This is out of the ordinary, as we don't normally do a 5th weekend. However, we will be away on our usual first weekend of the month (first weekend in May) because our oldest son is getting married. I am getting a little excited about that!

Yeppoon Markets - 6am to about 10am at the Yeppoon Showgrounds - 29th April

Rockhampton Markets - 6am to 12 midday at the Kern Arcade Carpark Markets - 30th April

PLEASE NOTE:    We will not be in our usual spot at Kern Arcade markets! 

We will be way over in the opposite corner, near were the Asian Vegetables stall is - not far from the other mobile butcher. (Please don't get us confused). IF you can't find me, please send me a text message - 0456109161. We will have a bit of trouble parking there, so the trailer might not be overly obvious!

We have sold a side of beef already, so will only have the one side for sale, which means we won't have as much as usual. We won't have much fresh mince, but I will bring in some frozen mince from last time. This will be on special - 30% off.

Why not make some meatballs with our on sale Mince?

Just a reminder that as well as our usual Beef, Goat, Pork, Ham and Bacon, we will also have
Bone Broth, Lard, Salami and Soap.

I look forward to seeing you on the weekend - don't forget that we are local farmers so by supporting us, you support your local economy. We will also be bringing in fresh supplies for Dingles Cafe, so please support them too, as they support local farmers wherever they can. They are using our Sausages, Bacon and Pork Collars.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Bone Broth

Bone Broth - is it stock or broth? From what I can gather it is probably a stock, but the generally accepted term is Bone Broth. So what is it? It's the product of a long cooked stock using bones, preferably a mix of gelatinous bones and marrow bones. By long cooking, I mean at least 24 hours on a very slow simmer. This is to ensure that you get as much goodness out of the bones as possible. There's lots of information on the web, so I won't go into all that in this post.

We sell both broth and the bones to make your own. The broth I make usually has a combination of bones - chicken, pork and beef. I use a chicken carcass and chicken feet, pork trotters, pork back bones and beef back and leg (marrow) bones. I usually do this for 24 to 36 hours. I don't add any vegetables to my broth, just the bones - soaked in the water with added apple cider vinegar first, then some bay leaf, salt and pepper. Sometimes I throw in a teaspoon full of dulse flakes. The pork trotter and chicken feet are excellent to use to make your broth gel. Pork makes a very bland flavoured broth so is excellent to use where you want to add other flavours in the final dish.

If you are feeling poorly - getting a cold, tummy upset or just feeling off, a cup of warmed up broth with some added garlic, ginger, turmeric and chilli can really help! Other wise, I just use my bone broth in things - if a recipe calls for stock OR water I use bone broth instead. 

Some options are below, but please put any more in the comments:
  • Any Soup
  • My Asian Style Pork Meatballs (just scroll down a little way after clicking on this link)
  • Cook Rice in broth
  • Curries and Stews, instead of water
  • Baked Beans
  • Congee - Rice Porridge, but it's so much nicer than how that sounds. 
Congee with Egg and herbs

I use brown rice usually, but it's traditionally done with white. I use a slow cooker so that I can put it on at night and all I need to do in the morning is chop up my herbs and make the accompaniments, plus fry or poach an egg. It's a good way to feed a few people, because it does make a fair bit of rice porridge.

1 cup of brown rice
4 cups bone broth
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon dulse flakes
some dried sliced shitake mushrooms - about a handful and crush them roughly in your hands before adding.

Put all ingredients into the crockpot, on low and cook overnight. OR place all ingredients in a pot and cook on very low on the stove for several hours. If using white rice, it will take about 1 1/2 hours, brown a fair bit longer. You want a very well cooked rice and the broth will be quite thick.

chopped coriander
chopped shallots
chopped ginger
chopped chilli
soy sauce
fish sauce
Kimchi is also good with it.

I make up a sauce of soy and fish sauce, chopped chilli and garlic - this way if you want a little chilli, you can just spoon the sauce without the chilli but it will still have the chilli flavour. My brother does white vinegar, which some chilli and coriander chopped into it.

Serve in a bowl with the egg on top and then add your accompaniments. 

We will have bones and bone broth at the coming markets this weekend - 18th and 19th March, Yeppoon and Rockhampton.