Chicken Freezer is full...now what?!

Our chicken freezer is FULL again!   We are often asked how to cook a whole chicken.  We prefer to cook whole chickens rather then pieces as you get more "bang for your buck"!  Instead of paying a higher price for a single boneless/skinless chicken breast you can pay substantially less for a whole chicken and get multiple meals out it! When you use a whole chicken you not only get lots of meat for the whole week but you can use the carcuss for some really good chicken soup broth!  Yum!

We will usually cook up a whole chicken at the beginning of the week and cut it up to put in a big ziploc bag so we can easily and quickly use it for various meals throughout the busy week, such as fajitas, chicken stir fry, chicken pot pie, chicken ceasar wraps, etc. 

I've included a great and easy whole chicken recipe!  Enjoy! 

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Whole chicken weights vary in size from 5 lbs to 8 lbs usually.

Contest Time!!!

We are having a contest/giveaway!!!  

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To enter all you have to do is head on over to our Facebook page www.facebook.com/BloomersFarm, and post a picture of you or a friend/family member cooking or enjoying a Bloomers meat product, at the bottom of our post explaining the contest. 

The contest closes on Friday, August 4th in the morning, just in time for the Civic Holiday weekend!

 The prize pack up for grabs is Bloomers Ribeye steak for 4, BBQ sauce, baby potatoes, and Caesar salad mix with all the fixins....a full meal to enjoy over the long weekend!

 Here are some examples for you to enjoy....haha 

It's ALWAYS BBQ season around here!! 

It's ALWAYS BBQ season around here!! 

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Bloomers Patties on the grill! 

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Some BIG roasts being cooked, 25 lbs each to be exact! 

 

We can't wait to see the pictures of our wonderful customers enjoying our products!!  So get snappin those pics this weekend! 

 

A common question..."hanging weight vs dressed weight"

Buying a side of beef, whether it’s a quarter, half or whole animal, can be an economical way of filling the freezer and supporting local farmers.   However the whole process can be a little confusing for any first time customer.  So here’s a detailed explanation of how it works!

The first stage of processing is called “Live Weight” (also known as “on the hoof”, or “hoof weight”)
It’s just as it says, the live weight of the animal before processing.   This is the least commonly used method with direct to market meat sales because most farmers don’t have scales on the property, such as our farm, (or the desire to load a 1200 pound animal into the chute to try and weigh them).   This weight measurement may also calculate in shrink.   Shrink is what the industry refers to as the amount of weight the animal loses through natural processes during handling and transportation to the processing facility.   If the animal was to be weighed before shrink, the customer would be paying for hoof weight that has already “exited the body”.

The next stage of processing is called the “Hanging Weight” (also known as “on the rail”)
This refers to the weight of the beef as it hangs in the butcher’s cooler once the head, hide, feet, organs and blood are removed.   Since most every butcher bases the processing fees on the hanging weight, it is the most widely used measurement by direct to market farmers.   This is the weight measurement we use when selling a side of beef.  

The final stage is called the “Cut & Wrap Yield” (also known as “package weight”)
This refers to the actual weight of all the packages of individual cuts of meat that you will put in your freezer.   When the carcass is broken down into recognizable cuts, there is some loss when cuts are deboned and fat is trimmed away.   The carcass yield will also depend on the types of cuts you selected for your side (especially the amount of boneless cuts you choose).   

During each step of processing, some weight is lost.   It is very important to keep this fact in mind when trying to calculate exactly how much meat your share contains.   When figuring out the cost of a quarter, half or whole side of beef, we take the Hanging Weight provided to us by the butcher and multiply it by the current price per pound.

If you are at all interested in purchasing a quarter, half or whole animal we are currently booking into mid to late September, so let us know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some days you win....some days you lose.

This time of year on the farm is a very, very busy one.   With all of the rain we had in the spring it made for a shorter time to get things done.   We went from planting corn, to planting beans, to cutting, raking and baling hay.   New this year is the addition of a bale wrapper which we offer as a custom service to our clientele.

2017 Tube Line TL5000AX2 Surface Wrap- purchased from Huron Tractor

2017 Tube Line TL5000AX2 Surface Wrap- purchased from Huron Tractor

Two weeks ago today we had a beautiful but super hot day!   Everyone was working like crazy with lots of customers having cut hay and wanting it all baled dry at the same time before the next rain came.   Papa Clare was out in the field picking up our own bales, Steve was operating the Square Baler, and Nathan was running the Round Baler, all in different fields.

The last thing any farmer wants to hear is the word "fire".    It was just after dinner time, the little boys and I had dropped Hayley off at soccer practice and were on our way home.   We drove by a field close to home and saw Daddy and the big square baler in the field.   Mason suggested we take him some supper so we zipped home, wrapped up some hamburgers and stuff and were on our way back down the road when we saw him coming towards us.   We assumed he was hungry and being close to home he decided to pop in to grab a bite to eat.    After turning around and having him follow us up the laneway, we very quickly realized that something was not right.   He came flying up the laneway and jumped out of the tractor and into his truck, only sparing a moment to yell that the baler was on fire.   My stomach sank as by process of elimination I realized it had to be the round baler he was talking about.    The boys and I quickly decided to follow the cloud of dust down the road to see what we could do to help.   

Upon turning onto the Bear Creek road just off Ivan Drive we saw the big plumes of black thick smoke and knew that things were not good.    We reached the field just after Steve and Papa Clare, and found Nathan dirty, sweaty and shaky.  

You see, Steve's panick was not for the sake of the baler, but for the sake of his son.   Things like this happen on a farm, we aren't the first and we certainly won't be the last.    When Steve heard the words "baler is on fire" cross Nathan's lips his first and foremost concern was for his safety.    He told him to get away from the fire, all 3 of them having called the fire department.    Nathan acted quickly, calmly and rationally in the heat of the moment.   He ejected the bale from the machine, he opened it up and tried to take out the dry hay which he knew could ignite things.   He attempted to put out the fire and when faced with the realization he couldn't, he lowered the jack, unhooked the hydraulic lines that connected the tractor to the baler and he quickly drove it out of harms way.   While we commend him and are proud of his fast thinking and actions, we took the opportunity to remind him that we pay insurance on the equipment so they can be replaced, but we can not replace his life.    Nothing is more important then the safety of our loved ones.

We are so thankful that we only lost a piece of equipment that day, that we had a mother/mother-in law at home who was fervently praying to our Heavenly Father for the safety and protection of Nathan.   That we can use this as a teaching moment and a little dose of reality.    Farm accidents happen all to often, and we need to make sure we learn from them and do our very best to avoid them.

Things like this happen so quickly!  The baler being just over a year old, and having been well maintained and looked after, shouldn't have caught fire.    But something as simple as a bearing getting too hot, or a stone caught in the wrong spot can change things in an instant.    We are thankful for the local fire department who knew exactly the field we were in with just saying the name of it, and the friends and neighbours who show their care and concern when things do happen.    We are back up and running and looking forward to the remainder of a great hay and summer season.  

So while we may have "lost" a piece of equipment that day, we "won" when Nathan was spared from injury or worse.   We thank God for each and every moment he gives us, whether good or bad.

Enjoy this week!

 

Buddy!

If you've been out to the farm in the last 6 months, chances are you have met our newest member of the family, Buddy.  

First night Buddy came to live with us!  The kids were so excited to meet him!

First night Buddy came to live with us!  The kids were so excited to meet him!

Buddy is an 8 year old retriever, lab cross that we "adopted" into our family the week of Christmas 2016.   Buddy grew up on a farm not far from us with a family of 10 people.   They were moving to BC for a job relocation, which meant living in a subdivision.  Buddy had only lived on a farm, and they didn't want him to have to become a "leash" dog.    We attended First Lobo Baptist Church with them, and happened to run into them at Lowe's a couple of days prior to their departure.  When asking how the final preparations were going, it was mentioned how very sad they were to have to leave behind their beloved Buddy, and were desperately searching for a new forever home for him.  

Waiting and watching for Steve to return home!

Waiting and watching for Steve to return home!

Nathan had been bugging for a dog for quite some time, and of course his ears perked up at the mention of a home for this dog.   We parted ways saying we would let them know if we thought of anyone that would be willing to take him.   The entire ride home, we had 4 children who very loudly made their feelings known about taking on this dog.   Steve and I tossed it around for a couple of days, and decided that we would be willing to give it a try to see if we were the right fit for him, and vice versa.  

We can honestly say Buddy has adapted to his life here on the farm very well!!  Steve was pretty adamant from the beginning that he would not be responsible for a pet as he did not have the time to invest, it would be the children's responsibility.   It's truly funny how things work out, because this dog has latched onto Steve and will not leave his side for ANYTHING!   Buddy is the best protector, and friend we could ask for.  The previous family did an amazing job raising him to become an obedient and faithful pet.  

Buddy has even made a friend here on the farm.....we have an older kitten who just adores Buddy and follows him EVERYWHERE he goes.   Often I can look out the window at any given time of day and see Buddy following Steve and this kitten following Buddy.   They seem to have an understanding and Buddy has no issue with this kitten being his shadow and being in his personal space.

It's a little bit like follow the leader!

It's a little bit like follow the leader!

Man's Best Friend!

Spring!

First litter of kittens of the year!   Midnight had 6 healthy, cute kittens this year.   She is a great mama!

First litter of kittens of the year!   Midnight had 6 healthy, cute kittens this year.   She is a great mama!

Spring is in full swing around here these days!!  I LOVE this time of year....besides the green grass, and all the plants blooming and growing, spring means new baby calves, new baby chicks, new baby kittens, and the cattle get to head to pasture!

First day for the Mama's and their babes on pasture!   They LOVE the fresh grass!

First day for the Mama's and their babes on pasture!   They LOVE the fresh grass!

This week has been a busy one....with the weather the way it's been things have been a little delayed on the field work.   The guys have been working long hours the last couple of days, fertilizing pasture fields, fixing fences, cultivating land, moving cattle, planting hay, and so on.   Everything is happening at the same time this year it seems, but can't change the weather so we just roll with the punches!

The boys love watching the equipment in the field at this time of the year!  Mason is enjoying watching Robson Bros big corn planter planting our corn, and Daddy and Papa cultivating the land ahead of the planter.   Lot's to see in one field!

The boys love watching the equipment in the field at this time of the year!  Mason is enjoying watching Robson Bros big corn planter planting our corn, and Daddy and Papa cultivating the land ahead of the planter.   Lot's to see in one field!

First batch of chickens for this year!  They grow so quickly!  We purchase them as day old chicks, and raise them until 10 weeks.

First baby calf of the season!!  Born March 23, 2017....a bull calf, which means a boy!

First baby calf of the season!!  Born March 23, 2017....a bull calf, which means a boy!

Like I said this is a great time of year, we get to experience so many things on the farm!  Each and every day seems to bring something new.   The kids learn so much on a daily basis, I'm so thankful for the opportunity to bring them up here!   So many invaluable life lessons can be and are learned.   Happy Spring Y'all!

Birthday!

Last night we celebrated a 17th birthday!  Nathan the eldest of our 4 children turned 17 on Sunday.    It's hard to believe that we are here at the stage of driving, contemplating college, girlfriends, and all the other firsts that come with the first born teenager.

I have had the pleasure of being apart of this guy's life for the past 11 years.   Watching him grow up and having a hand in that has been a major eye opening experience for me.   Nathan moved here to the farm 3 years ago full time.   His passion for farming and working alongside his father has been fun to watch as it develops.   Having a teenager "under foot" suddenly, has taught me a lot!!   While we have experienced lots of ups and downs, and I'm sure will continue to as we travel along this road called life, watching as the kids start to get involved in the farm and our family run business has been truly amazing!

As I mentioned Nathan works alongside Steve as often as he can.   He has grown up watching his Dad and learning the tricks of the trade.   He runs the equipment, can look after the barn and all the animals, and is GREAT at customer service!   He still has a lot of learning and growing to do, but we do pray that he is on the right track to become a successful entrepreneur and help us grow and expand this family run operation!

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Happy Birthday Nathan!