Farm-to-Community Outreach a Warm and Fuzzy Success
This past Saturday, Keith and I were the guest speakers at the Nourishing Your Family Farm-to-Community Health Outreach Series hosted by Fields of Athenry Farm of Purcellville, VA . It was a beautiful sunny day, and the fields were filled with sheep, and many baby lambs. We got to hold and cuddle baby lambs that were less than one day old. We also even fed one who was an orphan, for some reason the mother rejected her. But, the family had taken her into their home and spoiled her rotten! She was decked out in a sequined frock, and was the life of the party! When I was a child, my favorite stuffed animal was called, Lamby Pie, and it was the same aqua color as this little lambs outfit. It was the most bedraggled of all my stuffed toys, which I guess means it was well loved! But to actually feed a real lamb was so sweet and special.
The event was well attended, and the farm store made quite a few sales before, during and after the event. It seems that farm-sponsored health seminars is a good way to reach out and invite the community in. I had never in my life nursed a baby lamb, nor held one. It was so wonderful to commune with nature this way, and to realize how tender and trusting these sheep are. Even the momma ewe, who had just given birth the night before to three babies, was totally cool with us holding them and petting her. The farmer, Elaine Boland, also sponsors field trips for groups of children and adults who would like to visit a real working farm. We look forward to taking our nieces and nephews out there some day.
We hope to get a farm drop started for this farm at our National Realty office. They not only sell meats and cheeses, but prepared foods, lovingly made by Elaine. She custom made a batch of beef stock for me the night before the event. It was really incredible. I make beef stock myself, but it doesn’t compare to Elaine’s. I found out her secret is to use lots of organ meats in the broth! Visit their website at Fields of Athenry.
Our other purchases from the farm store included cheese from a Mennonite farmer, a leg of lamb and ground lamb and pork for making our own sausage. I made my first lamb sausage patties this morning, and they were very good. The recipe:
Homemade Lamb Sausage
1 lb of ground lamb
1 TBL of fresh sage leaves chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
Ground black pepper
Knead together all ingredients in a bowl. Form into patties and fry until brown on each side and cooked through.
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