Tag Archive | dairy farmers

It’s Almost Baby Time!

37 weeks 4 days

……..yes, we have many, many calves due to be born in the coming months BUT, I happen to be referring to HUMAN baby time! It’s true, my husband and I are expecting our first child, a little girl, sometime in the next 2 -4 weeks!

Pregnancy has slowed me down quite a bit – hence my disappearence from this blog! Thought I’d take a few minutes to update before life gets REALLY crazy once baby arrives.

Things are going great at the farm. We’ve got 35 acres of our corn planted (about half done) and we just mowed our first cutting of hay. Beef calving season is pretty much over, but most of our dairy calves are due to be born in July, August, and September this year. The guys are keeping super busy caring for all our dairy cows – we’ve been milking a record number of at least 70…..though we’ve started drying off a number of them in the past month as they prepare for the birth of their calves (they get the last two months of their pregnancy off …….pre-maternity leave of sorts.) 🙂

We are hosting Country Pumpkins at our farm again this fall! We’ve been in the planning stages since January and are getting really excited about all the fun times ahead. We were blessed with a wonderful 2012 season and hope to continue to build on that growth. Can’t make any formal announcements YET, but we’ve got several FREE Special Events in the works that will be scattered throughout our September 13 – November 3rd season. I’ve been working on updating our brochures, flyers, and website to get a head start before the baby comes.

 

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Recipe: Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

There’s no better way to celebrate a scorching hot 4th of July than with a fresh batch of homemade ice cream…..which is exactly what we did yesterday! I’ve had several friends request this recipe that I’m sharing with you today. You may be getting this a little too late to include in your 4th of July celebrations, but lucky for you, July is National Ice Cream Month! I seriously need to hug whoever thought that one up. 🙂 Ice cream is my number one weakness of all time. I eat it almost everyday – at least once!

This recipe comes from a cookbook by Thomas R. Quinn called “Old-Fashioned Homemade Ice Cream”. My mom picked this up for me at an Amish store in Holmes County, OH a couple of years ago. These recipes are simply the BEST homemade ice creams that I’ve ever had in my life. Leftovers freeze amazingly well (anybody ever had the kind that turns hard as a rock when frozen in the freezer?) and scoop out just like store-bought ice cream.

If you try it, please let me know how much you loved it. 🙂

Strawberry Ice Cream

  • 2 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cups whipping cream
  • 3 cups mashed, sweetened strawberries (about 1/4 cup of sugar will sweeten berries) OR you can use thawed, pre-sweetened strawberries from the freezer section of your grocery
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (not necessary if you use pre-sweetened strawberries from the freezer section)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • whole milk as needed (about 5 cups)

In a large pan combine the sugar, eggs, and salt. Add the whipping cream and cook the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly to avoid scorching. Remove from heat when the mixture coats the back of a spoon (about 180 degrees). Refrigerate. When cool, add the vanilla.

If using fresh strawberries, either dice strawberries into very small pieces or slice and mash them. Add the lemon juice and enough sugar to sweeten (about 1/4 cup). Refrigerate at least 1 hour to allow the sugar to blend with the strawberries.

When ready to freeze ice cream, add the strawberries to the cream-sugar-egg mixture. Pour into an ice cream freezing can and add whole milk to bring the mixture up to 3/4 full. Freeze in a home ice cream freezer. Makes about one gallon.

Note: I use a 6 qt White Mountain ice cream freezer so I don’t fill to 3/4 full because this recipe is written for a 4 qt freezer. Also, I used raw milk from our cows which has a bit higher fat content than “whole milk” so I used 2 1/2 cups of whipping cream and  5 1/2 cups milk to compensate. In addition, I added the milk at same time I added the cream and cooked to 180 degrees. This is not necessary to do – I’ve made it both ways – BUT I felt this may have given the ice cream an ever creamier texture.

Social Media Interview Published in Progressive Dairyman!

If someone would have told me two and a half years ago when I started the Alpine Hills Dairy Farm Facebook page that it would one day have been mentioned on the radio, the DFA Leader Magazine, and now the Progressive Dairyman magazine I would have laughed my head off! Really??? When I got the idea to start the page, I knew very, very little about dairy farming. My husband and I had been married just a few months (we were not working at the farm at the time) and with all our visits to the farm I thought it would be a fun place to share pictures and updates. I felt that it would really be something that people who didn’t live on farms would enjoy reading and learning about. That seems like it has turned out to be true!

As time has gone on, and we starting working at the farm full-time (celebrated our 2nd anniversary working here last week!) I have been able to learn more first hand about dairy farm life and have been here to take more pictures to share. I have absolutely LOVED having the opportunity to manage the Facebook page! Thank you to all our loyal fans who continue to give me such great feedback and encouragement. 🙂

Below is the link to the article recently published online and in print in the Progressive Dairyman magazine. Special thanks to Emily Caldwell for taking all my jumbled thoughts (I get super excited talking about social media! Ha!) and putting them into one cohesive article. She did such a fabulous job and it was a great opportunity to get to meet her! Click the picture below for the link to the entire article or click here.

Surprise! Barrel Trains

Last month at the Dairy Farmers of America Annual Meeting in Kansas City, MO my husband and I by chance (or more like Providence 🙂 ) met a wonderful couple who have changed our farm tour business forever. Upon meeting this couple we found out that they operate a pumpkin patch and tours on their farm in Conway, MO called Gunter Farms Pumpkin Patch. I, of course, piped right up and started peppering them with questions and exchanging ideas about our dairy tour / pumpkin farm businesses.

What an amazingly sweet couple they were! They stood and talked to us for almost two hours about the in’s and out’s of their pumpkin patch operation. One thing that we were especially excited about was the Barrel Train rides that they offer – we had seen these in action before and thought they were SOOOO COOL! They told us that their son designed and built these for their farm. My husband got the son’s number and called him right away. Fast forward a month, and woah-la………we are now proud owners of 12 super fun barrel train cars!!!!

On Wednesday, we were able to surprise our first Spring Dairy Tour group of the season (140 kindergarteners) with our brand spankin’ new barrel trains!  What a hit they were! We are so excited to be able to share them this fall as well during Country Pumpkins with our guests where we will be offering Barrel Train rides (for kids) along with hayrides for the whole family. It’s an exciting year ahead!

To view the photo highlights of our first Spring Dairy Tour at Alpine Hills Dairy Farm of the season, click here.

An Exciting Opportunity!!!

Last week I had the exciting opportunity to guest blog for the Friends of Elsie Borden Cheese Blog!

Borden Cheese is not only delicious,  it is 100% farmer owned – that means when you buy Borden Cheese 100% of the proceeds go back to American dairy farm families! Pretty cool, huh?

I would be so honored if you took a moment to read my post on the Friend of Elsie blog that was published yesterday. Click this link to check it out! http://www.friendsofelsie.com/friends-of-elsie/blog

Many thanks to DFA for recommending me, and to Kelly Goss, Director of Public Relations at Sullivan Higdon and Sink in Kansas City for helping this blog post become a reality.

“Funny Cow Photo: “Wet Willy”

What a success our first “Caption This” Contest was that we held on our Alpine Hills Dairy Farm Facebook page! We had many hilarious captions submitted for this cow photo that I took last week. It certainly was one of those lucky moments when I snapped the photo at JUST the right time!

Last night we announced the winner of the Caption Contest, our fan Katie Taylor, who submitted “Wet Willy” for our photo. I pinned the photo to Pinterest, and I’ve already had around 95 repins and over 20 likes! How fun! Glad to see that everyone thinks Katie did as great of a job as we thought she did! 🙂

To pin this photo to your own Pinterest account, click the photo above or click the “Pin It” button below.

DFA Member of Distinction Video

Dairy Farmers of America and SC Motion and Stills, LLC did a fantastic job producing this video about our farm and our story as part of the DFA 2012 Member of Distinction award.

If you have a few minutes, please enjoy this video to learn more about us! 🙂