We're finally starting our farm! We're deep in the throes of website development at present (as well as chick brooder construction, market research, crop planning, and of course food preservation), so please forgive us the dearth of details. I must, however, share at least one with you--our name. Welcome to Open Book Farm.
Until we launch our new website (with its own, integrated blog), I'll keep y'all updated here. Three years of farming and I still consider myself a greenhorn, so rest assured I've not run out of things to say.
Starting a farm from scratch is a time consuming, expensive business. Andrew and I have an line item in our accounting software called “Business Owes Me” and, at present, this is the only account that seems to be growing. Still, we have a business plan, enough savings to help us through this lean time, and a healthy dose of optimism, so we feel good to be starting off on our own.
Indeed, fortune favors the bold! Exploring our new farm on Wednesday we discovered that Open Book Farm is already producing a crop, and without any work on our part. Andrew stumbled upon a very productive thicket of wild raspberries behind the old ramshackle milk house, and closer inspection revealed sister brambles all along our driveway: blackberries, black raspberries, and more raspberries. We are not, sad to say, so overwhelmed with fruit that we need to open a pick-your-own stand, but we seem to be well enough supplied for abundant snacking, occasional freezing, and last night's treat—raspberry swirl ice cream.
If I have the time, I like to make a custard based ice cream, as I think that the final consistency is a bit richer and the ice cream less likely to melt into soup. My mind has been overflowing with to-do lists and crop plans lately, however, and I did not have the foresight to make custard in the morning. So I took a somewhat slapdash approach to frozen confectionery, trusting in the quality of ingredients to carry the day. We were not disappointed. And while we did end up slurping the last of the pink ice cream from the bottom of our bowls, I do not think that the experience was compromised whatsoever.
Lazy Person's Raspberry Swirl Ice Cream
1/2 cup milk
1 cup cream
1 cup half and half
2/3 cup sugar + a bit more
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 cups raspberries
Whisk everything but the raspberries together until sugar is dissolved. Freeze in ice cream maker. While ice cream is churning, mash the raspberries with the extra 2 or so Tablespoons of sugar in a separate bowl. When the ice cream is frozen to your satisfaction, gently fold in the raspberries.