The Gray Fox Farm

Hudson, Ohio

Welcome to The Gray Fox Farm! We're a small produce and poultry farm in Hudson, OH. We sell our vegetables, chickens, eggs, and turkeys through a combination of our local farmers market, CSA, and directly to customers at the farm. Then we obsessively blog about it all. 

 

 

How to Eat More Greens

Dr. Oz, The Doctors, and every chef, nutritionist, and your mother will tell you to EAT MORE GREENS. But how do you actually do that? Children and husbands are notoriously picky and it's frustrating to scrape plates after a meal and realize those healthy greens are going straight to the compost. 

Here at the farm we have gobs of greens. They're our specialty so we have dozens of varieties out in the field during the summer. And come winter, greens are the only fresh veg you're going to see at the market aside from squashes and a few roots. Here's how we sneak greens into every meal.

1. Don't make greens alone.

Picky eaters and veggie haters (they do exist) immediately crinkle their noses at a pile of greens on a plate. Don't abandon greens on the plate. You've got to incorporate them in with other ingredients. Add chopped peppers, beans, or diced tomato.

2. Cut them up small.

People are happy to see gobs of mashed potatoes, a hunk of meat, or a big gloop of pasta. Not so much for greens. Chop them up into tiny bits so they are easier to hide, chew, and disguise.

3. A little bit is better than none.

Don't feel like you have to cram huge volumes of greens on your family. If I make scrambled eggs for breakfast I'm going to add one or two Swiss Chard leaves at the most. I'm not going to cook the whole bundle. 

4. Add greens to anything you cook on the stove top. 

If there's a saucepan or a stock pot on my stove there's going to be a green in it. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Our breakfast always includes eggs. I'll wilt a couple of leaves in the pan with scrambled eggs, add a few into an omelet, or wilt greens with mushrooms and peppers and drop a fried egg on top. If I make burgers I'll wilt some rapini and use that as the topping with tomato and cheese. And for dinner I might boil some pasta and drop a few chard leaves in the boiling water. My other favorite trick is to stir spinach or bok choy into mashed potatoes or polenta. They don't need to be cooked separately. If everyone is eating the equivalent of ONE LEAF at each meal you've achieved a serving of greens for all. And I'll bet that's more than they were eating before.

5. Cover it in melted cheese.

If your family has figured out your sneaky greens technique continue to do everything in steps 1-4. Then just sprinkle a little shredded cheese over the top so they can't see the greens. I promise you it works every time.

Bossy Pants: Tina Fey has nothing on our Animals.

Some days we wake up and it's cold. Or it's raining. Or maybe snowing. And we don't necessarily want to go out to do chores right away. Sometimes we can let things go for a few hours. But animals and plants have ways of letting you know they need attention.

Our dogs will whine to go out, whine to come in, scratch at the food bin when they're hungry, and bang on the water dish if they're thirsty. The cat will scratch the sofa if she wants to go out. Nothing gets me off my butt faster than an animal wrecking the furniture. Our indoor animals have us pretty well trained. 

The chickens have figured out how to communicate that they have needs, too. The broilers in the tunnel will chirp so loud I can hear them inside the house. They'll keep up the racket until someone comes out with food. The laying hens do the same thing. They'll start shouting when the they're hungry. If we don't come out quickly enough they'll jump the fence and find food or water on their own. Or, when we finally do come out, there's one that bites. It's punishment for making her wait.  

Plants are quiet about their needs. If you don't water them on the morning of a super sunny day they'll wilt down to nothing in an effort to conserve moisture. No one wants to eat wilty lettuce. And if the temperature is high and you don't get around to covering them, the plants will bolt. They prefer the weather to be sunny and 75. I think Joe Nichols was actually singing about his crops, not some girl on a beach. 

Where's our food? 

Where's our food? 

All the chirping and squacking and furniture scratching and barking does help to get us moving in the morning. And coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. 

5 Gifts for Local Foodies

Give the foodies in your life some love this holiday season. 

1. A sampler pack of Organic Chocolate Bark from Sweet Designs Chocolatier in Lakewood.

2. Yellow House Blue Cheese from Yellow House Cheese in Medina.

3. A carafe of Miserable Red Wine from Sarah's Vineyard in Cuyahoga Falls.

4. A pound of Whole Wheat Stone Ground Flour from Breackneck Acres in Ravenna.

5. A selection of brats (15 kinds available) from Bluebird Meadows in Sullivan. 

Manly Kitchen Takeover

Apparently I maybe overdid it in my effort to hide the Christmas cookie stash from the hubs. In order to make the cookies from Black Friday last all month I release them a week at a time from their secret hiding place. Otherwise we'd eat them all in one sitting, get sick, and then look around for more cookies. We have very little cookie self-control. 

Because I did such a fabulous job hiding the cookies the hubs had the hankering for some and took over the kitchen. I didn't make his favorites. Peanut Butter. So he decided to do them himself.

Man-baking involves a computer, obviously. There is no recipe book or cookbook. Real men google recipes. 

The cookies turned out great. And I already added half to the secret stash! Also the hubs has blown his cover. I know he can bake!

Don't forget! Our new website is launching at the beginning of they year. 

Gather Round the Water Cooler

Water is incredibly important for poultry. Chickens can drink up to a pint of water a day, more if it's hot. If the waterer has frozen over night (which happens periodically, even in the high tunnel) the birds get super excited when you bring a new bucket in. 

To drink, the birds stick their beaks into the tray of water and then extend their necks straight up in the air. It gets them some gravity assistance for the water to go down their throats. It's funny to watch since it looks like bobbing for apples. 

We use a farm hacked bucket waterer. We drill holes on opposite sides of the lid end of the bucket. FIll up the waterer, snap on the lid, and flip the bucket into a pig feed dish. Science keeps the level of the water inside the black trough and lets more water down the more the birds drink. Like a dog waterer but for birds.

The bucket holds 5 gallons so it keeps us from having to refill water multiple times per day unless it's really hot out. You can read the details on how to make your own waterer over here

Subscribe to Blog - Gray Fox Farm by Email

 Subscribe in a reader