Monday, December 14, 2015

Mince Pies and BIG NEWS

One of my favorite British Christmas treats is mince pies, I often buy them but when I saw the jar of mincemeat in the grocery store the other day I took the plunge and got it and it made me smile that it was made in Lincolnshire my home county in England. These little pies are super easy to make and taste of the holidays with the spiced fruit. 

Ingredients :

  • one jar of mincemeat (I used about 1/2 of it) 
  • 8 oz of plain flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 4oz butter
  • 1-2 tablespoon of cold water to mix pastry

1. pre heat oven to 425f
2. sift flour and salt
add butter in small pieces and rub with fingers to mix into flour until it looks like breadcrumbs
3. then add a little water as needed to get into a dough
4. roll out and use a mug to cut out little circles add to a cake tin
5. fill each with mincemeat and use flour to top either as another circle, a shape with a cookie cutter or as a lattice, add egg wash and a little sprinkled sugar to the top
6. Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown

 In other big news we just closed on a country property to farm. I hope to start a market garden / big vegetable garden to sell to farmers markets. Right now the land is a large field full of grass and weeds so the process will take financial investment and time to get the soil back, add raised beds, irrigation and fencing. I have always been interested in agriculture and how our food is grown. A few years ago after my Granddad passed away I started a small vegetable garden at home, inspired by his vegetable garden. 

I then became a master gardener volunteer helping in various gardens and volunteering at the children's home farm. In October with help from the PTA, teachers and a donation I started a vegetable garden at my Daughters school. So far I have had two second grade classes and a kindergarten class, weeding, harvesting vegetables and eating from the garden. We even made smoothies with greens from the garden.

 I always feel at peace working on the farm I fully understand how hard it will be especially in the heat of summer also the steep learning curve I am on. It is also a financial investment and cost. I have inherited a small amount from my Granddad and thought this was the perfect way to use it. 

We plan to commute to the property as we love the schools here. I am blessed to have an older farmer friend Terry who looked at land with me and he recommended this one. It gets good sunlight and in the past was a big garden for the older couple who lived here. 

When we first started this journey we were looking at land but then realized it needed to have road access, it needed to be cleared and have a water source. The more I thought about it the more I figured a small house would make sense. It also felt safer when I will be there in the garden. After the farming conference I realized I would need a kitchen to wash the produce and a fridge to store it.

We may at times stay here because its a lovely rural area surrounded by other farms and is so peaceful. 
I have started a facebook page for Ladybird farm, twitter and Instagram to share the journey both the ups and downs and hopefully if your local one day you can visit me at a local market. 

We added a few plants last night I feel the kids will enjoy visiting and helping out :-) 

 on the left you can see some old fruit trees, peaches, blueberry and pear. Hopefully we can save some but sadly a lot don't look so good. 
There are also muscadine grapes on the property.

Please follow along on our farming adventures I am so very proud to be a new farmer :-) 
maybe one day you can even visit 


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