We are finally back in the farmhouse kitchen after five months of steady but interrupted progress.

I love my new sink. It’s a black “neorock” one bay sink from Kohler.

It’s huge.

No big pot is a problem any more.

I especially love that I won’t ever have to bleach my sink again.

My countertops are a beautiful granite that thaws my frozen foods quickly. How does it do that?

And it makes a great background for taking pictures of my Market Box foods.

Plenty of outlets mean that I can cook beans or meat in my instant pot for dinner and still have power for a second instant pot that is cooking my bone broth.

This week I’ve used my Instant pots to make:
– bone broth from the ducks we had for dinner on Tuesday
– beans for a pot of chili for 50 people
– chicken gizzard for a Red Pepper Curry recipe
– corned beef tongue

Freezer Clean Out Season is Spring Time

Can you tell I’m emptying out my freezers?

When you eat seasonally you eventually learn a lot of skills.

1. I stock up on meat during butchering season (fall and winter).

2. I make bone broth every time we eat chicken, duck or turkey.

3. I use organ meats for increased nutrition, cheaper meals, and to use the “whole” animal.

4. Freeze extra in season vegetables like green or colored peppers.

5. Clean out my freezers in spring to use up what I preserved for winter eating.

Struggle with Eating Seasonally in the Spring?

In March and April there aren’t a lot of interesting fresh vegetables locally available.

Our farm members have been making delicious, creative meals with what we are offering in our Market Boxes nevertheless.

  • rhubarb and kale in a noodle bowl
  • sushi rolls with salmon and greenhouse cucumbers

I also add interest to our meals by pulling things out of my freezer that I couldn’t use during the bountiful harvests of summer and fall.
This week I pulled out the bag of sliced fennel to add to a soup.
The gizzards I found under several bags of broccoli and cauliflower I had blanched and frozen last summer.
The beef tongue I thawed last week and brined it for a week using my corned beef brine to give it delicous flavor.

My meals can be quick and simple during this busy days of planting and planning because using up pre-prepped frozen veggies, ready to use canned tomatoes, and my store of bulk meat in the freezer make meal planning easy and simple.

Are you enjoying using your bulk pork from the Half Pig sale this winter?

Is the kitchen finished?

No but it is functional.

Farmer Reuben is glad to have us out of his farm bakery so that the bakery can focus on making more types of scones, brioche, brick oven bread and granola.

Pastries are being batched tested by Vince. We tried his incredible croissants this week.

What’s left?

Well, when you do a custom kitchen on your own to with reclaimed material there’s bound to be some finishing touches left. Reuben is still scraping 30 layers of paint off the doors from the last one hundred years.

And the antique hinge broke when we removed a door. That will take some research to replace. But I’m actually used to walking around that door now instead of opening and closing it.

Re-stenciling the original motif around the ceiling will probably have to wait until next year. We have the paint and the stencil though. Anyone want to help with that project.

I have so much more cupboard space too!

I’m judiciously moving my things into their new spaces. I’m enjoying not having to move things out of the way to access what’s behind.

As mentioned above, I tend to keep too many things around for too long.

Those jars of kelp powder? I might need those someday as a source of iodine in our food. Girls, someday you’ll thank me.

The jars of mincemeat in the back cupboard? Someday, we’ll make mince meat pie. I like it. I just don’t like it more than all the other pies so we haven’t gotten round to making it yet.

But speaking of cleaning out the freezer.

There’s a big ball of pastry dough in the freezer.

If I thaw that dough and roll it out, we could make mince meat hand pies or something fun like that.

You know what’s different about my farm kitchen than a modern kitchen?


One work triangle in a typical kitchen doesn’t work for a farm family with several simultaneous cooking projects.

When I’m cooking at the stove, one of the farm girls is usually prepping veggies at the counter near the refrigerator.

When it gets close to 5 o’clock the two younger boys come in to unload the dishwasher and set the table.

There’s a lot of criss crossing that happens but generally we can function with 3-4 people working in the kitchen at the same time.

But beware! When the fifth person comes in I’m likely to tell them to sit on the bench on the other side of the kitchen and stay out of my work area.

Usually it’s a hungry preschooler. Now that it’s nice outside she can be persuaded to take a drink or a small snack outside. Or I’ll give her some greens or herbs to “chop” on her little cutting board.

The other night she proudly passed around a bowl of cilantro she had picked from my garden, chopped herself and served at supper with our Red Curry. She made sure that every single person in the family put some on their plate.

Even though we had cooked cauliflower at dinner, I know that the blanched and frozen vegetables don’t retain as much nutrition as the fresh, leafy greens that are the most abundant of the fresh vegetables in the spring.

Adding greens to a meal is quick and easy.

They don’t need much prep.
They cook fast.

One of my daughters can slice or chop kale, bok choy or Napa cabbage and leave it on the counter. With only 10 minutes left until dinner all I have to do is heat a pan, add a healthy fat and stir fry those greens until they are bright green and tender crisp. Adding scallions or green garlic and some sea salt is the only finishing touch before adding it to the serving dish and bringing those greens to the table.

Some of the kids will eat them as is. The little ones get a small leaf or too to try until they develop the taste for it.

But if you find that you are the only one who eats those delicious, healthy greens during the meal, don’t worry or fret.

Those leftover greens will be just as nutritious hidden into the next meal you make.



Ready to get started?

Download this tip sheet for my 5 favorite leafy greens: 5 Quick & Easy Spring Veggies to Help You Eat Seaonal & Local.

Download 5 Quick & Easy Veggies


As Always…

We support your desire to have a good, healthy way of life and food on your table that supports that goal.

We’ll keep farming for you!

Reuben and Tessa DeMaster
Willow Haven Farm

P.S.  Order a One Time Market Box to get started with seasonal eating and more nutrition.


P.S. The Farm store is open on Saturday to help you stock up on eggs, milk, cheese, vegetables, natural cleaners, home remedies and more.

Open this weekend!

Market Hours: Saturday: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM