Welcome to Painted Hand Farm

Painted Hand Farm is a 20 acre Civil War era farm located in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. We raise meat goats, veal calves, turkeys and organic vegetables using humane and sustainable agricultural practices.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fun in DC

Yes, that's a suckling pig one of the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market customers has on his bike. On the bandstand are the Sweeneys (who were such gracious hosts later in the afternoon) and Rebbie Higgins, our Market Maven. This was my first year of doing this metropolitan market located in Washington DC at 17th & Lamont Streets.
It was an interesting market to attend. One of the benefits of city markets is the diversity of food. On the street in the pig picture is Don Juan's which makes the most deliciosas pupusas salvadoreƱas--an extremely tasty treat from El Salvador. Then there is all the phenomenal fresh fruit & veg from all the other vendors at the market. These two colorful brassicas are my favorites!

A farmers market wouldn't be a market without fresh bread. There are TWO bread vendors at Mount Pleasant. Panorama Bread (who is also at Bloomingdale on Sunday) makes the BEST baguettes.
Attwaters' Bakery has a loaf called "Struen" which is my all-time favorite loaf for slicing. Every now & then I'll break down and get an olive loaf.
This was the last weekend of the 2009 market season and friends invited me to stay in the city for the night between Mount Pleasant on Saturday and Bloomingdale on Sunday. After market, I walked a few short blocks to Irving Street.

Little did my friends Luke & the Sweeneys realized they lived directly across the street from each other.

First, it was an afternoon of charcuterie, fresh oysters, cress salad, pink radishes, cheese, bread and assorted accompaniments, including hand-made guava paste, caramelized onions, mustard and some very nice wines on the Sweeney's front porch. Who would have thought the weather to be so temperate and glorious this late into November.
Then it was on to Churchkey and Birch & Barley in the evening. I had the Charred Octopus and Striped Sea Bass, which was phenomenal. But Luke had the duck, which was out of this world and what will lure me back again for my own plate and not just a bite.
Chef Kyle Bailey, you rock!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

2009 Goat Roast & Picnic

Mother Nature smiled upon us again for the annual goat roast & picnic. Despite a 40% chance of rain, the day was gorgeous and family & friends descended upon the farm to feast and share each others company.

My brother-in-law, Glen got to drive the big tractor and the Millers' son, Kai got to 'drive' my little tractor.

As always, every hung out visiting, eating, drinking and being merry.
Jess brought out Big Andy for 'pony' rides.
And Lucky the Pig was in all his glory with the kids.

This was the first time in a few years my family was all together so we took a picture together.
Charles wanted the pork cheeks and he got them.
Judy & Jonas and the Hursts came over the mountain to share in the festivities.

One of our farmers market managers, Luke, trekked up from DC for the day.

Spud is smiling because he's the only one not shucking corn.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

The Love Monkeys

As Catherine Friend so pointedly wrote in her book, Hit By A Farm, "Farming boils down to three things: shit, sex & death." The shit is never-ending. Last week we dealt with the death part when we harvested several calves and goat. Now we're on to the sex part.
Meet Fiesta, a cashmere buck from Bearlin Acres. Given that the Boer goats are native to the arid, hot climate of South Africa, they're not the hardiest here in the northeast. But my meat goat pal, Marge Kilkelly, in Maine has been infusing her meat herd with cashmere. Last year when I dressed out some cashmere buck kids from Bearlin Acres, their carcasses were just as meaty as the Boer cross kids. So in an experimental effort to breed animals that will winter over much better than their desert ancestors, Fiesta has come to service the latest round of open does.
He got to work within 30 seconds of being let in with the open doe herd.
But the goats aren't the only ones getting action. It seems as if each time Emma & her daughter, Gray, come into heat, I'm away at market and don't catch it in time for the "breederman". In an effort to get them both bred to calve next spring, Vincent--a purebred Jersey bull from Carrock Farm--has come for a visit.
Isn't he a handsome fella? Let's hope there's enough dark genes in him to throw me more dark Jersey heifers.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

When Good Gets Better

Any one who buys meat from me knows that I love my USDA butcher, Mr. Horst. Not only does he and his employees do a phenomenal job cutting and packaging my livestock, but they have always treated the animals humanely and respectfully in their final moments. To me, that is extremely important. So, when I took a load of calves & goats down on Wednesday, I went to back up to the loading dock as usual. But in my rear-view mirror I saw the dock hand waving his arms as if I were about to hit something. When I got out to see what was up, he pointed out that they had entirely renovated their loading area. What an absolute pleasure it was to back up to the ramp that had consecutive closing gates so the animals could move backwards into the trailer. There was also a new and better configured scale to easily weigh the animals as they moved into the holding pens (all covered). And right as the animals entered, there was an automatic waterer so any stock thirsty from their haul could get a drink of water. It makes my day when a good thing gets better.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Where there's a will, there's a way

When I started selling live goats to the ethnic community for their religious and cultural holidays, I was surprised the first time a Bosnian man zip-tied the legs together on the same side and put the goat into the back of his Subaru. But when I came across this image, it was just too good not to share. If that's a young buck, I wouldn't want to keep that shirt, though.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Fourth of July Dinner

With all the promotion to "eat local" on Independence Day this year and the impetus to declare "food independence", I thought I'd post up what we had for dinner. Since it was a long day of getting Jess to the airport for her trip to Europe and I had to be up at 3am the following day for farmers market, there were no big plans for attending a social gathering and staying up late partying with friends. But July 4th wouldn't be right without putting something on the grill. While getting some market supplies out of the locker in Carlisle last week, I came across a package of bone-in, mega-thick rib steaks from the yak. Oh, what a find! They went on the grill along with some fresh summer squash out of Clint's garden and a few ears of corn a fellow Bloomindale Farmers Market vendor gave me. I slathered it all in Emma's raw milk cultured butter and set it to flame. DELICIOUS!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I don't have the heart....

...to remove this "fire hazard". It's on a pole away from the house or any other structure. Plus, I cleaned out this nest twice, but she just kept building it. Two fuzzy peeps. Haven't identified the birds yet.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Latest Happenings

Too much going on. Not enough time. Lots of rain. Everything growing.
Hops vines reaching for the sky with flowers just starting.

Peapods all over the place. Had them with Red Curry Beef in Coconut & Cilantro over Thai Rice Noodles for dinner.
Chicks out of the brooder and on grass. I gave them an egg box to hide in so Megs can't reach through the wire, grab them while they are sleeping and chew off their heads.
Juvenile cockerels inspecting their new digs.
The chicken tractor back at work for another season.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

We're Back!

When the Carlisle Central Farmers Market had the rug pulled out from under its feet back in January, the farmers promised they would return in the spring with a producer-only, seasonal outdoor market to meet the needs of an increasing community who wanted to support local agriculture and feed themselves in a healthy, sustainable way. Yesterday, we fulfilled that promise with the opening bell of Farmers on the Square.
John Penn, son of William Penn and the founder of Pennsylvania, in the 1700's designed the square in Carlisle to have a court house, two churches and a marketplace. Unfortunately, the original marketplace was torn down in the 1950's to make way for a second court house. When CCFM closed, the farmers didn't waste any time organizing a real farmers market for downtown Carlisle. A BIG THANKS goes out to Pastor John and the First Presbyterian Church for providing a wonderful place to have the market on Wednesday afternoons from 3-7 pm. Located on the square, Farmers on the Square returns in the spirit of John Penn's vision.
In addition to the farmers, Farmers on the Square is hosted through the generosity of many community volunteers.
On opening day, there was plenty of fresh fruits & vegetables--snap peas and strawberries being a big hit.
Another popular item that sold out quickly were Paul Fisher's chicken halves roasted over charcoal. Unlike many other markets that offer cooked food, these chickens were actually raised by the farmer who also cooked them. Nothing beats a fresh chicken from Otterbein Acres whether you or Paul cooks it.
In addition to our veal and goat, Otterbein's chicken, pork and lamb, JuJo Acres had their wonderful Certified Organic grass-fed Limosine beef.
Swamp Fox brought a variety of fruits, veggies and plants.
Customers had to get their cheese, yogurt & chocolate pudding fix from Keswick Creamery.
Alex and Susan are ready for the customers.
Dickinson College Farm was there with lots of fabulous vegetables and all the positive energy from their students.
Not only was Elaine there selling fresh produce, her CSA customers could also pick up their weekly shares.
Michele was back with her lovely bouquets and wreaths.
For anyone looking for plants for their gardens, shitake mushrooms or hand-made soaps, Three Sisters is the stand to visit.
And some farmers doubled as musicians!