Sunday, May 31, 2015

We grow it, so where can you buy it?

So it is no secret by now that you all know we raise corn, soybeans, wheat, and pigs on our family farm.  We feel very blessed to be able to raise food for our family and all of yours.  So that being said, I'm often asked where can you buy the food we raise and grow on our family farm.

The answer is really quite easy, but it may not be obvious.

You see you can buy the food we grow and raise at the grocery store or mega big box store.  We don't have our own label or anything at the grocery store, but when you buy pork at the grocery store that is helping our family farm and fellow farms just like ours.

Our family sells the majority of our pigs to Tyson Foods who then distributes the pork in the grocery stores across the country.  So there is a good chance when we sell our pigs to Tyson Foods in Indiana, our pork ends up in a grocery store near you especially if you are in Indiana and the Midwest.   

Pork Chops I purchased at Walmart --- could have been ours

My mother-in-law and I also sell some pigs each year under our own private label at 2 local Farmer's Markets, a local orchard, and an online food hub as a way to educate others about our family farm and help pay for Big Sissy, Bubby, and Little Sissy's college education.

The cost of college for the three of them is scary!

So what about our corn, soybeans, and wheat?

Well all of the corn we grow on our family farm is used to feed our pigs so we don't sell any corn.

Big Sissy delivering a snack to my father-in-law driving the combine during corn harvest.

We do sell all of our soybeans; however, we sell them to a local soybean processor that makes soybean meal from our soybeans and we buy soybean meal from them to mix with the corn to feed our pigs.  (Soybean meal is what is left after the oil and hulls are removed from the soybean and is a protein source for out pigs.  The oil that is removed is used for cooking oil and the hulls are used as a fiber source to feed other animals.)

Soybeans in the pod in the field

Actual soybeans

As far as our wheat goes, we only grow a small amount of wheat each year.  But what we do raise, we sell to a local elevator where it is milled and turned into flour.

Partially harvest wheat field

So as a proud Indiana farmer, you can support our family farm and fellow farms just like ours by buying pork at the grocery store or by contacting me directly if you prefer to purchase our private label.  Either way we provide the best care possible to our pigs as they are our top priority.  So whether it is providing a climate controlled barn for pigs to live in to be protected from the elements or predators or using precision when planting or harvesting our corn crop, we truly feel blessed and honored to be raising food for our family and yours!


Monday, May 18, 2015

Super Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

This super-easy chicken tortilla soup really is super-easy and a perfect go-to meal that adds just the right amount of kick.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

As a farm family, the words super and easy in a recipe always catch my attention especially if the crock pot can be used.  As I was flipping through my new Gooseberry Patch Mom Knows Best Cookbook, this Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe definitely caught my attention.  And it was just what our family needed for lunch yesterday.

As you know we are in the midst of planting season which is often crazy and chaotic.  The Farmer has essentially been in the fields non-stop the last few weeks.  But thanks to some much needed rain on Saturday, The Farmer got to spend yesterday at home with us.  Now when you've been working like crazy the last thing you want to do is come home from church and wait to each lunch.  That is why this recipe was absolutely perfect.

With very little prep time, I was able to mix together this soup and throw it in the crock pot before we left for church and it was ready to eat when we got home a little after noon.  And based on the fact that everyone went back for seconds and there were no leftovers, I would say this Chicken Tortilla soup was a big hit at this pigpen.

Super Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup


  • 1/2 c. onion, chopped
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 10.75 oz. can cream of chicken soup
  • 10.75 oz. can Cheddar cheese soup
  • 10.5 oz. can chicken broth
  • 10 oz. can red enchilada sauce
  • 4 oz. can chopped green chiles
  • 1 deli roast chicken, boned and shredded
  • Garnish: shredded Cheddar cheese, sour cream fresh cilantro, tortilla chips/strips

Cooking Directions

  1. In a stock pot over medium heat, saute onion in oil until tender and golden. Add remaining ingredients except garnish; stir. Bring to a boil. Add to slow cooker and cover and cook on high for 2 hours. At serving time, ladle into soup bowls; add desired toppings.
  2. This recipe can also be prepared in a dutch oven by following the above directions except after bringing everything to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.

As a side note, I actually did my grocery shopping on Saturday morning and they didn't have any deli roast chickens hot off the rotisserie; however, they did have some in the refrigerator case and this was perfect for this recipe.  Also had I planned ahead I could have made my own chicken broth thank to this handy dandy tip in the Gooseberry Patch cookbook.  

Special thanks to Gooseberry Patch for providing me with this great cookbook to try and share with you. If you would like to purchase this or other cookbooks, please visit their store. Additionally, this post does contain an affiliate link.


Sunday, May 3, 2015

For the love of the farm

I've shared what my favorite part of being a farmer is, but often I'm asked what is the kids' favorite part about growing up on a farm.  Their answers often vary, depending on the day and what's on the docket for the day.  I know living on a farm is not always easy, but then there are days like today that let me know for sure they truly love it.

Big Sissy had a track meet today and I know she is exhausted after competing in 3 events:  high jump, 400, and the 200.  (She had personal bests and set new school records in the high jump and 400.)  Yet after getting home from the track meet, she headed to our monthly 4-H meeting and is now out in the barn cleaning the pens of the 4-H pigs.  If that isn't love, I don't know what is.

Big Sissy clearing 4' 5"

Bubby is always wanting to help on the farm and today he received a big promotion.  We aren't quite ready to just turn him lose, but Bubby got to do this

Bubby's solo driving debut

for the first time ever today by himself.  He is still on cloud 9 and is probably going to have a tough time falling asleep tonight.

And then there is Little Sissy who was sad I made her come inside to get ready for bed.  She wants to be right there helping Big Sissy or riding in the tractor with Daddy.  As a half-day kindergarten student that spends her afternoons on the farm, I often think she knows more about what is going on than the rest of us as she listens to every one's conversations.

Seeing their love of the land and animals is an amazing feeling for this mom.
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