Category: Farmhouse Living

Autumn Cleanup and Maintenance Made Easy

At Serendipity Farmhouse we have a plan to make Autumn cleanup and maintenance easy. It may not be the world’s best plan, but it works for us. Perhaps some of our tips for cleanup and maintenance will work for you too.

lawn tractor blues

Hi! Ol’ Fuzz Face here.

Despite what my 24-pound, Maine Coon cat tells you in his posts, I’m the one who does the real work around here. – More precisely, I do what Miss Blondie tells me to do – or else.

That said, Blondie and I both know, we would get nothing done if we didn’t have a plan. So, Let’s talk about our 2023 Autumn Cleanup Plan and how it works.

How we make our Autumn cleanup easy.

We’ve been living in our beloved Serendipity Farmhouse for almost 10 years. The seasons here follow a pattern unique to the Blue Ridge and rural life. We synchronize our tasks and chores to that pattern. With each passing year, we are more attuned to that pattern.

Lesson Learned: We let the pattern of life and experiences of preceding years be our guide. Because we do, our Autumn cleanup planning becomes easier every year.

Best Use of Time & Effort

Early Autumn is a tricky time of year. One day it’s in the 80’s and clear, the next day it’s in the 40’s and rainy. We’ve learned that our cleaning plan must be flexible. So, we break down our work by indoor and outdoor chores. On good days, we work on the three outbuildings, the yard, and the gardens. On rainy days, we work inside to put the house in order before the holidays arrive.

October 2023 was for outdoor work.

This October has been very dry. With just a few exceptions, we were able to complete almost all of our outdoor work before we headed out on our last RV trip of the year.

Miss Blondie and I tackled Vegetable Garden #1 first. We weeded the asparagus and cleared out the old plant debris from all the boxes. The we turned over the soil and added a layer of new soil and our own compost to each. Finally, we planted almost two box sections of garlic.

Outbuilding Autumn Cleanup

In our post How to Have a Firewood Party, you saw how the woodshed had to be cleaned and how the new firewood was stored in the shed. Well, thanks to the previous owner of SFH, we also have a large storage shed with three ground-level bays and an upper storage area. During the Summer, it gets exceptionally dirty. Additionally, all the hornets and wasps in these parts think our shed is the perfect place to set up housekeeping.

My sweet and industrious wife tells me that I must play the role of the nasty landlord and evict all the unwanted tenants. Once they’ve been removed, Miss Blondie insists that each bay must be cleaned to the same standards as a room at the Inn at Little Washington. – It comes down to a simple question: Stinging Insects or Unhappy Wife? As you can see, the shed is getting cleaner every day.

Autumn cleanup made easy

Outbuilding #3 – The Portal to Hades

I usually don’t admit my fears. But as you saw in Mr. Monte’s post My Security Staff Jackwagons, I have been very unhappy with Monte’s employee Rusty the Rat Snake. The well house has always been a place of dread for me. Rusty has only made it worse.

Well, I finally mustered the nerve to enter this place of dirt and filth, infested with vermin of every kind. In fact, I was actually somewhat proud of myself when I saw the progress I had made.

Yes, I was really proud of myself for being so brave. I went into that Portal to Hades, and I had survived.

That is when reality hit me in the face, almost literally. – As I was making a victory lap around the well house with the leaf blower, I encountered this guy, just six inches from my nose.

Autumn cleanup made easy

Next year, maybe I can talk Son-in-law #1 into cleaning the well house. It’s worth a try.

Here’s what our Autumn Cleanup List looks like today.

Now you know how we go about our Autumn cleanup. Here’s the list of what we’ve done so far, and what we have yet to do.

Autumn cleanup made easy
SFH Autumn Cleanup List

How to Have a Firewood Party

The important question is not “How to move the firewood?”, the question is “How to have a firewood party?”. Let me tell you how my two humans, with my help, realized this fundamental fact of life and have used it to everyone’s advantage.

Mr. Monte

Hi! Mr. Monte here.

Each and every one of my 23,417 faithful feline followers can attest to the fact that living with humans is rather awkward at times. They’re not really very bright and evolution has not favored them as it has the cat family.

That’s why we cats sometimes have to take matters into our own paws. – Life has been so much better now that Blondie and Ol’ Fuzz face learned from what I taught them about the proper use of incentives.

This Year’s Firewood Panic

firewood part

Every year my two humans find two or three cords of firewood sitting in a huge pile in the East 40. When the wood arrives, they immediately go into a panic because they know they have to move all that firewood to the woodshed, which is all the way over in the West 40.

Ol’ Fuzz Face is completely useless when this annual firewood panic sets in. He can be seen turning around in small circles trying to figure out what to do first. – Should he start moving wood? No, because the shed needs to be cleaned. Should he start cleaning the shed? No, because the wood carts are full of gardening debris. And so it goes on and on.

That’s where I have to calm him down, smooth his ruffled feathers, and give him an easy to follow, step-by-step plan. – First, empty the carts. Next, clean the shed. Finally, find someone strong and fit to move the wood.

Finding someone strong and fit to move the wood is where Fuzzy messed up bigtime. – When I said that, I meant he was to do the job. But no, the lazy lout declared himself less than strong and fit due to an ancient, perfectly healed hernia. That’s when he tried to get sweet Miss Blondie to move all the wood. After moving a few loads, Miss Blondie realized she’d been hoodwinked. She had enough and shared her thoughts with Fuzzy. It wasn’t a very pleasant exchange. – If Miss Blondie were a cat, she would have to bite Fuzzy on the ankle.

Genesis of the Firewood Party

After his encounter with Miss Blondie, Ol’ Fuzz Face recognized that he was in deep trouble. That firewood still had to be moved and he wouldn’t have a moment of peace from Miss Blondie until the job was done.

Being somewhat sane and sound of mind, Ol’ Fuzz Face came to me for my sage advice. I told him the problem was entirely of his own making. He had to man up and take charge. I suggested that he could make use of incentives. – It works with me. Give me treats and good food and I will do tricks for you.

And that’s when the light came on inside his fuzzy old head!

We’re going to have a firewood party!

Ol’ Fuzzy told Miss Blondie his (my) plan. They made the arrangements. Daughter #1 would have her family assemble at Serendipity Farmhouse for the First Annual Firewood Party. – Because Fuzz Face was such a failure at management, Miss Blondie would oversee the day’s work.

The Apple Blossom Crew did a fantastic job under the close supervision of Foreman Blondie!

Even Fuzzy realized that having a firewood party had to be fun. That was the incentive. However, Fuzzy might have gone a bit too far when he thought it would be fun teaching Son-in-law #1 how to drive the lawn tractor. From my vantage point, it looked like lives were in danger.

Fortunately, no one got hurt. But it only reinforces my thought that Fuzzy should always be kept under adult supervision.

firewood party

Now Miss Blondie, on the other hand, really knows how to keep the crew at a firewood party happy. She made sure that no one went hungry or thirsty. – She even gave me some snacks!

Finally, after hours of hard work and more fun together than we’ve had in a long, it was time to celebrate.

To my astute readers, although this was the first official Serendipity Farmhouse Firewood Party, it was not the first time that moving firewood was made fun with the help of family. For example, read the posts here and here.

If you’d like to see more of the fun times at the firewood party, check out the video below.

My Security Staff Jackwagons

I hoped that a day would never come when I would have to admit that a member of my security staff was a jackwagon. But the day did come. The truth is I hired, not one, but two rejects from namby-pamby land. Now it’s my job to square away these miserable jackwagons.

Kaiju Cat

Hi! Mr. Monte here! – To my 23,417 feline followers, especially my many cat cousins residing in Virginia and Ohio, it’s time to talk.

You well know that I am an award-winning Chief of Security. I take great pride in the Serendipity Farmhouse Security Center. That’s why it’s doubly painful to report this black mark on my security career. – I will correct this breach in discipline and decorum.

Background & Fuzzy’s Charges

As you may recall in my post New Hire, I reported hiring Rusty the rat snake and the composition of my security staff.

Rusty rounds out our Security Department with his ability to identify and engage security threats at ground level and below. Meanwhile, Lightning, our broad-winged hawk, has secured the skies over SFH and Bronto the bear has ensured the integrity of our perimeter areas.

Things had been going pretty well on the security front. Or at least they were going well until Ol’ Fuzz Face came into my office a few weeks ago. His face was red. His breathing was heavy. He looked really angry. He confirmed my observation when he slammed his fist down on my desk.

I said, “Whoa! Hold on there, Fuzzy! What’s got you so worked up?”

He quickly responded, “I want you to fire that fat bear and that slimy snake right now! Either you get rid of them, or I’m going to throw all of your cat treats into the compost bin!”

It took a while for me to calm Fuzzy down. When he finally quit his rant and had collected his thoughts, he made his formal charges against Bronto and Rusty. – Although I usually don’t take Fuzzy very seriously, this time it appeared he had valid complaints.

The Investigation

Following are my official investigatory findings with regard to the charges brought against security staffers Bronto the Bear and Rusty the Rat Snake.

my security staff

Charge: Skylarking – On or about September 3, 2023, some entity severely damaged the southeast corner of Vegetable Garden #1. – There being no other creature in the vicinity strong enough to inflict such damage, Bronto the bear is the prime suspect. Additionally, he has been implicated in similar crimes throughout Sperryville.

Charge: Littering and destruction of an SFH rental property – During the Summer of 2023 a rat snake occupied and caused malicious damage to the SFH Well House. There was evidence that several wild parties had been held there.

my security staff
my security staff

This photo shows that discarded snakeskin actually surrounds a key filtering component of the SFH water system. This filter must be replaced every three months. Ol’ Fuzz Face is responsible for this task. It is obvious that this littering and befoulment rendered the entire Well House a biohazard site.

Rusty the Rat Snake rents the SFH Well House, and the photos demonstrate that he has been exceedingly lax in cleaning the rental property. This is in direct violation of the rental agreement.

Captain’s Mast & Non-judicial Punishment

Based on the findings in the investigation of Fuzzy’s charges, I recognized that I had no choice but hold a Captain’s Mast for my two jackwagon employees. In the case of Bronto the Bear, the evidence was circumstantial but very compelling. – I found him guilty and suspended his pay for two months.

The case against Rusty the Rat Snake was open and shut. I had no choice but to dock his pay for six months and reduce him in rate to Security Officer Third Class. I advised him that if this happens again, he’ll be in for a general court-martial.

It’s a hard job, but it must be done.

As the SFH Chief of Security, I sometimes have to lay down the law. That not only goes for outsiders, but it also includes my security staff as well. This is not namby-pamby land, this is the reality of living at Serendipity Farmhouse. There is no place for jackwagons here!

If you want to know how I handle problems with my security staff, watch this video.

We Need Your Help

Dear Friends & Followers, we at Serendipity Farmhouse need your help.

Blondie, Mr. Monte, and I have been working hard to develop our blog Our goal is to provide folks like you with interesting and entertaining content. We focus on our simple, faith-centered, farmhouse life. The blog presents our take on cooking, gardening, RVing, and life with an overly intelligent, 24-pound Maine Coon Cat.

Your comments and suggestions to improve our format and content would be greatly appreciated.

We also need new subscribers. If you like our posts, share them with your friends.

Serendipity Farmhouse YouTube Channel

Recently, we started a Serendipity Farmhouse YouTube channel. We think the video format will add a useful dimension to the way we present the joys and foibles of farmhouse living. Learning videography techniques has been a challenge, but we’re getting better. Today, we’re premiering a video demonstrating Julia Child’s recipe The Way to Cook Chicken in White Wine.

Earlier this week, we posted the recipe on this blog here. Today, we published a video version for our YouTube audience.

Here’s the link to the video:

The Way to Cook Chicken in White Wine

way to cook chicken

Please check out the video and tell us what you think. Your input will help us work out the bugs and make our channel worth your while. If haven’t already done so, please subscribe to our channel.

By the way, we know we need to work on our audio recording technique.Mr. Monte’s working on it now

Yes, we need your help. Your support means so much to us. Many thanks in advance and God bless! – Serendipity

Back in the Saddle Again!

Yahoo!! The lawn tractor vet returned my mighty yellow steed to Serendipity Farmhouse on Monday. They fixed her up and gave her a good cleaning. Upon seeing her back in the driveway, my Case of Lawn Tractor Blues😒 was instantly cured.

Early on Tuesday morning, I saddled her up and we mowed the north 40. After lunch, my old Cub Cadet and I took on the south 40. She was in fit form and more than up to the job. Yup, I’m back in the saddle again!

What it Means to be in the Saddle

Many, many years ago, I learned that some work can be enjoyable. Back then, I had the privilege to work with not just one, but several horses and ponies. I first took riding lessons and then graduated to being an instructor myself. When a hard day of work with student riders was over, I would take one of my favorite horses out riding bareback for an hour or two. In the 50s and 60s that was every boy’s dream. For me, it was a cherished reality.

As we were approaching Labor Day one year, Mr. Brown, the owner of the horses, asked me to represent his riding school in the Great Geauga County Fair. His sons were now too old for the fair, and he would be greatly pleased if I rode one of his horses in competition.

The Great Geauga County Fair is Ohio’s oldest continuous county fair and one of the oldest existing agricultural fairs in the nation. It was established in 1823, and it is held annually in Burton, Ohio every Labor Day weekend. I would ride my Favorite horse Buckeye in three different events, and I wore the #4 proudly on my back. – It just doesn’t get any better than that.

I took home some ribbons that day. And those ribbons were accompanied by memories that have lasted a lifetime.

From Horse to Lawn Tractor and Other Big Changes

Nearly sixty years have passed since that Labor Day, and I’ll probably not have another chance to ride a horse again. So, forgive me for my bit of fantasy about my mighty yellow steed. The hour or two that I spend mowing this vast 1.203-acre estate, allows me the time to think and dream, just as I did back in the days when I was riding old Buckeye.

There’s been one big change since the days when I was a lone rider. Back in the early 70s, I found a partner to ride with me. We’ve been riding together ever since.

lawn tractor

A Case of Lawn Tractor Blues😒

They say you should prepare for nasty seasonal diseases, but how can you prepare for the most frightening of them all – a case of lawn tractor blues? And this year it hit me hard. The weakness and pain persist. I’m only beginning to recover. – So, let me tell you how it struck; what I did to ease the pain; and the nearly miraculous cure.

Onset of the Lawn Tractor Blues

I felt the blues coming on at the worst possible time. The National Weather Service predicted a sustained heat wave. At the same time, Serendipity Farmhouse was in the midst of a severe drought. I was hot and tired, but the farmhouse chores had to be done.

lawn tractor blues

There’s a lot of rugged terrain on the vast 1.203-acre SFH estate. Even the best-made lawn tractors would only have a limited lifetime here. The rocks, holes, and ridges make it a rough ride for driver and tractor alike. On the 2nd of September, my Cub Cadet and I were both very weary.

This is what happened.

We were clearing leaves, mowing weeds, all the usual things. The north 40 was done, and we were just finishing off the south 40. That’s when it happened. The old Cub Cadet just stopped moving. – The motor was running. The blades were spinning. But we just stopped.

I checked everything I could. It seemed that the drive belt was still in place. With the little I had to go on, I had to conclude that the worst possible thing had happened. – It appeared that I had just witnessed the death of the tractor’s transmission. And along with that, I foresaw the death of large portion of emergency funds. (Fortunately, we plan ahead and have some emergency funds.)

Of course, it was a holiday weekend. Nothing could be done until Tuesday. When I finally talked to the repair tech, he said we’ll pick it up later this week.

On the scheduled day, I singlehandedly pushed my beloved tractor to the front drive. Later that day, they took it away.

Meanwhile, because it’s that time of year, I ordered two cords of firewood. – Like everything else, it cost more than last year.

lawn tractor blues

The Pain of Lawn Tractor Blues

Yep, my case of the lawn tractor blues was setting in hard. Then, when I talked to the repair service, it only got worse. Let’s just say the estimate for repair was somewhere around $1,800.00. – That’s when my dear wife Blondie and my erstwhile companion Mr. Monte caught the lawn tractor blues from me. – It was over 100 degrees outside, and inside we were all moaning from financial pain.

The firewood was coming soon. The tractor wouldn’t be fixed for many weeks to come. That meant that the Cub Cadet wouldn’t be available to haul wood to the shed. Every cartload would have to be pulled by hand. – I felt very sick, indeed!

A Nearly Miraculous Cure

Yesterday, I received a call from the tractor service repair technician. He had already told me that he was preparing to order the replacement transmission from Cleveland. So, I figured he had called to give me the final estimate. I had some tissue sitting next to me to wipe away the tears. – – – – I waited for his words with the same feeling of agony as someone awaiting the sound of the blade sliding down the guillotine.

“Sir, the problem with your lawn tractor isn’t quite what we originally thought. I had my technician bring it in so we could check it again. That’s when we found the oil residue around the front drive pulley. We also found a lot of oil on the drive belt.”

“Sir, it’s not often that I get to give this kind of good news to a customer. There’s nothing wrong with your transmission. The oil filter was loose and dripping oil on the belt. We tightened up the oil filter and replaced the drive belt. We can return your tractor next week – Of course there will be a service charge, but it will be nearly $1,500 dollars less than our original estimate. – Is that okay with you?”

Suddenly, all the symptoms of my case of lawn tractor blues disappeared. And when I told Blondie and Mr. Monte, they were instantly cured as well.

The Moral of this Story

Blondie and I prayed that things would work out for us. But we didn’t see how they could. And, as I’ve said all these many years, “Serendipity is the answer to a prayer you should have prayed but didn’t. – The moral of this story is: The cure for a case of lawn tractor blues is prayer and a little bit of Serendipity.

lawn tractor blues

Serendipity Farmhouse on YouTube Today

At the suggestion of family and friends, Serendipity Farmhouse now has a channel on YouTube. There’s only one humble video there now, but with your subscriptions and helpful comments, there will be some quality content in the coming months.

So, click on this link here to see our first video. If you like what you see, please hit the like button. If you want to see more in the future, please subscribe to our channel.

A Birthday to Crow About

Let me tell you all about my birthday. It was a birthday to crow about.

all about my birthday

Is a birthday just a party? Must there be balloons, cake, and ice cream? Is there some magic and mystery in the passing of a year? If you live here at Serendipity Farmhouse you really never have to ask, “What is it that makes a birthday special?”

That’s because you already know – Here at SFH, Birthdays are a great blessing from God.

Family Traditions

Our three children are grown and have their own wonderful children now. Over the years, they’ve created their own family birthday traditions. But when I have a birthday, each of my children makes a special effort to let me know how fondly they remember the time when we were all together. – This year, their special expressions of love for me have filled my heart with great joy. Thank you, sweet children. – I am blessed!

My Dear Friend

For 38 years, Nancy and I have shared in an enduring friendship. We’ve helped each other during hard times, and we’ve enjoyed the good times together. There are few things greater than having a good friend. – I am blessed!

This year, Nancy spent the day with me. I made a special meal using a recipe for Silver Palate Pasta. She gave me the recipe years ago. It’s a superb blending of garden-fresh cherry tomatoes and basil with linguine and melted brie – it was all so good.

After opening of presents and sharing in good food, Nancy, Hubby, and I made our way to my favorite Quievremont Vineyard & Winery for just a “splash” of wine.

A Birthday to Crow About

all about my birthday

My loving Hubby set the theme for this birthday. It was the combination of two of my great passions – simple French-style cooking and decorating my kitchen with every conceivable type of chicken.

Knowing that our favorite chef, Jacques Pépin, is also a painter and lover of chickens, Hubby decided on the perfect gift for me. And there it is hanging on my kitchen wall, an autographed print of Jacques’s painting Black and Yellow Rooster. Could there ever be a birthday present better than that?

But the Jacques Pépin-Chicken theme went on beyond the rooster print. Dear Hubby also presented me with Jacques Pépin Art of the Chicken: A Master Chef’s Paintings, Stories, and Recipes of the Humble Bird. And if that wasn’t enough, Son #1 also added to my Jacques Pepin collection with the book Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen.

It’s been a wonderful birthday with family and friends. You might even say it was a birthday to crow about. Yes, it’s what a every birthday should be – a great blessing from God.

A new specialty page for the SFH Blog

So, as my birthday week draws to a close, Hubby and I are making plans to have the Serendipity Farmhouse Test Kitchen staff try out many new recipes by one great, inspiring cook – Jacques Pépin. His Black and Yellow Rooster print will get to watch all the action. And if you’d like to see what we’re cooking from Jacques’s cookbooks, just check out our new blog page – Recipes by Jacques Pépin – Serendipity Farmhouse. (To see it, click here.)

Until next time – Happy Cooking!

Local Orchards Complete the Picture

It’s a weekend in August. You live near our Nation’s capital, and you’ve decided to spend a day sightseeing near Shenandoah National Park. As you’re heading west on US 211, the road narrows down to two lanes and the display at Jenkins’ Fruit Stand catches your eye. You can’t resist the thought of taking home some fresh apples, or cider, jams, and jellies. So, you slow down, pull over, and park near the stand. After all, this is what your daytrip was all about. – And by doing so, you will also take home with you the memory of your welcome to Sperryville and the orchards of Rappahannock County.

Our Farmhouse in a Food Oasis series of posts has shown you where we get our vegetables, meat and dairy. Now we will show how local orchards complete the picture. But the story of our local orchards is bittersweet. Long in decline, Rappahannock County had gone from nearly 1,000 acres in apple production in 1992 to only about 300 acres in 2004. Ironically, a global pandemic has revived interest in this once fading local food resource.

(For background on the history, decline, and revival of our local orchards, read these two stories: The Sweet, Sad State of Cider & Rappahannock orchards bask in robust apple season — thanks to the pandemic!)

A farm store with more

From our daytrips starting in the late-1980s, we knew that Rappahannock County had wonderful apple and peach orchards. So, Serendipity Farmhouse wasn’t going to have a problem sourcing those products.

For example, Jenkins’ Fruit Stand is just across the road from us. Just a little further down the road, but still within walking distance is Roy’s Farm Market. While the Jenkins’ Fruit Stand is a seasonal attraction, Roy’s is available to us year-round. – And Roy’s place is a farm store with a little bit more.

Rather than write what’s already been written about Roy’s, we’ll just give you some pictures taken a week ago. What’s important to us is that, in addition to fresh fruit and vegetables, the store is stocked with an array of grocery items that you might find in an Aldi’s store. That became an invaluable asset during the pandemic. – If you want to read the history of Roy’s Farm Market, check out the Rappahannock News story Roy’s Orchard: A farm store with more.

What’s on the inside at Roy’s?

And if that isn’t enough for you, as you enter the small complex of buildings and sheds filled with food, you will also find freezers containing beef, pork, fresh baked pies, and ice cream. – It’s all there.

Farmhouse in a Food Oasis – Summary

So, there you have it. We thought we might have made a mistake by moving to a rural county, where travel to major stores would be inconvenient or even dangerous. But I think you can plainly see from this series of posts that we had actually been blessed with more food options than we could have hoped or prayed for.

That, dear Friends, is the nature of ‘serendipity’ – it is the answer to the prayer you should have prayed for but didn’t. And that is why ours is a farmhouse in a food oasis.

A view of peach trees and the Blue Ridge Mountains from Roy’s Farm Market

Natural Farm Products – the Reality

From the beginning, we wondered where in Rappahannock County we could find the best natural farm products. We needed a reliable source for quality dairy and meats, but we didn’t know where to look. True, we were slowly learning that Serendipity is a Farmhouse in a Food Oasis. Nevertheless, it was surprising to learn that some of the best natural farm products were just a stone’s throw away. Let’s take a look at how Blondie and I found Reality Farm.

The story begins with goats.

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for goats. While still in Idaho, I developed a taste for goat milk cheese, and I wanted to learn how to make it myself. Unfortunately, goat milk is seldom available at local grocery stores. – One might say, I was a frustrated old goat.

It was in March of 2015 when dearest Blondie came to my rescue. Amazing internet researcher that she is, she soon found that a farm offering goat milk was located only 2.8 miles from us. – We made a call and scheduled a meeting. Within minutes after our arrival, I was the proud owner of half a goat (actually a half share).

Teri Guevremont then gave us a short tour of the farm. We learned that, in addition to goats, Reality raised dairy and beef cattle. It was an eye-opening tour, highlighted by a chance meet some of the new kids on the farm.

More than just a farm

Regular readers of this blog know well that Blondie and I have developed a great appreciation for Reality Farm and the collocated Quievremont Winery. There are many reasons for that. For example, the farm has become our primary source for grass-fed beef, eggs, raw milk.

But Reality is more than just a farm. It’s become a place where I can take my grandchildren and show them real farm life up close. For Blondie and me, the weekly trip to pick up our goat milk is a welcomed peace-filled moment. It’s a respite from the day’s routine. – Everybody should have moments like that.

What’s in the freezer? – What’s in the Fridge?

We’re reminded daily of our ties to Reality Farm. All we have to do is open up the freezer or the fridge.

High-quality, Economical Beef – How to keep the freezer full.

natural farm products

The SFH Test Kitchen has learned that buying a side of beef is much cheaper than buying individual cuts of meat. Buying in bulk saves money in the long run, but it requires a substantial up-front investment.

That’s why having a good friend like Tom is such a great blessing. Tom and I pool our purchasing power to buy an entire side of beef from Reality Farm. We then evenly divide the various cuts. – Here you can see a year’s worth of beef stored in our pantry freezer.

Fresh Dairy and Eggs for your fridge

On Monday mornings, Blondie and I make our weekly trip to Reality Farm. That’s when we pick up our half gallon of goat milk. – There it is on the bottom shelf, the second from the right. It was made just for us, and it has our name on it. – You can be 100% sure its fresh and wholesome!

By Wednesday, or Thursday morning at the latest, that half gallon will become tasty chèvre. – Check out this post to see how we make the cheese: Yes, now!

Who are your real friends? – The Reality

Just like the rest of you, Serendipity Farmhouse experienced hard times over the last three years. Here in Rappahannock County, friends and neighbors reached out to each other to give a helping hand. Blondie and I can’t think of one place that did more for the community than the combination of Reality Farm and Quievremont Winery. – Through the worst of times, their friends and neighbors always came first:

Reality Farm wants to assure all our friends and customers that we are continuing to operate and fulfill deliveries at this time. We are taking extra precautions at the farm and during our milk runs to ensure optimal safety of our employees and our patrons. … We are in this crisis together, but with hope, mutual support, and proper hygiene we’ll make it through. From all of us at Reality Farm: be safe and well!

It’s more than a food oasis.

Blondie and I left Idaho and the house of our dreams. We bought and old farmhouse “as is” and it became the house of our realities. The longer we live here the more we learn that ours is a farmhouse in a food oasis. But there is something more important here. These realities of our life here are blessings from God. – Reality Farm is one of those great blessings.

Reality Farm – The perfect backdrop for our 50th anniversary