Why Farm Raised?

This is a fine question for those that ever think of the source of their food consumed.  Exactly what does it mean? Well, first off, it does not mean the cheapest.  The cheapest is—well, just that, cheap.  It’s akin to wanting a Nerf gun with all the coolness of Nerf and going to a dollar store to get one—-kindly excuse this PFO’s country expression—“Ain’t goin’ to happen.”


Dresses are a thing, a real BIG thing for this PFO.  Yet though the event is not about the dress, it surely makes an impact.  Just take a quick gander at all the lovely wedding facebook/instagram pages out in cyber-space.  Yes!  The dress does help!  What guy ever wants to marry a gal in sloppy, sack-of-a-dress dress?  So what’s the point?  This,  the things we choose do make a difference in our lives.  Food is no different, no different at all.


Just as a stone dropped in water affects the water to the very edge, so too do our decisions about food.

We ‘vote’, so to speak, with with our money.  And just as a stone is dropped into the water and gently ripples out to the very edge of the stream, so too our money affects our food and how it is produced.  We tell the world what is important to us through our dollars, and how we spend them.  If we are willing to spend good money on a good dress, should we also not be willing to spend good money on good, real food?  For our good food choices will add far more to the length and quality of our lives over any chosen dress (this PFO is fainting slightly at this thought!).


Here at Blue Rock Horses & Farm, our mantra is:  Know the Farmer, Know the Farm.  You are invited to come visit us at any time (except between 6 p.m.-5 a.m. as we go to bed with the chuckles!). We would sure enjoy showing you how we do things out here on this little farm.  This little farm, full of good and carefully cared for animals/food, that has been entrusted to us.  We, this PFO and FH, take this very seriously.


Know the farmer.  Know the farm. 









Are We eating Lunch Here?

The morning broke with clouds and rain.  The outing was to be cancelled.  That at least was the plan.  But the best laid plans of mice and men…


So at 7:30 a.m. that very morning word came, the elderly folks were indeed making their trip to visit the farm and would arrive at 10:30.  This place was not the place to be for those well-organized minded folks.  Instantly, the farm turned into a ‘just-been-hit’ beehive!  A place needed to be cleared in the garage for the visitors.  Do not miss that point–-in the garage!   Say it ain’t so!   This room has the strictest of orders to not be open to visitors, and now it must receive guests?   To say orders were flying like a mad Army sergeant is polite speak.  How does one turn ‘messy, dirty’ into ‘marvelous, and delightful’ in less than 3 hours, get 6 bedraggled horses looking beautiful, gather up chickens that do not like rain, and keep wet dogs away from dry visitors?


The visitors were indeed coming in spite of the rain!  In the garage of all places!!


Whoopie is eager to greet our guests.


Teamwork!  That is what gets it done.  Everyone knew their job that had to be done to make it lovely for our special guests, and they did it and then some. So special thanks go out to Helen Bricker, the Activities Co-ordinator at Westminster-Canterbury, who planned the outing,  Josh Dudley, her able-bodied boyfriend, and Sarah Stanley, our capable horse-handler and riding student here at the farm.  A hearty, hearty Thank YOU!!



Sarah, and Helen showing the Bigs to our special guests.


The chuckles made everyone happy by their appearance!


A hearty, hearty Thank You to all those that worked fast and hard to get this put together with last minute plan changes!

Homemade is Best

Know the farmer, know the farm.





Persimmons, Our Sweet Memory

Three years ago next month we drove away for the last time.  We knew it was coming, and had been preparing for it over two years.  That made it none the easier.  We were packing up and leaving our mothers’ beloved home, Tag-Along Farm in Alleghany County, Virginia.  It had been sold, and the time had come for our final adieu.  We two sets of twins had buried our mother, emptied the house, divided up those treasures we wanted and hoped would remind us of the twenty-five plus years we have so loved this land and farm our mother was devoted to.


The persimmons are ripe!


The four miniature horses, left from Mom’s many years of breeding, showing and selling miniatures,  came to live with this PFO.  They have been happily living here on the new farm for over two years.  Instagram, texting and emails are a fun and easy way to keep everyone up-to-date on the Littles and what they are doing.  They are busy entertaining folks who visit out here at Blue Rock Horses & Farm.  They love company, attention, and especially treats.  They all are seniors, BR being the oldest.  He is 30 years old.  They were all foaled on our mother’s farm.  The pressure is on, for this PFO has three sets of eyes lovingly interested in their welfare!  It is an easy, privileged job.


BR is the oldest.  He is 30 years old.


And now the persimmons are ripe and dropping off the trees.

Clearing fence rows has been a big, ongoing job our Farm Manager, who has deftly handled this mess for the past several months.  He is big, and taking on big jobs is extra-fun for him.  This is good, because these fence rows have not seen a trimming in many years.  The best part—he has cleared out the persimmon trees!  If the Littles could speak, they would be cheering!


It took no time for Raggedy to ask for his treat!


Snowbell knew exactly what was in store for her.


They ate them so fast, a photo could not catch it!


Yum, yum, Gone!  Clarette says.

So as the sweet treats are joyfully consumed by the chunky, happy minis, this PFO drifts back to a sweet time in younger days.   Days on a beloved farm laughing and sharing life with our mother and one another.   Sweet, sweet persimmons…

Wrap it like a Baby

“Wrap it like a baby.  This is the most important part of yogurt making,”  the cooking instructor told the class, “and put it someplace warm.”  That was over twenty years ago at a cooking class taken from a local restaurant.


Making homemade yogurt from fresh milk is satisfying, yet specific.  Every time this PFO makes a batch, the kitchen is transformed back to that cooking class, as every step of the process is mimicked by that excellent teacher.


Measure four cups of fresh whole milk into a very clean stainless steel pot that has been rinsed out with water but not wiped dry.  Set on medium/high heat.



Measure 4 cups fresh cold milk.


Use very clean stainless steel pot that has been rinsed out with cold water (do not dry it).

Now the careful watching begins.  This is the most time consuming part of the process.  Watch and stir, watch and stir.  The milk must get just under the point of boiling.  On a medium-high heat, this may take 20-30 minutes.  Be patient and watch.  At the moment it very nearly begins to boil, remove from heat.  This starts the cooling step.  Every 10 minutes stir the milk.  Let sit, stir again, repeat. This step takes about 30 minutes.


Test the temperature of the milk by dipping little finger into milk.  It should feel very warm.

When the milk has cooled to very warm, it  will be ready to have a spoonful of yogurt (from a previous batch) gently blended in.  After stirring gently into milk, transfer to a plastic container with a tight lid.  The next step—Wrap it like a Baby!


When milk has cooled to a nice warm temperature, gently blend in a spoonful of yogurt from a previous batch.


Wrap it like a Baby!!  Place in warm spot for 6 hours.  Do not Disturb!!

Your batch of delicious homemade yogurt will need to grow for 6 hours in a warm spot.  Do not disturb!  After six hours of growing, your milk will have magically transformed into a beautiful tub of homemade yogurt.  There is hardly anything any better on it than a dollop of local honey!  Enjoy!!



After 6 hours of growing you will have a beautiful tub of yogurt, made by you!


Fresh homemade yogurt with local honey poured over top.  Delicious!!

Homemade is best.

Know the farmer know the farm.