Category Archives: Oak Cliff

Roasting Whole Pastured Chickens: Everything You Need To Know

July 31st, 2014

In case you haven’t heard, the Urban Acres Meat Share is here!  If you’re already receiving a produce share, you can now add on a meat share of 100% Pasture-Raised Chicken and/or Grass-Fed/Grass-Finished Beef.

Andy trying a Gundermann fig

Andy trying a fresh fig at a local farm

In honor of the new meat shares, we thought that everyone should know how to perfectly roast a whole pastured chicken.  Here’s a tutorial straight from our UA staffer and food connoisseur, Andy Minton.

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Whole Roast Chickens

roast chicken

Mike and Connie Hale and family

Mike and Connie Hale and family

The chicken we sell at Urban Acres is 100% pasture-raised from Mike and Connie Hale’s Windy Meadows Family Farm in Northeast Texas.  Their chickens are hatched on site, ensuring a stress-free start. They are not only cage-free and free-range, but pastured, meaning that the chickens live out their days in fresh air and sunlight. They receive organic feed free-choice to supplement the nutrition they receive from their natural diet, which includes insects and their pasture grasses, which have been pesticide and herbicide free for nearly thirty years.

Most of Windy Meadows’ whole chickens are called “fryers.” This means they’re between 2.5 and 4 pounds total. They are sold without gizzards/innards for ease of roasting (they use these components in-house to reduce waste). If you’re looking for gravy, they are all sold neck-on. Keep the neck for gravy. Seriously.

Roast these whole chickens. This is the recipe to use.  Know this concept. It is the best way to cook a whole chicken. End of story.

Don’t bother trussing the old way with butcher’s twine. Do this. It’s easy.

If you’re not cooking for a family/new girlfriend, let it rest for 15 minutes under an aluminum foil tent. Then eat it with the fingers. Don’t forget the “oyster.” It’s the best part. If you don’t roast chickens, you’ve never eaten one. The cooks eat them before plating.

Or carve them this wayCarving will look ugly your first 5-10 times, but then it magically becomes showroom pretty.

Keep the bones/carcass to make your own chicken stock.  Here’s a great tutorial.

Summer At The Farmstead

July 29th, 2014

Have you been by the Farmstead lately?  On one side of the building, the edible cactus and container gardens are flourishing.  While you’re there, take a photo op on the tractor donated by Farmer Dan.

farmstead tractor summer 2014-2

On the other side, “the girls of the coop” are enjoying their summer too, especially when they get organic food scraps from our kitchen.  We swear those chickens eat better than us sometimes!

farmstead chickens july 2014

The patio is constantly evolving, surrounded by reclaimed wood planters full of native plants and herbs.

farmstead flowers

farmstead chocolate mint

Feel free to touch and smell them…they’re for you to learn!    We also use these fresh herbs in our Farmstead kitchen.

farmstead rosemary

And don’t worry about the heat – our new mister fans will keep you cool while you enjoy some good eats…

farmstead misters

…like our new homemade quiche made with local and organic ingredients.

farmstead quiche

And Artisan Pizza & Ice Cream on Fridays & Sundays…

farmstead pizza

We also have locally-brewed kombucha, Crazy Water, refreshing salads, plentiful local produce, and more to help you beat the heat.

Follow us on Instagram @urbanacres for more photos and current happenings.  Hope to see you this weekend!

Local Figs Are Back!

July 24th, 2014

Figs from Gundermann Acres

Exciting announcement: for the first time in two years, all the co-op style produce shares this weekend will have local figs from Gundermann Acres in Wharton County, TX!  We’ll also have extra figs for sale at the Farmstead.  If you’ve never had these local, sweet delectable figs from the Gundermanns, you’re in for a treat, friends.

Here are some photos we just received from the Gundermanns showing your figs in the field… gundermann figs july 2014-1

gundermann figs july 2014-2

gundermann figs july 2014-3

gundermann figs july 2014-5

Can’t wait to get our hands on these!

Bonus: figs are super nutritious too.  Figs are high in natural simple sugars, minerals, and fiber. Figs are fairly rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and manganese.

Figs are often recommended to nourish and tone the intestines because they are a very good source of fiber. They are also a good source of potassium, an important consideration in helping to control blood pressure. Figs are among the most highly alkaline foods, making them useful in supporting the proper pH of the body.

You’re probably just going to want to pop these in your mouth and eat them whole…but if you want a recipe, here are a few ideas…

The Perfect Granola

July 14th, 2014

If you’ve been to the Farmstead, you’ve probably snagged a bag of “The Perfect Granola,” our Urban Acres original, well, perfect granola recipe.  We’re proud to say it’s also made with the very best 100% organic ingredients: rolled oats, shredded coconut, chopped pecans, cane sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, coconut oil, & maple syrup.

For your convenience, very soon The Perfect Granola will be available as an “add-on” to your produce share so you can get it at your pickup location with your produce.  The more people eating The Perfect Granola, the better!  That’s what we say.

perfect granola 2perfect granola 1

RIP, Dolly

July 7th, 2014

On Saturday, we lost our Alpha hen, Dolly.   Our staffer Anita who so lovingly takes care of the girls of the coop at the Farmstead says, “Dolly had been moving slowly the last week or so.   She laid an egg about every 5 or 6 days until a couple of weeks ago. She had slowly relinquished her head chicken position to Ginger.”

Here is a recent photo of Dolly eating one of her favorite foods…lettuce!
Dolly-lettuce

We’ll miss you, Dolly!

4th of July BBQ, Plant Sale, & Raffle Supporting our Veterans

July 4th, 2014

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Finish off your Independence Day weekend celebrating the men and women who helped make it possible, our veterans! This Sunday, July 6th, we’ll be hosting an event at the Farmstead benefiting two organizations that empower our warriors back into society through sustainable agriculture – Eat the Yard and Warriors that Farm. This event will allow you to fill your stomach with some delicious eats and go home with some treats, while celebrating and supporting our brave countrymen and local farmers.

What to expect (besides a good time!):

Explore Your Green Thumb

  • Organic transplants and seedlings provided by Eat the Yard and Urban Acres
  • Victory Seeds offers rare, open-pollinated, non-GMO, non-hybrid, heirloom organic seeds to home gardeners. All seeds are harvested locally by Eat the Yard.

Raffle

  • 1st prize: chicken coop installed in your backyard (Urban Chicken Ranching)
  • 2nd prize: raised garden bed installed in your back yard (Eat the Yard)
  • 3rd prize: Compost Tumbler (Eat the Yard)

Good Eatin’

  • Beef Brisket Sandwiches from Falster Farms, a nonprofit “Healing the Man by Healing the Land.” Find out more about this incredible organization empowering our veterans and future farmers.
  • Homemade BBQ Sauce from UA chef Kent using local tomatoes.
  • We’ll also have our Homemade Artisan Pizza & Ice Cream that we have every Sunday.  Special chefs Steven (UA founder) and Joe (our CEO) will be jumping in the kitchen to help out!

1495532_244750075710118_163715541_nProceeds from seeds, plants, and raffle tickets will benefit Eat the Yard, a veteran owned and operated urban farming business right here in Oak Cliff!  Find out more about them on their Facebook page or website.