FARMcurious

to educate, inspire and equip the urban homesteader

The FARMcurious Blog

Volunteers Needed for Eat Real Fest

Many of our followers have expressed interest in volunteering at our events – and for that we’re incredibly grateful!  We do several large events every year and it takes a lot of hands to pull it off. One of our busiest events of the year is coming up – Eat Real Fest in Oakland – and we’ll need a good number of dedicated volunteers so if you’re interested in volunteering read the details below then shoot us an email to be added to our volunteer list.   Dates and Times: Thursday, Sept 20 – 5-9:30pm is set-up day.  We’ll set up in… more

September 5th, 2012 | No Comments

How To Turn A Mason Jar Into A Fermenting Crock

Welcome to our guest blogger Erica Strauss who joins us from her blog NW Edible Life, one of our favorite urban gardening/simple living blogs.  I’ve admired Erica’s writing and work from afar but when I saw her post on using reCAP to make a DIY fermenting crock from a simple mason jar, I knew I not only needed to carry reCAP in the store, but I also needed Erica to share her post with the FARMcurious crowd!  We’re happy to host her clever fermenting crock article here: You can spend a lot of money on specialized pickling crocks. Go ahead, be my… more

August 14th, 2012 | 7 Comments

Small garden tips and a book giveaway

My very favorite Bay Area gardening book is Golden Gate Gardening, a work of genius written by Pam Peirce.  I love the book so much that when I speak to serious SF Bay Area gardeners and find that they don’t own it I’m shocked.  I reference it anytime I plant something new and frequently before harvesting a new crop.  If you’re growing veggies here in our climate, I consider it a must-have, which is why I’m going to give one away this month. Here’s why you need Golden Gate Gardening:  The climate in the San Francisco Bay area is unlike any… more

April 15th, 2012 | 21 Comments | Tags: , ,

A Fermentation Primer

Fermentation is an age-old practice that may date back to as many as 12,000 years ago during the Paleolithic period. That said, it’s a practice that holds as much value today as it did thousands of years ago.  Not only is fermentation a time-honored way to preserve the harvest or create a mind-altering beverage, it’s also a healthful and natural way to boost the nutritional value of the food. History: According to Sandor Katz the author of “Wild Fermentation”, early methods of fermentation may date back to as early at the Paleolithic era, 12,000 years ago based upon evidence found… more

April 10th, 2012 | 1 Comment | Tags: , ,

How to make sauerkraut

Fermenting cabbage into a cultural delicacy such as sauerkraut or kimchi is an age-old practice that is still appreciated today; indeed is experiencing a renaissance of sorts.   The good folks at Cultured in Berkeley plus the popularity of a class we’re teaching at Workshop in SF on April 28 can attest to this new-found love of sour things.  How could we help but be inspired to write this post on how to make delicious fermented kraut and kimchi? Perhaps you read our earlier post about fermentation and the benefits of raw, fermented foods or maybe you’ve just always known you… more

April 9th, 2012 | No Comments | Tags: , , ,

The glories and the trials of farm-fresh eggs

It’s indisputable that free-range and farm-fresh are the best type of egg you will ever eat.  With their steep, rich yolks, orange as a midwestern sunrise and their thick whites that don’t run across the pan, they astonish the newly indoctrinated.  The variety of colors heritage breeds lay can take your breath away before you’ve even cracked the thing open. If the appearance isn’t enough to convince you of the superiority of a backyard egg, fresh eggs also boast a flavor like no other -rich and almost sweet at the same time with none of the heavy, slightly off flavor… more

April 4th, 2012 | 3 Comments | Tags: ,

How to peel a farm-fresh egg

Have you ever tried to peel a super-fresh egg straight from the backyard or farm and found yourself hovering over a piled of shredded egg pieces wondering what went wrong? Yeah, me too.  I suspect all us backyard chicken-tenders have.  Lucky you, I’m about to blow your mind with a little-known trick for peeling the freshest egg you can find.   Here’s the trick: Cook the eggs to your liking: My preferred method of preparing soft boiled eggs is to add the eggs to cold water in the pan.  Hell, add a little baking soda if you’re a believer.  Turn… more

April 4th, 2012 | 91 Comments | Tags: ,

Our backyard homestead infant death trap

When you don’t yet have a child, you don’t really realize how toddler unfriendly your home is.  It takes a pint-size visitor or two to open your eyes enough to see that your backyard homestead could be an infant death trap. I used to be of the rather selfish mind that it was the parent’s responsibility to keep their child safe and out of trouble when they visited my house.  Now that I’m three months away from having a child of my own all the preconceived notions are melting away. This all came to light about a month ago when… more

March 2nd, 2012 | 4 Comments

Guidelines for Gift Swap/Seed Exchange at our Underground Homesteading Party

We’re hosting another Gift Swap event during our Underground Homesteading Party and we couldn’t be more excited!  We’re also adding an heirloom seed exchange component this year so bring the heirloom seeds you’ve saved to trade with other enthusiasts!  We’ve had a lot of questions regarding how the swap will work  so we thought we’d include some guidelines. How it works: We anticipate this part of the event to last about an hour.  Starting at 5:45pm you can begin setting out your items to trade.  From 6pm-6:30 you will be able to walk around and see what items others have… more

February 26th, 2012 | No Comments

Fishing for Answers on Nutrition

It seems the more we learn about nutrition and food the more we wonder what we should really be eating in an ideal world.  The answers don’t come easily.  For every study that indicates a benefit to a food, it seems there’s an equally good reason not to consume that item.  In fact my best friend’s husband just produced the first episode of a podcast series on nutrition which touches on the challenges involved in choosing a meal in light of all the conflicting information available. While it’s true that I eat many things that don’t fit into the ideal… more

February 25th, 2012 | 1 Comment

Holiday Gift Trade at our Underground Holiday Party

We’re hosting our first Gift Trade event during our Underground Holiday Party and we couldn’t be more excited!  We’ve had a lot of questions regarding how the holiday gift trade will work and since it’s our first go at it, we thought we’d include some guidelines. How it works: We anticipate this part of the event to last about an hour.  Starting at 5:45pm you can begin setting out your items to trade.  From 6pm-6:30 you will be able to walk around and see what items others have brought.  If you see something you like, write down your name and… more

December 2nd, 2011 | No Comments

Dec 10th – 2nd Annual FARMcurious Underground Holiday Party

Sample delicious homemade creations while you explore your homesteading wish list and learn a new skill!  Our second annual Underground Holiday Party will be part DIY food demos, part holiday shopping and all party. Join us at the super swanky St Regis Hotel in San Francisco for an afternoon of tasty snacks and holiday fun.   Schedule: 3pm – Cheesemaking 101: Making Fresh Chevre for your Holiday Celebrations 4pm – Home-Canned Goods as Holiday Gifts 5pm – Making Backyard (or Farmer’s Market) Fruit Wine 6-7pm – Holiday Gift Trade – bring handcrafted food items, body care products or other homemade… more

November 17th, 2011 | No Comments

Results for the Eat Real Raffle!

Thanks so much to everyone who came to our Eat Real Fest booth and participated in our drawing!  We had an amazing time meeting and talking to all of your and handed out hundreds of raffle tickets for our giveaway are are so excited about the drawing. Thanks especially to those of you who posted comments and photos to Twitter – the social media love was spectacular and let’s face it- we were way too busy to do our own tweeting! Here are some photos posted by some of our Twitter followers along with the results of the raffle: Without… more

September 26th, 2011 | 4 Comments

Visit us at Eat Real Fest in Oakland and win!

Everyone loves a good contest right?  We’ve been trying to think of a great way to host a giveaway at Eat Real Festival in Oakland and with the help of some Facebook friends, I think we came up with something really fun. There are three ways to enter: 1) Visit our booth at Eat Real Fest this weekend and spend money!  For every $10 you spend you’ll receive a raffle ticket for a prize. 2) Visit our booth at Eat Real Fest and take a picture of any part of the booth, us or our products.  Post the picture on… more

September 23rd, 2011 | 2 Comments

A Backyard Wine-Making Kit is Born

Last year around this time I wrote a post about my education in wine-making.  I originally thought it would be great to carry a wine-making kit in the FARMcurious store; after all, I did already carry a beer-making kit.  I saw that many of the brew stores had them for a few hundred dollars, which honestly seemed like a lot so I started asking questions. As it turns out making wine at home from grapes is a huge endeavor.  You generally have to make it in large batches because you order the wine grapes by the pallet load when they’re… more

September 20th, 2011 | 1 Comment