to educate, inspire and equip the urban homesteader

The FARMcurious Blog

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 | 99 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

Making Fruit Wine

I’ve recently been toying with making fruit wine using the kits that I carry in the store.  The Backyard Fruit Wine Making Kit includes everything you need to make a delicious batch of just about any type of wine.  It’s not limited to fruit either – recipes range from currant wine to watermelon wine and everything in between (including corn and onion!!)  All you have to add is sugar and produce (fresh or even dried). I found myself with tons of strawberries at the peak of their freshness so I decided to try out the strawberry wine recipe.  The recipe… more

September 20th, 2011 | No Comments | Tags:

Going Quackers – Herding Runner Ducks

I’ve lamented plenty of times about the difficulty of finding a willing and able person to farm-sit while our modern lifestyle takes us to other exciting places.  You might have even read my last post about what has happened in the past when we left the farm for a bit.  Well, it’s happened again.  A few weekends ago, Jared and I went up north for some river rafting relaxation and after some desperate pleas for help a good friend of ours came to the rescue. We sent a long, descriptive list of do’s, don’ts and dares and she accepted the… more

September 1st, 2011 | 7 Comments

Jeremy Ogusky, our favorite new artist

We’re proud to introduce an exciting new partnership with Jeremy Ogusky, potter extraordinaire!  Jeremy is making the most beautiful fermenting crock I have ever seen and FARMcurious is lucky enough to be able to carry it for him.  If you think the crock is gorgeous in the photos, just wait until you see it in real life.  Jeremy is also one of the few potters actually recommended by Sandor Katz, the fermenting master himself. Jeremy is a studio potter in Boston, Massachusetts, producing unique & functional ceramics.  His studio practice is influenced by his work with potters in Southern Africa &… more

August 26th, 2011 | No Comments | Tags:

Tricked into making something that is not Kirschwasser

My secret organic produce-wielding friend showed up at my house a couple of weeks ago with a lovely little surprise – a little bag of morello cherries. Morellos are the tiny sour cherries that are traditionally used to make kirschwasser, the german cherry liqueur (literally translated it means “cherry water”). I have to admit that, though I love the idea of cocktails with their sexy names, their vibrant colors and their seasonal variations, not to mention the adorable glasses they’re served in, it’s not actually what I prefer to drink. I want to sip cosmopolitans but I’m much more in… more

July 19th, 2011 | 12 Comments