Sunday, September 28, 2014

Radio Acres Farm Alternative Gift Sale



Vendor FAQs

What kind of vendors are you looking for?
Vendors who make and sell their own original, handmade craft products or artisan food items are invited to apply. You must be present at your booth on the day of the sale. We are not looking for Tupperware-type products or of the mass-produced nature.

How can I apply?
Fill out the form below and send an email with pictures of your products to radioacresfarm@gmail.com. We will respond within a week.

General Info
Booths will be set up outside throughout the farm, and will consist of a 4x8 size table. Smaller or larger tables available on request. No splitting booths please. 

Vendor Fee
The fee for a booth is 10% of your total revenue from the event. 




Monday, March 24, 2014

New Blogdeavors and Adventures

Hi, there, folks. I just thought I should update to let you know that I've started a new blog project. You can check it out over at www.fourspoke.com. It's a blog about cycling, hiking and general outdoor adventuring with kids in and around San Diego, specifically for those of us on a budget. Check it out, follow it, hop on for a ride and drop me a line to let me know what you think! I will be updating both blogs more regularly as I'm trying to actively write more. If you've got any good tips or tricks, don't be afraid to throw them my way. Thanks, folks.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Going Solar

We are super excited to announce that we are FINALLY jumping on the solar bandwagon. Seriously, with as many people as we have living in this house it makes total sense. We have been jumping into that Tier-4 usage slot for SDG&E, and you homeowners out there know just how expensive that can be. I heard a statistic recently that said if you were spending anywhere over $100 per month on electricity, it pays off to go solar. I think even if you're paying less, it still pays off for being eco-friendly AND a flat rate over time -- you never know when electric rates will hike again, so why not lock in your payment?

The farm spent some time researching different options and finally decided to go with purchasing instead of leasing. With the purchase option, it's paid off completely in 7 years and then it's ours to keep. There is no increase over time, no money down, and a hefty federal tax rebate that most companies will give you off the top or work with so that it lowers your payment. Our bill will be going from over $250 per month to about $160 per month, for those that are curious.

I think that we were convinced that the process would be more complicated than it really panned out to be. Essentially, we made an appointment with the company we liked to come and give us a proposal. He came over and took a look at our energy usage over the last year and found our average. He drew a quick sketch and did the math to figure out how many panels we would need, then wrote up a tentative contract. We signed the paperwork and then waited. Most companies work with financers, so our next step was to wait to hear back about the loan information. That got approved the next day at the interest rate he quoted us, so we signed the paperwork.

The next step was for the engineer to come and do an official inspection and site plan to submit to the city. He came the following week and spent about a half an hour checking out our roof, our electrical box and the angles of the sun. Later that day, he sent a couple of tentative sketches to us so we could pick the one we wanted. With our ok, he sent them to the City for permitting and we got approved within a week. They called us to let us know, then scheduled us for the installation. That's where we are at right now, and it should be done by today. Our next step is to wait for the City to come and sign off on it, which they said should be done within a couple of days. Lastly, we have to wait for SDG&E's approval to "flip the switch," and we are done! Officially up and running within about a month from when we started.

For those that are interested, we decided to go with Semper Solaris. This company uses panels and equipment that are "Made in the US," which we like to support for many reasons. They also automatically default to use micro inverters. There is a really good description on the differences between micro inverters and traditional string inverters here. In a nutshell, micro inverters are newer technology, more efficient, and safer. Also unmentioned is the lower EMF exposure, if you're concerned about that kind of stuff. The folks there were really friendly and prompt, too, and they have a great referral program. If you decide to get solar and go with them, tell them that the folks at Radio sent you!

Here's a quick picture of the men on our roof at the moment. Enjoy your day!


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Springtime and Goats

video

Boo gave birth to her babies today. She officially had two goats, our very first births of this magnitude on the farm. Sadly, one of the little guys didn't make it but the kid that's left is spunky as can be. Camille and Estelle have decided to name him Pickles; I don't think any of we adults are getting any choice in the matter. Spring is definitely in the air! Currently we also have baby bunnies and a gaggle of chicks wandering around. 

On the home front, Sarah and BJ are studiously mapping out a year of seed so that we can attempt to grow as much as possible off the land this year. Romantic promises of home canned tomatoes, freshly ground maize and hand threshed wheat are stealing our hearts as we remember idealistic fantasies of the sustainable lifestyle that originally enticed us to buy this land in the first place. It's easy to move away from initial dreams as life happens around you - sometimes you have to hit the pause button and reset a few things. Enjoy the video! It's short, but very cute.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Rabbit Tamales

Many of you who know me also know that I love to cook. I love feeding people,company, comfort and enjoying the outcome of a good meal. What I really, really love, though, is going into a kitchen where it seems like there is nothing to cook, no possible meal to be had, then magically coming up with a delicious, innovative and unique meal. I enjoy making magic happen in the kitchen and surprising myself and the people around me with home-cooked deliciousness from scratch.

Farm life lends itself to unique situations where even when there is nothing left in the kitchen, a trip to the garden manifests abundance. Raising our own meat gives us even more options, and I recently had the exciting opportunity to make the very first meal using one of our rabbits -- rabbit tamales.

We grew some beautiful ears of blue corn this year, as we have in years past, but when it came down to it we didn't really know what to do with them. They sat prominently centered on our kitchen table throughout the Thanksgiving season, where we picked mercilessly at their kernels when we were bored or deeply entrenched in conversation. A few ears made themselves useful around Halloween, as you can see in the background of the picture below:

So, as timing would have it, BJ was tired of seeing the corn sitting on the kitchen table at the same time our first rabbit was ready to process. We were trying to determine what on earth we should do with these blue corn kernels and if we should plant any to grow next season, and I was contemplating our first rabbit meal. Flipping through an old cookbook, I came across a recipe for blue corn tamales. Bingo! We threw the corn kernels into our handy Vitamix and within minutes had a quart of blue corn flour. It was really that simple.


The book had directions for wrapping the tamales in banana leaves, South-Mexi-Central-American style. Luckily, we happen to still have some pretty beautiful leaves growing on our banana trees during this ridiculously hot San Diego winter.


A quick internet search told me to cut a leaf off the plant, then use scissors to cut out the spine. The remaining leaf should then be cut into usable 3-inch strips, rinsed off and wilted for 5 minutes in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven. Easy enough.


For the meat, we simmered the entire rabbit in a pot of water on the stove until it fell off the bone, then shredded the meat and mixed it with spices and mole sauce. I didn't have canned mole or dried chiles, so I modified a can of enchilada sauce that we had. Shhh - don't tell my grandma. We also reserved the broth to use for making the Mexican rice and masa that would go with the meal.


Assembling the tamales was a little funny for me because my family is of north Mexican decent and the only way I've ever made tamales is with dried corn husks. I didn't even know where to start with putting the masa on these leaves or rolling 'em up, but we figured it out.


The meal was a huge hit, the masa actually came out really tasty and we discovered that there really are fabulous uses for blue corn. It was easy to dry, kept for months on our kitchen table and made a lot of flour off of just a few ears. We reserved a handful or kernels to plant again, and I am excited to try blue corn bread, polenta, pudding and other exciting recipes in the future. 


Blue Corn Masa:

2 sticks butter or 1 cup of lard, room temperature
2 1/2 cups blue corn flour
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup stock

Use a hand blender or kitchen aid with the whisk setting. Whip butter or lard until fluffy, then add in the dry ingredients until well blended. Slowly add stock and continue to whip for 30 seconds or until well incorporated. Let sit for at least 15 minutes to absorb the broth, then mix the dough by hand to make sure everything is well incorporated with an even consistency.

Fill tamales with meat, cheese, or veggies and steam for about an hour.

Enjoy!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Interesting Article on Radio

This is a very well written and quite fantastic article written about Radio Acres. If you would like to read the article click on the White Rabbit. Thanks for going down the rabbit hole with us.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The annual Radio Thanksgiving

*Note: it's been awhile since I blogged.
We fostered a baby, and then we had a baby. Enough said.

The grandest tradition we have here at Radio is our Thanksgiving feast. This was our fourth annual bash at the farm, complete with homegrown turkeys and over thirty friends and family.

Certain aspects of our celebration have evolved over the years: our first Thanksgiving at Radio included a Tur-duck-en, because we had raised both ducks and turkeys... and who doesn't like them all smashed together with stuffing? I thought that initial tur-duck-en was delicious as I sliced off a piece and tried to determine which meat was what, but subsequent years with store-bought ducks were not as tasty.

Eventually, all turkey recipes have been replaced by one simple and efficient cooking tool: the deep-fryer. We've concluded that a vat of boiling oil cooks the tenderest, tastiest birds. And you can't mess around with turkeys that you've raised yourself. They are quite the investment.

Our potlucking has evolved as well. We have gotten better about sharing the load of the Thanksgiving meal, and this has continued to increase the culinary handiwork displayed and consumed. This year we had friends bring some particularly delicious whipped yams with sage, of which I heard many inquiries for the recipe. Our newest housemate broke out his churro (or sausage) maker and deep-fried some jalepeƱo-chedder churros with a honey glaze that we could not eat enough of. And a certain good fortune brought a whole tub of mini-croissants leftover from a holiday office party that I put in a new stuffing recipe. It turned out delightful. The recipe is below, because this stuffing is too good to have just once a year.

Needless to say, before the food we were like




















and then after platefuls of deep-friend Thanksgiving goodness we were like




















What has stayed consistent, and by far is the best part of our Thanksgiving traditions is the eclectic group of people that joins us. We usually have family both near and far that pilgrimages to the farm for the food and grandchildren. We also welcome neighbors, friends, and friends of friends to come and join our feast because (literally) the more the merrier.

So if you ever find yourself wondering what to do on Thanksgiving, come and join the family here at Radio. We'll save a turkey leg or two for you.




















churro making

kids and lemons