Friday, December 31, 2010

Holidays on the Farm: Real Farmwives of America and Friends

Note: Scroll to the bottom of this post for the announcement of the winner of this week's giveaway.

Guest Post by Heather Hill of The Real Farmwives of America and Friends.  

The Real Farmwives of America and Friends -- I know you might be thinking what in the world or even who in the world is that.  Well, we are a group of farm girls and farm wives that offer a glimpse inside the world of growing up and living on the family farm through our blogs along with sharing other aspects of our hectic yet amazing lives.  We live in a world that is consumed with reality TV shows; although, we aren’t on TV, we’d love to you follow along with our blogs

In addition to our normal blogging adventures, once a month one of us is featured as the guest blogger on 3 kids and lots of pigs Farmer Fridays feature.  Additionally, the last Friday of each quarter all of the Farmwives and Friends blog about a common topic.  This Friday, we will be blogging about the holiday season on the farm.  We hope you enjoy it and continue to follow along for an amazing adventure. 
Life on the farm can be challenging, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Happy New Year!


The winner of the Amercia's Best BBQ Cookbook is Audrey Keating! Congrats! Please email us at and let us know where to mail your cookbook.

Monday, December 27, 2010

America's Best BBQ

By Indiana Pork's Sarah Ford

This book = AMAZING!

It’s no secret that every section of the country thinks they have claim on the greatest BBQ.  So these guys set out to find the best.  In America’s Best BBQ you’ll get 100 of the best BBQ recipes from across the country…with some fun folklore along the way.

So enter today to win this delicious book…and while you’re at it, visit your local grocery store to pick up some pork - Indiana’s family of pork farmers thank you for the support!

To enter please leave a separate comment below for each of the following entries:

1. Follow the Indiana Family of Farmers blog through Google Friend Connect (see right column)
3. Become a fan of Family of Farmers on Facebook
4. Tell us about your favorite BBQ.

Entries will be accepted until 9 pm EDT on Thursday. The winner will be chosen at random and announced on Friday morning. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

’Tis the season to be merry!

Note: Scroll to the bottom of this post to see the winner of this week's giveaway.
Guest Post by Real Farmwives of America's Meggie who blogs over at Hoosier Farm Babe

It's that time of year
When the world falls in love
Every song you hear
Seems to say
Merry Christmas
May your New Year dreams come true
And this song of mine
In three quarter time
Wishes you and yours
The same thing too

Sometimes nothing says it better than a beautiful Christmas song and The Christmas Waltz by Frank Sinatra is certainly one of my favorites, although it's hard to pick just one!

This is an absolutely beautiful time of the year on our farm ... there's no doubt about it. Why is it so beautiful you may ask ...

Not just because of the snow that falls on the Sycamore trees that line the driveway to our farm or the icicles that fall from our barns or the smoke that reaches the sky from our chimney as we sit together as a family watching Christmas classics warm and cozy indoors,  but  because of the reason for the season - to celebrate the birth of the Son of God. Beautiful because it's the season for giving. And beautiful because it’s the time of year when no matter what you're doing you make the effort to be with your loved ones on Christmas Day.

This Christmas will be especially special on our farm because it's baby's first Christmas. And I know for a fact that her grandparents have already bought her entirely too much. But hey ... that's what grandparents are for ...  spoiling their grandkids of course!

Christmas is a bit different for our family than many others. You see - we don't get "off work" on Christmas Eve or even Christmas Day. Our daily chores go on as usual on the farm. The pigs still need fed and checked on at least twice daily to make sure the climate-controlled buildings are warm enough to keep them comfortable. And while I'm not sure ... there's a pretty good chance we'll have a few sows (momma pigs) having piglets on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. And the horse needs her fresh water, hay and clean bedding. Ohh … there's plenty to do before we open presents Christmas morning.

But since both Big D and I grew up on a farm - it doesn't bother us too much. I can remember getting up early to go to the farm and help Dad with the morning milking so we could get home and open presents and have our Christmas dinner together. It's all part of making Christmas memories together as a family. Someday when our baby girl Reagan gets older - maybe she'll be in the truck with her daddy checking on the pigs before we open presents Christmas morning. Making Christmas memories on the farm together as a family ... it’s a beautiful thing!


And now for the winner of our giveaway of two tickets to this summer's Vintage Indiana...

Congrats to Mandi444! Email us at to claim your tickets.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Some Christmas Cheer for Your Holiday Table

By The Indiana Wine Grape Council's Jeanette Merritt 

It’s no secret that I have the best job in Indiana Agriculture. Or at least I think I do. Promoting Indiana’s 52 wineries and 600 acres of grapes is truly a joy. And there is no better time of year to spread that joy than at Christmas!

Sitting in my office right now are 44 bottles of Indiana wine featuring all sorts of Christmas cheer.  I’ll be travelling the state in the next few weeks using these wines on television and radio station appearances.  Here’s a peek at the wine I’ll be promoting for your holiday tables!

These fun wines are from Huber’s Orchard, Winery & Vineyard, Starlight and Chateau Thomas, Plainfield. These would make great centerpieces on your table! 

So my car thermometer said zero degrees when I was driving to work. And all I could think about was a nice glass of mulled wine, even if it was 7 AM.  These two from Easley Winery, Indianapolis and Lanthier Winery, Madison are meant to be served warm for these cold days.

Many of our wineries enjoy making festive bottles for the season. French Lick Winery, Lanthier Winery and Buck Creek Winery all feature fun names and faces for their seasonal offerings.

Let’s not forget New Year’s celebrations! Oliver Winery, Bloomington and Huber’s Orchard, Winery and Vineyard make incredible sparkling wines! They are perfect paired with any holiday meal or as a treat when the clock strikes midnight.

If you are looking to visit a few wineries, consider travelling the Indy Wine Trail. The Charm of the Season event continues through Christmas Eve and features a different ornament at every winery! Every traveler will receive a tree to display those ornaments. More details at

However you plan to celebrate, be sure to enjoy an Indiana wine this season! 

The Indiana Wine Grape Council is giving away two tickets to this summer's Vintage Indiana! 

To enter please leave a separate comment below for each of the following entries:

1. Follow the Indiana Family of Farmers blog through Google Friend Connect (see right column)
3. Become a fan of Family of Farmers on Facebook
4. Tell us your favorite Indiana wine 

Entries will be accepted until 9 pm EDT on Thursday. The winner will be chosen at random and announced on Friday morning. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hamin' It Up This Season

Note: Scroll to the bottom to see who won our giveaway this week.

Interested in learning how to perfectly carve the Christmas Ham or looking for a super easy Holiday Ham recipe this season? Our friends over at have the perfect way for you to Ham up your holiday!

Check out this quick video on how to carve a ham. Or, see the great simple recipe below.

Spiral-Sliced Ham with Pepper Jelly Glaze

Recipe from


10 minutes prep, 60 minutes cook


5-6 pound fully-cooked bone-in ham, half ham, spiral sliced
1 8-oz. jar hot pepper jelly

Cooking Directions:

Place ham in shallow pan and heat in 350 degrees F. oven, uncovered, for 1 1/4 hours. (about 15-18 minutes per pound) until internal temperature on a thermometer reads 140 degrees F.

The last 15 minutes, pour the pepper jelly over ham, spreading evenly. Heat for 10-15 minutes more, basting occasionally.

Serves 8

The winner of our Grill Set Giveaway is...

Lesley Mitchell! Congrats!

Please contact us at and let us know where to ship your new grill set!

Stay tuned next week for a whole new giveaway.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winter White Chili

Recipe courtesy of The Other White Meat

1 pound ground pork
1 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 16-oz. can white beans, drained
1 14-oz. can corn, drained
1 14 1/2-oz. can chicken broth
1 4-oz. can diced green chilies

In large saucepan, brown pork with onion, stir in cumin and chili powder; stir. Stir in remaining ingredients; bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until heated through and flavors are blended.
Serves 6
Calories: 236 calories
Protein: 22 grams
Fat: 6 grams
Sodium: 565 milligrams
Cholesterol: 40 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 2 grams
Carbohydrates: 25 grams
Fiber: 8 grams
Psst... Don't forget to enter our Grill Set Giveaway thanks to Indiana's Pork Farmers!
Linked to:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Grill in Style this Holiday Season

Still seeking that perfect holiday gift for your honey?  

Got a family member who is a self-proclaimed master of the grill?  

Enter to win this all in one grilling set brought to you by Indiana’s pork farmers, and the lucky recipient will be cookin’ in style.  

Plus, by grilling up some yummy pork loins, pork patties or bone-in chops you’ll be supporting Indiana’s 3000 family pork farmers.  

So enter today, because a holiday just isn’t complete without The Other White Meat.

To enter please leave a separate comment below for each of the following entries:

1. Follow the Indiana Family of Farmers blog through Google Friend Connect (see right column)
3. Become a fan of Family of Farmers on Facebook
4. Visit The Other White Meat and tell us which recipe looks good to you!

Entries will be accepted until 9 pm EDT on Thursday. The winner will be chosen at random and announced on Friday morning.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Guest Post: a lOTT of Christmas decorations

Note: Scroll to the bottom of this post to see the winner of the Huber's Gift Certificate Giveaway.

Ott, A the gardner, canner, baker over at a Latte' with Ott, A. A frequent customer at Starbucks, this farm girl fasionista is just as comfortable back home on the family livestock and grain farm wearing work boots as she is wearing stilettos in a trendy store in downtown Indianapolis. She spends her time shopping, scrapbooking, decorating, collecting Longaberger baskets, wine tasting and hanging out with family and friends. Professionally she is the Director of Operations and Grants for the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and is author of the Ag Grant Guru blog. Married to her best friend and a fellow Boilermaker, (affectionately called Ott, E in this blog) the two spend their time together traveling and cheering for the Boilers. 

Twitter: @SunflowerOtt
Facebook: Amy E. Ott

a lOTT of Christmas decorations

I was up in my attic this past weekend getting down my Christmas decorations. It was cold up there so I was in a hurry to find the box labeled “ornaments.” As I rushed down the stairs to get to a warmer section of the house my thoughts lingered back to my teenage years of this one time when I was in the upstairs of my grandparents farmhouse looking for decorations to get their house all ready for Christmas. My family’s farm is located in North Central Indiana, in Fulton County. My grandparents have a big old farmhouse that is probably about 150 years old. It is white with green shutters and a large front porch with cobble stepping stones leading up to it. You step in the front door and right on into the living room which has higher ceilings and this beautiful 6 inch wooden trim with curves and a circular design which runs along the floor and all around the window and door frames. Just south of the house a few hundred feet sets a large red barn with some sheep usually grazing in a pasture out in front. On this farm they raise corn, soybeans and purebred Shropshire sheep. 


Growing up I always looked forward to that one weekend in December when I would go out to their house and decorate for Christmas. I’ve always enjoyed decorating for the holidays, but there is just something about Christmas time with the tree and lights that just made this farmhouse all the more warm and welcoming. 
The day usually started with me in the upstairs storage room looking for boxes of decorations, lights, ornaments, candles, bows, nativity scene and holiday linens. My grandmother pretty much gave me full reign to decorate her house as I pleased and I could use as much of her holiday stuff as I wanted. (Looking back on this now, she probably let me do so much because she knew I would also be the one coming back in January to take everything back upstairs to be stored after the holidays were over.)

Next came the tree.


This is a picture of my grandfather and brother in the wind break on the farm. In the background you can see the barn.

On my grandparents farm there were a number of White Pine trees planted as a wind break along one of their fields. My grandfather and I would drive back to the field and pick out two trees which he would then cut down with an axe and we would drag to the truck to be taken back up to the house. One nicer tree would be picked out to put in the living room. And one tree that wasn’t quite as nice would be selected for the front porch. This second tree would usually be a little thinner or not shaped as nice or bare in one area, but it really didn’t really matter because it was just going on the porch where I would put lots of lights on it and no one would be able to tell the difference. 

We would drive back up to the house where Grandma would have hot cocoa waiting on us and as we pulled into the driveway she would step out the front door and onto the porch to inspect what we had selected. Grandpa and I would always pull that thinner, funny shaped tree out of the back end of the pickup truck first. We would hold it up to display this tree to her, and trying very hard to suppress our laughter we would ask; “Well what do you think of our Christmas tree for the living room this year?” (Knowing full well that it was going on the porch.)

Grandma would look at it and say, “Now why did you pick out that Charlie Brown style of a Christmas tree? It’s bare over here and one branch in longer than the others over there.”

Usually at that point we would started smirking and she would figure out what we were up to. I would prop the “Charlie Brown” Christmas tree up on the porch as Grandpa would pull the nicer tree off the truck and make his way on into the house with it. After warming up with some hot cocoa and wresting the tree into its stand it was finally time to decorate.


Besides the tree I would set out candles and little Christmas time figurines as well as change the doilies on the end tables and the table cloth on the kitchen table to more festive colors. There were some wreaths for the doors, stockings for everyone in the family and a reindeer with a red nose that lit up, as well as music boxes, snow globes and red candy dishes. There were more lights and decorations to put on the front porch and any place I could find to try a red ribbon around I usually would. 

By the end of the day I would be exhausted but now looking back as I decorate my own house for Christmas I fondly recall these old memories of seeing that big old farmhouse all lit up and ready for the Christmas Day!

Giveaway Announcement: Congratulations to our winner of the $50 Gift Certificate to Huber's Orchard & Winery...

Congrats to Jane! Please email us at and let us know where you'd like us to mail your gift certificate!

Stay tuned for another great giveaway announcement on Monday!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Put a Little Honey in Your Holidays!

Sweeten the Holiday with an old-fashioned gingerbread man cookie (with or without gumdrop buttons) made with an updated and tasty twist - Indiana honey! Try this recipe and you'll discover why folks are buzzzzzing about local honey's delicious all-natural flavor. To find Indiana honey near you, click here.

Recipe from National Honey Board

Makes 3 dozen

    * 1-1/2 cups honey
    * 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
    * 1 egg
    * 5 cups all-purpose flour
    * 2 teaspoons baking powder
    * 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
    * 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
    * 1 teaspoon ground cloves

In large bowl, cream honey and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves; mix until combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. When dough is chilled, divide dough in half; return one half to refrigerator. Dust work surface and dough with flour. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters; transfer to well-greased baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes. Remove cookies from sheet and cool on wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Psst... There is still time to enter our giveaway to win a $50 gift certificate to Huber's Orchard & Winery.

Linked to: 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Something for everyone at Huber’s Orchard & Winery

Just two hours south of Indianapolis, through the rolling hills of southern Indiana near the town of Starlight sits the Huber Family Orchard and Winery. This 6th and soon to be 7th generation family farm was founded in 1843 and has grown into an Agri-Tourism destination for wine, cheese, fruits and vegetables, parties and events, Christmas trees, pumpkins and ice cream. No matter what time of year it is there is always something to do at Hubers. Stop by for a tasty lunch or plan a full day of farm fun activities with the kids, Huber’s Orchard and Winery will showcase Hooiser Hospitality.


Huber’s has meeting and conference space for parties, weddings and get-togethers.


The tasting room is always open to try some of their award winning wines or take a tour of their barrel and bottling rooms.



Stop in for a meal at the Starlight Café for some delicious sandwiches and soups. There is always fresh cheese and hand dipped ice cream waiting in the Cheese and Ice Cream Shoppe.



Need a lovely gift basket? Check out the Farm Market for some tasty treats, including apple butter, fudge, and in season produce.

Hubers also offers tours to school aged kids, music from local artist on their patio and this time of year fresh cut Christmas Trees.


As a bonus Huber’s Orchard and Winery has donated a $50 gift certificate to be used on anything at their farm. Pick up some wine, gift basket or put it towards a Christmas Tree.

To enter please leave a separate comment below for each of the following entries:
1. Follow the Indiana Family of Farmers blog through Google Friend Connect (see right column)
5. Visit and tell us what looks like a fun thing to do on their farm.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Finding Fresh Options for Your Family

Note: Scroll to the bottom to see the winner of the $40 Gift Certificate!

Agritourism as defined by Webster is the practice of touring agricultural areas to see farms and often to participate in farm activities. Hoosiers are privileged to have a plethora of agritourism sites varying from lettuce in the spring to Christmas trees in December and wineries year-round. The Indiana State Department of Agriculture has compiled all of these locations into one handy directory so you can find fresh, local food and products with a simple click of the mouse!

While fresh berries, tomatoes and peaches may not be readily available right now, check out some of these locations which offer wholesome, homemade products throughout the year:

The Apple Works in Trafalgar is open through Christmas Eve and offers pies, jellies, and butters as well as Christmas trees.

Binford Farmer’s Market  has a special Christmas market on December 4th and 11th.

Dull’s Tree Farm is open Thanksgiving to Christmas in Thorntown.
The Boone County operation was the pick-up site for the annual Trees for Troops campaign between the Indiana Tree Growers Association and FedEx. Our state’s producers donated more than 200 trees to be delivered to military bases stateside and overseas. This year, the State FFA officers participated in this event. Check out their blog where they share some of their experiences!

Felke Florist & Greenhouse is a fifth generation florist offering poinsettias and wreaths in Marshall County.

Huber’s Orchard, Winery & Vineyards in Starlight offers wine, cheese, ice cream, and unique gifts year-round. Christmas trees are currently available as well.

While this is just a short list, there are many other sites across the state. So bundle up and get everyone in the car for a trip to a local producer. Indiana products make great gifts, especially for those hard-to-buy-for relatives!

And the winner of the $40 Gift Certificate from the Indiana Christmas Tree Growers is....

Congrats to the Haffner Family! Enjoy a fresh wreath from our family to yours!

Please email us at and let us know where to mail your gift certificate.

Check out our blog on Monday for another great giveaway announcement!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Trees for Troops

Read all about the Merry Mission to provide Trees for Troops and hurry to enter to win a $40 Gift Certificate!

Linked to: Wordless Wednesday