What is the name of your Farm, Ranch, or Homestead and where are you located?
Alchemist Farm in Sebastopol, California
How and/or when did life as a farmer begin for you?
We began our humane hatchery and chicken breeding program six years ago but have always had a passion for the humane treatment of animals. The love affair of beautiful colored chicken eggs began with the dark chocolate egg from the French Black Copper Marans, enter green eggs, brown speckled eggs, giant eggs, miniature eggs, blue speckled and brown speckled quail eggs and suddenly we had ourselves the beginnings of a chicken hatchery!
What do you grow and/or raise?
We hatch, raise and breed interesting breeds of quail and chickens. Our focus is on fun egg colors and temperament of our birds. We sell hatching eggs as well as chicks of all of the breeds we work with.
What traditional methods do you use on your farm to raise your animals?
All of our chickens are free of breeding cages and roam free on individual pastures. We believe that healthy chickens make healthy chicks!
What is one of your favorite farm-infused recipes you wish to share?
We love to use our quail eggs to make pickled eggs, they are beautiful, delicious and perfect little protein bites for children.
What is at least one farm tradition you uphold?
We process our own extra roosters for meat to feed our family, this is something that was done for many years but for some reason we have all grown out of practice of. The journey of harvesting our own food and meat is something that connects us to our land and the farmers of yore.
What inspires you to continue a farm lifestyle?
We are inspired to continue to farm because it feels correct in our hearts. We want our children to see where they’re vegetables, eggs and meat come from. We are so blessed to have land for them to roam around on. They know how to act around livestock, how to climb trees, collect eggs and help chicks hatch. In a world of factory farms and disconnection from our food sources we are more and more grateful to know that our food is clean and has been treated with respect the whole journey of it’s life before it finds its way to our plate.
What words of inspiration or uplifting wisdom do you hope to impart on the future generation of farmers, ranchers, beekeepers, and homesteaders?
I hope that future farmers, ranchers and beekeepers make their decisions from their hearts. If we slow down in the hustle and bustle of everyday life we can hear what our hearts are telling us. Our hearts are incapable of lying and recognize when a farming practice or decision is one that will harm our environment or people down the line. I hope that the farmers of the future have the courage to change what “normal practice” is and move toward practices that protect this beautiful planet that God has given us. We can have it all, clean food, abundance, plenty of resources if we just shift the way we look at things.
Where can people find you/your products online?
FarmMade is excited to celebrate Spring by elevating the egg to its proper status of miraculous! Within every culture worldwide, there is a reverence for new life, fertility and rebirth. Just one egg symbolizes all three. The farm has held the tradition of building chicken coops and raising chickens to provide meat and eggs for their family, friends and communities for centuries. Chicken coops come in all shapes and sizes, intended to hold MANY of these sacred eggs, while sheltering the Mother Hens who lay them. It is in the gathering of eggs that a farmer is rewarded every day. The transfer from Coop To Kitchen creates a recipe book full of possibilities.
We, at the FarmMade test kitchen, have dreamed up cookie recipes that honor Springtime on the farm. THANK YOU to the egg farms that were excited to participate and send us a variety of colorful eggs. Another THANK YOU goes to Shepherd’s Grain, who were kind enough to send us three distinct flours to experiment with. Pastry, Whole Wheat and All Purpose. Flour is the unsung hero of every baked good. The quality of their flour is unsurpassed. Their close relationship with each farmer ensures their stringent requirements of no-till and NON-GMO farming practices are met.
This week we debut our Oatmeal Hummingbird Cookies with Cream Cheese frosting, inspired by the classic Southern Hummingbird Cake. The exact origin of the cake is a mystery but its popularity is on par with cakes such as Red Velvet and Southern Coconut Cake. Transforming it into a cookie using a dozen brilliantly colored eggs from Alchemist Farm, was our pleasure!
Pick up a dozen eggs from your local farmer and let us marvel at your baking skills. Share a photo on Instagram of your COOP TO COOKIES creation, and hashtag your post #cooptocookies so we can check it out!
Oatmeal Hummingbird Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep Time: 2 1/2 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield: About 25 cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 mashed very ripe banana
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1 1/2 cups Shepherd’s Grain Pastry Flour
1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup finely chopped dried bananas
1 cup finely grated carrots – packed
Beat butter and sugars on a high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 7 minutes.
Beat one egg in at a time until mixture is fluffy.
Beat in mashed banana, vanilla and coconut extracts as well.
In a separate bowl, whisk together pastry flour, corn starch, baking soda, kosher salt and spices until well combined.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and mix until no dry pockets remain. Dough should be sticky.
Incorporate oats into the dough until evenly distributed.
Add golden raisins, dried bananas, shredded coconut, chopped pecans, and grated carrots. Mix until evenly distributed.
Chill dough in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Scoop 1/4 cup sized balls of cookie dough onto baking sheet until there are six cookies in two rows.
Bake for 20 mins, or until edges of cookies are golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool for 5 mins before transferring them to a cooling rack.
Cookies should be very soft when warm.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz room temperature cream cheese
1/3 cup room temperature butter
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Small pinch of kosher salt
Beat the cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar together until fluffy.
Beat in heavy whipping cream for 3 minutes.
Add lemon juice, vanilla extract and kosher salt. Mix until combined.
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup crushed banana chips
1/2 chopped dried pineapple
Cream cheese frosting
Frost one half of each of the cookies.
Arrange pecans, coconut, banana chips, and dried pineapple on cream cheese frosting as desired. We chose a chunky look!