Weekly Newsletter

JUNE 2023 vol. 2

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Every once in a while, serendipity smiles on me.  Because of the drought last year, cattle prices were very low.  As a result, I chose not to take our heifer calves to the auction.  My reasoning was that ranchers that had liquidated their herd to avoid the exorbitant price of hay would eventually have to buy new cows.  Of course, this didn’t take a genius to figure out – it would eventually happen. It was just a gamble on how long the drought would last, and whether I’d recover my investment in feed.  Fortunately, we had awesome rains this spring, and as predicted, the heifer market is very strong. 
I’m not sure if my investment would have yielded any returns because I still haven’t sold any of those heifers.  Since we’ve had plenty of rain (and grass) I was further gambling on the heifers getting pregnant and me being able to sell cow-calf pairs (which sell for even more).  I still think this is a good strategy, but none of that matters now.  Why - because I just picked up a lease on 66 acres of land just 7 miles from the house!  Finding grazing land to lease is pretty difficult – you’ve got to know somebody.  I was very lucky to have formed a friendship with another local rancher through the Beef Initiative.  Cole had moved his operation further south and no longer had need of this parcel.  Knowing that I lived near by he offered it up to me.   
With only 80 acres, we’ve been rather limited in the number of beeves we were able to raise each year.  On a good year (plenty of rain) we can maintain about 40 head of cattle – that’s 20 cows, and 20 steers of various ages.  To be able to pull this off, I’ve had to purchase about 100 bales of hay each winter.  As a result, we’ve only been able to finish 12 beeves each year.  With the addition of the leased property, I should be able to maintain 30 cows and finish closer to 20 beeves a year.  
Had I sold those heifers, I’d have to outlay a lot of cash to purchase more cows, but since I rolled the dice last year, I can now increase my herd without having to spend any money.  Of course, this will take a few years to yield any results as the cattle cycle is 3 years, but in the short term I hope to cut my feed bill by harvesting the hay off of the leased land.  I’ll still have to invest in some additional infrastructure to manage the cows on two separate parcels as well as the additional effort in having to trailer them back and forth. There is also the risk that the property owners will terminate the lease, forcing me to liquidate some of the cows to get back to a manageable herd size.  But we’ll worry about that when the time comes.  Until then, I hope to be able to supply you all with even more amazing grass-fed beef. 

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Have You Tried our Duck Eggs?
In an ongoing collaboration with our friends at Sower's Sustainable Farm, we are happy to offer a limited supply of delicious, high-quality duck eggs.
These ducks enjoy a spacious 15-acre home where they spend their days lounging by the pond, basking in the sun, and feasting on a diverse diet of bugs and plants found on the property. To ensure optimal nutrition, they are supplemented with organic feed once a day.
You can order these eggs from our online order form under the "Eggs" section. 
Did You Know?
Duck eggs offer several advantages over chicken eggs. They are larger, have a thicker shell, and boast a more flavorful taste. Additionally, their deep yellow/orange yolks occupy a greater portion of the shell, making them an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, and "good" cholesterol.
Duck eggs can be used as a substitute for chicken eggs in various recipes. However, they possess unique characteristics that make them particularly advantageous in specific situations. Notably, their egg whites are creamier and more luscious compared to those of chickens. This attribute makes them ideal for creating meringues or angel food cakes as the air bubbles within the whites remain intact more effectively.
Duck egg yolks are not only thicker but also exhibit an enticing orange hue and an intense flavor. They serve as a delectable addition to toast or can enhance the taste of your favorite baked goods.
Tips For Using Duck Eggs
Duck eggs are incredibly versatile and can be used in various cooking methods, including baking, scrambling, boiling, frying, and creating dishes like omelets or French toast, just like chicken eggs.
  • When using duck eggs in recipes, it's often beneficial to beat them a bit more vigorously compared to chicken eggs, ensuring proper incorporation.
  • To facilitate the beating process, allow the duck eggs to reach room temperature before you begin.
  • If you're aiming to make meringue, consider adding a small amount of baking soda to the eggs before beating. This addition can result in stiffer peaks and a lighter texture.
Do You Need Specific Duck Egg Recipes?
Generally speaking, duck eggs can be used just like chicken eggs. The main differences are that duck eggs are more nutritious and contain more protein. They also have a richer flavor. Because duck eggs are larger, generally speaking you can substitute one large duck egg for two small chicken eggs in any recipe.
When frying or scrambling them or making an omelet, frittata or other recipe that is eggy, you may need fewer eggs per person.
If a recipe calls for one chicken egg, you can try simply substituting a single duck egg. If this turns out to be too much, try just using the yolk next time.
In recipes that require an exact amount of egg, you can measure or weigh the liquid amount before adding it to the recipe, but this is quite uncommon. Generally speaking, a little bit too much or little bit too little egg doesn’t make a huge difference in any recipe.
The resulting dish will be indistinguishable from those made with chicken eggs, aside from being a bit tastier.
When you fry, scramble or boil duck eggs, you may want to use a slightly lower temperature because they have more protein than chicken eggs. If you cook them too fast and too hot, the whites may tend to get a little bit rubbery.
If you like your fried egg to be completely cooked with no runny yoke, you may find it helpful to add a little bit of water to the pan after your duck egg begins to cook. Cover the pan with a lid to hold the heat in and cook it thoroughly. Remember that you should use low heat for duck eggs.
Duck Eggs Nutrition vs. Chicken Eggs
Here’s a quick nutritional breakdown of duck eggs vs chicken eggs:
  • Protein: 9 g (chickens have 5 g)
  • Iron: 2.7 mg (chickens have .9 mg)
  • Vitamin A: 472 IU (chickens have 244 IU)
  • Folate: 56 mcg (chickens have 23 mcg)
  • Choline: 184 mg (chickens have 126 mg)
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: 72 mg (37 mg in chickens)
It is also important to note that duck egg whites have a different kind of protein than chicken eggs. Because of this, many people who are allergic to chicken eggs can eat duck eggs.
Of course, you should run this by your doctor before experimenting!

Weekly Markets

Pflugerville Pfarmers Market Schedule:
  • Regular Season: May 2 - October 31
  • Pfestive Markets: November 7 & 21, December 5, 12 & 19

Upcoming Events at Hutto Silos Farmers Market:
Treat Dad to a Day at the Farmers Market
Buzzing Crafts & Free Face Painting for kids at our Pollinator Party
Free glass of wine while you shop.
Continue Independence Day Celebration with Crafts, Bubbles, & More
Father's Day Card & Craft Making
Watermelon Themed Kid's Party - Crafts, Games, & Fub
Hutto Silos Farmers Market 1st Anniversary: Party

Monthly Markets

Be well, 

stay safe,


John & Molly