The Evolution of Farmer Jane

The Chronicles of Hip Chick Farms


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Cooking with Chicken

While there are numerous places one can go to find interesting chicken recipes, at Hip Chick Farms we prefer to stick with the healthiest organic recipes that use natural ingredients and free range chickens, just as we do with our products. The Hip Chick chicken fingers, wings and meatballs are perfect as appetizers or as main meal with your favorite garden vegetables which we serve often to friends and family. A website that we like to use as inspiration for meals is Organic Authority where you can find recipes for Stuffed Roast Organic Chicken and a wild mushroom, winter root chicken pot pie recipe. We also like the Cooking Light website for fresh ideas, as well as Food.com.

By far our greatest inspiration comes from the fresh vegetables that we grow in our own garden, as well as from the local produce that we buy from the farms surrounding us in Sebastopol. Many of our recipes are inspired by serving Hip Chick Farms’ wings, fingers and meatballs with summer squash, eggplant or zucchini grown at home. The Mousewood Cookbook is also a staple in our kitchen, and has provided us with many superb meals by combining dishes there with our own products and fresh produce.

We look forward to sharing recipes with you as we develop our blog, and as always we are sending nothing but good wishes and health from our family to yours. Bon appétit!


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The Ceres Community Project & the Nourishing Connections Cookbook

Every once in awhile we come across a story that warms our hearts highlighting how kind and generous people are and how powerful we can be as a community making a positive difference when we come together for good to help others in need, and we just simply need to share it. The Ceres Community Project in Sebastopol is an inspiring organization that is making people’s lives better by providing healthy and nutritious meals, and a stunning example of a community at its very best. Their cookbook, Nourishing Connections Cookbook, “is the inspiring story of a how a community gathered its resources to creatively address a multitude of needs. The Ceres Community Project provides 40,000 beautiful, delicious and nourishing free meals each year to individuals and families living with a life-threatening illness such as cancer. The program’s chefs are hundreds of teens from more than eighteen local schools. The young chefs gain culinary and leadership skills, knowledge, and the inspiration to make cooking and eating whole foods a part of their life.

The book’s more than one hundred recipes represent those most loved by the Ceres Community Project’s clients and all have been home tested by people living with serious illness. For those with limited energy, each recipe comes with suggestions for how to break down the preparation tasks into smaller steps over several days, as well as a wealth of suggestions for how to nourish yourself well with almost no cooking.”

While I’m sure that organic, free range chicken is a staple in many of the recipes found in the Nurishing Connections Cookbook, perhaps even more importantly the love of an entire community is sprinkled on each and every page. Bravo Ceres Community Project, and thank you for making such a spectacular and lasting difference in our beloved hometown of Sebastopol.

Ceres Community Project Kitchen and Office
7351 Bodega Avenue
Sebastopol, CA 95472
Tel: 707-829-5833

Listen to Teen Chef Shelby talk about what the Ceres Community Project means to her.


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iGrow Sonoma and the School Garden Network of Sonoma County

Sonoma County is an area with tremendous resources for harvesting, producing, preserving and investing in healthy food and sustainable farming. iGrow Sonoma is a website, with an accompanying blog, that lists numerous organization and businesses sharing ideas and cultivating relationships through networking events intended to support and encourage the communities to stay thriving.

There are also many local schools that support community gardens. The School Garden Network of Sonoma County is an organization that “supports and promotes sustainable garden and nutrition-based learning programs in Sonoma County schools, connects school communities with fresh, locally grown foods, and provides a forum for exchanging information and resources. We empower youth to embrace healthy eating habits and to develop respect for and stewardship of all living things.”

The mandate of the School Garden Network is “to teach students to enjoy growing, cooking and eating fresh produce. This will provide them with life-long knowledge that can help to protect them from the current epidemic of child obesity.

To bring the garden into the tightly scheduled school day, garden-based curriculum has been developed for most academic subjects, especially in elementary school. The most obvious connections are to science and nutrition, but gardens are also often used for teaching English, math, art and social science. In secondary school, a garden can be a laboratory for teaching environmental science, horticulture and culinary arts.”

Hip Chick Farms applauds the School Garden Network of Sonoma County for their invaluable role in assisting to promote healthy communities through education and programs designed to teach children the importance of nurturing and caring for the world around them.


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CropMobster and Our Sustainable Communities

The Hip Chick’s farm is located in Sebastopol, California, a stunning rural area in Sonoma County about 52 miles north of San Francisco. As business owners and active members in our community we are very appreciative for the thriving sustainability that exists in both Sebastopol and in Sonoma County. At Hip Chick Farms we source local ingredients for our organic, free range chicken products, and we actively contribute back to the community by donating a portion of our sales to various non-profit organizations investing in the protection and betterment of the environment and our local farms and natural food businesses. CropMobster is one of the organizations we wholeheartedly support. This is an organization that “links communities in-need with local farmers, producers and food purveyors who need a hand or have excess food to sell or donate.” By preventing local food waste they are successfully eradicating hunger by transforming waste into meals and nourishment for hunger-relief groups and individuals who need help. They are also effectively feeding the sustainability chain through promotion and support of local farms and food companies.

Hip Chick Farms believes in giving back to our community and finding creative and innovative ways to protect and balance our natural resources, so we are grateful for organizations like CropMobster and we appreciate all the good work they do to help spread the incredible wealth around us.

For more information about CropMobster, you can read about them in the Certifiable Foodie’s June 12, 2013 article here.

CROPMOBSTER


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Wholesome Food and Nutrition Education in Schools

In her blog School Bites – one mom’s crusade for better nourished kids at school (and at home!) freelance writer and author Stacy Whitman, a busy mother of kindergarten-age twins, talks about her journey helping to develop and implement wholesome food programs and nutritional education classes in her childrens’ school involving and educating parents and children alike. An advocate for hands-on parental involvement and participation, Stacy enrolled her children in “Cooking Kiddos,” a program created in the fall of 2012 by one of the teachers in her children’s school who has a shared passion and concern regarding the lack of food education in our school systems today. The recipes and cooking activities are age appropriate and completely geared toward the children’s interests and participation levels. Families are also encouraged to participate and support the program by helping in the kitchen and donating ingredients and supplies.

To date, the program has been a huge success with enthusiastic and active participation on behalf of both the parents and their children and this year they created a Cooking Kiddos Cookbook filed with recipes from the participating classes which was sold to the parents for $10 each with proceeds going to fund the program next year.

Watch the teacher behind the Cooking for Kiddos program and her students in action!


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Teaching Children to Appreciate Healthy Food

School is just around the corner and that means that most of you busy moms are busy multi-tasking and getting your children ready on a variety of different levels: buying clothes, supplies, and planning art lessons and sports and after school activities. You probably don’t have much time or energy left to plan natural healthy meals that your children will eat, so why don’t we help you with a few ideas from Hip Chick Farms to make mealtime a more joyful and easier event for everyone.

In her blog Teach. Eat. Love. Teaching Kids to Love What They Eat, writer and busy mother Anne Myer talks about introducing children to healthy food instead of opting to serve the processed food that is so readily available and advertised everywhere. In her blog teacheatlove.com Anne observes that “In French Kids Eat Everything, Karen LeBillon writes that French parents teach eating skills the same way that they teach sharing and potty training, all of which are important life-skills that, although never learned on the first try, are taught continually until mastered. This French concept of “éducation” when applied to mealtime means that if a child doesn’t appreciate the savory flavor of artichoke or the earthy sweetness of beets, then he or she simply hasn’t been exposed to them enough, and he will learn to enjoy the flavor with time and repeated offerings.” She then goes onto ask “how, then, can we re-educate our children to appreciate healthy eating?”

Anne’s blog is a wonderful tribute to those parents who opt for healthy and all natural meal alternatives. In it she thoughtfully includes numerous practical and creative ideas and recipes to “help parents instill in their children a love of eating real food.”