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Sinclair Family Farm

February 2013
In This Issue
Simple Thoughts
Sheep Spin
Cattle Country
Chicken Chatter
Pork Ponder
Recipes to Share
Simple Thoughts
pig in the henhouse

Winter time is usually a time to catch up on paperwork, fix fences and mend holes in the roof of the barn.  This winter has been up and down for repairs and we seem to be a little slow getting them done for some reason. 
The animals are doing quite well this year so far, growing with little problems or health issues.  Wintertime is always a good time to stand back and take a look at how everything is working and how the animals are getting along.  We are checking the grass growth daily, and watching the animals closely.  Their body condition is so important to keep an eye on! 

I attended the Nevada County Farm Conference and enjoyed listening to Joel Salatin talk with his son and daughter in law about their products and sales.  Where on earth has common sense and  simple gone?  It was a very refreshing talk.

I hope this finds you all well!


Karin Sinclair
Sinclair Family Farm


Sheep Spin 


It has been a bit different this year with our lamb crop.  We started lambing a bit later than we normally do, but it has been pretty continual since they got going.  We thought we had put together a pretty good feeding system to house them during the winter months but the sheep were kind enough to let us know that we didn't really think things through real well. 
We had made some bunk feeders, similar to our cow feeders where they stick their heads through a panel and eat from a box area to keep their hay clean.  We did not take in to account that the lambs would crawl in to the feed area to stay warm. 
Due to the high cost of the feed bill,  we have moved nearly all of the ewes with lambs to our house where we are feeding them all from raised feeders.  They all have a nice dry area to stay out of the weather and can eat hay when ever they want!  The grass is coming, the grass is coming, the grass is coming... repeat again



Cattle Country


The cattle are a little easier to care for than the sheep in that they don't have a lot of maintenance needed.  We had a GREAT group of helpers last week to bring the cows in for their annual vaccinations.  One of the last calves to wean was a bit of a handful and didn't want to cooperate much, but we managed to get the little one in with the other calves.  You would think he would be happy being with the other calves, a lot of buddies to play with.

After the last little drizzle of rain the pastures started to pop up some greenery, which is a blessing around our place.  I spend a lot of time looking at the ground.  There is so much information in the dirt!


This is one of our newest additions.  This is Bambi, our Jersey cow. 





Chicken Chatter


Our Black Australorp hens have started laying and we couldn't be happier!  We have another batch of Buff Orpington young hens that will start laying in a month or so to replace the older hens that we culled out of the flock.  We didn't realize how much we were feeding in relation to the number of eggs we were getting until we culled.  Taking 180 hens to process and yet we were still getting near the same amount of eggs as before that, which meant we were feeding a lot of feed to non productive hens.  We also had a pretty bad problem with some of the hens eating eggs which sure cuts back on your numbers!



This is our latest batch of pigs that entertain us all.  Even our mail lady "Beth" checks on them during her route and wonders where they are when they aren't near the fence to visit.  They are getting pretty "porky" on our broken chicken eggs and cow milk as a mainstay of their diet, as well as the pasture adventures.  They seem to like rooting along the fence line, which of course makes me a bit nervous.  We have had a few batches of the little porkers that have gotten out to visit the neighborhood and it can some times get a bit tricky getting them back in.  They are known as one of the smart critters! Hampshire pigs


Steak Tips with Mushroom-Onion Gravy

Published September 1, 2009.  From Cook's Illustrated.

Serves 4 to 6

Steak tips, also known as flap meat, are sold as whole steak, cubes, and strips. To ensure evenly sized chunks, we prefer to purchase whole steak tips and cut them ourselves. If you can only find cubes or strips, reduce the cooking time slightly to avoid overcooking any smaller or thinner pieces. Cremini mushrooms can be used in place of the white mushrooms. Our preferred brand of beef broth is Pacific. Serve over rice or egg noodles.


  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 pounds sirloin steak tips, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks (see note)
  • 1/4 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed well
  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium beef broth (see note)
  • Table salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound white mushrooms, stems trimmed, caps wiped clean and cut into 1/4-inch slices (see note)
  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced thin (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves


  1. 1. Combine soy sauce and sugar in medium bowl. Add beef, toss well, and marinate at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour, tossing once.
  2. 2. Meanwhile, cover porcini mushrooms with � cup broth in small microwave-safe bowl; cover with plastic wrap, cut several steam vents in plastic with paring knife, and microwave on high power 30 seconds. Let stand until mushrooms soften, about 5 minutes. Lift mushrooms from liquid with fork and mince (you should have about 1� tablespoons). Strain liquid through fine-mesh strainer lined with paper towel into medium bowl. Set mushrooms and liquid aside.
  3. 3. Sprinkle meat with 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Add meat and cook until well browned on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to large plate and set aside.
  4. 4. Return skillet to medium-high heat and add remaining tablespoon oil, white mushrooms, minced porcinis, and � teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until all liquid has evaporated and mushrooms start to brown, 7 to 9 minutes. Scrape pan to loosen fond. Add onion and � teaspoon salt; continue to cook, stirring frequently, until onion begins to brown and dark bits form on pan bottom, 6 to 8 minutes longer. Add garlic, thyme, and flour; cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables are coated with flour, about 1 minute. Stir in remaining 1� cups beef broth and porcini soaking liquid, scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits, and bring to boil.
  5. 5. Nestle steak pieces into mushroom and onion mixture and add any accumulated juices to skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until steak registers 130 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 3 to 5 minutes, turning beef over several times. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.



Where You Can Find Us
We are available at the following Farmers Markets:
Tuesday's Roseville Fountains 8:30 to 12:30
Saturday's Auburn Market 8:00 to 12:00
Our products are available at our cold storage facility Monday thru Friday from 7 am to 4 pm.    We also offer cold storage space rental, with cooler and freezer space available. 
We are accepting credit cards at our cold storage  facililty


About Us
We would certainly like to thank the many of you that have purchased our products and would love to hear back from you!
Visit our website at www.sinclairfamilyfarm.net and check us out on Twitter and Facebook!

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