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Wild Rose Farms

Small farm feeds neighbors in several states

February 22, 2019
By Kristin Danley-Greinter - Farm News staff writer (Farm—News—Iowa—KSDG@msn.com) , Farm News

By KRISTIN DANLEY-GREINER

Farm-News-Iowa-KSDG@msn.com

GLENWOOD - More than 20 years ago, Dee and Bob Mejstrik relocated to a quaint 16-acre property in rural Glenwood, and it didn't take long before the couple decided to take advantage of the produce they'd been raising for themselves and share it with others through their business, Wild Rose Farms.

Article Photos

Bob Mejstrik brought “large blacks” to their operation. They are a hertiage breed that orginally comes from England.

"The first thing Bob said when we started doing farmers markets was that maybe we could get a big enough customer base and I could quit my day job," Dee Mejstrik said. "When I was diagnosed with a thyroid condition and wasn't able to work full-time and work the farm, I went through medical treatments and then we took the plunge to work the farm full-time."

They produce delicacies such as rhubarb and an assortment of vegetables. They also custom raised broilers and collected their eggs for customers, along with turkeys for their own consumption. At one point, they raised Cornish hens for a few years on contract, as well as raising beef.

Today they sell products through an Omaha, Nebraska farmers market at Old Market and at AkSarBen. They also home deliver to customers in the area.

Their pork is also popular, with the Mejstriks averaging upwards of 20 new piglets annually.

"All our meat is processed at a USDA plant," Mejstrik said. "I fought my husband for two years about bringing on hogs, but we eventually settled for a breed from England that's very docile and gentle. They crave human affection like big dogs, They are completely pasture-raised on grass. The meat is lean and they are so much healthier not being in a confinement."

She emphasized that their homegrown products are healthier alternatives to what customers purchase elsewhere.

"I tell my customers that I don't sell any product that I wouldn't eat or serve to my family," she said. "We go for quality, not quantity. If there's anything that doesn't sell, then it goes to the livestock for forage."

She used to raise herbs with her daughter and, after a brief hiatus, hopes to resume growing them on raised beds. While at farmers markets, Mejstrik offers up recipes for customers to use the herbs with their products. She loves entertaining and fixing homemade food for friends and family.

"Once I started gardening more, I began cooking from scratch and resurrected all the old recipes from my grandmother," Mejstrik said. "Then Bob decided to go with the keto diet and focused less on carb items."

Bacon quiche sans crust

This crustless treat, served with a tossed green salad, is the perfect dish for Sunday brunch. Serves 6.

6 eggs

1 cup milk

6 ounces Swiss or Gruyere cheese, shredded

8 slices Wild Rose farm bacon, chopped in small pieces and cooked

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Dash each salt and white pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9-inch or 10-inch quiche dish or pie pan with oil; set aside.

In medium mixing bowl, using a fork beat together eggs and milk until blended; stir in remaining ingredients. Pour mixture into prepared dish/pan and bake 40 to 45 minutes (until knife inserted in center comes out clean )

Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

Portuguese sausage and kale soup

This is a great soup for lunch or dinner, especially on a cold winter day. Use any of Wild Rose Farm pork sausage or fresh bratwurst for this soup. (Hot Italian; German; sweet Italian; andouille; Pepper Jack cheese bratwurst or breakfast sausage.)

Saute in skillet:

6 ounces sausage or bratwurst, sliced

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon olive oil

Then chop 1 pound fresh kale: cut off stems, slice into 1/2 inch pieces; coarsely chop leaves. Keep stems separate.

Next, in soup pot, put 2 cups chicken broth, 4 cups water, 2 carrots, chopped; 1 teaspoon dried or 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and the kale stems. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Next, add the kale leaves and 1/2 cup of rice ( Mejstrik said she uses Royal Rice Blend of white, brown, wild and red rice.)

Bring back to a boil then cover and simmer another 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.

Serve with your favorite crusty bread or crackers and a tossed salad.

Roast whole chicken

Our whole chicken are slow growing meat bird breeds and raised outdoors on pasture. Cooking a pasture raised whole chicken "slow and low" is the key to a delicious tasting bird that will remind you of Sunday chicken dinner at grandma's house.

I usually place fresh herbs like sage, rosemary, and thyme along with chopped onion and a few garlic cloves inside the cavity of the chicken; then put in a slow cooker with a little water, add a pinch of black pepper and light sprinkle of sea salt, if desired. Cook on low in a slow cooker. Or you can place in covered roaster pan in oven at 325 degrees. Cook for 3-4 hours . Cool for 15 to 20 minutes, and then strip the meat off the bones. The meat will be tender, juicy and falling off the bones.

Mejstrik said she uses the meat in any number of chicken dishes, soup, creamed chicken, chicken salad, chicken casseroles, chicken enchiladas, and more.

"But, wait, there's more," she said. "I put the bones and skin back in the slow cooker, add a tablespoon of herbal vinegar, cover with water. Then cook on low for six or more hours. You will have the very best broth you've ever tasted. Great for making gravy or soups. "

Rhubarb cake

In large bowl put:

2 1/3 cup flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup honey

1/2 cup butter, melted

6 farm fresh eggs (or 3 duck eggs)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix well. Then in a 9 by 13-inch cake pan melt 1/2 cup butter. Add 2/3 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar; 1/2 cup raw honey. Stir well with the melted butter. Then spread 2 cups of chopped rhubarb evenly on top. Pour the cake batter evenly over the rhubarb. Finally, pour 1 cup of heavy cream over all.

Bake 350 degree 45 - 55 minutes or until done in center.

Serve warm topped with whipped cream.

 
 

 

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