Salsa Verde

It seems like just about everyone has seen the value of growing something for themselves and my Dad is no different. He is the type who has to stay busy! So even while under quarantine that meant finding something to do around the house. For him that was not only building a shed from the ground up, but also starting a garden. Good thing his daughter is a farmer!

With many different transplants and a few seeds in hand off I went. Daddy, as I will forever call him is the construction foreman of every single project at Hawkins Homestead Farm. Even buildings we’ve purchased he’s had a hand in making them better! So there was no way that I wasn’t going to help him start a garden at their new home. We planted tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, okra (his favorite), green beans, watermelons, and tomatillos! (I’m sure there’s more….)

Fast forward to a few weeks later when I popped a tomatillo, peeled the husk, and gave it to him. His reaction…PRICELESS!

“What is that? It’s like a fruit….it’s so good! We have to take one of those to your mother. Awe it’s so good! Thank you. Thank you for giving me one of those”

I wish I could have recorded it! Not all recipes have a story, but some do and they produce memories that are close to our heart. This salsa verde is simple, and delicious. You may even already know how to make it, but I wanted to share it with you because it’s a great way to use a fruit that not many people grow.

Of course we’ve already started this years plants for Daddy’s garden and ours as well. Don’t worry we would never leave you out, so if you’d like to grow your own tomatillos, we got them started for you. Our “Spring” plant sale went live even before Spring did. 

I hope you loved the story and enjoy making the recipe below. It’s not my own, but I promise it’s a good one. You can find it here



Asian Inspired Shrimp Stir Fry

So as you can imagine with our Asian Garden theme, we love to eat Asian inspired dishes. Last nights dinner was shrimp stir-fry with rice noodles. The best part about this is that for those of you who can’t have gluten this one is completely gluten free!

Our yearly family vacation has turned into a  fishing trip to the Gulf Shore. While there we always purchase shrimp fresh from the boat that we take back home for the freezer.

Since the weather is all over the place in December and unseasonably warm our Pak Choi cabbage has decided it’s time to go seed, so we decided to cook it.


Here’s a quick recipe:

2 Pak Choi cabbages chopped roughly
1 whole onion sliced
1 heaping Tablespoon of garlic
30-40 shrimp (family of four)
A mix of organic olive oil and Baklouti Oil
(from 2 The Olive Fruit)
Coconut Aminos to taste (soy sauce alternative)
Package of Rice Sticks (Publix)
Ginger Powder (to taste)
3 drops Lemon oil (I used lemon vitality oil)

Add olive oil to the pan and lightly sauté onions, garlic, and choi (you want the choi to retain some crunch) on low heat

Remove from heat

Place rice sticks in a bowl of cool water and soak for 8 minutes then drain. (set timer)

At about 6 minutes in, place pan back on heat, then add coconut aminos, shrimp, and ginger.

Once your timer goes off, drain rice sticks and then add to pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

Once done add lemon oil and stir.

Serve immediately and enjoy! (Save those Chinese takeout containers….they come in handy!

Radish and Broccoli Rabe Stir Fry

In the Fall we grow plenty of organic radishes! This year we grew organic broccoli rabe for the first time and have been enjoying eating it. I created a fantastic recipe with the help of a tip from our friends at Bain Home Gardens that was gone almost as soon as I made it that I want to share with you. It is as follows:


A bunch of broccoli rabe (roughly chopped)

3 medium radishes (sliced)

2 Tablespoons of minced garlic (or more to taste)

3 Tablespoons of Olive oil

Bone Broth (or chicken broth/stock if you haven’t any)

Half an onion diced

Salt to taste


Pour 2 Tablespoons of olive oil into the bottom of a large pan

Add in onions, garlic, and radishes

Cook until lightly browned and the radishes have softened

Add in the remaining olive oil

Add in broccoli rabe by the handful while mixing

Add Salt and allow to cook down.

Once everything has cooked down add about 1 cup of Broth and simmer on low for about 15 mins.


Disaster Preparedness!

As everyone continues the long process of recovering from Hurricane Michael, we want you all to know that our family is praying for yours.

As of today we’re still without power, but we’re making the most of it. We are spending our days rebuilding, replanting, clearing, cleaning, and recovering. Our nights are quiet, but spent with family. We have been enjoying grilling and figuring out how to maneuver in the dark.

We’re thankful to be safe and that we have our home. So many people cannot say these words and so we will not complain! We ask that you continue to pray for all the people who have lost so much. If there is something you can do to help the hurricane victims, please do. Whether you can go into that area and provide a skill, make a donation, or maybe you can simply assist someone in your own area.

Any small acts of kindness, goes a long way!

This Hurricane has taught us how important it is to have a plan not only to evacuate, but also for your animals, those inside and out. For us it was a little difficult because not only do we have our usual chickens, 2 dogs, and our cat, Oscar, but we also have 6 puppies as well.

Our goal was to make sure that we were safe and also that all of our animals were too! We want to share with you what works for us and also what we have on the ready at all times.

Outside Plan: This is a basic list for our outdoor animals and items.

1. Bring in all tools, food bins, outside furniture, anything loose to prevent damages

2. Lock up all chickens in their coops and secure

3. Bring out extra feeders and waterers and fill in case of extended absence

4. Secure outside trash bin (we actually forgot to do this)

5. If needed board up windows

6. Harvest what you can

Inside Plan: We have pets so it’s important we have something ready for them. We also use the buddy system. Everyone is assigned a person and they are responsible for them.

1. Pack animals, food (already bagged), water, bowls, and their leashes.

2. Buddy check! Do they have everything?

3. Cell phones and chargers packed

4. Important documents like insurance policies, passports, bank account numbers, etc.

Ready Bags: Having a bag already packed saves time. You simply grab and go because you’re already ready.

1. Two pairs of pants

2. Two shirts

3. One pair of shorts

4. Jacket or sweater

5. Undergarments

6. Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, washcloth, wet wipes, sanitary napkins

7. Medicine(s) including vitamins or supplements

8. Water (we try to keep some in the trunk, but 8 bottles in the bag)

9. Cash (ATM’s may not work)

10. Flashlight

11. Non-perishable foods

12. First aid kit

13. Battery operated radio with extra batteries

14. Extra chargers or a charger station as needed

15. Napkins

16. Map (Cellphones may not work)

This is a basic list assuming that you’re just evacuating and have a safe place to go. You could add more things like a whistle, can opener, fire starter, cast iron pot/pan, plastic silverware, matches, bowls, cups, sleeping bags, blankets, etc. in the event of a severe emergency.

Everyone is different and has their own unique set of circumstances. So please do what works for you! This list can be used as a starting point.

We found a great resource here that will give you more ideas on what you need. If anyone knows of another resource or has something to add, please do!

Above all the main goal is to keep yourself and your family safe. Hopefully this helps!

New Pricing!

As of June 30, 2018, we will be streamlining our direct from farm prices across the board. Some of you may have noticed this change in our pricing structure already. We initially thought that pricing our birds at a flat rate would be a better option, but with the rising cost of organic feed, we are finding the expense is too great. We believe this will be beneficial to everyone going forward. Our new direct pricing is as follows:

Whole Organic Chickens: $6/lb

Small/Medium Eggs: $4/Dozen

Large Eggs: $5/Dozen

Jumbo Eggs: $6/Dozen

18 Count Eggs: $7

30 Count Mixed Flat: $15

Chicken Livers: $5/lb

Chicken Feet: $7/lb

Chicken Gizzards and Hearts: $5/lb

Due to this pricing structure we can no longer offer our whole chicken through The Market. All whole chicken sales will be direct only.

Please call, message through our Facebook page, or email your order through our contact page.

Announcements will be made for Harvest Days and our birds can be reserved in advance.

You can continue to place orders for all our other products through our shop page:

Thank you for the support your families have given ours. We appreciate every single order, big or small. We are proud that we are able to keep our standards high and provide clean quality food for everyone and we hope to continue to do so for a long time to come.

Lesson Learned!

I have shared with many of you our family struggles to find healthy food upon moving to this area. I have also shared our story about how Hawkins Homestead Farm came to be, but what I haven’t shared is why I specifically need to eat this way. Over the past 5 years my health has severely declined. As a child I had a heart murmur and suffered from rheumatic fever. Throughout my life, I have had issues with my heart because of this combination. I didn’t always do the best in taking care of my health so now as I age, it has started to catch up to me.

I have acid reflux so I have to watch what I eat. I love spicy foods, but sadly they don’t love me back. In 2011, I developed a blueberry allergy from what I was told were pesticides on the blueberries, but they were supposed to be organic! I have tried over the years since then to eat blueberries or things with blueberries in them, but my body has rejected them all. I also suffer from various other allergies and I live with back pain. If that’s not enough, in the past 2 years, I have been hospitalized twice and had many other ER and cardiologist visits due to issues related to my heart. During one hospitalization, the doctors believe I had a mini stroke or a TIA. There is something going on inside me, that mimics a heart attack, but the doctors can’t pinpoint it. I have had every test imaginable and I’m still going through them. The doctors are trying to figure it all out. It has been extremely difficult at times, but my reliance on God and a supportive group of friends and family has helped me tremendously!

My most recent hospitalization happened this past weekend. For the past 3 weeks, I had been eating a strict vegan diet throughout the week to support a friend. So Monday-Thursday, vegetables. Friday-Sunday, my regular diet. I had been doing this without problem or issue, but for some silly reason this past Saturday was a heavy meat day for me….and not the USUAL meat I eat. We wanted to try bison so we purchased some bison steaks from a local retailer, we also had turkey bacon, store bought grass fed lamb, and beef sticks that day. All things I don’t usually eat. This was also the day I found one of our birds headless….

Needless to say, by the end of the night I ended up in the ER. I was admitted and had to stay in the hospital until a few days ago. I can’t tell you for sure what happened. The doctors don’t even know. I can only relate to you the difference in what I normally do and how I know I should care for my body and what happens when I don’t. I talk all the time about how our health is directly related to what we eat. I should have listened to myself speak! I know my body and I know what’s best for me. I grow and eat organically and true grass fed or pastured because I have to. My health depends on it. I watched my husband stress over me while I was hospitalized. I don’t want to put him or my children through that! Diet equals health! I could have chosen not to share this information, but we all make mistakes and do things we know we shouldn’t. Hopefully this information will be helpful to someone else.

So as soon as I feel up to it, I will be making a trip out to Working Cows Dairy to get what I believe is the best organic dairy products offered locally in our area. Not too long ago we took a trip out to Gaucho Farms and as soon as her lamb comes in, she has our business. I am eating produce from our garden and will make sure that our meats come from local trusted sources. If we’re not growing it, I go to Bain Home Gardens to get it. Sometimes we have to learn the hard way in order to get the lesson. I know I still have a long way to go with the doctors and all, but I can at least do my part by trying to eat myself well!

Class Recipes!

If you’re looking for the recipes from our class on how to stretch a whole chicken then you’re in the right spot! Remember you can cut up the chicken into pieces and cook it throughly in the oven or slow cooker to save time. However, the recipes listed below do provide cooking instructions if you choose not to cook them in advance.

We hope you love these recipes as much as we do!

*Feel free to change or add to these recipes what your family likes to eat. As you will see some things are optional. What works for us, may not always work for you and that’s ok.

Chicken Pot Pie


  • 1 whole chicken breast
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can of water
  • Fresh or frozen mixed vegetables (we like to use carrots, corn, peas, and green beans)
  • 2 deep dish pie crusts
  • 2 pie crust tops
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Remove pie tops from package and let rest on counter
  • Split chicken lengthwise and cut into bit sized portions
  • Cook until throughly done
  • In a separate pot add cream of chicken and water
  • Stir in mixed vegetables and chicken
  • Allow this to simmer until vegetables are tender
  • Once done, split mixture between the two pie crusts
  • Roll pie crusts tops over each one and use a fork to seal down the edges
  • Cut off excess dough
  • Cut 4-5 slits in the pie top to allow steam to vent
  • Cook in the oven at 350° until golden brown
  • Allow to cool once done and enjoy

Chicken Tacos


  • 1 whole chicken breast
  • 2 cans of black beans
  • 2 cups of diced tomatoes or one large can
  • 1 whole green pepper chopped
  • A small to medium onion chopped
  • Water
  • Lettuce
  • Sour cream
  • Cumin (We use this in place of taco seasoning)
  • Chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh cilantro (optional)
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Taco/burrito shells


  • Season chicken breast with cumin and chili powder in a covered skillet with water on low to medium until meat is cooked throughly and soft enough to be shredded
  • Once done, shred meat
  • Add black beans, diced tomatoes, chopped peppers, and onions to the pot
  • Season with more cumin and chili powder to taste
  • Add water and allow to simmer on low until vegetables are soft
  • Once done add mixture to the shell of your choice
  • Top with lettuce, sour cream, and fresh cilantro

Curry Chicken Salad


  • 2 chicken thighs
  • A cup of dried cranberries (We like to use the organic ones that are sweetened with apple juice)
  • 1 red onion diced (optional)
  • 1 whole pink lady apple roughly chopped
  • 1-2 stalks of celery diced
  • 2 Tablespoons (or less-really to taste) of mayonnaise
  • Curry powder to taste
  • Salt and pepper
  • Bread of your choice


  • Bake chicken in the oven until cooked all the way through
  • Once done, allow to cool, and remove meat from bones
  • Place meat in a bowl, add all other ingredients, and mix well
  • Use bread to make sandwiches and enjoy

Barbecue Chicken


  • 2 chicken legs
  • 2 whole wings
  • Mesquite seasoning
  • Salt and pepper
  • Barbecue sauce of your choice


  • Season meat with mesquite seasoning, salt, pepper, and place on preheated grill
  • Cook throughly
  • Once done, brush with barbecue sauce and enjoy

This meal is great paired with some grilled potatoes, asparagus, and a side salad of your choice

Chicken Soup


  • Chicken back
  • Olive oil
  • 3 -4 celery stalks chopped
  • 2-3 Carrots chopped
  • Garlic
  • A whole medium onion chopped
  • Cold water
  • 1/2 cup of rice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Add olive oil to a large stockpot along with garlic, onions, and celery
  • Cooked until vegetables have softened
  • Add entire chicken back to the pot
  • You will later remove bones which can be saved for broth, or you can pick the meat beforehand
  • Add carrots
  • Cover with cold water and season with salt and pepper to taste
  • Simmer on low until meat is throughly cooked and falls off the bone
  • If meat is cooked beforehand- simmer for 30 minutes in low
  • Add rice and cook until just about done (add more water if needed)


Oscar is our 6 month old “baby” cat. I mean that term in every sense of the word. He loves to be loved! You can’t hold or rub him enough. He even tries to express his love to inanimate objects like the desk, couch, or wall. It’s so funny to watch him purr and rub his whole body against these things.

Oscar was the only cat out of a litter of 6 that we kept because of his gentleness. He was hand picked by our 11 year old son. In the above picture, he is in his favorite place to be….the ottoman! He will sit there and meow. It’s his hang out and sleep spot….although he has been known to try to sleep with Coffee on occasion. This doesn’t always work out in his favor, but it did this time.

Oscar loves to eat! He hears the food hit the bowl and comes running. It doesn’t matter what bowl or what food…. he will eat it. He has had a couple of close ones with Coffee over her food because she is simply not about to share. He has had to learn how to defend himself against her and has recently perfected the art of the sneak attack.

The funniest thing about Oscar is that he doesn’t like to stay home for long and will let you know it! He literally goes to the door and meows to be let out. Once the door is opened…out he goes. When he is ready to come back in or gets hungry, he comes in, until the next time. Overall we love Oscar and he is a wonderful addition to our Homestead.


Teddy is a Great Pyrenees Lab mix who belongs to our oldest daughter. He was rescued as a puppy from a shelter in 2016. He is almost 2 years old now as shown above. His favorite pastime is trying to figure out ways to escape the fence. Being part Pyrenees, he loves to roam so he has dug holes to get under and even knocked it down (when we were doing maintenance).

Teddy loves to eat! See him above as a puppy munching on fresh broccoli. If you have food, Teddy is your new best friend. He has begging down to a perfect science! One funny and sometimes annoying thing about Teddy is that he has never really mastered the command, COME. Well at least that’s the excuse I’m giving him. It’s like a game because he will literally sit there while you’re prodding him to come, turn his head sideways like “are you talking to me?” and then IGNORE you. You know that he hears you and he may even stop, but then decide he has better things to do and walk the other way.

Outside with the chickens, Teddy is constantly learning that they are just as important as he is. He has taken out a few when his instincts and curiosity took over, but that is to be expected when training.

With the addition of our other animals, Teddy has been very kind. He loves Coffee and even shares his bed with Oscar. Overall he is a fun dog and we love him. Now, if only we could stop him from shedding so much!


Meet Coffee! She is a lab mix and the newest addition to our Homestead. Isn’t she adorable? (I know you’re thinking YES right?)

Please allow me to give you her back story. A few weeks ago we received a call….not just a regular call, but a FaceTime call from our daughter telling us that they have puppies at Walmart. I was like “uh Walmart sells puppies?” “No mom.” Then she turns the camera around and my heart melted! There were puppies caged in the back of a truck. Their owner wasn’t able to keep them after his dog ran off and came back pregnant. They were all so cute, but what really did it for me was the one word I needed to hear, FREE!

So I began to pick one out over the video call. Meanwhile my husband was in the background, saying “no…no….NO!” At first I was discouraged thinking well maybe I won’t be getting a puppy after all. Then I had the thought of how we needed to replace our dog, Dusty. Dusty was a stray we rescued. We loved him, but he loved to eat chickens so we gave him to a family without any.

Needless to say I had to ask my husband a little more than once while pleading my case. There were some trade offs and we had to make a phone call to our youngest son for approval, but he finally said YES! That yes was conditional though….we couldn’t pick out a puppy over FaceTime, so off we went.

Now originally my Dusty replacement was supposed to be a MANS dog. You know like a German Shepard or a Rottweiler. I mean I had the name picked out and everything! So this whole “free puppy” thing was messing me up! I couldn’t name a lab, Roscoe. It just didn’t seem to fit.

Since we gave Dusty to a new family, I was sure that my replacement would be a male dog. The problem was when I arrived I saw this girl above. You can’t tell it from the picture, but she has these eyes and…..well she lives here now so you get it.

The moral of the story is if your daughter or someone else you know calls you and says FREE puppies and you have a place in your heart and home where that animal can be cared for and loved, then just do it. You won’t regret it!