From farm to fork: Whistling Acres Farm serves as a haven for small batch, locally raised food
Near the Osage River is a family farm that is blossoming with activity. From heritage hogs giving birth to multiple litters, to hearty Boer and Nubian goats producing bucklings and doelings, Whistling Acres Farm is a haven for small batch locally raised food for the community.
As soon as shortages were realized in grocery store meat, dairy, and egg aisles, customers were searching for locally sourced food. Whistling Acres Farm immediately filled the gap.
Soon after the COVID pandemic started, a call went out on Facebook for some to deliver to lake area senior citizens who had needs being met through volunteers when shutdowns became a reality for Miller and Camden counties.
The See family signed up to aid in deliveries to those in need of supplies. In fact, Whistling Acres donated some of the first shipments to a Lake of the Ozarks senior relief, providing eggs, dairy, and meat, all raised on their farm.
It didn’t take long until the owners were realizing a full paying customer waiting list for their farm fresh bacon, pork sausage, eggs, and home baked bread deliveries.
Courtney See, owner of Whistling Acres Farm is a fiercely independent single mother of five, who is dedicated to raising non GMO(non genetically modified) organically fed animals and produce for others, and pasture raising small animals with her kids' help. They even forage for hickory nuts that the family uses in their baking.
A former probation and parole officer, See has found her true calling overseeing the family farm and building a farm-to-table business in the lake area. While running a farm and raising a family is more than full-time occupations, See has embraced the changes in her lifestyle and enjoys sharing her experience with others through her farm fresh products.
Following the farm on Facebook, introduces readers to her favorite recipes for everything from biscuits to mushroom soup and offers a glimpse of daily life on the farm.
A lot of vintage recipes that See uses are modernized into gluten free offerings such as old fashioned pumpkin bread and corn muffins. Her pastured heritage pork is in high demand, with whole hogs already reserved by customers into winter this year.
Her stock is sent to Swiss Meat Company in Hermann, a USDA butcher, and then is either delivered to customers, or sold at the Linn Creek Farmers Market. Soon she will be offering online sales and shipping. Pork isn’t the only option, the demand for goat meat is growing. It is also processed by Swiss Meats, and available at the same outlets. Goat sticks are popular, a jerky seasoned snack stick.
See’s baked goods boast a bit of an unusual addition, that makes an incredible difference in taste. See uses pork fat rendered from their hogs. Using lard produces a cookie that is flakier, slightly salty, and a level above any other cookie. Biscuits, rolls, and cornbread are elevated to new levels by using this simple ingredient.
One of her favorite products is made from fresh goats milk. It's call Cajeta. Cajeta is sticky, gooey, and caramel-like. It’s made by heating and caramelizing a pot of goat's milk and sugar until it reduces to a golden brown color. ...it’s made the exact same way as caramel, except carmel uses cow's milk. Old school techniques require hours to make the sauce, allowing time to reduce down the delicate goat’s milk. It’s great on ice cream, or as See's friends like to use it for dipping apple slices. She also home crafts soap and cheese from the goat’s milk, as well as selling the raw product.
Right now, it’s extremely busy at Whistling Acres Farm with goat kidding and pig farrowing happening at the same time. See developed a breed of pigs unique to her farm, which crossed several varieties of exclusive small pasture pigs to produce an animal with good matriarchal tendencies.
“I worked for seven years to develop this breed, I am very happy with it” she said. Indeed, the smaller heritage stock is so comfortable in their pasture that they build farrowing nests and have litters in the fields.
White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 t. Salt
½ t. Baking soda
1 egg (preferably free range farm fresh)
¾ cup rendered lard (cracklings filtered out)
1 ½ cups white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Beat one farm fresh egg with the sugars until fluffy. Beat in rendered lard. Mix all dry ingredients separately. Combine with wet ingredients. Stir in white chocolate chips and cranberries. ½ cup of any kind of nuts can also be stirred in. Chill dough for 30 minutes. Drop by spoonfuls onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake on 375 for 10 minutes.