Blog

Explore and Learn

SNAP ONLINE Eligible CSA/Produce Subscriptions Now Available in Lompoc
Press

SNAP ONLINE Eligible CSA/Produce Subscriptions Now Available in Lompoc

Lompoc direct-to-consumer farm the first in Santa Barbara County to accept SNAP/EBT payments online. Lompoc, California: Dare 2 Dream Farms today announced the launch of a new e-commerce platform that can now accept SNAP Online for customers using EBT/SNAP benefits. Their store launch in the GrownBy app offers a new way for SNAP/EBT customers to purchase locally grown produce and

Read More »
Five Ways to Identify a Young Rooster or Cockerel
Keeping Chickens

Five Ways to Identify a Young Rooster or Cockerel

When you purchase your chickens from Dare 2 Dream Farms, you can rest assured that we provide a Healthy Hen Guarantee policy with every purchase of standard chicken breeds. However, since sexing chickens is only about 95% accurate, it’s natural to wonder if you might have a young rooster, or cockerel, in the coop. Most baby chicks are sexed at

Read More »
Keeping Chickens

Use These 8 Factors to Determine: Is a Roo Right for You?

Nothing says “countryside” quite like the quintessential crow of a rooster in the early morning. These barnyard creatures are beautiful with their shiny and iridescent feathers and their confident strut, and can often be quite chivalrous with your flock of endearing hens. Though you do not need a rooster for a hen to lay eggs, they are necessary if you

Read More »
Keeping Chickens

Exercise 5 Mandatory Biosecurity Rules to Prevent Illness in your Chickens

California is experiencing an outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease, a devastating illness in chickens that has been dormant since 2003; a reminder that protecting our birds against diseases is one of the top priorities in good backyard chicken flock management. A comprehensive approach to wellness in chicken flocks includes not just biosecurity but a well-rounded diet, healthy living conditions, preventative

Read More »
Keeping Chickens

Tips for Integrating Chickens

No matter how sweet, fun-loving, and friendly Lucy and Ethel are with you and with each other, as soon as you add new chickens to their perfect little flock, they will probably transform in front of your very eyes to bullies! The shock of this transformation in conjunction with your concern for the well-being of the new little girls may

Read More »
Top 5 Fruits and vegetables for your Chickens
Gardening

Top 5 Fruits and Vegetables for Your Chickens | Each Season of the Year

Chickens love what’s your growing in your garden just as much as you do! You may questions about what is good (and maybe not so good) to be feeding your chickens from the garden and kitchen compost like: The answers are actually very easy to find: nature provides! Each season, there are a variety of different vegetables that are able

Read More »
Five week old Golden Sexlink in a brooder
Keeping Chickens

Raising Baby Chicks for Beginners, Part 3: Caring for baby chicks

Once you have all the gear you need to raise baby chicks, it’s all about the know-how. Yes, their tiny fluffy bodies, teeny feet, and sweet chirps will demand all your attention for cuddles and training; but baby chicks are also fairly sensitive and require specific conditions to thrive. Here you’ll find answers to the most common questions about raising

Read More »
Raising Baby Chicks For Beginners, Part 2: How To Buy Baby Chicks
Keeping Chickens

Raising Baby Chicks for Beginners, Part 2: How to buy baby chicks

Planning ahead when you purchase baby chicks can save you from a lot of surprise and heartache. Before you buy, we recommend reading Raising Baby Chicks for Beginners, Part 1: Gathering the right supplies and tools. To enjoy the full experience of baby chicks, purchase chicks that are less than two weeks old. At this age, they’re still mighty fluffy,

Read More »
Chickens
Keeping Chickens

4 Important Things to Consider when Ordering your First Chickens

In addition to looking forward to scrumptious and beautiful eggs, as backyard chicken keepers, we also hope that our feathered, breakfast-making ladies will be our pets too. As you prepare to get chickens for your coop and backyard, there are a few important things to consider in order to foster a flock that is healthy, happy with each other, and happy

Read More »
Baby chicken
Keeping Chickens

Raising Baby Chicks for Beginners, Part 1: Gathering the right supplies and tools

Raising baby chicks is a joyful and rewarding experience and uniquely magical for children. Chickens are naturally sociable animals and enjoy human interaction, and as chicks, they are curious and loving. Although baby chicks don’t imprint on humans (take you as their mother) as ducklings do, they are remarkably easy to bond with when they’re raised by you from a

Read More »
Keeping Chickens

Re-homing Chickens: How to find a forever home for roosters and hens

Deciding to keep chickens is a great move for many households and families that choose to live more sustainably, want to teach children how to care for pets and take on responsibilities, or need pets that offer affection but don’t bring dander and allergens into the house. With all the personality they pack into that tiny fluffy body, it’s nearly

Read More »
Benefits of eating local organic
Farmhouse Kitchen

The Benefits of Eating Local, Organic

Globally There are so many reasons to eat local, but one that many seem to oversee, is that it saves our planet! When we purchase produce at the grocery store, most of the produce is in packaging, shipped from states or countries away! When you think about all that goes into getting a bunch of bananas from Costa Rica, you must

Read More »
A dusty chicken is a clean chicken
Keeping Chickens

A Dusty Chicken is a Clean Chicken

Chickens have a natural way of keeping their feathers clean, healthy, and free of pests: dust baths! Rolling around in the dirt is a fun, social and preventative health measure that is important for all chickens. Description Watching your chickens take a dust bath can be highly entertaining. They scratch at the dirt, making sure the spot is just right.

Read More »
Perks of Pumpkins
Keeping Chickens

Perks of Pumpkins

Every November, when Halloween has come and gone, our neighbor Jim gives us all the picked-over pumpkins from his patch down the road. We load up the bed of our old Ford pickup and truck tons of free feed to our pasture for the chickens. The hens effortlessly devour the piles of pumpkins, pecking a hole in one side and

Read More »
Farming
Gardening

Do you LOVE farming?

Of all the questions we answer regarding backyard chickens, coops, and urban farming, the most common question we hear is “Do you LOVE your job?” The cool thing about this question is that even on long delivery days or hot and grimy farmwork days, we get to say yes! We have a lot of reasons to love our job: we work with each other, with

Read More »
Wrinkled egg
Keeping Chickens

Wrinkled Eggs

Fresh eggs are a great way to eat healthy. As an egg connoisseur or as a backyard chicken owner, it’s important to understand what your eggs are telling you by their shape, color, texture, and size. These varied and unique qualities can be an indication of the chicken’s age, chicken’s health, chicken’s breed, and the quality of the egg itself.

Read More »
Keeping Chickens

Double Yolk Eggs

Although double yolk eggs are not rare (about 1/500 eggs), they are still really exciting to find and they have been throughout history. Some used to believe it was good luck in general while others believed it was a sign of an upcoming marriage or death. Whatever you choose to believe, it is still fun to crack open a large

Read More »
Pineapple recipe
Farmhouse Kitchen

Yellow Pineapple Tomato and Mango Salsa Fresca

It’s already Fall and we received our first rain this week, but its still hotter than blazes here in Lompoc, California, and we’re looking for refreshing ways to eat. DIY tacos are always an easy meal to serve since we feed our work-stay guests and WWOOFers – everyone can put their own fillings, manage their spice tolerance, and easily manage

Read More »

Twice Baked, Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

I’d say most people agree, spaghetti squash is delicious, but it doesn’t really hold a candle to actual spaghetti. When you add in tomato sauce, the squash doesn’t soak in the extra moisture from the sauce, making for a watery and sloppy dish. Pesto goes better with squash “spaghetti”, but it needs something more. Spaghetti squash does, however, make a

Read More »

Teaching Kids How to Raise their Own Chickens For Eggs

It’s back to school for many, and we’re ready with pens, calculators, papers and books for our reading, writing, and arithmetic. But teaching about agriculture and food systems is sadly not on many schools’ curricula. Whether your kids learn at home or at school, incorporating discussions around growing food, sourcing food, and eating healthy is a great way to encourage

Read More »

6 Ways to Beat the Boom: Keeping Chickens Safe from Fireworks Noise

Don’t forget your chickens during this year’s 4th of July or New Year’s Eve fireworks displays. Dogs and cats aren’t the only animals that experience extreme distress due to loud noises. While most chickens snooze right through the party, others may react with varying degrees of distress due to the loud noises, bright lights, and quick movements. The panic experienced

Read More »

Portugal’s Traditional Green Soup: Caldo Verde

This week, the Raff Familia headed to Portugal to visit our 2014 WWOOF-USA guests that became dear friends. Kristen Kelley and Andrea Ribolla opened a pizzeria in Zambujiera do Mar in Portugal this year, where we will visit them, along with discovering Lisbon with them for a few days. In appreciation, we have shared a delicious veggie forward dish that

Read More »

Roasted Vegetables and Feta Pasta Salad

Since we have an abundance of vegetables around the farm lately, we’ve had to search out different recipes that will help us use them all up. We found this recipe for a pasta salad that used roasted vegetables and we were intrigued! Not only does it call for our current fall produce, but it adds goat cheese. After thinking about

Read More »

Braised Brussels Sprout Gratin

Brussels Sprouts are probably my husbands favorite veggie. No, scratch that. They’re definitely my husband’s favorite veggie. He’s really a meat and potatoes kind of guy. He eats his burgers with just meat, cheese, and bun only. He loves growing veggies but he doesn’t really like a lot of them: peppers, hot or sweet, tomatoes, eggplant… nope, nope, nope. But

Read More »

Chickens and Rickets – Nutritional Deficiencies Explained

Description Rickets is loosely translated to “poverty of the bones.” It is caused by a deficiency of Vitamin D3, or by an imbalance of Calcium and Phosphorus in the diet. The result is weak or soft bones that are prone to bowing and inhibit mobility. Mycotoxins – toxins from mold or fungus – as well as some medication may also

Read More »

Creamy Tomato Leek Soup

What can I say? It’s fall, which is soup season, and I’ve been thinking about every kind of soup out there! My brain wants to combine soups? Sure, why not! I’ll clean the bowl with all our fresh farm style breads! It’s also, ‘holy cow, we have a lot of tomatoes’ season! And too soon it’s going to be… ‘where

Read More »

Roasted Garlic and Spaghetti Squash Soup

Our shelves are filled to the brim with the years harvest of winter squash. While butternut squash is easy to sell in a creamy, sweet soup, or oven roasted with spices, or even in a salad; its not easy to sell spaghetti squash, on my family at least. But we all have one thing in common: we’d eat about anything

Read More »

Lemony Green Beans with Toasted Garlic and Pine Nuts

My father shared a meme with me this week… (Note: I never thought I’d use that sentence ever but it makes me quite happy). You may have already seen it floating around the interwebs. But I share this because it seems like this might be the uniting core value of our family. So for fair warning, this recipe calls for

Read More »

4 Reasons to Avoid Mash Chicken Feeds

Have you ever poured out the end of a bag of feed only to find what’s left is mostly dust? Or cleaned out the chicken coop to find that much of what’s getting mucked out is actually wasted feed? Do you ever wonder if you should be choosing a different type of feed? There is little education on the differences

Read More »

2018 People, Lessons & Accomplishments on the Farm: A look back in pictures.

We’ve had a really great year in 2018! It was leaps and bounds more productive and healthy than in recent years. The people we hosted were fun and inspirational, and we learned quite a bit together as a team, as humans, and as farmers. We hosted work-stay guests through WWOOF-USA and HelpX from across the globe: Canada, England, Japan, France,

Read More »

Raw Broccoli and Arugula Saladn

Raw broccoli is here to help you ring in the new year! For any #newyearnewme resolution makers, and anyone feeling a bit drab after the back-to-back holiday party spreads, cookie trays, and See’s candy gifts, this salad has your name on it. It’s loaded with nutrient dense veggies, fresh flavors, and bright colors to keep you coming back for more.

Read More »

Healthy Harvest: Eggs by Healthline with Dare 2 Dream Farms

“I would say an egg a day keeps the doctor away. It’s great protein. It’s a good way to start your breakfast and stay strong, keep your brain functioning at its top performance, and keep all your joints healthy and moving with all those omega-3 fatty acids. “Hi, I’m Megan Raff, co-owner of Dare 2 Dream Farms. We are located

Read More »

Packed Purple Power Slaw

Purple foods are a heavy hitter when it comes to raw nutrients and cancer-fighting antioxidants. Generally speaking, the brighter the color the richer they are in these properties. Anthocyanins are the antioxidant responsible for the beautiful deep red or purple color found in crops like carrots, radicchio, cauliflower, cabbage and kohlrabi pictured above. In addition to fighting free-radicals, these bright

Read More »

Kohlrabi, Apple and Feta Bites

We’re getting started on this year’s farm dinner and events schedule and our creative juices are flowing! If you didn’t know yet, we’re expecting baby #3 in April. We decided to give ourselves the surprise of gender at birth – really the last great surprise in our age! We have a boy, Wyatt (4), and a girl, Zoe (2), so

Read More »

Supreme Grapefruit & Radish Salad with Grapefruit Balsamic Dressing

When our livestock manager, Rachel, takes a visit home to Riverside, she brings back bags upon bags of fresh citrus from the local farmers that sell at the California Citrus State Historic Park Farm Stand: oranges, tangelos, tangerines, and grapefruits. They’re so delicious, and so fresh and we’re always looking for ways to use them all up! I recently learned

Read More »

Citrus Salad, put it to the Zest!

So far this citrus season has been plentiful on the farm thanks to Rocking Chair Farms, Good Land Organic and Bautista Family Farms. Our Farm Box members can tell you first hand we have numerous varieties of citrus this winter from lemons to different oranges. But don’t get fooled, oranges are not just for breakfast, a snack, or juice, they

Read More »

Lettuce learn about lettuce

Lettuce starts this off by giving you a few amazing facts about this delicious, highly versatile, and nearly 95% water vegetable. This annual plant of the daisy family is the second most popular veggie in the U.S., right behind the potato. The average American roughly eats around 30 pounds a year. We can start by giving thanks to Christopher Columbus,

Read More »

Now, that’s a wrap!

The first thing that came to mind after putting together this week’s Farm Box list was Asian. Throughout my 23 years career in the kitchen, I’ve cooked many different types of cuisines but my all-time favorite next to French is Asian. Luckily for me, Dare 2 Dream really gives me the freedom to express myself as a chef, not only

Read More »

Don’t worry, be happea

Peas are one of my favorite things to harvest, but I’ve got to be careful because they are so addictive I could easily eat the whole crate. These sweet and tasty little treats are a great source of vitamin A, C, B1, folate, iron, and phosphorus, they are also rich in protein and low in fat. Peas date back to

Read More »

Food so nice they named it twice

Despite what you may have heard, COUSCOUS is actually pasta made of semolina and wheat flour, not a type of whole grain, even though it does have a rice-like appearance. This North African staple is popular all over the world, the two most common varieties found in America are Moroccan and Israeli style or Pearl. Pearl is the one I’ll

Read More »

When shiitake happens, eat it up!

Mushrooms are vital to life on Earth, fungi are all around us: in the air, soil, and even in our bodies. They have an amazing relationship with the food we eat by drawing nutrients and water from all over in exchange for the plant’s natural sugars. There are at least 350 species that are consumed as food, but today I’m

Read More »

We dig parsnips

When it comes to root veggies parsnips are the most underrated of them all. Native to the Mediterranean, this taproot which was introduced to the Americas in 1609 predated potatoes by nearly 100 years, and was cultivated from the wild. Closely related to carrots, parsley, and dill, which are all part of the Aplacene family, parsnips have a sweet, nutty

Read More »

More than just RADish, they’re totally rad!

One of the first things that come to my mind when thinking about a beautiful garnish for my next dish or a crisp, peppery flavored treat, I think of Radishes. These amazing edible root veggies which are part of the Brassicaceae family are a go-to for any chef or vegetable lover and have been for many years. Without any proof

Read More »

Blast off with Rocket Pesto

Be-leaf-me these greens are super delicious and versatile. Today I’m going to give you another cool way to utilize this amazing member of the brassica family, but first here’s a little background on Arugula. Also known as Rocket, Rucola, Roquette, and Ruchetta, this annual is native to the Mediterranean and has been used for thousands of years for its culinary

Read More »

From art heart to yours

Almost all the artichokes you will get in the U.S. come from right here in our backyards. Our foggy cool climate is ideal for their cultivation, that’s why roughly 99% of the U.S. crop comes from California. Italy is the world’s top producer followed by Egypt, Spain, and Peru. Native to the Mediterranean, artichokes, which are part of the sunflower

Read More »

I have bean dreaming about this recipe

This ancient legume is not only one of the oldest known cultivated plants but also a farmer’s best friend and a chef’s treasure. Fresh fava beans, also knowns as Broad beans or Windsor beans, are only available for a short season in the spring. Fortunately, for me here at Dare 2 Dream Farms we have been having access to these

Read More »

Strawberry fields forever

Arguably one of the most popular berries here in the U.S., around 94% of households consume these red delicious beauties and according to the USDA, the average American eats around 3.4 pounds fresh and another 1.8 pounds frozen each year. Here in California, we produce around 75% of the U.S. crop which is right around 1 billion pounds each year.

Read More »

Yellow Squash and Zucchini Gratin

Lately, I’ve been trying to find recipes to replace all the starch in our typical diet. Breads, pastas, potatoes, etc. it can all be too much sometimes. With the garden full of newly ripe zucchini and yellow crookneck squash, I got inspired. Let’s find a recipe to use these up and also replace the starch! Lucky me, I found this

Read More »

Summer Squash Carpaccio with Bovre Cheese Spread

We reach a point *almost* every year, when our ratio of harvested summer squash to hungry mouths becomes great enough to inspire new grand ways to serve it. (Last year was the zucchini tragedy of 2018 when the ratio was nearly even, and we were beside ourselves without a mountain of mouth-watering zucchini bread loaves to consume!) Summer squash are

Read More »
Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top