Here We Come A-Caroling… Again!

The Horst Family

For hundreds of years, groups of singers have gone from house to house singing carols at Christmas time to spread love and cheer. Each of you, our friends, are spread far and wide. Last year our family decided to take Christmas caroling into the tech age by caroling for each of you, wherever you are, using the connectivity of our electronic devices. This year, we are continuing the tradition with some additional Christmas carols!

Merry Christmas!

Download for free on CDBaby

In addition, the music is also available as a CD on Amazon; at music download sites such as Google Play and iTunes; and on music streaming services such as Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube. The recording contains the five songs from last year and the five songs from this year.


Myron – Bass Vocals
Cathy – Soprano, Alto, and High Tenor Vocals; Keyboard
Joel – Tenor Vocals; Guitar
Nathan – Tenor and Lead Vocals; Whistling, Violin
Kara – Soprano and Alto Vocals; Flute
Daniel – Bass and Baritone Vocals; Accordion
Luke – Bass Vocals; Viola
Melody – Soprano, Alto, and High Tenor Vocals; Bass Guitar

These songs are public domain. Please share them with others.

Merry Christmas!

Sending Love and Joy from Our Home to Yours

For hundreds of years, groups of singers have gone from house to house singing carols at Christmas time to spread love and cheer. Each of you, our friends, are spread far and wide. This year our family decided to take Christmas caroling into the tech age by caroling for each of you, wherever you are, using the connectivity of our electronic devices.

The Horst Family, 2015
Your Carolers from left to right: Daniel – singing bass and baritone and playing accordion; Kara – singing soprano and alto and playing flute; Nathan – singing tenor and lead and playing violin; Cathy – singing soprano and alto and playing keyboard; Myron – singing bass; Melody – singing soprano and alto; Luke – singing bass; Joel – singing tenor, playing 12 string guitar, recording engineer.


Hear all the Christmas carols:

For optimum enjoyment, be sure to use good-quality speakers or headphones/earbuds!



Individual Songs

Joy to the World

Download MP3


Away in a Manger

Download MP3


Christ is Born in Bethlehem (Hark! The Herald Angels Sing)

Download MP3


Who Is He in Yonder Stall?

Download MP3


We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Download MP3


Feel free to share this with others!

Farm Store Closing

We are making some major changes in our farm to keep the farm profitable and sustainable, and to reduce our work load. We are closing our farm store and self-service egg refrigerator at the end of the year. We have frozen chickens, convenience packs, honey, Everyday Miracles Salve and lamb available as long as supplies last. Next year we will be selling strictly wholesale to stores. We will continue to produce our pasture raised eggs and sell them in the stores that are currently carrying them and will likely add a few new stores.

Next year we will not be raising broiler chickens or turkeys, and we will not have eggs or other products for sale here at the farm.

Earlier this summer we felt that God might be directing us to stop raising broilers and turkeys and stop selling retail here on the farm. We decided to wait until Thanksgiving to make the final decision. As time went along we discovered more and more reasons why we should stop raising broilers and turkeys and close the farm store. We will not list them all, but the main reason is to reduce our work load. Farming is hard work and requires long hours. It is time to make some changes. We do not want our children to get discouraged and feel like a sign I saw recently which said: “Because of the heavy work load, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off!”

Luke asleep instead of playing mandolin
We have felt exhausted like this more than once this year!

Much of “Sustainable Agriculture” is not Profitable Or Sustainable
In explaining why we are closing our on-farm store, I think it is important to explain where agriculture is financially here in America – how we got where we are, and how we as sustainable farmers have been trying to make things work financially.

In a speech given on Oct. 21, 2007, former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan explained that the Federal Reserve has been involved in financial engineering in the U.S. using a technique called “Creative Destruction” to move people out of lower paying jobs such as farming, manufacturing, and the textile industry into higher paying jobs such as health care and education. The result has been that farming, which years ago was a profitable business enterprise, has become unprofitable for most farms. (See my article on Creative Destruction in the May 2008 newsletter at:

According to the USDA, most farms in the United States earn ALL THEIR HOUSEHOLD INCOME FROM OFF-FARM SOURCES! The USDA’s projection is that the median farm income for 2015 will be -$1,504! In other words, most farms are losing money, not making money. (

Let that sink in. Do you know of any other profession where most of the businesses are not making any money for labor even in the good years? Most of the farmers in America are working for free. Actually, with a farm loss, many are paying to work for “free”. This is ridiculous and is not sustainable. Anything that is not sustainable will sooner or later come to an end. And then where will the food come from? Think of that the next time you see the bumper sticker – “No Farms, No Food”. The thing that so far has kept farmers going is their passion for farming. They love to farm and will do whatever is possible to keep on farming, even if it means farming for free. But sooner or later, the reality of what they are doing will dawn on them, or some event will happen that will force them to stop farming.

As our family evaluated whether we should continue to raise broilers and turkeys and operate our farm store, we realized that something had taken place in the sustainable agriculture movement that we did not see before. Since most farms were not really making money from farming, we were encouraged by people like Joel Salatin, sustainable agriculture seminar speakers, and county extension agents to sell our products directly to the public through farmers markets, CSA’s, and on-farm stores so that we could get the retail dollar for our products. That worked. It enabled farmers to get some money to put toward their living expenses. Other farms have added agritourism to keep their farm going.

What we as farmers did not fully realize is that by selling retail, we were actually adding a new business enterprise to our farm. When a store sells a product at retail price, they have a lot of labor, overhead, and other costs that go along with selling the product. The difference between the wholesale price and the retail price is not free money as many farmers tend to look at it. It takes a lot of time, planning, marketing, and preparation behind the scenes to sell directly to the consumer. What is happening is that the farmer is working for free on the farm to produce food for others, and then working a second job in retail (selling at farmer’s markets, a CSA, or on-farm store) which is actually providing their income.

Selling retail makes the farmer’s work load greater for another reason. The farmer has to have a variety of products to sell if he/she is going to attract customers to their farm market stand, CSA, or farm store. If a farmer had only one product, such as eggs or one kind of tomatoes, they would not sell very much. Each product or vegetable takes time to produce. Because of the limited retail market at each location, the farmer can’t take advantage of the economy of scale like large farms do in reducing the production cost per item. In a Weston A Price, Wise Traditions Magazine article titled “The Real Cost of Real Food”, one man shared how that with his 100 hens he would have to get $11.52 a dozen for his eggs in order to get paid $10 an hour to produce them. ( Because of the need for a variety of products, some sustainable farmers are producing products at a loss in order to have products to draw customers to their farm or farmer’s market stand. Those loss-leader products represent a lot of labor over the course of a year that never gets paid for, and means that the farmer has to work more even more hours at something that does make money.

Selling retail works, but we have been hearing from many sustainable farmers in the last several months how exhausted they are. They feel like they can never get everything done that needs to be done. Sheri Salatin, who with her husband Daniel (Joel Salatin’s son) manages Polyface Farm in Virginia, stated several weeks ago in a blog post: “I’ve been way too busy this year and to be brutally honest, if every year is going to be this hard, I’m ready to quit. No it’s not been a bad year. No, there was nothing tragic. I’m almost embarrassed to admit, because I know many out there who have had some major health concerns or lost loved ones this year. It has just been one of those years where… Let’s see, how can I explain it? Well, I have a list of things to get done every day and if I don’t plan my day and run it ‘just so’ not everything that I needed to get done that day will get done. And nothing on the list is optional for another day.” (

In the comments section, almost every response is from a farm woman who is feeling much the same way as Sheri.

What I have shared with you about what is happening in sustainable agriculture is negative and discouraging. I share it to help you understand why we feel it is important to close our retail sales and the extra work load that it creates. But we are not feeling negative or discouraged about our farm. Instead, we are looking forward to the future and staying sustainable. Selling eggs wholesale to stores is a profitable enterprise for us. We are getting paid for our farm labor. The name Jehovah-Jireh means “the Lord will provide”. We feel that one of the ways God has provided for us is by showing us how to make a living from our farm.

We are moving forward. We recently converted our pullet raising shelter into another hen shelter and bought some more organic hens. We are still caring for the same number of birds, and the labor is much the same, but the hens are producing an income whereas raising baby egg layers did not produce an income. The increase in egg income should more than offset the loss of on-farm sales. Our family feels like the light at the end of the tunnel has suddenly gotten brighter. We are looking forward to a break from a very, very busy summer and fall. Closing the farm store and some of our other farm enterprises will enable us to give more attention to the hens so that we can hopefully provide even better eggs for you. We will miss seeing those of you that come to the farm, but you will still be able to buy our eggs and BARC pet food in the stores. We plan to continue to keep in touch with the farm newsletter, and will probably send it out about three or four times a year.

You may also like to read:
The End of Organic Farming Might be Sooner Than We Thought by Cara Parks, Oct. 12, 2015

I’m Not Sorry — A November 2015 blog post by Shannon Hayes, pasture based farmer and author of The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook: Healthy Eating and Good Living with Pasture-raised Foods

Some local farms that use organic feed and raise broilers on pasture:
Rights of Man Farm, Ijamsville, Md.
Nick’s Organic Farm, Buckeystown, Md. and Potomac, Md
Dayspring Farm, Middleburg, Va

Winter Garden
This fall we are adding a “Winter Garden” to each of our hen shelters. Previous to this, at the south end of the hen shelters there was a fenced area with wood chips on the ground which we called the picnic area. It was a place where we could confine the hens when the pasture was too wet, there was snow on the ground, or the pasture conditions did not permit the hens to be on the pasture that day. It is an important management tool to keep the pastures from being destroyed. By covering the picnic area with a greenhouse, the hens can now enjoy dry bedding and the heat of the greenhouse on those cold winter days in January and February. In the Spring the plastic on the sides will be rolled up and the roof covered with white plastic giving them a large open air pavilion. Hens, like us, do not like the hot sun in the middle of a summer day. It will provide more shade for them to lounge around in while they wait for the cool of evening to come so they can range the pastures before bedtime.

Hens in the winter garden
The hens are already enjoying dust bathing, scratching and just being in the Winter Gardens.

Cayenne – The #1 Emergency Herb

By Melody Horst

Cayenne is probably one of the most used herbs. It resides in almost every kitchen, and is used in hundreds of ways. Though cayenne is normally put in food, it is an amazing emergency help. I would like to emphasize that it is really good for the circulatory system. It helps to lower blood pressure, as well as increase it (though not at the same time, of course), it helps to stop bleeding (including very bad nose bleeds!), it stops strokes and heart attacks, helps thin your blood, and even can help colds and sore throats in the winter.

I’ll list out some of the different uses and why it works. But first, let me explain why I reference cayenne as an “emergency herb”. It’s because it works so incredibly fast on so many different things that could possibly severely harm you, as well as keeping you away from the doctor and all his huge bills as much as possible.

I was recently at the Mother Earth News Fair, where I heard Dr. David Christopher talk about the benefits of cayenne. Following are some things that I learned.


For external bleeding you can take cayenne orally or apply it straight to the wound. The cayenne will help your body to form a clot around the new hole in your circulatory system, and stop the bleeding. Back in 2013, several of us were at a fair, and Mom got a really bad nose bleed. The first aid people at the front entrance; couldn’t do too much for her, so someone called 911. When the paramedics got there, they said, “We don’t have anything in the ambulance that will help. We’ll have to take you to the hospital.”

Ridiculous, I thought. Any ambulance should be outfitted for something as common as a nosebleed! By now the bleeding had slowed down. We called Dad and waited for him to come before deciding what to do, so the ambulance left. By the time Dad got there (30 – 45 minutes later), the bleeding had stopped, and he and Mom went on home. If only we’d known about cayenne…

My brother Nathan’s sheep will sometimes hemorrhage while giving birth to their lambs. He puts cayenne in their mouth, and the bleeding stops almost immediately.

Strokes and Heart Attacks

Strokes and heart attacks happen when blood is not properly hydrated, and begins to clump (not clot—a clot is what forms over a lesion in the walls of your veins). When the clump comes to a place in the brain that it can’t fit through, it stops, and you have a stroke. What you want to do is put a dropper full of cayenne tincture in the person’s mouth (if they are unconscious, put it in drop by drop so that they don’t choke) or mix a teaspoon of cayenne powder in a glass of warm water and have them drink it down. If they don’t get better very soon, give them some more in smaller doses. The warm water will help get the cayenne to the blood quicker.  One time, my grandmother began having the symptoms of a stroke and almost passed out. My aunt put two droppers of cayenne tincture under her tongue, and Grandma quickly came back (she said she hardly felt any sting!). By the time the ambulance got there, Grandma was sitting up in a chair. When they asked her how she was doing, she said, “Just fine!”

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure generally happens when there is a clog somewhere in the circulatory system that is keeping oxygen from getting to all your cells. The cells then sends out an alarm that they are lacking oxygen and your heart begins to pump harder to try to push the clog out of the way and get the blood to the cells. If you take medication for it, those poor cells will probably die. Taking half to one teaspoon of cayenne powder in a glass of water  will naturally increase circulation, taking care of the clog, and get the needed oxygen to your cells. Your heart will then resume its normal rate.

Colds and Sore Throats

Though this may not be everyone’s favorite remedy, it does work to take away sore throats, calm fevers, and take away the achiness of the flu.

Fire Water:

Cold and flu fighter

½ c. boiling water
½ c. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. cayenne powder
1 tsp. salt

Stir together until the salt is dissolved. Add the vinegar. Take 1 tsp every 15-20 minutes until all symptoms are gone. It is important that you take it faithfully if you want to see the best results Note: taking a bite of bread and half a glass of water afterwards really helps the burning.

Aching Joints

For aching joints in general, mix one heaping teaspoon full of cayenne powder in a half cup of apple cider vinegar and shake well. Let it set for several days and shake often. Apply this to the joint and let it do its job. My brother used cayenne and honey mixed together on his aching wrist. He would apply it each night and bandage it up, and by morning it would feel a lot better.  For arthritis, try mixing cayenne into castor oil until it’s fiery red. You can then apply it to the aching area and bandage it up. There should be a noticeable difference within several days.

Other Uses

– Stomach Ulcers
Take half a teaspoon of cayenne powder in a glass of warm water every day.
– Shock
Put a dropper of cayenne tincture under the tongue, or drink a glass of warm water that has a teaspoon of cayenne powder mixed in.
– Hypothermia
Do the same as for shock.
– Cold hands and feet
You can sprinkle a little cayenne powder in your shoes or gloves before going out in cold weather to keep them warm.
– Headaches
Just this afternoon, my brother, Nathan, had a bad headache. He asked Mom for some fire water, and took it. Five minutes later, his headache was completely gone.
– Migraines
At the Mother Earth News Fair in Pennsylvania this year, we heard about using cayenne for migraines. A couple weeks later, Dad got an eye migraine. Mom put a squirt of cayenne tincture into a half cup of water, and Dad took one gulp. This was a very hot experience, and he wasn’t sure which was worse, the eye migraine or the cayenne! He laid down for a bit, but soon got up saying the eye migraine was gone. Now, I do not suggest that you take same the dosage that he did! About a 1/4 teaspoon to a glass of water should be sufficient. If it isn’t enough for you, then take some more.

Cathy’s Cooking Corner

Baked Parmesan Chicken

Baked Parmesan Chicken is rich and delicious. It’s great for serving guests or for your own special family.

3 pounds chicken pieces
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons butter
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
½ cup shredded Swiss cheese
¼ cup bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large frying pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add chicken and cook, turning, until browned, about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese over bottom of a 13 X 9 X 2-inch baking dish. Arrange chicken in dish.

In the same frying pan, whisk flour into pan drippings. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Gradually add milk and cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and thick. Remove from heat and stir in Swiss cheese. Pour sauce over chicken.

Top chicken with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake for 1 hour or until chicken is tender.

From 365 Ways to Cook Chicken

Cathy’s Cooking Corner

Oriental Chicken

3 pounds chicken thighs

2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 to 4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
2 tablespoons mustard
1 to 2 teaspoons five spice powder
1 to 2 teaspoons garlic powder

Combine sauce ingredients. For the soy sauce, five spice powder and garlic powder use the lesser amounts and taste the sauce when it’s mixed. Add more of these ingredients if you prefer. Place the chicken thighs in a pan. Top with the sauce ingredients. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven.

If you want some sauce to put on rice, double the sauce recipe to put on the chicken. Then bake the chicken, covered instead of uncovered. To finish the sauce after the chicken is baked, remove the chicken pieces and keep warm. Put the sauce into a kettle. Skim any oil you don’t want in the sauce. (Save the oil for a white sauce or gravy another day.) Combine 2 to 3 tablespoons cornstarch with 1/2 cup cool water. Add to the sauce in the kettle and stir in. Heat till boiling and thickened. If you prefer using arrowroot instead cornstarch, stir together same amount of arrowroot and water. Before adding the arrowroot, boil the sauce ingredients and remove from the heat. Add the amount of thickening preferred.

Cathy’s Cooking Corner

BBQ Chicken on the Grill

Summer is the time for grilling. This bbq chicken recipe is our favorite. We sell grilling halves that are great for this recipe. Of course, any piece of chicken is wonderful on the grill!

8 chicken pieces

2 cups vinegar
2 cups water
1/2 cup butter or oil
1 tablespoon pepper (optional)
8 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Bring the marinade ingredients to a boil. Remove from heat. Marinade the chicken pieces in the sauce for one hour. Grill the chicken, basting frequently with the marinade.

You can grill the chicken till it’s done and serve it immediately, but there’s something you can do that will make the chicken even better. When the chicken is grilled well on both sides (it doesn’t have to be finished clear through), put it into a crock pot with a little of the marinade and cook it in there for at least an hour or until you want to serve it. This causes the flavors to meld together and the chicken is super tender and absolutely delicious. The temperature of the crock pot depends on how soon you want to serve the chicken and how nearly finished it is when taking it off the grill. Enjoy!