Friday, December 28, 2007

Welcome Back

I figured We needed another update. I actually have alot to add to day but I plan to save some for tomorrow. I made the famous "No Knead Bread" this morning. I do have to say that it produces a heck of a nice loaf of bread. I was really impressed with the crust though I slightly over cooked it. I made a modified version from an article in Mother Earth News. The bread was really great with some of the jam we made this summer. I discovered some mixed fruit in the freezer this evening so I may need to root around and see if I have any rhubarb and make some more.
Other than that I spent a little time in the basement treating the dandelion wine with a clarifying agent. I plan to bottle it this weekend sometime. More on that soon.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy holiday

I Just wanted to wish you all a happy holiday. I say holiday because I can't even begin to anticipate the various and sundry religions my multitude of readers may hold. I only hope that whatever you hold true brings you joy .


Monday, December 17, 2007

Blog update

I got tired of looking at all that green so I have modified the blog to be more in tune with the season. I will have to update the header pic soon as well.
Otherwise not much has changed around here as of late. The chickens keep a laying them eggs. I have been thinking about giving the excess to the Cannon Falls food shelf. I will have to look into that.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Newsweek article

I was looking around on the internet this afternoon and I came across this article from Newsweek.
The article is about how many rural Americans are not eating well these days. The article is drawing heavily on one study conducted in South Carolina that found many rural Americans are eating a diet of mostly poor quality preprepared foods. I feel like we as a culture have been loosing our ability to prepare foods from fresh produce. We as a people have become too dependent on pre-made foods. We should be teaching children where food comes from and how to prepare it before we teach them anything else.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Another update

Just another quick update. Things are not moving much here on the farm. The last couple weeks have been spent battling machines that refuse to work. we seem to be winning, but the battle is long.
We have also been insulating a bunch of openings and sealing the house where we can. I have also gotten some more of the duct work sealed up and insulated as well.
The chickens are handling the cold OK as well. We have been trying to give them treats and toys to keep them entertained.
In other news I seem to have misplaced the camera so it may be a while before you all get more pictures of the chickens.

stay warm

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Quick Update

Well winter is here. We got some snow and freezing rain to start off December with. So far the chicken coop is handling the cold OK. I know the chickens don't like to be inside so much. I have been seeing some eggs in odd places this weekend, I think it is a result of the chickens needing more nest boxes spaced out more. I think I may head down to Rochester to the new big Fleet Farm latter this week.
In other news I got the first seed catalog this weekend as well. I love looking through them and figuring out what I want to plant next year.
I am also thinking about trying to grow some cold hardy veggies in the coop. I think possibly spinach. Just a little something for the chicks to eat besides grains and chicken feed through the long winter.

Well Keep Warm

Monday, November 26, 2007


Well got a few more things ready for winter this weekend. I tightened the coop up some more. I still need to finish insulating it but at least it keeps the wind out a little better. I also gathered up the last of the grass clippings from the yard. I put half in my straw/grass pile in the pole barn and the other half I put in the garden. I am attempting to start a new bed using the lasagna gardening technique. I will let you know how it is going in the spring. I also cleaned up the pole barn and the garden.
I have also been working on tightening the house up some more as well. I foil taped a few duct joints I had missed last year in the basement. I still have a bit of duct that needs to be insulated. I need to find ways to insulate and heat the house more cheaply this winter. I have been thinking about using the windows I have in the garage as a lean too greenhouse on the south west side of the house. It might make a nice buffer against the cold this winter and possibly work like a cold frame in the spring. I need to work out the design and get supplies.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving all,
I Hope you all had a wonderful day. I spent the day at my Grandparents house enjoying an awesome meal with family. I shared my thoughts on food, fuel and the future over mashed potatoes and turkey. We also visited friends that we hadn't seen in a while and shared some of Jess's wonderful sweet potato pie. We also managed to distribute eggs to most of the state. We started Tuesday with around 100 eggs in the fridge. We have manged to get down to just over 6. I hope my friends and family will enjoy the eggs.
Lastly a public list of many of the things I am thankful for today. My Wife, my Family, My health, The safe return of good friends, A good harvest, great food and the opportunity to enjoy it.
Good night

Monday, November 19, 2007

Lenny Russo article

I was going to link to an excellent article in the Star Trib today written by local food legend Lenny Russo, but I hate the way the papers are trying to hide behind user accounts and login screens. I think that they have forgotten what business they are in. Anyway I found something way better for you while looking up Chef Russo. I found a blog about a eat local challenge sponsored by the wedge co-op. I haven't been to the wedge but this site was full of little tidbits about eating local in Minnesota.

Good night,

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Well Jess and I spent much of this weekend insulating. We put plastic on the windows downstairs. I really hate doing this every year, but until the windows are sufficiently airtight we have to go through the ritual. I believe it makes a difference, possibly more than the cost of the supplies and time. We also caulked the front hall. I think this may be a real money saver. I also spent some time insulating the chicken coop.
We also began using a spreadsheet to track some of the expenditures around the house. We started tracking electric usage by month and propane as well. We are also tracking softener salt use as well.
On the food front. We microwaved one of the pumpkins that had been been taking up space on the table for a few weeks. We used some of the pulp to make a pumpkin pecan quick bread. We got the recipe from Cooks Illustrated holiday baking issue. We also roasted the seeds. We put some Chinese 5 spice powder on them and the were great.