Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Chicken salad

Here is one little tip I have found. When I go out to the garden I bring an extra bucket. I fill the bucket with produce for the chickens. Any produce that is damaged and must be eaten soon I put in the bucket. Any dandelions I pull also go in the bucket. I then round out the bucket with a few fresh stalks of Swiss Chard and the occasional Zucchini. I also will add slugs and grasshoppers when I catch them. I bring the bucket up to the chicken yard after I finish in the garden. I find that the chickens really enjoy the treats and I know that no food is being wasted. For my trouble I get great chicken litter for use in compost and eggs as well.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rainy weekend.

It has been a rainy cool weekend. We made some spaghetti sauce from our tomatoes and had my mom down for dinner. Jess made the sauce from my grandmothers recipe . We had to make a few adjustments for roasted fresh tomatoes and fresh herbs but it turned out great. We also made another batch of plumb and raspberry sorbet. I increased the sugar a bit and the result was excellent. I added a sprig of mint to the serving and the smell was a nice addition.
I also burned some brush this weekend and brought last years spoiled straw to the garden as mulch.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Plum Sorbet

Tonight I did a bit of gardening and picked some raspberries and plums from the orchard. I found a plum sorbet recipe online. I made a small batch and man is it good. I used triple sec instead of Grand Marnier. I also added a handful of raspberries and reduced the lemon juice.
The pulp that was left over from the process went into a sauce pan with some more sugar and water. I added some pectin and made a small amount of freezer jam as well. No waste and 2 great products. I am already looking forward to making more plum jam.


Thursday, September 4, 2008


Been working on a number of things lately. Jess and I have replaced a large portion of the siding on the second floor of our house. Also since we had the siding off we decided to do something crazy like adding sheathing and insulation.
In other note the tomato tribbles have begun to colonize the kitchen. Other wise we are eating up our potatoes and garlic with steaks. We didn't grow the steaks...yet.


Thursday, August 28, 2008


Last night we sweetened and filtered this years Nocino. Nocino is a sweet walnut liquor. The walnuts are picked green and sliced. I used black walnuts that I was able to get from a buddy at work instead of common walnuts. The Italians usually make this with grappa but I used good quality vodka. The liquor is spiced with cinnimon, vanila and cloves with just a bit of lemon zest.
I gave this just a bit of a taste as I sweetened it and I am really looking forward to this after it has melowed for a few months.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Potato update

I harvested the remainder of the potatoes yesterday night. The other barrels produced better than the first one but still not as much as I had hoped. I was quite impressed with the Rose Finn fingerling potatoes. I will have to post pics of some of the crazy caltrop shapes some of them grew into. Tonight we will roast a few with home grown garlic and pork chops in rosemary olive oil with citrus and crab apples. It is kind of a run on sentence but a great dish.

More to post soon

Monday, August 25, 2008

Quick update

I haven't forgotten about the blog or anything. Jess and I have been working on getting the garage finished. The garden is really getting into it's stride and the baby chicks are coming of age. Now that major painting operations have finished I hope to spend more time in the garden and orchard and updating the blog with pictures.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Current happenings.

I am still trying to catch up with the garden from being away. The weeds are definitely getting the better of me right now. There are lots of weed grasses going to seed in the garden as I type this. I plan to cover the garden in mulch and hope to start winning that battle back this week.
We harvested our first few tomatoes as well. The Beefsteak tomatoes that we grew this year have really impressed me. The romas are still coming along however. Also the baby chicks are quickly approaching adulthood. So summer is proceeding, Winter is looming. So much to do.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A smashing evening.

So apparently we should have stayed on vacation for a few more days. Jess and I managed to sneak away from the homestead for a whole 4 days. Time was spent sunning and fishing and chatting with friends. I was very relaxed until we started to head for home.
We had just traded drivers and Jess was taking over as we got close to rush hour traffic in the cities, so as not to burn my zen away prematurely. We were south Monticello when I noticed something on the road under the semi trailer in front of us. I must have been quite relaxed as I recall thinking "Hey, that's a piece of plywood." Then it took to the air and headed straight for us and I thought "Nope It's OSB" Then, "Gee I hope it misses us". It didn't.
It is a credit to Jess that she closed her eyes in time before the glass sprayed her and then had the presence of mind to get us safely to the shoulder. I think we were also lucky that while the window smashed a bunch the piece of wood was too large to go through the window. Apart from a scratch we are unharmed and the car is in the shop, but man I think I should have stayed at the lake.

Drive Safe,

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Harvest update

We harvested 2/3 of the shallots yesterday. The bulbs had been pushing out of the soil and I had put a bit more soil on those bulbs. It seems like they didn't like the attention as the ones that I added the soil to were the first ones to start wilting. We had a few really nice looking bulbs but I plan to save those for next years planting. If I can successfully store and plant those next spring I will have closed that circle. I think that is one of the main principles I need to demonstrate here on the farm. The ability to start with a crop or livestock and be able to bring up multiple cycles from the same initial starting material. To that end I am also planning on harvesting seed from some of the plants this fall.