Sunday, August 30, 2009

A food weekend in pictures.

We made and processed a bunch of food this weekend.

Friday evening we started by mixing up a couple of batches of no knead bread. One was destined for for pizza dough and the other was to be baked for bread.

Saturday was a bit busier.
First my lovely bride made a batch of scones.

We then processed a batch of tomatoes into tomato sauce.

We also worked on canning some cucumber relish.

We also made a gallon of quick vegetable stock. I didn't get a picture of the stock vegetables simmering but here is the extra stock ready for the freezer.

We decided to make a recipe for corn soup that I can't find the source for now. It is basically a fresh corn minestrone.

First we cut some corn from the cobs

Then we then put the cobs into the vegetable stock to simmer.

After the vegetables were added to the stock it really started to look good.

We had the soup with a bit of the no knead bread.

We also made pizzas with our fresh vegetables and our home made tomato sauce. I didn't get
a good picture of those either but they turned out fairly well.

Jess started another batch of heirloom tomato sauce Sunday afternoon.

Soon we will have to make sauce from our abundance of plums.

All this and we cleaned house and the garage and the pole barn a bit. Can you tell that the internet was out for us almost all weekend?


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Great video

I found this video over on Permaculture TV that touches on many important topics like sustainable farming, peak oil and permaculture. It is worth your time to watch all 5 parts.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Well we are finally starting to get our tomatoes. It seems like they are starting a bit late this year. We had a cool first half to summer this year. No days in the 90"s since May up till this month. For Minnesota that is quite cool. But now that we have moved into August the temps and humidity have come up to our usual summer standards. We also started the the growing season this year as quite dry and now we have had rain almost every other day. This has resulted in a few split toms and a bit of mildew on the squash. Nothing fatal yet but I am ready for it to dry out a bit.
I am hoping to make a lot of tomato sauce this year. I hope to make a bit of heirloom tomato sauces a la Hank at Hunter Angler Gardener Cook.

In other news the insulation and siding on the house is nearly finished and should really help cut down our energy bills this year.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Dragon Tongues

This year we are trying a few new types of beans. One of the new beans is the Dragon tongue beans. The have a great color and are so easy to harvest. The purple really helps you to spot the beans in the plants. They are an heirloom bush bean. The have a taste reminiscent of wax beans but better.

We decided to can some according to the dilly bean recipie in the Bells Blue book. You really need that book if you plan to start canning. We also added one of our small dried Thai peppers to each jar so I hope they end up extra dragony


Tuesday, August 4, 2009


One of the challenges of moving to an old farmstead is the inevitable old farm house. Ours had som issues that had been concerning us for a number of years. Among them was the ancient siding and the lack of sheathing behind it. Well after years of paying massively every winter to keep the place above freezing we finally have the opportunity to do something about it. So a while back Jess and I set out to find a siding contractor to remove the old siding and then insulate before putting up sheathing and siding. We had heard good things about Twin Cities Siding Professionals. Well today was day one and I am impressed so far. The team showed up on time and set to the days work. They stayed in contact with us if they had any questions the asked us what we wanted to do and listened to our wishes. They removed the siding and the cellulose and deteriorated foam insulation underneath. There were also some repairs made to areas of the house that had some rotted wood as well.We had made agreements to have the house insulated with spray foam insulation and that was also finished today. We should definitely have a much warmer and more efficient house this winter.
If it all goes this well from here on out we will be quite happy.