Monday, May 14, 2012

Some good ways to eat kale...

And not even know you are. I never thought I would like the little green leaves. But I grew 2 100' rows of it. Mainly to sell at market. But when they don't all sell, I have to come up with ways to eat it. So here are a few.

I love smoothies. You can put just about anything in a smoothie and add yogurt and honey and put a few big hands full of kale. The blender just chops it up into little tiny green dots. No one will even know that there is a leafy green in their yummy smoothie. Just a great way to get some good green veggie goodness.

Another way is in a Frittata. I love these. I just saute any veggie, like onions, garlic, peppers, mushrooms, zuchinni, squash, brocolli. Go ahead and whip up your nice fresh eggs from the coop and grate or crumble some good fresh cheese or some you just made. Like Chevre or Feta is great in this. Oh, and have your oven pre heated to about 400. Then a few minutes before adding eggs, put a few big hands full of kale. You can also add Swiss chard and or spinach too. I have done it with all 3. Take off burner and pour eggs all over top and sprinkle cheese all over. Pop in the oven for about 10 minutes, depending on how big it is and how many eggs you put in. When it's not jiggly in the middle, it's done.

A friend told me about this a few weeks ago and I have made it twice already. Brown some good somewhat spicy sausage with chopped onions, peppers, garlic, mushrooms. When brown , add your kale, a few good hands full. While this is sauteing, cook some pasta. I used Gluten Free the 1st time and some good home made sausage from the slaughterhouse where I get my dog bones. It was SO good. And just right spicy. The 2nd time I used Jimmy Dean regular and it was not nearly as good. I had to add some Creole seasoning to spice it up. So when pasta is done, drain and pour sausage-kale mixture over it. And enjoy! It is even better the next day as leftovers.

My favorite way to cook all that kale is to add to collard greens with a big ole smoked ham bone. You talk about some flippin' good food. Right there is all ya need for a good meal. Well, maybe a good cast iron pan of corn bread slathered in home made butter.

And of course it can be added to any soup too. I had made some chicken and rice and added some kale to it. I liked it.

So go pick some kale and get creative! And healthy while you're at it.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

This is Crazy

So yesterday I was having lunch with a friend at one of our little family type restaurants in town. I know the owner, so asked to speak to her. I wanted to know when they would be wanting fresh local produce. She said they are not allowed to buy anything from anyone who is not from a certified operation. She said I could become one of those, but it would cost a fortune plus take forever. I just think this is so crazy.

Ya know what the really crazy stupid part to this is? That those very same people who eat the food that comes from these massive farms, can go to a local farmer's market and buy better stuff. So what is the big deal, people who make all these crazy stupid rules???? Really! I wanna know.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Making Soap

I just made 2 new batches of soap. They are on the table all wrapped up til morning. I made the first batch with lard, olive oil and coconut oil. I have been wanting to make a soap using lard for a long time and finally just did it. I added Lemongrass EO and then the zest of 2 lemons. It's a pretty yellow color already so I can't wait to see how it looks after it's cured.

The 2nd batch is just a vegetable base that I am going to cure a few weeks then remill it and add goat milk and Patchouli and Sweet Orange EO. I LOVE this soap.

I have also wanted to make a soap using beef tallow. I have heard that it's VERY nasty and stinky and to NOT melt the fat in the house. I do have a little house next door with a kitchen. I may just do it over there. I've been saving my beef fat when I get bones from the slaughterhouse for the dogs. So I have several bags of fat in the freezer. Just need to make tallow now. Any tips or hints from anyone who has done this before?

I also went into the chicken coop and shoveled up buckets of wonderful comopted chicken s*** to side dress all my gardens with. This is some of the nicest "dirt" on this property. I use all my sheep and goat manure too. Along with the straw and hay they drop. So the gardens are looking really good right now. Especially after all that nice rain yesterday,

Farmer's market was pretty good. There were only 5 of us selling. I sold more soap and rolls than greens. That's ok though. I love them. I bought a bag of fresh collards so I'll cook them with some kale. So had a good day. But it wears me out.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Farmer's Market and RAIN!

It's Wednesday and that's farmer's market day. Ours is from 3-6. I love being able to pick in the mornings and then get some other things done. Like bake bread and rolls to sell. Get cleaned up. Get clean clothes on. All that necessary stuff. Make sure I have everything I need when I get there.  And thank goodness it's under a huge open air ag place. With lots of saw dust that get in the sandles and flip flops. But kids love that.

So today I will pick later than usual because it is raining!!! And cool. Windows are open again. Sheep are SO happy! They are out grazing in the drizzly rain. The goats HATE it. They will not even step out of the barn. For anything. Well, it was a little drizzly when it was time to milk mthis morning.  Abby and Sandy will run to the milk parlor for good sweet feed. But that would be the ONLY reason they would go out in the rain. I have had to go to them to milk when it was raining real hard.

This means that the lettuce and greens will be nice and cool and perky today! And not much washing to do. I love market days. I love the other vendors and the customers that come. I am also trying to sell all last years goat milk soaps so I can make more. I am in love with Patchouli soap. Love it! And lemongrass. I just love it all. I am also taking Kambucha scoby. I sold 2 last week.

Have all the markets where you all live opened yet? What are yours like? I have got to take pictures.

I am so very thankful for this MUCH needed rain. It's a good soaking rain. The grass was getting quite crunchy here. And brown already. And this is just the beginning of May. We are so ahead right now. It's kind of scary. I have had to water about every other day and I don't usually have to do that. This might be a really hot dry year.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mulch And Other Stuff

So this morning I put a nice layer of wet newspapers down 3 rows in my North garden. It looked so nice. Well, then later on I looked out there and there is my nice dried out newspapers flying all over the garden. It does dry out in the sun and the wind. I hadn't gotten back out to put old hay down on top of it yet. So I ran out there and threw some dirt on top til I can get back out there to mulch. And I am praying all these clouds floating around will have a little rain in them to wet those newspapers some.

I am just one person doing all this work. And I cannot seem to keep up with it all. I was outside just now and noticed the poor droopy tomato plants I had planted about 4 days ago. I had not mulched them yet and they were trying to tell me they needed mulch. Really badly. So I just did that. I have had this huge round bale of really old hay for a few years now that I have been pulling hay off of. SO I grabbed a wagon load and quickly mulched them all. The others have been mulched and are doing well. I counted them all the other day after planting the rest and I have 198 tomato plants. 4 had died or I would have had 202. AND I have room for about 30-50 more. That's alot of tomatoes. I need to stake them all now. I am going to use some fencing down the middle of the row and tie the plants on. I planted 2 pretty close together so I could do that. I also have lots of posts to use. I am going to use the useless tomato cages for the cucumbers.

I just tilled up the parts of the rows of beans and re planted McCasslen, Kentucky Wonder and Blue Lake beans. Also went ahead and planted cucumbers where I had planted some squash and zuchinni seeds. They never came up. They are between the okra rows. I have only had 4 zuchinni seeds to sprout so far. I think I got a bad batch of seeds. I'll get more and try again. Gotta have zuchinni. The squash has done pretty good. I am mulching them all next and tilling where some didn't come up and will re plant seeds. So much to do.

So what's growing in your neck of the woods now? I would love to hear.

I just took bread out of the oven. This is the best bread. And so easy to make. It's like a hard crust, soft inside sour dough type bread. I love this bread. It sits after I make the dough for 12-18 hours. It's all bubbly and smells so good. I like this bread for a good thick cut bacon and tomato sandwich. No other bread works for that. And has to be ripe home grown tomato too. So I have a ways to go for that to happen. (I was supposed to let the bread sit for an hour before cutting. Uh oh!)

I turned the AC on yesterday. It feels amazing! Anyone else done that yet?

I hear raindrops!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It is raining! For a few minutes anyway. Thank You, Lord! (And it is still raining.)

Oh, I put 10 Buff eggs under Hot Momma broody hen this morning. She has been broody for a week now and I have thrown her off the nest every day. Then I thought this morning that I should go ahead and set some good Buff eggs under her because I will be needing more hens soon anyway. So I fixed her a nice nest with fresh good smelling hay and 10 pretty eggs in a milk crate and she jumped right on in. And broke an egg. So had to wait for another egg to get laid and stuck that one under her. She is a happy Hot Momma hen now! So in 21 days, I hope to have 10 brand new little chicks. Watch them all be little mini Mr. Rooney's. Just my luck.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Do Green Beans Grow In Dog Hair?

Because that's what's on my living room floor at the moment. I could actually grow a whole new dog with all the hair in my house at the moment. Because I have been outside doing gardens and yard work the past 4 months now because we have had such a mild winter. And I have not cleaned my house!! Because it has not rained in forever. And I keep saying that if it would just rain long enough for me to be inside, I might just clean this nasty house. But IT HAS NOT RAINED in forever! So I have stuff growing in my house.

My seeder was not getting seeds through so I asked my husband to fix it. That man is SO attached to his recliner, he had to fix it there. In the living room. In dog hair. So he says to put some seeds in the seeder hopper thing. So I did. Then he says to roll it along the floor to see if any seeds come out. Well, of course they did. Because he's a guy and things work for guys. So he did some guy things to it and it works fine now. Of course. He's a guy. And I did not get ALL the green bean seeds up when I swept last week.

So hubby's coming home this morning and I thought I might just vacuume up some of the new dog on the floor and also found some green bean seeds under his recliner nesting in some of that dog hair. If only it would rain now, we could just pick green beans in the living room. Hey, maybe hubby could just sit in his nice comfy cozy recliner and pick us some dinner! Cool!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Well, it's been almost a year since I posted here. Geeze, what have I been doing?

The past few months I have been starting 2 huge market gardens. Have already been to the farmer's market twice so far with kale, lettuce, Swiss chard and onions. Been planting like crazy here. Just brought home another flat of tomatoe plants. WE NEED RAIN!!

Also in March my 5 ewes all had single lambs. We have 3 ram lambs and 2 ewe lambs. I will keep the 2 ewe lambs of course, to make my flock bigger. I went with all A names for this year. So the 1st born is a Finn ram named Abraham. He is all black. He is Darla's. She was pregnant with a Finn ram when I got her. I hope he stays all black. Lucinda, the Finn ewe, is blackish-reddish-brown and I want to use him to breed her. And the 2 ewe lambs. Then next is Adele. She is so cute. She is Leelah's. I went ahead and docked their tails since they are more wool sheep. Then next came Axle. He looks just like his momma, Gracie, who is a Katahdin hair sheep. I had to call my friend up the road to hold Gracie so I could pull his big self out. Then came Alfie. He is Fiona's. Then about 3 weeks ago Lucinda had Annabelle. She is SO pretty. Kind of gray with black circles around both eyes. I docked her tail too. It finally came off today. She is adorable.

Also had goat kids. Just 2 does were pregnant. Abby had a single little doeling on March 10th. I named her Iris Josie after my mom and neice who,s birthdays were the 8th and 9th of March. She is a little stinker, like her big sister, Zarah. Then Sandy had twins, a doe finally, after 4 years of all bucks, and a buck, who is amazingly gorgeous. I will keep the doeling. I named her Brie. The buck already is spoken for. He will go to a friend's farm in a few weeks. I named him Brick. He's all spotted. Just so cute. So now I am milking again!!

So I have been really busy lately. And need to get out there and get some chicken manure and til it in for the tomatoes. I am waiting for the sun to go behind the trees first though. It's so hot. And this is only the 4th of May. My sheep are miserable already. I told them this is nothing yet. I'll have to put a fan out there for them, poor things.

I hope everyone is doing well. I want to put some pictures up of all my babies. I will soon. Happy Spring and happy planting.