Welcome to MY ADVENTURE OF DAILY LIFE. I have long since wanted and been encouraged to document the plethora of items I work on, learn, and in general tinker with. I travel and experience new things far and wide and love to share what I gain from them. Here I am sharing with you not just the amazing but the every day as well. They may not fall under the category of "daring adventure" but I am usually having a blast doing them. Enjoy!
Ok so we expected for a lot to be happening when we got here but it has certainly exceeded what even I thought. We have been here for a little over a month and so much has happened in such a short amount of time!
- Completely redone the well house (wish I had taken pictures of the before!)
- Fixed up an old moonshine still building into a chicken palace
- Bought a tractor with a bucket loader and a backhoe
- Bought 24 chickens in various stages of laying ages
- Bought 2 pigs to help clear and fertilize a messy wild couple of acres
- Gardening, gardening, gardening
- Moved tons of dirt around to smooth out gullies and create more room for ourselves
- Seeding our land with clover and other assorted grasses in preparation for a spring calf
- Painting cabinet doors on days that haven't had high humidity
- Trying our best to stay on top of regular maintenance (mow mow mow mow mow and weedeat)
And countless other little small projects here and there like painting the mail box, etc.
We are exhausted... ha ha ok so it's not too bad really and everything had been such an adventure! Everyday is a chance to do something new and it's apparent that none of us will ever be bored. It's a bit overwhelming at times but if you just concentrate on one thing at a time, I amazed at how much does get done.
More details to come, this is just to let you know we are still alive! Right now we have blackberries galore that are ripening so after watering and feeding the piggies (Jimmy & Paula Dean) we pick blackberries. This is my view.
One vegetable from the garden stands out bigger than all the rest for me. That would be KALE!!! Kale is so easy to grow, incredibly good for you, and taste delicious. From WebMD.com - "One cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories and 9% of the daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, and a whopping 684% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus."
I'm a big fan of the entire cabbage family, other wise known as Brassicas, and my favorite way to eat them is sauteed with butter and garlic. Don't cook them too long if you are focusing on getting the most out of those nutrients since Vitamin C is so fragile but do need to cook them just a little. From RadianceNutrition.com - "Certain foods are associated with disrupted thyroid hormone production. Foods belonging to the cruciferous family are called “crucifers,” and include broccoli, kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, mustard, kohlrabi, and turnips. These foods appear to reduce thyroid function by blocking thyroid peroxidase, and also by disrupting messages in thyroid cells. Cooking these vegetables greatly reduces these negative effects."
So please be sure cook your kale and if you don't like the sauteed version, don't forget to try kale chips! When you try them, don't eat too many or they will give you a tummy ache.
- A bunch of kale rinsed and patted dry
- Light Olive Oil
- Sea Salt
An Airbake cookie sheet <-important!
Tear the kale into chip size pieces. Place in bowl and lightly drizzle with the light olive oil. Although extra virgin gets all the press (pun intended) it's the best for raw usage. When cooking, light olive oil is better for you and is more stable. Toss until all pieces are coated. Sprinkle a little salt and toss. One more time but go easy. Then place on the cookie sheet and place in a preheated oven at 350 for 12 mins or until crispy. Allow to cool on a paper towel and watch them disappear!
I have tried regular cookie sheets and they seem to burn the kale a whole lot faster. The airbake keeps them green longer and gets them to that perfect crispness without turning them brown.
We've got pigs!!!
I've been reading about the importance of pigs in land management for a long time and now we finally have the time and land to try our own hand. I'm sure we all are aware of the horrors that our food endures these days in factory farming and slaughter. This is our contribution to a better way of life for all involved.
Pigs are built for turning and clearing soil. In some ways better than goats! Goats will strip leaves and whatever is half way edible that is with in reach. However, getting the roots out is not their specialty. Just look at our gorgeous Jimmy Dean!
Our plan for the current area is to let them have fun in it until they have finished with it. Then move them to the next patch. On the newly excavated area, we will clear any remaining blackberry bushes in rows. This will make future berry picking much easier and relatively pain free. These cleared rows will be planted with root crops that will survive the winter and provide food for next years pigs! The later areas will be treated the same and will provide growing areas for items that won't survive the winter like zucchini and sweet potatoes. These pigs will eat better than most Americans!
A couple of things to note about raising pigs:
- They are social animals and very intelligent. Just like dogs, you need more than one.
- If given lots of area to eat and root, they have no interest in escaping their pen.
- If you have followed the above rules, electric fencing is fine for containing pigs.
- They don't like citrus or onions if you give them the choice.
- They like to be scratched and rubbed behind their ears, right where the ear meets the head.
- When you put corn down it is a lot like dogs with a bone. You better have more than one trough.
More information and adventure to come!