Category Archives: Agrarianism

Making Your Own Chicken Feed

Really, it is more mixing your own mixed chicken feed from a both commercial and home grown sources.

http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/Making-Poultry-Feeds-1.html

Weston Price friendly, anti-soy (yay); I grow a lot of what is needed in our yard. I am working on Bio-intensive gardening schemes; planting about 60% of the arable land in nitrogen fixers and/or compost crop that can be tilled under (grains, cowpeas, vetch, you name it. Some I can eat, some the chickens can eat.) or cut off and composted and 30-40% of the balance either in vegetables or fallow. I sowed a lot of oats and wheat this year, with the vetch , clover, and alfalfa. I am thinking about adding field peas. I need to find some good information on companion planting and rotation for plants that will keep me from planting stuff that won’t grow due to what grew there the year before. So much to learn, so little time! I want to be free of as many outside “inputs” as possible so I can grow without having to rely on commercial products.

I have really kicked up the idea of a fall garden and the planting of certain items that keep in cool storage (root cellar) so I won’t have to can much. I won’t be able to do much this year but I have some long term plans for year ’round gardening that will hopefully bear fruit!

NYT Article on Raw Milk

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/17/business/global/17iht-rbofmilk.html

Articles like this frustrate me: I don’t need the .gov to be my nanny! I also don’t need the .gov to “save” me from eating natural food products whilst simultaneously pimping unhealthy, chemical-laden GMO garbage food. Conflict of interest **corporate lobby $, koff koff** anyone?

It’s better to grow your own, or source it locally in the “food underground”.

An excerpt from the article, and some thoughts after the excerpt:

“For four generations the Gibbs family milked cattle on their farm in a fertile valley in Allamuchy Township, New Jersey. Facing dismally low milk prices, Frank Gibbs and his sons, Brant and Keith, struggled this year to continue the tradition. But a month ago, they sold off their entire herd of nearly 200 cows.”

Mistake: trying to be an agribusiness, instead of providing first and foremost for yourself and selling surplus. I harp constantly on the principle of a closed cycle: a farm is not truly successful unless the loop of selling all your product gets closed. People need to work on LEAVING the industrial food system, not staying hooked in it a la Matrix-style. Instead, have enough dairy cows to provide milk for your family and surplus enough to make cheese, have skim to feed to your pigs, and maybe a small surplus to sell. Cows need to be GRASS FED, so you won’t have the cost of grain on top of your farm. Use your manure for the garden. Have cattle for meat, as well as other meat producing animals such as pigs, sheep, goats, rabbits, chickens, geese. Put everything back into your farm FIRST. But how can you do this? By being debt free, and owning your farm outright.

The joys of lactofermentation

I had a pretty productive weekend, and took advantage of the extra day and my returning energy to get a bunch of stuff done.
So, this weekend, my childe and I:

watched three movies
made low carb “tortilla”chips from Cleochatra’s recipe at the  Lighter Side of Low Carb

made 1 gallon of pickles using the recipe from “Wild Fermentation”
also did a quart jar of sliced pickles
pickle2

canned 10 quarts of tomatoes
canned 5 pints of plum jam
plum2

sewed 5 jumper-style dresses for work (for me)
added an online store to this site and Amazon book widget (I broke the store tonight; have to get my friend to fix it, lol)
Listed a bunch of books for sale on Amazon
Took pics of my old clothes that are still in good shape and got them ready to list on EBay
blanched, vacuum sealed and froze  5 bags of pattypan squash
alienspacepodsquash

made stock from the Big Bone
added more food to the food storage tracker
barbecued (actually… grilled, and the Old Man did that, we just made the sides…well, he made the potato salad)
I am getting closer to the energy level I used to have.  I am thinking about ordering more cod liver oil, maybe another food based supplement.  Definitely more liver

I checked on the pickles tonight and they are fermenting madly!  I can smell the garlic and dill and can’t wait to try them!
I have really enjoyed Wild Fermentation and plan on trying more recipes from it; I will post pics and results as I go along.

O The Humanities!

gchocolate cake

One of the enduring Sabbath traditions around our house (and one of the ongoing reasons for my*ahem* large behind) is some sort of ooey-gooey treat to last the weekend.  I have tried every treat imaginable, from low-carb to store bought to fancy-made.  We always tend to come back to simple pies and cakes.  For this weekend: a German Chocolate cake, square.  Square because my rotten childe borrowed my round pans and has not returned them.  No cake for you!
So, full disclosure: I cheated on the cake and bought a box.  I did substitute the veg oil with coconut oil, to make it a bit better
The frosting I made on the stove.  MMMmmmmm, delicious coconut pecan frosting!
Here is what ya do:
1 cup of coconut milk
1 cup sugar (urgh, yes, I used white sugar,  Beat me, I am eating cake!
3 beaten egg yolks
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cup coconut (I used some really nice dessicated unsweetened coconut)
1 cup chopped crispy pecans and walnuts

Pour the ingredients though the vanilla into a sauce pan, fire up the stove and start heating and mixing.  When well mixed, dump in the coconut and nuts.  Cook for about 10 minutes, or until enough of the liquid has boiled off to make the frosting really really thick.  Take off the heat and cool.  Frost yer cake.  Put in fancy cake plate, balance on the couch for the light and snap a pic. Post it on the Internet (lol Kristi) to make people drool.  Or whatever floats yer boat.

Laundry Soap

1 Large (6-7oz.) Bar of Soap, grated

5 Gallon Bucket
1 Cup Borax
1 Cup Washing Soda
3 Gallons Water

First grate your soap; I just use a bowl and a big-holed cheese grater.

Get out your BIG stockpot and add 1 gallon (16 cups) of water. I use an old 1 gallon vinegar bottle to measure out the water. Bring the water to a boil and then add the grated soap.

Stir until the soap dissolves and remove from heat. If you’re using Ivory you will have lots of suds….if you’re using Zote Soap there will be less suds.

Get out a 5 gallon bucket and pour the soap/water mixture into your bucket. Add the 2 cups of baking soda OR 1 cup baking soda/1 cup borax and stir until dissolved. If you are using the Ivory Soap it may suds up a lot.

Once you’ve got your soap mixture in your bucket, add 2 more gallons of cold water and stir.

As the laundry detergent cools, it will eventually “gel-up” (this can take up to 48 hours). To help it cool faster and not separate when it does Gel-up, it’s best to stir it every once in awhile. (Don’t worry, the suds eventually go away).