Friday, June 3, 2011

Overload of work

We are at that time in spring when we have an overload of work and not enough time to fill it. I don't know what we would do if it was dry however. It is so wet here that I think we should start building an ark or at least buy a boat!!! The garden isn't planted, nor are the fields. We did manage to plant 88 hills of potatoes tow weeks ago but I think most of them rotted in the ground.
Two weeks ago or so I managed to pick wild mustard tops to make Vourves, which is a French delicacy. Mustard greens are an excellent source of many vitamins including vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin C, folate, and vitamin E. They are also an excellent source of the minerals manganese and calcium as well as dietary fiber. They are also a very good source of potassium, vitamin B6, protein, copper, phosphorus, iron, vitamin B2, and magnesium. Mustard greens are a good source of vitamin B1 and vitamin B3 (niacin). And I picked stinging nettle.




The mustard I boiled in salt water and then froze some. To prepare, I sauteed in butter with some garlic and then added a little lemon juice. They were very good. You pick them just before the flower buds open up. Yummmy!!!
Stinging nettle is also loaded with vitamins and minerals. You just pick off the tops anytime before they get more than a foot tall. We have lots of them growing here. Make sure you were gloves though. Once the nettle is cooked it loses it sting. This I just boil in salt water and use like spinach in quiches or whatever hot dish I make. If I am making soup I just add it in fresh if I have it fresh. I also save the water that I boil it in and use it in tea.
I also managed to find time to make a batch of dandelion wine. This is very time consuming to pick all of the blossoms but well worth it.
We have been busy putting up fence. We are putting up woven wire with an electric strand on the inside and barbwire on the top. We completed the lamb pen which is were they will be weaned but the grass is so high in there and I don't have the rest of the fencing done so all the sheep are in there but they have eaten most of it down already so we are trying to get the other pasture fence done. We have all of the wooden posts put in along the yard so today I am going to try to get wire up. We had one set back a huge cotton wood tree fell (2 of the three huge trunks) right where we were going to start putting in more posts. We cut on it one evening but still have more to go. This might take awhile.
It will be so nice to have the fencing done as this took up so much of my tie last year and this spring but once it is done I will have more time for other things.
We also rented out the main pasture to some beef cows in exchange for a calf this fall so we can start raising our own beef. So, that was another project to get that fence ready to go for them. That is just two strands of electric but the deer knock down and break it over the winter and their was some branches and stuff to clear.

Friday, May 13, 2011

New additions and plants





Yesterday the chicks started hatching. We made a big box for them so I am going to keep them in the house for a few days as it is cold here again.
And here are some of my plants...I can't wait to get out in the garden but I think it is going to be quite late this year.     
I went out tis morning and harvested a bunch of stinging nettle and wild mustard tops which you make Vrouves with. I will blog about this on Monday! Happy weekend everyone!  

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Website with just about everything!

I found a new website that is really interesting. As I am constantly upgrading at the farm I am in need of lots things that I find easier to buy on the web. this site brings lots of businesses together that carry a broad range of things I need here. You can search by product and then find the closest source for the product you need by entering your zip code. the web site is http://www.thomasnet.com/. Thy have more than 67,000 catalogs on a wide array of products to choose from!!
For instance, I need some new hinges for the barn door so I went to http://www.thomasnet.com/products/hinges-38101804-1.html and found over 2,000 companies that supplied hinges and then I narrowed it down to my zip code and found just the hinge I needed at our local Fastenal store.
Then I needed a specific nut for my weed trimmer, which I lost last summer in the pasture. I went to http://www.thomasnet.com/products/fasteners-27541200-1.html and found just what I needed. This one took just a little more digging because it was a special nut but I probably wouldn't have found it any other place.
So give this one a try if you are looking for something to help you organize or fix things.

A little bit of excitment

Here at Sheep Hollow Farm spring is slow in coming. You can barely see the buds forming on the apple trees. Usually by now they would have flowered. It is cold and wet. We live where we have a very high water table (read..Swamp!) With all the rain we received last year and so far this spring, I cannot set foot in my garden yet. I am planning on putting in a bunch of raised beds this year in preparation for next year so I can start gardening a little bit earlier. Anyway, we ran out of wood last week so we had to go out and get some. We have in floor water heat so our floors are cement and with the heat off the floors are very cold. It is nice in the summer time as the house remains cool but we usually burn wood all the way up to June or this year looking like maybe even longer. Friday the temp. is only suppose to be 49. So, we hooked the John Deere up to the rock wagon last night and headed out to the pasture to scrounge up some wood. Mind you, there is water standing everywhere on our place. Even on the lawn. We figured with the light tractor that  we would be okay. We were until we tried to come back with a load...okay it was only a 1/4 of a load. It pulled the JD right in half way up the tires. The hitch was below ground! So we walked back up to the yard and got a little bigger tractor. We had unhooked the wagon to try and get the JD out so we chained the wagon to the back of the JD and pulled the whole shebang back to the yard with the Minneapolis Moline. As we were coming up in the pasture we see BF's daughter walking out to us. She needed a Moline at her place because the septic guy buried his fully loaded truck on her lawn. It was only about 15 feet off the driveway. The Moline he used was almost out of Diesel so we hopped on his MM UB tractor pulling tractor and headed over there. We pulled him about foot and then had to shovel out in front of his back tires because the sod was up to the top of the tires. Then another foot, and figured this wasn't going to work. So we headed back home and put the batteries in the biggest tractor we had and went back to try again. No luck. The back end of the truck just kept sinking away and he had a square tubing bar on the back of his truck that was dug right into the sod. So, BF's daughter drove me home and I drove over his other tractor pulling tractor...and Oliver 77. I hooked on in front of the big tractor with a flexible tow strap. Still nothing. So, she has a septic truck spending the night at her house because by this time it was dark and we couldn't see to dig out the tires anymore. The septic man is going to have his brother bring his truck over and unload the &*%$ out of it and then it will probably just pull right out..after all a load of crap is a LOAD!!!!!!!! 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pasteurized Dairy and rBST

I was recently asked why I am against pasteurized dairy so I am going to blog about it today. I wanted to try and blog more about the things that are so wrong with our food system and other stuff so this is the perfect opportunity.
For one thing, the whole advertising campaign about 'milk does your body good' and you need to drink it for strong bones is utterly false! You don't get calcium from pasteurized milk. I will go into more detail about that later. Then there is the fact that cows are injected with rBST which I will also talk about.

People have had cows for milk consumption for ages. In order to keep up with today’s demand for more milk, we raise our cows in crowded quarters, pump them full of hormones to increase production, feed them grains that their stomachs can’t digest, and then give them antibiotics to prevent illness that naturally occurs under such living conditions. The end result is something very different than what our ancestors consumed, and pasteurization becomes necessary to kill the harmful bacteria that are now present in ever greater numbers.
Not only is modern milk loaded with antibiotics, toxins and hormones, but the pasteurization process intended to kill the bad bacteria also destroys the good bacteria and natural enzymes that allow its digestion. Our bodies don’t manufacture the proper enzymes to help our digestive system break down the milk and absorb all its nutrients. Consider phosphatase, a heat-sensitive enzyme essential for absorption and assimilation of calcium, which is destroyed during pasteurization. That 300 mg of calcium per glass? It won’t end up in your bones. (You will keep the fat though, but it won’t be the good kind of omega-3 fatty acids, unless it comes from a grass-fed cow.) Unpasteurized milk, however, contains more than 60 naturally-occurring enzymes, including lactase, which breaks down lactose (milk sugar). After years of consuming milk minus the lactase, your body can easily become burdened with breaking down all that lactose and you become lactose-intolerant.
So, you think raw milk is not safe but this simply is not true. Because of the way factory dairy farm cows are kept and all the stuff they are injected with the milk has to be pasteurized to kill all the bacteria. I have worked at several dairies and believe me you don't want to drink their milk even if if is pasteurized. It is loaded with mucus and pus and all kind of gross things.
http://www.raw-milk-facts.com/  and http://www.realmilk.com/ have lots of great info on the benefits of real raw cows milk that comes from cows that eat grass, hay and silage only and are out in the sun and not cooped up in barns. I will blog another day about the benefits of grass fed meat, poultry, eggs and dairy.Cows pastured on organic green grass produce milk with amazing health benefits.
If you go to the first link and click on FAQ'S it tells you what pasteurization, homogenization, and lactose intolerance is.
Drinking raw milk, kefir and eating yogurt give you many health benefits.
The other reason why I don't like store bought factory farm milk is rBST. This is the Bovine Growth Hormone that is injected into dairy cows to make them produce more milk. When I worked for the dairy they in injected the cows every three months or sooner with rBST. I could always tell when it was about shot time because the cows were not producing much milk at all and then all of the sudden they came in with huge bags and were cranky and miserable because of the unnatural state they where in. rBST is a hormone. Monsanto (no surprise there) is the company that is behind this hormone and of course all of our genetically modified food and lots of other evils. Posilac (this is what it is called now that Posilac bought it out from Monsanto)was banned from use in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and all European Union countries (currently numbering 27), by 2000 or earlier. Dairy cows used to be productive for many years, but now a typical cow only lasts 2 to 3 years and they are burned up. They have much higher incidences of mastitis, which is bacteria in the milk, and milk has much more mucus in it which is why we have more frequent colds and sinus infections and why heart disease and obesity are so high in the United States. It has been found that due to the health and welfare of the animal that it should not be used and thus the banning of it from many countries.
In humans, it has been shown to increase new tumors, breast, colon an prostate cancer. It has been shown to be the cause of teenagers coming into puberty at such a young age. It is a hormone after all. I believe (but have not researched) this is the cause of so many young women having problems with PMS and ovarian cysts at such a young age. When my daughter was a teenager (we had our own milk cow for awhile and when we didn't I never bought milk with rBST) she had no problems but all of her friends were being put on the birth control pill to alleviate all of the female problems they were having like very painful and long periods and cysts. I believe (and it probably can be proved) that all of the pus and mucus in the milk is causing cysts.
You can buy rBST free milk if you look at the labels but this still does not put my mind at ease about factory milk. I buy my milk from a local Amish farm and have since found cheese made from unpasteurized milk at the new local Amish run store. The cheese comes from Ohio, but I am looking for a local source and when time permits I would like to start making my own. I have some milk kefir grains coming my way soon and will start making this healthful drink also. I will also be making my own yogurt, sour cream and cream cheese, too.
Here is a good article/report on rBST. http://documents.foodandwaterwatch.org/rBGH.pdf
Injecting otherwise healthy cows


with genetically engineered growth

hormones is, in my view, unnatural,

unnecessary and unfair to dairy

cows. … Consumers should be able

to decide for themselves whether or

not they buy milk from rBGH-treated

cows. We believe if they had the

information to make the choice, they

will not.

– A representative of Ben and Jerry’s

Homemade, Inc., on filing a lawsuit in 1996

to label their products rBGH-free










Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Todays lunch


Today's lunch was sauteed dandelion leaves and roots with garlic and eggs. It was very good. I cut up the leaves and steamed them in my steamer. While they were steaming, I  sauteed the roots and garlic in butter. I then added some leaves and two scrambled eggs. I seasoned this with cayenne pepper (which I put on everything for its health benefits), added some of my turmeric paste, (also for health), and when it was almost done cooking I added some mozzarella cheese that was made from unpasteurized milk.  I tried adding pictures but for some reason blogger won't let me. (Or maybe it is my computer.) Next time, I think I will boil the leaves as they were a little strong tasting.
I was also going to post pics of my bread but...oh well....maybe next time!!!
With spring here I just don't have time to blog like I would like to. Things are very busy! That and having to drive and pick up BF form work...well that takes two hours out of my day! Hopefully we can find some help for him to get his cataract surgery soon!!!  
Okay..I went back in to edit and now it let me post pictures....go figure! 
I love this quote from Jesse Ventura.
  We Ain’t Got Time To Bleed. It’s Time for the Revolution.


“You control our world. You’ve poisoned the air we breathe, contaminated the water we drink, and copyrighted the food we eat. We fight in your wars, die for your causes, and sacrifice our freedoms to protect you. You’ve liquidated our savings, destroyed our middle class, and used our tax dollars to bailout your unending greed. We are slaves to your corporations, zombies to your airwaves, servants to your decadence. You’ve stolen our elections, assassinated our leaders, and abolished our basic rights as human beings. You own our property, shipped away our jobs, and shredded our unions. You’ve profited off of disaster, destabilized our currencies, and raised our cost of living. You’ve monopolized our freedom, stripped away our education, and have almost extinguished our flame. We are hit… we are bleeding… but we ain’t got time to bleed. We will bring the giants to their knees and you will witness our revolution.” -Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, 4/12/11                                        

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Preparedness

I hate to keep being doom and gloom but their is an urgent need in me to become as prepared as possible. Their are signs all over. We must heed them. Their are many countries silently preparing for things to come. World leaders know something is coming. We need to be ready and be  ready long enough to ride it out and hope of prosperity to follow.
I urge you to learn how to grow things, preserve things, cook things, store things, fix things, heal things. Learn about herbs and weeds that can heal you and how to prepare them. Even better, learn how to eat healthy and live healthy so you don't get sickness and disease.
There are so many resources on the web to help you get started. If you have any questions o need help in getting started in finding something please let me know. Next week, I plan on writing on a topic at a time about things that pretain to preparedness and  self-sufficiency.