The three (not so little) pigs.

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Thank you to the pigs. We gave them the best of care and food we could offer and we are grateful for the food they are providing us with this year. The pork was picked up the other day and everyone is happy with the pork we raised. This felt great to hear.

 

In which I demystify Kimchi…

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My first attempt at Kimchi came out of the arrival of the largest Kohlrabi I’d ever seen. Grandma got it at the Farmer’s Market, and when she carried it in I assumed it was a cabbage it was so big! It made me start thinking about my stored cabbages in the neighbor’s walk in cooler, and all the wonderful carrots I picked up from my storage share a couple days before. Put all that together and Kimchi was the decision, I have wanted to try it for a long time. The more I read about diets of the past, the more it makes sense! We used to eat fermented food year around, because of the lack of refrigeration. These ferments were filled with good bacteria, something many of us, myself included don’t get enough of at all. Don’t know if I can jump on the Kombucha train yet, it still mystifies me a bit, but I’m starting with Kimchi and also making up a new batch of yogurt. Next time it is spicy fermented carrots, even hubby may like those if they don’t have the intensity of ginger and garlic that the kimchi does. I think I kinda scared him with this batch!

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I like it very much, even with it’s intense garlic and ginger, I love salty and pickled foods and so the whole thing definitely won me over. I’ve been told by someone who is more familiar with making this than I am, that it will store in the fridge for up to a year!! I expect it to be gone well before than, but it’s amazing it can last that long.

Harvesting the mini high tunnel…

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I planted 4 weeks too late and winter came 6 weeks too early. All this amounts too…a Spinach Omelet for two and some radish niblets. I am already planning for next year though. The tunnel will work great for starting plants and when it is warm enough it will be time to move the chickens out of the brooder and repurpose it as a  “hoop coop” combo for moving the roosters about till butchering time. Then it will be a cold frame again in the Fall. I’m excited to start plants in it early this Spring and have salad greens early!

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Last week we went over the river and through the woods to… well you get it. It was a wonderful holiday with family, and we even were able to sneak in a early birthday party for my Dad’s 90th, since they will be in a warmer climate on his real birthday. It was simple stuff, adorable wonderful grand kids, a big family Thanksgiving, and a Pizza Birthday party with cake for Dad the next night. There were lots of laughs, and a few tears (happy, loving, grateful tears), and now we are all home (to our 7 different states!) with new memories, renewed connections and full hearts. I love and treasure this family very much!

PS It was also very good to be back on the farm.

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Hubby and Grandson are doing a cattle check.

 

Last night we tried out our first pork of the season. It was time for a celebratory meal, couple this with the fact that we had excellent Thanksgiving leftovers it was a perfect dinner.

Menu:

First Pork Chops, of the year, seared in Cast Iron and oven cooked at a high temperature, served with Thanksgiving Cranberries, (made by my Mom and my Grandson) as well as we taste tested it with the HB Cranberry Jelly I made in the Fall. We served this with broccoli from last summer, oven baked locally bartered for potatoes, leftover stuffing (made by my Mom and my daughter) and my pumpkin bread (made with box elder syrup and fresh pumpkin). Dessert was a delicious slice of pumpkin pie, for each of us, made for Thanksgiving by my sister in her condo in the heart of the city. It was a collaboration celebration!

I really feel good about the job we did with the hogs and the butcher said they were in great shape, and fed out well. Additionally we are learning to establish a small meat business and this year was a great first year. Profit will go into a new freezer which we will need when we load live and sell by the piece next year. We will have the new freezer licensed next year but for now, with a whole hog in the freezer that we have all of our veggies, fruits, chickens and two turkeys in we could definitely use the added space!

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Hubby brought in these frozen mushrooms tonight. This was unexpected for sure, they were sauteed up tonight with Asparagus pieces from last Spring and some of our garlic diced small. Wow, there is just something about sauteed mushrooms…especially when they are a surprise!

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