Plans for 2009
Garden Layout – I have decided to cut our garden size in half this year. Instead of planting in wide rectangular beds, I am planting in circular beds inspired by the system set up by Linda Woodrow in her book called The Permaculture Home Garden.
Chicken Tractor – Building a dome PVC Chicken tractor to move around the garden for soil cultivation and fertilization
Water Conservation: - Re Routing grey water from our washer into the garden, very heavy layers of rice straw mulch ala Ruth Stouts “No Work Method”, cutting back on the amount of veggies grown. No more sprinkler irrigation (drip only), Rain Barrels. Composting In Place
Moving??- We may be buying a new home this year. We’ve been doing a lot of looking, but have not found the right place yet.
It’s time to start posting again….Took a nice long break, but it’s time to get the garden going again. Stay tuned
Friday, February 06, 2009
Plans for 2009
Posted by Sarah at 3:21 PM
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
We had hoped to leave our pumpkin patch in place until a little later this month, but nature had different plans. Rain over the last week encouraged us to harvest our pumpkins and winter squash. The photo above is what we collected. A few of the smaller squash were moldy and got thrown in the compost bin. I will be trading some squash for figs and making a lot of pumpkin curry this winter. I absolutely love pumpkin! One of my favorite recipe’s in the world is Squash Lasagna, but instead of Butternut Squash, I like to use Pumpkin. I know it sounds a little strange, but I promise that it tastes fantastic!
This is a Wonderful Recipe from Weight Watchers that I make every winter.
4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk
2 medium garlic clove(s), minced
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
10 oz dry lasagna noodles, cooked al dente (about 12 noodles)
10 oz cooked winter squash, thawed if frozen
1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
3/4 cup golden seedless raisins
2 Tbsp pine nuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place flour in a small saucepan and very gradually whisk in milk and garlic. Warm over low heat, stirring constantly, until sauce simmers and is thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
Spread 1/4 cup of cheese sauce over bottom of a 9 X 13-inch glass or metal pan and cover with 3 lasagna noodles; top with 1/3 of squash and 1/2 cup of cheese sauce. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup of raisins. Cover with 3 more lasagna noodles and spread with 1/3 of remaining squash and 1/2 cup of cheese sauce; sprinkle with 1/4 cup of raisins. Cover with 3 more lasagna noodles and top with remaining squash and raisins; cover with last 3 lasagna noodles, pressing sheets firmly down. Top with remaining cheese sauce; sprinkle with pine nuts and remaining mozzarella cheeseBake until lasagna bubbles around edges and is browned on top, about 30 minutes. Slice into 8 pieces and serve
Monday, October 06, 2008
Mark and I went on a little adventure a few weeks ago that I am just now having time to write about. We drove up to Lake County to pick our ¼ of an all natural pasture raised/ grass feed steer for our freezer.
After reading Omnivore’s Dilemma this summer, I’ve been unable and unwilling to eat any beef without knowing exactly where it came from. I hate the idea of supporting feed lot practices in any way. This has seriously reduced the amount of beef that I’ve been eating to just about none. While perusing Craigslist, I came upon an ad for all natural grass fed beef and since Mark and I already own a chest freezer to store it in we thought it might be worth exploring further.
I called up the Rancher Eric and he told me that he would have a Steer ready to process in about 2-3 weeks. The grass fed steers are really lean and a lot smaller than grain fed. The cost was $3 per pound on the hoof and ¼ steer would be around 125 lbs. Mark and I decided we would give it a try, and a few weeks later Eric called back to see what cuts of meat we wanted. Since I have never ordered meat this way, I was not quite sure what to ask for. He kindly went over all of the different cuts with me and told me that it would dry age for 18 days and then he would be individually wrapping it and freezing it.
About 2 months after ordering it (slow food) we got a call that it was ready to pick up. The directions to Eric’s house involved miles of dirt road and I was excited to see where our steer had grown up. It was a beautiful drive about an hour from home. The area was once volcanic and there is obsidian rock scattered all over the road. We met Eric, his wife Nora and 4 of their 6 kids. They had quite the menagerie of animals, cats, dogs, chickens, running around their yard. I felt instantly at ease since it reminded me of my house. Eric told us a little about his history, he used to be a Sherriff, but had to retire after an injury. He had worked as a butcher as a teenager and decided to go into ranching. He took us down to the pasture where his grazing cattle live. The grass was starting to dry out, but I was surprised at how tall it was and how green some still was despite the hot weather. I asked where they get their water from and he explained that there is a stream running thru the pasture area. They actually have 1100 acres they can roam around on. We stopped by a farm stand on the way home and I bought a box of the most gorgeous Okra EVER to pickle (see Okra Pickles post). It was a great trip and Mark and I have enough meat to last all winter and spring. I’ve made some steaks and used some hamburger in meat sauce (we have over 20 lbs bags of it). So far so good. The meat is so lean that there is almost no fat in the pan when cooking. I am looking forward to coming up with some fun and creative recipes for all of it.