Monday, May 31, 2010

Baby Pictures

I wanted to show off our beautiful, sweet, new granddaughter. 

Everyone is healthy, happy and well.
Grammie is REALLY HAPPY!
Babies are a blessing from God  :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Baby is HERE!

The newest addition to our family is on her way.  They have induced our sweet daughter in law and we are praying for a safe, healthy, sweet delivery.  Our grandson is here sitting on Papa's lap having a little Julie's Organic blackberry ice cream.  We have sunshine on one side and rain over our head.

We enjoyed having our little grandson here and he had a full day of puppies, chicks, ducks, tractor rides, baseball, kitties, egg gathering and other fun stuff.  It is a sweet day!

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A couple of additions to the farm

We have recently added a few animals around here:

Two new kittens
Some baby ducks......
To go with the duck pond
A little coop for Mama Hen "Aunt Bea" and the new chicks (sorry, no pics of the new chicks - they are totally cute)
A little coop for the roosters to be butchered soon
Two new piggies and...
A coop for the "old biddies" - 
when the new hens begin laying, these older ones will be butchered.

No pictures yet:
New puppy for son in law.... Odie... he is so great!
New baby for son and daughter in law soon!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Recipe for converting an unused playhouse into a chicken coop!

Take one old playhouse (cost - nothing)
 Add one creative sister (cost - priceless)
Mix in one handy brother in law (totally awesome)
Some old chicken wire and some screws (happen to have on hand)
Blend with one useless swing frame (and cut it to size to fit down garden rows)
With a hubby who knows how to use old stuff (and make it new)
Mix the house and frame together with a grin
 Ta-Da!  You now have one movable chicken coop...
 Great for fertilizing, worm eating and weed control 
while your little roosters get ready for the freezer!

Next little house - a house for mama hen and babies :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Redirecting of energy

I just wanted to apologize for no new posts..... I forget every year how exhausting and intense this season is.  Our concrete construction swings into full gear at the same time that our garden swings into full gear.  I always say we go from 10 mph to 90 mph overnight  :)  It will probably be about two weeks before we can settle into our new summer routines with the bulk of the heavy work done..... then I'll be back (hopefully with pictures.  I was being faithful to take pictures but cannot find my camera right at this time)

Some of the topics I would like to cover over the summer:

  • Phase 3 - Soaked grains and nuts - I don't know what I was thinking - this should have been done over the winter, but there you are :)  Hopefully this topic can be covered with some thoroughness over the next 6-8 weeks.
  • Pregnancy diet - My daughter in law is about to deliver her second baby and my daughter is expecting in December.  We have found some really wonderful and helpful diet information for pregnancy.  Some of it is really important.  I actually want to cover it in 4-5 different posts.  Our local midwife will probably have to help me - when she explains things they make sense, then I cannot really repeat them very well.  Both girls have kidney issues, but we found a diet that is so helpful.  We took Dr. Brewer's recommendations and combined that with Sally Fallon's wisdom and came up with some good stuff.
  •  If you want to try any of his recommendations, go grass fed, organic and local.  We have ramped up on the egg thing because of a wonderful enzyme that is in the egg white of a grass fed, fertilized chicken egg.   The only thing is that you have to eat it raw.  It is great in a smoothie.
  • My sister came up with an amazing idea for a quick chicken coop.  Take an old kids playhouse (she had one) and screw chicken wire to the windows.  One window was left open, but we screwed a clasp to it so it can be opened and closed.  the door had a latch put on it.  They then took an old swing frame and wired chicken wire to it.  Ta-da:  Chicken coop with a little run that can be moved and the little run can be put down a garden row, which then also gave us a chicken tractor.
  • My sister will need to do some guest posts.... she has been studying the chicken thing and is now the local expert.  She came up with the cool new chicken coop (I need about 5 more of those old houses.... if you have one locally you want to get rid of.).... also we made a "chicken salad" using some old frames.  We planted it and put chicken wire on top.  The chickens will be able to eat the green tops, but not the plants.  Stay tuned for this one.  The stuff is just sprouting........ we are getting quails next and every 3 weeks another bunch of chickens hatches.  We butcher our first bunch of chickens in about a month.
Anyway, be blessed today.


Monday, May 10, 2010



In Andalusia, most gazpacho recipes typically include hard bread, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, garlic, olive oil, vinegar or wine, onion and salt. The following is a typical method of preparing gazpacho:
  1. The vegetables are washed and the tomatoes, garlic and onions are peeled.
  2. All the vegetables and herbs are chopped and put into a large container (alternately, the tomatoes may be puréed in a blender or food processor.
  3. The soaked bread is then added (optional)
  4. Some of the contents of the container are then blended until liquid, depending on the desired consistency.
  5. Chilled water, olive oil, vinegar and salt are then added to taste.
  6. The remaining contents of the container are added to the liquid, then briefly puréed until there is some texture remaining for garnish. (optional)
  7. Garnishes may be made with fresh bell pepper slices, diced tomatoes, or other fresh ingredients.
Traditionally, gazpacho is made by pounding the vegetables using a mortar and pestle.  This method is still sometimes favored as it helps keep the gazpacho cool and avoids the completely smooth consistency, and foam, created by blenders and food processors.

A recipe with measurements (for you control freaks :)

Gazpacho Recipe


6 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 purple onion, finely chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped
1 sweet red bell pepper (or green) seeded and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
6 or more drops of Tabasco sauce to taste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (omit for vegetarian option)
4 cups tomato juice


Combine all ingredients. Blend slightly, to desired consistency. Place in non-metal, non-reactive storage container, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight, allowing flavors to blend.
Serves 8.



Tomatoes in various colors (each color is a different acidity and gives your salsa a complex flavor) 
(you can blacken some of them for smoky flavor)
Sweet and Hot Peppers - seeded and blackened in a cast iron pan
Cucumber - with the peels on and I like to put the bitter end in for complex flavor
Lime juice and zest

I don't have amounts.  What I do is go and pick in the garden and throw everything into the food processor.  I blend it to chunky and season it to taste.  It tastes different every time.  It is a family favorite.

The whey cultures the tomato mixture and adds all kinds of wonderful health benefits.  This is an enzyme rich, antioxidant rich, nutrient dense food that packs a big health punch!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Extra Step - Menu Planning

My personal Waterloo - Menu Planning

Phase 2 ends with menu planning.  Really, this is my biggest weak area in the entire realm of food preparation.  However, I know, know, KNOW that I must get it down on paper and follow it.  So, for me, if not for you... the bullet points:
  • Eating for health requires you to incorporate some specific foods on a regular basis.  If you have no plan, you will probably miss some things you want to work in (the raw liver is still in my freezer... going to go on the menu!)
  • When you are planning to plant and eat from your own garden, you should know lots of things to do with what you grow.  PLANNING helps.  You know what to grow and how to use it.  Also, your family won't get sick of the 10 things you are good at :(
  • When you are attempting to reach a health goal, a plan is good.
  • Time, money, effort and energy is freed up.  No more trying to figure out what is for dinner.... and it is 6:00 at night.
  • If you plan to soak your grains (Phase 3 - been trying to get to Phase 3 for a month now) you have to plan ahead.  Flying by the seat of your pants just does NOT work (trust me on this one).
  • Make it a part of your routine and you are more likely to be successful.  Make it work for YOU. 
  • Check out what they say at the Weston Price Foundation to help you incorporate great principals.
Find someone to help you get started or to keep you going.  A couple of friends are so good on their menu planning.  You might look at Jabez Farms.  She is so faithful with her Menu Planning Monday.  As a bonus, she has been so encouraging for me on Facebook to get on with the program :)  Thanks Kim.  You are the best.  

Personally, I am planning to go with a seasonal menu.  I have begun the process using some of the ideas from Passionate Homemaking and Keeper of the Home.

This is an important step in our household as we get more and more busy.  Our work season just swung into full gear, the gardening is intense and everyone needs to stay healthy, busy, productive and well.  A seasonal menu seems to be what will work for us.  This will help me in planting the garden as well (see, everyone has priorities - I have charts, diagrams, lists, orders - everything in order for the garden... hmmmmm, just apply it to the kitchen!)

So, the final step in Phase 2.  Get a menu figured out.  What do YOU need to eat to be healthy.  Do you have a plan?  What does your family need.  Is this a short term or long term need?  It is important to figure it out.

Pray that I can get this are organized!