Monday, August 24, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
As I drove by cornfields green and tasseling, soybeans still dark green and growing, windows down to feel the cooling breeze, I reflected on the moment. Here it was the height of Summer, cicadas buzzing, me in shorts and t-shirts night and day. The kind of day-the season in fact- we like to daydream about during a snowstorm. And I was driving into town to go pick up what will be my holiday dinner centerpiece. I believe this is what they mean by 'slow food'.
Our 8 poults have settled in nicely. You may not know this, but it is nearly impossible to find turkey starter (the feed formulated with the 28% protein that baby turkeys need) that does not contain drugs. I have had success in the past (the one time I raised turkeys) with non-medicated feed, so we are going to try it again. Most all the books say to give them medication to get them off to a healthy start. Since I couldn't find any feed in bags that fit our bill, I decided to mix my own from the grain mix I had on hand and added more soybeans to up the protein level. This involved grinding the whole roasted soybeans in our Kitchenaid grain mill and adding it to the grain mix, then putting it all in a cement mixer to ensure adequate mixing. I also am adding a poultry vitamin and electrolyte mix to their water. As of day 2 all is well.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tonight after work we went to check out our next batch of feeder pigs. Way cute! They are the same three-way breed cross as the first batch, but they are mostly red and white, no black ones in this bunch. There is at least one 'calico' in the bunch. I wonder at my potential to make a true pig farmer due to my weakness for cute colors in a pig. Not the best way to pick out a good sound animal, but it certainly pleases me.
Been working hard on a new outdoor pig enclosure for these guys. This will be a large permanent pen set up in a grove of scrub trees, providing lots of shade, grass, leaves, fresh air, and general piggy heaven. There are still a few final touches that need doing, but the major work is done, and it feels good to know we'll soon have little grunting porkers pushing their noses through the soil.
When we have not been building pig pens and moving the new chicken fence, we have been
preserving as much as we possibly can from the garden. The limitation here is time. Our garden is providing us with a great bounty of everything. The peas are finally about done, and I am glad to not have to shuck them for a while, though I love fresh peas for sure. The beans are on their way to finished. The garlic is mostly out of the ground and drying in the barn, and the onions are soon to follow. We are waiting for the potatoes to season in the ground before we dig them for storage. We have been eating some fresh fingerling potatoes - yum! The biggest, best garden arrival in my opinion is the sweet corn! The corn is at it's peak right now, and I have to say, this is an excellent crop in all regards. Big, beautiful ears of snapping sweet kernels. Besides eating it right in the garden, and slightly cooked at dinner, we have been freezing most of it. This weekend I'm sure we'll be canning more corn. I think we'll have to go get more jars, as the tomatoes are right behind the corn.
My birthday present arrived today - it's the book titled Charcuterie, the Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing. This book is very much hailed in the meat foodie world, and a quick perusal tonight has me excited. I've got some pork ribs thawing in the fridge awaiting a magical transformation.