If we could sum up our July in a few words I think they would be: Plant, harvest, eggs, zucchini, dirt, rocks..... and God's beauty. Pictured above is our 'coming soon' download in our Simple and Easy Steps to Ditch the Grocery Store series. If you haven't read part one you may find that here and the part 2 of 6 is coming early this week.
In the Barnyard...
Chickens! Now that we ferment and regulate their feed (thanks to Justin Rhodes and family at Abundant Permaculture) they know that I feed them and are SURE that I have food every time they see me. Or hear me. Or think they do! One was sure my camera was food and took a nip at it and me.
See that mean look in her eye?! Watch out!!
Ok moving on to something MUCH cuter. My buddy Tiny is the sweetest little lamb. We will see how this Farmer's Wife does when it comes time to butcher in the fall.
In the Greenhouse...
Transplanting round two of the pole beans hoping they survive the pill bug infestation.
Yep, that pill bug infestation! Timmmmmmber! I call them little lumber jacks. The Oregon extension office told me they only eat dead and decaying matter. Maybe after they fall over the bean plant... but it wasn't decaying when they fell it. Accepting all tips of how to be done with these things. A live trap so I can feed them to the chickens would be awesome. So far nothing has worked.
Harvesting spinach seed from the green house plants. I think we have enough for quite some time.
Harvest from our spring greenhouse clean up. Learning out the cabbage patch, it did ok considering it didn't look like it was going to do anything a month or two ago. Some bits of lettuce, green onions and the eggs.... those came out of the barn not the greenhouse. ::wink:: ::wink::
Around the Farm...
Our list of reasons for LIKING all the abundance of wild blackberries is actually growing though we are still constantly cutting them down and using every thing not made from chemicals to get them to go away. List of reasons we DO like them: #1 Pigmy Goat food = less animal feed #2 Blackberry leaves make great tea, check out our Bloom'n Hibiscus #3 Those lovely blackberries! Some work but they are worth it.
Red clover.... red clover.... send some Farmer's Wife tea right over! We love this time of year when the tea grows in our yard.
Bloom'n oregano! The bee's are loving this!
Lavender has to be the Farmer's and my favorite herb. Its such a pleasure to see it bloom and then to have that beauty in the yard. I have such a hard time cutting it down to dry it but here it goes! Featured in our Rose City Repose and Lavender Earl Grey Teas.
Oregano, rosemary and thyme from the yard going into one of our farm fresh meals.
Breaking ground on our up and coming tea studio!
After being sick for six weeks last year I'm finally making it back into the Mary Garden to clean it up and hopefully find a way to keep all the weeds (unwanted plants) out. Trying out some watermelon plants up here for now since we ran out of space in the crop garden.
In the Farm Kitchen...
One of our last salads with snap peas in it, good bye spring and yellow summer!
Sourdough Breakfast Braid featuring Mt. Hope Farm's Aroina Berry Fruit Spread.
Chicken Pesto Salad Sandwich with Kale Pesto and dehydrated tomatoes from last years garden.
Local grass fed beef, organic tomato sauce, garden fresh zucchini, and onion/garlic/mushrooms from the farmer's market...... all going into this.....
Farm grown lunch; eggs from the chickens, zucchini from the garden, Rosemary from our herb garden and cherry plums from our wild trees.
Kale Grain Salad with locally grown quinoa, wild black berries, locally picked blue berries and wild cherry grapes with a watermelon from the farmer's market.
Its been hot so salads are in order! This was a Chicken Grain Salad with kale and zucchini from the garden topped with tomatillo salsa from last years garden.
In the Crop Garden...
Pulling grass and remulching the crop garden to give the starts a better chance at out growing the weeds.
The tomatillos and zucchini are coming along. Also a few cabbage seed pods in the greenhouse.
The crop garden is filling in and looking good. The tomatillos are in bloom and so are the potatoes!
Our nasturtiums are blooming! We planted them in the crop garden to help with insect replant and bee attraction.
A baby cantaloupe! Sweetness is in our future...
Our first pickling cucumbers are in their jar fermenting. Its super simple and a great way to skip the heat of canning. If you would like a short video tutorial make sure to follow us on Instagram!
In the Farm Store ...
We are still spending every other Saturday at the Salem Saturday Market enjoying meeting new customers and sharing our tea. Pictured below is some sample tea, make sure to stop by and try a cup at our next market August 6th!
Our lovely sign carved by the Farmer's brother-in-law and our bulk single teas.
Trying out a new tea display and trying to beat the sun! St. Fiacre is on guard making sure they don't get too hot.
This lovely photo is from Elizabeth Looney at the ModernHippy87 on Instagram. We swapped some goods during the #trademethursday swap. She took this lovely photo of our end of the trade. She did such a good job!
Thanks for visiting us down on the farm for July's update! We hope to see you in a day or two with our newest blog series; Simple and Easy Skills Make You Grocery Store Free . From our farm to you home we hope you have a blessed week!
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"The chief things for man's life is water and bread, and clothing, and a house to cover shame." Ecclesiasticus XXIX, 27. Today we are sharing our recipe for the staff of life, that foodstuff that man has had for thousands of years, bread. But in our day and age bread seems to be on the list of things not to eat. It seems there may be many reasons for that as the type of bread many tend to eat in our time is different from what use to be eaten. In our previous blog post on Milling At Home Joseph Husslein S.J. Ph D. shows how just by the way wheat is milled takes our "staff of life" and turns it into something other than a healthful food stuff.
Going down Father Fahey's list of 12 Factors of Proper Nutrition we are going to touch on numbers 10 and 11 today with our sourdough tutorial: proper preparation of food and proper cooking of food.
What is so special about sourdough bread? According to the all knowing Wikipedia, "Sourdough is the fermentation of dough using naturally occurring lactobacilli and yeast." Prior to the use of commercial yeast (bread yeast typically purchased for bread making) sourdough starter was how families baked their daily bread. Sourdough starter uses a natural leaving that takes the naturally occurring yeast from the air when flour and water are mixed together. This is what makes the bread rise in a sour dough recipe. Most sourdough breads purchased or served in a restaurant do not use this method but add other agents to mimic the flavor of sourdough.
Why is all of this important? Sourdough starter not only makes the bread rise without having to purchase a commercial man made yeast but it also helps to make bread more nutritional. The lactobacilli (the yeasts and bacterias) digest the sugars in the wheat, they give off gas in the process making the bubbles in the starter/bread dough which make it rise. When these lactobacilli eat the sugars they are "pre-digesting" the bread for us which makes it easier for us to digest. It also prepares the nutrients in the wheat for us so that we get more out of our wheat than we would have had these bacteria and yeasts not started the job for us. This study from the US National Library of Medicine shows that souring the bead reduces gluten and may be helpful to those who are gluten intolerant. In our own personal experience we don't have the bloating that is associated with eating yeasted bread and the whole wheat sourdough also ties us over to the next meal much longer. When we have gone back to a commercial yeasted bread we feel as if we didn't eat much and continue to feel hungry, in return eating more.
So without further ado, we present our family sourdough recipe. This recipe has been a labor of love in the making for about 4 years. One downside to sourdough is that it isn't a scientifically made commercial yeast. Meaning that it isn't a straight forward consistent item to use in the kitchen. It has been said that sourdough making is an art and there are as many ways to use this lovely starter as there are recipes in Russia for borsch, recipes in the US for potato salad and recipes in Bulgaria for Shopska Salad (as every country has its dish! Our children are adopted from these…). With that I will say this recipe might not work for every starter and every situation but it is what has been working for our family for 6 months almost without fail after 4 years of many sourdough bricks! I must also send a thank you to all those family members who have helped give tips along the way! To my sister-in-laws, cousin and aunt who put up with all my questioning and probing. This recipe is a combination of all of those tips and much reading and research.
Grind your Wheat!
Welcome to our Family Tea Farm!
Howdy from our farm to your home! It is said that the, "farm is the nursery of the family," and that "the family is the nursery of the nation." We hope you enjoy your visit to our blog as we share with you the happenings on our little "nursery". Thank you for following us on our journey and watching us GROW! Read more about our farm HERE.
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