Monday, March 29, 2010

Sprouts











We have a window full of sprouts , bean sprouts broccoli sprouts and a mix of sandwich sprouts. I have been learning about the benefits of eating sprout. I first purchased a two tray sprout er, for 10.00 then learned you can sprout in a simple jar with cheese cloth over the lid. The tin contains soil and broccoli sprouts. The seeds were organic and affordable from http://www.frontiercoop.coop/
I have seen some fancy web sights that sell screen lids, the cheese cloth was 1.50 at Lowes. Bob is not yet a huge fan but he will tolerate some on a sandwich or on a salad or on top pizza. Below is a Bean Sprout Salad from Whole Foods. In fancy restaurants these are "gourmet micro greens"
Lager our soon to be 8 month old Rottweiler (Friday he will be 8 months) has happily accepted them as part of his daily diet. Lager is fed about 75% kibble "Blue Buffalo"http://www.bluebuff.com/ and about 25% raw and local diet. Just a peak at Lager is a testament to organic and local foods , he has amazing size a shiny healthy coat and sparkling white teeth, ok credit goes to the breeder as well http://www.giantrotts.com/.
I will do an additional blog in the feuture that list more of Lagers diet, a quick note is includes lots of greens/sprouts farm fresh hard boiled eggs root veggies and raw local pork, and beef. Garbage in= Garbage out
Seed Prep and How to Grow
Fill the Jar with water. Swish and swirl the water around in the Jar. Pour water out and repeat the fill and swish and pour until the water runs clear. Skip this step if you don't have a screen with mesh smaller than your seeds , or cheese cloth.
Soak
Fill with cool (60 - 70°) water unless instructed otherwise by your seed supplier and leave to soak for 8 - 12 hours or for the time noted for the specific seed you are sprouting.
Rinse
Fill Jar with cool (60 - 70°) water (unless instructed otherwise by your seed supplier). Swish and swish the Jar. Pour water off and repeat once or twice more. As a rule I do it 2-3 times every time I Rinse.Rinsing 2-3 times a day takes seconds if you keep on the kitchen sink or kitchen window.
Drain
This is the hardest part of Jar sprouting. When you are done you need to get as much of the water out of the Jar as possible. With a Jar all you can really do is use gravity, so turn it Screen down and shake it up and down over and over and over again until no more water comes out through the Screen. When you are growing big seeds it is easy enough to get most of the water out, but when they are small seeds, there will always be some water left, so shake more than you think is necessary. It can't hurt! The seeds should be kept moist, but not wet. After three to five days, sprouts will appear. Once you are satisfied with their length, you should remove, rinse, drain and refrigerate them in a covered container. Don't leave them to long, however, as rootlets will appear, which affects the flavor.
A clay flowerpot can also be used. Soak the flower pot overnight and place a piece of cheese cloth, flannel or muslin over the hole in the bottom. Then cover the entire pot with the seeds inside with muslin secured in place. Rinse and drain as above.
Health Benefits of Sprouts
http://www.rawfoods.com/articles/rawcashew.html
by Steve Meyerowitz
Sprouts have long been famous as "health food" but recent research shows that in addition to being a superb source of nutrients, they also have important curative ability. Sprouts like alfalfa, radish, broccoli, clover and soybean contain concentrated amounts of phytochemicals (plant compounds) that can protect us against disease.

Bean Sprout Salad
Serves 2 to 3
This is from whole foods web sight, fresh salad of bean sprouts with tomatoes, red onion, cooling cukes and zesty lime juice. Assemble just before serving.
Ingredients
2 cups bean sprouts 1/2 cup diced red onion 3/4 cup chopped, seeded cucumber 3/4 cup diced tomatoes 2 teaspoons lime juice Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Method
Mix bean sprouts with onion, cucumber and tomatoes in a serving bowl. Stir in lime juice, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring color







It has been a very,very cold week end. The air is very damp. We had a frost Friday night.It does not feel at all like spring. Next Sunday is Easter, we have not yet herd from the smoke house about picking up the ham. I am trying to think positive, today I made a holiday wreath. The wreath is simple grape vine and artificial flowers. I find artificial works best for the doors so nothing gets tracked into the house. The weather man is calling for two more days of heavy rain. I hope the end of the week will offer dry air and the feel of spring.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bobs NEW favorite Pizza
















Bob said this is the best pizza's I have made yet, so I thought I would share.
WHITE PIZZA

1 lb. dough Sm. I used pizza dough found at deli, I am still struggling with breads and doughs






fresh veggies or cooked meats of choice :we uses roasted red peppers one one and tomatoes basil on other this time






Chopped garlic






Parmesan cheese (grated)






Black pepper






Oregano, fresh Basil Shredded






Mozzarella






Crushed Red Hot Pepper , optional
Spread dough on greased baking sheet; cover with veggies/ meat (chop finely) . Sprinkle oregano, basil, little black pepper on top.
Spread grated cheese over top; sprinkle shredded garlic, sprinkle Parmesan (grated) cheese over top - cover with 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella.
Bake at 375 degrees until bottom is golden brown

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Good News Bad News







Bad news .Boo I failed the No package challenge .
I can not go 30 days without packages.
I have decided I am a semi homemade person.
Good news .Yay! I got mail today. Ok I sent it to myself,and I was expecting it, however it arrived. I got mail from Frontier Natural Products check them out : http://www.frontiercoop.com/ they have wonderful products and affordable shipping. I bought sprouting seeds , like the ones you pay tons for in a Panera sandwich. http://www.panerabread.com/ and some mixes. I have been working to add at least one meatless meal a week.Last week we had grilled veggie sandwiches, on Panera Bread. This week we had home made pizza. I will work some of this into next week.
I will try them and let you know.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

farm Dog?




Quick break in the rain.


A chance to shut the chicken coop & say good night to pig!


This is a chore Lager and Mom do together every night.


Lagers a good farm dog

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spaghetti Squash







Not just for vegetarians...
Have you tried spaghetti squash?
Spaghetti squash is fast and easy to prepare and real yummy.The consistency is like spaghetti and the flavor has a hint of nut.
Cut Lengthwise
Remove seeds
Bake cut sides down 7-10 min. in microwave covered with plastic wrap with 1/4 c water or stock per half.
Here I cooked 2 half's (the entire squash) I use 1/2 cup of the stock I made Sunday.
When cooked release the squash from shell, scraping with fork.
Season to taste
I seasoned with butter and cinnamon and served as veggie side.
This is a very versatile squash ,also good as main course used like spaghetti or in a stir fry.

One Potato


I'm slowly learning to juggle life with a farm, sleepless nights, barn scented clothes mucking boots and burlap. It is not always easy. It is always interesting. At the end of the day, when I lay my head on the pillow,(about 8:15pm) I am content. I am happy with my life, my family, my hectic days, my burlap and the uncomplicated and mostly local, but always heartwarming, dishes I've been making lately.
When I wrote about meal planning, I spoke of roasted veggies, this time of year my CSA includes lots of root veggies.
We've been having these potatoes at least once a week for the last couple of weeks. They are not fancy, after all they are potatoes, heck at 5am they were covered in dirt .However they are fresh, local, filling and with the correct spices darn satisfying.
What I like about this dish, besides being comforting and spicy and delicious, is that I can do it with my eyes half closed(as in at 5am).
Perfect for my lethargic state that is working a farm and full time job.
Washing and slicing the potatoes and tossing in seasoning is the only work you would do. The Potatoes basically cook themselves and the rest is chemistry between the herbs, oven heat and oil.This week I bought spiced dipping oil, for Saturdays nights appetizer and the left overs went here.
Recipe: serves 4 ( or Bob and I dinner plus left overs for breakfast)
- Six big Local Maine Potatoes 12 small (or any of your favorite potatoes)
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed I LOVE My Pamperd Chef Press
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper / if you like hot
- Salt
- Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven at 400F. (or set timer)

slice the potatoes into wedges or fries. Put them in a bowl, along with the olive oil, salt, black pepper, paprika and red pepper, if used. Toss the potatoes to combine.

Arrange them in a baking sheet in a single layer and bake until golden brown and crisp on the outside, turning them over once is best, about 25-30 minutes.

Mix the herbs, garlic, lemon juice in a bowl. When the potatoes are baked, toss them quickly with the garlic infused herbs and serve.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

An Hour To Spare





Today was a very full ,day but some how we have an hour before we feed and tuck in the Belgians. We visited the Abenaki Club, maple fest after morning chores.
Bob stayed a bit,and helped drive one of the teams.
Our team is still out of commission with Jake recovering from his gravel blow out.
I hung out two loads of wash, and cleaned the house.
In the afternoon we had a chicken dinner together, Bob raked and I did a craft project.
I'm not real crafty so I did a "no sew" table cloth.
We walked the hounds (check out the red wing hawks) and soaked Jake's hoof , I made a chicken/veggie stock .Some how we have an hour of down time before we do dinner for the horses,night hay and hens.Yay

Friday, March 19, 2010

Preperation

Nickel is preparing for Spring break, hopefully he will be well rested.
video

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Above average



Above average temps here in Maine,have prompted Bob and Nickel out of the yard.Nick seems to have remembered what to do under saddle.Jake is still recovering.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dinner on the Table (3rd/ final post)






OK I am "planning" on this being the final post in my Dinner on the Table Mini Series.
So assuming you made out your menu, with consideration to what is local fresh. seasonal.
You have considered your schedule, and that of your family.
You have inventoried your pantry and taken your reusable bags down to the market and picked up all necessary ingredients. Now how does it get on the table?
This takes the final bit of planning a little finesse and a sense of humor.
I save the main production for Saturday or Sunday ( a full day off).
I do as much prep ahead of the work week as I can and if I am running the oven I try to fill it.
This also cuts down on dish washing and clean up in general.
I wash all the produce and dice and slice piles, a big pot of potatoes gets roasted or boiled these are used in our Sunday dinner as well as for side dishes, on a week night,or home fries at breakfast.
When the weather is cold I oven roast more when its hot this becomes potato salad and chicken salad.Cutting and peeling veggies requires multiple bowls, scraps for soup compost and critters.The Horses pig chicken and Bunnie all compete with the soup making scraps.
A pan of veggies for roasting go in the oven, usually a bird of some sort a whole chicken, chicken thighs or turkey, some times a roast of pork or beef. I prefer to make a bird when I am home because I follow it up with a stock pot, made of the bones and veggie scraps,and peals.I use stock almost every night.
Home made broth is an awesome addition to heating up veggies, making a pasta dish and/or rice. I like to make the roast pork or beef as the weekly crock pot meal.
For now picture my kitchen first a large chicken in the oven on the top shelf. Roasted chicken (the largest I can find) and veggies on the second shelf / Sunday dinner.The Chicken picked clean after dinner.The "extra" chicken will reappear later in the week on top a salad or in a pasta dish some where.The veggies in rice or as a side.
A chicken broth cooking Sunday night as I clean the kitchen or play in the barn.
Note:Lower the heat if you are going in the barn or you will have a mess when you return.
Is this making sense? I will post some recipes soon, to help demonstrate this process.

For Today…

Outside my window…Nickel as I walk out the door this morning 5:20am the sun is just rising. Nickel is expressing his desire, he wants to get in the barn and see Jake. He is running around yelling, I can hear Mr. Mr (the rooster)
I am thinking…it is nice without the rain
I am thankful for…everything I have, the blessings of my family and farm
From the kitchen…Left over chowder for lunch,apple crisp for the bake sale and veggie sandwiches tonight for dinner.
I am wearing…Mucking boots, till the second I leave for work,Jeans and 3 shirts (not spring yet)
I am remembering…I need to pick up bread and more veggie seeds
I am going…to get out of work at 3,soak Jake's foot and plant veggie seeds before afternoon chores and dinner.
I am reading…seed catalogues
I am hoping…Jake will heal and have a healthy spring
On my mind…Work for Bob I hope the phone rings soon
Noticing that…I only just woke up and I am tied!
Pondering these words:Always take a good look at what you're about to eat. It's not so important to know what it is, but it's sure crucial to know what it was
Around the house…need to clean and decorate for Easter
One of my favorite things…Belgians
A few plans for the rest of the week…Three more days of early in and early out at work, Farmers market Saturday, going to bring my camera and Lager. Maple Sunday Breakfast,going to stop in and take some photo's not staying . Lots of Cooking Sunday , if farmers market is good.

this format is from : http://notesfromthefrugaltrenches.com/
I liked hers, made me think.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Dreaming of spring



The rain has finally stopped and the vet has come and gone. I am dreaming of spring and local goodness.Jake is in his stall for two weeks. TWO WEEKS (OMG).Matt was absolutely right, after two days of soaking, the abscess burst and a bunch of the funk leaked out.Nicole (the vet) came and cut away a drain in Jake's frog so the puss can drain from the top and bottom of his hoof. We have added an antibiotic 17 pills 2 X's a day. I am hoping and praying and dreaming of riding in the spring air.I am sure the crazy rain and thick mud produced this abscess.I wish you could see Jake,he is holding his head higher today.
The rest of this week has promise of spring.Tomorrow is CSA pick up day,and Lagers first CGC class.
This weeks CSA Share
6 lbs. Potatoes
3-4 lbs. carrots
1 slightly larger bag of salad
1 bag wheat flour
1 lb. onions
1/2 lb. shallots
1/2 gallon cider
3 lbs. apples
1 rutabaga
1 container raw honey
2-4 lbs beets and/or parsnips
1 Farm Choice
Saturday we are supposed to have a nice sunny day for the farmers market.

Building an ark


We have no Internet on the farm at the moment. We have had high winds and driving rain 8-10 inches. More as soon a s we can.
PS. Jake is still sore.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Plans ,schedules,farming



Plans,schedules and farming is not always as planned.My BIG plan for today was house keeping. The house is a bit of a mess , with dust and puppy.My big plan was to clean all day Saturday and cook all day Sunday.Then today I woke up with a lame horse, Jake. Jake had a bit of a limp all week,it started Sunday. Today he was at his worst.When we woke Jake was limping real bad and in obvious pain.After a call to Matt the farrier, we took a drive to purchase some Epsom salt and a foot salve. When we returned home there was an offer on the answering machine that Matt was willing to come over. Matt, came bye and helped us to soak Jake's left hoof. Matt pointed out an area on Jake's hoof that was swollen.Jake has an abscess,a bit of an infection.Matt took the time to show us how to treat the infection.We are in for a long week end and lots of soaks.The house is not going to get 100% clean.But a horse is only as strong as their hooves. We are lucky to have a Great Farrier. Thank you Matt!
PS. The photo of Nick laying in the stall is a reminder of why we loose sleep when the big boys are inside.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thinking About Going Back To School


This is "one of those things" in the news that makes you go hmm
I know one young man who would be happy to go back to school if this purchase is going to be used for new curriculum.
Federal and state law across the American (and even here in Maine) declares schools to be “gun-free zones,” yet the U.S. Department of Education is in the process of purchasing more than two-dozen short-barreled police-style shotguns which are supposed to be delivered by March 22 to an address in Chicago, IL.

A source in New York stumbled over the solicitation notice, which carries the number: EDOOIG-10-000004.

The purchase is for 27 Remington Model 870 pump-action shotguns with 14-inch modified choke barrels (the legal minimum length for private citizens is 18 inches without a special license). These shotguns are to be fitted with Wilson Combat ghost ring rear sights, Knoxx adjustable stocks and Speedfeed fore-ends.

Even more intriguing is the fact that, according to the solicitation notice, these are the “only shotguns authorized for ED based on compatibility with ED existing shotgun inventory, certified armor and combat training and protocol, maintenance, and parts."
USERS:(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Canada: Used by Canadian Forces.[7]
Greece: EKAM counter-terrorist unit of the Hellenic Police.[8]
Finland[9]
Ireland: Used by the Army Ranger Wing.[10]
Luxembourg: Unité Spéciale de la Police group of the Grand Ducal Police.[11][12][13]
Malaysia: Malaysian Special Operations Force.[14]
United Kingdom: Designated L74A1 in military service, used by United Kingdom Special Forces and a few Specialist Firearms Officers as a breaching weapon.[15]
United States: Designated M870 in military service.[16] Also used by the US Secret Service[17] and various police forces
You can read the full article (where I got this info)
http://www.examiner.com/x-4525-Seattle-Gun-Rights-Examiner%7Ey2010m3d10-Why-does-Department-of-Education-need-12gauge-shotguns

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Obediance Completed onto CGC

It has been a bizzy week on the farm and Lager did not get as much one on one practice time as he usally gets.
He did Pal around with Dad , doing all the chores and this helps with the obediance however,I was unsure how he would preform at his graduation.
He was wonderful! He did his sit stay and recalls like a Big Dog.
The school had a visiter,their web designer was there and took lots of photo's, we will have to check their sight and see if we see Lager in the feuture. Next we will attend CGC
These are the official rules from American Kennel Club
AKC’s Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) Program
Training/Testing: CGC Test Items
Before taking the Canine Good Citizen test, owners will sign the Responsible Dog Owners Pledge. We believe that responsible dog ownership is a key part of the CGC concept and by signing the pledge, owners agree to take care of their dog's health needs, safety, exercise, training and quality of life. Owners also agree to show responsibility by doing things such as cleaning up after their dogs in public places and never letting dogs infringe on the rights of others.

After signing the Responsible Dog Owners Pledge, owners and their dogs are ready to take the CGC Test. Items on the Canine Good Citizen Test include:

Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger

This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation. The evaluator walks up to the dog and handler and greets the handler in a friendly manner, ignoring the dog. The evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness, and must not break position or try to go to the evaluator.

Test 2: Sitting politely for petting

This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. With the dog sitting at the handler's side, to begin the exercise, the evaluator pets the dog on the head and body. The handler may talk to his or her dog throughout the exercise. The dog may stand in place as it is petted. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.

Test 3: Appearance and grooming

This practical test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit someone, such as a veterinarian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so. It also demonstrates the owner's care, concern and sense of responsibility. The evaluator inspects the dog to determine if it is clean and groomed. The dog must appear to be in healthy condition (i.e., proper weight, clean, healthy and alert). The handler should supply the comb or brush commonly used on the dog. The evaluator then softly combs or brushes the dog, and in a natural manner, lightly examines the ears and gently picks up each front foot. It is not necessary for the dog to hold a specific position during the examination, and the handler may talk to the dog, praise it and give encouragement throughout.

Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)

This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog may be on either side of the handler. The dog's position should leave no doubt that the dog is attentive to the handler and is responding to the handler's movements and changes of direction. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops. The evaluator may use a pre-plotted course or may direct the handler/dog team by issuing instructions or commands. In either case, there should be a right turn, left turn, and an about turn with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The handler may talk to the dog along the way, praise the dog, or give commands in a normal tone of voice. The handler may sit the dog at the halts if desired.

Test 5: Walking through a crowd

This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in the strangers but should continue to walk with the handler, without evidence of over-exuberance, shyness or resentment. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the dog throughout the test. The dog should not jump on people in the crowd or strain on the leash.

Test 6: Sit and down on command and Staying in place

This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will respond to the handler's commands to sit and down and will remain in the place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers). The dog must do sit AND down on command, then the owner chooses the position for leaving the dog in the stay. Prior to this test, the dog's leash is replaced with a line 20 feet long. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to get the dog to sit and then down. The evaluator must determine if the dog has responded to the handler's commands. The handler may not force the dog into position but may touch the dog to offer gentle guidance. When instructed by the evaluator, the handler tells the dog to stay and walks forward the length of the line, turns and returns to the dog at a natural pace. The dog must remain in the place in which it was left (it may change position) until the evaluator instructs the handler to release the dog. The dog may be released from the front or the side.

Test 7: Coming when called

This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler. The handler will walk 10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, and call the dog. The handler may use encouragement to get the dog to come. Handlers may choose to tell dogs to "stay" or "wait" or they may simply walk away, giving no instructions to the dog.

Test 8: Reaction to another dog

This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 20 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 10 feet. The dogs should show no more than casual interest in each other. Neither dog should go to the other dog or its handler.

Test 9: Reaction to distraction

This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations. The evaluator will select and present two distractions. Examples of distractions include dropping a chair, rolling a crate dolly past the dog, having a jogger run in front of the dog, or dropping a crutch or cane. The dog may express natural interest and curiosity and/or may appear slightly startled but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness, or bark. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise it throughout the exercise.

Test 10: Supervised separation

This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like, "Would you like me to watch your dog?" and then take hold of the dog's leash. The owner will go out of sight for three minutes. The dog does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark, whine, or pace unnecessarily, or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness. Evaluators may talk to the dog but should not engage in excessive talking, petting, or management attempts (e.g, "there, there, it's alright").

Equipment

All tests must be performed on leash. Dogs should wear well-fitting buckle or slip collars made of leather, fabric, or chain. Special training collars such as pinch collars, head halters, etc. are not permitted in the CGC test. We recognize that special training collars may be very useful tools for beginning dog trainers, however, we feel that dogs are ready to take the CGC test at the point at which they are transitioned to regular collars.

The evaluator supplies a 20-foot lead for the test. The owner/handler should bring the dog's brush or comb to the test.

Encouragement

Owners/handlers may use praise and encouragement throughout the test. The owner may pet the dog between exercises. Food and treats are not permitted during testing, nor is the use of toys, squeaky toys, etc. to get the dog to do something. We recognize that food and toys may provide valuable reinforcement or encouragement during the training process but these items should not be used during the test.
Failures – Dismissals

Any dog that eliminates during testing must be marked failed. The only exception to this rule is that elimination is allowable in test Item 10, but only when test Item 10 is held outdoors.

Any dog that growls, snaps, bites, attacks, or attempts to attack a person or another dog is not a good citizen and must be dismissed from the test.

Graduation