Let us jump right in to the pigginess of pigs, as Joel Salatin says. They smell sometimes like ….well,pigs, they are smart as whips, and are NOT easily manuvered anywhere I promise you. Upside? They are what keeps the farm real. They take all the food scraps and make bacon. You think you can do amazing things after coffee?Well, try to do that!
Did you know even though some give pigs a snobby look down, they actually were THE meal for kings, and the Upper class in the 1800s. Why ? They needed to be fed lots of scraps (and the middle and lower class didn’t waste food back then) and they needed grain. Grain was not something everyone had easy access, that has only happened recently because of cheap fuel costs. Cows needed only grass, not grain, to be finished. Pig and chicken consumption has risen only the last 70 years since the industrial revolution, so beef was the choice meal of many homesteads before then. Chickens and pigs were for special occasions for these classes.
So what do I mean by keeping the farm “Real”? Many people visit our small acre and a half farm and are amazed at what really goes on all day here, so much action and things to be done to keep our animals healthy as possible. and the SMELLS. I don’t mean “it stinks”. I believe it smells “farm-y”. Well, how did you think it was going to smell?? Animals poop, we clean and dump into manure piles, compost it and turn it back into the soil or gardens . Food is produced: meat, vegetables and fruit. I personally love the smell of the farm (Obviously!) because it reminds me of this cycle. The farminess of the farm. Come smell for yourself.
It’s giving the dreaded April snowstorm tomorrow therefore I am putting off planting my potatoes until next week so hopefully the end of this week will warm up the soil enough to give it a good till and start to prepare the beds. Lettuce transplants are going to be hardened off and will be put in as well. I may do a batch of these in a cold frame to hasten the harvest.
I am also going to be working on a primitive greenhouse for my tomatoes. I am building it myself so it will be definitely simple. And rustic. Add cheap to that too. I figure the only way to keep the blight from getting them is to keep the rain off them.
Also we are on the warm side of the island (Cape Sable Island, our farm is located in Stoney Island, Nova Scotia) but it’s not that warm! Green tomatoes are a certainty. A friend gave me a hint today to just put them in a box and let ripen naturally inside. Simple enough right? Oh well there is always Chow Chow that can be made.
Man, now I want fish cakes.
Value Added Farm Gifts
I have always been blessed with good people around me. I am beyond grateful for all I have been given. and by this I don’t mean material gifts.
I mean a full house of children, family, friends, cousins, hockey kids, 4Hers and horse girls. I love that we have an open farm where people drop in and chat and help out with whatever is going on.
Occasionally though I am blessed with material farm gifts. These are such thoughtful little things people pick up because they seen it and it reminded them of me or the farm.
Is there anything better than just be thought of by people ?
Nope, there is not.
(well maybe cookies:)
Josephine’s Molasses Cookies
I had the pleasure to know an elderly lady whose daughter shared her molasses cookie recipe with us. I have never had any one taste these that has not declared them the best they have tasted. Thank you Josephine and Deanna !
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup melted butter
1 cup molasses
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. cloves
4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt ( I omit this as I use salted butter)
Mix sugar, melted butter, and molasses together.
Add eggs. Mix dry ingredients together and add to butter mixture.
Mix well. Shape into a ball. Store in fridge overnight.
Roll out onto floured table, and cut into cookies.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
*Josephine's original recipe called for margarine but I use homemade butter)
Take care just to “be” this week. The best things happen!
Love Jenn xx