Monthly Archives: January 2014
We buy our winter pork from a local farmer. It is already butchered and cut in half when we pick it up. Here are some pictures to show how we processed the meat.
My Hubby cuts the meat into sections and lays it out before he slices it into steaks, stew meat, roasts and meat for grinding. We place the meat and some fat scraps in a large bowel for making ground pork and sausages for later in the process.
Once everything has been cut, some of the meat is packaged up and frozen directly. Other cuts of meat are placed on a cookie sheets to be frozen individually. That way we have steaks that are individually frozen in large bags that can be pulled out according to how many people that we are cooking for.
This picture was our first attempt to make sausage in years. I had just found a used food processor with all the accessories at a second hand store. I had been wanting one for years. This was the first time trying out the meat grinder to make ground pork and sausages. Before finding the food processor we used an old hand grinder which took forever. We used “Old Plantation Pork Sausage Seasoning” for our sausage and we were very pleased with the results.
I had been reading a gardening book during the winter. I decided that we should plant the rows from side to side, instead of end to end. I realized that meant that the rows would be shorter but we would get more of them. We needed enough space between each row to walk between them. We had decided we wanted to plant a larger assortment of vegetables as well. I discussed this with my Hubby and he agreed. He had decided that we needed an upraised potatoe bed beside the rock boarder. I was reluctant but finally agreed.
We decided to start growing some of the vegetables in the house earlier to give them a good head start. We planted even more than we did the first year. We wanted lettuce, spinage, carrots, peas, sweet peas, string beans, corn, cucumbers, two kinds of potatoes, chives, onions, dill and of course tomatoes to begin with. I suggested that we start them in the house and tranfer them to the green house and then move them to the garden later. He agreed so we got started. We didn’t see my kitchen table or out our window because of all the seedlings until June.
We do great with onions every year. We eat them fresh all summer long and we freeze them for the winter. We hang others to dry over our wood burning stove as well. We use this wood burning stove during the winter to bake bread and pizzas. If you place a slab of marble in the oven and bake your bread or pizza on it you get a stone bake oven flavor.
We planted early potatoes from Finland in the Rock garden as an experiment so we would have potatoes for Midsommar (A celebration for the Summer Soltice). They were expensive tiny potatoes with thin skins.They are meant to be boiled whole and eaten with different kinds of pickled herring. Our Neighbors and friends loved them but we were not impressed.
I tried to read all the seed packages for their recommended spacing and count out how many rows we would need for planting. I didn’t account for how much space we needed for the poles for the cucumbers, beans and peas. It was a tight squeeze. My hubby found it hilarious watching me struggle to get my big rear end between two really tight rows with poles.
We decided to experiment by placing corn between the potatoe rows. This actually worked pretty good. We live on a hill with a lake on two sides of us. We get a lot of strong winds. Last year this was a problem for our corn, bellpeppers and eggplant. My hubby fought last year trying to keep our corn standing. We hoped that since the potatoe plants are quite high that they would provide the extra support the corn needed to with stand the wind. Seems once again my Hubby was Right.
We were really successfull with both the corn and potatoes. My Hubby was displeased with the corn because we had such a cool and rainy summer that year. We were lucky that we had such a good crop. Alot of farmers in Sweden lost their potatoe crops due to all the rain. Since our potatoes were above ground level the monsoon didn’t affect them quite as bad as it did all the other farmers around us. Tractors were stuck in muddy fields everywhere and the crops rotted in the fields because they couldn’t be harvested.
I cut the corn off the cob that didn’t mature fully and froze it in bags. It was great to use in soups and corn bread.
My hubby first measured the size of the potatoe box and marked the ground with sticks. If you look closely at the second picture, you can see that he cut the turf so he could make them into rolls. He had decided to use it in the yard later to fill in wholes and make the ground more level in places.
He talked to the neighbors and found a farmer with his own saw mill in our area. He purchased and transported the boards that he needed home with the help of a neighbor who had a truck.Then the hard work began. He screwed the boards together. He hammered stakes into the ground to hold the boards in place. Then he screwed the stakes to the boards.
We have a hard rocky thin layer of top soil, then clay and in places bedrock.That is probably why this pasture is used for grazing land instead of crops. We wanted the garden close to the house which is why this spot was chosen. He wanted the dirt scooped out, so that we could fill it with good rich soil and manure. We knew then our garden would thrive in it. It took a lot more dirt than we thought to fill it up
This is me standing on one of the 3 piers on the ranch. This is our private one. You can see that it is still under construction. My husband is standing on the path taking this picture. The path is a little steep. I joked when we moved here that they must think we are goats.
I am fond of mixed breed dogs. I believe they are healthier. Daisy the black dog has since passed away. She is 9 years old in this picture. Dixie is the gray colored dog and she is one year younger.
Daisy had 2 wonderful years here. I will never forget the first time she met the ponnies. Our Neighbors had just bought these ponnies (Julia and Ida) along with two white female goats. The dogs had just woke me up to take them outside. They were in such a hurry to get out and I was not quite awake yet. I hadn’t even had time to brush my hair or teeth, muchless have my mandatory 3 cups of morning coffee to start my day.
Daisy ran out to the garden and suddenly started barking ferociously. I came around the corner just as she ducked under the electric fence and charged one of the ponnies. She ran at a full charge and stuck her head in this poor ponny’s butt. I mean literally stuck her nose in this ponny’s butt. It would have been funny if I had not been so terrified to see the ponny (Julia) pulled her legs under her belly getting ready to kick my dog in the face. I screamed “Nooo” and believe it or not Julia stopped just before she kicked her. The ponny tried to turn around to look at Daisy, but Daisy just follow Julia with her head stuck in her ass. I yelled at Daisy to stop. She finally ran to the front of the ponny and sniffed her mouth and they licked each other. Believe it or not they became instant friends despite this weird introduction.
If that wasn’t funny enough, the next time I went out with the dogs for our walk I discovered that the goats escaped their enclosure to follow us. When I came back up the road to our house, I found the neighbors and my husand were running around trying to chase the goats down. The ponnies were whinning loudly and protesting because they were left behind. Everyone was frantic from chasing them for the 45 minutes that I was gone. What was even funnier was when I walked up and got the goats to walk right into their pasture, much to everyones dismay including my own.
I found out later the animals were raise with 15 dogs. Their previous owner had a dog kennel. Apparently the ponnies, dogs and goats were walked and excercised together on their previous farm. Our neighbors had to call the previous owners and talk to them, because when ever I took my dogs on their daily walks the goats would escape their enclosure. The goats would run down the road after us, much to their new owners displeasure.
I don’t know about you, but I find there is never a dull moment around here.
Our Neighbor donated the windows and according to the records to this propery these windows were removed from the house we are living in 160 year ago. The windows didn’t have nails or screws, but they had wood pegs instead. My husband rummage through scrap wood pile and scrounged up enough wood to build the entire green house.