Dandelion Omelette

A comment on my facebook went along the lines of “I know you eat dandelion leaves but how” The simple answer in spring for the small fresh baby leave is. If you would or could use spinach in a dish, you can use fresh small young tender dandelion leaves.

Collect from a unsprayed area, currently, I am harvesting from my garden, handy because I do not want them in my garden and I do want them in my kitchen, which is why I m digging my plants out, but you can harvest leaves from a number of plants if you want them to keep producing.

Do make sure you give it a good washing as the small tighter packed heart leaves can hide grit and you do not want that in your dishes.. then for this recipe dice them up..

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One plant cleaned and chopped, two spring eggs, and some seasoning, cooked with a touch of mozza cheese..

Simple, Easy and a fine way to blend the two, if you want you can load up the eggs with stronger flavor, like adding some salsa, or bacon.

 

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Cream of Corn an Nettle Soup

Sometimes you just need to make something that is delightfully tasty and so easy to make that you can come in from mucking and five min later have a hot bowl of goodness to tuck into.

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Farmgal Cream of Corn and Nettle Soup

  • 1 pint of cream corn
  • 1 cup of fresh nettle tips, washed and diced
  • 1 cup of fresh sheep milk
  • Montreal Steak Spice, about half a tsp or so

Now lets move that over to a town folk recipe :)

Cream of Corn and Nettle Soup

  • One can of creamed corn (make the best you can find)
  • 1 cup of fresh nettle tips, washed and diced
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • Montreal Steak Spice about half a tsp or so

Place in steel pot with a good heavy bottom, heat your corn and nettles and spices till steaming hot, slowly add in your milk, heat though but not boiling. Serve and enjoy

This makes a nice two person portion or one very hearty bowl for a hunger person

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Ice had a lamb after all

Yesterday Ice had a lovely strong active and very pretty ram lamb.. he is doing well, drinking his milk from both sides and while this is Ice’s first time as a mom, she followed in the footsteps of her mother and full sisters..  Easy lambing, excellent natural mothering skills..

DSCN5466 (2)This is the only full wool lamb born on the farm this year, and I am very excited, I have not decided if I will shear him or if I will turn the pelt into a wool hide. I was so excited and said to hubby.. please, please be a girl.. nope its a boy and he does not just have horn buds, he has horns showing at birth..   I am very much looking forward to making horn buttons late in the winter this year.. I have a fancy new little tool set that will allow me to polish and drill holes in them etc

I was very pleased to see that Whiskey did throw his mottled black and white with Ice, I am hopeful that this will mean that she will do this each coming year as well..

The second great news is that Ice was got as my milking sheep and with her having a single only, I will be able to start milking her right away, I will give baby three to five days of just mom and then I will start share milking.

 

Posted in raw milk, sheep | Tagged | 7 Comments

First in person visit with juno

I needed to head off the farm for a bit as not one but two girlfriends where holding chicks for me, at the one farm, I was also picking up a silver duck hen and a lovely hatched last year pure huge maran what a great bird she is! Chicks and breeds and crosses in another post

I have known star at my friends for a couple years now, she is a nice big goat, throw twins or triple kids every year, nice udder, lots of milk and as sweet and steady as they come, she is juno*s momma.

DSCN5447its spring on the farm, I like that she is showing of her dirty knees, she  active that’s for sure, half pure Saanen on dads side, mom is a mixed girl of meat and dairy. while it does cost more to feed the bigger goats I like the blend, she is a soft cream and white in color

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Nice long body, soft and steady even as a kid.. I like it. She will stay with her mom till the end of may, first week of june or so to get the best start in life on momma milk and she will find it easier to come over once the pasture is up and going

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Egg Shells for the garden use

Now I know that I could put together a big list of uses for egg shells, and I might do a top ten list someday but this post is about the shells and garden use.. if you own a small backyard flock, spring is the first flush of eggs and with the egg glut, also come lots of egg shells for your garden use

The First use is dead easy, wash, crack and throw them in the compost pile in a scattered way and cover them in the next layer and let them do their thing, I love that when you turn it, you will often find earthworms cuddled up in a half egg shell..

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So tip number one, after your first really hot compost and you want to draw more worms, egg shells really seem to help on this

But if you want to use them for the next two way, they need to be dried.. you can air dry, I like to bake them at the lowest setting possible

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Wet Shell crushing, it looks good to the layman but no.. this is not going to get the job done

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Dry shell , now we are getting the right way.. the wet shell had a few sharp edges but over it collapsed into itself, where now we have hard and sharp but it also will have crush into bits easily, now this, this is perfect to be scatter around tender starts or any plant that needs slug or cutworm (really any soft bodied warmish), the edges cut them and after it will feed the soil when turned in at a later point

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but we are not done yet, nope I took my  bits and hit them with the garden coffee grinder and voila.. 0 mile organic calcium rich soil amendment, I love this to use in the soil for each tomato plant, each large shell should make you around one scant tsp, I like to use about a tbsp. per tomato plant hole in the garden ( this ground shell is also excellent to be sprinkled back onto your hens feed)

*The main ingredient in eggshells is calcium carbonate (the same brittle white stuff that chalk, limestone, cave stalactites, sea shells, coral, and pearls are made of). The shell itself is about 95% CaCO3 (which is also the main ingredient in sea shells). The remaining 5% includes calcium phosphate and magnesium carbonate and soluble and insoluble proteins.

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Do you use egg shells in your garden.. if so which method do you use and for what plants or areas

 

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Lambing Season for 2015 is now done..

Well unless Ice breed very late in the season and finally caught on her last heat, I have been told that being a wool sheep and the breeds that she is that she will not cycle out of season, and given that where she came from her mother, sisters and so forth have all had their lambs, I will assume that she did not take.. I am ok with this, she is after only a yearling this year and I prefer when possible to not breed until this year..

So it was a very lean year here on the farm in terms of lambs, eight little ram lambs joined the farm and two pretty ewes.. It was a much different mix of colors, patterns, and coat types, I should have my first really nice wool to shear on a few of the lambs this fall before they go to freezer camp.

At this time, we have a waiting list for our lambs, and all our lambs that will be available after we get our own lamb for the year are reserved at this time.

This is will be a very good thing for our pastures this year, to have so few sheep on it, and once next year, the girls will ideally pick up the pace again with lots of sets of twins

The first lamb born who has a lovely set of horns growing on him is nicknamed, Horry is our first lamb weaned this year, and I am very pleased to see how easy this has been, I expected a big old fuss, like a calf would do..

I was wrong because his mother and him could still see and touch heads and even sleep side by side but not nurse has been working so well.. the mother is pretty much dried up at this point and he is weaned..  The rest of the lambs will be weaned in the next two to six weeks depending on when born and their size.

Everyone makes me laugh, they are out nibbling on nothing but I guess they must be finding something in the pasture because the areas they have access to they are all out looking.

Whisky the ram did indeed have typical wool break for his breed, and is in fact shedding his wool coat in huge chunks, he sheds it the opposite way to my hair sheep..

So far I am doing ok with the wool sheep but Dh is happy with the size and boning and rapid growth rate but he is not so happy yet about wool.. it does add another level of work in many ways from the hair sheep.

Our only two ewe lambs..

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Overwintered Baby Carrots

Very Happy to see that despite our brutal winter, that I was successful at overwintering carrots, some will be used for seed saving, but most will be eaten as a sweet spring delight.

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Just starting to show signs of life now, but how big are they, and are good shape and size

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Not bad, and I have a full eight foot row of them, they need to come out of the ground quite soon.. I would like to tell you I followed the rules, late summer planting, well bedded down after die back but I would be fibbing, these are just tough carrots which is why I want some to produce seed for me. I did plan on overwintering them, but never got them bedded down as I was not home at the right time and with our truly brutal winter I did not expect them to make it.. they proved me wrong

DSCN5426Context on size.., clearly they need to be topped and tailed, given a scrub and used as is.. I am thinking honey glaze roasted for the bigger ones and carrot soup for the tiny ones.

Carrot Soup,

  • 4 cup white broth- chicken, rabbit, or veggie
  • 2 cups carrots- peeled, cut up or baby carrots, washed, topped and tailed
  • 2 large potatos- white or sweet or 1 cup any orange fleshed squash
  • 1 med size white onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • to taste salt pepper and a pinch of allspice, or nutmeg
  • touch of oil in pan, cook garlic and onions till clear, then add broth and the rest, cook till fork tender an then either use a blender or blender stick till as smooth as you would like..
  • If you want cream of carrot, add up to half a cup of milk or cream in.
  • Excellent to serve with a pat of butter and herbed bread.. or a bit of sour cream with fresh dill chopped on top.
  • spice it up, add hot chili flakes to it if you want a bit of heat, but if doing so, consider also adding a tsp of honey to create a sweet-heat blend

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Romancing The Capital

The wonderful and Amazing Eve in the flesh! She is a Freakin Flower :) I am not kidding when I say, I own ALL her books.. DSCN5421DSCN5419 Ok, anyone who has been reading know, I love books and if you remember my bucket list for 2015 DSCN5415 There were 50 awesome amazing writers, the book signing was crazy and fun, the speed date event was so fun but way to fast! Romancing the Capital 2015 was a smashing success! DSCN5373 Some of the fun .. and yes, I am now the proud owner of a cleavage bunny lol DSCN5410 (3) This was my outfit for the Friday night dress up event, another great photo with a Fab Writer.. S. E. Smith  I have a great photo with Ashlyn Chase that I will add, we took it on her phone and she is still traveling but will share when I get it. DSCN5422 (3) And we all still know how to boogie! These photos not mine, as I am up dancing in them.. can you spot me in them.. 11160665_10153279383387028_8306674168624066172_n 11150175_10153279382977028_7088745277398081908_n  

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Garden 2015- Radish

Ok, I need to get back into the swing of things on the blog,  and I really! need to do a this and that post cause there are so many new little things happening..  however I also want to get back to writing about a single subject at times..

radish

Today we are going to talk about radish..  O yes, it seems so lowly.. but its not.. its a plant that just keeps on giving and we are in major expanding mode on it to boot..  I think it will be easier to break it down into parts..

1) One of the earliest things to be planted in the gardens, right along side the first spring peas but will be certain to get a harvest sooner.. Planted though out the whole growing season, they will do well, can be used as a marker system for slow to sprout seeds, by the time the slower are up an needing the space, the radish are out.

2) Do not forget that there are short growing radishes (what we are use to in the store but that there are many long season radish that are more like a carrot or turnip in shape and that there is even winter keeping radish.. yes you read that right.. big, long slow growing keep radishs that can be held over in the root cellar for winter use

3) Greens, o boy the greens.. yummy tender greens for salads, bigger and spicy greens for mixing in anything you want, veggies, meat with greens, soups, or stews..  Or how about a yummy radish green mayo for a burger or Radish Green Pesto for a pasta dish.. So Good!

4) The seeds, If you have never collected seeds or if you are still paying though the nose for winter Sprouting seeds, you need to give Radish a try.. they grow out a nice clear pod that is easy to find, filled with lots and lots of tiny black seeds, those seeds will give you fab sprouts or micro greens at a tiny fraction of the price at the store sprouting prices.

5) the pods, fresh baby pods can be added to stirfries, or pickled, Pickled Radish pods are delightful indeed.  I must do a post on just that with a recipe or two on how to use them..

6) Trap crops.. Radish even if you are buying the seed are cheap to buy, active and easy to grow and they make excellent trap crops in the garden.. O yes, please think of your cabbage, carrots and other things that the bugs tend to love and throw some  radish around them as a trap crop. Those radish that were trap cropped, where also allowed to go to flower and then seed.. acting as a triple threat and reward, only in one place did I pull the plants, burn them, they were covered in eggs and replant it right back out in radish..

7) Green cover crops, Radish is a excellent green cover crop, basic wide scatter on a cleaned bed now in april, let it grow about two or three inches high keeping the weeds down, chop and turn under and replant the bed in a warm weather crop.

8) Do not limit yourself to eating radish fresh, it is excellent roasted, its lovely in soups and stews and it cans up into a delightful crisp winter treat as a side dish..

9) Fodder, Radish greens and are excellent for pretty much any critter you want to feed them to.. be it your chickens, rabbits, pigs or sheep, even my horses get in on the action, its adorable watching them eating up that radish greens and then the look as they get to the radish itself, but they never turn it down.. even the super hot ones are eaten with gusto

10) They are FAST, I mean really, what other plant do you know that can go from seed to table in 30 days and in ideal conditions.. 28 days..  Rock on Radish.. Rock on!

Now, What do you say. I saw, run to the store and pick up five or six more packages of basic radish for green crops, for seed use or for trapping rows in your garden, but also hit the Asian area of the seeds and be brave, pick up a winter radish as well! Give it a try, they can very different flavours, some are more mild, some are so funky in color.. how about a lovely green and white radish, or a white skin with a pink middle or a lovely purple radish in color or pure white..

How do you love to eat your radish! How do you like to use your Radish in the garden..

 

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The First of the Wild Greens

I will tell the truth that I had hoped to find enough Dandelion leaves to do a pesto for the pizza, but alas, there is just not enough ready, after careful looking and picking just three to five leaves on a number of plants and finding some lovely purple tipped itty bitty nettles, I had enough cleaned and chopped to add one cup pre-wilt to the mi, once cooked, it was just green bits but they still added lots of healthy goodness.

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I had made a lovely sheep milk bread with a lovely spring farm egg to it.. I cooked up spiced 0 mile pork with onion and then added the greens to it, a tomato base, the meat-greens mix with some mozza cheese.

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This got high praise indeed from the hubby.. while I was full-full on my one piece, he eat half of it, and let me tell you, it was not a small pizza, I am looking forward to my leftover being my lunch, plus I have a good amount of the meat-onion-greens mix.

I hope in another week we will see lots more growth in the wild parts of the yard, and in some of my early greens.. what about you, have you started foraging in your neck of the woods, or are you on of those that finds nice bundles of Dandelion greens in the store.

Did you know..

Dandelion herb health benefits

  • Fresh dandelion greens, flower tops, and roots contain valuable constituents that are known to have anti-oxidant, disease preventing, and health promoting properties.
  • Fresh leaves are very low in calories; providing just 45 calories per 100 g. It is also good source of dietary fiber (provide about 9% of RDA per 100 g). In addition, its latex is a good laxative. These active principles in the herb help reduce weight and control cholesterol levels in the blood.
  • Fresh dandelion herb provides 10161 IU of vitamin-A per 100 g, about 338% of daily-recommended intake, one of the highest source of vitamin-A among culinary herbs. Vitamin A is an important fat-soluble vitamin and anti-oxidant, required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and vision.
  • Its leaves are packed with numerous health benefiting flavonoids such as carotene-β, carotene-α, lutein, crypto-xanthin and zea-xanthn. Consumption of natural foods rich in vitamin-A and flavonoids (carotenes) helps body protect from lung and oral cavity cancers. Zeaxanthin has photo-filtering functions and protects retina from UV rays.
  • The herb is good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids, which helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure. Iron is essential for red blood cell production. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
  • It is also rich in many vital vitamins including folic acid, riboflavin, pyridoxine, niacin, vitamin -E and vitamin-C that are essential for optimum health. Vitamin-C is a powerful natural antioxidant. Dandelion greens provide 58% of daily-recommended levels of vitamin-C.
  • Dandelion is probably the richest herbal sources of vitamin K; provides about 650% of DRI. Vitamin-K has potential role in bone mass building by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bones. It also has established role in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in the brain.

Dandelion herb contains notable nutrients and is a great source of nutrition during winter
This humble backyard herb provides (%of RDA/100g)-
9% of dietary fiber,
19% of vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine),
20% of Riboflavin,
58% of vitamin C,
338% of vitamin A,
649% of vitamin K,
39% of iron and
19% of calcium.
(Note: RDA-Recommended daily allowance)

 

 

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/dandelion-herb.html

 

 

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