Green Pea Shoots

 

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Packed with vitamins A[1], C[2] and folic acid[3], Pea Shoots are a delicious, nutritious modern slant on the classic British garden pea. Lyndel Costain, B.Sc.RD, award winning dietitian and author of Super Nutrients Handbook, says, “Pea Shoots are a nutritious leaf with high levels of vitamin C and vitamin A. A 50g bag of these tasty greens offers more than half of the RDA for vitamin C, a quarter of the RDA for vitamin A and significant amounts of folic acid. It is great news that this healthy and simple to prepare British vegetable leaf is readily available to consumers

soak your peas for a few hours to overnight, heavily plant out a pot or pots and in three to seven days you will have lovely fresh three to five inch high tender greens ready for your cooking, keep planting out every so many days. if you want plant a bigger pot, put a wee three stick teepee up and grown them a foot to a foot an half to have a big feed in a stir-fry

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We had a feed last night on our homemade pizza, it delightful, and today I will start more sprout and plant more peas, before it wilted, there was a half cup chopped greens an vines mixed with our beef and mushrooms, it was local cheese, so looking forward to making my own again. the one I am craving is sheep feta, sharp and tangy..

So what are you waiting for, get out your seed box or tote and get some peas planted up, if you have already not done so!

 

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Investing in the Farm -Feb Item One-Bakers Couche

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My Flax proofing cloth has arrived, its huge, way bigger then I needed and going to give me a run for my money, I think I am going to need to use my big wooden cutting board to proof on.  It arrived in the mail and I started making bread right away..

this cloth is a higher priced item and then some.. this single sheet of flax linen regular is right around 75 Canadian plus shipping from France for the grade and quality I wanted.. I got it on sale for 35 plus shipping..

I got one that was made of 100% natural flax linen, untreated, unbleached.

  • Imported from France directly by BrotformDotCom.
  • Heavy weight, professional grade fiber.
  • 26 x 35 Inches, plenty of surface to work multiple loaves.
  • Finished seam on both sides so it will not fray over time.

I would have cringed more at this if I did not make bread so very often, I was struggling with me softer (higher moisture content) breads in regards to proofing and them sticking.  You can only deal with issues for so many years before you finally look for what the answer is..

In this case, the answer is a very heavy amazing piece of flax cloth :)

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I cracked out my huge wooden cutting boards, I get them from Ikea and they are very reasonable in price, I recommend one for veggies and one for meat.. they hold a huge amount of prep food and they clean up with salt like a dream, they have a ring around them, so the drips or juice run into it first and not over the side, I love that about them.

The above photo was taken just after cutting an shaping a very soft and wet type dough, and I can see that its going to take practise to learn how to mold it, I did two long ones and two short sub ones, With just enough left over to be used for a nice pizza dough for supper tonight but that is different post and for a different reason.

The finished Bread is at the top of the post, its a lightly sweet honey bread.. I can see that this proofing linen will be used for many years to come.

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Visiting with Deb

Deb found my blog in its first year, an she became a regular commentor, she lives a number of hours away, after a good while just being in touch though the blog, we decided to meet. the first time we meet we drove with vehicles loaded with plants

I got to meet hubby and it was a lovely lunch, and we started keeping the odd phone call as well as still writing on the blog,. Now a few more years have passed and we try an get together once to twice a year, half the time we double date and have couple dinner an visits and then sometimes us ladies breakfast or even better spend the day.

so we made plans to meet at our regular breakfast spot denny’s, and deb treated so I was not buying for no buy feb which was sweet but clearly I do not get to the city much as it was closed, gone.. as I sat waiting I snapped this great photo.. its the tree right by denny’s parking lot in the mall and yet, that photo is classic and timeless an placeless.. beautiful!

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Yesterday was a wonderful long girl only visit.. and we needed a new place, cora was tracked down and turned out to be a great place to spend a number of hours visitingP1050722

It was a lovely day, and it lifted my mood in so many ways, while my farm and critters are a great comfort, it was a good way to keep me busy, and there was a few tears, much laughter and hugs.

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I added a new piece of pottery handmade by deb to my collection of her work, its made by imprinting with a burdock leaf..  its quite a large platter love the color of it and the detail :) An today we are dealing with and starting clean up on the freezing rain that is covering the farm

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In Memory of Maeve

As crazy as it seems to me, my daughter would be turning 16 today.. 16 years old, and my son Nat would have been ten, the years are flying by.

I am blessed with a husband who’s love and kindness humbles me daily.. and I have many things I am grateful for..

Normally I post a photo of a angel or picture that moves me, and I have tried over the years to have them mature and grow with her, sometimes she is angel and sometimes she is a fairy.

This year though I am changing it up.. I am going to post photo’s of her and a few of us together..  she was so tiny and such a tough little girl, she held on as long as she could.

So today, lift a glass – it would have been your- Sweet Sixteen Maeve Arlene Sharp

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No Buy Feb 2016- Start Post

Well, today is the first day of the No buy feb, I like to share what we have in the house to help explain things.

Fresh Food from store currently in the house

  •  5 pound bag of onions
  • 3 pounds of carrots
  • 1 bunch of Banana
  • * Green Pepper its fresh but its for Puddin.. not for our use, but I do have frozen from the farm for our own use.

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From on the farm- still fresh in cellar and pantry storage

  • Winter Squashes
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet potato
  • Potato
  • Winter Melon

Dairy..  I have 1 an half blocks of off-farm cheese, and I do not yet have a freshened sheep or goat on the farm, so other then canned or powdered milk and frozen butter, I am very much lacking all dairy.. It will be interesting on the cooking and baking.. but that is the point of a challenge.

The rest of everything that will be eaten and used in the next month will be from the pantry, so what do you think dear readers.. that’s not a lot of fresh food.. not really.. its going into the challenge pretty lean. What do you think you would find the hardest if you had the same things?

I will be sprouting for fresh greens, I have trays of micro-greens, otherwise, it will come from the farm, the pantry, cellar or freezer.

Thankfully, the hens are all laying strongly so we have lots of eggs coming into the house and I have a few fowl and rabbits that are ready for butchering, so we will have some fresh meat in the house as well.

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Farmgal is ready for the challenge ahead. Today is the half way point between winter and spring.. and I can feel it, the solar heating from the sun in my living room is to the point that I am able to turn off the main floor heater for about eight to ten years using the solar heat instead.

So I have to tell a funny story, its a true story.. so Dear Hubby might have been moving slower then normal as its Monday or it could be that his alarm clock is five min slow. Regardless he missed getting out in time for the first bus, which means he could relax and hang around for a bit before leaving to make the second bus, so I said.. just drive in.

So off he drove into the big bus stop on the nearest big town, he still needed to use his bus pass to get from the park and ride to his work but it takes a lot less time..  fast forward a few hours and the phone rings, its Farmer T, she is at home today.. her truck need a repair and the part is in the same town that hubby parked in..

Fate it seemed was lining up today.. hubby could have parked in a few spots and he picked the one like a two min from the store that has the part LOL

Awesome, so he will be picking it up.. I get the store, we get the order figured out and its all good.. till hubby says in a low voice..

WE HAVE A PROBLEM

Me.. we do????

Yup.. pause..  NO BUY FEB!

I start to laugh, and said, it does not count if you are buying it for someone else that you are getting the funds back on..

LOL..

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Duck Breast- Prosciutto

 I have been making this lovely salt cured meat now for a number of years and I have to admit that I am starting to crave the idea of having this in the house, I instead to do a light apple wood smoke on it.

cured duck breast

I only use my big meat duck breast for this, I let them rest and dry cure them with salt and spices per weight, While you could do it without pink Salt and you could do a wet cure if you wanted..  I have tried them all three ways and for this, I really like a dry salt cure, I have had the unsmoked (and they are good) and I have had them smoked (outstanding)

I went into the fall with a clutch of ducklings to grow out and I currently have some big fat extra drakes that are in need of processing. I will look forward to having some fresh meat in the house for some dishes but I am planning on making at least four to six breast into my Duck Prosciutto.

sheep cheese

By then, I should have fresh sheep milk, and I am drooling at the idea of it thinly sliced with fresh farmers Sheep cheese on Dill Bread, with homemade mustard..

hmmm.. what are you dreaming of making and having in your menu plans soon?

 

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When seed saving goes wrong

Two days ago on a one of my local seed saving groups one of our great members posted photos of her saved beans for seed that has lots of tiny holes in them..

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Sadly she has a case of bean weevils in her pantry.. Photo from the net.. Thankfully it had only gotten to a small portion of her beans.. but it was a loss felt as it was a old Canadian heritage seed.

A couple years ago, I was processing my sunflower seeds and I had a odd plant that has much more black seed them my regular big ones did, and so I thought, neat o, I will see what the next generation looks like, I processed some for eating and some for seed..  and I should have checked those black seeds better, they had a good weight and they had flesh in them when I checked them, but they had a off taste to them.. I know better now, if the seed you are growing is to look a certain type, nothing wrong with checking to see if the new “different is good” but do not assume it.. often the one that breaks from the parent form is not going to be better then the mother genes.. Its rare for the daughters to out do proven parents.. it happens but its not common.

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Needless to say, those that were saved for seed where of no use to me the next year other then for bird or rabbit food..

Today I was putting together some little packages of seeds of ten or more for the local seed gifting and swap tables and I reached for a bag that should have around 400 plus seeds and I knew just from the weight of the bag, we had a issue.

I opened the bag and felt the seeds, far to thin.. I signed and thought, ok, I will need to do a seed germ test to see what percent cured out as mature enough and how many did not.. ( I will do a post soon about running germination seed tests on old or saved seeds) and then I snapped them open and sighed..

Nothing.. they were not mature enough when harvested and so while they seem borderline when I did them.. time gave the truth.. which was NOPE..

Gratefully, I have some saved from 2014 and I can order more seeds from my favorite heritage seed houses.. but its a very good point.. much like the very reason that I recommend that when you have a good year a glut year on things in the gardens that produce your staples that you should put up a two year supply in the pantry..

I have to admit that for seeds I would recommend the same..  If you have certain crops that you count on, that are planted every year, its a good idea to always keep back extra seeds that are proven in your seed box’s.

Prime examples of why

  1. Bad saving year, In 2015, the rains would not let up and other then maybe 200 saved pea’s, I had mold issues.. if I did not have saved seed from 2014, I would have to buy pea seed for 2015
  2. Bugs, mold and critter loss.. you never know what can take out your seeds, one time I had a bag that I guess was to close to the catnip bag.. as it got taken out, ripped into and the tiny seeds scattered, if I had not had a second older seed saving of it could have been a real issue
  3. cross-breeding, sometimes you think you have saved pure seed but when you grow out, you find out that its been crossed, and if you did not save back a few things a year back or even two years back, you might have lost that seed..

Its worth noting just because you found it online or in a catalog one year, does not mean that you will be able to find it the next time you look for it.. if you have a favorite that you have got for years from a seed house, its a very good idea to learn how to save that type of seed so that if they suddenly do not carry it, you will still have it growing in your own garden.

 

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Chunky Tomato Soup Recipe

This recipe is dead simple, easy and fast, but its yummy and great on a snowy winter day where a bright bit of summer put away can be a good thing.

Farmgal’s Chunky Tomato soup recipe – using winter Storage

  • 1 quart basic tomato sauce
  • 1 pint salsa
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 heaping tsps. of orzo or any other small soup pasta
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • grated mozza cheese as topping

 

Chunky tomato Soup Recipe Store Version

  • 1 large can spiced or four cheese pasta sauce
  • 1 jar of med salsa
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 heaping tsp of orzo
  • Cracked black pepper to taste
  • grated mozza cheese as topping

Directions, in a pot, put your water and bring to simmer, add your pasta and cook per directions on the package till just done, add your pasta sauce, salsa and fresh pepper, stir though to mix heat till hot though at a lower heat.. serve in bowl, top with your cheese

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An there you have it, a filling, rich hot bowl of fast storage dinner, we had it with two slices with garlic butter on them. one big bowl filled me up, but hubby had two bowls and packed his lunch and it still left me one cup leftover, I will make some rice today and serve it over the rice with some fresh micro greens for my own lunch. Given that info, I would say it was a nice 4 portion soup at dinner size servings

 

 

 

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Bringing in the Pro’s

I like to do most things myself, I give my all allowed legal vaccines, I treat for worms and I help birth, I can tube feed if needed and give sub-q shots and fluids, I can trim feet on sheep, goats and even pigs when needed. I treat minor cuts and am the care giver on a few wounds that needed vet help but the rest was all done by me.

For 11 years on the farm, I have taken training courses, and I have been beside vets in the north as their helper aid.. while I know that would not happen where I live now in the clinic, on the farm, the vets I work with know that I can act as a helper in a number of ways.

Having said that..  Know when to call in the pro’s..  by law certain shots need to be given by the vet, certain health issues need to see the vet

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However my most regular pro without a doubt is my Ferrier. while I am sure if I had no choice that I could get my file out and at least keep my horse’s feet rounded and smoothed out.. but other then that.. I would suck at it.. I just do not have the knowledge needed to help my horses when it comes to their feet.

They are kept in a bare foot trim and it changes with the season’s and with what I am doing with them..  my gent is awesome, while he does count on me to tell him if there is issues, he also has me move them and he trims them different from each other, they wear their feet differently and they have very different hoofs, Brandy is very much got a big old workhorse foot, where Caleb’s is much more paint in ways.

He has stuck with me and worked with me with all of Brandy’s issues..  she likes him unless he is touching her feet, then it is BAD. I am grateful for his kindness and help, its been a long slow road. I know others would have quit on her but he never has.

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Caleb on the other hand is a dream to do.. such a good boy!

When it comes to your livestock, what is something you call in the pro’s for? What have you learned to do yourself? I wish I could call in the sheep shearing pro, but to bring him in for three sheep is crazy, but hand shearing is not fun at all.. more on that later :)

 

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Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

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Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake Recipe

2 cups flour
1 teaspoons baking soda
1 cups sugar
1/4 cup, generously rounded, cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup full-fat mayonnaise
1 an 3/4th cup warm water
1 teaspoons vanilla

Stir together the dry ingredient, make sure to put your cocoa though a sieve if you have it, so that you can get all clumps out. Then take your mayo and your warm water and blend together till smooth, add your vanilla. Then blend in the wet to the dry and beat well, it should be a smooth and starting to puff batter.

If you try it raw, it will have a soft chocolate taste with a lovely tang to it. This is a light an fluffy cake when served.

like with all hot water cakes, you add the wet to the dry and must beat it right after, no pausing, so do not add till you have the time to give to mixing it right away :)

Pour the batter into a greased baking pan. Bake the cake at 350 degrees knife comes out clean. You can also pour it into two cake pans.

To serve it.. if you make it cake pans, I recommend a red jam layer, strawberry or raspberry jam in the middle with a butter cream icing on top..

If you make it a sheet cake, it can be served with just a light dusting of icing sugar, or it can have a peanut butter icing made for it..

 

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