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Monday, January 19, 2015

Foraging? A Thing For the Future?

I came across a blog earlier today that sparked my interest because of it's "One Acre Farm" title.  Since we moved to our own "Acre", there are several trees and a few shrubs that I just have no clue what they are.  I took agriculture in high school but can't for the life remember anything other than my time spent on the dairy team.  I guess I should have paid more attention.

So this sweet lady over at this blog was talking about foraging.  Whether it be outside your home where there are wild berry bushes or on public land 10 miles outside of town where sugar maples are to draw sap from.  I guess I've never thought about "wild foraging" just never occured to me.  

It really struck home with me though.  When I was a kid, we lived on 5 acres and next to us was 30 abandoned acres full of fruit trees and I'm sure more that I had no clue about. One of my favorite things to search through the woods for were honeysuckles.  I could spend hours just going through and finding those bright yellow flowers that had the slightest amount of sweet syrup in them.  

I remember going to my mom's with Joe back in May and we walked to the back forty of our property and I got giddy seeing those honeysuckles.  I had Joe try one...he didn't seem impressed and gave me a crazy look.  He clearly didn't grow up with honeysuckles and didn't see the excitement in it.

Back to the topic...  Have you ever thought of foraging through the wild to find berries, nute, sap, or even wild animals?  I'm interested to read more on it to see where around me I can forage and see what goodies I can find.  

Until next time....

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Canning Corn

Early July in the Midwest isthe start of corn season and it is a glorious time of year.  The fields of green and the glimpses of tassles everywhere are just beautiful.  Row upon row of crops are how families make it through the year.  Kids with farm trucks selling corn out of the bed.  I wouldn't want to live any where other than the Midwest when it comes to farming season.  

I did my usual this year and got a huge amount of one thing thinking I'd be able to get through it no problem.  Earlier this year it was leaf lard.  I bought 75 pounds in January....finished it all in October.  Luckily the corn is a different story.  It only took me a week to get through the 10 dozen ears I bought.  This was the best corn I've ever purchased.  Out of all of those 120 ears, I only had to cut the top portion off of maybe half a dozen ears.  Joe helped me with it which was a God send.

I can't remember how many pints I got out of it but it was somewhere in the ball park of 44-50.  That will last us all of this year.

With corn, you want to cut it off the cob and rinse away the hair.  I raw pack mine and add 1/4 teaspoon of canning salt and cover with boiling water.  Pints are pressure canned at 10 pounds of pressure for 55 minutes, quarts for 1 hour 25 minutes.  Let jars rest for 18 to 24 house.

Make sure to either compost the remains of the corn or toss it to some chickens.  Don't let it go to waste!

Have you canned corn before?  What is your favorite thing to can?

Monday, January 5, 2015


Does anybody have any tips on growing your own scoby?  I'm currently going in with a friend and buying from another lady, but I'm a DIY-er & I would love to start brewing my own.

I've just been introduced to this new world of what I call"hippie drink".  From what I've read on the internet, the health benefits are beyond amazing.  & I tell you what, my gut has never been happier.  that may be a little TMI, I aplogize...but seriously, if you have tummy problems, drinking this on a regular basis will make you better.

There is a ridiculous amount of information you can find on this super drink on Mr. Google.  For starters though, it aides in detoxification and cancer prevention, improves gut health, boosts your immune system, and can improve joint care.  I love all the health benefits and I'm learning more and more about this drink on a daily basis.

Kombucha is a fermented tea that is made from a scoby (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) which is the "mother" and you need this in order to start brewing your own kombucha.  There are several places to buy these online, or you could get one from your kombucha connection.  My favorite thing are the abbundance of flavors you can get, especially if you have a local kombucha brewing connection.  I've tried everything from purple carrot to cranberry vanilla to ginger and I haven't met a flavor that I didn't like.  

Here are a few links to help you get started with your new kombucha craze:

Have you tried kombucha?  What are your favorite flavors?