Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Young Farmers Break The Bank Before They Get To The Field -

Young Farmers Break The Bank Before They Get To The Field -

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

(Mis) Adventures in Canning 2013 - Summer Squash

I should have read this before canning my squash. So don't make the same mistake I did.

Canning Granny: Canning Yellow Summer Squash: Here's what my research on canning squash revealed... seems it's not like the USDA has had a huge outbreak of bacteria in home cann...

Apparently the reason there’s very few canning recipes for certain vegetables is because they’re very prone to botulism, and summer squash (and I’m assuming kohlrabi?) are among them. You can pressure can summer squash because that takes the temperature up to 240 degrees, to the point where most of the bacteria is no longer harmful, but a hot water bath is ineffective at killing the bacteria because it doesn’t get hot enough for long enough. A three-hour hot water bath, for example, might kill the bacteria but it would also destroy all the nutrients in the food.

So fail: me.

Luckily we only have a dozen or so jars of inedible food. It physically pains me to throw away food and doubly so with this one, due to the amount of work involved. Next time, I need to pay A LOT more attention. Canning isn’t baking or cooking. It’s preserving, and food that isn’t preserved properly can kill you. No one needs to die over a mediocre pickle.

Chock it up to experience and better luck with the green beans. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Adventures in Canning 2013 - Kohlrabi

File:Chou rave 2.jpg
It’s been a few years since I canned and I’ve never been very proficient at it. Mostly because I tend to can stuff in ways that no one actually wants to eat. Like my refrigerator squash pickles. Spice was good, texture was horrible.

Lesson number one in canning: if it’s a piece of fruit or veg you wouldn’t eat before it goes in a jar, you won’t want to eat it any more when it comes out.

So this year instead of trying to can massive amounts of vegetables all at once, I decided to break it up. And also find new recipes, especially for things like summer squash that 1) doesn’t freeze well, and 2) everyone insists they only eat fresh. has been an AMAZING resource for new recipes. It’s the only website I’ve found a decent canning recipe for kohlrabi. It’s supposed to be a refrigerator recipe, but I read somewhere that if you hot water bath any low-acid fridge recipe for 10-15 minutes, you can store them out of the fridge. Which is great for us since it seems like everywhere is our massive 800-square foot house is desperate for storage room. Especially the fridge.

(Yes, that reference to massive was sarcasm.)

Kohlrabi Remoulade

This recipe for kohlrabi would probably can fine, sans mayo. Maybe plan on adding that just prior to serving.

Shredded Kohlrabi Pickles

This was the kohlrabi recipe I canned. It looks a little odd, especially after the hot water bath. But it’s a decent pickle. The STC took some into work and one guy made a whole sandwich out of the stackers I did. I’ll try and get some pics up this week. Maybe shoot for that instead of posts. I’m excited to get pics and video of the pullets to share. The Offspring loves hanging out in the yard with the hens, and helps at night when I go do chores and turn the compost. So glad the kid gets to experience life on the farm and seems to enjoy it. More adventures in canning to come, Stay tuned!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Farm Exercise

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Fitting in Exercise

Farmers' newest chore: Fitting in exercise

Not to be snarky at commercial ag, but that is one advantage of being a small, grass-based business. We still pretty much do things the way we did fifty years ago, so we stay physical and in good shape. I just listen to an iPod while checking fence is the biggest difference. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Farmer's Workout’-workout/

It's not a time for New Year's resolutions, but here's some more things to consider about farmer fitness. It must be working. My dad is in his sixties and still wears the same size pants he did in high school. He also has great abs, which is a nice relief from the guy who mows lawn and has a belly covering his steering wheel. And I'm not talking about the mower.


It’s good to eat healthy, but to be healthy, you also have to move. Humans were designed to walk and bend and move around a lot, which is why some have said we’re running the latest software on a paleolithic hard drive. Our bodies are designed to be used, and when we don’t use them, they grow soft and flabby on us.

So I would like to bring you FARMERSIZE! That’s right, for the price of cows, you can get fit, ache and whine and throw your hips out of alignment.

First, you take a hungry group of grass-fed cows. Next, you push it to the next level by either being pregnant or pushing a baby in a stroller through places strollers were never designed to go. As an added cardio option, you’ll be bombarded by mosquitoes and have to fend them off as well. Don’t forget the workout itself, push through the woods, rolling out wire, pounding posts with a twenty-pound driver, then double back, fighting flimsy steel rods into the ground. Don’t lose those insulators! Every time a deer runs through your fence and pops one of those suckers off, you lose six cents. And at Barclay Farms we are too frugal to let deer get away with crap like that. So you’ll be spending lots of time feeding the mosquitoes while searching for insulators.

While you unroll wire with one hand, you’ll be pushing the baby through mud with the other. Don’t stop now! It’s also the baby’s naptime, so now he’s really tired. You’ll feel the burn as you rush between swatting mosquitoes off him and pulling dryer sheets out of his sticky grasp and sinking posts in along that final stretch of woods.

FARMERSIZE is free, because, let’s face it, who would pay to do this shit? So get ready to get as tired as you’ve ever been in your life and receive no thanks from the livestock for doing so. Get ready to FARMERSIZE!!

From WikiCommons