Hello friends, neighbors, relatives, and readers.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Posted by Aimee at 4:16 PM
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Friday, April 6, 2012
Why is it that every time I get some good egg trades going, the hens mysteriously quit laying? Since my last post on Monday (Trade Network 2012 (Craigslist Chronicles)) I have collected a grand total of thirteen eggs. In the two days before that, I collected twenty-eight.
Monday, April 2, 2012
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Although the weather has turned cold and nasty again after a few glorious days of sunshine last week, I have still been out gardening in the rain. Time passes quickly, it's the end of March, and if I'm going to have a garden at all this year, I have to get things in the ground.
Monday, March 26, 2012
Posted by Aimee at 5:28 PM
Saturday, March 24, 2012
The last two days have been extremely gorgeous. After my months of complaining about the chilly, soggy weather, it amazes me how quickly my body and psyche respond to a few hours of warmth and light. I don't know exactly how warm it's gotten, but it feels like the high fifties. With a clear blue sky and an absence of wind, that is paradise.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
- Be sure to use only fresh eggs. If any decomposition occurs, you will be unsuccessful. Also exposure to extreme heat or cold will hinder your preservation process. You can use an oil as well, but the oil can go rancid… not exactly what I would want on my eggs.
- Store the eggs in a finely ground preservative such as salt, bran, or an equal mix of finely ground charcoal and dry bran or finely ground oats. You can also store them in finely ground plaster of Paris, but that’s not exactly something that I plan on having on hand regularly. You can store the eggs layer upon layer, so long as you they don’t touch each other, metal, or wood. Be sure you have enough finely ground preservative to pack them in. (You can feed the salt and bran to the cattle afterwards.)
- Store the eggs small side down.
- Store the eggs in a covered container and keep in a cool, dry place. You don’t want to store them in freezing temperatures.
- Eggs will keep “fresh” for up to 9 months. In fact, some countries are known to have stored their eggs like this for up to 2 years. (Preserving Fresh Eggs « Preparedness Pro)
The first method is to coat the eggs with a non-toxic substance, sealing the pores in the shell and thereby sealing out oxygen and moisture. When oxygen is present, many bacteria can grow, thus spoiled eggs.
To use lard or shortening to coat the eggs, first melt the grease and cool it til it begins to solidify again. Dip each egg in the melted grease individually and set them on a paper towel to dry. When the shortening or lard is dry on the eggs, rub the eggs with a clean towel, removing excess solid grease. Rub gently and buff each egg. Now repeat the process, before the shortening solidifies. Work fast, allowing the shortening to get almost solid before re-heating it.
Line the bottom of a flat box with a clean soft towel. Place the eggs in the box in a single layer. Cover the box with either a lid or another towel. Place the box of eggs in a cool, dry environment. Eggs prepared this way will last up to 6 months, although I have heard people say that they have kept eggs this way for 1 year if they are kept very cool.
A product used to coat eggs in this way, but that is supposed to keep the eggs fresh longer is K-Peg. The eggs are coated with this product much the same way they would be coated with the shortening, and prepared for storage the same way.
The other way to keep eggs works on the same principle, cover the pores and keep the eggs cool. However, the eggs must be kept immersed in a solution of Liquid Sodium Silicate. It is usually mixed with sterilie water.
Liquid Sodium Silicate is a non-toxic substance that will cover the pores of the egg shell so well that you will probably be able to keep fresh eggs for up tp 2 years! You can buy it as Sodium Silicate Solution at any pharmacy, however they may not have it on hand and have to order it for you.
Again, you will have to keep the temperatures very cool and the humidity low.
Place clean fresh eggs in a ceramic crock, one layer deep. Pour liquid sodium silicate over the eggs until the eggs are covered and completely immersed in the solution.
Place a towel over the crock and tie it into place. Place the crock of eggs in a cool, dry place and don't disturb them til you are ready to use them. To use them, just take out how many eggs you need, wash them off in clear water and use as you normally would. (How to Store Fresh Eggs)
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Today I went and picked up our pig from Keizer Meats. One hundred and nine pounds of pork (hanging weight) transformed into ham, bacon, chops, spareribs, smoked hocks, and sausage. I'm delighted, and the first thing I did is put some dried corn to soak so I can make a big pot of posole tomorrow (for a recipe, see: New To Farm Life: Posole (Mexican dried corn stew)).
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Posted by Aimee at 8:41 PM
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Most of what I do on this blog, it seems, is bitch and moan about the weather. Well, stand back, I'm about to do it again. Life on this farm is so much more difficult and arduous than life would be if the farm were located in - say - central California.
Monday, February 27, 2012
I wish I could find a certain essay I wrote several years ago. As part of my great unfinished memoir about my and Homero's quest to get married despite the best efforts of the U.S. government ("an epic story of love, separation, and reunion; spanning all of North America and the third part of a decade") I wrote a few pages about what happens to my husband when he crosses the Mexican border.
Posted by Aimee at 2:51 PM
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Now that Keizer meats has called me with the hanging weight on our tiny, skinny, little pigs (109 lbs and 137 lbs, less than I expected) I can do the math to figure out how much our own pork is costing us and whether or not it is worth it to raise two pigs.
|Price Per Pound||Estimated Weight|
|Smoked Products||Smoked Bacon||$5.50||1|
|Smoked Bacon - MSG & Nitrate Free||$5.80||1|
|Smoked Boston Butt Bacon - MSG & Nitrate Free||$5.95||1|
|Smoked Canadian Bacon||$5.75||0.75|
|Smoked Boneless Chops||$5.35||1|
|Smoked Ham||$5.25||2 to 5|
|Smoked Ham - MSG & Nitrate Free||$5.60||2 to 5|
|Smoked Hocks||$3.30||1 to 3|
|Smoked Hocks - MSG & Nitrate Free||$3.60||1 to 3|
|Sliced Honey Glazed Smoked Ham||$5.25||1|
|Ground & More|
|Seasoned Ground Pork||$3.95||1|
|Roast BBQ Pork||$5.75||1|
|B-fast Saus. Links MSG & Nitrate Free||$5.50||1.25|
|Bratwurst - MSG & Nitrate Free||$5.80||1.25|
|Chorizo - MSG & Nitrate Free||$5.80||1.25|
|Andoulle Sausage - MSG & Nitrate Free||$5.80||1.25|
|Cuts||Boneless Pork Chops||$5.00||1.5 to 3|
|Tenderloins||$8.00||,75 to 1.25|
|Fresh Hocks||$2.25||2 to 3|
|Shoulder Steak||$4.75||2 to 3|
|Shoulder Roast||$4.75||2 to 4|
|Loin Roast||$5.00||2 to 4|
|Baby Back Ribs||$4.00|
|Pork Soup Bones||$1.50||1|