Sunday, December 7, 2014
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Friday, November 7, 2014
Sunday, October 26, 2014
|Community Nursing Home Visit - this is Pat and she is happy to see me. Really! Gave me a big hug as I left. I dropped off the Flour and baked cinnamon rolls.|
|Senator Dick Durbin - spoke at the Know your farmer, Know your food conference. He has heart.|
|Walking at work one day at lunch and this appeared behind an office building.|
Monday, October 13, 2014
Saturday, October 4, 2014
Monday, September 22, 2014
|Rye planted September 2013. It already sprouted up before the heavy snows.|
|Rye coming up Spring 2014|
|Rye starting to form seeds Spring 2014|
|Showing tall and strong|
|It's almost ready to harvest.|
|July - I am cutting off the tops - Bobby took this picture.|
|What am I going to do with all this? It's a king size sheet and it's full!|
|Weeks of hand removing the seeds - and I mean WEEKS|
|At the millers. I winnowed it 3 times and it still had little pieces|
|Milling Machine - Made in the USA|
|14 POUNDS OF FLOUR! Wow! It was warm too.|
|Top of Milling Machine|
|It's so Beautiful.|
I want to Thank Ted from Ted's Organic Grains for meeting me today to grind my rye seeds into this beautiful flour. He was very generous and I appreciate it. I can't wait to bake ANYTHING with this heavenly smelling flour.
|Pigs were tasting the clean out - They were squealing like crazy.|
|A Billy licking his lips.|
|Pet Me! Pet Me!|
I started the seeds in September of 2013. I ground them into flour today, September 22, 2014. The process was only difficult at harvest time. In the fall, I sprinkled seeds in 4 straight rows. They started to grow in days. I wasn't sure if the heavy winter killed them but in the spring, they came up and grew really fast. It was so green and when they got tall - about 6 feet, they swayed beautifully in the wind. The calmness they projected was incredible.
Anyway - the work begins when you harvest. You forget how beautiful they looked. HA HA - After you cut them, you need to dry them. We had a very rainy summer so I couldn't leave them in the field in piles to dry. So, I dragged them all home in two sheets. A king size AND a double sheet. It was heavy and really hard to deal with. So, I cleared the floor of the spare room and let them dry on the sheets. It was like sheet sacks - I would shake them up every now and then to make sure they were dry - I picked them all in July. So they dried for almost two months. They were bone dry by the end of August.
Then - here's the fun part. You need to remove the seeds. You would think that you can just grab a stalk and swing it on a sheet and they will just fall out. You would think that right? But No. It takes force to get them out. I saw a u-tube video that you put them in a pillow sack and then just smack the sack with a shoe. I used a boot, a mallet, baseball bat and even stomped on it. I would get about 30 kernels. SO - I started pulling out a box full, dragged it to the living room and popped them out in a bucket by hand while watching TV. This was the only way to get them all out. I had splinters in all my fingers.
3 - 4 weeks go by and I barely made a dent in the king sheet. I was only able to get through the double sheet bundle. I still had a large amount to go and I already set up with Ted to have it ground - I needed to go back to the shoe, mallet, baseball bat method. So - I dragged the king sheet bundle back over to the garden. Got the pillow case out again and sat on the ground for 2 1/2 hours and beat them. After a while, I got the hang of it and got a lot of kernels out. I know I could of gotten a lot more but enough was enough for a first timer.
Now - you would think this is done now - wouldn't you? But No - still one more thing to do. Winnow. You need to let wind blow on the kernels to remove the little dry hairy pieces. I can't remember what they are called but they look like little airy straws.
I placed a house fan on a chair in front of the balcony door - blowing outside. I had to slowly pour the seeds with all the hairy pieces in front of the fan into a bucket. Not fast - real slow. As it's pouring, only the seeds fall into the bucket and all the none seed stuff blows in the wind. (And all over me, the balcony, the chairs and shoes) I had to do this 3 times.
Finally. They were now ready to be milled and ground into flour. After all the work just to get them into grind-able kernels, I thought - I'm getting some help on the grinding. My little coffee grinder would of burnt out with all this. So - Ted agreed to mill and I met him at Heritage Prairie Farm today. The pigs and the Billy Goat were a treat. I didn't expect to see any farm animals so BONUS!
I'll bake next weekend if I have time and add the final picture to the rye story. Thanks for reading. Barbara
Saturday, August 30, 2014
A couple of shots of Cantaloupe and Pumpkin that I grew on tri-pods. Then - my favorite thing in the entire garden. The Potatoes! They are so beautiful and taste really good. They are the fingerlings, yukon and island sunshine.
We have had a lot of rain recently and the garden is currently in a state of MESS! I need to start pulling things up and cleaning it.
Happy Labor Day!
Friday, August 29, 2014
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
The First Potato! It's called "Island Sunshine". It tasted good too. Just steamed with just a little butter and salt.
I received a sample packet of potato starters from Wood Prairie Farm in Bridgewater, Maine. So far so good. I am impressed with the first one!
I know there are more potatoes under the straw but the roots looked pretty deep. I thought I'd wait until a nice rain then dig around again to find the others. The sample pack contained the following:
Island Sunshine - One so far - perfect in every way!
Yukon Gold - Plant doesn't have any flowers yet so I'll wait.
Rose Finn Apple Fingerling - Saw some tiny ones but buried them until they get a little bigger.
Adirondack Blue - Lots of flowers on the plant but I didn't dig deep enough.
According to my research, you should have potatoes once the plant blooms.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
So, I picked it on July 5th, and it's been drying for 10 days now. The seeds should just fall right out. I Hope.
I will post the process soon.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
the weeds got very thick.
turnips, beets and carrots. Not too many made it this year. I seeded twice. Also two leaves of a round Zucchini plant. Love the round zucchini. They are tasty.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
One year I just threw them in the blender and chopped them up but the second I opened the lid, the powder was so intense that I sneezed for about a full minute. Be very careful not to breath in the fumes from the peppers.
Thanks for stopping by.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Angles of the Rye - I read that I need to harvest in August. Cut off and place in a pillow case and beat with a shoe. Then pour it from one container to another to let the seeds separate.
On another note - the glass hot house had issues as I left it open to cool the box then it rained like crazy. 3 Brussell Spout plants, 2 cabbage, 2 tomato and 1 red cabbage survived which I transplanted. I'll post more when they grow a little larger.
Check soon - I will be selling again on Etsy.