Sunday, February 1, 2015

Kitchen garden part too.

Scanner is down so my maps of gardens will have to wait till tomorrow.  in the works are the herb garden, a cucumber tunnel, and all the other kitchen stuff that didnt make it into the salad garden.

Writing every day is HARD.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Garden Planning - pottager - salad garden

I'm late in my garden planning, but I'm at least doing it this year.  In years past, the only planned thing has been either long term crops (garlic) or big projects (popcorn and pumpkins in a three sisters garden).  This year is different.  We are trying to feed ourselves.  So, planning is key.  First garden plan.  The kitchen garden in the pottager.  We built a pottager garden about 5 years ago and have used it extensively for our food since then.  This year we are expanding into a failed perennial space and really focusing the pottager on immediate use.  The garden will have three parts, the herb garden, the salad garden and the kitchen garden.  The salad garden this year will be an intensive project, aimed at providing salad and cooking greens year round.  I have a 10 by 10 space that I will divide into 20 spaces with compost mulch paths between.  I'll grow spinach, kale, chard, various lettuces, mustard, peas, radishes, beets, carrots, scallions, and a cherry tomato.  Everything will be instant use, rapid rotation.  Tomorrow I will post the map of the pottager salad garden and explore the pottager kitchen garden. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Charcuterie - A new skill to learn for 2015

Feeding ourselves from the farm is one of our main goals for 2015.  We have many of the pieces in place to do this, but there are some things we need to add and some new skills to learn to make this really work.  Charcuterie (the craft of salting, smoking, and curing) is one of those skills. 

Last year we raised 2 pigs on pasture.  First time for us here at The Roost.  We learned a lot, and the whole process went better than expected.  Now we are enjoying having a freezer full of pork.  BUT... we still find ourselves going to the store to buy pepperoni, salami, and other cured meats.  There are many types we cant get easily here in our part of the world.  We have been pleased with our meat processors smoked bacon and ham, but we want more types and more control that they can give us.

This year we are planning on 4 pigs.  Two for family, and two for us.  To make the most of our two pigs, and of other meat we will be producing we will be adding some additional infrastructure (a smoker, and a drying room) and a new set of skills to the mix.  First in our resource list for this project is this book


There are some blogs, podcasts, and other sources that I also like and will feature later.  More on this as we get further into the adventure.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Why write every day?

If you have looked at this blog at all, you will see that writing consistently has been a challenge lately.  There are many reasons that happened, and most of them are still factor in my life.  So, today when I sat down to write I decided I needed to clarify for my self WHY I am taking on this challenge.  Why add in another activity I don't have time for?  We have big plans for the Roost this year.  We expect to feed ourselves to a great extent from what we produce, we plan to create a viable farm-stay business, and finally move the farm to a level of production that it is financially self sustaining.  We have new skills we want/need to learn, teenage kids to keep up with, projects at school, church, and in the community, scouts, and a host of other things already on the calendar.  So again I ask my self "WHY?" and I find that the answer is simple.  Change happens when you have a vision of where/how you want to be and when you pay attention to the thousands of little choices made every day and choose those things that consistently move you in the desired direction.  Writing every day gives me a way to stay focused on the little things that will add up to the big things we are trying to accomplish.  It is a way to live deliberately, to be conscious of the little choices and use them to move toward our goal.


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