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.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Beginning again

4 weeks ago (January 1st) I had a plan for this blog.  Write every day.  My plan was closely followed by a serious bout of the flu and a long recovery, as well as pressures to get caught up at work, school, and home.  so, here I am, January 28th, 2015, starting my "WRITE EVERY DAY" goal.  I'll not recap January.  Don't want to relive it, and you don't want to share the experience.

Right now spring is still 6 weeks away.  We thought we would ease into it, but ... snow happened.

Plans for the year are under way and will be posted here.  They will include focusing on feeding our selves, fermenting things, and creating farm-stay options here at the Roost. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Settling into the Long Dark Season

Fire crackles in the stove.
Gray cold light filters through the window.
Wool sweater chafes a bit around the neck.
A few green sprigs of cold hardy weeds push past the dead bits of the summer garden missed in the fall clean-up.
The Long Dark is coming. 


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