Friday, August 28, 2015

Farm Friday

The Lynchburg Wednesday "Green Market"

This has been yet another successful homesteading week. Our farm stay guests left on Sunday and I started cleaning the house in preparation for a birthday party for our friends' toddler daughter on Saturday. She loves the goats and the wide open spaces so we we're happy they asked if the party could be here.

I've been trying to find ways to cut down on our need to purchase food from the store and to use more of what we grow. Not that we waste anything. In fact, we have four containers on our counter: scraps for the pigs, scraps for the chickens, scraps for compost, and tea leaves and coffee grounds for the worms. But I've tried to start thinking outside the box and get away from actual boxed/canned/jarred foods.

One thing I was reminded of when our intern was here is that it's really not that difficult to be vegan. I've really disliked buying dairy products because, even though I'm not eating meat, I'm still supporting animal cruelty. I tried purchasing milk from a Virginia dairy that sells in reusable glass bottles. But I realized that even if that dairy refrains from animal cruelty, I'm still supporting Big Ag, the very people who try to stop small traditional, sustainable farmers from any progress. I mainly buy milk for Bill's coffee and then use the remainder for baking. He told me he really doesn't need the milk for his coffee and I've often substituted homemade rice milk in many recipes. I've even made cornbread where I substituted plain water for the milk and it came out fine.

Some of my cooking adventures:

  • Baked crackers - will try again using parchment paper to prevent sticking
  • Learned I could save and toast squash and watermelon seeds. 
  • Fermented mung bean sprouts
  • Made a new okra, potato, and tomato recipe
  • Made fried okra patties

We took a little time off and drove to Lynchburg to check out their Wednesday farmers' market which is a producer-only market. Two nearby farms vend there so we were curious what it had to offer. We had a nice lunch at The White Hart Cafe, stopped at a consignment shop (where I looked for a few things for the farm stay but didn't buy anything), and then headed home to chores.

Have a great week!


David said...

Cherie, I'm glad to hear you and Bill were able to take some time off and explore a new farmer's market. In today's culture, it's very difficult not to eat any thing from big agriculture. I try to limit it as much as possible but I'm no where close to the level that you and Bill exist. Most likely I'll never achieve that level but I'm OK with that. I canned 12 quarts of tomatoes from Terra Nova Gardens last Friday which will be used for more processing into big batches of soup during the cold winter months. I'm not a big fan of freezing as the power grid here is questionable and I don't have a generator for power losses. Every year loss of power becomes more frequent and for longer periods of time. My power company friend says I really should invest in a generator as the grid in my area is over 50 years old and showing it's age. However, it's just not in the budget. So canned food doesn't depend on power for storage except in the winter when it could freeze. So far we have not had power outages in the winter.

Have a great vegan local food day.

grqndmarie said...

Do you not have farmers nearby who have dairy cows from whom you could buy a "Cow Share"? They are very popular here in Central Virginia.

Cherie said...

David, one reason I'm canning now is because I don't like to depend on the freezer. At one time, I thought the canning process used too much water and took up too much time but now I think that blanching/freezing vs. canning is pretty much equal - but I can put up so much more in cans than in a freezer. We do have a generator wired into our house and it powers one of our freezers but I don't like depending on it. Also, there are some foods that do much better canned than frozen. Next year I'm going to look into pressure canning. :)

Cherie said...

Grqndmarie - Thanks for visiting my blog. :) I know a family farm that has cow ("herd") shares available. They sell in central VA so you may know them - Our Father's Farm in Gretna? That's the closest one to us - about 40 minutes away. We just can't use that much milk - and I would have to make a weekly trip for pick up. I'm going to research cheese making (I have a couple of friends who make cheese) and determine how much cheese we could make and use (and how much milk we would need). This will probably be a winter project for me.