If you’ve been exploring our blog you’ve probably figured out by now that much of what this blog will be about is on hold until we begin construction on our new home. We intend to get the house built first but then shortly after that we hope to add a greenhouse that allows us to extend the growing season but will also serve as a year round growing facility for aquaponics (tilapia and various vegetables including tomatoes, squash, zucchini, romaine lettuce and strawberries). For those not familiar with greenhouse aquaponics, it’s much like hydroponics but uses fish to maintain the health and nutrients of the water instead of chemical additives. Continue reading Greenhouse Aquaponics
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 hours
Total Time: 6-8 hours
- 1 large organic onion, diced
- 3 organic stalks of celery, diced
- 5 organic cloves of garlic, minced
- 10 oz of organic carrots, shredded
- 8 oz nitrate/nitrite free organic ham, diced
- 1 qt. of organic chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 TBSP curry powder
- 2 TBSP Sugar in the Raw
- 1 tsp freshly cracked pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- Place all ingredients into a large crock pot.
- Stir lightly to combine.
- Cook on low setting for 6-8 hours.
- Use immersion blender to smooth out some of the chunks, if you like. I leave mine lumpy and just mix it a bit with a spoon.
- Garnish with a dollop of fresh organic plain yogurt, or some shredded cheese, if desired.
BULK COOKING INSTRUCTIONS
For Bulk Cooking, I quadruple this recipe using two large crock pots. In EACH crock pot I add:
2 large onions, diced
6 organic stalks of celery, diced
10 organic cloves of garlic, minced
20 oz. organic carrot, shredded
16 oz. of nitrate/nitrite free ham, diced
2 qts. chicken broth
4 cups water
2 TBSP curry powder
4 TBSP Sugar in the Raw
2 tsp freshly cracked pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp dried sage
2 tsp dried thyme
Cook as directed above. Cool completely and divide each crock pot contents into two gallon-size freezer bags, yielding four bags in all. Lay flat and freeze to stack horizontally. Don’t forget to label your bags with date and contents.
FREEZER TO CROCK POT INSTRUCTIONS
Take frozen soup out of freezer and run under warm water long enough for the soup to release from the sides of the bag. Cook in your crock pot on low setting until warmed through and steaming hot.
- 12 Beets (or however many you can fit in bottom of crock pot) , variety of your choice
- Scrub beets well and place in crock pot.
- Cook on low setting for 12-16 hours, or until beets are tender when pierced with a fork. Time will vary depending on the size and variety you have chosen.
- To peel beets, run under cold water while rubbing skins off with your fingers.
- Eat as is, or use in desired recipe.
- 6 medium beets
- Slice beets into 1/4 inch slices.
- Divide beets evenly among 6 appetizer plates.
- Sprinkle goat cheese on top of beets.
- Top each plate with 4 pistachios.
When people ask if I can recommend curriculum for teaching children to read, I always mention the Explode the Code series. Explode the Code is a sequential approach to teaching phonics. I used this series as a major component in teaching all of my school-age children to read. There is a pre-reading series that I highly recommend completing before starting with book 1 of Explode the Code. You may notice that some books have “1/2” increments. These books provide further practice at a level if you feel your student has not fully mastered a level. For example, buy Book 2 1/2 if your student needs more reinforcement of book 2 skills. Continue reading Explode the Code
Raising chickens is something my wife and I have wanted to do for quite some time but our current neighborhood has a no chicken policy in the covenants. We were first introduced to the idea of raising chickens by two different co-workers and friends of mine back around 2008. Both of them were raising chickens in their backyards and taught us a little about the basics of raising chickens. Our interest was heighten this summer when we visited my sister in VA. My sister’s family raises chickens in their backyard and our kids got to spend some time interacting with them. It seems like everywhere we go we bump into people raising their own chickens or selling custom chicken coops. Even Williams Sonoma sells chicken coops now! Continue reading Raising Chickens
- 1 stick organic salted butter, melted and cooled
- 3/4 cup soft white wheat berries (or use 1 cup whole wheat flour)
- 1/4 cup organic flax seed
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 organic egg
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 4 TBSP organic maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp natural salt
- 1/2 tsp aluminum free baking soda
- 1/4 organic baking powder
- 1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grind the wheat into flour in your Nutrimill
- Grind the flax seed.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, flax seed, salt, baking powder, and baking soda
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and vanilla together.
- Continue to whisk the egg mixture while adding the maple syrup and and the melted butter.
- Add the brown sugar to the wet ingredients while stirring to dissolve the sugar crystals.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix to fully incorporate.
- (Stir in chocolate chips at this time if desired)
- Spread the batter into a greased 8 or 9 inch round pie pan or Pyrex dish.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the center is firm to the touch and the edges are golden brown.
Milling your own flour is not much more time consuming than scooping a cup out of a store bought bag of flour IF you have everything you need organized and ready to go each time you need flour for a recipe. You can learn all about milling your own grain HERE but if you would like to streamline the milling process as well as other baking activities you need to have an organized baking station first. I have tried many approaches and through trial and error I have come up with an organized baking station that works perfectly for me. It enables me to prepare bread dough for the bread machine in less than 5 minutes. Continue reading Organized Baking Station
When I tell people I mill my own grain they look at me like I’m some kind of freak that spends all day working away to produce flour for my family. The truth is that I can mill the flour I need for a recipe faster than most people can make a piece of toast and just as easily. Milling your own grain is quick, easy, and healthier for you than store bought “dead” flour. If you have never milled your own grain to prepare fresh flour before you owe it to yourself to give it a try and see for yourself just how easy it is. Continue reading Milling Your Own Grain
I have been gardening for many years now but I distinctly remember my first experience gardening. I always suspected I would enjoy gardening but at that time I had no hands on experience and felt extremely intimidated. I happened across a book called Square Foot Gardening. This one book turned me into a successful gardener that very first growing season! Continue reading Square Foot Gardening in Georgia