Pig-palooza 2012 – Day 4

Day 4 – Grinding and Stuffing! (Thought I posted this in April!!  I resolve to be a better blogger in the future!)

Sorry for the delay…beautiful weather has meant that we’ve been outside working in the gardens instead of blogging.  Most of our summer crops are in the ground and my herb beds have been weeded and the annual herbs planted…basil, dill, cilantro, and parsley (technically a bi-annual, but all of my existing plants went to seed this spring).  All of our berry bushes are loaded with blooms and even the cherry tree had a few blooms! 

But…back to the conclusion of Pig-palooza . . . → Read More: Pig-palooza 2012 – Day 4

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

Jamie Oliver

We have a guest blog featured on Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution site.

Check it out at:

Returning To . . . → Read More: Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

Pig-palooza 2012 – Day 3

IMG_0402

Day 3 – Curing and prepping for sausage making.

Bacon after smoking

I was on my own this day because Richard had to work, so after taking Noah to school I got busy.

The book I’ve been using the past couple of years for all my curing and sausage making is Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn.  It’s a great book…clear and easy to follow.

I started with the bacon, because it’s so simple.  I took out my belly portions and my jowls, coated them with a dry cure, and sealed them up in 2 gallon . . . → Read More: Pig-palooza 2012 – Day 3

Pig-palooza 2012 – Day 2

Side parts

Day 2 – Butchering

The day began with us surveying the enormous coolers residing on our kitchen floor, and deciding where to start.  Since I was going to do the curing and sausage making the next two days, we started with the loins.  The skin was removed, then we removed the ribs and cut up the chops.  I am not a big fan of pork loin roasts, so we used the whole loin for bone in and boneless chops.  We had removed the tenderloins when we cut the primals.  I saved them for the brats.  My recipe calls for pork and veal, . . . → Read More: Pig-palooza 2012 – Day 2

Pig-palooza 2012 – Day 1

Hill on the Farm

It’s taken a while to finally get around to posting about this years piggy adventure, but here goes.  We learned a lot last year, and benefitted from the experience this year.  We also did more research and read a book on home butchering, but all the demonstrations are done with 60 pound pigs.  Our pig was between 300-350 pounds…they don’t really look the same! We also decided to take a 4 day weekend, rather than trying to get everything done in 2 days.

Day 1 – Processing

We couldn’t have had a more perfect day to drive up to the farm.  After a warm week with lots . . . → Read More: Pig-palooza 2012 – Day 1

Closer to the Earth (Cycles)

IMG_0390

It was a beautiful winter day a couple of weeks ago when I looked up and noticed our giant walnut trees reaching their thousands of bare fingers up toward the light blue cloudless hue.  This time of year most days are usually grey, cloudy skies followed by an endless string of grey, cloudy days.  Everything seems grey.  The ground, the trees.  I must continuously remind myself that they are not dead only sleeping.  The way you and I do every night, but on a much more grand scale.  It is required rest for the spring and summer growth they will be putting on in just . . . → Read More: Closer to the Earth (Cycles)

Getting Ready for Pig Day 2012

It’s time to butcher our pig for 2012 this coming weekend.  Last year in preperation for our 2011 pig I found a series of videos from the Le Gourmet website that helped greatly.  Although the pigs we butcher are quite a bit larger than the video, reviewing this tutorial is reminding me of all of the hard work we will be putting in the next few days.  We are just now finishing up the last of the bacon and roast and the quality and flavor of the meat is well worth the effort.

Here is the first episode: The Whole Side

Episode 2: . . . → Read More: Getting Ready for Pig Day 2012

Closer to the Earth (A Measure of Time)

These time markers used to come and go over and over with my only thought being how I need to dress or do I need to cover the vegetable garden. Lately I have a deeper understanding of how I am linked to the cycles that have been rotating through time for millions of years and how strongly we are attached. . . . → Read More: Closer to the Earth (A Measure of Time)

2011 Harvest Evaluation

Last night we added up all of our numbers from harvests throughout the year.  Now it is time to figure out what we grew too much of and what we need to grow more of.  We have come to the conclusion that there are a few crops that we would have trouble growing the amount we use.  Potatoes, sweet potatoes, dry beans and onions are vegetables that we use so often we would need to plant our entire gardening space with each of these.  Especially potatoes.  The only thing that we can do is try to make each plant more productive.  Other . . . → Read More: 2011 Harvest Evaluation

2011 Harvest

Another year has come to an end and that means its time to go through our year end routine.  Starting the process of reviewing what we grew, evaluating how much we needed and how much we produced, then planning for 2012.  We had a few failures this year, as we do each year, but our successes far outweighed our disappointments.  So starting at step one I have listed what we grew this year below.  Among the things that were challenging this year were cabbage, winter squash, a couple of dry beans, kale, cherokee purple tomatoes, lettuce, onions, and blackeyed peas, as well as losing . . . → Read More: 2011 Harvest