Monday, September 17, 2012

Real life takes time..

This next 2 weeks will be super-duper busy here at Maple Valley Farm!  I have been pacing myself knowing what is coming.  I did a ton of cooking ahead and that will really help.  It always seems like we can fit everything in and then “oops” we still have to eat.  The way we cook and eat, well, there is nothing quick about it so I must always be planning ahead.  We are having out-of-town guests...
This chilly morning brought banana muffins and bacon from the wood cook stove.  Split pea and ham (from our recent butcher) soup has been simmering in the pot these last few days with a few garden carrots, a garlic clove onions and some fresh herbs from the garden for dinner and supper.  We are known to eat the same meal more than a few times in a row but with a fairly large family size AKA cooking for an army, this is one way I have learned to make my life easier. This week I will also be relying on my staple bread recipe -  6-3-3-13 that I have mentioned here before

The tomatoes are very late this year.  I am happy that I have tomatoes.  Early season forecast was not looking good as I have a blight area that I cannot seem to get rid of.  It’s my fault, each year I have been replanting tomatoes in this spot after a proper cleaning - hoping for a different outcome.  Early on the tomatoes were blighting but I am happy to report it was only a ½ bushel at most and now the tomatoes seem fine.  I planted in a second spot as well, far from the other area, and these faired very well.  Our first even orange tomatoes did not show up until the LAST week of August.  Most summers we have orangey tomatoes by the 4th of July.  This very early spring killed our apple buds and then the drought did not help the garden at all! Thankfully we have a beautiful and abundant grape harvest!  We will be canning juice this week. Our animal corn crop did not fare well.  I suppose it doesn’t help using open pollinated corn and the fact that we do not have the high fangled equipment to weed, we do not spray and more. 

This brings me to another point.  It is hard when you live by large “successful” (in a non-organic way) commercial farms that grow very tall EVERYTHING: hay, potatoes and corn, TALL CORN.  It sometimes gets discouraging.  Our corn pales in comparison when you drive by.  But at the end of the day, we sleep very well knowing we do not use GMO seeds, we do not spray ANYTHING (even organic sprays are harmful, just politically voted in as “safe”) and the same with our animal harvests.  

Our beef is grass fed (very small herd currently).  The public is not used to what size grass fed beef are, how they can taste and how long they take to finish off.  Beef was NEVER supposed to eat corn.  Animals never had a time frame where they “had to grow to a certain size”.  When you needed meat you just went and processed a “good size” animal if you needed a lot or you processed an “any size” animal to suit your need.  We think of it this way, "what did Jesus eat"...  

One butcher actually refused our beef to process because it did not contain enough fat (AKA he did not make enough money on processing it).  Same with our chickens and turkeys.  I hate to break it to ya, but the “Butterball” white turkey in the grocery store most of America uses for Thanksgiving doesn’t even taste like a real turkey!  If you have ever had true, farm raised (outdoors and completely free ranged) turkey it actually has a rich and good “gamey” (that word has gained a negative connotation for what an animal is really supposed to taste like in a fresh and real form) taste and aroma.  This “gamey” statement can be true on what most people find any fresh tasting animal.  Our pork is smaller at the time most people butcher.  When we WAIT to butcher when it is actually the right size, that means Porky is truly ready, it just took a little longer...  

The public is crying out for real food however, even they are surprised when it does not “taste” how they have been used to tasting it for generations.  I believe ALL of us need to change our minds and views on what true good food really is, the size of it and how it tastes.  Lastly, that real turkey is also tougher than what you are used to tasting :)...  Oh and it does not come with that little pop up timer thingy either!
All this to say, real life, real food and real ANYTHING takes time.  Life is so rushed these days.  We want instant gratification, instant everything.  We should not have to wait – we live in America! It is really sad if you think about it.  I know this family still has many of those tendencies.  We are always working towards simplicity but the real world pulling us back in!  I mean, here we are entering a busy 2 weeks.  I think I have changed though to realize that what is coming will be busy and I am trying to plan ahead to ward off some of the stressors that come with that.
How about you?  What do you do to plan ahead so that you can embrace the thought that “real life takes time”?


HomemakerAng and Co.


Tina Leigh said...

So you are in my head again!! So true EVERYTHING YOU SAID HERE!! I guess we will always struggle in this world...its a Satan thing, really. The first few years after Danny & I were married...we hunted for the meat that went in our freezers. We hunted on state management areas. Wild hog, deer, turkey. Then we went to the rivers for our fish and to the ocean for our shrimp. We processed our on food mainly because we couldnt afford otherwise. It did taste different but it was good to us!! Later, when we could afford a deer to be processed we found that it was expensive and some of THE BEST MEAT came back as hamburger!!

Our harvest season is coming and I try to prepare you said, WE GOTTA EAT! But during harvest, we work from daylight until we make ourselves quit after dark. If I dont prepare, we end up eating junk food.

It is a busy time of the year, but it is a good time. It is when we reap what we have worked for all year long.

Cary at Serenity Farms said...

Well, it takes a year for my sheep to grow a full lovely, beautiful fleece. It takes me a long time to wash and prepare the wool for spinning. It takes a long time to spin the wool to yarn and then to knit, crochet or weave a garment. And then have someone ask why I would do that when I can go to a "big box" store and buy socks for just a few dollars ;)

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