The Benefits of Choosing Animals Raised on Pasture

In her book Pasture Perfect: The Far Reaching Benefits of Choosing Meat, Eggs, and Dairy Products from Grass-Fed Animals, Jo Robinson explains how products from animals raised on pasture are great for our health. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my basis for choosing food to just be that it does not contain harmful substances such as hormones, antibiotics, or pesticides.  I want to go much farther than that, and choose food that is nutrient-dense.Continue Reading

What’s in the Garden is What’s for Dinner

This time of year, the garden plans my menu. Whatever is ready for harvest is generally what’s for dinner. Our freezer is full of meat from local farms, and tonight we had pork chops with our vegetables. I brined the pork chops for a few hours in a quart of water with 1/4 c. of sea salt, drained them and patted them dry. Then Mike grilled them along with lots of veggies – green beans, broccoli, eggplant, okra and several types of peppers. While he was grilling, I chopped a few fresh tomatoes, a cucumber, a small onion, basil, parsley and oregano and tossed it together with mayonnaise*, salt and pepper and some garlic. Ready in 20 minutes and so delicious! What are you eating from your garden?

*It’s difficult to find a good store bought mayo. If you don’t make your own, this is one of the best I have been able to find.

300 x 250To learn how to build a garden that builds healthy soil, be sure to check out my eBook The Art of Gardening: Building Your SoilYou really can become a better gardener, and you really can grow healthy, nourishing produce. It’s all about the soil! Click here to buy now.


DIY Airlock for Fermentation

DIY Airlock for Fermentation

Gasket Hole Punch

I have been fermenting vegetables in a beautiful, old crock with success. The problem is, having only one vessel, I can only ferment one vegetable at a time. Canning jars are an option, but both the crock and the canning jars are less than ideal in terms of letting air in, as gases escape. I considered purchasing a Pickle-Pro Fermenting Lid, but in the meantime I stumbled upon this post at GNOWFGLINS. Yay! I Mike could make my own a few for me.

Punching the hole.

I purchased 4 – 1/2″ Fermenter Lid Grommets and 4 Airlocks at a wine shop. The grommets were $.80 each and the airlocks were $1.29 each. The grommet creates a seal between the airlock and the fermenting jar lid. The airlock allows CO2 to escape during fermentation, and prevents air from going back into the  jar. Mike used a gasket hole punch, rather than a drill as in the post we read, and punched a 1/2″ hole in 4 wide mouth canning jar lids. He had no trouble inserting the grommets (as in the post), and then pushed the airlocks down through the grommet. Voila! For $8.86 (I paid $.50 tax), I had 4 fermenting lids.

For a good article on the safety of Mason Jar Ferments, read here. For more information on fermenting, I recommend The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods by Wardeh Harmon.

Shared at Rural Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Fight Back Friday, Farmgirl Friday, Homesteader Blog Carnival, Homestead Barn Hop, Monday Mania, Fat Tuesday, Teach Me Tuesday, Tuesday Garden Party, Living Green, Hearth and Soul, Real Food Wednesday, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Whole Food Wednesdays, Healthy 2Day