Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Everyone - go hug your meats!

My friend, C, over at Krazo Acres (who is hilarious, btw) was kind enough to post this news story on 'the facebook' the other day.... and she graciously allowed me a "told you so."  Yep. "Who could have possibly have guessed," "what did you think was going to happen", and "good luck, suckers."

Go hug your meats. 

You can read more about this latest scandal here... and here. Think about the players here - McD's, Yum Brands, and Starbucks. Do you really think these big companies didn't do their due diligence? No one set any standards or had any requirements in these enormous contracts? And the meat companies still couldn't get it right?

Good thing that we have a trade deal that allows chicken to be processed in China.... without any country of origin (or processing) labeling.

I'm sure everything will be fine.

In the meantime, we butchered some more chickens on Sunday and will probably get a few more done today. No one is happier for those creepy meats than I am.

I've had a few discussions with non-farm folks lately about butchering our own meats. These conversations always go about the same way and include arm flapping, squealing in horror, and shocked looks. Sometimes there is crying - not by me.

I recently was up to our Good Vets office when one of the techs came out and tried to pawn off some of her extra roosters on me. She even tried to bribe me with a bottle of wine. Sure - I'll always take some booze.

"But you know," I said, "We always say 'when you start to crow, you got to go' so those roos are going directly into the pot."  I thought she would appreciate my honestly.

Tears filled her eyes. "But... but...they are just banty roosters and they are so cute."

"Ah...so they are useless and small, well... they will make for some smaller meals but that is OK..." I said thinking about how they would best be cooked.

Then I realized a grown woman was about to start crying right in front of me. I hugged her. It didn't work. She might have muttered "you monster" under her breath. I shrugged because I knew she was about to go back to eating her lunch that she got from a fast food place. Where did she think that chicken sandwich came from? After a while the irony kind of grinds on you so I just didn't say anything else.

We also had an incident where a friend of someone we know got a mixed bag of chicks...and a couple ended up being meat chickens. They didn't know what to do with them and asked if we wanted them? Sure. So we ran right over. There was, for me, entirely too much arm flapping and bewailing the fate of those creepy meats. And hugging. There was too much hugging. We just nodded and put the meats in the cage in the back of our car and drove away fast. It was weird.

Some people think that we farm types have a hard edge but I like to think we are just more realistic. The circle of life and death spins very very tightly around here and we have a front row seat.  I'm no longer squeamish about it. We aren't grossed out by butchering - we think it's kind of interesting and results in delicious food that we made ourselves. Are we grateful that we have these skills? Yes we are.

Not only are we free from worry about who, where, and how our food is processed... we also have better quality meat than can be found at the store. Food independence? Oh yes. Thank heavens.

Can you make your own meat? Yes you can. Most folks have similar concerns before they get started with raising their own food. Here are a couple posts to help you get started:

How to eat food that you know

My top 10 butcher day tips

What do you do with the roosters?

How do you decide who is first?

 Rooster day tips

The hardest thing in getting started is... getting started. How you think about it is the key. Can you do it? Yep. Just get out there and give it a try. If it really is too creepy you can probably find a local processor so all you need to do is load up the meats and drop them off. I don't think that is cheating and if it works out better for you that way then that is just fine. Everyone has their limit.

If you don't have anywhere to raise your own meat then what can you do? Shop locally. Go to your local farm market, ask for recommendations, seek out smaller butchers who can tell you where the meat was sourced and processed. There are a lot of great options out there.  Including some very special farmers around here.


While they don't currently have chicken Tilton Hollow has have amazing pigs. You can buy feeders to raise yourself or reserve your half or whole pork when they are processed in the fall. They have turkeys too!

Don't forget about their gofundme project to rehab their glorious old barn.

Happy Tuesday everyone! Are you shocked and horrified by the latest Chinese food scandal? I don't know about you but the only Chinese chicken around here is going to be later today when I make General Tso's for dinner. 



Friday, June 26, 2015

Stumptown!

From time to time my husband has occasion to go to the hippest and coolest eateries for his job. Hoots he has for going to any of these places = zero. I have all kinds of hoots for going to cool places.. but I don't get to go. So I just stand in the driveway sullenly and watch him drive away. Sometimes my sad looks pay off..... and that is how I got this the other day!

Talk about a hipster breakfast!

I love Stumptown coffee so much... but I haven't been able to find it locally and it's expensive to order. So I was thrilled when The Big Man brought me home a bag of beans.

I got up early the next morning just to make some coffee. (Here are my coffee making gadgets.)And then I had a maple bacon bar to go with it, of course. Thanks, 8 Sisters Bakery!

Even more rain coming in... I dunno.... this getting hard to deal with. I had to rip out the rest of the broccoli and everything is soggy. Good thing I have some spectacular coffee to make me happy!

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Blueberries and bee update

The blueberries have come on!

Yay! Now I just have to keep the birds from eating them.

About those beez from yesterday... they flew away. Good thing my husband didn't drop what he was doing and rush home. The beez were gone less than an hour after I took the picture. When he got home, tho, he looked all around for them. Nothing. We think it's kind of a weird time for hives to split but hey - if we can snag some free beez then that's OK with us.

Happy Thursday everyone!  How are your beez and berries?


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I didn't think anything interesting would happen today...

..until I almost walked into this SWARM OF BEEZ!

Holy cow! Look at them!

They are in one of the smaller fruit trees in the garden - and wouldn't you know it... My hubs is working today. Drat. I'm going to go and set a nuc box up by them and hope he gets home before they fly away.

Look at that!

And no, I'm not going to capture them. I am not the beekeeper in this family. Mostly my job is to stand on the porch with a can of Raid and yell to my husband, "NO! DO NOT RUN THIS WAY!"

I hope they hang around for a while so he can get them.

Happy Wednesday everyone! Do you expect anything interesting to happen today? How about some free beez?


Monday, June 22, 2015

Potatoes - got 'em!

My friend K reminded me to go and check for new potatoes.... I got some! We had a few for dinner last nite and I was very very glad. What a super find!

First of the potatoes. 

These are from the April 20th planting... so that is just about right. Even tho I planted a 50lbs sack of seed spuds, I'm not sure I'm going to have a huge harvest. I'm not sure what went wrong - maybe too cold, maybe too wet, maybe not a great batch of seed starts. So we'll see.

Unrelated pic our of Shine in an old apple crate.

In the meantime the rain finally, mercifully stopped. Tropical Storm Bill was a total downer... we got two months worth of rain in a week. Everything is a big muddy, soupy mess. No one is happy but the ducks. But it looks like we are on the upside and hopefully we will dry out.

There will have to be a lot of weeding - it's like a jungle out there. I'm hoping to get caught up. I'm mulching as fast and I can go and using a lot of cardboard to try and smother out what I can.

Happy Monday everyone - are you getting your taters taken up?


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Affogato - OFG Style

I've been in a muddle ever since I found out my favorite local ice cream place closed again due to production problems. I see they are about to reopen their shops so hope is on the horizon. But until they are up and running I've been taking matters into my own hands. I've been making affogato.

Affogato. OFG style.

What's that? Heaven.... affogato is pure heaven. Pretty much it's just espresso poured over ice cream but something magical happens when hot, strong coffee mixes with ice cream. Of course, I have to add my own special fixin's to get it just right.

Magic is happening here. I love you coffee!

First, start with some espresso. Bialetti stovetop espresso maker. I have the stainless version. I just love it. Of course I have a friend who owns a coffee shop so the beans were a gift - a special roasting.

Bittersweet hot fudge is the foundation for this tasty treat.

Next, get your favorite cup ready. You'll need a dollop of hot fudge sauce - you make your own, right? I love this recipe.

Look how easy! And you can make just a little bit.

Now get just a little bit of whipped cream ready. No, not the fake stuff - you can make just the right amount with your milk frother. I use mine every day. It's perfect to make the foam for my coffee in the morning... and perfect when you want just a little whipped cream.  Just put a cream little in a cup and give it a whirl.

Look at this pour over....

Here is where everything comes together. Quick as you can get a scoop of ice cream into the cup - right on top of the hot fudge..then pour over the espresso. Plop on the whipped cream... and if you really really want to be fancy then shake the smallest amount of cocoa on top.

Perfect.

We are having another supersoaker of a day so nothing to do inside but sit around and make snacks.

Happy Saturday everyone! Are you making affogato?



Editors note: Gosh we haven't had an affiliate post for a while... sometimes I forget. So here we go - some of my favorite products that I use every day. Why am I posting these Amazon purchases? Well, I need to be able to cover the "cost" of this blog and this is how I do it.  If you click on one of the links and buy something then I get a small percentage of the sale. It could be anything from Amazon - hopefully something you need anyway. Books, movies, any of these products... anything. I have to tell you this so you don't think I'm pulling the wool over your eyes. So if you like this blog, or if I've helped you at all in your farming efforts, just make a purchase from Amazon from one of the links, my store, or the black Amazon search box on the right side of this page. I can't see who purchases what or any of the details. Thank you - I really appreciate your support!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sometimes you have to go and look for your blessing

I have determined that everyone has lost their minds. Especially in light of the troubling news this morning. What kind of world do we live in? Then throw in your own problems - like the unending rain, flooding, endless mud, the heat of the fire swamp...sometimes it's easy to get down.

Well, what do you know?

Sometimes you just need one thing to go right.

We've had a bunch of stupid stuff go wrong lately. Not anything earth shaking but tough enough to send us into fits. Some of it is self-created - but that doesn't mean it makes it any easier. It was so bad the other day that I actually laid on the floor with the dogs. Knowing I needed comfort my Dog#1 snuggled up in front of me and Zander laid right down next to me, back to back. Kai and Lucky tucked in where they could.

With my Good Shepherd before me and The Black Death behind me - whom shall I fear? What harm could befall me?  Mostly just Nicholas making his way into the dog pile but he just wanted to see what was going on.

I really needed one thing to go right today. I'm on my third shirt of the day and have been working out in the fire swamp doing battle against the Weeds of Doom. I had to rip out all my ruined broccoli and I'm fighting my way to the onions. It's just really frustrating being out in shirt-soaking humidity and the boot sucking mud - and then I couldn't find any good solutions for lunch.

Of course I turned to pie.

To be fair, I had a pie crust that I had to use... or that would go bad. Just another stupid thing in a line of annoyances. But we didn't have any fruit, nothing interesting to make, so I decided on this. But I really just needed three perfect eggs. I had some "been on the counter a while eggs." Dang.

So I put on my muddy boots and stomped back outside with very low expectations and I found..... three perfect eggs. In the easiest spot ever. Just sitting there waiting for me.

It was a good reminder not to get overwhelmed by all the boot-sucky things that happen or fall into the pit of negativity. Sometimes your blessing is waiting for you - you just have to get up and go out to the barn and get it.

This weather will pass, we will all pull together, and everything is going to be alright.

Lift your eyes up, friends. We are all in this together. Now lets all have a happy Thursday! Did you find your blessing right where you needed it to be? Did it result in pie?


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