Book: The Urban Farm Handbook

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Posted by Angie | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 23-04-2012

We just returned from an extended weekend trip. How lovely it was! The children’s grandparents kept them for the weekend while Andy & I went to Nashville, IN and Bloomington, IN. We had a reception to attend Saturday evening, but the rest of the time we had to ourselves. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Janko’s Little Zagreb in Bloomington on Friday evening, walked around the Indiana University campus, and did some relaxing. The weather was a little rough so we didn’t get to spend as much time outside as we had hoped, but that’s okay. Friday night we stayed at the Brown County Inn. I made a mistake in booking that room… I though that it was in Brown County State Park. It was actually in Nashville. The price was too steep for the quality of the room and the walls were paper thin… we could hear everything in the hallway and in the room next door. So on Saturday night we stayed at the Artist’s Colony Inn in Nashville. It was much nicer… clean room, nice staff, very quiet, and our stay included a breakfast buffet in their restaurant. We had a great time, but it was so wonderful to see the kids when we returned and get back to normal today.

Today I just wanted to write a quick review of The Urban Farm Handbook. I heard about this book from the GNOWFGLINS blog, and checked it out from the library. I got sidetracked with Paleo information while having this book so I didn’t get to read it cover to cover. But after browsing through it I’ve decided that it’s one I would like to add to my personal library. It isn’t just for the urban farmer. There are great tips in there for getting started eating healthy and local if you live in the city, but there are also more extensive tips if you want to implement these practices yourself. There was a small section on beekeeping that I would like to explore more thoroughly. Great recipes including those for bacon, ham, sausage. Lots of information on canning, including fermentation. The list goes on. Unfortunately, the book is in high demand so I have to return in to the library, but it’s already been added to my Amazon wish list.

21 Weeks

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Posted by Angie | Posted in Baby, Family | Posted on 19-04-2012

Wow! Is that correct?? It’s hard to believe that I’m already over halfway there. Or if this pregnancy goes like my others I’m probably not even halfway (sigh).

I’m feeling pretty great. I think that my diet change has helped with fatigue. I’m trying to take my daily supplements, eat healthy, and get around 7-8 hours of sleep per night. I do still get a little exhausted, but that’s to be expected with 4 little ones running around. I’ve still been doing a lot of research on the Paleo diet and pregnancy. There’s not a whole lot of information out there, but what I’ve found makes it sound safe. Robb Wolf (The Paleo Solution) recommends adding in extra carbs and fat during pregnancy. So I haven’t been stressing about eating extra fruit.

My exercise has definitely been lacking. I’m hoping to get back on track with walking and squats this week (along with the dreaded Kegel’s, I don’t know why I hat those things so much!). The lack of exercise might be why I’ve already gained 16 pounds. Ugh. Oh well, I tend to really pack on the weight but luckily it comes off fairly easily after the birth.

Baby’s really starting to move around a lot now too. I think that has to be the most exciting sensation ever… feeling life inside of you. I had my drink glass resting on my tummy this morning & got a kick hard enough to move the glass. Wow!

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2012 Plans for the Farm

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Posted by Angie | Posted in Chickens, Farming, Garden, Pigs, Turkeys | Posted on 16-04-2012

Our 2012 plans are a bit different than they were in 2011. I had huge plans last year. They included chickens, pigs, turkeys, guineas, bees, & a dairy cow. Some of those came to fruition & some did not.

This year we’re going to take it easy. Our chickens from last year total about 15. Around 10 of those are 2 years old so in the fall they will serve as our stew chickens for the winter. It will be hard to part with them, as I know each one of them, but such is the life on a farm. The other 5 will stay around another year. We still have 1 guinea hen, who at this point is just a noisy pet (although she does give us 1 small egg per day). Four turkeys remain, 2 hens & 2 toms. They’ll stick around for now. I unsuccessfully tried to incubate around 20 eggs. Not a 1 was fertilized. I do believe that 1 of the toms will grace our Thanksgiving table this November. We also have the 51 Araucana & Silver-Laced Wyandotte chicks. All of the cocks will feed our bellies this winter, & the hens will start producing eggs around August.

We are considering not raising pigs this year. Partly because I haven’t heard back from my Gloucestershire Old Spot source, & partly because we’re thinking of investing the money in some other areas. We still don’t have a fence or barn, & we would really like to get those things taken care of so that we can add a dairy cow to the mix. Our freezer will be pretty full of meat after next week (more on that to come) so we should be okay skipping the pigs this year, & possibly finding a local source for bacon & sausage after ours runs out. I can’t survive without those!

Lord willing, we will also be planting a fairly large garden to provide all of our summer vegetables, & hopefully will be able to preserve some also. We just need someone to come do some tilling for us. Although the gardening will be tough with my ever expanding belly, & a little one due at just the time when I need to be canning all those tomatoes! If it’s meant to be then the Lord will help me find a way.

Our honeybees died over the winter. I’m hoping that Alex & I can take a beekeeping course next spring & then we can add those back into the mix. I was just too scared of them last year.

So, that’s it. Much smaller plans but maybe much more doable. I’m still very excited about all that we have going on here, & everything that we have to look forward to!

Saturday Pictures

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Posted by Angie | Posted in Chickens, Family, Farming | Posted on 14-04-2012

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Egg Laying

 

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5-week old chicks

 

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Rock Wall climbing

 

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Garden Seeds

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Posted by Angie | Posted in Garden, Uncategorized | Posted on 13-04-2012

I am so excited about gardening this year! I’m not sure what I’ll be able to get done since we’re expecting a little one in August or September, but right now I am ready to start planting some seeds. Even though I have lots of seeds from years past I still ordered a good amount this year. All of my seeds have been purchased from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. To help me stay more organized I am making a list of all of the seeds that I have on hand, and I’ve alphabetized my stash.

  • Beans: Purple, Dragon Tongue, Blue Lake
  • Beets: Choiggia, Bull’s Blood, Detroit Dark Red
  • Broccoli: Romanesco Italia, Waltham
  • Cabbage: Brunswick
  • Carrots: Parisienne, Little Finger, Amarillo, Danvers
  • Cauliflower: Snowball, Giant of Naples
  • Corn: Country Gentleman (Sweet), Dakota Black (Pop), Pencil Cob (Dent), Rainbow Inca (Sweet)
  • Cucumbers: Long Anglais, Lemon, Parisian Pickling, Mexican Sour Gherkin, Japanese Long, Snow’s Pickling
  • Kale: Ornamental Fringed, Russian Red
  • Lettuce: Arugula, Romaine, Little Gem
  • Melon: Moon & Stars, Tigger, Anne Arundel, Wilson Sweet
  • Okra: Harlow’s Homestead, Burgundy
  • Onions: Leeks, Jaune Paille des Vertus
  • Peas: Lincoln, Blue Podded, Laxton’s Progress, Little Marvel
  • Radish: Pink Beauty
  • Spinach
  • Squash: Rouge Vif D’Etampes (Winter), Buttercup (Winter), Straightneck (Summer), Lady Godiva (Winter), Early Golden (Summer), Striata D’Italia (Summer), Acorn (Winter), Pie Pumpkin (Winter), Pumpkin Mix (Ornamental)
  • Swiss Chard: Flamingo Pick, Five Color
  • Tomato: Amish Paste, Chadwick Cherry, Creme Brulee
  • Turnip

Lots & lots of seeds. Hopefully we’ll have our garden tilled soon and we can start putting some of these seeds in the ground. Our garden will be placed where our chickens have been the past two years. We’re thinking that should be some nice fertile soil!

New Diet

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Posted by Angie | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 12-04-2012

In an effort to improve health and perhaps lose a few pounds we will be trying out a new diet. I’ve done a lot of reading on the Paleo Diet lately. It has me interested in implementing a few of the rules to try for us. Only because of the great success stories that I’ve read, not because I think that we have evolved from a certain type of diet over millions of years.

We will be following this diet solidly for 3 weeks and keeping track of our progress to see if it is worth implementing these changes long-term.

  • No eating out (Tough 1 for us)
  • No grains of any sort (This includes wheat, corn, rice, quinoa, kamut, etc.)
  • We will continue to eat legumes for now in moderation even though those are not Paleo-friendly
  • We will continue to eat dairy, but only raw & pastured (or organic at the least)
  • No refined sugars (honey & maple syrup are OK in moderation)
  • Exercise (mainly walking) at least 5 days a week
  • My supplements include 3 New Chapter prenatal vitamins, 2 kelp capsules, 1 Tummy Tune-up probiotic capsule, 1 tsp. dolomite powder, 1 Tbs. Sonnie’s cod liver oil

Here are some great Paleo blogs where I’ve been gleaning inspiration and recipe ideas.

Now I just need to figure out the exact date when we’ll  be starting. I’d like it to be as soon as possible but we have a couple of weekend trips coming up, both of which will probably include some eating out.