Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

February 23, 2011

Supporting the Local Economy

I mentioned a couple of posts back about a Utah seed company that I generally get seed from.

One of the main reasons that I patronized them was because I like to try to support local businesses if I can and to keep those dollars in our state. Well I have a new sponsor to point out to you that you should take a look into for any upcoming seed purchases that you need to make. Hometown Seeds. They are also a UT local company and they have what seems to be a reasonable GMO free policy. You can find a link to them --> right over there in the side bar.

I will add the caviat that I am receiving from them a free herb seed collection and that I have not prior to this ordered from them. I will certainly let you know in the future about my experience, and would love to hear about any input you have.

Support your local companies when you can.

February 21, 2011

Using the harvest

As we approach the new season, I thought I'd mention an important part of what goes into planning our garden, how we will use our harvest through the year.

This Monday we decided to make some paninni sandwiches for lunch and one of our favorite additions to our sandwiches are sun dried Roma tomatoes.

Here we have a bag of dried tomatoes from August of last year, that I'm going to make a batch of re-hydrated tomatoes with.

The first thing that I do when I re-hydrate tomatoes is to place a portion larger than what I actually want to eat (if you're going to make them, you may as well make enough to enjoy for a while.) and place them in a bowl.
To this I add some luke warm water, but just less than it would take to soak them all because I like to add a bit of balsamic vinegar to add some extra flavor to them too.

After an hour our so, the tomatoes will be tender and you can either eat them then or store them for later. To store the tomatoes for later, we place them in one or two small canning jars and add some olive oil to just cover them. This will store easily in the fridge for at least a week.

Now... to revisit our homemade ravioli recipe... sun-dried tomato and ricotta??? What's your favorite way to enjoy sun-dried tomatoes?

February 15, 2011

Planning the planting

I dug out the seed storage tonight for a little inventory. A few of the seeds that we have are getting a little old so will need to be replaced, but the bulk of the seed we have should be good to go. This year I'm doing something that I should have been doing all along... making a checklist of the seeds that I have and the plants I want to grow and will bring that with me when I go to buy my seed. I buy most of my seed through Mountain Valley Seeds. I get no support from them, so that's not why I mention them, (although I'm not opposed to it if they want to contact me...) I like to go through them because they are based out of SLC, so they are local, plus I am able to get much of my seed from local vendors or nursarys and save myself and the planet the shipping costs. Also, they do a really good job of marking what is hybrid and what is open pollenated or heirloom.

The plant list for this year looks like this:
broccoli romanesco,
brussels sprouts,
cabbage (red & green),
peas (shelling &sugar snap),
green beans,
green, red, yellow, jalapenos
tomatoes: roma, heartland,
hamson, hillbilly, amish, cherry
onions : green, yellow and red
Charentais melons, butternut squash,
dry beans,
sweet potato,
kale (italian &curly),


It's ambitious for certain, but not really hugely more than we've grown before. There are a couple of new additions though worth mentioning, for instance tobacco which can be used as an organic pesticide, and hops for home beer making. (That will be covered in a forthcoming post.) Either way, after last years miserable failure, we are really going after it this year.

Anyone else getting started with their plant lists or garden planning yet? Planning any new trial plants this year?
Love to hear about it
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February 13, 2011

The Most Local Meat

In a follow up to the last post that I put up, regarding my search for more sustainable and local meat sources I thought I'd share with you one of the most local sources of meat that I have access to. FISH!

Since just after the new year, our local reservoirs and lakes have been frozen over and ice fishing has been good. I grew up in Southern California, and access to fresh seafood was never an issue, but I really hate to buy seafood here in the Intermountain west, because anything that I get has to be trucked in and is never as fresh as it could be and also has a pretty significant carbon foot print. That isn't even taking into consideration the issues of overfishing of our oceans that really needs to be a concern of everyone.

With the lakes frozen and the ice fishing on, none of those things are a concern.

This reservoir is only a half hour drive from our house, and is close enough that within 1 hour I can be on the lake fishing. What more could I ask for? Well, except for maybe actually catching something that is... And I had a little of that luck too lately.

These little guys averaged 12-15 inches and were plentiful the last few times I've been up.

The funny thing, is that I know Trout are a members of the salmonid family, but in the winter it seems they really live up to their family name, look at how orange and salmon color they were.

AND, they were delicious too. No complaints here at all.
Anyone else been out on the ice or bringing in their own "wild" meat sources? I'd love to hear about it.
Take Care.

February 9, 2011

I almost gave up...

Really, I was this close to it. I'd done my homework, diligently looked for alternative options and had come up short. All but for one option that I thought I'd already covered... bingo! Oh geez, sorry, I guess I didn't mention what the heck I was talking about, let me take you back a little ways in my thinking and this might make a little more sense.

Every year I take a look at my life and try to find the things that I think I really have a chanced at making a difference in with it. One year I decided too really focus on learning about and becoming more sustainable, another I focused on really getting a good yield from our garden and so on. Some years have been more successful than others, but all have enabled me to at least take a good look at how and why I am doing things the way I am. This year was no different, I just haven't had the chance to get online and put it down in writing for posterity.

The thing that I've decided on, or had decided on but wasn't sure was going to happen, was to finally put my money where my mouth is and actually make a concerted effort to consume primarily sustainable meat products. I'll get into the details more another time, but let me first finish what I was saying about almost not even being able to do it at all.

So, as I was saying, I had been looking for options to buying what is essentially factory meats, beef in particular, and had not had a lot of luck. Oh there were products available, but really they were pretty price prohibitive because you generally have to buy them by the quarter or the half of beef, which at $3.00 - $5.00/lb and two to four hundred pounds respectively, is quite an investment. I looked into a couple of local producers that I knew of, combed the web for others and talked to friends that I knew had ordered "good" grass-fed beef before. Still I came up short, and that's where we came in to this whole story - with me about ready to give up on the whole experiment before the first month was over.

If you've been reading this blog for very long at all then you've probably heard my proselytizing about how we can and will receive those things that we believe in and fully expect will come... well, here we go again. Just as I was about to give up on the whole thing, and I mean the day I had really gotten down about it, I had a friend of mine mention that he was in a conversation with a guy the day before who had mentioned that he bought locally raised grass-fed beef from a local butcher that was literally just around the corner from my house. I had talked with that same butcher last year when they opened the shop about this exact thing and had found them, quite honestly, to be what I thought of as very pro grain fed and not very open to the idea of organic local products. I decided that I at least had to check in with them and see if what I had heard was right and lucky day it was! As it turns out, there are a couple of other families that are also coming to the butcher for local grass-fed beef and he's able to get it in regularly on request. While we were in there he did have some very nice pieces of tenderloin available from the local provider so we went ahead and bought a few steaks.

This weekend we grilled them up and ate them with some homemade butternut squash ravioli and roasted fingerling potatoes and they were delicious! Our boys, who are sort of on the fence meat eaters, like to have steak occasionally but really can't stand fat; that wasn't a problem with this meat. The steaks were very tender with just enough marbling to give them good flavor, but not enough to make them fatty. I think we have a winner.

Oh, and by the way, the butternut squash raviolis... delicious! I'll have to get around to getting that recipe up online for ya'll.
Be well.
more to come soon.