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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hauling Manure

Last weekend I was able to get a couple loads of alpaca manure and today I got a couple of loads from a different place. It looks like quite a bit when you are standing next to it, but unfortunately 4 loads of manure does not go too far when it comes to planting 2 acres. But something is better than nothing right? Hopefully some time this week, I will be able to pick up at least a couple more loads, before I wash my truck. My poor truck is covered in mud, manure, and now thanks to the little bit of snow we got this week, SALT! I hate salt, it can rust out a perfectly beautiful old truck in no time. That is why I try not to drive my truck during the winter time. I love my old truck and besides the extended cab panels the body is pretty much rust free, and I have been doing some work on it to try and keep it that way. Of coarse the salt likes to work against me. Anyhow back to the manure, even though what I have gotten so far may not seem like much, I am glad I was able to get what I have. Hopefully it will be worth all the work it took to haul it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Okra and Diabetes

I was reading a book about nutrition and food, and read in it that okra can be useful in regulating diabetes. So of course I had to go home and do some research online. I found some very interesting information about taking two pieces of okra cutting off the ends, cutting them in half and soaking them overnight in a glass of water. In the morning you remove the okra and drink the water. I read online on several different sites where people have commented that they have tried this and it has actually gotten rid of their diabetes or lowered it considerably.

I guess I should have mentioned first off that one of my dogs actually has diabetes. This is why I was particularly interested in okra helping with diabetes. About a month ago I tried this for almost a week with my dog, Copper. I did not want to give it to him for too long since I was not 100% sure okra really is the best thing for dogs, found some info online suggesting that it may not be. Anyhow for the past week Copper's sugar has actually been below 200, it has even been below 150 half the time. His sugar is usually around or above 250, so it has definitely been unusually low. Whether it is the okra that has helped or something else, I thought it was something that was interesting enough to mention.

I will make sure I post updates to let everyone know how things go with Copper.

Okra also has been said to help with many other health conditions including digestive disorders.

Here are some links with some interesting info about the benefits of okra (especially raw okra).

Something2Share Blog - This is one of the first sites I came across when I started searching for info on okra. The comments at the end are interesting, a bunch of people commented on how it helped them.Link
Health Benefits of Okra

NaturalFoodBenefits.com - Okra

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Where Grocery Store Tomatoes Come From

I was looking at various websites today about where grocery store vegetables come form and came across one that I thought was worth mentioning. This site is about Florida grow tomatoes. This article was called:

Why Supermarket Tomatoes Suck
This article is written by Barry Estabrook and he has a book out called Tomatoland which after seeing this article I just may have to read.

It explains in great detail exactly how many different chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers) are used on these tomatoes. In this article he states, "According to figures compiled by the Florida Tomato Exchange, an industry group, a grower typically applies more than $2,000 worth of chemical fertilizers and pesticides to every acre of tomatoes (an area about the size of a football field) that he raises during a season." To think If I were to follow these practices I would spend around $4,000 on chemicals for my 2 acres that I plant on. What more can I say that is just plain insane!

He also talks about when then tomatoes are picked, as you may already know most supermarket tomatoes are picked when they are still green and ripened by being gassed with ethylene. But one thing that I found interesting was if these tomatoes have even a trace of pink on them are not harvested.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Recipes from Thanksgiving

First off I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
I do not know why but this year unfortunately I did not take any pictures of everything at Thanksgiving. I think because I was trying to keep things a little bit simpler this year. Normally I would be really excited about Thanksgiving, since it is the time of year when I get to cook up a large variety of everything that we grew. This year I was not quite a excited since not everything that I cooked up had been grown by us, because this year was such a bust with all the rain and all.

Any I just thought I would share a couple of new recipes that I tried with you guys. One is a recipe for butternut squash and the other is for beets. Usually I would cook up my butternut squash for Thanksgiving with brown sugar and butter in the oven, but since I am trying to stay away from sugar (due to the fact that sugar always gives me a headache) my old way of cooking winter squash was just not going to work. So I found this recipe that did not contain any sugar and I think it turned out pretty good.

Butternut Squash Casserole
3 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 cup milk
1 package crushed Ritz crackers
2 tbls. butter

Place squash in a saucepan and cover with water bring to a boil. Cook until soft, remove and drain; mash. In another bowl combine eggs, cheese, onion, and milk; add to the mashed squash and mix. Transfer to a baking dish. Sprinkle with cracker crumbs. Dot with butter. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

This next recipe I found on allrecipes.com. When I made it I didn't exactly measure things out just sort of threw it together. I do not think that I used quite as much olive oil and vinegar that the recipe called for, and I also added more garlic than the recipe said. I do think that the beets taste their best the first day that they are made, but that is just my opinion.

Garlicky Beets
6 medium beets
3 tbls. olive oil
2 tbls. red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic

Boil the beets until tender at least 45 minutes. Remove the skins as soon as the beets have cooled enough to handle after they have been strained. Slice the beets and toss with all ingredients.