Saturday, August 22, 2009

Path To Freedom

These guys are inspiring, at least to me. They have 1/5 of an acre, but produce so a tremendous amount of produce and fruit. I think they have 350 species of herb, fruit, vegetable, and berry on their little spot of ground.

We have just been trying to use every square foot of ground for something - just not weeds, and it is quite a challenge. But it seems like every day or two there is enough produce that I have to bottle or freeze something. For example, the garden huckleberrys ripen slowly, so every few days we pick the ripe ones and make a little batch of jam. This last batch was great - GH with apples and zucchinni for bulk.

Well, that's all for now. It is time to get busy on Saturdays work. If you want to get some ideas on what you can do with your yard, go and visit this site. They give a great example of what you can do with home production of food.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Low Cost Dutch Oven Cooking

We are just back from a memorable reunion in Colorado. The reunion was held on at a church camp that had once been a ranch. It was on the Western Slope of the Rockies, at about 8400 feet of elevation.

Every family took a turn preparing a meal, and we are lucky to have so many good cooks among the family. We have a couple of dutch oven cooks that are getting pretty good. Our family doesn't have a long history of cooking with dutch ovens, so this a happy condition - I think that we might not have much of a past, but we have a great future.

I like to cook with dutch ovens in the summer especially as it keeps the kitchen from being heated by the stove or oven. The only drawback that I have found is that it takes a lot of charcoal to cook several dishes, or even one dish if the food you are cooking isn't fully (or even partly) thawed.

So I have been doing some experiments with wood fires and natural charcoal. I'll be posting some results, hopefully it will help you not to have to do so much trial and error if you decide to try this. I've been trimming trees, and we don't take anything to the dump. All the little twigs get snapped and stored - so there is a lot of this little kind of trashy wood under my shed.

A couple of nights ago I wanted to cook a spaghetti squash in the DO, but was low on charcoal, and decided to try a little wood. It only took two hands full of wood to cook the squash. I'm planning to cook a chicken, and to bake some bread this week end. I will keep you posted.