Why I Stopped Being Dogmatic About My Diet…

fad diet,paleo diet,grain free

**Please Note** This post is NOT referring to people who must be on certain diets because of allergies or health problems. I fully acknowledge that is a different issue entirely.

I’ve been noticing an interesting phenomenon lately…

If you want to start a debate online, mention either religion or politics.

But if you want to start an all-out war, start talking about food.

I suppose I understand it to a certain extent…

Food IS important. We ARE  indeed what we eat. And in some cases, the proper food CAN mean the difference between life or death for certain folks.

honey cinnamon canned peaches

However.

Can I just say I’m growing a wee bit weary of all the different dietary bandwagons?

Vegetarian, vegan, paleo, primal, raw, Weston A. Price, Trim Healthy Mama, and the list goes on. And on. And on…

Most everyone who is a member of those different “camps” is passionately, adamantly convinced that their diet is the ONLY way to eat.

The problem? 

They all contradict each other… So doesn’t that mean somebody, somewhere, has to be “wrong”?

My husband and I often joke that if you look long enough, you’ll find someone that is “against” pretty much every single thing a human can put into their mouth.

Depending on who you talk to:

  • Meat is bad.
  • Dairy products are bad.
  • Eggs are bad.
  • Whole grains are bad.
  • White flour is bad.
  • Actually, all grains are bad.
  • And don’t forget the legumes. They’re bad too.
  • Potatoes are bad.
  • Carbs are bad.
  • Cooked food is bad.
  • But certain raw vegetables aren’t great for you either.
  • Fruit is bad because of the sugar.
  • And of course, sugar is bad–even unrefined sugars.
  • Fat is bad.
  • Vegetables are good, but only if they are uber-organic, non-GMO, and grown in your own backyard– (providing no one has sprayed pesticides within 30 miles of where you live)
  • Don’t eat too many nuts because they contain phytic acid (and that’s bad.)
  • Water is OK.
  • [Continue Reading]

10 Reasons Why Your Milk Cow Might be Kicking

cow is kicking.jpg

I’m sooooo excited to be welcome Kate from Venison for Dinner as a guest poster today! Like many of you, she’s had plenty of experiences with milk cows that like to kick, and is sharing her wisdom on that topic today!

Our first cow was a saint…

…She rarely kicked, just stood there and had a terrific udder. It was a sad day when we had to butcher her, and with our next cow, before I knew it, I was googling “How to stop your cow from kicking”. Wilderness is a spit-fire! While never mean, she’s slowly working on her patience, and seeing as she’s only halfway through her second lactation, I’m happy with the progress she’s made.

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There are a few types of kicks that a cow has, and let me clarify that if your cow is a mean kicker, in that she tries to kick YOU, not the bucket, then take extra precaution. We’ve never had one, thank goodness! Mostly cows will try to kick the bucket, or they will ‘tap dance’, which is when they’re impatient, shifting their feet, trying to move around and you keep having to shift the bucket.

We learned through the school of hard knocks, and I’m hoping that some of our bumps, bruises and tears can be a learning tool for you to avoid such things!

WHY Your Milk Cow might be Kicking

1. It’s her first lactation.

I put this first and foremost as it’s really important. It would be a whole other post to describe how to train a cow, but if you’re a newbee, trying to train a cow to be milked, I’d suggest finding someone who can help you.

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(Cleaning her up before milking…mucky spring day takes lots of time!)

2. She’s new in a lactation.[Continue Reading]

The Easy Way to Peel Farm-Fresh Hard-Boiled Eggs


how to peel farm fresh eggs

We’ve all been there…

You get the hankering for a good, old-fashioned hard-boiled egg. And since you have your very own flock of chickens, you can hardly wait to boil up a batch.

You carefully select the eggs, place them in the pot, and simmer them to perfection.

Your mouth starts watering as you gently crushed the shell and peel the egg–with the salt shaker ready and waiting.

And then you get this:

photo (15)

It’s enough to make you wanna say a bad word.

With their gorgeous, orange yolks and rich flavor, there aren’t many downfalls to farm-fresh eggs.  However, since the inner membrane clings tightly to the shell of a fresh egg, it’s near-impossible to have anything but ugly results when you try to hard-boil them.

There are lots of suggestions floating around to make the process easier, including:

  • Letting the eggs age first (I don’t know about you, but my 2-3 week old farm eggs are STILL hard to peel!)
  • Boiling them with vinegar (this didn’t work for me…)
  • Boiling them with salt (this didn’t work either)
  • Boiling them with baking soda (this sorta worked…. almost)
  • Using a pin to prick the shells before boiling (I REALLY wanted this to work, but alas, I think I’m too heavy-handed)

I had pretty much completely given up this whole concept, until I ran across the idea of steaming the eggs.

It sounded kinda crazy at first, but in my desperation, I decided to give it a try.

I started with these babies–fresh from the chickens that morning. An egg-peelers worst nightmare:

easy peel fresh hard boiled eggs

And I ended up with these. Yeah, I may have done a happy dance in the kitchen. Maybe…

how to peel fresh boiled eggs

How to Easily Peel Farm-Fresh Hard-Boiled Eggs

You will need:

  • Fresh eggs
  • A metal colander or steamer basket
  • A pot with lid
  • Water

Instructions:

So technically, we are steaming the eggs, not boiling them.… [Continue Reading]

How to Make Comfrey Plantain Salve

how to make comfrey salve

Today I’m welcoming Leeann of One Ash Farm as she shares her special comfrey plantain salve recipe–this is a homestead must-have!

As we enter the summer months (yes, it will actually be summer soon!), the bug bites, scrapes, scratches and sore muscles will start up again.  This is a recipe for a very simple, highly effective, salve that covers all of those daily happenings.

Why Comfrey and Plantain?

Comfrey and plantain are two herbs that have been used for thousands of years for a variety of ailments.

Comfrey in Latin means “knitting together”.  Comfrey is the ideal healer for wounds, sores, bruises, sore joints and broken bones.  

 

As an external remedy, Comfrey contains allantion, which is a known anti-inflammatory, making this herb useful in speeding healing and encourages new skin and cell growth.  As a rub for sore joints and muscles, this anti-inflammatory property will aid in relieving the inflammation that causes the soreness.

 

Plantain is a well known herb that is commonly used to reduce the pain and inflammation of insect bites.  

It is also widely used to aid in reducing the itching of poison ivy rashes. Plantain is also known as an excellent healer of diaper rash.

Creating a salve using both of these wonderful, healing herbs, will give you an all purpose remedy to keep on hand for these coming summer months.  While I am not a medical expert, I think you will find that you and your family will grab your jar of Comfrey Plantain Salve for most anything, and will enjoy the benefits of natural healing!

How to Make Comfrey Plantain Salve 

Instructions:

1) Make an infusion with the olive oil and dried herbs.  [Continue Reading]