Saturday, December 31, 2011

The family that gardens together...Stays together.

So Geneo and I have been talking for a couple weeks about starting a compost pile. Ive been working the land were Im going to be putting in a garden. Its going to be 100 feet long by 30 feet wide. Thats just the veggies. Then were going to have a few potatoes mounds, (sure to produce enough winter potatoes to sustain a small farm) and the berries bushes, and melon patches. Weve planned on Corn, Carrots, Cucumbers, Beans, Peas, Peppers, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Celery, Brussel Sprouts, Brocolli and cauliflower, Eggplants, and a few more things.
Anyways, Its going to be all organic.
No chemicals, pesticides, fertilizer, etc.
Everything we do use will be all natural.

So we agreed yesterday was the day to make a bin.
We scouted the property for old wood that was usable. We managed to Recycle and Reuse 5 Hay pallets, and some Ply-wood And some old flooring pieces left over. With a tarp and 50 screws, all that wood and Geneos ingenuity we came up with an amazing box. We added a few barrels of soil, some ashes from the burn pile, horse manure, alfalfa, dead leaves and grass clippings and then spent an hour digging up earthworms.
Composting really is so easy. The most difficult thing would be the turning of the pile every week. If you doubted your ability to grow bisceps and triceps,...just continue turning a compost pile. Lol
You can throw most everything in this box. From Hair and cardboard, eggshells, coffee grounds, kitchen scraps(no meat or fat or bones),... to unpaid bills and old wool socks. :)
And Every week take a pitch fork or shovel and just stir the post so that your getting air done into the soil.
The more that it breaks down the easier it gets to turn.
Anyways, it was a wonderful lesson for the kids, not only that by recycling things you have on hand, they dont go to waste and you dont have to spend extra money,...But that all of there hard work is going to feed our crops all season. It was such a pleasure watching them and the excitement they had. And also the respect for what they were about to help grow.

And on another note:
Ive found some wonderful ideas for pest control in your garden with no chemicals.

1.Mix homemade garden sprays using water and plants (or dried powders) from the garden such as hot peppers, onions and garlic. Add a drop of dish detergent to help the solution stick and store in a spray bottle to apply to infested vegetables or flowers.

2.Make a trap for slugs by placing a shallow dish of beer in the garden. Slugs and snails will go in to drink the fermented liquid and die instantly, Also you can sprinkle oats around the bed of your garden which will cause the slugs to expand and die.

3.Visit the pantry for some homemade pesticides that are commonly available. Sprinkle flour or powdered sugar on cabbageworms and table salt on slugs and snails.

There are so many things you can do to grow your very own garden at home with lots of land or with little space at all. And every little bit you do not only encourages our future generations, but teaches them survival skills, and adds some unaltered healthy items into there diet.

                                                          START AN HERB GARDEN
This one is simple and almost fool proof. All you need a sunny porch or window where you can plant your herbs. Some good compost or potting soil, some seeds and of course the pots to put them in.
Herbs are so fun to watch grow and not only make great spices, but make for a beautiful fragrant indoor plant. Not to meantion the healing qualities that so many herbs and plants have for headaches, infections, ailments, etc. (thats a whole nother blog post)

~heres a fun idea.
                                                         HOW TO GROW POTATOES
With 4 old tires you can grow potatoes all year. Start with one tire and a sprouting potato. Place the potatoes in the dirt then cover. As it grows out about 8 inches, place another tire on top and cover it again with soil. This makes the plant revert back to root stages to continue growing upward to the light. Then it sprouts off individual roots and on each one you can expect 3 or 4 potatoes. You do this up until the fourth tire, Once youve put the fourth tire on allow it to bloom flowers. Make sure to always keep your soil very wet until the flower blooms out of the 4th tire. Once it blooms slow down your watering until the blooms dies back. Within 2-3 weeks after your ready to harvest. Take back the tires and let the pounds and pounds of potatoes come out. Leaving them unwashed, allow them to dry out for a few days and then keep them in a moist cool dark area all winter.

Growing tomatoes or beans is also a great idea for someone with limited space. Any vegetable that grows up instead of down would be perfect for an apartment porch or a sun room, or any area that stays warm and gets lots of sun light.

Ill start posting pics with my blog as soon as I can so you can go through all these processes with us.
I hope you all can take with you some of these wonderful ideas and maybe organically grow your family too.
Thanks for reading today..

(And let me know if you have questions or would like me to write about anything inparticular)

Living Organically starts with eating...

So we touched on how I couldnt Cook, Right...Well I learned,. Within the first year I was a fricken cooking maniac. I give all the thanks to my First child and that whole nesting phase...Well that and My M.I.L's ancient Betty Crocker book. (which has now been passed to me)
I was a three cake a day girl. If we had flour and eggs, Id find something to make. Cakes and Pies were going bad before we could finish them, Thank God we had major counter space, Cuz it was packed!!

By child number two I was officially a chef, I had mastered baking, cooking, Holiday dinners, Brunches, everything!
I loved it. Every dinner is a 4 course deal + bread. Breakfast usually has fried potatoes or cinnamon rolls, and dessert is actually just another meal. LOL.

Anyways, long story short, Once I mastered the cooking thing(out of a box) I moved onto cooking from scratch, growing herbs to add to foods, and making my own bread crumbs...things like that.
It was from there on I started to realize that i didnt know what was in my food.
Take brownies for example... flour cocoa eggs sugar....basic right..
If thats all it took to make them from scratch then why is there so much crap in the box ingredients. I know they have to preserve it, but come on. drop down the shelf life. Anybody know what
Thiamin Mononitrate is?
How about Riboflavin,
Sodium Bicarbonate,
Mono and Diglycerides,
Potassium Sorbate,
Xanthum Gum.

Alkali is an earth bound metal that we find in things like batteries... Hmmm. And the cocoa in the box was processed with it.

Mono and Dyglyceride is a glyceride consisting of two fatty acid chains covalently bonded to a glycerol molecule through ester linkages..

I dont know about you but if I wanted weird chemicals in my food, Id just suck on a rat poison box. Im just saying.
So about 3 years ago I got very serious about not feeding my family any heavily processed foods, preservatives, chemicals, microwavable dinners, etc etc etc.

Its not easy, And I also havent mastered it...
You can do it too, Just changing a few things in your eating habits can really change the way your body and mind work...

Replace cereal 3 times a week (all that sugar and preserves) With plain oatmeal that you create yourself, Get the kids involved, Rolling oats, raisins, brown sugar, molasses, cut up apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. You get the idea.
When your feeding your kids, should KNOW EXACTLY whats going into there bodies. They depend on you.
Try whole wheat breads for lunch, .... Forget McDonalds 99 cent menu, Totinos who?
Try a Multi grain Tuna sandwich which a side of fresh peanuts, some carrots or celery with peanut butter.
STICK TO J.I.F OR PETER PAN ...THE MORE POPULAR BRANDS ...but once again its based on the chemicals inside. Try Almond butter, or natural peanut butter....or Make your own.

You get what Im saying. In one day read the labels of the food you eat and see how many times your left puzzled.......
Imagine just what your putting in your kids...

Living Organically starts with the inside....:)

Where i started,...

I am one of those girls that always knew exactly what I wanted,....In highschool while everyone else wanted to go off to college and have huge careers, I was content with the idea of becoming a wife and mother as soon as i could tie down a good man and the state laws of age requirement would allow.
I met my husband at 17 and was married by 18.,..
when we got married I couldnt cook very well, Top Ramen posed a challenge, as well as Macaroni and Cheese. Had it not been for my mother in law Grilled Cheese would have never come to life..
(Im not kidding)
Have you ever seen a scorched scrambled egg? That was me. Boiled water was a difficulty. lol
Somehow I managed to throw together Hamburger Helper or Tuna Helper, But Im pretty sure that was only because you throw a bunch of crap in one skillet, fill it with water and set in on low. You could take a shower, iron some clothes(another thing I couldnt do)run a mile, and when you come back, sure enough that Hamburger Helper was fluffy and steamy and one pan goodness was accomplished.
Thats not saying much for my wonderful cooking skills that Ive incurred over the last 9 yrs, but I promise you I learned.

Lets go back a little. I came from women that were strong and talented...Now adays everyone tries to keep up with the latest trend, fashion, idea... We want to raise our kids based on what Vtech, or one of those My baby Can Read ad says. We have to have those expensive diapers,(because huggies or Luvs has some kind of magical rash fighting tendencies that Target brand doesnt...)
And We put our kids in these special daycares that bring out there inner artist or inner genius. We give them Eddie Bauer brand 5 point harness carseats, and special teething rings, and everything the market has told us to get, everything the "specialists" tell us to use, we use. We dont spank, we dont do timeouts, we let them express there behavior...or send them to a pshycologist....seriously? Media "matters": This is saying we believe what the tv ads tell us to believe.

People.....this is crap. lol.

Like I was saying, I come from strong women, women who raised there familys with there hands...
My daddy grew up in the Appalachian mountains of Tennessee. His momma and his Grandma worked there farm. They canned there food, they killed there animals, they made everything in the ground obtainable and useful to themselves. They cooked from sun up to sun down, Hand washed the clothes in wash tubs.....

Thats what Im going to do. I want you to come along with me, try new things with me, or just read as I try them. I think theres a serious problem with this generation and the upcoming one. Kids are overweight, they are lazy...Video Games replaced the outdoors. Junk food is a staple. People will put anything in their kids body if it comes off a store shelf. OTC Medicines are killing kids, Parents are overdosing them, Vaccines are causing mental growth issues and spinal retardation.
Im going to address all these....

This is what I am passionate about. It took years to realize it...Here we go.

Friday, December 30, 2011

This is the beginning......

So this isn't my first blog (actually ...its my 3rd)...Im kind of a blogger big deal, like a blog connoisseur.
Except the first two failed. I cant even remember what the first one was about, i do know that it was the new cool thing to do and I was so ready to blog, and blog..and blog. I am pretty sure I thought i could blog til my fingers bled and it was be this huge thing with quite the following, but then after two blogs i was bored. The second was an attempt to share with my friends all my recipes, (some are pretty fantastic), and most the followers enjoyed them quite a bit, But then I realized when I put together my southern cuisine cook book, None of you would buy it because you could totally just go on the blog....
So I guess Im not really a connoisseur, but more of a dabbler...ha ha yes a dabbler.

Then I realized you would have to blog about something that you are passionate about. So, this blog..(3rd times a charm right.) is going to be a hit.
Follow me, and I am going to bring you on my journey from Cali to Kentucky and how Ive decided as a mother to raise my family organically,...
(And were sticking w/this one!)