Ahhhhh…

After a successful and wonderfully enjoyable afternoon of shopping with my Darling Daughter Aubrey we returned home with our bounty. As it was a beautiful, sunny, and warm day out here, the first place we went was to Parker’s Nursery. It is an oasis of green and flowers nestled within a sea of brown and dry that we have out here just now. I will return in two weeks to purchase my lavender and daisy plants and will share pics then. It is a wonderful breath of fresh air and Spring in the High Plains. We were able to purchase a Narrowleaf Cottonwood tree, a Lalandei Firethorn bush,  some strawberry plants, and my tomato plants. I will be planting the whole mess tomorrow, but with Aubrey’s help, it will be enjoyable. She will be graduating from high school soon, and returning back to Pennsylvania to live with her father for a year, so each day I have to spend with her is a gift.

I could spend hours at perusing seed catalogs, visiting nurseries, and planning our gardens, but I must be honest with myself, it is a lot of work to plant all of the things I wish to grow! I usually end up with sore knees, back and shoulders. Usually a hot shower helps, but this afternoon I found something even better, hence my title of “Ahhhhh”. We had to stop at Costco to pick up a few things, and there they were, right inside the door! What is this magical body restoring miracle? Anti-gravity Lounge chairs! I have been wanting to purchase a couple of these for a long time, and today was my lucky day, the price was right! Aubrey and I set them up when we returned home and tried them, and they were awesome! After just a short half hour relaxing in this lounge chair, I felt relaxed. I can’t wait to try it tomorrow after our marathon planting day. To me, it is funny how a little thing can make such a big difference. Stay tuned, I will post pics of the “Big Plant” tomorrow, after I spend some time in my Anti-Gravity Lounge Chair!

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Watering Day

Today was watering day. Sounds funny to say we have a “day” for watering, but we are in a drought out here in New Mexico, and have been for a couple years. The future does not look very promising either. We had three good snow storms this past winter (6″ of snow or more = good and I KNOW my friends back East are laughing at me LOL) but we have not had any rain for over a month. So we conserve, we also have a 1200 gallon storage tank for emergencies, that we fill several times during the summer. We are very careful to follow a strict watering schedule. You might think in these conditions it would be impossible to grow our own food, but we have found a way. We have five raised bed vegetable gardens, three apple trees, two peach trees, and three other raised gardens where we planted three blueberry bushes, three raspberry bushes, a gooseberry bush and a black currant bush.

We have been very careful in our planning for placement of all of these plants. The Apples, and Peaches were placed in an area of the yard that one of our downspouts feeds, we always have grass in that area. We do water them, but only once a week. They are trenched and mulched deeply. The blueberry bushes, gooseberry, raspberries and raised bed gardens are all planted in our south garden, sheltered behind a wind fence. Sheltering plants from the fierce wind we have out here, mulching deeply and amending the soil with moisture absorbing crystals called Terra-Sorb all make growing our food easier in a drought plagued area. In addition, for these plants (once the danger of frost is past) we use soaker hoses. This type of gardening does take more thought and planning, but we have been blessed with good harvests. And what I cannot grow, I purchase from a local farm and farmer’s market.

Tomorrow is planting day and here are the plants awaiting their new dirt home: Potatoes, Jalapenos, Peppermint, Rosemary, Astilbe, Onions, Red Pepper and an upside down strawberry planter waiting for strawberry plants. We will also be planting our tomato plants one Plum, and one Beefsteak.

I always plant my tomatoes and peppers  a month early and actually I am a bit late this year. We use Teepees to protect them from frost and late snows.  You fill them with water, and they act like a warm blanket around your plants. They are such a great and ridiculously easy garden tool! Tomorrow I will share pics of our gardens. Hope you enjoy your day!

Diet Redux

A Blessed good morning to all! In my journey to live healthier and more intentionally, I have been reading a lot about nutrition. And what I keep reading is this: the right foods can heal and prevent so many medical conditions that plague people these days. So after spending a few months researching nutrition, and talking to a very good friend of mine who is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, I decided to make changes. Anytime you make dietary changes for your family, it is a paradigm shift. And that shift can cause some issues. I happen to have a rather picky teenage eater still at home, and not all the changes have been welcomed with open arms by her. So my advice, make changes slowly if you make them, and give them time to get used to new foods.

When our society was mostly agrarian, we did not have as many health issues. People worked hard, played hard and ate whole foods. They ate whole raw milk, real butter, whole grains, fresh vegetables, fresh meats and cheese. If one lived on a coast and fished for a living, there was fresh fish. We ate what we raised or caught, or grew, or gathered. And we were healthy! Then our society changed, and more and more people moved from farms, women started working outside the home, and we opted for convenience instead of healthy. I am a guilty as anyone, after spending hours at work, when I was raising my four kids, I rarely felt inspired to cook. And there was little time to raise our own food.

We have made some major changes in our diet here in the last few months, including adding cultured vegetables, sprouted grains, sourdough breads, organic greens greens greens, and organic whole milk and real butter. We are also giving some new grains a try, including Buckwheat (which is not a wheat at all), Amaranth, Quinoa, and Millet. We will be adding Royal Butter Oil/Fermented Cod Liver Oil Blend to our supplement regimen, which include Vitamin D, Vitamin B Complex and Body Ecology Green Superfood.  My research also included learning to make things the “old way” by cooking from scratch. I am learning to make my own sourdough starter, butter, Kefir, buttermilk, stock, etc. I have been grinding my own grain for several years, and love the results! Recently, I purchased a food dehydrator, a good stock pot,  a butter churn and a pressure canner. It is an financial investment to purchase these items, they are not cheap, but they will last us for a long time. I have used all but the pressure canner so far, but am looking forward to canning what I am growing this summer!

This week I have made Sourdough starter and will be baking some rolls this afternoon using it. I also soaked and sprouted some Soft White Wheat berries and they are in the dehydrator as we speak, tomorrow they will be ground for flour. It is a process that takes a couple days, but it is well worth it as the nutritional value is high. The soaking and sprouting begins the enzymatic breakdown of the protein gluten and renders it more digestible. This is great for those of us who have an issue digesting some grains. See this reference on the nutritional information and uses for the different types of wheat:

http://www.somethingbetternaturalfoods.com/sitebuildercontent

/sitebuilderfiles/nutrition_grains_wheat_berries_soft_white_spring_og.pdf

I have recently purchased these “Handy Pantry Sprouting” wheat berries from Living Whole Foods, Inc., off www.amazon.com for sprouting then grinding to flour. I have tried both kinds and both sprouted perfectly!

Here is a pic of my now soaked and sprouted grains in the food dehydrator:

They will be ready tomorrow for grinding into flour. After trying some of these things the last few months. I am impressed with the process in making things from scratch. There is a feeling of comfort to it and a feeling of connection to my food I have not felt in a long time. I really believe food should not only feed your body, it should also feed your soul. Thanks for reading and Enjoy your day!

And so I begin…

It had to happen sooner or later. As of today, I join the ranks of bloggers. Living out here in the middle of nowhere, with very little face to face contact with other people save for occasional trips to the feed store, grocery store, etc., I do not get to chat much. So I will chat here, and if you enjoy what thoughts I share, please feel free to chat back. Who am I? I am a wife , a mother of four children, a nature lover, an animal lover, I am spiritual and am basically happy. I retired from education several years ago, and am a full time mother and care taker of our farm. I tend to be open minded, fairly opinionated, and mostly a “shoot from the hip” kinda gal. I live out on the high plains of New Mexico with my husband, and youngest daughter. We live on a small hobby farm “Grey Wolf Farm” (named after my husband who turned gray first <insert evil grin here>) We have five horses, two donkeys, five dogs, and two cats. I raise some of our own food, veggies, and some fruit, all grown organically. Lately I have been learning the “old ways” of doing things, making my own butter, grinding my own grain, making things from scratch. I am finding that it is very rewarding. I love to cook, bake, weave and read.  And now I hit the publish button and send this out into the ether of the internet, there is a certain amount of bravery involved in this process.

Me and one of our five horses, Monte