Archive | Organic Gardening: Growing Your Own Foods

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Tags: Chickens, Family Farming, Farming

Organic Farm Eggs:Raise Your Own Chickens

Posted on 06 July 2011 by noelskitchen

Our younger chickens just started laying last week. They are producing the cutest little eggs compared to Big Mamma our older hen eggs which are much larger.

Now That’s What I Call Fresh!

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Kitchen Tip Friday’s:Care For Your Veggies

Posted on 29 April 2011 by noelskitchen

There are very few foods that are as delicious as having fresh vegetables just picked from your garden or from the local farmer’s market. As I mentioned earlier in the week, growing your own foods such as fruits and vegetables, has amazing rewards. To preserve all the nutrients, flavor and color, freezing is the best way to go. Freezing allows you to take advantage of the quality and quantity of seasonal vegetables and have them on hand all year round.

Preparing the best quality frozen vegetables involves following certain procedures depending on the type, composition and texture of the produce.  Here are some steps to freezing your vegetables.

  1. Choose the freshest young, tender vegetable possible:Peas, corn and starchy vegetables are best if slightly immature.
  2. Wash vegetables in cold water;rinse with fresh water at least twice:Remove leaves and stems, don’t let vegetables soak–vitamins may be lost.
  3. Sort or cut vegetables into similar sizes for efficient packaging:Use quart or gallon zip-loc freezer bags depending on your meal plans for the week.
  4. Prepare and label freezer bags prior to beginning:note contents, portion sizes and use by date.
  5. Pack freezer bags in portions for favorite recipes and meals.
  6. Follow suggested freezing methods as shown below for best results.
  7. Remove air and freeze immediately.

Preparation and Methods For Freezing:

There are different preparation and freezing methods for vegetables, each designed to preserve the best flavor and quality of the vegetable.

Raw-pack– Vegetables such as onions and green peppers that will be used primarily as seasonings in cooking can be frozen raw. Peeled and/or chopped vegetables and herbs can be packed directly in freezer bags, or frozen in ice cube trays, then packed in freezer bags.

Blanching– Briefly steaming or boiling your vegetables before freezing. Most vegetables are blanched before freezing, to stop the enzyme action that can cause spoilage. There are several blanching methods including: water blanch, steam blanch and microwave blanch. You can use whichever method you prefer.

Just remember, Care For Your Veggies; if your food is properly frozen, it will last months in your freezer.  In my future posts, I’ll share more on freezing methods and how to prepare your foods for freezing. This is a great starting point if your new to freezing your foods.

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    Tags: Farm Life, , raising chickens

    Our Little Farm Is Growing:Raising Chickens

    Posted on 22 April 2011 by noelskitchen

    We’ve been raising chickens for the past four years now. Raised strictly for their fresh eggs, they are a joy to have;especially if raised from chicks.  I love how they fit into the cycle of growing and life.  

    Our Little Farm Is Growing

    I just recently picked up a couple more roosters (Tony Hawk and Melbourne) who are brothers. They are silkie frizzle (Sizzles) and are quite a pair. They take turns crowing back and forth. This morning it started around 4am. If you’re someone who’s not used to the crowing in the early hours of the morning, this can ruffle your feathers. Personally, I don’t mind it. I get up early every morning, so it’s like having an alarm without the snooze button. To go along with them, I also picked up 8 more hens. They are around 6 weeks old. We haven’t named any of them yet, however one reminds me of Gonzo from the muppets.

    Raising Chickens

    The new chickens will be introduced to the rest of the flock within the next few days. The chicks will stay separated for awhile longer until they are big enough to defend themselves if needed. Newers chickens usually spend most of their day hiding in the corners and learning fairly quickly to run and move quick if passing by another chicken. Chickens really do have a pecking order and everytime another chicken(s) is added to the flock they need to re-establish this order! It kind of reminds me of watching a new kid in school. Which group approves you to hang out with them and not get picked on. I’m hoping they’ll fit in nicely with the rest. We’ll keep a close eye on them for a week or so until they become familier with their surroundings. This year, I’m not allowing them to “free range” as much because of the coyotes and raccoons.

    So we will see what today brings…hopefully a great day for them all!!

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    Tags: , Grow Your Own Foods, Organic Gardening

    Basil and Walnut Pesto

    Posted on 03 August 2010 by noelskitchen

    Basil
    photo credit: izik

    While we were having our family outing, we stopped by Briar Patch in celebration of  “Eat Local”.  The challenge is officially on, for the whole month of August. The challenge for everyone is to buy local ingredients for all of your recipes, snacking only on local fruit, building meals around foods that are available right now and right here. Can you do it?

    I also look forward  to visiting our local farms or farmer’s markets for great quality, super fresh, and local food. It’s like having your own personalized grocery store and they add that personal touch. There’s nothing quite like meeting the people in your community who are growing your food.

    Here’s a  wonderful and simple recipe you can make with fresh ingredients from your local community grocery store:

    Basil and Walnut Pesto

    Ingredients:

    1 bunch fresh basil leaves

    1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese

    1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

    1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

    3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced

    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

    Directions:

    Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor or blender. Add the garlic, pulse a few more.

    Slowly add the oilve oil in a constant stream while the food processor or blender is on. Stop occasionally to scrap down the sides of processor or blender with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended.

    Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

    Serve on pasta, french bread or with cheese as a soft cheese spread.

    Join me! – let’s see who can eat the localest!

    Enjoy!

    As always, my quick and easy recipes for Busy Moms can be found on my website Noel’s Kitchen Tips.com.

    Visit my new Amazon Kitchen Store  for some of my recommeneded appliances, storage and kitchen needs along with some of my favorite cookbooks and aprons to help you with your family meal planning.

    Would you like to join our growing Family Cooking Club? Share recipes and tips with others? Join the Family Meals Matter Cooking Clubon Facebook.  

    [print_link]

     

     

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    Tags: , Organic Gardening

    Three Bean Salad with Garden Fresh Herbs

    Posted on 31 May 2010 by noelskitchen

    My garden is overwhelmed with the smell of fresh herbs growing and I wanted to incorporate some of those flavors to create an all time American favorite salad for our Memorial Day celebration. Three Bean Salad is a simple dish that can easily be transported to any family picnic and one that is very flavorful. I hope you enjoy this recipe.

    Three Bean Salad with Garden Fresh Herbs

    Ingredients:

    1 15 ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

    1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

    2 cups frozen green beans, slightly cooked, chill in cold water and drained (frozen green beans are more colorful than the can)

    1/2 cup chopped onion

    1/2 cup chopped cucumber

    1/4 cup Italian parsley

    1 sprig of lemon thyme

    1 sprig of dill

    1 sprig of oregano

     Dressing:

    1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

    1/3 cup granulated sugar

    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

    1 teaspoon salt

    1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

    Directions:

    In a large mixing bowl, add kidney, garbanzo and green beans. Add onion, cucumber and fresh herbs. Set aside.

    In a smaller bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper. Add dressing to the bean mixture.

    Chill for several hours to allow the flavor of fresh herbs and dressing to incorporate into the beans. Serve with your favorite family picnic or BBQ dishes. 

     

    As always, my quick and easy recipes for Busy Moms can be found on my website Noel’s Kitchen Tips.com.

    Visit my new Kitchen Store  for some of my recommened  appliances, storage and kitchen needs along with some of my favorite cookbooks and aprons to help you with your family meal planning.

    Would you like to join our growing Family Cooking Club? Share recipes and tips with others? Join the Family Meals Matter Cooking Clubon Facebook.

     [print_link]

     

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