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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Planting Guide for May/June - moon phases

Here are the next planting cycles, per the Farmers' Almanac:
~~~MAY 2012~~~ 1st-2nd A Barren Period. Good For Killing Plant Pests, Cultivating, Or Taking A Short Vacation. 3rd-4th Excellent Time For Planting Corn, Beans, Peppers, And Other Aboveground Crops. Favorable For Sowing Hay, Fodder Crops, And Grains. Plant Flowers. 5th-7th Plant Carrots, Beets, Onions, Turnips, And Other Root Crops At This Time. Cabbage, Lettuce, And Other Leafy Vegetables Will Do Well. Planting Seedbeds. Good For Transplanting. 8th-9th Do No Planting. 10th-12th Plant Late Beets, Potatoes, Onions, Carrots, And Other Root Crops. 13th-14th Kill Plant Pests On These Barren Days. 15th-16th Favorable Time For Planting Late Root Crops. Also Good For Vine Crops That Can Be Planted Now. Set Strawberry Plants. Good Days For Transplanting. 17th-18th Poor Planting, Fine For Cultivating Or Spraying. 19th-20th Favorable Planting Days: First Day For Root Crops. Good Day For Transplanting. Last Day For Beans, Corn, Cotton, Tomatoes, Peppers, And Other Aboveground Crops. 21st-22nd Any Seed Planted Now Will Tend To Rot. 23rd-24th Most Favorable For Planting Corn, Cotton, Okra, Beans, Peppers, Eggplant, And Other Aboveground Crops. Plant Seedbeds And Flower Gardens. 25th-29th A Barren Period. Good For Killing Plant Pests, Cultivating, Or Taking A Short Vacation. 30th-31st Excellent Time For Planting Corn, Beans, Peppers, And Other Aboveground Crops. Favorable For Sowing Hay, Fodder Crops, And Grains. Good For Planting Flowers. ~~~JUNE 2012~~~ 1st-3rd Extra Good For Planting Fall Lettuce, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Collards, And Other Leafy Vegetables. All Aboveground Crops Planted Now Will Do Well. Plant Seedbeds. 4th-5th Poor Planting Days. Cut Hay Or Do General Farm Work. 6th-8th Plant Late Beets, Potatoes, Onions, Carrots And Other Root Crops. 9th-10th Poor Days For Planting. Kill Plant Pests, Spray, Fertilize, Do General Farm Work. 11th-13th Favorable Time For Planting Late Root Crops. Also Good For Vine Crops. Set Strawberry Plants. Good Days For Transplanting. 14th-15th Cut Hay Or Do Plowing On These Barren Days. 16th-17th Good Days For Planting Root Crops. Good Days For Transplanting. 18th-19th Seeds Planted Now Tend To Rot In The Ground. 20th-21st Plant Tomatoes, Beans, Peppers, Corn, Cotton, And Other Aboveground Crops On These Most Fruitful Days. Plant Seedbeds And Flower Gardens. 22nd-25th Poor Period For Planting. Kill Plant Pests, Clear Fence Rows, Clear Land. 26th-28th Favorable For Planting Peas, Beans, Tomatoes, And Other Fall Crops Bearing Yield Aboveground. Sow Grains And Forage Crops Now. Plant Flowers. *************************************************** Enjoy your planting, and happy spring! Loving the green here everywhere!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Uh...spring? Where'd ya go? A Snow Angel for the Birds + Cowboy Chili w/ Corn Dumplings

SNOW STORM! SNOW DAY! “I love snow for the same reason I love Christmas: It brings people together while time stands still." ~Rachel Cohn
Since the bikes won't be out today, here's a link for fun things to do on your snow day!
Have fun with your snow parties! We'll be making snow cones, hot cocoa and chili! QUICK COWBOY CHILI WITH CORN DUMPLINGS
Ingredients: ************** 2 tbsp. oil 1 onion, diced 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 lbs. lean ground beef 2 tbsp. flour 1-2 tbsp. chili powder 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves 1/2 tsp. ground cumin 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes in juice 1 (7 oz.) can diced green chilies Salt, pepper 2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese 2 eggs 1/3 c. sour cream 1 (8 1/2 oz.) pkg. corn muffin mix 1 (12 oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained Directions: ************* Heat oil in large skillet. Add onion and garlic and saute until translucent. Add ground beef and cook, stirring to break into chunks, until well browned. Drain off any excess fat. Combine flour, chili powder, oregano and cumin in small bowl and sprinkle evenly over meat mixture. Cook mixture, stirring, 20-30 seconds longer. Stir in tomatoes and green chilies, season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to 13 x 9 inch baking dish and sprinkle with cheese. Set aside. Beat eggs with sour cream just to blend. Add to corn muffin mix and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in drained corn. Drop by rounded spoonfuls on top of casserole, spacing evenly. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until corn dumplings are beginning to brown and sauce is bubbling. Remove from oven and let stand about 10 minutes before serving. *********************************************** "About the woodlands I will go To see the cherry hung with snow." ~A.E. Housman

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Recipe Wednesday! This little piggy goes to the butcher...

A few of our pigs go to the butcher next week, so I'm gathering up my meal recipes for fresh pork. Here are some delicious dishes for you to try too!



Pork tenderloin (about 1 lb.)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 lemon, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (juice of about 2 lemons)
3 Tbsp. capers, drained and rinsed
3 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
lemon slices for garnish

Preheat the oven to the lowest temperature possible — usually around 170°F.

Prepare the pork medallions. Remove the silver skin (the silver membrane found on part of the exterior of the tenderloin) by running a sharp knife underneath it and cutting it off the meat. Slice the tenderloin into 1-inch slices. Pound these slices gently with a meat pounder until they are approximately 3/4-inch thick. Season the pork medallions with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge the pork in the flour and shake off any excess.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the olive oil and sear the pork in batches for about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Remove the pork and place on a platter, cover with aluminum foil, and place in the oven to keep warm.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the lemon slices to the skillet, and brown lightly. Then add the garlic to the skillet and cook for another minute, taking care not to burn the drippings in the skillet. Add the chicken stock and simmer, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the skillet, until the liquid has reduced by half — about 8 minutes.

Add the lemon juice and capers to the skillet and continue to simmer for another 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the butter to thicken the sauce. Add the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Return the pork medallions and any juices to the skillet and turn to coat all the pieces in the sauce. Serve immediately.


1 lb pork tenderloin, or chicken
1 15 oz can tomato sauce, or one 12oz jar salsa
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, minced

Place pork in the base of your slow cooker. In a small bowl, stir together all remaining ingredients. Pour evenly over pork. Cook on low for 8 hours. When done, shred the pork using two forks, pulling against the grain of the meat. Serve in warmed tortillas (hard or soft) with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, grated cheddar cheese, and sour cream. Garnish with chopped scallions.


1 large pork loin roast (3-5 pounds)
2 cups water or flavored liquid to taste (apple cider, chicken broth, etc.)
Homemade barbecue sauce or one bottle of your favorite sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the roast into a slow cooker and add liquid.
Cook on low for eight hours. Check occasionally to see that liquid hasn’t cooked off.
Remove and trim all fat from the roast and drain juices from the cooker.
Return roast to the cooker and, using two forks, shred the pork.
Add barbecue sauce, salt, and pepper and cook on low an additional 1-2 hours.

"Ever consider what pets must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul - chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth!"
~Anne Tyler
(or, back from the butcher!)