Monday, September 28, 2009

Sept. 27 2009

This morning as I was eating breakfast, I was reading a book that my friend Liz lent to me.  It's called Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz, aka Sandorkraut.  I've been experimenting with making mead, wines, and hard ciders for the past couple years and have pecked around in this book from time to time.  This time i'm determined to read it through and i've already started planning for my first batch of sauerkraut.  The book also includes a section on kimchee and i was interested to learn about a new edible plant that was mentioned called burdock .   What was so suprising to me about this plant is that in america it's considered a weed and is growing all over the place, but it's taproot is edible and extremely nutritious.
from wikipedia :
Burdock root is very crisp and has a sweet, mild, and pungent flavour with a little muddy harshness that can be reduced by soaking julienne/shredded roots in water for five to ten minutes. Immature flower stalks may also be harvested in late spring, before flowers appear; the taste resembles that of artichoke, to which the burdock is related.

Folk herbalists consider dried burdock to be a diureticdiaphoretic, and a blood purifying agent.

It's important to note though that only the young plants (in their first year) have edible roots.
the second year is when they develop the burs that interestingly enough sparked the invention of velcro.

It's sad to me that so many edible and medicinal plants are surrounding us but we have never been taught to identify them.  It's just another indication that our culture is headed for complete dependence on the corporations 
that treat us like livestock.  If we could learn more about how to grow our own food, forage for nutritous and healing plants, and exchange some of our time earning money for learning skills that save us money we would surely solve many problems. 

Things are going really well here at the farm though, we are making sure that all of the awesome edible plants that have sprung up from this land are reaching chomping mouths!  I'm learning alot about rock powders (enlivened ones!)  and reading about how to preserve and enhance many of the vegetables and greens throughout the coming winter.  
But the real visible progress that most people see around the farm are my various building projects which i think will really take off in the winter as my mind is swirling with ideas and the ground is sleeping.  The first project I was set loose on upon my arrival was a moveable structure to house our flock of turkeys.  We wanted something similar to this:

so that the turkeys could forage among the grass and fertilize the area with their droppings, and every other day or so we would move the cage to a new area.  but we wanted something larger and there was an old trailer that needed to be put to use.  What I came up with was about half of the equation (for now).  I made it possible for the turkey droppings to fall through their cage but since we are using a trailer with alot of steel supports running through it and a high ground clearance it wasn't looking like a good idea to have them on the ground.  but anyways, here is the "turkey trailer" in all of it's glory currently housing 16 thanksgiving main courses and 217 leftover turkey sandwiches.

I used as much scrap wood around the farm as possible but i made sure it was solid so it should last
us for many seasons.
Future renovations include:
-a technicolor mural on the roof
-a ramp to allow daytime grazing/nighttime roosting
-an enclosed inner coop for chickens

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