The sky is dark, the rain falling and really this is the very best you can ask for on a harvest day taking place primarily in our high tunnel. I have to admit, most other days rain is a bit of a bummer, but a day that begins with harvesting lettuce from a plastic covered structure, you love the rain! The sound of this rain is also welcome because we finally completed our pig pen. If you have been reading my emails over the winter months, most of you are aware that back in February we welcomed pigs back to the hollow. In past years we have raised pigs in areas we wanted to transition to pastures. The strong nosed swine friends would root around as they love to do, clear out troublesome briars and small trees, and spread their fertility. We would move them weekly and in a long season the land would be transformed. Over the years, we have developed countless pasture areas. One of the reasons we stopped raising pigs 2 years ago: we had run out of places on the farm that we wanted to treat this way. When some neighbors proposed we adopt their group of American Black Guinea Hogs, we couldn’t resist trying a different method of hog raising. This time around, they are in a beautifully farmer Paul designed covered pen with walkways, separation for males and females and piglets, grain storage, the whole lot. We were embarking on a deep litter method where the pen remained dry and we could harvest the fertility to compost and spread wherever we wanted on the farm. The only problem was: it was missing its roof. Without going into too much detail, the temporary tarp cover was not sufficient to keep the rain out. Let me tell you rain plus pigs equals mud of the worst kind. It has been an agonizing wait, but last weekend’s drenching left the gardens unworkable. Making quick work of it, we coordinated a tin delivery while picking up hundreds of feet of freshly milled cedar for the purlins. Sunny days of construction followed and the pig pen is now covered! I can hear the rain on its new tin roof from here and pigs, piglets and pig handlers are all elated!
Elation and celebtration joined together as Sasha turned 14. It is funny, in the early years folks always comment that the birthday is really about mama as the 1 or 2 or 3 year old doesn’t really comprehend the party. Well, I am here to say that I think with each year and each child the birthday is a celebration for both mother and child. Even at 14 with Sasha, my first born, his birthday celebrates his wonderful years and the beginning of my journey as mama: still makes me teary and joyous and proud.
Hope you all had a wonderful week past and look forward to another great week ahead!
week two in your basket:
Lettuce Wraps again
1 lb grass fed ground beef
8 oz of fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 cup carrots, julienned
1 cup bamboo shoots, julienned
2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
4 tbsp coconut aminos
red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tsp fish sauce
black pepper to taste
1 head butter lettuce
Saute ground beef over medium heat for a few minutes.When it starts to brown, add mushrooms, carrots, bamboo shoots, ginger, garlic.Once carrots start to soften, add coconut aminos, aleppo pepper/red pepper flakes black pepper and fish sauce.Mix everything together until well combined and cook for 5 more minutes.Remove from heat and cool slightly. Serve with butter lettuce.
The lettuce wrap recipe is about the most versatile there is: pick your favorite stuffing, whisk up any sauce or spice mix, wrap and eat. A fun new way to enjoy the lettuce.