It’s that time of year in north Missouri to start collecting and storing seeds. If i see a flower or plant along the road banks i like, i stop and collect as many seeds as possible. Lay them out to dry, then store in a dry place and start them early in the spring. I direct sow where i want the plants – transplanting just doesn’t seem to work for me.
I purchased this open pollinated corn seed from Welter’s Seed with the intent of actually planting it and harvesting a large crop. However, the reality is, i don’t have a corn planter and no one to plant a small plot, so now to find a use for these seeds. I decided we needed to eat them.
These beans are so amazing that they just need a bit of bragging upon! A small handful of seeds given to me by a friend from Philippines at least a decade ago resulted in being planted every year. Not only are they easy to grow, they produce like crazy, taste great, and plenty left for seed saving. (normally i harvest those allowed to mature early in the season, but this year there were people wanting seeds, so i’m gathering now. Does it make a difference? don’t know, have to leave that to the plant scientists and agronomists) In addition to preparing and eating a lot of these and giving a lot away, I still froze up about 12 gallons so far, even though i planted them late. Production is really slowing down now due to continued drought, but mostly shorter days as we transition to fall.
2 1/2 cup almond meal/flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
1 teaspoon onion or garlic powder
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese – divided
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 large farm eggs
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup water (may not need this much)
8-10 ounces of grass finished ground beef or lamb or home made beef or lamb sausage
1 cup pizza sauce
Optional ingredients i usually add: sliced black olives and sliced fresh mushrooms, extra cheese
Preheat the oven to 350°F .
Use a Ninja Blender (mine is called a Fit Blender i believe) or some other type.
In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, pumpkin, sesame flour, ground flax seed, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, onion powder, and sea salt. Mix well. Then i add the two large eggs, 1/4 cup olive oil, and the water. Mix and combine thoroughly.
Butter a 10″ x 15″ pan (i use a stone jelly roll pan). Place the dough on the pan, then spread the dough by hand. You may have to keep your fingers wet using olive oil or water to keep it from sticking to your hands.
Bake for 20 minutes.
When you are ready, spread the pizza sauce, i sprinkle some Parmesan cheese if i have any, but usually i don’t, so i use some shredded raw cheddar or whatever i have on hand. Then crumble the cooked meat on top of that followed by optional olives and/or fresh mushrooms. Top with remaining mozzarella or other cheese. Bake for another 12 minutes.
Cut into about 12 pieces; this is very filling. One piece may fill you right up!
Today marked the last day of my experiment with rotatilling, pneumatic drilling/harrowing, and grazing annuals as part of a pasture improvement scheme.
Grazing comparison data is as follows:
2013-2014 – Paddock 22 – 3218 lbs, Paddock 23 – 1871 lbs Total: 5089 lbs
2014-2015 – Paddock 22 – 3567 lbs, Paddock 23 – 2007 lbs Total: 5574 lbs
2015-2016 – Paddock 22 – 2072 lbs, Paddock 23 – 1222 lbs Total: 3294 lbs
2016-2017 – lost all my records
2017-2018 – Paddock 22 – 1547 lbs, Paddock 23 – 695 lbs Total: 2242 lbs
As you can imagine, i was shocked at the lack of grazing days provided by the annuals, but this was my first experience. When i turned them in on the annuals, the cows and calves grazed it all down in four days! In a few days, i was able to turn them back in for a couple more days grazing to boost that yield just a bit. However, at this point, the paddocks will take a very long rest. One thing i did not observe and record in previous years and that is cow condition. At least for this year, these cows were slick and shiny healthy coming off the annuals, but they were that way going in, too. So…..
So, in a nutshell, it cost me a total of $1842.12 to plant 18 acres of annuals for grazing. The purpose of annuals to help rejuvenate the soil microbe community and not necessarily for gain in grazing. Good thing, because it certainly failed in that department. However, as i had written before, the goal is to eradicate toxic fescue and build organic matter. It does look like that has happened at least in short term. It is very hard to measure long term benefits. However, from this point, i’m planning to tack the sail and switch to tilling then no-till a permanent ley (grassland). Whether or not that will work remains to be seen, but i’m keen to find a way to reduce then eliminate any tractor work. I hope to get that scheme underway and perhaps even completed this week. This new scheme, although i do plan to till before planting to permanent ley, will provide a side by side comparison of planting annuals first vs planting permanent pasture once and done. There will be a few spots, too, that won’t be tilled and seeds will be drilled straight into established pasture.
Additional thoughts and observations:
Grazing days – 4 days on 18 acres with 146 cows, 110 calves, and 6 bulls
Labor – setting up and taking down polybraid – two strips – 3 hours.
There is general concern that the annuals need to be stripped off for best utilisation because of the assumption that the cows will destroy too much of the forages. However, my experience is that there was very little waste overall and certainly not enough to justify 3 hours of labor in stripping off small sections. Having said that, i have to quantify that one strip allowed access to only 4 1/2 acres, then 5 acres, then about 8 1/2 acres. Perhaps larger sections would have shown more waste.
If conditions allowed less work setting up and taking down and one had more valuable annuals, then it may be better to take advantage of the benefits of strip grazing.
Post grazing observations:
- where the soil was tilled and planted with annuals, the Kansas ragweed did not grow, but giant ragweed was there, though, far from as thick as an untilled/unplanted paddock.
- Trampling of annuals was negligible – nearly all had been eaten with the exception of a few sunflower plants.
- The pneumatic harrow needs a work over since there were a lot of skips in seed application. Thankfully, the yellow foxtail proliferated thickly in the tilled soil to keep the soil covered. Actually better than the annuals and the cows loved it.
I don’t speak Hebrew, but ‘Happy Passover’ simply hasn’t the same ring to it. We are commanded this week of Feast of Unleavened Bread to eliminate leaven (not necessarily yeast) from our lives. I’m not a fan of Matzoh or other flat wheat breads, so here’s what i’ve made. For those of you who are experts on this, PLEASE let me know if this does not meet biblical standards of unleavened bread.
- 3 cups almonds (ground)
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella (or whatever cheese you prefer)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup black olives (finely chopped)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Using my Magic Bullet, i grind the almonds into flour. Stir all ingredients together in a large bowl with a fork, holding out about 1 tablespoons of the olive oil.
Press mixture onto a buttered 9 x 15 stone pan (use whatever you have), then bake in a 375ºF oven for 12 minutes.
Take out of the oven and cut into squares (i use a pizza cutter), brush with remaining olive oil, (sometimes i use raw butter from grass fed cows) and sprinkle with salt flakes (optional, but not too much). Bake for another 8 minutes. Take out of the oven immediately and let cool a bit before trying to remove the squares. Use a spatula to remove them.
Take out of the oven and cut into squares (i use a pizza cutter), brush with remaining olive oil, and sprinkle with salt flakes (optional, but not too much). Bake for another 8 minutes. Take out of the oven immediately and let cool a bit before trying to remove the squares. Use a spatula to remove them.
Absolutely delicious in my opinion!
Keeping Yah’s Feasts (and other Mo’edim) is not just a Jewish celebration; it is for ALL His set apart people! What an honour we are given to give glory to Him in His way.
The chooks (laying hens) practically stopped laying eggs this winter, so bread making had to be adjusted. This super easy and relatively quick recipe is officially to make burger buns, but creativity can turn them into hot dog buns, loaf bread, or slice thin and broil with cheese and/or garlic butter or make mini-pizzas. Cut smaller rounds for cocktail buns. Recipe modified from the original found in the very helpful “Dining On A Dime” cookbook.
Try to use homegrown, local, or organic ingredients whenever possible. There are several search sites online to help you find sources near your home.
Easy Hamburger Buns
5-6 cups flour (preferably unbleached white and/or stone ground – using 100% stone-ground can affect how high the buns rise)
2 pkgs or 2 Tablespoons yeast
1 cup milk (organic or local, real (raw) from cows grazing on pasture)
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup oil ( i use olive oil if i use oil, but mostly i use home made applesauce)
1/4 cup sugar (organically grown cane to avoid GMO)
1 Tablespoon salt (Real salt)
butter, melted (same as milk)
Stir together 2 cups flour and yeast. In a saucepan over medium, heat milk, water, oil, sugar, and salt to very warm (120ºF-130ºF/50ºC-55ºC). Add liquid all at once to flour mixture Beat until smooth (about 2 minutes) on medium speed with electric mixer or 300 strokes by hand. Add enough additional flour to make a soft dough; mix well. Let rest 10 minutes. Roll out on a well-floured surface to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with 3-inch round cutter (or rim of glass). Place rounds on greased baking sheets. Let rise in warm place (80ºF/27ºC) for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 425ºF (230ºC) and bake 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush melted butter on the tops whilst still warm. Make 12-20 buns. (depending on how thick you cut them). For burger buns, I like at least 15, otherwise it’s just more bread than one needs to make a nice sandwich.
Substitutions and ideas:
I use 1/2 cup of prepared applesauce instead of olive oil.
Add 1/2 cup of ground seeds (i’ve used chia, but flax, sesame, or hemp would likely work as well)
Try 1/2 and 1/2 with unbleached white flour and stone-ground whole wheat.
I warm the oven for about 10 minutes, then turn it off and place the buns inside to rise. However, this slows down the process, because they need to be taken out before preheating the oven for baking.