thank you Eliot Coleman

Friday, December 2:

   Hooray for Mr. Coleman!  We have begun to enjoy our planted-for-winter-harvest carrots and lettuces and they are excellent.  Winter gardening is like rotational grazing in at least one respect; it is better to do it badly than not to do it at all.  Even though we got poor germination when we planted them in the summer, there is quite a lot of produce out there, and we have high hopes that it will last us into April, when the early lettuce should take over.

   Today, our second in the field, S-4 bagged a six-point buck, about #140 before field dressing.  S-3 spotted the fox (he of ill fame) but forebore to shoot him because it is deer season and the woods are full of hunters, legitemate and otherwise.  He was, one, unwilling to scare away any deer that were coming his way, and, two, unsure what the game laws dictate with regards foxes.  Mom was incensed; she won’t sleep well until she has a fox fur collar on her Carhartt jacket.  Three sons took turns hauling in the dressed carcase, and it is hanging in the garage waiting for tomorrow to be turned into jerkey.  The timing is a little awkward, as tomorrow was the day we had set aside to shoot and split a two-year-old steer, but, gather ye rosebuds while ye may.

3 thoughts on “thank you Eliot Coleman

  1. I don’t even know your names, but Becky Adrian in the church nursery today in Champaign, IL, recommended that I check out this site. What fun! I’ll read more another time. We have been on our 6 acres for 18 years doing similar stuff. Truly amazing what can be grown on a small farm.
    Why on earth do you peel tomatoes??? My husband is from an Italian family and they run their tomatoes through a tabletop handcrank machine which spits the seeds and skins out one way, and the juice and pulp another way.
    We finally bought a small tabletop electric cream separator. We should have done it 15 years ago!!! OK, so it took some getting used to and milk all over the kitchen when we didn’t have it correctly set up, but now we bring in the warm milk from the barn, start the separator whirring, and have our cream and skim milk in a jiffy. After washing it up maybe 30 times, we got the hang of assembling it and that is no problem either anymore.
    These can be pretty pricey, but since people are always giving up on their farmy dreams, you’ll find them used if you keep looking.

    1. Hi, Penny, thanks for the note. Becky is an angel!
      We used a Victorio strainer for tomatoes for years, and the children enjoyed the process when they were young. We made gallons of t. sauce in those days because we had not yet moved to raising our own beef, and we lived on beans and pasta then. Now we raise about half as many tomatoes — forty or so plants, instead of ninety — and we use the fruit for salsa, of which we use a great deal (like fifty quarts or so), rotelle tomatoes, and chunky marinara. Somewhere along the line we also came to associate an overly-acidic sauce with the use of the strainer. Maybe it’s just an illusion, but we had the feeling that maybe the strainer was squeezing tomato acids out of the skins and seeds that were contributing to the excessive acidity.

    2. Also, our avoidance of cream separators is deliberate. We prefer hand-skimming for a variety of reasons. One is that we don’t like Jersey milk whole — too fatty — so we drink our hand-skimmed milk, which is about equivalent in fat content to whole milk from the store. Another reason is that we like low-tech solutions, and my kitchen doesn’t have room for any one-use gadgets bigger than my garlic masher!
      It’s great to hear about your experiences farming — there is so much to learn out there!
      God bless you — Beth

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