Saturday, June 30, 2007

Did a bit more research on buying locally. I have a number for a family farm in Caldwell that has chickens......I'm going to see them in a couple days to see if the chickens are free range, with proper housing and all, but I'm thinking they will be fine. And they might have eggs too, although the ones we've been getting at the Karcher Ranch Market are great and also from a family farm.

I've looked into CSA's, which are Community Supported Agriculture and you basically buy a share of a farm and get a portion of whatever they produce (eggs, fruits/vegetables, etc) and it's fresh and in season. If I can't get my vegetable garden to produce much we might do that. We'd also get more variety than I could get from mine. It's interesting what's out there when you look. I hate factory farming and CAFO's and although a lot of vegetarians and vegans use them as excuses to not eat meat and dairy, I'd be happy eating meat and dairy as long as it came from TRULY happy cows, chickens, beef, etc......

If anyones interested has links to local farmers where you can get lots of fresh stuff.

The more I think about it, the less I want big corporate farming groups to control what I eat. That may sound a bit radical to some people, but with all the loss of topsoil and the pesticides I think it's a good cause to take up. Course it won't happen overnight. We probably won't get our grass-finished beef until next year due to lack of funds, but that won't stop me from getting our chicken and milk now.
We saw Sawyer Brown in concert last night at the Idaho Center. For those of you who don't know, he's a country singer and I'd never heard of him or seen him... the groups been together since the mid-eighties, I guess. So, it was an outdoor concert and we were invited by a co-worker of Noel's... I was sitting on the grass (we arrived early) in the HOT sun, and the whole time I guess we were keeping an eye out for them (actually, Noel was because I'd only met them once) and they ended up sitting down right in front of us, only half-recognizing me (Noel was getting food) and I only half recognized them, so it wasn't until Noel got back that I realized who they were.......ANYWAY! Sawyer Brown came out and I, having no clue who he was saw a kid in army fatigues and a blue t-shirt and a kind of cowboy hat and really thought he was like early 20's tops. He moved his feet and legs like only a really flexible kid could, I thought! So then he says that his groups been together 25 years and I had to go home and look him up on the internet because I needed to see what this really energetic guy looked like. From his photos, he looks like he's early 30's, but he's 43. Lucky guy. Anyway, great energy and everyone loved him. His songs were really good. Rodney Atkins also sang and I did recognize one of his songs...... both were really good performers. We had a really good time......could've taken McKenna, I guess but it was really loud and hot for most of the time and I think she would've been pretty grouchy the whole time.

Monday, June 25, 2007

An excellent link on raw and pasteurized milk for those interested!
So, we finally got our raw milk and it's really good! Thicker, and a little sweeter. I haven't given any to McKenna yet - guess it will take awhile to work through that fear that she'll drop dead the instant she has some. I'm not planning to give her any of this batch, anyway. I probably won't get anymore milk from this girl at the Karcher ranch market, either. Her mom has their cows on hay year round and I'm really looking for cows that are on pasture a good part of the time. I may have been given incorrect information about cows milk being legal to sell in Idaho. Another source I've found says it's actually illegal to sell and only people that own their owns cows can drink the milk. Although, I've yet to find any info anywhere that says I'd be arrested for being caught red-handed with a raw milk mustache! lol

Anyway, I've found a herdshare in Caldwell that looks affordable and sounds as though it may be what we're looking for. The Jersey cows are on pasture part of the time and get good hay in the winter months. There's 3 of them right now and the owner is a home-schooling mom who's interests (according to her web page) seem to be aligned with mine. It costs $25. for start-up and then $10.76 a month for milk (which is about what we pay now) ranging from a quart to a gallon per week depending on production.

I am interested in possibly making my own cheese, butter and yogurt if we sign up for this. I recently read "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver and it was basically about subsistence farming... the family tried an experiment to eat only what they could produce on their farm for one year, or to buy locally if they absolutely had to. The book really opened my eyes to whats happening with our food supply in this country, from the billions of dollars spent on pesticides to the loss of top soil. I came across a statistic that said that currently the typical 4 person family needs about 4 acres of land in order to survive, and that by 2020 there will only be about .6 acres per family. In my opinion, the more I can do to buy locally from farmers that are using organic practices, the better! The foods yummier, too!

Another thing I came across is a study that showed that currently our milk, pre-pasteurization has lots of bacteria in it, including salmonella, listeria and e-coli, but because we pasteurize the milk, the corporations running these huge dairy operations don't bother with cleanliness. They also give their cows antibiotics on a regular basis so that they don't get sick in these conditions. On the other end of the spectrum, an organic dairy farm in California, I believe (I'll have to find the link to the article!) tested their milk, every batch that went through, and found no traces of these harmful bacteria in their milk. Their cows were fed properly, got lots of sunshine and fresh air and green grass and the people milking were careful to keep everything very clean and the milk properly stored at the right temperature. From what I understand raw milk does contain e.coli, but it's normally a benign microorganism. The most likely source of the new strains of virulent E. coli is genetically engineered soy, fed to cows in large commercial dairies. If there is any type of milk likely to harbor these virulent breeds, it is commercial pasteurized milk.

Time to go... McKenna's down for quiet time and I think I'll take a nap too!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I've been into buying locally now for awhile... since it's summertime I'm visiting the farmers market every saturday and buying local, healthy, yummy stuff from the farmers. Since I didn't get a lot of peas this year in my garden I'll probably buy a bunch and can/freeze them. I also looked into raw milk and found it's legal to sell but not advertise in this state. A girl I met at the Karcher ranch market is bringing me some milk from her family's small operation tomorrow. Sounds like a good farm from everything she told me and they've all drank the milk since she remembers. Found a lot of pro and con info out there on it, but I'm particularly interested in the possibility that it could help reduce the histimine levels in my blood that cause my allergies. I'd like to avoid allergy shots or a steroid shot this year! Cheers!
McKenna is doing very well with potty training! She's been going every day, some days only once and some days more. In addition to her star chart, she gets to wash her hands with "Nemo" soap that are pretty colors of the rainbow. She's feeling very proud of herself. She'll come get me when she pees and will say "PEE"!! And we go in and I give her some toilet paper to wipe with and then she helps me empty the potty into the big toilet. We then wash our hands with Nemo and she gets a star for her chart. Did I mention that she's really proud of herself!? :D And we are VERY proud of her! She would love calls from friends and family to tell them all about it!

Friday, June 08, 2007

WOOHOO!!! McKenna peed in the potty (for real) for the first time today!! She was running around naked and started squirming and hand her hands down there so I said, 'do you have to pee? Go sit on the potty" so she went in and next thing I know, I hear running water so I run in and she's got a big smile on her face and I said, 'did you pee-pee?' and she stood up and there was like a cup of pee in the potty!!!! She got to wipe with toilet paper and got a sticker on her chart! We were all on a high for like half and hour!