Friday, September 22, 2017

First Podcast Interview by Off the Grid News

Michael Foust of Off The Grid News conducted a fast moving 30 minute interview with us last week, asking us about water, power, food production, bears, and sources of revenue at our remote property.

Here is the link to the podcast.  If you are interested in this, you may be interested in some of his other weekly interviews with off-grid families throughout the US and Canada.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Canning Home Raised Rabbit and Vegetables for Winter Food

September is when we are busy putting up lots of food for winter.  This is a satisfying feeling, rather like graduation. The efforts expended in earlier months to feed ourselves prove fruitful.  

Some end-of-season herbs, I dry, crumble, and store in jars. I particularly love lemon balm, mints, and red clover in teas. Anise hyssop is good, too. I also save and dry orange peel throughout the year (great in pea soup and teas).  This year, I decided to dry nasturtium and mustard leaves,  to enjoy their pungent flavors in winter onion dips and baked potatoes.  (Nasturtium tastes like horseradish).

Other foods I can in mason jars, starting with vegetables.  Last week, I canned about 15 quarts of kohlrabi, beets, cabbage, broccoli leaves, and mixed vegetable broth (from tough stalks). (Question: Does anyone really LIKE kohlrabi?  It looks like an alien softball and the flavor is turnip-like, but it grows easily here.)

This week has been devoted to processing the rabbits, a time consuming, week-long endeavor for my husband and me.  We raised 15 healthy Flemish giants this year. (An adult is bigger than a house cat). Six will go to a young mom in Willow who will return them (or six others, since 6 become 36 pretty quickly) to us in the spring. The other 9 will yield plenty of food this winter.

After what I hope has been a happy and healthy life for the rabbits,  Bryan shoots them quickly with a .22.  To skin them with a super sharp Cutco knife, he built a plastic, waist-high abattoir and pulls up a little bench.  Saving the hides requires meticulous work, requiring about an hour per rabbit, so he harvests three in a morning.  That is about all I can cook in a day, anyway, if I expect to accomplish anything else.