Right to Farm

I would like to bring attention to a big issue that I am finding more and more common lately: the government’s attack on small farms (and even gardens). We are hearing a lot about people in urban and suburban areas with gardens in their front lawns, being forced to “landscape” their property instead of growing food. It starts with neighbors complaining that the gardens don’t fit in with the subdivision complex, or that the raised beds are an eye sore. Then the government gets involved and it becomes the homeowners fight for their rights to grow vegetables instead of maintaining a well-manicured green lawn. I am having a hard time understanding this whole issue. What ever happened to “victory gardens”? I like having my own garden and I recently expanded it into my front yard because I have better sun and I am so sick of mowing! I am just waiting to see how long it takes for one of my neighbors to chirp in…

Here are some examples of people in urban areas that are fighting to keep their gardens. I got these pictures off of a Facebook page called Grow Food Not Lawns. Why is this illegal?:

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‘Fried’ Green Tomatoes

My friend came over with her kids (ages 2 and 7) last night and I had them pick all of my tomatoes for me. They loved it. So did I, because there were a lot of tomatoes! I think tomato season is done up here in the Upper Peninsula. We have been getting highs of 50-60 each day and lows of 35-45 each night. The tomatoes are just not getting ripe on the vine. I have a ton of green tomatoes now. I will try and ripen them under a blanket in the basement and see what happens. I was also told to add some apples in with them because they help the tomatoes ripen and keep them from rotting. I chopped all of my basil last night too and made pesto. Basil is another plant that needs heat to flourish.

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Cold Packed Hot Pepper Rings

I promised that I would be putting more of my recipes up. This recipe was given to me by a coworker. This coworker is always giving me cooking advice and bringing me samples of his food. He and is wife are food fanatics. I love to trade recipes and produce from our gardens. These pepper rings are for the refrigerator only. I don’t know if I would try canning them for storage because a) it has oil in it and I’m not sure how that works with canning and b) a water bath would probably make the peppers lose some of their crunch. These are very crispy and you can use them to top nachos, enchiladas, pizza, or just eat them right out of the jar like I do! I picked up banana peppers (a mixture of hot and mild) from my farmer’s market for 1.79 a pound. Feel free to halve the recipe if you don’t have enough fridge storage. This is so easy; you will be amazed.

Cold Packed Hot Pepper Rings:

  • 7-1/2 lbs of banana peppers
  • 2/3 – 3/4 cup canning salt
  • 2-3 heads of garlic diced
  • 3 cups vegetable oil
  • 5 cups white vinegar (Heinz)

Slice the peppers into rings. I kept all of my seeds in them, but you can take them out if you want them less spicy. 

In a large bowl or container, add all of the ingredients and mix very well. Put the container in the fridge and let it sit overnight to absorb flavor. Stir it every so often, I just did it once before bed and once in the morning. 

Clean out a bunch of glass canning jars. Give the pepper mixture a good mix, and stuff those jars with the peppers. Make sure you get some liquid in there too, to keep them moist. You can keep the jars in the fridge for up to 2 months (maybe longer) but they wont last that long! 

*expect the oil to settle at the top of the jar after a while in the fridge. The oil gets cold and kind of forms a jelly. Just give it a good hard shake before you open the jars and it will be fine.

Post Cleanse

It has been almost 2 weeks since we ended our little body cleanse. I thought that I would tell you guys that I haven’t indulged in pop yet, which is a big feat for me. I am just not craving it like I used to before the cleanse. I have also noticed that certain foods make me feel awful. After I eat pizza or a big sandwich, I cramp up. My stomach feels like crap for a couple of hours afterwards. I think that cheese is something that my body rejects also. I feel very lazy and don’t want to move after I eat it. We haven’t bought milk since the cleanse ended either. Since we mainly use milk for only cooking, we have been keeping coconut and rice milk around. It is working great and I find that it doesn’t go bad as fast as normal milk.  Continue reading

3 Week Cleanse – Day 14

So…..we ended the cleanse at 2 weeks. Surprisingly, I don’t feel too defeated by that though.We discovered new recipes, learned how to eat without dips, lost the junk food cravings and conquered the caffeine addiction! I lost almost 10 pounds and my skin is all cleared up. The weight loss wasn’t a goal, but it sure was a plus. We didn’t change our exercise routines at all. I also feel like I have so much energy!

The reason why we ended the cleanse early (I refuse to use the word “quit”), is because we really just felt like we got all that we could out of it. Another reason is that we missed going out to eat and drink with friends! It was hard to turn them down all of the time. Also, 2 weeks is a very long time to live off fruits, veggies and beans! Continue reading