Ghostwood Farm

May 16, 2012, 4:42 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

A good piece on how meat becomes meat. I know from experience how time consuming butchering is for the layman. If you don’t follow Tim’s blog, please consider doing so: He has some great food-related information to share.

Mulligan Stew

If you haven’t read the first post about breaking down a whole lamb, here it is. I’ve moved on to more serious territory, and if you’re a bit squeamish, try to make it through as much of this post as you can. I’ll keep it light. There will be no pictures of the slaughterhouse in this post. 

If you did read the linked post from above, you’ll remember that our butchers, for the last year, have been getting in whole lamb carcasses and breaking them down for sale in our meat department. As I stated in the comments, we come from a sterile environment of meat eating. Our meats come in shrinkwrapped packages with a sell-by date, and they have neither a face, nor a name. As far as we know, it’s what’s stamped on the package that gets us to buy things. Buzzwords such as ‘grass-fed’, ‘boneless/skinless’, and ‘organic’…

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Let’s go to beds, I: The trouble with corn.
May 14, 2012, 5:02 pm
Filed under: Farming, Veggies

I’m thinking a lot about the beds these days. The farm beds, that is, not the beds inside the house. Well, I’m thinking a lot about MY bed, too, but that’s another issue.

The farm is planted in beds. Most of the beds to this point (12 total) are four feet wide by 100 feet long. The first four run north-south, the rest run east-west. This is because as I planned last year’s beds, I realized that tall plants in north-south beds have the potential to shade shorter plants in adjacent beds. So I plant short stuff there. Lesson learned.

One of the four foot, N-S beds is planted to asparagus (250 plants). Asparagus is a long-lived perennial (which means it comes back year after year), so it needs to be in an out of the way spot. It was my northernmost bed until last fall, when I put in another bed to the north of it (for 250 more asparagus plants, which will be planted next year). However, I couldn’t afford 250 more plants this spring, so I put it in peas to fix a bit of nitrogen, with an eye toward next year.

Many people use beds that are four feet wide, so that the entire bed can be weeded, harvested, cultivated, etc. from one side, without having to walk in them. However, last year I put in an 8-foot bed for corn, because if corn isn’t planted densely enough, it won’t get fully pollinated, and the ears won’t fill out entirely. Well, my 8-foot bed was not wide enough. The field corn did not fill out, some of the ears remaining completely devoid of kernels.

The other contributing factor to the corn problem is that I planted it in the Native American style–corn, beans, and squash planted in hills together. This means that there were only 4 or 5 corn plants across the bed–not enough to ensure proper pollination. The field and sweet corn did poorly, though the popcorn did okay.

This year I’ve planted over half a pound of popcorn seed, plus two field corns and two sweet corns. I’ve planted them in 8-foot beds, 8 inches apart in rows 12 inches apart. I expect much better pollination this year. In addition, the squash will get its own beds this year, though I think I will be planting pole beans among the corn to reduce my trellising effort (the beans climb the corn stalks).

You want some of this corn meal, don't you?

You want some of this corn meal, don’t you? Green cornbread? Green tortillas? Nice!

I’ll post more later on additional bed concerns.