Finnriver: To your prosperity

As you all know I was very very happy to help another farm. To help feed folks from a farm that regular feeds my family.Under Accomplishments.

See Mending fences and Monday minders and Accomplishments Under Accomplishments.

Today when my transport coop was returned we were also presented with a package of there very own locally grown organic Hard Red Whole Wheat Berries. My favorite of the wheat family! Definitely unexpected and a total blessing for our family. This will be hand ground and feed our sourdough starter for some time to come.

All blessing to your posterity and your further prosperity!

For more information on Finnriver Farm, you pick berries, or to get a jump on next years CSA list please see there website and sign up for the Newsletter. Don't forget to say 'Hi' at the local markets!

Thankful Thursday: What are you thankful for today?

I am thankful for my family! I love my husband. It seems like there is no task that he is not able to do. Granted he is also quite busy and does not always have the time but he is just amazing :) 

I am thankful for a community of service and that I often have opportunities to serve as well. I always feel like I gain more from serving those I serve ever gain from me. And its fun!

Oh! Check this out! Last but not least...

All the things that fit where my dishwasher used to be :)
  • Seven 5+ gallon buckets of bulk grains etc.
  • 1 case of rice that is different from whats in the buckets
  • Lots of space right on top of those for jars (carefully!) or #10 cans (more likely)
  • Some space to the side for...?
  • Enough room in front to hang a spiffy curtain or put in doors like hubby wants to (but will not likely have the time to make in the near future as he is often out of town)
I am so glad I gave my dishwasher to Free-cycle :) the folks that received it were so happy and now I can use that space for something useful! 

Right now it is a mess but I am still thankful for the useful space!

What are you thankful for?

Have a blog? Link up with our Linky tool! Don't have a blog that's OK too you can still participate in the comment section :)

Also Shared on the Simple Lives Thursday Blog Hop

Mid Week Missions

This weeks mission for our family!

Take it easy!

We had a rough week last week and we are all recovering. This week we are going to take it easy and get back to basics :) Things have slowed down just enough that this really is OK and so needed. week is going to be a tough week and we are rolling into Fair time for these 4-H kids too!

So much to do and so little time but this week is ours!

To Do:

Put all the appointments and important dates on the schedule.
Reup written routines and put them in our journals as our lives are slowly changing as we learn more and more about Sustainable living.fami
Post our routines here for all to see
Drink lots of water
BREATH! We need it!

Homekeepers Journal

This is Part of The Christian Homekeepers weekly blog hop. It keeps my grounded, it keeps me sane, it helps me remember why am doing some of the things that I am doing and it helps me connect with others more and more especially since we live rurally and plan someday to be even more remote! I love the blog hops and even though I know some of the prompts can be controversial I have chosen to participate. 
If you would also like to participate you can simply take the bold prompts and complete them in the comments section or if you do have a blog and would like to participate:

  1. Make your own entry at your blog using the prompts that are in bold type above.
  2. Finish out the prompts with your own words.
  3. Grab the Homekeeper’s Journal picture and use it on your blog with a link to CHK.
  4. Come back here and put the link to your blog post in the Linky on the CHK site.

The ways that being a Christian has made a difference in my life …..are vast. I learn and progress in my journey towards Christ like action, however slowly, a little each day. With my family in tow this makes a huge statement. I am all about my children and there future.
I believe that knowing Jesus and being a Christian has made me a better mother because …….I now understand, more and more each day it seems, the plan of salvation and what Jesus truly wanted for us. What Jesus truly went through for us. All of us. As children of a loving heavenly father I can only hope to pass that message on and strive to more like him every day. I pray to be a good example of hime to my children but I know I must also teach them of him and how to learn of him on there own. I know my children are learning to love the scriptures and the quiwt time in the spirit which the reading brings.
I know that being a Christian has made me a better wife because …..I am more patient and understanding with my husband and he with me because of it. I know that we are part of a  much bigger picture in the scheme of things and I know we have to strive together if either of us which to reach any of our goals. We are one and we are equal. Now we must be equal to the task! 
The way I respond to others is affected by my relationship with God through Jesus and is obvious when …. other people are apologetic to me. I am able to empathetic enough to see there point of view and they are often more upset with themselves, by far, than I would ever be with them. We are all to hard on ourselves and often for the wrong reasons.
The way I respond to pain and/or bad things coming into my life is different from non-believers in these ways …..I simply pray for guidance. I also know that this trial is to teach me something or prepare me for a greater service that I am not yet ready to perform. And I know that this too shal pass :)...eventually. Im not perfect you know!
Now its your turn! If you don't have a blog just post below and don't forget to hit the CHK journal pic above and leave post there too!

Twisted Tuesday 7 27 2010

If at first you don't succeed try, try again!

This has been a very hectic week for us. We have had some illness in the family and it has been very troubling to us. SO... this post is more what has not been twisting in our kitchen this week and how it has effected us or not effected us. You will have to read on to see!

I am very happy to say that one of our dear friends came by today. She had a look see at our little buck and came bearing unexpected presents of GOLD!!! Liquid gold that is! With the pro-biotic pearls that make all that gold right inside! We finally have some dairy Kefir grains!!!!!!! Woot! What a happy Tuesday morning :)

This week as i have been so concerned with my family I have been a total slacker.

I have not:

Soaked any grains
made any sourdough bread
made in bread at all
made any yogurt
made any cheese

In fact I have not made much of our food at all! All because our family was sick and I was a scatter brain and now we are paying the price. I was so delighted to tell my Nurse Practitioner that I had not had a migraine in months thank you very much. Well I broke that record after eating non grass fed meat that was certainly not organic either. I will NEVER do that again! I would rather starve and have blood sugar problems :'(

I also have not had any problems with irritable bowels since we switched to soaking our grains and eating primarily sourdough. Plus all the yogurt we make has been a huge help for sure epecially with some of us on antibiotics right now. But wait... I haven't been making yogurt and the last is gone and drum roll please, we have been eating store bought bread and deli food. We have been out and running so much for testing. In fact last night we ate at, eep! Wendy's! I know can you believe it? Arrrrrrrrrg! I don't do these things! I though it would be OK just once.

Oh dear me I will not be doing these things ever again! Just speaking for myself alone with the migraine that wouldn't quit and the cramping about like giving birth I will make the time. I will make a list instead of thinking about making that list next time I feel overwhelmed with our schedule.

In fact I will go make that list now! So I don't have to make it in the heat of the moment and put it off because I don't ever want to feel this way again!

Last but not least I find myself very dehydrated. I have been working on this all day and still the room is spinning as I sit here typing...good thing I don't need to see the keyboard. I certainly hope I don't have to many spelling errors. The more I try to think or concentrate the more it hurts :(

If I forget to post that list you make sure and keep me accountable! Who knows, it may help you start your own :) It will be going into my control journal with my other routines...why wasn't it there already? Hmmm.

Shared on the Tuesday Twister @ GNOWFGLINS
Shared on Two for Tuesdays Blog Hop Carnival
and Real food Wednesday 

Monday 'minders and Accomplishments

To do:

Mostly this week we are focusing on some lingering illness in our family. We have 2 Appointments both out of town.

Begin infusing oils for salves and lip balm.

Our regular provider is out of the office until Thursday so we won't be able to follow up with her then.

Today we see a specialist we trust and the children see the dentist! Hurray! 

This is going to be a very long day for Mommy!

Work on ward cookbook.

Render lard from new batch of leaf fat.

Add to this list as I am able since I won't know what is happening in our lives till after we see the Dr. :(

And as always continue de-cluttering junk out of the house and organizing what is left. This is on going! What is left the kids can sell at  our annual 'summer camp' for a fundraiser. They love it! This year we are 'Camp GIA' I can't take all the credit for this idea but it gets the kids involved in all the work and cleaning. It even motivates them and they have fun so I can't resist! Check out the Flylady page that explains the concept. The rest of course goes to Pickens :)

Chicken Habitat

For the hens I will be building 2 chicken tractors.

A tractor is a coop that is mobile in some way or another. Some tractors are very large (50 -100 or more) with wheels that you would have to pull with a mower, tractor or horses and have little to no fencing beyond the fence around the field it is in at the time. The chickens simply stay close to the tractor for the most part for shade food and water and a place to roost or lay eggs off the ground. You could feasibly make a boxed in fence run that was pretty huge and on wheels attached to the hen house if you felt the need. Or move it separately. What they need is safety from predators and inclement weather.

Others are medium sized with wheels and can house quite a few depending on dimensions and still be moved by one or two people. Barely. So be careful!

The ones we are going to make are compact but roomy. Perches and nest are above with plenty of wide ground space below. This will enable us to know where the chickens are at all times as well as keep them safe from predators and still allow them to be 'free' range.

These coops will be moved every second day or so. They will never run out of food this way. The chickens will aerate and fertilize the place they are in for those two days and then get moved to a fresh space ( 4-5 feet over, or the width of the foot print) where there is once again everything they need. We can even put this over a portion of the garden and have them do the work for us before planting time :) Here is a picture of the type of coop we will be building. They are very light weight and can be moved by one person if it has wheels or you move one end and then the other, however, they are light enough for my DD9 and I to move together. And they are simple easy and beautiful :) Perfect! If you would like a copy of the plans for this type of coop I can give you the link, just ask in the comment section :)

These little coop tractors will house enough chickens for a family to have eggs and are easy to make a little bigger or in half to make them smaller and are perfect for the urban back yard. No mess, no smell and lots of eggs. Children love it!

In many areas you can have chickens even in the city. Make sure there are no CC & R's barring it, if there are you may need to get creative as you will need to convince your neighbors that they will not be bothered, and check with the city officials if you are unsure. A safe way to appease you neighbors is to go rooster free :) Just know that eventually one hen will stop laying and pretend to be a rooster! Isn't that funny?!

We raise heritage breeds and allow our mother hens to hatch naturally but at times it is necessary to move them and there clutch and or brood to the broody coop for safety from the other chickens. We also raise chicks for other families and use these broody coops for those purposes when they just come from a hatchery and not our hens. Pics of the broody coops are forthcoming! We have been using these for about four years now and they are marvelous!

Our current large stationary coop area will now only be used for an intermediate pen. A pen to be used in between the broody coop and moving a to a knew home or to be butchered or to the tractor. Since we have been having drainage issues with this area and it is over inundated with nitrogen I will be adding ashes and tilling it up. We will then add drainage stones and pipe and sand before I put the soil back down with some nice compost and replant. It will be nice and green again.

Twisted Tuesday 7 20 2010

This week in our kitchen we have Made a wonderful ham! I got an old fashioned smoked ham from the gal at the market and we cooked it in the crock pot.


Put ham in crock pot before bed fill half up the side of the ham with water. Flip ham over in the morning enjoy anytime after 11pm Yumm!

NOTE obviously it was already cured and required no cooking or simple reheat but this was so delicious I had to share!

My first baked beans were the worlds best ever! That is really and truly saying something because I can't stand baked beans lol


Rinse and clean 1 cup beans. OR you can measure the broth described below and decide how much beans you can cook. Soak beans, I used Pinto, overnight (min 7 hours preferably at least 12 hours) In appropriate amount of water adding an acid (kombucha, why, buttermilk , vinegar) 1 T to each cup water.

If soaking on the stove bring to a good low simmer cover and turn off. If soaking in the crock pot turn on high for 1 hour then turn off. Skim of any scum, quickly so as not to lose heat though.

Next I took the rest of the big pieces of meat and the chucks of fatty material out of the juice in the crock pot. This left a lot of meat and some nice oils in the broth so I did not add anything to this but the ready to cook beans and I chopped up large onion. Add about 2 cups of brown sugar or drizzle in some grade B maple syrup or some molasses. Cook beans for a minimum of 12 hours.

We took this to the pot luck and we all enjoyed it so much and got so many compliments we decided to use the remaining juice to cook some more :) This time I added only the soaked beans and also some soaked rice. In fact I soaked the beans and rice together.

NOTE if your beans are more than a year old, for example you may have food storage built up. Beans can last for a long time but sometimes they get difficult to cook after a time and remain overly firm. Simply add a teaspoon or so of baking soda while they cook.

ALSO my mother always keeps hot water in a kettle or pot handy when cooking beans in case they need more water. I had plenty in mine but make sure you always add hot water or you cool the whole thing and it takes about an hour and a half to heat back up to cooking temperature. 1 ½ hours longer cooking = :(

ONE more thing :) There was a lot of juices left so we used a slotted spoon the first time but it was amazing anyway! I had never cooked it before and none of my friends are scratch cooks. Not like this anyway or not with the baked beans so I was up to my own devices. I could have used 3 cups or so had I n=known. The leftover juice was still awesome and the beans add rice were great in it. It was thick and sweet and oh so yummy! I added about 1 ½ cups beans and about ¾ or so cup of rice to the second batch.

I wish I had a picture! Maybe I can find one similar online :) This is NOT a can of baked beans! Not even a Dr. up can of baked beans lol the recipes got were something like: can pork and beans brown sugar and catchup. Tops with cheese. Eww!

This post is also part of Fight Back Friday's Blog Hop!
Pennywise Platter Thursday @ The Nourishing Gourmet
Twisted Tuesday Blog Hop @ GNOWFGLINS

At times I find that post can be shared long after it has been written as was this one. Sometimes it fits well in more than one link up or blog hop! I try to acknowledge all of them :) There really are some great blogs our there! Check them out for yourself! We are going to be adding some of our own Linky Love here @ Sustainability as well! Don't have a blog? Thats OK share with us in the comment section! Have fun with it!

Mending fences and Monday minders and Accomplishments

We mended the fence but not before the goats got out and into the neighbors tomatoes! Neither the neighbors nor our family were home at the time :( Oh dear! I suppose it doesn't matter that I gave her that tomato? … not so much. Have I mentioned they don't like animals? Not good. I feel terrible.


The barn has not been cleaned out as of yet. We got a good start on it but we are not done.

I have the design figured out for how I am going to redo the bunny portion of the barn. Did I tell you we bread some bunnies! Yay! We should have some babies in a few weeks! Keep your fingers crossed! Woot!

Must get on the firewood situation for winter.

Need more hay! Ahk! You cannot grow alfalfa in W Washington :(

Mend the fence. You guessed it. One of the goatlettes has figure out how to get out...again!

Need to finish getting the 'yards' and driveway cleaned up and get out the scythe to mow the tall grass :) Free grass hay! Now if only we can master the art of a proper hay stack! I have the gist but I am still thinking it is easier said then don. It must shed rain.... and we live in a temperate rain forest.

Till till till more of the yard to enlarge the garden.

Finish choosing winter veggie crops and start a plan for spring

Continue de-cluttering junk out of the house and organizing what is left. What we don't need the kids can sell at our families annual 'summer camp' for a fundraiser. They love it! This year we are Camp GIA. I cant take all the credit for this idea but it gets the kids involved in all the work and cleaning and they have fun doing it so I can't resist! Check out the Flylady page that explains this concept here! The rest of course goes to Pickens :)


The chickens you ask? Well the excess roosters are surely in someones freezer or pot! I regret that they are not in mine but I thank God all the time for freecycle! Would you have thought to list something like that on freecycle? Well we do around here all the time. Very rural and tons of farmers and small farms like ours. I was so surprised and thrilled to see that the folks who showed up to collect them were from our favorite farm! I was blessed to help feed the people that help feed me :)

SO this post has been super but I haven't been able to get online at home for a few days and wanted to share all we have accomplished along with the minders :) I have taken some of the material out and will do a separate article on chicken housing :)

Yogurt Cheese (labneh) and Yogurt

This  Cream Cheese substitute is Fun and simple. A wonderful starting point for any budding cheese maker!

Supplies needed:

Medium size mixing bowl or other wide mouth container such as a pot
Large cloth napkin or tea towel (non Terry)
Rubber band or string
Strainer or colander for piece of mind :)


1   32oz container of plain yogurt
1   tsp or so of salt


Line colander with cloth and place on bowl or other container. Pour yogurt into cloth lined colander. Gather up the edges to form a bag and hang or suspend bag over the bowl to drain. The colander is not needed I use it for piece of mind in case my bag falls. Some people simply leave the bag in the colander covered over with its own edges and do not hang this works as well. Leave to drain for several hours. 7 hours or even over night would be perfect :) Salt to taste.

You now have a spreadable cheese for the morning bagel or you could add salt herbs and onions for an herb spread or fruit and some sweetener for a fruit spread! You will never want  store bought again!

This should also leave you with about 12 oz of whey to be used in your cooking, fed to your pets or you plants.See note on whey at bottom of post :) Enjoy!

IF you would like to make your own yogurt to create your cheese from it i not so hard either! Did you know yogurt is considered a cheese? Cool huh!

Supplies needed:

Pot with lid (or use plate for lid) or double boiler if handy
Kitchen thermometer


!/2 Gallon milk (NOT ultra pasturised it will not make anything)
small container of plain yogurt


Bring milk to 185 F in your pot stirring constantly to prevent scorching (unless in double boiler) boiling is unnecessary. Cool milk in sink of cold water or simply let stand until it reaches 110-115 F. Add 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt to the milk and stir well. Keep milk no cooler than 110 for 7 hours. I put a lid on it and put it in my warmed and turned off oven with the light left on overnight. This works very well for us. 

If you make your yogurt cheese form this yogurt you will have yogurt left over for your enjoyment as well as eating the yogurt cheese. Feel free to add vanilla and sweetener to it for a vanilla yogurt or add some fruit as well for the yogurt of your choice! Have fun with it and dont forget to share in the posts below!

NOTE: Whey is also used to make cheeses like Ricotta and Mysost and the whey will keep in the fridge for 6 months.

forging fromage: Gouda AND Goat's Milk Feta...2 new cheesy adventures!

I can't wait to start this Gouda! My fav!!!!! I admit it is not a beginner cheese but go through her site to find some easier ones such as yogurt cheese (labneh) and you cant go wrong?

Do you have a bowl and a hand towel? Then you can make yogurt cheese! Don't have yogurt? Get some or better yet, make some! Happy cheesyness!

We will be adding a cheese post to the blog so we can learn how to do some cheeses. We will always have an easy/beginner cheese and I will share my cheesy forays with all the ones I try as well! Enjoy!

I am so excited can you tell! Yumm!!!

forging fromage: Gouda AND Goat's Milk Feta...2 new cheesy adventures!

Are You Sustainable?

I couldn't have said it better myself though someday I will try lol but this is so important to the who what when where why behind what we do and why it is so important to be as sustainable as possible :) Enjoy this post :) Teri

Are You Sustainable?

My woes with doughs

Well I began my new sourdough starter with rye following the instructions in the new sourdough eCourse (see sidebar) the other night and went to bed with happy thoughts! The next morning nothing :( A good stir for aeration and let it set some more!...I hate waiting!

Next check after a total of 24 hrs and there is, maybe, a bubble or two!?...maybe.

The next morning there is definitely sign of life!!! Yay! Food for the masses that I hope are hungry in there.

Also about this time I was realizing that all I had to do was convert a small amount of my other starter into rye starter so without thinking I added a spoonful of it to this starter. Oops :( So much for that experiment with my own starter! I am still excited through it all and will try again soon :)

The best way to get a starter going (or simplest at any rate) is obviously to get some from someone else. But having the necessary skills and knowledge is always a blessing! Thanks so much for all you do Wardeh and for the great and rather thorough instruction Erin! Kudos!

My woes with doughs

Well I began my new sourdough starter with rye following the instructions in the new sourdough eCourse (see sidebar) the other night and went to bed with happy thoughts! The next morning nothing :( A good stir for aeration and let it set some more!...I hate waiting!

Next check after a total of 24 hrs and there is, maybe, a bubble or two!?...maybe.

The next morning there is definitely sign of life!!! Yay! Food for the masses that I hope are hungry in there.

Also about this time I was realizing that all I had to do was convert a small amount of my other starter into rye starter so without thinking I added a spoonful of it to this starter. Oops :( So much for that experiment with my own starter! I am still excited through it all and will try again soon :)

The best way to get a starter going (or simplest at any rate) is obviously to get some from someone else. But having the necessary skills and knowledge is always a blessing! Thanks so much for all you do Wardeh and for the great and rather thorough instruction Erin! Kudos!

Stinging nettles and Rye?

What has been going on here this week? Wow!

We have started our journey through the GNOWFGLINS sourdough eCourse and since I have my own wonderful old starter I am going to start a rye starter today! Yippee!

Why the nettles? I have strayed away from my days of cupboards full of herbs and lost much of my hard won knowledge :( I came across the HerbMentor website and could not resist! It is awesome and self paced. Multimedia. Has it all and makes it oh so simple :)

Nettles are very healthful for you in so many ways! Did you know the juice from the nettle can ease the discomfort (lets face it agony!) of the stinging nettle sting? Woot! It heals itself lol who knew! But it makes total since when you think about it. I love it!

A pro-biotic treat!

Raw Goat Fudge

1 lb powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp vanilla or half vanilla half flavor of choice such as almond?
5 oz Creme de Chevre ( raw goat milk cream cheese, I made my own!
 temp never goes over 80F)
1 oz Cultured goat butter or coconut oil
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1 gallon ziplock bag or bowl and wax paper might work? I didn't tweak this part yet.

A delicious, fun to make recipe. Involve the kids! They will love making it as much as they will love eating it and they wont even know its good for them!

On second thought don't tell them is good for them or you might be in trouble!  

A recipe I tweaked from another recipe to make this treat with raw ingredients :)


Put Creme de Chevre and cultured Goat Butter into a bowl and let soften. When it is easily mixable, stir in vanilla. Put powdered sugar and cocoa into the ziplock bag. Seal bag and shake thoroughly. (Try to make sure any lumps of powdered sugar are broken up.)

Add Creme de Chevre mixture and nuts (if using) to the bag. Seal the bag and squeeze all ingredients together until well blended, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Initially, you will need to leave some air in the bag. Once it becomes a thicker consistency, release some air and kneed like putty.

When thoroughly mixed, work the fudge to the bottom of the bag and roll into a log. Refrigerate for 1 - 2 hours or overnight. Remove from bag. Using a warm, dry knife cut into 1 inch cubes and serve. (Option: Lightly dust with powdered sugar before serving.)

Makes approximately 2 lbs of fudge.

Come Join Us!

If you are working on the fundamentals with us this is one you will want to master!

See sidebar for a video covering the Sourdough eCourse and Topics :) See you there!