Thursday, March 16, 2017
There’s something weirdly satisfying about pulling blood… Or maybe it’s just me. Actually, it probably IS just me. I guess it all started during my two years as a Vet Tech… I learned to pull blood from a lot of different critters, and got pretty proficient at it, if I do say so myself. My […] The post How to Draw Blood from Cattle appeared first on The Prairie Homestead.
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Tuesday, March 7, 2017
With spring coming up in just a few weeks, it’s a great time to begin planning your garden. If you’re new to gardening, you’ll be glad to hear that there are many tips that can help make the process cheaper, easier, and more efficient. The great thing about the hacks in this article is that […] The post 12 Gardening Hacks for New Gardeners appeared first on Urban Survival Site.
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Sunday, March 5, 2017
Freezer tetris. It’s a thing, y’all. We have two full-size freezers in the barn, as well as an additional fridge/freezer in the shop. (And a fridge/freezer in the house, of course). And we STILL run out of room… There’s a certain element of stress that enters in every time the butcher calls to say the […] The post How to Can Beef Stew appeared first on The Prairie Homestead.
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from The Prairie Homestead
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Friday, April 4, 2014
Dehydration is an alternative to canning (called "bottling" in the UK) and freezing fruits and vegetables.If you have a surplus of fruits or vegetables from your garden, but lack the canning equipment or freezer space, drying may be the right method for you!
Dehydrated foods have a number of advantages: Dehydration is a low-cost way to preserve food that is free from concerns about botulism, the dried foods require less storage space than canned goods, and there's no freezer to keep running.
Food Drying Principles
Dehydrating your own produce does require time and some knowledge of food drying principles.
- Select the best fruit and vegetables! As with canning and freezing, dehydrated foods are only as good as the fresh fruit or vegetables. When selecting fruits and vegetables for dehydration, choose ones that are ripe, unbruised and at peak-eating quality.
- Prepare foods to be dehydrated as you want them to be served. Apples, for example, may be sliced, cut into rings, or pureed for fruit leather.
- Keep pieces uniform in size and thickness for even drying . Slices cut 1/8 to 1/4-inch in thickness will dry more quickly than thicker pieces.
- Some foods should be washed before drying. Foods such as herbs, berries and seedless grapes need only be washed before dehydrating.
- To prevent browning: try steaming, sulfuring or coating light-colored fruits and vegetables with acids such as lemon juice or ascorbic acid (FruitFresh) before drying. Steaming or blanching also is recommended for vegetables to inactivate enzymes that cause vegetables to mature, or toughen during drying.
- Select the drying method and equipment that is right for you. Foods can be dried in a conventional oven, a commercial dehydrator, or in the sun. Drying times vary with the method and foods chosen. Be sure to read the instructions with your dehydrator.
- Maintain 130F to 140F with circulating air: Remove enough moisture as quickly as possible to prevent spoilage. A drying temperature of 130 degrees F to 140 degrees F allows moisture to be removed quickly without adversely affecting food's texture, color, flavor and nutritive value. If the initial temperature is lower, or air circulation is insufficient, foods may undergo undesirable microbiological changes before drying adequately. If the temperature is higher, or humidity too low, nutrients can be lost or moisture may be removed too quickly from the product's outer surface. This causes the outer surface to harden and prevents moisture in the inner tissues from escaping. When testing for sufficient dryness, cool foods before testing.
- Know when your food is dry: Some foods are more pliable when cool than warm. Foods should be pliable and leathery, or hard and brittle when sufficiently dried. Some vegetables actually shatter if hit with a hammer. At this stage, they should contain about 10 percent moisture. Because they are so dry, vegetables do not need conditioning like fruits.
After Drying (for fruit only)
Packaging the dried foods
Storing the dried foods
*Any portion of this Article is posted under US Fair Use Laws.
Thursday, April 3, 2014
by Tim Shoemaker on APRIL 1, 2014
The dairy lobby, or Big Milk, is upset over Rep. Thomas Massie’s introduction of the “Milk Freedom Act,” H.R. 4307 that would allow for the interstate sale of raw milk, and the “Interstate Milk Freedom Act,” H.R. 4308 that would allow the interstate sale of raw milk between two states where the sale of raw milk is already permitted.
The swing in momentum can, in part, be attributed to a transformation of the argument that advocates are using. The debate used to be centered on the health and nutritional benefits of raw milk versus the safety of pasteurized milk, but the likes of Ron Paul — who mentioned the issue in several speeches during his 2012 presidential run and introduced similar bills when he was in Congress — have turned it into one about freedom of choice.
When Dr. Paul would travel the country speaking at college campuses about personal freedom, he would often frame it in an argument about food freedom, and freedom of choice — raw milk provided the perfect example of Nanny State regulators who outlaw choice in the name of “keeping us safe.”
Despite the growing grassroots movement in favor of loosening raw milk regulation and bipartisan support, getting a bill through Congress will continue to be an uphill battle, especially with strong opposition from the dairy industry. The National Milk Producers Federation and International Dairy Foods Association — usually on opposite sides of dairy policy — have repeatedly compared consuming raw milk to “playing Russian roulette.”
Chris Galen, spokesman for NMPF, said his group will be educating members of Congress on the risks associated with raw milk to deter Massie’s bills from gaining traction.
Freedom comes with a certain amount of risk. If you wanted to live a risk free life, then a benevolent dictatorship might be your preferred form of government. But, as Thomas Jefferson wrote, ”I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies [sic] attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”
On his Facebook page, Rep. Massie at least had a sense of humor about the opposition to his bills from Big Milk, posting “The lactose lobby can be so intolerant! It’s time to legalize freedom.”
We’re glad to see Rep. Massie is in line with a great American political tradition that places personal freedom over the desire for the Nanny State to keep us safe from ourselves. This sort of strong opposition, this early, from Big Milk is actually a good sign that they’re worried about the number of original cosponsors this legislation has and the potential for momentum to swing in our direction.
Please contact your representative and tell them to legalize freedom by urging them to cosponsor H.R. 4307 & H.R. 4308!
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
As part of its plan to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, the Obama administration is targeting the dairy industry to reduce methane emissions in their operations.
The White House has proposed cutting methane emissions from the dairy industry by 25 percent by 2020. Although U.S. agriculture only accounts for about 9 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, it makes up a sizeable portion of methane emissions — which is a very potent greenhouse gas.
Some of these methane emissions come from cow flatulence, exhaling and belching — other livestock animals release methane as well.
“Cows emit a massive amount of methane through belching, with a lesser amount through flatulence,” according to How Stuff Works. “Statistics vary regarding how much methane the average dairy cow expels. Some experts say 100 liters to 200 liters a day… while others say it’s up to 500 liters… a day. In any case, that’s a lot of methane, an amount comparable to the pollution produced by a car in a day.”
“Of all domestic animal types, beef and dairy cattle were by far the largest emitters of [methane],” according to an EPA analysis charting greenhouse gas emissions in 2012. Cows and other animals produce methane through digestion, which ferments the food of animals.
“During digestion, microbes resident in an animal’s digestive system ferment food consumed by the animal,” the EPA notes. “This microbial fermentation process, referred to as enteric fermentation, produces [methane] as a byproduct, which can be exhaled or eructated by the animal.”
It’s not just the dairy industry that the Obama administration is clamping down on. The White House is looking to regulate methane emissions across the economy from agriculture to oil and gas operations — all this despite methane emissions falling 11 percent since 1990.
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