Update- We are looking for a campground to purchase. This can be a operating one or an abandon campground. We are looking for the campground preferably on the east coast. Penn, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, New York. We are not limited to these areas and are open to all options. Pass the word around. We have found that connections get you to where you want to go. Please contact us through RealLifeconsulting@hotmail.com
We have not done a very good job of keeping you all updated. So sorry! We landed on a farm in Ellicott City, MD. Tom Cunningham hired us to consult with him Aug 2015 and we haven't left yet.
This is a 160-acre farm that used to be row crop until the end of 2014. They had tried to plant it to pasture but many of the seeds did not take due to the inexperience of procedure, timing, etc. Mike got ahold of the planning and implementation of the pastures and they look great now. I shouldn't be surprised but this is the best pastures I have seen in a long time due to the owner listening to Mike on the timing of putting the animals out on the pasture.
Mike is the overall consulting manager for the farm and I am overseer of the livestock and helping with permits and flow of the products. We are following the non-soy grain feeding of non-rumen animals out on pasture. We are also implementing new system thinking.
I just realized the above was not posted.
Our consulting job for Mary's Land Farm is coming to an end. As of June of 2018, Tom has been taking over the managerial part of the farm. We are finishing up seeding of pastures, overseeing greenhouses being built and finishing up SOP for different aspects of the farm. As of last week, Tom has hired a farm store manager, Stephanie so I will be sharing with her what I have been doing so that there is a smooth transition.
Mike and I have not listened to our last 2 promptings to be Holistic Management certified so we are starting that process after the 3 promptings came our way. The first prompting was in 2005 when we were managing a 360-acre farm in Iowa. Bob Stephan passed away and we had to move on. The second prompting was from Chase who introduced us to Mary's Land Farm 3 years ago. We did not pursue anything after Chase passed away. We were approached by a farm in southern Spain who might want us to help down there and Holistic Management was revisited along with a calling of a friend in Pennsylvania who just invited us to here Alan Savory speak. Okay, Universe we hear you loud and clear and thank you universe for making this one in a pleasant way and not harsh and abrupt! I think that means we are learning and using what we have learned. Challenges are what keep us moving forward.
Wow, this was in the draft box.....
So today April 23, 2019,
We are finished with consulting for Mary's Land Farm and Tom Cunningham, the owner, has been running the day to day operation since the summer of 2018. We finished the end of November 2019 and Mike has been asked to be the project manager of the greenhouses being put up on Mary's Land Farm. In the meantime, I have been learning how to woodwork and find a place to set up our HANDS ON HOMESTEADING experience. We are also almost finished with our Holistic Management training!!! This way of thinking has already helped us and many people we have been consulting with.
I found an RV park that has the extra land to do our Hands-on homesteading. I have the business plan written up, have gone through the financials and all looks good to continue. We have talked with a couple of banks and it looks good to get a loan. The only thing slowing us down is a hefty down payment. So if you are reading this and you know someone that believes in our vision and can help please let them know and have them get in contact with us. email@example.com I will give out our phone number when we receive an email.
We are very excited to expose, engage and empower people with life skills and have fun while doing so.
Another request is that anyone that has worked with us would you write a review for us on facebook or send directly to us. I am needing testimonies for our business proposal. Thanks
I was given a great gift from Jeremy a while back and decided to do something with it.
Yes I was given a whole goose breast which was frozen. I found a recipe, so I thawed the breast and then soaked it in water to draw out some of the blood. This also helps when I have chicken livers. I usually soak them as I process the bird or if I have gotten them from someone else I will soak before using. I then marinated the breast but for only 8 hours. Next time I will be more organized and do the full 24 as the directions recommends. Okay yes I did add bacon to the top of the breast because I have been told wild came can be dry. :-) I did over cook it going by time instead temp of breast. Will definitely watch temp on the meat next time. I would definitely fix this again and the stuffing was awesome. This recipe for Stuffed Goose Breast with Caraway and Apple stuffing came from Food network. Recipe courtesy of Mario Batali. below are my few adjustments.
In a 14-inch saute pan, heat remaining oil over medium heat and add onions. Cook until softened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add apples, caraway and cooked potatoes and cook another 10 minutes, or until apples have started to soften. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Add bread crumbs, parsley, cloves, egg, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Remove goose from marinade, brush off and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper and lay flat on cutting board, skin side down. Lay stuffing out evenly over goose and roll up like a jelly roll. ( I put the breast on top of the stuffing and then bacon on top) Tie securely with butcher's twine and place in roasting pan. Roast in oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. Remove, allow to rest 10 minutes and carve. Serve with spiced white cabbage. (I will also try this spiced cabbage)
Recipe Courtesy of Mario Batali
Is anyone interested in learning how to budget their grocery bill and still eat healthy? Or any other ideas on food?
People ask how do I know what to get from a Pork when I order the whole thing. I have broken it down this way to help you out. If you see anything that needs added please let me know.
There are five main sections to Pork, remember there are two of each section (one
for each side of the animal), they are as follows: you can have one side one way
and the other side different.
– We can cut this one of two ways, Pork Chops or Loin Roasts (bone IN or
Boneless The boneless is your tenderloin), For Chops the thickness would need specified (average is7/8”) and then you have the "IOWA chop" at 1 1/2") and/or
the Roast size in pounds (average 2-3lbs) or larger. There is roughly 9# depending on size of pig.
We are working with our locker to make loin bacon. But for right now just the above
The Side meat
-(or also known as the Bellie) This is the section for bacon (reg or
thick). Nitrate free (just salt and sugar) or nitrate. Whole
pork belly or They could just fresh slice it, which would be no brine or smoke
at all. Or grind it to add to the ground which is a shame.
- These can be either left fresh, cured with NITRATES some lockers will do it nitrate free (we are working on ours or ground up to add to the
ground/ sausage. Once the above has been decided then you may choose to leave it whole,
cut in half, cut into specified sized roasts or cut steaks. Also, it is popular
to cut center cut ham steaks and leave the ends as roasts. Just specify how
thick to cut the steaks and a weight for the end roasts.
– This section is made up of the top portion or known as the Boston Butt (This
is the better of the two roasts) and the lower portion known as the Picnic Still
good for roast. We can leave them as whole shoulders, cut them in half as a whole
boston butt and a whole picnic. They can be cut as specified boston butt roasts
(2-5#) , shoulder roasts Skin on or off. They can be cut as
steaks specifying the same things or ground up to add with the
– This can be left Whole Ribs or otherwise known as Spare Ribs or cut into
smaller portioned sized pieces which is Short Ribs. Or they can be ground
up to add to the ground. If you get a tenderloin then the ribs that are left are
called baby back ribs.
Pork / Sausage
– With the Sausage we have a special blend we have them use and it only has
Salt, Pepper and Sage NO Sugar. The other one they can do
that is nitrate free is salt, pepper, sage, sugar and red pepper.
They do have other flavors but are not preservative free. They need a 15#
min for other flavors.
can be made into bacon sliced or left whole or put into ground. If you do this you will not have the other parts of the head.
Organs, Liver, heart, tongue, you can have these packaged as they are or have them make
it into pork pudding ( like Scrapple without the flour and corn meal). They will cook down the head for pork pudding.
There is the stomach and chitterlings (the locker we work with now can save the stomach) I haven't had this before but would like to try if anyone is willing to cook some up?
Hocks and feet/toes These are great for making broth or the hocks putting it into beans. If you really don't want to mess with them you can have the hocks put into ground.
Fat back fat and leaf fat
We take in 10 Pigs at a time so we can have the lard made with just our pigs fat
and the pork pudding also. So you will get your portion with your
order. It can be about 10 Quarts. SO IF you are getting lard from another supplier and they are grass fed or are on a specific diet you want, see if they are getting their fat mixed in with all the other pigs they process or are they doing it separate.
If you want something else we can see what they can do.
Then there is the Head.
Just send an email or call me and I can give you the details of some pork.
I had to make this again, darn so I could take a picture.
By Barb Haigwood with adjustments using Jennifer Segal, adapted from Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber & Julie Richardson
I halved this recipe and make it in a deep pie dish. So much easier and faster than a pie (unless your not making a crust :) )
Ingredients For the Dish
As autumn slides into view, we are enjoying the last of summer’s fresh fruit and vegetables. Regardless of predictions for this winter’s weather, anyone who eats locally and seasonally may want to shift her kitchen into high gear now to stock up—literally!—on soups made from brightly colored tomatoes and peppers. It’ll be many moons before we see these again, whether they come from our own garden or we buy them at local farmers markets.
Here are a couple of soup recipes that we enjoy. They offer an alternative to canning, are great to freeze and inspire a deep reverence for the sun—and for chlorophyll—when thawed out on a winter’s day for lunch or supper. Leigh’s soup, the first one, requires a large sauce pan and hand-held wand for pureeing the soup. It could also be made the way Barb makes her soups—in a Vitamix.
Golden Tomato Soup (adapted from Katherine Ostrowski-Morris’s Golden Heirloom Or Your Favorite Tomato Soup; Katherine and husband Bill farm in Shady Side, Md., and sell their produce at the Anne Arundel County Farmers Market on Saturday mornings).
Add some butter and olive oil to the onions, stirring occasionally and cooking until they are translucent. Next, add the garlic, three soup-spoons of the paste and the culinary herbs and black pepper. Unless an herb is super-strong-tasting, I tend just to put them in, adding more later if the soup seems to need more. (I love basil, marjoram and black pepper, so you can imagine I don’t skimp on these.) Stir until everything is well incorporated. Next, add the tomatoes and all the juices. Again, stir to incorporate everything. I let these simmer for 5 to 10 minutes before adding the stock. How much stock to add depends on what you want in terms of consistency—more for thinner, less for thicker. Allow all of this to simmer for about 20 minutes. Next, add salt to taste and using a hand-held cooking wand, puree the soup. Taste, and add more salt if needed.
When ready to serve, add a spoon of sour cream.
Barb’s Alternative to Canning Tomatoes
If you are not in the mood for canning, this is a way to preserve tomatoes. I took extra tomatoes, cut off the bad spots, but left on the skin, and gently squeezed them to take out some of the liquid, which I saved for vegetable soup. I then put the tomatoes into the Vitamix and ran it on high until the tomatoes were completely smooth. A wand may do a good job also. I placed the tomatoes into a pot and cooked them down to the consistency I wanted—about two hours. I then put this in the refrigerator until the next day to cool, then transferred to quart-sized containers to freeze. This can be used as the base for anything that needs tomato puree.
For the tomato soup, you’ll need:
Thaw the tomato puree and warm together with the stock. Add to the Vitamix. Saute onions and celery in fat (I use lard) until tender, then melt the butter into the onion and celery. Add the flour, if desired, and stir until blended. Add this to the Vitamix. Add salt and pepper to taste and one tablespoon of sucanat or honey. Blend all of this in the Vitamix on high until hot.
This soup may be added to a bowl of cooked rice or rice pasta. Finish with basil and sour cream.
I was given a bunch of tomatoes and finally was able to try a tomato pie. This may sound weird to some of you but I have never had one. I have been missing out, but no longer and here is the recipe I found with a little tweaking. It was a hit. And I am going to make another one to put into the freezer for this winter. I will let you know how that turns out.
Original recipe from www.Yummly.com the name they have is Tomato Pie with Jalapeños and Bacon. We ate most of the pie before I remembered to take a picture.
For the filling:
1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, sliced (I peeled by blanching in boiling water first. Then I gave them a gentle squeeze to get some of the seeds and juice out.)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups (12 ounces) pepper Jack cheese, shredded ( I only had a plain cheese)
(I layered a handful of basil leaves on top of tomatoes)
4 cloves garlic, minced ( I only put in one)
1 jalapeño, seeded and sliced
8 ounces cooked bacon, diced (I didn't have but would be very good also)
For the crust:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
3/4 cups buttermilk ( I used a runny yogurt that I had on hand)
Place the sliced tomatoes in a colander and then place the colander in a mixing bowl. Toss the tomatoes with the salt, and allow them to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to extract some of the juices. (I did for an hour or so then patted them dry with a paper towel)
Meanwhile, to make the crust, stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper. Cut into the flour the chilled butter, until the flour has a crumbly, pea-like texture. Stir in the buttermilk and mix until well combined. On a lightly floured surface, turn out the dough and roll it out into it’s about an 11-inch circle.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a deep-dish pie pan or a large cast-iron skillet. Gently lift the dough and place it into the pan, working the dough until the pan is evenly lined with the crust. (Unlike regular pie crusts, I don’t do anything fancy with the top of the crust since it’s puffier than most as it’s a biscuit crust, I simply make sure it goes to the top of the pan.) ( I went up on the edge not all the way enough so the tomatoes don't over flow)
To fill the pie, ( I put a light layer of mustard on the bottom then) sprinkle half of the cheese along the bottom of the crust. Layer in the tomatoes, garlic, jalapeño slices and bacon, topping with the remaining cheese.
Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and place the pie pan on top. (This is to catch any juices if it boils over.) Slide the sheet into the oven and cook the pie uncovered for 30 minutes or until the crust and cheese are lightly browned and the pie is bubbling. I used a cast iron pan so didn't need the baking sheet. (Served 4 of us a nice dinner.)
Yield: 4-8 servings
Here is our recipe for waffles which I make using a cast iron waffle maker. I got my first one (brand Griswold) from my mom which was originally my grandmothers. I reconditioned it after my mom had painted the outside. In the picture here I used one of our other cast iron waffle makers. I have 3 of them, one day I will give Lee and Aleesha each their own. It is a little heavy for them to be hauling around right now. :-)
This is the easy version but when I have sourdough going I alter the recipe.
1 1/2 C flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
mix dry together
melt 6 Tlbs butter
1 cup milk
1 Tlb honey or sugar
3 eggs separated (take the 3 egg whites and whip to stiff peaks)
So add the butter, milk, sweetener and 3 egg yolks to dry. Mix well but don't over mix.
Fold in egg whites, okay if some white clumps show.
Optional cinn, nutmeg, vanilla etc you can even add a few berries, fresh do better than frozen.
I have always used a gas stove top when cooking with my cast-iron waffle maker (WM). Right now I have an electric stove top, so today I used the side burner of the grill to make them. When cooking them it gets a little smoking in the house. So outside today was great.
Heat maker on low on grill, about medium a little lower on a gas stove. ( Its been a long time sense I've made them) Flip to pre heat both sides. Once heated brush with a little lard or olive oil on each side.
Add a little over a half cup to the hot griddle, close, and set timer for 1 min if temp is right it will take 1 min ( a few seconds longer sometimes TIP set the timer) Flip and cook another 1 min. Open slowly and if it looks gold brown it is ready to open and take off.
Leave the WM in the same position to grease the bottom then flip over to grease less hot side.
repeat with batter....Makes 4
Barb and/or Mike Haigwood
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