Posts tagged ‘permaculture’

December 3, 2012

romeo rabbit

Rabbit Butchery
Vegetarians, you may not enjoy this post at all, so be forewarned!
But tomorrow I have a lovely tofu and bean recipe coming.

rabbit whole

This is the story of Romeo, our rabbit buck who was to propel our rabbit breading program forward. The idea of breeding rabbits has always been 3 fold for me: nice fur for crafting, great manure for soil building, and lovely lovely meat for enjoying. We did however has some issues trying to get the bunnies, to do what they are meant to do best. When we finally felt we had a pregnant Juliet and just as I was beginning to dream of rabbit dished for the winter, our doe made a dash one day while foraging with the chickens, out and under the fence, where a good race took flight but our playful guard dog won, and his reward, well he ate her and all the little bunnies to in utero too. It was a sad day for all of us, including her lover Romeo. The poor guy was heartbroken to loose his friend, and as the winter approached, I wasn’t sure I wanted to keep him in solitary confinment. Instead to celebrate my Birthday this week past, I requested that we butcher him and eat him, celebrating his life and time with use these past few months. And I wanted to be very very hands on for the whole process, I felt this dinner would be a great test to ensure we really do want to take another go at rabbit breading in the spring.

I was really thrilled to have a butcher friend walk us through the whole process, which compared to chicken processing, was a breeze. Way less smelly and messy and time consuming. The following day I broke down the rabbit, Which was unlike any process I was familiar with there were bones in places I least expected them and pockets of meat where I didn’t imagine, After some time I yielded a good 5+ lbs of lean meat. I left lots of bits on the bones, and today they will make a nice rabbit soup.

The rabbit meat got a good 4 hour marinade in chili, onions, olive oil, sea salt, pepper, our dried garden parsley, and some sweet paprika.

Rabbit Marinate

I wanted to cook the rabbit with as much of our own garden fair as I could, following no particular recipe, but inspired but a creamy tomatoes Cacciatore (hunter) style stew. I busted open the first jar of my precious canned red peppers, and unfroze about a dozen plump red tomatoes, used up the last of our tiny red onion bulbs, and spiced it up with our dried oregano, thyme and parsley all still hanging in the drying rack. In addition to all of that garden goodness the stew was filled also with  yellow onions and mushrooms, thickened with yogurt and garnished with fresh parsley. I quickly seared the meat for only 3 minutes of so, before adding it to the pressure cooking “Instapot” along with the deglazed pan liquids and some S+P. I set the pressure cooker to stew and let it cook for about 3 hours. The result was a tasty thick rosa sauce that we ladled over potatoes from the garden roasted golden brown, and everyone at the table enjoyed the feast, and gave thanks for Romeos huge contribution to the meal.

Rabbit Stew

The following day I cooked some Italian semolina noodles and used the rest of the stew as a lovely pasta sauce. There way even enough left overs for my daughter to get lunch out of that stew today. All that and the soup today, made for a good amount of feeding the family and friends from one rabbit.

Rabbit Cacciatore

So the end of this story is just that this is only  the begining, as we certainly plan to continue with more rabbits in the coming season, this lean healthy easy to process meat is divine, and our farm is the perfect little place for some more furry additions.
November 21, 2010

Egg-citing news!


Our little feathered ladies have kicked into action, and after a week away from Paradise we came home to 4 little brown eggs in the winter coop. I stepped on the first one and stared questioningly at the other 3… “hmm what is that?” I though, in the red warm lamp light of the coop I suspected poop of some creature much larger and then as I noticed I had just cracked something underfoot… the realization of egg production came rushing to mind. Eggs!, they are eggs! WE HAVE EGGS! Eggs! finally after all these months and the last few weeks of guessing when we would get our first egg, and there it was under my furry sorrel boot!

This silent snowy winter wonderland that is upon us is really  calming and crisp, yet I feel panicky about everything we have yet to do! The coop still isn’t to the state of finish I had hoped, our root cellar never got built, our mud room addition is a work in progress, and my freezer is still full of fruit awaiting jamming. I picked up my old dehydrator on our little trip and am looking forward to using it! Also got a old deep freeze from the grandparents which means we can buy a 1/2 a bison or lamb, locally naturally raised, that is if we don’t fill it with venison hunted right here on our land with our bows.

No recipes today, just a happy little post celebrating our egg production system moving forward!

August 21, 2010

foodshed: garden tour

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Well I finally did a garden tour video, it’s no pro job, just a quickie with our little camera, and very little editing, but it will give those interested a little glimpse of how I am pulling all of these things together; the swale, the sheet multch, the kooch grass battles, the chicken tractor, our new garden shed, and you’ll see some of the beautiful food we have been eating. You’ll find the video here on youtube.

I have spent much of this week picking plums, elderberries, and squash. I also had to deal with 2 huge buckets of potatoes which with the help of my Mom and Tash we managed to get them all out of the ground. Now I need to put them back in the ground… the plan is to bury a big indistrial drum into the earth below the garden shed, and I will put some wood slating down the bottom, add a vent tube and keep the burlap bags of dusted potatoes in there for the season, hopefully along with many pumkins and squash to come.

Needing too use up all the plums and elderberries I made a few yummy baked goods: Elderberry Spelt and Oat scone, which I must say for my first stab at scones, I was pretty happy with the results, the recipe I loosely used was this one from 101 cookbooks one of my favourite whole food cooking sites. I also made a loaf of a savoury plum rye bread which Dylan has been devouring. I oven baked a batch of Elderberry syrup which yielded on large jar destine for buckwheat pancakes. I whipped up a big batch of fresh pesto using a monster basil plant just about to flower, so I grabed handfuls of leaves and will let the plant produce seed to keep. Speaking of seeds I am well on my way, collecting hot pepper seeds, and sunburst squash seeds too. I have bags of frozen plums and cherries now and I am planning to make jams and brown sauce. The grapes are bursting but not ready yet, but I had to net off the vines to keep the birds from eating them.

I know I keep saying my next project is the chicken coop for the winter, but I think I finally have a great idea to integrate some useful waste we have on site and I can’t wait to share the details of the build soon! The walls will incorporate food and water delivery systems, roosting boxes, and some insulation! More on that soon.

August 10, 2010

Kimchi, Kraut, elder-bubble and gingerbread

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Well I just finished kimchi part 2 and it was sooooo very easy! I did 5 jars of squash kimchi, 1 large jar of sauerkraut  all the while I drank gin with elderflower syrup and soda water. The drink is divine; slightly sour crisp with a floral finish, I used my best organic green juniper berry gin and I can’t imagine a more refreshing summer night drink. Next year I will collect way more elderflowers and make more than 3L of syrup, which is what I yielded after two batches. 2L I have ready to drink and I froze 1L down to use for making plum jelly, just as soon as my plumbs are ripe.

I also broke down and made zucchini bread today; I know I know everyone hates the stuff, but inspired by “A home made Life by Molly Wizenberg” and her ginger chocolate banana bread so I tricked my daughter into making chocolate ginger bread with just a little bit of zucchini 🙂 instead of bananas. I used the Joy of Cooking’s zucchini bread recipe with lots of tweaks (as I usually do) I added cocoa powder, diced candy ginger, and lots of Callebaut chocolate chunks, and it passed the Mia test!

More on fermenting in my last post…

July 27, 2010

FoodShed: late hot july

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Food Shed.1

So very many things on the go on the food front these days! A quick slide show of my food adventures over the last 3 days…

I am picking like a mad woman. I collected Elderflowers on Sunday and started a batch of Elderflower syrup which should be ready by Wednesday, I have a small bundle of Saskatoon berries drying for the pantry, The cherry bag in the freezer is growing slowly: I am not sure however how many more battles with red ants I have in me.. my legs are burning and the cherry tree is covered in the buggers! I need a serious permaculture solution for this tree! * Hoping my Chickens are vigoros enough by September to run around the tree before winter.

I made Bannock last night with Beth’s Grandmother recipe and while I had to use Spelt flour and a BBQ not a open fire I was pretty excited to dig into this adventure to make great Bannock! I found a really interesting web site with over 20 bannock recipes and techniques from different bands, geography and ages. I am looking forward to trying a few out. Also looking forward to sharing my success’s with friends:)

I have given up on the thimble berries… I will add what I have into a jam of some sort but I think I‘ll leave the rest for the bears!  Speaking of bears We purchased an electic fence the other day, and I have got it all but installed… here’s to keeping the Chooks , compost ‘n bits safe in the garden and new garden shed! I have two easy recipes to share today, the first is a sloppy start to a fab martini: Watermellon fizz, and the second plum pumpkin loaf is too good for words! Our friend Ben is here for the workshop build this week and he brought with him a big bag of over ripe plums he picked on Pender Island so I needed to put them to use right away and the results were stunning!

Watermellon Fizz

You know when you have half of a watermelon left over in the fridge you just aren’t really interested in eating? Well I was in this position and wanted to make use of it, so I got out the immersion blender and dug in. created a huge mess along with a thick watermelon slurry which I screened to a bright beautiful liquid.( the left over pulp is freezing in popsicle form right now). From half of a medium sized watermelon I got about 5 cups of juice which I added to half a liter of soda water along with about 2 tbsp lemon juice. Chill ‘til frothy cold and mix up your favorite girlie drink!

Sugar Plum Pumpkin Seed Loaf

Combined wet:

3/4 cup butter

1/2 cup oil

2 large eggs

1.5 cups of course cane or brown sugar

a big splash each of vanilla and grand marnier

Blend dry:

1.5 cups of spelt flour (your could use whole wheat * I plan to try buckwheat next time)

1.5 tsp baking powder

pinch salt

pinch cinnamon

1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds

Bring everything together in large bowl and add 1 cup of pitted diced very ripe plums.

Grease 1 large loaf pan, and pour batter into pan and top loaf with a sprinkle of course sugar, cinnamon and some seeds!

Bake 350º for 50-60 minutes.