Saturday, May 26, 2012

Alpaca farm

We had a fun playdate/field trip this week. My friend Joyce and her family live across the street from an alpaca farm. Joyce has 5 kids, and homeschools, so we are able to get together in the morning for playdates. Her kids help over at the alpaca farm, so we got to go over there and see the alpacas and the goats. There was one baby alpaca, and two baby goats. They were so adorable! Here is the baby alpaca...
And the mama and baby...
Here are two adorable kids holding two adorable kids :).
I seriously wanted to take one of the baby goats home. They kept nibbling on my sweatshirt. Aren't they so sweet???
Two super sweet babies :).
We had so much fun!!
Jeff did a lot of work today, clearing out the old flower bed that was against the old fence. It really opened up the back yard. You can see by the dirt patches where the old fence line was. Jeff planted grass seed there, so it should look really nice in a few weeks. The old fence next to our new one it is our neighbors fence. Jeff put up a tire swing for Evie today, and the rope is about 40 feet up in our Sycamore tree. The tire swings super far, and Evie absolutely loves it!
I have been making a lot of fermented foods lately. I am trying new things to see what I like before the garden starts producing. I made sauerkraut today. We love it! I start with this...
Then I chop it up in a large bowl. I should have chopped it smaller. I had to do a lot more work because the pieces were bigger. I added celtic salt to the bowl. It is about 2 Tblsp. of salt to a head of cabbage. It does make the sauerkraut salty, but you eat it more like a condiment and not a side dish. Just a tablespoon or two is loaded with way more probiotics than the kind you can get in pill form! According to Dr. Mercola (who is a very popular natural doctor online), he says that fermented foods have 100 times more probiotics than the pill form!!!
After I chop the cabbage up in a bowl, I take my big wooden rolling pin and start smashing the cabbage. It usually takes about 10-15 minutes to get it to look like this....
Once that is done, I put the sauerkraut in a jar. If there isn't enough juice from the cabbage to cover it, I add a little water. Then I sit it on my counter for about 3 days to ferment. After that I refrigerate it. We love it on salads, and on sandwiches. Evie loves it plain, and will eat lots of it.

I have been making kefir for awhile now, and I want to try some other fermented foods. I have a recipe for gingered carrots that sounds interesting. I also want to try radishes, green beans and turnips, since I will have so many in my garden. It is fun trying new things!


winterwren said...

Oh, Jen, you should absolutely have a goat. Absolutely. Although I am guessing that would be illegal in your subdivision, but then again you never know.

In any case, I am very happy to read about your semi-impending chickens and general homesteading-ness. My apologies for not coming by sooner. I would say that it is because I have not been online much, and that would be true, but my secret other reason is that *I have still not bought your book* and feel wrought with guilt. I know! I know. I am horrid. It is the Kindle thing. And there is even that free app, which is doubtlessly easy to install, and which in fact I probably could have installed in the time it has taken me to write this comment, but apparently I would rather spend my time making rambley excuses than do anything so sensible.

But I will get my husband to install the app. And then I will buy your book. And review it. I promise.

You always seem to take the nicest vacations!

Take care,


Jen said...

Hi Sarah!! It is great to "see" you again! Please don't feel bad about not getting the book! Kindle never lets me know who buys, just how many have been purchased. The sales have been really slow anyways, but that is fine. If it is meant to be, it is meant to be. I have several friends who still haven't bought it, so don't feel bad. My dad would like to pay to publish it in book form. I may take him up on it. Anyways, I am just glad you dropped by :)!

Anonymous said...

Love the alpaca farm pictures :)

Does the sauerkraut need to be made with purple cabbage? Sounds very interesting! I thought sauerkraut was harder to make :)

Did you get the idea off of a book or a website?


Jen said...

Hi Joyce! The sauerkraut can be made with green or purple cabbage. I have made it with both. I like the color of the purple :). I have the recipe from a book called Nourishing Traditions, but I have also watched a lot of videos on YouTube. It really isn't hard, and it is fun for the kids!

April said...

Oh, alpacas! Aren't they sweet? And goats! I would love to have a few goats, but we both have our hands full right now as-is. I bet Evie had a wonderful time with the animals (not to mention you too).

Your yard looks so nice and neat. Since we have so much acreage, it never looks too neat and tidy here, though we keep the pastures mowed. Will you let your chickens (when you get them!) roam around in the yard and eat bugs? I would if we had a fenced in yard area; they can really turn their runs into dirt fast!

I should try making sauerkraut; it's gotta be better than store-bought and I even liked it. I'm a big cabbage fan though and like it lots of ways. Your post nudges me to do more research on fermenting foods.

Jen said...

April, I think the coop we want to get is the kind on wheels, where it can be moved around the yard to a new spot every week. I don't think we could let them roam the yard because I have a garden back there, and they may dig up the plants trying to get at the bugs.