Monday, December 26, 2011

Chrismas morning

Hi everyone.
Hope you all had a great Christmas!
I got off work at 0715 and on the drive home, I stoped to see the Donkey that I posted about earlier and I tried the new camera and took some pictures!

And here he is! he was out playing with his favorite toy and he just laid it on the ground to come over to the fence to say "Good Morning".

And here he is up-close and personal. Sorry the pictures aren't any better! but that's what I have for right now!

I love his markings! Do any of you know what type of Donkey he is? I really need to talk to his owner's and find out what his name is. I call him "Moose" for right now.

Just look at that face! I'll have to bring him a carrot next time.

That was my Christmas morning. And because Mark and Terri are out of town for the holidays, I'm taking care of their two dogs along with Daisy and Luke. So after getting home and feeding them and taking them outside for an hour, I went to bed to sleep until 1600.
I had a 12 hour shift last night. But we (security) were the only people in the building! So it was pretty boring. But I can use the extra $$$!

This time last year we had 12 - 18 inches of snow on the ground. But not this year. Back to normal for us. Day time temps in the high 50's and clear blue skies.
So, I though you might like to see the pictures.
Talk to you latter.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Three in a Row

Hey every one, I have recovered from my sugar high.
Today is the first of 12 straight days at work and so far there is 24 hours of overtime in there too. Christmas Day is already a 12 hr. day.
Mark and Terri will be leaving town this evening for a week to spend the holidays with his family and Gerry (My son) will be with his Mother.
So with  work and the round trips, I do not know how much I will get Posted, But I will still be reading your posts each day and commenting as I can.

I want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! Looking forward to a new growing season and to see what you have on your list to do this next year!

Short, but hart felt!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

One of my favorite things!

OK, two posts in two days! has to be a record!
To nights post is about "One of my Favorite Things"
As you know, I like to cook and bake and all that! And this being my day off, I'm normally at Terri's house helping to cook dinner. Tonight Mark and Terri are at a Christmas Party. So that left me up to my own devices. Could of had a bowl of ice cream and be done with it!. But not tonight! I made up a meal right from my own head! Want to guess what it was?


                                                    Got it yet?

I'll give you a hint. It involved Bread, Eggs, Milk, Peanut butter, Cinnamon, Apple sauce  and a deep fryer!

                                                      OK, here it is.

                                                       Waite for it!

                                                       Just a little more!

                                                       Peanut Butter and Apple sauce stuffed French Toast!

Say that 3 times real fast! But it was so good with a little whip cream on top! Had my dinner and desert all at the same time! With a couple eggs on the side!
I know, I know, That's not very healthy and a lot of fat. But BOY O BOY, YUM!!!!

So do you want to know how I did it?

First take 2 heaping spoon fulls of Peanut Butter (I used chunky) and 2 heaping spoon fulls of apple sauce and mix them well in a small bowl.

Take 3 eggs and separate out the yoke's. Place them in a bowl and the White's in another bowl. Whip the egg white till stiff peaks form and add a little sugar.

To the yoke's, add a little milk, sugar and cinnamon. Whisk until well combined and then fold in the egg White's.

Take 4 slices of bread (I used farm house white) and make two Peanut butter and Apple sauce sandwiches.
Cut them on the diagonal and then place the half sandwich into the batter, letting it soak for 15 - 20 seconds each side.

I have a "Fry Daddy" and its the right size for me alone. I make sure it is good and hot. Place the first half in the fryer and cook until golden, flip and brown the other side. When I take it out of the fryer, I drain it on a clean dish cloth (No paper towels for this guy!)
Continue to cook until all halfs are done.

Plate it up. Top it with a little whip cream and maybe a little chocolate sauce!
I'm so full!

You know, I think I could write a cook book!
How's this for a title?

                                   Things you should eat, Only once a year! (If That!).

Think I'm going to be sick (HIC).
Excuse me!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Hello everyone,
I got an e-mail from Susan over at e-i-ei-omg, telling me that she though that I had gone Hibernating from the Blog world because of the fact that I have not posted for a while (a long while!). I have been doing some sleeping, and a lot of overtime at work (with more to come!). But that is no excuse! I also dislike to post and not have some pictures to add to it!
As you may remember I dropped my camera and the replacement one is really bad (What did I expect for $20.00!?) But there is a post that I have been wanting to write and I told the story to Susan and she loved it, So get something hot to drink and sit back, because this one could get to be a long one!

MORNING DONKEY! (Picture this all in your head!)

Each morning I leave work just as the sun is coming up and have a 57 mile drive home. After a 8 - 12 hour shift, that can be a long drive!
But there is this house that I pass each day on one of the back roads I take and along side this house is a paddock where a Donkey lives. Not sure what type of Donkey he (She?) is and I want to stop some morning and talk to his owner's to see if I can get his name and learn a little about him and get some pictures!

But here is the reason I have taken to stopping and watching this guy!
On most mornings he is out side his shelter and he is playing with an old rug that he runs around shaking his head with the rug in his mouth! He will toss it in the air and catch it and run around like he is just enjoying life! This just makes me smile and makes the rest of the drive home that much more easier!

I had to stop the other morning and watch him play his game and as I stood at the fence he stopped ruining and just stood there staring at me. He walk up to the fence right in front of me and just stood there with the rug hanging from his mouth. Then he tossed his head into the air and let go of the rug.

AS I pulled it off and tried to brush the dirt off, He started running around, baying (Is that what you call it?) for all he was worth! He came back to the fence and looked at me as if to say"Well are you going to toss it back?" So I did and I timed it just right because it landed on his head and he stood stock still. I guess this had not happened to him before and he was not sure what to do
So I reached over the fence and pulled it off and it was like someone had turned a light on, He grabbed the rug and took off! Running, shaking his head and tossing that rug up into the air, Letting the world know "IT IS GOOD TO BE A LIVE"!
I laughed until I cryed and as I got back into the truck to leave, his baying changed. From laughter to something less joyfull! As if to say "What? Where are you going? We are not done playing yet!"

This guy really changes my out look on the rest of the day! And makes the rest of the drive home easier! Now each day, as I get close, I slow down to see if he is out yet and if he is I stop to say "Good Morning" and he always has that rug with him.

Its funny that he can remind me that it is indeed "GOOD TO BE A LIVE!" Animal's are so much smatter than we are!
Remember, I told you it would be better with pictures!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Another Two scores

Good morning all,
Wednesday is the first day off work for me and normally I come home and go to bed. But not this time! I went by and picked up a truck load of "Cotton Dirt" and came home to work on the "Lasagna Garden"

The following photos were taken with the new (cheep!) camera I got to replace the one I dropped! Still trying to understand how it works!

This is the garden area I hope to get covered. Its pretty Baron right now!
This is the area I got covered! First a layer of cardboard, Then a layer of leaves (collected at curb side) and then the "Cotton Dirt" I have been told that the PH levels are a little high, 7 - 7.2. So I will have to add lime and egg shells to bring in back down to the natural level. But it is dark and rich with organic material. Now all it has to do is break down over the next few months and I will plant right through it come spring!  I will continue to add layers as I can find more material and compost and Worm Casts will be part of the mix!


And this is the Garlic I planted a few weeks ago. the bed was top dressed with Worm Casts before I planted. I need to mulch it soon and Wait for spring! 

And I made another score yesterday as well!
 I read Blog posts from people who forage for what ever they can find growing wild in the woods around their homesteads. Well I found a source of "PECANS"!
I was running around in town yesterday and spotted several "PECAN" trees along side one of the Fast Food joints. So I pulled into the parking lot and found that the planter on the edge of the parking lot was covered with nuts! There were a lot of nuts that had been ran over by cars and were no good. But I was able to pick up about 6 lbs in less then an hour!
With the price of "PECANS" at $6.99 a pound here, That's $41.94 That I do not need to spend! The nuts are a little wet and I have them lay ed out to dry and will roast them later. I may even plant some of them in pots to see if I can get them to sprout and plant them out next spring or fall!
Does this Qualify as Foraging? I mean I did not go into the woods and the nuts were just there! I got a lot of looks from people as I was picking them up. And because they were in the planter, there wasn't a lot of leave litter to deal with and they were pretty clean.
So what do you think? Pretty cool?
Talk to you latter.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Worm stories

Sorry everyone that it has been so long since my last post.
The weather has been so nice, that I have been out working on the garden area with as much material as I can. With no trees on the place, I have been picking up bagged leaves at curb side. The night time temps. have been in the 40's and 50'. And only one night did we get a hard freeze (27 for a low!). Each day has seemed like an early spring day, with temps in the 60' or 70's and very little rain.
The main reason for this post is a couple of posts that are on RWC. As you my have noticed, My main focus is on the Worms and how I might be able to optimize the output of Worm casts?

 Well the first article that I read was about the largest Vermacomposing operation in the Northern Hemisphere! "Worm Power". They operate on a dairy farm in New York state and they have an estamated 52 MILLION WORMS working for them! And as you might guess the main food source is cow manure. They extracted the liquid waste and then pre-compost the solid waste. This gets the tempreture up to +160 degrees, to kill patogenes and weed seeds.
"worm Power" has some interesting videos at their webb site!

And the second post is an interview with a Worm Farmer "Down Under" This is a full time operation and as it is summer down there, They are is full swing!

Well, I know that this is not much of a post, but I have the next two days off work and will try to get something posted that may intrest you
Talk to you then

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holly Crap!

I know, I just posted a few minutes ago, But I was playing around with the other options at Blogger and found the "STATS" option.

I sometimes get the felling that I"m writing this Blog and not a whole lot are out there reading it! The only way I have of telling is if I get a comment on a post.

But the "STATS" are telling me that people from all over the world are at least reading this thing! Here is a list of the numbers:
U.S 672
Russia 47
Germany 28
The Netherlands 16
Canada 13
France 10
U.K. 7
Latvia 7
Cadatia 6
Iran 6

Like I said "HOLLY CRAP!"

If you are new to my Blog, Please feel free to leave a comment, Even if it's just to say Hi. And I hope that you will come back to see how the worms are doing!


Where did they come from?

 Hey everyone,

The day after Thanksgiving. I decided to dump the compost tumblers and add the compost to the garden area. I have been working on layering material on the garden area in the hopes that I can plant through the material next spring (Lasagna gardening). My son Gerry had come out for Thanksgiving and and had stayed the night. And he was helping to move the compost.

If you are a regular reader, you know that I built two compost tumblers sometime ago  using a couple of 50 gallon drums. I load them up with all kinds of organic material and manure to "COOK" for a few weeks, turning the barrels every few days.

I had gotten 6 bales of rotting hay near the end of this past summer and when I got them back to the homestead, just dumped them on the ground near the worm beds. Using them as bedding in the beds. Its also a good sorce of carbin in compost making and it adds a loose material that allows for good air flow.

I place a tarp under the barrel and just dump the whole thing over and load it into a wheel barrow and then to the garden.

I do not put Worms in there, The tumbling action would kill most of them. But as the compost came out of the barrel, I saw 100's of worms in the mix! "WHERE DID THEY COME FROM"? The only thing I can think of is, as the hay lay on the ground, Worms from the surrounding area moved in and set up house! I picked a few out to make sure that they were "RED WIGGLERS" and found that most of them were adult breeders! A few were joined together (Making BABIES!) and I could see a lot of eggs! So this load of compost went into one of the Worm beds! As my friend Susan ( said, "FREE RANGE WORMS"!!!
The invirorment must have been to their liking and the population exploded! They are in the Worm bed now.

On another note. As I said before, I dropped my camera and it stopped working. I went out and got a cheep one and I have been playing around with it some. (Ya get what you pat for!). Not a very good camera, But I hope to be able to get to the point where I can at least down some pictures in the future!

So that's all for this post.
Take to you later!

Friday, November 25, 2011

I'm the one who's stuffed!

Sorry it's been so long. But without a camera, and no pictures to post....Well!

Yesterday was a day of Family and Friends and......Lots of food!

We had 11 people for dinner and plenty of food. At the end of the meal, We were all ready for a nap!
We ate around 1300 and by 1600, most everyone had left and we cleaned up and put away the leftovers.
My son was the only one who stayed ( he spent the night) and we played cards and snaked on leftovers. But we all went to bed pretty early.

Today will be spent simmering the turkey bones down into stock. And I will have one of my favorite sandwiches (May 2 or 3!), Turkey on farm house white bread with lots of mayo and cranberry sauce! Is there a better sandwich? I think not! The day after Thanksgiving (and Christmas too!) is as good or better as the day of!

I hope everyone had a great day and that you were able to connect with those people that you do not see except for the Holidays!

I know that is not much of a post, but this will have to do for now.
Talk to you later

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


it was another long week-end at work! Saturday was 12 hrs, Sunday 13 and Monday,14 and with a 1 1/2 hour drive on top of that, time enough to get home, eat, sleep and do it all over again! But I was able to score a few things!
The manager/chef of the cafe at work, well he raises rabbits and he borough me two totes of rabbit manure! One 20 gallon and a 40 gallon one (It took the both of us to get that one in the back of my truck!). That's a lot of   Sh--! This is a great worm food, It can be placed into the beds right from the source! Because it does not produce heat as it breaks down. So it will not over heat the worms and they will move right in and start to PARTY!
Each day on my way to work, I drive past this house where they have been selling Pumpkins and Winter Squash. The fruit that does not sell and goes bad, they toss across the road for the deer to clean up. Well on my way home Monday, I stopped and picked up about 15 Winter Squash. This is also a good food source for the worms!
They really love this time of year, Apple/Pumpkin and Winter Squash harvest time! It all breaks down pretty quick and they can get into it pretty fast.
And the best part is......IT'S ALL FREE!!!!!
I will also be saving seed from the squash and will plant a big area of the back 40 next spring. If I'm lucky the deer will hit this area and leave my main garden alone!?
Well that's the story of the score I got this week.
Still no camera, so no pictures (Did you really want to see the rabbit manure?.....Didn't think so!).
So until next time, See ya.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I broke my camera!

Last Thursday was my my day to cook at Terri's and I was all set to try two new recipes ( "Apple bake pancakes w/bacon" and a new desert "Sugar cream pie". And as I got ready to take the first picture of putting the pie together, I DROP THE CAMERA!!! And it will no longer work! And it will probably cost more to fix it that to just go out and get a new one! Either way, Its not in the cards for anytime soon! DAM!
Anyway, the Pancake was great and the pie was pretty good too (Al tho, Next time I will add something like coconut or chocolate to it to give it a different dimension.
So this is a long week-end at work again! Overtime both Saturday and Sunday. So this is a short post. Sorry! And with no photo's, It will not be the last! DOUBLE DAM!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Harvest - Worm casts

A few weeks ago one of my Blogging friends, Leigh over at "5 acres and a Dream" asked me to give a step - by -  step on how I harvest worm casts. I made this the day to do that. As you can see from the above photo, the fog was pretty heavy this morning! But by 10 am or so the sun had burned off the fog and the worms were calling.
 The way I do this is, I stop feeding the worms at one end of the bed and I do not add any water there. I stop feeding a few weeks before I want to harvest and I also do not add very much bedding to that end of the bed.
In this photo you can see I have pulled the bedding back from the compost that nearly fills the bed. By placing food at the other end of the bed and adding a lot more bedding, the worms move  to where the food and bedding are. This takes a few weeks. And the compost at this end is pretty dry and viable. All I had to do then was shovel the casts into a wheel barrow and take it to the garden!
I placed the apple peels and cores from when I made apple sauce in there and the worms moved right in. They love this time of year, Apple and Pumpkin harvest! The above photo shows the remains of the Apple peels. You can see a few worms, But the major numbers are right down in the mess! Here let me pull some of that out of the way so you can see the little guys at work!
There they are! Just doing their wormy thing (making babies and producing CASTS!). As I got down near the bottom of the bed, I started to see some worms (it was wetter down near the bottom) and there were a lot of wire worms in there. That's the young guys and gals eating and growing until they too will start to lay eggs!

After I get the compost out, I put new food and bedding back into this end of the bed! And bedding is the one thing that you can not have too much of! BEDDING IS OUR FRIEND!!! I used a couple bales of rotten hay that I picked up at curb side in town a couple months ago. Its been sitting out by the bed's and has continued to break down. The advantage to this is that being on the ground and getting rained on, it has attracted other worms and thoes I found went into the beds with the rest.
Here is a hand full from the second bed. Sorry the photo is not very good (To close). Here, let me out them down and try for a better shot!
That's better! I placed them on a paving stone that I put on top of the bed cover to keep the wind from blowing it off!  there are a lot of them! I know that a lot of you out there name all of your animals, But there is no way I could keep all the name straight!
And this garden bed has been top dressed with worm casts and the holes you see are the garlic I planted today. Covered them up and tomorrow Mother Nature will water them in for me. Rain in the forecast!
And this is the second garden bed that I top dressed. As you can see there is one lone plant in there. Its a lettuce plant that decided to Wait until now to germinate . Do not know if it will make it or not. The night time temps are getting pretty low.
So Leigh, That's how I do It! What do you think? Not to hard!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Weed day and dinner

 Today I did a job that I have been putting off for quite a while. Cleaning out the raised beds in the garden.
As you can see, they were over grown with weeds and wire grass! But there were still some plants growing in there too!
The peppers are still dong fine, with lots of flowers and I picked another 13 sweet peppers (2.5 lbs worth).

As you can see, some of them were changing color and just asking to be picked!

And the "Rosemary plants are still in the land of the living.(more about them in a bit!)

And flowers were still blooming. But as can be seen, the weeds pretty well had them hemmed in.
One of the beds have been used to grow tomatoes and as a way to keep the birds out of the bed, I had placed 1/2 inch PVC pipe in the bed and covered that with bird netting. As I pulled that out of the bed, A black snake came with it! He was tangled up in the netting and it took me 30 minutes to cut him loose! As I held him behind the head, I used the other hand to cut the netting. He was pretty calm throughout the whole thing, But I think he was pretty cold and just wanted to get out into the sun. After that, each time I reached into grab a hand full of weeds, my mind kept telling me "There was a snake in there!"

Now about the Rosemary. As today was my day off from the "JOB", and Terri was in school most of the day. Its my day to cook.
I put a pot roast in the crock pot early on and added a onion, beef broth and two can of mushroom soup and let it cook all day. Along with that I decided to roast spuds, onion, carrots, sweet potatoes and summer squash. After chopping everything and getting it into a bowl, I added fresh Rosemary and Olive oil, salt and pepper. Roasted at 400 for 40 minutes in the oven.
And desert was a "French Caramel Apple Cake"! This one was not from a box, but from scratch! Really easy and so good with cool whip and extra caramel sauce drizzled over!!!!
Think I will go get another slice!
See ya!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Apple Sauce - Canning

As promised, Last Thursday I spent the day canning apple sauce and did some baking. Terri was at school in Greenville and I had the whole day to work at her house.

The start of the process. Peel, core and slice the apples and pears. I placed the peels and cores in a bucket on the floor (WORM FOOD!) and the apples went into the big pot that had a water/lemon juice mix to keep the apples from browning and to add a little tartness.

This is my version of a double boiler. The apples are placed into a 4 cup heavy duty  cup and  placed into the Microwave on high for 3 min. This cooks them a bit and pulls a lot of juice from them.
Kept peeling, coring and slicing with this hand crank tool and placed the peels and cores in a bucket on the floor (WORM FOOD!).

Where did this come from? Its what's  for desert.
6 Quarts and 16 pints was the final count. O' that's dinner prep's in the background. Manderin orange french toast with eggs and bacon. Sounds like brekfast for dinner to me! YUM!
Double chocolate "Tuxcedo Cake" Talk about YUM!?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Grave's Mountain Apple Festival

I took a vacation day off work and we went to the Apple Festival at Grave' mountain inn and apple farm. This the 47 time the festival has been held and this time it was held over 3 week-ends. The picture above is of the Inn set on the hill side above the farm.

There are two streams that run through the farm and this one is at the base of the hill side below the Inn.

There were a lot of people out this year and there were a lot of vendors there as well. You can pick your own from the tree's or select what you want form the 9 varieties they have from big wooden bins set around the festival area.

 "Gala's", we took 2 boxes. And at $14.00 a box we got quite a few. We also got a box of "Grimes Golden! So later this week, it's apple sauce time!

Of course there were lots of apple treats to try and even apple butter to make!

The way they use to do it "Back in the Day"!
After we left the festival, we took a drive along the "Sky line Drive" a top the "Blue Ridge Mountains"

  The tree's are just starting to change and the yellows are the most prevalent right now, with a few reds and browns.

I sure wish that I could live in a place like this. The farms and ranches are located in such a pretty place and it would be a joy to work outside with this to look at each day!
 Thursday will be apple sauce day and I will write a post after we get the jars out and on the counter!

So where do you get your apples and which do you like to use for apple sauce?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Worms, My step by step

My Blogging Friends, Carolyn over at "Karazo Farms" and, Leigh at "5 acres and a Dream" have asked for a Worms how to. So for them and any other of you who might be interested, This is what I did to get started!

First let me say that I'm no expert. And I have a "Go to Guy" that I have used from the beginning. He is Bentley Christie at "Red Worm Composting" (htt:// He has had a blog up for the past 5 years and he is the expert! Its a great site and he has all the information for anybody wanting to get started raising worms! Check it out and I think you will be very impressed!

But here is what I did (all of it gotten from Bentley!). I started my first "Worm Bed" in a 20 gallon tote and set it up in my utility room, right off my kitchen. This made it easy to keep an eye on the worms and to add food material/bedding and water. And then I ordered my first 1,000 worms.

The tote should be of a dark color, as the worms like it dark! I drilled a few vent holes in the top and sides of the tote (glued window screening over the holes from the inside, so the worms stay put!). I placed a layer of bedding (3 - 4 inches deep) that had been soaked in water and allowed to drain off the excess. You want the bedding to be like a rung-out sponge.
Primary Bedding:
 - Shredded cardboard (non-glossy, waxed). Corrugated boxes (remove tape and staples!), Drink trays, egg    cartons and toilet paper rolls (My personal favorite!)
 - Shredded newsprint, No color inks!
 - Aged manures, coarse compost.
 - Rotten straw/hay

Secondary bedding:
 - Fall leaves... When I first set up my outside bed, I saw the biggest change in this material. They went through this as fast as they any of the food I put in!
 - Wood chips/sawdust (no treated wood/chemicals)

Remember ...Bedding is your friend!! You can not add to much bedding!!!!

Now let's talk about Food.
The three thinks you should not use as food!
1. Meat/oils... Not of any kind! This will smell up the bed and might be a calling card for animals you do not want in your bed.

2. Dairy... This can cause it to smell and the worms might try to find greener pastures!

3. Anything from the Onion family/Hot Peppers... contain potent volatile oils that cause issues for worms!

So, anything that was alive at some point can be used as food!
 - Kitchen scraps...Coffee grounds (with filters), Tea bags, Egg shells (also adds calcium and can normalize PH), Bread/pasta (in small amounts).
 - Human/pet hair.
 - Over ripe fruits/produce from the garden.

 - Any of the bedding I listed before! As a matter of fact, I run kitchen scraps through the food processor to chop it up fine and then mix it with Egg cartons and toilet paper rolls to make what Bentley calls "Home made Manure". This works great!
 Two months after I got my worms, I though they might be getting a little crowded, So I built my first outside bed.

And this is it, made from recycled wood and is opened bottom. This provides a lot more room for the worms  to do their thing. The only thing that is a pain, is the harvesting of the worm casts! Labor intensive!

So there you have it Lady's. That's how I got my worms started! If you want to start this way, I would suggest that you purchase your worms from Bentley! I did not do this and I did not get the right worms for the job! The worms you want are "Eisenia fetida/andrel" (Red wigglers, Manure worms!). And Bentley has them!

Also he has the plains to build a "Single-Compartment Flow-Through bed", that will make harvesting worm casts a lot easier! I have my copy and will be doing up a post on that as I work on it.

So go to his site, because he has a lot more info on how to get started.

I hope this helps and let me know how it goes!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

What's for dinner?

As I wrote in my last post, Thursday morning was spent working with the worms (My Blogging friend Carolyn at "karaso Farms asked for a step-by step on how to set up a worm bed, Coming soon!!). Terri spent the day in school (Pitt Community Collage) and of course Mark was at the Job. So I decided that I would make Dinner that night.
Terri called at some point to ask if I had any ideas for dinner and being as I,m a meat and potato kind of guy, I said, How about "Stuffed, loaded, and covered "Rebaked potato's?
I know that some of you lady's out there believe that a man can not find his way around a kitchen (other then to find where the Beer is!), But I do quite well at it and I like to cook!
So here is my recipe  for "Stuffed, loaded and covered Rebaked Potato's"

1 lb of breakfast  sausage
enough baking potato's for the number of people you have to feed (in this case, 3)
1 onion, diced
3 green onions, sliced
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
eggs ( two for each potato)
enough shredded Colby/Monterty jack cheese to cover the potato's
Sour cream to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Some of the ingredients ready for the chopping.

Wash the potato's and using a fork, pierce the skins in a few places. Using enough tinfoil to wrap the potato's in, rub each potato with olive oil and warp them up. Place in a 400 degree oven. Remove when completely done and allow to cool to the point that you can handle them.
Meanwhile, crumble the sausage into a pan on medium high heat and brown, breaking it up as it browns.
In another pan on low heat, carmalize the onion, then add the mushrooms and cook until done.
Unwrap the potato's and cut in half length-wise, and using a spoon, scoop out the insides.
Place the potato skins on a baking sheet, drizzle with more olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and return to the 400 degree oven to brown and crisp up. 8 - 10 minutes.
Add the cooked potato to the pan of sausage and cook until potato is browned, set aside.
Remove the skins from the oven and evenly load each one with the sausage/potato mixture, then smother each one with the onions and mushrooms. Now cover each one with the cheese and return to the oven until cheese is melted and browned.
Fry an egg for each potato.
Remove from the oven and add the green onion to each and a dollop of sour cream (or as much as you like, Me I like a lot!)

Sausage in the bowl waiting for the potato's to brown some.

One stuffed,smothered, and covered. One waiting for the egg! 

Just add two slices of Farm House White Bread, with lots of butter and jam!!

So there you have it. My turn in the kitchen. Took longer to write it up then it did to make it! Try it, you will like it!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The morning with the worms

I have to admit that I have not spent much time working with the worms. Give them a little bedding/food and not much more.
Well today I work all morning with them. New bedding and food. And lots of water!
They are pretty forgiving and will fend for themselves for quite some time. But the main thing to remember is that they have to be kept pretty wet, as they breath through their skin and taht means they have to have a wet environment.

Here are some of the tools and materials I use. The bottles are filled with water and there are 22 of them. There isn't a water source close to the beds and I tote it all in the bottles. The paper bag is filled with empty paper towel rolls and toilet paper rolls (bedding).  Hard to see, there are a couple of buckets of food in there too!

This is Daisy. She was suppost to be helping, But her idea of helping is to chase rabbits or to find Deer POOP to roll in! (Silly Dog!!!).

Anyway, once I got out to the beds, The first thing I had to do was clean up around the beds with the weed eater.

Grass and weeds had gotten pretty bad around the beds,

And the spoiled hay bales were almost covered up. I got the hay curb side a few weeks ago and it is prime bedding material! Once that was done, it was time to open the beds up. 

Like I said, the worms are pretty forgiving and there were quite a few mixed in the old bedding and the casts. Sorry they are hard to see, but that's the best my camera can do!

Here are a few that I was able to pick out. Worms are by-sexual, But they need another worm to breed with. The amazing thing about them is each adult has the abillity to lay 900 cocoons (up to 7 eggs per cocoon) in it life time! And from hatching to adult, is about 90 days! So I started out with about 1,000, April of last year. And if I were to guesstamate, I would say that in the two beds there are upwards of 30,000 

Once I racked back some old bedding and was able to see several worms doing their think, I placed some new bedding in. This was a combination of shredded newsprint, and the paper rolls I mentioned before. I made sure that it was pretty wet before it went into the beds.

Just layered down the middle, after soaking in water for a few minutes. I let the water drain off before putting the bedding in.

And then the food went on top of that. Food consisted of rotted garden produce (water melon, cucumbers, sweet peppers and tomato's) and coffee grounds (with filters), tea bags, banana peels and egg shells. I run it all through the food processur and that produces a lot of water in the mix. I also use all kinds of manure's too! The worms do not eat the food itself, but the Bacterial goop that it produces as it all breaks down! And in the end, it all comes out as WORM CASTS! Another addvantage is I do not send this waste to the land fill, but feed it to the worms!

And then cover it all with a good later of rotten hay and water it all down. The hay and other bedding will decompose and get turned into casts too.

Closed up to help keep the mousture in and to keep it dark (worms do not like the light). The extra bottles are for watering again later.
So that's what it takes to make the worms happy. Not so hard? So do you want to start a worm herd of your own? Worm casts are a great thing to add to any garden!

Talk to you later,