turdacres


Local food: thing of the past in the burgh?
January 30, 2014, 12:50 pm
Filed under: food, food issues, pittsburgh | Tags: , , ,

Only a matter of time I suppose. Post Gazette article talks about some restaurants getting fed up with the whole local food thing. It’s too HARD. Yep I get that. We don’t live in California, so our local food options create a not so glamourous menu. The sad part is that I hear in this article as well as from some of my local farm friends, that some supplier lists on local menus include farmers with whom they haven’t done business in several years?!! They’ve just kept the purveyors on the list so they look like good responsible restauranteurs.

UGH! Now that’s just plain sad. And it reminds me of the big scandal we heard about in Tokyo–where many products on menus were not as described. Hankyu Hanshin Hotels admitted that 47 different ingredients were involved. Selling cheaper shrimp as more expensive ones, frozen juice as “fresh”, “Home-made” cakes were purchased, etc. They knew that customers were looking for a quality brand product, so they left the menu descriptions intact while they served different items. Pretty terrible!

We’ve all heard the fish swap stories, that we’re not actually getting that great tuna or whatever we might think we are. But now it apparently applies to veggies in PA, too. I’m curious to follow up on this story, but then, I don’t really eat out that often. And I sure HOPE our one favorite restaurant is not among the deceitful. But I feel ok about it because we actually went to a farm event and heard from the farmer that he is STILL supplying his fantastic salad greens to Eleven.

I am really glum about this story. Not that surprised I guess, but still sad to hear it. At least these local restauranteurs in this article are keeping it real and deciding to be public about it.



goats in coats 2014 edition

This morning we woke up to this:

looks like minus 10!

looks like minus 10!

This am, both of the goats were shivering. Time for the coats.

sydney can't believe she got the coat too.

sydney can’t believe she got the coat too.

We checked on them later, and alas, the Dongo was still shivering. Time for a new tactic. Enter the sweatshirt.
(Note for Mom: for Christmas next year, Roppongi probably takes a large not a medium, but maybe with 3/4 length sleeves!)

she probably takes a large--but with 3/4 sleeves!

she probably takes a large–but with 3/4 sleeves!

She looks a bit dashing in that shot, don’t you think?
But no, she was glum. This pic captures her mood.

we probably should have trimmed the sleeves for her.

we probably should have trimmed the sleeves for her.

She knew what was coming, the big blue sheet went on over top of the sweatshirt.

We did manage to cheer her up a bit though, with her favorite winter treat–hot molasses water. Mix about a tablespoon of molasses into about 3 litres or a gallon of water. Some people say that their goats really like the water hot and not warm. Today I tried that, and sure enough, Roppongi drank most of the bucket. They love it, and it’s a nice energy boost and vitamins for them.

In other winter news, note to self–this is why they made plastic chicken waterers.

galvanized waterers are not practical for winter!

galvanized waterers are not practical for winter!

I always wondered why people made the plastic ones, the galvanized ones would seem to last much longer. I like this nice big one in the summer in their run. It’s big so I don’t have to keep refilling it. Our plastic one was leaking last night, so I had to use the galvanized one, and lo and behold–you can’t get the frozen ice chunk out of it in the morning. ARGH. So we went out and bought a new plastic one today.

Other than a few small gripes, we’re all doing ok in the big cold. Just waiting it out until tomorrow. The kids had no school today, and they’re on a two hour delay tomorrow. But it should be up to the 40s maybe by the end of the week. Whew!



big surprise in the coop: possum!!
January 5, 2014, 6:06 pm
Filed under: chickens | Tags: , , , ,
ugly guy

ugly guy

We’re waiting for that big freeze, but today was pretty mild. I wasn’t that surprised to see that the chickens were at the gate and wanted to go out of the run for a tour around the farm. I let them out, and then decided to take a look at the coop. I opened the door to see this surly bugger!!

Ok so he looks a little less frightening in the coop.

little drowned rat-like thing

little drowned rat-like thing

He wasn’t moving too fast, so I closed in the coop and then got my camera! He showed me how he can climb.

dude you missed the door

dude you missed the door

Chased him out of the coop and he headed up to the corner of the run.

Up the fence he went

Up the fence he went

He can fit through a teeny 2 x 4 inch fence. With some coaxing he showed us how…

squishy but he made it.

squishy but he made it.

I couldn’t figure out how he made it in in the first place. But then I noticed the tracks. Along the side of run, must have come through the fence at this roost. Walked across the roost and then jumped down and made his way straight into the coop.

Litte feetprints in between my boot prints.

Litte feetprints in between my boot prints.

We think he’s rooming under the woodpile near the coop. His mother or father was probably the killer of poor spanky. Poor chickens have seen so much. Good thing is that apparently possums don’t carry rabies too often, though they do carry a disease that is bad for horses and birds. They don’t hibernate, and we have seen them occassionally in the middle of winter.

You just get the sense that we’re constantly beating back the wildlife around here. Earlier this winter we ended up killing some mice in the barn. And we trapped groundhogs and raccoons. It’s just a constant struggle to keep everyone safe.



happy new year it’s cold out!
January 4, 2014, 8:44 am
Filed under: farm, goats | Tags: , , ,

Here’s some pics from trip to the barn this morning.

that's cold. but supposed to be even colder in a few days.

that’s cold. but supposed to be even colder in a few days.

pretty morning light

pretty morning light

sydney aka polar bear

sydney aka polar bear

need more ice in my bucket!

need more ice in my bucket!

Roppongi doesn’t like the cold so much. She was a little bit shivery this morning, and wouldn’t come out. If she gets worse, we’ll have to pull out her goat coat!

roppongi would not come out

roppongi would not come out

We’re expecting temps to fall to minus 12 on Monday. Yeesh, wish us luck on that one. We’re not in the midwest or Edmonton you know!! We can’t handle it!