Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Product Review--- Omega 8006 Juicer

OK I must admit I was a skeptic about this Juicing thing... My wife has become the Juice Ninja and over the past few weeks she has been juicing every thing that's green, red, yellow and orange. The first juicer was the juice man.. Because of my wife excessive juicing the Juice man didn't last 2 weeks...It broke and depression set in... Literally. This inadvertently became a good thing because it encouraged us to really explore the other options of juicing..... First things first.. When looking for a Juicer... You want a Masticating Juicer.. Steer clear away from centrifugal juicers. The reason why.... your juice yield from centrifugals like the juice man are not going to be high compared with Masticating juicers like the Omega 8006.. Centrifugals are a pain in the neck to clean... compared to masticating juicers like the 8006 that takes less than 3 mins to clean. The only upside to Centrifugal juicers is the speed in which they produce juice.. But with this speed it looses a lot of juice. The Masticating Juicers are slow to juice but the pulp from the veggies and fruit come out dry. The Juice Ninja (my wife) actually used the dry pulp from the spinach and made homemade pasta with the 8006. I wouldn't believe it if I had not seen it. Fresh eggs from the coop and Spinach from the garden with a little flour and with a quick attachment to the 8006 she made pasta.... Simply Amazing!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Saving Seeds and the process of Fermentation

Seeds and Pulp Recovered from Avocado Squash
This year my Advocado Squash aka Early Balum squash has done exceptionally well within the haybale garden. So much so that I will save seeds so that I can have a supply of resources for the garden. I have been intimidated by the idea of seed saving for quite some time. But given the global crisis with the financial system that has saturated us for sometime.... Learning how to save seeds couldn't come at a better time. As I studied my options I began to realize that this whole process is really not that hard. Like with anything... if you want to get good at it you are going to have to do it.. So im jumping in with both feet!!
Place seeds in Jar/ Add half of water to jar

I want to save seeds from all of my herbs, greeny vegetables, tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplants. Some of these vegetables like the peppers, herbs and greeny veggies are relatively easy to save seeds from. However, vegetables and fruit like tomatoes, squash and eggplants need to undergo the fermentation process before they are ready to save as seeds.

Fermentation for seed saving... from what I gather is the process of allowing the seeds and the sticky residue that often envelopes these types of seeds to dissipate through the process of "fermintation" this is acheived by placing the seeds in a jar of some type with just enough water to cover the seeds and by placing the jar in a room that is between 75 and 80 degrees... The seeds will begin to ferment in approx 5 days loosening the protective coating that encapsulates the seed prepping it for germination in the future.
Find a place that is approx 75 to 80 degrees and let sit for approx
5 days. The fermintation process will begin when bubbles and froth is
present. Only viable seeds will begin to sink and dead seeds will float.

The true test is to achieve germination....  

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Harvest from this seasons Haybales

Well as suspected.. I came home to find the garden looking like a scene out of Jumanji!! In my wifes defense... I have to seriously re-consider the layout of the garden for the spring and summer. It's way to hot and the mosquitos are vicious. So with some careful consideration we are going to start using our deck to grow more produce and grow produce in the garden that is easy to navigate through.

In the basket are some extremely healthy looking butternut squash and some gigantic Avocado Squash that were grown exclusively from the haybales. In fact the haybales have totally collapsed and decomposed and the vegetables are thriving on the rich matter that is accumulated in the raise beds.

Because of the heat and other issues my wife just watered the garden and said the hell with picking anything. I don't blame her... when the weather is 100 degrees and 110% percent humidity with mosquitos so thick they cover any exposed bare skin. The Avocado Squash are supposed to be harvested at around tennis ball size. They are extremely prolific and and if picked regulary will continue to produce amazing sets of buttery textured zucchini quality fruit. These on the other hand are the size of soccer balls and therefore not fit to consume or maybe I will see. But my maion focus for these guys will be to save there seeds for next season. Speaking of next Season.. We definetly need to have a new game plan to deal with this heat.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Local Food Watch--- Georgia Peaches

We are almost three quarters of the way finished with the intense heat and as soon as we get over the dog days of summer, fall will follow suit; this year I really want to experiment with canning. Apparently Georgia has seen there best season for peaches that they have had in years. According to local news articles this years peaches are sweeter than ever. I can't really think of anything better than Warm Peach cobbler dressed with vanilla bean Ice Cream.. That's one of my favorite desserts. From year to year certain crops are better than they ever have been. It's always good to know who is doing what and what successes they have experienced. Enjoy!!