Do you know why barns are traditionally red?
Once upon a time, barns were painted red because commercial paints were expensive. Farmers needed a cheaper paint they could use for large products (like their barns). The result was standard red paint.
Old-fashioned barn paint was made from: lime, linseed oil, red iron oxide, oil, turpentine & skim milk.
From Farm Show Magazine.
How many of you out there know what temperature your ground beef should be cooked to? What about pork? Chicken?
As producers, it is our duty to provide consumers with the safest possible product we can. And in the scheme of things, I've said before that I think our food system is pretty darn safe. See post here. But even if we produce the safest product possible, the responsibility at the end still falls upon the consumer to be the one to cook it and handle it properly.
Actually, they don’t say much of anything, which according to Farmer D is a good thing, unless you’re in the barn around supper time…then you’re serenaded by a bunch of lovely guys with beautiful baritone voices.
Is that too weird for you?
It’s a little weird to me, and I’m the one that just wrote it.
Anyhow, the cattle are doing fine. The oldest of the bunch will be one year old in February; the youngest is a little over six months old.
Since the weather is cold and endlessly wet here, I’ve been spending a lot of time reading about raising beef and about the processing process.
In the food world, the grass-fed vs. grain-fed thing—and which one is best—is a huge (non) issue. Many proclaim that grass-fed beef is the only way to go…but read what Jeff Fowle, a California beef farmer and agvocate, has to say about Grass vs. Grain.
For the record, Farmer D subscribes to the “grass-fed, grain-finished” school of thought.
As for the processing part (though I have no desire to do it myself), I’m fascinated with Megan Brown’s article, Brown Ranch: From Pasture to Plate. Ms. Brown is a 6th generation cattle rancher, and a strong voice in the agvocate world, who loves to share what goes on in her family business.
If you want to learn more about your favorite meat, and how it gets from the farm to your table, read everything you can from Jennifer Dewey at Chico Locker & Sausage Company, Inc., and follow @KYFarmersMatter (on Twitter.) You’ll find amazing ladies in both places that really know their stuff.
(And by now, you’ve probably noticed that I love to read and love to research.)
I’m sure I’m missing more great info out there, but it’s time to go outside and check on the boys in the barn.
What other beef-related sites do you think I should check out?
Though now is the time I’m supposed to be getting things done inside the house, my recent obsession with Pinterest, the 365 Project (and more than a few games of Hotshot on Facebook) have left me behind on the projects I thought I’d get around to while trying to avoid this weird, wet winter.
After an exceptionally soggy spring and fall (which made harvest a bit of a challenge), winter in our corner of Ohio has been more of the same—gray and wet.
But as The Farmer’s Almanac predicted, it’s been warm.
Yesterday the daytime temperature reached 55°F , which is nearly unheard of for January in Ohio, and nearly 20 degrees warmer than the January average.
It also rained cats and dogs. Everything (including the car I took to the car wash on Sunday) was muddy, including the yard, the dogs, and my kitchen floor.
And this morning, I woke up to a scene like this:
What the heck?
I wish the weather would just pick a season and make up its mind.
Farmer D is always excited when he walks in the house and sees that I have the oven on.
“Mmmm, I smell garlic,” he said today
“Yep,” I answered.
“How soon till it’s done?” he asked.
“Shortly,” I replied, “but they’re not for you.”
He looked sad, as if I he caught me making dinner for some other man, until I explained that I was trying out a recipe for dog treats for our indoor and outdoor security staff (a.k.a., Ike, Rodeo and Annie).
The following recipe is simple, and you can use whatever “meat” you have on hand. (I used chicken stock. I strain, skim and freeze the drippings whenever I roast chicken)
EASY DOG BISCUITS
2 c. Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 c. All-Purpose Flour
1/2 c. Milk
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 large Egg, beaten
1/4 c. Beef or Chicken Stock (you can also use bacon drippings)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit; lightly spray or grease a cookie sheet. Lightly flour a surface to roll the dough out on.
I cheated on both of these and used silicone mats — sprayed one with Pam to bake on, and rolled the dough out on another.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flours, and garlic powder. Add the milk, egg and your stock of choice. Stir.
3. Roll out the dough to about a 1/4-inch thickness. Use a pizza cutter or a cookie cutter to cut the dough into the desired shapes.
Though I have a bone-shaped cookie cutter, I wanted smaller treats so I used circle shape.
4. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool thoroughly before storing.
And remember, every good dog deserves a treat!
I’ve caught Farmer D’s cold (thanks, honey), so I’m taking it easy today and catching up on my computer work and reading.
And according to Susan Cowell, at Farm and Dairy’s Social Silo, I should appreciate that I have a day off, because most farmers (and farm wives) aren’t so lucky.
Please read her article: Sometimes Farm Life is Just Manure Madness.
You’ll think you’ve got it easy.