I so wish I was able to 'wrap my head' around all this!!!
I have 20 geese blessing our pantry... and looking high and low for 'how to do this' from live bird to meal... I am NOT wanting any of this in my fridge nor tiny freezer.. so was looking at canning them...
With a large surplus of birds, my personal choice would be to can it. In fact, here in confit land, most of it is canned these days, simply because it lasts longer and it is safer. With many birds, you'd need a very large fridge or a rodent free cool cellar to keep your open crocks. It is true that depending on conditions, it will keep for a few months without spoiling, but eventually, if you have large quantities and can't eat it fast enough, the fat gets rancid and even mouldy. Wes is right that the birds would be slaughtered when plump and fat.
What I do with my birds is this.
Remove all the fat from the birds, melt the fat with a small amount of water on gentle heat, when fat is melted, add legs, wings and neck if you like it, a few peppercorns, bay leaves and salt and gently simmer, 30-60 minutes until meat is tender and no water runs out when poked with a knife. Immediately put into jars and cover with the fat leaving a 2cm gap, close lid and pressure can for 2 hours, I use 15 pounds pressure but I am at 2 500 feet altitude so you'd have to check for yourself what you need. I have sometimes used a bit of pork fat to top up the jar when the birds were a bit on the lean side. Some people also put nutmeg, rosemary, thyme or other herbs but I prefer things simple - your choice..
I live in Cassoulet country and while making it the traditional way is a long winded process, every housewife used to have her own recipe. I make a very simple version that would make my grandmother turn in her grave if she knew! Basically, I fry the wings, legs and neck in a bit of duck fat and some onions, bay leaves, salt and pepper. When browned, I add some home made tomato sauce or some fresh cut tomatoes (tin is OK), a clove or two of garlic depending on taste and size of pot, and simmer for 10 minutes or so. I then add some previously cooked large white kidney beans and simmer for another half hour. Here we use what is called Tarbais beans, the name comes from the fact that it used to grow around a town called Tarbes. I guess a white navy bean would do. For some reason, white beans seem to lend themselves better to the taste of duck, go figure! Anyway, while still hot, fill up the jars leaving a 2cm gap at the top, close the lid and pressure can for 2 hours (same as above). That way you have a ready meal you can just warm up when you don't feel like cooking and you then can render the fat for other purposes. Roasted potatoes in duck fat are wonderful. A bit of fat added to soups and stews gives a certain richness, and no it is not bad for your health. I also use duck fat to oil some garden tools and waterproof leather boots and canvas or leather hats.
Some of the bird's breasts, after a couple of days at least of "resting", are eaten on the BBQ thinly filleted called "aiguillettes" here, or as kebabs on a stick, or plain fried . Some are added in small chunks in the above mentioned stew, and some I salt for a day and hang up to dry. The dried ones won't last very long and it is best to eat fairly soon, but it is delicious cut thinly in a salad or a few chunks in a soup or stew. It gets drier and harder as time goes by.
The carcass with some meat left on it is boiled in a fair amount of water for several hours (sometimes all night on the edge of the range), again with a few peppercorns, bay leaves and salt, until the meat falls off the bones. While still hot, put into jars (without the bones), lid on and pressure can as above. It makes a clear soup with bits of meat in it that lends itself to all sorts of preparations. I open a jar, warm it up, and add some vermicelli pasta and fresh chopped parsley at the last minute. Or on a winter's day, open a jar or two, add leeks, carrots, celery, potatoes, barley, herbs, whatever you have at hand and make a very hearty stew.
I have 20 geese that needs butchered... I sure wish you lived near and would be willing to help... my husband is squeamish and so this falls on my shoulders... I am done raising geese and this is the only time that I will be butchering and canning, we live in a very small home and there is no room for extra freezer... and I have not found anybody interested in the birds... I don't feel comfortable selling the birds butchered because I am new to this...
thomas rubino wrote:Sounds to me Dina, that you have caught the BUG!!! OH NO, No hope for you .... Now you will have to build a RMH!!
Looks like your down in the Salmon area. To get up to where we are, its a long haul up US 93 . You would be passing numerous RMH's some with greenhouses , including the Wheaton ranch. We are 2 hrs NW of Missoula.
Our greenhouse is actually an artists studio now with nothing edible growing (unless you count the coffee & lemon tree... err bushes.)
We did start out as a working greenhouse but my wife is now more interested in her art than a year round garden.
Visitor's who want to talk rocket science are always welcome.
I would love a road trip with many stops along the way! I am located in Arco Idaho...
I just got back from a dog rescue run to Dillon Montana on Monday and had a lovely experience with a flat tire on a back mountain road on my way home. I was able to see a lot of elk bedded down while finding my 'center' and strength to break the lug nuts loose and change the tire to an old donut and drive ever so slowly BACK to Dillon (I only managed 'slow' on the gravel but once the pavement was under the rubber, desperation kicked in to get to a tire shop before they closed) I was unfamiliar with that area between Grant Montana and Leadore Idaho... I am ready to take that road again with my new tires! Maybe I can get a critter sitter for a long weekend so the husband can tag along, maybe mid October. We need to get our chicken coop winter ready and our high tunnel finished before it cools off too much...
Would ya happen to know anybody in my area willing to help out with building the end walls and draping the double plastic over the 24Wx88L ribs??
thomas rubino wrote:Hi Dina; Possibly the book you are referring to is the original Rocket mass heater book by Ianto Evans & Linda Jackson. For years this was the RMH book of choice. Its still a good choice for backround.
There is now a newer option called the RMH Builders guide by Ernie & Erica Wisner. This book is now the RMH go to book for accomplished builders and first timers.
My green house in northern montana has an 8" J tube and uses less than 5 cords all winter to keep it 40-70 all day and all night with NO FIRE from 10 pm -6 am .... pretty neat huh.
If you are just learning about RMH's be prepared to get the bug ... you'll be up half the night reading ... and soon .... you'll want to become a rocket scientist yourself!
Awesome! Thank you! I would LOVE a visit to see how you have things set up and operating! There is so much to read and so many different ways to 'skin this proverbial cat' depending on materials on hand and location on the planet and all that changes with that pinpoint that my head doesn't seem to stop spinning!
Holy moly there is a LOT of items to read thru... I am guessing keeping on the most recent end will be the best option?
In the beginning there was mention of a certain book being the only thing in print, that was 5 years ago... is that still true or is there something more recent and what is the best for my area in Idaho?
Is this what you are referring to?
Permies per the comments there is a lot to do with making this with resources I don't have... like a place to burn anything because we are on a very strict burn ban right now...
a trash fence would need to be incredibly sturdy! We can get sustained winds of 20-30mph with gust upwards of 60mph with a storm that lasts a couple days. and then we also get random 'bursts' of wind that can destroy your day with no warnings... we are fortunate with our placement as we have a cemetery with large trees bordering our west boundary line but they are not enough to keep down heavy winds that cause damage and dry up our freshly watered items quickly.
we had a heavy snow year a couple years back as well and the rabbits were eating the side of our evergreen trees up... I had no idea they would do that... and the majority of our trees are only 2-3 feet tall to begin with as that was affordable... but I suppose in the end, if they all need to be replaced it was a huge expense of time, water and money...
I am struggling with where to even begin and create zone 1... without having a 'bigger picture' how do I know where I will need water accessible?
Currently our well is located in the house... it is a pain in the a**!!! It is not keeping up giving water needed to water the yard area even after getting a newer and bigger pressure tank... the perforations may need blowed out BUT it is in the house and getting said tools in to do that, impossible!
I have a friend trying to give me her 4 Merriam turkey hens... but I am not in a place to safely give them a home... she says they lay every single day for 9 months out of the year... but again... I have no way of providing them with a safe home right now as our plate of things that needs to be dealth with before winter is overwhelmingly long... ya know, you make plans with expectations of things happening to throw you off a bit... but we are MONTHS off target even after making said plans with 'forgiveness'...
Joseph Lofthouse wrote:To follow up, here's where some swales might be placed (the white lines).
The yellow line is drawn from the highest point on the property to the lowest, The graph below the satellite image shows an elevation profile for that yellow line. Average slope is 2%.
What map are you using to see this? This would be very beneficial for sure to have this info... I am not really understanding how the white line works in the west field... and when will you be arriving to help??
Xisca Nicolas wrote:In the dryland website, i pointed to a pic that showed "flat swales" and you can locate this where it does not bother.
Children need to learn things about nature, and even to look and be careful, so if you locate your nopal not too near the house and get some mesh.... be careful also that animals love eating them! They are wonderful food, both nopal and fruits, and good source of compost.
Use mesh on the ground for unabling the dog to dig! All around the trees...
When is a good time to harvest nopals from the desert and transplant in my yard?
Mesh would be an added expense that we need to avoid... maybe planting the nopals around the base of my trees to create a barrier that the dog would be reluctant to dig in... hmmm...
Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
I observe goji berries growing feral in the deep desert in Nevada. I observe serviceberries, currents, and chokecherry growing in very dry areas. Nopales and or cactus tunas might grow well in Arco.
I have serviceberries planted last year and they are struggling... I have read that they do best in moist loamy soil and I don't have that in any way... but I am doing my best to keep them watered often (not my goal to have things growing that require so much water but hoping it is temporary)
I am not familiar with nopales and cactus tunas and not sure I want something that is low lying and prickly as I have grandchildren that roam here freely. I do know where to get some locally grown currants and gooseberries... I haven't seen chokecherry growing feral but I am not sure I would know it if I had...
When is a good time to take cuttings/suckers to transplant?
Sarah Koster wrote:Looks pretty flat.... would building swales help with breaking wind/retaining water?
the property is flat... I am not sure about building swales... I am trying to understand how swales would be helpful... in my mind, I would need to build REALLY TALL swales(10 and 20 feet tall) and that is not feasible for several reasons... it would impede the ditch rider from getting his equipment to the ditch for maintenance… and that is a big no-no... but maybe I am misunderstanding how swales work
Sarah Koster wrote:
Then you mentionned your dog un-gardening your stuff... and that is ok to fence trees and bushes, it is a pity to loose work from the dog.
We are overwhelmed with voles and mice! They are digging around all of our new planted trees and bushes as well as our garden spots and our pup is digging to get them... but in the act of trying to protect us from the voles and mice, he continues to dig up my young Nanking cherry bush... he has even taken to enjoy nibbling on the cherries right off the bush! I will need to figure out how to protect all of our new plants from the voles, mice and our puppy!!
Meanwhile... I just keep replanting that very resilient cherry bush and hopeful that this little bush holds it's course in resilience!
Bryant RedHawk wrote:I see donkeys! I love my donkey, she cuts my grass, gives me good fertilizer and she trims some of the fruit trees so I don't have to.
Do you have enough materials (grasses, brush, other good compostable stuff) to get a compost heap going?
If you do just layer those with donkey poop maybe even add any used bedding from your animals (if you have that sort of thing).
Great compost making materials are old hay, straw (mildewed or molded so is unsuitable for animal use can usually be gotten for hauling it off if you ask nicely), animal manures (chicken, donkey, horse, sheep, pig and cow are the prime ones)
soil is also good to add in thin layers when making a compost heap, kitchen scraps that don't go to animals are also good, just be sure to put these right in the center of the heap to keep animals from digging for them.
Once you get compost you are ready to turn it into compost tea so you get the most mileage out of your compost heap. You spray the garden areas first then work on other plots of land you want to build soil on second.
The compost you used to make the tea with is then forked into the soil so the humus and carbon is added to the soil.
Arco is actually a great place to practice permaculture, you will have to work at it, but you will bring life back to the soil, it's just going to take sticking with the soil building for a year or two.
Plants are part of building soil, so what ever will grow now, get it growing then you can chop it and let that material rot on the surface, it will leak down into the soil as it rots and that brings more microbiology to play.
mushroom slurries are also a great thing to pour on your gardens, any soil you want to make better, this is one of the keys to building superior soil that grows anything bigger and adds nutrition value too.
Have you read my soil threads? they are listed in the wiki, there is lots of information that will help you there too.
Don't forget that you can also ask me direct I'm around most days for at least a couple of hours.
AGREED! Donkeys are the BEST farm animal!!! My Mammoth jennet and mini jennet are the sweetest critters! I need to learn how to train them to pull equipment (whenever I get some) and let me saddle and ride the bigger one while the little one packs! but I don't know how to do any of that myself... So we just scratch their ears and give hugs and giggle and clap with a enthusiastic YAY when they bray!
We don't get a lot of 'green' for composting... we have more than enough brown material... I had even bought a bokashi kitchen composter system hoping that would help but we don't generate enough kitchen scraps... and the local restaurants are not available to donate their scraps either... and I am not sure how you collect compost tea from a pile of compost on the ground... and where do you get mushroom slurry affordably? We have bought this and that in hopes it would make things easier and they have not and now we are over charged on our credit cards (also had family get cancer and that hit our budget helping them)
I don't expect to get rich on our ten beautiful desert acres but would like it to give back a little....
I have not read your soils thead as I am not the most familar with wiki... what is wiki and where can I find this? as well as where do I contact you directly? Or would you like to make a trip to visit my Kind Pharm and we will get you to the top of the Great Southern Butte for an amazing sunset view of our little valley minus the drunkeness and tank... we don't drink much (crazy to say that, we don't drink much nor often because we are old badgers on medications that don't mix well with spirits) and we don't have access to a tank :D
Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
I observe goji berries growing feral in the deep desert in Nevada. I observe serviceberries, currents, and chokecherry growing in very dry areas. Nopales and or cactus tunas might grow well in Arco.
I have serviceberries that are just surviving but not really thriving yet.... my elderberry is not happy and is struggling... my Nanking cherry is doing well if I could keep my pup from digging it up and using it as a chew toy GRRR
I was going to say that I thought it best for me to spend a bit more money and buy bigger trees to plant so they have a better chance against the elements and natural predators... but then I remembered that I am putting up a high tunnel... Maybe finding a book on how to take cuttings and create my own bigger trees in the high tunnel where they can be protected... hmmm...
Any suggestions would be great!
I had planted some pea shrubs this year to help block the wind but the grasshoppers have destroyed them... We had planted small bare root black locust last year and the voles destroyed their root system and they didn't make, my friend owns and operates the local greenhouse so I was able to get a good deal on both bareroot black locust and pea shrubs... but not if they don't make it... So, starting over... from the very beginning AGAIN!
I would love to get some fruit trees established! But with my current luck I am not sure I want to take the financial risk... and I think that the fruit trees would do better if I had some better wind block established first
frustrating is a mild term for what I am feeling... and then... how would I make money off of this place when I am so far away from modern civilization???
Thank you all again! I am really grateful for all of your input and suggestions and they are all in my notebook to put into practice!
Breaking things down into zones... Ok... that helps me not feel so overwhelmed!!!
Arco gets about 6-8 inches of precipitation a year and most of our 'water' comes from the snow in the mountains... if we get snow... the last two years has been really good years... even had the Big Lost River run across the desert and that was the first time in 20ish years it has done that!!! Will next year be as good??? We have tried planting pea shrubs to help with wind break as we are very windy here and currently we are very smoky from surrounding wild fires. Arco is high mountain desert.. the tempratures can flucuate greatly in one day... we have had an unusually long heat streak of around 90F for several weeks and that is very unusual! We can get snow any month of the year, although at our 5,000 ft elevation it doesn't usually stick around during the summer months of late May to late September.
we have been fighting ground squirrels and grasshoppers and they are wreaking havoc on our pea shrubs and other items planted! I may get a good spaghetti squash harvest this year and maybe a few tomatoes and potatoes if the voles haven't eaten into them before we harvest... I am grateful that I am not completely dependant on my garden to supply us with food as we would starve... but my goal is to provide all our food from our land and enough to share...
We do not have any type of large mechanical tools...
When did this tank when tanked episode happen?? That is some funny stuff!!! My husband has been in the area for over 26 years, I will have to ask him about that!!
And as far as these pics go... do not let that canal fool you.... the first summer we lived here it did not have water running in it and that has been the norm for the past 25 years... however the last 2 years it has been flowing well, but we still don't get our water... living in the west has been a real eye opener about water and exactly how much we are going thru on our limited resources! I would really prefer creating a place that rarely needs extra water than what mother nature provides... but not sure how... with so little water falling in our area
I know... Arco Idaho is a wasteland!!! But this is where I call home and own land and need help getting things organized with a step by step plan... I feel like a chicken with its head cut off!!
I long to have this ten acre plot set up as a food oasis, I have seen ‘Greening the desert’ as instructed and all I came back with is... but that is not Arco Idaho and I do not believe such ways will work here... probably why nobody has written a ‘how to’ in this area.
We are not wealthy. We are not even all that healthy! But I think we are interesting and kind to be around and would greatly appreciate some help!
Our water available is much less than awesome. Our soil is pretty much dead! I know, what was I thinking... but this is what it is and we need to find what good is here and focus on that!
I have 5 farm raised geese that I need to dispatch... where is the best place to get a large pot at an affordable price?? Nothing I own is big enough for them...
I have never done any of this before and nervous about it... there seems to be very little info on how to go about this with geese... but I am sure it is not much different besides size as it would be for other birds...
Thank you, the new health issues has created a learning opportunity for me and my family and some days are better than others... which is not much different than before
There was another piece of property in Mackay with a live natural spring and 10 acres... very close to the reservoir. We looked at it and didn't like the bog it created, it was right next to the highway, only shaved off 20 minutes of my husband's commute to work AND an additional $162,000 more (that's a BIG difference!).
This move gave my husband 2 more hours in his day because he no longer has to commute from Rigby Idaho to INL. That was a BIG selling point on the property. The closest neighbor is a cemetery. We are much closer to the recreations that we love and it was in our price range. I am sure we will be able to manage well here in time... we just need to get creative and learn some patience. I am originally from Southern Indiana and have been relearning all that I barely knew from that area LOL!
I wish the two of you the very best! Feel free to look us up if your in the area!
My limited experience is that finding a place in the west with ample water supply is ... difficultish
We just bought 10 acres in Arco Idaho. It is BEAUTIFUL scenery but the water all over this valley is low. Our property is mostly bordered by canal, but we see little water to are water rights because of the reservoir being low.
This land has been terribly treated and we are having a really hard time envisioning where to begin... The wind is a daily struggle and the lack of rain additionally rough... I would LOVE some hands on experience, from patient teachers that recognize my auto immune diseases knock me on my BUTT with no warning but I still try to get back up and keep moving forward... I was just 'gifted' 14 geese yesterday and was feeling really blessed for that ... then woke up this morning and my 7 year old inside cat that is declawed had managed to get outside and has not returned and now feeling pretty bummed about that... still hopeful and eager to get this piece of desert greened up and productive...
I hope all has recovered from the hail storm and you fair well thru the summer months (dairy goats have always been my dream but I didn't know I would get sick so trying to figure out how to alter my dream to fit my abilities)