Off Grid Systems Installation Still Continues, Amish Laughter And A Butchering Party
|Passive solar prefab pushing towards spring.|
Now that we're finishing up plumbing, HRV installation, and ordering the rainwater filtration and collection pieces, my thoughts turn to
So I'm also thinking about septic.
[WON'T it be nice when we can move on to pretty, clean, modern interior design?]
|Off grid systems installation continues|
at the green prefab home!
His comment was that in the end, although he didn't immediately see anything wrong with our plans, it might be easiest and most affordable to go with a conventional septic field downhill.
Then we digressed into all sorts of subjects, and he imparted this gem:
"Did you know a pond just 50' across can feed ten families?"
Suddenly my attention has turned to the breached pond in the woods, something until now I had put the chore of digging out and fixing as on "the ten year plan."
Here's the breached pond from when my old NYC room mate P. visited:
(I was looking at the falling leaves, falling like rain except it was leaves, it was SO pretty yet unfortunately it doesn't quite show in this jiggly video. I had no idea at the time I'd be talking about the pond in a blog post! But it gives a better idea than a photograph of its scope, scenario...)
Our Breached Pond
You may have noticed my pictures of the passive solar prefab interior have lessened in recent weeks. I am tired of being under construction! If *I* don't want to look at this mess, you most likely don't, either. Let's all toast to spring, when I can take some gorgeous, gorgeous pictures of a clean-again un-cluttered everything-in-its-place prefab home. Deal? 'Sides, once that's done, it's DESIGN TIME!
Anyhoo, completely related to this green building / pond breaching topic, I decided to make a southern version of miso soup. Instead of seaweed, I used collards. Instead of tofu.... dumplings.
Copeland Done Gone Took Miso Soup And Made It Southern Style Recipe
- After you've eaten the meat, simmer a chicken carcass. (Obviously vegetarian would be more traditional, and you could simmer picked-clean pork ribs... but tonight, I have chicken.)
- Remove bones after it's simmered 1 1/2-2ish hours. Don't worry too much about the clarity, because miso soup is cloudy, and since you're drinking it fresh those chicken remnants are tasty! Think: Cloudy stock (even vegetable) = miso-ness. Why not?
- Add sliced collards (a bunch) and scallions (or regular onions if you don't have scallions on hand)
- Simmer for a long time until they are soft.
- I would add a dash of vinegar, some kosher salt...
- And........................ a smidgen of SHERRY. Actually, I didn't have sherry, either (why does it seem I'm always making something with ingredients I don't have?) so I threw in some Martini & Rossi.
- You can make this part before. Then reheat, and, when you're ready, add the dumplings ( I don't cut them but drop them in with a spoon; make sure they're small, ok?) to the simmering soup and... serve!
Arriving at the prefab and the first thing we find was a leg.
Yes, a leg.
As the realization that there's a decaying deer leg right there in front of us sinks in and we collectively go, "Ewwwww...!" the dog jumps in, grabs it, and gallops off with his prize held high across the field. Blech.
Giggle of the day: Me, to childrenz: "Now how many of YOUR friends put banana peels down THEIR toilets?" #CompostingToiletAtTheOffGridPrefab
AND there was a little satisfaction that maybe I'm not so kray-kray when, visiting Mrs. Esh at the Amish stand, I told her about the Richmond neighbors who made us get rid of our laying hens, not because they did anything, but because it just bothered them just knowing we had chickens because they want to appear to be as sophisticated city folks as possible. I think we're both callin' each other provincial, ha.
Mrs. Esh actually laughed out loud at that one, I suspect she'll be picturing a few laying hens in our yard and chuckling over those neighbors awhile... which makes me wonder, thinking of those suburban uncultured neighbors, how *does* one say, "dumbass" in Amish? In Paris we'd sarcastically sneer, "BCBG..." jokingly towards people like that... I'm glad I gave practical and always-appreciating-the-humor Mrs. Esh a laugh.
The Butchering Party
Warning: IF YOU ARE VEGETARIAN DO NOT READ PAST THIS POINT!!!!!!
IF YOU THINK FOOD COMES FROM COSTCO DO NOT READ PAST THIS POINT!
I spent the morning helping our good friends at Aults Family Farm process chickens.
That's polite speak for: we killed, then cleaned them.
When you realize what doesn't end up at your grocery store (non-uniformly sized eggs, stained eggs, pullet eggs, roosters just to start...), it is amazing what waste there is in the factory farm industry... much less that I appreciate these animals we cleaned today were raised on pasture, with sun and bugs to peck and chase, running freely... until humanely, quickly killed so that our families can gratefully eat.
Consider the GMO corn they feed them, the appalling cramped and smelly conditions (when workers look like they could be confused with HazMat, do you really want to eat that?!? If you can smell that factory stench, that is bad bacteria certainly breeding), the lack of biodiversity, the...
Instead of becoming industrially numb, we face this grim task and are thankful for the meat, the eggs, and that the bird lived well. And so, on a breezy spring day, I found myself with neighbors, marveling at all the things you'd never find in the store and would be wasted - the un-laid eggs (we saved them to make custard), all the parts that went to our families or to feed other animals on the farm instead of wasted - EVERYTHING is used, fresh, immediately, not parts becoming parts of things made out of parts.
As yo' momma used to say, "Many hands make light work!"
And we worked, and chatted, and enjoyed the fresh spring breeze, then broke to eat delicious soups and breads with freshly-churned butter and it was a lovely day to work, and work was social.
When we left, I was loaded up with eggs and meat, and heck, if that's how I have to earn my non-hormone non-GMO-fed pasture and sunshine-raised meat I am HAPPY to spend regular days helping my friends get work done. In doing so, you realize WHY non-factory farm meat is so expensive: in the time we processed 50 birds, a factory can industrially cut and gut and ammonium-ize 5,000. I can't imagine they say thank you to each bird, much less look at them and treat them kindly...