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Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Plan Man, Still No Moola But Fun

Tortuga Thursday
In 2012, on the plains of Northern Arizona, two families joined forces and began the trials and tribulations of building a small family farm with nothing in the bank but love.

When I started this blog, I didn't intend on it to be entirely about farming. From May to October, that's what consumes us. Farming is Lance's endeavor, and we're along for the ride. But it's a great deal of work, too much for one man, so we'll be mightily involved until he's self-sufficient. It's what we want to do. We went into this communal living project to combine our talents and still be able to pursue our individual goals. I have to say, growing and eating our own food is rewarding. We're looking ahead to year three, and there are still a lot of things we need for the farm. We're lucky we have neighbors that are happy to loan Lance the attachment for the tractor. He can keep it for days at a time. We're lucky we were able to get a two year no interest loan that enabled us to get the material for the watering system and greenhouse. In fact, we have enough to build the second greenhouse and add on to the drip system. But the list of needs is still long. We'll eek it out somehow. I'll clue you in on how we do as this next year progresses.

Pirate Pickles and Relish - gourmet
Pirate Pickling Co. is part of the plan. We have the product. We have the "look". There are a lot more hurdles to get over in order to sell our product on a larger commercial basis. This is just a test year while we get all the needed licenses and certification. But we can sell it direct and we're working on that. Found the table for the markets, had a banner and business cards made, and this weekend Lance will be putting it out there locally.

Now that harvesting and pickling are done, Frank and I can get away occasionally as finances allow. As I write, we're at an RV park in Laughlin, NV, actually, a ways from the main area and on the reservation at a casino called the AVI. I told Frank I would take him to a movie and dinner for his birthday here. There wasn't a movie we wanted to see. We checked out the dinner restaurant and choked on the prices. We ended up at the casual restaurant and had prime rib for $9.99. It was okay. I gave him $10 to put in the slots, he turned it into $70 and we headed back to the RV to watch a movie on TV. I couldn't get him to play his winnings. He's saving it for our next trip.

One short health note: still thankful for the Indian Medical Center since we can't afford insurance. The dermatologist found two spots to biopsy. They were benign but showed evidence of pre-cancer cells. He gave me a cream to put on twice a day for four weeks that will inhibit these bad cells from growing. I'm to put it on all sun exposed areas over the next few months (small areas at a time). It can react on my skin like I've been burned. I can handle that if it prevents future problems. Thanks again to my great grandparents for getting on the Indian roster that allows me this care. 

I promised to start posting recipes we use on Tortuga Flats Farm. The first one is what not to cook. As part of our goal to be self-sustaining, Lance is hunting and occasionally dragging Frank along. They came up with the idea to make Docos (dove tacos). Dove is gamey tasting and it seemed like a good idea. DON'T try it. We ended up feeding them to the dogs!


  1. I'm so happy for all of you! Look how far you and the farm have come in two years. Frank did the right thing walking away after winning. It's fun to do this because I think it shocks the dealers a little. They look at you like, "What are you doing walking away now? You're on a roll and winning." I give the guys credit on trying the Docos, but yeah, I don't think I'd go there. How did the dogs like them?

    1. The dogs loved them. Rusty, who normally gently takes food out of your fingers, nearly tore my fingers off when he smelled it. Thanks, Jody.