Thursday, February 7, 2013

Last Year's Ugly-This Year's Healthy

Last year's ugly heirloom-this year's good sauce
2012 On the plains in 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.
I finished reading the fourth book of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series yesterday morning while sitting on Lake Mohave. Beautiful day - seventy degrees, sunny, water was glassy and Frank was casting for bass. Now what has this to do with Tortuga Flats Farm? Several days ago, I learned that marigolds are supposed to keep insects away. I'm going to plant some around certain crops that are prone to infestation. Gabaldon is a 'smart' author in that her books are usually well researched and fact based. In this series, her heroine is a time traveler and is in the eighteenth century. She mentions using marigolds to keep bugs away from some food in her home.

As we become more in tune with our crops and our life on our prairie farm, I've learned that much of what we do or know dates way back. I mean way, way back - such as the marigolds. I may be a geek, but I found that really interesting.

Living with a pregnant lady is also educational when it comes to what we grow and consume. For instance, fresh ginger is good for morning sickness. Chamomile (I harvested a ton of this and am still making tea from our dried plants) is not good for pregnant ladies. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties which would be bad for a fetus heart.

Here's a fact I found very odd but Lance can attest that it works - cayenne pepper helps defray heartburn. I would think the opposite.

Zucchini is good for dogs. We include it in our dogs' meals.

Canned tomatoes/tomato sauce is better for you than fresh tomatoes.

Jarred potatoes are tasty. This is merely my own insight. We tried freezing and jarring. Both are good, but I have a particular liking for the jarred potatoes. They get kind of sweet and have a peculiar texture.

We haven't started on the greenhouse yet. Got the quote from the watering system company and it'll cost us about $850 to set up the fields and the greenhouse. Lance was happy with the quote, BUT we won't be buying it this month. Still have a bit of time. We have about a month before we have to get serious about building the greenhouse or getting the irrigation set up. I predict a flurry of activity in April and May.


  1. Okay, I had no idea about the chamomile tea and pregnancy. Very interesting. When you can/jar the potatoes, what kind of water/sauce to you put with them in the can/jar?

    1. Just plain water. They stay really firm. They slice beautifully.

  2. How odd that chili flavours cure heartburn! Never would have thought it.