The Farm

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

The Farm

From an early age I loved being on my grandparent’s farm.  I knew that I wanted to work with cattle and other farm animals. This is the story of the farm.

 

 

 

David Proctor

 

 
 
 

           From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Farm

 

by David Proctor


November 09, 2017

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly 

 


I have very fond memories of the Proctor Farm from when I was little.  I spent many a pleasant time playing with and feeding the calves that were on the farm.  I would spend many a happy time there.  I just knew that this would be the life for me.   My grandpa Proctor would let me ride the tractor with him.  Something like that is not done very often in today’s world.

Tractor
Picture of me pretending to drive tractor along with my sister

The farm was not very big in today’s standard, it was 88 acres of mainly grass fields.  The farm was milking Jersey  cows at the time, if my memory serves me right. These cows where probably crosses, but I remember that the milk had a high butterfat content so they were probably Jersey cattle.  This is when I first learned how to milk by hand with my grandma.

 

Milk Cows
Jersey Milk Cows

The cattle would come to the barn, if they were not already in line waiting to come in.  Being anxious to be milked.
The milk cows knew which stanchion to go to and we would move the board over and place a block to keep them in place.  With a little corn meal, they were as happy as could be.  Then we would place the milkers on the teats after they were cleaned and the suction would pull the milk down into a receiver tank that hung below the cow.  Sometimes we would need to put kickers on their shanks if the cow was known to kick.

The milk receiver tank that hung on the cow would be removed and poured into a milk can, which would then be placed into a cold-water tank to be chilled till the milk truck came and picked the milk cans up.

When milk was needed just for the house, grandma would sit on a one-legged stool and hand milk a cow into a milk bucket.  The barn cats would come around and grandma would squirt milk right into their mouths.

The milk would be taken to the house and poured into glass milk containers.  As the milk chilled you would see the cream rise to the top.  Most of the time that would be taken off to make butter with or to use for cooking.

We would drink the milk in colored metal drink cups.  You would see the fat globules line the side of the cup as you would drink the milk.  It tasted great.  My mom would tell me that I did not have to drink the milk, because it wasn’t pasteurized.  That did not stop me, I always drank it anyway.

I would also help with gathering eggs with my grandma.  We had a hen house that we would walk into to get the eggs.  The hens would lay their eggs in straw, that was in boxes, elevated and attached to the walls.  Most of the time they were out in the yard or pasture eating bugs while we gathered eggs.

My grandparents would raise a few hogs for butcher. I can still remember grandpa calling the hogs to feed by a long “suueeee” , and they would come running to the slop. They would kill and butcher the hogs on the farm.  I still have the knife that my grandpa used for this.  Unfortunately, I never did get to help with the butchering.

The farm had some fruit trees that grew not very far from the house.  I can remember cobblers and pies being made from the fruit grown on the farm.

Next to the farm house was a very large garden that my grandma would tend.  She would grow sweet corn, tomatoes, potatoes, green beans and other vegetables.  Grandma would can the excess vegetables for the larder which was located in a dugout basement under the house.  It was always cool down there and canned goods would keep really well.

Grandma use to make the best tomatoes juice I ever drank.  It was probably the best because it was so fresh.

When I was real little grandma would give me a bath in a wash tub that was set on top of the kitchen table.  Too little to be modest or to care.  The water for the bath and for drinking came from a cistern.  I would help get water by turning a crank that would raise water up from the well.  The cistern was located just off the kitchen in the enclosed mudroom porch.  In early years we would have to use the outhouse if we need to go to the bathroom.  

The barn also had a cistern for the livestock.  The water would runoff from the rains and be collected in the cisterns.  The barn had a more traditional handpump that would raise the water from the wells to a watering trough.  My grandparents dug the cistern wells themselves.

My entertainment would be to follow my grandparents around and pretend I was them, follow the cattle as they grazed and watch the clouds make formations.  At night you could see a matt of stars, the milky way.  They did not have light pollution back then.

My grandfather died.  That made things really hard on my grandma.  To be honest, my grandma worked harder on that farm than my grandpa did, but this still put a huge burden on her.  As she grew older it became harder for her to manage the farm.  My dad and my aunt decided to sell the farm.  That farm was supposed to be my inheritance, but not to be.  Seeing the farm auctioned off was one of the hardest things I have ever watched.

My dad told me that if you have enough money to farm, then why would you.  The farm was sold to a neighbor that wanted the land because it was next to his.
The old farmhouse, barn, ponds, fencing, everything was bulldozed down.  The new owner built a new fancy farm house where the old one had been.  If not for memories, one would have never had known the Proctor Farm had ever existed.

But the desire to farm was still in me, I had a dream.

 
To Be Continued

Check It Out!

The Farm
The Farm

Old Milk Stool
Old Milk Stool

Jersey Milk Cows
Jersey Milk Cows

Milk Cans
Milk Cans

Hand Pump
Hand Water Pump

Chickens At Polyface
Chickens


Quick Tip

 

 


How to Milk a Cow By Hand (or goat)  4:22

 


Bibliography: N/A


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Posted in Animal Husbandry, Chickens, Health, Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with: , , , ,

Benefits of Coconut Oil

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is one of the most convenient, versatile products to have in your house. Weather you’re eating it or making it into a hand cream, this stuff works. I invite you to read further and see how coconut oil can be a healthy addition to your diet, but also a lifesaver to have around the house.

David & Kelsey Proctor

Urban Farmers

Urban Farmers

 

 
 
 

           From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 


Benefits of Coconut Oil

 

                              by Kelsey Proctor

First Publication November 5, 2015


November 2, 2017

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


Coconut oil is one of the most convenient, versatile products to have in your house. Weather you’re eating it or making it into a hand cream, this stuff works. I invite you to read further and see how coconut oil can be a healthy addition to your diet, but also a lifesaver to have around the house. 

Up until the past decade, healthy and coconut oil were not used in the same sentence. This versatile oil was thought of as only a saturated fat no-no. How wrong we were! Now the buzz is all about how this healthy fat can be used in cooking, beauty products, cleaning products, and more. Coconut oil has hundreds of uses outside of just cooking. 

First off: how is this new superfood healthy to consume? Coconut oil is almost 90 percent saturated fat; however, that fat is mostly lauric acid. Lauric acid consists of medium-chain triglycerides (an MCT) which are metabolized easier than longer chains found in meat and dairy products. This metabolism boost means instant energy, and can actually help you lose weight. 

As a point of reference, Bruce Fife (C.N., N.D.), author of The Coconut Oil Miracle, recommends consuming 1-3 tablespoons of coconut oil daily. Coconut oil is a healthy fat, but is high in calories (about 117 a tablespoon) so consider your diet and lifestyle when deciding what the right amount is for you. 

So, now that you know how great coconut oil is for your diet, there are a few things to look for when buying your first jar. In my fridge, I have a jar of SimplyNature Organic Coconut Oil I grabbed from the grocery store for $4.99. 

Coconut Oil

Check It Out!

Now the fun part: ways to use coconut oil outside of just cooking!

Benefits And Uses of Coconut Oil


Quick Tip

 

The Top Three things to look for when buying coconut oil:
  1. Unrefined – this means there hasn’t been any bleaching or stripping that would compromise the oil’s health benefits.
  2. Virgin (tip: unlike with olive oil, you’re not going to find a discernible difference between “virgin” and extra virgin”).
  3. Good price! There’s no reason to drop tons of dough on coconut oil anymore. It’s become such a frequently bought product that you can purchase a 14 oz jar for anywhere from $5-$10 depending on the brand and your area. My 14oz jar will last me all winter! 

Bibliography:

How much coconut oil per day?. (2015, November 2). Retrieved from
http://www.newhealthguide.org/How-Much-Coconut-Oil-Per-Day.html

Kadey, M. (2013, September 16). Everything you need to know about coconut oil. Retrieved from http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/cooking-ideas/everything-you-need-know-about-coconut-oil

Michaelis, K. (2015). How to choose a good coconut oil. Retrieved from http://www.foodrenegade.com/how-to-choose-a-good-coconut-oil/

 


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Posted in Health, Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with:

The Great Pumpkin

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

 

 

The Great Pumpkin

Pumpkins can be used for decorations, as ornamental stacks on your front porch, or to scare little ones around Halloween. Most of all, pumpkin can be used as a healthy food source in desserts and snacks.

 

David Proctor

 

 

 

 
 
 

           From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 

 


The Great Pumpkin

  by David Proctor


October 26, 2017

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly 


 

The following how to is from gardeningknowhow.com

“Perhaps this year you found the perfect pumpkin to make a jack-o-lantern from or you grew an unusual heirloom pumpkin and wish to try growing it again next year.”

Pumpkin Nutrition
Pumpkin Display

“Saving pumpkin seeds is easy. Planting pumpkin seeds from pumpkins you have enjoyed also ensures that you can enjoy them again next year.

Ornamental Pumpkins
Saving Pumpkin Seeds From Ornamental Pumpkins

Saving Pumpkin Seeds

1) Remove the pulp and seeds from inside the pumpkin.  Place this in a colander.

2) Place the colander under running water. As the water runs over the pulp, start picking out the seeds from the pulp. Rinse them in the running water as you pick them out. Do not let the pumpkin pulp sit in non-running water.

3) There will be more seeds inside the pumpkin than you’re going to need to use, so once you have a good amount of seeds rinsed, look over them and choose the biggest seeds. Plan on saving 3 times more pumpkin seeds than the number of plants you will be growing next year. Larger seeds will have a better chance of germinating.

4) Place the rinsed seeds on a dry paper towel. Make sure they are spaced out; otherwise, the seeds will stick to one another.

5) Place in a cool dry spot for one week.

6) Once the seeds are dry, store pumpkin seed for planting in an envelope.”

Properly Store Pumpkin Seeds for Planting

 

Pumpkin Seed Oil

Pumpkin Seed Oil

“When saving pumpkin seeds, you also need to store them so that they will be ready to plant for next year. Any seeds, pumpkin or otherwise, will store best if you keep them somewhere cold and dry.

One of the best places to store pumpkin seed for planting next year is in your refrigerator. Put your pumpkin seed envelope in a plastic container. Place several holes in the lid of the container to ensure that condensation does not build up on the inside. Place the container with the seeds inside at the very back of the fridge.

Next year, when it comes time for planting pumpkin seeds, your pumpkin seeds will be ready to go. Saving pumpkin seeds is a fun activity for the whole family, as even the smallest hand can help. And, after you properly store pumpkin seeds for planting, children can also help plant the seeds in your garden.”

Once you have the seeds removed, you can use the pumpkin to cook with.  This recipe shows how to make a pumpkin pie without the top splitting in the video below.


Best Pumpkin Pie Ever – Classic Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie – Ultimate Thanksgiving Pies Best Pumpkin Pie Ever  5:17


Pumpkin nutrition facts

The following is from nutrition-and-you.com

“Pumpkin is one of the most widely grown vegetables, incredibly rich in vital antioxidants, and vitamins.

Though this humble backyard vegetable is low in calories, it carries vitamin A, and flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, xanthin, and carotenes in abundance.

Pumpkin is a fast-growing vine that creeps along the surface in a similar fashion like that of other Cucurbitaceae family vegetables and fruits such as cucumber, squash, cantaloupes…etc.

It is one of the most popular field crops cultivated around the world, including in the USA at commercial scale for its fruit, and seeds.

Pumpkins vary greatly in shape, size and colors. Giant pumpkins generally weigh 4–6 kg with the largest capable of reaching a weight of over 25 kg.

Golden-nugget pumpkins are flat, smaller and feature sweet creamy orange color flesh.

Pumpkins, in general, feature orange or yellow outer skin color; however, some varieties can exhibit dark to pale green, brown, white, red and gray.

Their color characteristics is largely influenced by yellow-orange pigments in their skin and pulp. Its thick rind is smooth with light, vertical ribs.

In structure, the fruit features golden-yellow to orange flesh depending upon the poly-phenolic pigments in it. The fruit has a hollow center, with numerous small, off-white colored seeds interspersed in a net like structure.”

Pumpkin Muffins

“Pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein, minerals, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids.”

(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)

Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
Energy 26 Kcal 1%
Carbohydrates 6.50 g 5%
Protein 1.0 g 2%
Total Fat 0.1 g 0.50%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 0.5 g 2%
Vitamins    
Folates 16 mcg 4%
Niacin 0.600 mg 4%
Pantothenic acid 0.298 mg 6%
Pyridoxine 0.061 mg 5%
Riboflavin 0.110 mg 8.50%
Thiamin 0.050 mg 4%
Vitamin A 7384 IU 246%
Vitamin C 9.0 mg 15%
Vitamin E 1.06 mg 7%
Vitamin K 1.1 mcg 1%
Electrolytes    
Sodium 1 mg 0.50%
Potassium 340 mg 7%
Minerals    
Calcium 21 mg 2%
Copper 0.127 mg 14%
Iron 0.80 mg 10%
Magnesium 12 mg 3%
Manganese 0.125 mg 0.50%
Phosphorus 44mg 5%
Selenium 0.3 mcg <0.5%
Zinc 0.32 mg 3%
Phyto-nutrients    
Carotene-a 515 mcg
Carotene-ß 3100 mcg
Crypto-xanthin-ß 2145 mcg
Lutein-zeaxanthin 1500 mcg

In the fall, pumpkins make for great ornamental display, showcasing walkways and porches.  When Halloween rolls around, the art of pumpkin carving comes into play.

As you can see the great pumpkin has many uses, from decoration, to healthy snacks and desserts. You can make pumpkin bread, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin cookies and the list goes on.  Save your seeds and grow some pumpkins this next year, they are easy to grow and the benefits from the plant make it worthwhile.


Pumpkin Pictures

Ornamental Pumpkin

Ornamental Pumpkin

Ornamental Pumpkins

Ornamental Pumpkins


 Check It Out!


Quick Tip

 

Tips for Growing Great Heirloom Organic Pumpkins
 
The following quick tip is from Sustainable Seed Co.:
 
“Heirloom Pumpkins do not like wet, soggy soil.
 
Heirloom pumpkins aren’t too fussy, but if you want really big pumpkins should add lots of great composted manure under each hill of pumpkins.
 
We dig large holes out about the size of a beach ball and replace it with rich composted humus.  To that we may add a hand full of bone meal and blood meal.
 
We stir this up really well and use the remaining soil to make our hill.  It is on top of this hill we will plant our pumpkin seed.
 
Organic pumpkins are deep-rooted, water-conserving plants and should be watered deeply and infrequently to encourage good vine and root growth.
 
Remember organic pumpkins can ramble up to 12′ so give them plenty of space.”


Bibliography:

“How To Harvest And Store Pumpkin Seeds.” Gardening Know How. N.p., 30 Aug. 2008. Web. 19 Oct. 2015.

“Pumpkin Heirloom Seeds.” Heirloom Pumpkin Seeds. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2015.

“Pumpkin Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits.” Nutrition And You.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2015.

“Pumpkin Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits.” Nutrition And You.com, www.nutrition-and-you.com/pumpkin.html.

All photographs are copyrighted under Proctor Company Incorporated, can not be used without permission.


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Posted in Health, Magazine Issues, Plants, Recipes Tagged with: , ,

Fermented Food

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

Fermented Food

Fermentation of food is seeing a resurgence due to the presence of probiotics in fermented foods and drinks. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast that are good for our digestive system. They help keep our gut healthy.

 

 

 

David Proctor

 

 
 
 

           From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 

 


 Lactofermintation

  by David Proctor


October 19, 2017

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly 

 


We are all pretty familiar with fermentation and the production of alcohol.  We don’t think as much about fermentation when it comes to food preservation.

Instead of alcohol another product is produced: lactic acid. Lactic acid kills off harmful pathogens. This is what was used before proper cooking temperatures and refrigeration came about in modern times.

Some of the more popular foods that are fermented are sauerkraut and yogurt. They become sour because the sugar is changed to lactic acid.

Some worry if they should try to ferment food because of dealing with bacteria. It just so happens that this is one of the safest ways to preserve food as long as good food preparation techniques are used such as clean surfaces, washing your hands, and the vegetables being washed. Just common sense type of things to follow.

Sauerkraut is one of the best to try first for fermenting if you haven’t done it before. The recipe I will use is for 9 quarts and is taken from:

USDA
Guide 6
Preparing and Canning Fermented Foods and Pickled Vegetables

SAUERKRAUT
25 lbs cabbage
3/4 cup canning or pickling salt

Quality: For the best sauerkraut, use firm heads of fresh cabbage. Shred cabbage and start kraut between 24 and 48 hours after harvest.

Yield: About 9 quarts

Procedure: Work with about 5 pounds of cabbage at a time. Discard outer leaves. Rinse heads under cold running water and drain. Cut heads in quarters and remove cores. Shred or slice to a thickness of a quarter.

Put cabbage in a suitable fermentation container (see page 6-6), and add 3 tablespoons of salt.

 

Ohio Stoneware Crock
Picture Courtesy Ohio Stoneware Pickling Crock

Mix thoroughly, using clean hands.

Pack firmly until salt draws juices from cabbage. Repeat shredding, salting, and packing until all cabbage is in the container.

Be sure it is deep enough so that its rim is at least 4 or 5 inches above the cabbage.

If juice does not cover cabbage, add boiled and cooled brine (1-1/2 tablespoons of salt per quart of water). Add plate and weights; cover container with a clean bath towel.

Store at 70° to 75°F while fermenting. At temperatures between 70° and 75°F, kraut will be fully fermented in about 3 to 4 weeks; at 60° to 65°F, fermentation may take 5 to 6 weeks. At temperatures lower than 60°F, kraut may not ferment. Above 75°F, kraut may become soft.

If you weigh the cabbage down with a brine-filled bag, do not disturb the crock until normal fermentation is completed (when bubbling ceases).

If you use jars as weight, you will have to check the kraut two to three times each week and remove scum if it forms.

Fully fermented kraut may be kept tightly covered in the refrigerator for several months or it may be canned as follows:

Hot pack—Bring kraut and liquid slowly to a boil in a large kettle, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat and fill hot jars rather firmly with kraut and juices, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Raw pack—Fill hot jars firmly with kraut and cover with juices, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed.

Chart

Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel. Adjust lids and process.

This is just the start of things, once you have made sauerkraut you can move on to other garden vegetables and drinks like Kombucha.  Now is the perfect time to try your own sauerkraut for Oktoberfest.


Check It Out!

 

 

Kombucha: Is It Actually Healthy?  10:14


Quick Tip

 

How To Make Kombucha

How To Make Kombucha


Bibliography:

DiLonardo, Mary Jo. “What Are Probiotics?” WebMD. N.p., n.d. Web.

“Fermentation in Food Processing.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 03 Oct. 2016.

USDA-Guide 6-Preparing and Canning Fermented Foods and Pickled Vegetables

5 Gallon Fermentation Crock – Ohio Stoneware Pickling Crock


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Posted in Health, Magazine Issues, Recipes Tagged with: , ,

Cut A Whole Chicken

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

Cut A Whole Chicken

While attending the intensive seminars at Polyface farm, one of the sessions was on cutting up a whole chicken into parts.  It’s amazing how many people don’t even know how to cut up a chicken.  Today we will go over the process of this seemingly lost skill.

David Proctor

 

 
 
 

           From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 

 


How To Cut Up A Whole Chicken

 

by David Proctor


October 12, 2017

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


When you shop at the grocery store you will see whole chickens, legs and thighs, breast meat and chicken quarters.  Not a bad selection, but money can be saved by buying a whole chicken and cutting it up yourself.

At Polyface, they resisted for many years, selling cut birds.  They only sold whole birds.  They finally gave into customer demands, but they charge extra for this convenience.

Poultry

Daniel Salatin gave a demonstration on cutting up a whole bird into packaging size quantities. Our concern today is not the mass production of cutting many birds up into serving sizes but just one.

Daniel Salatin

The principles are the same.

Step 1.
Lay the bird on its back.  Wiggle or pull the wing to determine where the joint attaches to the breast.  To separate the wing from the breast, use a sharp knife to cut through the ball joint where it meets the breast.  Repeat with the other wing.

Step 2.
Pull a leg away from the body to see where it attaches. To remove the whole leg, first cut through the skin between the thigh and the breast.

Step 3.
Continue to pull on the leg and wiggle it a bit to determine where the thigh meets the socket in the back.  Use a boning knife to cut through that joint.  Repeat with the other leg.

Step 4.
Place each leg skin-side down.  Flex to see where the ball joint between the drumstick and thigh is located.  Look for the thin line of fat that was perpendicular to the body.  Cut through the line of fat to separate the thigh and drumstick, wiggling or put tension to find where the joint is.  Repeat with the other leg.

Step 5.
To remove the back bone, start at the head end of the bird and cut through the rib cage on the one side of the backbone with kitchen shears or sharp knife.  Repeat on the other side of the backbone to remove it completely.

Step 6.
To cut the breast into 2 halves, place it skin-side down, exposing the breastbone.  Use a lot of pressure to cut through the breast bone, right down the center of the breast. Now you have two breast halves.

http://www.eatingwell.com/article/15522/how-to-cut-up-a-whole-chicken/

How To Cut Up A Whole Chicken

You now have eight pieces of chicken.  You can use the parts for stock, stews, frying, grilling or baking.  Plus you have saved money and have the desired cuts of meat that you want.


Check It Out!

How to Butcher A Whole Chicken 2:56


Quick Tip

A boning knife or pairing knife will give more mobility that a chef’s knife or cleaver. The knife in video is a Vitorinox Forschner boning knife.

Bibliography:

“How to Cut Up a Whole Chicken.” EatingWell, EatingWell, 10 Feb. 2010, www.eatingwell.com/article/15522/how-to-cut-up-a-whole-chicken/.


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Posted in Chickens, Magazine Issues Tagged with:

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