Count Your Blessings

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy-Sustainable-Regenerative Lifestyle 

Gratitude

This is the day to stop and give thanks. Give thanks for the family you have, the food you have to eat, your health, the memories you have, and that you are here in the moment to do so.

Enjoy,

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

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

It is all about the soil!

 

 

 


Gratitude – Count Your Blessings

by David Proctor


 November 24, 2022

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


We have all faced many challenges this last year.

We are all thankful to just be here and count our blessings.

 

Cornucopia

Cornucopia

 

Be grateful for having the ones that are with you; family, friends, and neighbors.

 

Jean Leon Gerome Ferris: The First Thanksgiving

Jean Leon Gerome Ferris: The First Thanksgiving

 

Be thankful for the food that you have to eat.

 

Turkeys

Turkeys

 

So many times, Thanksgiving Day is just a day before Black Friday or a benchmark for other events or activities.

To me, this day is about family and memories that I have of family.

 

Thanksgiving 2013 - First Without Molly

Thanksgiving 2013 – First Without Molly

 

I am so grateful for the family members that made Thanksgiving Day a wonderful day in the past and the family members that make it the same today.

 

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

 

May this day and every day bring you peace, love, joy, hope, and a deeper faith in God.


Check It Out!

 

Turkeys


Quick Tip

How to Carve a Turkey  1:45


Bibliography:

Silverman, David J.. “Thanksgiving Day”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 25 Sep. 2021, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Thanksgiving-Day. Accessed 20 November 2022.

The First Thanksgiving, reproduction of an oil painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, early 20th century.
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (neg. no. LC-USZC4-4961)




 

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

Founding Foodie

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy-Sustainable-Regenerative Lifestyle 

T. J. The First Foodie

A few years back I went to see what type of garden our third President, Thomas Jefferson, had created to establish himself as the “Founding Foodie”.

Enjoy,

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

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

It is all about the soil!

 

 

 


T. J. The First Foodie

by David Proctor


 November 17, 2022

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


 I went to the annual Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello. 

 

Monticello

Monticello

 

I looked at the information that was available to see just what went on at an event like this and it was amazing how many vendors and speakers were lined up to present topics from fermentation to seed swapping and of course the Monticello garden.

 

Flowering Plant

Flowering

 

I started out by walking through the garden. 

I was amazed at the restoration of this 1000-foot-long garden with its 330 varieties of vegetables. 

The garden had fallen into disrepair after Thomas Jefferson died. 

The land had been sold to pay off debts and the garden went by the wayside.

 

Monticello Garden

Monticello Garden

 

The garden’s restoration has been possible in part due to Thomas Jefferson’s extensive records that he kept in his garden. 

The garden is an amazing thing to witness, especially with the backdrop of the mountains and hillsides.

 

Monticello Garden

Monticello Garden

 

From the garden, I strolled through the vendors and up to the large tents by the house, which had the heirloom tomato tasting. 

I don’t think I have seen so many varieties of tomatoes in my life. 

Everyone that I tasted, tasted great.

 

Seed Saver

Tomato Tasting Tent

 

The next tent had different vendors with cheese, jelly, chocolates, Pawpaw tasting, (the largest edible fruit native to the US), and Kombucha.

“Kombucha is a fermented tea, made from a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY).

Naturally effervescent and served cold, it contains probiotics, amino acids, and active enzymes.”

 

Vendor Tent

Vendor Tent

 

I saw in one tent a seed swap going on. 

The people at this location were very intent on exchanging and or finding new seed varieties. 

I was out of my league here so I left.

 

Seed Swap Tent

Seed Swap Tent

 

Joel Salatin, from Polyface Farm, was one of the speakers on the main stage and gave an interesting point of view of the good and the bad of Thomas Jefferson.

 

Joel Salatin

Joel Salatin

 

All in all, this has been a fascinating trip and an amazing learning experience to witness firsthand the history of Monticello and the culinary diversity that Thomas Jefferson had created.

 

T J Garden

T J Garden

 

Thomas Jefferson was quoted as saying “The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture.”

 

Garden

Garden

 

This may not be your normal garden, but it has inspired many to create and experiment with plants and to find that useful plants for our culture.

 

Useful Plant

Useful Plant


Check It Out!

Jefferson’s Garden Book 37:39
Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello


Quick Tip

 

Support Seed Savers

A nonprofit organization out of Decorah, Iowa
 Mission Statement:

“Is to conserve and promote America’s culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants.

seedsavers.org


Bibliography:

 

“Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.” Historic Gardens. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2022.

“Our Mission.” Seed Savers Exchange. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2022.




 

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

Raw Honey vs Sugar

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy-Sustainable-Regenerative Lifestyle 

Raw Honey vs Sugar

I have consciously decided to stop consuming sugar as much as possible.  With all the sugar in processed foods, I am better off avoiding it, as much as possible if not altogether. But what about honey?

Enjoy,

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

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

It is all about the soil!

 

 

 


Honey vs Sugar – Which Is Better For You

by David Proctor


 November 10, 2022

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


I am a beekeeper and I love honey. 

Should I feel guilty about still consuming honey while trying to avoid sweets?

A little yes and a little no.

 

Sugar Molecule

 

First, let’s decide why or why not to consume sugar. 

Since almost everything you buy to eat in the store or restaurant has sugar in it, do we want to consume more?
 
It is not that the food is bad per se, but that so much of the food that we eat and drink is heavily loaded with sugar, our bodies can’t handle it.

 

Honey vs Sugar_Macros

Honey vs Sugar_Macros

 

We have so many cases of diabetes, obesity, and other medical problems that arise from this overconsumption of sugar that in my opinion I should try and get away from adding sugar or eating additional sugary food. 

The health risk is just too great.
 
In a strict comparison between honey and sugar, honey contains less fructose and glucose when we do a comparison to sugar, yet honey has more calories.
 
Processed sugar is higher on the glycemic index than honey. 

This means that blood sugar levels can rise more quickly. 

Sugar starts out as a natural product. 

Most of our fruits have natural sugar in them. 

The problem arises when one tries to eat a balanced diet with fruit, we end up with too much sugar in our system.
 
When our bodies are overloaded with sugar and the effects of sugar, we end up with severe short-term and long-term health problems. 

Does honey do any better?
 
Honey still has an effect on our body, to some degree like sugar. 

Too much consumption can cause health issues. 

The good thing about honey is that honey has beneficial effects more so than sugar.

 

Vitamins Honey vs Sugar_Micro

Vitamins Honey vs Sugar_Micro

 

The problem with honey is that not all honey is the same. 

I prefer raw honey over sugar, even if it is just off the shelf in the store. 

But processed honey has lost a lot of its natural benefits. 

Plus, honey off the shelf can be diluted with fructose or corn syrup.

 

Honey Comb

Honey Comb

 

Processed honey is heated, so it will have a longer shelf life without crystallization. 

It is also filtered so it looks nice and uniform. 

You can still eat honey that has crystallized, I do all the time.

 

Minerals Honey vs Sugar_Micro

Minerals Honey vs Sugar_Micro

 

Nice-looking honey is what most consumers want, and they may not realize that they are buying a product that is not as good for them as it could be.
 
This brings us to what I consider the best type of honey, raw honey. 

This type of honey has many health benefits even over regular shelf honey and definitely over sugar.

 

Honey vs Raw Honey

Honey vs Raw Honey

 

You can find honey labeled raw on the shelf along with the other honey products, but this will be heated and filtered. 

The best way to get the most wholesome honey is to buy it from a local beekeeper.
 
You will see pollen in the honey and maybe even a bee wing or two. 

But all the enzymes and nutritional benefits will be in that jar.
 
If you want to buy cheap sugar and cheap honey, that is fine. 

Remember most processed food and drink is loaded with high fructose corn syrup which is definitely not good for you. 

Combined with your choice of additional sweeteners, health benefits might be minimal.
 
If you want to follow a healthier route you might have to spend a little bit more upfront to get the short- and long-term health benefits. 

Remember, you always get what you settle for!


Check It Out!

Natural Cures
Published on Feb 8, 2017 3:14


Quick Tip

 

Substituting Honey For Sugar

Substituting Honey For Sugar


Bibliography:

10 Reasons Why Sugar Is Bad for Your Body.” Atkins, www.atkins.com/how-it-works/library/articles/10-ways-sugar-harms-your-health.

“3 Things You Need to Know About Raw Honey (Buying Tips).” Benefits-of-Honey.com, www.benefits-of-honey.com/raw-honey.html.

“About Us | United States | Burnley Farm Apiary, LLC.” Honey For Sale | United States | Burnley Farm Apiary, LLC, www.burnleyfarmapiary.com/about-us.

“Honey Vs Sugar: A Comparison.” BuzzAboutBees.net, www.buzzaboutbees.net/honey-vs-sugar.html.

“Raw Honey vs Sugar.” Neighborhood Hive, www.neighborhoodhive.com/pages/honey-vs-sugar.

“What Is Sugar?” The Sugar Association, www.sugar.org/sugar/what-is-sugar/.




 

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

Biodynamic Farming

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy-Sustainable-Regenerative Lifestyle 

Biodynamic

Biodynamic viticulture (grape growing) uses organic farming methods while following Rudolf Steiner’s (1861-1925), the formula of planting and harvesting by astronomical configurations.  Sort of like the Farmer’s Almanac but a little more intense.

Enjoy,

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

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

It is all about the soil!

 

 

 


Biodynamic Viticulture

by David Proctor


 November 3, 2022

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


One of the key components of biodynamic farming, besides the astronomical practices, is treating the earth as a “living and receptive organism”. 
 
“The concept behind biodynamics is that everything in the universe is interconnected and gives off a resonance or ‘vibe’.

 

Photo by Frederic Hancke from Pexels

Photo by Frederic Hancke from Pexels

 

The interconnectivity of everything even includes celestial bodies like the moon, planets, and stars.

Biodynamic viticulture is the practice of balancing this resonance between vine, man, earth, and stars.

Essentially, biodynamics is a holistic view of agriculture.” (Wine Folly)

One of the strangest practices for preparing to fertilize the fields is to first get a bunch of cow horns and stuff them full of cow manure and bury them. 

After a period of time, the horns are dug up and the green manure has changed into a rich fertilizer, thanks to worms and microbes.

 

Horns Stuffed With Manure

Horns Stuffed With Manure

 

“Stop to think about why a cow horn is used, it goes back to being a symbol of abundance. 

The Vikings would drink from horns, the Chinese believe in the concept, which is why the Rhino horn is coveted. 

In fact, we believe in the tradition of abundance when we display the cornucopia at Thanksgiving”.

 

Cornucopia

Cornucopia

 

I’m not advocating that we all start burring horns in our yard full of poop, just saying their seems to be a precedence to the practice.

Several other practices are used for controlling or enhancing the biological aspects of the vineyard and that is chamomile (natural antiseptic) and stinging nettles (a natural cleanser) as examples.

The soils when tested, do show a greater disease suppression, a decrease in compaction, and additional organic material versus non-organic soils.

The biodynamic practice follows a calendar that has four basic parts:

  1. Fruit Days: Best days for harvesting grapes
  2. Root Days: Ideal days for pruning
  3. Flower Days: Leave the vineyard alone on these days
  4. Leaf Days: Ideal days for watering plants

 

Biodynamic Calendar

Biodynamic Calendar

 

Besides the calendar, no chemicals or manufactured additions are allowed in the wine, like commercial yeast or adjusting the acidity.
 
Does the wine taste different? 

According to some, it does. 

The wine is supposed to enhance or have better expressions of terroir or character.

Some say that the wine stays drinkable longer than other wines and has a more noted stronger yet clearer taste which is also more vibrant.

How do you know when you buy wine if it is biodynamic?

Biodynamic is not a defined and regulated term such as organic.

There does exist two governing bodies to certify the strict rules and regulations for certification, and they are:

  1. Demeter International (Certifies predominately North America)
  2. Biodyvin (certifies only 100 European wineries)

 

Demeter Certification

Demeter Certification

 

In that case why not just buy organic wine?

No reason not to, but you have to look at the process that goes into the biodynamic wine.

Biodynamic predates “organic” by at least twenty years.

Some say it is worth it to drink these wines, due to taste, flavor, and being in tune with the cosmos.

When it is all said and done, if your spirit tells you to roll with the cosmic vibe, then biodynamic is your choice.


Check It Out!

An Introduction to Biodynamic Viticulture 7:02


Quick Tip

 

Biodynamic vs Traditional


Bibliography:

“Biodynamic Wine.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 31 Oct. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodynamic_wine.

“What’s the Difference between Organic, Biodynamic, and Sustainable Wines? | Ask Dr. Vinny | Wine Spectator.” WineSpectator.com, www.winespectator.com/drvinny/show/id/41226.

“Getting Into Biodynamic Wine.” Wine Folly, Wine Folly, 16 Sept. 2015, winefolly.com/review/biodynamic-wine-guide/.




 

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

Autumn Beehive Prep

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy-Sustainable-Regenerative Lifestyle 

BEE Prepared

When we think of honey bees, our thoughts go to spring flowers and blooms with honey bees flying back and forth from flower to flower.  In the fall going into winter is the best time to prepare for spring and keep your bee colony healthy and thriving.

 

Enjoy,

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

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

It is all about the soil!

 

 

 


Fall Beehive Survival Steps

by David Proctor


 October 27, 2022

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


Fall Beehive Survival Steps

With your last honey extraction, put the supers or frames you extracted back on the colony and let the bees reclaim the sticky bits left behind. 

After a day or two, leaving the cleaned frames in the super, remove the whole super used for storing surplus, honey. 

This leaves the three brood boxes, where your bees will spend the next few months.

 

Honey & Brood

Honey & Brood

 

Follow these (9) steps to prepare your beehive for winter so your bee colony will be ready for spring.
 
Fall and Winter Management

  • Mouse guards in place
  • Enough good food
  • All medications removed
  • Colony tilted
  • Windbreak in place
  • Inner cover propped up
  • Outer cover secure with weight on top
  • Feeders removed
  • Screened bottom board cover replace inside

Mouse Guards

Be sure mouse guards are in place. 

The expandable, metal types with holes rather than a slot are by far the best. 

The wood guards have slots that may not keep out a determined mouse.

Enough Food

The bees will need about 60 pounds of honey stored for the winter. 

If the amount is insufficient, a sugar syrup mix will need to be prepared for the hive. 

Mix a thick 1:1 syrup – one part sugar to one part water. 

The thick syrup does not induce a build-up, but rather storing behavior from the bees. 

Measure by the amount of sugar used.

When finished feeding, the stored food should be at the sides of the brood nest and above the brood nest.

The brood nest should be mostly in the bottom two boxes. 

Honey should be in the outer two frames, plus some in the frames next to the outside frames. 

 

Burnley Farm Apiary

Burnley Farm Apiary

 

The top box should be almost all stored honey. 

You will need to monitor this during the winter. 

If the bees are moving to the top they are running out of food.

All medications removed

Since Varroa mites are being monitored all through the summer, you may not need any treatments in the fall.
 
The mites will be easier to spot since the colony will become smaller going into fall and winter. 

If you do need to treat, use formic acid treatment.

It will knock down adult mites and will damage the mites in cells also. 

Do not forget to check for diseases.

Colony tilted

If you haven’t already, now is the time to tilt your colony forward just a bit by raising the back about an inch.

A one-inch thick board works well. 

The colony should have this forward slant so that melting snow or winter rains don’t run into the colony and collect on the bottom board.

Windbreak in place

If your colony doesn’t have a good windbreak, you can build a temporary one to help. 

A stack of straw bales on the windward side is one way, as is a temporary fence of horticultural burlap and a few fence post.  

Inner cover propped up & outer cover secured

Turn the inner cover so the flat side is up. 

Then, between the inner cover and the edge of the top super, place a pencil or any block of material that raises the inner cover about 3/8th of an inch. 

Replace the inner cover and the cover over that one when complete. 

Add a brick to hold the cover in place for those windy winter days. 

This will help with ventilation, which lets carbon dioxide and the warm moist air from the bees escape and helps keep them warm.
 
Feeders removed

By late fall, at least a full month before winter arrives according to the calendar, treatments should be complete and all assistance activities should be over.


Check It Out!

Preparing a Honey Bee Hive for Fall or Winter 5:12
LDSPrepper


Quick Tip

Feeder Types 6:54
BrushyMtnBeeFarm


Bibliography:

Flottum, Kim. The Backyard Beekeeper: An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print._27 Oct  2022.

N.p., n.d. Web.
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2015/06/23/why-joining-the-urban-agriculture-movement-will-make-you-healthier_27 Oct  2022.

“Seasonal Cycles of Activities in Colonies.” MAAREC Mid Atlantic Apiculture Research Extension Consortium RSS. N.p., 07 June 2010.
27 Oct  2022.

“USDA.” – Beesource Beekeeping. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct  2022.




 

Posted in Apiary, Homesteading, Magazine Issues Tagged with: ,

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