Yup, that’s me carrying a pig.

The girls are now in charge of two young pigs as part of yet another 4-H project.  The pig-delivery day was last Monday.  That’s one of the reasons Chareva wanted us to buy a trailer sooner rather than later.  She was convinced moving two frightened pigs in the back of her van wouldn’t turn out well for anyone involved, including the pigs.

The pigs were due to be delivered to a gang of 4-H kids at 5:00 PM.  So we drove to the county ag center, trailer in tow, and waited.  And waited some more.  We were told the pig bus was running late, which normally wouldn’t be much of a concern, but the forecast was for high winds, thunderstorms, and tornado conditions — all moving in around 6:00 PM.  I didn’t relish the idea of being on the road, pulling a trailer with live animals in it, when a tornado swept through.

The pig bus finally arrived around 5:45 PM.  Unlike with the goats, there was no pick-your-pig queue.  The kids all drew numbers, which corresponded to numbers on the pigs.

Some of the older kids carried their own pigs off the bus, but the pigs were squealing like crazy and fighting to get away, so I was nominated to carry the squirming loads for our girls.

Before we could put them in the trailer and drive home, the pigs had to be weighed.  I’m guessing they found this a bit unpleasant.

The winds and the heavy rains hit when we were about halfway home.  You know that slow-moving farm vehicle on the two-lane highway that drives you nuts because there’s no good stretch of road where you can safely pass?  That was me during this trip … that is, if you can label a Toyota van pulling a trailer as a farm vehicle.

Chareva wanted us to move the pigs to their pen when we got home.  I thought about that … let’s see, it’s raining, it’s dark, the winds are howling, we’re out in the sticks surrounded by miles of fields and forest, the pigs will be wet, they’ve already demonstrated that they’ll fight and squirm to get away.

I explained that I was having visions of me chasing two panicked piglets across our property in the dark with a tornado approaching, and it wasn’t a happy vision.  All we needed to complete the picture was a little dog named Toto.  She agreed that perhaps we’d best just leave the pigs in the trailer overnight.  She put pig feed and water in the trailer, then we went inside to wait out the tornado that never came.  The thunder and lightning were certainly impressive, however.

Among Bill Cosby’s many fabulous routines about growing up is one that goes something like this:

Every time my mom walked into my room, she became an expert on pigsties.  “This room looks just like a pigsty! Just like a pigsty!”

Unlike Bill Cosby’s mom, my girls’ mom may actually be an expert on pigsties.  Before the pig-delivery date, she spent some time converting the pen that previously held goats.  She reinforced the fence so they can’t dig under it, and added straw and an extra tarp to the hoop-house.  She also built her own trough.

I’ve read that pigs are as social as dogs.  Well, maybe, but these two seem to have an anti-social streak.  They spend rather a lot of time chasing each other around and biting each other’s ears.  If that’s considered social behavior, I’m glad I’m the type who doesn’t enjoy parties.

The girls will show the pigs at a 4-H event in January.  They’re supposed to demonstrate that they control the pigs by walking beside them with a stick.  That should be interesting.  Sara had to chase down and tackle one of her goats at the previous event.  The pigs will weigh well over 200 pounds by January, so tackling one would be a bit of challenge.

After the event, we can either auction them off or keep them and send them to the slaughterhouse when we think they’re fat enough.  The plan now is to keep at least one for bacon, ham, ribs, etc.  It’ll depend on how much pig meat we can store in our deep-freezer.  We’ll certainly be eating home-grown pork by spring.

I like pork, of course.  But this bumper-sticker on a vehicle at the ag center rather nicely captures my feelings about another meat.

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Chareva’s gardens are pretty much done for the year, but she harvested these recently:


This bounty came from a small patch of ground, maybe 16 x 8.  Imagine if we’d grown an acre of the things.  These squashes, along with a book I just finished, got me thinking (again) about what the true paleo diet was and wasn’t.

At one time, I believed Paleo Man was first and foremost a hunter who spent most of the year living on a diet of meat, meat and more meat. Then autumn rolled around, and Paleo Man would eat a few squashes, tubers and fruits during the brief harvest season.  Then it was back to the meat or the fish, because plant foods weren’t available.

Let’s just say that belief has been squashed.  With proper care, these squashes will be edible well into the winter.  That was also the case with the sweet potatoes we grew and harvested last year.  So if Paleo Man knew a little about proper food curing and storage – and I believe he did – he could have been eating squashes and tubers for a good chunk of the year.

I commute to Nashville three days per week, which means three to four hours per week in my car, depending on traffic.  I spend the drive time listening to books.  Blood and Thunder, the book I just finished, is about the conquering (or theft, if you prefer) of the American Southwest. The culture of the Indian tribes who lived there is described at length.  Food sources:  sheep, goats, occasional buffalo, deer, elk and other wild game – there’s that meat-meat-meat part of the paleo diet – but also maize, beans, pumpkins and ground tubers.

Granted, these Indians didn’t settle down and build towns around their crops.  In fact, in one stirring speech recounted in the book, an Apache warrior explained to an American soldier why the Apaches didn’t want to become farmers and send their kids to the reservation school:  you white people spend your lives as slaves, working for the sake of your big houses and your crops, he said.  Your schools teach your children how to be good slaves.  We don’t want to live like slaves, and we don’t want your schools to teach our children how to be slaves.  We want to be free.

But while they preferred a nomadic lifestyle, many Indians of the Southwest – the Navajos in particular – were quite adept at growing plant foods.  They planted, moved around at will during the warm months (herding their goats and sheep along with them), then came back in time for the harvest.   In fact, as the book explains, they depended on their maize, beans and pumpkins to get them through the winter.

Unfortunately for them, the U.S. Army figured that out.  An army general assigned Kit Carson the task of finding and destroying the fields where Navajos and other Indians grew their crops.  Carson apparently had little taste for the job – his first wife was an Arapaho, and he didn’t agree with the policy of herding Indians onto reservations – but he followed orders.  With their plant foods destroyed, the Navajos surrendered to avoid starving to death.

If these Indians were typical of paleo people, then tubers and squashes were part of the paleo diet.  Their diet would certainly be low-carb compared to the sugar-laden, wheat-laden diet of the modern western world, but it wasn’t zero-carb or ketogenic by any means.

You could argue that the Indians of the Southwest in the 1800s weren’t typical paleo people because their lifestyle had been transformed by the introduction of horses.  That mobility allowed them to be nomadic much of the year and still return to their maize and pumpkins at harvest time.   So perhaps the Indians east of the Mississippi – who didn’t ride horses – are a better example.

Well, those Indians ate squashes and tubers as well.  One of the plants we’re considering growing next year here on the farm is Apios Americana, otherwise known as the American groundnut.  Here’s some of what Wikipedia has to say about it:

The tubers were a staple food among most Native American groups within the natural range of the plant … In 1749, the travelling Swedish botanist Peter Kalm writes, “Hopniss or Hapniss was the Indian name of a wild plant, which they ate at that time… The roots resemble potatoes, and were boiled by the Indians who ate them instead of bread.”… The early author Rafinesque observed that the Creeks were cultivating the plant for both its tubers and seeds…  In 1910, Parker writes that the Iroquois were consuming significant quantities of groundnuts up until about 30 years before his writing … The author Gilmore records the use of groundnuts by the Caddoan and Siouan tribes of the Missouri river region, and the authors Prescott and Palmer record its use among the Sioux. The Native Americans would prepare the tubers in many different ways. Many tribes peeled them and dried them in the sun, such as the Menomini who built scaffolds of cedar bark covered with mats to dry their tubers for winter use.

Another plant we’re considering growing is Cyperus esculentus, otherwise known as the tiger nut.  Richard Nikoley has written about tiger nuts several times on his blog.  Apparently they were a major food source for early humans, including paleo Indians in North America.  Here’s another quote from Wikipedia:

It has been suggested that the extinct hominin Paranthropus boisei, the “Nutcracker Man,” subsisted on tiger nuts.  Prehistoric tools with traces of C. esculentus tuber starch granules have been recovered from the early Archaic period in North America, from about 9,000 years ago, at the Sandy Hill excavation site at the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in Mashantucket, Connecticut. The tubers are believed to have been a source of food for those Paleo-Indians.

I ordered one bag of tiger nuts from Amazon and liked them enough to order several more bags.  They’ve replaced almonds as my watching-football snack.  I enjoy the taste very much –like coconut with a hint of raisin — but it takes awhile to chew them because they’re very high in fiber and resistant starch.  (If you have a constipation problem, I can almost guarantee tiger nuts will fix it.)  I like the idea of growing tiger nuts because they’re apparently quite prolific – some strains are so prolific they’re considered an invasive species.  That tells me they’re not difficult to grow.

It’s clear from the historical evidence that our paleo ancestors ate squashes and tubers.  That being said, I’m not quite as enthusiastic as Richard Nikoley when it comes to white potatoes.  Yes, if you cook and cool them, you get some resistant starch.  That helps to reduce the glucose spike.

But like many other foods we buy today, modern potatoes were bred to be more palatable than their ancient counterparts – which means less fiber and more starch in the case of tubers, or less fiber and more fructose in the case of fruit.  I still believe diabetics and people with genetically low levels of amylase need to be careful not to over-eat those foods.

Tiger nuts are tubers, but they’re not exactly the metabolic equivalent of a baked Russet potato.  White potatoes are low in fiber and fat.  Tiger nuts are high in fiber and fat, both of which help to slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream.  Putting numbers to the comparison, if I eat a small baked potato that provides 120 calories, I get 30 carbs of which 3.5 grams are fiber (26.5 net carbs), and 4 calories from fat.  If I eat an ounce of raw tiger nuts that provides 120 calories, I get 19 carbs of which 10 grams are fiber (nine net carbs) and 63 calories from fat.

Think about that fiber content for a second.  I don’t know how big Nutcracker Man was or what his daily calorie needs were, but if I ate 2,400 calories of tiger nuts to get through the day, I’d end up consuming 200 grams of fiber.  I hope Nutcracker Man subscribed to a good magazine.

So yes, Nutcracker Man subsisted on a tuber, but his diet was way high in fiber and more than 50% fat by calories.  Richard listed tiger nuts as 42% carbohydrate, but if I go with the net carbs (the fiber would be converted to short-chain fatty acids in the colon), I get 30%.

So what was the true paleo diet?  It would, of course, vary by region.  But based on what we know about paleo people discovered in modern times (like the Indians in North America) and the foods other paleo people ate, I think Paul Jaminet got it right in the Perfect Health Diet book:  more than 50% fat by calories, with the carb calories in a range of 15% to 30%, mostly from tubers and squashes.  Not meat-meat-meat, not VLC and not ketogenic, but still roughly twice the fat and half the carbohydrate recommended by our national diet dictocrats.

I’ll take meat-meat-meat over the USDA diet any ol’ time  But I don’t have to choose from those two options, so I’ll take meat-meat-meat with a side of squash and some greens.

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The title of this post isn’t entirely accurate. Halfway through my vacation, summer ended and autumn began. Plus, I wasn’t on vacation. If anything, I was putting more hours than usual.  I just wasn’t blogging.

I wrote the first draft of Fat Head during a two-week gig as standup comedian on a cruise through Alaska. My shows were on Saturday and Wednesday nights, which means I was getting paid for a three-hour workweek. (Well, okay, more like 12 hours if you count rehearsing in my room.) I left the ship a few times to see Alaska, but I still had a ton of free time. So I got out my huge pile of source material, including transcripts of all the interviews I’d conducted, and spent 12 to 14 hours per day outlining and writing.

Ahhh, those were the days. Now I’m back to working as a contract programmer, and I commute from Franklin to Nashville three days per week. Toss in some farm work, blogging, quality time (including homework assistance) with the girls, maybe a TV show with Chareva before she goes to bed, and there’s not enough day in my day to write a book.

So I asked The Older Brother to take over the blog for awhile – a month, as it turned out, the longest stretch of my five-year blogging career. I of course read his posts and the comments. It’s fun for me to sit back and be a spectator. Anyway, by letting the blog go for awhile, I was able to squeeze some book-writing time into my schedule.

Our target audience for the book is kids, which means Chareva will end up producing a ton of cartoon characters and other artwork. We’d like to have both the book and companion DVD ready in time for the low-carb cruise in May, although that may be overly ambitious. It wouldn’t be fair to her to pound out the whole thing and then expect her to draw all the art in a month or two, so I told her I’d have a draft of the book ready by October 1st.

I’m such a wild optimist. The book is nowhere near finished, but I’ve written about a third of it, at least according to my outline. The challenge, as I told The Older Brother when I asked him to sit in the Fat Head chair awhile longer, is that I want to say everything there is to say, but keep in short and simple for kids – oh, and I want it to be fun and entertaining throughout.

So I have plenty of writing left to do, but Chareva has enough of the book in front of her to start drawing. Now I just have to stay ahead of her.

I set the blog aside for a month, but not the farm work. Yeah, I could’ve let that go for awhile and made more progress on the book, but decided that wouldn’t be a good idea. I’ve heard at least two authors say their health went downhill while writing a book telling other people how to be healthy. Too much time hunched over the computer, too many late nights, not enough physical activity, not taking time to cook properly.  I prefer to remain healthy while writing about health.

So in addition to putting in a gym workout on Wednesday mornings on my way to the office, I spent at least one day each weekend outside, working myself into the state of being I call Dog-Tired Satisfied. Chareva and the girls kept busy too. Here’s some of what we’ve been doing around the farm:

A couple of people sent me a link to an article about a cop who apparently believes anyone who plays disc golf is a pot-head. Well, I play disc golf and I’m into grass, but not that kind. We’d like our side pasture to provide good grass for sheep and perhaps a dairy cow someday, so after I bush-whacked the chest-high weeds, we spent a Saturday afternoon tossing grass seed all over the place. Chareva found a variety specifically recommended for pastured animals. Let’s hope it takes.

Seems as if every few months, we end up with a pile of broken branches, dried-up briar that I cut down, various and sundry wood scraps, etc. So we had another bonfire a few weeks ago. This one didn’t burn quite as impressively as our previous piles, but it was hot enough to do the job.

Our chickens produce way more eggs than we can eat. I have a few egg customers at the office, but we still end up over-egged. So Chareva got out her tools and built an egg stand. The guy who looks like he should be playing bass for ZZ Top is our neighbor Brian. He brought over his riding mower to pull the egg stand up to the side of the highway.

The egg stand is self-serve. Chareva puts cartons of eggs inside, and the instruction sheet asks people to put four dollars in the cash box. And by gosh, they do. She’s already sold 20 dozen or so, and nobody has walked off with free eggs. One kindly customer even left a stack of empty egg cartons on the stand with a note saying Thought you could use these. Love your eggs!

Brian towed the egg stand for us because we didn’t have a trailer hitch on either of our vehicles at the time. We do now. For some reason, Chareva no longer wants to fill the back of her van with hay, wood chips, chicken feed, logs, goats, and whatever else around here needs hauling. So she informed me that we need a trailer, then found a used one for sale about an hour south of here. We figured Brian probably didn’t want to drive his lawn mower down there to tow it home for us, so we finally had the van outfitted with a trailer hitch. Here’s the trailer:

My big project for the previous month was processing the rest of that big ol’ wood pile I started tackling last year. As you may recall if you’re a long-time reader, it started out as quite a load:

I cut up more than half of the logs last year, but a heavy rain interrupted our log-splitting weekend. We still had dozens of cut-up sections ready to be split, plus plenty of logs hadn’t yet met my chainsaw. I didn’t want the remaining wood to sit outside through another winter, so I spent long days out there attacking the pile.

I eventually got through everything my chainsaw could handle, except for three large trunks sitting on the ground. Those might just become stadium seating for any weed-smokers who drop by to watch a disc-golf match. When I was done, this is what we had to split:

So last weekend, we rented a splitter and turned big ones into little ones.

I tried to assign the girls the relatively easy job of stacking the split wood in the barn. I was overruled. Turns out Chareva is particular about how the wood is stacked, so she did most of that. The girls weren’t really into the whole stacking thing anyway. They thought it would be more fun to pull sections of logs from the pile and bring them to me to split. Well, it’s certainly good exercise. Those things aren’t exactly feather-weight.

As the pile shrank, the girls found convenient seats for work breaks.

When we’ve been outside working in the past, Chareva has mentioned that it would be nice to have a few places around the property to sit down. So I obliged with six stump chairs, a his-and-hers combo in three different locations.

Some of the stumps I cut last year had started to rot, but I was pleased to find that most of the wood was still good. We ended up running the splitter until nearly dark both days. We certainly have enough firewood to feed the fireplace and the wood-burning stove this winter.

When we’d split everything worth splitting, the girls stood on one of the remaining stumps to survey the area once covered with tree trunks and thick branches.

Then they did a little victory dance.

I wasn’t inspired to dance, but I did achieve a state of Dog-Tired Satisfied. That’s good enough for me.

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Hi, Fatheads!

Anyone else notice there’s been an uptick in mainstream media reporting related to the gut microbiome?

It’s even crept into my local paper, which picked up an AP article relating how artificial sweeteners could possibly tie to diabetes via its effect on said gut:

A preliminary study done mostly in mice suggests that artificial sweeteners may set the stage for diabetes in some people.

The study authors said they can’t make dietary recommendations but that their results should inspire more research into the topic.

Basically, the study suggests that artificial sweeteners alter the makeup of normal, beneficial bacteria in the gut. That appears to hamper how the body handles sugar in the diet, a situation that can lead to developing diabetes.

The results, from researchers in Israel, were released Wednesday by the journal Nature.

How about that. Not that this is new — the whole Resistant Starch thing triggered a lot of interest around here in the gut — the “second brain,” as one researcher called it — awhile ago.

It had been on the radar for quite awhile. I remember seeing a year or two ago research talking about how there where over 150 distinct species of this microbiome community that lives on and inside us, but aren’t related to us — i.e., don’t have any of our DNA.  They have 100 times the number of genes we have, and weigh at least a couple of pounds. They drive all kinds of chemical and physiological processes in us, but have been largely unstudied.

Like I said, not new. What is new is that it’s news.

I didn’t think the general media would be reporting on this stuff for years. I mean, you’re just starting to see LCHF get regular respectable mentions, and now even saturated fat is getting better press, but that’s been a decades-long haul.

Within days of seeing the artificial sweetener/diabetes story,  I also saw a couple of other “gut” articles in Yahoo’s new links. One was from Forbes on the same idea, but this time specifically targeting diet sodas as culprits through the same mechanism of altering the gut balance. Then, another linking through to the Huffington Post(!) regarding food allergies:

Mice that were raised in a sterile environment or given antibiotics early in life lacked a common gut bacteria that appears to prevent food allergies, US researchers said Monday.

The bacterium, called Clostridia, appears to minimize the likelihood that rodents will become allergic to peanuts, and researchers would like to find out if it does the same in people.

In the meantime, they found that supplementing rodents with probiotics containing Clostridia later in life could reverse the allergy, according to the report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences…

The precise cause of food allergies is unknown, but some studies suggest that changes in diet, hygiene and use of antimicrobial soap and disinfecting products may lead to changes in the bacteria of the gastrointestinal tract that leave people more susceptible.

I’m not sure what I found more amazing; that the HuffPo would cover something accurately, or that I would read something they printed.

To be clear, many of these studies were looking at mice, and we know that is far from a “gold standard.” I didn’t perform Tom’s normal exercise of pulling up and dissecting the source articles.

First of all, that’s not in my wheelhouse. But mainly, I’m not interested specifically in the research, per se — it’s the fact that it’s seeped into the regular press, and is providing answers to some questions many people seem to be seeking better answers to. Like, “how come all of these kids seem to be allergic to everything these days?”

I also find it interesting in that these are reporting findings that aren’t in line with the current medical establishment zeitgeist. The reports indicate the answer may be in less medicine, less sterile environments, less industrial foodstuffs.

I really didn’t expect to see anything about the gut microbiome until Merk or Monsanto or someone figured out a way to patent a couple of them, then that’s all we’d hear about.

I think it’s possible that the things Tom talked about in his Vox Populi speech — why people just don’t believe the “experts” in medicine, nutrition, etc. and are looking to the “wisdom of crowds” — are starting to guide the questions that get asked, and the stories that get covered.  A couple of years ago, the only answer to food allergies was testing, avoiding, and a prescription. All of your reported options resided in the medical establishment, because those were the only people who got asked.

Now, it’s looking more like the press and regular folks are starting to clue in that there’s other options. Like, keep little Johnny away from the Pink Stuff unless it’s major, and let him go outside and eat some dirt.

Just your grandma told you. See, it was science after all.

….

Well, Tom should be wrapping up the big parts of the book by now so Chareva can start doing her part.  Sorry you got stuck with me for an extra week, but it should pay off in the end. The Wife and I are going down to their farm next week, so maybe I’ll get a sneak preview. At least I’ll get to try this “disc golf” thing.

Thanks for putting up with me. See you in the comments.

Cheers!

The Older Brother

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Hi again, Fatheads.

This wasn’t on the agenda, but I just had to see if anyone else caught it.  If you’re a veteran Fathead, you’ll remember Tom’s “Science for Smart People” presentation he gave on the Low Carb Cruise a couple of years ago.  By veteran, I mean a ways back since this was was from over three years ago.

Anyway, towards the beginning, when he’s talking about how Pattern Recognition is pretty much hard-wired into us, he uses the kids in horror flicks as an counter point.  I’ve think I’ve got the relevant section queued up here (if not, drag it to around the 5:45 mark) — it runs for about a minute:

Okay, that always stuck in my mind. Then, a couple of nights ago, I saw this commercial:

Didn’t know if any of you also found it hilarious, albeit vaguely familiar!

BTW, if you’ve never watched “Science for Smart People,” you owe it to yourself to check it out, or maybe watch it again. You might also share it with your or your kid’s Science teacher.

Cheers,

The Older Brother

 

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Hi Fatheads.

One of the comments on my last post (from Pamela) had a YouTube link of a young student demonstrating the difference when trying to sprout sweet potatoes (the “regular” ones wouldn’t sprout, the store bought “Organic” ones generated some weak growth, while the locally sourced tubers did quite well), along with the note that “Of course, growing your own is best, but some of us don’t have that luxury.”

I pretty much agree with both parts of her statement. I give pretty wide interpretation to the “don’t have that luxury” part. I think there’s a tendency to think of that meaning not having a large enough plot or enough time to tend to a full garden. But I think not having the luxury can also mean that if you want a tomato or strawberries in November, you’re not going to find that in your garden or the local Farmers’ Market. I assume if you’re here, we tend to agree that eating seasonally is best, but sometimes you just want those strawberries.

I also think that having access to a decent Farmers’ Market is the same as having that luxury. If a local producer is raising the food without chemicals, GMO seed, or other weirdness, there’s no magic missing compared to a strawberry grown in my own back yard. Odds are, it’s going to be better and more diverse, because they’re doing it as a vocation.

Without going into a full out rant, I’m also not enamored of the “Organic” label. It encompasses a lot of bureaucracy, paperwork, and expense that don’t have any positive relationship to the quality of the certified products. I know there are a lot of wonderful people who’ve jumped through those hoops, but there are also a lot who produce great food who can’t or won’t. There’s a grassroots alternative called “Certified Naturally Grown” that’s independent of the sundry government agencies that tend to help Big Food take over these certifications. Enough about that.

Okay, back to that first proposition — growing your own. I’ve kept a few “Square Foot Garden” style beds in the back yard the last couple of years. In the Midwest this year, between the cool temperatures and plenty of rain, if you couldn’t grow a garden, it’s just not in the cards for you!

I thought I’d share a couple of pictures. I’ve never grown potatoes before, because you normally “hill” them. Some people grow them in containers, but I’ve heard mixed reviews. However, out at Linda’s, where we build the compost pile with thrown-out produce, we had a number of light wooden crates that had been filled with green beans. I snatched a few of those, put about a dozen seed potato pieces in the bottom of each one, then covered them with some of that compost. As the plants took off, I kept adding compost until the boxes were full. This is what they looked like after the plants died back…

 

Harvesting was simply a matter of dragging the box over to a spot in the yard I wanted to dump some compost, then turning the box over and “rooting” out the potatoes.

 

Those are from one of the boxes. Not a huge haul, but I was pretty encouraged since it was my first try.  Then they go in the basement to cure for a couple of weeks. The dirt stays on until they’re ready to cook. So, I assume do all of the probiotics!

I also had a great turnout with some Brussels Sprouts.

If you don’t think you like Brussels Sprouts, you’ve probably never had them roasted in the oven with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Once some of the leaves start to turn a little black, that means the sugars are caramelizing.

My spaghetti squash turned out really good, too.  Yeah, that’s old nylons they’re hanging in.  No, not mine. Growing them vertically gives you a bigger harvest than letting them sprawl across the ground, and helps reduce access for the bugs. There’s still some peppers hiding out behind the squash.

Like I said, it was easy to grow veggies this year — even if you didn’t mean to. These cherry tomatoes “volunteered” and are growing right up in the middle of where my strawberries were earlier in the season.

 

It feels nice to see real food you’ve grown as Fall starts to ramp up. Having some success this year will inspire me this winter while I’m buying too many different kinds of veggies from the Seed Savers catalog.  That’s okay, we’ve got a really good Farmers’ Market, so people that know what they’re doing  can always bail me out, while I can still enjoy occasionally eating straight out of the garden.

Cheers,

The Older Brother

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