The Thanksgiving Farm Report

      19 Comments on The Thanksgiving Farm Report

Good to be back in the Fat Head chair after some time away.  I spent a chunk of that time working with Chareva on the book and the film.  Reading The Older Brother’s guest-host post reminded me of why we’re banging away on a project directed at kids.  Perhaps we can convince a few of them to stop eating those carbage-laden “heart-healthy” school meals before they become fat, diabetic adults.

But there’s more to life than work, so I took an actual vacation as well.  Jimmy and Christine Moore arrived the Sunday before Thanksgiving to spend the week in Franklin.  That’s two years in a row, and I hope it’s now firmly established as an annual tradition.

They came bearing gifts – a lot of gifts:  a printer, a Ninja coffee maker (which the girls love because it froths milk), various flavors of Quest bars, various flavors of Mark Sisson’s Primal Kitchen bars, Primal Kitchen oils, mayonnaise and salad dressings, walkie-talkies for the girls, a water purifier, and some Bulletproof coffee.  Jimmy insisted the booty was supplied for free by his sponsors, but I happen to know he bought some of the stuff himself.  He’s been showing gratitude for the success of the Keto Clarity books by buying gifts for both friends and occasional strangers.  That’s the kind of guy he is.

I looked at the load of gifts and said all I could offer in return was a disc-golf course with no waiting and no green fees.  He replied that it was a fair trade, and we began the tournament with three rounds on Sunday, four on Monday and five on Tuesday.

After those first three days, we had an Election 2016 situation:  Jimmy won some games by a huge margin (nine strokes in one case), but I won several games by a stroke or two.  So he had the better overall score, but I was ahead in the victory column.  Or as I like to put it, he won the popular vote, but I won the electoral college.  Jimmy considered staging a protest in downtown Franklin and possibly smashing some store windows to express his outrage at the result, but then remembered he’s an adult.  He settled for threatening to demand a recount of all the strokes on the 17th hole.

You may have noticed the Cubs World Series Champions sweatshirt and hat I’m wearing.  Those showed up as anonymous gifts on our doorstep awhile back, and I posted a note on Facebook thanking whoever sent them.  Turns out it was Jimmy.  I’m pretty sure his sponsors didn’t supply those.

There’s not much to do on the farm these days.  Between the two flocks of chickens, we’re getting a few eggs per week.  That’s because Chareva elected to let the chickens rest for awhile instead of encouraging egg-laying by heating the coops.  Once we get winter temperatures, she’ll turn on the heat.

The ladies did, however, harvest some sweet potatoes from Chareva’s garden while Jimmy and I were busy in the front pastures, trash-talking and trying to beat each other in disc golf.

Hoping to get into Jimmy’s head before the next round, I pointed to the sweet-potato harvest and said something like Boy, those farm-fresh sweet potatoes are going to be delicious.  Too bad you can’t eat them, huh, Mister Keto Clarity?  Huh?

Turns out Mister Keto Clarity eats sweet potatoes during holiday weeks.  Well, good.  They were delicious, by the way.  Everything we grow tastes better than the grocery-store version.

The weather for the week behaved so nicely, you’d think I bribed someone in Climate Control.  We had 60-ish temperatures all the days we played disc golf.  We’d planned to take Wednesday off to rest our arms, and that happened to be the only day it rained.

The rainy-day storm left us with an unexpected present:

Here’s how living on a little farm changes your attitude about things:  Any other place I’ve lived, I would have viewed that fallen tree as a major pain in the arse, something I’d have to pay to have hauled away.  When I noticed it on Wednesday afternoon, my first thought was Wow! Look at all the free firewood!  Sure, I’ll have to get out the chainsaws and cut it up, but I’ve grown to enjoy that kind of work.  The wood stove awaits the proceeds.

It did occur to me later that I had no idea the tree was dying and could topple.  Given the size, it’s what folks who know about such things call a Widow-Maker.  Any one of us could have been in that side field when the tree landed.  So I’m thinking it’s time to have a tree expert pay us a visit and identify the other Widow-Makers on the property.  I know from painful experience I can survive a whack on the noggin from a t-post hammer, but a tree punches in a much higher weight class.

Thanksgiving was a real treat this year.  Jimmy and I played six rounds of disc golf while the ladies prepared a feast of turkey, ham, green-bean casserole, sweet potatoes, mashed cauliflower, dressing (made with gluten-free bread), cranberries, and three pies.  (Before any of you other ladies get all righteously indignant about the division of labor, I should mention that we didn’t expect Chareva and Christine clean up the kitchen afterwards.  I had my daughters do it.)  Chareva’s mother gave me a bottle of single-malt scotch to say thanks for the help getting them settled into their new house, and I enjoyed some of that while watching football on Thursday night.

Jimmy and I played our final rounds of the 2016 Thanksgiving tournament on Friday.  I finally put that popular-vote/electoral college controversy to rest by shooting some good rounds and dropping my average score.  Our final average scores for the week were so close, I’d call the difference statistically insignificant … although I’m sure a Harvard nutrition researcher could perform a few math tricks and tease out an association or two.

Thanksgiving is supposed to be about gratitude, and I have many reasons to feel grateful.  I’m thankful to have friends like Jimmy and Christine.  I’m thankful Chareva’s parents found a lovely home just four miles down the road from ours.  I’m thankful that at age 58, I can play 22 rounds of disc golf (which means walking about 26 miles up and down our hilly land) in a six-day span without feeling tired.  I’m thankful to see the book coming together with Chareva’s excellent cartoons and graphics.  I’m thankful The Older Brother fills in when I need a break from the blog.

And as always, I’m thankful to have intelligent and engaged blog readers who keep the conversation going.  Happy Holidays, everyone.


19 thoughts on “The Thanksgiving Farm Report

  1. Rebecca

    Good to have the update! Sounds like a fabulous time was had by all. I need Chareva’s genius with sweet potatoes as I’ve had a huge patch for several years that does not seem inclined to do much other than make vines and leaves. 🙂

      1. Chareva

        Rebecca, I’m no expert but I did read that lots of vines and leaves and few tubers may be a result of too much nitrogen. Have you added fertilizer or chicken bedding to the soil? Too much may actually inhibit tuber growth. I also read the vines can be clipped back to direct more growth into the sweet potatoes. I can only guess that mine did well because I didn’t fuss with them at all… and some critter was eating my vines. To the girls’ dismay it didn’t touch the okra.

  2. The Older Brother

    Check with the authorities, but I think winter egg production drop off is more about light than heat. People who want to force production put lights in the coop on timers to simulate an earlier sunrise and later sunset. Not good for the hens — the winter egg slowdown is when they rebuild their bones, which have to compete with eggshells for calcium during peak production.

    Chickens are usually pretty cold tolerant in all but the most bitter cold as long as the coop is reasonably well ventilated (to avoid moisture buildup) but not too drafty.

    Nice swag from Jmmy. Maybe you should give him some of all your free McDonalds stuff!!

    Thanks for letting me sit in the big chair again.


    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I probably confused the light and the heat from the bulbs as the reason. Either way, I think giving the hens a rest is the smart move.

  3. Bob Niland

    Sisson appears to be leading the industry on sane processed foods. The expanding line of Primal Kitchen bars are the safest nutrition bars I’ve seen so far, although I’d like to see more fat and less protein.

    Ditto for the oils and mayos. Mark isn’t promoting them this way, but the major thing they bring to our table is no added Omega 6 linoleic acid.

    Aside – Is Jimmy plugged into the Westman Adaptbars? They are full keto, with the only quibbles being one emulsifier, and a summertime shipping problem.

    The Quest bars appear to be the new Beyond Cereal line. What seems to be the specific appeal of these?

    I’ll confess that I’ve not tried them, and frankly don’t plan to, based on what I can see in the Ingredients lists.

    I see possibly 4 microbiome antagonists: 2 emulsifiers (xantham gum, sunflower lecithin) 1 probably adverse sweetener (sucralose), and 1 possible (allulose).

    The presence of sucralose suggests that Quest has not really done their homework on the gut effects of the new allulose (piscose) either.

    And not just gut effects, allulose reportedly doesn’t just pass through undigested and unabsorbed – it gets absorbed and excreted in urine, and so may have other systemic effects.

    Quest are still using the “soluble corn fiber”. I stopped consuming Quest bars when they switched to that from IMO. Too many unanswered questions.

    They continue the Quest mis-focus on protein, but then so does most of the bar industry.

    I guess we’re supposed to be impressed by the “sea salt”, but I’d rather see unrefined ancient mined salt used, due to modern seawater pollutants.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Jimmy had some Adapt stuff in the pile of gifts. The Quest bars were okay, but I agree: Sisson’s stuff is the best for protein bars. All quality ingredients.

      1. Rick Bauer

        Quest Bars were great until they replaced the Isomaltooligosaccharide with corn fiber. Despite the uproar from their customers, they have not yielded and gone back to the IMOs.

        I think when it comes to sucralose, people get their panties in a bunch. It’s the malto-dextrin that bugs me, and there is none in a Quest Bar. A friend of mine is a nutritionist who is pro- LCHF and prefers the Quest Bar to any other bar on the market.

        BTW, I’ve seen Malto-Dextrin in Sisson’s products.

    2. Rick Bauer

      You know, I think people over think. My friend had a bar in his store that was clean as can be. He gave a sample to a friend of his and the reaction was, “See that pile of sand out in the parking lot? I’d rather eat that.”

      Then he broke open a Quest Bar.

    3. BobM

      I like the adapt bars, although they are small and expensive. They also have MCT oils, which tend not to agree with me. I did use them on a trip though. The quest bars seem even more fake. I stopped using those sometime ago. I only use bars now when traveling, and I know I won’t have enough low-carb food to eat.

  4. Sky King

    Appears you guys can also be thankful for getting presents TWICE a year as opposed to only once! I never knew there was a Thanksgiving Santa. 🙂

    A Happy Holidays to you and yours, as well! Looking forward to reading your upcoming book and video.

  5. Rick Bauer

    Enjoy those Quest Bars, and don’t mind if I don’t share your joy over the Cubs winning the World Series.

    I’m a Phillies fan. (I can still harken back to that Saturday afternoon in April, 1976 when Mike Schmidt hit four home runs to out homer Dave Kingman to an 18-16 victory over the Cubbies)

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      My definition may not be strictly correct. But I’m pretty sure if that tree fell on my head, Chareva would be a widow.

  6. Dianne

    In Oregon a widowmaker could also be a standing dead fir or pine on which the bark had come loose and was ready to fall on anybody who bumped or jostled the tree when the bark was ready to come down. The term was also applied to branches that had been torn loose by a strong wind and hung up on other branches. Douglas fir branches (and probably others as well) always fall with the jagged butt end down, as remaining small twigs and needles slow the descent of the lighter end.


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