Open Discussion

Today, I’m painting the nurseries at our church.ย  Actually, I’m just painting the trim. We painted the main part of the walls last week. ๐Ÿ™‚

Since I’ve been running around trying to keep up with everything, I thought that we could just chat today. I won’t be around this morning, but I’ll be sure to check back in and participate in the discussions throughout the weekend. So please don’t let that stop you from commenting or debating. ๐Ÿ™‚ Whatever strikes your fancy. ha!

Post your comments under each topic and feel free to chime in with responses to other readers.


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About Sheri Salatin

Sheri is married to Daniel Salatin. She is the marketing director at Polyface Farm and stay-at-home mom of three children. Sheri is passionate about clean food and is enjoying working the land along side her husband. When not farming, Sheri can be found reading, writing, sewing, baking and serving in her church family.

46 Responses to Open Discussion

  1. Sheri Salatin says:

    In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of a farmer’s market?

    • Tonia says:

      Pros of course is fresh food, usually naturally grown with no chemicals and such..
      Con is that its seasonal(Of course) and around here Farmers markets are usually one or two days a week unless you travel about an hour away to a bigger city where they have some that are open all week.

    • Dalles Hayes says:

      I would think from a farmers perspective on of the big cons is the time it takes out from a farmers week. I know marketing is as important as production but committing to a regular market is daunting when compared to regular deliveries to restaurants, shops, CSA or stocking a farm stand.

      However again in comparison to these other options you can always take what you have to a farmers market, as you can with a farm stand, you are not tied down to regular quantities of a certain product.

    • Annie says:

      The biggest pro was reaching out to new people with our farm products. The biggest con is the time and that you will NEVER sell out. You will always take something home. With our CSA, everything is sold!

  2. Sheri Salatin says:

    Do you think the bad economy helps or hurts local farmers?

    • Sheryl Lebman says:

      Between the economy and the weather, and the fact that they can’t dig wells fast enough, our local farmers are having horrible problems, and theat’s pre-market. I’ll say hurt. And hurt more, later.

  3. Sheri Salatin says:

    What is your weather like today? Where are you located?

    • Hannah says:

      It has been a brisk spring day with scattered sun showers. The air is scented with blossoms and new plant shoots. I am in New Zealand.

    • Marci says:

      We are in rural Ohio. It is 68ยฐ and was foggy this morning. We were woken up by an early morning phone call telling us our cows were in the neighbor’s yard. It is supposed to get up to 94ยฐ today and be muggy. That is OK… the high on Monday is supposed to be 72ยฐ.

    • Amy says:

      We are in Central Missouri and it’s supposed to be near 100 again today. Also, the ragweed pollen is high so allergies are going crazy!

    • Tonia says:

      Its suppose to get to 100* today here in Southern Missouri But tomorrow the high is 85*… That woudl be Missouri Weather for you! We really do have a wide variety of weather. As a matter of fact Springfield, Mo is the #1 city in the nation that has had the most variety of weather in 24 hours.;)

    • Sheryl Lebman says:

      I’m in Houston, which is still in a drought. Temperatures were below 100 for the first time in 2 weeks, though.

    • Annie says:

      A beautiful, blustery fall day! My kids were riding stick horses out to the chicken tractors this morning!

  4. Sheri Salatin says:

    Are you a people-person or a loner?

  5. Sheri Salatin says:

    If you farm, what do you raise? If you are a wanna-be farmer, what do you want to raise?

    • brandy says:

      We are in central Ohio and have branched out from one dairy goat, to both dairy and meat goats, laying hens and meat chickens, LGD breeding and hogs. This is our first year to raise a pregnant sow, so ANY advice (from winter housing to fencing to farrowing houses vs not) is greatly appreciated! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Melissa Gray says:

      I raise corriedale sheep, horses, cows for our consumption a few chickens for eggs, and currently 2 pigs intended for the freezer this fall. in an above question you asked about the economy , I know it has hugely affectedthe horse market, horses are now being given away as grain prices rise. where I live in southeastern NC, organic non gmo grains are VERY difficult to aquire, so I try to feed what I can thats the best for them , at the moment thats alfalfa cubes soaked, whole oats, but there is also a commercial pelleted grain , but thankfully with the oats and alfalfa I dont have to feed as much . I can say the people who come here for lambs or show an interest in my cows or pigs, have no concept of the work or money that goes into raising one. they want it fast easy and cheap. this mentality will keep CAFOS going for a while yet . sad.

    • Tonia says:

      I raise Dairy goats, chickens and rabbits. My 3 girls all have a hand in raising or own some of the animals. I am working on meat rabbits and meat chickens. I use my extra goat wethers for meat. I am working at getting gardens big enough to supply most of our vegetables for the year. We moved a couple of years ago and its been a learning experience here on our hill!

    • Sarah Scott says:

      I am a rookie farmer. Our first year in we are raising laying hens, dairy goats, turkeys and we are done meat chickens for the year. In the spring we hope to add pigs to our farm and hopefully the garden and green house will be ready for planting as well… oh and since baby #3 will be here any day now I guess we raise children too ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Adam Stevens says:

      On our hobby farm we feed our family. Grow as much of the ‘normal’ veggies we can, turkeys, egg hens, goats for milk, bees for honey, some fruit and fish from the rivers.

    • suzie says:

      We live in South Africa. We bought a vacant piece of earth two years ago. The first two years we only tried to make roads, built a livable hut, move tons of rocks to get areas that we can use to farm on. We literally moved a mountain.
      This year we started with chickens, beef. Hoping to get pigs in by Dec. Spring is on it’s way and from the 15th we’ll start to plant the spring veggies. Keep fingers crossed. We’re really wish to be good for the piece of earth that we received to look after, and supply clean food to those who would like to eat it.

    • Annie says:

      We have pastured broilers (around 350 this year), pastured layers (around 80) and our first year for turkeys (10)! We run a vegetable CSA (17 families) and that’s all for right now with our three young kids (3, 2 and 7 months).

      In the near future we will be adding a milk cow, pastured pork and grass fed lamb. I’d do it all at once but my husband is the voice of reason!

  6. Sheri Salatin says:

    It’s tomato season here! Do you have a salsa recipe for canning to share? I can never get my salsa to be thick enough when I can it.

    • Rita K says:

      I made the salsa from Nourishing Traditions for the first time – it’s lacto fermented. Not thick, but tasty! It’s the first time I’ve ever made any kind of salsa, so I have nothing to compare. I made it because my son likes salsa, not for me. And he lives 4 hours away. . . I do have a recipe for Sonoma Egg Casserole that is served with salsa so plan to use some that way for hubby & me.

    • Annie says:

      Sheri-Cook your tomatoes down in the oven until you get the consistency that you want and then add your other ingredients. Use a roaster (like a turkey roaster pan) and set the oven to 300 degrees. Stir every once and a while. This is a great way to thicken without scorching, like I’ve done on my stovetop.

    • Carrie says:

      There is a great salsa recipe, called “Annie’s Salsa” that I got from the harvest forum on Garden Web (Annie posted it herself). It is in a long discussion here:

      Go about halfway down the post to find the recipe.
      Note that I use a mixture of cider vinegar and lime juice to make the 1 cup acid for BWB canning. White vinegar is harsh, but the cider/lime combo seems to work and not taste vinegary. I also reduce the tomato paste to 8oz. Not sure if the food police would approve of that but I have had no problems with it.

      It is thick and delish…my husband hates when I “gift” this one away. He wants to hoard it all for himself ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Sheri Salatin says:

    Any other questions you want to ask? Any additional comments?

    • Brianna says:

      Hi! My question for others is this: We have a few acres and my husband really loves almost every aspect of farming. I grew up in the suburbs and have next to no experience with anything- in your opinion, what is the best thing I can do to support him in his farming dreams?

      • Sheri Salatin says:

        Hi Brianna,
        How awesome that you would ask this question! What a treasure you are. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Start learning. Read books on farming and show an interest in what he does. If you are a people-person, help him market the products that he grows. Be willing to listen and offer suggestions on the farm. Become a team.

        No farm will succeed without both husband and wife fully on-board.

  8. Ramona says:

    i love fermented salsa. Just add a bit of whey (liquid from plain yogurt) to your salsa and let it sit on the counter (make sure it is covered in liquid) for three days. Refrigerate for up to 6 months.

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      Thanks for the tip. ๐Ÿ™‚ Still looking for something I can put on the shelf. Fridge space is always limited. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Rita K says:

        I know what you mean about fridge space! I wish I had kept our old refrigerator when the compressor died on the freezer side! I’d have alot more cool space – of course would have to find a spot in the garage or outback garage to keep it. Haven’t talked hubby into making a root cellar yet!

  9. Oh that’s a lot of questions! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Pros on the farmer’s markets would be that you can find great food and great people there. I love farmer’s markets! Cons would be that the higher prices turn a lot of people away. Folks are still learning that they are actually paying for FOOD, and not rubbish like they do at the grocery store. I think it’s just going to take time before more people start realizing that the price is not high at all, considering what they are getting in return.

    I live in the boonies in Oregon (although I was born and raised in VA), and it’s supposed to be 80 degrees here today. It usually hovers in the 70’s in the summer over here, and the 50′ and 60’s the rest of the year. So to us, 80 degrees (with no humidity!) is HOT! LOL.

    I’m a loner who likes people; if that’s possible. I certainly don’t mind being around people, but I am just fine tending my stock by myself on most days. I raise dairy goats, chickens and rabbits at the moment. I’ve had cows in the past, and hope to have cows again, as well as sheep and hogs in the future.

    Sorry, no salsa recipes for y’all. In my area of OR, we don’t get tomatoes. It’s too cold. ๐Ÿ™ So we eat fried green tomatoes!

  10. crystal says:

    Well I find the Pros and Cons of our farmers market is that its Once a week.. Fridays *11am-6pm* the time its going on is my biggest problem.. with 4 kiddies 3 in school cant really do it..

    I live in New brunswick Canada so i get a variety of weather.. including a ton of snow.. and cold during the winter, Mud and rain during spring, Hot and Humid all summer well not this summer we only got two weeks of real hot weather… most of this summer has been raining and cool .. not great for growing.. most of my garden either didnt take off or rotted .. My Husband actually works for a 100 year old Family owned Farm.. They have a huge stand and sell from there.. our perk is that we can actual get our produce for free … *BONUS*

    Salsa recipe I have a few .. my family loves salsa .. this is my favorite

    Scrumptious Salsa

    1/4 cup olive oil
    2 onions diced
    6 cloves garlic, minced
    2 sweet bell peppers, diced

    3 jalapeรฑo peppers, seeded and minced (wear gloves) hot peppers burn hands and other body parts.

    1 tablespoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    cayenne pepper, a dash or two
    2 quarts tomato puree
    1/4 cup vinegar
    8 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
    1/4 cup water or tomato juice

    Brown the onions in the olive oil in a big pot with a thick bottom. Add the garlic, plus the bell and jalapeรฑo peppers. Stir for about 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook over a low heat for a few hours; stirring occasionally. Check the seasoning, but resist the temptation to make the salsa as hot as you would normally eat it. ( Remember, I warned ya … and you can always add hot sauce later. ) If the salsa is getting so thick that youre worried its going to burn, add a little more water. Bring it slowly to a boil, and keep it boiling for 5 or 10 minutes.

    Ladle the salsa into either pint or half pint jars. You should end up with 4 or 5 pints, 8 to 10 half pints. Can and process using the boiling-water-bath method. Boil for 20 minutes.

    Note: This recipe can be doubled or even tripled, which is what I usually do. That way I end up with enough to give salsa as holiday gifts.

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