Sunday, March 29, 2009



This is one of the Plymouth Rock chickens on top of the make-shift brooder. We built the pen for them yesterday. City farmers i tell ya! It would probably make a real farmer laugh just to look at it, but hey, this is the first time building a chicken pen. Soon there will be little hutches for all of them and a large coop. Yay. For now they are satisfied to be out doors and in the grass.


They have grown quite a bit since they joined us here!
chickensRhode Island Red

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Chicken Run

We will soon be having our version of chicken run here at the 1963 remodel. We have been building a coop and today they will move in.

I cannot believe how quickly they grow! This picture is from a week ago. When we get them settled in later today, I'll post another picture.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Addendum to post on Grow a garden, go to jail

In the last post "Concerned in Tahoe" asked that someone comment on the exclusion of farms and gardens, etc. from the bill. They asked that someone who read the entire bill write a post about it.

Well, I've read the whole bull bill and will comment. I have added colored lettering to provide emphasis.

Concerned in Tahoe talks about Section 3. Section three is in the introduction of the bill as the Definitions. This section spells out the language and referential meanings pertaining to this bill.


(a) In General- Any food establishment or foreign food establishment engaged in manufacturing, processing, packing, or holding food for consumption in the United States shall register annually with the Administrator.

(b) Registration Requirements

(1) IN GENERAL- To be registered under subsection (a), a food establishment shall submit a registration or reregistration to the Administrator.

(2) REGISTRATION- Registration under this section shall begin within 90 days of the enactment of this Act. Each such registration shall be submitted to the Secretary through an electronic portal and shall contain such information as the Secretary, by guidance, determines to be appropriate. Such registration shall contain the following information:

(A) The name, address, and emergency contact information of each domestic food establishment or foreign food establishment that the registrant owns or operates under this Act and all trade names under which the registrant conducts business in the United States relating to food."

In the Definitions section (section 3 of the introduction) it defines those entities that must register and participate in this agency:

(5) CATEGORY 1 FOOD ESTABLISHMENT- The term ‘category 1 food establishment’ means a food establishment (other than a seafood processing establishment) that slaughters, for the purpose of producing food, animals that are not subject to inspection under the Federal Meat Inspection Act or poultry that are not subject to inspection under the Poultry Products Inspection Act.

(6) CATEGORY 2 FOOD ESTABLISHMENT- The term ‘category 2 food establishment’ means a seafood processing establishment or other food establishment (other than a category 1 establishment) not subject to inspection under the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Poultry Products Inspection Act, or the Egg Products Inspection Act, that processes raw seafood or other raw animal products, whether fresh or frozen, or other products that the Administrator determines by regulation to pose a significant risk of hazardous contamination.

(7) CATEGORY 3 FOOD ESTABLISHMENT- The term ‘category 3 food establishment’ means a food establishment (other than a category 1 or category 2 establishment) that processes cooked, pasteurized, or otherwise ready-to-eat seafood or other animal products, fresh produce in ready-to-eat raw form, or other products that pose a risk of hazardous contamination.

(8) CATEGORY 4 FOOD ESTABLISHMENT- The term ‘category 4 food establishment’ means a food establishment that processes all other categories of food products not described in paragraphs (5) through (7).

(9) CATEGORY 5 FOOD ESTABLISHMENT- The term ‘category 5 food establishment’ means a food establishment that stores, holds, or transports food products prior to delivery for retail sale."

Definitions continue regarding what is a food establishment:

(12) FOOD- The term ‘food’ means a product intended to be used for food or drink for a human or an animal and components thereof.


(A) IN GENERAL- The term ‘food establishment’ means a slaughterhouse (except those regulated under the Federal Meat Inspection Act or the Poultry Products Inspection Act), factory, warehouse, or facility owned or operated by a person located in any State that processes food or a facility that holds, stores, or transports food or food ingredients.

(B) EXCLUSIONS- For the purposes of registration, the term ‘food establishment’ does not include a food production facility as defined in paragraph (14), restaurant, other retail food establishment, nonprofit food establishment in which food is prepared for or served directly to the consumer, or fishing vessel (other than a fishing vessel engaged in processing, as that term is defined in section 123.3 of title 21, Code of Federal Regulations).

(14) FOOD PRODUCTION FACILITY- The term ‘food production facility’ means any farm, ranch, orchard, vineyard, aquaculture facility, or confined animal-feeding operation."

As you can simply see there is not an exclusion for family farms, neighborhood gardens etc. Yes, you should be alarmed. A lot of the regulations regarding food establishments are already in place. They were set in place under the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002. That act did not cover meat processing plants and seafood, however it could easily be expanded. We do not need this law at all.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Grow a garden, go to jail

Monsanto will never stop being evil. I know most of my readers could care less about Monsanto and its evil empire, but I do and I will continue to ring this bell over and over. If you need someone to bail you out, I may not be available, as I will be talking to a legislator about how bad things have gotten here in the good old U.S.

There is a bill that has been introduced in congress, authored by none other than Rosa DeLauro, whose husband just happens to be Stanley Greenburg - a Monsanto employee. HR875 is called the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009. It is filled with verbiage that will make it illegal for ordinary citizens to grow their own food. YES! That is what it says! And it will be punishable in fines for up to $1,000,000. We'll bail out wall street, insurance companies and the like, but allow a lowly taxpayers to grow their own food, we'll have none of that here!

The full language of the bill can be read here. Hat tip: Friends Eat My farmer friends say the government will never be so efficient as to be able to enforce the regulations. That is true, however, I am not sure I want to even allow them to try. This affects our ability to have a small farm for our retirement. I do not want to have to register with the government to grow fruits and vegetable for our and our neighbors enjoyment. I want my government to be far away from me. I'll pay my taxes and do what is right, I just don't want them siezing my farm someday because I'm not using Monsanto seeds.

The bill is being buried in other legislative processes and we have about two weeks to do anything to stop it from becoming a law. (No we don't live in a socialist country, yet.)

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Fondant Cupcake Decorations

Cupcake decos

We have some very neat longtime friends. One of their daughters is turning 18 this week. Saturday is a bug party for her and her best friend who just happens to be turning 18 too! They have been best friends since they were very little. So I get to do the cake for the party!

Well, not really cake. 150 cupcakes! and two Big cupcake cakes! It should be very fun. The colors are neon orange, pink and green! Wowzers!

I made 50 each of the medallions shown in the picture. 50 green. 50 orange. and 50 neon pink. They took longer than baking the cupcakes I think. But I love the design and will be adding them to the etsy shop soon.

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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Adventures in chicken raising


We have been mulling around the idea of raising our own chickens for months. Yesterday, we committed to the project. We went to the local feed store picked up 6 Rhode Island red chicks and 6 Plymouth Rock chicks and left with an armload of chicken supplies. After studying the information at BackYard Chickens we decided the time was right to get a brood going. Fresh eggs here we come!

Prior to purchasing the birds we talked long and hard about making that kind of a commitment to raising livestock. No naming of birds. Yeah, well that one lasted about 15 minutes. Taking care of the birds. Everyone is pitching in a taking on a responsibility. I snapped a few pictures after we had them settled in their temporary home.
chicks in a boc

We went to the local u-haul store and purchased a wardrobe box. Taped it up and cut a hole in the side leaving a 3 inch border around the edge so it would support the egg crate plastic cover we also purchased. You see, the chicks aren't ready for a coop. It's still a bit cold out and they don't have their feathers in yet so they need to be in a smaller confine for a few more weeks. We also installed a heat lamp to warm one side of the box so they don't freeze at night.

Chickens growing fast

They grow so fast I am glad we don't dress them! In a couple more weeks they'll be former shadows of themselves and ready for the coop. We are building a simple coop to house them in the backyard. We live in the county and should not have too many problems with neighbors (giving away a few eggs never hurts either!) complaining about the chickens.

Chickens growing fast

We are not including a rooster in the mix, at least not now. In about 20 weeks they'll begin laying eggs. We are looking forward to farms fresh eggs. I don't care how fresh the grocery store says they're eggs are, I've seen too many news stories to the contrary. It will be good to have locally ;-) grown eggs. I've got two families already begging for eggs.

It should be fun, yet a lot of work keeping them healthy and happy. Here's a nice picture of the brood. The black ones are the Plymouths and the orange the Rhode Islands. chickens

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Saturday, March 07, 2009

FoodChronicles Wordle


Very nice, if I do say myself. Made at Wordle

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Thursday, March 05, 2009

My Raspberry Stars - Eat your heart out Godiva

Raspberry stars

One of my sisters favorite candies is the Godiva Raspberry Star. Now that I've banned all Godiva product from the world, I have created my own rendition of the Raspberry Star.

raspberry stars - mine not Godiva's

I used Dove's new White Chocolate and raspberry puree. And, a silicon mold for ice cubes I got at IKEA. They turned out great!

My rendition of Godiva raspberry star

I was pressed for time yesterday afternoon when I made them. I didn't drizzle the dark chocolate in the mold first - just did the white and raspberry - then drizzled them after the fact. Next time I'll do it right. However, these were so easy to do and they didn't cost me $44 a pound!

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