We have made it through yet another year on the ‘farm’, which sounds better than ‘small scale agriculture experiment’.  We have a cellar full of food for the winter and are looking for to the meat store opening, which to the rest of the world is known as hunting season.  No doubt the coming weeks will outline some of the projects we have undertaken this summer and ones we are looking forward but for now, a list:

  • Our chickens survived another year and continue to lay
  • We have a FULL cellar – and our garlic is fantastic
  • We planted 6 new fruit trees this spring as well as blueberries, black raspberries and strawberries (both June and Everbearing)
  • We got watermelons – first time we have managed to ripen them
  • We grew ARTICHOKES and harvested them
  • We have been working on the house and after many long hours have restored our original pine floors in both the living room and bed room downstairs
  • We installed our first permanent raised beds for the fruit listed above as well as herbs for culinary and medicinal use

Aside from all of that I am sure I will think of more – check back in the coming weeks for some more in depth follow ups.

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Let’s pretend that blogging has a fiscal year that floats from the calendar year, that will make me feel better about this post.  I was looking back at 2015 and realized that I manged three shameful posts the whole year, I apologize.  In my mind I am much more active in the blogging space, telling you all about the changes that are happening around here, what we are eating and how we making it.  But reality is I suck at this whole blogging bit lately. 20151207_212016

So let me give you a little catch up, the blog has been devoid of tasty recipes as of late – with good reason we have been eating lots of the same things, lot’s of venison and vegetables from our garden.  This past year we canned up a lot of food from our garden in all sorts of fun arrangements, we are eating it this winter and hopefully I will tell you about some of those, but in the mean time here is a picture of our canned stash – it is not amazing, but it is sustaining us through the winter.

Since this blog started off as a cooking blog I suppose its only fair to issue a warning, this will probably become more of a generic farmstead type blog in the future.  We still like to eat and cook – but we are much closer to our food now that we are out in the sticks.

Our chickens are doing their job too, giving us eggs and lots of manure, their coop after some finagling, is finally working out better than we could have hoped.  It is still stationary for the moment, but we are hoping to get it mobile here just in time for spring.  The wheels are sitting in the kitchen – just showed up yesterday.

In addition to updates to the chicken coop we will be adding more fruit this year – we have a couple more fruit trees on the way and have purchased blackberries, blueberries and strawberries to plant this spring.  We will be doing a bit of work to create a suitable planting area for them as we live on the worst drained hillside known to mankind.


I have started to plant seeds in our grow box in the basement and thus far have twelve varieties of peppers planted, artichokes, rosemary and sage.  In a couple of weeks we will start our tomatoes and a couple weeks after that our melons.  I am hoping to get a cold frame in, in our root vegetable garden plot to get some onions started in the ground.  And I am excited to try some garlic scapes when the garlic I planted last fall pops up this spring.

And like that we are off, I promise this year I will do better, if nothing else come and tag along on Instagram

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Why do I cook!?! I mean I could just run down to Subway or Pizza Hut and fill up on something there, buy why cook?  Or more specifically why do I cook?  Initially I started cooking because I liked to cook and it was an easy way to express myself.  Cooking is enough science that it can be replicated reasonably simply, however, it still leaves plenty of room for expression and creativity.  Later on when I moved out I started cooking because I was hungry, but creativity still found its way into dinner.  So today as a married man I cook because:

  • I cook so that Vanessa, my wife, does not have to.  She is a great cook but does not enjoy cooking.
  • I cook for self-defense.  How so?  Ever found a finger in your chile at Wendy’s or a clump of human hair in your hot dog?  Me neither, I plan to keep it that way.
  • I cook to try new things.  Lets face it you can only get so much variety in local joints, especially in a little town.  If I want good food at a reasonable price I will have to be making it myself.
  • I cook because its a challenge.  Once in a while a dish comes up or someone asks me to make something I have never made or even eaten and its a challenge to get it right.
  • I cook because well fed people are happy people.
  • I cook because it relaxes me.  I sit at a computer all day and think about food, when I finally get home cooking is my way to wind down and relax.
  • I cook so that when I work out I have something to think about…whatever shall I have for dinner after I am finished abusing my body?
  • Finally, I cook because I like to eat.

Why do you cook?  Why don’t you cook?  Let me k now I look forward to hearing from all of you!

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DISCLAIMER: This will void your warranty.  You will probably lose all the data on your drive.  You might die, who knows.  Don’t try this at home.  If you do decide to do this be sure to wear latex gloves as to not mark your platters.

With that out of the way, lets get down to it, rarely do I write about anything other than food and in a strange far out way this will be related to food.  For quite sometime now my passion for technology and food have collided and I have been working on building out my Digital Cook book and working on and iPad app to accommodate it.  Recently while I was out of town the server on which the majority of this application resided bit the dust or at least the drive with the data one did.  As a person who should know better I have no excuse, but, none the less the data was not backed up.  There was one copy of the database and the data in it.  Fail.  With options running out and not wanting to pay to have the data professionally recovered I took a last ditch effort to recover the data myself.  Much to my surprise it worked.

Thankfully when I built the machine I used identical drives I had laying around.  Because of this I could swap the platters from one drive to the other and that is what I did.  I took the platter (the CD looking thing that lives inside a hard drive and holds all the data) and installed it in the working drive, after removing its platter.  I then tore into my network attached storage chassis, removed the drive in there and plugged in my Fraken-drive.  Bam, disk spun up and Windows recognized it.  Pulled my data off and let out a squeal of delight.  All of my hard work has been saved.  As a by product I have some pictures and videos of the process someone is bound to appreciate.

Hard Drive Platters Exposed

Hard Drive Platters Exposed

Moral of the story is BACK UP YOUR DATA.  I will be doing that first and foremost on my new server configuration to avoid the sense of panic upon realizing you have to start over.

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