Category Archives: Gardening

30 Days of Thanksgiving – 4

30 Days of Thanksgiving - 4

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raw, REAL, soaked, fermented and sprouted

This previous post talks about “raw” foods being anything in it’s natural state (whole) that is unprocessed, unrefined and uncooked (or cooked under 100*).  This includes all the food groups, even sweeteners which would include honey, maple syrup…


“Real” foods are similar to “raw” foods in that they are all natural from their origins, plants or animals. They can all also be soaked, fermented or sprouted. The difference is they can be cooked to any temperature. They are not limited to 100*. These are God made and man prepared without commercial processing. Think about something your grandmother would be making.

You can find information supporting both sides of the cooked-vs-uncooked debate. Here are the pro-cooked claims. Some foods are more nutritional when they’re cooked. Cooking meat, for example releases it’s nutrients and brings out it’s flavor. Some vegetables are said to release phytonutrients when cooked which are easier for the body to absorb this way. Cooking broccoli breaks down goitrogen which affects the thyroid. Cooking can kill bacteria such as E. Coli. Sometimes cooking just makes food more palatable. Cooking is not limited and includes steaming, baking, broiling, boiling, roasting, frying, sauteing, grilling… Food should not be charred, as this is carcinogenic(cancer causing).

More on Raw and Real foods:

Obviously raw fruits and vegetables, herbs, spices, whole grains, grass-fed and wild meats, raw dairy products, natural sweeteners and local eggs are all raw and real foods. From here on out, you’ll have to do a little investigating. *Refined white sugars, grains and rices are NOT raw or real.

Most foods in boxes are processed and therefore NOT real. Frozen foods can be healthier than fresh in stores because the nutrients are sealed in right away. Look for single ingredient packages, no sauces, no cheeses, no rices nor pastas. Whether boxed, packaged, bottled or frozen, check the labels for the number of ingredients and what those ingredients are. Look for obvious signs such as lists of numerous and unrecognizable ingredients. The general rule of thumb is that packaged real foods don’t have more than five real ingredients.

*Bonus term- Paleo. This is pretty much living off the land. Similar to raw and real foods, except their is NO processing of any kind. So no grains or dairies.

Happy Cooking!

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Before the Holidays – 2 Weeks Out

Preparing for the Holidays in Florida means getting ready inside and out. I usually start  two weeks before Thanksgiving week with any lingering projects/repairs and the outside chores, then move inside. The week before Thanksgiving is deep cleaning, usually cleaning out cabinets and drawers, washing windows and maybe the upholstery. The week of Thanksgiving is all about shopping, baking, crafts, decorating, friends, family and fun!

This week I’m working on this years “two weeks before” list. This includes painting the bathrooms and a doorway and maybe replacing some grout in the hallways. I started sanding and caulking the bathrooms earlier this year but never finished. I’ve been a little busy.


I’ve already started the outside chores this week with cutting the grass for the last time until Spring and making a fire to clean out the fire pit. I started trimming bushes, digging up weeds and raking leaves. I’ll let the chickens help with the weeding, they’re good at digging up weeds. Then it all goes in the compost pile.


I’ll be cleaning out the animal houses and  I might put lights in the coop. I’m not sure yet because since an earlier post where I talked about putting lights in the coop, I’ve been getting more eggs. Hmmm. I think they heard me talking about it. 🙂

I have lots to do, I better get busy.

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Fall Composting

This is the time of year when I do one final clean up before the weather starts to cool off. I clean the chicken coop, rake all the animal areas and any leaves that fell (not many here in Florida) and put everything into the compost pile.

This will probably be the last cleaning of the coop for a couple months. Unless it turns out to be a warm Fall. I leave the coop alone to create heat that helps keep the chicken warm during what few cold weeks we have.  More on “Winterizing Your Coop Florida Style” later.

For more on leaf composting and to see what a pile of leaves looks like, check out this post by City Girl Farming

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The Ultimate Cobb Salad

-1-2 large head of romaine lettuce torn or cut to bite size pieces
-2 tomatoes diced
-2 avocados diced
-3 hard boiled eggs diced
-1 lb cooked chicken breast, diced
-1 lb cooked bacon, diced
-1 cup cheese of choice (I use shredded cheddar, blue or asiago)
-1 cup cooked corn
Best served with a honey mustard dressing. Adjust amounts to taste and servings.