Now that I’ve had my chickens in the backyard for almost a year and the girls seem to be happy and satisfied enough, here’s my chicken care routine that has resulted from one year of trial and error, experiencing and learning:
German TV can be a cornucopia of documentaries. Of course: Hitler. Up and down. I can’t stand that guy anymore, just because of his omnipresence. This is presumably the most reliable way to prevent something like this from ever happening again – grinding people’s last nerves with it 🙂
But also interesting stuff! Like for example on professional mushroom growing in an old airforce aircraft shelter. Made me try some cultivation bags on my own again, as I found a left over box of store-bought mycelium in the shed. I didn’t have a clue if it was still any good, but it was worth the try and as usual, I had a little fun.
Uahhhh… 🙁 I went to the basement today and discovered this. Seems I’ll have to defrost the fridge (actually, both of my fridges) to make sure they work properly again. Here’s how to do it (this is a manly hint):
The raised beds in the garden dearly needed some protective layer for the still cold nights here in northern germany, thus, we bought some bed liners. They’re sold by the meter, so we had to attach some eyelets for fastening them to ground with tent pegs ourselves. Here’s how:
So how do you insert a grommet into fabric, or in my case, plastic sheets? Well, common eyelet sets come with a number of eyelet parts and some special tools, they’re cheap and convenient and available in every hardware store. Left is an overview of what’s in the kit.
I officially declare the mushroom season open! And to honor this appropriately, I’ve started new king oyster mushroom cultures that I hope will thrive and grow. This time, I used store-bought grain spawn (this shop is cool, give these guys a try!) – the last propagating attempt with the used up mycelium didn’t work out sooo well.
The whole action doesn’t take much time and effort (and it’s perfectly doable, sitting, with a broken knee…). But it is absolutely vital that you work as cleanly as possible, so to give your spawn an edge over any possible competing contaminats. I’ve got two versions:
I read about this in my doctor’s waiting room in – I shit you not – a women’s magazine. Mediterranean/French style easy homemade butter! They adressed several different seasonings and further uses in the article, but the basic procedure is always the same. All you need is a food processor and half a liter of heavy cream (get the real enchilada: 30% fat). After having my TBE shot, I knew what I had to do…
Sauerkraut is so german it even gave us our name 🙂 , it’s very widespread in the nation, very regionally diverse and versatile. It is part of the traditional german cuisine, mostly eaten as a side dish but also as a full meal when made with the appropriate ingredients. It’ very healthy – for example for it’s contents of vitamin C which even increases when cooked.
There’s what feels like a gazillion ways of preparing sauerkraut in germany alone (and I bet there are even more recipes all over the world). To condense these down to some kind of a standard formula that everything else can be built upon, here’s my way. BTW: We’re talking fresh and unprocessed Sauerkraut here, not the pre-cooked, canned version from the supermarket.
Update october 2020: New sauerkraut, substantially more information added 🙂
Since I happen to be a “Kraut” by birth, I decided to home-make my own Sauerkraut. Fermentation using wild lactobacillus is an ages-old and easy way of preserving almost every reasonably hard/crunchy vegetable (read more here and here) you like. It’s easy and for our grandparent’s generation it was a perfectly common thing to do.
So what is this “fermentation thing” all about? In short: Fermentation is latin and means the decomposing of carbohydrates in foods by various bacteria or yeasts with no oxygen around. Besides improving digestability, this produces a wide variety of distinct aromatics and other substances, the most important one being acid (lactic acid in this case). Harmful bacteria cannot thrive in an oxygen-free, acidic environment, thus, our food becomes preserved.