Strategies to move away from cities: Market gardening in small spaces

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Photo credit: here

One of the things many folks struggle with when wanting to move to rural areas is income. Since the increased mechanisation of farming less people are needed to work in mainstream farming operations, and there aren’t many jobs available in these areas. People in cities often feel trapped in them, under the assumption that they need a typical ‘job’ in the country in order to move there.

For most people, a move to the country will involve needing to find a local source of income. Market gardening offers us the opportunity to create our own secure jobs in rural areas.
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An easier way to make soft cheese

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Chévre. After fermenting for 12 hours you can see the curd has separated from the whey.

Chévre is pretty easy to make to begin with, but it usually begins with boiling water and sterilising everything in the boiling water, which adds extra time and hassle to the process.

I’ve been getting massive cravings for chèvre, so much that I even looked at soft goats cheese in the shop (before quickly moving away, knowing that I can make better stuff at home) and knew I had to make some soon, so instead of my usual method of boiling water, sterilising everything that’s going to touch the milk with the boiling water, then heating cold milk up in a saucepan to the right temperature I just added some milk kefir (around 2 tablespoons) and diluted rennet (the tiniest amount possible, a drop or less diluted in a bit of water) to a jar of fresh milk warm from the goat, moved the jar around a little to mix it in, then left it to sit for around 12 hours, before draining for around 6 hours, mixing salt through, and letting it drain for a little longer. Great cheese with less trouble than the other way.

We’ve sold the cow. I have mixed feelings about this, but it’s something we had to do, and I’m glad she has a good home with another family. I have one hard cheese aging in the makeshift cheese cave that I made from her milk, an asiago with a natural rind. I’ve never been successful with natural rinds before, mainly from forgetting to brush them every week, but this one seems to be going well, and we can probably start eating it next month.

This post is a part of Simple Homestead Blog Hop

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Simple Wonderful Lamb Burgers

These are the perfect burger. They’re juicy and full of flavour yet they hold their shape.

Minimally seasoned with garlic and herbs to let the taste of lamb shine through they can be served in a variety of ways; with tzatziki and greek salad, with gyros or kebab toppings, with traditional burger accompaniments like fried eggs, salads, and sauces, or with any vegetable side dish…even Swedish braised red cabbage.

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Autumn Leaves and Hearth Fires

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The leaves are falling off the trees today. The wind isn’t particularly strong, the day not much different from the last few, it’s just a combination of things that tell the trees it’s time to go to bed. My oldest son climbs up the apple tree to harvest apples, I never see him happier than when he’s harvesting fruit and vegetables, he used to harvest potatoes with me and would jump up and down with excitement whenever one was unearthed.

Today we’ve lit the fire for the first time this year. It’s only for the warmth it brings to this house and the wonder of watching the flames dance and hearing the quiet roar of the fire. There is nothing quite like working with wool on the couch with the flames in the background and listening to the noises that it makes. In the house we build fire will be more important, it will cook our food and heat our water, as it did for our ancestors in more sensible times.

I am working on a jumper for the son I wrote of earlier. I’ve never knitted a pullover before, or anything in the round, or anything beyond the simplest of patterns, but the body of it is finished and I’m part way through the first sleeve, learning this from books. I learned to knit through internet videos and library books, and it gives me hope for other traditional skills, that if we put our hearts and minds to it there are enough resources around to teach us how.

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