Monday, May 24, 2010


So...Just checked my email.

There was a Yahoo Groups update message.

Hmmm, that's funny, I thought. Aren't I no longer part of any Yahoo groups? (That means you, Freecycle.)

But it turns out...I am.

Looks like they didn't quit me after all! Or maybe they did, but then they found my post and realized the error of their ways?? Well, in any case:

Step 1: Insert foot into mouth.

Step 2: Delete the post where I tell Freecycle to suck it. I'm sorry, Freecycle. You're not that bad, after all.

Step 3: Blush and then add "find stuff to give away on Freecycle" back onto my To Do list.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Back in December after watching Food, Inc., I decided that I wasn’t going to eat meat from restaurants that didn’t buy their meat from humane farms. I didn’t want to be merely disgusted by industrial agriculture – I wanted to stop supporting it with my purchases. (Kind of like how I have been boycotting Wal-Mart for the last 6 years.)

I wanted my burger to have had led the kind of life that a cow deserves to lead (moseying around pastures eating grass) – and not to have led the kind of life that cows raised on factory farms are forced to lead (standing shoulder to shoulder with thousands of other cows, all knee-deep in their own manure, eating grain and ground up dead animals - to include other cows).

But that’s not just because it makes me feel better emotionally to support these humane farms. If a human is going to eat meat, it's healthier for us to eat meat from animals that have lived their lives eating the foods that they have evolved to eat (imagine that!).

It’s healthier for the cows, too. From
The average cow will die within 6 months from consuming a corn based diet (their livers blow out), which is about all the time a factory farm needs to fatten up a cow for slaughter. To keep the feedlot animal "healthy" (healthy enough to survive), industrial farms feed the cows a constant dose of antibiotics. Did you know that most of the antibiotics sold in America end up in animal feed? It is now generally acknowledged that this practice is a direct contributor to the evolution of new antibiotic-resistant "superbugs."
Yikes, right?

Now, I’ll be honest. Even knowing all of this, I have not been 100% successful at keeping my own goal – and I’m not beating myself up over that. I consider myself to be off the hook when I eat over at other people’s houses (if there is a veggie alternative being offered, I eat that, but if not, I go ahead and eat whatever meat they’re serving). And this past weekend was the first time that I broke my rule while in a restaurant. We went to a German restaurant in North Carolina to celebrate Mother’s Day with Eric’s parents and faced with having only sides for dinner as I did when we were there at Christmastime, I caved and ordered the sauerbraten.

For quite some time now we’ve been buying all of our meat from the farmers’ market, mostly from a local Virginia farm that raises buffalo. But some friends recently offered us up a deal that was too good to pass up. Friends of theirs moved to a farm in Pennsylvania and had a cow that was going to be butchered soon. They wanted to know if we wanted a share of it.

The new term for this?


We thought about it and decided to do it!

Three couples shared the butchering fee ($324.40 total) and then split up the meat evenly, with one couple specifying that they wanted a few specific cuts. (Um, yeah - go ahead and take the tongue! Fine by us!)

We ended up with 127 pounds of meat.

  • 1 brisket
  • 5 T-bone steaks
  • 1 short ribs
  • 1 regular ribs
  • 1 rump roast
  • 2 sirloin tip roasts
  • 3 rib eye steaks
  • 5 sirloin steaks
  • 6 round steaks
  • 1/3 of the ground beef

Needless to say, our freezer is more than a little bit full right now.

 The bottom two freezer baskets had to be completely removed 
in order to fit it all in.

When you add the butchering fee to the per pound price for the meat, we paid a mere $2.39 per pound for our grass-fed Jersey cow.

Not bad, eh?

Beef: It's what's for month...

For more information on cow-pooling, 
check out the following resources:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Step by Step

(Why can I not write that title without hearing New Kids on the Block playing in my head? Oh great. Now it's not going away. Oooooh, babaaay. Gonna get to you girrrrrl!)

Focus! Why did I log in here again? Oh right. To post some photos. Apparently Eric is sick and tired of looking at the picture of the blond kid with his pool noodles, so I'm going to spare his precious retinas and post some other images for your (and his) viewing pleasure.

We went in the pool for the first time on Saturday! It. Was. Freezing!

We finished landscaping along one edge of the pool. 
The lights look awesome when they're turned out at night.

My friend Sara came over on Saturday and helped me to set 
some of the walkway stones. Thanks, Sara!

It was intimidating-slash-depressing to see how long it took us to do this one section of the walkway. I hope I'll be able to finish it before our pool party on Memorial Day weekend!

Check out the garden photo album to see the latest garden photos. I noticed last night that one of the strawberries has turned red already!!! So very exciting! Tonight Eric finished putting up some trellises to cover up the pool pump and air conditioning unit, along with a small raised garden bed in front of it. We filled it with the leftover dirt from last year's garden and I immediately planted a few cucumber seeds and a bunch of sugar snap peas. Can't wait to see how that works out...Stay tuned. We may have a cucumber coup on our hands in a few months.