How can you make lamb taste good?

October 7, 2013
danieljkoren

What is the best way to eat lamb? Many people have given up on eating sheep and mutton because of the odd flavor of the meat. I have three answers, and the third is the best. The off-flavor in sheep and goats comes from the fat. Removing fat from the meat can minimize the undesirable flavor considerably. Other tips include: don’t eat a mature buck goat–yuck! Don’t eat a doe or ewe in estrus (heat) or when pregnant–the hormones put awful flavor into the meat. Rams do not have the repulsive flavor male goats have, but still have a better taste when slaughtered before September. Grass-fed only lambs will have less fat to contend with. With those field rules in mind, here is what to do when the meat makes it to the kitchen:

First, use rosemary

She is not your best friend’s grandma. She is an herb you can grow yourself. My wife has a couple rosemary bushes growing now. This herb and a few others help mute the odd flavor of lamb and bring out its natural qualities. Simple research will help you find which other herbs work in concert with rosemary to create a classic flavor.

Second, curry the lamb.

From what I have observed, the yellow curry my wife makes is the result of taking all the spices in the cupboard and dumping them into the pan with the lamb. It is great on rice. Search the web and find some recipes. She learned from her sister and I do not know the recipe (nor am I allowed to cook in my wife’s kitchen because of past experiments that went wrong.) You will have to work out the details on your own.

Third, (drum roll here), smoke the lamb.

Oh yes! Now this flavor central. Lamb meat does not have to cook as long as brisket or turkey. It melts easily at low temps almost as if sheep were created for the smoker. We use fruit and nut wood mixed—we have persimmon, hackberry, pecan, and chokecherry trees growing wild. The chokecherry is probably the sweetest. Mix that with some pecan or hickory (only a little) and the meat is to die for. Honestly, after four years of eating our homegrown sheep, my wife has only begun to enjoy this meat since we started smoking it. Get a smoker or build one and become a master of bark (the basted-on meat coating), woodchips, and patience.
Turkey was meant for the smoker, too. Mm-mmm. But don’t get me started.

The most cost-effective way to eat so good is to raise your own lamb. Learn how to protect your sheep from coyotes in my article on the topic.

Posted in: Health
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How to protect sheep from coyotes


danieljkoren

How to protect sheep from coyotes, goats from dogs, rabbits from raccoons, chickens from foxesI began asking “how can I protect my sheep from coyotes?” when we lost some lambs to a coyote. We also lost a duck and another time a turkey. Either a raccoon or a coyote had been involved. However, nothing is as sickening as finding a beautiful lamb dead in the field.

I found a simple and free answer that has worked effectively for a long time now. It is what every male farmer does anyway, but might need to be pointed in the right direction: urinate. That’s it.

This also answers these questions:

How do I keep raccoons out of the henhouse? What keeps foxes away from my chickens? What protects turkeys from bobcats? Can I keep varmints out of my rabbit cages? Can I keep deer out of the garden? How do I protect my goats from coyotes? In short, how does one keep sheep and other farm animals safe from predators? In most cases, you can save your livestock easily.

I got the idea from a catalog that was selling wolf urine to put on the fence posts so that coyotes would stay away (this also keeps deer away, too, though). I thought, if they are scared of wolves, then why not human urine? After all, God said,

the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. (Genesis 9:2, NKJ)

They are already scared of you. If you were sitting on the fence post, they would not come in and chase your sheep, goats, chickens,
rabbits, turkeys, or ducks. So, if your scent on the fence post led them to believe you were close by, they still would not cross over.

You can whiz through farming

Sorry, but it is really that simple. Now, I know most of you female readers may find this concept demeaning, but surely you have some guys who wear the pants in the family. Send them out to the fence row or the henhouse to take a leak. It is crazy, but either a fox will eat your profits or you will use “mother nature” to your advantage.

Simply “marking your territory” will let intruders know to stay away. They would rather go after easier game elsewhere than to risk encountering you. Let the fear of humans be to your advantage. Do you have a dog that has to be kept caged in or tied up? Take it for a walk around the parameter of your fences or around your small-animal buildings. It’s urination and defecation will leave further warning markers that wandering prowlers would rather avoid.

The complicated solutions to protect sheep from coyotes

  • Livestock guardian dog. Expensive to feed—unless you have enough livestock to pay for it, it will cost more than it is worth just to feed and care for it. LGDs can also be dangerous around your children and other family members. Pick a breed with caution and raise one yourself, if you can. Sometimes they will protect sheep well but kill chickens. Be sure you know what you are getting into.
  • Hotwire. If you use five to seven strands of hotwire you can keep many predators from crossing the fence. Also, electrified
    net fencing will keep your sheep, goats, geese and turkeys, much safer than leaving them in a large, open field. They can’t get out (usually) and the predators can’t get in.
  • Tight fence. Sheep and goat fencing allows only 4 inches of space. This does not give the goats room to get their heads stuck through. A stuck goat is bait for coyotes who will hear it bleating and come running for dinner.
  • Red eye. This led light gives an ominous red glow that wild animals will interpret as being the eye of another predator. You have to set up a few of them so a stalker coming from any direction will see it and stay away. This supposedly works with raccoons and coyotes, but like any scare-crow thing, cannot be all one depends on. It seems like another expensive gimmick.
  • Noise. You could leave a radio going. My grandfather used to protect his garden and rows of corn from raccoons by putting out a radio at night. This usually worked for him, but it could irritate the neighbors. Kind of kills the idea of living in the peaceful country.
  • Sleep with them. Tent out under the stars like shepherds of old. Yeah. That will get old fast.

When urination may not work

  1. Rain can remove your defense barrier. We had gone almost two years without a coyote attack. I was pretty happy with my innovative defense mechanism. Then we hit a stressful time when one of the kids was not well and things in the home were stressful enough to distract me from making my morning rounds. Worse, it rained all week. Four days of rain must have been enough to wash away the scent on the parameter of the fence where our sheep were (about an acre and a half field, partially wooded). We lost four lambs that week. Until that point, I thought my efforts were just a “number one” experiment. Looking at those dead lambs made a believer out of me. Frequent urination kept the coyotes at bay.
  2. If rouge dogs are your problem, then taking a leak on a fence post may not be enough to stop them. However, sitting out there with a shotgun a few times will put an end to that. I give a dog a warning shot before hitting the target. If they can connect your scent with the source of the scent on the fence posts, they may begin respect your territory. Otherwise, there is
    the permanent option, but killing your neighbor’s dog can devastate a relationship. In that case, you would be better off buying a livestock guardian dog that will defend your animals for you.

Hopefully this article has helped clarify your understanding of how to keep coyotes out of your sheep, raccoons away from your rabbits, deer out of your corn, possums out of the henhouse, foxes away from your chickens, and any other varmint away from your goats, turkeys, geese, and ducks. Farming can be a whiz.

 

What is WiFly?

June 24, 2013
danieljkoren

by DJ Koren
Deejays and technology aficionados are now asking “What is WiFly” and “What are WiFly lights?” WiFly lights, made by American DJ, are wireless, LED effect lights. Operating on a built in lithium battery, Wifly lights last eight to ten hours without a power cable! This means you can do a quick set up anywhere in minutes without having to try to hide ugly cables. What a safety break as well!
Here’s a fun video I put together to explain and show what WiFly does.
What is WiFly?

 

What are WiFly lights?

Wifly lights operate with a wireless DMX transmitter and controller. (DMX is the system for controlling lights of many different types.) The wireless DMX WiFly controller can reach up to 500 feet without the use of DMX cable. WiFly lights can also be controlled with a remote.

What styles of WiFly lights are available?What is WiFly? This American DJ LED bar light operates off an 8-hour batter and a wireless DMX controller

They have RGBA Quad color, which in English terms RGBA means Red Green Blue and Amber, with RGBA you can mix these colors to gather and make any color in the world. Quad color means all four colors in one led, and with quad color you have nice smooth color mixing.

What are WiFly lights? This par light can be set up anywhere and opperated remotely.

What is WiFly good for?

Brian Redd, with American DJ, did a test to see how long it took to set up WiFly vs. normal lights that use electric cords and DMX cables. He set up two WiFly light bars and two pars (a circular light fixture, like a flood light). It took 56 seconds to put up the WiFly lights. It took over three minutes to set up the conventional lights.
Consider these uses:
•    Wall wash
•    Stage lighting
•    Special effects
•    Impromptu event
•    Production studio
You can turn any room—or any corner of a room—into a stage in minutes. Use these lights for a wall wash, hang them on a truss, or let your creativity go wild with American DJ’s breakthrough technology of WiFly lights. Now, you know what to tell the next person who asks you “What is WiFly?”

 

 

 

We built a greenhouse with cattle panels

February 6, 2013
danieljkoren
4 mil plastic on cattle panel hoop house

Greenhouse with plastic installed over cattle panels

It cost us $25. That was just for the plastic. All the pieces were salvaged or free. We used:

  • 16’ cattle panels – five of them. These are about four and a half feet wide, so they made the hoop house about 21 feet long.
  • 20’ by 25’ piece of 4 mil plastic. This will last at least three months until it is warm enough at night to take off.
  • Lumber of all sizes to build the benches for plants. The plywood came from a house that a friend of a friend tore down.
  • Plastic shelving material we got from a friend who made dog kennels for a living.

We made a rim of 2×4’s to hold the cattle panel hoops up. Then end we framed up with 3’, 4’, and 6’ scraps of 2×4 studs. We tied all the panels together with baling twine. Inside we used an old table, salvaged plywood, and plastic panels for work space. We have over forty linear feet to set out plants. If we keep this up, next year will have a winter garden under this cold frame, hoop house.

The unusual thing we did was to build this over an old swimming pool. I only know of one other person in the world who owns a cement pond like ours—it was made from a huge fuel tank, cut in half. So, you will probably not follow our model exactly, but it created an interesting situation for us.

Flooring supports in swimming pool greenhouseOur tank half is nine feet wide at the top, but since the tank was cylindrical, it tapers to a rounded bottom which is difficult to walk on. So, we took left over studs from when we remodeled our basement and laid them across from one wall to the other. We then set full pieces of salvaged plywood on top of these studs, spaced at 12 inches on center. Since the studs were about 8’ long, they dropped the floor to about 2 feet from the top of the pool. This gives us about 8 feet to the top of the cattle panel hoops. It is a little crazy sounding, but it worked out great for us.

Beneath the floor was this empty cavity of about 3 feet. I read about some people heating their greenhouses with a compost heap. That gave me an idea for the empty space under our floor. We shoveled out the cows’ and sheep’s winter manure accumulation and stashed it under the floor to compost. At first it stunk badly, but by the second day the odor was gone. Now we are just waiting for it to activate the composting and start heating the room all night.

It has been a fun experiment and we already have some starts from inside to set out in the warm sun.Plastic shelves in greenhouse Ending construction of the cattle panel hoop house

Salvage plywood shelving in coldframe greenhouse

Laying out greenhouse shelves in snow shower

 

How do I lose weight after having a baby?

February 29, 2012
danieljkoren

I was speaking with a friend the other day who’s sister-in-law was only two weeks postpartum. In desperation she was doing stomach crunches and sit ups to aid in getting rid of her belly. Many young mothers are asking “How do I lose weight after having a baby?”
I could not imagine doing strenuous exercise like that to myself right now. That would hurt! Hollywood has damaged the way women look at themselves. We feel as if we have to measure up to some criteria or image.
If it has taken you 9 months to gain 30 or more pounds, you should give yourself 9 months to take it off. Doesn’t that make logical sense? Ah, but it doesn’t make Hollywood sense.
For the first 6 weeks after the baby is born I do practically nothing except take care of the baby, eat and sleep. Yet within about two weeks or less I’m back in my normal clothes. When Levi turned a week I could fit into my clothes. Taking the time to allow your body to heal is the best thing you can do for yourself. Not only your physical body but mentally too. I did not do this until baby 4 and on my first 3 babies I was exactly 9 months postpartum when I fit back into my clothes. Although I rested with baby 4 my diet had not been the best. My last two births, however, I have had proper nutrition and rest. The hard work pays off. I’m extremely careful what I eat on a daily basis while pregnant and even more careful after he’s born because it can give him colic.
I have already mentioned the blood
-type diet so I won’t revisit that. But I’d like to emphasize that after 8 pregnancies, 6 births, and age 38 I can still wear a size 10. We have been on the blood type diet 12 years. This year will be 13. Dr. D’Adamo, the promoter of the BTD, went deeper than just blood type a couple of years back. It goes beyond blood type to your genetics. He calls it the Genotype diet. We have gravitated to this. I would encourage you to look into this, not just for yourself but for your baby as well.
In all practicality I’m going to assume that for the most part you know what causes you to gain weight.
Potato chips
Doritos
Breads
Ice cream
Cakes
Donuts
Candy
And I think you get the idea. So if you’re looking to lose some weight you don’t have to have some diet book tell you what to do; just use a little common sense.
I’m not a huge fan of clinical exercise, the use of machines, or even a set time of day. I prefer a much more organic method to exercise. Such as when you go check your mail jog to the mail box. Hoe your garden. Rake leaves. If you live in the city opt for stairs over elevators. Be creative.
Due to the constant messed up schedule of having a newborn you’re going to frustrate yourself if you try to have some strict regime. You’ll become upset at your baby for interrupting your exercise time or anyone else who tries to demand your attention. Relax. Eat right.
So to the question: “How do I lose weight after having a baby?” Organically exercise and the weight will come off.
In the mean time you might want to purchase a few second hand pieces of clothing a size larger than what you normally wear. Do not replace your wardrobe. You only need a few things just so that you don’t feel fat and overweight.
An exercise I like to do which doesn’t require a machine or time out of my schedule are leg lifts. When I’m laying in bed I’ll slowly lift my leg. Laying on my sides then my back. It’s not much but it will help to pull in all that flab on your abdomen. I would caution you that if it hurts your uterus to do this then wait until you have healed some more.

Posted in: Health

 

How to increase milk supply and nurse your baby correctly

February 16, 2012
Leanne

In this post, I want to talk about How to increase milk supply and nurse your baby correctly. The number one complaint that I’ve heard from first-time nursing mothers is the pain that it causes.  The other complaint is the amount of time it takes.
I have heard that while at the hospital mothers are taught to nurse 15 minutes both sides. The theory behind this is it takes this long for the baby to totally strip you of milk and cream.

How to nurse your baby correctly

When your milk lets down it takes only a few minutes for the baby to drain you. He’s barely sucking at this point only swallowing. Then as the milk decreases he will begin sucking hard. I should time this process but I’m going to guess it takes about three minutes from the time they latch on until they drain you. Let’s think conservatively and say 5 minutes. That gives you another 10 whole minutes of hard sucking which is pretty much unproductive except for making you sore. Also if you continue to nurse that one side for this long you’re going to have probably two more let downs of milk, if you are a good producer of milk.
So, once he has drained you the first time you help them strip you of the cream and get on with the other side. To do this you start at the base of the breast and apply pressure as you work towards the nipple. At the same time you are giving him the cream and emptying any still-full milk ducts. Usually the side of the breast will still feel full where the gravitational pull isn’t so strong. Do this for about another minute and you’re good. Switch sides and repeat.
This eliminates both problems mentioned above.
I was introduced to something this year that I had never heard of. It’s called the shield. I spoke with two women within just a day or two of each other who had both used this. Because of hospital instructions they had to wear this for months because it simply hurt too much to nurse otherwise.
Admittedly it hurts quite a bit in those first couple of days prior to your milk coming in but after about a week it shouldn’t hurt so much. When they first latch on you may have to grit your teeth for just a second but then you should be ok. By the second week of nursing if the baby is latched on correctly and your milk supply is good then it should not be painful to nurse and a shield past the second week should not be necessary.
Let me quickly explain why I would be against this. God made us so incredible, so uniquely, that when a baby nurses, the nipple is sensitive enough to “read” the saliva of the baby. Just like when you’re pregnant if the baby needs something your body will crave it. It’s the same with nursing.  If that baby is in need of a certain nutrient then your body will crave a food that has it in it.
The shield makes it impossible for your body to “read” the baby. So, if you must use the shield,  if it were me, I would discard it as quickly as I could.

With each pregnancy it seems that it has been harder and harder for me to produce.  Although my babies have always been nice and chunky it’s bothered me that my production has never been the same as it was with my first child.
Our fifth child has perhaps given us more gray hair than all five of them put together.
At three months she came down with infantile botulism. You begin to be paralyzed from the head down. The first thing I noticed was her inability to nurse properly.   Her suction wasn’t strong.
We were very scared and had no idea what to do. This problem started on a Wednesday afternoon and by Friday we were in the ER with a three-month old baby who couldn’t hold up her own head and overall appeared paralysed.  Within 30 minutes of arriving at the ER she coded blue. They quickly intabated her (put an oxygen tube down her and a machine was breathing for her) and life-flighted her to St. Louis Children’s Hospital where it took another 12 hours just to figure out what was wrong.
I was still nursing her full-time however she hadn’t nursed in 24 hours so I was engorged and hurting. I began pumping but once thoroughly empty it was as if my body quit producing.  I did everything I knew to bring up my milk supply because the doc wanted 3 oz every 3 hours. I was only giving 2 1/2.

How to increase milk supply

Looking back now I don’t believe that there was anything else I could have done. Several nurses said considering all the stress I had been through I was doing well. I still cried when they had to supplement with formula for the first time. None of our babies had ever formula.
Low milk supply is normally fixable. Most of the time it’s due to not eating or drinking enough. Most women are afraid of gaining weight therefore try to starve themselves. You will not produce milk if you’re not eating enough. You should also be drinking a half a gallon of water per day.
If you are eating good and drinking the right amount and you’re still not producing then here’s a couple of other things that you can try.
I have revisited a remedy that didn’t work for me at the hospital. I believe that my body was too stressed to produce anymore than what it was.
Hops. In the hospital I was drinking both the tea (which tastes like dirty socks) and taking the capsule. I was having issues with my milk getting too low the other day and found those Hops capsules in the vitamin cabinet. I took 2 and sometime throughout the night my milk supply had come back up to full production.
My sister-in-law likes fenugreek. It works well for her.
I’ve heard from several people that a bowl of oatmeal every morning works great. If you are a blood type A or even B, I would highly recommend that you try this. I cannot eat oatmeal. It makes me gain weight.
My midwife recommends something called Maxi Milk. It’s sold at mountainmeadows.com
Some have had success with Mother’s Milk Tea. I would have to drink too much for it to be worth the expense.

More tips on how to nurse your baby successfully.

Post a comment below on how you increase milk supply and tips you have learned on how to nurse your baby correctly.

Posted in: Maternity

 

Get Rid of Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy Naturally

February 12, 2012
Leanne

I didn’t have to deal with getting rid of hemorrhoids during pregnancy until recently in my child bearing. There’s all kinds of creams and such to help get over this hurdle however I’ve found a method that seems to work well without having to spend money. I do tons of Kegel exercises.
You can get rid of hemorrhoids during pregnancy with Kegels. This was something that my first midwife insisted that you do 100 per day. In a Kegel you squeeze the muscle you use to stop yourself from urinating. Squeezing this muscle is so very necessary. After several children if you don’t keep this muscle strong you won’t be able to jump on the trampoline without Depends!
When dealing with hemorrhoids I will lay on the bed while resting and Kegel. What you’re doing is pulling those veins back into place. The harder you squeeze the faster this method will work.
If you have a particular stubborn hemorrhoid that refuses to go back in place then apply pressure and Kegel at the same time. If you can’t tolerate the feeling that you have an open wound that feels like it’s seeping then someone decides to dump alcohol on top of it all, then by all means find something that will give you relief.
Remember that creams won’t fix the problem only give you temporary relief. Working that muscle will get rid of hemorrhoids naturally usually within 24 hours or less if you’re diligent.

Posted in: Maternity

 

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