Monday, September 17, 2012

We Are Moving Our Blog!!!!!!!

As of today we are now in the process of moving our blog to our website. We are asking that everyone please check out our website to keep up with everything that is going on and our new blog. Thanks for the follows and keeping up with us and hope to see you all there.

Bug Eating for Survival - Could You Do It??

     Okay so let me start this off by saying I have yet to put any type of bug or insect into my mouth voluntarily... I do however think that if it came down to eating them or starving that I could do so. For that reason I decided to do a little research on them and this is the information I have found at another blog located here; Girl Meets Bug . There are literally tons of insects that are edible around us all the time... I have included a partial list below with some tips I found on each type of insect. I have also included two recipes at the bottom of the post on how to prepare them. If anyone has actually eaten any of these or others I would love to hear about your experiences with it. Also, if you know of some others to add to the list let us know in the comments.

Agave worm: Also known as the maguey worm, these larvae of either the Hypopta agavis moth or the Aegiale hesperiaris are sometimes included in tequila bottles as proof of authenticity and alcohol content (tequila must be of high enough proof to preserve the worm). In Mexico, they are also eaten as part of a meal, and are highly nutritious.

Ant: there are several varieties of ants that are eaten: Carpenter ants, leaf-cutter ants, honeypot ants, and even lemon ants.

Honeypot ants have abdomens swollen with a nectar-like substance, which is used to feed other ants, sort of like a “living larder.” An excellent “bush food,” they are dug up from the ground and eaten raw by  aboriginal peoples in Australia.

Leafcutter ants, also known as Hormigas Culonas in Spanish (which means big-butted ant) are eaten mainly in South America. They are  said to taste like a cross between bacon and pistachio, and are usually eaten toasted. In Colombia, they are sold like popcorn at movie theaters.

Lemon ants are found in the Amazon jungle and are said to taste like just that: lemons.

Bamboo  worm: Often eaten fried in Thailand, they are the larvae of the Grass Moth, and eat their way through bamboo before metamorphosing.

Bee: Bee larvae, especially, are prized in many cultures as tasty morsels. Think about it, all they eat is royal jelly, pollen, and honey! The larvae, when sauteed in butter, taste much like mushroomy bacon. Adult bees may also be eaten, often roasted (roast bee!) and then ground into a nutritious flour. In China, ground bees are used as a remedy for a sore throat.

Centipede: Most often found as a street food in China.

Cicada: Periodical cicadas, primarily found in the Eastern US,  live underground for 17 years before emerging and molting into adults. Just after they molt, they have soft, juicy bodies, and are said to be very tender and delicious. Different species of cicada are also eaten in many Asian countries, such as Japan, Thailand, and Malaysia.

Cockroach: Yes, you can eat cockroaches! Just not the ones you find around your house. Contrary to popular belief, cockroaches can actually be very clean and tasty insects, especially if they are fed on fresh fruits and vegetables. They can be eaten toasted, fried, sauteed, or boiled. Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches have a taste and texture like greasy chicken.

Cricket: eaten fried, sauteed, boiled, and roasted, these are amongst the most common insects eaten. Eaten in Mexico, Thailand, Cambodia.

Dragonfly: eaten in Indonesia and China. Can be eaten in adult or larval form. In Indonesia, these are caught by dipping a reed in sticky palm sap and waving it through the air. Often eaten boiled or fried.

Dung Beetle: despite the strange-sounding name, dung beetles, often eaten fried, are quite tasty.

Earthworm: known to be high in protein and iron, eaten by various peoples such as the native Yekuana of Venezuela.

Fly pupae: the fatty acid pattern of house fly pupae (Musca domestica L.) has been found to be similar to that of some fish oils. Shaped like small red pills, the “flavor is rich with a hint of iron, sort of like blood pudding,” says David Gracer of Small Stock Foods.

Flying Ant: Also known as Sompopos, the flying queens are collected in Guatemala and roasted on a comal with salt and lime juice. They are said to taste something like buttery pork rinds.

Grasshopper: in Mexico, these are eaten roasted with chile and lime, and are known as chapulines. They are high in protein and calcium.

Hornworm:  David George Gordon, author of The Eat-A-Bug Cookbook, says that Tomato Hornworms can be fried up much the same as the fruit of the plant on which they feed. They taste a bit like green tomatoes, shrimp, and crab.

Jumiles: also known as stink bugs. High in B vitamins, these are said to taste either bitter or like cinnamon, and may have tranquilizing and analgesic properties. Apparently, they can survive the cooking process, and thus are often eaten alive. The yearly Jumile Festival involves the eating of thousands of jumiles, and the crowning of a Jumile Queen.

June bug: June bugs (Phyllophaga) can be eaten at both the larval and adult stage. Native Americans roasted them over coals and ate them like popcorn.

Locust: the locust is one of the few insects condoned by the bible. Leviticus 11:22: Even these of them ye may eat: the locust after its kind, and the bald locust after its kind, and the cricket after its kind, and the grasshopper after its kind.

Mopane worm: largely eaten in Southern Africa, during their season, mopane worms can fetch a higher market price than beef. When dried, they are said to taste like  an earthy jerky.

Mealworm: Mealworms are found wherever there is, well, meal! They are the larva of the mealworm beetle. They are often prepared boiled, sauteed, roasted, or fried, and taste like a nutty shrimp.

Midge fly: in East Africa, these are pressed into solid blocks and cooked into Kunga Cake.

Nsenene: This tasty grasshopper is a Ugandan delicacy. Usually prepared fried.

Pill-bug: AKA sowbugs, roly-polies, woodlice, these are actually terrestrial crustaceans, closely related to lobsters, crab and shrimp. When boiled, they are said to turn red.

Rhino beetle and grubs: Also known as one of the strongest animals in the world, the Rhino beetle can lift 850 times its own weight. The beetle and its larvae are a common part of the diet in Nigeria. Studies have found the larvae to be very high in protein, calcium, and phosphorous. They can be fried, stewed, grilled or roasted; one cookbook advises cooking them within a coconut shell. The clarified fat of the larvae can also be used as a kind of butter.

Sago grubs: the larvae of the Palm Weevil.  Sago Delight, or fried Sago grubs,  is a specialty in Malaysia and Indonesia. In Borneo  and  Papua New Guinea, they are often cooked in Sago flour, and wrapped in a Sago leaf like a tamale. They are said to taste somewhat like bacon, and are an essential source of fat.

Silk worm: A popular dish in Korea, these are known as Bon Daegi, and are an edible byproduct of the silk-harvesting process.

Scorpion: Often found skewered and fried in Thailand and China. Scorpions tend to have a flavor like soft-shell crab.

Tarantula: Primarily popular as a food in Cambodia, tarantulas are high in protein, and are believed to help boost virility. They taste somewhat like an earthy crab.

Termite: Termites are often eaten raw straight out of the mound in places like Kenya.

Wasp: Wasps are eaten in both adult and larval stages. Boiled, sauteed, roasted and fried, they taste somewhat buttery and earthy.

Walking stick: Eaten in Asia and Papua New Guinea, Walking Sticks taste somewhat leafy.

Water Bug: AKA Toe-biter, the giant water bug is popular in Thai cuisine, both consumed whole (steamed or fried), and as an extract in sauces. Raw, the bugs have a scent like a green apple. Steamed, their flesh (plentiful enough to make small filets), tastes like a briny, per-fumy banana/melon, with the consistency of fish.

Wax-worm: The larvae of the wax moth, in the wild wax worms are a parasite of bee hives. In captivity, they are fed on a diet of bran and honey. Roasted or sauteed, they taste like a cross between a pine nut and an enoki mushroom, and are high in essential fatty acids.

Wichetty grub: Eaten by Aborigines in Australia, often roasted in coals or over a fire, wichetty grubs are high in protein and fat. According to Peter Menzel in Man Eating Bugs, “Witchetty grub tastes like nut-flavored scrambled eggs and mild mozzarella, wrapped in a phyllo dough pastry.”

Zaza-mushi: “Zaza-mushi — zaza, the sound of rushing river water, and mushi, insect — are the larvae of aquatic the caddisfly.” – Man Eating Bugs. Zaza-mushi are boiled then sauteed in soy sauce and sugar in Japan.

Basic Cooked Insects

Yield 1 serving; Time 30 minutes

    1 cup cleaned edible insects
    2 cups water
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 dashes pepper
    1 tablespoon butter
    1/2 teaspoon dried sage
    2 tablespoons finely chopped onions.

    Place ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 30 minutes or until tender.

Source: Adapted from Entertaining With Insects by Ronald L. Taylor and Barbara J. Carter 

Dry Roasted Insects

Yield 1 serving; Time Two hours

    Spread cleaned insects on paper towels on a cookie sheet. Back at 200 degrees for 60 to 90 minutes until desired state of dryness is reached. To check state of dryness, try crushing insect with a spoon.

Source: Adapted from Entertaining With Insects by Ronald L. Taylor and Barbara J. Carter

Herbs In Your Chicken Nests???

     Why yes it is a great idea. Fresh or dried herbs in your nesting boxes not only work as insecticides, but also have anti-bacterial properties, and can act as natural wormers, anti-parasitics, insecticides, rodent control, stress relievers and laying stimulants.  They will help a laying hen feel safe and relaxed while she is sitting, and calm a broody hen, as well as repel rodents, flies and other parasites. Plus they look so pretty !

      They will also benefit newly hatched chicks.  Research has shown that wild birds will line their nests with fresh herbs and flowers, especially those that contain essential oils. The newly hatched baby birds benefit by rubbing against these herbs in the first few days of life.  Same applies to baby chicks. The chicks will also eat some of the herbs, thereby garnering even more health benefits from them.

Here is a partial list of common herbs and flowers and their beneficial properties:

Basil - antibacterial, mucus membrane health
Catnip - sedative, insecticide
Cilantro - antioxidant, fungicide, builds strong bones, high in Vitamin A for vision and Vitamin K for blood clotting
Dill - antioxidant, relaxant, respiratory health
Fennel -laying stimulant
Garlic - laying stimulant
Lavender - stress reliever, increases blood circulation, highly aromatic, insecticide
Lemon Balm - stress reliever, antibacterial, highly aromatic, rodent repellent
Marigold - laying stimulant
Marjoram - lay stimulant
Mint (all kinds) - insecticide and rodent repellent
Nasturtium - laying stimulant, antiseptic, antibiotic, insecticide, wormer
Oregano - combats coccidia, salmonella, infectious bronchitis, avian flu, blackhead and e-coli
Parsley - high in vitamins, aids in blood vessel development, laying stimulant
Peppermint - anti-parasitic, insecticide
Pineapple Sage - aids nervous system, highly aromatic
Rose Petals - highly aromatic, high in Vitamin C
Rosemary - pain relief, respiratory health, insecticide
Sage - antioxidant, anti-parasitic
Spearmint - antiseptic, insecticide, stimulates nerve, brain and blood functions
Tarragon - antioxidant
Thyme - respiratory health, antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-parasitic

Read more: Grit Article on Herbs in Chicken Nests

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Homemade Room Scents and More

Okay so as via the first post on our homemade cleaning products we make, use, and sell our own laundry detergent. We have recently changed the recipe we use so that it is now completely Biodegradable. It still cleans just as well and still makes just as many loads out of each container. Also, we have started experimenting with homemade room scents in a jar. These are a great idea for those who want to have a nice fresh scent but do not want to use or pay for aerosol sprays. I have included the few "recipes" I found and have been trying out below along with directions for putting together and using them. If anyone can think of any other scent combinations I would love to here from you about them.

General procedure for the room scents:

     Combine the ingredients in a 2 cup (pint) jar or container, or in a pan on the stove top. Cover them with water and heat. The different heating options are explained further down.

Scent #1: Oranges, cinnamon & cloves (allspice and anise are optional).

     This scent carries into multiple rooms better, and it can be reheated to scent your rooms for several days.

Scent #2: Lemon, rosemary, & vanilla. It has a lovely freshness to it. 

Scent #3: Lime, thyme, mint & vanilla extract. This combination has such a fresh, pleasant scent.

Scent #4: Orange, ginger (fresh or powdered), and almond extract. This is a sweet, delicious scent.

Scent # 5: Pine or cedar twigs (or other fragrant twigs), bay leaves, and nutmeg. These scents combine for a complex aroma. If you have whole nutmeg, use a micro-plane to grate off the outer surface--this will release the scent. Add the whole nutmeg piece along with the gratings.

Make ahead and... in the fridge. Uncooked jars of scented waters will keep in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks, so you can make these ahead to have on hand. I recommend adding all of the ingredients, including the water, to the jars before refrigerating them.

    ...freeze them. Freezing them both with and without the water added work fine. Make sure you use freezer-safe jars like these pint wide-mouth mason jars. (Not all mason jars are freezer-safe.)

How to heat the scented mixtures
     Some of them provide a more powerful scent than others. Just like the air fresheners you buy, none of these will scent a whole house. Hopefully you already have what you need to try out one or more of these options.

Stove top method.
     To get the most powerful scent that will spread to more rooms the fastest. It's easy as can be. Simply combine the ingredients in a pot on the stove, bring them to a boil, and then lower the heat to a simmer. They will immediately begin to scent your kitchen and spread to other rooms. How far the scent spreads depends on the size and layout of your house. The only drawback of this method is that you have to keep a close eye on the water level. If the pan dries out, you'll be smelling burned citrus instead of sweet, fragrant citrus.  NOTE: For a stronger scent, simply double or triple the recipe in a larger pot on the stove.

Uncovered Slow Cooker Method. 
     Use a mini slow cooker--the kind made for keeping dips and sauces warm. The mixture never actually bubbles and visibly steams. It's subtle, but creates a pleasant smell in the house. It's easy and uses very little electricity. If you're concerned about accidentally letting it run dry, you can put a lamp timer on it so that it automatically shuts off at the desired time. Put a scented jar mixture in the microwave for 2 minutes to get it really hot before adding it to the slow cooker. That gives it a jump start on releasing the scent.  NOTE: For a stronger scent, simply double or triple the recipe in a larger, full-size slow cooker.

Fondue Pot Method. 
     If you have a fondue pot, then you have a portable scent station. Set it up in any room you'd like to scent. Get the scent mixture boiling hot before adding it to the fondue pot.

Mug Warmer Method. 
     It only keeps it warm, it doesn't actually heat it up. So again, be sure to heat the mixture before adding it to the bowl. Or microwave a jar and set it right on top of the mug warmer. This low heat puts off a soft scent that is perfect in a bathroom.

    Here's a hint to keep it pretty. As the mixtures cook and lose their color, they're not as attractive. You can spruce it up by floating a fresh slice of citrus on top. Or add a few cranberries; they float and add a touch of color.

Candle Warmer Method. 
     These work just like the mug warmers. Candle warmers come with a little bowl on top for melting scented candle pellets. Instead, you can add some heated scented water. Or, remove the bowl and set a jar or other bowl on top.

    Note: The mug warmer and candle warmer both keep the mixture at about 120°F. That's enough to let off a very subtle scent, but don't expect these to strongly scent a big room. You need more heat and steam for a stronger scent.

Tea Pot Warmer Method. 
     These only last as long as the tea lights burn, but they can get hotter than the mug and candle warmers, thus releasing more scent.

Add more hot water as needed. As the water evaporates from any of these warming bowls or jars, top it off with additional HOT water. It needs to be hot when it's added so that it doesn't cool down the temperature of the scented water.  Higher heat = more fragrance.

Gift them! These make a fun, unique hostess gift. Take one along to a party as a gift for your host that can be simmered and enjoyed the next day.

Reuse each mixture 2-3 times. After these have been heated and simmered for awhile, the water becomes cloudy, and some of the ingredients lose their vibrant color. Although they don't look as pretty, they still smell good. Usually, you can reheat and simmer these again 2-3 times. Jar them up and refrigerate them between uses. Open the jar and give it the sniff test--if it still smells good, reheat and reuse it. Add more water as needed.

Our New Google+ Page

Okay so for all of our loyal fans we now have a Google+ page for the farm as well as a Facebook Page. Hopefully  between the two of these everyone can follow us completely. Please go check it out and add us to your circle if you are on Google+. Just search for Hearts Haven Heritage Farm.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Earthship Building Party

Okay so we have decided that in order to help raise the awareness in our local area about these wonderful homes and to help get the job done a little quicker we are going to be hosting an Earthship building party. This will be held on March 31, 2013 and start at 9:30 am. We are going to be treating this as a pot luck event so we ask that everyone coming either bring some kind of food or beverage (non alcoholic only please) and also if you can something off the supplies needed list. This will help with the completion of the home a little quicker. Of course you do not have to bring anything to attend, we would just like to make it easier on everyone by having food and drinks during the day.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Our Farm Page

We now have a website up and running for our homestead. It can be found here Hearts Haven Heritage Farm. Also if you would like to visit our facebook or google+ page please click the links below.