Carivore75Hard Challenge!!! Day 1

Well I jumped in!

On Instagram and Facebook a few people I follow started July 5 with a Carnivore75Hard challenge. While I didn’t see it until 2 days ago I decided to jump in and try. Mostly to curb the sugar cravings, to feel better and to lose weight. I have 5 different Autoimmune diseases and have been on various so called diets off and on for 4 years to help. I want off all my medication sooner than later so thought I would do this and see what my labs were at the end of 75 days. This challenge is as close to an ultimate elimination diet other than one that has just grass-fed ground beef and water. Hopefully it will improve my face, hot flashes, diarrhea, lab work, sleep, nauseous etc.

Here is what I am trying to do:

You can get more details here:


For inspiration Pam is my favorite. She show you what she eats on a day and has pictures of her day. She is very inspiring. Just love it! Thank you Pam:)

Here we go:

B – black coffee
L – (10am) 1/2 lb. grassfed Organic ground beef, 2 oz cheese, 1 fried pastures egg
D – (6pm) Rosemary roasted pork tenderloin, sour cream sauce

16:8 fasting

1 hour 15 min dog walk
15 minute farm work

1. Rain
2. Cooler weather
3. My kids

Support for my neighbor Temple and her brother who is dying in the Hospital.

Weight: 179.6
Now weight isn’t part of this challenge, however I am on another site with some low carb friends and we are weighing in every day so I am adding to this as well.

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Farm to Table 365 Challenge

Good morning!

I have decided to try something new for this year. 365 days farm food. My husband and I moved our family from a Country Club to the Country to start our own farm. We had all the plans to grow our food and live off the land as God had intended us to do. Well life got in the way with our fixer upper home and my huge medical issues so we never fully plunged into the farm life 100%. We did start a garden, got Sheep, Goats, Chickens, Guinea fowl, Turkey’s, and even a Peacock, but never finished our so called Gentleman’s farm or hobby farm, to be able to produce enough food to feed us for the whole year.

This year I want things to be different.

I want to eat foods from our farm

I want to eat foods from other local farms

I want to eat foods from the weekly farmers market we have here in town.

Luckily we live in farm land set at the base of the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. We have farms and fresh food all around us so WHY am I running to the grocery store 3 days a week. I want to change. I need to change. I want to know where my food is coming from. I wanted pastured meats, pastured eggs from happy free ranged chickens and fresh in season fruits and veggies and no processed stuff. So I decided to do a challenge for a year and see if I could really make it a whole year without going to the store.

Here are the so called rules that I will try to follow.

1. Grow as much food as we can on our own property.
2. Use items we have already in the house, but only replenish items that I can get from farms. (I don’t want things to go to waste)
3. Only buy from the farmers market or the farm stores (which are open year round).
4. $500 monthly food budget 

That’s it!

At first I was in a panic. How am I going to make this work? As I thought about it for about a month, stewing over how to buy this thing or where would I buy that item, I just decided to start. Pick a day and just do it. So I picked July 1st 2020 as my start date. Here we are. Throughout the months I will post my farmers market or farm stand finds and pictures of some dinners that I will be preparing. I will keep track of the budget and see if I need to adjust thing a bit. Pastured meats and farmers markets edibles are more expensive than running to Aldi or your local food store, but I have to start somewhere so I picked a $125 weekly budget for now. I will take you along with me this year and show you the seasonal beauty of the land we live in.

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Farm 2020

With all the food we have in the house I don’t really need to run to the store. I did hit the farmers market so will post about that later but just wanted to show you a few pictures of our farm. We moved our garden this year from one side of the farm to the other. I bought a green house, which we have to build this fall. We made a turkey house many years ago, but turkeys don’t use houses, lol so we decided to re-use it and make it into a new to us garden shed. It will be perfect for tools and the garden will be in a better place.

Here is my chicken coop. I just love it. We pasture raise our chickens, which means we let them out to run around our 10 acres and find bug, clover, flower or whatever to eat. We do have a space at the back of the coop that is fenced in just incase we need to use it to protect the chickens from predator’s or raise young birds.

The original part of the coop was a childs play house kit. I ordered it from a company in the Midwest and had it shipped to us. I took a few days to build, paint and get it set up with nesting boxes and roosts but it’s supper cute. The windows even work and this little school house has a working bell too.

We added a run and pavilion made out of lumber and chicken wire. We sunk the chicken wire around the coop into concrete so no predator can dig under and get in. We also added an extension to the right side. After some trial and errors we found chicken to not be so nice to new or younger chicken or chicks. We made the extension so mommas with babies or young birds can be in the coop but separated from the adults. We do this until the young one are old enough and can handle themselves with the flock.

We added a small house to the right side. We call it the Snoopy house. It’s for broody hens who want to sit on eggs and have baby chicks. We do need to work on fixing it as the weather has been harsh and has broken some things down like the hinges and roof.

As for the fencing at the back, we are adding a three board horse fence which will be wrapped in wire mesh fencing to protect the chicken if we need to keep them fenced in for a few days. That is a project we will be working on this fall. We keep this fenced section and use it for two reasons. First, it’s used to house the young birds until they are big enough. The older chickens can be let out from the front doors and the back doors open into the fenced areas for the younger birds. If we get a fox that comes around for a meal we will lock all the birds up in the back fenced area to protect them. We lock the chickens in that fenced area for a few days until the fox moves on to easier pray.

We bought a bunch of onion starters this year and planted them. We have both Red onions and white onions. They are getting close to being harvested for the year.

Zucchini. This photo was taken a few weeks ago so we are getting zucchini now. We also have patty pan squash (one of my favorites and they are so cute) yellow squash, butternut squash, and spaghetti squash.

We have green peppers, red peppers, yellow peppers, mild chili peppers, and jalapenos growing in the garden.

We have mix greens, arugula, butter lettuce and spinach.

Tomatoes of course. Roma, plum, cherry, big boys etc.

We also have an herb garden and have brussels sprouts, radishes, melons, watermelons, corn, strawberries, beans and sweet potatoes.

What’s in your garden?

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Stair project

Today we’ll put the finishing touches on the woodwork of our main stairway. We’ve been going around doing wainscoting in the formal living room, office and foyer, now we’re moving up the stairs. We’ve been stalled for a few weeks and today we’re resolved to finish putting the boards on the walls. When this is done we’ll caulk and paint.

Let me begin by showing the “before” pictures. Originally the stairs were all oak stained with a flowery runner coming down. The banisters were the same stained color.

Here is how it looks this morning.

We’ve painted the banisters (one coat so far) and stained the steps a darker cherry color. Eventually we’re going to paint the risers white. Today the project will be to finish the molding on the wall and if that is done quickly we may do some painting.


Progress has been made. Here’s where we are now.

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Asbury Farms Nursery

We started a small tree nursery back in the spring of 2018 with seedlings ordered from the  Department of Forestry. Sixty dollars bought ten sycamores, ten bald cypresses and ten Virginia pines. In hindsight I should have gotten some other riparian species like willow or pin oaks instead of the Virginia pine (also called scrub pine), but I really love the scraggly VA natives.

In two days they were delivered in a long narrow cardboard box. They weren’t very impressive, just little sticks wrapped together in plastic with a bit of roots. They didn’t look like much but they’re a good start.

We fenced off a ten by thirty five foot section of our field, picking an spot out in the  marshy area where it seldom dries out, and planted them all. Now we have three rows with each tree three feet from its neighbor.

Here is the initial stage. Not much to show but nice clean fencing. If you look close  you can see the thin little trunks.

In July we weeded and mulched. Not much difference of course but it’s coming along well.

Looks like all but one are going to make it. I’ll post more pictures when there is something to show.

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Candied Jalapenos

We have lots of jalapenos this year. We’ve made a bunch of different recipes but now we have more than we can eat so I’m going to try a new recipe. I’ll be following these guidelines from the web;


  • 3lbs jalapeno peppers.
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 6 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 3 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Results to come….

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March Food and Garden Plans

It’s a bit later in the month than I had planned to post a monthly grocery shopping plan, but here we go.

This is my view from my front door.

We have been hit with snow again and all the wonderful thoughts of a Spring garden picking lettuce leaves, spinach and fresh herbs went out the window.  While I am thankful for the beautiful Winter season, at this point in Winter I am ready for Spring.  But all that will have to wait a few more months as Mother Natures is in control.

So what do I do now?

I looked in my freezer and can see the end of my meat supply.  We buy grass fed beef each year from a friend that’s raises the beef cows on his farm not to far from us.  Each year we decide on how much of a cow we should buy bases on our money situation.  The cow purchase can ranging from 1/4 cow – whole cow.  Last year we got only a 1/2 cow, which will last about 6 – 9 months.  I will need to start supplementing by buying more at the store until we get our next cow. Our hopes are that we will be able to purchase a whole cow later this year, which should last a full year.  We also have Chicken, Turkey’s and Sheep on our farm.  This let’s us have fresh organic eggs for breakfast every morning.  We do sell eggs to friends so the cost to keep our chickens is FREE:)

I have looked in my pantry and food storage and found a few things left over from last years garden: sweet potato’s, butternut squash, dehydrated squash and dehydrated red and regular cabbage. Of course I have more in my pantry, but that’s just the last of my harvest from last Fall.

Yellow squash, Zucchini, String beans, Patty Pan squash, Strawberries & Jalapeno

We are limited on income this month due to medical expenses, so we will make do with what we have on hand and fill in when I need too.  I do try to buy mostly organic and eat mostly whole foods.

My budget this month is $100.  I have a family of 6 (4 men, 2 women).

Items on my list:
Roaster Chicken
Tortilla Chips

All of these will most likely be purchased at Costco, except for the apples.  The apples at Costco are huge.  I can cut them down to give the kids half, but it’s easier to get a smaller bag at the regular store.

Happy March shopping!

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Sweet Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is always a happy day for me and not because I expect expensive things or get them. I love that this Holiday is close to the start of Spring, full of color, flowers, affection and others.  To me Valentine’s Day starts me thinking of my garden, the wonderful smells of the Spring winds, new life on the farm and happiness all around.  But each year this day also follows one of the most expensive Holiday’s of the year, Christmas.
I always try to make Valentine’s day a simple Holiday of true love and joy.  If you are paying off your credit cards from Christmas, trying to stick to a budget, doing a no spend month, saving for an emergency, you can still make this Holiday a wonderful, meaningful day for you and your family.
I started out looking around my house for items I have to be able to make some homemade cards.
Use online printable’s, hand typed notes, inspirational quotes, etc.
I then took the card, placed them in envelopes, added a ribbon, and hung them on the window frame by a string.
Each envelope was labeled with the persons name.
I set the table with red linen napkins that I got on sale 6 months ago, 10 for $5.  I pick up linen napkins whenever I can find them on sale,  for two reasons:
1. They look nice on the table.
2. You can reuse then, thus saving money in the end.
Stick with linen napkins in solid colors as well as white dishes.  They can be used for lots of Holidays or special occasions.
I set the table with candles and nice place settings.  I looked through the cupboard and found that I had ingredients for lasagna and salad.  For dessert I found one box of white chocolate pudding and added whipped cream and some red sprinkles left over from Christmas cookie decorating.  Hope you had a great day.
Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Balsamic Dressing

The butternut squash came from my garden.

Today I have decided to post a recipe. This is one of my family favorites. It’s easy to make and only takes a few minutes. I love to make my own dressing because it’s healthier, cost less and I know what exactly goes into it, no preservatives are allowed.

Balsamic Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup (2 oz.) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

    Whisk all ingredients together. Shake or stir before pouring.

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