Who We Are

The past few years, the area where I live, Crawford County, Ohio, has seen a wonderful explosion of younger families who are embracing the joys and challenges of living off the land. Because of them, amazing things are happening which have been embraced by our community. Farmer’s markets have been created and on-farm stores have opened. Families dedicated to growing organic produce and naturally raised meats are meeting the public’s needs for locally raised foods. And at the heart of this movement are the women.

Ohio Country Journal is my attempt to share the essence of farm life, focusing on, but not limited to, women. My goal is to bring you into our circle of friendship by inviting you to share your stories and experiences with us. You don’t have to be a full time country woman to benefit from joining us; you just have to be you.

The full-time country women featured in Ohio Country Journal are an inspiration to anyone who dares to follow her dreams, whether it is to live in the country or to bring the country life-style to their urban neighborhoods.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Chick, Chick, Hooray!

This morning's snow was of the cake icing kind; it looked like it had just come from a fondant roller. The winter sun was slung low in the sky, casting long shadows and making sparkles that looked like a pixie had sprinkled her last bit of dust. Our bird feeder area was (and still is) bursting with activity, but I did not see much wildlife when I was out and about.The air was cold and damp...a warm spell is on its way for the weekend. And it is going to be a fantastic weekend here in the country!

Today begins the last leg of a winter break for me. No, I am not a teacher. Our operation is a small tree farm and landscaping business. We also have a small orchard and do snow removal. I have a freelance job of writing stories and taking pictures for our local paper, the Galion Inquirer. As such, since we are not tied down with taking care of animals, I am able to take big breaks when I need them. And after a busy Christmas season of selling trees and making wreaths and other greens, plus family parties and what-not, I claim the first week of January as my own.

This long weekend begins with a trip to Columbus later today to bring our five-years-old granddaughter to spend the weekend with us. I see snow angels in our immediate future.

Because we do not raise meat, we have to buy it. I prefer local sources, of course, and will be telling you about them as the year progresses. But I also cannot pass up a bargain. Today's special at our town's grocery store was chicken leg quarters for 58 cents a pound.

To my dismay, this meant one of those 10 lb. bags of frozen, which I don't consider to be the best meat. But, still, the price was right so I made a plan. I put the whole frozen clump of chicken legs and thighs in the electric roaster. The refrigerator had veggies on the verge of not being good, celery and parsley in particular were going limp and had slimy bits. Those were sorted and cleaned and put in the roaster along with carrots and a few sprigs of Rosemary from my indoor plant. I added lots of water and two spice combos from Penzeys Spices; Mural of Flavor and Bouquet Garni. The roaster is set on 275 to slow cook the meat and broth. Already it is filling this old house with a heavenly aroma.

When done, I'll have homemade chicken broth that is no-sodium and msg free, chicken meat for pot pies, sandwiches and casseroles, and bones for the barn cats to feast on. For $5.80, I'd say its a win/win deal for the immediate economy here on Nazor Rd. :)

Marcheta *granddaughter, check. food, check. fun, check!

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