We had mistakenly thought that late Fall and Winter would slow our work down, hospital but instead we have just shifted over to the other fires that were burning in the background. But as my best friend says, “The list is just that long. Take a break because you will NEVER finish it.” So here I am taking my break to update our long neglected blog.

Our biggest project? The Barn. Ever since our hoop storage shelter blew up, we’ve had just random piles of our stuff strewn about covered in tarps, a shifty proposition at best in a place that gets pretty severe winds. Every time we get a wind storm, I am chewing my nails thinking about what is going to blow away. I will be very happy to get the barn done! We still need to finish the siding, install doors and windows, and then finally move all our stuff in.

After we got the roof on the barn, we took a little break to make a wood-fired Rocket Bread Oven. It’s really nice to have an oven again after living without one for 2 years. Then over the New Year’s holiday, we butchered the T-Bones with the help of our friends Jim (who also helped last year) and Joe (our friend from Evergreen Farm). They helped us get the steers processed and cut up in one day, then we made lots of sausage, traditionally fermented and dried, and now have our freezer space that we rent stuffed full for the coming year. Our holidays were pretty good; we stayed at home so it was pretty quiet. We unfortunately could not see the Solstice lunar eclipse as it was cloudy. Now we are working on our seed order for this coming season, and trying to plan out our house design which we will hopefully start this Spring.

Here are some pics of the barn building…enjoy!

6 Replies to “Barn. Barn. Barn.”

  1. What sort of dried fermented sausage did you make? What did you use in it? Did you use any of the fillers like soy protein or powdered milk? I’ve gotten 3 books now that all use this junk! And under what conditions did you dry and ferment them?

    1. Mostly pepperoni, some kielbasa and a freeform seasoning recipe kind of like a summer sausage. We did not use any nitrates or other junk, just meat/fat, salt, sugar, vitamin c powder and seasonings. Roger came up with a spreadsheet calculator that figures out all the proper percentages of things, based on a lot of research that he did about what you need to avoid botulism growth (needs to be acid and/or salty). So his calculator says that for 10 pounds of meat/fat you would need 0.325 pounds of salt, 0.085 pounds of sugar and 0.033 pounds of vitamin C. It tastes really salty until the fermentation kicks in and everything mellows out.

      A good site about sausage making is

  2. Thanks. I have been doing a lot of research and do not have problems w/nitrates or nitrites. They are traditional. In fact, if you look at the history, it was the U.S. government that had all sorts of hearings in the early 70s that really created the scare. Sound a bit like raw milk?

    I have a book by the owners of that website. Titled “The Art of Making Fermented Sausage”. It is more the science than the art, however.

    Did you use any of the starter cultures? I would prefer to avoid those although I do use them in cheesemaking. Eventually, when we get a new (bigger) kitchen built, I’ll get away from the purchased cultures for that too.

    Is the vitamin C powder actually citric acid?

    Please, if you can (I know, you’ve got kids & farming like me) tell me more about your fermenting/drying/aging area.


  3. Vitamin C powder is actually different than citric acid–it’s called ascorbic acid. We prefer to use it over citric acid as it is better against botulism. We didn’t use any starter cultures this year, though last year we used powdered kefir starter. Didn’t seem to make much difference though, as this year’s sausage turned out just fine.

    Our aging area is pretty pathetic. We just put up some boards across the collar ties in our place (think one room cabin) and hung the sausage on some nails on the boards. Then we kept the place pretty cool (around 55-65 degF) until the sausages had fermented and dried sufficiently. Hopefully next year we will have the root cellar for our new house dug out and will be able to use that for aging. I am looking forward to having a cheese aging space.

  4. Thanks for the info. I just ordered some ascorbic acid. I’m pleased to know you did not use starter cultures. I suspect, with high quality meat like that we produce at home, there is abundant lactic bacteria to do the job. The corporations (there are only one or two anymore) making these cultures are in bed w/government & corporate ag so I would rather not deal with them in the long run.

    We too want a cellar when we expand the house. But I’m not sure we’ll get cold enough. Then again, these sausages were made everywhere in the world. So I’m guessing they are a bit more forgiving. I know cheese is.

    How, if at all, did you keep the humidity up? I’ve got a concrete block tower adjacent to the house that I’ve been using for guiancale & pancetta. But it is on the cold side this winter…..40-45 not 50-60.

    Thanks again!

  5. Didn’t bother messing with the humidity…it didn’t seem like they had a problem. It sounds somewhat familiar though that we had to spritz them with water last year.

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