Caleb Mayfield

pollinator
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since Dec 15, 2016
Caleb likes ...
hunting rocket stoves solar trees ungarbage wood heat
Western central Illinois, Zone 6a
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Recent posts by Caleb Mayfield

I'm on the other side of the state from you, so just bumping your post and wishing you the best in your search.
2 weeks ago
That is really incredible Thomas. Thank you for sharing!
2 weeks ago
art
My vote is to clean up Windows via one of the previous suggestions, then dual boot install Ubuntu and setup a second hard drive for your data files. That's what I went to a few years ago and it's soooo nice.
3 weeks ago
Lots of interesting points being made. I'm going to try and focus my thoughts on the title of this thread. I live in a farming community. Generally speaking we don't see instances of shaming or what I would call activism. I think that a large part of what we see today is a result of humanity getting away from raising your own food. To truly know and understand something is to have done it yourself, and even then it's not guaranteed. I can study and research a topic my entire life, but until I have done it myself I won't fully know it. A bit of Schrodinger's Cat if you will. In the past, even if you didn't raise your own chickens or whatever you ate, you knew who did and you knew how it was done much more so than today. There is a comment from a newspaper that I've seen circulated as being humorous about someone saying "hunters need to stop killing these innocent animals and go buy meat at the stores where it's made." The reality of that is many people believe that is how things work. They do not understand where that meat actually comes from and what it takes to produces it.

One of the reasons for moving back to the family farm is that I want my children to know, to truly understand where their food comes from and what it takes to produce it.
We raise meat birds and have a small flock of egg layers. When it came time to butcher the first rounds of birds my children, 4 and 7 at that point, watched and participated in the process. We discussed it and I did my best to help them understand that we are taking a life so that ours might continue, and that in doing so it was our obligation to be as compassionate in the process as possible. Killing of anything should never be taken lightly.

We are all working our way down a path. Some are simply further along than others. Sadly there will be those who just go to the store and buy meat where it's made that will never get any further down that path. Those who are further along just need to remember to have patience and show kindness.
3 weeks ago

elle sagenev wrote:Thanks all! We had tried to get some experienced hunters to help teach us this first time around but couldn't find any. I also find that pretty much no one kills their own animals, other than poultry. Everything goes to the butcher. So it was just Youtube and trial by fire!



Sounds like you did quite well considering. Great job! And I would be fine eating the pork were it me. My wife and I have been discussing it and we are probably going to give pigs a try next year. I'm doing over 100 meat birds this year, so I'm going to get that sorted out first.
3 weeks ago
We had the tree service come through clearing power lines in our area this fall and I got loads of wood chips from them. I used the bucket on the tractor to dump piles across one section of my garden that I am going to try the wood chip weed control method on. Rather than using a fork or rake to spread out the pile I've been sprinkling scratch grains on them and my free range flock has almost evened out the whole garden.

Another plot that we have had trouble getting the grass under control on is going to be occupied by 30 birds in about 6-8 weeks. I ordered a "Frypan Special" from Purely Poultry and I am going to try fencing them in on that plot to have them scratch it clean of vegetation and fertilize it for corn planting. Last fall I ran 30 Cornish Cross in a tractor over my yard. I'm really looking forward to seeing what it looks like this spring when it starts growing.
1 month ago
My family has always processed our own, and my dad has always said that it makes a difference. A lot of factors come into play on why venison may taste "Gamey", and one is diet. I'll be honest, I cringe whenever someone explains this elaborate marinade or cooking process that I can't help but think just ruins the natural flavors of venison. Then I remind myself that they most likely don't have venison raised on the same diet and may not have had any control over the harvest and preparation of the venison. That makes a big difference in taste.

This year I had a large doe gifted to me. The harvest and field dressing were not optimal, but they did a fair job. It did have an effect on the flavor. I also butchered this one completely by myself this year. A first.
I cut the neck into two pieces and those make wonderful soup stock. Slow cook them till the meat falls of the bones and the tendons and bones can be easily sorted out and discarded after cooking. The shredded meat makes for great shredded taco meat or back in the stock for soup base.
Shoulders/front legs were separated at the joints and are roasts. Salt and pepper, celery, carrots, onions, and some bay leaf. Add potatoes towards the end. I left them bone-in this year to maximize efficiency. In years past we have boned them out and used it for burger or rolled roasts.

Hind quarters were separated out by muscle and slide into steaks. This can also be ground to burger, or used as roasts.
Backstraps are sliced a thumb thick and fried in clarified butter with salt and pepper. Once cooked Med-rare, gravy is made along with mashed potatoes. Steamed broccoli or asparagus round out this dish. Oh and if morels are in season, making morel gravy puts it over the top.

The tenderloins are typically soaked in mild salt water to loosen anything dried on and then trimmed. I like to leave them whole, salt(coarse kosher) and pepper them and then fry it whole in clarified butter with a sprig of crushed thyme and/or rosemary. Rest for a few minutes then slice on a slight diagonal.

That's how I like to do it. An in-law of mine puts everything into ground meat because that is how they get the most out of the meat.
1 month ago

Gerry Parent wrote:If function over fashion is the main concern and its sitting in your basement away from visual, then why couldn't a person just put rigid foam on the outside to super insulate it?



Gerry, I wondered this as well. I did some research a while back and it turns out chest freezers "hot" coils are on the outside of the insulation against the typically metal skin in order to shed heat. You would need to dismantle the freezer, pull the hot coils away, add insulation, and then reassemble.

Something I have not entirely talked myself out of yet. I have this idea in the back of my head kicking around to try and get an older freezer and do just that, only swapping out the compressor for a DC one that is rated for the voltage of my solar setup. Then I would have it recharged and be good to go. Probably a lot more effort than it's worth in the long run.

1 month ago

Eric Hanson wrote:
This issue is not unique to Illinois.  I am certain something similar happens in New York State where NYC and upstate NY have a similar issue.  Surely there are numerous other examples.



Having grown up in western Illinois and lived in other large metropolitan areas at various times I've come to conclusion that once a certain population density is reached it needs to become something else. I have not fleshed out how that would exactly work out, but I think regions like Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, etc. have reached a point where they are very disconnected from the rest of their state and yet hold so much sway over how the politics/laws in the rest of the state, and need to be separated in some manner so as to not utterly consume the resources of the rest of the state.
1 month ago