When we were first married, the farm was 50 acres of open grazing land mixed with woodlands. The driveway was built and we had a 40’ trailer to live in. Our property was the larger half of old farmlands that had been divided in two. We shared in a small herd of cattle ranging over both properties.
It was a very inspiring thing to look at what was essentially a blank canvas. We drew plans of what we might have on the farm. Where the orchard would go, a stable, cross fencing and so on, even where we’d build the house. At that time we didn’t know that farms tend to have plans of their own.
Our first building was for storage, with three stalls for the horses (even though we only had one), an area for hay and a large room that could be heated. This room became the pump house, the electrical shed, the milking parlour, freezer area and storage. The first winter that we had this new space, we bought big burlap sacks of potatoes, carrots and onions. We had beef in the freezer, eggs from our hens, and I thought how fortunate we were to have so much! Later our small orchard would start to give us fruit, and we could add that to our winter larder. Those early winters gave me a real appreciation for eating seasonal foods.
Now we live in our farmhouse, with lots of cross fencing and not too many other buildings. I have plenty of food storage, as we’ve needed to incorporate that into our home. I try not to go across to town too often, and prefer to use foods that last well. We have a large outdoor larder on the north side of the house, which except for in extreme temperatures in the winter & summer, can keep fruits and vegetables very well.
Makes 4 main course salads, or 8 side salads.
1 large yam 1½ – 2#
1 T olive oil
1 T sesame oil
½ t salt
½ c toasted sliced or slivered almonds
Preheat the oven to 375°
Line a baking sheet with parchment
Put the yam pieces into a bowl, and drizzle with the two oils and sprinkle with the cumin seeds and salt.
Bake for 45 minutes, turning the pieces twice during roasting.
Make the dressing before continuing (follows).
Put in a bowl and mix in the cranberries.
Put any remaining dressing in a small bowl or pitcher.
Lay your greens on the plates, top with the yam mixture.
Scatter almonds on top.
Serve with extra dressing on the side.
5 T apple cider vinegar
2 T liquid honey – heat for 10 seconds or so in the microwave to liquefy if needed
½ T Dijon mustard – grainy or smooth, both work well
¾ c canola oil