Welcome to Holiday Farms RR,

We are a large family with lots of friends who value being together to learn as we experience the beautiful outdoors and all that nature gives us right at home!
Through this blog we hope to encourage all who love the world around us to experience new ways to sustain a fun and productive outdoor lifestyle in your own backyard.
We have a dedicated staff of capable/ no genius contributors with a smile always on their face.

Steve M, Chief Organic Officer
June 2012

Sunday, August 26, 2012


The maximum intake of sodium recommended per day is 2,300 mg. The average American consumes around 3,400 mg a day. The problem with this is that too much sodium raises your blood pressure, which can cause heart diseases and strokes. In women the excess amount puts them at a higher risk for osteoporosis as well. Sodium is completely necessary in our diets however. It helps our body maintain the water balance in cells as well as helping the nerve impulses and muscles function.

The main reason our sodium intake is so high is because of the more and more processed foods we eat. Salt is naturally occurring in many foods though. Tomatoes can have up to 14 mg of sodium while corn contains just 1 mg. A serving of seven cucumbers has about 2 mg and when you compare that to a dill pickle, which can have about 928 mg a serving, you can see how much healthier fresh vegetables can be. Due to the fact that canned food has a ton of sodium, one suggestion is to rinse the food before you eat it to remove some of the salt.

Eight ounces of tap water even contains around 12 mg of sodium. Some tap water can even have concentrations up to 50 mg according to the FDA. Of course, the main ingredient you want to watch out for is salt. A quarter teaspoon of salt contains 500 mg of sodium. This obviously means that using just one teaspoon on any meal can put you close to the limit without taking into account the sodium already in your food.

It is always good to be wary of what is in your food already before you add more to it. Yes, salt tastes good, but is it good enough to risk your health.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


The majority of my time at canning camp was taken up by making teas. About six of us sat around the dining room table and took the lavender, chamomile, st. john's wart, cat nip, and yarrow that had been drying for a couple weeks off of their stems. We put them into separate jars and now we have some dried herbs for tea and dried lavender for sachets. The chamomile was the most interesting to me because all you have to do is pinch the little flower and it all falls apart. It was a little difficult though because they were so delicate. A lot of them had already fallen apart just while they were drying in the box.

The room was such a potpourri of smells, though I'm sure the lavender had an effect on all of us considering we all looked like we could fall asleep at a moments notice . However for me the onions being cut in the other room affected me a little more. I did not think my eyes could ever sting that much it felt like some kind of chemical had gotten into my eye. I took a break after that and watched a little of the olympics with my brother and cousin. As far as I know no one has actually tried any tea yet, but the lavender sure smells amazing.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Canning Chow Chow

Last weekend was very interesting here at Holiday Farms. It was our first attempt at canning vegetables and making teas. We were all prepared the week before, mostly. That is until we realized we didn't have enough hot peppers for the Chow Chow. For those of you who have no idea what Chow Chow is, that's completely understandable. It is a type of relish made of green tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, cabbage, and cauliflower. I still have yet to try it, mostly because I'm not a fan of the peppers.

The day started with family and friends chopping and dropping vegetables into a huge white bucket. After chopping the vegetables they were sprinkled with salt and covered for four hours. After which, the vegetables were combined with a pickling solution. After bringing it to a boil the Chow Chow was placed in sterilized jars and put in a boiling water bath for fifteen minutes. They were removed and displayed proudly on the kitchen table as everyone remarked on how colorful they were with the green tomatoes and the red, orange and yellow peppers.