Life is One Great Big Exciting Challenge

The September Home Grown Challenge.   Yes, I am still eating off the farm and have decided that when I do this for a year (feed myself only from my own farm) it will be BOREDOM that gets to me in the end.  I do have food, but it is the same food over and over again (except I have run out of potatoes and onions). Hilarious really. Tasty. But I am longing for strong cheeses and salami and fish, etc


Then there is The  Food Photography challenge to improve my food images. Yesterday I was working on Depth of Field so  more of the image is in focus.  But  not much to show for my efforts yet.  Though I do feel a style developing, simmering.


This is my only food shot from yesterday.  I am making yoghurt so that I can use it to start  a farmers cheese tomorrow.  Then I am going to make a pizza so I can take a photo of it!

Do you want to make a pizza too? On Friday?  We could have a pizza date and take photos of our pizzas and link them up for Saturday morning.  Pity we can’t have a taste test. I don’t know about beetroot on a pizza  though! Could be interesting. I will start a fresh pizza sauce today.

sept-061And then of course there is the challenge of the daily chores. I am training the piglets who are no longer  piglets to graze in a new field. I only let them out when it is almost feed time, so they go out and forage for greens as fast as they can with one eye on my movements over in my feed corner. This way they will not get into the habit of going under theses fences and causing trouble.


In the Comments Lounge of yesterday’s post are some new food photography links plus a few good technical tips from our Mentors.  And one comment that is very important is from Roger. He said that the camera does not matter, it is all about the seeing.  He is right too. I have seen some fantastic shots taken with a phone. Though not mine, as I have yet to work out how take photos with my phone.


A related post.  This post I wrote a few years ago on how to take good shots with an ordinary camera. There are a few nice shots from Route 66 if you feel like a wee look.  

Which leads me to picmonkey recommended by Barbara yesterday. I went to have a look and it is great for simple post production. I am looking forward to playing with their gallery feature.

And what were we doing on the farm a year ago today?  Our first frost.  No sign of that this week though. Nice.

Good morning. I hope you all have a lovely day.

your friend on the farm, celi


99 Comments on “Life is One Great Big Exciting Challenge

  1. My challenged friend: I always love your photographs, no need to change! I know what you mean about needing variety in meals. Could you go fishing somewhere? Stock the pool, so that it was on the farm?

    Keep cheerful, it’s a tonic for me to read your posts every day.

    • It is great, such a good learning experience, and only a few days to go now, then off shopping i will go!! morning Viv. c

      • Do you have any ground beef left? I could send you my salami recipe..the one I forgot to have you taste pear picking day! I will send it anyhow…it tastes great and is so very easy to make!

        • no ground beef left, no beef left at all actually, however won’t’ be long before the freezer is replenished.. will definitely be wanting that recipe though!! c

  2. Keep at it Ms. C! And perhaps think about what you can do with pork the next time you have so many piglets? (I like it at the top of the food chain, as you know). Back for a quick visit…back to school is eeping me away from my blog, yours, and everyone elses’s!

  3. Wow you posted very early this morning. I came to look at yesterdays post and here you are already with todays. Your piglets are looking lovely, very good idea to use food to keep them close, they learn so quickly too. The vet comes tomorrow to “do” my boys, seven out of eight are boys. They are growing so quickly. When I made the arrangement with the vet 2 weeks ago he asked if I could hold them whilst he did it. I said yes cos I could then but two weeks later and they have so much more growth I am not so sure now. We will see. It is a big week for them, 1st they lose their mum, now this, I think I will wait til next week before I start the electric fence training!
    Nice pic of the very clean pot, I am thinking that as your photography skills improve your dish washing skills need to keep pace, no place to hide smudge marks now.

    • I have a friend who sits the piglets in the top of a shopping trolley, though yours will be a bit bigger! Hilarious about the smudges. Mad told me the same thing yesterday but it was just luck this one was somewhat shiny, most of my pots are so old they have permanent marks! c

  4. I think you could make a lovely beetroot pizza: skip the tomato sauce and use beets and beet greens and a soft cheese, maybe a grind of black pepper. The local pizzeria makes pizza with cabbage, bleu cheese and walnuts in the winter.

    • That sounds wonderful, I even thought of using the chutney instead of a sauce, we have to stay within the bounds of the September Challenge though! c

  5. A lack of variety turns home grown into home groan? 🙂
    Great additions to a home garden here are cherry tomatoes, avocados and gem squashes.

    • Avocados! (sigh).. i wish i could grow them. When I see them in the stores here they have traveled thousands of miles already.. What are gen squashes. I shall look them up.. c

  6. I’ve had beetroot on pizza! No sauce, add some greens ( I think I had arugula), and the cheese you’re going to make. The one I tried had walnuts on it, and a drizzle of honey as well. I suppose the walnuts don’t fit in to the challenge though.

  7. I find it interesting that you feed so many eggs to the porkers… do you pickle eggs?? These were one of my favourite foods when I was a bachelor, you always had some on hand to add to a salad be it a green salad or potato salad, for that matter mashed on toast did make for a tasty breakfast… I just found them delicious as a snack when I had a beer… out the jar and into the mouth… keeping to the farmy food can be monotonous and these eggs could even make a tasty change… hell for that matter one could use them on a pizza… (Damn now I’m hungry) .. pickled eggs was one of the foods that I made myself when in the outback for an extended length of time. I just found them so useful in all dishes and certainly made a nice change…
    Have you not thought of a small fish farm tank, where you could harvest for yourself?? On our farm we had a small dam that was used mainly for irrigation but it did have bass breeding in it, it was a source of enjoyment for Linda when she felt like a fish dish… (I’m not a fish eater) but so many of my friends have fish tanks with water circulating in which they breed their own fish for the plate… bass, trout etc… sure you would find something ideal for your circumstances on the web…

    • The eggs are the pigs main source of protein, this is why i have so many chickens, however I would like to pickle eggs, John would love them, can you remember your recipe? c

    • Eggs! Sausages! Liverwurst! Pork Roast with homemade applesauce! Brats in Sauerkraut! Pork chops with Cherry, Habenero sauce! Frittatas!!! Peppers and sausage sandwiches!!! Homemade buns!!! With butter and honey!!! Oh I can think of a kazzillion things to make to keep the ho hum out! Homemade sloppy joes on homemade hamburger buns! Roast beef and yorkshire pudding with a delicious au jus!!! Stuffed pork chops with your own seasoning from the herb garden!!! Flavored butters with chives or honey! I make a delicious cilantro butter! I love pickled eggs and deviled eggs! BLTs with your own bacon and cheese! Yum!!! Are you allowed salt and pepper? Sugar? We have sugar made out of sugar beets out here! We also grow mustard! Homemade baked beans with some of that delicious pork!!! Your own lard!!! No better pie crust than made with lard! Mmmm….I think that you may feel a little melancholy due to the change of sunshine…I love the fall…but I am a little mushkada when I wake in the morning. Used to getting up with the sun. Hang in there! I am really enjoying your photos and posts!!! I think you are amazing!!! 😀 We have stocked our freezers with pan fish! Delicious! Nothing more relaxing than fishing! Until you get home and have to clean them all!!! LOL

      • and after that I’m as hungry as can be… and I’m not even sure what we’re having for dinner…
        Spent six and a half months in the bush feeding myself without a fridge at hand.. so all the food was out of tins… man If I could only remember what I could do with tinned sausages, corn beef and such like… never had a boring meal… made my own bread daily, buns and even baked a cake in a three legged pot… made a stuff up of the icing but who cared it was sweet and full of sugar and covered the cake…

        • Lovely, I am pickling eggs today Bulldog and Mere you are so enthusiastic which is wonderful, and you have such a range of foods, but i am cooking without any of that meat, we have a little lamb.. that is ALL … until the freezers are filled. Once all the summer produce is in then we will have tons of choice. The exercise is more to live on simple fare really.. and to plan better for next year.. c

        • Now that is an adventure! Mmmmm…I’ll bet that cake tasted better than any other! 🙂

  8. How cool Celi! I’m at the airport on my way to Paris 🙂 so I will be missing pizza Friday 😦 . But I will take a look an a lot of notes about food photography. My daughter Pilar took her camera with her to the USA and now I only have this tiny camera for my blog, better know how to make better pictures with it.
    Have a lovely day

  9. Noooo, not Fish please …. Fish and spuds and bread are just about all that’s left on my menu 🙂 I stopped eating chicken and eggs years ago when I had some Silky Bantams. I can’t bring myself to read Farmy posts and eat the produce 😦 Hope you have a lovely weekend. Laura

    • I need to grow more potatoes that is for sure. Fish i cannot grow, though I probably could go fishing.. but the water ways are awash with chemicals around here, nothing like a good feed of fish and chips by the sea. I would find it hard to give up eggs, I eat them every day..thank goodness you haven’t decided to give up bread! I am glad your internet woes are over!! c

    • Oops, we have a long weekend here, today being a holiday too – in weekend mode here hence the silly last line. Laura

  10. I understand the word ‘boredom’ with food.

    Since I’ve been living on a frugal pension, I can’t afford all my favourite foods or the myriad of ‘extras’ that are involved in cooking an interesting & tasty meal, so I end up steaming 4 veg and cooking some meat or fish in a non-stick pan (or poaching fish in lemon juice & a drizzle of olive oil in the oven) which is getting boring.

    I recently made some of my favourite old Indian curries, but each recipe required going out to buy ‘extras’.

    I guess the secret is to always have a good variety of spices in the cupboard & fresh herbs in the garden.

    • I have been drying herbs lately too, which is useful for the winter, but spices are very expensive and the ground ones lose their zing so quickly.. c

      • I keep my spices in dark jars in a dark cupboard so the daylight doesn’t reach them, C.

        I also dry roast the individual spices to make up an Indian curry, so my curries taste pretty good.

        I have tried freezing herbs, but when thawed they’re not so good. I’ve only really dried rosemary and some lime/lemon geranium for herbal teas. My lime geranium has been growing like wildfire this year, so hopefully I can go out and gather some leaves fresh all year round…….Vicki

        • Yep! Mine in dark jars too! I don’t like my herbs frozen. Can’t live without rosemary, sage and thyme!!! I make my own poutry blend! Can’t live without cilantro, parsley, chives, and French Tarragon either for that matter! LOL

      • I’ll bet Chicago John knows some place to get spices in bulk — they are cheaper that way. You can grate whole nutmegs, and buy cinnamon sticks and cloves and grind them in a coffee grinder. Similarly, cumin seeds. Fresh ginger keeps well in the freezer. If you store spices in tightly closed containers away from light they’ll keep better and when they begin to lose flavor you can bring some back by toasting them. Kingsolver allowed herself spices in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle…

  11. Lake fishing out here! I make my own relish and mayo. Together they make a great tartar sauce!!! My favorite frittata is with sliced browned potatoes, onions, garlic, sliced tomatoes on top and then melted cheese! I use a dinner plate to flip mine! Some chives too!!! Really pretty! Sometimes I add some crumbled homemade sausage! I am going to try making homemade hotdogs this winter when I have more time! Hope we get our deer this fall!!! Summer sausage! Delicious!

  12. Hi Celi
    I’m loving all your interesting info on photography…I plan to buy my first camera next month (I did have a little Brownie camera as a child but none since then)….my life was so busy these last 30+ years I had little time for picture taking but now I’m retired so am eager to give it a try again! All this discussion got me thinking about “the daily view” that you used to always post…..I miss it. Could you post a “daily view” pic soon ? I’d love to see how all the lovely new trees have grown.
    It is definitely autumn here…have to wear my warm uggs these mornings and my trusty, wool shawl…my favorite time of year tho so have a lovely refreshing day!

      • nancy I sure will .. i will take a pic of those trees right now, and it is almost the one year anniversary of the daily shot, gosh i go so busy it quite fell by the wayside.. thank you for the reminder.. a wool shawl sounds like an excellent idea.. c

  13. I will share my salsa recipe if you like! It is a keeper!!! 😀 Canned 60 pints!
    Salsa is terrific on eggs!!! Along with some homefries!! Still have to dig my pototoes. Been digging one hill at a time and using them. Planted organic Elbas from Wood Prairie Farms in Maine! Excellent potato seed company! This variety has an excellent amount of protein! Really nice potatoes. (((Celi))) Feel the hugs? I love your photos!!! They are wonderful!

  14. Pizza Friday sounds great Celi, we’re going to the cottage but it’ll be fun baking it on the BBQ! I think I even have one of my NAAN doughs in the freezer so it’ll be perfect. Not sure if I’ll have a chance to blog about it.
    That copper pot is absolutely fabulous! Several years ago we changed out all of our pots to the enamel cast iron, I would have loved to have copper but it was just too many pennies for us at the time. Now, I’m kinda glad because cooking with enamel cast is a workout in itself!

  15. Yes, pizza Friday…brilliant! Homemade pizza is one of my most favorite foods! Do you make pickles at all C.? If you do, when the pickles are gone…pop a few hard boiled eggs in the jar and let sit in the fridge for awhile! Dave says they’re great! 🙂
    Your photos of Route 66 are fabulous C.! I love the one of the donkey and the young woman…is that your daughter? I would say, you don’t need to fine tune anything…you take beautiful photos now but I know how you love a challenge and are always looking for ways to improve on things!
    I cannot believe how big those piglets are already…it’s all that lovely, homegrown farmy food they get!!

      • I know…three of my daughters have tatoos! One daughter and I say noooooo….needles? Noooooo!!! LOL I wish they didn’t have them, but they are adults and married. I wonder what they will say when they had daughters? Yikes! LOL

  16. I have admired your September challenge, but admit I’m looking forward to what you’ll bring home from the store on the next grocery run and I must say your food photos always look wonderful to me. You have made me hungry for pizza, though. I will have to take a look at what we have on hand and see what I can come up with. Lately we’ve been doing them on the charcoal grill, and they’re not always pretty, but they are tasty, no matter what toppings we’ve used. 🙂

  17. I will try to do a pizza Friday with you! Saturday is Greg’s birthday so we may be having pizza then instead…. Pizza two days in a row…? We’ll see. My tomatoes are blush red on yellow and so make a very creepy looking tomato sauce!

    • Do it on Saturday then , there are no rules!! You don’t want pizza twice in a row! I tried to make a relish with those yellowy tomatoes once and it looked dreadful.. tasty though! c

  18. Lots of garlic and herbs can work magic with most things, however seemingly dull! I have a pile of garlic drying out in a makeshift sunhouse down on my allotment. It should last my family the winter, keep away the germs, but hopefully not keep away my friends!

    Like you, I’ve just run out of potatoes and onions D: We’ve loads of spinach, tomatoes, sweet red peppers, and chillies just now, although I’m still a bit reticent about testing out just how hot those chillies are. They are very bright red, which means they might make anyone who dares eat them bright red, as well.

    • Those hot peppers really boost the chicken soup during cold and flu season! Warms you right up!

  19. uh, we are learning how to make cheese right now and i would be very interested in knowing how you make your yoghurt and cheese. i promise to post soon how we do it.

  20. Ha…I take it she did not consult you first on the tattoo…you have to admit, it’s quite colorful! 🙂 Yes, try the egg in the pickle juice and see how you like it! I make refrigerator processing and they are wonderful…with quite a kick from the jalapenos, garlic and tiny red peppers we add! 🙂

  21. Oh what beautiful beets and the greens! I love cooked beet greens. Cook them like you would any other green – they don’t take as long as mustard or collard greens however. Or roasted greens in the oven with salt and oil. yum.

  22. I love the photo of your pot! Matter of fact, I thought it was copper too & the color with the reflections is outstanding.
    Pizza Friday sounds like fun – it’s a date.

  23. Golly gosh, one does receive a lot of good ideas coming in so late 🙂 ! Don’t know whether dry herbs and spices allowed and how much you keep, but those could transport your meals from country to country and make them less ‘same, same’! And could not believe how many eggs the piggies got either: no wonder they look so great ~ but how many more will be sold and how many are for the freezer when? Daresay the meat chooks have doubled in size also . . .

    • All these will be raised on the farm, though two now belong to two other families.. and the other two are for our families freezers… the meat chooks are also very healthy and hearty, growing like crazy, there are a few pics tomorrow of them but it is hard to see how much they have grown. I need to find an old link for us to see.. c

  24. Did you ever get around to the violets or milkweed? Just curious! I taught Edible Wild Plants to my Pathfinders on Sunday and ate them both (along with several other things).

  25. Thanks for sending me back to the photography tips. I picked up some bits that I missed the first time round, including the bit about your mother being an artist. My mother was too! And so we both grew up learning how to see in imaginative ways. How lucky we were.

  26. Those are words for success “Life is One Great Big Exciting Challenge”… 🙂 It’s a fair bet in our house if it’s Friday it’s pizza. I’ll see how the prep and pics go. I wondered what you did, if anything for fish. As we are this month eating from the pantry/freezer there were tins of tuna and salmon for my lunches, sardines for pizza, and a lucky packet of smoked salmon in the fridge. The farmers markets have great smoked trout, which we eat with fritters and salad, but like you I’m looking forward to the end of September and broadening our food scope. As well, we will be off to our house in the country (near the coast) so the change of scenery will be most welcome as well as a visit to the seafood co-op.
    Quite a few years ago I went on a 6 week meat, eggs, plain yoghurt, select veges (no potatoes or avocado), black/green tea, water anti-candida diet… it was BORDEOM that made me lose so much weight, not the food, I just couldn’t be bothered eating.

  27. Actually, beet root on pizza is delicious! Not a traditional tomato sauce pizza, but I made one in August like this: roasted and peeled the beets, sliced them thin. Topped the crust with those, some of the chopped beet greens, and a balsamic glaze. Well, then there were also walnuts and a blue cheese crumble, and I’m not sure that fits with your “eat from the farm” philosophy, but you maybe can improvise with something else. Yum!

    Also: just caught up on yesterday’s post. Thank you for the photography tips and inspiration! My food photos are amateur and icky; now I’m determined I can improve.

  28. I always so enjoy your photos. You capture the mood and personality of all the Farmy’s inhabitant very well. You give them a voice with your photos.

    • I agree!!! I have tons of photos of our place and everything on it…friends and family love them! I love all the photos Ceci!!! 😀

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