Sawmill Structure, Kombucha, Purple Hull Peas, & Weeds we feed the Pigs

Welcome to the Farm Update Section where we share the pictures and videos discussed on the Sow Edible Podcast.  This weeks update is from Episode #4, where we began the work on the new sawmill structure, brewing Kombucha, growing and harvesting Purple Hull Peas, and the weeds we feed our pigs.

The Sawmill Structure is up!  We decided that rather than building an enclosed structure for the sawmill, what we really needed was simply a cement pad for the sawmill to sit on and a roof for shade and protection from the rain.  Since we use metal roofs on all our structures on the farm, it was actually more budget friendly to purchase a car port awning rather than build our own.  The bonus of this was we also saved time by having free installation of the awning.  Nice!  We set up the sawmill and ran several logs thru in order to get an idea of how much working space we would need in order to work comfortably with these huge logs.  This was a lot of work because the sawmill is heavy and has lots of pieces to assemble/disassemble but definitely worth the effort for the long run.  Another thing we did was instead of filling the entire overhang area with a concrete pad, we decided that we really only needed the area that the sawmill sat on to have concrete, along with enough walking space to operate it.  This was not only extremely budget friendly, but also allowed us to pour the concrete for the solar kiln.  So it was a win-win in my book.  Here is what we have so far.

 sawmill_prepcement2 sawmill_cementprep
solarkilnconcrete Sawmillconcretepour
sawmillpreparetomount settingupsawmill

Brewing Kombucha

On a quest to boost our Immune System for the winter, we are starting to try a variety of fermented food.  The first on our list is this probiotic powerhouse; Kombucha Tea.  We just got our Scoby (aka “the Mother”) which is that jellyfish looking thing floating at the top of the jar.  We are excited to try this out and please say a prayer that I can convince my children to drink it! 🙂  I’ll let you know how that goes.

brewingkombucha  kombuchascoby

Purple Hull Peas

We planted this as a nitrogen fixing ground cover because not only is it suppose to grow fast and furious in our climate, but it is also an edible that both humans and pigs love.  The beans are ready for harvest and we have been picking away.  The beans and the peas inside the pod are both edible and we read where people loved them for the peas.  I can tell you that while the peas taste good, they take FOREVER to hull by hand.  Mom and I only got a small bowl full after an hour or picking.  Which is not enough to fill my 2 year old during a meal.  So, learn from our experience and instead go for the tender young green beans.  You have to pick them early before they begin to form the peas and before they turn purple.  The young green beans are delicious and not stringy.  If you wait past this point they become way too stringy to enjoy.  So our plan in the future is to plant for ground cover, harvest the young green beans, and throw some to the pigs for treats.  We will also be planting this inside the pig paddocks.


Morning Glory

Everything has a purpose- it is just a matter of figuring out what it can be used for.  Once again I am amazed at how much I don’t know.  The Morning Glory is a perfect example of this.  They are common weeds in our area, in fact they grow everywhere.  They have really pretty flowers and make great Chop and Drop.  As an added bonus, the pigs eat them like candy!   The picture below shows you one of our pig paddocks that we have planted with corn, purple hull peas, and then let the “weeds” take over.  When we move the pigs into it, they will have a smorgasbord!

 morninggloryweed  groundcoveredibles

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  1. You guys are doing a great job. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Indeed great job ! I’m listen every morning In my car to your podcast. Really awesome content, keep up the good job.

  3. Just found your site and podcasts and I’m really enjoying it.
    I was wondering which sawmill you have. I’m getting a Woodmizer LT 15 soon and had been wondering weather I would need a concrete pad like you did. I think this podcast convinced me that I might want to go that route.

    • Glad you are enjoying the podcasts and site! We went with the Woodland Mills Sawmill and have been very happy with it. A concrete pad is certainly not a necesity but in the long run it makes life easier. If you don’t have a pad the vibration of the saw will makes the timbers sitting under it on the ground settle over time. It is also a way to make the sawmill somewhat harder to steal if it is bolted to the concrete. Good luck with the new sawmill, you’ll have to let us know how you like it once you start sawing.

  4. Just wanted to let you guys know that you enlightened me to the ways of Kombucha. While listening to this podcast about the fermented tea, I thought it sounded absolutely disgusting. But the more I read about it, the more I wanted to give it a try. I bought some raw kombucha at the health food store and am now hooked. I’ve currently got 2 large jars going to grow my SCOBY’s. 🙂 Thanks!



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