Making corn tortillas
I would like to grind my own corn for making tortillas. I am familiar with the process, however am having trouble finding a local source for whole, dried corn. I thought I would just be able to purchase it in my local hispanic market. No such luck. I have heard of people using organic feed corn. Is this safe? I know seed corn is not a good idea. I have found a few options on the internet to have it shipped to me, but it is very expensive. Any advice would be appreciated.
Although you can make tortillas from cornmeal, I prefer the traditional recipe, using masa harina (ground hominy or corn flour). This makes a much smoother tortilla that isn’t so gritty and crumbly as those made with cornmeal. Yes, you can grind clean organic whole dry feed corn. Or buy bulk popcorn and grind that. Sam’s Club and other big outlets sell large bags of popcorn very inexpensively. Or if you have the space, why not grow some corn yourself at home and grind that? Even sweet corn, left to mature on the stalk, will make great cornmeal. — Jackie
Dealing with mosquitoes
Living in Minnesota, we have an abundance of mosquitoes! It seems very bad this year and my chickens are being attacked in the evening inside their house. Do you have any suggestions to better control this problem? I have some fly tapes hanging from the ceiling and they are capturing some mosquitoes and I also have a fly trap hanging in there to get the flies. Feel so sorry for the chickens getting ate up.
I’ve never had this problem (yet!), but my friend Lisa, editorial coordinator for the magazine, has used lemon balm effectively for both her chickens and the house. Here are her tips: We have mosquitoes in the summertime where we live and I use crushed lemon balm (stems and leaves), which grows abundantly here. I throw it in the coop, hang it on the porch, in the kitchen window (which doesn’t have a screen), and we put it on the deck railing whenever we want to sit out there. I put out fresh about once a week.
I have grown lemon balm myself to use in cooking and here in Minnesota it grows quickly and very well as an annual. In other climates, it can be a perennial. You might try your local greenhouse and pick up some started plants for a quick fix for your chickens. — Jackie