Pork Sausage Nachos

Using our delicious and healthy pasture pork sausage (Italian or Pork flavor) you can make a quick, simple and delicious gluten-free dinner, even the kids will love.

Ingredientscooking pork sausage - New Belgium Snow Day beer

1 lb of Jackson Station pastured pork – Italian or regular pork flavored sausage will both work

1 Bag of Organic Tortilla Chips – yellow or blue corn are both good!

1/2 lb of shredded cheese

1-3 cloves of garlic

1/4 of a large red onion

1 bell pepper (optional – your choice of color or type)

1 can of Organic black beans

We like to buy natural and organic, and use local ingredients when possible.

Cook the sausage, using a plastic or metal spatula to crumble as it cooks. Add a splash or two of your choice of beer (I like to drink the rest) to the meat once it’s almost finished cooking. If you use beef or pork from the store, you’ll need to strain off the excess liquid and fat after cooking, but using our meat, you’ll find it’s lean as can be and won’t need to strain.

Next sauté chopped fresh onion and garlic. If you have any green or red peppers, add chopped peppers to the recipe also.

Open a can of black beans and dump into a cereal size bowl. Season with Chili powder, garlic powder, Himalayan or Sea Salt and cumin. Mix well.

Line a cookie sheet with tin foil for easy clean up. Evenly coat the pan with your choice of tortilla chips. Next add the black beans to the chips (if they’re too wet, they’ll make the chips sauggie and you don’t want that!) Then evenly sprinkle the cooked sausage. Next top will sautéed vegetables. Then top with shredded cheese (our local food co-op has great bricks of raw cheddar we can buy and shred ourselves, but you can also use a bag of pre-shredded cheese if you don’t have access to a better option).

Place in oven and bake at 250-300 (depending upon how hot and even your oven cooks) degrees for about 10 min or until cheese is completely melted. I make myself hang out by the oven so I don’t overcook it. Nachos cook quickly so I recommend not walking away.

Serve with a side of sour cream and salsa at the table. We’ve found that we like the flavor, texture and price of Aldi’s brand of Organic Salsa, that comes in Mild or Medium hotness. Like a little extra heat?  Jackson and Abraham love to top theirs with Sriracha sauce.

Pork Sausage and Black Bean Nachos

 

Made with love and glad to share,

Rock.

livewell. rockwell.

Farmers Without a Farm | Pt. 1

People frequently use the words Determination and Perseverance to describe a recent Grad, or an accomplished Athlete. I would use these words to describe Kevin Jackson, who feels he is called to farm and is going to make it happen, despite the hurdles in his path.

We came back to Michigan, choosing Leelanau county to make our home, knowing that we’d face some challenges to get our farm started. The bigger picture goal is to have land, pasture, outbuildings and the farm – that can be passed down to the next generation – giving them a business/homestead to get a start in a life on their own, beyond what we’ve been given. Bringing back animals from Kentucky, we’re kind of doing this thing backwards. We literally have a farm (the livestock) without a farm (barn/land/home). Read the previous post about moving from KY to MI and why. 

“We’re farmers without a farm.”

Step 1.

Secure a rental home to live in while we build our business plan and search for the ideal property.

Once the property is found we can put in an offer and complete the USDA Agricultural Farm Loan through their office in Traverse City to purchase. But in the mean time, we need to still live somewhere. Thanksgiving weekend, we moved back into the rental house we’ve called home for the last four years on Hlavka Rd. in Maple City, MI.

Step 2.

Secure a barn through the winter.

The barn we were able to use all winter long was off-the grid, and a half mile snowshoe hike away. We were at least fortunate enough to discover that barn did indeed have water (wouldn’t have stopped Jackson though) an old gravity fed well. All winter long Jackson literally hauled hay, 50 lb bags of feed and sometimes even Abraham, on a sled from the house to the barn…twice a day.

“No guts, No Glory.”

Step 3.

Ok, so our rental home SOLD.

Find new rental that’s in the area to stay close to our barn, in our monthly budget, that’s clean and not a mobile home.

Step 4.

Oh. If finding a new home location isn’t enough work, now we have to move barns/farm again! Ok. Deep breaths.

When we moved our farm into it this past winter the property owner was not interested in selling. Now we’re being asked to move everyone out. The property and barn you see pictured here, nestled in what we lovingly refer to as Hlavka Mountain, is now listed on the market for sale at a premium price.

Step 5.

Find a property and barn in the “Bohemian Rd” valley that can be leased long term, that we can reliably operate the farm business out of host our animals year round and allow us to store equipment, hay, feed, etc.

Next Post:

“Farmers without a farm | Hay Season” 

KY to MI

KY was a great adventure, full of new terrain (literally and figuratively), plenty of character building (don’t think I was ever going to get use to no cell phone service for a radius of 10 miles or the poisonous snakes) and got a few more tools in the tool belt (literally). Kentucky launched us into the next chapter…back to Northern Michigan.

IMG_1220

Kentucky provided humbling experiences, living among history of our great country’s’ beginnings. There were rock walls on the property that were built by slaves, muck boots became a required piece of apparel, copperheads and rattlers could be lurking near by, seasonal swarms of lady beetles, and stepping in a cow pie on the way to your car door – were all commonplace. All of this provided perspective, acceptance, strength and growth.

IMG_6040 Jackson station at Gusty Branch

We had a great opportunity to work and live in the same place. Jackson got to work on a historic replica of a Toll House, located in central KY, about an hour and half south of Lexington, in the rocky, hilly hollars. A gorgeous home built down the creek, .5 mile up a nob and back into the woods. He acquired tools of the trade, on-site education and became quite the craftsman. He did everything from finish plumbing and electrical, to creating his own trim, bead board and solid wood doors.

IMG_8651 Jackson wood working; processing wood paneling

If the job itself didn’t keep him busy enough, he also started a farm. The job-site property was set on hundreds of acres, providing the chance to start what Jackson has been waiting to start for years. If not now, never? Right?! So it was. Farming, here we come! We raise hair sheep, goats, turkeys, cows and pigs. Fencing mishaps, runaway goats, disappearing turkeys, and plenty of births provided more than a few stories along the way.

IMG_1206 raising hair sheep

Oh, and we got pregnant and had a baby too!

One of our biggest life lessons Ky provided was “you can’t do it all.” It’s better to invest your time and resources into a few things and do it really well, rather than be eager to achieve, spreading yourself too thin. So, we downsized and re-prioritized.

While we built friendships, two church families, gained experience (and some farm animals), we decided at the end of the day what’s really important to us: investing in sustainability for our  future generation and being close to family/community – in a place we feel like home.

Leelanau County, here we come!

moving back to MI_truck gusty branch KY_IMG_1584

 

welcoming Levi James

We welcomed Levi James Jackson to the fold November 4th, 2015!

He was born at our temporary home, on Gusty Branch Road, by the creek, near the hollows and rolling green hills of central Kentucky.

The labor came on strong and fast, giving us nearly no time to use any of our at-home preparations. Our midwife was on her way over, on speaker phone, as Jackson and Madre competently delivered the new baby, with our other son Abraham at my side. Fortunately, she had prepared us for such a scenario. Before we knew it I was loudly announcing….”This baby’s coming!”

Gods grace and provision surrounded us – I believe due to my surrender and obedience, to be open to a home birth experience. Everyone is healthy, happy and flourishing!

FYI – We are heading back home to northern Michigan to live, work, give and love very soon!


#homebirth #naturalbirth #livewell #thelandrovers #rockwell #thejacksonshouse

Our story, continued.

Kevin Jackson and I both grew up downstate Michigan. But after beginning our lives together there, we soon realized that our larger goals and dreams were not going to happen where we were at – so we had to make a change. We sold our first home in Howell, MI, sold a lot of our belongings in order to simplify our life, and headed West in the Land Rover, for the adventure of a lifetime.

After having our first son Abraham in Boise, Idaho where we stayed for 6 months, Our search became to find a place where we could obtain property, live as a small community to farm, where we could live a self-sufficient lifestyle, providing not just for ourselves, but a place for others in need.

So our search continued. The next step towards farming, was going to be education along with work. Jackson applied to many positions on farms across the country, but just so happened to get a Farming Internship in Leelanau County, where our trip began, at a Certified Organic Farm, Isadore. So back across the country we headed.

We first moved to Northern Michigan in a friends bunkhouse above their garage, in Glen Arbor. Next, to a lovely rental home up a hill in the woods in Maple City, where we’ve been at for over a year. We believe that the next step will take us to a larger place on some land here in Leelanau County: A place where we can find some roots, begin to start a farmstead, grow a small business, grow our life, grow some food, raise our son, and eventually help grow our community.

Dreams happen by taking action on a passion, and for Kevin, it started years ago with an unfamiliar burning in his belly. Now he is leading us to farm, raise animals and food organically, sustainably, and responsibly. We’re traveling towards unfamiliar territory, but living our life with more purpose.

Boise, Idaho

Kevin an I chose to move to Boise, Idaho after visiting our dear friends Jeremy & Brianna Whitman and discovering The Baby Place. We were seeking a natural birth experience and found peace in God’s presence there. After prayer, we sensed that that was exactly where we needed to be. After that, everything fell into place. We got a six month rental in the North End of town and had lots of great experiences in our time out west.

We were exposed to what the lifestyle out west is like, how riding a bike is commonplace and necessary, watched Jeremy in his cyclo-cross races, enjoyed the culture of the downtown, rented a historic home in the popular “North End,” lived just 17 miles from the top of the Bogus Basin – a skiing destination, and just a couple miles from a spectacular view of the Valley on top of Camelsback park. We enjoyed our beloved neighbors Peg and Harry, found a wonderful church family in The North End Collective, Rock went to her first Christmas cookie exchange (made sweet potato cookies), Jackson learned how to make Sourdough bread from scratch with a starter, and we both got Cowboy boots. Now the only thing we’re missing is an old pick up truck and a gun.