When I was introduced to this squash as a soup, I was amazed by its yumminess! So here’s my version of this healthy soup. Be sure to add this veggie to your next garden!
1 butternut squash, peeled (veggie peeler), cut in bite-sized cubes…place in large pot with 4 cups chicken broth. Boil until tender like potatoes, broth will become richly orange.
Ladle cubes into food processor and puree with bit of broth until smooth (or hand mash).
Return to pot & remaining broth, add kosher salt (or sea salt) & pepper to taste.
I love some veggie chunks in my soup so these are optional: 1 carrot, peeled & cut into very small pieces. 1 celery stalk cut into very small pieces, 1/2c onion cut into very small pieces. Saute in pan of 1 tbsp olive oil until tender then mix into soup. Simmer a few minutes then serve.
Some garlic toast & a salad tops this soup off. Enjoy!
Fall is here and the nights are becoming a bit cooler. That’s my hint to get the greenhouse prepped for the coming winter weather. So, today’s project was setting up this solar panel kit sold by Harbor Freight.
Let me tell you, it was simple and can be setup by one person. Unless you want to permanently mount it, it snaps together quickly, and requires no tools. Best of all, its small size makes it portable and it can be purchased for less than $150 with frequent promotions and coupons.
Everything you need is right in the box with the instructions printed on the packaging. Who needs dummy sheets?!
Two brackets, a cross beam, and a lower shelf rack makes up the framing.
Slid the panels into place, clip on the panel wires to the converter & you are up and running in no time!
Now to snag a car or lawnmower battery from the garage in need of a good charge!
There are a few extras I am going to purchase from Harbor Freight: a 400w converter to plug in appliances that are old school and perhaps this regulator to assist in the energy flow to reduce overcharge.
Overall, I am very happy with the solar panel kit and cannot wait to put it into use! Maybe I need to pick up a few for the barn and the chicken coop?
Just when the summer heat is making the veggies wilt and struggle for substance, Mother Nature brings on the rain.
It’s been weeks since we have seen substantial rain in S.E. Missouri. So, it is no surprise as we are baling hay from the fields that it would decide to rain. Well, I hope it’s just a few showers so the bales dry out quickly tomorrow.
On a bright note, it looks like a good day to can some greenbeans!
Think I’ll even flip through a few freebie canning books* like JeBouffe Home Canning Step by Step Guide to get some new pointers and couple oldies, Every Step In Canning & Canning, Preserving and Pickling to see how the practices have changed over the past 100 years. But I always seem to come back to my tried and true favorite: Farm Journal’s Freezing & Canning Cookbook.
(*Both books were free at the time of this posting.)
The farm sure has been busy with the garden, the chicken coop, and especially setting up for our goat herd.
Our first of the herd, a doe and a wether, are Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats.
Winnie & Bat Man have been a fun and useful addition to our place. They’ve already been busy taking care of some overgrown brush including poison ivy and wild grave vines.
It’s been neat watching the other farm animals sneak by the goat pen and greet the goats!
Tootsie & swiss chard
Crimson Rose Hedge
Seedlings in the coldframe
apple tree blossom
wild peach tree blossoms
Planting season has taken up so much of my time. The weather has not been favorable so some of the seedlings I began months ago had to be restarted. Thankfully, most of the seedlings have found a home in the garden. So please enjoy a few of our pics of the garden.
Stormy days in the garden.
organic strawberries blooming
A loofa baby
Some of the seedlings hardening off in the shade
There’s nothing like eating fresh garden veggies while the snow is deep outside your window. We are deep in planting mode and I cannot wait until its time to harvest the results. Home canning is a great way for us to linger summer crops through winter. Canning saves our garden overflow and save us money.
Not only is this the season to grow garden vegetables, it’s a great time to find good deals on canning supplies. I hunt out discounts, ard sales, and estate auctions for supplies from jars, to canning utensils, to canners. I also found several small cabinets at auctions that keep my jars organized and ready for canning.
Vintage metal cabinets are narrow, space savers for organizing canning jars.
So to get you in the harvest prepping mood, here’s a canning supply list to start gathering before the veggies are ready for picking:
- canning jars — standard and wide mouth sizes in half pint, pint, quart
- canning lids – standard and wide mouth sizes — Look for good, undamaged, and recently manufactured packaging to guarantee seals will be good.
- bands — standard and wide mouth sizes
- canning tongs (lifter)
- bubble stick (lid lifter)
- magnetic stick — great for grabbing hot lids and bands from the water boiler
- wide mouth funnel
- canner – I use a Mirro canner but there are various kinds so be sure you do some research and choose wisely. Look for canners in good condition with intact seals and that you can still purchase parts if necessary.
- water bath canner
- canner manual — you can find these on the web or directly from the manufacturer
Until the next canning post, I wish you Happy Bargain Shopping!
We’ve all seen the growing prices of laundry detergents. Doesn’t it make you cringe to think it’s your money going down the drain, literally? And what about their ingredients? Should cleaning clothes come at the sacrifice of our families bodies? No, I don’t believe they should. So we have been using a homemade recipe that’s easy on your budget and your health.
Try this simple detergent that’s just pennies per wash load and chemical free for your family’s skin!
You will need…
- 2 bars of Fels-Naptha soap (info)
- 1 box of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (info)
- 1 box of Borax Detergent Booster (info)
- a large, closeable container
- opt. essence oils for fragrance
- opt. dust mask for those with allergies or asthma due to mixing of fine particles
- 1 tablespoon scoop
1. Grate the Fels-Naptha then blend in a food processor to make it fine. Add to container.
2. Add remaining ingredients to the container, Arm & Hammer, Borax and essence oil, until well blended. (You can add a few drops of essence oils of your choice to the strength of your liking while mixing.)
3. Seal the container and that’s it! Use one scoop for regular loads, a bit more for larger or very dirty loads. Your clothes will come out fresh and clean without the need for overpriced branded detergents full of chemicals.
Happy washing and be healthy & wallet wise!
The seed packets I make for sharing seeds are quick to make & use, compact, and let me tell you…a hit with fellow swappers. So, to help out fellow swappers & especially newbie swappers, I will post various seed packets for your printing pleasure! Be sure to check back again.
You will need Adobe Reader to view, download & print these for your personal use. The following links will give you a small sized packet with four seed packets per page. As time allows, I will convert and add medium and large seed packets for those larger trade items but the small packet is the most useful.
- Print template & cut out each seed packet.
- Pre-fold front against the back, then fold the side tabs. (leave top tab unfolded until ready to fill seed packet)
- Unfold front flap, leave side flaps folded.
- Apply a thin layer of glue on top of side tabs and fold front flap on top of side tabs.
- Press firmly, smoothing to crease and let dry.
- Check corners for any small openings and add a bit of glue to prevent seed leakage. For added protection of corners, you can apply a dot of glue to the inner corners before folding and gluing.
- When dry, just label the packet with seed type, name, details of heirloom, open-pollinated, growing directions etc. and your name. Then seal top tab closed with glue.
- Watering can (medium) (large)
- Silhouette garden (medium) (large)
- Farmer girl (medium) (large)
- Say no to GMO! (medium) (large)