Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Grow'n Greens & Purples with "them".

One way to save money and to expand the vegetable horizons for little ones is to grow some cool looking things they have never seen before. I love getting out with them and even when it gets cool, you can grow some really neat greens or purples. In the south some things pose more of a problem to to grow in our weather and soil than others. If you can't grow anything else, you can grow some Turnip Greens. My cousin said she could throw 'em straight out in grass and they'd grow through the winter. Many folks have told me the same thing, though I've never done it. I know hunters do Kale that'a way. So here's to getting their vitamins down one trick at a time. Let them grow them themselves! They love it and with something so easy as Turnip Greens, you can't hardly loose. They're not only in green though, many varieties of greens also come in purple or a red-ish color. No edible bulb like the turnip though, as most are mustard varieties, but some good eat'n none the less. How many kids out there are going to be so eager about another serving of green junk that looks just like the last (cooked to mush) put on their plates? So this go round I tried to throw in some purple ( called Japanese Red ) mustard greens and it was so much fun teaching them about the B vitamin content and all those greens have to offer.
For those interested in a basic turnip green how to, here's an easy recipe from my Granny (with healthier options) for some "real southern greens". Serve up with a mess of cornbread and Viola! First, salt down your greens in cold water if they just came in the house, this brings all the little guys (bugs) to the top or out so you'll be able to wash 'em clean. Next, let 'em soak a few minutes. This feeds 8, so decrease if you need to. Then rinse real good, tear apart with your hands and fill up a big ole crock pot till its full. If you got 'em, add turnips. Drop a few teaspoons of Lard, or Coconut Oil in to help mellow flavor. Add about (she never measured a thing) 1 Tablespoon Paprika, and about 1Tablespoon Cumin. Next add about 2 Tablespoons Sea Salt, a pinch of black pepper and fill with water to the top to cover greens. Turn on high, and watch. They will cook down after an hour and you'll need to add more. I usually add the second time, as much as I put in the first. They cook way down like spinach. Let cook all afternoon and fix up some skillet cornbread to go with it. Enjoy with "them"!

Remove all the little friends first.

Catch the little guy on the rim!
Then add salt and oil or lard.

Grow'n Together

When they participate, they feel important.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Make Your Own Natural & Organic Lip Balms!

It's just in time for gift giving and very inexpensive to make your own natural lip balm. You can even make them look really attractive with making your own labels either at home or ordering from places like vista print! It's easy, fun, and handmade. I really appreciate handmade gifts because I think about the time and effort someone put into vs a quick buy at the store. Handmade gifts seem to convey more of the "I care" and especially when the ingredients are the best nature has to offer. Sorry, direct links I cannot do, we live in a very rural area and have no internet access except phone, so I will just put up web address. Also I personally shop around for my butters and oils so I can get the purest Organic, if you want all Organic ingredients look at Amazon, you can find it all in Organic there. My suppliers only sell bulk. If this is a first time for you trying to make your own body care, I would use items from the store or wholesalesuppliesplus.com as this will keep your cost down incase you mess up. Then once you've got it down try buying the Organic ingredients. If it's  not a concern the following oils and butters can be gotten either at the grocery store or wholsalesuppliesplus.com
So here it is, you will need:
A very small beaker, that measured ounces and 1/2 ounces (from Walmart)
2 metal sauce pots, one to melt in and the other to combine oils and pour from so a pour spout on the edge is helpful.
24 Lip Tubes .15 oz ( from wholesalesuppliesplus.com ) They come in round or oval.
Lip Tube Holder, very helpful. Made of silicone and holds little tubes still while you pour warm liquid. Make sure you get the right shaped one for your specific lip tube, round or oval. ( from wholesalesuppliesplus.com )
Mango Butter 1 oz ( from wholesalesuppliesplus.com )
Coconut Oil 1.15 oz ( from grocery store if, not needing bulk amount )
Safflower Oil 2.40 oz ( from grocery store, if not needing bulk amounts )
Bee's Wax 1.75 oz ( from wholesalesuppliesplus.com )
Peppermint Essential Oil ( from wholesalesuppliesplus.com or for Organic try mountainroseherbs.com )
To begin, place all your tubes in holder and sit on level tray that can be moved to frig when done.
In melt pot, place 2 Tblspn Mango butter, melt on medium heat and pour into beaker, should measure 1 oz. If over pour extra into dry bowl to cool, if under add some to make 1 oz. Then pour that into combining pot. Next melt 2 and 1/2 Tblspn Coconut Oil and measure in beaker to 1.15. It's slightly over 1 oz. Pour into combing pot. Pour Safflower Oil into beaker and measur to 2.4 oz. That's just before the 2.5 mark. Add to combing pot. Scoop up bees wax beads and measure to 1.70 oz, and add to combining pot. Slowly warm over medium heat until all is melted together. Turn stove off. Pull of eye and let rest until it isn't so hot. If it's too hot you burn up essential oils. They are very sensitive, so wait just about two minutes. If it begins to firm up, just rewarm. Then add 3/4 teaspoon of Peppermint Essential Oil to the pot, stir and pour quickly into tubes. If you need to move out of the way do so very carefully. I would advise putting into frig to help cool down until firm. Then you can just pop off of holder and place cap on! Now your ready to label. I hope you found this helpful.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fall Fertilizing with "them" & Breakfast for the plants!

Fall is THE time of year we fertilize by several ways. Manure tea, maure, lime from the feed & seed,  compost, burn old garden plot or old wood & plants (fungi ridden tomatoes) in garden, and breakfast for the plants are all on the list of possibilities. It's also a great time of year to weed. It's not hot outside and work seems nicer out doors. Not to mention prepare trees for up coming winter. I believe most people fertilize in spring not thinking of long term. As a result some miss out on bettering next years crops. I do everything with 6 in tow and teach as we go. I want them to know hard work, and eating the fruits of your labor! I also want them to have skills so many of us are working to reclaim. As far as fertilizer we mainly make up this "breakfast for the plants". I use it on everything I can. Here is the recipe. Egg shells dried in greenhouse, then powdered. About 3 dozen shells. To this add about 6 Cups Oats powdered, 4 Tblspn Coffee Grinds. If using old & used, dry them out and dump about 1/2 Cup worth into mix, 1 Cup of Epsom Salts and 2 Cups Sugar. This goes everywhere! It can and does go on fruit trees, berry bushes, even tomato and pepper plants. It can also be used on flowers and herbs. Since melons and squash are finicky, use very lightly.
We have to weed our winter garden before we can fertilize it or we're fertilizing the weeds. Since we also need to weed around the seedlings we just planted and the tillers are NOT working, we just get at it with the hoes and in just an hour were done. Everyone wants to help. It's just totally natural and fun to see what a little work can do.
   If you need a stronger fertilizer, which I do recommend to first time gardener's or those who do not have the soil built up, go ahead and use 13-13-13, sparingly. I am phasing this out slowly as I am trying to go more Organic. But it takes a couple of years to get things in that direction. Gardening is really easy and fun with "them". We go at life differently and LOVE IT! I get "them" involved and most of the time they are asking me "Can I hoe? Can I save these seeds? Can I spray? Can I plant this row? Can I do the fertilizer? " Sure can!
   As for trees or bushes affected by worms or mites, I would put a coat of grafting compound at the base of the tree to winterize and again in spring. It does help with that worm/borer that's drills into your fruit trees. And then all you see is a dead tree and stuff oozing out. Remember to add 1/2 to 1 Cup of Breakfast to each tree at the roots by digging up a bowl's worth of dirt and working back in with breakfast. Use on each bush or tree and water.
powder eggshells

add oats

Little brother wants to be like Bubba'.
So sweet!
Put out a cup every so often and work into soil
around berries and trees.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Putt'n up Pears with "them"

What do you do with a lot of pears and a lot of "them"? Pass out peelers! So we just enjoy each other's company, talk, laugh, and peel them pears. I keep it simple, so as not to make it to hard. We'll  can 'em, eat 'em, share with the animals, and the rest go in soap. I get the ideas for my natural body products right from nature. And using what we have right from the homestead gives me lots of creative products. For all that we create visit, HomesteadMoma.com
   We laugh and joke, that helps the time go by. Sometimes we have the oldest read a book aloud while everyone just listens while working. We've worked through many a novel this way. Books I never would have read, now I know, thanks to times like this with "them". I love these times. Working together, enjoying each other's company and teaching "them" a simpler way of life is all worth the work. Then, how fun it will be to have something to remember/eat come winter; a healthy food they helped with. We're putt'n up more than pears, we're putt'n up memories.

Easy Homemade "Hot Cross Buns!"

Well, here's our way to make homemade bread, step by step! This is our go- to bread for everything. Rolls, pizza dough, loaf bread, you name it. It's an all around great bread recipe. Easy how-to instructions makes it a snap. And if it takes you a while to get it down, no sweat. It took me about a while to perfect the recipe and open the oven to rolls, not bricks.:) One note: we mix the wheat flour with King Arthur for two reasons; King Arthur Flour is not bleached or bromated or enriched (that means they don't 1- bleach it, 2-microwave it to kill bugs, 3-add chemical vitamin replacements) and  it gives the bread the lightness and elasticity that it needs to rise. We use ground red or white wheat for the other half.
    6 1/2 cups of flour (mixed 1/2 King Arthur white & 1/2 wheat)
    2 1/2 cups of warm water
    2 tablespoons of yeast
    1/3 cup either honey or sugar
    1/3 teaspoon of salt
    3/4 cup of Safflower oil
    Note: we use a Kitchen Aid Mixer to cheat on the kneading process.
Put the flour and salt into a mixing bowl.
Measure the yeast into a ceramic bowl and add water on top. Then add sugar to the yeast bowl.
Mix the flour and salt together, then make a well in the center. After the yeast has had about 2 minutes to settle, pour the oil into the well, then the yeast water. Do not mix!!!
Put the mix into the mixer, or knead by hand until the dough is good and evenly mixed. It should be not too wet, but if it's a little sticky then that's okay.
Oil a ceramic or plastic bowl and then turn the dough around a few times to coat. Cover with a towel and let it rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, divide the dough into a little smaller than roll size portions, because they rise a little bit. Shape by flattening with your hands, then pinching the edges under like you're making a mushroom top. Put the dough on a cookie sheet, or a pizza stone for the best results.
Let rise another 25 minutes.
Cook in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes, maybe a bit longer according to your oven, then when they come out brush them with oil or melted butter. Viola! Homemade bread couldn't get any better!!

Friday, September 19, 2014

How we never get tomato worms!

How does a family that grows an enormous amount of tomatoes not get tomato worms? Simple, marigolds. Well, we might have found like two each year. We just put a few marigold seeds between each tomato plant so that when tomato season is over, there is still a sea of marigolds left for table bouquets. Not even a dime needed to get them going after the first year. That first year you buy a couple of packets and after that there's plenty of dead heads to save from. Just remember to get the dead heads, those have already been pollenated by the bees and butterflies. So simple! Its also a very easy way for little ones to get involved in the gardening process. They can easily pull apart dead flowers to save seeds for next year. Then place on cookie tray to dry out for a day or two. Jar and keep in a cool, dry place until next year.  Get out and grow together!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

1 Hour A Day May Keep Hunger Away

 What if you could make an investment for your family's food future so that in a time of need, such as a disaster, power outage, or such you would not be stuck having to do without. Or worse!  Remember hungry people don't always get along. What if you could spend a little time investing not only in your food future, but in the next generation. (See: Planting Fall Garden with Them).  Last week we spent 1 hr toward growing greens, lettuce, beets, kale, spinach and carrots. Dad did till up ground, but after that we spent only about 45minutes to 1hr putting out the seeds of knowledge, bonding, learning and love. Here we can see already the sprouts of a fall/winter food source. Carrots grow really well in winter here in the south. They won't be ready until early spring. Summer in the south is sometimes too hot for them, so we plant in fall. We can start pulling them up come Febuary/March. All for pennies on the dollar.
Saved seed and grew herself, 5 yrs.

   Even in the city, a container garden could be reseeded every two weeks, and a few lettuces with herbs will give you more healthy and yummy choices. Or plant eatable landscape like blueberry and cherry bushes. Where else could you save a buck and benifit from it in other tangible ways? Where ever you are, you can do something. For those parents out there, it's about teaching your children to be capable independent "doers." It's a lot more fun for them to participate in life than to simply be a watcher. This is one big way to build confidence. Think of all the common knowledge our grandparents had that we don't. So if we want the future to be a brighter place, it's up to us to invest in it. Plant seeds today, eat tomorrow, as in food or knowledge. Hands on, working with "them." It is really worth the work. After a while of trying new things, they don't even see it as work, but just part of the day. When we planted our fall garden the children asked "me" if they could hoe. I just got started and they fell right in wanting to help. They get more excited about looking to see if their hard work is paying off. They need/want challenges with you! Unlike sports, after the labor you get to enjoy the reward with those you love, save money and "eat the fruit of your labor." So go on, "get out and grow together!"
After 1 week and a good rain.

Within a few weeks, you have a harvest!


Monday, September 15, 2014

Affordable Garden Fresh Pizza with "them"

Summer is over, however; there is still a produce section at the grocery store. One of our favorites is to make homemade pizza together on Friday night. So after pricing it up and considering the "health food" aspect of it, I though it might be worth sharing. In the summer we eat a lot from the garden, which means mostly free, minus sweat equity and a little $. But even buying all the ingredients you can do soooo much better making your own food than buy "convenience foods". You must be willing to "do" a little work. And that means move your rump off the couch, but it is worth it for your pocket book, your health, and for "them". I really do believe the best option, that really IS an option to most of us is to grow what we eat. It is hard, time consuming and requires you to "do" something, but it is worth it. Your health, your family's health is all at stake. But this recipe can be used for anyone who wants healthy and affordable even if you don't grow a garden.
   This recipe feeds 8 people, and so if you're only feeding say 2 or 4,  half or quarter it as suits you. I'm going to itemize for you here so you will see the value of it. It's also soooo much easier nowadays with all the new kitchen equipment most of use. It's not so time consuming. It takes 30min to prepare and 20-30 min to cook. And there's enough for everybody to have average of 3 big pieces. But little ones won't eat but 1 or 2.
   Crust: 6 Cups flour ($1.50), 3/4 Cup Safflower Oil ($.75), 1&1/2 Tblspn Yeast ($.10), 2 Cups warm water free. Mix in blender, until looks like dough. To stiff add water 1/4cup at a time, too wet add flour. Eyeball it till it looks right.
   Topping: Veggies 2med sized Squash ($1.50), 2med Zucinni ($1.50), 1 Onion ($.50), Handful of Peppers ($1.00), 1/2 Cup Safflower Oil($.50). Cut up veggies and sautée in skillet just until there not quit so hard and crunchy.
Cheese: This is "The Best" Cheese with No Hormone Use! Joseph Farms It comes in a 4 lb block ($15.00). Shred 1&1/2 lb. ($5.62).
  Sauce: home canned tomatoe sauce ($.25) or ($1.00) store bought, with pizza herbs for seasoning ($.25) or free if you grow 'em. Ok so the cost for feeding a family of 8 two big veggie pizzas is ( if it were my Husband he would figure in energy use and gas to the store :). But anyway, all items bought Total =$ 14.47 Half it for feeding 4 and you've got $7.25. "What !!!!"
   Yep, now lets see what it would be if you grew most of these things, what that might look like. Minus cost of Peppers, Onions, Squash, and Zucinni, and canned tomato sauce, your looking at $9.22 for 8 people or $4.61 for 4 people. That's $ 1.80 per person if it is all store bought or $1.15 a person if you grow it your self. WOW!!!!! Verses the mystery meat, cheap-o hotdog & chips at an average of $1.75 a person. With nothing but dog, bun, and chips. Come on!!!!! So not only can you eat healthy on a dime you can do it with the ones you love. "Get out and grow together!" Then make pizza :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Yogurt making, the easy Homestead Moma way.

   This is so super easy that my 6yr old begged to be our in house yogurt maker, and loves the job. We could'nt be happier. Homesteading skills are not all hard, or I would not be doing them. Grab your little people and "grow together", in this case it's probiotics. Teach them this one easy trick and you'll have it made. It really takes 10 minutes to put together. Oh and please don't waste your time telling me, it might not be safe because you aren't using proper ($200) equipment. I like doing things the old fashion way, so thanks but we've done it like this for years. If it's bad, it's because there is bad Milk used, and you'll know it by the look(like cheese) and smell. Yogurt smells a little sour anyway, so you know it's bad when it really WREAKS! Very rarely does that happen. And again do you know your milk source?
Things Needed:
Pint or Quart Jar (must be glass)
Yogurt (I prefer/like Greek) when$ will allow
Sugar or Honey
Just place 1/2 Cup of your yogurt of choice into a pint jar or 1Cup into a quart.
Top with 2 Tblspn Sugar or Honey for pint, 4 Tblspn for quart. Top with milk.
Put on lid, shake VIGOROUSLY. To evenly disperse among milk. It may have clumps at the bottom of jar and not make as well if it's not mixed in good. Then simply place outside in a sunny spot. The glad will make a greenhouse/solar cooker for it and Viola! It's done. Really were all those gadgets to "make yogurt" used 100 yrs ago? No! So let it sit all day and at nightfall you'll have yogurt. If not, let it sit another day. The idea is to let it incubate or grow the good bacteria. And needs a temp in the upper nineties for about 12-18 hrs to do so. Don't put it out in the daytime(afternoon), because it's not getting all day sun. Don't start after say 12pm noon. Unless it's pretty warm outside. If you need to make with "them" in afternoon. Just put out next morning. If it is real hot and sunny, 90 degrees or more, put in a place that will give some shade/some sun. 1/2 and 1/2. You'll know it's done when it pulls away from the jar in a solid clump, or has the thick look of jelly. It can over cook. So watch it. Or if it's fall and cool outside, place in front window of a car that does not have tinted windows. Free solar cooker! I have mine here on the greenhouse shelf, and just left doors and window open to prevent overheating. Trick here is it takes getting direct sunlight! If your greenhouse is not translucent put in full sun. Like now in the fall, I'd do full sun on a piece of aluminum foil to help heat rise temp. ***Or place in oven with light on, and oven off. Another option is place in crockpot alternating between warm and off through the day. Idea is to keep warm. Once gelled, refrigerate and reserve a small amount to do again. If you can keep it going, it's like sour dough starter. In this manner you won't need to buy yogurt, at least for a long while.
   Occasionally it can go bad, but if it does it's because you've got bacteria in your milk. IE. Bad Milk. Yogurt is a natural process, like cheese of the good bacteria growing and "contaminating" the whole container of milk. If you end up with something that smells real bad, IT IS! It should not have a "cheesy look and smell", like a baby bottle that was left in the car on a hot day. Dump it and try again. It only costs pennies to do this anyway. In fact when these pictures were taken we did 2quarts and 1pint, and we saved about $15 in what we would spend at the store for that much yogurt.
  ****Homemade yogurt is a little runny because you don't add in all the "unhealthy" additives to thicken it up. Just put into frig till good and cold. A couple of hours. Just hold with spoon or cheese cloth and pour off whey to get the liquid off, if you would like. I usually don't bother. Also a good Greek yogurt to use as starter produces a better, less whey containing, end product!!! I don't mess with pouring of any whey when using a good Greek type to start with. When pouring off whey, easy or you'll loose the soft yogurt. Mix, and keep in frig. Throw in some fruit and it is soooo good! Happy "growing bacteria together".
Add Yogurt, milk, and sugar.

Lick spoon!

Shake well.
Let sit in warm spot 12 to 24hrs.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Southern Fried Green Tomatoes-Double Dipped!

One of the first things we love to do each spring is make fried green tomatoes, fresh from the garden. It is really rewarding when finally all the planting, hoeing/tilling, weed picking, and fertilizing bears good harvest. All that hardwork is laid out for you to enjoy and it is good! We don't eat a lot of fried foods, and when we do we use Natural Oils, "God Made". No hygrogenated or chemically processed. Organic if possible, but not always. $$. Also NO Canola, Corn, Cotton or Soy Bean Oils. All are mostly GMO. I don't believe man has the right to alter what an All Knowing & Perfect God originally designed. It's like waiting for a bomb to go off. Now through time, medicine, and science we have seen more gut issues, immune issues, and allergic reactions then time past. Well doesn't that say anything to us? I'm just saying, He either knows what He's doing and can do it right the first time or He clearly has made mistakes in nature and needs us (man) to correct His errors. Ummm so, if you reap what you sow, where does that leave us? SICK. How many times did the children of Isreal say, this is not good enough? Manna, meat, ect... So now our idol of convience has given us a harvest of disease. If it (plants) have been altered now to contain pesticides to kill pests when they eat of it, what's that going to do to you? Come on people. You will reap what you sow! With that said here goes our simple and delicious version of Fried Green Tomatoes, Double Dipped!!
   You'll need: nothing measured, we use the eyeball it method
however many green tomatoes you think to feed your crew
In first bowl- flour mixture
A few cups Flour (wheat works best)
About a cup cornmeal
Tblspn Sea Salt - this is God made and will not increase blood pressure
Tblspn Garlic
About a teaspoon blk pepper
Mix all up real good
In second bowl
A few eggs with about 2 cups water
Mix up real good
Pour your oil into skillet to be heating up and while your making up tomatoes. Slice up tomatoes and 1st dip into egg mixture then 2nd into flour mixture, then real quick do over again. Make sure batter doesn't come off on hands, BE QUICK! It is messy but worth it.
I use either Safflower or Coconut Oil and Organic if I can afford it. Drop into skillet and turn when golden brown. When cooked on both sides lay on paper towel to dry, and Viola! The best fried green tomatoes you'll ever have.

The Adam & Eve Diet

Ok so here it is, basically the way your designer intended for you to eat. As close to all natural, organic and as minimally processed as possible. Some eyebrows are going to raise on this, and I would say rightly so. Anything that challenges the stasis quo always gets a frown, or a "what!" until science proves it. Funny thing is science is now giving us a lot of proof. This is to be used as a good rule of thumb, not the end all of life hinging on your diet. Let me elaborate, most of us are so used to a man-made diet it's hard to wrap our heads around that which is God-made. It's a different way of thinking, but not really. I believe that if you can get from scripture (particularly Genesis) marriage ideals, societal norms, rights and wrongs, and so forth; why not eating practices. Not an old kosher diet of do's and don'ts but a mere window to God's heart, of what is really healthy(clean) for you to eat. Most people would quickly turn down eating vulture meat, why? It's unhealthy (unclean), and will most likely make you sick and it's easy to think about it that way. So what about hotdogs or bologna? Same thing, it is unhealthy! According to blog.lef.org 80% of American convenience food has "chemicals" banned in other countries. HELLO! 80%? Where does God come in here? Stick with me, I'm getting to that.
   If you purchased a Microsoft laptop, but down loaded a Dell program on which you expected it to function, your going to encure lots of problems along the way. As with people, we ought to consider our designer and why so many problems are plaguing our "civilized" societies. That term is used loosely. Because the farther away from agricultural societies we get, THE SICKER WE GET, & THE MORE COMMON KNOWLEDGE IS LOST. Can you treat a migraine from what grows in your yard? Most grandmothers could, but most of us could not. My 8yr old can, because we work at it. And you should too, you may wish you had one day. I aim to empower you to "get out and grow together!" Try Willow. Yep, originally asprin was made from an ingredient in this plant.
   Let's talk salt. "Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewithal shall it be seasoned?"  So there you have it, salt is good. So why so much high blood pressure? Simple. MAN MADE salt is not as easily processed by the body as natural SEA SALT, ie GOD MADE, or any other salts that are naturally derived such as rock salt. My husband had high blood pressure before changing his eating habits, to eliminate man-made salts, as much as possible. He still has to take his lunch to work and therefore gets some in his diet, but only a little. Again we're on the road to changing, not claiming we have it all perfect. There are some boxes of cereal in the cuboard, but it's getting better and moving in a direction away from so much processed food. This is what is explained in the food rules of the Old Testament by saying don't do as the heathen do. See, the people who knew not God, would not consider Him in anything they did, as well as eating practices. People of the Jewish faith in the Ancient world were by far the healthiest people. This is not to say we should or shouldn't follow food laws (not going there) but that what we eat reflects who we worship. Did that chemically laced prepackaged something, puff you up for a moment only to give empty and vain rewards in the end? Whole, raw, fresh, minimally processed food will nourish your body with lasting results. See in the end, it is choosing to take care of your temple or destroy it.
   Everyone is in a different place and your healthy and mine may look totally different. Not everyone can change diet and eating habits overnight, but with "line upon line and precept upon precept" we are changed. If we quench (put out) the spirit of God he will turn us over to our lusts and disease is the end result of not obeying God when he said " Deny Thyself." (Paraphrased from Mark 8:34 & Luke 9:23.)Now this idea of self denial is a practice of self discipline and pertains to ALL of life and following God. Not just food. But to those who argue it does not pertain to food I say read on, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 1Corinthians 10:31 Or in another verse it might be said we are not to eat things sacrificed to idols. Isn't it just fitting that one of today's biggest idols is our own pleasure and convience, or that convience was actually the name of an idol in Ancient times! So it might do us well to begin to look at "why" we do this or that concerning food as we would in other areas of life such as parenting, finances, marriage or any other area that we are to give over to God. Food is only one thing we are to use to show forth God's glory. And remember it can be used to build up or destroy, it is your choice. "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you which ye have of God, and ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit which are God's. " 1Corinthians 6:19-20
   If you are his then use his designer program. This not to say you'll not get sick, cancer or any other disease, you still may. But it's about surrender, "I surrender all!"

Monday, September 8, 2014

Fall Gardening With Them Part 1

   I am convinced knowing "how to" do something is the number 2 reason most people don't try there hand at it. What's number 1- "want to" Sorry to say, and I used to be in this boat. Until I began to take on the attitude of "It's really not about me!" Also started thinking in big picture terms. Then I began to see the more I slowed down to purposely and physically "do" things with them, the more fun we have as a family and the more they respected me. They see me investing in "them". Also what child doesn't love to play in the dirt? So how special to have someone who loves them right along side. So don't let "know how" or yourself get in the way of a beautiful relationship with "them".
   Maybe an all knowing perfect God knew this was important to life. "And God said let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth and it was so." Genesis 1:11
   "And God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed." Genesis 2:8
   "And The Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it." Genesis 2:15
   It (gardening) is particularly mentioned even after the fall. "cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee and thou shalt eat the herb of the field." Genesis 3:17b-18  "Therefore The Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken." Genesis 3:23
   I take this to be more than a hobby, needed for survival and great for family unity. It is also so rewarding financially as you don't have to buy as many groceries. Physically tending a garden gives good exercise while getting loads of vitamin D. Aren't we all becoming a little more interested in living better, healthier, and more sustainable lives.
   Here's years of trial and error going to work at a better garden each year. I'll do more parts to this Gardening with "them" theme. Part 2- Fertilizing with "them". 3- Raised beds with "them". And then more in winter and spring. If you do plan to garden in a raised bed next year, you should be building and fertilizing NOW, to get the most out of it next season.
   What grows best in a southern garden? 1- Purple Top Turnip Greens win hands down as the easiest and most productive garden crop for fall. Don't know anybody with a southern fall garden that doesn't grow 'em. 2- Mustard Greens. 3- Collards or Kale. *In my experience, although these are all from the Brassica family, the others like Broccoli, Cabbage and Brusselsprouts do not grow well in fall/winter, in the south. Don't waste your time. Weather and plants are too finicky, unless your greenhouse growing. 4- Lettuce, in fall we like Butter Crunch, Bibb or even Black Seeded Simpson. We throw in some red variety while planting to give a color and taste change. All leafy It really depends on your taste. Black Seeded Simpson is great for the south as it is good for warmer climates. 5- Carrots, and Tender Sweet are hands down the best for size and flavor. I 've tried all colors shapes and sizes and these turn out great everytime. Others seem to get "stumped" in our clay soil. Which does not loosen up much to give them room to grow. Which by the way, next time (part 2) I'll go over fertilizer. It's easier than you think. 6- Spinach, it does not grow extremely well, so plant more than what you need. Best kind for southern garden, that I've seen is Bloomsdale. Again, like carrots we've tried many varieties and this one works everytime. It also needs extra amounts of vitamins, so for this use manure, compost or 13-13-13. If you do not have rotted manure use 3x13. Never use fresh manure right on food you'll be eating soon. This ought to be a no brainier. 7- Beets, this too needs extra fertilizer. 8- Bok Choy or any similar Chinesee Cabbage. I was surprised at how wonderful, though not traditional, it grew. These are also great in homemade stir fry or egg roles and what not dishes! Add some different things every year to keep it fun.
   Start out with your seeds, don't over complicate things putting too much expectation on production at first. Just try and have fun. 1st, till and add lime. Lime is a must for the gardens in the south every year anyway. Then add, anything else you can get your hands on, like leaves, compost, rotted manure ( you can use fresh if not planting till next season). I add manure to the ground in spring, and wood ash whenever, fall or spring or through winter. As well as other things all through the year. Where we have the fall garden now we burned a bunch of brush so I haven't had to add ash lately. We'll cover fertilizing in Part 2.
So here it is in a nut shell. Honestly its so ridiculously easy. Till up the season before if possible, add fertilizer. If not, oh well. Till up your ground. Attempt to hoe in straight lines. Drop seed into rows. Covor only the larger seeds like beets and spinach. Do not cover your lettuce, carrots, or greens. The seed is so small it gets buried. Then IMMEDIATLY water lightly. This gets those tiny little seeds to stick in the ground so if a big rain comes in they are not washed out. And Viola! We'll fertilize next week. When I can get the tiller running to help work it in.
   Oh and don't be upset if "they" fumble around a little. Spill the seeds, undo the hole roll of tape, build a castle in the row or don't want to help. Remind them they won't get to share in the loot. Enjoy it, even if the 100lb German shepherd lays down in the middle of your newly hoed row. And try to remember to bring in the coffee cup. Daddy has run over sooo many. AND WHO CARES IF THEY GET THEIR CLOTHES DIRTY!!! "Get out and grow together!"

Try to remember to bring inside.

Ummm, we needed that, but ok.
Nothing like little barefeet!
Give them the knowledge and watch them grow.

Everybody likes to hoe!

This is not my good side!

I want some attention!!!

Lightly Cover Larger Seeds
Just work around the dog!

I was working here. 
And they teach one another the good!

Little one building the "I CAN".

Sometimes it's crowded.

The older teaching the younger.

Working together.