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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Handmade Christmas Gifts: A Chisel Case and Toolbelts

Each year for Christmas I make something handmade for our kids.  I partly do this because Christmas is so commercialized (although we do purchase some gifts too), but I think mostly I do it to give them something that no one else can give them.  Something created by me, from the heart.

It is a bit of a challenge each year to think of something that they would not only appreciate, but something that I can actually make.  Their first Christmas they will receive their stocking. The second Christmas they get a toddler sized pillow, made from a flannel with a print that reminds me of their personality or interest. After that, it's time for me to start dreaming up other projects.

You may have seen the sneak peak of one of my Christmas projects on my The Beginning Farmer's Wife Facebook Page, and if you were wondering just what it was . . . it's a chisel holder for our son - made from passed down fabric, Ethan's worn out work jeans, and a bit of elastic that I had in my sewing box.


Last Christmas our 9 year old son received a woodcarving book, Carving for Kids, along with some chisels. This past year he has been learning about how his different chisels work, practicing his carving skills with bars of soap, and is excited to soon work his way to carving some wooden projects.

We had just been keeping his chisels in a plastic zipping pencil case, but it made it hard to find the right chisel and really see what his chisel options were for the particular part of the project he was on. So this Christmas, I decided to sew him something to hold his chisels. 

Most of the projects I end up making for the kids are things that I have no pattern for, so they usually take a bit of time to create.  And a bit of seam ripping.   And sometimes even a few tears of frustration along the way.

This project was no different, but just like all of the other projects, it was one that I had set in my heart to make.  So I rip out the seams, try again, rip out more seams, gather encouragement from Ethan, and learn a few things for the next project. 

On Christmas morning, it is worth all of the hard work!

As for our other 3 kids, they received a hand made tool belt to hold their new Christmas tool in.  Caleb had received his tool belt for Christmas at age 7, two years ago.  I figured though, that since all of the kids have been working so hard and helping out so much with our hoop house project and the other building projects from this year, they really all needed a tool belt.
Along with being able to carry screws and nails to Ethan and myself, our 8 year old daughter now can tote along her own hammer, our 5 year old son can pull things with his pliers, and our 2 year old can check to make sure everything is level (and for some projects, a 2 year old's opinion of level is good enough!)
As I prepare to pack up our Christmas decorations and take down our tree, I will start my year long brain storm of what to make the kids for Christmas next year.

(I took this photo when setting up our tree to show how I keep my lights from getting tangled, by the way.  Each set of lights is folded and placed into its own grocery sack to be stored in a tub.)

Now that Christmas is over and secretive gifts have been opened, I'd love to hear of any projects you created this year . . . or even ideas of what I could make next year! 

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Hoops for a Hoop House!

Today a couple of our farming neighbors/friends came over to help us get the hoops fitted in place for the hoop house we have been working on.  Their helping hands and tractor with the loader were such a help.  We have a bit of straightening to do, and then we will be pulling the tarp over - one of the last steps before the pigs can move in. 

Once the first phase of this project is done, Ethan hopes to share a more detailed overview on his blog.  Until then, I will leave you with some snapshots of the day. (You can click on the photos to see them enlarged.)
Running Cable and Placing Pipe Joints 

Moving Right Along

 Finishing the End Hoop

A Closer View 

Hooking Up the Tension Cable

Hoops are Up!

And one of my favorite pictures . . . our 5 year old spent quite a bit of the afternoon in the tractor cab with our neighbor. At the end of the day, he was even allowed to do some of the driving.  It is such a blessing to be part of a community where others not only lend helping hands, but also where friendships are built - including with our children.

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Introducing: My Conversion Robot

As I was teaching my 4th grader his math this past week, I was reminded of a little robot that I drew up when I was teaching a 4th - 6th grade combined class at the boarding school we once worked at.
To help Caleb remember equivalent volumes of liquid measure, I drew my robot for him as well.  I also showed him a little checker board chart that I made to help with measurements within one cup.

I often end up changing the quantity of original recipes when I am cooking recipes from scratch, putting together jars of spice mixes, and canning with pints and quarts. I refer to these little illustrations, which are now in my head, quite a bit.

Although I am slightly embarrassed by my lack of artistic skills, I thought I would share them with you too. 

You can click on him for a zoomed in view, and if you really like him, feel free to print him out and stick him in your cupboard or recipe box. 

Here's how my robot works if you were wondering. (I would be if I were you!)
  • The robots body equates one gallon.
  • The robots belt divides the robots body into half gallons.
  • A robot needs arms and legs, of course. There are 4 quarts in one gallon. (I'm sure you can figure out the half gallon.)
  • In order for the robot to do its work, it needs some way to pick things up.  It has 2 pivoting triangles on each appendage that make grapples. Each quart has two pints.
  • This robot is quite a klutz in the kitchen like I am, so it needs some suction cups on its grapples. Two suction cups per triangle will help quite a bit. Each pint has 2 cups.
  • And just in case 2 suction cups weren't enough, each of these suction cups is comprised of 8 mini suction cups.  Each cup has 8 oz. 
And on a smaller scale of measurement (and a smaller scale of creativity), is this checkerboard conversion chart that I drew up.

  • The checkerboard as a whole equals 1 cup and is divided into 4ths, four 1/4 cups.
  • Each 1/4 cup contains four squares marked with a T for 4 Tablespoons per 1/4 cup.
  • Each T has 3 dots attached to it, showing there are 3 teaspoons per Tablespoon.
With all of the Christmas cooking and baking that will be going on in the next couple of weeks, I'm sure there will be many recipes being adjusted and changed.  I know in this house there has been, and that silly little robot and checkerboard gets visualized often!

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Gifted From Farmhouses of Old

As a young girl, I spent many weekends on my grandparent's farms.  My dad's home farm was 15 minutes east of our house. My mom's home farm was 45 minutes west. Often, we would spend Saturday on one farm and Sunday on the next.

My dad's family had 8 boys born into their family and 4 girls (one of which lived but a short while after birth).  All of these siblings left the farm for other occupations, although one of my aunts did marry back into the farming lifestyle, and one of my uncles bought the farm house to live in with his family when my grandparents moved into town.

My mom's family had 2 boys and 3 girls born into the family. Both boys continue to farm the fields around the homeland, with their houses just a brisk walk from the farm house, which is now being rented.

As I mentioned, my growing up years were filled with memories on my grandparents' farms, the common meeting place for the brothers and sisters, as well as my many cousins (which number near 50 now, not counting spouses and the next generation).

Our days were simple.  Looking for long lost golf balls that young farm boys had hit into the field so many years before we came along, blowing bubbles that floated into the summer sky, water fights to wash away the summer heat, peaceful walks to gaze at growing gardens, sitting on the porch and calling dibs on passing cars when days were lazy, football games when fall called for activity, and cold winter evenings of popping popcorn on the stove, playing with the few simple toys in the closet, card games around the kitchen tables, and the occasional sled ride pulled behind a tractor.

Life was simple and times were peaceful on the farm.  For us at least, who didn't carry the burdens of the farm.

As I became older, I grew to know more and more of the struggles of life on the farm through stories told and memories shared, both from my grandparents and from their children.

I know that struggles can either tear families apart or bind families together.  I am thankful that I have been blessed to see many ways that my aunts and uncles have been bonded together.

Not only were there strong bonds built in their individual families, but there were bonds built between the two sides of my extended family, who both understood the joys and struggles of farming life.  It wasn't uncommon for holiday gatherings to include both sides of my family. 

I remember one Easter in particular, that I looked around the room and greeted my grandparents: "Hi Grandma, Hi Grandma, Hi Grandma (my great grandma), Hi Grandpa, Hi Grandpa."

It was rightly pointed out to me how blessed I was. 

As the years went by, families started spreading out more and more.

And as years continued to wander off, so did the strength of my grandparents, which kept them from those large family gatherings. 

But those bonds remained.

A few years before my maternal grandmother passed away, she told me that she wanted me to have a beaded Christmas tree that my paternal grandmother had made for her.  I told her to write my name on the back of it, and when she was done enjoying it, I would be honored to have it.

I remember the days when my paternal grandmother was making these trees. I was in younger elementary and can still picture her farmhouse dining room table filled with trays of brightly colored beads and costume jewelry gathered from garage sales.  My grandma loving crafted a tree for each of her children, as well as others whom she loved, with beads and charms picked out just for them, just as she carefully crafted her love towards her friends and family through her faith.

The tree that my paternal grandma gifted my maternal grandma includes an A in the middle for Anna Alice, her name.  She also included a K in the bottom corner.  K for Kies, the name I grew up with.  It includes butterflies, flowers, and reminders of my grandma Anna Alice's sprawling flower garden on their homestead, which she so diligently took care of, and which I strolled by along side her on each visit as she showed me the changing colors of each season as the years continued to wander by.

This tree now hangs in my farmhouse dining room at Christmas.

A reminder of my grandparents.

Of bonds formed.

Bonds formed by two families who didn't raise their families together, but who both raised their farm families through times of joys and times of struggles, of which there were many.

This tree from farmhouses of old glimmers memories of joy during each Christmas season and flickers encouragement of perseverance, played out through faith in the One who sustains, when struggles come.

I can't think of a more fitting gift from my Grandma Anna Alice, as well as from my Grandma Kies.

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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Hand Tossing a From-Scratch Pizza Crust

When I was growing up, we always had Friday night as pizza night.  My mom had a homemade crust recipe that she would use, which was eventually replaced with a premix crust recipe, which soon turned into a pizza ordered from our local pizza place in our town of 2000.  Still, Joe's Pizza is my absolute favorite pizza.

If it were up to me, I would have Joe's pizza on our Friday night pizza nights, however, you do pay for what you get with this wonderful pizza, and we live 3 hours away.

So I have worked my way backwards in my Friday night pizza traditions.  When there was no longer Joe's, I opted for the premix pizza crust.  I soon realized in my increasing frugality, that it would be much cheaper to make the crust from scratch, so I pulled out my mom's old pizza crust recipe.

It was a good recipe, and it made a nice pizza dough.  There was one problem though.  I had in mind that I wanted a pizza crust I could toss, and this recipe was not tossable.

Thus began my hunt for the perfect pizza crust recipe. 

I think about the time Ethan and I got married, I had collected a few pizza crusts recipes that I could toss.  Still, I was not content with them.  Some were too bready, some too thin. Some just didn't have the right taste to them.

It seems like I played around with crust recipes for at least 7 or 8 years, mixing recipes, adding ingredients, taking out ingredients, etc.

I wouldn't say that I have the perfect pizza crust recipe, but a couple years ago I finally worked one out that has ended my search and remaking of recipes. 

Because I value the importance of building tradition in families, I have decided to share with you my recipe and how I prepare my pizza crust in case a Friday night pizza night is a tradition you might like to add as well.

So turn your Pandora Italian station on, or better yet, save Pandora until your pizza is ready and make up a silly pizza tossing song to the tune of Giuseppe Verdi's La donna e mobile to make your kids giggle and cheer as you toss your pizza, and enjoy. :)

Ingredients needed: (first three jars from left to right) yeast, wheat berries (or flour), home rendered lard (or olive or vegetable oil), salt, water

Optional ingredients: (back right two jars) gluten (to help whole wheat crusts not crumble), dough enhancer (to maintain freshness - I rarely use since our leftovers don't last more than 24 hours.)
I like to freshly grind my wheat berries, using a soft white winter wheat.  If I use a harder red winter wheat, I will usually add in a little white flour.  This recipe is also wonderful just using a store bought white flour, but I like to add in the extra nutrients since I have the equipment and wheat berries.

The Recipe (makes 3 pizzas)
  • Dissolve 3 tablespoons yeast in 3 cups hot water (not too hot to touch or you will kill the yeast.) 
  • Slowly mix in 5 cups flour, 2 tsp salt, 1/4 cup softened lard, as well as 2 tablespoons gluten and 1 tablespoon dough enhancer if desired. 
  • Knead in approximately 2 cups flour.  I use my kitchen aid to do this, but you can also knead it in by hand.  You will want to add flour in until you can press your down into your dough ball without getting dough stuck on your finger.  In order to get a good tossable pizza, you will need to learn the art of getting just the right amount of flour in.   
After the dough is mixed together, you will need to divide up your dough into your 3 crusts.  I use a small amount of lard on a pizza pan to prevent sticking and then place my dough on the pan. 

From here I will form a flattened rectangle out of my pizza dough.

This rectangle gets divided into thirds using a spatula.  The thirds don't have to be perfect.  Just close.

You will then need to shape each section of dough into a ball.  Since this is hard to explain through pictures, you can check out this helpful Youtube video.

Now it is time to let the bread dough rise. The dough will need to be covered in order to keep the dough from drying out, which will form a crust and prevent the dough from rising properly.  I like to use (and reuse) cereal bags that I have saved and washed. (Yeah, I save cereal bags.  As you will later see, I save my ziplocks too.  Waste not, want not, right???)

You will also want to preheat your oven to 400 degrees at this time.

Unlike when I make bread, I really don't monitor the rising time of my pizza dough that closely.  20 minutes seems to be about right though. 

Once your dough has risen, it's time to prepare it for tossing.  I probably don't prepare and toss my dough like the pros.  If I did, I might need a totally different recipe!  So I just stick to the way I started.
First, I press down on my dough with open hands to flatten it a bit.  After that, I go around the outside with my fingers and really flatten the outer edge. Now it's time to toss!

Like I mentioned, I don't toss pizza like a pro.  But I can toss it now without dropping it.

Not dropping pizza wasn't always the case.  My kids like to remind me of the story I told them from the first year Ethan and I were married.  I came back home one day to a very distinct smell of beer in the house.  Since I knew we didn't have any beer when I left, I asked Ethan if he had for some reason brought some beer home to drink during the day.  He claimed he hadn't. For about the next half an hour, I wandered the house repeating that the house just smelled like beer.  And then it hit me.  My pizza dough.  I had dropped a pizza I was trying to toss 3 days earlier and just threw the dough into the garbage can . . . and the dough was starting to ferment.

Anyway, back to tossing dough. I make somewhat of a fist with both hands, and with a spinning-tossing motion, send the dough into the air.

I will say that it greatly helps to now have 10 foot ceilings. I don't think I have ever dropped a pizza dough in this house.  

These high ceilings even give me a little time to do a spin while I sing my silly pizza tossing song, hence the cheers from my children . . . and the giggles when I almost lose the crust, which I will probably do sometime - but it will be well worth it in place of the fun I have with the kids.  (It also helps that this recipe is for 3 pizzas!) 

I will then repeat my pizza tossing until the crust is the size that I want, or until I overtoss and break a hole in it. These holes can easily be mended with a little stretching back to shape, and small crusts can be stretched as well to fit your pizza pan.

After you have your dough to size, it's time to poke some holes in it.  This will let steam escape and keep large bubbles from forming as your crust bakes. All you need is a fork, and trust me, kids will have much more fun poking these holes than you will, especially since you can't really poke too many of them.
It is now time to pre-bake your pizza crust for 7-10 minutes. You will want to pull your crust out of the oven just before the crust starts to golden. You can skip this step if you are really hungry, but you might end up with a floppy crust, yet a still good tasting one. 

Once your crust has pre-baked, it's time to top, another fun job for the kids. 

Our favorite toppings are our homemade pizza sauce, which is canned from our heirloom garden tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, our Crooked Gap Farm Italian Sausage or ham, our frozen green peppers, and a sprinkling of cheddar cheese. Once topped, the pizza is baked for 15 or so minutes, until the cheese has melted and is starting to golden.

This crust makes an absolutely amazing pizza, especially when baked on a pizza stone.

Since I only have one pizza stone, the other two of my crusts will be baked on cookie sheets (which will need to be greased), and make a pretty tasty pizza as well. 

Well . . . actually the other 8 of my crusts.

I'll let you in on another of my pizza making secrets.

Farm life is full.  Sometimes there just isn't time enough on a Friday to make hand tossed pizza.

So in order to keep our Friday night pizza nights a tradition, I have came up with a way to have pre-made, homemade hand tossed pizzas.

Since I already have my ingredients out, counters and mixer messy, and oven on, I just go ahead and make 2 more batches of pizza dough.

These last pizzas will be tossed just like the first, stretched to fit a rectangular pan, poked, and pre-baked as well.

They then are placed on a cooling rack to fully cool. (As not to prevent sticking when frozen.)

Once cool, they are cut in half, matched up with like sides together, placed in a 2 gallon size zip lock freezer bag (yup, wash and save those too), and placed into the freezer until a Friday night when I don't have time to make a crust.  (As for being cut in half, just match them back up, top them, and you'll hardly notice.)

Pizza crust making day ends up being a pretty full afternoon or evening, but from the fun we have not only preparing the crusts, but also having crusts ready to top and enjoy another Friday night, it is time well spent.

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Tools of My Trade
My Nutrimill will grind grains extra fine to course. It's main use is for grinding wheat berries to make wheat bread. Freshly ground wheat is so much more nutritious than the wheat flour that has sat on the shelves. It is also more economical to grind it yourself, minus the cost of the wheat grinder. (I put my wheat grinder on my Christmas/January birthday list and asked gift givers to go together on it.) In addition to grinding wheat though, it can also grind quite a variety of other grains including beans and corn. You can even make your own cornmeal (they say popcorn works best!). See here for more information about grinding wheat at homeYou might be able to find a nice used one on e-bay, or you can purchase one new as in the link below.

Ethan and I received a pizza stone for our wedding, and shortly after it broke many years later, a friend offered us an extra one she had out of the blue.  Pizzas cook well on regular cookie sheets, but pizza stones just add that extra deliciousness to a pizza crust!  They are wonderful for baking cookies on as well.  Pizza stones, like the one linked, are easy to find in most department stores.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Hoop House Sneak Peak

Our hoop house posts are in! 

If you haven't heard of our hoop house project, you can check it out at

We are so excited to have gotten the posts in before the ground completely froze.  Now we can finish up phase 1 of our project this year, which will include putting on the hoop and moving in the pigs! (Next year we hope to complete our project with electrical and cement work.)

A more detailed account of our hoop house construction will be posted in the future, but here are a couple sneak peaks as our kids' helped along. Our pace does slow a little bit with the extra help around, but the investment in our children far outweighs cutting out a few hours of construction.

Our 9 year old watches on as we work to square up the building.  Earlier in the day he had a quick lesson about the pythagorean theorem. 

Our then 7 year old helping lay out the steaks for the line posts.

The crew watches on as the first corner post is drilled.

Our 2 year old gives the hole his approval.

Our 2 and then 4 year old watch on as spikes are pounded into each post to help grab the concrete.

Taking a loader break. The kids have learned well from their grandpa who has taught them all about the John Deere union bell.

Our 2 year old watches on as Ethan straightens one of the holes due to some challenges with dull drill blades and hard packed clay.

Our 2 year old back filling some post holes after the quick crete has set.

This soil has to be tamped, of course to hold the post tightly.

Our now 5 year old helps out with the tamping as well.

Our now 8 year old also joins in the tamping.

All of the posts are in!  Our 9 year old helps measure to find out where to set the laser level. Today posts were marked and are ready for trimming down in order to receive the hoop house hoops!

We are so relieved to be at this point, and we are blessed to be able to have our children join with us in our journey.

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Monday, December 2, 2013

A Wintery Day's Carrot Dig

The Saturday before last we were working on projects outside.  To tell you the truth, I can't even really remember what we were doing.  All I remember is that there was snow on the ground, and the temperatures were expected to drop even further starting that evening.  
I had spent the beginning of November winterizing the garden.  Old plants were pulled.  Mulch was raked up and added to the perennial rhubarb and asparagus. Wire supports were wrapped up and stacked up.  The only things that remained were the broccoli that was still producing and two rows of carrots that needed dug, which had been companion planted with onions under the tomatoes. 

I left these last plants because other things were calling my name, thinking that I just might harvest some more broccoli (which I didn't) and knowing that carrots do quite well being stored in the cool soil. Some people even cover them with a layer of straw for insulation and dig them throughout the winter as needed. 

Not me.

I have a hard enough time finding time to peel them when we would like to eat them, let alone bundling up to go out in the cold, uncover them, and dig them.

Still, I left my carrots, planning to come back to them as soon as I could.

Back to last Saturday . . . As I contemplated the soon to be setting sun, snow covered ground, and my last two rows of carrots in the garden, I decided that they needed dug that evening or I should just forget about them.

After all of the work of preparing the soil, planting the carrots, pulling out weeds, and the fact that I hadn't yet harvested enough to feed our family through the winter, I opted for the former option. 

By the time this decision was made, the light from the warming sun (as warming as you can get in November) was fading fast, and the cold was creeping in.  My 7 and 4 year old headed into the house to warm up, but my 9 and 2 year old were delighted to stay out and help snatch up the carrots being surfaced by my potato fork, fascinated by the worms also unearthed despite the cold, somewhat frozen ground.

I was thankful for their help as well. Good company distracts from cold toes.

In a shorter amount of time than I predicted, our box was filled with beautifully sized carrots and frozen-ish soil stuck around them.

The box of carrots, along with a few worms hiding in stubborn chunks of iced soil, were set in the mud room.  A few days later I worked the last of the soil off, filled a paper grocery sack almost 3/4 full of still chilled carrots, and placed the sack in the storm shelter.

Although I won't dig carrots in the dead of winter, I can periodically muster up courage enough to venture out to the storm shelter in order to bring a assortment of produce into the house to stock the fridge and pantry.

Better yet, however, are the carrots that I can store in our pantry without fear of spoilage AND that are prepared to use.

A couple of years ago I received a free, larger scale food dehydrator in the mail from Cabelas, our favorite store. Okay.  It was once our favorite store.  In a former, non-farming life.  But we still do use our Cabela's card (which we pay off right away each month), and we receive wonderful points that allow me to do things like request a free food dehydrator delivered to my door.

I am still learning all of the things that my food dehydrator can do, but I have found out that one of these things is to dehydrate a good portion of my garden produce which saves freezer space, preserves nutrients, textures and flavors that might be lost in canning, and makes this produce ready to quickly add into my recipes.

While many of my carrots will remain in our storm shelter to be retrieved and eaten fresh, I do dehydrate many of my carrots.  To do this, I take a batch of carrots, peel them, run them through the food processor to thinly and evenly slice them, and then I spread them out onto the trays of my food dehydrator to dehydrate.

What I end up with are jars of carrot slices, 1/4 the volume of pre-dehydrated carrots, that are able to be stored on a shelf in the pantry, free from a blustery winter day's venture to the storm shelter.

Not only that, but I also have pre-sliced carrots that are ready to be used in any recipe of my choosing.

It is what I call Crooked Gap Farm convenience food.

On Saturday, we wanted to set the posts for our hoop house. Ethan needed my help the majority of the day, but 6 hungry mouths still needed to be nourished. My solution, I pull out my convenience food - grabbing jars from the cupboards, baggies from the freezer, and quickly put together meals like this turkey and noodle soup, which can warm on the stove until our meal time.

As I enjoy these warming meal, filled with the produce from our farm, produce that echos my spring, summer, fall, and sometimes wintery days, I am thankful. I am thankful for a husband who lives out his desire to have me stay home with our children, for our children who joyfully join me as I work at home, and for the ability to help support our family through opportunities given to me on the farm.

CGF Turkey and Vegetable Soup
  • 1 qt turkey broth
  • 1 pt turkey
  • 1/4 cup + 2 T dehydrated carrots (1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen)
  • 1/4 cup +2 T dehydrated green beans (1 1/2 cup fresh or fozen) or 1 pt green beans with juice
  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh chopped onion
  • 2 cup frozen sweet corn
  • 1 qt canned diced potatoes or 4 cups raw
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 1/4 cup lentils
  • 1/4 cup wild rice
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1 bay leaf (remove before serving)

** This recipe is based on the different ways I have preserved my produce.  Ingredients can be substituted, omitted, or additional ingredients added depending on availability.
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Tools of My Trade
About the same time the simple round food dehydrator we received for our wedding burned out, a friend told me about her Excalibur food dehydrator.  I did a little research on it, and was very impressed with the reviews of how it evenly dehydrates food, the various temperatures you can set, the amount of food it holds, and even all of the other uses it has besides dehydrating foods - such as raising breads or making yogurt. We had accumulated enough Cabela's Club points for me to order the model linked to free of charge. Although the simpler of the models, I am so glad that I went with this dehydrator instead of another round stacking dehydrator.  It is definitely worth every penny, even if I had paid for it!

This book is a wonderful resource on companion planting in order to grow foods without the use of chemicals. It details good and bad companions, how various plants work together for increased flavor, productivity, and pest control.  It includes information not only for the vegetable garden, but also for companion planting with fruits, nut trees, ornamental plants, and much more. Copies of this book can be found used or you can purchase a new copy from the link provided.

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