Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Summer Seed Planting = Fall / Late Fall Harvesting

By now most everyone should be harvesting their squash, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, beans, etc. but summers end doesn't mean the end of veggie bounties.

Depending on where you live, there are many veggies seeds you can plant now in the next couple of weeks of August, that will grow and provide a nice little harvest bounty come fall.

If you live like where we do in Michigan, tomatoes and peppers are pretty much out as for summer planting. You can though stick some bush bean seeds (Kentucky Wonder) in the ground and
get a fair size bean bounty. You just have to make sure you plant them where they can get as much sun as possible.

Other veggies seeds that can be planted are - Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Brussel spouts, Kohlrabi, Spinach, Lettuce, Peas, Kale, etc...

Root veggies like beets, carrots, radishes and the like can be planted now too, but don't wait to long unless you live in milder planting areas of the Earth...

Happy Planting...

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Gardening by the moon schedule for August


Note:  Does not apply to all growing regions the same



August 2013
4th-5th Most Favorable Days For Planting Beets, Onions, Turnips, And Other Root Crops. Plant Seedbeds And Flower Gardens. Good Days For Transplanting.

6th-9th A Barren Time. Best For Killing Weeds, Briars, Poison Ivy, And Other Plant Pests. Clear Woodlots And Fencerows.

10th-11th Good Days For Planting Aboveground Crops. Excellent For Sowing Grains, Winter Wheat, Oats, And Rye. Plant Flowers.

12th-13th Plant Peas, Beans, Tomatoes, Peppers, And Other Aboveground Crops In Southern Florida, California, And Texas. Extra Good For Leafy Vegetables. Plant Seedbeds.

14th-16th Cut Winter Wood, Do Clearing And Plowing, But No Planting.

17th-18th Good Time To Plant Aboveground Crops.

19th-21st Barren Days. Fine For Killing Plant Pests.

22nd-23rd Favorable Days For Planting Root Crops, Fine For Vine Crops. Good Days For Transplanting.

24th-26th Barren Days. Do No Planting.

27th-28th Root Crops That Can Be Planted Now Will Yield Well. Good Days For Transplanting.

29th-30th Any Seeds Planted Now Will Tend To Rot.

31st Most Favorable Day For Planting Beets, Onions, Turnips, And Other Root Crops. Plant Seedbeds And Flower Gardens. Good Day For Transplanting 

Thank you to the Farmers' Almanac for the above planting guidelines...

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Old Homesteaders Ways of Weather Predicting


We had our first light fog of August this morning here, which reminded me of the times that I would hang out at my aunt & uncle old homestead back in the 50's / 60's. I would hear them several times a day speak a few of these sayings about what needed to be done or because this or that happened we were going to have this type of winter coming, etc.  Sure do miss that time...

1. Count the early morning fogs in the month of August. This is how many snows we will have. A heavy fog denotes a heavy snow and likewise a lighter fog denotes a light snow.

2. If the acorns, hickory nuts etc are in abundance, it will be a hard winter.

3. If the leaves fall early off the trees the winter will be mild. If the leaves stay on till late in fall and are denser than usual, the winter will be harsh.

4. An abundance of those woolly worms indicates a bad winter. If they are primarily black on either end and brown in the middle, then you will have a hard winter at the beginning and ending of winter with a lull or mild spell in the middle; if they are solid black expect a hard winter; if they are solid brown it will be a mild winter.

5. If the hornets build their nest high up in the trees, then a mild winter will ensue but if they are built low to the ground, it's going to be a bad winter.

6. Ground spiders during late summer building their nests with the early morning dew glistening off their webs indicates a hard winter.

7. Severe fogs in July denotes early snow.

8. How many days old the moon is at the first snow is an indicator of how many snows there will be that winter.

9. If there is a ring around the moon, watch to see how many stars there are inside the ring. This tells you how many days until the next snow.

10. Expect frost three (3) months after the katydids first call.

11. Thicker fur than usual on raccoons, bears & other animals is a sign of a hard winter coming.

12. If spring flowering bushes bloom late in the fall then this is a sign of severe weather coming.

13. Smoke rising fast in thin curls indicates snow.

14. Crackling fires and popping firewood indicates snow.

15. Thunder in December means a good fruit year; Thunder in January wakes up the snakes; Thunder in February gives you frost dates for May.

16. When you see the cow "laying down" in the wintertime then expect a snow within the next few days.

17. When animals or birds seem in a hurry to build nests or gather food in the wintertime, bad weather is coming.

18. If there's a rainbow in the morning, then it will rain within 24 hours; if there's a rainbow in the evening, then expect clear weather.

19. If soot and smoke fall down toward the ground instead of rising fast, expect rain.

20. If chickens go to roost early then expect rain.

21. If fish swim close to the surface in streams, then expect a storm.

22. If the smoke from the chimney blows to the ground, it will rain.

23. Lightning in the North early in the night means rain before morning.

24. If there is enough blue in the sky to make a Dutchman a pair of britches, the weather will turn fair.

25. Lightning in the South is a sign of drought.

26. If the June moon lies on its back, it is holding water; if it is tilted so the water will run out, the season will be dry.


27. Red sky at night sailor's delight.

28. The peepers sing and freeze twice before the real spring comes.

29. The red wing blackbird is the first bird of spring.

30. When the moon is getting bigger and moonlight increases, moisture is more readily available to seeds and roots. So broccoli, corn,lettuce and leafy plants which form their seeds on the outside of the leaf, should be started from new moon until the moon is one half-full.

31. From the time when the moon is one half-full until it is full, tomatoes, peppers, beans, cantaloupes, melons, pumpkins and vegetables which have their seeds within their fruits should be planted.

32. When the moon begins to get smaller after it is full, the moonlight decreases and the water table drops and plants put their efforts into the roots. This is the time to plant turnips, carrots, onions, radishes, plants of which we eat the roots.

33. When the moon reaches its one-half size again and gets smaller, it is time to prune plants. It is also time to pick leafy vegetables and herbs because the nutrients, juices and flavor will be greater.

Friday, August 2, 2013

White moose

Photo of the elusive white moose of Port au Port West, Newfoundland that was submitted I do believe by Steve Brun to  The Western Star



Thursday, August 1, 2013

Simple Polish Stew

Simple Polish Stew

3/4 good sized potatoes, peeled and diced
1 small head of cabbage, chopped up into eatable pieces
1 large onion, chopped
Some cut up green beans, maybe about a cup worth
1 to 1 -1/2 lbs of Polish sausage, cut length wise and then slice into 1inch pieces
4/5 cups of low sodium or fat free chicken broth or you can use regular type

Put it all into a crock pot / slow cooker making sure you add the broth last.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for about 5 hours

Scoop into bowls and serve with pumpernickel or fresh zucchini bread & butter



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tid-Bits #3


New report from Census Bureau shows more and more people are working from home


According to the Survey of Income and Program Participation, the number of people who worked at home at least one day per week increased from 9.5 million in 1999 to 13.4 million in 2010, increasing from 7.0 percent to 9.5 percent of all workers. The largest increase occurred between 2005 and 2010, when the share grew from 7.8 percent to 9.5 percent of all workers, an increase of more than 2 million.

Detailed class of worker information from the American Community Survey suggested that although nearly half of home-based workers were self-employed, government workers saw the largest increase in home-based work over the last decade. Home-based workers increased by 133 percent among state government workers and 88 percent among federal government workers. There was a 67 percent increase in home-based work for employees of private companies.

Home-based workers in computer, engineering and science occupations increased by 69 percent between 2000


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Potato / Cheddar Cheese Filled Pierogi

Ingredients:

5 cups flour

5 tablespoons of melted butter or 6 tablespoons od vegetable oil

2 tablespoons of sour cream

2 whole eggs

1 egg yolk

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

1-1/2 lukewarm water
 
Prep Work:
 
In a small bowl, beat 2 whole eggs and egg yolk, and set aside.

Melt the butter and set aside.

Mix salt and lukewarm water and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the 4 cups of flour with melted butter and sour cream, add beaten eggs and mix the ingredients with the warm water, stirring constantly so that the ingredients can mix properly.

Place dough on table and knead with remaining 1 cup of flour into smooth and soft pastry.

Divide the dough in half and cover with warm bowl or warm pot. Let the dough stand for about 15 minutes before working with it   While dough rises, prepare your filling and set aside   Cut the large peace of dough and on a floured surface roll it out into a thin circle, about 1/4-inch thick.

Cut the dough using a 2-1/2 or 3-inch circle cutter.

Filling:

4 cups mashed potatoes

4 to 5 cups of grated Cheddar Cheese

3 tablespoons of butter

2 medium onions, finely chopped and sautéed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

To Prepare Potato Filling:

Sauté chopped onions in butter until soft and transparent (for about 4 to 5 minutes on medium heat), do not brown the the onions. Combine onions with warm (not hot) mashed potatoes and farmers cheese. Stir in salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.   Putting them all together:   Place about 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of each circle of dough and fold over. Press and seal into half-moon shapes. Use a little water to seal pierogi. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pierogi for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until they float. Remove from the water and drain.  (Knobby's Acres optional extra method - pan fry them lighty in butter until golden brown) Place them in serving dish and garnish with bacon crumbs, finely chopped fresh parsley leaves or finely chopped fresh chives (if desired) and serve with sour cream.
 





Monday, October 8, 2012

Scary Stories & Fall Recipes



A few short scary stories for this time of season and a couple recipes to boot...


A COLD GREETING


This is a story told by the late Benson Foley of San Francisco:

 “In the summer of 1881 I met a man named James H. Conway, a resident of Franklin, Tennessee. He was visiting San Francisco for his health, deluded man, and brought me a note of introduction from Mr. Lawrence Barting. I had known Barting as a captain in the Federal army during the civil war. At its close he had settled in Franklin, and in time became, I had reason to think, somewhat prominent as a lawyer. Barting had always seemed to me an honorable and truthful man, and the warm friendship which he expressed in his note for Mr. Conway was to me sufficient evidence that the latter was in every way worthy of my confidence and esteem. At dinner one day Conway told me that it had been solemnly agreed between him and Barting that the one who died first should, if possible, communicate with the other from beyond the grave, in some unmistakable way - just how, they had left (wisely, it seemed to me) to be decided by the deceased, according to the opportunities that his altered circumstances might present.

“A few weeks after the conversation in which Mr. Conway spoke of this agreement, I met him one day, walking slowly down Montgomery street, apparently, from his abstracted air, in deep thought. He greeted me coldly with merely a movement of the head and passed on, leaving me standing on the walk, with half-proffered hand, surprised and naturally somewhat piqued. The next day I met him again in the office of the Palace Hotel, and seeing him about to repeat the disagreeable performance of the day before, intercepted him in a doorway, with a friendly salutation, and bluntly requested an explanation of his altered manner. He hesitated a moment; then, looking me frankly in the eyes, said:

“‘I do not think, Mr. Foley, that I have any longer a claim to your friendship, since Mr. Barting appears to have withdrawn his own from me - for what reason, I protest I do not know. If he has not already informed you he probably will do so.’

“‘But,’ I replied, ‘I have not heard from Mr. Barting.’

“‘Heard from him!’ he repeated, with apparent surprise. ‘Why, he is here. I met him yesterday ten minutes before meeting you. I gave you exactly the same greeting that he gave me. I met him again not a quarter of an hour ago, and his manner was precisely the same: he merely bowed and passed on. I shall not soon forget your civility to me. Good morning, or - as it may please you - farewell.’

“All this seemed to me singularly considerate and delicate behavior on the part of Mr. Conway.

“As dramatic situations and literary effects are foreign to my purpose I will explain at once that Mr. Barting was dead. He had died in Nashville four days before this conversation. Calling on Mr. Conway, I apprised him of our friend’s death, showing him the letters announcing it. He was visibly affected in a way that forbade me to entertain a doubt of his sincerity.

“‘It seems incredible,’ he said, after a period of reflection. ‘I suppose I must have mistaken another man for Barting, and that man’s cold greeting was merely a stranger’s civil acknowledgment of my own. I remember, indeed, that he lacked Barting’s mustache.’

 “‘Doubtless it was another man,’ I assented; and the subject was never afterward mentioned between us. But I had in my pocket a photograph of Barting, which had been inclosed in the letter from his widow. It had been taken a week before his death, and was without a mustache.”



A WIRELESS MESSAGE


In the summer of 1896 Mr. William Holt, a wealthy manufacturer of Chicago, was living temporarily in a little town of central New York, the name of which the writer’s memory has not retained. Mr. Holt had had “trouble with his wife,” from whom he had parted a year before. Whether the trouble was anything more serious than “incompatibility of temper,” he is probably the only living person that knows: he is not addicted to the vice of confidences. Yet he has related the incident herein set down to at least one person without exacting a pledge of secrecy. He is now living in Europe.

One evening he had left the house of a brother whom he was visiting, for a stroll in the country. It may be assumed - whatever the value of the assumption in connection with what is said to have occurred - that his mind was occupied with reflections on his domestic infelicities and the distressing changes that they had wrought in his life.

 Whatever may have been his thoughts, they so possessed him that he observed neither the lapse of time nor whither his feet were carrying him; he knew only that he had passed far beyond the town limits and was traversing a lonely region by a road that bore no resemblance to the one by which he had left the village. In brief, he was “lost.”

 Realizing his mischance, he smiled; central New York is not a region of perils, nor does one long remain lost in it. He turned about and went back the way that he had come. Before he had gone far he observed that the landscape was growing more distinct - was brightening. Everything was suffused with a soft, red glow in which he saw his shadow projected in the road before him. “The moon is rising,” he said to himself. Then he remembered that it was about the time of the new moon, and if that tricksy orb was in one of its stages of visibility it had set long before. He stopped and faced about, seeking the source of the rapidly broadening light. As he did so, his shadow turned and lay along the road in front of him as before. The light still came from behind him. That was surprising; he could not understand. Again he turned, and again, facing successively to every point of the horizon. Always the shadow was before - always the light behind, “a still and awful red.”

Holt was astonished - “dumfounded” is the word that he used in telling it - yet seems to have retained a certain intelligent curiosity. To test the intensity of the light whose nature and cause he could not determine, he took out his watch to see if he could make out the figures on the dial. They were plainly visible, and the hands indicated the hour of eleven o’clock and twenty-five minutes. At that moment the mysterious illumination suddenly flared to an intense, an almost blinding splendor, flushing the entire sky, extinguishing the stars and throwing the monstrous shadow of himself athwart the landscape. In that unearthly illumination he saw near him, but apparently in the air at a considerable elevation, the figure of his wife, clad in her nite gown and holding to her breast the figure of his child. Her eyes were fixed upon his with an expression which he afterward professed himself unable to name or describe, further than that it was “not of this life.”

The flare was momentary, followed by black darkness, in which, however, the apparition still showed white and motionless; then by insensible degrees it faded and vanished, like a bright image on the retina after the closing of the eyes. A peculiarity of the apparition, hardly noted at the time, but afterward recalled, was that it showed only the upper half of the woman’s figure: nothing was seen below the waist.

The sudden darkness was comparative, not absolute, for gradually all objects of his environment became again visible.

In the dawn of the morning Holt found himself entering the village at a point opposite to that at which he had left it. He soon arrived at the house of his brother, who hardly knew him. He was wild-eyed, haggard, and gray as a rat. Almost incoherently, he related his night’s experience.

“Go to bed, my poor fellow,” said his brother, “and - wait. We shall hear more of this.”

An hour later came the predestined telegram. Holt’s dwelling in one of the suburbs of Chicago had been destroyed by fire. Her escape cut off by the flames, his wife had appeared at an upper window, her child in her arms. There she had stood, motionless, apparently dazed. Just as the firemen had arrived with a ladder, the floor had given way, and she was seen no more.

The moment of this culminating horror was eleven o’clock and twenty-five minutes, standard time.


THE GRAY DRESSED WOMAN


Two gentlemen were working in the town's small general store. The store was quiet and no customers were shopping until she walked in. A small frail woman dressed in grey entered the store, and proceeded toward the dairy section, saying nothing. She picked up a glass container of milk and, without paying for it or even glancing at the gentlemen, walked out of the store.

The men, surprised by the woman's thievery, hurried out of the store after her...but she was gone.

A few days later, the incident occurred again.

The same small woman dressed in the same grey dress entered the store, grabbed a glass container of milk, and left without paying. Again the men tried to follow after her, but she was nowhere to be seen.

After a couple of weeks, she appeared once again.

The same small woman, dressed in the same grey dress, entered the store, paid no attention to the men, snatched a glass container of milk, and vanished out the door. The men, slightly more prepared this time, quickly followed the woman out of the store. She hurried down the town's main street and the men found themselves having to run to keep up with her. She hastily turned down a dirt path, just at the edge of the woods. This is where the men lost her.

They trekked on further and came to a small cemetery neither of them knew existed. Suddenly, they heard a small noise. Concentrating, they identified it as a baby's cry...it was coming from the ground. The ground from which it was coming from was in front of a fresh gravestone marking the death of a mother and her infant who were buried together. Unsure of what else to do. the men quickly found shovels and exhumed the coffin. The crying became louder as they dug.

When they reached the coffin, they pried off the lid and inside found the small, grey-dressed woman...dead...with a live, crying infant in her arms...and three empty glass containers of milk. The poor child was mistakenly buried alive and the spirit of her deceased mother kept her alive until she was found.



PUMPKIN PIE CHEESECAKE

1 can (16 oz.) of pumpkin

2/3 cup of light brown sugar

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon of ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves

4 eggs, divided

1 cup of evaporated milk

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, divided

1 deep dish (9-10") unbaked pastry shell

1 pkg. (8 oz.) of cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine pumpkin, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, 2 slightly beaten eggs, evaporated milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla in large bowl. Pour into 10 inch pastry shell in deep dish pan. Combine cream cheese, sugar, remaining vanilla and 2 slightly beaten eggs in small bowl; beat until smooth. Carefully pour cream cheese mixture over pumpkin filling. (You want the cream cheese mixture to stay on top.) Bake 1 hour, or until knife comes out clean. Chill before serving. Note: The flavor improves overnight, so make it a day in advance, if possible.


PUMPKIN PIE BARS


1 (18 1/2 oz.) box of yellow cake mix

1/2 cup of butter or margarine, melted

4 eggs

1 (30 oz.) can of solid pack pumpkin (3 cups)

1 cup of sugar, divided

1/2 cup of light brown sugar (firmly packed)

2/3 cup of evaporated milk

1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1/2 cup of chopped walnuts

1/4 cup of butter or margarine, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Remove 1 cup of the cake mix; reserve. In a small bowl, lightly beat 1 egg. In a large bowl, stir together remaining cake mix, melted butter and beaten egg. Press into prepared pan. In a large bowl, lightly beat remaining 3 eggs. Stir in pumpkin, 1/2 cup of the sugar, brown sugar, evaporated milk and cinnamon. Pour over cake mixture in pan. To the 1 cup cake mix, add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, walnuts and softened butter; mix until crumbly. Sprinkle over pumpkin mixture. Bake 50 to 60 minutes. Serve warm or cool.


AMAZING APPLE SMOOTHIE


2 cups apple sauce

1 cup apple cider

1 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 teaspoons nutmeg

1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses fill with ice and serve.