Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Farm Update

This heat wave is NOT my favorite time of the year.  Picking, digging and caring for animals gets unbearable by 8 am so it means we are outside at first light.

The blackberries are slowing down and we have made Blackberry Jelly and will be making Blackberry Sage Jelly later today.  The rest of the Blackberries are going in my freezer for smoothies.  I didn't think that Blackberries were something we could do in our area but my Blackberries are doing wonderfully.  In a few weeks we'll be carefully picking leaves for great herbal tea, cleaning out the weeds and getting ready to add a deep layer of perma-mulch down under them.  We will also be going through and thinning the blackberries and potting them up for sale to those of you who would like to add them to your landscape.  Our Blackberries are the thornless variety.

The Goats are doing well and this years Boer Cross kids are growing incredibly fast!  We have decided to keep the doe kids and only sell the bucks for meat.  The Boer/Nubian Crosses will be bred to a Boer buck next year.  They were born to late for breeding them this year.  All our Nubian Does except two will be bred to our new Nubian Buckling for purebred Nubian kids for 2013.  After kidding next year we will have one two year old doe available plus doelings and bucklings.  They will be listed on the pages above.

We are in a inbetween stage on the garden.  Still picking and canning green beans.  We'll be pulling beets this next week; fermenting some and pickling & canning the rest.  The Saurkraut is looking awesome.  Tomatoes and cucumbers will be starting in earnest in the next couple of weeks.  I have lots of pickles and tomatoes to can this year.

There is always wonderful herbs coming out of Grandma Farmers Garden.


In looking at the yard I've decided to reduce the area we mow and mapping out garden beds that can be added.  These beds will be added in the Back to Eden method. 

Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Seasoning Mix

1 tablespoon each: Cumin, Dried Cilantro, Dried Oregano, Garlic Powder, Salt;  Two tablespons Dried Parsley, 1 teaspoon Black Pepper, and 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar (opt).  Mix together and sort in air tight container.

Shared from:  Get their great Kindle or Nook ebooks!

Assembly Directions:Mix all the seasonings together in a bowl. Store in an airtight container.
Serving Directions for Potatoes:One recipe is enough to coat 3 pounds of sweet potatoes. This will serve 9 to 12 people.
For every 3 to 4 servings use:
1 pound sweet potatoes
2 T. olive oil
4-1/2 t. seasoning mix.

Wash potatoes. Peel potatoes and cut into 1/4 inch match-sticks. Place potatoes in a medium or large bowl. For each pound of sweet potatoes, drizzle with 2 T. oil. Stir potatoes to thoroughly coat with oil. For each pound of sweet potatoes, sprinkle 4-1/2 t. of the seasoning mix. Stir to mix.

To grill potatoes using a vegetable grilling plate:
Heat grill to medium-high heat (around 425 degrees). Place the grilling plate on the grill while grill is heating to the correct temperature. Place the potatoes on the vegetable plate. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are lightly browned turning the potatoes every 4 or 5 minutes.

To cook potatoes in an oven: Heat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange the fries on a baking sheet in a single layer so that none of the fries are touching. Bake for 30 minutes turning the fries after 15 minutes. Fries should be crisp when done.

Nutritional Info: seasoning mix
Per Serving: 6 Calories; trace Fat (11.3% calories from fat); trace Protein; 1g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 268mg Sodium.
Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Nutritional Info: prepared potatoes
Per Serving: 152 Calories; 7g Fat (41.2% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 21g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 279mg Sodium.
Exchanges: 1- 1/2 Grain (Starch); 1-1/2 Fat.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Back To Eden Gardening Method

Grandma Farmer has decided that Friday's will be Gardening Day on the BLOG and we will be discussing how EVERYONE can garden in one form or another. 

We've also done some remodeling to the site and doing a bit of organizing.  We will be focusing on several aspects to make you better informed and to share what we know.  Hope you enjoy it.  On Saturdays we'll be occasionally offering special give-aways related to our topics, so watch for that to come.

After years of back-breaking toil in ground ravaged by the effects of man-made growing systems, Paul Gautschi has discovered a taste of what God intended for mankind in the garden of Eden. Some of the vital issues facing agriculture today include soil preparation, fertilization, irrigation, weed control, pest control, crop rotation, and PH issues. None of these issues exist in the unaltered state of nature or in Paul’s gardens and orchards.

“Back to Eden” invites you to take a walk with Paul as he teaches you sustainable organic growing methods that are capable of being implemented in diverse climates around the world.

Schedule 90 minutes to watch this informative film!


Italian Liver

SPECIAL NOTICE: Liver is a beneficial meat ONLY if it is from grass-fed beef.   Liver from non-grassfed animals may contain to many toxins.

Serves 3-4
  • 3 tablespoons Gluten-Free Flour Blend
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound beef liver from grass-fed beef, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 minced fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Hot cooked Gluten Free Pasta such as spaghetti
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

  • Instructions:

  • Combine flour and salt; toss with liver. Heat 1 teaspoons oil in a
  • skillet, cook liver until no longer pink. Remove and set aside. In
  • the same skillet, saute onion and celery in remaining oil until
  • tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, bay leaf, parsley, basil,
  • salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring
  • occasionally. Add liver; cover and cook 5 minutes longer or until
  • heated through. Remove bay leaf. Serve over gluten-free pasta like spaghetti; sprinkle with
  • cheese.

  • ****I had to add a bit of the liquid from cooking the pasta to the sauce.

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

    Ten Easy Ways to Lower Your Electric Bill in the Summer

    Thank God for Air Conditioning.  That's all I have to say.  However, this blessing brings with it some very high utility bills.  First I'm going to offer you the top seven ways you can IMMEDIATELY reduce your bills, then I'm going to offer some ideas for long term solutions.

    Quick and Easy Solutions

    1. Set your thermostat on 78-80 degrees and leave it there.  We don't turn our AC on unless it's horribly humid and over 90 degrees.  Use the timer on your thermostat just like you do in the winter.
    2. Use the wind to keep you cool.  We have ceiling fans.  I know that the current DIY tv shows are telling you that ceiling fans are out but we prefer practicality over having the most hip decor.  Ceiling fans and other fans cost a lot less to run than the AC unit.  It is key that your ceiling fan is turning in the correct direction.  It should blow down in the summer and up in the winter.
    3. We use lots of fans. A box fan in the window for cool evenings or days that are just not hot enough for the AC will help to draw cool breezes through the house and pulls the heat out of the house.  Put the fan in the window on the opposite side of the house from the direction of your breeze blowing OUT.
    4. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.  Duh!  We all know that!  Just like we all know that the rays of the sun make us warm.  Use your knowledge to help you. No one likes to live in a dark house and keep shades and curtians closed all day.  If you are running the AC then be wise.  Have room darkening shades, blinds and/or curtains on the south, east and west windows.  Keep the east windows closed until noon and the west windows closed after noon. In the summer the south windows pretty much have to be closed all the time. This helps tremendously.  You can also use Solar film on your windows.  I don't like this because it keeps the sun from warming in the winter.  If all else fails we always line the hottest windows with foil (just tape on the glass).  Make sure your windows and doors are properly caulked and sealed and that you are using storm doors and windows.
    5. Close registers in unused rooms.
    6. Keep your Filter clean.
    7. Shade your window air conditioner or condenser unit.  Shading the unit can save as much as 10% of your cooling costs.  Additionally, do not block the air flow to your AC units and hose off the coils of your outdoor units in the spring and every so often.
    8. Don't use your dryer.  Besides adding humidity to the house that your AC has to work to remove it cost lots of money and wears out your clothes to be dried in the dryer.  Use the great outdoors.....that's another post.
    9. Reduce heat from lighting.  Light bulbs put off a lot of heat.  Compact Florscents put off  90% less heat.
    10. Reduce heat from cooking.  Grill or use a solar oven.  Plan salad type meals with lots of veggies and fruit in the summer.  If you are going to cook or bake do it early in the day. The old Summer Kitchen was a God send to our ancestors.  I know some folks who mimic this by having a stove on their back porch....if you have one.
    Long Term Cooling ideas

    1. Make sure you are using high efficency units and that your unit(s) are properly sized.
    2. See to your proper insulation needs.  Don't forget basements and crawl spaces.
    3. Well-positioned shade trees can reduce indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees and energy use by up to 40%.The U.S. Secretary of Energy has said that if the world’s 100 largest and hottest cities switched to white roofs and light-colored cement pavement for roads, it would be the equivalent of taking all the world’s automobiles off the road for 11 years.
    4. Next time you install a new roof use white shingles.  Better yet!  Install a metal roof. 
    5. Test your duct work for leaks the average home loses 27% of its heating or cooling from leaky ducts. And over 86% of homes had ducts which lost more than 10%. (June 2009) Leaking ducts and insufficient insulation meant that the average home used 162 kWh/mo. extra electricity per month, or 18% more than normal. This is an extra $233 a year at average electrical rates.
    6. Paint the exterior of your house a light color.
    7. Install a radiant barrier. A layer of aluminum foil-type material or special paint across the underside of the roof in your attic blocks heat radiated into the roof, and reduces energy use by 3-8%. Besides decreasing the amount of attic heat that radiates into the living space, it might reduce the heat enough that you could consider turning the attic space itself into a living space.
    8. Plant shade trees.  Well-positioned shade trees can reduce indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees and energy use by up to 40%.

    Wednesday, June 27, 2012

    Picking Blackberries

    Keeping me out of the garden besides the heat is BLACKBERRY PICKING! Today I picked over a gallon and a half of BLACKBERRIES. Now what to do with them?  A few ideas are, make a batch of Blackberry Wine, put some in the freezer and some into Jelly. We're not big jelly eaters but I can give them for gifts.

    • Black Raspberries, also known as "black caps" are a very healthy food; packed with anthocyanins!
    • The USDA says 1 cup of blackberries has about 62 calories.
    • 1 cup of blackberries, not packed down weighs about 140 grams.
    • Select plump, firm, fully black berries. Unripe berries will not ripen once picked.
    • Ohio State University's Article Regarding Their Prevention of Cancer
    • Blackberry tea was said to be a cure for dysentery during the Civil War. During outbreaks of dysentery, temporary truces were declared to allow both Union and Confederate soldiers to "go blackberrying" to forgage for blackberries to ward off the disease.
    • Blackberries were enjoyed by the ancient Greeks, who believed them to be a cure for diseases of the mouth and throat, as well as a preventative against many ailments, including gout.
    • The blackberry leaf was also used as an early hair dye, having been recommended by Culpeper, the English herbalist, to be boiled in a lye solution in order to "maketh the hair black".
    • Researchers have known for quite some time that berries contain antioxidants which help to fight cancer causing free radicals. A study at the University of Ohio has found that black berries are the most potent cancer fighting berries of them all, by nearly 40 percent!
    • Do the math and be careful not to over-purchase as Blackberries quickly mold when left at room temperature, and only last a couple of days in the refrigerator.
    • You can easily freeze berries that you can not use right away - just wash, cut the hulls off and pop them into a ziplock bag, removing as much air as possible. Those vacuum food sealers REALLY do a good job of this! The berries will keep for many months frozen without air.
    1/3 cup butter
    2 cups sugar
    1 cup milk
    2 cups flour, sifted (if you use gluten-free flour add 1/2 teaspoon xantham gum)
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    2 cups blackberries

    Cream the butter and 1 cup of the sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the milk and a mixture of the flour, salt and baking powder, mix well. Pour into a buttered 3-quart baking pan. Layer the blackberries over the top. Drizzle a mixture of 2 cups boiling water and the remaining 1 cup sugar over the blackberries. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or until top is golden brown. Yield: at least 12 servings.

    Tuesday, June 26, 2012

    My Favorite Breakfast or Anytime Meal

    Two farm fresh, cage free, organic eggs,  orgnically grown veggies from the garden fried in 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil ( I NEVER use canola or vegetable oil) and topped with a couple slices of colby jack cheese.  I ate this with a slice of guten-free dilly bread with butter (I NEVER eat margerine) and a glass of ice cold, raw whole milk.

    Good fats help protect me from the bad effects of the summer sun and allow me to get all the vitiman D my skin can produce with the help of the sun.

    I have found a tablespoon or so of Coconut oil helps to speed up my metabolism.

    Monday, June 25, 2012

    Monday Moments

    Even my week to get caught up and finish projects for our biggest birthday month (July) in our family didn't happen.  I'm a little behind and have gotten sidetracked on yet another new project......a workable dayplanner that could have the potential to actually keep me on it possible?

    It still looks like a pile of papers to me.............Hope I get it ready by the end of the week as the first day of July is rushing rapidly upon us!  The weather definately tells me IT IS SUMMER!

    What's Coming Out of Our Garden?

    Click on our ON FARM MARKET STORE page at the top of this blog.

    Spiritual Food
    Reading Through the Bible In a Year
    We are again attempting to read through the Bible this year. Just joining us or did you get behind? No matter and no need to play catch-up. Start where you are today and go forward.

    Monday:  Luke 7:1-10, Philippians 4:14-23, Psalms 122, 2 Kings 24-25
    Use the rest of the week to play catch-up or read an encouraging book.
    Sunday:  Luke 7:11-17, Colossians 1:1-14,, Psalms 123-124, 1 Chron 1-2

    We also like to read a Proverb a Day corresponding to the day of the month. This month I am memorizing Psalms 20, could you memorize a Psalm in July?

    Physical Food
    This Weeks Menu

    SundayGrilled Tuscan Chicken (I'm using Cornish Game Hens), Stir-Fry Veggies,  Baked Potato, Coconut Cream Pie
    MondayScallops with Bok Choy over Cello Noodles
    Tuesday -  Taco Salad
    Wednesday - Italian Liver, Mashed Garlic Potatoes, Fresh Green Beans
    Thursday -  Chicken Pot Pie
    Friday - Salmon with Asparagus and Raspberries, Glazed Carrots
    Saturday - Pizza, Super Salad

    Quick Tips That Save Time and Money

    How To Make An Organic Roundup Replacement:

    Vinegar is a fantastic weed killer. It is non toxic, biodegradable, readily available, and it is cheap. Go to your local grocer store and purchase a gallon of white vinegar. It usually sells for... around $3. You can find a heavy duty squirt bottle at your local garden store. I recommend buying a good one, as the cheap ones do not last. For a few dollars you can buy a quart sized bottle that should last at least a year. Fill up with straight vinegar, do not dilute. Use this to spray directly on weeds that you want to get rid of. Some pesky buggers may require 2 or 3 applications.You can also use this in place of bleach. I have a couple spray bottles and have one in the garage labeled weed killer, another under the kitchen sink labeled disinfectant.

    It works well, its cheap, and its all natural, You will not be poisoning the earth, risking cancer, or supporting Monsanto. Please share this information with your friends, family, neighbors, and co workers. Together we can create positive change by taking a few simple steps in the right direction.

    Monday, June 18, 2012

    Monday Moments

    I'm popping in quickly to give you a few updates on my gardening and my VACATION.  Yes, I'm on a bit of a vacation from my blogs but I wanted to keep you updated.

    I walked to the garden today and was pleased to see everything growing so well after the rains.  It is going to be hot, hot, hot today.  My garden helper will be here today and we will battle the weeds that are also growing.


    There are about 6-8 lovely cabbages that are in the garden ready to cut!  Half of them will be available and the other half will be made into Saurkraut and I may even try some KimChi (sp) this year. Cutting them and pulling these plants will allow my parsley to grow better and I will plant more Kale.  That's a project I will be BLOGGING about soon.

    If you are local to us see our FARM MARKET PAGE above to see what is available and contact us for details.

    I've had a couple of responses on my Facebook page that some of you really do enjoy my BLOG and updates.  That's encouraging.  I'm trying to get a better grasp of my days and organizing my time.  If you enjoy this BLOG won't you encourage me by telling me your favorite things I BLOG it, gluten-free recipes, homemade health, gardening, sewing, quilting, crafting?  What do you like to hear?  Post a message to me here or talk to me on our FACEBOOK page.

    Have a great week!  I won't be posting this week and will be looking to start posting again next week or the week after!  Hope you are enjoying your summer!  GOD BLESS!

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

    Pickled Lemons, Sugar Free

    WOW, Fresh ORGANIC lemon peel is often a great go to ingredient in todays healthy recipes.  Not everyone, including myself, can just run to the store and get an ORGANIC lemon and ORGANIC is the only choice I'll make when I need lemon PEEL.

    Pickled or Fermented Sugar Free Lemon is now my go to choice and sooooo easy to make plus it holds in the refrigerator for months.

    Lemon and Lime have long been used to treat scurvy; lemon juisce is also an effictive diuretic.  In tests of plant extracts, lemon extract was found to be effective in killing roundworms.  The high acidity of lemon juice, and its disinfectant and antimicrobial properties, make it ideal for marinating raw fish.  The Romans believed that lemon was an antidote for all poisons, including venomous snake bites.

    Most commercial lemons and other citrus fruits are treated with neurotoxic cholinesterase inhibitors to prevent spoilage, so it pays to seek out organic lemons, oranges and grapefruit.

    5 organic lemons (more if they are small), preferably thin-skinned
    2 tablespoons sea salt
    3 cinnamon sticks, broken up
    2 tablespoons whey
    juice of 2 lemons (more if they are small)

    Wash the lemons well, slice thinly and cut slices into quarters.

    Toss in a bowl with salt and cinnamon sticks.  Place in a quart-sized, wide mouth mason jar and press down lightly with a wooden pounder or a meat hammer.

    Mix lemon juice with whey and add to jar, pressing down so that the liquid completely covers the lemons.  Lemons should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar.  Cver tightly and keep at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, turning the jar once a day, before transferring to cold storage.  When adding to redipes, remove pulp and cut skin into a julienne.

    Monday, June 11, 2012

    Monday Moments

    Don't forget our Coconut Oil Give-Away  CLICK HERE!

    Making Your Own Gluten-Free Vanilla

    According to Vanilla Review, "Quality vanilla is a tasty and essential cooking ingredient. It’s also very expensive. By making our own extraction we get the highest possible quality product made from the absolute best vanilla beans. Considering that the FDA regulates vanilla extract by bean weight and not bean quality, you never know what you might be getting with manufactured products. Your vanilla will be free of the artificial colors and vile corn sweeteners found in even high-quality vanilla extracts. Hand crafted vanilla extract is a great gift that will last a lifetime — like a fine wine, vanilla extract matures with age."
    Wow, the ingredients are expensive!!!  Have you price Vanilla Beans lately?  Actually the beans have gone down in price.  Remember to get only the best quality beans and they should be fresh and soft.  We think that dollar for dollar and quality of product you will find that making your own Vanilla will actually save you money in the long run!
    We found an excellant tutorial for you HERE.  We love our homemade vanilla and if you are Gluten-Intollerant or Celiac then you will be glad you made your own too!
    Making your own vanilla does require liquor, as does making some of your own herbal extracts.  The following is for us gluten-free folks:
    Gluten-Free Vodka BrandsChopin (potato based) -
    Ciroc (grape based) -
    Ciroc now features flavored vodkas!

    Gluten-Free Rum
    Most Rum is naturally gluten-free, including Bacardi & Cruzan. Beware Rums with fancy "natural flavors" that could be hiding wheat, barley or malt.

    The Gift of Hospitality
    Our Hospitality Hint of the Week

    Today we are going to begin a series of ideas on things you can to to Bless others in the name of Jesus Christ.

    Many people are homebound for one reason or another and often forgotten. This Hospitality Hint is great for the homebound or just ANYONE for that matter.  There are many lonely people in this world often surrounded by thousands.

    Call or Text

    Check in every once in awhile allows others know your are thinking of them.  A phone call is more personal, but a quick text message can be equally appreciated by most people.  Even Facebook messages or emails can be encouraging.

    Reading Through the Bible In a Year
    We are again attempting to read through the Bible this year. Just joining us or did you get behind? No matter and no need to play catch-up. Start where you are today and go forward.

    Monday: Luke 4:1-12, Ephesians 5:22-33, Psalms 119:81-88, 1 Kings 17-18
    Tuesday: Luke 4:13-30, Ephesians 6:1-9, Psalms 119:89-96, 1 Kings 19-20
    Wednesday: Luke 4:31-37, Ephesians 6:10-24, Psalms 119:97-104, 1 Kings 21-22
    Thursday: Luke 4:38-44, Phillippians 1:1-11, Psalms 119:105-112, 2 Kings 1-3
    Friday: Luke 5:1-11, Phillippians 1:12-20, Psalms 119:113-120, 2 Kings 4-5
    Saturday: Luke 5:12-16, Pillippians 1:21-30, Psalms 119:121-128, 2 Kings 6-7
    Sunday: Luke 5:17-26, Phillippians 2:1-11, Psalms 119:129-136, 2 Kings 8-9

    We also like to read a Proverb a Day corresponding to the day of the month. This month I am memorizing Psalms 20, could you memorize a Psalm?

    Genealogy or Family History

    Ever wondered who your grandparents were or where they came from? I have been finding out some interesting things, solving some medical mysteries and just having some fun with genealogy (family history) explorations!  If you want to find out how to search your family history or see what fun I'm having visit my other BLOG

    101 Herbs That Heal

    Below is the First 10 in my list of the 101 Plants/shrubs/Trees on our property that have healing qualities.

    1. Aloe
    2. Apple Trees
    3. Aronia
    4. Basil
    5. Blackberry
    6. Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
    7. Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
    8. Catnip
    9. Cayenne
    10. Chaomile

    This rather ambiguous little pepper has so many uses and health benefits that I decided just to link you to them.

    The plant itself is rather easy to grow and like hot weather so if you'd like to grow a pepper that has a little bite without burning your face off, Cayenne peppers are probably the way to go. They have a medium heat and are used in many Cajun and Mexican dishes. Here are a few steps to growing your own supply of this versatile and hot, but not too hot, pepper.

    Check out the Chili Man

    or this UTube Video


    Why Do People Use Chamomile?

    Chamomile has a long history of use in Europe for digestive ailments. The active constiuents of chamomile have anti-inflammatory properties, and ease spasm and discomfort in the digestive tract.
    • Indigestion
    • Anxiety
    • Insomnia
    • Canker sores
    • Colic
    • Conjunctivitis, eye irritations
    • Crohn's disease
    • Diarrhea
    • Eczema
    • Gingivitis
    • Hemorrhoids
    • Menstrual disorders
    • Migraine
    • Irritable bowel syndrome
    • Peptic ulcer
    • Skin irritations
    • Ulcerative colitis
    • Minor wounds
    Chamomile is part of the Asteraceae plant family, which includes ragweed and chrysanthemum, so people with allergies may react when they use chamomile either internally or topically. Call your doctor if you experience vomiting, skin irritation, allergic reactions (chest tightness, wheezing, hives, rash, itching) after chamomile use.
    Chamomile should not be taken during pregnancy or breast-feeding.
    Chamomile contains coumarin, a naturally-occurring compound with anticoagulant or blood-thinning effects. It should not be combined with warfarin or other medications or supplements that have the same effect or be used by people with bleeding disorders. It shouldn't be used two weeks before or after surgery.

    Here's a great UTube Video on how to grow Chamomile

    Sunday, June 10, 2012

    Gluten-Free Peach Crumb Bars

    Yield: 24 bars

    For the Dough:
    3 cups all purpose Gluten-free flour blend
    1/2 teaspoon Xantham Gum (if it is not already in your blend)
    1 cup coconut sugar
    1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
    ¼ teaspoon sea salt
    1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
    1 room temperature egg, lightly beaten

    For the Filling:
    5 cups diced or sliced peaches (about 7 peaches, peeled)
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    ½ cup all purpose flour
    1 cup coconut sugar
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

    1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.
    2. For the Dough: In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Use a pastry blender to cut in the butter, and then the egg. The dough will be crumbly. Pat half of the dough into the prepared pan. Place the pan and the remainder of the dough in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
    3. For the Filling: Place the diced (or sliced) peaches in a large bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice. Mix gently. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour over the peaches and mix gently.
    4. Spread the peach mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble the remaining dough over the peach layer.
    5. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

    (Dough recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen; Filling recipe from Allrecipes)

    Coconut Oil GIVE-AWAY

    We've used Coconut Oil for years at our house.  People used to howl when they heard that we were using it.  Back then Coconut Oil, like a lot of good foods, had been given a bad rap.  The other problem with some of the Coconut Oils is the 'after taste' that many disliked.  We NEVER found anything like that with Coconut Oil that we purchased from Tropical Traditions.

    Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is, in our estimation, the highest quality coconut oil. This premium Virgin Coconut Oil is handcrafted by family producers in the Philippines using traditional methods passed down from previous generations. Tropical Traditions was the first one to export Virgin Coconut Oil from the Philippines to the United States back in 2001. Recent studies show that traditionally-made coconut oils have the highest amounts of antioxidants. Watch our video for more information about this premium Virgin Coconut Oil.

    Coconut Oil can be used in the same proportions as any vegetable oil measurement in your recipes.  Plus, Tropical Traditions has many great recipes on their web site.  I have the site bookmarked so that I can check it often.  Another advantage of Tropical Traditions is their Healthy Buyers Club where you can join in with your friends for great discounts on Tropical Traditions great products or just stock up for yourself.  Over the years they have added a huge line-up of Coconut Oil products plus there are a ton of other organic, real food choices if you can't find some of these products locally.

    With this glowing review you can imagine my delight when the USP truck arrived with my own complementary jar of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil.  The best part is I get to share one with you!!!

    Enter Today!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil - 32 oz.Win 1 quart of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil!

    Tropical Traditions is America’s source for coconut oil. Their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is hand crafted in small batches by family producers, and it is the highest quality coconut oil they offer. You can read more about how virgin coconut oil is different from other coconut oils on their website: What is Virgin Coconut Oil?

    You can also watch the video they produced about Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil:


    Tropical Traditions also carries other varieties of affordable high quality coconut oil. Visit their website to check on current sales, to learn about the many uses of coconut oil, and to read about all the advantages of buying coconut oil online. Since the FDA does not want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil.

    Friday, June 8, 2012

    Gluten Free Cottage Dilly Bread

    1/2 cup warm water
    1 tablespoon yeast
    1 teaspoon honey

    2 1/2 cups Better Than Wheat flour blend
    1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
    2 Tablespoons Honey
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced or 2 teaspoons dried dill weed
    2 tablespoons dried minced onion

    1 cup small curd cottage cheese
    2 eggs
    2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
    1 teaspoon pure apple cider vinegar

    1 tablespoon melted butter for basting bread

    Before baking preheat oven to 375 degrees.

    Mix together the warm water, yeast and honey.  Set aside until foamy.

    In a mixing bowl combine flour, xanthan gum, salt, honey, baking soday, dill and onion.  With mixer on low speed slowly pour in yeast mixture.  Add cottage cheese, eggs, melted butter and vinegar.  Beat on high speed for 2-3 minutes.

    Oil 7 or 8 inch round casserole dish with butter or coconut oil.  Spread batter evenly into pan.  Make 2-3 slashes in top of bread.  Cover with dry towel and rise for 1 1/2-2 hours.  Baste with melted butter. 

    Bake for 60 minutes.  Cover with foil the last 15 minuts to prevent over-browning.  Allow bread to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

    This bread would make a great MEATLESS MONDAY meal made into cheese sandwiches and our Tomato Basil Soup.

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

    Lemon Dilly Chicken

    Fresh lemon and dill create a quick Greek-inspired pan sauce for simple sautéed chicken breasts. Make it a meal: Serve with Herbed Quiona .  Adapted  from a recipe on Eating Well
    • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs, 
    • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
    • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil,  divided
    • 4 tablespoons finely chopped onion
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
    • 2 teaspoons all-purpose gluten-free flour
    • 2 heaping tablespoons chopped fresh dill, divided
    • 3 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1. Make sure that your chicken pieces are approximately the same thickness.  If you need to pound them inside a zipper bag with a small skillet, do so until they are approximately the same size.
    2. Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoon oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear until well browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate and tent with foil.
    3. Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoon oil to the pan. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk broth, flour, 4 teaspoons dill and lemon juice in a measuring cup and add to pan. Cook, whisking, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
    4. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan; reduce heat to low and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a warmed platter. Season sauce with salt and pepper and spoon over the chicken. Garnish with the remaining  chopped fresh dill.
    What to do with the left overs?

    This recipe is easily halved to serve just two or you can dice the left-over chicken, add it to the left-over Herbed Quiona and you have instant Quinoa Primavera

    Herbed Quiona

    Quiona is a marvelous grain/seed that is used in Peru and neighboring countries and not enough in the US.  It is highly nutritious being high in fiber and protein, making it perfect for the gluten-free/celiac folks or anyone for that matter.

    This recipe serves 4.  Make it day one with Lemon Dilly Chicken and then serve the left-overs the following day as Chicken Primavera.

    1 cup plus 3 tablespoons quinoa
    8 oz frozen peas, cooked
    1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
    1 ounces cream cheese
    2 Tablespoons milk
    1 tablespoon EACH chopped fresh basil, oregano and parsley
    1 garlic cloves, minced
    salt and pepper to taste
    Parmesan cheese for each serving.

    Boil 2 cups of water, then add the quinoa and return to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes.

    In a small bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, milk, herbs, garlic, salt and pepper.

    Once the quiona is cooked add the peas, tomatoes, and cream sauce and give it a toss to combine.

    Sprinkle with Parmasean Cheese

    This can be served warm or as a cold salad.  Try adding 2 cups diced chicken to make a delicious Chicken Primavera.

    Wednesday, June 6, 2012

    Immune Tea

    We have found this tea to be very effective when drunk at the possible onset of a cold or flu.  Not meant to be consumed on a continual basis or in large amounts over a short period of time.

    This blend of popular herbs is hand-crafted using freshly dried herbs that have been processed in small batches to produce a tea of superlative freshness and quality. This refreshing tea can be enjoyed both as a hot or cold beverage.

    •Made with Organic Herbs
    •Herb Identity Guaranteed
    •Pure: No Artificial Ingredients

    Ingredients: Organic Peppermint leaf (Mentha piperita), Organic Green tea herb (Camellia sinensis), Oregon Grape root (Mahonia sp.), Organic Rose hips (Rosa canina), Organic Organic peel (Citrus sinensis), Organic Calendula flower (Calendula officinalis), Organic Echinacea top & root (Echinacea purpurea), Goldenseal rhizome (Hydrastis canadensis), Organic Red Clover & blossom (Trifolium pratense)

    Grandma Farmer's Package contains 2 ounces or approximately 15 servings. 

    To prepare, add 1 teaspoon of tea per 8 fl. oz of boiling water. Stir, cover and steep for 5 minutes. Strain and enjoy hot, or cold, with or without your favorite sweetener.

    Larger quantity/16 servings (1 gallon): Prepare a concentrate by adding 6 tablespoons of tea to one quart of boiling water. Stir, cover and steep for 5 minutes. Strain and cool. Refrigerate the concentrate. To serve, dilute one part tea concentrate with three parts water. The diluted tea may be reheated or served cold as an iced tea.

    Contains natural caffeine supplied by the Green tea. Each cup supplies approximately 1/10th of the caffeine found in a cup of coffee. Nutritional supplements containing Echinacea should be used with caution in individuals with autoimmune diseases. Do not take if pregnant or nursing. Avoid excessive or long-term use. Keep out of reach of children. Discontinue if unusual symptoms occur. Do not exceed recommended dose unless under the guidance of a health care professional. Individuals sensitive to plants in the Daisy family (sesquiterpene lactone-containing plants) should use all Echinacea supplements with caution.

    This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The Contraindications and Potential Drug Interactions information provided on this website is not intended to be all-inclusive. A health care professional should be consulted regarding the use of herbal products. Always keep your Doctor or other healthcare professional informed about the herbal and other dietary supplement products that you are taking.

    Prepared in a non-licensed, non-inspected kitchen. All products are made using equipment that is also used in preparing products with tree nuts & peanuts.

    Cost:  $5.00 per bag.........Can be shipped.  CONTACT US with address so we can give shipping quote.

    Sunday, June 3, 2012

    Monday This 'n That

    Greetings friends!  Thanks for coming to visit today!  Mondays seem to be the day that I put together several tips and thoughts to get your week started.

    The garden is looking lovely and the flower beds that I started and/or renovated are taking shape thanks to the hard work of my helpers.  Getting all this work done with two folks, getting older, and slightly handicapped is not easy.  I'm going to have to wrap my brain around projects that aren't so demanding.  Unfortunately, it seems, that my old girl (my 130+ year old house) is always in some state of needing repair.

    Meet Beef and Buddy

    Today we are introducing you to some of the members of our farm family.  Buddy the Llama (pictured above with our Boer Goat Buck) has been with us for 12 years or so.  We bought him as a 9 month old black Llama with hopes that he would be a guard Llama for our sheep.  He was naughty with the sheep so not knowing what else to do with him we put him in with our cows and calves.  He loved it!  He took to guarding the calves like nobodies business!  We no longer have dairy or beef cows except for the lone beef we grow our every year.  So now he has charge of the lone dairy calf we are growing out for beef and a couple of buck goats.  He's getting really gray but we hope he is enjoying his final years here at our farm.  Life expectency of a Llama is 20-25 years so he has a few years left.  Not every Llama is suitable for use as a guard.  He has to have a special personality.  Our Buddy is really a buddy to us, especially Mike.

    Meet Beef, he is our newest beef project.  He is a Guernsey Dairy Bull Calf.  We bought him from our local raw milk dairy where he spent his first week eating milk straight from his mother.  We continue to feed him milk via a bottle, now he gets goat milk and has started to eat grass.

    The Economy
    "We who live in free market societies believe that growth, prosperity and ultimately human fulfillment, are created from the bottom up, not the government down. Only when the human spirit is allowed to invent and create, only when individuals are given a personal stake in deciding economic policies and benefitting from their success -- only then can societies remain economically alive, dynamic, progressive, and free. Trust the people. This is the one irrefutable lesson of the entire postwar period contradicting the notion that rigid government controls are essential to economic development."

    Ronald Regan, September 29, 1981

    Reading Through the Bible In a Year
    We are again attempting to read through the Bible this year. Just joining us or did you get behind? No matter and no need to play catch-up. Start where you are today and go forward.

    Monday:  Luke 1:57-66, Ephesians 2:11-22, Psalms 119:25-32, 1 Kings 6-7
    Tuesday:  Luke 1: 67-80, Ephesians 3:1-13, Psalms 119:33-40, 1 Kings 8
    Wednesday: Luke 2:1-20, Ephesians 3:14-21, Psalms 119:41-48, 1 Kings 9-10
    Thursday: Luke 2:21-40, Ephesians 4:1-16, Psalms 119:49-56, 1 Kings 11
    Friday: Luke 2:41-52, Ephesians 4:17-24, Psalms 119:57-64, 1 Kings 12
    Saturday: Luke 3:1-20, Ephesians 4:25-32, Psalms 119:65-72, 1 Kings 13-14
    Sunday: Luke 3:21-38, Ephesians 5:1-21, Psalms 119:73-80, 1 Kings 15-16

    We also like to read a Proverb a Day corresponding to the day of the month. This month I am memorizing Psalms 20, could you memorize a Psalm?

    Photo: Great inspiration for your next toddler party!
    101 Herbs That Heal

    Below is the First 10 in my list of the 101 Plants/shrubs/Trees on our property that have healing qualities.

    1. Aloe
    2. Apple Trees
    3. Aronia
    4. Basil
    5. Blackberry
    6. Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
    7. Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
    8. Catnip
    9. Cayenne
    10. Chaomile
    I only have 58 more plants/trees/shrubs to propigate. (Chuckle) This also means I get to create more beds to plant all these wonderful and beautiful plants. There's nothing like edible landscape, incorporate all these wonderful plants into your landscape and include them in your 'flower' and garden beds. We will discuss two plants a week.


    According to Wickapedia Calendula or "pot marigold, is a genus of about 12–20 species of annual or perennial herbaceous plants in the daisy family Asteraceae, native to the area from Macaronesia east through the Mediterranean region to Iran. Calendula should not be confused with other plants that are also known as marigolds, such as corn marigold, desert marigold, marsh marigold, or plants of the genus Tagetes.

    The name Calendula stems from the Latin kalendae, meaning first day of the month, presumably because pot marigolds are in bloom at the start of most months of the year. "

    Calendula is usually used externally for its antiseptic and healing properties in treating skin infections, cuts, punctures, scrapes, burns and chapped or chafed skin or lips. The tea or the tincture in water can be swished and swallowed in order to help heal oral lesions, sore throat, or gastric ulcer. Calendula has a good history of external use in the treatment of varicose veins.

    Cat Mint aka Catnip
    Starr 070906-8819 Nepeta cataria.jpg
    Catnip is almost a weed around here.  A member of the mint family, it got it's name because of how much Cat's love the herb.  Common catnip looks alot like lemon balm and often has a lemony flavor and can be used in place of lemon balm in some instances. 

    Not all Catnips are the same.

    Catnip has a history of medicinal use for a variety of ailments.  The plant has been consumed as a tea, juice, tincture, infusion or poultice, and has also been smoked.  However, its medicinal use has fallen out of favor with the development of more effective drugs. 
    The presence of a chemical called nepetalactone produces sedative-like affects in humans, making catnip a popular home remedy for headaches as well as insomnia.  

    To make catnip tea, add one teaspoon of dried catnip leaves or three to four teaspoons of fresh catnip leaves to a mug of boiling water and let it steep.

    Nepetalactone is a mosquito and fly repellent.  Oil isolated from catnip by steam distillation is a repellent against insects, in particular mosquitoes, cockroaches and termites.   Research suggests that in a test tube, distilled nepetalactone repels mosquitoes ten times more effectively than DEET, the active ingredient in most insect repellents, but that it is not as effective a repellent when used on the skin.

    For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
    This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

    Friday, June 1, 2012

    Lavender Bundles

    We are picking Lavender this weekend!  The bee's are busy working the lavender in Grandma Farmer's Garden.  After picking we tie them into bundles to dry and be sold 2/$6. We will ship! CONTACT US with your address for shipping fees. Harvested at its peak for color and scent, our fragrant bundles of naturally grown lavender are perfect for wreaths, bouquets, and any decorative use. 

    Lovely and fragrant aroma therapy for any room.

    Does Lavender Help You De-stress

    Can relaxing with lavender help? The Egyptians thought so. They relaxed by adding lavender to their bath water and so can we! What worked more than 2000 years ago still works today.

    Clinical trials are confirming many of the things not only those Egyptians knew long ago; but other lavender uses throughout the centuries have also attested to … relaxing with lavender works.

    Health Benefits of Lavender

    There are many health benefits with lavender. If you choose lavender for health and well-being, maybe you have noted some of these benefits too.

    • Has been used as a relaxant

    • Can be of benefit when stressed or anxious

    • Is noted for effectiveness in healing acne

    • Assists with wound healing

    • May be refreshing when tired and exhausted

    • May improve appearance and balance of oily skin

    • Has been known to heal burns

    • May assist with reducing scarring

    • Used as an insect repellant

    • Soothes sunburn (do NOT use as sunblock)

    • Acts as healing agent for cuts and abrasions

    • May alleviate nausea

    • Effective in treatment of athletes foot
    With its antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial properties; lavender for health and well-being is certainly one to consider.

    And this list of the health benefits of lavender is in no way exhaustive. However, for diagnosis and treatment of any medical condition; it is advisable to seek medical help.  Herbs never work the same on a large group of individuals.

    Lavender is an Amazing Aromatic Herb

    The fact that lavender has many healing properties and is also such an amazing aromatic herb, is a bonus. I will continue using lavender for my health and well-being. Maybe you will too.

    Sausage, White Bean and Spinach Stew

    It was chilly last night so I decided to use some things in the garden and pantry to create this delish stew.  It was adapted from a recipe in Womans Day.  This recipes serves two.

    1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
    8 ounces Bulk Italian Sausage
    2 cloves garlic, diced
    1/4 cup white wine
    16 ounces homemade chicken stock
    2 ounces GF noodles (I used Ancient Harvest Quinoa Veggie Spirals)
    1/2 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, rinsed (I froze the remainder)
    Black Pepper
    5 ounces spinace, stems removed and sliced in ribbons
    2 Tablespoons Parmesan, grated.

    Heat oil in saucepan.  Add the sausage and cooke, stirring occasionally, until browned.  Transfer the sausage to a bowl.

    Add the garlic to the pan and cook, stirring for 1 minute (do not brown).  Add the wine and simmer, scraping up any brown bits, for 1 minute.

    Add the broth and pasta and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until the pasta is just tender (about 8 minutes).

    Add the beans, sausage and pepper, cook until heated through.  Remove from heat and add the spinach, stirring gently until it begins to wilt.  Serve topped with 1 tablespoon Parmesan in each bowl.