1. Angie McLemore

    I’m so excited to see and read all the information you and your family share with everyone! Of all the reading I have done I truly believe I understand what you guys teach the best! I actually had a visual of the hobbled poult! Thank you!

  2. Angie McLemore

    I have enough moles to keep them from starving!

    • 06/22/2017

      Well, I suppose that’s one good thing to say about moles!

  3. bon

    Thanks for writing openly about this. I’m so busy and, sometimes, just want to give up my gardening time. It’s covered in weeds, but in reality it is highly productive right now.

  4. 08/19/2017

    Bon, I think this is common to most people who both work and garden. Throw in family matters, and things truly do get complicated at times!

  5. john

    Very good article, George. It sounds like you have experienced the sinking feeling of a garden being overtaken by weeds. (so have I.) I have had many very weedy and very productive gardens. Like kids it is very important to give the plants a good start. Once the plants have that start they can often compete and still yield with weeds that are overtaking the garden. My late summer plantings are often managed with a weed whacker between the rows instead of a hoe. It is much quicker and easier than hoeing. Fine seeded crops like carrots and beets are a lot of work no matter when you plant, but even they can be managed with a weed whacker once they have some size to them. Go between the rows and over the tops of them. It is ok to even shear them back a little. They will re-grow and it will give them a chance to get some more size. A 6 foot pigweed plant casts a lot of shade! If I can I try to keep them from getting that big. Sometimes I just snap them over while picking the crop. Every little bit helps!

    • 08/19/2017

      All great input John! One of my favorite weeding tools for mid to late summer is an Asian grass sickle. I use it like you use the weed whacker. It also makes me feel a little better when I cut armloads of weeds and use them to feed our meat rabbits and other livestock.

      As you said, “Every little bit helps!” Even getting the weeds cut goes a long way to making the garden more manageable.


  6. john

    Sometimes having some weeds in the garden also helps to deter theft by camofluaging your crop. This is helpful especially if your garden is in a community garden where others may be tempted to steal.

  7. john

    George do you have a picture of the asian grass sickle? I would love to see what it looks like. I may need one of them. LOL

  8. 08/20/2017

  9. 08/20/2017

    I got that particular one on Ebay for $6!

  10. 11/07/2017

    Of course one needs to be sociable in order to have a wealth of relationships. We find we have developed a lot of friendships, in part, because of our lifestyle. A perfect example is that of the feed store. Our weekly visit there, is almost all on a first name basis. Additionally, probably the best way I know, to extend ones social engagement, is to have some skills and be readily willing to teach others.

    Also, as mentioned in the video, nothing takes the place of being part of a spiritually minded community. Not only ought there be a lot of fun and relationship there, but also a whole lot of support when one goes through tough times. If you become a part of a church which teaches the Bible, then you will also have opportunity to learn how to actually know God personally, to be a peace with Him, and pursue your God given purpose in life. “God given” is a million times better than “self given.”
    Psalm 16:11 Speaking of God says: ” You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

  11. 11/18/2017

    The darker bread, at top, is rye bread, which I just recently made. Soon, we will add that recipe to the course.

  12. 12/02/2017

    Mr. McLaughlin,
    Your bread sounds very interesting and I will look forward to seeing the recipe.

  13. Admin bar avatar

    Thank you! We’re training our LGD puppies and I’m so grateful to read this! We’ll be getting chicks in the spring.

  14. 12/21/2017

    Something I didn’t bring into that post is the importance of ownership. The dogs truly seem to understand when something is “their master’s.” When they “get it,” then they will take care of it. So, when I’m teaching a pup about poultry, I make sure to hold a chicken and show it to him, telling him that “It’s mine.” Once he gets that in his head, most of the battle is won.

    Another thing which seems to be part of the well trained LGD psyche is the concept of eating what is GIVEN to them. Sure, they will scavenge for dead things, rodents, etc. But they learn that a lot of things are not okay to eat, unless “Master gives it to me.” That’s probably why Mando guarded that dead chicken all day, only eating it when I noticed him and told him that it was alright.

  15. Admin bar avatar

    Once upon a time I made my own laundry soap. I think I stopped when I was diagnosed with cancer. I need to start making it again.

  16. This one makes for fascinating reading. I think it might even be good for reading out loud as a family!

  17. 01/01/2018

    So very true! Our dogs wouldn’t come in the house if we prepared them a steak!!

  18. 01/07/2018

    That seems to be how it is with the majority of the livestock guardian breeds. They are REALLY cold hardy, getting really happy when it’s really cold!

  19. fourteenmilecreek

    My Wife has a Shih Tzu who absolutely loves it when it gets cold outside. If he gets out in the snow he doesn’t want to come back inside. He’s kind of weird that way though, in the hot Summertime, when all the other dogs are looking for shade, he’ll be out in the middle of the driveway laying out like he’s sunbathing. That breed is not known for their brain power though, in fact, his nickname is, “Brains.”

    “Come on Brains! It’s time to come back inside now.”

  20. 01/24/2018

    I enjoyed reading this, Flea 🙂

  21. 02/05/2018

    Where oh where is the catalog?

  22. 02/05/2018

    Here’s a link which explains how to get a hard copy catalog. You can download a PDF version, right from their home page.


  23. 02/06/2018

    Great article on Lamb’s Quarter, Emily. You have a flair for writing. It made me wish it were April already, so I could go gather some from our garden.

  24. 02/12/2018

    Another good article Emily. Good read, we enjoyed it.

  25. 03/07/2018

    I’ve got an Amish icream recipe that calls for 10 egg yolks, I’ll have to share that one with you guys sometime. It is very rich and smooth, like the very best store bought ice cream there is

  26. 03/11/2018

    Great idea Emily. Thanks for the gardening tip.

  27. 03/23/2018

    That Brome Grass will die, if you fertilize it. If you can’t afford commercial fertilizr, try chicken litter or cow manure on it.

    • 03/23/2018

      Good to know! Thanks for putting this on here. Community makes this website better for all of us.

  28. Admin bar avatar

    I’m told that when the eggs are in the ice tray, you cover it with plastic wrap before freezing.

    • Jerreth McLaughlin

      Never done that and they are always fine. Once they are frozen, we put them in Ziplock freezer bags.

  29. 04/29/2018

    Thank you! We will be continuing to add new courses and content over time, so check back often. We are so excited to be able to help people learn how to be more self sufficient.

  30. 09/11/2018

    Excellent. Absolutely loved reading and very helpful at the same time 🙂

  31. 09/11/2018

    Thanks Austin! Do you have any gardening topics you’d like to see addressed?

  32. So true!! I often think of Yanna as my gentle giant. She has befriended a stray cat, but will run full force to a rabbit.

    • 11/27/2018

      She is a gentle giant, usually knowing what can be/should be nurtured, and what needs to be chased. She’s a good dog!

      • 12/02/2018

        I believe LGDs learn to recognize what their owner wants. They take their cue from you.

    • 12/02/2018

      She’ll probably care for that cat like one of her charges.

  33. 12/02/2018

    Great post. Thank you for sharing.

  34. 12/02/2018

    We love our LGDs!

  35. 12/02/2018

    Love this post. Brings back a lot of sweet memories. Having a livestock guardian dog is such a wonderful thing. Love our dogs.

    • 12/08/2018

      Thanks! Whenever I think of Guardi, I think “noble.”

  36. 12/30/2018

    Where do you store the starter if you’re not constantly using the starter? How often do you feed the starter?

    • 12/31/2018

      I store the starter in the refrigerator. There, it will be good for about 3 weeks. It will last slightly longer if you stir it occasionally. However, between making bread, English muffins and pancakes, however, I find that we use it every couple days.

      If you don’t refrigerate, you can keep in on the counter. This time of year, it will be good if you use and renew it about every other day. During warm weather it would need to be renewed every 24 hours.

  37. I have always been a little intimidated by the process of sourdough, yesterday I made the “no knead loaf”. I have been taking the course, and upon completion I had a much better understanding of starting the “starter”, keeping it going, and making a loaf of bread.
    Very much appreciate the simplicity of the instructions, takes the confusion out, and is taught on an entry level understanding.

    • 12/31/2018

      That’s so great to know. Thanks Angie!

  38. I will definitely be looking into purchasing your recommendation for the Bahco 4222. As far as a good reasonably priced pocket knife, what would you recommend?

    • 12/31/2018

      Well, there’s a wide range of taste in pocket knifes. For years I carried a Sodbuster Junior.
      The Sodbuster Jr is a good knife. Just beware, they’re coming up with a lot of customized variations which, though beautiful, will cost you a pretty penny. You should be able to get a simple version for about $25.

      Jerreth’s favorite is the Kershaw Clash, which is an assisted opening knife. It’s larger and more flashy than the Sodbuster Junior. Both have a single blade, which will work for most jobs, even cleaning fish.

      I’ve been carrying a Browning Congress Knife, which is actually a knock off of the Case Congress Knife, but much more economical. The Browning version is made in China. But I have been using one for several years now, and can attest to the good quality. It has four small blades. I use the two, which have a typical spear point, for skinning rabbits and paring vegetables, etc. I’ve cleaned a fish with it, but a larger blade is better. There’s a blade on it which is like a little box cutter. I find I use it a whole lot, for everything from opening packaged goods to cutting baling twine. Additionally, even in our current cultural environment, I could pull this knife out of my pocket almost anywhere without causing anyone to hyperventilate. It looks harmless (unlike the Clash).

      The main thing is to get a knife with some quality to the metal. Stay totally away from anything which has “Pakistan” stamped on the blade. I would also suggest that you avoid serrated blades. They cut really well, at first, but I don’t know anyone who hones them. So, when they get dull, they’re just dull.

      We’ll be doing a course on knifes sometime fairly soon, and in it we’ll deal with sharpening and maintenance, etc.

  39. When it comes time to ‘cut cracklins’ on hog butchering day, I’m sure we’ll put your new knife to the test. That’s probably the toughest job for a good knife that I know. If it will hold an edge through that, it ought to hold up to just about anything.

    I’ve got a set of Ken Onion skinning knives that my Son bought me a few years back. They’ve skinned several deer without so much as a touch-up. Those things amaze me how well they do their job. (I think I’d prefer your hunter orange grips while doing that job, than the thin steel grips my Ken Onions have.) They get pretty slick when they get wet. Not a good thing when you have a razor sharp knife in hand.

  40. Today, I’m living from the soil again. I’ve spent the last few hours thawing chicken that we butchered last Fall. While that is in the oven baking, I’ve wrapped a few sweet potatoes in foil to add alongside them. The sweet potatoes are some I have in storage from my Annual, Autumn Potato Dig. I think I’ll steam some broccoli as a side dish. Today, everything, including the Roselle tea, is from our farm. That’s a really good feeling.

    • 12/31/2018

      I love those days when just about everything comes from the fruit of our own land! I’m going to have to see these Ken Onion knifes.

  41. Thank you for the information, seems I’m always needing one in my pocket and what I have is to large for that. I will be investing in both knives, hopefully before to long.

  42. Well written, and wonderful philosophy, Emily.

  43. I think I need one for my pocket, one for my purse, one for my truck, one tucked into the old mail box that holds lawn tools, then I’ll be set!
    Thanks for the little history lesson, I’ve had a few family members that would whittle during down time.

  44. I agree with George. I carry a pocket knife where ever I go. For most of my life, I was an Electrician, so I used a pocket knife nearly every day at work. This is an invaluable tool for a homesteader or anyone else for that matter. (Seriously, a pocket knife could save your life someday). I’ve had occasion, to use mine to cut a horse loose that went down in a stock trailer with a saddle on. The saddle horn was hung up in the bottom rail of the gate and the cinch was cutting off the horse’s air. I had to cut the leather cinch to get the horse back up, so she could breathe again. Early settlers probably faced challenges similar to that one in everyday life. If you are ever in a situation and need to cut a rope, quick, or nowadays, maybe, cut a seatbelt, or open a heavy duty cardboard box, a pocket knife is an essential tool to have on hand at all times.

  45. 01/02/2019

    Great comments!
    Angie, I like your way of thinking!
    Ron, Jerreth had a similar experience, when we were first married. She was working at a youth camp as a wrangler. Someone donated a horse to the camp and she was checking it out. It went beserk and literally hung itself by the lead rope. There were at least 30 people present and not one had a knife on them. She wrecked her back, holding that horse up (so as no to choke the rest of the way) until someone could run and bring the only tool they could find, a set of old hedge trimmers! They saved horse, but my wife’s back has never been the same. After that, she has always carried a knife. Her preference is an assisted opening Kershaw. I suspect part of the reason she prefers it is that she remembers having to hold the front end of a horse and try to cut a rope with hedge trimmers. She wants a knife she can open with one hand, while holding the horse!

  46. We stretch our chicken, by boiling the carcass down, after everyone has eaten what they will of the initial roasted meat. It only takes about two hours to boil the meat off the bones and this also produces a good broth from the bones and cartilage. Once the meat is boiled off the bones, I pick everything out of the broth, using a pair of tongs. Then, I pick out the tender meat and place it back into the broth. I then add a couple hands full of egg noodles and boil them until they are tender. While the noodles are boiling, I bake a pan of homemade biscuits and we enjoy our fresh chicken soup.

    • 01/12/2019

      Sounds delicious Ron! Biscuits or dumplings really highlight a good soup!

  47. 01/15/2019

    That was some really sage advice about not loaning a chainsaw any sooner than you would loan your only toothbrush. Not to mention very good advice about not buying a “cheapo” chainsaw from a big box store. I have the same model chainsaw as the one pictured in your article. A Stihl MS-250. It has lasted through about 85 ricks of oak and hickory wood so far, with no need for any parts other than an air filter and a spark plug. You can’t beat a Stihl chainsaw. I didn’t think that before I worked in Washington State for two years, talking to real loggers about real saws. I lived in the Cascade Mountains, near Issaquah and Snoqualmie. There was a logging truck on our backwoods road about one truck every two minutes. Loggers up there swear by the Stihl brand. When I came home, I ditched my Poulan and my Husqvarna. From now on, I only buy Stihl. No Poulan would ever come close to lasting through 85 ricks of Cherokee County, hardwood and flint rocks.

    (Speaking of flint rocks, I’ve even seen a tree with a rock inside it). A sapling with a twin growing beside it can pick up any debris that happens to be laying between the two as they grow taller and closer together.) I once cut a tree that had an old, antique, 10-2-4 Dr. Pepper bottle inside it. Not to mention all the times I’ve cut into barbed wire, hog wire, nails, lag bolts, dog chains, or screws inside a tree. The nails, screws, dog chains, lag bolts, and things like that, mostly happen near houses or in town; often when people with good intentions give you “free” wood, and all you gotta do is come and cut it. When you arrive on a job like that, you’ve got to stop and think, “Who knows what kid might have had a tree house up there 20 or 30 years ago?” The barbed wire or hog wire can happen anywhere there has ever been a homestead in years past. You never know what you might find inside an old tree.

    • 01/18/2019

      Great advice Ron! The first tree I ever cut down on my own was a really large honey locust. I didn’t know much, so when the chainsaw started throwing sparks, I just kept working away at it, destroying my chain. I had to leave that tree standing, as it just wasn’t possible to cut it down. A week or two later we had 30 mph winds at night and we heard it fall. I went over there in the morning and discovered a PLOW SHOE in the middle of that tree!

  48. 02/27/2019

    Makes excellent handles for axes and picks.

    • 02/28/2019

      I bet it does. I haven’t seen documentation on it, but I bet black locust boards would work wonderfully for making things which will be in contact with the soil, like boards for raised beds. They wouldn’t rot, yet they wouldn’t contaminate food crops grown in the beds they contain.

  49. 03/03/2019

    We got into livestock guardian dogs because we were up every night fending off the coyotes and were losing livestock.

  50. 04/07/2019

    Another awesome article, Emily. I always enjoy reading your work. Thank you, for the helpful insights you bring us.

  51. 05/09/2019

    I have a small farm and this site has helped me with raising animals and growing my own food–It has been a great help–

    • 05/10/2019

      Thank you George! We wish you the best!

  52. 05/10/2019

    Elephant garlic sort of is from Texas, it was brought here before the Civil War. http://hillcountrynatives.net/catablog-items/garlic-elephant-allium-ampeloprasum/

  53. 05/23/2019

    I had no idea you could eat Pokeweed–I have to try it–Thanks George

    • 05/23/2019

      A lot of folk on the East Coast don’t know about Pokeweed, yet it was there where I learned about it. You’ll have to try it sometime!

  54. 05/23/2019

    I would like to raise geese–I understand its not to difficult –They are as good as watch dogs with the noise they make–thanks

  55. 05/29/2019

    Thanks George–I find this article to be quite useful–george meehan

  56. 05/30/2019

    You certainly have poison ivy in your environment!

  57. 06/27/2019

    I have a friend form, Malawi, who likes field corn because it reminds him of home, so I grow field corn for him each year, plus a few of the ‘old-timers’ around here grew up on field corn and prefer it to sweet corn, so I share it around with my friends in the community. Field corn has more texture than sweet corn and it seems like you actually ate something after you’ve finished one, kind of like the old, Moon and Stars Watermelon, the heirloom varieties had more meat. I planted about 10 pounds of field corn seeds this Spring. I even planted a little Mesquakie Indian corn too.

    • 06/28/2019

      I’ve heard similar comments from a number of old timers. Additionally, when we lived in Mexico, the old roasting ears were what was for sale at special events, etc. I remember when KFC introduced sweet corn. Most of my Mexican friends didn’t care for it.

  58. 07/12/2019

    I could use a dog like that–I have the most problems from red tail hawks

  59. 07/18/2019

    Just a note on Perilla Mint:
    Readers beware, that if you attempt to remove one of these noxious weeds, be sure to finish the job, by uprooting it, because if you break the main stem without uprooting the entire plant, it will send out several new seed heads to replace the one you just broke off, making your weed problem about 5 times worse than it would have been if you had just left it alone to multiply on its own.

    • 07/20/2019

      Excellent observation Ron. Thank you!

  60. 07/20/2019

    Becoming part of the homesteading community will also, at least eventually mean that you mentor someone else. This is a high honor and very rewarding, though it involves an investment in the other person. Mentoring will likely cost you in $ and time, yet through it you’ll also build relationships and better your community.

  61. 07/20/2019

    Hi Emily–Family and community are most important–It was great when you and your family lived across from me–I knew I could count on you guys at any time–Sure miss that feeling–George Meehan

    • 08/05/2019

      We miss you too! Good neighbors are like gold!

    • 08/10/2019

      We enjoyed being your neighbors! Hopefully you have great neighbors now.

  62. 08/05/2019

    Yes, our dogs even chase hawks. It’s funny to watch one running across the field, barking at a hawk as it floats overhead. Yet, I’m sure the hawks think twice before swooping in to take a chicken!

  63. 08/24/2019

    That was a cool post, George. Thanks for the write-up.

  64. 09/11/2019

    We learned long ago, in our family; the fish, nor the game, make the trip worthwhile … It’s all about spending good times with the ones you loved. My Uncle Otis, my little brother, James, nor I, ever once killed a single rabbit, but we had the greatest hunting trips ever! Hands down, those were the best of times and will always be remembered fondly and cherished with great happiness. I’m pretty sure there was a good reason Aunt Mandie always kept a fresh pot of beans on the stove. 🙂

    • 09/12/2019

      Ever so true Ron! Anybody else out there have a good memory like that to share? We’d love to hear.

  65. 10/23/2019

    October 22, 2019 I went out and picked beans again. The isolation garden is in a protected spot and has not been hit by frost yet. Last week I gleaned a coffeecan full of pods, thinking it was the last I’d be getting. Yesterday I went back and did the same! I was amazed, upon filling the can, that there were STILL more beans on the vines!
    We snapped and fixed green beans, for supper last night. They were so very good! Ruth Bible has a great beany flavor, yet remains tender until the seed is ready to be shelled out for see. This is truly a winner.

  66. 10/25/2019

    Thanks, for the recipe. That sounded really good. If I hadn’t just spent the entire day cooking up a big pot of homemade sauerkraut, pork, pepper, and potatoes, I’d probably be making one of your Pot Pies right now.

    • 10/25/2019

      Thank you! It’s a family favorite and I can whip up a batch using left overs in about 30 minutes.

  67. 11/07/2019

    That’s as good as James Herriot or Patrick McManus!

  68. 11/16/2019

    The geese are adults now. Ron just posted this comment on Green Country Seed Savers:

    These geese love me probabably as much or more than my dogs do. They follow me everywhere I go. Lately, Sweet Pea has got it in his head that he would rather be a parrot than a goose and wants to fly up and sit on my shoulder (which is quite an inconvenience on my part) A seven pound goose is not a thing one desires to have perched on one’s shoulder while attempting to do yard work. It was cute at first, but gets annoying after a few days.

    I try to be sure and take time with them each day, to pet each one of them. They’ll all come gather around me any time they see me stop and squat down to their height, which makes it easy to catch them if I ever need to. I pen them up when I’m not at home to watch after them, so if I’m about to leave the house, I’ll call them to me and tell them to “Go home.” They know those words and will head for the goose pen any time of day when I tell them to.

    Read more: http://seedsavingnetwork.proboards.com/thread/286/cotton-patch-geese?page=3#ixzz65STjJn00

  69. Admin bar avatar

    Brilliant and hilarious!

  70. Love your stories!!!

  71. Here’s the single crust Pumpkin Pie Recipe I use at home:
    2 cups of mashed, cooked pumpkin
    12 ounce can of evaporated milk
    2 eggs beaten
    3/4 cup of packed brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon salt

    Bake pie at 400 degrees for 40 minutes, the pie is done, when a knife inserted 1″ inch from the crust comes out clean.

    Also, I usually use 1 cup baked sweet potato and one cup baked pumpkin, to get a better texture, than just using pumpkin alone. I put all my ingredients into the blender to make sure all the fiber is well disbursed. Using the blender on high speed, incorporates tiny air bubbles into the filling to give it a lighter, loftier, consistency.

  72. 12/01/2019

    Thanks Ron! You are the first person I’ve heard of, who has done a “hybrid pie” between pumpkin and sweet potato. It sounds like a winning combination!

  73. Admin bar avatar

    What a keepsake of a story. That cockerel was after Bruce, I bet he had nightmares for a while.

    • 12/10/2019

      I don’t recall if he did. Interestingly, to this day, when I kill a rooster I have to dodge the headless body. Invariably they come after me. It’s too much to be coincidence!

  74. 12/16/2019

    Sweet potato pie ain’t bad either !

    • 12/16/2019

      Indeed. Sweet potato pie is truly a treat!

  75. 01/05/2020

    Thats a good looking Bird—-Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family George

  76. 01/07/2020

    I just like growing things from seed that I have saved from the previous year. I enjoy it.

  77. A motion sensor sprinkler is really effective.

    • 01/11/2020

      Thank you for mentioning sprinklers! They can be quite effective, though, as is the case with other solutions, it doesn’t always work. I’ve seen deer completely ignore a sprinkler. This was where the photos in the post were taken, and there were sprinkler systems all around. I suppose the deer got used to them.

  78. Admin bar avatar

    This is my favorite video out of all! <3

  79. Admin bar avatar

    Is there a cheaper method to get the weight of rabbits without buying an expensive scale?

    How often should they be weighed?

    Love this course on Met Rabbits. Thank you!

  80. Admin bar avatar

    Yep. I didn’t retain this instruction! haha I made changes in how I handle the bunny and it’s good now.

  81. 01/17/2020

    Victory is one of my favorites. Southern Exposure Seed Exchange seems to have varieties that do well in Oklahoma. I like Fedco, especially their lettuce. The Sample Seed Shop gives me a chance to try a lot of varieties for a low price. Pinetree, Johnny’s, Kitazawa. Sandhill Preservation Center (my only complaint is they don’t take online orders. I don’t even HAVE checks anymore.)

    • 01/17/2020

      Yes, this is a problem for a growing number of people.
      I do need to do some reviews on Pinetree, Johnny’s and Kitazawa (I haven’t even heard of this one before). We need diversity of seed companies! Amy, perhaps you would like to do a review for us?!

  82. Admin bar avatar

    Victory is my favorite seed company. I always order from them, first. I will contact them if they don’t have something I want listed for sale. This year I made an order with Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and I’m very happy with them, too.

    • 01/18/2020

      I like Victory very much too. Southern Exposure is one of the few companies I actually purchase from regularly. We still need to do a review on them.

  83. 01/21/2020

    Hi George. Thanks for spreading love for these mushrooms instead of parroting outdated field guides, many are really good to eat. My .02 here. Clavicorona pyxidata is now in the genus Artomyces, a moot point really. Image of the coral above doesn’t appear to be R. botrytis as they cluster very tightly when young. Most Ramaria can be eaten, safest is probably to boil unknowns first before cooking–common practice in Latin America with these as well as with lobster mushrooms.

    • 01/21/2020

      Alan, thanks for the super reponse!

  84. Admin bar avatar

    Thanks Amy! You reminded me to get some Korean Squash. I have too many squash bugs and cannot grow regular squash or zucchini.

  85. 01/24/2020

    Thanks, for sharing this, George. Cool-season crops are just around the corner.

  86. 01/29/2020



    Herbicide contamination is so very sad. This is well said.

  87. 01/29/2020

    Dried okra pods. Okra seed is second in oil content, only to sunflower seeds. All that oil makes dried okra pods some really good, hot burning, fire starter. Especially, if you crack them open before lighting, so air can circulate as the seeds and husks burn.

  88. 02/20/2020

    I really enjoyed this article because I believe if a vegetable can adapt to a region where the weather is unpredictable it gets better with each passing year. So many old varieties that had the ability to adjust have been lost.

    • 02/20/2020

      Auther, I truly appreciate the breeding work you’re doing with tomatoes. You practice what you preach!

  89. Amazing post to keep perfectly of garden tools. Garden tools not to keep in the floor keep in the box.

  90. 02/23/2020

    Reading your memory is such a blessing, and I see your kind eyes were passed down to you by your dad.

  91. 04/06/2020

    That was great advice, Jerreth.
    In times like these, maybe a few people will finally take that advice to heart. My grandparents were the same as you described. Grandma’s cellar was stacked full of home-canned garden goods. She canned everything, from cabbage to carp. She canned her own cooked sausage patties, her own fish patties, sauerkraut, every kind of pickle imaginable, even pickled beets, pickled green beans, and pickled baby corn. She spent every day of summer, canning jellies, and putting away vegetables for winter. She baked profusely, always keeping vast amounts of flour, sugar, cornmeal, and lard on hand. I have her old Hoosier Cabinet with the pullout- 50-pound flour dispenser, roll-top spice and utensil storage, and a mouse-proof tin bread drawer.

    Being born in the 1880s, they survived World War One, The 1918 Flu Epidemic, The Great Depression, The Dust Bowl years, and World War Two, with no electricity. They never had electricity until 1954. I still remember their old gas engine washing machine, the hand wringer, the clotheslines, the cast iron boiling pots for linens, the kerosine refrigerator, the hand pump at the well, the galvanized bathtub and water heating buckets, the kerosine lamps and lanterns, and the outhouse that they had until 1970, when they got their first indoor plumbing. I mowed their yard many a time with only a hand-powered push mower. The kind with no engine and a wooden push handle.

    We’ve got it easy nowadays, with only slight restrictions on when we can go to town because of the quarantine. At least we have electricity, indoor plumbing, and a car. My grandparents drove a wagon to town until after World war two. When Grandpa died, they still only had the old 1939 Chevy. It was the only car they ever had. Grandma never learned to drive, so after Grandpa passed on, she just rode to town whenever family or friends would stop by. She would never ride in the front of the truck; she would always ride in back with us kids, sitting in her rocking chair with a quilt top across her lap. Back then, seatbelts were unheard of. Kids never rode up front, not even in the dead of winter.

    My mom got sick with cancer when I was 14-years-old. She only lived another year and three months after she became sick. So, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents, learning how retirement should really be lived. There was such peace there, never a worry, always prepared for the worst and hoping for the best. It was a good way to live. There is no reason we should not all live that way still.

    • 04/06/2020

      Thanks so much Ron! That is an amazing story!

  92. 04/29/2020

    Thanks Emily! This looks great. Thanks for the suggestions! I’ll try this out with the kids this week.

  93. Admin bar avatar

    How long do you wait til removing the old eggs before she goes hard broody? I don’t want a rotten explosive egg to deal with.

  94. 05/20/2020

    Once she starts making her broody sound and puffing up she’s ready to receive the new eggs. If she isn’t hard broody at this point, she will be pretty much as soon as she has a full clutch of eggs under her.

  95. 05/29/2020

    That was an exceptionally good article about using Dawn dishwashing soap or any kind of soap on your plants. Soap of any kind is a surfactant and will break down the protective waxy coating on your plants, allowing them to dehydrate very quickly and allowing disease to penetrate the surface. (It would be similar to peeling off layers of your own skin, then sunbathing the rest of the day.) Surfactants are used in weed killers, to break down the waxy barrier, so the poison can penetrate the leaves more readily. (God put the waxy barrier on plants for a reason).

    Surfactants are compounds that lower the surface tension (or interfacial tension) between two liquids, between a gas and a liquid, or between a liquid and a solid. Surfactants may act as detergents, wetting agents, emulsifiers, foaming agents, and dispersants. While good for removing dirt from your hands, not so good for removing insects from your plants.

  96. 05/31/2020

    Thank You George! Great write up. I am not sure, why people think there is something wrong with picking pests off their plants… or hoeing to get rid of their weeds.


  97. 06/05/2020

    wonderful article. This is our first year to have a decent garden. I’ve pretty much had a live and let live policy for pests this year. I just wanted to see what would happen. So far, so good. I try to plant a lot of companion plants such as basil with my tomatoes, marigolds, dill, etc. to help ward off pests, but also add variety to my garden.

    • 06/05/2020

      Variety is always a good thing! Eventually everyone encounters a serious garden pest, yet as a general rule it’s best not to use anything which kills both “the good guys” and “the bad guys.” Thanks for commenting, Christina!

  98. 06/05/2020

    Another great article, and so truly spoken. I think it took at least 10 years here before I felt like I was no longer a ‘newcomer’. By that time, we had helped raise many barns, plow many fields, plant many gardens, and had helped cut several cords of firewood with our new neighbors. Here, in the country, it’s, ‘share and share alike’ but you’d better be ready, and gladly willing to pay back for the things that were shared when your time comes, or you more than likely will get left out of the loop the next time your neighbors have a surplus.

    In all the years that we’ve borrowed and lent equipment, tools, or livestock, we’ve never had anything come up missing. That’s really saying something, considering we’ve been here for nearly 16-years. I once had a toolbox full of tools slide out of the back of my truck while driving up an incline on a dirt road almost a mile from my house. By the time I discovered it was missing, several hours had passed and I really had no clue where to even start looking. That evening, I found it right where it had hit the ground (in the middle of 510 Road). In all that time, no one had bothered it, though I’m sure everyone from the Mailman to the School Bus Driver, had to drive to one side to miss running over it.

    There is a great deal of comradery and comfort in knowing almost everyone within a couple of miles of where you live. Most of my neighbors are like family to us, with only a very few exceptions. (Nothing is perfect) but sometimes, life in the country is as close as you could ever hope to get.

  99. 07/27/2020

    Thanks for this info. I’m learning this now! I have “fall” beans that have great looking vines but not flower/no beans.

  100. 07/27/2020

    Well, hopefully your plants will hang in there until cooler temps arrive. Sometimes the only way I can know if a variety will produce in our hot Oklahoma climate is to try it. I have a planting, right now, of a Kentucky heirloom called “Hamby bean,” which is lush and beautiful, but producing nothing! Bet it’ll straighten out in about a month.
    Thanks for the comment, Irv. We really appreciate it!

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.