Saturday, July 28, 2012

"A Bushel and A Peck"

   These days if you ask most people under the age of 25 what a bushel basket or a peck is, they would probably say a bushel basket is something you put laundry in and a peck is their finger touching their IPhone, lol! Well I wanted to just go over some basics here before we get into harvest season for those who may want to understand what they are. These definition's come from Webster's Dictionary:   
   In the United States, a bushel is a unit of volume used for the dry measurement of things such as vegetables, fruits or grains and is equivalent to 4 pecks. In the U.S. Customary System, a bushel is equal to 2,150.42 cubic inches, or 35.24 liter.
   When used as a British capacity of measure, or in the British Imperial System, a bushel is used as both a dry and liquid measure and equals 2219.36 cubic inches or 36.37 liters.
   To better visualize the capacity of a bushel, one can use the following list to get a better idea regarding the actual size of a bushel: 42-48 pounds of apples, 60 pounds of potatoes, 45 pounds of tomatoes, 42 pounds of white flour, 56 pounds of shelled corn, 50 pounds of rutabagas, 48 pounds of barley, 32 pounds of oats, 42 pounds of turnips.
  A peck was used to measure liquid or dry weights in the UK and US. A peck was originally a small barrel which contained 2 UK gallons (approx. 2.4 US liquid gallons) or approx. 9.1 litres. Very rarely used these days.
  A peck is also 1/4 of a bushel and is still used quite frequently in produce markets. Apples are frequently sold by the peck or 1/2 peck baskets or bags.
  The average person may never actually measure anything in a bushel or a peck, but having a basic understanding of this form of measurement may certainly help your next visit to the orchard or farm.

Luke 11:22 “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light."

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Have to much? Salsa Time!

   What do you do when you have to much veggies coming on at once? Well you could 1) Can them 2) Freeze them 3) Eat them 4) Eat them or 5) Share your bounty. All, which I do but today I whipped up a batch of salsa! I will give you what I put in and you can figure out how much you want and the taste you want. Sounds unfair, right? Well, honestly I didn't measure. I just chopped up veggies and kept adding things until it looked and tasted the way we like it, lol!
  I used Tomatoes, Jalapenos, onion, cilantro, garlic, salt, pepper and I think that was it. Even my wife thought it was good but she said it was a little chunky for her. Next time I will fix that! She bought some avocados, so hopefully she will make some of her awesome guacamole later! Anyway, just a thought for when you have a little extra!

Luke 24:1 [ He Is Risen ] Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

"The Process of Reconciling"

Biblical conflict control!

   Romans 12:18 Says  "If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men."  God told us right before this not to repay evil for evil. In vrs. 18 He says "if possible",  God wants us to do everything possible to live in peace, he also expects, even though we may not be the one at fault, to go be the one to try to make it right. But it will not always come because it also depends on the others persons attitudes and responses. But we as mature Christians need to be the ones to make the first move, God expects this. The Bible makes it clear that no church is exempt from conflict but this offers opportunities for personal and spiritual growth.
   To help us with this, Jesus gave us the example of the work of a peacemaker (Mat.18:15-20, 5:9).  In doing this, Jesus is the ultimate role model (Eph. 2:14-18). All Christians in conflict should use God's pattern for making peace to show unbelievers their shared faith and the love of Christ.  Each party involved, whether directly or indirectly has a role in the process of mending the conflict. Jesus tells us this in Mathew 5:9, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God." Those who study the Bible refer to this as showing "common grace", an small example of the grace that God has given us through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus!
   We should also as Christians be the first to try to reconcile a conflict between ourselves and nonbelievers in the same way. If they do not except apology, then we again have done all we can do. The one thing that we can do in both cases though is as God's Word says, Pray and be kind to your enemies, "for it is like pouring hot coals upon their necks." Because at this point it is between them and God, not you and them. (Matt.5:44, Proverbs 25:22)
   I will close by this quote, I believe by Richard Baxter, "Do all you can to be reconciled to others, but remember that you cannot force others to do what is right.  If you have done everything within your power to resolve a conflict, you have fulfilled your responsibility to God and may stop  trying to solve the problem (Rom. 12:18)… It is not necessary or wise to waste time, energy, and resources fretting about someone who stubbornly refuses to be reconciled."

December 2011
Clint Baker

Friday, July 20, 2012

Red Velvet Cake, After 20 years!

  After 20 years, my wonderful wife finally baked me my favorite cake "Red Velvet"! YUMMY, was it ever good! I will tell you it was well worth the wait. It was the BEST, I have ever eaten. My Grammy used to make use one every birthday but this one "takes the cake". Well I am off to spend the evening with the family. I just wanted to show you this wonderful cake and make your mouth water.
  P.S. She won't give up the recipe, lol!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Update:"HUGELKULTUR", Raised Bed Experiment Part2

  Well here is an update on my Hugelkultur Bed that I started this spring. I planted three things in the bed to see what it would do (zucchini, Yellow Squash and Cinderella pumpkins). All three are doing remarkable, even through this very hot and dry weather we have had this summer. I have hardly watered it at all, just to see if it does what they say! So far, so good! As you can see by the pumpkin vines, they are doing the best. I have just swirled (yes "swirled" is a Jethro Bodine word) the vines around the Raised Beds in the walk area, Remember in a Urban Garden you try to use all the space you can.
  I am so impressed with this experiment that I plan to do a few more beds just like this one! It has really cut down on my watering in this bed and that was a blessing because where it has been so dry, my Rain Barrels went totally dry, but finally this past week we have had enough rain to fill them back up. Well, I will just leave with a few pictures of what it looks like!
Hulgelkultur Bed

John 15:1-3 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 

Linked With:
Home and Garden Thursday 
Frugal Days 
The Country Homemaker 

Monday, July 16, 2012

"The mission of the Son of man"

“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10

Suggested Further Reading: Luke 15:1-7

It is strange what unusual places Christ finds some of his people in! I knew one of Christ’s sheep who was found out by his Master while committing robbery. I knew another who was found out by Christ, while he was spiting his old mother by reading the Sunday newspaper and making fun of her. Many have been found by Jesus Christ, even in the midst of sin and vanity. I knew a preacher of the gospel who was converted in a theatre. He was listening to a play, an old-fashioned piece, that ended with a sailor drinking a glass of gin before he was hung, and he said, “Here’s to the prosperity of the British nation, and the salvation of my immortal soul;” and down went the curtain; and down went my friend too, for he ran home with all his might. Those words, “The salvation of my immortal soul,” had struck him to the quick; and he sought the Lord Jesus in his chamber. Many a day he sought him, and at last he found him to his joy and confidence. But for the most part Christ finds his people in his own house; but he finds them often in the worst of tempers, in the most hardened conditions; and he softens their hearts, awakens their consciences, subdues their pride, and takes them to himself; but they would never come to him unless he came to them. Sheep go astray, but they do not come back again by themselves. Ask the shepherd whether his sheep come back, and he will tell you, “No, sir; they will wander, but they never return.” When you find a sheep that ever came back by himself, then you may hope to find a sinner that will come to Christ by himself. No; it must be sovereign grace that must seek the sinner and bring him home.

For meditation: We all like sheep have gone astray; we have all gone our own way (Isaiah 53:6); we have all ended up like sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36). The Lord Jesus Christ is the great shepherd (Hebrews 13:20), the good shepherd (John 10:11,14) and the giving shepherd who gave his life for his sheep (John 10:11) and who gives eternal life to his sheep (John 10:28). Have you been found by him and returned to him (1 Peter 2:25)?

Sermon no. 204365  from sermons preached by Charles  H. Spurgeon on 11 July (1858)

Linked with:
Twelve Days of Christmas,
Teach Me Tuesday
Sharing His Beauty
Barn Hop #70
Hear It on Sunday, Use it on Monday
The Garden Showcase 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Save Those Coffee Grounds for the Garden!

Every day across America and the world millions of pots of coffee and tea are brewed, and the millions of pounds of wet grounds, filters and bags thrown in the trash.  How wasteful is that, my wife years ago gave me the idea of using them on my acid loving plants.
Coffee by-products can be used in the garden and farm as follows:
  • Sprinkle used grounds around plants before rain or watering, for a slow-release nitrogen.
  • If you have an over abundance of grounds you can apply them directly on your lawn, very good for your grass!
  • Add to compost piles to increase nitrogen balance.  Coffee filters and tea bags break down rapidly during composting.
  • Dilute with water for a gentle, fast-acting liquid fertilizer.  Use about a half-pound can of wet grounds in a five-gallon bucket of water; let sit outdoors to achieve ambient temperature.
  • Mix into soil for houseplants or vegetable beds.
  • Encircle the base of the plant with a coffee and eggshell barrier to repel pests.
  • If you are into worm composting, feed a little bit to your worms

It is easy to collect coffee grounds from your office.  Just put an empty coffee can next to the coffee maker.  Empty once a week or as needed.  Once people get wind of what you're doing, don't be surprised if others want the grounds, too! I have also heard of people going to their local coffee house and asking them to save their used grounds as well, most of the time they are happy to get rid of them! Or ask your neighbors to save them for you as well!

Ezekiel 17:8 "It was planted in good soil by many waters, To bring forth branches, bear fruit, And become a majestic vine.”’

Linked With:
July Harvest Tuesday 
Teach Me Tuesday 
Barn Hop #70 
Frugal Tuesday Tip 
The Garden Showcase 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Are You Behaving Like A Christian Should?

"We will be known by our fruit"
  I have been going through a struggle as of late in a few different areas of my life! Sometimes when we have to face our past and it can be very testing on the new corrector that God has given us. We start to drift from the way God would have us act and carry ourselves and move more into a fleshly state of mine. There is a fine line between standing for God and being revengeful. While I never become revengeful, I very well could have and God got my attention before I did! We never want to fall into the revengeful camp, that is the camp of the enemy. Many times when people hurt us our fist response is to get back at them. But there is always a Biblical way of handling things. Always look to Gods word and see what that might be for your  specific problem. Seems like we pray a lot to God but we don't pick up the one thing quick enough, that He has given us as His way of communicating back to us, our Bible! Through His Word God shows us how we are to handle ourselves as we should!

    {Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law"}

   After getting off the phone a while back with a really good friend of mine about one of these situation, I am going through, my wife asked me a question. She said , "What are you seeking to get out of this?" I gave her my answer and she recommended that I listen to this sermon by R.C. Sproul, so I did. As I listened to it, I kept saying, "that sounds like them", she said keep listening. Let me say, God has placed a great woman of His in my life because she was right. I could have slipped into what Sprouls was speaking on. He was doing an expository teaching on Romans 12:16-21, its the second part of a series but stands alone as something we all need to be reminded of. I hope each of you will take about 45 minutes and listen to this, it was an eye opener! "Behave Like A Christian", Part 2  May God bless you as He did me with this and to my wife thank you for your obedience!

Linked With:
Tuesday Garden Party
Country Garden Showcase
Sharing His Beauty
In, On and Around
Hear on Sunday, Hear it Monday
Barn Hop 69
Morris Homestead Blog Carnival 15

Saturday, July 7, 2012

My Jalapeno's Are Almost Ready!

  Look at my Jalapeno's! Don't they look good? I love to pick them as I want them, until it is time to start canning them. These are "Pepper Chile Early Jalapeño" HEIRLOOM Seeds, from, you guest it Botanical Interest's. This is the earliest I have ever picked any, well i guess that's because of the name, lol!
  I did try something different with these three plants this year. I planted them in the rocky, coal dusty soil beside the rail road tracks. As must of you know my raised beds are right beside the railroad tracks and I had a few extra pepper plants left and instead of throwing them away in the compost bin. I planted them right beside the raised beds in that rocky soil. It looks like they love were they are at. They have grown faster and larger then any of my others. They are pretty hot to, lol!I guess it makes since, since they came from this type of soil originally.

The back of the package says this about them:
  68 days. Lots of bold flavor in a small, 3" pepper, jalapeños are the staple pepper of Mexican cuisine. Inside this packet is everything you need to know about growing peppers, and how peppers are rated for their hotness. Jalapeños rate 2,500-5,000 Scoville Heat Units (medium hot).
This packet plants approximately 45 plants started indoors. 
When to sow outside: 2 to 4 weeks after average last frost when air temperature is at least 70° F and soil temperature is at least 65° F.
When to start inside: RECOMMENDED. 8 to 10 weeks before average last frost. In USDA zones 9 & 10, can also sow in midsummer for fall crop.
Harvesting: Harvest when mature size, and firm. Jalapenos can be harvested green or red, and are hottest just when they begin to turn from green to red. When harvesting, take care to avoid touching the interior of any broken peppers, as the capsaicin is an extreme irritant, especially to the eyes. Wash hands thoroughly after harvesting, or wear gloves to harvest peppers.

Did You Know?? 
 Jalapeno peppers are a variety of chili peppers and can be hot! If the heat is too much, dairy products like milk and yogurt can help put that fire out.

How to Store
Wrap unwashed jalapeno peppers in a paper towel then refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to ten days. Rinse before using.
Nutrition Benefits
Low fat, saturated fat free, cholesterol free, sodium free, excellent source of vitamin C, good source of vitamin A and folate.

"At the cross we catch a glimpse of the enormity of our sins’ offense to God. Here we learn about hell as Jesus, God’s beloved Son, takes the retributive punishment that we deserved, even separation from God, to deliver us. Here we look deeply into the mystery of the love a holy and righteous God for sinners."    Robert A. Peterson

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

"Derecho Hits", Without Power for 5 1/2 days!

  We sure wasn't 100% prepared! Ten months ago our generator was stolen and just a week prior to this awesome storm, Dana and I were talking about needing to by another one. Something called a "Derecho" hit us, (Click here for a definition)! Well as my nephew said, "When Jesus sneezed, He blew everything down." So we were not prepared, at all!! The few gas stations that were open had up to 3 hour waits in line at some of them. Ice was like liquid gold, you couldn't find a generator any where! Temperatures were at a record high at 104 degrees and my spoiled self didn't like not having any A/C! We tried to make it through one night of it but my wife and daughter were to miserable and so was I! They packed up and went to my moms in North Carolina, while I stayed here and worked. The Toyota Plant that I work at had power and was cool, had a shower room, and a cafe', so I had everything I needed. As of yesterday July 3rd, we finally have power, after 5 1/2 days with none (Some people will not have theirs on for many more days). My family should be back today and I can't wait, I missed them!
  We did learn a few things we need for these type of emergencies and plant to start preparing for emergency type situations. I will NEVER be caught with my pants down around my ankles again, lol! 
   I think this would be a great opportunity for us all to help each other realize the things we may need in case of these types of emergencies. So feel free to leave your suggestions that you have! Well off to clean up the yard and other areas.
   Oh, my garden believe it or not came through this whole thing unhurt! I really couldn't believe it, because there where power poles and trees as big around as 55 gallon drums that were just snapped in half. God's power was shown but His mercy was as well! God bless you all!