Wheat – What Is In Your Bag Of Flour

American Wheat farmers, supplying the world with quality wheat for breads, cakes, noodles and pasta.

There are six classes of wheat grown in the United States they are designated by color, hardness and their growing season. Millers and bakers can produce and use flours made from U.S. wheat for almost every possible end product.

Hard Red Winter Wheat
Versatile, with excellent milling and baking characteristics for pan bread, HRW is also a choice wheat for Asian style noodles, hard rolls, flat breads, tortillas, general purpose flour and cereal.

Hard Red Spring Wheat
The aristocrat of wheat when it comes to “designer” wheat foods like hearth breads, rolls, croissants, bagels and pizza crust, HRS is also a valued improver in flour blends for bread and Asian style noodles.

Soft Red Winter Wheat
SRW is versatile weak gluten wheat with excellent milling and baking characteristics for cookies, crackers, pretzels, pastries and flat breads.

Soft White Wheat
A low moisture wheat with high extraction rates, providing a whiter product for exquisite cakes, pastries and Asian style noodles, SW is also ideally suited to Middle Eastern flat breads.

Hard White Wheat
HW receives enthusiastic reviews when used for Asian style noodles, whole wheat white flour, tortillas, pan breads and flat breads.

Durum Wheat
The hardest of all wheat’s, durum has a rich amber color with high protein content and gluten strength that is ideal for premium pasta, couscous and some Mediterranean breads.

If you have bread on your table Thank A Farmer.

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Iowa Youth Livestock Show

Mitchell Miner, 15, of Williamsburg, Iowa and Audri entered the Iowa State Fair’s youth dairy cattle show. They prepared for weeks with Mitchell leading, clipping, walking and bathing Audri nonstop up to the competition. On the day of the show, Mitchell woke up at 3 a.m. his third straight early-morning rise putting the final touches on Audri.

Mitchell and Audri ended up placing fifth out of seven contestants, after hard competition, the two took a nap together.

Garden Bugs, Know Your Enemy!

This is an updated, reworked posting from 2011.

First the Bad News, to make you feel really bad about all the back breaking hours you have spent getting ready for your bumper harvest of vegetables. There are over 350,000 documented species of beetles. To top this off, most of them are not your friends and they or their offspring, will devour your plants, flowers and vegetables. Sometime even before you know that they have made your garden home.

common ladybug beetle


ladybug larva

Identify That Beetle
35 destructive beetles
Beetle control

Now the Good News. Most of this hungry horde of beetles are not a problem in gardens and live their lives out in wooded areas, ranch grass lands and swamp lands. But, don’t be surprised to discover a few beetles in your garden that you and your gardening friends have never seen before and can not identify.

Just because a beetle has spots and is red or orange, does not make this little critter a ladybug beetle! Study pictures of ladybug beetles and learn how to identify the good guy’s from the bad guy’s. In your garden, the hated and feared cucumber beetle will most likely be your biggest bug problem along with the ever present squash bug.

banded cucumber beetle


spotted cucumber beetle

University of Minnesota All about Squash Bugs.
Squash bugs seem to drive many gardeners right to the brink of insanity. They are willing to feed on any member of the cucurbit family and feel free to help themselves to your cucumbers, summer and winter squash and pumpkins. Once they have sucked the juices from these plants, the vines often turn black and die. To add insult to injury, squash bugs will feed on the actual fruit of the plant once they have become bored with feeding on the foliage.

Once squash has finished its season, be sure to clean up after it properly. Tilling your squash patch and removing all the spent squash plants, composting them will bury or kill many of the surviving adult squash bugs and eliminate their winter homes. Some people even resort to burning the old vines or bagging the vines to send to the landfill.

squash bugs

vine bore moth

Black Beetles are good guy’s
carabid beetle This beetle is just one of many species which get the name “Common Black Ground Beetle.”

Ground beetles (Carabidae) are one of the largest and most successful families of beetles in the world. They comprise more than 40,000 named species. More than 30% of species are forest dwellers, the other 70% in general prefer grass lands and gardens, most are flightless and predatory.

Slug Control: Research has found that carabid beetles (adults and larvae) devour large numbers of smaller slugs.
This beetle was introduced to the United states from Europe.
Black ground beetles live under leaves, old logs, and stones. They can be found in moist woods, fields, and gardens.

They can be seen searching for prey, which includes caterpillars, grubs, other species of beetles, fly maggots and pupae, aphids, weevils, earthworms, slugs, snails and other soft-bodied prey.

Common Black Ground Beetles breed in late Summer. The female lays eggs just below the soil surface. Larvae hatch and spend the Winter in the soil.
In early Spring the larvae begin feeding and then turn into pupae. They come out as adult beetles in the Summer.
Some adults may overwinter as well.

Carabidae beetle Hint: Not All beneficial Beetles are Black.

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Flowering Bulbs and Spring Harvested Garlic

Spring and Summer Blooming Bulbs: I will not repeat what so many others have spent so much time putting into print about Fall planting Spring Flowering Bulbs. I encourage you to visit Bulbs & More at the University of Illinois Extension Bulb Basics for a useful and easy to understand fact sheet on Spring and Summer blooming bulbs. This fact sheet covers everything from soil preparation, planting, care before during and after blooming. You will also find info on Planting & Care, Spring Flowering Bulbs to Landscaping with bulbs.

Fall Planted Garlic: The same information applies to your Fall planted Garlic cloves for Spring and Summer harvested crops.

For those of you that live in the Northern, colder parts of the U.S. information provided by the The University of Minnesota may be useful in designing and planning your flowering bulb gardens.

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Preserving (canning) excess peppers

4 peppers For your safety and the safety of your family I Strongly Recommend that you read and understand all safety tips provided by the United Stated Department of Agricultural. National Center for Home Food Preservation.
Canning (using no vinegar) Peppers Hot or sweet, including chilies, jalapeno, and pimiento.
You will need about 1 pound of peppers for each pint of processed peppers.
A bushel of peppers about weighs 25 pounds and will yield 20 to 30 pints.
Hint: Use only firm peppers. Avoid using soft or diseased peppers.

Wear plastic or rubber gloves and do not touch your face while handling hot peppers.
Oven or broiler Place peppers in a hot oven (400° F) or broiler for 6-8 minutes until skins blister.
Range top Cover hot burner, either gas or electric, with heavy wire mesh. Place peppers on burner for several minutes, turning often, until skins blister.

Allow peppers to cool in a pan covered with a damp cloth. This will make peeling the peppers easier. After several minutes, peel each pepper. Flatten whole peppers. {Optional} Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to each pint jar. Fill jars loosely with peppers and add fresh boiled water, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.

Another option is to drop in 1 clove of garlic and pack with peppers fill jar with olive oil leaving 1/2 of headspace. Seal tightly and store peppers in your refrigerator up to 1 month.
Avoid using salt when packing in olive oil.
* For the adventurous, use pepper oil when making vinegar and oil salad dressing.

Table 1. Recommended
process time for Peppers in a dial-gauge pressure
canner.
Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0 – 2,000 ft 2,001 – 4,000 ft 4,001 – 6,000 ft 6,001 – 8,000 ft
Hot Half-pints or Pints 35 min 11 lb 12 lb 13 lb 14 lb
Table 2. Recommended
process time for Peppers in a weighted-gauge pressure
canner.
Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0 – 1,000 ft Above 1,000 ft
Hot Half-pints or Pints 35 min 10 lb 15 lb

pickled peppers

Pickled Hot Peppers

Hot long red, green, or yellow peppers
{Optional} sweet red and green peppers, mixed
5 cups vinegar (5%)
1 cup water
4 tsp canning or pickling salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 cloves garlic
{Optional} Pickling Spices

Wash peppers. If small peppers are left whole, slash 2 to 4 slits in each. Quarter large peppers. Hint Peppers can be pickled with or without skins, whole, sliced or diced.
Blanch in boiling water or blister in order to peel. Fill jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Combine and heat other ingredients to boiling and simmer 10 minutes. Remove garlic. Add hot pickling solution over peppers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.

Adjust lids and process according to the recommendations in Table 1.

Table 1. Recommended
process time for Pickled Hot Peppers in a boiling-water
canner.
Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 – 1,000 ft 1,001 – 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Raw Half-pints or Pints 10 min 15 20

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Snake in the grass


Don’t Mess With Old People Mrs. Newby, 72-year-old Oklahoma woman refused to let more than a dozen copperhead snakes slither under her home.
Using a shotgun, shovel and rake handle to crush and blast the critters to death.
As of Sunday, 17 snakes have been killed.

Salsa The Spice Of Summer


Salsa {This is a good basic Salsa}
Prep Time: About 20 minutes
Recipe Yield about 4 cups (2 pints)
Ingredients
4 or 5 large tomatoes, de-seeded and chopped
1 strong yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 to 5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or {1 Tablespoon dried}
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tomatillo, diced (optional) {Best roasted}
salt to taste
2 – medium or 1 large size mild green Chili peppers de-seeded and course chopped
1 or 2 green or red jalapeno peppers, minced {de-seed and de-vane peppers for pepper flavor and less heat from the peppers}(Use 1 pepper, taste Salsa, adjust salt and pepper to your taste.)

Directions
In a food processor or blender, combine tomatoes, onion, cilantro, garlic, oregano, lime juice, vinegar, tomatillo, hot pepper, mild chili pepper(s), salt to taste. Chop /blend a scant 20 or 30 seconds.
In a non-aluminum pan, over medium heat, warm until Salsa reaches 165 to 180 degrees. {Use meat thermometer to check temperature} Pack into (2) hot sterilized pint jars, Seal tightly, when cool, this may take several hours, refrigerate Salsa. Salsa will keep safely under refrigeration for 1 or 2 months.
For longer storage, process Salsa for 20 minutes in a boiling water bath. Cool over night, check to insure jars sealed properly. Store in a cool dark place. Salsa will safely keep 1 or more years.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information.
Calories: 53
Total Fat: 0.5g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 13mg
Total Carbs: 11.7g
Dietary Fiber: 3.1g
Protein: 2.3g

Avocado Feta cheese Dip
A chunky, savory summer dip that tastes great with tortilla or corn chips or as a topping for corn or flour tacos.
Prep Time: About 20 Minutes
Recipe Yields about 12 servings
Ingredients

2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 ripe avocado – peeled, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon snipped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or {1/2 Tablespoon dried}
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar {replace with fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice}
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese or {Diced / Grated cheese that you like}
(1 de-seeded finely chopped green or red hot pepper to add more spice to your life)

Directions:
In a bowl, gently stir together avocado, pepper, onion, and garlic. Mix in tomatoes, parsley and oregano. Gently stir in olive oil and vinegar. Then stir in feta {cheese of your choice}. Cover with plastic wrap. Best served chilled for 2 hours.

Nutritional Information
Servings Per Recipe: 12
Calories: 66
Total Fat: 5.6g
Cholesterol: 8mg
Sodium: 108mg
Total Carbs: 2.8g
Dietary Fiber: 1.3g
Protein: 1.8g

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Hen House – Controlled Lighting

There is a gland behind chickens eyes called a pituitary gland. When stimulated by light this produces a hormone that is carried via the bloodstream to the ovary which sets egg production in motion.
This makes it possible to give artificial light to laying birds to ‘trick’ their bodies into continuing to lay in the shorter daylight months of Fall and Winter.

Research shows that chickens lay best when they receive about 15 hours of light daily. In the northern United States, natural daylight drops to under nine hours at the end of December. To optimize egg production, supplemental (or artificial) lighting in the coop is a must for the next three to four months until the days get longer.

Extra few hours of light can be added to the morning by using a light and timer. Adding light in the mornings ensures that birds aren’t suddenly caught out in the dark when the lights switch off not having gone through the natural roosting process. The key point to remember is that once the hens are in lay, their daylight hours should not be decreased.
For example, pullets that come into lay when there are 15 hours of daylight should have this ‘top up’ lighting added to their mornings to keep their daylight hours constant.
You need to ensure the timer remains set correctly after a power cut to prevent your pullets going into moult.
A digital timer with a back-up battery is a good investment.
Hint: Beware of dirty bulbs. They can decrease light output by as much as 15 to 20 percent, so clean bulbs once a week.

* Keep a supply of fresh water; heated waterers save time and labor and assure the birds will always be able to drink
* Make sure a high quality layer ration is always available. Your chickens need to eat to enough to stay warm and maintain egg production.
* Check that the coop is free from drafts, but don’t compromise ventilation as excessive moisture in the coop can lead to health problems.
* Put a little extra scratch grain down for your chickens morning and afternoon. The treat will keep winter birds busy pecking and scratching for hours and will help prevent boredom and give them some extra energy for warmth.
* With the chickens spending more time in the coop, bedding will become damp and soiled. Remove and replace as needed. Clean dry bedding will help the chickens stay warm and keep odors down.
* Let the chickens out into their run as chickens enjoy going outside, even if it’s cold.

Common sense care and a little extra light your chickens will keep up their winter egg production.

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Pansies for Cool Fall weather color in your garden

Pansies

Fall, Winter and Spring flowering garden plant worth considering to plant in your Fall garden.

Pansies will bloom Spring through early Summer, with repeat blooming in the Fall. In USDA hardness zones 7 – 9 can grow pansies throughout the winter and there are newer varieties, like the ice pansy, are bred to withstand light snows and may over Winter in zone 6 and with a little protection may even over Winter as far north as zone 5.

Pansies are popular and a recognizable cool weather annuals. Breeding has produced Pansies that are better able to stand up to the cold, but there hasn’t been much luck producing more heat tolerant varieties. Many Pansies are bi-colored, making them striking plants for their small size. Although delicate, they are surprisingly hardy.

Compact, low growers, Pansies are ideal for edging and for squeezing between rock walls and paths, as long as they can be removed in summer. They’re a great choice for early and late season containers and complement spring flowering bulbs, flowering as the bulb foliage begins to fade. If you like the variety of colors but still want a sense of cohesion, select plants from the same series. They’ll be similar in size and markings, regardless of the color.

Pansies are not fussy plants, they will grow best in a loose, rich soil with a slightly acid soil. They flower best in full sun and will get spindly in deep shade. Pansies do not like heat at all and will begin to decline as the days warm up. When buying plants, choose pansies that are stocky, bushy and have plenty of buds. Avoid buying plants with full open blooms. **Growing Note: Pansies can be difficult to start from seed.

You can allow your Pansy plants to remain in your garden and rest during the hottest months, they will probably begin blooming again in the Fall. Shearing the plants back when they start to set seed, will encourage new growth. Dead heading will encourage more blooms.

Chrysanthemums add Fall and early Winter color to your garden

Chrysanthemums

The Garden Helper How to Grow and Care for your Chrysanthemum Plants.

I know it’s hard to think about cooler weather Fall flowers. Believe it or not we will soon be having those wonderful cool sunny days called Fall. Chrysanthemum {Mums} are easy to grow herbaceous perennial that will give you many years of enjoyment.

Chrysanthemums come in a rainbow of colors. Yellow, red’s and white being the most common. Your local nursery, Walmart and other stores will soon have a good selection of Chrysanthemum to select from. Consider buying the smaller 4 inch pots for planting this year. While being less showy this year, they are also ‘much’ cheaper to buy and by next fall they will be large and put on a specular display for you.