Category Archives: Conservation

DIY – Chicken water warming system that really works

It’s a little late this winter, but it is valuable information that will save you lots of time and aggravation and keep your chickens supplied with fresh water even on the coldest days of winter.

DIY – Chicken water warming system Please note the light bulb(s) must be incandescent bulb(s) and not LED or CFL bulbs.
LED and CFL light bulbs produce little or no heat.

After reading this DIY project I believe 100 watt incandescent bulbs will be your best choice.
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Men’s Health Test – It’s fast, it’s easy, requires no special equipment or training

Herbs are expensive – Grow your own

Herbs Fresh or Dried purchased from your local Supermarket or Farmers Market are exceeding expensive.

These are sample prices taken from Walmart:
Litehouse Basil Freeze Dried Herbs $15.00 an ounce

McCormick Gourmet Organic Crushed Rosemary, $4.45 an ounce

Litehouse Chives $17.00 an ounce

Litehouse Parsley $14.00 an ounce

McCormick Gourmet Organic Thyme $7.60 an ounce

The best solution is to grow your own Herbs. Herbs take up little space and are very forgiving if neglected.
Most herbs will do well in containers, window boxes and planted directly in your garden soil.
If herbs are conventionally located to you and your kitchen you are more willing and more likely to use them when cooking and serving meals.

Herbs Make Common Foods Taste Special

Sage is a herb that does well if properly cared for. It requires a lot of pinching and cutting to keep it from becoming woody. As a rule, sage will need to be replanted about every 3 years since it will become woody with few leaves no matter what, so keeping it in a pot makes this change that much easier. Sage dries very well and if you pinch the leaves throughout the growing season, put a rubber band on them and keep them dry and in a dark place after drying. You will have wonderful sage all winter to give your family and guest a special treat.

Sage Use leaves flowers fresh or dried with stuffings for fish, poultry, and meat, pâté, eggs, poultry, pork, beef, lamb, pasta, cheeses cheddar, cream, and cottage, sauces brown and meat, soups cream and chowder, beef stews, and vegetables.

Rosemary is always a kitchen favorite. It dries perfectly, holds its strong taste all winter, comes indoors and keeps growing in a sunny window and is rarely bothered by insects.
Use rosemary for many herb standards or topiaries. The woody stem is perfect for crafting. The stem also seconds as skewers so each harvest yields two separate herb crops. 1)leaves and 2)stems.
Keep the stems in a freezer bag and use them for grilling skewers. Rosemary doesn’t like to sit in water it likes to dry out between watering. Being in its own container makes the herb grow that much hardier, since it can receive special care.

Basil is one of the most popular and rewarding herbs to grow in a container. It really lends itself well to the other popular container plants like the tomato. Basil likes to have plenty of water to keep its fleshy stems and tender leaves plump, but is susceptible to mildew. In a container, you must be sure the plant gets plenty of airflow.

Thyme is an undervalued herb. Many times it gets planted and never used. Thyme deserves a higher standing on our list of culinary herbs!
It will thrive in a container environment, needing only minimal watering. Some varieties grow into small shrub like plants that enhance an entrance to your home. It’s tiny purple flowers are lovely. Being such a low maintenance herb, thyme will fit in your container garden.

Mint is notorious for getting away from gardeners. You plant one and soon twenty will follow. Planting a bottomless pot into your garden is one way of controlling mint, but keeping it out of the garden completely, by using a separate container, is a better idea. Mint is so tasty, it will be used more often if it is handy.

Chives Leaves/Flowers Use in fresh or frozen soups, salads, salad dressings, eggs, dips, vegetables, chicken, soft cheese spreads, butters, white sauces, and fish.

English Thyme Use leaves flowers with fresh or dried wild game, beef, soft cheeses, fish, chowders, pâté, vegetables, and tomato sauce.

Tarragon French or Spanish Use leaves fresh or dried with chicken, fish, eggs, tomato juice, butters especially nice on steak, vinegar’s, salads, mustard’s, hollandaise, béarnaise and tartar sauce, soups, chicken, fish, mushroom and tomato and marinades for fish, lamb or pork.

Greek Oregano Use leaves fresh or dried
in white and tomato sauces, stews, soups, fish, lamb, pork, vegetables, butters, and vinegar’s.

Rosemary Use leaves fresh or dried
with beef, lamb, fish, poultry, stuffings, soups, stews, fruit cups, soups chicken, pea, and spinach, vegetables, and marinades.

Hint of the Day: Use fresh herbs blended with ‘real’ butter or sour cream for that special taste. Herb’s go well with fresh baked potato’s, snack dips and fresh garden salads.

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Letter from Hospital Staff

Things to consider in life.

Author unknown

An old farmer was walking down the path to the pond one day when he came across a frog.
He reached down, picked the frog up, and started to put it in his pocket.
As he did so, the frog said, “Kiss me on the lips and I’ll turn into a beautiful farmers wife.”
The old farmer carried on putting the frog in his pocket.
The frog said, “Didn’t you hear what I said?”
The old farmer looked at the frog and said, “At my age I’d rather have a talking frog.”

Amateur Radio Winter Field Day – January 30th and 31st 2021

Purpose: To foster Amateur Radio(Ham) camaraderie, field operation and emergency operating preparedness.
Winter Field Day runs for 24 hours during the last full weekend in January each year from 1900 UTC (2pm EST) Saturday to 1900 UTC (2pm EST) Sunday.
1900 UTC = 1300 (1 PM) Central Standard Time.

Winter 2021 the dates are January 30th and 31st.

All Amateur bands, HF, VHF, & UHF except 12, 17, 30 and 60 meters using any mode that can faithfully transmit the exchange intact without a conversion table.
CW, SSB, AM, FM, DStar, C4FM, DMR, Packet, PSK, SSTV, RTTY, Olivia, Satellite, etc…

Suggested Frequencies: (to make it easier to find each other) HF CW – 1810-1820, 3.530-3.550, 7.030-7.050, 14.035-14.055, 21.030-21.050, 28.030-28.040
HF SSB – lowest 30 kHz of the US General Class Phone bands (160m-15m), 28.400-28.425MHz (10m)

VHF 50.10 to 54.00 MHz, 144.10 to 148.00 MHz
UHF 420.00 to 450.00 MHz

UTC = Coordinated Universal Time. UTC is the primary time standard by which the world regulates clocks and time.
UTC is not adjusted for daylight saving time. It is the successor to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

CW = Morse code
SSB = Single Side Band
AM = Amplitude Modulated
FM = Frequency Modulated
DStar, C4FM, DMR, Packet, PSK = Digital modes
RTTY = Radio Teletype
SSTV = Slow Scan TV

I will be operating 75, 40, 20, 10 and 6 meters SSB phone(voice) as well as 2 meter and 70 centimeter VHF/UHF phone(voice)

Hope to hear you on-air during Winter Field.

Will there be a Lettuce shortage?

U.S. grown Lettuce Farms are planting about 5% to 15% less to prevent food waste after lost sales in 2020.

YUMA, AZ. Farmers across Southwestern Arizona are hard at work harvesting much of the country’s lettuce supply during their busiest time of the year.
Yuma County has the ideal growing conditions, with cool nights and warm days. From November to April, they supply about 90% of the United States and Canada’s supply of romaine and iceberg lettuce.

John Boelts of Desert Premium Farms says the season was just wrapping up when the pandemic hit the U.S. last year when restaurants and schools closed, their sales took a big hit.

Boelts said “There’s no such thing as fast food, it takes us months of preparation, planning to grow these crops.”
Last year, Boelts said their farm suffered a couple hundred thousand dollars in losses from products that weren’t harvested. Because of that, farms around Yuma are planting about 5% to 15% less to prevent food waste.

I’m sure there are many hundreds of small and large farmers and fruit producers suffering due to lost sales when local and state bureaucrats forced the closure of schools, restaurants ans mom and pop cafe’s.

Tomato’s In Your Spring / Summer Garden

TomatoFest website is a good research tool to assist you in choosing the tomato varieties you wish to grow in the 2021 gardening season. TomatoFest advertises that they have available more than 650 different tomato varieties for you to choose from. [See Disclaimer]

TomatoFest Annual Heirloom Tomato Seed Sale – Ends January 18, 2021 Heirloom Tomato’s seed

TomatoFest – Online heirloom tomato seed catalog of more than 650 tomato seed varieties currently offering 325 heirloom tomato varieties on sale now through January 18, 2021.

Dwarf varieties offered to gardeners who are challenged with limited garden space and those who are limited to growing in containers. Dwarf tomato varieties are popular for producing heavy yields on shorter plants.

TomatoFest Cherry Tomato Seed Collection

TomatoFest Short Growing Season Collection

Disclaimer I am not employed nor do I receive any money or free products from TomatoFest company.
I am providing these links as a Research Tool for your convenience.
As with any purchase research and choose your supplier carefully and wisely.

Speaking only for myself, I have had good service and found their products to be as advertised. Producing healthy productive plants.

Star of Bethlehem, conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, best earth view in 800 years

Christmas star By chance, the day that Jupiter and Saturn will appear closest for Earth-based stargazers is Dec. 21, the winter solstice, which is the longest night of the year in the northern hemisphere.

Star of Bethlehem could have been a planetary conjunction. Although around two thousand years ago, Venus and Jupiter were closest — not Jupiter and Saturn, as is the case for the “Christmas Star” of 2020.

Near December 21, Jupiter and Saturn will appear like a binary planet in the night sky.

Thanksgiving food safety

Covid-19, government dictated lock-downs and self quarantines, smaller family gatherings has caused turkey growers and markets to have a shortage of smaller (6-10 pound) turkeys.
Shop and buy your turkey soon for your best selection.

This post has become an annual posting in hopes it will help keep you and your family safe. Food handling, thawing times, cooking time / temperatures and safe storing of any thanksgiving day food leftovers.

For some this is old information and is considered plain common sense. For others this will be their first time dealing with such a large bird and safely handling so many side dishes for one meal.
turkey
Butterball Turkey Talk provides a free service to answer your questions about proper handling, thawing and cooking Turkey.
You can reach them by telephone, email or via live chat line.
Butterball also has a informative page of FAQ’s that you may find useful.

Butterball said:
FROZEN WHOLE TURKEY
Thaw in refrigerator (not at room temperature). Place unopened turkey, breast side up, on a tray in refrigerator and follow our refrigerator thawing instructions. Allow at least 24 hours for every 4 pounds.

To thaw more quickly, place unopened turkey breast down in sink filled with cold tap water. Allow 30 minutes per pound. Change water every 30 minutes to keep surface of turkey cold.

When thawed, keep in refrigerator up to 4 days until ready to cook.

United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) has a nice and very informative fact sheet as well as a useful PDF file on the safe handling, cooking, Storage and re-heating of Turkey.

United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) A Consumer Guide to Safely Roasting a Turkey USDA’s information applies to any poultry, Turkey, Chicken, Duck, Goose and so on that you may plan on cooking and serving to your family.

For more information about food safety, call: USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854). 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday or
E-mail: mphotline.fsis@usda.gov Or “Ask Karen,” FSIS’ Web-based automated response system – available 24/7 at http://www.fsis.usda.gov.

Hints:
Allow 1 pound of turkey per person.

Thawing In the Refrigerator (40 °F or below)
Allow approximately 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds
4 to 12 pounds 1 to 3 days
12 to 16 pounds 3 to 4 days
16 to 20 pounds 4 to 5 days
20 to 24 pounds 5 to 6 days
Roasting Time
4 to 8 pounds (breast) 1½ to 3¼ hours
8 to 12 pounds 2¾ to 3 hours
12 to 14 pounds 3 to 3¾ hours
14 to 18 pounds 3¾ to 4¼ hours
18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4½ hours
20 to 24 pounds 4½ to 5 hours

United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) Alternate methods to cook Turkey / poultry Grilling a Turkey, Covered Gas Grill, Covered Charcoal Grill, Smoking a Turkey, Deep Fat Frying a Turkey.

United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) Basics: Safe Cooking Turkey A PDF file. Great 1 page tip sheet on cooking Turkey / Poultry.

United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) Turkey Roasting Chart Everything you will ever need to know about Roasting your Turkey.
Hint:
Reheating Your Turkey
In the Oven
Set the oven temperature no lower than 325 °F.
Reheat turkey to an internal temperature of 165 °F. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature.
To keep the turkey moist, add a little broth or water and cover.

United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures Use this chart and a food thermometer to ensure that meat, poultry, seafood, and other cooked foods reach a safe minimum internal temperature.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC 24/7: Saving Lives. Protecting People. Safely Prepare Your Holiday Meal Important cooking information to providing Safe food preparation information.

Not from the U.S.A. Leave a comment telling me about your home town and country

Why is common sense so uncommon?
Don’t be Shy. Leave me your comment(
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