Frank Giaccio, at the White House to cut the grass at the invitation of President Trump

Frank Giaccio, of Falls Church, Va. who showed up at the White House Friday to cut the grass at the invitation of President Trump.

Steven Greenhouse, who worked for the New York Times for 31 years and still writes for the paper on occasion, took issue with the feel good story about Frank Giaccio and turned it into an attack report on President Trump.

President Trump accepted Frank’s offer after he wrote to the president saying it would be his “honor to mow the White House lawn.” Frank, who was 10 when he wrote the letter but has since turned 11, also enclosed a menu of his landscaping services, including weed-whacking.

Frank Giaccio saw an opportunity to move his lawn care business to the next level and took it.

Frank has received multi-millions of dollars of free advertising and can now add President Trump to his list of satisfied customers.

Frank is one of the millions of Americans that are working hard everyday to take Presidents Trump vision of Making America Great Again and making that vision a reality.

Thank you Frank Giaccio, for your hard work, great planning, turning President Trump’s vision of Making America Great Again in to a tangible action.


Fruits and Vegetables – Proper storage is essential

Proper storage of fruits and vegetables will insure you get the most usage from your garden and orchard crops.

Hint: Always remove any tight bands from your vegetables or at least loosen them to allow them to breathe.

Artichokes – Place in an airtight container sealed, with light moisture.

Asparagus – Place them loosely in a glass or bowl upright with water at room temperature. (Will keep for a week outside the fridge)

Avocados – Place in a paper bag at room temp. To speed up their ripening, place an apple in the bag with them.

Arugula – Like lettuce, should not stay wet! Dunk in cold water and spin or lay flat to dry. Place dry arugula in an open container, wrapped with a dry towel to absorb any extra moisture.

Basil – Is difficult to store well. Basil does not like the cold, or to be wet for that matter. The best method here is an airtight container/jar loosely packed with a small damp piece of paper inside, left out on a cool counter.

Beans – Shelling open container in the fridge, eat ASAP. Some recommend freezing them if not going to eat right away

Beets – Cut the tops off to keep beets firm, (be sure to keep the greens!)by leaving any top on root vegetables draws moisture from the root, making them loose flavor and firmness. Beets should be washed and kept in and open container with a wet towel on top.

Beet greens – Place in an airtight container with a little moisture.

Broccoli – Place in an open container in the fridge or wrap in a damp towel before placing in the fridge.

Broccoli Rabe – Left in an open container in the crisper, but best used as soon as possible.

Brussels Sprouts – If bought on the stalk leave them on that stalk. Put the stalk in the fridge or leave it on a cold place. If they’re bought loose store them in an open container with a damp towel on top.

Cabbage – Left out on a cool counter is fine up to a week, in the crisper otherwise. Peel off outer leaves if they start to wilt. Cabbage might begin to loose its moisture after a week , so, best used as soon as possible.

Carrots – Cut the tops off to keep them fresh longer. Place them in closed container with plenty of moisture, either wrapped in a damp towel or dunk them in cold water every couple of days if they’re stored that long.

Cauliflower – Will last a while in a closed container in the fridge, but they say cauliflower has the best flavor the day it’s bought.

Celery – Does best when simply places in a cup or bowl of shallow water on the counter.
Celery root/Celeriac – Wrap the root in a damp towel and place in the crisper.

Corn – Leave un-husked in an open container if you must, but corn really is best eaten sooner then later for maximum flavor.

Cucumber – Wrapped in a moist towel in the fridge. If you’re planning on eating them within a day or two after buying them they should be fine left out in a cool room.

Eggplant – Does fine left out in a cool room. Don’t wash it, eggplant doesn’t like any extra moisture around its leaves. For longer storage, place loose, in the crisper.

Fava beans – Place in an air tight container.

Fennel – If used within a couple days after it’s bought fennel can be left out on the counter, upright in a cup or bowl of water (like celery). If wanting to keep longer than a few days place in the fridge in a closed container with a little water.

Garlic – Store in a cool, dark, place.

Green garlic – An airtight container in the fridge or left out for a day or two is fine, best before dried out.

Greens – Remove any bands, twist ties, etc. most greens must be kept in an air-tight container with a damp cloth, to keep them from drying out. Kale, collards, and chard even do well in a cup of water on the counter or fridge.

Green beans – They like humidity, but not wetness. A damp cloth draped over an open or loosely closed container.

Green Tomatoes – Store in a cool room away from the sun to keep them green and use quickly or they will begin to color.

Herbs – A closed container in the fridge to kept up to a week. Any longer might encourage mold.

Lettuce – Keep damp in an airtight container in the fridge.

Leeks – Leave in an open container in the crisper wrapped in a damp cloth or in a shallow cup of water on the counter (just so the very bottom of the stem has water).

Okra – Doesn’t like humidity. So a dry towel in an airtight container. Doesn’t store that well, best eaten quickly after harvesting.

Onion – Store in a cool, dark and dry place, good air circulation is best, so don’t stack them.

Parsnips – An open container in the crisper, or, like a carrot, wrapped in a damp cloth in the fridge.

Potatoes – Like garlic and onions, store in cool, dark and dry place, such as, a box in a dark corner of the pantry – a paper bag also works well.

Radicchio – Place in the fridge in an open container with a damp cloth on top.

Radishes – Remove the greens (store separately) so they don’t draw out excess moisture from the roots and place them in a open container in the fridge with a wet towel placed on top.

Rhubarb – Wrap in a damp towel and place in an open container in the refrigerator.

Rutabagas – In an ideal situation a cool, dark, humid root cellar or a closed container in the crisper to keep their moisture in.

Snap peas – Refrigerate in an open container

Spinach – Store loose in an open container in the crisper, cool as soon as possible. Spinach loves to stay cold.

Spring onions – Remove any band or tie and place in the crisper.

Summer Squash – does fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut.

Sweet peppers – Only wash them right before you plan on eating them as wetness decreases storage time. Store in a cool room to use in a couple a days, place in the crisper if longer storage needed.

Sweet Potatoes – Store in a cool, dark, well ventilated place. Never refrigerate sweet potatoes they don’t like the cold.

Tomatoes – Never refrigerate. Depending on ripeness, tomatoes can stay for up to two weeks on the counter. To hasten ripeness place in a paper bag with an apple.

Turnips – Remove the greens (store separately) same as radishes and beets, store them in an open container with a moist cloth.

Winter squash – Store in a cool, dark, well ventilated place. Many growers say winter squashes get sweeter if they’re stored for a week or so before eaten.

Zucchini – Does fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut. Wrap in a cloth and refrigerate for longer storage.

Apples – Store on a cool counter or shelf for up to two weeks. For longer storage in a cardboard box in the fridge.

Citrus – Store in a cool place, with good airflow, never in an air tight container.

Apricots – On a cool counter to room temperature or fridge if fully ripe

Cherries – Store in an airtight container. Don’t wash cherries until ready to eat, any added moisture encourages mold.

Berries – Don’t forget, they’re fragile. When storing be careful not to stack too many high, a single layer if possible. A paper bag works well, only wash before you plan on eating them.

Dates – Dryer dates (like Deglet Noor) are fine stored out on the counter in a bowl or the paper bag they were bought in. Moist dates (like Medjool) need a bit of refrigeration if they’re going to be stored over a week, either in cloth or a paper bag as long as it’s porous to keeping the moisture away from the skin of the dates.

Figs – Don’t like humidity, so, no closed containers. A paper bag works to absorb excess moisture, but a plate works best in the fridge up to a week unstacked.

Melons – Uncut in a cool dry place, out of the sun up to a couple weeks. Cut melons should be in the fridge, an open container is fine.

Nectarines – Similar to apricots, store in the fridge is okay if ripe, but best taken out a day or two before you plan on eating them so they soften to room temperature.

Peaches – And most stone fruit, refrigerate only when fully ripe. More firm fruit will ripen on the counter.

Pears – Will keep for a few weeks on a cool counter, but fine in a paper bag. To hasten the ripening put an apple in with them.

Persimmon –Fuyu (shorter/pumpkin shaped): store at room temperature. Hachiya (longer/pointed end): room temperature until completely mushy. The astringentness of them only subsides when they are completely ripe. To hasten the ripening process place in a paper bag with a few apples for a week, check now and then, but don’t stack they get very fragile when really ripe.

Pomegranates – Keep up to a month stored on a cool counter.

Strawberries – Don’t like to be wet. Do best in a paper bag in the fridge for up to a week. Check the bag for moisture every other day.

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Chow Chow Relish – Using Late Season Garden Vegetables

Grandma’s CHOW CHOW

1 peck (1/4 bushel) green tomatoes about {12 or 15 pounds}
5 lbs. strong flavored yellow onions
1 large head of cabbage course chopped
5 lbs. sugar
5 red hot chili peppers {you need at least 2 of these and more if you like your chow chow hot and spicy}
2+ cups chopped sweet green bell peppers
2+ cups chopped sweet red bell peppers
2 to 5 tablespoons mustard seed
1 tablespoon turmeric
3 or 4 tablespoons celery seed
Optional – 1 package of pickling spices
About 1 qt. of cider vinegar

Slice or dice tomatoes and sprinkle with 1 cup salt, place them in a clean old white pillowcase and hang them from a close line pole over night. {This will remove most of the green tomato juice from your bag of sliced green tomato’s} I’ll bet wrapping your sliced tomato’s in cheese cloth would work just as well.

Chop all vegetables and combine in a large kettle. Stir in salt, let stand covered at room temperature overnight, or at least 8 hours. Drain well.

Rinse and drain green tomato’s and other vegetables only once.
Using a meat grinder, {or course chop by hand} coarse grind tomatoes, cabbage, onions, peppers. In a large pot, add sugar, spices to mixture. Add enough vinegar to almost cover. Cook uncovered over a very low fire for 4 hours. Adding additional vinegar as necessary.

Fill hot sterilized 1 pint canning jars to 1/2 inch from the top and seal.
Makes 8 to 10 pints.
Note: Sterilize jars in a boiling water bath insuring jars are completely covered with water. Don’t forget to sterilize jar tops as well.

Process in a boiling water bath for 15 to 20 minutes. Allow jars to cool over night. Check to insure all jars sealed properly. Any jar that did not properly seal should be refrigerated and consumed with in a week or so.

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Excess Green Tomato’s? – Fry Them!

Fried Green Tomato Recipe
They taste great, and it’s a good way to use up excess green tomato’s from your garden.
Many people prepare them the same way they would prepare squash or egg plant for pan frying.

I stole this serving hint idea from an Italian sidewalk cafe near Lake Como in northern Italy, whether it be fried green tomato’s, okra, french fries, squash or egg plant, grate a little ‘real’ Parmesan cheese on them just before serving.
{Don’t even think about using that stuff in a can or box, doing a bad imitation of Parmesan cheese}.

medium size, firm green tomatoes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup milk
2 beaten eggs
2/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs or cornmeal {Being from the Southwest, I like cornmeal}
1/4 cup good quality olive oil or canola oil if you prefer
Hint: Try replacing 1/2 of the oil with melted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cut unpeeled green tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Sprinkle slices with salt and pepper. Let tomato slices stand for 45 minutes or more to drain excess water. Meanwhile, place flour, milk, eggs, and cornmeal/bread crumbs in separate shallow dishes.

Heat 2 Tbsp of lard or good quality olive or canola oil in a skillet on medium/medium high heat. Dip tomato slices in milk, then flour, then well beaten eggs, then cornmeal/bread crumbs. In the skillet, (fairly low heat) fry half of the coated tomato slices at a time, for 4-6 minutes on each side (turn only once) until brown. As you cook the rest of the tomatoes, add more lard or oil as needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

fresh green tomatoes
flour or cornmeal or corn bread mix
(corn bread mix – 1/2 flour mixed with 1/2 corn meal)
Pork Lard (Or a good quality Olive oil or vegetable oil)
Slice tomatoes about 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick. Spread on plate. Sprinkle salt evenly over tomatoes. Continue placing tomato slices in layer over previous layer and sprinkle with salt until all tomatoes have been salted.
IMPORTANT: Let tomato’s drain for 1 to 2 hours. This removes excess water from tomatoes so that they will cook up nice and crispy.

Remove tomatoes from container, rinse off excess salt, pat dry using paper towels.
Mix flour/corn meal, a little salt and pepper (to taste) in bowl. Coat each tomato slice with flour/corn meal. Let tomato slices set 10 – 20 minutes. (This fixes the flour/cornmeal to your tomato’s so it stays affixed to your tomato’s while frying.)

Heat lard/oil in a skillet to medium to medium high. Place tomatoes in oil. (Reduce heat as necessary). Let tomatoes brown on one side, then turn (turn only once) and brown on the other. When tomatoes are a golden brown, remove one at a time and place on paper towels to drain.

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Criminals, Hurricanes and Coffee

Toco Bell denies robbers safe-space
Cleveland, OH. Taco Bell employees shot and killed a would-be robber. Five Taco Bell employees were in the store when the suspects came in wearing masks and ordered them to get on the ground. Three of the employees opened fire, killing one of the robbers.

Robbery, a dangerous occupation.
Warren County, Ind., William Kellerhals told police that two males kicked in the side door of his house and began to beat him with a bat. He was able to grab his gun and fire shots at the two intruders, forcing them to flee.

Coffee, Good and Good for your health
The study showed that drinking 4+ cups of coffee may reduce a person’s risk of death by 64 percent. Even those over the age of 45 could lower their risk of death by 30 percent with 2 extra cups per day.
Caffeine – This notorious ingredient in coffee gives you energy, boosts your mood and improves your memory.
Vitamin B2 – This essential vitamin helps the body convert carbohydrates into energy, promotes healthy skin, hair and eyes and helps the body metabolize proteins and fats.
Magnesium – Magnesium regulates your blood pressure, promotes a regular heart rate and keeps your bones nice and strong.
Potassium – This necessary electrolyte helps the muscles contract properly, regulates your body’s water balance and conducts nerve impulses.
Polyphenols – This antioxidant is prevalent in many plant-based foods and is known for its effectiveness against disease.
Hydrocinnamic acids – This helpful addition neutralizes free radicals in the body and prevents oxidative stress.
Although coffee doesn’t have a significant amount of macronutrients, it does give people a huge source of antioxidants.

Your tax dollars at work
U.S. Military rescues more than 6,000 people in the Houston area flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.

Florida and U.S. South East Coastal States
Heads up, hurricane Irma has her eye on you. High water, heavy rain and hurricane force winds may exceed 185 MPH. Irma may impact Florida as early as Monday Sunday morning.
Irma “is much worse and more devastating on its current path” than Hurricane Andrew, a Category 5 storm which hit the state of Florida in 1992.

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief said “mandatory evacuations have been issued starting at noon Thursday for all residents east of U.S. Route 1, including all barrier islands.

Things that go bump in the night

Save Money – Save This Years Seed For 2018 Planting Season

At $3 to $5 dollars for a seed packet containing 10 to 30 seeds, it is worth your time and effort to collect and save flower and vegetable seeds for your 2018 gardens.

Collecting and storing flower seeds is a fast and easy project.
Cut flower heads and store in paper bags or envelopes. Next spring separate the dry seed from flower heads and plant them in your gardens.

Do not store seed in plastic bags or air tight containers. If the containers sweat the moisture can damage your seed and they may fail to germinate.
Generally speaking flower seeds are planted shallow, no more than 1/8 to 1/2 inch deep. Water often keep the first 1/2 inch of soil damp but not wet until seeds germinate. That’s generally from 7 to 10 days. Summer and fall blooming plant seed will reliably germinate after you soil tempeture has warmed to around 65 or 70 degrees F.

Don’t forget to label your saved seed. Many flower seeds look much the same. This will prevent you from planting tall growing flowers like sun flowers in locations that are better suited to smaller flowering plants.

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Common Sense Will Avoid Big Debts

Equinox arrives at Tiny Farm on Friday, September 22, 2017 at 3:02 pm CDT. This is the official start of Oklahoma’s Fall season.
Sun rise 7:22 am
Sunset: 7:29 pm

We are still having a few day’s reaching near 100 degrees, Monday’s forecast is calling for a high of 97 degrees, but, most day’s are now topping out closer to the mid-80’s and lows have been dropping into the high 50’s and low 60’s just before sunrise.

The holiday season count down begins.
1 day till Labor day
3 weeks to the start of Fall.
8 weeks to Halloween
12 weeks to Thanksgiving feast
16 weeks till Christmas
17 weeks and it will the start of our 2018 gardening season

Those fine folk at all those ‘mart’ stores are gearing up to relieve you of carrying around all that excess cash. Holiday sales are being advertised every where.

Don’t let all those store and website flashy sales pitches trick you into an impulse buy of products you don’t really need.
Ask yourself, do I really need a TV/entertainment system that cost more that my yearly food expense?

Make yourself a holiday budget and ‘Stick’ to your budget.
Don’t spring for a $1000.00 smart phone when the phone you have is working fine.

Treat yourself to an evening cuddled up with a cup of tea or hot coco and a good seed catalog.

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Now is the time to start planning your 2018 Spring garden

Independent scientific studies from university programs confirm that late summer and fall are especially good times to fertilize lawns and gardens.

Fall is the time when cool season grasses recover from summer stresses such as drought, heat, and disease. If the lawn has been properly fertilized in the late summer and fall, turf grass can begin to store carbohydrate reserves in the stems, rhizomes, and stolons. These carbohydrate reserves help grass resist winter injury and disease, and serve as a source of energy for root and shoot growth the following spring. A late fall fertilization will also provide better winter color, enhanced spring green up and increased rooting.

The final fertilizer application should be when the grass has stopped growing or has slowed down to the point of not needing to be mowed. Do not wait until the ground freezes.
A recommended rate for lawns is 1 lb. of soluble nitrogen be applied for each 1000 square feet, or 1.5 to 2 lb. of slow-release nitrogen for each 1000 square feet. A complete fertilizer with a high ratio of both nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) is essential for enhanced rooting, cold hardiness, disease resistance and wear tolerance. Use something like NPK 24-4-12.

Flower and vegetable gardens are similar. A mild fertilizer feeding in the fall will replenish the soil and prepare it for a quicker green-up when planting begins the following spring. Gardens do better with this approach than with a heavy dose of fertilizer in the early spring.

Using natural sources of nutrients, such as compost on the garden or mulching lawn clippings rather than bagging them, can replace some of the traditional chemical fertilizer applications.
Many studies conclude that one late to mid-summer feeding of a lawn, followed by a light fall feeding, produces a better lawn than the old recommendation for three or four major feedings for each growing season.
Most gardens do very well with one feeding shortly after planting and one as the growing season concludes.

DIY Test Compost for Herbicides
Compost from grass clippings or cow manure can have persistent herbicides.

Fill a pot with the compost. Add seeds of red clover (Trifolium pratense) or use regular garden beans. Failure to grow is a good indicator of persistent herbicides.
See fact sheet from NC State University Cooperative Extension for more information about herbicide persistence in compost. Herbicide Carryover in Hay, Manure, Compost & Grass Clippings

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Last Chance – almost.. Plant your Fall and early Winter garden this weekend

It seems that there is always something that needs fixing. Browsers and windows 10 seem to be in a long battle with each other to take control of our monitors or smart phones screens. It is the end users that must suffer when windows 10 and browser programmers and coders are in conflict.

Fast growing cool weather crops like lettuce, turnips and radishes can still be planted in zones 6-10.

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Consumer Alert – After Thousands Of Vehicles Flooded By Harvey

Dealerships in Texas are shut down. Widespread flooding has not only swamped thousands of building it’s likely damaged hundreds, perhaps thousands of new cars and trucks parked on dealership lots.

In the next few months criminals, scammers and con-men will be pushing illegally refurbished flooded cars and trucks onto an unsuspecting car buying public..

If the price of a new automobile or late model used vehicle seems to good to be true, this should send up Red Flags and you should be asking Why is this car being sold at such a low price.

Do your home work. Take extra time, make an effort to find out where this vehicle came from. If you suspect it has come from the Texas costal area walk away. A vehicle that has been setting in flood waters is never a good buy.

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