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Author Merit Badge Awardees - Woo-hoo Sisters!:  Farmgirl Sisterhood Merit Badge Awardees 
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 29 2009 :  5:02:43 PM  Show Profile
René Groom #185 has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning an intermediate level Little Squirts badge!

"As I was going around the house lubing the doors, I did find two doors that were particularly troublesome — the door to the downstairs bathroom, (where we had just laid new tile), and the door going into the garage. While the door into the bathroom just needed some new screws and to be tightened down a little, the one leading into the garage needed to be re-sized. We ended up taking it off the hinges and cutting about 1/4” or so off the length allowing it to open and close better. When we put it back onto the door frames we added a wedge to help it sit correctly.

WOW what a huge difference."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 29 2009 :  5:03:40 PM  Show Profile
René Groom #185 has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning an expert level Little Squirts badge!

"While I didn’t “organize” this event, I did go down to a local “Children’s safety clinic” where the local fire and police were handing out helmets and showing the proper use of them. I took my handy dandy bike chain oil and new-found knowledge and sat in the grassy area where the obstacle course was, and helped little ones learn how to care for their bikes. I wasn't sure if I felt better knowing that there were a LOT of other adults that didn’t know how to do it too or not, but we all learned something.

I especially loved the older group of grandpas who came over to make sure I was 1) doing it right and 2) using the right kind of OIL.. (Which by the way... the recommendations were as vast as the number of old timers giving me hints)."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 29 2009 :  5:05:22 PM  Show Profile
René Groom #185 has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a beginner level Plant It Forward badge!

"Last spring I chose to plant an extra row of everything and while I didn’t take it to the local food bank, I did make sure that a couple elderly neighbors that we have in our neighborhood were taken care of. We supplied them with a basket a week (three individuals); each basket had carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, strawberries and lots of greens.

I know that they were grateful and we loved doing it."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 29 2009 :  5:19:12 PM  Show Profile
René Groom #185 has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning an intermediate level Plant It Forward badge!

"For my intermediate badge I planted an 8’x16’ Raised Garden bed filled with Onions, Tomatoes, Lettuce, & Cucumbers. And got several of my friends to do the same, we had read a column in the local paper that truly shocked us. Saying that 40% of the seniors and children in the Valley go to bed hungry. I couldn’t imagine, as we live in one of the richest valleys, where fruit and row crop are everywhere. The article went on to say that while the farms in the valley were indeed “feeding the world”, citizens in their own backyards were going without.

Our plan was to offer a “free farmers Market” in the “taste of Grace” café at our church on Sundays after the services. And we did. We ended up having other farmers join us and people went home with bags of fresh produce.

It went well enough that we are gearing up to do it all again this year with more people participating as growers."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 29 2009 :  5:23:40 PM  Show Profile
René Groom #185 has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning an expert level Plant It Forward badge!

"After planting my garden for the Intermediate badge, I went to our local women’s council at my church and asked them if I could set up a free market at the Taste of Grace café inside our church and of course they said yes. Teaming up with others we were able to offer a wide range of fresh produce for people to take home free of charge. Many in our congregation loaded up bags to take to people they knew who would benefit from such items. This program in now implemented and is a part of our church’s summer programs. While there wasn’t a lot of organization that needed to be done, I did commit to being there to set up the “market” and tear it down.

We had a bounty of items, and great community support."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - May 15 2009 :  4:40:57 PM  Show Profile
René Groom (prosserfarmgirl, #185) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a beginner level Connecting Growers and Eaters badge!

"I have had the honor to work with the local assisted-living facility for the past several years to insure that they have fresh veggies for their residence. I find that it not only is a benefit to them healthwise, but also spiritually, as many of the residents were gardeners and have a great love of it. Last spring I did the same. I went and worked up the soil, got a local nursery to add and donate new compost and planted items that the residents wanted. Our local farmgirl chapter is looking into making raised beds on legs, to which the residents can sit on a chair and weed the garden spaces.

I am never sure who benefits more from this — us or the residents. Seems like it is a win/win."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - May 15 2009 :  4:49:27 PM  Show Profile
René Groom (prosserfarmgirl, #185) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning an intermediate level Connecting Growers and Eaters badge!

"I am so blessed to volunteer my time at the Prosser Farmers' Market. The last 2 years I was the assistant Market Manager, giving it up this year for a seat on the board. We have some of the best vendors who are willing to share what isn’t sold after market. Last market season I committed to 10 drop offs to people in the community, whom through pastors, community leaders and Jubilee Ministries I learned would be able to benefit from such a delivery. It was one of the most rewarding things that I have done. One family I was blessed to see several times and the little kids couldn’t wait to see what was in the bag. I also went and visited PCEI in Moscow and learned about their backyard program and have started one here in my home town where community members are committed to sharing their harvest. I also went out and talked to many of the corporate Ag companies asking if they would consider giving back to the local community, taking with me donation forms and contact info for the local food banks and charities.

We did get some of the bigger companies to donate, however gleaning is still causes problems as many of the Corporate Ag companies don't want the liability issues. We continue to work on it, though."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - May 15 2009 :  5:05:02 PM  Show Profile
René Groom (prosserfarmgirl, #185) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a beginner level Families Forever badge!

"This winter we organized a family game night every Thursday night. Not being much of a gamer myself, I didn’t know if I would like it, but surprisingly I did. I made the investment of board games and card games and we found ourselves laughing a lot. The 8 weeks went by quickly and we will make it a mainstay in our home.

While reading out-loud was a harder sell in my household of very active boys… we did find that books on tape were fun. We popped popcorn, turned out the lights and listened to the classics like it was an old radio show. Loved it!

Fun!"

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - May 18 2009 :  10:43:29 AM  Show Profile
René Groom (prosserfarmgirl, #185) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning an intermediate level Families Forever badge!

"This was an interesting challenge for me/us. We have 3 TVs in our home. One in the upstairs family room, one in the basement family room and one in what we call the “pit” — a room where the “guys” hang out and watch games and play their video games.

What we discovered was that while the things were “ON” quit often, no one was really ever watching them; they were background noise for the most part. After going through and visiting with each member of the family with TV guide in hand this is what we came up with. My husband Tom likes news shows; I like Do-it-yourself and ag related shows (like LINK and Public TV); Matthew likes Science channel and Discovery channel; and Cole Likes all things hunting, fishing and sports.

So we decided that we would coordinate our TV viewing where we were spending more time together watching and learning what each of us liked, and the rest of the time turn off the ones that were just noise.

We are all learning a lot of new things."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - May 18 2009 :  10:52:26 AM  Show Profile
René Groom (prosserfarmgirl, #185) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning an expert level Families Forever badge!

"We have found so many new and fun ways to be outside and together. Even just little shifts, like when I was feeling I never saw my husband anymore when he was given more titles on the farm... Now I drop my schedule and go to the fields with him. (#1)

#2 - We have all taken a more active roll in our backyard. Matthew, my 12 year old, recently built a swing (pattern from MaryJane's outpost), and it has become our favorite living space.

#3 – We are walking more. Giving ourselves permission to take a little more time and walk to town for the errands we need to do.

#4 – Walking the dog. We have a great woodsy area behind our house that the dog loves. It is so fun as it runs with an irrigation ditch and you see so much “wildlife” — not all good as we ran into a skunk family a while back, but they were kind to us.

#5 – I love to write and I have made it part of my ritual to do so out-of-doors. It helps me relax enough to think about what I want to do and to say.

#6 – We are stopping more often on road trips to see the local flavor and scenic stops. On a recent trip to Olympia what should have taken 4 hours took us closer to 7 as we stopped everywhere someone thought looked “cool.” While it did take longer, we have more memories.

I have found that keeping a list of things I want to do, like hike a certain hill or fish a certain lake, helps me to get to it."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - May 18 2009 :  11:36:09 AM  Show Profile
René Groom (prosserfarmgirl, #185) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a beginner level Entrepreneurial Spirit badge!

"A couple of years ago I came to the realization that I was on the wrong track. While to the outside world it must have looked like life was good, I was miserable, as the things that were important to me kept getting pushed onto the back burner. While I don’t recommend my choice of change, for me it worked.

My Business Plan looked like this:

1. Find a career that allows me to work out of my home.

2. Pays enough to pay the bills

3. GET MY LIFE BACK

I knew a few things.

1) I couldn’t make the needed changes if I stayed in my job. My schedule was so full I couldn’t find the time or the energy to figure out what I needed to do to take control. So, step one was... “I QUIT!” ( I told you, I don’t recommend this for everyone, but for me, I needed my world to stop, so that I could think).
2) That my best asset was ... me. I knew I wouldn’t be able to rely on anyone else to fulfill my dream. I had to get a clear vision, and then I believed my career would show up.
3) I also knew that I loved to read, I loved to research, and I loved to write.
4) I knew that whatever I did I needed a balance of administrative and creative in order to keep my sanity.
5) AND I knew I was passionate about agriculture.

In the 1st week that I was a “free woman” truthfully, I slept! I don’t recall being awake for any of it. The 60-80 hours a day had caught up with me. Week 2 I set out and made a Dream board. On it I placed all the things that I wanted my life to be filled with. Then I gave my business a name: NATURALLY SPEAKING.

It was the perfect fit!

Scary to jump off like I did, but necessary for me, I think."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - May 18 2009 :  11:40:14 AM  Show Profile
René Groom (prosserfarmgirl, #185) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning an intermediate level Entrepreneurial Spirit badge!

"So I had the name NATURALLY SPEAKING.

I had been invited to come and speak at a couple events. I was working to pay bills, getting off at 2:00 p.m. to “work on the business plan” before my youngest got home at 3:30.

I re-organized my home, making an office. I found and re-finished an old desk for work space, read everything I could get my hands on about running my own business and on consulting and freelance writing.

I scoured papers and the internet for opportunities and even found a few. I was thrilled when I was invited to write a couple of pieces for a local/state ag newspaper. I loved the research and meeting amazing people doing amazing things in the ag world. This opportunity also allowed me to hone my “wants” even more, as I knew I didn’t want to work in conventional agriculture, there were to many things that stressed me there.. So I set out to find the world of agriculture free of chemicals and “in-the-box” thinking.

I started a BlogSpot and sent out email business cards.
http://renenaturallyspeaking.blogspot.com/

I got several inquiries from both the blogspot and the e-business cards. I met great people that have kept me updated and involved in agriculture and what is going on in Washington state."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - May 18 2009 :  11:55:37 AM  Show Profile
René Groom (prosserfarmgirl, #185) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a beginner level Backyard Farmer badge!

"I have had chickens in the past. And they are by far my favorite animal to raise. I think it is their "oh so independent nature". But when we moved to town a few years ago I gave them away to a neighbor. This year, being the little rebel that I am, I decided “who could find fault in families wanting to have fresh, organic eggs?” not to mention a great agricultural project for my 12 year old. So, I got more chickens. When we got them they were really little and we kept them in a box in my office. Then as they got bigger, they were moved into a portable dog kennel. Now they are quiet comfy in their newly built hen hotel. They are 8 of the sweetest Buff Orpingtons.

So far, so good."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - May 18 2009 :  1:32:40 PM  Show Profile
René Groom (prosserfarmgirl, #185) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a beginner level Bee Good to Your Mother Earth badge!

"We have kept a garden for years, but there was still so very much to learn. I read “Montrose” by Nancy Goodwin, and found it so beautifully written, spending more time with the words than maybe the content. I loved how the main characters of the book were not just the people, but the plants themselves. And instead of chapters she uses dates as she documented the life of the 4 season garden.

We don’t use pesticides or synthetic fertilizers instead we use companion planting and beneficial bugs. Which seem to do well with the Heirloom seeds and plants we are using."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - May 18 2009 :  1:36:45 PM  Show Profile
René Groom (prosserfarmgirl, #185) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an intermediate level Bee Good to Your Mother Earth badge!

"Last year on the Farmgirl Connection one of the farmgirls posted a link to Burt’s Bees and their Community Initiative section and some PSA’s that Burt was doing to educate about the bees and their failing health. With that campaign they sent out organic wildflower seeds, as did fellow farmgirl maven DeereDawn. I grabbed tightly to both and have planted wildflowers alongside fruit trees and my veggie garden. This year I have jumped into “Great Sunflower Project” from the Dept of Biology at San Francisco State University planting sunflowers and committing to document the bees that visit my back yard.

While I didn’t save wildflower seeds, I did manage to save and sow my own sunflower seeds this year as well.

I love being challenged to learn about things like this and then do what I can to “do my part.”

I also facilitated a venture between our local chapter of farmgirls, the local movie theater and our farmers' market to show the “bee movie” and invite our local honey producers to sell there goods as well as to have info on the health of bees and how we can help."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - May 18 2009 :  1:40:10 PM  Show Profile
René Groom (prosserfarmgirl, #185) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an expert level Bee Good to Your Mother Earth badge!

"To earn my badge we checked all the hoses to make sure that they contained no lead. Since we just put up a new fence and arbor we have agreed to use an eco-friendly stain when we stain it.

I became infatuated with “Pleaching” when I was a crop insurance agent. I was fascinated that you could take trees such as apple, hazelnut, peach, olive, pear, almond and dogwood and “braid” the limbs to cause this living fence. Pleaching is an old form of fence-building very popular in old Europe, so much so that William Shakespeare even wrote of it in “much ado about nothing”. The French call it espalier.

Last summer we began again to compost our kitchen waste. I found a great little plan from an extension office that had me dig a hole about 1/3 as deep as a galvanized trash can, drill holes in the bottom of the can and bury the can. Then dump all the waste in the can...

Works like a charm."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - May 18 2009 :  1:57:55 PM  Show Profile
René Groom (prosserfarmgirl, #185) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a beginner level Sew Wonderful badge!

"There is something kind of fun about gathering all this together and finding a cute box for it. I have begun to make these kits for graduation gifts and shower gifts.

It has been fun."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - May 18 2009 :  2:08:52 PM  Show Profile
René Groom (prosserfarmgirl, #185) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a beginner level Crochet badge!


"I have now done several rag-rugs. I have a cream and brown one in the basement. An all purple one for a guest bedroom and this two-tone yellow one for my kitchen.

I have also had the privilege of teaching the class at a chapter meeting at my house.

I am addicted to rag-rugging. I love it!"

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - May 18 2009 :  3:10:15 PM  Show Profile
René Groom (prosserfarmgirl, #185) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a beginner level Homespun Christmas badge!

"I made 80% of our gifts this year. And I really think that those that received them were more appreciative than they would have been had we purchased things for them.

I canned and made jellies and pickled asparagus, pear butter, embroidered kitchen towels, made aprons and pajamas, redecorated a friend's home, painted floral pictures and sewed handbags. Below is a picture of some of the organic pear butter.

We loved it and we felt that those getting the gifts loved it as well."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - May 18 2009 :  3:22:08 PM  Show Profile
René Groom (prosserfarmgirl, #185) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a beginner level Safe Toys badge!

"I had the wonderful privilege of attending a doll-making class at MaryJanesFarm back in June of ‘08. I had just recently made some major changes in my life, and being able to attend the class was a much needed gift. The month before attending the class I had signed on to be a speaker for other kids that were in the foster care system as I had been. I had the honor of visiting with kids who had already experienced some of life's harder things... So, while technically I didn't give this doll away, she does go with me on those occasions I get to speak. I use her as a visual to tell “our story.” I like that she is gangley and generic. It helps me to make the point that we “ALL” have a story!

Kids love her and so do I."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - May 18 2009 :  3:45:08 PM  Show Profile
René Groom (prosserfarmgirl, #185) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a beginner level Buttoned Up badge!

"My button jar consists of new, swapped, and found buttons.

We have been surprised how often we “dip into the jar” now that we have one."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - May 18 2009 :  3:46:16 PM  Show Profile
René Groom (prosserfarmgirl, #185) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning an intermediate level Buttoned Up badge!

"We have had much ado about buttons. Recently I hosted a “girls’ nite out” at our church and we had a “button it up” party . We had 16 women show up to make button jewelry. It was fun to see much of it on Sunday morning.

Here is a ring I made that night!"

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 02 2009 :  09:23:55 AM  Show Profile
René Groom (prosserfarmgirl, #185) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a beginner level Nellie Make-do badge!

"A couple of our local farmgirls are very into felting — matter of fact, one has even written a book on the topic. So recently we all met up over at farmgirl Linda Atkins and learned how to felt. We cut up old wool sweaters and coats. It was really fun! My little lamb didn't take the whole 25 hours, but I ended up stitching it to a custom "tea bag" I made and adding other felting pieces to it.

This was a lot of fun. Nothing like taking out your aggressions on some wool."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 02 2009 :  09:52:19 AM  Show Profile
René Groom (prosserfarmgirl, #185) has received a certificate of achievement in Outpost for earning a beginner level Disconnect to Reconnect badge!

"I have been finding that I am enjoying this more and more. I like having my world stop long enough for me to refuel. We have a cabin that has become our retreat, and since there is no power or cell signal we are seldom tempted to “fall off the wagon”."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 02 2009 :  11:05:33 AM  Show Profile
René Groom (prosserfarmgirl, #185) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a beginner level “What’s Your Beef?” badge.

"I was surprised to learn that there are more benefits to grass-fed beef than just the fact that they are hormone-free. The fact that beef cattle are eating grass instead of corn totally changes the fat content as well as the protein levels of the meat. Making it a much healthier choice.

We bought all grass-fed this year, as well as cutting down the amount of meat we eat in general."
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