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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 - Jul 30 2014 :  5:08:09 PM  Show Profile
Sharon Demers (Calicogirl, #5392) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Expert Level Bustin' Out Merit Badge!

“I continued trying a new organic food on a weekly basis and have added a variety of new foods to our pantry. I love trying new foods and introducing them to my family.

This has been a fun and eye-opening badge.”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 30 2014 :  5:13:45 PM  Show Profile
Sharon Demers (Calicogirl, #5392) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a Beginner Level Cheesemaking Merit Badge!

“I completed the necessary requirements to earn the Beginner level of the Cheesemaking merit badge.

I am also enjoying MaryJane's Milk Cow Kitchen Book. I was thankful to have my library order it.

This badge is an exciting one to work on and I look forward to trying my hand at cheesemaking.

A few years ago I made yogurt using my crockpot. Just recently a friend blessed me with a yogurt maker. We are fortunate to have shares of a Jersey cow and are able to get Raw Milk and the yogurt is wonderful!”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 30 2014 :  5:18:44 PM  Show Profile
Sharon Demers (Calicogirl, #5392) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an Intermediate Level Gaining Ground Merit Badge!

“~August of 2013 we started a compost pile. It is very primitive made with pallets :)I continued to add and work the compost. I did not keep track of how many gallons of compost we gained but there were 3 wheel barrow loads :)

~Our community recently started a composting program. I have been sharing with those I know on how beneficial starting and keeping a compost pile is. It was so rewarding when planting time came this year.

Thank you so much MaryJane for this merit badge! It was so wonderful seeing all that 'black gold.'”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 30 2014 :  5:24:38 PM  Show Profile
Sharon Demers (Calicogirl, #5392) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning an Intermediate Level Ink Slinger Merit Badge!

“I am enjoying working on this merit badge. The more research I complete the more confident I feel in pursuing writing.

~I read two books regarding writing for Children's Literature:

-Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market
-The Business OF Writing For Children

I found both of these books very helpful and I no longer feel intimidated to pursue writing Children's Literature :)”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 30 2014 :  5:26:56 PM  Show Profile
Sharon Demers (Calicogirl, #5392) has received a certificate of achievement in Make it Easy for earning a Beginner Level In the Garden Merit Badge!

“I really enjoy working on this merit badge and look forward to completing the Intermediate and Expert levels.

I made 3 Teepees for English Shelling Peas for our garden this year and another Teepee for miniature pumpkins for decoration by our front porch.

I also made a trellis for our tomato plants using t-posts we had and wire. I much prefer using something like a trellis or fencing for our tomato plants as they are much sturdier than cages.”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jul 30 2014 :  5:33:07 PM  Show Profile
Joanna Green (Joanna, #5965) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level Weather Merit Badge!

“When researching for this badge I tried to steer away from the easy sometimes unreliable method of Googling for answers and use a book that has been handed down to me from my father and his father before him. It’s called Outdoor Canada and was published by Reader’s Digest in 1977. However, I did break down and acquire a few facts from www.weatherquestions.com.

Here is what I came up with:
• All weather occurs inside the atmosphere which is 13 miles thick from the equator and 5 miles at the poles. I was actually amazed at how thin the atmosphere actually was. As the earth revolves around the sun, the sun warms the ground. This heat radiates off the ground and warms the air within the atmosphere. The sun also evaporates water from the lakes, rivers, and various other water sources. The water vapours are drawn up into the air and eventually form the clouds. Later, this will fall as some sort of precipitation—rain, sleet, snow, etc.
• Atmospheric pressure is what the air actually weighs. The weight of the air varies at different points on the earth simply because cold air is heavier than hot air. This creates high and low pressure areas. In a high-pressure area, the air is gradually sinking. As it sinks, the sun reflecting off the earth warms this air and makes it able to retain moisture. This warm air evaporates the clouds that cross its path and the skies become clear. In a low-pressure system, the air is gradually rising. As it rises, it expands and cools making it difficult to retain moisture. Lows often form between the highs causing storms.
• A barometer measures the atmospheric pressure or the weight of the air. When the barometric pressure decreases it predicts a storm, whereas, rising barometric pressure predicts good weather.
• Wind is caused when air flows from a high pressure point to a low pressure point. High pressure winds circulate in clockwise fashion and low pressure winds circulate counter clockwise. The closer the high and low pressure areas are together the stronger the wind will be when the air flows from the high to the low. The friction from the earth typically slows down the wind the closer it gets to the earth. Wind is typically a good thing since it transports excess heat away from the surface of the earth to cooler regions. In some cases, as we all know, wind can cause great havoc. Hurricanes and tornadoes are the worst case scenarios of uncontrollable winds. The winds of a hurricane are usually greater than 70 miles an hour and the diameter of this swirling air mass is 400 miles or more. A hurricane starts in the hot, moist air near the equator and as the earth rotates, it draws more moisture into the growing storm which eventually falls as torrential rain. The eye of the hurricane (a calm area) acts as the axle of a wheel for the storm as the wind propels this “wheel” north. The friction of the land slows the hurricane but damage can still be caused by its trailing winds. A tornado usually occurs during a thunderstorm when the air is unusually warm in the lower atmosphere and cooler in the upper atmosphere. A tornado is a column of low pressure air that is about 200 yards in diameter and rotates at 300 miles an hour.
• Air masses are large areas where temperature and moisture are much the same throughout. The temperature and moisture levels of these masses take on the characteristics of the earth’s surface below them. When these areas meet they form fronts. Some of these air masses are composed of cold, heavy air and others are composed of warm, light air. When the cold air masses displaces that warm air of another air mass is creates a cold front. When the opposite occurs it causes a warm front. In either situation, the weather usually becomes troubled and stormy.”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Aug 01 2014 :  3:52:07 PM  Show Profile
Valdeane Odachi(Mahina Farmgirl, #4860) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Aprons Merit Badge!

“Using a piece of scrap canvas, I cute a rectangle to create a half size apron. I gathered five areas along the waist and stitched them to allow for the curve of my hips. I created two pockets at the front using another piece of canvas, edged in Hawaiian print fabric. It was sewn down the middle, creating two large pockets. The bottom of the pockets were also gathered so that I could put berries or other items in and the pockets would not press flat against the apron, squashing the fruit or veggies collected. For the tie, I edged the top of the apron with green fabric.

Considering this was my first apron and I did it without a pattern, I think it came out well. I probably spent approximately 2 - 2.5 hours on it in total. It was simple enough but matching up the edging and the spacing for the pockets took a bit of time. Because I wanted to create spacious pockets for gathering (and possibly my cell phone) I had to figure out how to create the bunching in order to allow for that room. It was a great learning lesson and it is truly a utilitarian piece. I hope to learn to make frilly/pretty aprons too!”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Aug 01 2014 :  3:55:23 PM  Show Profile
Valdeane Odachi(Mahina Farmgirl, #4860) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a Beginner Level Languages/Culture Merit Badge!

“Being that I live in Hawai`i, I am surrounded by many different cultures. I decided to learn `#333;lelo Hawai`i (the Hawaiian language).

I can count up to ten (and a little more).
1) `ekahi
2) `elua
3) `ekolu
4) `eh#257;
5) `elima
6) `eono
7) `ehiku
8) `ewalu
9) `eiwa
10) umi

I can ask "how are you?"
Pehea `oe?

I can answer with "good, and you?"
Maika`i. A o `oe?

I#699;m still learning and enjoying being able to understand more and more of the language I am surrounded by. This is helpful since living in our state, the language can be found everywhere!”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Aug 01 2014 :  3:58:37 PM  Show Profile
Valdeane Odachi(Mahina Farmgirl, #4860) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner Level Recycling Merit Badge!

“In our home, I have established several receptacles to make recycling easy. I have three stacking bins to separate HI-5 glass, plastic and aluminum cans. I have a special newspaper bin for the daily paper (we often use these to build fires though) and a separate trash can (next to our kitchen trash can) that we use for miscellaneous recyclables that we can take to our transfer station for recycling. I also have an old one gallon bottle that we use to store old batteries. We also have a small cardboard box lined with a plastic bag to hold the ink cartridges that I take to Office Max for recycling.

At our local rubbish transfer station, we can recycle the following: glass and "mixed bin" recycling where the following are accepted: newspaper, copy paper, corrugated cardboard, plastic shopping bags, aluminum, tin, non-HI-5 glass, boxboard and plastics numbered 1, 2 and 5. (I didn#699;t know every single thing until I had to earn/apply for this badge!) I wasn#699;t aware of the shopping bag recycling!

HI-5 (5 cent redemption) glass and plastic can be redeemed at approved stations. Most of these are located approximately 20 miles from us.

Vehicle oil can be recycled approximately 20 miles from us at the Toyota dealership. (I didn#699;t know this too!)

Cooking oil can be disposed of (no more than 1 gallon) with regular household trash if disposed of fully absorbed by newspaper or other material. If more than that, several companies offer disposal locally. (I will be inquiring via phone of their services though I looked up the info online).

Our family has been recycling for a while now but this activity made me more aware of the areas that I need improvement in and what areas are working well. Also, this badge helped me learn about more resources available in my area!

Redeeming the 5 cent refund for cans and bottles always poses a problem as it takes so long to build up an adequate amount to redeem. We would hate to take trips just to redeem a few cans! But keeping the cans and bottles around creates such a mess.

Batteries face a similar problem but they take up much less real estate in the house since it#699;s just a gallon bottle. At least we have a designated spot that everyone in the family knows about and uses.

Overall, I believe we#699;ve made (and continue to make) strides toward recycling. I actually hope to decrease the amount of plastic waste we BRING IN to our home... that will mean less to take out!”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Aug 01 2014 :  4:16:23 PM  Show Profile
Emily Race (Simply Satisfied, #3591) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner Level My Fair Farmgirl Merit Badge!

“I started working on this badge without knowing it back when I joined MJF back in 2011. It was so nice to see a badge for it. So far I have replaced my face lotion, body lotion, bath salts (homemade), lip balm and sometimes shampoo. I don't wear makeup very often and really never in the summer so I haven't invested much time in changing those products yet.

I really liked the price and smell of my homemade bath salts.

The shampoo was the only difficulty I have had so far. I find my hair gets greasy if I only use the organic shampoos. I have started washing my hair on 2-3 times a week and use the organic options once a week. I use the more harsh shampoo once or twice a week depending on how my hair is feeling. I have been researching the "nopoo" idea but as yet haven't braved it.”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Aug 01 2014 :  4:19:59 PM  Show Profile
Emily Race (Simply Satisfied, #3591) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a Beginner Level Blogging Merit Badge!

“I started my blog around a year ago. I started before I read "Blogging for Bliss." I then read the book and better understood how to have a blog. My topic is my interest in simplifying my life. Less chemicals, less crazy, more homemade. It is a diary of my trials and errors during my quest.

I haven't told anyone about it yet. I also haven't added pictures yet but I am getting more comfortable with the blog itself and enjoy writing on it. I hope to get better at blogging and start uploading pictures of my projects.”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Aug 01 2014 :  4:22:23 PM  Show Profile
Emily Race (Simply Satisfied, #3591) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level Backyard Farmer Merit Badge!

“We have had our own chickens, raised for their eggs, for about 9 years. In the last year we have added more and more organic feed to their diet. They are now mostly on organic and homegrown feed. They still get some layer pellets from the local feed store because they seem to get really soft shells if we don't.

The chickens love their new diet. They of course get kitchen scraps and I even started growing them sprouts during the winter to get them some more fresh foods. They free range when the weather is okay and the foxes aren't hanging around. We found they really liked being supplemented with wheat that we bought from a local farmer this year. We used to use corn, which became very expensive and wasn't organic. The wheat is more cost effective and seems to be working well for the chickens.”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Aug 01 2014 :  4:29:06 PM  Show Profile
Emily Race (Simply Satisfied, #3591) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level Putting Away for Winter Merit Badge!

“We try not to freeze of veggies and fruits since most of our meat comes during the fall during hunting season. We did freeze zucchini (shredded), carrots, and squash this winter. We also froze some blanched green beans when the season was late and I didn't have enough to bother with a batch for canning. We also froze strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and currants this winter. I shared my ideas on the chat forum and gave a fellow farmgirl a new way to store zucchini.

The carrots, squash and zucchini taste great after freezing. The beans seem similar to canning but take longer to cook when we are ready to eat them. The berries all tasted great this spring. I just made the raspberries into jam with huckleberries to get them out of the freezer to make room for new produce and meat this year.”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Aug 01 2014 :  4:35:41 PM  Show Profile
Courtney Robbins (FolkHearts, #4840) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner Level Going Green Merit Badge!

“To earn the Going Green Badge I have started researching and writing down numerous recipes for green products. I have eliminated all toxic cleaners from my apartment and I even purchased all natural ingredients to make my own laundry detergent! I made the laundry soap last night and I am already in love with it and the money I will be saving! My next goal is to make my own beauty products and other household cleaners. Instead of writing a mission statement, I have decided to write a poem that emphasizes the importance of taking care of Mother Earth. Instead of sharing an image, I would like to share the following poem:

Landscape
Lands
Scrape
Shape
Shaving Away
Lands
Capes
Landscape
Open Space
Outer Spaces
Of Inner Crevices
Filling
With Dinner Dumpers
Dumping
Continuous Distributors
of Garbage
Distributing
Upward
Erecting
Larger
Taller
Building Up
Destroying Down
Concrete
We Have Now
Crowded Ground
Shrouded The Soil
Polluted The Seas
Carrying OIl
For Needy Machines
For Deforesting
Trees, Bees
Forest Deforesters
Devastating
PLEASE!
We Are Erasees
Erasing Our World
One Mistake At A Time
That's Lost
Ticking Sun Clock
Dinner Time Tinging
Done Dinging
We are Finished
Finishing the Earth
The Birth of all Beings
The Girth of all Seeings
Our Shelter Gone
Home of The Brave
Home of the Less
Homeless
Done
THE END

...Unless...
We Save
Start to Shape
Respect
The Land
Landscape
Lend
Our Hands
To Help
To Learn
The Ways
Pave the Days
For Tomorrow
Plant The Seeds
Feed the Need
End the Sorrow
End the Greed
The Gluttony
Share the Word
and The World
Care for Her
Our Mother Earth
For Everyday
She Nurtures
Bears Fruit
For Us
Our Future
If We...
Say Thank-you
If We...
Give to Live
Harmoniously
To Love
Unconditionally
The Shapes
The Capes
The Lands
Landscape”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Aug 01 2014 :  4:39:05 PM  Show Profile
Courtney Robbins (FolkHearts, #4840) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner Level Shopping Green Merit Badge!

“To earn the badge, I purchased two adorable printed canvas bags from The Goodwill. The bags are rather large and because I am only shopping for three, Cody, Miss Feebs (my cat), and I...six bags would be too many. However, the prints on the bags really inspire me to create my own screen printed bags. I hope to get this project underway when I have enough money saved up to purchase the printing materials!

The bags works really well for groceries and they are even sturdy enough to carry the glass jugs back and forth from the natural living center.”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Aug 01 2014 :  4:42:54 PM  Show Profile
Courtney Robbins (FolkHearts, #4840) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level Gaining Ground Merit Badge!

“To earn this badge my fiance, Cody, and I started composting last year. We saved all of our kitchen and garden scraps and now we are able to feed all of our new garden beds this year with it! During this process we learned that we need to create some type of tumbler or bin to make the process easier and less smelly! We both will be doing some serious research as we begin our next year of composting.

The compost has really seemed to help out our garden this year. The sunflowers are growing like crazy and we even had some rogue tomato plants pop up that actually seem to be doing better than the ones we intentionally planted!”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Aug 01 2014 :  4:46:09 PM  Show Profile
Courtney Robbins (FolkHearts, #4840) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level Heirlooms Forever Merit Badge!

“To earn the badge, Cody and I purchased Heirloom seeds from Baker Creek Seed Company and were able to plant a 100% heirloom garden. Fortunately, some of the heirloom sunflower seeds that we planted last year decided to pop back up this year, too! To learn more about heirloom gardening, I have read, The Heirloom Life Gardener, by Jere and Emilee Gettle (Cofounders of The Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company). It was a very informative tool and helpful resource, as well as an interesting read.

It's turning out AWESOME! Our garden is really starting to take of this summer and the heirloom seeds we purchased are growing like wild fire. We intend on saving seeds from all varieties of our vegetables so that we may replant them this coming season.”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Aug 01 2014 :  4:47:11 PM  Show Profile
Courtney Robbins (FolkHearts, #4840) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an Intermediate Level Heirlooms Forever Merit Badge!

“To earn the Intermediate level for the badge, Heirlooms Forever!, Cody and I purchased new heirloom seeds for our flower and vegetable gardens. We planted five more sunflower varieties, and two varieties of nasturtiums and holly hocks. For our vegetable gardens we purchased five varieties of tomatoes, six varieties of peppers, two varieties of onion, two varieties of carrots, three varieties of cucumbers, one variety of pole beans, two varieties of summer squash, one variety of zucchini, two varieties of basil, and one variety each of rosemary, thyme, oregano, lemongrass, and cilantro.

So far, our gardens seems to be growing really well. We had a couple of incidents earlier this summer when a ground hog decided to make a meal out of one row of our sunflowers and a row of pepper plants! However, we have taken some precautions and tried out some different techniques to ward of the little critter. One variety of cucumbers is taking a little longer to grow than expected, but overall, we are very pleased with the seeds we purchased!”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Aug 14 2014 :  4:01:00 PM  Show Profile
April Choate (sonshine4u, #658) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level The Secret Life of Bees Merit Badge!

“I watched the trailer to the movie of Vanishing of the Bees last March. I have been planting bee friendly plants since 2010. My bees particularly love my cat mint and russian sage plants. I planted some bee balm, coneflowers, sunflowers and more this year. But they also love all the clover in our fields and of course the dandelions! I did plant some native flowers in an area that needed prairie restoration by our pond last summer. This year the flowers are up and the bees are happy!

I just finished reading the Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd yesterday. I started in the afternoon and finished it last night! Gotta love summer reading time!

I feel that we have a very bee friendly piece of property. Along with all the flowers I mentioned above, we also have a fruit orchard that is going on it's 3rd year as well as blueberry plants. The Bees are enjoying some good pollinating! I'm constantly thinking about what else I can add for bee pollination. I love bees!”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Aug 14 2014 :  4:12:23 PM  Show Profile
Michelle Drayton-Fisher (Mackado, #4348) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner Level Green Energy Merit Badge!

“I researched the Pacific Power’s website to find out how power is generated in Northeast Oregon, where I live. I was able to access my account information, which showed my current “Basic Service” plan. I was actually shocked to see that the power I use for my home is generated primarily from Coal.

However, Pacific Power in Oregon has two additional options for their consumers, to choice where your power is generated from. The programs are called “Blue Sky Block” and “Blue Sky Usage”.

The “Blue Sky Block” has smaller percentages of the “Basic Service” and the “Blue Sky Usage” program is energy powered primarily from Wind 74.10%, Biomass – 23.70% and Solar 2.20%, with no Coal production.

The price increase by changing from the “Basic Service” to the “Blue Sky Usage” program averages $10.50 @ month, which seems like a small price to pay for the decrease in my personal environmental impact.”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Aug 14 2014 :  4:18:34 PM  Show Profile
Michelle Drayton-Fisher (Mackado, #4348) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Intermediate Level Green Energy Merit Badge!

“During the month of July, I had only two energy expenditures for my household; gasoline and electricity.

GAS: I did not purchase any gasoline in the month of July 2013. I drove 118 miles in this month on the tank of gas I purchased in June. I can access the “miles per gallon” via the vehicle’s computerized system. For July, my “miles per gallon” was 11.9. My gasoline consumption is minimal. I drive a SUV and although the mileage per gallon is not ideal, I drive so little, that I receive a discount from my auto insurance company, for driving less than 8000 miles annually.

ELECTRICITY: Our household consumption of electricity in the month of July 2013 was 908 kilowatt hours = $100.27. While researching my account with Pacific Power, I discovered a program offered by the Energy Trust of Oregon, where they would conduct an in-home energy assessment and scheduled an appointment in September 2013.

After I scheduled my appointment with Energy Trust of Oregon, they sent me a conformation email with links to their website, with ideas how to reduce our energy consumption. The methods that we used immediately included; unplugging all appliances when not in use, not using lights during the daytime hours and turning lights off when leaving an room, turning down the temperature of the hot water tank to 125 degrees. We started washing dishes by hand; started washing laundry in cold water and kept the lint trap clean between loads. In the summer time, we BBQ rather than operating the kitchen oven or stove top, to avoid heating the house. We also eat foods that do not require cooking. We run fans to circulate air flow and open the windows at night to let the cool air in and close them in the morning to hold in the cold air. We kept the windows covered during the day to keep hot air out.

I live in a rural area of Northeastern Oregon, we have no major retail store in the country, so shopping for clothing, appliances, etc., requires a minimum of 160 miles round trip. I have learned to limit my out-of-town shopping trips and when I must go out-of-town; I schedule and organize to make the trip to make the most of it.”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Aug 14 2014 :  4:24:09 PM  Show Profile
Michelle Drayton-Fisher (Mackado, #4348) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Expert Level Green Energy Merit Badge!

“By accessing my account with Pacific Power on-line, I was able to view our household’s energy consumption for the previous year. During the previous winter of 2012-2013, our electricity bills were outrageous. During the period of September 2012 thru May 2013 our total expense for electricity was $3100.51, using 26,575 kilowatt hours and our home was still cold. On September 11, 2013, we had in-home energy assessment completed by the Energy Trust of Oregon. After three hours, recommendations were made, including; updating our current electrical heating system (which was original to the house – 1977); replace two metal-frame, single pane windows; add blown-in insulation in the attic and add roll insulation in the floor, as well as add vapor barrier in the crawl space; replace old dishwasher. He also replaced “ALL” the incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Due to our financial situation, we were not able to complete all the recommendations but we were able to integrate three. A new furnace system was not affordable ($7,000.00), so we purchased a 98% efficiency wood burning stove for $1516.93 and had it installed on October 30, 2013 and purchased six cords of wood for $1020.00. Although burning wood has an impact on our environment, we will limit our emissions by burning only sustainably harvested, properly processed and seasoned wood, in our high-efficiency, advances combustion woodstove.

We also spent one weekend installing batt insulation in the floor joist of the crawlspace, as well as a vapor barrier of 10 mill black poly sheeting.

We purchased bamboo shades to hang on the outside, western exposure windows and have light colored horizontal reflective blinds on the inside of the windows.

We completely removed the dishwasher and elected to wash dishes by hand.

During the period of September 2013 thru May 2014 out total expense for electricity was $1180.96 and used 10,474 kilowatt hour. Our savings from the previous year was $1919.55 and used 16,101 kilowatt hours less than the previous year and our home is now warm.”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Aug 14 2014 :  4:27:06 PM  Show Profile
April Choate (sonshine4u, #658) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an Intermediate Level The Secret Life of Bees Merit Badge!

“RESEARCH HEALTH DIFFERENCES BETWEEN RAW AND PROCESSED

According to various internet websites, processed honey loses the benefits of raw honey through the heating process and the micro-filtration. Some studies (http://www.honey.com/images/uploads/general/Nutritional_Analysis_Raw_vs_Processed_Honey-102912.pdf)(http://www.honey.com/images/uploads/general/Australian_2004_Canola_pollen_study.pdf) say that there is no nutritional difference between raw and processed, but my inclination is that I wouldn't agree entirely. They used honey from bees that pollinated canola plants in Canada and Australia and I would wonder if their findings would be different if they did their research on different honey from different regions and different plant pollination. Including plants that aren't GMO, which most of the canola is in the world.

The raw honey benefits are many. From the traces of pollen that includes vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, lipids and proteins to the propolis that boasts antibiotic, antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal properties...it seems like every minute amount in the raw honey would be very beneficial. Other things that are positive about raw honey are the many uses for common ailments. It's supposed to boost the immune system, prevent cancer, anti-tumor help, cough suppressant, decreasing local allergies (use local honey), aids in upset stomachs and nausea, a remedy for skin wounds and more.

An interesting difference in raw versus processed is that raw honey is an alkaline and processed honey is an acid forming substance. If you have ulcers and stomach irritations, you would definitely want to steer clear of processed honey.

Some where concerned with the rare possibility of infant botulism in honey, but they seemed to say that most people are fine over one year of age.

FIND A LOCAL VENDOR
We have some mutual homeschooling friends who are beekeepers and sell their honey, and we have used several other local honey vendors from our town that we have met at the farmers market.

READ "BEES: NATURE'S LITTLE WONDERS," by CANDACE SAVAGE
I finished this book 2 days ago and enjoyed the book. Some of the things I already knew about, so that was a bit tedious. Overall, I enjoyed reading about the studies the 2 men did on bees and how they discovered all the nuances of them. It was an enjoyable educational read.

I'm glad I did the research and read the book. I love to learn new things and understand more deeply the things around me. We use only raw honey and enjoy the health benefits.”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Aug 14 2014 :  4:31:31 PM  Show Profile
Ann Woody (Ann Woody, #4665) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a Beginner Level Icing on the Cake Merit Badge!

“I studied all the basic material and also read all the categories under "Decorating Cakes" on the Wilton site. I also looked at all the pictures in several Wilton books.

I feel that I now have an idea of the many, many different effects that can be achieved with cake decorating. Basically the only limiting factor is the imagination of the one doing the decorating.”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Aug 14 2014 :  4:38:00 PM  Show Profile
Peggy Smith (Forever Young, #1815) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an Intermediate Level Herbs Merit Badge!

“I planted Basil and Dill in my Herb garden. I have been harvesting them drying the dill and freezing the Basil in a canning jar for winter use.
they both are growing very well and producing over and over.

I have been adding the fresh basil and dill to my salads, eggs and homemade soups. The freshness adds such a nice flavor. I have using the dill in making pickles. Well worth growing and harvesting my own.”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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