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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 17 2017 :  4:28:34 PM  Show Profile
Lenora McMahan (firecatinc, #7131) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning an Intermediate Level Know Your Roots Merit Badge!

“I have traced my roots on my parents families back three generations before them.

I didn't find any famous people in my family tree.”

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 17 2017 :  4:48:50 PM  Show Profile
Lenora McMahan (firecatinc, #7131) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an Intermediate Level Herbs Merit Badge!

“I now have sage, thyme, cilantro, basil, parsley, chives, and rosemary growing in pots now. I love finding new ways to use them.”

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 17 2017 :  4:53:57 PM  Show Profile
Lenora McMahan (firecatinc, #7131) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an Intermediate Level Rootin' Tootin Merit Badge!

“I grew potatoes and radishes. I use them in meals. Cooked radishes are good. I had never tried them.

Additionally, I've found wild roots that grow in my area. The two that I see all the time on the roadside is Chicory and Queen Anne Lace. I tried to dig Queen Anne's Lace once but didn't get much a root.”

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 17 2017 :  5:01:28 PM  Show Profile
Cyndie Parzuhoski (cyndieparz72, #7407) has received a certificate of achievement in Outpost for earning a Beginner Level Disconnect to Reconnect Merit Badge!

“I just finished (as of 35 minutes ago) 54 hours (Friday @ 5:00pm EST to Sunday @ 9:00 pm EST) the beginner level. No electronics, television, radio, telephone, cell, anything for 54 hours! I went as far as even unplugging the digital clocks in the house and only went by my cuckoo clock for time.

I warned all of my family/friends/boss on 3:00pm on Friday that unless it was an emergency, I was "off the grid" until today @ 9:00pm on Sunday and to call my husband if it was an emergency (who, because of his insane working hours right now, stayed at his Mother's all weekend--20 miles closer to work--which made this possible!)

I got SOOOOOOOOOO much done, it was actually upsetting to find out just how much time I "waste" on television and the computer without even realizing it.

I am anticipating that this will probably be one of the most rewarding merit badge levels I complete, and I am going to do everything I can to complete the intermediate and expert levels (those will take a lot of husband convincing!) I am also going to implement a minimum of 2 hours a day without anything electronic immediately.

I am submitting for this badge with a big smile on my face right now, so that I can shut down and go right back to the quiet. I am truly going to hate getting up in the morning and having to turn on the computer for work.”

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 18 2017 :  10:33:31 AM  Show Profile
Lenora McMahan (firecatinc, #7131) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning an Intermediate Level Let's Get Physical Merit Badge!

“I eat and grow organic in the summer in my garden. I have been looking for more organic in everything.

I've been doing weight watchers for three months now so I am doing portion control. I have gotten a treadmill and do 30 minutes 5 days a week.”

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 18 2017 :  10:51:08 AM  Show Profile
Ginger Dawn Harman (Ginger Dawn, #6451) has received a certificate of achievement in Outpost for earning a Beginner Level Pampered Pets Merit Badge!

“I have made a new commitment to our pets Oreo and Gelato! I have a veterinarian in my area that practices holistic and natural veterinary care but also uses other practices.

I checked out the labels and ingredients of your pet foods. It was very bad. So I am in the process of changing foods.

I love all the pets in my house ... well maybe not the Madagascar Hissing Roaches that my son has. Nevertheless, I want to make sure that I am doing the best for each animal. Our one cat has a bit of a weight problem as you can tell in the photo. We have noticed that in his older age he is not able to clean himself very well. So I made an appointment at our local vet and this also provided me a great opportunity to learn what treatments are better and which food to use.

First the food that I was using was very bad. It was filled with terrible stuff. I don't want to cause a negative impression so I will not list the name but it is cheap and can be bought at any local market. The vet said it is not good to switch food all at once so my cats are getting a mix until next week. We now are using a Natural Balance Reduced Calorie Dry Cat Food (15-Pound Bag).

Oh and I learned that essential oils are great for pets too. Just like us, Lavender is great for calming. Now this is important to know! Most animals are more sensitive than humans to essential oils.

Start by diluting heavily and use in moderation.

Every animal is different, so carefully observe how each animal responds to the oils. Use common sense and good judgment as you try different methods.

Take special care to not get essential oils in an animal’s eyes.

Avoid using high-phenol oils such as Oregano and Thyme with any animals, especially cats.

Use special caution when using essential oils with cats. Cats are also generally averse to citrus essential oils.

Also here are other holistic methods that can be used, such as acupuncture, massage,and chiropractic treatments.

My vet showed me a few calming massage rubs for Oreo and look! he was happy and relaxed and this is on his diet food. Personally, I get crabby when I am hungry. As I said, I love my pets and they deserve the same quality of care as we humans do!”



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 18 2017 :  11:07:26 AM  Show Profile
Ginger Dawn Harman (Ginger Dawn, #6451) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level The Good, Bad, and Ugly ... Bugs Merit Badge!

“1. Identify at least 4 different beneficial bugs that live in your garden.

2. Identify at least 4 different harmful bugs that live in your garden.

3. Research different methods of organic pest control, along with different plants to grow that attract beneficial insects to your garden.

I am rather excited to have learned about they good and well not so good bugs! My son and I had a great time digging through the herb garden and underneath the strawberry plants and found mostly good bugs.

The Good bug list:

Damsel bugs: feed on aphids, small caterpillars, leafhoppers, thrips, and other pesky pests. Collect damsel bugs from alfalfa fields using a sweep net, and then release them in and around your vegetable garden.

Ground Beetles: The nocturnal ground beetle is a voracious predator of slugs, snails, cutworms, cabbage maggots, and other pests that live in your garden’s soil—one beetle larva can eat more than 50 caterpillars. Plant perennials among garden plants for stable habitats, or white clover as a ground-cover in orchards.

Lacewings: Both adult lacewings and their larvae eat aphids, caterpillars, mealybugs, scales, thrips, and whiteflies. Angelica, coreopsis, cosmos, and sweet alyssum will bring lacewings to your garden.

Lady Beetles: Adult lady beetles eat aphids, mites, and mealybugs, and their hungry larvae do even more damage to garden pests. Plant angelica, coreopsis, dill, fennel, and yarrow to attract them.

The bad bug list:

Earwig: If they are in the garden in sufficient numbers, they can feed on and damage lettuce, strawberries, dahlias, marigolds, zinnias and roses. They also can become unwanted visitors to homes, often entering basements or crawl spaces through cracks and crevices and then making their way into living areas. They are not poisonous and, as a rule, don’t bite or sting humans.

Bean beetle: The adults and larvae feed on the undersides of leaves. A serious infestation can result in leaves that have a lace-like appearance. The beetles also feed on and destroy plant stems and pods. In sufficient numbers, the damage to the plants may also seriously affect the plant’s ability to make food through photosynthesis that the plants will weaken and die.

Squash bugs: They pierce the leaves with their mouth parts and suck the sap out of the leaves. The feeding disrupts the plant’s ability to circulate water and nutrients. Excessive feeding can weaken a plant so severely that it dies.

Mealybugs: Mealy bugs damage plants, including houseplants, by sucking liquids out of them. They particularly like to attack tender new growth. Their damage causes leaves to turn yellow and fall off. They can also attack fruits, vegetables and flower buds, causing them to prematurely drop off. While eating, mealy bugs excrete a sticky wax substance (called “honeydew”). A sooty mold fungus can develop from their excretions, colonize and spread. The mold keeps parts of the plant from photosynthesizing and results in aesthetic damage.

As for pest control, I do not like to use chemicals on my garden. We are able to purchase ladybugs at the local garden center that are safe for our area. They really help with some of the pesky bugs. I also use crushed up egg shells. The snails hate this for some reason! Also basil near the tomatoes really seems to be a winner in my garden. Maybe the bugs are not too crazy about the smell. I also purchase organic sprays that are safe if I get a huge invasion but this year my garden HASN'T BEEN UNDER ATTACK. HUGE SMILE. I wonder if any of my other farmgirl sisters have tricks for those bugs. This would be a great forum post.”

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 18 2017 :  11:49:12 AM  Show Profile
Ginger Dawn Harman (Ginger Dawn, #6451) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a Beginner Level Canning Merit Badge!

“Research the different types of canning available and how ph and heat relate to each method.

Find 3 different jars of canned goods in your home or the supermarket.

The Jars I picked were Dakin Farm Strawberry Jam, Mt Olive roasted peppers, and Dromedary sliced piminetos.

I read all of the ingredient list, and from the packaging type and product inside, determine how each product was canned.

First, I want to say that this badge is a very good one to learn and even more important to know how to can in a safe manner. Seriously, you would not want to make your family or friends sick or kill them!

Safe Canning Methods:

There are two safe ways of processing food, the boiling water bath method and the pressure canner method.

The boiling water bath method is safe for tomatoes, fruits, jams, jellies, pickles and other preserves. In this method, jars of food are heated completely covered with boiling water (212°F at sea level) and cooked for a specific amount of time

Pressure canning is the only safe method of preserving vegetables, meats, poultry and seafood. Jars of food are placed in 2 to 3 inches of water in a special pressure cooker which is heated to a temperature of at least 240° F. This temperature can only be reached using the pressure method. A microorganism called Clostridium botulinum is the main reason why pressure processing is necessary. Though the bacterial cells are killed at boiling temperatures, they can form spores that can withstand these temperatures. The spores grow well in low acid foods, in the absence of air, such as in canned low acidic foods like meats and vegetables. When the spores begin to grow, they produce the deadly botulinum toxins(poisons).

The only way to destroy these spores is by pressure cooking the food at a temperature of 240°F, or above, for a specified amount of time depending on the type of food and altitude. Foods that are low acid have a pH of more than 4.6 and because of the danger of botulism, they must be prepared in a pressure canner.

Now with this being said, I know that several in my area make freezer jam and even put it in the freezer and use safe methods. However, when I can, I get so excited to hear that lovely ting from the jar lids. This to me just brings such joy to my heart. As many know, I am an awful cook so I will not comment on how my canned items taste. Nevertheless, no one has become ill from my canning!

All of the jars that I choose appear to use a pressure method in the factory. The Jars I picked were Dakin Farm Strawberry Jam (Sugar, strawberries, pectin, and citric acid), Mt Olive roasted peppers (Roasted red bell peppers, water, vinegar, sugar, garlic, salt, olive oil, citric acid, and calcium chloride), and Dromedary sliced piminetos (pimientos, water, and citric acid)

I also read a great article at Foodsafteyhelpline.com Here is the information that they provided that I found very interesting!

"Drying is the oldest method of food preservation. This method reduces water activity which prevents bacterial growth. Drying reduces weight so foods can be carried easily. Sun and wind are both used for drying as well as modern applications like Bed dryers, Fluidized bed dryers, Freeze Drying, Shelf dryers, Spray drying and Commercial food dehydrators and Household oven. Meat and fruits like apples, apricots and grapes are some examples of drying with this method.

Freezing is keeping prepared food stuffs in cold storage. Potatoes can be stored in dark rooms but potato preparations need to be frozen.

Smoking is the process that cooks, flavours and preserves food exposing it to the smoke from burning wood. Smoke is antimicrobial and antioxidant and most often meats and fish are smoked. Various methods of smoking are used like Hot smoking, Cold smoking, Smoke roasting and Smoke baking. Smoking as a preservative enhances the risk of cancer.

Vacuum packing creates a vacuum by making bags and bottles airtight. Since there is no oxygen in the created vacuum bacteria die. Usually used for dry fruit.

Salting and Pickling: Salting also known as curing removes moisture from foods like meat. Pickling means preserving food in brine (salt solution) or marinating in vinegar (acetic acid) and in Asia, oil is used to preserve foods. Salt kills and inhibits growth of microorganisms at 20% of concentration. There are various methods of pickling like chemical pickling and fermentation pickling. In commercial pickles sodium benzoate or EDTA is added to increase shelf life.

Sugar is used in syrup form to preserve fruits or in crystallized form if the material to be preserved is cooked in the sugar till crystallization takes place like candied peel and ginger. Another use is for glazed fruit that gets superficial coating of sugar syrup. Sugar is also used with alcohol to preserve luxury foods like fruit in brandy.

Lye also known as Sodium hydroxide turns food alkaline and prevents bacterial growth.

Canning and bottling means sealing cooked food in sterile bottles and cans. The container is boiled and this kills or weakens bacteria. Foods are cooked for various lengths of time. Once the can or bottle is opened the food is again at risk of spoilage.

Jellying is preserving food by cooking in a material that solidifies to form a gel. Fruits are generally preserved as jelly, marmalade or fruit preserves and the jellying agent is pectin that is naturally found in fruit. Sugar is also added.

Potting is a traditional British way of preserving meat by placing it in a pot and sealing it with a layer of fat.

Jugging is preserving meat by stewing it in an earthenware jug or casserole. Brine or wine is used to stew meat in and sometimes the animal’s blood.

Burial in the ground preserves food as there is lack of light and oxygen and it has cool temperatures, pH level, or desiccants in the soil. Used to preserve cabbages and root vegetables.

Pulsed Electric Field Processing is a new method of preservation that uses brief pulses as strong electric field to process cells. This is still at an experimental stage.

Modified atmosphere preserves food by operating on the atmosphere around it. Salad crops that are difficult to preserve are packaged in sealed bags with an atmosphere modified to reduce the oxygen concentration and increase the carbon dioxide concentration.

Controlled use of organism is used on cheese, wine and beer as they are preserved for a longer time. This method uses benign organisms to preserve food by introducing them to food where they make an environment which is not suitable for harmful pathogens to grow.

High pressure food preservation is a method that presses foods inside a vessel by exerting 70,000 pounds per square inch or more of pressure. This disables microorganisms and prevents spoilage but food retains its appearance, texture and flavour.

Modified Atmosphere Packaging extends the shelf life of fresh food products. The atmospheric air inside a package is substituted with a protective gas mix which ensures that the product will stay fresh for as long as possible."

Now, I wouldn't be surprised if some members of my house used the burial method... not for canning but to hide the food! Joking aside, I feel the most important thing that I have learned that I want to let other sisters know is that safety is very important. Know how canning is done correctly and this will keep you family in good health!”

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 18 2017 :  1:46:30 PM  Show Profile
Ginger Dawn Harman (Ginger Dawn, #6451) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner Level My Fair Farmgirl Merit Badge!

“1. Research the difference between cruelty-free and organic health and beauty products versus commercially made.
2. As I run out of each product, I replace it with a healthy, preferably organic version. Examples: toothpaste, shampoo, body lotion.
3. I made lip balm and bath salts.

I found this badge very interesting since I just finished reading about how much work is involved when the U.S. Food & Drug Administration is tasked with regulating cosmetics.

Many can be very sneaky with their labels. For example, “Natural” may be one of the vaguest claims in use today. The FDA states that, “From a food science perspective, it’s difficult to define a food product that is ‘natural’ because the food has probably been processed and is no longer a product of the earth.” So, the FDA doesn’t attempt to define the term “natural” in respect to food or cosmetics at this time.

It’s safe to say that even though people may be led to perceive so-called “natural” products as safer or healthier, that may not be the case. There are plenty of natural things that come from the earth that just are not good for us. Two items that quickly come to mind are lead and asbestos, both of which we wouldn’t want in our cosmetics.

The “organic” claim is currently governed for agricultural products by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). “The FDA does not define or regulate the term ‘organic,’ as it applies to cosmetics, body care, or personal care products,” according to the USDA Agricultural Marketing service, which oversees the National Organic Program (NOP). The USDA/NOP will, however, allow the use of the “USDA Organic” logo if the product is made up of agricultural ingredients and can meet the organic production, handling, processing, and labeling standards set by the USDA/NOP. All of the entities who supply ingredients, handle, or are part of the manufacturing process of the product must be certified by a USDA-accredited organic certifying agent. Once certified, products are broken down into categories — 100% organic, organic, and made with organic ingredients. Products made with less than 95% organic ingredients are not eligible to display the USDA Organic logo on their packaging.

A product labeled as "synthetic-free" contains no man-made ingredients to speak of—it’s 100% made of naturally occurring elements or compounds.

Also I learned about that Leaping bunny label! That’s a Leaping Bunny certification, which means that none of the product’s ingredients were tested on animals. Another thing to note is that in 2013, Europe banned animal testing on all cosmetics manufactured and sold in the region. Some states in the U.S. have begun to make similar initiatives—but all cosmetic companies that sell in China are required to test on animals, according to the country’s laws, which means that a lot of major brands still test. This makes me rather sad!

I have started using Aveda products and several of my Farmgirl sisterhood gals in the area Swap have sent me handmade soap and have given me instructions on how to make them. I have made the bath salts and lip balm. That was a bit messy but lots of fun! Unfortunately I have no pictures of the lip balm but a photos of the bath salts can be found in the Farmgirl Sisterhood sweet Seasons swap at this link.

http://www.maryjanesfarm.org/snitz/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=77727&whichpage=3

I love making bath salts and it is such a great gift! Here is how to make it!

Ingredients:

2 cups epsom salts
1/2 cup baking soda
1/4 cup sea salt (optional)
30 drops of lavender essential oils
10 drops of peppermint essential oil

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients in a medium size bowl.
Store in an air-tight jar and use 1/4 cup per bath.

I hope that each of my Farmgirl sisters give this a try!”

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 25 2017 :  4:44:13 PM  Show Profile
Wendy Black (#7024) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Buttoned Up Merit Badge!

“My aunt, who also likes to go to yard sales and flea markets, invited me to go to an estate sale with her. The woman just happened to be an experienced seamstress. She had buttons galore! I left that day without getting any buttons, which were $5.00 a tote.

I called my aunt back that same night and told her I had made a mistake, and to please go back and get me those buttons! She did return with them and now I have hundreds of buttons still on the cards to use for all kinds of crafts.

I also picked up a box of tiny beige/flower buttons at another estate sale--they are so petite and cute. Not sure what to do with the hundreds of them, but I'm sure there is a project out there just waiting!”

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 26 2017 :  10:45:24 AM  Show Profile
Wendy Black (#7024) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a Beginner Level Farmgirl Gratitude Merit Badge!

“Started my gratitude journal and read the "awesome" book. Really enjoyed being able to recognize the simple things in life to be thankful for!

4 days after starting my gratitude journal, my dad had a stroke. I realized through this event, there is even more to be thankful for!”

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 26 2017 :  11:08:45 AM  Show Profile
Joyce Hein (GinghamGirl, #6071) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a Beginner Level BakeOver MakeOver Merit Badge!

“I utilized the recipes found in MaryJane's Ideabook to cook up some delicious bakeovers. We used what we had in our garden. I hosted the family, and we explored a variety of ways to make the bakeovers, from veggies to dessert!

Everyone loved them - particularly me as it's so quick and easy to make.”

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 26 2017 :  11:09:34 AM  Show Profile
Joyce Hein (GinghamGirl, #6071) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Intermediate Level BakeOver MakeOver Merit Badge!

“I created two BakeOver recipes, and mailed them to the participating members of our Wildflower Chapter. I chose to do one breakfast and one dessert.

I think they are delicious :)”

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 26 2017 :  11:10:18 AM  Show Profile
Joyce Hein (GinghamGirl, #6071) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Expert Level BakeOver MakeOver Merit Badge!

“I tried out four new recipes - I created one for each area - breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert - and shared them with the Wildflower Chapter participants.

Everyone in my family loved them - so I hope that the Wildflower group loves them 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 - Jul 26 2017 :  12:02:53 PM  Show Profile
Joyce Hein (GinghamGirl, #6071) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Sew Wonderful Merit Badge!

“I made a homemade pinkeeper for Debbie Klann--I took a canning jar and made a pincushion top, glued it all together, and filled it with buttons, needles, thread, pins, measuring tape etc.

Debbie really enjoyed the the pinkeeper and kit :)”

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 26 2017 :  12:07:01 PM  Show Profile
Joyce Hein (GinghamGirl, #6071) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning an Intermediate Level Sew Wonderful Merit Badge!

“I already know how to sew, so I decided to teach my 11 year old daughter, along with her homeschooling friend, how to sew. They receive sewing lessons from me every Friday for one hour.

The girls are really enjoying their projects--so far they have done an apron, pillowcase and pajama bag.”

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 26 2017 :  12:28:29 PM  Show Profile
Kristin Sievert (KESinMN, #6020) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning an Intermediate Level Quilting Merit Badge!

“I fell in love with the paisley type fabrics. We thought a quilt pattern that allowed for large pieces to highlight those patterns would be best. I finally found this Aardvark pattern and thought it would suit the fabrics.

I then started hunting for secondary (smaller print) & tertiary (more solid) fabrics to compliment.

I volunteered to use this quilt as a sacrificial penguin on my mothers new quilting machine. She got some practice on her new toy and I got my quilt quilted.

I quilted with a quilt group as well as my mother throughout the process. This was not a just a 20 hr project, it was more like 200 from first fabric purchase to finishing the binding.

Finding enough fabrics was the first challenge. Tertiary fabrics were easier than smaller prints for the secondary fabrics.

The diamond pattern was WAY harder than I thought. We ended up having plexiglass templates made to speed up the process.

The completed top sat for a while, then became a guinea pig for my mother to practice on her new quilt machine. Then the quilted project sat again because I was in no hurry to finish it.

When I decided to go after the Glamping badge, I realized this would make a good starting point.”

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 26 2017 :  2:52:43 PM  Show Profile
Kristin Sievert (KESinMN, #6020) has received a certificate of achievement in Outpost for earning a Beginner Level Glamping Merit Badge!

“We'd been camping a couple times with a new tent. But it really wasn't something I was enjoying so I decided I might as well trying to "glamp" it up before heading out for a family resort get together in July.

I started with the bed. I thought maybe something visually appealing might help, so I finished up the quilt speedy quick.

I also dug out a king sized set of sheets (the sheets had pilled) I kept around just for a large supply of fabric the same color--just in case. Since the color matched my quilt, I was in luck. I cut the sheets and modified them to fit my queen air mattress. I sewed the flat sheet directly to the bottom edge of the new fitted.

While I was in the sewing room digging around, I came across some pareo's that we had purchased as a possible source for fabric for the kids travel quilts. The idea was discarded but not the pareos. I sewed some long lengths of miscellaneous ribbon from the stash across both ends. I used the ribbon to tie the fabric up using the existing "thingys" at the top of the tent to create a "non-load-bearing wall". It gave me a way to create a second area in the tent.

My "non load bearing wall" was to be my bathroom in the tent. I decorated a "luggable loo" in a complimentary contact paper and put that behind the fabric wall.

I felt lighting was always kind of a pain in the wahoo. Digging around in the middle of the night for your headlamp was not fun. So I came across this cheap LED light we got from the bank or something. I tied more ribbon on the light then again used the "thingys" on the tent ceiling.

The quilt was good but with a silky sleeping bag, it just didn't work. Will need to try something else.

The modified sheets worked GREAT! They stayed in place on the mattress and the flat sheet sewn on kept it tucked in all weekend.

I am particularly thrilled with my non load bearing wall. I was able to play quite a bit with it's placement in the tent due to the long lengths of ribbon and where the "thingys" were along the tent ceiling. I left it right in place when we rolled up the tent.

A decorated portable biffy wasn't going to make or break the experience, but it was a girly thing!

The free LED light was rather funky. If it started spinning it was like a disco ball effect! I was able to adjust the height with ribbon so we got it just right. Being able to just sit up in bed and find the light was beyond successful.”



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 26 2017 :  3:08:51 PM  Show Profile
Jennifer Ettlin (MsKathleen, #7128) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Intermediate Level Recycling Merit Badge!

“Well, since our research and attempts to recycle for Recycling Beginning badge, we have had to make a few adjustments. We were recycling so much due to our conversion with other badges for Farmgirls and projects for the kids and Mother Earth News that we ended up filling up the entire SUV every week or so and making special trips twenty miles to the next town just to drop off recycling since the new waste management company still doesn’t provide recycling services and they have nearly eliminated most of the public recycling bins since our town is so small that it was not proving to be cost effective. That’s a lot of gas to use up.

Our neighbor was kind enough to show us his farm recycling set up and we have a new system in place that has worked for the last week and a half. We made a recycling flow chart based on the new system.

(Please see attached picture)

The remaining recycling now fits in a small, nifty bin that we drop off on the way to the city (about 54 miles from our farm according to the GPS) but it no longer needs a special trip.

We’ve reduced our trash output from four cans (quite a feat on a starting farm) to one can. The animals are happy with the leftover food rations, the garden compost is started with some good materials, the kids are happy (they get to use the recycling for Noodle and Doodle crafts) and anything we can burn provides ashes to mix with diatomaceous earth for mite control, a trick our neighbor taught us with our particular type of mites and ticks to keep them off the animals. So, this seems like a win-win so far, since we are still recycling nearly everything, we just don’t want to use up the gas for the huge truck loads. We’ll see how it goes for the next month.”



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 27 2017 :  1:27:25 PM  Show Profile
Katie Reichenbach (farmgirl68, #7422) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level Putting Away For Winter Merit Badge!

“I researched how to freeze carrots, zucchini, and tomatoes and then posted my findings on the "Putting Away for Winter" message board.

1. Carrots –
Wash, peel, and cut into rounds, chunks, matchsticks or keep whole
Blanch. For cut and shredded put carrots into a steamer basket and put into boiling water and blanch for 1 – 3 minutes. For whole carrots put in boiling water for 5 minutes
Put in an ice bath for 3 – 5 minutes. This stops the cooking process.
Drain and pat dry to remove any excess moisture
Pre-freeze cut carrots (not necessary for whole or shredded). Lay carrots out on a baking sheet and freeze for 1 – 2 hours. This helps reduce the carrots from sticking to itself.
Package, date, and freeze for up to 9 months

2. Zucchini –
Wash, cut into about ½” rounds, chunks or shred it. How you cut it will determine how it will be best prepared after its frozen. For instance, shredded would be the best choice for making bread
Blanch. For rounds and chunks put into boiling water and blanch for 1 – 3 minutes. The colors should turn a bright green but they should not get really soft. For shredded blanch in a steamer basket for 2 minutes. Don’t cut more than your pot can handle because the zucchini can turn brown.
Put in an ice bath for 3 – 5 minutes. This stops the cooking process.
Drain and pat dry to remove any excess moisture
Pre-freeze rounds and chunks. Lay zucchini out on a baking sheet and freeze for 1 – 2 hours. This helps reduce the zucchini from sticking to itself.
Package, date, and freeze for up to 1 year

3. Tomatoes –
Blanch tomatoes in boiling water for 60 – 90 seconds.
Plunge tomatoes immediately into an ice bath. (Skins will fall from flesh)
Prepare tomatoes. Stem and core, leave whole or cut (cutting reduces space needs especially if you make every effort to freeze lying flat), make sure to save juices!
Pre-freeze by laying tomatoes on a baking sheet and freeze for 1 – 2 hours (check to make sure whole tomatoes have frozen)
Package, date and freeze for up to 12 – 18 months

Blanching is a way to stop enzyme action that can cause loss of flavor and texture. It also brightens the color of the vegetable. While this is important, dirt and organisms are removed during the blanching process so blanching times are critical.

You should boil water, then add the vegetable, bring the water back to a boil, then begin timing.

I was able to harvest carrots and zucchini from my garden and freeze them using the techniques described in my synopsis. I chose to cut my carrots into rounds so that I can use them in casseroles and my zucchini I shredded in order to use for bread. I don't have any tomatoes yet, however, I learned that I MUST blanch them. I never did this before. I only followed the other steps. I now know the importance of blanching and removing the enzymes.”

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 27 2017 :  2:49:04 PM  Show Profile
Katie Reichenbach (farmgirl68, #7422) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning a Beginner Level Collect It! Merit Badge!

“I did my beginner level of Collect It! on my first Boyd's Bear - Eli Q. Spangler. Here is what I found ...

Boyd’s Bears

Where was Eli Q. Spangler produced?

Eli Q. is part of the “High Fashion Society”. He wears a sweater with an Americana heart stitched on the front and has a star stitched on his right paw. He is also a part of “The Head Bean Collection™. This means he is hand stitched and fully jointed (arms and legs move.)
I don’t remember how much I paid for it (I know it was more than I should have been spending at the time on a stuffed animal), but today’s MSRP is $36.99. He was introduced in 2005, which is about the time I got him.


What is unique about the Boyd’s Bear production process?

Boyd’s stuffed bears began production in 1979 as part of a small antique store in Boyd’s Maryland (for which they are named) by Gary M. Lowenthal and his wife, Justina Unger. Their first produced bear was fully jointed and named “Matthew” after their newborn son. I sadly learned that from the start, all the bears were imported from China. The company moved to Hanover, near Gettysburg, PA in 1987. In 1993 they introduced resin bears and then increased their product line to include many different items. They also branched out to include other “friends” of the bears. The couple sold the company to Enesco in 2008. Enesco decided, unfortunately, that Boyd’s Bears should be “put into hibernation” (in other words production was stopped) in 2014.

Do you know how the notion of “teddy bears” got its start?

They are named after Teddy Roosevelt. In 1902, he refused to kill a captured bear. Word spread and Morris Michtom, a Brooklyn, NY shop owner along with his wife created stuffed bears based off of political cartoons that had been spreading. Michtom obtained permission from Roosevelt to call his creation “Teddy Bears.” Of course, people young and old, flocked to buy them. The teddy bear was even used when Roosevelt ran for re-election, as his mascot!

How likely is there to be another item just like Eli Q. Spangler?

I could not find any information on how many of these bears were produced; however, even though he is a “retired” bear, I had no problem finding listings for him on line on many different sites. This is probably due to the fact that they were mass-produced in China.

Does Eli Q. Spangler have a personal connection to me?

I don’t necessarily have a personal connection to Eli. I just know that I fell in love with his face. Boyd’s Bears’ noses are so endearing, you can identify them right away. It is hard not to fall in love with every bear produced. Because I bought him so long ago, I don’t remember what made me choose him over all the others. Perhaps it was the time of year or a holiday.

Are there any clubs or online chatrooms for folks that share a passion for Boyd’s Bears?

Official club: There had been an official fan club is called the "Loyal Order of Friends of Boyds!", which was established in 1996. There was a membership fee which included membership perks, an online newsletter, and admission to a members-only website. Enesco determined 2014 would be the final year for the club.

Aside from this “official” club there are tons of others. Here are just a few. Keep in mind these are not officially affiliated with Boyd’s Bears:

bearsnbuddies.com
bearmuseum.com
boydsweb.com

It was nice to learn about the bears whose faces I fell in love with. I was, however, saddened by two facts: 1) They were mass produced in China and 2) They are no longer in business. The company was based in a town only a few hours from my home so I felt a special connection to them.”



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 2017 :  10:06:56 AM  Show Profile
Helen Ettlin (Grandma Betty, #7130) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner Level Going Green Merit Badge!

“After moving to our home in Missouri, we had three situations that changed the way we cleaned. The first was that we acquired an ancient septic system. If for any reason we had to replace the leach field, there would be an enormous problem: our house is surrounded by two creeks, a road, and an orchard/garden so there isn’t anywhere else to put a new leach field. We would have to pay the county to bring public sewage out the last ten miles and it would be entirely cost prohibitive.

The second was that FEMA was “kind” enough to re-designate our farm as being in a flood plain. In addition to raising our insurance outrageously, we found out that anything that goes in the leach field is going to end up washed into the creek. Why? Because our water table is so high that it mixes with our leach field discharge and carries it to the creeks that surround our house. No one cares too much about normal waste because cows also use this creek and sometimes it just stinks.

However, should any toxic substance end up in the creek, it will flow into the river and then the game warden/natural resources officer will present us with a ten- to twenty-grand fine (yup, one of our neighbors learned this the hard way). So … we went biodegradable and septic safe.

Our laundry soap went from Tide to Mrs. Meyers Clean Day. We replaced our laundry softener with dryer balls. Our dish soap is now Dawn Original and our Clorox wipes were replaced with Seventh Generation wipes. Our carpet cleaner has been replaced with Mrs. Meyers All Purpose Cleaner. I also started a Pinterest green journal where I keep ideas for green living.

Our household “green” mission statement is as follows: We will use biodegradable and earth friendly cleaning products to protect our septic system and our land.

The result has been clothes that are just as clean and soft, dishes that are clean, bathroom messes are still cleaned up, and Mrs Meyers does a great job cleaning cat vomit from the carpet. Our septic system is happily humming away and our yard doesn’t stink from a backed up leach field. The warden only stops by to remove nuisance animals (I don’t do snakes) and to talk about some of the native plants we have on our property.”

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 2017 :  10:16:04 AM  Show Profile
Helen Ettlin (Grandma Betty, #7130) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Intermediate Level Recycling Merit Badge!

“We sort out our recycling and haul it down to a town recycling center about seventeen miles away. Apparently we have to document for one week ... but this is our normal.

Hauling the recycling to town is a pain in the rear but we only have to put out a single trash container a week for seven people. The trash guys are happy.”

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 2017 :  10:21:06 AM  Show Profile
Helen Ettlin (Grandma Betty, #7130) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Intermediate Level Home Insulation Merit Badge!

“Last year our power and propane bills were rather high. We had an energy audit done and found out that we only had three inches of insulation in the attic. The overall audit was good because we had already taken a match around to all the windows and then sealed up any drafts. We also added foam gaskets to all of the outlets and light switches on exterior walls.

The house has a very constant temperature … of course, only the south side of the house is above ground, so that helps, 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 2017 :  11:17:16 AM  Show Profile
Teresa Roberson (carolinacateyes, #7386) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an Intermediate Level Birds Merit Badge!

“I began this badge on the afternoon of June 23rd; my daughter’s yard on the prairie of Fairfield, ID did not have a bird bath. I noticed the blackbirds were trying to drink water out of the children’s swimming pool but couldn’t get down to the water. With a metal trash can lid, rocks left over from the chimney construction, a dead tree branch, a plastic sliding board, the water hose, and a shovel, the work began. I found a good spot in the back yard where we could view the finished bird bath and activity. I shoveled the soil to fit the metal trash can lid at ground level. I then placed the rocks surrounding the lid and a few rocks into the middle section. The small tree branch was laid across the diameter of the lid and secured with the rocks. I then placed the sliding board to one side of the lid, placed the water hose down the slide, and turned on the water to fill the lid. In little more than an hour I had built a birdbath for all of us to enjoy.

The blackbirds seemed curious as they looked on at the construction. Not only did several immediately fly into the birdbath, one enjoyed the water running down the slide. My grandchildren were thrilled to watch the antics of these birds. The next morning, the robins had found the bird bath and were fluttering their wings in the water. That morning, I heard doves cooing and knew I could also attract them to the makeshift birdbath. With my grandson’s help, we loaded sand into the wheelbarrow and dumped it to one side of the birdbath. I leveled the sand and added water. During my two-week visit, we often watched the birds sipping water or bathing. Did I mention the butterflies? Much to my granddaughter’s delight, butterflies sipped from the damp sand as well. With a little imagination, supplies on hand, and a “perfect spot” in the yard, a birdbath was created and not just for the birds! I am officially the best grandma ever! I am back home in SC now, but my little granddaughter assures me the bird bath is still there, and she makes sure water is in it everyday.”

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