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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 - Nov 07 2017 :  1:31:46 PM  Show Profile
Marlene Laverty (#7503) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a Beginner Level Cheesemaking Merit Badge!

“I made yogurt using my goats whole milk. I had a choice between using a yogurt culture or plain store bought yogurt. I have to start with a bacterial culture to get the process going. I made my yogurt with 1 cup organic store bought yogurt as a starter. I made sure the store bought yogurt had live culture in it. I heated up a quart of whole milk to 180 degrees Fahrenheit to sterilize it and placed the pot of milk in a sink halfway filled with cold water to cool it down to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a whisk I mix the milk slowly into the cup of yogurt. I have a Euro Cuisine yogurt maker with jars. It's really just a covered hot plate with jars, but it keeps the milk and starter at the correct temp to get the cultures moving and growing. I poured the mixture into the jars. Twelve hours later, (the longer the time the more sour) yogurt!

It turned out a little thin. Nice and sour and just a bit sweet. Great for granola! I will drain some of my yogurt to make Greek style yogurt. Using a fine mesh sieve and butter muslin, the yogurt can be drained of most of the liquid to make a much thicker yogurt. All in all very happy with the result. It's great with honey and peaches 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 - Dec 04 2017 :  09:47:19 AM  Show Profile
Teresa Roberson (carolinacateyes, #7386) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning an Intermediate Level Ink Slinger Merit Badge!

“I read On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser and also Writing Down the Bones Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg. I have used both of these books in a master’s level creative writing class I completed a few years ago. It’s always good to reread, refresh, and regain those creative juices. Because of a job change, writing has not been on my agenda lately. To finish the Expert Level of this badge, I needed to reread my two books and then write a women’s fictional short story I’ve had on the brain but not on paper.

By reading these two how-to books, I am confident I can create my short fictional story. I took thorough notes and am ready to begin my journey into writing my women's fictional story. I also enjoy writing nonfictional memoirs because everyone has a story to hand down.”

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 - Dec 04 2017 :  10:01:21 AM  Show Profile
Sherrilyn Askew (Sherri, #1350) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an Intermediate Level The Good, Bad, and Ugly ... Bugs Merit Badge!

“I took my knowledge to the garden and spread egg shells all through my strawberries to help with the slugs (I have lots). I diagnosed a problem (several actually) in my garden and came up with 2 different solutions to my problem. I also planted lots of marigolds, especially in my cabbage family plants. I have taken notes of this process for future reference (plant root crops with black tea to prevent worms, scrap scale off with my fingernail, then spray plant with soapy water to prevent re-infestation).

Call me weird (or just cheap), but I hate using chemicals when all I need to make a cure is within my cabinets or refrigerator. The less long term work and the longer the cure lasts, the better I like it. (It's not like I have copious amounts of spare time to go bug squishing). I read the eggshell idea in a magazine (I think) and it works great (salt is more fun for kids though). Removing scale is a pain, but if you have citrus, you have scale. Just make sure you don't wind up with ants farming the scale on your citrus trees (ants do farm, they like aphids 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 - Dec 04 2017 :  11:05:54 AM  Show Profile
Teresa Roberson (carolinacateyes, #7386) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level Horse Dreams Merit Badge!

“There are so many beautiful horses around my town, but I don't have to go any further than my pastures! Yes, I do have a favorite breed; more on that later.

I have always loved horses! I owned my first horse, a Shetland pony, when I was five years old. Then along came Penny, a Pinto, who gave birth to Star, a spirited Tennessee Walker mix. Eventually Star was sold to a trail rider but was returned to us to live out his older years on the farm. Then in my early adult years, I bought a beautiful bay Quarter Horse mare named Kate. Kate and I roamed the fields together, often on bareback with no bridle. She was a dream come true. She learned to open her gate, walk to the porch steps and whinny for attention! After just a few years, she abruptly died with what appeared to be a fast-growing cancer. My children both had beautiful horses, but I refused to get close to them. Not until an Appaloosa named Comanche came to live on the farm did I realize how much I had missed the companionship of a large animal. He was with me for almost twenty years. I have the empty nest now; no horses to call my own, although three horses graze my pastures.

I am especially fond of Spirit, a misunderstood rescue horse with many issues. He doesn’t seem to like people very much! He tolerates being fed away from the other horses but no petting! I usually sit on the ground and talk to him from outside the fence. In the three years he has been around, I have touched him maybe a dozen times. He no longer runs away when I enter the pasture and often walks near me with a relaxed tail, but not too close. He is a loner! He will never be broken to ride. He will never become a gentle, loving horse. He accepts no special treats whatsoever! He tolerates me daily and I accept him as he is! What kind of horse is he? He looks like a wild pinto mustang with long mane and tail and blue eyes, very much like a Chincoteague/Assateague pony! Spirit knows he is safe and that is all that matters.”

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 - Dec 04 2017 :  11:35:14 AM  Show Profile
Sherrilyn Askew (Sherri, #1350) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Expert Level Canning Merit Badge!

“I made two low acid recipes (if you can call how I make soup a recipe) and canned them according to the guidelines for the contents of the jars. I gave a jar of each (loaded baked potato soup and chicken noodle soup) with directions on how to complete each soup (how much white sauce to make and how much rice or pasta to add).

This was my first time canning soups, or rather soup bases, and it worked out very nicely. Next year I am going to have to can more soup bases though. My family loves my soup, especially when it gets cold outside.”

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 - Dec 04 2017 :  12:52:03 PM  Show Profile
Ambrosia Blasier-McCollum (Brosia, #7494) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Spinning Merit Badge!

“A friend just got some Alpacas, and offered me some fleece. I didn't have the money to invest in a good set of carders, so I got a couple of nice slicker brushes instead. I've spent the past several evenings teaching myself how to turn raw fiber into cute little rolags ready to be spun. I tried finger spinning, but I'm not crazy about the time it takes. I think I'll save the rest of it to try on a drop spindle.

It turned out beautifully! It's much easier than I thought it would be. I told my friend how much I enjoyed it, so she has another bag coming to me later this week. I think I've found a new hobby!”

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 - Dec 04 2017 :  1:48:38 PM  Show Profile
Ambrosia Blasier-McCollum (Brosia, #7494) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Origami Merit Badge!

“I did this one a little backwards. We took a family vacation to Great Wolf Lodge, and they had an origami craft for the kids. My daughter is only two, so I made an origami bat while she "helped." Afterwards, I read up on the history of origami.

It turned out pretty darn cute! The instructor simplified the project for the kids, but I was able to get the original instructions and make the more intricate version.”

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 - Dec 04 2017 :  2:03:15 PM  Show Profile
Ambrosia Blasier-McCollum (Brosia, #7494) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level Horse Dreams Merit Badge!

“After checking out some of the horses around my area, I joined some friends in volunteering at a local rescue. We spent several hours mucking out stalls, then got to visit with the horses.

It was wonderful! Besides getting a good work out and helping someone in need, I got to meet some wonderful rescued horses. Most of them were Arabians, which were sweet, but it was the Appaloosa that stole my heart. I'll definitely be back again to help.”

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 - Dec 04 2017 :  2:16:33 PM  Show Profile
Marlene Laverty (#7503) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a Beginner Level Bread Making Merit Badge!

“This is the first time I have actually looked-up and learned the difference between baking soda and baking powder. I just never thought about it before, how they worked or even thought about the fact that they are chemical in nature. Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate and works together with acids to create bubbles that make quick breads rise. Baking powder has some sodium bicarbonate as well as a dry acid, either sodium acid Pyrophosphate or sodium aluminum sulfate, that works when it is mixed with liquids and then heated. This also forms bubbles and foam that bond with proteins to give the bread rise and then form.

For my first bread I made pumpkin bread using a traditional recipe that I found in one of my many cookbooks. The recipe called for both baking soda and baking powder. The batter was frothy from the baking soda and due to the baking powder I knew it would rise again in the oven.

My second bread was cornbread sticks baked in my cast iron corn cob pan. I made chili that night and thought the corn bread would be great with it. This recipe also used both soda and powder, but because I now understand how those two work I didn't overfill my pan as I have had in the past.

For my third bread I made indian fry bread. It is a flat bread that is, as its name implies, is fried. I wanted to try a recipe that I have never tried before. This recipe called for the use of only baking powder. This bread made dough, not a batter as the other two did. I also was required to divide the dough into 12 equal balls that then needed to be rolled flat. The dough was then fried in a shallow pan with some hot oil. The edges of the bread began to bubble and rise up a bit. That baking powder in action! Knowledge of how such simple things work! Love it.

All three breads turned out amazing! The pumpkin bread made an excellent grab and go breakfast. The cornbread sticks went very well with the slow cooker chili. I think next time I will add some dried chili peppers and some grated farmhouse cheddar to the cornbread sticks. The fry bread was different, not bad, actually quite good, I just didn't know what to serve it with. I took some out with me to feed the goats and get them ready to be milked. They looked at the fry bread and told me that scrambled eggs, mozzarella cheese and tomatoes would be great on it. That was, of course, after they ate the bread that I brought out with me!

I am making my pumpkin bread again today with half white flour and half whole wheat flour. The recipe that I used called for only white flour. The pumpkin bread was so moist and soft that I think it will hold up well under the denser flour.”



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 - Dec 04 2017 :  2:34:40 PM  Show Profile
Marlene Laverty (#7503) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Intermediate Level Cheesemaking Merit Badge!

“I started this project by learning about rennet and cultures. There are two different types of rennet, animal and vegetable. The animal kind comes form the stomach lining of infant ruminant mammals and vegetable rennet comes from mold. A few even come from fig trees and other plants. Rennet works in milk to make cheese by separating the fats and proteins from the liquid. Curds and whey respectively.

The two main cultures used in cheese makings are thermophilic and mesophilic. Thermophilic is used in making cheese with higher temperatures than mesophilic. Cultures are created from single strains of bacteria and are used to help the rennet work to create cheese.

I used the recipe found in Ricki Carroll's book Home Cheese Making. I chose to use non-gmo, organic, vegetable rennet along with a direct set mesophilic powder culture to make farmhouse cheddar. I used goat's milk instead of cow's milk to make my cheddar since it was what I had on hand. Anything made with goat's milk will turn out white, so I used an all natural cheese dye so that I would be able to tell the difference between my cheddar and the rounds of jack cheese I will be making in the future. I love cheese and my dairy goats! I had to lower the temperatures that the recipe call for by 4 to 6 degrees because of my choice of milk. The fat globules in goat milk is smaller and more delicate than cow milk and easier to burn. My choice in using the farmhouse cheddar recipe was based on the fact that it took a little less time than traditional cheddar and would be ready in as little as a month after it was waxed. I followed my cheese recipe, and after heating and stirring, some pressing and turning for twelve and a half hours, I made a nice one pound round of farmhouse cheddar!

I am so happy with how my cheese turned out. The actual time spent making the cheese was not really all that much. Most of the time was spent waiting for the cultures and rennet to work on the milk to create the cheese. The final pressing time of 50 pounds of pressure for twelve hours was more of a wait than anything as I started pressing the cheese at 9am and it didn't finish the final press until 10:30 pm! But the final cheese turned out very nice. I will wax the cheese in a few days after it has dried to the touch. In about a month I should be able to eat a nice mild cheddar cheese.”



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 - Dec 04 2017 :  2:53:36 PM  Show Profile
Marlene Laverty (#7503) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning a Beginner Level Let's Get Physical Merit Badge!

“About two months ago I decided to start a workout program. I wanted one that I would actually do everyday. I allowed myself one day a week off from this program but other than that, everyday for no less than 20 minutes a day. I suffer from depression and I need a more natural form of control over it other than pills. I picked yoga. I did yoga several years ago to help with a back injury and it worked very well. I didn't practice everyday, just when my back hurt. It really helped with my recovery. I stopped doing yoga for a long time. I needed to reconnect with my inner yogi!

Not to mention that studies show yoga can help with depression, stress, and a host of other ailments. I already have a few books and a few DVDs. I already have the tools to do yoga at my disposal. I am not even sure why I stopped my yoga practice in the first place.

I have been doing yoga now everyday for a few months now and I have fallen in love with my yoga practice. I was taking one day a week off from my workout but I discovered that I didn't feel as good that day. I feel better throughout the whole day if I do my yoga in the morning. I sleep better when I do bed time yoga. I even have an app for yoga on my tablet. I can touch my toes again, I feel less stress, and I have lost 9 pounds to boot!”

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 - Dec 04 2017 :  3:04:47 PM  Show Profile
Jill Lokke (#6707) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Basketry Merit Badge!

“I have been making baskets for many years, and even taught beginning basketry classes, so for this merit badge, I researched plaited, coiled, ribbed, and wicker basket techniques, and discovered that there is a lot of overlap, and my basketry books don't always agree with the Wikipedia article. The baskets I have made are mostly plaited, with the materials woven over and under each other at right angles. I have also made some that are more of a wicker style, with very flexible weavers over spokes of a more rigid material. For both types, I usually begin by twining the base of the basket with a small diameter round reed. One of my earlier baskets is wicker-style on the bottom and ribbed at the top, with a braided rim, but I didn't know that until I did the research.

For my 'first' basket for this merit badge, I chose to make my first coiled basket. It is sea grass cording wrapped with my hand-spun, hand dyed wool yarn. I dyed it with indigo after spinning. The sea grass is entirely covered by the yarn.

In all, I spent at least four hours on the basket, and a couple of hours researching. I've already started looking into Native American basketry for the next level.

It was a lot of work for a tiny basket, but it's very cute! The diameter is 4 1/2 inches and it's 2 inches high. It will hold three eggs, which is about all I get in one day right now (6 hens).”



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