Chili – 18 quarts!

Time for me to get crackin’ taking meals to Refuge Ministries in Mexico, MO again.  So good to see everyone last night.  Find them on Facebook.

When i prepare chili, i like to fix a full pot for sharing and freezing.

  • 8 lbs ground beef
  • 9 cups dry beans soaked overnight, then simmered in plenty of water for 5-6 hours (i used pinto, black, and white beans because that is what i have on hand)
  • 6 medium onions finely chopped (i chop them in quarters, then whir them in a food processor – don’t over process)  OR 1 2/3 cups dried minced onion flakes
  • 12 – 15 oz cans of tomato sauce or a combination with diced tomatoes (remember, if you use your own tomatoes, you may need added salt)
  • 6 tablespoons chili powder*
  • 8 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
  • 8 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried minced garlic ( at least one large fresh garlic bulb if you prefer)

Make sure your beans are cooked and well softened, but not mushy.  Cook the ground beef and crumble into smaller pieces.  If needed pour off extra fatty liquid (i feed that to the chickens over rice – they love it!)

Place all these ingredients in an 18 quart roaster, stir gently, and heat through, then simmer for a couple hours – longer if you have time – stirring occasionally.

*optional – i don’t put in any chili powder because my husband is allergic

 

Everything Cover Crops

Love or hate Facebook – depends on your perspective – maybe both.  But there is real opportunity for farmers to share and learn from one another about cropping and ranching methods they’ve tried – what has been successful and what was a colossal failure.

I coped a young farmer’s (from central Iowa) method here, so i can come back to it as a reference for what i may try in the future.  This is copied and pasted from a Facebook page by the same name, so it reads clunky out of context of responses, but i wanted his words.

Drilled a 4 way mix of oats, annual rye grass, rape seed and soybeans about a month ago (late August/early September) following rye harvest. Very pleased with the amount of forage and soil structure that we have gained. Planning to let cows out later this week if the weather cooperates. Located in north central Iowa.

30 lbs (annual) ryegrass  (10# is enough, but farmer was using up what he had on hand)
20 lbs oats
8 lbs rape seed
Roughly 20 lbs of soybeans ( some seed was 2 years old)

we hauled cattle manure then chisel plowed and field cultivated to work it in before we drilled it.  I agree that tillage will break down some of the soil structure but I sleep better at night when I can work the manure in. I also don’t have access to a no till drill.

I chose annual rye grass over cereal rye so it would winter kill and everything else I planted will winter kill and I am planning to plant corn in that field next spring. If I was going to plant soybeans I would have used winter rye.

the winter rye that was growing previously we combined for seed. The four way mix that is growing now will be grazed and the corn that we plant next year will be combined.

100 Years

On September 6, 2019, my husband’s Aunt June turned 100 years old.  She has outlived all her siblings now, yet she is not alone.  We live very close by, though she is in a nursing home, and we pick her up for church, then she comes to our house afterwards for lunch with Allen’s 93 year old dad and we have a great time visiting and catching up with the news events of the community and family.

She also has nieces and nephews who adore her and stay as active as they can from a long distance.  For her open house type birthday party we held for her, they came from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and far eastern Missouri.  Over 80 people came to visit and she was animated and the life of the party.  June thrives amongst people and activity and she was still talking about it when Allen arrived back to the nursing home with her about 10pm.  Not surprisingly, she was so exhausted, that the next morning, she couldn’t be roused for church.  What a wonderful and exciting day for her.

I decorated her home (where we held the party) with treasures she had from her past.  Daughter, Jessica, before she left for teaching in Hanoi, Vietnam helped me with the travel display (June and her late husband, Bill, escorted tour groups all over the world from the late 70s through to early 90s (he passed away in fall of 1991), then she continued until she was 85!) and also found this lovely quilt pictured below.  We were so excited!  So i figured a way to display it for the party.

The quilt, as the sign says, was completed in 1946 and given to her and Bill as a wedding gift.  It features all of the extension clubs in the county as of that time along with all the members’ signatures embroidered.  What a thoughtful and clever gift.  Only one person of those listed on the quilt is still alive – Martha Murrell – who now lives in the same nursing home as June and just across the hall from one another.

June Lamme has been so important in our lives and our children’s lives, we are thankful for the opportunity to support her now.

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Master Gardener

Perhaps Jessica was 8 or 9 when she enrolled in the University of Missouri’s Master Gardener program.  That was nearly 20 years ago!  She really got a lot out of it (though i think her favorite lesson was flower arranging) by learning a lot about companion cropping, planting and caring for flowers, trees, and community involvement.  One of the requirements for finishing the program was to do a community service/beautification project.  Contact your local county extension agent for information about Master Gardener and other education programs available in your area.

Anyway,  October Gardening Tips from Garden Talk! for the Heartland garden enthusiast, a 4 page newsletter available online including past editions.

The ones which i will use are:

  1. Transplant deciduous trees after they have dropped their leaves.  We found a few redbud trees saplings we’d like to enjoy closer to our house.
  2. Persimmons start to ripen, especially after frost.  Well this year, no frost yet, but the persimmons are already ripe, picked up, processed, and in the freezer!
  3. Place wire guards around trunks of young fruit trees for protection against mice and rabbits.  Last year, i lost nearly all my new fruit trees during the winter.  i did have protection around them that was about 18 inches tall, but the snow drifted taller than that and the critters girdled them above the protective sleeves by walking on top the snow!!! Grrrrr…..
  4. Continue harvesting produce.
  5. Sow oats as a cover crop (i’m also chopping down the Sunn Hemp and laying it flat on the soil)
  6. Winterize lawn mower.  We send ours to John Deere for complete maintenance then remove the battery and store it inside so it doesn’t freeze.

 

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Getting A Job – Networking Reigns!

Try this old school idea!

 

At least 70% of jobs are not even listed — here’s how to up your chances of getting a great new gig

As a member of modern society, you’re well aware that networking is one potential route to finding work.

But, did you know it might actually be the best way to get the job done? (The job of finding a new job, that is.)

Some estimate that upwards of 85% of open positions are filled through networking.

If you’re looking for work, it might be better to put your time into building your professional network rather than pouring through all those listings online.

Could networking actually the best way to find a new job?

The most common way to find work

The benefits and the overall impact of networking have received a lot of study in recent years. The results of these reports vary to some extent, but all agree that it’s definitely a popular way to get a job. Some experts say that 70% of people ended up in their current position thanks to networking. Others say it’s more like 80% or even 85%.

Even when figures are broken down into different categories of job seekers and people are asked how they landed their current job, networking tops every list. In one survey, conducted by LinkedIn and the Adler Group, “active candidates” were separated out from “tiptoers” and “passive candidates,” those who looked for work in more casual ways.

Regardless of the individual attitudes and approaches job seekers brought to the table, networking was the most popular way to get a job. For “tiptoers” it won out 3 to 1, and for even more casual job seekers, dubbed “passive candidates,” networking dominated other job-search methods on a scale of 7 to 1.

There are a lot of hidden jobs out there

One of the major reasons that networking is such an effective way to get a job is that there is something of a hidden job market out there. Some estimate that as much as 80% of new jobs are never listed but are instead filled internally or via networking.

In fact, getting a referral for a job opening from someone who’s already working with the company could give you pretty impressive odds. Only 7% of job applicants get this kind of referral, yet referrals make us 40% of new hires. Clearly, networking isn’t just one potential route to finding a new job — it’s actually the most effective path.

“At least 70%, if not 80%, of jobs are not published, ” Matt Youngquist, president of Career Horizons told NPR. “And yet most people – they are spending 70% or 80% of their time surfing the net versus getting out there, talking to employers, taking some chances [and] realizing that the vast majoring of hiring is friends and acquaintances hiring other trusted friends and acquaintances.”

There are many ways to network 

We really ought to come up with another word for networking — the one we have is just icky. But, networking doesn’t have to be an uncomfortable process. So, don’t let the thought of it intimidate you or turn you off.

Networking is really about connecting with people — and, like everything else, it helps to be sincere. So, backburner the job search process a little in your mind and focus on making new connections and strengthening existing ones. Then, be sure to let those contacts know what you’re up to professionally and where you’re looking to go next in your career. That’s networking! Here are a few other tips to consider:

  • Try to get out there and network the old-fashioned way sometimes, meaning face-to-face interactions. Online professional networking sites are great. But, personal interactions are often still the most powerful.
  • Have conversations that aren’t all about you with those in your network. Offer your help without looking for something in return. Helping others could end up coming back to help you in the end.
  • If you consider yourself on the shy side, don’t fear. Introverts can be great at networking. One important key is to come up with some questions and topics to discuss in advance. That should help you feel prepared and more relaxed.
  • Keep in mind that establishing a strong network takes time. Be ready to invest some effort on a regular basis. Then, your network will be there at the ready when you need it.

Find out how your salary stacks up on PayScale.

Read the original article on PayScale. Copyright 2017. Follow PayScale on Twitter.

Garbage Disposal

In the United States, many of us automatically think of an InSinkErator, which is a brand of electrically run mechanical grinder of food which then flushes it all down the drain for someone else to deal with.  It is attached to a kitchen drain and mounted underneath.

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This old one no longer works and leaks!  Thus the bucket underneath because we haven’t found someone to disconnect and remove it.  I’ll figure it out and get it done sometime.  In the meantime, we put a note in the sink so water won’t be poured in accidentally.  It’s not at our house.

I remember when i was growing up, we had one.  There was always a good respect for its power – keep fingers and spoons out of them!  However, as an adult, i’ve never had one and honestly never missed it.  Now, i wonder why one would ever need this type of garbage disposal.  Natural processes are excellent at garbage disposal – especially food scraps and other organic stuff.

But, garbage disposal is actually just a term that describes various ways to dispose of garbage.  Your location and occupation often determines your definition of garbage and how you may dispose of it.  If you have too much; it might be time to make a plan to reduce, reuse, repurpose, recycle, repair.

In my world, food scraps are not garbage – either they are composted, (i’m lazy and just throw them out on the garden spot to break down over time, or if i’m really energetic, i may get a spade and bury them) or i feed them to our pastured laying hens (chooks), but chicken scraps go to the dog – (i never feed chicken bones and such to chickens – it just seems wrong).  Fruit from fruit trees almost always produce far more than i’m willing to preserve in some fashion, so the extra is allowed to fall, rot, and provide fodder for soil microbes which in turn provides fertilizer for the tree.

There are some amazingly attractive kitchen sized compost bins available.  Here are some on Amazon, but i’ve never tried any of them.  Do some research before purchasing – you sure don’t want smell and/or flies in your house!

But, by and large, we have very few scraps.  Leaves from broccoli and cauliflower, for example, make awesome replacement for celery or other similar greens.  This goes for nearly all greens attached to vegetables.  The core from tomatoes go to the chooks; they love them!  Beef fat goes to the chooks for extra protein they need when bugs are in short supply outdoors.  (As an aside, if you are buying eggs that are labeled as vegetarian raised chickens, the label is either a lie or the hens are in confinement – either crowded in a floored building or in a cage.)

There is a lot of hue and cry about being ‘green’, but as is usual, the ones crying the loudest are often the ones living the least ‘green’ and the biggest wasters of natural resources.  They are the crowd who shout ‘do as i say, not as i do’ while they manipulate regulations to suck cash out of your pocket and put it in theirs.

We can all do better at managing resources – we are, by and large, a wasteful country because we are blessed with so much abundance.

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Nabbed this poster from Mountain Top Cattle Co Facebook Page.

 

Faith, Family, Farm

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