Friday, December 23, 2011

Home Grown: Clearing the Air with Houseplants


Houseplants certainly add to a home’s d├ęcor, but they can also purify indoor air.

“This is an area that’s been largely ignored, and the health issues are potentially astronomical,” says University of Georgia horticulturist Stanley Kays. “We spend as much as 90 percent of our time indoors breathing indoor air that often contains a diverse range of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), many of which are toxic.”

House plants can absorb those VOCs. To determine the best air-purifying houseplants, researchers at the University of Georgia evaluated 32 plant species.  Of those tested, purple waffle plant (Hemigraphis alternata) best removed VOCs from the air.

Continued at... Clearing the Air with Houseplants

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Fresh Guavas from Yorba Linda, California


Available now with Guavas in Farm Produce:
Fresh guavas from Yorba Linda, California

Also known as Guayaba, this subtropical fruit is classified as a berry.

Picked ripe off the tree, Guavas have a subtle and floral flavor with sweet and sour undertones.

Soft and creamy when ripe, Guavas have a fully edible rind and small seeds that are edible too. No one can resist its rare and irresistible floral aroma. One bite will transport you to a tropical paradise.

Guavas
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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Long Handle Shoe Horn from Highland Park, Illinois


Now available with Woodcrafts in Handmade:
Long Handle Shoe Horn from Highland Park, Illinois

This 31" Long Handle Shoe Horn is one of the longest shoehorns you will ever find. It makes putting shoes on easier than ever, with less effort and virtually no bending required than with shorter shoe horns.

The flexible spring in this shoe horn provides you flexibility needed to easily slip your foot into virtually any shoe from any angle.

There are eight individual pieces that create this shoe horn. It consists of a polished solid wood spindle attached by means of a brass spring to a high quality plastic tortoise-shell shoe horn. Hanger cap included for convenient storage.

All parts are made and assembled in the USA.

Woodcrafts
Handmade
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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Home Grown: Gifts for Gardeners


If you have gardeners on your shopping list, whatever you do, don’t give them cheap tools. Give them something they’ll remember.

Most serious gardeners would much rather receive one high-quality garden tool than a bunch of cheap ones that won’t last a year. And please don’t give an adult a set of child-size tools.

Continued at... Gifts for Gardeners

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Egg-Free Raisin Loaf from Seattle, Washington


Now available with  Bread  in  Baked Goods :
Egg-Free Raisin Loaf from Seattle, Washington

This is a gluten-free, wheat-free bread made with no dairy or egg. Made from white rice flour, tapioca starch, and raisins, it is a good source of Vitamins B1 and B2 and iron.

Sold in a pack of six 16-ounce packages of raisin bread (96 total ounces).
Top with cinnamon for a perfect breakfast bread.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Home Grown: Preserving Poinsettia

As the holidays pass, they usually take with them the colorful blooms of the poinsettia plant. There are ways, however, to extend the life and blooms of the plant. Here are some tips...

Continued at... Preserving Poinsettia

Holidays and Notable Events: Hanukkah

Celebrations of Hanukkah often include lighting a special eight-branched lamp called the chanukiah or menorah, starting with the ninth candle or bowl of oil called the Shamash. The Shamash is used to light the remaining eight, one for each night.

The holiday's symbols include the dreidel top that children spin to earn golden chocolate coins called gelt; the menorah, which represents the enduring faith of the Jewish people; and the oil of Hannukah, whose significance is highlighted in the preparation of fried foods, such as potato latkes or pancakes.

Other traditional Hannukah foods include latkes, doughnuts called sufganyot, or blintzes.

In 2011, Hanukkah will begin at sunset on Tuesday, December 20 and continues to sunset on Wednesday, December 28.


Home Grown: Tabletop Christmas Trees

Not everyone is able to enjoy a full sized Christmas tree in their home. For some, budgets may be stretched or space can be at a premium. Others may not have the time to put up a tree this holiday season.

Whatever the reason, an alternative to full sized Christmas trees are tabletop plants that can be decorated for the holidays, offered as holiday gifts, and in some cases can be used for several years.

Continued at... Tabletop Christmas Trees




Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fuerte Avocados from Fallbrook, California

Available soon with Avocados in Farm Produce:
Fuerte Avocados direct from the grower in Fallbrook, California.

Shipped in 4 lb increments at $3/lb. There are approximately 2-3 avocados per pound. Avocados are picked when the order is received. The fruit is ready to eat when soft to the touch.

Available January - March.




Holidays and Notable Events: Hanukkah

Hanukkah means “dedication” or “consecration”, and is also called “The festival of lights.” This is a Jewish festivity that lasts eight days starting on the 25th day of Kislev which normally occurs late November or early December.

This holiday marks the ancient defeat of a large Syrian army by a small group of Jews and the miracle of a one-day amount of sacred oil lasting eight days.

In 2011, Hanukkah will begin at sunset on Tuesday, December 20 and continues to sunset on Wednesday, December 28.



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Farm Kitchen: Making a Sandwich

The sandwich has become a universal possession for all time, though for a century the earl who created it has lain dead. His foibles should be forgotten, his one redeeming virtue remembered. For him a fair and spacious niche in the world's Valhalla.

A hero indeed is he who left the sandwich as an heirloom to humanity. It truly is the staff of life, a substantial meal for starving traveller or bread-winner; but none the less an incomparable work of art, a joy to the gourmand of fancy and discretion. The very name has come to be a pregnant symbol of holiday-making for all with souls to stir at the thought of food and drink. It is an inexhaustible stimulus to the imagination; to the memory a tender guide to the past's happiest days and hours.
Continued at... Making a Sandwich

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holidays and Notable Events: Lucia Day

Before dawn on December 13, “Little Yule,” the eldest daughter of a Scandinavian household arises and sets a wreath of greenery upon her head to which are anchored several candles. With these all ablaze in the pre-dawn dimness she walks the corridors, calling on each bedroom with a gift of hot coffee, lussekatter (“Lucy kats,” yeast rolls) and gingerbread. She is the Lucia bruden, the Lucia Bride, Saint Lucy.

'Tis the year's midnight, and it is
the day's,
Lucy's, who scarce seven hours herself unmasks;
The sun is spent, and now his flasks
Send forth light squibs, no constant rays.
-- John Donne


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lavender Flower Buds from Provence, France

Now available with Dried Flowers in Craft Supplies:
Lavender Flower Buds from Provence, France.

These fragrant lavender flowers and buds are from an "extra" grade grown in the Provence region of France, near Montbrun Les Bains in a hilly area between the French Riviera (La Cote d'Azur) and the French Alps.

The most fragrant lavender is slightly grayer and not as blue as hybrid lavender. It is often used in sachets, potpourri, as a pest deterrent or as a relaxer under the pillow.

Sold in 1-pound bags.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Farm Kitchen: Seasoning a Cast Iron Skillet.

Cast iron skillets ought to be re-seasoned at least once a year.

To begin, wash the skillet, making sure to rinse and dry. Melt bacon grease and run it all over skillet, inside and out.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place skillet in the oven upside down with a cookie sheet on rack below to catch drippings. Bake for one hour, then turn oven off and let the pan remain inside until oven cools.





Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Farm Kitchen: Homemade Holiday Gifts


Foods and other homemade items make wonderful holiday gifts, especially for people on a budget. Try these low-cost gift ideas and recipes:

Create a fruit basket. Choose a few apples, oranges and/or canned fruits and arrange them in a basket or decorated paper bag.

Continued at... Homemade Holiday Gifts