Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Here's How To... Rappel

What goes up will eventually come down. But when descending from the top of a wall, a cliff some or other steep grade, a carefully controlled decline is advisable. Most climbing accidents happen on the way down, not on the way up.

Rappelling, the technique of sliding down a rope, allows climbers to make safe descents from precipitous heights, but it can be a hazardous activity.  No text or website can substitute for on-site instruction, but there are some basic concepts that can be learned beforehand.

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Guidebooks and How-to Titles
Artwork: Rock Climber Rappelling
How To Do It
Climbing the Walls

Home Grown: Growing Oaks from Acorns

To grow plants from seeds, you don't need to go to the local nursery and buy a colorful packet. A little knowledge can create a rewarding do-it-yourself experience.

One plant that is relatively easy to start from seed is the oak. Acorns mature in early fall. You can tell the seed is ripe when the outside changes from green to yellow, brown or black and the caps can be easily removed. Acorns can then be plucked off the tree or picked up from the ground soon after falling. It's important to note that acorns left on the ground for several days begin to dry out and become a food source for insects and wildlife.

Continued at... Growing Oaks from Acorns

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Garden Tools

Monday, October 29, 2012

Here's How To... Pick Morel Mushrooms

To harvest a morel, pull it up from the earth, cut off the root end with a sharp knife or pinch it off and place in a bag. Once harvested, split the morel lengthwise and wash thoroughly to remove grit or bugs. They can be eaten fresh or storied for months with proper preservation.

To preserve morels, freeze in water or dry-freeze in plastic bags or containers. They can also be dried in the open air or in a dehydrator and then stored in sealed jars. Reconstitute in water when ready to use.

Follow the link To... Picking Morel Mushrooms
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Guidebooks and How-to Titles
Artwork: A Morel Mushroom On A Nebraska Forest
How To Do It
Tales of a River Rat

Home Grown: Protecting Evergreens in Winter

Evergreen plants can be harmed by the snow and ice of winter.

Inspect your plants for winter damage. Snow can cause excessive bending down of evergreen branches to the point of breaking. These broken branches will always be weak if you try to bend them back up or tie them back up.

Consider cutting them off and, if possible, train neighboring branches to grow and fill in the gaps.

Continued at... Protecting Evergreens in Winter

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Garden Tools

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Emu Oil from Gill, Massachusetts

Now available in Health & Beauty:
Emu Oil direct from the emu farm in Gill, Massachusetts

This emu oil comes from a small farm that uses sound natural and humane practices to produce the highest quality fat.

Studies have shown that emu farmed in northern climates produce fat with higher penetration and anti-inflammatory properties. Emu raised without hormones, unnecessary antibiotics, chemical pesticides or herbicides provide the cleanest fat.

This emu oil is certified by the American Emu Association, ensuring the composition, purity and stability of the oil.

Emu Oil
Health & Beauty
advertise on the Emu Oil page
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Monday, October 22, 2012

Home Grown: Preparing a Lawn for Winter

When it's time for the last cutting of your lawn, how low should you cut? Your area's winter snowcover should help you decide whether to cut it short or leave it long.

If you live in a heavy snow area, cut the grass to about 1.5 inches in fall to prevent it from matting down beneath the snow and forming a haven for the snow mold fungus.

In areas with little snowcover, grass dries out and the crowns may be injured from a lack of insulation. In those areas, leave the grass long over the winter to help protect the crowns from drying out.

Continued at... Preparing a Lawn for Winter

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pottery Wheel from Aurora, Ohio.

Now available in Craft Supplies:
Pottery Wheel from National Artcraft in Aurora, Ohio.

This wheel can be used by potters, sculptors, painters, decorators working in ceramics, floral arrangers, model-makers, and even cake decorators.

The base and top are made of heavy cast metal joined with a heavy-duty ball bearing that allows the top to spin easily. Holds up to 40 lbs.

The base has a non-skid rubber boot that holds the wheel firmly in place without the need to drill holes in your work station.

The top is designed with concentric circles to allow easy centering and the rim is weighted to give the wheel extra momentum when spinning.

Craft Supplies
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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Tips from the Farm Kitchen: Buying Seafood in Season

To get the best prices on seafood, buy when the fish or shellfish are in season and available in large quantities.

"Fresh wild salmon caught during the bountiful summer and early fall runs is much less expensive than salmon caught during the winter months," writes Braiden Rex-Johnson in PPike Place Public Market Seafood Cookbook, referring to Pacific Northwest stocks.

Continued at... Buying Seafood in Season

Seafood and Fish
Farm Kitchen
Kitchen Supply
Pike Place Public Market Seafood Cookbook
Fresh Salmon Fillets

Music in the Market

Now playing ♫ I Cry ♫ from Wild Ones album by Flo Rida.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tips from the Farm Kitchen: Flame-Roasting Eggplants

Roastng eggplants on an open flame can be messy, but is definitely worth the effort, as the smoky aroma adds immensely to the taste.

First, line your stovetop with aluminum foil.
Place a whole eggplant (or more than one if you are confident) on a rack over the open flame and roast, turning occasionally, until the skin is scorched and blackened, and the flesh feels soft when pierced with a wooden skewer or a fork.

Continued at... Flame-Roasting Eggplants

Farm Kitchen
Kitchen Supply
The Book of New Israeli Food: A Culinary Journey

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Purple Dendrobium Orchids from Thailand.

Now available with Flowers in Plants & Seeds:

Purple Dendrobium Orchids from Thailand.

These long stemmed fresh cut purple dendrobium orchids are imported direct directly from the farm in Thailand. Hand picked and carefully packed, the orchids are shipped with with small water tubes around each stem provided supplying continuous hydration during shipping.

An ideal gift or complement to weddings, parties or other occasions, these orchis are guaranteed to last at least 7 days.

Plants & Seeds
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Farm Direct: Small Farm Direct Marketing

Direct marketing refers to selling that is based on a personal, one-to-one relationship that ties farmers and consumers together. Many times this relationship is face-to-face, like at farmers' markets. Other times, the consumer and farmer may not actually meet, for example, Internet sales.

Competing solely on price is rarely feasible for small scale farmers. Farmers who accept the lowest price for their products must have the lowest costs. Larger farms can almost always produce high volume, uniform products more cheaply than smaller farms.

While small farmers cannot effectively compete with large scale operations on price, their businesses are uniquely positioned to compete on other, non-price factors. Competing on non-price factors means that farmers must offer their customers something they want but cannot buy at the grocery store, or anywhere else. Differences can include: convenience, flavor, variety and novelty.

Continued on the Tip Sheet: Small Farm Direct Marketing

Farm Direct
Buying Online
How to Lease a Booth
Artwork: Dixon Farmers Market

Friday, October 12, 2012

Tealight Candles from Piedmont, South Carolina

Now available with Candles in Handmade:
Tealight Candles from Piedmont, South Carolina.

These white, unscented Tealight Candles are self-contained, versatile little candles, efficient and very inexpensive.

Compression molded and set in aluminum cups with 100% cotton wicks, these candles are perfect for weddings, restaurants and parties. They can be used in potpourri burners, food warmers or any standard Glass Tealight Holder.

Burn time is 4-5 hours for each candle.

add your candles to the Buy Direct Directory 
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Tips from the Farm Kitchen: Time-Saving Kitchen Tools

Making meals is a little like making magic. You toss some ingredients together and voila ... they change into muffins or a mixed vegetable medley!

Some days you may wish your magic wand was speedier. That it didn't take quite so long to clean, peel, chop and mix fresh vegetables for a salad. Or measure, mix, beat, blend and cook a casserole.

In search of faster kitchen magic, several Internet discussion groups of dietitians, home economists, chefs and other food professionals were asked their favorite time-saving kitchen tools. The response was overwhelming! Here are 30+ tools to quicken your kitchen performance.

Continued at Time-Saving Kitchen Tools

Farm Kitchen
Kitchen Gadgets
Kitchen Essentials: The Complete Illustrated Reference to the Ingredients, Equipment, Terms, and Techniques used by Le Cordon Bleu

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pet Supplies: Cat Collars from Taiwan

Now available with Pet Collars in Pet Supplies:
Cat Collar from Taiwan

This is an anti-strangling collar with break-away buckle. If the collar gets caught on fences, chairs, branches, or anything else, the safety buckle will automatically open up releasing the cat from harm.

The collar is made of finely woven nylon to obtain a strong, soft and silky fabric. The metal components are made with a reinforced alloy to prevent it from rusting.

Pet Collars
Pet Supplies
Pet Clothing
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Home Grown: Composting Yard Waste.

While it may seem easy to put those raked leaves and other yard waste in plastic bags and toss them out as garbage, composting can be just as easy and much better for the environment.

"Many landfills no longer even accept leaves or garden wastes," notes Bill Lamont, professor of vegetable crops at Penn State.  "Composting may be the easiest way for homeowners to dispose of them."

Composting decomposes organic matter into a dark, crumbly material similar to humus. Finished compost provides nutrients and helps soil retain water by increasing the valuable organic matter in the lawn and garden. Compost is a valuable soil conditioner that can be used in gardens, around trees and on lawns.

Continued at... Composting Yard Waste

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center

Handspun Mohair Yarn from Oaxaca, Mexico

Now available in Craft Supplies:
Milagros Mohair Handspun Yarn from Oaxaca, Mexico

This yarn is produced in collaboration with a small sustainable farm in northern California and Zapotec Indians from Oaxaca. It comes from natually colored mohair goats.

A pure mohair single yarn, this product will produce the mohair halo effect. Sold in 4-ounce skeins.

Craft Supplies
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Friday, October 5, 2012

Farm Fresh: Pumpkin Pop Quiz

What's orange on the inside and clear on the outside?