Tag Archives: diy

CLEAN A CAST IRON SKILLET

Like any real farmer, we have a cast iron skillet. You can’t be a farmer without one, especially can’t be a farmer’s wife. But we are embarrassed to say that we aren’t totally sure how to clean it. It was so softly shiny and black when we got it, and now it is a bit grimy and dull.

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Thankfully, the good people who made it have real straight forward directions on maintaining cast iron. We ran some hot water, and scrubbed it with the business side of the sponge. Once our hands were pruny, we dried it, and rubbed some oil into it.

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Pretty good, right? It almost has that nice, even sheen back. If I wasn’t super intense, I would have just left it, but if you are cleaning, you might as well clean. I remembered seeing this video a while back, and thought some coarse salt might help with the scrubbing. We poured some salt and a bit of oil into it, and went at it with the sponge again. After another rinse, dry, and oil, we uncovered this beauty.

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I think it might actually be emitting a soft glow. All ready to cook some more bacon.

HANGING UP A PLANT

This is the little kitchen window. It used to have a baby plant sitting up there. I miss it. Uck, it looks so ordinary without it, there is too much light getting in, I can’t stand it another minute, let’s put the plant back up there. But this time, we are going to do it right.

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We have a big hanging planter. If it fell down and smashed my teapot, I would cry crocodile tears. We found the stud in the wall, and screwed in an eye hook. We got the one that holds like 40 pounds, so hopefully that is strong enough. An s hook was added to make the hanging possible.

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Hang the planter from the wall hook, and we can hear the plant sigh in relief to be back soaking up that vitamin D.

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CLEANING THE GRILL

Cleaning the grill is like cleaning the shower. You put it off for months, then once you actually put some effort into it, it gets all nice and shiny again, and you feel like you accomplished a real thing for the day.

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Our grill was mostly dirty from a combination of food and thunderstorms. We have a stainless steel gas grill, so first things first, unplug it all so you don’t catch on fire.

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For cleaning stainless steel, we went with the soapy water and soft rag route. Sponge bath for all the cooking surfaces, and the inside of the grill.

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After a little muscle power and soap, its looking good as new. We wanted to grill some chicken for dinner, but we have to go to a flag football game. Who knew football would be the thing standing between us and the grill.

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REPOT A PLANT

Its summer housekeeping over here this week. We’re cleaning and sprucing up some things on our to-do list, since its too hot to do much else in the garden.

Upon our kitchen window sill sat the cutest little plant. But that cute baby plant has grown into a gigantic monster that is spilling over and threatening to topple off the ledge.

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We are going to upgrade him to a real life hanging planter. We will need some potting soil, the planter, and the plant.

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The pot has holes in the bottom for drainage already, so that is convenient. We’ll fill it with some potting soil.

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Now we’ll place the plant in the soil, gently loosening roots as needed.

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Tuck some more nice, cozy soil around him, and give him a drink of water.

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So much more space to spread out and grow! Now to hang him by the window.

DIY LAWNMOWER RAMP

Lawnmowers are heavy. We don’t know how heavy, since we have been working out a lot and can’t tell, but heavy enough to make them inconvenient to lift off the ground. So let’s make things easier for ourselves!

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You’ve seen this problem before. Our shed is a little off the ground, so you have to step up to get into it. Lawnmowers do not have legs, or else they would be creepy.

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To solve this problem, first find a wide board that fits in the doorway of the shed.

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Set one of the long sides of the board in the doorway, and slant the other long side down so it reaches the ground, creating a ramp.

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Now wheel your lawnmower up and down with ease as needed.

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What a simple solution to a very small problem!

TOMATO WATERCOLOR CARDS

Let’s try something new today, shall we? These watercolor tomato cards would be perfect to include in any “garden extras” baskets, for when you are up to your eyeballs in tomatoes, and need to feed them to friends instead. Plus, tomatoes come in all shapes, colors, and sizes, so you would have to actually put effort into messing it up.

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We’ll need the basic watercoloring supplies. Some water, paints, brushes, and paper.

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I cut out a little square of paper, and drew a light outline with a pencil of a tomato. Its basically a potato shape with a spider hat.

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Now to color. To make mine, I wet the paper first, then add some color little by little, until I like it. Don’t think about it too much. Go with your gut. I filled it in, then went back and added a little more red-orange on the edge for shading.

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Wait for a hot minute for it to dry. Then paint the spider shape green, and you got yourself a tomato.

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After I finished the red tomato, I did a green rendition, and also a tribute to my garden favorite, the pear tomato.

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After its all dry, adhere it to the front of a card, and give it away to a friend or enemy, depending on how much you like your painting.

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FERMENTED GREEN BEANS

Remember those green beans we harvested the other day? Well they are back, and today we are making them into pickles!

These are naturally pickled green beans. We are going to preserve them by fermenting them with salt, and get all the good pro-biotic benefits. Make those bacteria work for their rent.

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The recipe can vary greatly depending on the amount of beans, type of salt, temperature, and taste, but I have a hard time messing it up, so try it for yourself. Your ancestors did this to lots of food way before the invention of the internet.

1 pound fresh green beans (or however many you harvest)

4 cups water

1-3 tbsp salt

garlic, to your taste

dill, to your taste

1. Heat water so salt will dissolve in it. Cool to room temperature.

2. Trim ends of beans, and layer them in a glass jar with garlic and dill. We use normal mason jars. Use a jar you can pack the veggies into, not a size where they are swimming in it.

3. Cover beans with water, until they are fully submerged. You can push them in there a bit.

4. Leave jar on counter not in the direct sun for a couple days. *Gently put the lid of the jar on, do NOT tightly screw on. The organisms preserving the beans will create gas that needs to escape, and you don’t want an explosion.

5. Keep tasting until they are pickled to your taste, a few days to two weeks, depending on temperature. When you like them, put in the refrigerator, where they will keep for a couple months.

They should stay pretty crunchy, like a pickle. Enjoy all those good bacteria!