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Author Merit Badge Awardees - Woo-hoo Sisters!:  Farmgirl Sisterhood Merit Badge Awardees 
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

15500 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15500 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2021 :  11:54:42 AM  Show Profile
Rea Nakanishi (Lacey, #8284) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level The Good, Bad, and Ugly ... Bugs Merit Badge!

“Gardening in this time of year can be challenging. In my garden I have good helpers such as bees, ground beetles, orb spiders and red worms. The ground beetles and red worms are in the compost pile enjoying themselves. The bees are buzzing about looking for any available flowers. The bad bugs will be coming soon. Last year I had aphids on the fruit tree. Tomato hornworms and the mosquitos are out now.

In my winter planting area, I use Beneficial's to keep the bug at bay. The ladybugs will eat the aphids and the orb spider catches a multitude of flying insects. The products I use now in the garden are diatomaceous earth and soap and water on my existing herbs. You need to be careful with products if you have animals that come in contact with your garden area.”

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

15500 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15500 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2021 :  11:55:39 AM  Show Profile
Rea Nakanishi (Lacey, #8284) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning a Beginner Level Grease Chicks Merit Badge!

“Winterizing your vehicle for winter ... always a fun job. I just purchased four new tires, windshield wipers, and windshield wiper fluid. The oil was good as well as the brake fluid and coolant.

Having a vehicle that checks the tire pressure, oil and wiper fluid levels is a bonus. I check and change the oil every 3 to 5 thousand miles Tracking my mileage and fuel cost and usage was interesting. Started tracking right before Christmas and ended the month in January. Drove 626 miles and my fuel cost was 125.20.”

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

15500 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15500 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2021 :  12:39:38 PM  Show Profile
Cindy Kinion (AussieChick, #6058) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a Beginner Level Palate Pleasers Merit Badge!

“I do not consider myself a picky eater. I love food and am usually willing to try anything. Some of the more unusual foods that I have tried include: alpaca in Peru, ceviche in Mexico & Belize, octopus at my friend's Greek restaurant in Brisbane, goat on the spit at a wedding in Tanzania, alligator in Florida, and an assortment of foods here in Australia including crocodile, kangaroo, emu, sapote fruit, rambutans, carambola, custard apples, nashis, dragon fruit, jaboticaba, lychees, mangosteens, persimmons, tamarillos, gooseberries, buffalo cheese and camel milk. I also enjoy matcha and nettle tea on a regular basis. I have also cooked with various offal meats like kidney and liver.

For my chosen cuisine, I took inspiration from one of my work colleagues, and one of my good friends. They are both of Sri Lankan heritage, so I asked them for some advice.

Sri Lanka, the beautiful spice island once known as Ceylon, is a rich melting pot of cuisines. It seems every nationality that has visited and traded over the years has left its mark–the Dutch, Portuguese, English, Arabs, Malays, Moors and Indians. Though Sri Lankan food has parallels to South Indian food, it remains distinctly its own form of cuisine. Throughout years of colonization and influence from other countries, Sri Lanka has adapted its food culture into a blend of different curry concoctions and tasty dishes.

A few things about Sri Lankan food can be said with certainty: Sri Lankans thoroughly love spices, they love food that explodes with flavor, and many enjoy deep fried, and very tasty, snacks. Whatever you choose to eat in Sri Lanka, your mouth is going to rejoice with happiness.

Sri Lanka, being an island with a tropical climate, coconuts and fish are two of the most influential components of Sri Lankan cuisine. Fish is made into curries, and coconut in some form or another, is a dominant ingredient in cooking. The tropical climate also means that fresh fruit, vegetables and spices are in abundance and all are used in many ways. Freshness is key, with households regularly shopping more than once a day for produce.

It is said that if you take a stroll through the countryside, the fragrant smell of cardamom and curry leaves will inevitably grab you. In the city, piles of turmeric and fennel seed sit in ceramic pots at the market, waiting patiently for their turn in a curry. These spices are fundamental to the cuisine, serving as the base for the many curries, sambals (relishes), sundals (salads), and mallums (greens dishes) served with most meals. Black pepper is native to the island and was the most powerful spice in Sri Lankan cooking before spicy peppers arrived on colonial era trading ships. Black pepper curries still pop up on menus, and are worth seeking out for the original flavors of the island—and because they offer an entirely different type of heat.

Many families have a curry leaf tree and grow vegetables–some of which are virtually unknown outside Sri Lanka, such as murunga (drumsticks), which are used in curries and accompaniments, their leaves a popular addition to the favourite crab curry.
Every meal comes with rice–one Sinhalese greeting translates as "Have you eaten rice?". A simple meal may consist of rice, sambol made with chilli, pickles or chutney (to liven the flavour and wake up the taste buds), and at least one vegetable curry or dhal. Then there may also be a huge range of meat-based, vegetable and seafood dishes. Sri Lankan banquets are incredibly colourful, with curries that range from yellow to deep brown, the vibrant greens of the vegetables, and the bright colours of sambol.

My work colleague, Priya, was kind enough to give me some curry leaves & green chillies from her garden, as well as some of the Sri Lankan curry powder that she buys from the Indian shop in Toowoomba. In addition to these ingredients, I made a grocery list in order to make Sri Lankan Chicken Curry, Slow-cooked lamb, Cucumber Raita, Green Mango Chutney, Dhal, Mint & Coriander rice with toasted pine nuts, Pistachio & Brazil Nut Kulfi, and Coconut Pistachio Barfi.”

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

15500 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15500 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2021 :  12:40:33 PM  Show Profile
Cindy Kinion (AussieChick, #6058) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Intermediate Level Palate Pleasers Merit Badge!

“I chose to make a Sri Lankan banquet for my friends Jeanette & Brett. Jeanette is of Sri Lankan heritage, so I was a little intimidated, knowing that she grew up eating authentic Sri Lankan foods.

I chose to make Sri Lankan Chicken Curry, Slow-cooked Lamb, Cucumber Raiti, Green Mango Chutney, Dhal, Mint & Coriander Rice with toasted pine kernals, pistachio & brazil nut kulfi, and coconut-pistachio barfi.

Some ingredients that I would be trying for the first time were saffron, ghee and fresh curry leaves.

I made the kulfi 3 days ahead of time to allow the spices to infuse and the dessert to freeze adequately. I then made the barfi a day ahead so that it could set in the fridge. I also made the green mango chutney and raiti ahead of time. The lamb was marinated for 24 hours and then slow cooked for 5 hours. This meant that I only had to make the chicken curry, the dhal, and the rice the morning before they arrived for lunch. I served the banquet with pappadums and naan, and I added fresh mango pieces with the dessert. I was a little hesitant to add too much spice, thinking it would be too hot, but after we ate, we all decided it could have been hotter. Jeanette was impressed with my efforts, so I was happy to have "pleased her palate". It is summer here in Australia, so we enjoyed the meal in our outdoor living area and shared some lavender wine during our meal. We discussed travel—Jeanette & Brett would like to spend another 3 months in Sri Lanka and we would all like to go to Morocco. Mick & I have a desire to see Madagascar and Cambodia. We all agreed that Mick won the prize for the strangest food eaten—he ate ants on a trip to far-north Queensland!”

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

15500 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15500 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2021 :  12:41:21 PM  Show Profile
Cindy Kinion (AussieChick, #6058) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning an Intermediate Level Her-story Merit Badge!

“I chose to research Rosie Batty and I read her autobiography entitled “A Mother’s Story”. Rosemary Anne "Rosie" Batty, AO (born 1962) is an English-born Australian domestic violence campaigner and the 2015 Australian of the Year. Her role as a campaigner began in 2014 after her 11-year-old son Luke Batty was murdered by his father.

As a campaigner, she has spoken publicly about her experiences as a survivor of domestic violence to raise public awareness and advocate for social changes. Rosie is considered to have had a significant influence on national public attitudes, philanthropy, government initiatives and funding, support services and police and legal procedures related to domestic violence in Australia.

Five things that I have learned about Rosie & shared on The Farmgirl Connection are:-
(1) When Rosie was six years old her mother died, and she was raised by nannies and her maternal grandmother. Rosie says that her mother's death had a long-term impact: "I have not really formed permanent relations with anybody; I have never been married and neither have my two other brothers. I think it really traumatises you from having key relationships because of that fear that they are going to leave you."

(2) Rosie began speaking publicly about her experience after addressing the media the morning after Luke's murder. She became an advocate for domestic violence survivors and victims, and sought to address perceived systemic failures in responses to domestic violence in Australia. She has spoken about a lack of communication between services, about public perceptions of domestic violence, about a lack of funding, and about police and legal procedures that she felt disempowered her ability to protect herself and her son. In 2014, Rosie established the Luke Batty Foundation to assist women and children affected by domestic violence.

(3) Rosie's story was instrumental in the establishment in 2015 of the Royal Commission into Family Violence in her home state of Victoria. It was tabled in Parliament on 30 March 2016. The report is a culmination of a 13-month inquiry into how to effectively prevent family violence, improve early intervention, support victims, make perpetrators accountable, better coordinate community and government response, and evaluate and measure strategies, frameworks, policies, programs and services. The report includes eight volumes, and is founded on 227 recommendations made by the Commission to improve, guide and oversee a long-term reform program that deals with family violence. This includes the establishment of the Family Violence Protection Act, which provides a detailed definition of family violence, the relationships in which it can arise, and a reinforcement of the sound objectives and principles of the Act.

(4) In 2016, then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said of domestic violence in Australia that "cultural change requires a great advocate and Rosie has been able to do that in a way that I think nobody has done before". On 10 June 2019, she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in the general division as part of the Queen's Birthday 2019 Honours recognition for her "distinguished service to the community as a campaigner and advocate for the prevention of family violence".

(5) Fortune Magazine named Rosie as one of its top 50 world’s greatest leaders and Rosie was voted the most influential person in the Not-for-Profit sector on Pro Bono Australia’s Impact 25 list. She has also been inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women. More recently Rosie received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of the Sunshine Coast for her contribution to raising national awareness and action concerning Family Violence. She is also an Ambassador for Our Watch and the Lort Smith Animal Hospital, Patron of Doncare Community Services and a recipient of The Pride of Australia National Courage Medal.”

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

15500 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15500 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2021 :  1:05:01 PM  Show Profile
Kerry Hubbard (Kerry L Hubbard, #8275) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a Beginner Level Pay It Forward Merit Badge!

“Paying it forward has been ingrained in me since a child so I'm thrilled to add this Merit Badge to my sash. I believe in paying it forward so much, I put my money where my mouth is in a charitable way.

Being a thrifty shopper, I spend approx $5/meal/person. That's not enough money to fill a hungry tummy. Doing the math, that's about $1,800/year. Most fast food meals are approx $8-10 for a hungry adult.

Because hunger and everything that goes with it is such a big deal for me, I have donated A LOT more than $1,800/year. I have given thousands of $$$ for years to 2 charities that bring homeless people into their homes.

Teen Challenge and Captive Hearts are my charities of choice when giving money. Both charities align themselves with my value system, bringing people into their homes, feeding homeless and drug/alcohol addicted folks with healthy foods & job training. I'm a firm believer that everyone is valuable and has a purpose. Teen Challenge and Captive Hearts "graduates" leave those homes healthy, strong, addiction-free, employed, and paying it forward.

I get letters/pictures all the time from people entering TC or CH and then graduating healthy approx 18-24 months later. Many of them remain on the premises as counselors for new incoming people needing help. Seeing before/after pics and the transformation of people brings tears to my eyes. People have been restored. Families have been strengthened.

The importance of wholesome foods cannot be underestimated. It's beautiful when people are well fed with wholesome foods.”

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

15500 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15500 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2021 :  1:06:03 PM  Show Profile
Kerry Hubbard (Kerry L Hubbard, #8275) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a Beginner Level Unprocessed Kitchen Merit Badge!

“My guilty pleasure from the store is parmesan chips. At $5-6/box for about 10 chips that are normally crumbled up by the time I get home was enough to make me take on this merit badge as a challenge.

I read the ingredients on the box. There was some stuff I couldn't pronounce but it looked like it was just parmesan cheese.

I purchased a solid chunk of parmesan. I grated it using the fine side of my grater. Made little piles of parmesan on a baking sheets lined with parchment. Baked 350 for maybe 5-10 minutes, depending how brown I wanted it and then allowed to cool. BAM!!!

Apparently, everyone in my household loves parmesan chips because I can't keep them in the house long enough to serve with a winter hearty tomato bisque or french onion soup.”

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

15500 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15500 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2021 :  1:07:08 PM  Show Profile
Kerry Hubbard (Kerry L Hubbard, #8275) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Intermediate Level Canning Merit Badge!

“The great lockdown of 2020 has lit a fire under me to become more self-sustainable, making me research, learn, and become a better version of myself moving forward. Canning is definitely one of those life skills added to the stack of self-sustainability. Just by learning this one overlooked and very easy skill, I have put a little more distance between my family and hunger due to food shortages. I am well on my way to creating a healthy food storage.

My 1st goal: 6 months worth of healthy food storage. 2nd goal: 12 months of healthy food storage with fresh veggies from my garden. I'll work on goal #3 as I'm nailing down #1 & #2 goals.

I have the prettiest water bath pot ever! Mint green and big enough to take care of business. Still looking for the perfect jar lifter but that's for another day.

Presently, I have made numerous batches of chicken & beef bone broths. Also canned a batch of taqueria carrots. Everyone I have given taqueria carrots to loves them. They bring the jars back for a refill.

Feeling SUCCESSFUL!”

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

15500 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15500 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2021 :  1:08:15 PM  Show Profile
Kerry Hubbard (Kerry L Hubbard, #8275) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning an Intermediate Level Sew Wonderful Merit Badge!

“I have been sewing, hand stitching & quilting for YEARS. I have taught many people this valuable life skill as well.

My oldest daughter glommed onto all things sewing & creating. She has no fear of trying something new in this arena.

My oldest daughter in now working for a prop house in Hollywood. Using the skills I was able to teach her, she is designing & creating costumes for movie sets.

Ever see the movie Dunkirk? Elise designed and stitched every life jacket used in that movie. I taught her how to chain stitch. She was able to chain stitch over 800 life jackets replicated for that time period. She was able to speed chain stitch and get all the life jackets completed way before the scheduled due date.

I'm a firm believer that sewing/quilting is a valuable life skill. Making money using this skill confirms that belief.”

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

15500 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15500 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2021 :  1:09:32 PM  Show Profile
Kerry Hubbard (Kerry L Hubbard, #8275) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning an Intermediate Level Nellie Make-do Merit Badge!

“I have created many t-shirt quilts for people using only their well loved & repurposed t-shirts. T-shirt quilts are chock-full of memories, making going off to college a little less intimidating. The freshman college student only needs to look at their t-shirt quilt on their dorm bed to remember just how far they've come.”




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

15500 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15500 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2021 :  1:40:05 PM  Show Profile
Sara Knight (YellowRose, #6034) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a Beginner Level Kitchen Renegade Merit Badge!

“For the beginner badge I will describe the steps I take to keep my kitchen and project safe. I have chosen to make mixes for the spice rack, pantry, and freezer.

The safety concerns for my project are contamination of produce; work surfaces; kitchen tools, storage containers; and my hands. By practicing good safety measures in my kitchen I ensure my finished product is safe and will store well.

Step 1. I grow and dry my own herbs. Use no chemicals.

Step 2. I dry vegetables from grocery store–organic when I can.

Step 3. I clean all work surfaces with 5% vinegar wipes that I make.

Step 4. All produce is washed with weak 5% vinegar solution.

Step 5. All kitchen tools are washed after each use.

Step 6. All storage jars and lids are sterilized with boiling water.

Step 7. Filled jars are stored away from direct sunlight in cool place.

As I go from one step to another, I wash my hands or wipe with 5% vinegar wipes. Also wipe down work surfaces.”


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

15500 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15500 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2021 :  1:42:54 PM  Show Profile
Judy Curtis (Jcurtis, #7789) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level Herbs Merit Badge!

“I researched planting, harvesting, medicinal uses and using dill, thyme, parsley, chives and basil. Used the following books in my research: The Beginner's Guide to Edible Herbs by Charles W. G. Smith; Better Homes and Gardens Herb Gardening and The Complete Herb Book by Jekka McVicar.

Dill - Dill is an annual herb, which grows 2 to 4 feet tall and spends up to 12 inches, so it needs to be planted in a site that protects it from high winds. I found conflicting information on whether dill may be transplanted. Seeds are direct sowed in shallow trenches (1/4 inch deep), after danger of frost in Kansas or seeds may be planted indoors a month before the usual spring planting time. Seeds are then covered with a soils seed-starting mix. Seeds may be sowed once a month through the summer to have a continuous supply of new plants. Dill requires full sun. When seedlings grow a few inches high, the plants then need to be thinned to about 8 inches apart. The thinned seedlings may be used in cooking. Dill needs to have moist soil until plants are well established. To maintain moisture, a 2” layer of mulch may be placed between plants. Dill planted in a container needs to be harvested regularly to keep the plant reasonably compact and promote growth. Dill may be grown next to cabbage, but not to carrots or fennel since it may hybridize. Dill attracts butterflies and bees.

The leaves and seeds may be harvested. The dill leaves may be used fresh, dried or frozen for later use. A few weeks after the plants bloom, the seeds become ripe. Seeds are harvested when the uppermost seeds are tan in color but the lower seeds are not ripen. Dill is known to reseed, if the seeds are left on the plant instead harvested.

Dill is used in soups, salads, butters, on fish, and to flavor pickles.

Medicinal uses: Dill was once used to induce sleep. Dill tea or water is a remedy for an upset stomach, hiccups, or insomnia; and as an appetite stimulant.

Thyme - Thyme is a perennial that grows in most climates in full sun or partial shade, in well-drained soil. Thyme is hardy in zones 5 to 9, and may be grown in containers. Seeds maybe sown indoors in flats or direct sow in late spring. Transplant or thin thyme to 12 inches apart. Thyme may be pruned back in the spring by about a third to keep it vigorous and avoid woodiness. Thyme may be pruned after flowering to encourage a second flowering. Thyme benefits from being divided every 3 to 5 years. Mulch thyme in late fall with leaves, pine needles or straw. Bees are attracted to thyme’s small flowers. Thyme frequently needs a year or more of growth before stems maybe harvested. Thyme may also be used as a ground cover.

Medicinal uses: to relieve anxiety, headaches, congestion and aids in digestion and helps break down fatty foods. I also read that thyme is an herb for embalming solutions. Thyme volatile oil is toxic and should only be used internally except in a prescription.

Thyme leaves, fresh or dried, is used to season fish, meats, soups and stuffings. Stop harvesting thyme in late summer to discourage winter damage.

Parsley - plant in full sun and in moist, well drained soil. Parsley is an ideal herb for containers. Sow seeds or set out transplants in early spring. Use a cold frame over the seeds to warm the soil. Plant 10 to 18 inches apart; parsley grows 8 to 24 inches. Thin plants grown from seed to 10 inches apart. Spread a 2-inch thick layer of mulch between plants to prevent soil from splashing onto leaves when watering. At the first sign flower heads appearing remove them to continuing harvesting the leaves. Parsley is a biennial but grown as an annual. Swallowtail butterflies use parsley as a host plant for their larvae.

Harvest parsley as soon as plants are large enough. Consistent harvesting encourages new growth. Snip the entire stem when harvesting. Freshly picked parsley may stand in a glass of water and kept on the counter or in the refrigerator for several days. Dry or freeze parsley for later use.

Parsley is an effective breath fresher, maybe used in pesto, fines herb or to garnish. It's a strong diuretic suitable for treating urinary infections as well as fluid retention.

Chives - Chives is a member of the onion family, and the bulbs may be grown in containers in partial shade. Fertilize and water regularly to keep the chives green. Allow the chives to die back in winter in the pot, if you want to have chives the following spring. Chives may also be grown in ground, 6 inches apart in rich moist soil in an area that receives 6 to 8 hours of sun. Chives grow in zones 3 - 10, and need to be divided every three years. Chives planted near carrots and tomatoes improve the flavor of the crop.

Wait to harvest until leaves are at least 6 inches tall. Harvesting chives involves cutting the tops to within 1 inch of the ground, four times per year to maintain a supply of fresh leaves. Chives do not dry well. Refrigerate leaves in a sealed plastic bag for up to seven days. Chives may be frozen in ice cube trays for convenience. The chive blooms are also edible or left to reseed.

Chives may be used as a garnishment, or flavor in omelettes, scrambled eggs, salads and soups, mashed into softened cheese, or added to sour cream on a baked potato.

Medicinal uses: Used as an antidote for poison and to stop bleeding. The leaves are middle antiseptic and when sprinkled on food they stimulate the appetite and promote digestion.

Basil - Basil seeds grow in full sun, and most, rich soil. Basil will tolerate periods of drought as long as it has established root system. Basil grows well in containers that hold at least 5 gallons of soil. Basil may be grown from transplants or seeds after the threat of frost has passed. Thin seedlings to 1 to 3 feet apart. To encourage bushy growth and prevent flowering, pinch off young plants. Spread a 2-inch thick layer of mulch around plants when they are about 6 inches tall. Basil is a good companion plant to tomatoes. Plants maybe overwintered inside on a windowsill.

Harvest basil when the plant has at least four sets of leaves. Pinch out the topmost sets of leaves and any flowers, as needed, to encourage new growth. Store harvested, unwashed, leaves in plastic bags in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Harvested leaves may be put in water and set on the counter. Add fresh basil at the end of cooking for best flavor. Fresh leaves may be pulverized in a food processor with olive oil, then the paste is frozen in an air tight plastic bag for up to one year.

Medicinal uses: Basil is used to relieve cold throats, headaches and nausea, aid digestion, relax cramps and muscle aches and reduce fevers. Itchy insect bites can be soothed by rubbing fresh leaves over the skin.

Basil may be used to make tea, pesto, on pizza, pasta, tomatoes and bread. Basil may be chewed to freshen your breath.

My research was helpful, since I learned more about these five herbs, and expand my knowledge on how to use the herbs in my cooking. These herbs were included in the AeroGarden product that I received for Christmas.”

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

15500 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15500 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2021 :  1:44:56 PM  Show Profile
Judy Curtis (Jcurtis, #7789) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an Intermediate Level Herbs Merit Badge!

“My husband gave me a nine pod herb Aero Garden for Christmas, which arrived before Christmas. Thus, I started our herb Aero Garden on December 14, 2020. I love to work outside in our yard, so this was a great present since it took away our winter blues by giving us the opportunity to watch and grow herbs during the winter months.

Unrelated to this merit badge, we enjoyed watching the herbs grow so much the first month, we were discussing ordering a second AeroGarden. The repairman that came to repair our microwave indicated that they have two AeroGardens, since his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her doctor encouraged her to eat healthy fruits and vegetables, as close to their whole state. He and his wife were growing tomatoes, herbs and lettuce in their AeroGarden. As a result, instead of a three pod AeroGarden, we ordered another nine pod garden, along with both tomato and lettuce seed pods. The nine pod garden also comes with another nine herb seedpods. The second AeroGarden has not been delivered to our home.

My husband and I have enjoyed watching our herb garden grow. He has been willing to sample the herbs with me. These herbs have taken our dishes to a new level, and are delicious.

The Aero Garden requires the addition of plant food every two weeks, changing the water once a month, and monitoring of water levels. The top of the AeroGarden raises as the herbs grow, so that the plant light may be raised 2 inches about the herbs. Starting about a week ago, with little humidity in our home and the increased herb root system, I have been adding distilled water daily. The Aero Garden is computerized, so it provides me with the number of days since the garden was planted, number of days until next feeding, water level and tips or referrals to their website for recipes or harvesting instructions. I watched multiple YouTube videos on harvesting dill and other herbs from your Aero Garden. In addition, I own four books on herbs, which I have referenced. The harvesting information in the YouTube did not consistently provide accurate information on harvesting. This was a common theme if the YouTube video was not produced by AeroGarden.

Normally, one would research which herbs they wanted to grow. However, the Aero Garden came with a standard nine herb pods; thus, we had no input on which herbs we would grow. The nine pods in my garden included mint, thyme, dill, curly parsley, Italian parsley, chives, two Genovese basil and Thai basil. I selected five of these herbs to complete the Herbs Beginner Level merit badge. This research is needed, since I plan to harden off the herbs in the spring. I watched a YouTube video on hardening your herbs, which includes carrying the water bowl outside daily for a week, and placing in a shady area. Once the herbs have been harden, I will plant them in a container. Also, the Herbs Beginner merit badge is providing me more ideas about how to use the herbs that I'm growing.

As of today, I have made herb butter using the dill, thyme, basil from my AeroGarden and garlic powder and butter. Initially, due to the limit amount being harvested of dill and chives, I added them to my mixed spring salads. Basil took our store bought cherry tomatoes to a new level, along with goat cheese and olive oil. I continue to look for recipes that call for the herbs that I'm growing.”



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

15500 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15500 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2021 :  2:12:34 PM  Show Profile
Candy Hogan (tigger9777, #8283) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning an Intermediate Level Jewelry Making Merit Badge!

“I asked a friend to show me how to make the beaded bracelet and spiral wrap jewelry. It turned out nice.”



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

15500 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15500 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2021 :  2:13:51 PM  Show Profile
Candy Hogan (tigger9777, #8283) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning an Intermediate Level Candlemaking Merit Badge!

“Today my friend and I got together to work on badges. I ordered the candle making kit back in December 2020. I bought paraffin wax, bees wax, 2 dyes and 2 scents.

We made purple paraffin candles with blueberry scent and green candles with Cucumber melon scent in round glass jars. Next we made green beeswax candles in a silicone mold shaped as a football for Super Bowl weekend coming up. We gifted our candles to each other. We had fun.”



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

15500 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15500 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2021 :  2:15:52 PM  Show Profile
Candy Hogan (tigger9777, #8283) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner Level Going Green Merit Badge!

“I went through my kitchen, laundry room and 2 bathrooms. I found several cleaners that were not environmentally friendly.

My mission statement is: From this day forward, be more conscientious when shopping for cleaners and to try to make them at home as much as possible.

I started my journal. There is not much in it yet. I think I will go online and also look in past MJF magazines for articles on living green ideas.

My household was not green before I started this badge. We will try to do better. It was an eye opening experience.”


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

15500 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15500 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2021 :  2:17:21 PM  Show Profile
Candy Hogan (tigger9777, #8283) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Intermediate Level Going Green Merit Badge!

“Today I worked with a friend to make our own supplies. We made laundry detergent, hand soap, all purpose cleaner, window cleaner and floor cleaner.

It was fun to make supplies with a friend.”



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

15500 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15500 Posts

Posted - Feb 11 2021 :  11:51:03 AM  Show Profile
Kiirsti Nano (Knano13, #8300) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning a Beginner Level Make It Pretty Merit Badge!

“I reproduced an image of Little Red Riding Hood drawing with charcoal and colored pencils—I even learned a couple cool layering techniques with watercolors and Mod Podge. I'd never tried in my artwork before.

I really LOVE the way it turned out—This was completed gradually over the course of a few days because I really wanted to enjoy the learning process.”



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

15500 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15500 Posts

Posted - Feb 11 2021 :  11:53:07 AM  Show Profile
Kiirsti Nano (Knano13, #8300) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning an Intermediate Level Make It Pretty Merit Badge!

“For this badge I made 5 acrylic paintings using mediums such as charcoal, and mixed media. I've been striving to learn a new technique or at least try something new with each project. Additionally, I completed a virtual tour of the St Louis City Museum. I learned that it's an abstract, and interactive art museum made out of an old shoe factory. The art there is a combination of both natural and industrial art forms. I look forward to visiting in person in the spring!

I'm pleased at the way these projects came out because I felt like I was able to grow my skills, and have a creative vent during a stressful time in life.”



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

15500 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15500 Posts

Posted - Feb 11 2021 :  11:54:58 AM  Show Profile
Kiirsti Nano (Knano13, #8300) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Origami Merit Badge!

“I researched the history of Origami, and found that the origin of paper was in China around 105 A.D., and it's thought that origami is of Japanese heritage, maybe even starting with the folding of other materials such as cloth and linens for cultural celebrations and special occasions.

I enjoyed learning the history of origami, and thought that my first couple of cranes I made turned out fairly well!”



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

15500 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15500 Posts

Posted - Feb 11 2021 :  11:56:50 AM  Show Profile
Kiirsti Nano (Knano13, #8300) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning an Intermediate Level Origami Merit Badge!

“I learned how to make 3 additional Origami animals in addition to the crane I learned for my beginner level. This time I learned to make a bat, a turtle, and a butterfly!

I enjoyed making all three of the new animals, and am looking forward to the next rainy day to master the next level of skills.”



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

15500 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15500 Posts

Posted - Feb 11 2021 :  1:47:42 PM  Show Profile
Candy Hogan (tigger9777, #8283) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Expert Level Shopping Green Merit Badge!

“We are swapping bags now in our chapter group. I posted on Farmgirl Connection. It's fun.”



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

15500 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15500 Posts

Posted - Feb 11 2021 :  1:48:57 PM  Show Profile
Allison Clark (Allison Clark, #8292) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner Level Going Green Merit Badge!

“I made my own laundry detergent, bars of soap, all-purpose cleaner, floor cleaner, and window cleaner. I was not too hard to do. It just took time to gather all the supplies to make them. It turned out great, my house smells so good. I am happy that I went green.”

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

15500 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15500 Posts

Posted - Feb 11 2021 :  1:49:48 PM  Show Profile
Allison Clark (Allison Clark, #8292) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Intermediate Level Going Green Merit Badge!

“I got rid of all of my cleaners that were not green. I checked all rooms in my home to make sure I did my whole house. I wrote a mission statement to stay green for the future. I've started a thrifty, nifty, and green journal of recycling and green living ideas. I saved the recipes of the cleaners I want to make and the plans I have for the future. I shared them with my sister in hopes that she will try it. She said that it was a good idea wants to make some go green things to get started.

I enjoyed doing this merit badge. I learned so much about how to go green and save the environment.”

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

15500 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
15500 Posts

Posted - Feb 11 2021 :  1:50:44 PM  Show Profile
Allison Clark (Allison Clark, #8292) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a Beginner Level Carpe Cocoa Merit Badge!

“I read books on the history of chocolate and learn a lot about the history of chocolate. It came from Latin America, a 4,000-year history. It’s there that the first cacao plants were found. The Olmec, one of the earliest civilizations in Latin America, was the first to turn the cacao plant into chocolate. They drank their chocolate during rituals and used it as medicine. Aztecs used cocoa beans as currency. They would crush the beans by hand until 1828, the invention of the chocolate press revolutionized chocolate making. This innovative device could squeeze cocoa butter from roasted cacao beans, leaving a fine cocoa powder behind. The powder was then mixed with liquids and poured into a mold, where it solidified into an edible bar of chocolate. Much much more to tell. I looked up the difference between Milk chocolate that contains more milk and dairy fat than dark chocolate, giving it a creamier texture, less bitter flavor, and lighter brown color. White chocolate, which is white in color, doesn't contain cocoa solids like dark and milk chocolates do, but does have cocoa butter, milk, and sugar in it. I tasted dark, light, and white chocolate. They all have a different flavor. I like them all for different reasons.

It was fun to learn the history of chocolate. I did not know most of what I read about. I really liked eating the chocolate. Chocolate and I are great friends.”

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