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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 - Aug 19 2021 :  12:54:28 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Williams (Carrie W, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Expert Level Recycling Merit Badge!

“Because of the food choices I make, I don’t have a lot of garbage at the end of a week. I usually only have one small kitchen bag to take out every couple weeks, and one tote bag of recycling. I also have a tendency to reuse items like glass jars or cardboard. At work, I have a system of trash and recycling that is working well, and many people involved are happily recycling at home, too, so it’s really easy to make any necessary changes at work and people adapt readily as they are already mindful of these things. The Children’s Ministry Head also likes to hold onto reusables for crafts and projects, so that helps reduce our waste as well.

Now that New York State does not use plastic bags, and shoppers are charged for paper bags, we seem to all be in a good mind to reduce and reuse. My latest project is getting my co-workers and our congregation (I am Office Manager at my church) to start using metal straws, as just one more way that we can reduce our waste and love our planet! I purchased a case of reusable straws that come in a small bag with our logo and also include a cleaning brush. They are available for purchase in our lobby and the proceeds go to fund a mission trip for the youth.

We have sold a half dozen metal straws already, and have a few dozen more to go.”



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 - Aug 24 2021 :  8:04:41 PM  Show Profile
Allison Clark (Allison Clark, #8292) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning an Expert Level Pottery/Ceramics Merit Badge!

“When I was younger, I learned how to create a pot on a Potter's wheel. I went on YouTube and learned some more techniques on how to make a pot on a potter's wheel. I have a kids pottery wheel that used. I did some research and learn advanced pottery techniques. I also learned the different types of glazes and their applications. There are scores of techniques, hundreds of variations, and thousands of combinations in ceramics, and it’s these combinations that make pottery art so exciting since no two people can produce the same work. These are just a few of them: Use mason stains to create colored clay, add designs and details with slip trailing, use underglaze on wet clay, create cutouts, use stamps to create designs, and add details with subtractive carving.

These are the different types of glazes: transparent, opaque, gloss, matte, breaking, flowing, and then there are the limitless color names added to these descriptive surface names. So, a very descriptive name of a glaze could be glossy opaque canary yellow cone 05. The cone describes its firing range. Glazing can enhance the fired clay piece both on an aesthetic and a functional level. Visually, ceramic glazes can be decorative and a great source of color and texture. Practically, glazes can seal your clay bodies once fired, making them waterproof and food-safe.

I chose to do a series of pieces three coil pots in three different sizes. I also did a turtle, a heart, and some crosses so I can make them into necklaces. I spent over 20 hours working on this. It turned out good. I really liked making everything I made.”



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 - Aug 24 2021 :  8:06:38 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Williams (Carrie W, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a Beginner Level Kitchen Renegade Merit Badge!

“Because of the food choices I make, I don’t have a lot of garbage at the end of a week. I uFor Christmas 2020 the only thing on my Wish List was an electric ice cream/gelato maker, and I was blessed with one from my daughter and SIL. My daughter already had one so she got me the same model by Cuisinart. It came with a recipe book for a variety of flavors and varying difficulty of recipes, but the whole reason I wanted to make my own ice cream is because I have become unable to eat regular dairy ice cream and wanted to explore some non-dairy recipes. So, I did an extensive search online and compared several processes.

Safety concerns for this project were minimal. As long as ingredients are properly stored there aren’t too many concerns. Some of the recipes call for eggs, so that would need to be properly cooked beforehand to reduce possibilities of salmonella. The portions of the machine that touch food are all easy to wash and nothing needs special attention or cleansers.

I'm ready to go!”



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 - Aug 24 2021 :  8:07:13 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Williams (Carrie W, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Intermediate Level Kitchen Renegade Merit Badge!

“I purchased two freezer proof containers that will hold a half gallon each, so I am now ready to get this project going!

To start, I decided to make one recipe (almost) exactly as directed. It was a rich vanilla bean ice cream that required eggs to be prepared ahead and chilled. I decided to add nutmeg to the recipe along with the vanilla for more of an eggnog flavor. This was rather laborious and, although the finished ice cream was tasty and was a hit at the family gathering that I took it to, I felt that preparing an egg mixture beforehand was more work than I wanted to do on a regular basis.

I'm going to find simpler recipes so that I can do this process quickly and more often, with fewer dishes to wash afterwards.”

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 - Aug 24 2021 :  8:09:00 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Williams (Carrie W, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Expert Level Kitchen Renegade Merit Badge!

“My second batch of ice cream was also a regular dairy recipe but I lowered the sugar and added mint extract and chocolate chips. This one turned out good, too, and my taste testers approved.

For my third batch I tried to make a coffee sorbet, dairy-free and low sugar. This one turned out grainy in texture and very hard to scoop. I need to work on this recipe.

My next couple batches were extremely simple: vanilla flavored coconut creamer with strawberries. So perfect for a quick, non-dairy treat that I keep the creamer and berries on hand all the time.

I made a batch with mango yogurt added to the coconut cream. This was good, but I should have added more sweetener. I have learned that I can taste test the mixture while it is blending, and I need to make it a little sweeter than I think I should be since it seems to taste less sweet once frozen. I have experimented with maple syrup and stevia drops.

My best recipe yet is a chocolate ice cream made with coconut cream (sold in a can) and Ghirardelli cocoa, with globs of peanut butter worked into it. This one is super easy, low in sugar (will try monk-fruit next time) and SO satisfying! I already have a stellar hot fudge sauce recipe so I will bring this combo to the next family gathering. Pic is of strawberry vanilla and mango yogurt, packed in recycled Talenti containers for my own enjoyment.”



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 - Aug 24 2021 :  8:10:15 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Williams (Carrie W, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner Level My Fair Farmgirl Merit Badge!

“The switch to clean, cruelty-free products started for me a couple decades ago when I was working in a food co-op that shared space with a natural products store. In my free time I would browse the items, which were always priced higher than I wanted them to be, so I started doing some research on the companies and that opened my eyes to a lot of things in the health and beauty realm. When I learned about animal testing I was sickened, and from that point on I have sought out companies that don’t test on animals. At that time the variety was limited, but now many companies have switched their practices and new companies have joined the market. I now have found clean choices for almost everything that I use.

I also learned from my reading over the years that just because the word “natural” appears on the label of something doesn’t mean that it is clean, green, or healthy! There is no standard for the interpretation of that word. Even “organic” can be misleading so look for some seal of standard on a product before assuming it is clean and responsibly produced. USDA has an organic standard that requires 95% of the total make-up of a product be natural or uncompromised by synthetic materials or additives. COPA has a lower standard, at 70% overall make-up. The National Organic Program (NOP) has varying standards and guidelines for labels that should be checked out for conscientious purchasing.

I don’t use a lot of make-up but I’ve made the move to clean, cruelty free products and I try new ones all the time when I find them. I’m fortunate to have a lot of handcrafted options near me, at the local co-op, the Farm Market, and even my favorite grocery store. Here’s a few of my favorite mainstream products:
• Avalon Organics Intense Defense moisturizer (facial)
• Burt’s Bees Eye Make-Up remover pads
• So Susan Blush and Glow, vegetable derived
• Pacifica bronzer
• Flower “Kiss Me Twice” lip and cheek chubby
• Physicians Formula Mineral Wear talc-free facial powder

The simple product that I made was a bath salt. I actually made a large batch and shared with my daughters who both like baths. It was just Epsom salt, some shea butter that I mixed in really well with my hands, then some drops of mint essential oils. I have also made my own oatmeal soak, which is really just the same thing but with some finely processed quick oats in it. I have also made a sugar scrub, but I used a petroleum-based lotion that I had purchased by mistake for a different use, so it wasn’t “clean” but it does work really well on my feet. This was SO much 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 - Aug 24 2021 :  8:11:09 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Williams (Carrie W, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Intermediate Level My Fair Farmgirl Merit Badge!

“I have two friends that are both dealers of Mary Kay products, and after quite a bit of research I have not been convinced that they have clean, truly natural products. I have purchased a couple of things over the years to support my friends, but have ultimately had to decline their invitations to parties and sales events. They are convinced that MK is good clean make-up, but I feel that the wording in their sales pitch, the carefully worded “About” section on their website, and the vague product descriptions that only include “key ingredients” are all red flags that keep me from trusting this beauty line. So, I continue with my few product lines like Burt’s Bees products and the DIY recipes that I find.

So, naturally, when the Adirondack Folk School offered a soap making class, I jumped at the opportunity. It was a half day event and we learned SO much about lye, and fats, and using goat milk and other liquids. This is one of those projects where, once you get the basics under your belt, the sky is the limit! We each got to choose some basic ingredients and do our own mixing and pouring and testing and cutting. We mixed the lye with cold water and it heated naturally. I used olive oil, which needed no heating to melt, and blended the ingredients with a stick blender. This is a little nerve wracking because the lye can cause burns. I came home with a loaf of soap sliced into 5 pieces. They needed to cure so I wasn’t able to use them right away, but I was so proud of myself. I bought a bottle of lye and a large can of olive oil, but have since moved twice and not gotten back to that project. I have enough ingredients to make soap for my entire neighborhood.



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 - Aug 24 2021 :  8:12:44 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Williams (Carrie W, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Expert Level My Fair Farmgirl Merit Badge!

“My friend enjoyed getting my bag of goodies that I made for her which also included some of my firestarters that I made along with my Candlemaking Badge and a gel air freshener that I made for the Staying Green Badge. She is not a bath taker but had some good ideas of alternative ways to use the bath salts as air freshener and laundry products. We are planning a day to spend together to work on some other recipes and ideas, too!

For the expert level of this badge, I decided to try out some “Curly Girl” recipes that were being shared on the curly hair sites that I follow. One of them was rice water, which is exactly what it sounds like—water that is drained off from soaking rice. It is then placed in a squirt bottle and used to spritz onto curly hair, leaving it shiny, conditioned, and held in place like a soft jelly hold. The other recipe was for a salt water rinse which gives beachy curls. This uses sea salt and is a one time use for after shampooing. They were both fun and easy to make but unfortunately, they need to be prepared regularly so I am not as disciplined to make them all the time.

My other products are slowly being replaced with natural, clean, and locally made items. I am fortunate to have a really big Farmer’s Market in my town where I can get local goods.”



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 - Aug 27 2021 :  3:05:30 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Williams (Carrie W, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a Beginner Level Palate Pleasers Merit Badge!

“I love most foods and there are very few that I refuse to try. I have tried paté (but do not eat it anymore, along with blood sausage, and other organ meats), fried calamari, oysters (raw and steamed, though I will not eat them raw anymore for health considerations), sushi and sashimi, ramen bowls of various kinds, Thai foods, and most ethnic foods that are available where I live and where I have traveled.

I recently fell in love with REAL ramen noodle bowls at the local pop-up Buddha Noodle restaurant, but since they are not always open, I decided I needed to learn how to make my own ramen bowls at home. I'm fortunate to have near me a grocery store called Hannaford, which has a fairly extensive selection of foods for ethnic cooking. However, there were some ingredients, like pork belly, Asian mushrooms and sauce flavorings, that were not available. I was complaining about this to my Japanese friend (and knitting buddy!) and she invited me to go to the Asian market with her. I didn’t even know there was one near me! We first picked up some lunch at the prepared foods counter and had a picnic in her car, sharing portions of several different dishes. Then she helped me find the things that I would need for my cooking adventures.

There was so much to choose from and some things I had to have her explain to me how to prepare because I had never seen or heard of them.”



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 - Aug 27 2021 :  3:06:39 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Williams (Carrie W, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Intermediate Level Palate Pleasers Merit Badge!

“For ramen bowls, each ingredient is basically sautéed and then added to the pot. Since I enjoy this treat SO much, I sautéed a large portion of each addition and then stored them in small containers in my refrigerator. That way I can boil up some noodles and add the broth and veggies easily without having to go through all the preparation for each meal. I could not find pork belly, but I did find an alternative at my local grocery called pancetta. I added Asian mushrooms, baby bok choy, slices of boneless pork chop, and even pork dumplings (never served in ramen bowls in restaurants, but this is MY adventure and that’s how I wanted it).
I have since made this dish many times for visitors and family (we all love ramen!) and conversation always revolves around the different vegetables and additions we want to try next. This is one of the most versatile meals EVER!

Sadly, my Japanese friend has moved away so I’m going to have to shop at the Asian market without my guide but I certainly have more confidence now.”



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 - Aug 27 2021 :  3:07:40 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Williams (Carrie W, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Expert Level Palate Pleasers Merit Badge!

“Since I now live alone, I get to shop for and eat whatever I want! No picky eaters to tiptoe around and no “meat and potatoes” restrictions. So, I can eat fish regularly and add mushrooms to EVERYTHING!

I now regularly shop for my Ramen Bowl ingredients and this is in my regular rotation of meals. I discovered curried roasted cauliflower and make this regularly to enjoy along with my crock pot chicken breasts. I found a source for fresh kimchi at the farm market, and a Greek pop-up market that makes stuffed grape leaves. We also have a Hebrew pop-up at the farm market that makes delicious latkes and kugel.

My food adventure buddy took me to a sushi restaurant in Albany where we ordered a plate of a variety of sushi rolls and another plate of a variety of sashimi rolls so that we could try several different flavors and combinations. This was a lot of fun, and I found some rolls that I really like and a couple that I really didn’t.

My second adventure for this badge was at a restaurant where my youngest daughter works. My family all met there when my older daughter was home visiting from California. It was called Mosu, an Asian BBQ and Hot Pot. We sat around a long table with two built-in grills, ordered our different meal parts—meat, veggies, sauces, drinks—on an iPad, submitted the orders, and the foods came ready to cook. So, we sat around the table, sharing cooking space while catching up with one another and laughing and eating. It was SO much fun! My grandson behaved well and we had a good time.

The food was delicious and there was a fantastic variety, so there was something for every palate.”



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 - Aug 27 2021 :  3:09:11 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Williams (Carrie W, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner Level Path to Zero Waste Merit Badge!

“I did a search on the key words and came up with good ideas. Here are 21 ways to create less waste:
• Buy in bulk—I have BJ’s near me and for some items this is a good option
• No plastic bottles—I almost never consume purchased bottles of water now that I have a Pur filter at home. I have a few good quality bottles that I keep filled and refrigerated
• Invest in a set of cloth produce bags—I didn’t buy my produce bags, I crocheted them because I salvage yarn and keep all the leftovers from previous projects. You can also cut scrap fabric and crochet nice strong bags with it.
• Avoid produce wrapped in plastic—this is almost impossible at the grocery store but Farmer’s Markets are wonderfully free from wrappings
• Support your Local Farmer—this is a no-brainer! Do an online search and see what is available for Farmer Markets or On-Site farm stores.
• Avoid single-use plastics—like disposable cups and straws. Most places discount refillable hot/cold cups and reusable straws are available for purchase everywhere!
• Reycle, recycle, recycle!—most of our counties require recycling now, and most of it is single-stream so it just couldn’t be easier!
• Ditch the tea bags—this is hard for me because I like tea to be easy, but I bought I bought a super easy tea steeper that sets down in my mug like a strainer. All I have to do is put the loose tea in, pour water over, let steep, and remove. Find a process that works for you! Coffee can be made this way too—pour overs, cold brew, French press. No filters to toss!
• Green up Your Closet—Buy sustainable brands or shop at thrift/consignment shops and save lots of $$$ too!
• Plan your Meals—Knowing what you want before you get to the grocery store will reduce the amount of decision making you have to do while shopping so that you can focus on making the best choices as far as eco-friendly, trash reducing products.
• Shop more sustainably—do some research and find ways that you can consistently change the way you shop
• Compost your food ccraps—I bury mine in my garden. Find a way to dispose of your scraps that will help build the ecosystem
• Replace plastic wrap with Bees Wrap—these kinds of products are available everywhere now!
• Green up your Period—eco friendly feminine products are widely available, including washable items
• Give ugly veggies and dented cans a chance
• Give old clothes new life—turn them into rags, replace paper towels with cloth, or cut it up and sew something new out of them
• Replace your soap bottles with bars—or make your own soaps! I like refillable soap foamers because I can boil down bar leftovers and make soap refill. I also stitched a loofah cloth into a bag and put bar leftovers in it for showering.
• Get rid of that spare tire—don’t trash it, recycle it. Or create something fun out of it like a swing or garden decoration.
• Give your printer a break—switch to digital docs, e-statements, e-receipts….find ways to reduce printed materials that you be consistent with.

A waste audit is kind of like when dieters start their new routine by writing down everything they eat in a day so that they can then see all the little things they do that aren’t helping their diet. An audit forces us to look closely at where all the trash is coming from.

Here are some how’s and why’s from Max Liboiron’s “How to Do a Household Waste Audit-and Why” posted on 02/21/2016:
1. Establish parameters: how long will you audit, and which areas (home, work, business, office, etc.) Determine what parameters will give you the most accurate look at the waste for that area.
2. Collect the waste. Label it by time period (day of the week or week-long period, etc) and establish trash-flow pattern.
3. Categorize and count your waste according to the parameters being measured: recyclable/non-recyclable/compostable/plastics etc. Count can be based on volume, weight etc. accordingly.

There are various waste audit worksheets connected to Max’s article that are appropriate for different age levels or home/business/school applications. Finally, the analysis allows you to determine percentages of each category of waste vs the total amount of waste and helps distinguish areas that may need to be looked at more closely, for purposes of reduction or elimination. Once changes have been implemented, an additional audit can evaluate the success of the changes.

I'm ready to AUDIT!”



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 - Aug 27 2021 :  3:10:21 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Williams (Carrie W, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Intermediate Level Path to Zero Waste Merit Badge!

“My waste audit was conducted over the course of a week since that is how long it takes for me to develop enough to bother with. I used the Personal Waste Eco-Audit Worksheet (found at EcoRise Youth Innovations & Representaciones e Inteligencia Sustentable, 2015-2016). This audit had two parts: to analyze the total amount of waste generated and compare it to the national/global average, and to list all electronics owned (current and past) and to examine practices of throwing away and replacing electronics in your life.

For the trash portion of the audit, I did not include food waste or compostable/decomposable waste since all of this goes into my garden and gets buried. So, my total trash was composed of recyclables and waste that gets sent to the dump. What surprised me the most is that the national/global daily trash per day average is 4.4/2.6 pounds! That is a LOT of trash! At .26 pounds per day, I am well below both averages! I also learned that when I am paying attention to my trash habits (like when doing an audit) I am way more conscientious about what goes to the dump. Sometimes I mindlessly put items in the garbage can that could be recycled or composted, so this project made me more mindful. Finally, the electronics audit was very eye opening. I have a tendency to use items until they totally wear out, but I own a lot of electronics! I am going to be thinking about this more as I make new purchases, and even though I lean more toward manual tools (can openers, no garage door opener, food choppers…) I can still do better. I will seek out high quality items that will last longer and maybe even learn how to repair electronics! (baby steps!!)”



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 - Aug 27 2021 :  3:11:16 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Williams (Carrie W, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Expert Level Path to Zero Waste Merit Badge!

“I already am mindful of many ways to reduce waste. I have a reusable metal straw that I use regularly. It comes in a pouch so it can stay in my purse for times when I'm out, since I never use straws at home. I also have washable covers that go over bowls and containers so I use very little plastic/aluminum wrap. I also use mostly washable containers so I use very few disposable bags. New York has also implemented a ban on grocery bags, so now I use my many reusable bags exclusively. I tend to buy more fresh produce than canned or frozen, but many of the fresh items now come wrapped in plastic, so I need to utilize the Farmer’s Markets now that they are open again. I also want to grow more of my own food and preserve it like I used to years ago. I hope to have a piece of property again for this kind of lifestyle. I do compost everything that is appropriate to put in the garden. I have been composting for a couple decades so this is pretty much second nature for me. I've also had a worm garden that I really enjoy but do not currently have the room to do (pic is from my Gaining Ground Badge, my worm garden).
My eldest daughter has totally caught the Zero Waste bug and she has reusable straws, bags, wraps, containers, shopping bags, and almost everything else!

It makes me very proud that all of my kids recycle and, in varying degrees, are conscientious about their use of natural resources and waste accumulation.”



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 - Aug 27 2021 :  3:12:34 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Williams (Carrie W, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level UFOs Merit Badge!

“I have a room that I call my “Sewing Room” but it’s really a docking station for UFO’s! I have too many! But, for this badge I gathered some of my higher priority projects, some projects that were close to finished, and some mending which also seems to pile up while I’m not looking. These are the projects for which I already have what is needed to finish. They are a combo of crafts, knitting and fabric projects, and mending/alterations.

My first UFO to finish was a skirt that I had cut from fabric reclaimed from the stash of a quilting friend. I had put it all together about 7 years ago except for finishing the waistband, adding a button and buttonhole, and sewing the hem. I moved at about that time and took on the project of helping to build a family business, so my sewing projects were placed in my new sewing room and all but forgotten. So, when I pulled out the baskets of projects this was my first one to finish. All I had to do was find a button in my stash and choose a compatible thread. I had it finished in a couple hours. Unfortunately, after all these years and my gaining several pounds, the skirt does not fit me so it will be offered to my youngest daughter or donated if she is not interested.

I'm ready to dig into my UFO basket some more!”



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 - Aug 27 2021 :  3:13:53 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Williams (Carrie W, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning an Intermediate Level UFOs Merit Badge!

“I have a close friend who is very similar to me in that we both do a lot of different crafts and have the habit of starting projects, getting interrupted or discouraged with it, and allowing the unfinished projects go into a closet or basket, just to be abandoned for years. Over the last couple years, we have texted often and sent pictures of our “problem projects” in order to come up with creative solutions. We each have our different strengths and so this is a very compatible relationship. We have spent many hours together digging through our piles and finding things that we want to finish. She has a pool, so we also have a nice place to sit to do these things together.

So, it has been with her help and input that I have emptied two of my baskets of UFO’s. My pic is of a few of these—
• A windchime built from a broken set of chimes and put together with driftwood and seashells from my Florida trip with my friend where she owns a house and we spent a lot of time sitting on the beach and working on our projects together.
• Two dresses that I altered, adding slits up the sides to update the maxi look
• An infant outfit that needed new elastic and a tiny sweater that needed some repairs and new ribbon at the neck—these are to be offered to my eldest daughter who is due to have a baby in January.
• A new zipper in a favorite sweat jacket.
• A mophead doll that I made probably 12 years ago and only needed hair, hat, eyes, and finishing touches done. I made the knitting needles from toothpicks and knitted a little swatch and yarn ball from mercerized cotton. This is going to be a thank you gift to my Project Partner!

I'm so happy with my finished items and it feels great to have these projects off my plate.”




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 - Aug 27 2021 :  3:14:58 PM  Show Profile
Carrie Williams (Carrie W, #147) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning an Expert Level UFOs Merit Badge!

“I have such a hard time abandoning projects, but realistically, I cannot finish them all. Many of them I have lost complete interest in and some are just no longer relevant. I've had to throw some stuff away that is just not worth investing in but would also not be of interest to anyone else (primarily projects that included reclaiming materials). I have also donated a few bags of supplies to church for youth crafts.

The next step was to organize the other materials. I have a tote of fabric that I bought for projects that were never started. This material is set aside for other purposes. I also created a tote of projects that, even if finished, would no longer be applicable, such as the crazy quilt that I started for my baby niece, who is now a teenager! Ugh, I totally lost the purpose of this one. These projects, however, I do not wish to abandon, but they will need a new focus and some alterations in order to be applicable. Finally, I have a tote of projects that I can finish, have the materials to finish, and can still use for the intended purpose once finished. Most of this last category are knitted projects. My 30-hour time commitment for this badge was fulfilled with the highest priority project in this tote, a lovely lemongrass colored sweater for which I made the main body only to discover that it was going to be too small. I was so discouraged that I put the project and all the remaining materials into a drawer so that I could separate the project from my discouragement and decide how to proceed. After a lot of conversation with my Project Partner, I pulled the project out a year later and pulled it all apart. This was terribly discouraging but the year of separation from the sweater made the pain of it more bearable. Once it was back in the form of rolled balls of yarn, I became excited about the sweater, once more, and restarted it. As you can see from the pattern, this was not a quick knit, but it is simply beautiful and I am so glad that I decided to start over and finish it.

I can't wait till cooler weather comes so that I can go out and show off my new knit!!”



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 - Aug 27 2021 :  3:34:16 PM  Show Profile
Cindy Kinion (AussieChick, #6058) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning an Intermediate Level Knitting Merit Badge!

“I followed a pattern that my mother gave me for a shawl. It incorporated a series of squares that used both basic knit and purl stitches to create 4 different designs. The squares are then knitted together to make the shawl. I also knitted the collar and added fringe to the bottom.

By making a series of squares in various designs, it enabled me to practice the different techniques before advancing to something bigger. I completed this project over 2 winters. I started it last winter and packed it away when the weather warmed up. I was able to get it out again this winter and finish it off. Of course, I was able to consult my mother whenever I struck any difficulties, so she has become my knitting partner.”



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 - Aug 27 2021 :  3:35:11 PM  Show Profile
Cindy Kinion (AussieChick, #6058) has received a certificate of achievement in Outpost for earning an Intermediate Level Speak for the Trees Merit Badge!

“The best windbreak is one made up of a mixture of species, and at least 2, but preferably 3-5 plants wide. Contrary to popular belief, windbreaks made of a single row of a single species are not very effective.
A good windbreak has the following features:-
• Shape & foliage:
Different species have different shapes and different foliage. Therefore, a windbreak consisting of mixed species planted at random has uneven gaps which break up the wind rather than allowing it to tunnel through.
• Height:
Different species grow to different heights. Therefore, a mixed planting is uneven in height and the wind is broken up as it goes over the windbreak. Turbulence on the other side is therefore prevented.
• Growth rate:
Different species grow at different rates. Therefore, runts are less noticeable and are of little consequence to the effectiveness of the windbreak.
• Windbreak width:
Windbreaks should always be at least 2 rows of plants wide, preferably 3-5 rows. Even in a mixed planting there will be gaps in a single row which will allow tunnelling. If the plants are planted in two or more rows by zig-zagging or at random, then wind that tunnels through the first row will be broken by the second or subsequent rows.
• Aesthetics:
Mixed plantings in multiple rows are aesthetically pleasing since the mixture of foliage types, shapes and colours, and of tree heights and shapes, blends into the natural landscape. While most windbreaks are a straight line for practical reasons, a multiple-row random planting reduces the jarring effect of the line. Birds and other wildlife are at home in mixed plantings, and their presence helps to control pests.

Mixed plantings in multiple rows are a very effective way to enhance air quality since they act as dust filters, odor filters, and chemical filters. In hot dry areas they also cool & humidify the air. In addition, they can improve groundwater quality by filtering pollutants from soil and groundwater.

I went for a walk in our local Ravensbourne National Park. I was able to identify a Tallowwood (Eucalyptus microcorys) which is native to our area, a Bloodwood (Haematoxylum campechianum) which is a native of Southern Mexico, and a Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla) which is native to our area and Lord Howe Island.”


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 - Aug 27 2021 :  3:36:23 PM  Show Profile
Cindy Kinion (AussieChick, #6058) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning an Intermediate Level In the Garden Merit Badge!

“I collected my used tin cans from the kitchen, painted them a variety of bright colours and then mounted them to the white picket fence surrounding our vegetable garden. I drilled holes in the bottom to allow drainage and planted small succulents in the cans. The improvised pots are mounted to 3 sides of the vegetable garden.

The white picket fence surrounds our vegetable garden with 3 raised beds. I have frames and covers over them to prevent the cockatoos from destroying my baby plants. I also have a bed of herbs, a miniature lime tree, chilli plant and passionfruit vine.”



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 - Aug 27 2021 :  3:37:53 PM  Show Profile
Cindy Kinion (AussieChick, #6058) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning an Intermediate Level Carp-hen-try Merit Badge!

“We live in an old 1940s Queenslander home. We have been making renovations to the house since we moved here in 2014. We have researched the style of the 1940s and have tried to maintain the features prominent during that era. One of the most recent renovation projects we have been working on is the restoration of the casement windows. The timber frames had been painted white by previous owners, however, the paint was peeling and needed re-doing. They had frosted glass, some of which were cracked, and we wanted to change this out to a clear glass so that we could appreciate the view out over our property to the hills beyond.

My husband helped me to remove the old glass, then I sanded back the timber frames ready to paint. Interestingly enough, once sanded back, we quite liked the rough timber appearance, so I then proceeded to paint the timber with several layers of clear coat to water proof the timber. We ordered 24 panes of clear glass from a glass supply store in Toowoomba and my husband helped me to putty them in to the frames. We then went to the WoodWorkers Warehouse (Brisbane's oldest joinery, est. 1928) and purchased the supplies we would need to install window hoods. Window hoods came into general usage only at the end of the nineteenth century as Australians belatedly adapted their houses for the tropical climate. They remained popular until the 1930s-1940s, becoming progressively less elaborate with time. We tried to choose a style that would have been unique to our house. I painted all of the timber, and my husband helped me to install the frame and corrugated iron roofing.”



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 - Sep 02 2021 :  12:40:43 PM  Show Profile
Candy Hogan (Tigger9777, #8283) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Expert Level Kitchen Renegade Merit Badge!

“After my first try to grow mushrooms failed when my samples were contaminated, I purchased a kit for growing mushrooms at home. I followed the directions and it grew as promised. I harvested mushrooms on August 26th. On 8/27/2021, I cooked a spaghetti dinner and made crostini French bread, using my mushrooms, garlic, green onion, and olive oil. It was good.”



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 - Sep 02 2021 :  12:42:05 PM  Show Profile
Candy Hogan (Tigger9777, #8283) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a Beginner Level Get 'er Done Merit Badge!

“I created a team of Brentwood Farmgirl sisters who were willing to meet on the last Saturday of each month from 9am - 11am to do service at each other's homes.

6/26/21 we went to Amy's house and trimmed trees, hedges, weeded and leveled dirt over her new sprinklers in the front yard.

7/31/21 we met at Sherrie's house to organize and clean her spare craft room.

8/28/21 we met at Candy's ranch to remove rock, lay weed barrier cloth and reset the rocks. We also cleaned the other side of the front walkway.

It has been great to help each other get our tasks done.”



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 - Sep 02 2021 :  12:43:47 PM  Show Profile
Candy Hogan (Tigger9777, #8283) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level Grow Where You're Planted Merit Badge!

“I collected more than 5 native flowers and pressed them. I chose 6 of the ones that pressed the best. I mounted them on a piece of paper and I wrote down their family, genus, common name and if given, their habitat and ecosystem. See pictures. To discover which wildflowers are rare or endangered in my area I looked it up online through East Bay rare plants, ww.fws.gov and table C - 1 special status wildflower species. There are 20 pages of endangered wild flowers flowers in my area so to name a few: Lane's butterweed, Kenwood marsh checkermallow, California sea blight, showy Indian cover and many flowered navarretia.

It was good but took a long time to gather specimens in the spring, dry and press, then research common and scientific information.”



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 - Sep 02 2021 :  1:02:41 PM  Show Profile
Lisa Barnhart (#4830) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner Level Going Green Merit Badge!

“I created a mission statement. I use Thieves Household Cleaner for all cleaning. It's great - effective and smells great!”

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