Monthly Archives: September 2015

Thank You

We have been setting up the farm wagon at the farm (8650 Crawford Road) everyday this week since the weather has been nice. We are selling soap and skin care products, honey, garlic, pumpkins and other vegetables. We are not always there to tend the wagon, as there is a lot of work that still needs to be done on the farm and around the house, so we use an honor system with prices marked on items and a money can for people to pay for items. I am happy to say that this is working out well. The people who are making purchases are indeed honorable, placing their money in the can. One morning when we arrived to set up the stand my husband found $2.00 tucked under a pumpkin. Apparently, someone stopped to purchase a pumpkin or two (which we had left out overnight) before we arrived to set up. The money can was not out yet, so this honest person left the money for us to find.

We have met only a few of our customers, but they are very encouraging, saying that they like what we are doing. Some have become repeat customers after only a few weeks. Yesterday we were closing up the stand, and as I looked in the money can I found a small piece of paper, it said “Awesome stuff, so glad I stopped!”  I just wanted to say “thank you” and that we think that you (our customers) are awesome and we are also glad you stopped.


It’s that time of year. Fall is fast approaching (it arrives this Wednesday in fact) and the harvest is in full force. In fact some of the early crops, like summer squash and green beans might be finished producing, but the late crops like pumpkin and winter squash are just getting ready to be picked. While pumpkins are popularly grown for their use as fall decorations, and people often buy them to make jack-o-lanterns for Halloween, I’m afraid many are missing the true value of pumpkins.

On our morning local news channel last week, there was a segment where a heart doctor was interviewed and he spoke about the health benefits of pumpkin. He touted the large amounts of vitamin A and fiber as the main reasons to eat this heart healthy food but check out this link for more detailed reasons.

This link also describes benefits of using pumpkin as a treatment for the skin.

Although my pumpkin spice soap does contain real, home grown, pumpkin I would not consider adding pumpkin to other products that I make, because in doing so I would also have to add some type of preservative, as the water of content of pumpkin allows for bacteria growth. Therefore in order to use pumpkin as a skin care product I would advise you to make your own.

If you have never cooked a pumpkin before it is very simple. Usually the small pumpkins are use for cooking, but larger ones are just as edible. While there are other ways to cook pumpkin, this is the way I do it. Cut the pumpkin in half,  scoop out all the seeds and gunk? goo? slimy stuff? You probably know what I’m talking about. Put the pumpkin halves in a baking dish with a small amount of water in the pan and cover it with foil. Bake at 350 degrees until it is soft probably 60-90 minutes. Allow it to cool, then scoop the pumpkin out of the shell. Your pumpkin is now ready to eat, but at this point I like to put it in a food processor to puree it before using it in other recipes. Here are a few recipes you might try.

Easy Pumpkin Pie

2  cups pumpkin pure

1 can sweetened condensed milk

2 eggs

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ginger

1 unbaked deep-dish pie shell (I usually buy these but you certainly can make your own)

Mix first 7 ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 35-40 minutes.

Pumpkin Cake

2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup canola oil

4 eggs

1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree

Preheat over to 350. Grease 9×13 pan. Mix together flour, baking powder. baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix together sugar and oil until well blended then add eggs and mix well. Mix in pumpkin. Add flour mixture and mix until thoroughly blended. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 30-35 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly touched.  I love this cake and it pares well with a cream cheese or vanilla frosting.

If you have baked more pumpkin than you need for a specific recipe this puree freezes well. I usually measure it out, (2 cups for pie) then put it in plastic freezer containers.

Now I hope you didn’t throw away those seeds that you scraped out of the pumpkin, because roasted pumpkin seeds are also a great snack. While I have only made the regular salted variety this link has several different ways to try them.

Lastly if you would like to try pumpkin on your skin you could make a pumpkin facial mask by blending together 1/4 to 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, 1 egg, 1 tsp. honey and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Apply to face and allow to sit and dry for 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. If you have any left over dispose of it. This product should be used immediately after it is prepared and it will not keep.

While you could certainly use canned pumpkin for any of these recipes (except seeds)  I believe that there is great value in buying a whole pumpkin, not only for the freshness of the food, but there is price value as well. I just checked the price of Libby’s canned pumpkin at Walmart, and it was selling for $1.88 for a15 oz. can (which leaves you a little short of the two cups called for in my pumpkin pie recipe). Now the two pie pumpkins that I baked Saturday yielded enough to make two pies (4 cups) plus I put two (2 cup) containers in  the freezer, so each yielded approximately 4 cups, or more than double what one can contains, plus the seeds. We are currently selling our pie pumpkins for $1 each at our farm wagon so if you are in the area stop buy and pick up a couple.

Leftovers For Dinner

First I must confess. This entry was originally written as I sat outside, tending our farm wagon, which we had set up this afternoon, on Gratiot, by Treeside Market. (selling fresh fruits and vegetables, garlic, honey and Don’t Eat It! products) Yes, I was multi-tasking. It was a beautiful day to be sitting outside, and I took a notebook (I mean the actual paper kind and a pen) and wrote it out by hand. I actually prefer pen and paper when writing, but it just doesn’t get online that way, and you probably wouldn’t be able to read my chicken scratch.

So now about leftovers.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to make for dinner last night, but I knew it was going to include the leftover beef ribs and boiled potatoes from the night before. I cut up the meat and potatoes and put them in the frying pan with some butter, thinking it was just going to be some hash. Then I cut up a green pepper that needed to be used and cut and seeded a few cherry tomatoes that were sitting on the counter. I added these to the frying pan with the potatoes and meat, thinking this would make a pretty good omelet. As I cut up a few cloves of garlic, I decided this omelet would be easier if I cooked it in the oven. I put all of the ingredient in a glass casserole dish, beat about 6 eggs, added about 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and poured that over the rest of the ingredients. I then topped it with shredded Colby jack cheese and popped it in the oven set  to 350. I baked it until the eggs were done – about 30 minutes.

I have to admit, it turned out really good. My husband really liked it as well, and  he asked me if I was going to share the recipe. I had to laugh because there really isn’t one. You could use pretty much use any left over meat, potato and vegetable combination. Add the eggs and cheese and bake it until the eggs are cooked.

This reminded me of the salad my sister brought to our harvest party. It was made with white beans, tomatoes, I think it had yellow squash and zucchini in it, and it had Italian salad dressing on it. When I told her I liked it she said “do you want the recipe. It’s easy, mix together whatever vegetables you want and put Italian dressing on it.”

I just love my sister. Probably because she is so much like me. 🙂

Angels Among Us

The past few days have been very prayer filled for me. Ever since I received the phone call from my dad saying that although he didn’t have too many details, there was something wrong with my brother-in-law, he was driving himself to the hospital, with my sister in the car, when he passed out, they had a minor fender-bender and the ambulance was on it’s way. Since we live a couple of hours away there was nothing we could do at this point except pray. I immediately began praying that God would take care of my brother-in-law and that He would give my sister the strength she needed to endure whatever was going on.

As more details about the incident have unfolded I have added prayers of thanks. I am thankful for all of the people who stopped the help. There was a person who called 911 and the shop owner who allowed my sister to make phone calls because her cell phone wasn’t working. There was an incredible lady who dropped everything she was doing, (I believe she was at work) drove my brother-in-laws car home, and went to the hospital with my sister, and stayed with her until family members got there. There was also a police officer who took money out of his pocket and gave it to my sister so that she would be able to get something to eat and drink as he new that she was going to have a long day ahead of her. While I don’t know their names and may never get the opportunity to thank them in person for stepping in to my shoes or the shoes of my sisters and other family members who would have done those things had we been there, I say a prayer of thanks to God that these people were there and ask that they be blessed many times over for their acts of kindness.

I’m sure, like me, many people question why my brother-in-law decided to drive himself to the hospital, and my sister even questions why they took that specific route, but knowing how things have worked out thus far. I am convinced that it was Gods hand guiding the way. Unlike in the story It’s A Wonderful Life, we won’t get to know what the outcome might have been if anything or anyone would have been different in this situation. So I am grateful for every person including the first responders and the medical team at the hospital, because although his condition is still critical, we are still praying for my brother-in-laws recovery.

Thank God for answered prayers.

Change Of Venue

This afternoon we will be setting up our farm wagon on Gratiot in the parking lot of Treeside Market.

We hope to be there several days a week this Fall. We will be selling garlic, honey, soap, eggs and whatever veggies and herbs we are picking. I hope you will stop in and see us.