Gleanings from May wheat kernels

Gleanings from May

It’s May now. But you probably knew that already. And each month I like to share some of my favorite interesting, though-provoking, encouraging, or enlightening articles that I came across the past month. Gleanings, if you will.

Gleanings is my monthly “link love” post where I share some of the interesting articles I’ve come across the past month.

Lots of gardening stuff this month, but I think it’s safe to say that’s what most of us homesteader’s have on the brain this time of year. I’m trying the new embedded code from Pinterest this time instead of downloading and uploading every photo and then linking individually to each one. Please let me know if it doesn’t work out for you!

Here is the best of the best followed by a few thought-provoking articles I’ve chosen to share with you. Hope you all find something useful and educational here!

A garden fence with chicken wire... While I think our white picket garden fence is adorable (or could be if painted up again and old slats replaced) the newer young chickens always are able to slip through while the plants are still tender. I love this idea of using chicken wire!

A basic guide to harvesting herbs.

A chart outlining symptoms of nutritional deficiencies in your plants. Very interesting, but alternately, you could join me in reading The Intelligent Gardener and learn how to increase the nutrient density of your plants which improves their health by correcting deficiencies in your soil.

It isn’t the toothpaste recipe that grabs me so much (although I might try it or tweak the one I’ve been using) as it is the idea of using the tubes. I’ve been using old glass yeast jars and a little teaspoon and my bathroom floor needs cleaned of toothpaste every day. Quite irritating.

I think this might be a good idea for cooling chickens quickly on butchering day… or maybe use racks somehow with ice below for air-chilling to get tender meat. Because not everyone scores an old floral cooler on Craigslist for $30.

What a great graphic! This could be a handy print out to keep in a medical binder for easy reference. I would add I remember that St. John’s Wort oil is good for burns too.

For when you’re down to your last four legos. (Or not. But I probably am.) This is a great, inexpensive, and visual way to teach fractions.

An herbal first-aid ointment

Building a living fence… I like this idea too for if you range your chickens, this could provide shelter more quickly than waiting for a tree to grow (ours use pine trees right now). If you used everbearing canes, you could also be providing them with a food source throughout the season.

Preparing condiments for our family is on my “to-learn” list. Old, chipped mason jars no longer fit for canning could be repurposed.

A summer vegetable quiche with cherry tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, and spinach… Tried this mix of ingredients using my quiche recipe & crust as a base. It was incredibly flavorful, but my children were disappointed when they couldn’t find the bacon. My only problem was there was a bit of water that leached from the vegetables while cooking, but I bet that could be adjusted somehow. I like that this could be 80% homegrown. This one is going in the family cookbook.

A lovely and possibly free trellising system for tomatoes if you have access to saplings. I fear I’ll forever be on the lookout for new trellising ideas. I just haven’t come across anything I like yet.

Espalier designs…  While I would love to learn this art form, pruning regular fruit trees makes me nervous enough as it is! So beautiful though.

~Oh the irony as I sit here writing and you sit there reading, but I think we all struggle with balance…
About Mama’s Screen Time

I want to spend my days and my nights focusing on the things that are eternal. (This is a work in progress, friends!) But really, focusing on the things that will really matter at the end of life. Relationships. People. My walk with Christ. Servanthood. Deepening my friendships. Reaching out to those in need. Some of that can be done online, I admit. I’ve had good chats and stayed connected with friends and family who were far away through Facebook, email, etc. But nothing beats a real conversation, a real hug, a real moment. The feeling of a cool breeze on your face during a early morning jog. The sound of bullfrogs at twilight. This is life. These things are real. Time to reflect and give thanks and look up – these are the things that are so hard to do in front of a screen.

~Lots of good reasons, but number six is a pet peeve of mine (pun not intended.)
10 Darn Good Reasons to Get Married and Have Kids Young

Because having kids is better than having dogs. Dogs can’t laugh at your dumb jokes or tell you they love you in just the right way to melt your heart for the millionth time. They can’t take care of you when you’re old. You will never be your dog’s hero. Your dog will never come to you for advice. You will never watch with amazement as your dog comes to saving faith in Jesus. You will not spend eternity worshiping Jesus with your dog.

~You wouldn’t expect Joel Salatin to throw a cog in the wheel of the local food movement, would you? Excellent article.
Home Centric Food Systems

If we truly ponder the idea of “Local” we have to admit the most local we can be is to produce and prepare food at home. Too often talk about local food ignores the home and simply sees it as an arrival point for food, a consumer perspective, rather than also a production center. Thus Joel, as always, seems to find what should be at the heart of the Local Food movement: The Home.

~I’m doing the best I can and sometimes that’s 50/50 white/wheat that my family will actually eat and rarely is it soaked- only if I’ve noticed it reduced digestive troubles for the little ones. This made me feel just a smidge less guilty.
That Whole Grains Question: Is it Time For To Soak or Not To Soak

If I make my mom’s biscuit recipe with unbleached, unbromated wheat flour, home-rendered pastured lard, Real Salt, and organic, grassfed milk, but the flour happens to have all the bran and all the germ sifted out of it, is my resulting biscuit – which will be so fluffy and melt-in-your-mouth smeared with pastured butter that you’ll think you died and gone to Heaven – is it junk food? Is it real food? Or would some even say, “It’s not even food at all!” just because of the refined grains?

~I’ve seen Doug Wilson talk about organic foods (search Youtube) and simply can’t agree with his conclusions. Steak from petroleum products????! Huh?! I doubt that will solve the global food crisis and more so doubt that when God said we were to receive all food with thanksgiving, nothing to be refused that’s what He meant. If scientists can turn something that isn’t food into something that looks like food and perhaps even tastes like food, that doesn’t make it food, but I digress. Most recently, he has concluded that Christians with food allergies should eat the foods that will knowingly make them ill if served them rather than bring substitutes because it will interfere with fellowshipping and church unity. Maybe you’re lactose intolerant? I wonder if taking a roll of toilet paper with you and spending the time in the bathroom would interfere with the fellowshipping?? Thankfully none of my family has any food allergies at this time, but I’m offended on behalf for the many of you who do, ironically, most likely as a result of human intervention and manipulation of the food system.  I don’t often rant (to you), but I think I just did- sorry. Here are two articles that address the issue much more eloquently than I am able to.

Jesus and Junk Food

My concern is that Wilson’s writings are fuelling these judgemental attitudes towards those who want to be healthy. Consider a few examples. In a Credenda Agenda article from 2009 titled ‘The Fat is the Lord’s’, Wilson wrote that if you are zealous for healthy’ food, the chances are that you have been infected by false religion, and he compared health-conscious Christians to both the 1st century Judaizers and to 19th century cult leaders. In his article ‘Allergic to Other People’ he goes even further and suggests that those who have food intolerances and take their own food to someone else’s house are enemies of church unity. “If you have ever showed up to a dinner party (not a potluck) unannounced with your own food, then you are an enemy of church unity.”

Just Eat It

Should we really tell someone to “get over it” and eat whatever makes them sick simply to please our sense of fellowship? Should we tell them they should eat what is set before them because when they bring their own meal (in an effort not to inconvenience anyone) it irritates us? Where is the charity? Is Christian unity found in the food we put in our mouths or in gracious fellowship?

~A 4 part series…
Can’t Afford to Homeschool

Homeschooling may look daunting in the best of circumstances, but when money is in short supply, it can seem practically impossible!
According to 2006 numbers, the government spends more than $9,000 per student per year, and they have a whole staff to help each child “succeed,” from teaching, to counseling, to physical activity and even nutrition. It’s more than enough to intimidate the most confident parents.
But please don’t be discouraged!
We have a great, big God who is in love with us, yes, and He cares for us more than we can comprehend. How do I know this?–because Jesus said that God even knows when a sparrow falls to the ground, and that His care for us is far greater!
You may not own a desk, or wall maps, or even one teacher’s manual, but you are more equipped than the best teacher in the whole world if you have one very basic thing.

~A little encouragement for home educating moms who sometimes feel burdened by feeling their work is never enough.
Not Enough Syndrome

As mothers we ought to give all we can give. Our eyes are open to where we might make adjustments or improvements. But we are also faced with human limitations. Perhaps you have felt that your children aren’t getting enough or that you aren’t able to do enough. Take heart. Here is a truth that is trustworthy. If we are Christians we can place our trust in God to bring fruit from the seeds we lovingly and dutifully sow. Remember the parable of the loaves and fishes. The boy who offered the loaves and fishes gave all of his lunch, sacrificially. Was it enough for the multitude? No. Did our Lord Jesus make it enough? He blessed it, multiplied it and made it more than enough. He is able to do exceedingly more abundantly than we ask or think.

I know all too well how vital having a good dusting spot is for your chickens unless you want them to trash your flower beds!

They have less than a month left and still half-way to go. Would you consider helping this family out?
Lil’ Tait Preemie Fund Coming To Completion

Tait and Lauren now have the opportunity in the next 60 days or so, to be free and clear as negotiations have produced the opportunity to pay down $100,000 in the next 90 days, 30 of which have passed already. Their fund-raising efforts have produced $41,000 and they are very encouraged that they will meet their goals. Will you help? Here is your opportunity to join me in contributing to supporting our convictions about life. Pass the fundraiser around, stay tuned and watch for give-aways and donate. God bless you and thank you for your support.

Industrialization and Marriage

By contrast, at the time of the industrial revolution the locus of economic activity was outsourced away from where people lived. Central power sources like water and steam increasingly drew people to work locations away from the home. But that was just the beginning, as more and more activities that were once performed in the home were gradually outsourced. Gardens shriveled and disappeared as growing was outsourced. Eventually even schooling was industrialized, taken away from the home and from apprenticeship relationships. What began to emerge was a division between the home, on the one hand, and people’s lived experiencing in the world, on the other.

The Family Economy in Crisis

But what happens to a society where the nuclear family is in the minority, and dysfunctionality is the norm? Dysfunctionality gives rise to more dysfunctionality. The law of sowing and reaping is inevitable; we reap more than we sow—and absent a fundamental change of course, the unsavory harvest of broken families will only get worse over time. Without the radical reintegration of the family economy and family education, we will fail to salvage civilization.

How Will Your Kids be Prepared For the Real World (Unless They Go To School There?)

Stop: who got us to think upside down? Essentially, what this means is, we feel like the best way to prepare our children for the real world is to take them out of the real world, put them in an unrealistic world all day for twelve years, try to simulate the real world, and then tell everyone this is the only way to prepare them for the real world. It’s hilarious just writing that out!

One in a series of interesting permaculture videos. I thought this one was quite interesting- as well as the property checklist video. It was amazing to see how we should be looking at these things, but often don’t.
5 Acre Abundance on a Budget


But, why do we do all of this integration? It really is a lot of work to get there. Yes, there is much joy and grace from the Lord towards our family in doing it. We really like being together. When I consider the thought of them going off to a school, public or private, I get teary-eyed thinking of them being away from me and each other all day. I can’t stand the idea of someone else getting their best all day. But, is there more to it than that?
Then it hit me. The opposite of integration is disintegration.

A very basic guide to get you started on your search for the dairy cow breed that will best fit your needs.
Choosing a Dairy Cow: Breeds

Roundup: Quick Death for Weeds, Slow and Painful Death for You

Humans exposed to glyphosate through use of Roundup in their community or through ingestion of its residues on industrialized food products become even more vulnerable to the damaging effects of other chemicals and environmental toxins they encounter!
What’s worse is that the negative impact of glyphosate exposure is slow and insidious over months and years as inflammation gradually gains a foothold in the cellular systems of the body.

Are We Starving The Hearts Of Our Children?

Could it be that constantly being indoors or in the car, media exposure to immoral values at an early age, lack of consistent routine, constant over-stimulation by electronic entertainment, and attempting to make children into little adults is destroying the hearts and souls of our children?

The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease: Are butter, cheese and steak really bad for you? The dubious science behind the anti-fat crusade

Our half-century effort to cut back on the consumption of meat, eggs and whole-fat dairy has a tragic quality. More than a billion dollars have been spent trying to prove Ancel Keys’s hypothesis, but evidence of its benefits has never been produced. It is time to put the saturated-fat hypothesis to bed and to move on to test other possible culprits for our nation’s health woes.

This Mama Isn’t Scared of the Shmeasle Measles

Dealing with the inconsistencies and derogatory “anti-vaxxer” rhetoric makes me feel like I’m up to my knees in cow poop and in desperate need of some muck boots. Am I scared of my child getting measles? Absolutely not. Am I scared of the MMR vaccine…you better believe I am. You would be too if you were getting the facts…the real facts.

I’ve got 9 kids. Are we killing you yet?

Some will tell me that demographic decline is desirable to make-up for our poor ecological balance sheet. While it is true that resource abuse is threatening the environment, I would counter that what is killing the planet are abusive mentalities, not large families. If large families are too few to make a statistical difference in birth rates, what makes you think that there are enough of us to compromise the environment? Resource abuse and overuse happened in parallel with demographic decline. The problem is not simply how many people are killing the planet, but how they are doing it!

Best Place to Get Your Food

So, the soil is being fed this toxic sludge which will then affect the organic crop. So trusting in organic is not the key either.

When To Not Pinch Pennies in Homesteading

One of the many valuable lessons I’ve learned on the farm is to do it once and do it right. Part of that involves learning when it’s not a good idea to pinch pennies. Part of that involves knowing when it’s better to do a great job than to half-heartedly throw something together. Part of that involves knowing when it’s a good idea to invest in quality breeding livestock or high quality hay. Part of that involves knowing when it’s better to feed your animals a better grain product or investing in organic vegetable seeds. Part of that involves building a community with local farmers and supporting them by purchasing their products.

You see, it’s not ALL about the money.

•Good listening here…
God’s Call to the Land: An Overview of Christian Agrarianism

Do you have anything interesting you have found?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.