Thursday, September 29, 2016

How Rabbits Help Gardens

Wild Cottontail Rabbit

Generally, rabbits and gardens do not mix.  Especially having a generous supply of wild rabbits hopping around like I do.  However, raising a few of your own rabbits will greatly benefit your garden.

How Rabbits Help a Garden

The secret is the rabbit droppings. Rabbit droppings promote earthworm growth.  In turn the earthworms will naturally air-rate your garden. You can even grow enough earthworms to sell for fishing bait as well so you can have some extra income.

Poop Soup

Rabbit droppings are not filled with ammonia such as chicken droppings, therefore, when you spread the rabbit droppings on your garden you will not 'burn' your garden plants.  You need to make poop soup and here is how you do it.

Take a 5 gallon bucket and fill it half way with rabbit droppings. Fill the bucket with water and let it sit in the sun to steep.  The next day take a stick and stir the bucket to mix and break-up the rabbit droppings. Now, all you have to do is to gently pour your poop soup under your plants to soak the roots.

You will be amazed at how your plants will grow and provide you with a high yield of produce.  In the meantime, the tops of your carrots and other produce can be fed to your rabbits as a supplement to their regular food.  It's a win win for you as the gardener and for the rabbits as they are getting a treat.

Earthworms

As I mentioned above, the rabbit droppings promote earthworm growth.  So, when you spread your rabbit poop soup on your garden you are creating a haven for earthworms.  The earthworms in turn help your garden by not only air-rating the soil the earthworm castings (earthworm poop) is a natural and organic fertilizer.

So raise a couple of rabbits and help your garden at the same time.

Copyright 2016 MSargent All Rights Reserved








Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Meatballs - Never buy Processed!

Meatballs are great to have for party appetizers,in your spaghetti and they are great finger foods for toddlers (cooled of course)

Processed frozen meatballs that can be purchased in the grocery store are not healthy for you to eat due to the fact they are full of preservatives and they really are not made from hamburger.  They are made out of fillers such as soy and by-products.

Eat healthier and be healthier by making your own meatballs then freeze them.  They will stay up to a month in your freezer.

Recipe:

1 pound hamburger
1 onion chopped
1 egg
8 - 10 saltine crackers
Cumin (if you like a smoky flavor)
Pepper - I like course ground
Garlic Powder

Mix all of the ingredients until they are well blended into the meat. Form your meatballs small and equal in size. This will assure your meatballs are all cooked evenly.  Place your meatballs in a pan and cook on medium heat until browned.  There is no need to add any oil as the grease from the hamburger will do just fine.  Watch your meatballs and turn them to evenly brown each one.

With a slotted spoon remove your fully cooked meatballs and place them in a strainer to allow the grease to drain.

Cool your meatballs completely.




Once your meatballs are completely cooled, place them on either parchment paper or wax paper (wax side up) on a pan that fits in your freezer and freeze them completely. This takes about an hour.


After your meatballs are completely frozen place them in a freezer bag and put them back into the freezer.

By freezing your fully cooked homemade meatballs in this manner you can pick out as many as you want for dinner or a snack.

There you have it.  A healthy choice for made-ahead meatballs.  You will never purchase processed meatballs ever again and if you have leftover raw hamburger you are not wasting any food or money.

Copyright 2016 MSargent All Rights Reserved




Tuesday, September 27, 2016

How to Prepare Garden Soil

Now that Fall is in the air and you have pulled all of your container garden plants it is time to put nutrients back into your soil.

During the growing season your garden plants take nutrients from your soil in order to grow so it only makes sense that you need to prepare your soil for the next growing season.

I keep a scrap container which consists of an empty coffee container with a lid.  When I am cooking I will add to my scrap container egg shells (adds calcium back into your soil), carrot ends and other vegetable ends including onions and rotted tomatoes. Note:  Never put meat or meat products such as grease into your soil as this will attract a ton of flies.

Once a week I empty my scrap container into my tubs and stir the scraps into the soil.  If the soil is dry I will add water to help break down the scraps that have been added. As your scraps break down over the winter months they will rot, thus putting nutrients back into your soil.  Keep stirring your scraps in your containers so soil and scraps are well mixed.  You are essentially creating mulch directly into your garden containers.  You can keep adding your kitchen scraps all winter long.

In the Spring give your containers a good stir and break up any larger chunks of kitchen scraps you have added to your soil during the Fall and Winter months.  Oh; the snow will help break down your scraps.

You are now ready to plant when the time comes in the Spring and will have healthy soil for the new season's plants.  There you have it. Good soil means garden plants that will provide you with a large yield.

Copyright 2016 MSargent





Friday, September 23, 2016

How to Make Homemade Chicken Soup

Fall is in the air and that means making homemade soups. Soups are so easy to make they practically make themselves.

First: I generally do not purchase a whole chicken unless they are on sale.  I got this chicken for $.88/lb and it was almost 6 pounds.

You can also use thigh meat or leg meat (dark meat which tastes better in soup) Remember to remove the skin.

Roast your chicken and have it for supper, using the leftovers to make your Homemade Chicken Soup. It is much easier to already have your chicken roasted because the skin is easier to take off this way.

Using your leftover roasted chicken, remove as much skin as you can and place the entire chicken in a soup pot then cover the carcass with water.  Slow boil the chicken until the meat starts to fall off of the bone.

Hint: It is the bones that make the flavor of the stock

Second: The water will slow boil down making your chicken stock even better.  Remove the chicken and all of the bones - set aside and let the chicken and bones cool.

Third: Once the meat and bones are cool pick off the chicken that is still attached to the bone and cut the chicken up into small cubes. Place the chicken back into the stock pot.

Fourth: Now that the chicken is in the stock pot nicely chopped up add all the vegetables and spices:

  • Large Onion 
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Mushrooms
  • Garlic
  • Celery Salt or Celery Seed
  • Course Ground Pepper or plain Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Mrs. Dash Regular
  • Fresh Thyme, Oregano, Parsley (if available)
  • Cumin
Your vegetable choices are endless.  You can even open up a bag of mixed vegetables and place in your soup.  

Fifth: Slow boil the stock, chicken cubes and vegetables to reduce the stock a little more.  You are now making a chicken and vegetable stock.

Sixth: Add in rice or egg noodles cook until either are done and serve on a cold winter day. 

Hint: If you are going to freeze your stock freeze it prior to adding your vegetables, this way your vegetables are not too mushy.  

You can also remove the vegetables after cooking and puree the vegetables to make your soup a little thicker.

Freeze your leftover homemade chicken soup for a quick dinner or even for lunch at work.  No matter how you look at it you can't go wrong with homemade soups.

Grab a spoon and enjoy.






Thursday, September 22, 2016

Garden Anywhere

There are no excuses to not have a garden.  Whether you live in an apartment, house, in the city or the country, anything can be made into a gardening container.

This year I used 5 gallon buckets and mineral tubs used on a local cattle ranch.  Make sure you drill holes in the bottom of your buckets - at least 6 - so the excess rain and water can seep out and not drown your plants.

I put 4 tomato plants in the larger tubs to save space. It's perfectly alright to plant more than one plant in each container.  However, don't over plant.

Example:  5 gallon bucket can take 2 to a max of 3 tomato plants.

Over plant in your tubs.  I sowed all of my carrot seeds in one of the larger tubs and was blessed with a ton of sweet baby carrots.  Let nature take it's course as the stronger plants will survive, the others will rot and add mulch to your container soil.

*What are your favorite vegetables?
*What do you have around your home that can be used as a container?
*Container gardening also helps the environment and you are creating your own micro environment.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Humble Beginnings


I was fortunate enough to be raised on a farm. Yes, being a farmer is hard work from sunrise to sundown, however, it taught me to never forget my humble beginning.

I moved away from the farm went to college and even joined the Army when I was 30 years old.  I have lived in large cities most of my adult life yet I still find ways to be gracious for what I have and to teach others how to live simply without wanting for anything.

This blog will encompass everything from recipes, how to live off grid, simple ways of living, preserving food and making healthy food choices.  

I do hope you enjoy The Frugal Bible

Copyright 2016 MSargent

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