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My Garden: Feed Your Soil

What is your garden soil like? Is it rich loamy soil or sandy? No matter what your soil’s structure may be, you can improve it by the addition of organic matter. Last year we made some new compost bins. After filling them all season we will now empty them into our vegetable garden. The rich compost will greatly improve the soil.

How does that work? In the process of decay, formerly living things give up the substances from which they were built so that other living things can use them. In the soil, with the aid of bacteria and fungi, plant and animal matter decomposes into a substance called humus. Humus bonds soil particles together with spaces through which water and air can pass. Organic mater also moderates the soil’s temperature and contains important nutritional elements, which our gardens need.

You may not have your own compost pile yet, but there are many kinds of organic soil additions you can use.

Animal Manure - Manures from farm animals are popular soil amendments. They must be sufficiently decomposed or they will harm your plants. Well-rotted manure is odorless and looks like dark soil. Farmers often have piles of it that they would like to get rid of. Or they may be willing to sell it to you for much less than it would cost to buy in a bag.


Paardenstalmest Horse manure

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Plant Humus - As mentioned above this is the term for decomposed plant material. Peat moss is a from of plant humus. Grass clippings are another form. If you use grass clippings on your vegetable garden, make sure they are herbicide and insecticide-free.

Neighbor's compost

(Photo credit: Joi)

Cover Crops - Cover crops sole purpose is to provide organic matter. Rather than being grown for harvest, they are tilled under so they can enrich the soil. Buckwheat and winter rye are especially good at smothering weeds, and members of the pea family, such as clovers, vetches and alfalfa are best at enriching the soil. If you have a large garden cover crops are especially useful, as they eliminate the need for carting in large quantities of soil amendment.

English: cover crops: vicia Deutsch: Zum Zweck...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another good way to add organic matter and nutrients to your soil is through composting. Composting is like making a big casserole of organic matter that you put together yourself. Usually you have some sort of enclosed area, a bin or other container. You mix an equal amount of green and brown matter and let it sit. The decomposing matter needs warmth, moisture and air to make the decomposition happen.


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Frugal Tips: Will Being Thrifty Get You To Heaven?

We all know that being thrifty will benefit our wallets. Living on less than you make is a good idea. Did you ever wonder if there might be eternal rewards as well?

frugal tips, prudent living

The Bible has many references to money. One of the more familiar quotes is from 1Timothy  6:10, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, in their eagerness to get rich, have wandered away from the faith and caused themselves a lot of pain.”

1Timothy  6:10

1Timothy 6:10

If money is “the root of all evil”, is spending less of it a fundamental good? Or, if you are spending less in the moment in order to have more in the long run, might that not be considered self-serving? Hmm… I think my head is spinning!

Well if you go back to the original quote from the New Testament you must look at the full quote and realize it is the love of money that is the root of all evil. The danger is not the money itself, it’s the worship of it.

Don't worship money!

Don’t worship money!

If you look further in the Bible you will read in Proverbs 13:22, “A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous”.

Proverbs 13:22

Proverbs 13:22

Now we know it is not whether or not you are thrifty that will get you into Heaven, however as you read the Bible you realize that being thrifty is a Biblical responsibility!

prudent living


Linked To: WakeUpWednesday, WonderfulWednesday, PennyPinchingParty, WFMW, WhimseyWednesday

Prudent Pantry: Continuing with the Pantry Challenge

Have you decided to clean out your pantry and freezer and take part in the pantry challenge? It’s something I do every spring as I get ready for the next season’s harvest. I’m pretty good at planning our meals from what we have on hand, but this time of year I make a big effort to use up what is still left from the last harvest.

The best part about the challenge is getting my freezers organized and having an updated inventory. I now know exactly what I have on hand, at least in my freezers!

Newly organized freezer.

Newly organized freezer.

Last week went well, I managed to use up some of my frozen peppers by making Corn and Cheddar Cakes. We also enjoyed a delicious roast turkey, well actually only ½ turkey. When we purchased our turkey from our neighbor we also purchased one ½ turkey. The ½ of the turkey was huge, couldn’t have imagined the size it it had been whole!

Roasting ½ turkey.

Roasting ½ turkey.

This week I am continuing the challenge. It will be a short week as we will be away for the weekend. Instead we will be enjoying our daughter’s cooking. Looks like I’ll have to continue the challenge for yet another week.

Here is our menu for the week:

Monday: Herbed Stuffed Shells (Pasta from the pantry)
Tuesday: Pork chops (from the freezer)
Wednesday: Bolognese (from the freezer)
Sunday: Whatever looks good in the leftover department!

I love trying to be creative with what I have on hand. I realize that even when I am not focusing on the challenge I am going to the grocery store less and less. When I do go it is only to buy produce. Our meat is being raised locally, I make most of our bread, dairy I sometimes purchase from the local farmer’s market or else purchase raw milk directly from a local farmer and make my own yogurt, etc. Trying always to eat close to the source!

How are you doing with your challenge?

Happy Easter


Recipe Box: Corn and Cheddar Cakes

In my ongoing effort to clean out my freezer and pantry for the Spring Pantry Challenge, I decided to make corn and cheddar cakes. Replacing the flour with masa harina yields an unusually light, soufflé like breakfast cake. We often like to eat breakfast for dinner so this was a perfect weeknight meal. I served them with a mixed green salad for a well-rounded meal. This recipe was adapted from a Weight Watchers recipe.

I was able to use up some corn and chopped red pepper from the freezer, a little leftover buttermilk and sour cream from the fridge and some masa harina I had in the pantry!

Corn and Cheddar Cakes

4 eggs
3 Tbsp masa harina
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp butter, melted
½ tsp salt
pinch of pepper
2/3 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen thawed)
¼ cup chopped seeded red bell pepper
½ tsp jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
¼ cup grated cheddar cheese
¼ cup sour cream
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Whisk together the egg and masa harina in a bowl.

Combine egg and masa harina.

Combine egg and masa harina.

Add the buttermilk, butter, salt and pepper. Fold in the corn, peppers and cheese.

Mix together remaining ingredients.

Mix together remaining ingredients.

Spray 4 (1 ¼ cup) ramekins or use large muffin tins. Spray with non-stick spray and pour the batter into each.

Ready for the oven.

Ready for the oven.

Put the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake until browned and puffed, about 20 minutes. Using a knife unmold each cake onto a plate.

Ready to enjoy!

Ready to enjoy!

Mix together the sour cream and cilantro and place a dollop on each cake.

Combine cilantro and sour cream.

Combine cilantro and sour cream.

Makes a very satisfying dinner.

Corn & Cheddar Cakes

Corn & Cheddar Cakes

Linked To: WeekendRe-Treat, FridayFlashBlog, RealFoodFriday, FreedomFridays, #FoodieFriday, FridayLinkParty, FoodieFriday, FridayFavorites, LHITS DIY, WeekendPotluck, FoodieFriendsFriday, WhatToDoWeekends, #GetHimFed, FridayFrenzy, ShowStopperSaturday, AnythingGoesBlogHop, CleverChicksBlogHop, TheSundaySocialBlogHop, MeltInYourMouthMonday, MixItUpMonday, What’DYouDoThisWeekend, ShowMeWhatYouGot, InAndOutOfTheKitchen, TheGatheringSpot, HealthyTuesday, You’reGonnaLoveItTuesday, TastyTuesdays, HearthAndSoulHop, FatTuesday, TotallyTalentedTuesdays, CreateLinkInspire, TimeToSparkle, ShareYourStuffTuesday, KellyTheKitchenKop, FreshFoodsWednesday, WonderfullyCreativeWednesday, RivertonHousewives

HomeAcre Hop #66


Welcome to The HomeAcre Hop!

Share your homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling posts!

I don’t know about you but I am really looking forward to spring. We’ve had some crazy weather, warm and sunny one day and snow the next! The good news is that my seedlings are coming along. Won’t be long before I’ll be transplanting them into large pots!

My rhubarb is coming up, soon I’ll be harvesting it and making the annual rhubarb pie, I can’t wait. In the meantime I’m thankful for the distraction of this wonderful blog hop where I can read about what’s happening on your home front!

Now it’s time to link up with the  HomeAcre Hop!

You are invited to link up your favorite posts or just check out the various links, there are some very talented bloggers out there! I am learning so much each week from all of you. 

Please, only link posts that you haven’t linked before and follow the rules!

Be sure to visit the other hosts as well. We would love to have you follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Etsy, Google+, Instagram or by email! 

Sandra @ Clearwater Farm,

Kathi  @ Oak Hill Homestead,

Mary  @ Homegrown on the Hill,

Jenny  @ Black Fox Homestead,

Ann  @ Summers Acres,

Lisa @ The Self Sufficient Homeacre,

and Me! (Nancy @ On The Home Front)

Each host will feature her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. That means your chances of being featured are even better! Visit each of our blogs to see if you were featured this week! (Don’t forget to link back to one of our blogs if you’d like to be featured!)

Creating Silver Linings shared a post on her Tomato Onion Jam! It’s corn free, refined sugar-free and GF. I’m going to try this recipe this year!


 Thank you everyone for your fantastic posts. Jessica be sure to pick up your “I was featured” button. We look forward to seeing what you have to share this week!

Prudent Living on the Homefront

Before you link up your perfect post remember the rules!

1. All posts should be family friendly!

2. Please, no posts dedicated to advertising products.

3. Link as many seasonal and harvest posts as you’d like! Older posts are great too.

4. Please visit as many of the other posts as you can and let them know you found them here!

5. If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on any host’s blog) with the button or a text

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