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Bleeding Hearts

I purchased a package of Bleeding Hearts from a fundraiser project for our local schools. The package contained two bush starts. The starts were pretty small and needed some TLC before planting them in the yard. Here is a photo of the package.

I planted the whole thing into a clay pot with some enriched potting soil. I watered it well and hoped for the best as the starters hardly looked alive. But after a week, it really perked up and here is a photo after a few weeks.

As we live in the woods, deer and other critters love to eat our plants and bushes. Bleeding Hearts are supposed to be deer resistant which is one of the main reasons I purchased this package. So after a few weeks, I was able to replant both plants into the ground.

Bleeding Hearts

So far so good as the Bleeding Hearts bloomed and the deer apparently didn’t bother them. The flowers were small but I understand the plant is perennial Continue Reading →

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Revisiting Irish Spring Soap to Repel Mice

It’s been over 3 years since I first posted about using Irish Spring soap to repel mice and other rodents. You can read my original post here and all the many comments concerning the pros and cons of this method.

A few things to mention and clarify are that you must use the original Irish Spring soap. Do not use the Aloe Vera scented soap as it doesn’t work and may actually attract critters with the added scent. Do not leave the soap in the box as this is also an added attraction to rodents as they love to chew on the cardboard.

Just use a small piece of soap about 1 inch square or trying grating it with a cheese grater and leave the shavings spread out to deter the rodents. Also make sure you use fresh soap and change it out to keep the odor fresh.

Also remember some people have had success with using original Irish Spring soap to ward off mice while others have not. But give it a try and see if this useful idea works for you and please share your results with us all.


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Defrosting Food on the Woodstove

Here is one more tip for woodstove users. I needed to defrost some frozen food and recently used my woodstove. Here is a photo of my frozen container which I placed into a pan with water on the woodstove.

Defrosting Food on a Woodstove

My fire in the woodstove was burning low so I used the front lower level on the woodstove. If your fire is burning hot, use the back shelf and watch your pan closely. As my frozen container was plastic, you do need to pay close attention that the plastic doesn’t get too hot. Watch your water too so it doesn’t boil down which could cause the plastic to get too hot also.

I hope you find this useful idea of defrosting on a woodstove a good alternative to defrosting in a microwave or on a conventional stovetop. It sames energy and is a handy way to defrost food.

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Grilled Sandwich on the Woodstove

Power out and want a grilled sandwich? No problem, just grab your cast iron skillet and put it on the woodstove.
Grilled Sandwich on the Woodstove

Here is a closeup of the ham and cheese sandwich grilling nicely on the woodstove top.
Grilled Cheese Sandwich

You might of noticed the handmade skillet handle cover. This handle cover is crocheted from an old tee-shirt. Full pattern directions found here for the cast iron handle cover. These handcrafted handle covers work great on cast iron pots and skillets. I love that you can just leave the handle cover on as you cook in the pan.

So should you find yourself out of power as we did today, you can always grill up a nice and hot sandwich on your woodstove top. Even if the power isn’t out, this is an useful idea for anyone wanting to try their hand at woodstove cooking.

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Dutch Oven Sourdough Bread

Making sourdough starter was the first step in baking my Dutch Oven sourdough bread. Follow the link and you can see how I made my own sourdough starter for my bread.
Sourdough Bread Starter

Dough raised and ready to bake.
Sourdough Bread in Dutch Oven

I played around with several recipes to come up with my own version of Dutch Oven sourdough bread.
Here is my recipe: Continue Reading →

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Homemade Applesauce

I got this big bag of apples from one of the guys at work from a tree that fell down in town. He asked me if I wanted some of the apples and of course I said yes. Some had worm holes but I cut them up this weekend and made applesauce. It turned out tasty and made 4 pints.

Homemade Applesauce in a jar

First I cut up the apples and placed them in a big pot.
Cut up Apples for Sauce

Add added a bit of white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar and some apple juice for cooking. I added just a splash of each and added more sugar to sweeten as it cooked down.
Homemade Applesauce Cooking

Really simple process and I got some free applesauce. I didn’t really have a recipe but that is the point. Just cut up the apples and add some goodies for taste as it cooks.

Final result: Wonderful tasting free applesauce!

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