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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Cucumber Gardening Made Easy

| August 29, 2009 | Featured, Food, Resources
Views: 25680 | 2 Comments

One of the easiest and most rewarding ways to grow cucumbers is in a raised bed system. Not just any old system but a cinder block garden. This garden system requires no hammer, nails or wood. It uses cinder blocks for the walls. Inside the blocks you can tailor your soil mix to suit your personal needs and worry less about the limitations of your local soil conditions. It’s even attractive enough to replace those sterile plots of plant life we call “lawns” and sidewalk green space. Raised bed containers can use as little as ¼ the space of a conventional row garden and need up to 1/4 the time and water to grow the same amount of food.
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Easy Home Made Fruit Leather

| August 24, 2009 | Featured, Food
Views: 9843 | 1 Comment

Those dried, chewy strips of fruit found in the snack and health isle of your grocery store are an excellent replacement for candy bars but command a premium price. Ironic really, if you consider that like jams, fruit leather is just one more way to get additional mileage out of low to middle quality fruits before they go bad. Pretty much any fruit that can be made into jams can be made into fruit leather (i.e. I haven’t had much luck with things like citrus and bananas). One drawback (or advantage, depending on your nutritional outlook) is that the fruit leather described below do not have the powerful artificial preservatives present in their commercial counterparts. As such, they should not be stored for long periods at room temperatures. Either consume within a couple days or freeze for later.

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Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, recreationalist, hunter or just a full/part resident of the outdoors one essential piece of gear that is often overlook are a good set of binoculars. Choosing a set for general use can be a bit tricky as many people can only differentiate gross magnification and price as a gauge of quality. This can lead to some powerful, but ultimately, inadequate, gear choices as well as wasting a great deal of money. Here’s what you need to know and consider when purchasing binoculars.

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Depending on your region and hunting technique, hunting season for deer and some other large game is just around the corner (a few weeks to a couple months).  While I haven’t had the opportunity to do as much hunting as I’d like, I have enjoyed several excellent venison meals in my life, so it always comes as a disappointment when I hear about people having bad experience with venison.  I think most of these experiences are rooted in some of the fundamental differences and expectations between game and domestic animals.  The following is a basic overview of venison and how best to appreciate it.

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Roses can do more than grace our landscapes and floral designs. Like its cousins the apple, pear, peach and cherry, roses produce a fruit. Rose Hips are a valuable source of vitamin C, containing as much as 20 times more vitamin C than oranges. They are also an excellent antioxidant. Rose Hips can be found in dried form in most health food stores, but why not gather your own? You’ll save money and you’ll know where they came from and the conditions in which they grew. Furthermore, you’ll be adding to your own self-sufficiency by locating and gathering a nutrient-dense food source to nourish yourself and your family. In many parts of the country, large hedges grow in great abundance producing attractive and fragrant pink and red flowers.

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Curing was a widely used method of preserving meat before the days of refrigeration. Both Salt and Sugar (as well as combinations of both) have been used to cure meat by means of the process of osmosis. The higher concentration of salt in external water (Brine), actually causes moisture to evacuate the tissue. In addition to drawing the water from the food itself, salt curing also dehydrates and kills the bacterial organisms in food that are the primary agents of spoil. Although normal table salt can be used with some success, the most common types used are partly or wholly either sodium nitrite or sodium nitrate.

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