Posts Tagged With: holiday

14 Things You Need to Know This Weekend About Hot Dogs

As a farmer I feel it is my duty to bring you information regarding your food choices.  When you have all of the information you can make the decisions that are best for your family this Fourth of July weekend.

Which is why I’m sharing this highly educational hot dog etiquette video.

Dedicated to livestock farmers everywhere. ūüėČ

Categories: Food | Tags: , | 1 Comment

What Will You Pay for Your July 4th Cookout?

I’m in the grocery store at least once a week. ¬†And believe me, if I didn’t live 20 minutes away I’d be there a lot more often. ¬†I’m pretty good at guestimating the total cost of my cart using nothing more than simple life experience. ¬†Believe me, I notice when the cost of food goes up.

What does your 4th of July cookout cost?

When it comes to meat, I can’t get as much for my dollar as I used to. ¬†I’ve notice the price of eggs is climbing steadily (although I get my eggs from the backyard) and we’ll drink $12-$15 worth of milk in a week, never mind cheese, yogurt, etc..

What’s funny is that I never really notice when prices go down.

The American Farm Bureau Federation does a pretty cool project several times a year where they send out 88 volunteers in 30 states to record food prices at the stores where they shop. ¬†They just finished their 4th of July estimates and guess what? ¬†If you’re buying hot dog, buns, cheeseburgers, potato salad, baked beans, corn chips, pork spare ribs, lemonade, watermelon, and chocolate milk (and who is not?!) you are likely paying 3 percent LESS than you did in July of last year!

They gather prices based on the amount of food needed to feed ten people.  The grand total for this year is $55.84, or $5.58 per person.

What does it cost to feed 10 people this 4th of July?  Less than it did last year!  Surprised?!

Last year’s total was $57.57. ¬†What went down in cost? ¬†Well, two big ones were the pork and dairy products. Buns and baked beans also went down; lemonade and ketchup are up.

Why are some prices declining? ¬†Well, we’re producing more pigs, so supply and demand says pork costs are down. ¬†Beef production is stable, so at least prices aren’t still jumping. ¬†Another factor is fuel and energy costs, which are lower now than they were a year ago. ¬†Keep in mind that, according to the USDA, the farmer only receives about 17 cents of each dollar you spend on food.

What does your 4th of July cookout cost you and how much of that $ does a farmer recieve?

In fact, the farmer is only a small part of the cost of food.  This graphic, also from the USDA, shows who contributes to the cost of food.

Where does your food dollar go?

So stand a little taller America.  Our country produces the cheapest, safest, most abundant food on the planet.

Now go enjoy your $6.00 cookout!

Categories: Food | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

24 Random Act of Christmas Kindness

Why am I ever surprised at how God works? ¬†Last year I did an advent countdown with my kiddos by wrapping 24 Christmas books we already owned and having the kids open one each day in December. ¬†Only in real life it was more like I wrapped a book 12 seconds before I gave it to them to unwrap because that’s how organized I can be. ¬†So at the end of the season I wrapped the books before I put them away and this year I was ready!

Random Acts of Christmas Kindess

I had also been planning to add a RACK countdown to our Christmas traditions. ¬†(That’s Random Act of Christmas Kindness!) ¬†Like the books, I planned to do one random act a day, using these cards I found on Pinterest. ¬†I wanted¬†to try and explain it all to the kids this morning after we read our countdown book.

Random Act of Christmas Kindess

And this morning, wouldn’t you know it, God did the coolest thing! ¬†I pulled an unknown book, wrapped last January, from the countdown stack and sat down to read it to the kids. ¬†When they started tearing the paper from the back I frowned in confusion. ¬†What book was this? ¬†A second later I saw it. ¬†A new book I’d purchased last year from an outlet store because I needed a 24th book for the countdown. ¬†A book we’d read once, maybe twice. ¬†A book about Random Acts of Christmas Kindness I hadn’t even remembered.

And why does that surprise me?

So if you are wondering, here is the list I’m planning to work from. ¬†And Merry Christmas!

1. Put carts away at stores while Christmas shopping.

2. Send a gift card for a meal to friends with a sick baby.

3. Vacuum the house of a friend while she is gone.

4. Take cookies to the Farm Bureau office.

5. Leave a sheet of stickers in a library book.

6. Take a new coloring book and crayons to the doctor’s office.

7. Give a care package of cocoa and candy canes to neighbors we don’t know well.

8. Send Great Grandma homemade Christmas cards.

9. Send cards to servicemen and women.

10. Take cookies to the sheriff’s office.

11. Donate a DVD to the hospital.

12. Take canned goods to the food bank.

13. Put a gift in the Toys for Tots box.

14. Write nice messages in chalk on the sidewalk at the park.

15. Leave quarters on the bouncy ball machine at our favorite restaurant.

16. Tape a bag of popcorn to a Red Box.

17. Bring a gift to the Sunday School teachers.

18. Read a book to a resident of a nursing home.

19. Take friends out for lunch (and give their mama a small break!).

20. Bring cookies to the librarians.

21. Take baby wipes to a daycare.

22. Chose a toy of their own to donate.

23. Make cards to send to service men and women.

24. Cook a meal for another foster family.

Categories: Family | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Organizing your New Year’s Resolutions into goals you can actually DO!

Its time!¬† The New Year is almost here and many of us, farmers, bankers, or candle stick makers, are planning our New Year’s resolutions.¬† And in about 45 days all that planning will account for nothing since¬†most of us won’t stick with the¬† goals we’ve made for more than six weeks.¬† So today I’m going to show you a way to organize your New Year’s resolutions into goals you can actually do!

First, forget¬†about your goals being for the¬†“new¬†year.”¬† These are goals for your life!¬†¬†Sure, start today, but being flexible with your resolutions helps you to overcome setbacks.¬† Instead of waiting for next January when¬†everything heads south, just¬†pick a date and start again.

Second, break down¬†your goals into steps.¬† “Get Healthy” is a great idea, but how¬†are you going to do it?¬† Will you diet? Exercise?¬† Cleanse?¬† Take vitamins?

Third, get out your calendar.  I like the cheapie month-in-view from Wal-Mart, but chose what works for you and your life.  Cell phone, pocket calendar, desktop, kitchen calendar, whatever!  Then assign the steps to your goals to each month.

For example:

Organizing Your New Year's Resolutions into goals you can actually DO!  Going to keep them this year!

In the “notes” section of each month I wrote down a reminder of the steps to take towards my goal that month.¬†¬†I divided my goals into various areas of my life, such as financial, spiritual, homeschool, etc.¬† My January¬†goal for the farm is to research and pick out my new chicks and garden seeds.¬† For February I plan to build covers for my current garden boxes to protect the seeds from the¬†chickens we already have and research and pick out a breed of sheep and guard dog.¬† In March I’ll build¬†trellises for the garden boxes¬†¬†and create pens for the sheep and dog, hopefully to be added to the farm soon after.¬† In April I’ll need a more permanent chicken coop and in May I want to purchase and set up rain barrels for both the animals and the garden.¬† All of these steps are aiming at my big goal of “Raise More of Our Own Food.”

In the next few weeks I’ll also take you through the steps we use to organize our life, farm, homeschool, and other obligations, so stay tuned, but in the mean time I’d love to hear your ideas for New Year’s Resolutions you can actually do!

Categories: Family | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Healthy Holiday Recipe!

You might think there isn’t much to do on a farm in the winter.¬† Well, you’d be thinking wrong!¬† Its bitterly cold today in Missouri, but there are some garden plants that don’t really care.¬† Spinach is one of my favorite veggies to grow year round.¬† All you need is a tray of dirt, your favorite spinach seeds, water and sunlight.¬† Oh!¬† And a spot indoors!

And then you need a recipe!

But let me say that just because my farm kids help grow the veggies doesn’t mean they’ll eat them!¬† So I created these green¬†Christmas pancakes to entice my little ones to consume a bit more of those leafy greens.¬† It was an instant success!¬† So here’s to healthy holiday recipes!

These Healthy Christmas pancakes use spinach for a holiday green color!


Healthy Holiday Pancakes

Handful spinach leaves
3/4 cup buttermilk*
1/3 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
1 egg
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup flour (I use 1/2 wheat, 1/2 white)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

*If you don’t have buttermilk you can make your own by adding a teaspoon or so of lemon juice to plain milk and letting it set for about 5 minute.

Put spinach leaves in a blender, cover with buttermilk, applesauce, agave, egg and oil.  Blend until smooth.  In a mixing bowl combine remaining ingredients.  Add wet mixture to flour, stirring just until moist.  Add more flour if the mixture is too runny.  This will vary, based on how much spinach you use and how juicy the spinach is.  I also add about 1/4 cup of chocolate chips to mine at this point to distract my kiddos.  Then pour onto a griddle and cook as usual.  Enjoy some holiday baking without the gilt!

Categories: Family | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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