Author Archives: jane

Delicious Home-made Chicken Soup Made With Locally Raised, Free Range Chicken

bowl of chicken soup

We’ve been raising chickens for about 4 years now. They are truly charming and we love them. However, roosters can cause problems. First of all, although often very pretty, you can’t keep very many. It is suggested that you have one rooster to 25 hens. We therefore, only need to keep around one and only if we want fertilized eggs for hatching baby chicks. You don’t need a rooster at all to get eggs by the way. Fertilized and unfertilized eggs are indistinguishable in taste. Second, if you hatch out chicks (on average half are male), when they become “teenagers” they start to fight. In addition, if there aren’t enough hens, the rooster(s) can hurt the hen’s back from too much mating. This can lead to complete feather loss on their backs and even large cuts from the rooster’s claws and spurs. Third, not always but sometimes you will have an over aggressive rooster and they will attack you or worse your kids. For these reasons, we on occasion have locally raised chicken for dinner.

If you want to know that the chicken that you eat is humanly raised; raise them yourself. Our chickens have a very large area in which to range, peck, and scratch around like chickens. This area is fenced however, to keep away stray dogs or a marauding fox.Furthermore, I can make sure they have a healthy diet. So, why not enjoy chicken soup on occasion and have your own supply of superior eggs.

I always make a soup out of the leftovers and my family loves it.

cup of chicken soup
Soup:
I bake the chicken in my cast iron French oven (Dutch oven) made by Le Creuset. After the first dinner, I pick off any meat that is quick and easy to remove. Then I add enough water to cover the chicken bones. I also add a large onion (cut up in large chunks), a bay leaf or two, some fresh thyme from my garden, a few stocks of celery if I have any, and simmer it on the stove with the cover on but not completely closed for an hour or more. I then remove the carcass to anther container. If I’m making the soup right away, I scoop the droopy onion and celery out of the broth. Then I add some veggies- like chopped carrots, peas, corn… and a starch (brown rice, barley, or noodles). While that stuff is simmering on the stove in the same French oven, I pick all the meat off the bones. When the Veggies (and rice) are cooked, I add the chicken meat. I used to always shy away from dark meat but not anymore. Season with salt and pepper or leave out the salt and put in a bouillon cube instead.
I have an old fashion kind of cooking style. It’s the kind where you use up things that you have on hand, I don’t measure (well maybe when baking), and I make things to taste (shouldn’t we all?).

pot of chicken soup
I make soup like my dad; thick with lots of stuff.

Protect Vegetable Transplants With Home-Made Glass Garden Cloches

MYO jug cloche
My husband made these cute little garden cloches for me. I Think that Martinelli’s apple juice jugs (1.5 liters) look nice with the leaf pattern in the glass but use whatever you can get your hands on. I hope to find some gallon sized jugs next; I’ve seen them in stores. Cloches are very useful in family vegetable gardens like mine!

MYO jug garden cloche
These home-made cloches acts like a mini greenhouse.
How to:
Collect glass jugs. After I transplant tender plants into my garden, I like to set out my home-made garden cloches beside each plant (in this case broccoli) that way they will be close when needed. If it gets cold at night or if it is going to be cold for a few days, I put these cloches over the transplants to keep them warmer.
Removing the bottom off your glass jugs:
Basically you roll the bottle around creating a score line: the tool holds the bottle in place so you get a straight line. You heat the score line with the flame of a candle then cool the area with cool tap water. If all goes well the bottom will just fall off. Then file or sand the raw edge. Plan to practice on a few scrap bottles. Follow the detailed instructions included with your bottle cutter. This is a good beginner bottle cutter project because the edge doesn’t need to look flawless as in when cutting drinking glasses.

bottle cutter
I’ve included a picture of the bottle cutter that we own. We like the bottle cutter that we got but apparently they aren’t available anymore. (It was called BottleCutter) However, if you Google bottle cutter you will find other brands for sale.

Fun In The Making soon to be found at Best Green Blogs

FunInTheMaking.net will soon be found at Best Green Blogs.

Go there to find all kinds of “green” websites that you may not have known about before.

Best Green Blogs

More about Best Green Blogs:

Best Green Blogs is the web’s largest directory of green and sustainable themed weblogs. Writers from all over the world are publishing articles and stories dealing with a wide variety of topics dealing with environmental issues and green living; and Best Green Blogs is an attempt to capture some of that independent publishing spirit.

Make Your Own No-Sew Eco-Friendly T-Shirt Tissues

MYO no sew t-shirt tissues

Tissues made from old t-shirts work really well and they are soft on the nose. Kids will like the fun colorful fabrics and you will like the part about saving money and resources.

Make Your Own T-Shirt Tissues

Make your own tissues from t-shirt

I set aside some children’s t-shirts that were too worn or too stained to pass on.

How to:
Gather some old t-shirts. Thin, uber soft t-shirts are best. Use a salad plate (whatever size you like) and a rotary cutter with a cutting matt. Cut around the plate. The beauty of this project is that the edges do not need to be hemmed.

Alternatively, you can cut square pieces.

t-shirt tissues and home-made bear

Keep these eco-friendly tissues on bedside tables for use on little noses.

recycled wool sweater bear and hankie hamper

Hankie Hamper: find something around the house or at the thrift store to be your hankie hamper.

Recycle Worn-Out Shirts Into Handkerchiefs
When choosing old shirts to be made into hankies; the softer the better. Pick an appealing fabric if that matters to you. You want it to also have a bit of absorbency. Obviously, stiff fabric is no good for this project.

How to:

Cut strips 7 inches wide (or your preference) with a pair of pinking shears. Next, cut the strips into squares and you’re done. Using pinking shears will help to prevent fraying.

make your own no-sew hankies

To take with you, fold in half then fold in thirds: it fits nicely in your purse or pocket.

recycled fabric hankies
Hankies in a variety of fabrics: My husband’s favorite shirt (blue plaid cotton) was eventually turned into little hankies. It was a soft fabric to begin with but repeated washing only made it better. The kitty fabric was made out of worn-out flannel pj’s.

eco-friendly tissues and hankie hamper
Be sure to provide a place to put the used tissues or your kids will leave them all around the house.