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Hear Ye!

Welcome New Sisters! (click for current roster)

Merit Badge Awardees (click for latest awards)

My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Hope Johns!

Hope Johns (woolybunny28, #7249) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Sew Wonderful Merit Badge!

“Because I have been sewing for years, I put together a cute sewing kit for a fellow farmgirl who is just starting to sew. I used a quart-sized Mason jar and filled it with all the beginner essentials:

  • several spools of thread
  • pretty buttons
  • rickrack
  • ribbon
  • small sharp scissors
  • sewing needles
  • straight pins
  • safety pins

I made a little pincushion out of the Mason-jar lid with some pretty fabric and added a cute button on the bottom side (because why not!). To dress up the outside of the jar, I used some scrap yarn to crochet 2 granny squares to match the color of the pincushion and slipped it around the outside of the jar. Because I chose a quart-sized jar, there is plenty of room left to add more as time goes on.

My friend loved her sewing kit and plans to add to it, as she sews more and more! I had so much fun putting it together!”

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Young Cultivator Merit Badge: Table Talk, Beginner Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 7,387 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—10,656 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! ~MaryJane 

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life

For this week’s Farm Kitchen/Table Talk Beginner Level Young Cultivator Merit Badge, I gave Nora the job of setting her family’s table each night.*

This posed a couple of problems, the first being that they rarely sat down to dinner together. Between sports practices and late nights at the office and different hungry bellies, it just wasn’t happening enough to make setting a table worth it. I pictured their dining room table looking like something out of Miss Havisham’s house … great for a Halloween scene, but not so inspiring for family life.

So I took Mr. and Mrs. Nora’s Parents out back and gave them a stern talking to. They promised to rearrange their schedules to accommodate seven nights in a row of family dinner.

Nora and I got crackin’.

photo by Alexandra Constantin via Wikimedia Commons

First, we went through the kitchen, looking for little-used dishes. We figured this was a special week, so no holds barred! We got out the good stuff, that’s usually only reserved for holidays, plus some even perkier perks: things like cloth napkins (we attempted some fancy folding, but evidently we need a whole ‘nother merit badge for that), tablecloths, wine goblets for ice water, and even a nifty candlestick holder, complete with candles. Who doesn’t love a candlelit dinner, am I right? You know I am.

It turns out our little experiment was a big hit. The whole family loved the atmosphere so much that the seven days flew by and extended into nine. Nora got even more creative and began making homemade placecards and even menus. Then, she picked themes for her dining-room restaurant: barbeque night complete with a picnic style on the floor, Italian night with a checkered tablecloth and background opera music (reenacting the spaghetti scene from Lady and the Tramp was a must), and a breakfast-for-dinner night where she required everyone to dress in pajamas for their pancake supper.

After the nine nights of feasting, they must have realized how sad I was to be missing out (I think they saw me peeking through the front window) and they let me in for night #10. Too bad it was Chinese night—I was nearly impaled by a chopstick. But, no matter.

Life went back to almost normal for Nora’s family, and family dinner nights aren’t every single night anymore, but they are a minimum of two nights per week now. Hey, that’s two nights for everyone to look forward to—and two nights I don’t have to set my own table. Voila!

*Note: To earn this Young Cultivator Badge, your youngster only has to set the table one night per week for a month. Nora and I just like overachieving.

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Hear Ye!

Welcome New Sisters! (click for current roster)

Merit Badge Awardees (click for latest awards)

My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Cyrie Wilson!

Cyrie Wilson (Pixiedustdevil, #6941) has received certificates of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a Beginner and Intermediate Level Forage for Food Merit Badge!

“I went to my local extension office and asked if they had any resources about local edible plants. Sad to say they had no idea what I was talking about. So that was a bust. So I went online and found a little information.

I know that we have salmon berries, blackberries, plum trees, apple trees, cattails plants, and Oregon Myrtle Trees (leaves are used like bay leaves). I found quite a few berries and small fruits while working on my ‘Speak for the Trees’ badge last year. I waited to submit for this badge until it was time to collect myrtle leaves.

I’ve been collecting fruit and berries since I was old enough to play outside by myself. My grandma made berry buckets (old coffee cans and string). I swear we would eat 1/4 of our pickings and ALWAYS come home covered in poison oak. Good thing I’m more wary now.”

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Young Cultivator Merit Badge: Farmyard to Kitchen, Beginner Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 7,387 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—10,656 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! ~MaryJane 

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life  

For this week’s Garden Gate/Farmyard to Kitchen Beginner Level Merit Badge, I enlisted all of my eager beavers, the intrepid trio, the one-and-only (or is that three-and-only?) Andy, Nora, and Piper. Sometimes I split them up because it’s easier on my ears that way, but we decided to earn our Beginner Level badge all at once.

Like a pack of wolves family.

Knowledge was key in earning this first level: knowledge of dairy and eggs. I mean, doesn’t seem like rocket science, right? But you’d be surprised at how many city kids (especially) don’t really comprehend where food comes from.

So, we started with the basics.

“Eggs from chickens and milk from cows, Aunty,” they droned in unison, appearing bored with the topic already. “DUH. Everybody knows that.”

“Not so fast, my little Einsteins,” I replied, feeling that emotion you only feel when you know something someone else doesn’t and you’re getting ready to WHAM, drop the education hammer.

“Whatdya mean not so fast?” Nora asked. I could tell she was getting the feeling you only get when you’re about to clobbered with the education hammer. Or maybe she needed to go potty. Sometimes it’s hard to tell with these kids.

Anyway. Moo-ving right along. (Just a little bovine humor there. Eggscellent!)

“Well, not all eggs come from chickens. We can eat duck eggs, too. Or goose eggs. Or even ostrich eggs!” I only knew that last one from watching cooking shows on the telly, but I was secretly hoping they would insist on ostrich-egg shopping. I had a hankering for a custard pie the size of my dining room table.

“Ew!” was the unsurprising reply from the city kids.

“What’s so ‘ew’ about it? They’re not any different than the normal chicken eggs you eat every morning! I mean, think about it, whippersnappers, they all come from the south end of a north-bound fowl … okay, yeah, I get it. Ew. Okay, let’s talk about dairy then.”

“Milk comes from cows,” they said as one. I could tell from Piper’s face that she was getting that feeling that you only get when you are dodging the education hammer with all your might.

“But also from goats and sheep,” I reminded them. “And possibly yaks and yetis. I might have to look that last one up, though.” Yetis are a thing, right? No?

“And almonds, and walnuts, and hemp, and soy, and rice, and flax, and coconut!” Piped up Piper proudly.

“Er, no. Those aren’t milk. Not really.” I was beginning to see why just the conversation part was Step One in this particular badge.

“Oh, good,” said Andy in relief. I could tell he was getting that feeling that you only get when the proverbial knowledge hammer misses your noggin by an inch. “Cuz I REALLY didn’t want to milk an almond.” Or maybe by a foot and a half.

“Okaaaaaaay. Moooo-ve it to the kitchen, kids!”

I sent them home with a basket of organic eggs (chicken), and a gallon of fresh-from-the-cow cream-on-top milk.

Well, except for Andy. He stayed behind to milk some rice.

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Hear Ye!

Welcome New Sisters! (click for current roster)

Merit Badge Awardees (click for latest awards)

My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Ginger Dawn Harman!

Ginger Dawn Harman (Ginger Dawn, #6451) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an Intermediate Level Weather Merit Badge!

“April Showers Bring May Merit Badges!

On to Clouds. Now I am not talking about the computer cloud and how data is stored, but a less nerdy natural pastime. Yep. My head is in the clouds! Heck, Who doesn’t love lying in the grass looking at clouds and making up a story?

Clouds form when the invisible water vapor in the air condenses into visible water droplets or ice crystals. There is water around us all the time in the form of tiny gas particles, also known as water vapor. There are also tiny particles floating around in the air—such as salt and dust—these are called aerosols.

Here are the types of clouds.

My favorite is the Cumulonimbus! The thunderstorm cloud! This web link has some great photos!

This week and all day tomorrow will be Nimbostratus! Yep … Rain, rain, and more rain. I am not complaining! A great day to stay indoors and read a book and maybe play a game with the family!” Continue reading