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Your Pumpkin is Causing Global Warming

October 30, 2015

5 ways to naturally dispose of your pumpkin

The energy Department is concerned about the potential link between pumpkins/jack-o’-lanterns and the production of methane gas. It isn’t as though the pumpkin just sets there and creates methane gas on your door step, but rather it is the 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins being thrown in the trash each year after Halloween. It doesn’t appear from the Department of Energy website http://energy.gov/articles/turn-your-halloween-pumpkins-power that there is a quantifiable amount of greenhouse gas produced by the decomposition of all these pumpkins. The Department of Energy has instead just lumped the pumpkins into the various landfills with all other garbage and is claiming the 254 million tons of municipal solid waste produced in the United States each year is the problem. I don’t have any idea why a person would throw a pumpkin in the trash once they were finished with it, but maybe they just haven’t thought about any other options. To that end, we, at The Abundant Farm, are here to help you make greater use of your pumpkin and save the world. Here are our Top 5 ways to use all of your pumpkin and keep it out of the landfill.

1. Eat it. There is really nothing tastier this time of year than pumpkin. Everywhere you look there is pumpkin flavored stuff. Why not make your own pumpkin puree to use in a variety of desserts. It couldn’t be easier. Just take a look at our post last year where we outlined the process. http://theabundantfarm.com/pumpkin-puree-recipe/

2. Eat the seeds or save them to plant next year. I would suggest taking the seeds you scraped out of the pumpkin, rinsing them (get all the orange fibrous stuff off of them) and placing them in a bowl of salt water (water should easily cover the seeds and use a teaspoon of salt for every 2 cups of water) overnight. In the morning you can drain the water off the seeds, place them on a drying sheet in your dehydrated and have a healthy snack by the end of the day that packs more protein per 100g than cheese. If eating the seeds isn’t your thing. You might rinse your seeds and then put them in the dehydrator overnight (instead of soaking them in salt water). Place the seeds in an envelope ore something breathable (not a Ziploc plastic bag) and you will be ready to plant pumpkins again next year.

3. Feed your pumpkin to your chickens. Chickens love gourds of all kinds. They are absolutely amazing cleaners. They will eat every bit of the inside flesh of the pumpkin until you have only the rind left. Not only will you save your pumpkin from the landfill, but that chicken will produce a much darker yoked egg from all that beta carotene in the pumpkin. If you don’t have chickens, find someone that does. They would love to have your pumpkins for their chickens.

4. Compost your pumpkin. If you haven’t started a small compost pile, this is the perfect time of year to begin the process. You have plenty of nitrogen from your pumpkins and lots of leaf matter from your trees losing their leaves. Find a spot or simply set a few concrete blocks up in a square to keep your leaves from blowing away.

5. Fertilize your landscaping. Take the opportunity to cut the pumpkin into small pieces and place them around plants you have in your landscaping. If you are currently using mulch or rock in your landscaping, you can simply put the pieces of pumpkin under the rock or much half way between the stem of the plant and the widest point of the plant’s canopy.

I hope these ideas help keep your pumpkin out of the landfill. If you are near Crawfish Creek we will gladly take your spent pumpkins and jack-o’-lanterns. If you have other ideas you would like to share, please leave us a comment.

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Top 3 Ways To Limit Distraction In Your Homeschool

May 29, 2015

Top 3 Ways To Limit Distraction In Your Homeschool

Our homeschool year is quickly coming to a close.   I should say it is partially ending because it was a baby year at the Fowler household and that means that some students didn’t get some concepts as well as I would have liked so we will continue those….but for the most part, we will break for summer.

I love this time of year because I like to plan….sometimes too much.  There are sooo many ideas swimming in my head all the time waiting for a Christmas, summer, or even just a weekend break to to get tested.  But, does every idea need to be explored?  Probably not.  So this year instead of planning for the sake of planning (just because I think it is fun) I am going to subject myself to the strictest examination prior to any scheme I endeavor to start and prior to any book I allow myself to read.

  1.  What are the areas where no change is needed?

The old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” comes to mind.  I tend to go over ground that I have already covered and try to change my methods.  My infant wasn’t sleeping through the night for months and in desperation, I went back in the archives of my mind and remembered an old method I used to use.  Let them cry for 15 minutes and if they are still crying, pick them up.  It wasn’t two nights she was sleeping through the night.  I am so glad I stopped strategizing and reading and being anxious about what I needed to do differently and just did what I knew to do.

  1.  Do I really WANT to follow through with this new thought?

My father-in-Iaw always says “ideas have consequences”.   I need to weigh the price of each new idea carefully and only learn more if I am willing to live with the consequences of the new idea.   It used to be that if I committed to something, I would sacrifice the important for the urgent in order that my word might be kept…like making my family eat another junk food meal in order to get the ministry meeting agenda typed (we didn’t even need an agenda) or leaving my house a wreck day after day, week after week because my mom’s group needed a “retreat” and I had to plan it (sounds like the retreat before the retreat).  Now that I don’t do much outside of life in my home, I plan curriculum….maybe excessively.  I read up on new ideas for my family which are often helpful…but not always executed! So, what’s the point?   I have explored so many books on education styles, methods and such I just want to not think so hard and just homeschool for a while.  Ditto for diet and health books.  I am limiting myself to only 1 or 2 “new idea books” for common placing.

  1.  Prioritize my planning.

I have put off some things that need to be planned in order to plan things I like.   If my husband is truly my head, it is a good idea to let the plans he has for the family get penciled in first.  I can’t monopolize all the family time and then shrug him off and say I don’t have time for what he wants to do.   Take this farm for example.  My husband wants us to physically work on it.  That takes my planning and fore sight to happen and some of the plans I have may have to take a back seat.

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Developing a Family Schedule

January 30, 2015

Developing a Family Schedule

Now that I have seven precious children, scheduling is more important than ever!  Scripture says in Psalm 103: 15-16:

As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it and it is gone and its place knows it no more.

 Every moment counts towards the building of the kingdom of God, but there are so many mundane things, inconsequential things, seemingly unimportant things to be done!  How do we ever get to the meat and potatoes of life if we get stuck in the side dishes?  How does a person ever do the important if they can’t get past the spilled milk, dirty diapers, and meal preparation? 

I was about to deliver my fourth child and was meeting with a group of women as part of a mother’s ministry we organized.  As we left, I walked out with Shannon, a dear friend of mine, and in desperation told her my fears about running the household with another little one coming!  She told me about a website called FLYLady.com which blessed me greatly and really transformed my approach to homemaking.   Sometime after I delivered our fourth precious daughter, I heard about Managers of Their Homes, a series of manuals with lots of great structure for setting up life for large families.  These 2 blessings along with the Simply Charlotte Mason Online Scheduler truly shaped me into a semi-organized person which is essential for life in the big family world.

  • Grand projects my husband and I to desire accomplish,
  •  Character traits we want to see in the kids
  •  Habits we want to form….

All these need to be prayed over, prioritized, and scheduled or they won’t happen.  This is a daunting process to say the least! We begin with simple objectives or principles for everyone….not goals, mind you, but what the end product is in our vision.  You don’t even have to write these down if your will is strong enough to pursue them.  I have given examples for myself. 

Cast off idols in my life….Evangelize and disciple others….Manifest a mother culture….Form the Habit of forming Habits in Children as a Science….Practice healthful living

Next is to list all the things each person does each day.  Are the activities matching the objectives?  If not, then change your activities or change how you do the activities.  If an objective for a child states that they will learn to be diligent, but their activities consist of playtime and TV watching, where will they learn this diligence?  In essence, the activities become my goals for the objectives I want to accomplish.  Below I have our family’s activities for a typical Monday.

Final Schedule1Final Schedule2Final Schedule3

Most of what I get done may seem monotonous and pointless but when I keep my objectives in mind, I get to the “meat and potatoes” of what I want to accomplish.