Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Long lasting fresh strawberries, home made wipes and weed killers, sad news about stevia

 Hi all, hope you are enjoying this summer, we have had a ton of rain here, causing some trees on the upper mountain to uproot themselves and crash down, an eerie sound. Hope we dry out a little now, the garden needs some sun.  Of course, the sun means warmer temperatures, guess we can't have it all.  The cloudy, rainy days have kept us cool, and it's now mid June so we have been blessed there.
  If you have been buying or picking strawberries, I have a great tip to make them stay fresh for a very long time. They go bad because of bacteria on the berries, so when you get them, do this. In a large bowl put several tablespoons of white vinegar, and add water to be enough to cover your berries. Place them in the bowl and let soak for 20 minutes, then rinse well to remove the vinegar. You can take the leaf off now, and cut them up ready for use, they will keep much longer than if you just washed them in water.
  There was an article on stevia on Facebook this week, I hope you got to see it.  We have grown stevia here, my son has dried it and we have processed it into a powder. It's green of course. And leaves dregs in the bottom of your glass if you sweeten tea etc with it. However,  what you buy is highly processed with chemicals to make it white. Some of it has added sucrose, and some has other additives you don't want to ingest. I buy mine from Swanson and find it to be mostly pure, but it is still white. So think I will start steeping the dried leaves in organic vodka, strain and keep in frig to use as a liquid. Always has to be a way to rain on our parade, we think we are doing something good and get surprised.
  Need some weeds killed in your driveway or on your sidewalk?  In a large bottle, like an empty quart vinegar jug, put 1 cup of salt, and fill the jug with white vinegar, adding  a good squirt of dish soap.  Use this on a hot day, with no rain.  Just pour it on the weeds.
 From a site called DIY natural, I found a good recipe that can save you between $70.00 and $100.00 bucks a year on those wipes we use to disinfect our surfaces. Save your old t shirts, cut them into squares about 8 by 8 inches, be sure they are clean of course. In a quart mason jar,  put 3/4 cup of filtered water, from your faucet if you have a filter, 3/4 cup white vinegar, 15 drops of lemon essential oil, and if you wish 8 drops of lavender essential oil for a nice scent. Stir, and put the cloths in the jar, shaking well.  Keep stored in a dark cupboard. After use, rinse the cloth and toss in wash, when it's clean and dry add back to jar. Easy as pie, and saves you a bundle.
   Lastly today, if you have wood furniture with scratches, put 3/4 cup of canola oil and 1/4 cup of white vinegar in a jar, stir well, apply to scratch, do not wipe off, it will soak into wood and cover the scratch. I might make a smaller amount, would not use that much in a hurry.  Unless you are using it on all your kitchen cabinets or the like.
  Just received a dish of fresh blueberries, from my son's garden, huge things, all the rain  maybe.  Look so good. Hope you are also getting your share of the fresh summer produce, we will miss it come winter.  Time for all that freezing and canning stuff but hey, it is so worth it. Take care, have a good week, see you soon.

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