Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Jelly Bean Story~

Have you heard the story of the jelly beans?

Little jelly beans
Tell a story true.
A tale of our Father's love
That's just for me and you.

GREEN is for the new spring grass.
YELLOW is for the sun above.
BROWN is for the soft earth where
People sat hearing of HIS love.

PURPLE'S for the robe he wore,
RED is for that precious blood~He shed.
BLACK is for the sins He washed
From your soul and mine.

BLUE'S for the sadness of
HIS friends and family,
WHITE is for the glory of the Day
HE rose for you and me.

Now that you've heard the story
You know what each color means.
The story of our Father's love
As told by jelly beans.

So when you see jelly beans on this Easter season,
stop and remember,

Jesus Arose!

One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato, Four ~

***Some of last year's harvest***

My Brian plowed up my gardens last night. The dirt looks wonderful and smells like fresh earth and Spring. I am so excited.
Last year was our first time to plant a garden. Did you know that a Victory Garden will save your family $2,000.00. It was the most rewarding thing to get fresh ~good for you~ food right out of my own garden.
This year we are planting two gardens. I am hoping for a $4,000.o0 return~
My potatoes last year were good but really small. A man at our church did a visual lesson on planting 25 pounds of seed potatoes and getting about 500 pounds for his return~ in comparison with spreading the Gospel one seed at at time and watering each and every chance we get. After church I asked him what kind of seed potatoes he chose. They were huge~he had fed his entire family~sons and their families all year. I found out he planted Kennebec. So you guessed it~I found some from my Amish neighbors.

We are learning to homestead one lesson at a time. I did some research and I found this article on planting potatoes. This little lady looks like a tried and true farm girl~so I am going with her advice. Thought I would share~ It said we were welcome to share it. So Alice if you happen to read my blog~thank you for your wisdom!
I am off to prepare my seed potatoes!

How to grow potatoes

By Alice B. Yeager
Alice B. Yeager

Potato plants need plenty of sunshine, a well drained soil, and no weed or grass interference. Ideal soil is a loose sandy loam with plenty of humus and potash content. Soil needs to have a pH of 4.8-6.5, but don’t hesitate to plant them if the pH is a little higher than that. Almost any good garden soil will raise potatoes, but like anything else, potatoes have their limitations where climate and soil are concerned. Don’t expect much of a crop where wet or boggy conditions prevail.

Also, the higher the pH, the more likely the tubers will be victims of scab. If the scab is not too intense, the tubers will be usable by scraping or peeling them before cooking.

If your garden, as a whole, needs liming, be sure not to apply lime within a year of planting to the area where potatoes are to be grown. Almost the same rule applies to digging in barnyard fertilizers. Those are best applied several months before potatoes are to be planted so that they may be thoroughly decomposed by planting time. Turning under a good green cover crop such as clover or other leguminous green manure crop within a few weeks of planting potatoes is very beneficial.

Timing is crucial in planting potatoes. Here in southwestern Arkansas (Zone 8), there’s the old rule of planting as close as you can get to February 14. However, that definitely has to be adjusted if planting conditions are “not right”—too wet, too cold, etc. If this is your first time to plant potatoes, check with a gardening neighbor or your local County Extension Agent. They will know about the best planting time in your area.Drawing of potatoes on cutting board.

Most local seed stores have seed potatoes available in early spring. A few will have them in the fall, too, but fall is a risky time for potatoes, as temperature is a crucial factor in raising them. An early frost can wipe out a potato patch. Potatoes do best when temperatures go down to about 53°F at night and do not soar into the upper 80s or 90s during the day.

If ordered from a seed company, seed potatoes will arrive already cut and treated unless you specify whole potatoes. If purchased locally, you will probably get whole potatoes, which you will need to prepare for planting. Simply cut the potatoes in fairly large pieces, each piece containing one or two eyes. It’s best not to have several eyes on a piece as too many shoots will develop, thus cutting down on the yield.

Cut the pieces a day or so in advance of planting. Spread them out on a level surface in a cool room so that the cut surfaces will dry somewhat. (A “cured” surface is more disease resistant than fresh cut.) Another good preventive against disease is to put the pieces in a bag containing some powdered sulphur; shake until all are coated and plant.

The old reliable method for planting potato pieces is to plant them in “hills.” Pieces are buried eyes up, 3 to 4 inches deep, two to a hill in hills spaced about 20 to 24 inches apart. Soil should be in good condition and deeply pulverized. If clay soil is a problem, it should be improved several weeks ahead of time by adding plenty of organic material, compost, etc. Heavy soil restricts the growth of potato tubers.

Some gardeners prefer the trench method of planting, particularly if they are using commercial fertilizer. Trenches are dug about 8 inches deep and fertilizer scattered along the bottom of the trenches. Two inches of dirt are put on top of the fertilizer, and the potato pieces are placed on that about a foot apart. Roots will reach down to the fertilizer as the plants grow. Potato pieces coming into direct contact with fertilizer will “burn.”

Keep plants hilled-up by drawing dirt up around the bottoms of them. Young plants can be nipped by harsh cold, so it is a good idea to put down a good organic mulch when planting, adding to it later if necessary. This also keeps soil from packing when heavy rains occur.

We like our raised-bed method for growing potatoes. With the soil in loose condition, potato pieces are placed about a foot apart on top of the soil. About 4 inches of shredded organic mulch is then distributed over the bed. Plants easily push through the mulch. More mulch is added as needed to help retain moisture and keep tubers from being exposed to the sun. This method produces a cleaner potato and one that’s easy to harvest.

Plants need plenty of water to develop tubers, so don’t hesitate to water thoroughly if there is a prolonged dry spell. Also, as with many other vegetables, practice crop rotation from year to year. This helps keep down diseases that may linger in the soil and assures that it is not depleted of nutrients, as happens when the same vegetables are grown in the same spot year after year.

Potatoes should be dug as soon as vines die down. Tubers may be spread in a shady place until any clinging dirt has dried. Whisk the dirt off with a soft brush in order to avoid damaging the tender skins and move them to a cool, dark, well-ventilated area for storage.

Everyone enjoys potatoes in one form or another: baked, scalloped, mashed, French fried, and so on. Potatoes are the top seller to go with our burgers. Have you ever heard of anyone ordering a favorite burger with a side order of broccoli?

The Lord's Supper~

It is a beautiful day here at Farming On Faith. The sun is shining and the birds are singing~even the chickens have a spring in their step. I am looking forward to celebrating the day. I spend this afternoon with My Homeschool Kindergarten class~such fun. This evening our church will take the Lord's Supper.

This is a serious day for me in that I will be seeking the corners of my heart and soul and confessing any sin in my heart. I will even ask God to reveal to me any un-confessed sin I am harboring~unknowingly. Why? This evening is the Lord's Supper at our church.

To me remembering what my Saviour did for me on the cross in one of the most sacred times of all. At our church the lights will be dimmed and we will have a Memorial service for Jesus. It will be a quiet and reverent time. I look forward to this day all year.

What we should know about the Lord's Supper~

* It is a divine command~ Christ said~".....this do in remembrance of me." I so enjoy this time at church! To neglect to observe this sacred command is disobeying God.

* It is a privilege~ We are invited to come to the Lord's table~He invites us. Wow~what an awesome blessing. It is such a sweet time of closeness with God.

*It is a necessary Memorial. Oh~it reminds me of the high cost of my salvation. It reminds me that the blood that was spilled that day was priceless and painful to my Saviour. Not only does he deserve a Memorial but He deserves that I live this life to honour Him. I should have been crucified~ I should have bled and died for my own sin.

* It is a testimony. By taking part in the Lord's Supper~I am declaring a am a follower of My Jesus!

* It is a humble confession. I am confessing that I could not save myself! Without Christ~I am nothing!

* It is a declaration of my faith. Not only do I acknowledge that Jesus was crucified for the sins of mankind but I believe He is the King of Kings~one day He will return. When Jesus left the table that day with His disciples~He went and died willingly and He will come again just as He promised! I BELIEVE!

***** There is a warning which takes me back to searching the corners of my heart and soul! If we take it unworthily there is a serious warning.
27Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

There have been times I did not partake just for this reason. I had something in my heart that I just could not confess, maybe bitterness I just couldn't let go of!

But today~ I am excited and so looking forward to this time with My Saviour!
As I partake in the Holy Communion I am going to remember each drop of blood that My Saviour spilled, each tear He cried, each stripe that was laid on His back, the pain He must of felt watching His mother suffer as she watched her son being tortured, how He cared for those hanging next to Him, how the earth went black, how the weight of the most putrid sin felt to Him and just how it must have hurt Him so when His Holy Heavenly Father had to turn away from that putrid sin.

Oh yes~today I am going to remember and cry out and because He is worthy to be praised!

1 Corinthians 11:24-27

24And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

25After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

26For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.

27Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.



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