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Friday, April 29, 2016

How is lawn soil different than field soil?

In the last post. We talked about leveling out our front yard.  After the construction machinery left, there was lots of sand and ruts in the yard.  We brought in sand to fill in the holes, and leveled the yard, and raised the height of the yard.  The next step was to select a soil that would work the best for our climate and could grow grass quickly.

When you think about an "ideal" soil for our front yard,  you think of a top soil that is black.  Selecting a black top soil could be very expensive choice.  We picked a sandy loam soil for our top soil.  A loam contains about equal amounts of clay, silt, and sand. It is a very fine soil and a couple shades darker than the sand, but not a dark soil.  It is a very fertile soil and sandy loam drains well, but keeps nutrients.  Loam soil is ideal for vegetable farmers.  The best farming soils are said to be right here in the Midwest.  This would be an ideal soil to also find in the fields. The soil would be easy to work with tillage equipment and maintain good nutritional values when it is managed correctly.





The next step to creating a front yard is bringing in the dirt. After many piles of dirt, it was time to spread it out and prepare it for seeding.





Next time we will talk about the type of seed we selected for our yard.




Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Angel Food Cake with Homemade Carmel Icing

Things are quiet around here.  Like the calm before the storm.  Spring.  Plant 2016

It's been fairy cool, and soil temperatures have remained pretty cool.  No one around here is in a big hurry to get in the fields.  


We celebrated Dave's "BIG 40th" a couple weeks ago.  I really thought I would have a big party for him. I did surprise him for his 30th, and our 10th anniversary. No party this year.  It was probably the best since he wasn't feeling the best.

His favorite cake is angel food. So while he's home with a sick kid, and not feeling the best himself, he made his own cake!

He told me I was in charge of the icing.  I knew he would want the homemade caramel icing.

You can't walk away from this project. It needs your attention.  We have featured this caramel icing recipe when we made Angel Food Cupcakes.

The end result is delicious and fabulous, and  you wonder why you don't make angel food cake every week!







Are you waiting for the recipe? I could post about 40 pictures of this cake or make a movie.  Macie helped take pictures.  Lots of help from the family in the kitchen.



Grandma Lois Caramel Frosting


Ingredients:
2 tsp.       Margarine (or butter)
2/3 cup    Brown Sugar
1/3 cup    Evaporated Milk
1-2 cups     Powdered Sugar


Directions:
Bring to a boil, constantly stirring. Remove pan from heat, and set aside.
Stir in 1 tsp vanilla.
Stir in enough powdered sugar to make spreadable. Immediately pour over cake.

PRINT RECIPE HERE


I linked to the Meal Plan Monday, go check out some other great meals!

I linked to the The County Cook - The Weekend Potluck.





Friday, April 01, 2016

Leveling out a new yard. How to you prepare?

One of our projects this spring is prepping the yard for a complete makeover.  Last fall when the house was completed, we decided to wait until spring to put down top soil and seed the lawn.  The past winter did not bring many snows.  As a result, the sand was exposed for most of the winter.  The sand blew all winter.




From this picture taken last summer, you can see there is some major work to do to the yard.  This picture was taken before the windows and siding were installed.

You can also see we received too much rain last spring as well!


This area was worked a few time by the contractors, using a small bulldozer.




The black line is a sealer  on the foundations wall. This needs to be covered up to protect the foundation..


The first thing to do is prepare the area.  We have already raked the sand, picked up sticks, stones, rocks, glass from old mason jars that were from the old house, and other remains from the construction.


We were welcomed home the other night with loads of sand.  Why put more sand on top of sand? Sand is a cheaper filler than dirt, and we have some areas in the yard that need to be filled in.


There is a lot of sand that needs to be added to the back of the house.  This spring we will concentrate on the front of the house.


So, bring on the sand. Pile it up.


I see a few loads of dirt in our future!