Sunday, August 31, 2014

Get Out & Explore: Events and Festivals for the Week/Weekend of 09/01-09/07

I hope everyone is having a great weekend! We have compiled a list of festivals and events that are happening around Tennessee for the upcoming week/weekend. You will find that the listings below are divided into three categories based on the areas of the state. I hope you find the list useful. Please feel free to leave a comment if this was beneficial for you. If you have an event you would like for us to post, please let us know! We will see you on Wednesday, when we post another segment on re-purposing old materials. Have a fun and safe week! :)


West TN
  • Sept 1-6, Dyer County Fair
Fairgrounds, Dyersburg, TN
  • Sept 5-6, Horseshoe Riverbend Festival
Various Sites, Clifton, TN
  • Sept 6, Friendship Festival
Gibson Baptist Church, Gibson, TN
  • Sept 6-7, Germantown Festival
Civic Center Complex, Germantown, TN
  • Sept 6-7, Sessions in the Park Indie Music Showcase
Pepsi Pavilion, Memphis, TN


Middle TN
  • Sept 1, African Heritage Festival
Global Mall at The Crossings, Antioch, TN
  • Sept 1-6, Dickson County Fair
Fairgrounds, Dickson, TN
  • Sept 5, Taste the Beef Chili & Star Challenge
Pulaski Square, Pulaski, TN
  • Sept 5-6, Cookeville Fall Funfest
Town Square, Cookeville, TN
  • Sept 5-6, Clarksville Riverfest Celebration
McGregor Park, Clarksville, TN
  • Sept 5-7, Nashville Home Decorating and Remodeling Show
Music City Center, Nashville, TN
  • Sept 5-7,  Nashville's Italian Lights Festival
Saint Pius X, Nashville, TN
  • Sept 5-14, Tennessee State Fair
Tennessee State Fairgrounds, Nashville, TN
  • Sept 5-7, 27th Annual Pioneer Days Antique Tractor Pull and Gas Engine Show
747 Chapel Hill Pike, Eagleville, TN
  • Sept 6, Steward County Bazaar
Dover Visitor Center, Dover, TN
  • Sept 6,  Grinders Switch Music & Arts Festival
Downtown Square, CentervilleTN
  • Sept 6,  Here's The Beef, TN's Largest Tailgate on the Square
Pulaski Square, Pulaski, TN
  • Sept 6-13,  Lincoln County Fair
Lincoln County Fairgrounds, Fayetteville, TN
  • Sept 6, 8th Annual Taste of Hope
The Avenue, Murfreesboro, TN


East TN
  • Sept 1, Hooray for Harriman Labor Day Festival
Downtown Harriman, TN
  • Sept 1-6, Sevier County Fair
Fairgrounds, Sevierville, TN
  • Sept 5-6, Cagle Community Association Quilt Show
Cagle Community Center, Dunlap, TN
  • Sept 5-7, Fall Roan Mountain Naturalists Rally
Roan Mountain State Park, Roan Mountain, TN
  • Sept 5-7 , Mountaineer Folk Festival
Village Green Area, Pikeville, TN
  • Sept 5-14, Tennessee Valley Fair
Chilhowee Park, Knoxville, TN
  • Sept 6, Wings Over the Big South Fork Airshow and Antique Car Show
1870 Airport Road, Oneida, TN
  • Sept 6, Memories on Mulberry Antique Show & Sale
Courthouse Lawn, Loudon, TN
  • Sept 6, Country Christmas Craft & Produce Fair
Greeneville Farmer's Market, Greeneville, TN
  • Sept 6-7, Twenty Third Fall Festival
Sequoyah Birthplace Museum Grounds, Vonore, TN
  • Sept 6-7, Repticon Knoxville Reptile & Exotic Animal Show
Knoxville Expo Center, Knoxville, TN
  • Sept 6-12, Bledsoe County Agriculture Fair
Fairgrounds, Pikeville, TN


Friday, August 29, 2014

Simply Raspberry Jam

Raspberry Jam
Happy Friday everyone!  I have another yummy jam recipe to share.  I know it seems like I'm obsessed with jam, and you are correct, I am!  I hope all of you are having a great growing season as well, with plentiful harvests!  And as always... don't forget to share!

Ingredients:

7 Cups - Raspberries
5 Cups - Sugar
2 TB - Fruit Pectin
2 TB - Lemon Juice


Makes about 6 - 8oz jars.

1. Make sure to wash your raspberries and remove any stems.  At this time, you can also get the water and canning jars ready since they will need to bathe in boiling water for 20 minutes.

2. Place the raspberries into a large pan and use a potato masher to mash the berries (or use a juicer to take out the seeds if you don't like them in your jam, I prefer seeds since it reminds me of my grandma's jam). You will then boil them on medium-high for 20 minutes.

3. Add the pectin, lemon juice and gradually stir in the sugar and boil for another few minutes, or until the jam begins to congeal.  You can check by using the spoon test.  Stick a spoon into the jam and then lift it out.  The jam should mostly stick to the spoon and slowly run off.

4. Remove any foam from the top of the jam, then pour into hot sterilized jars. Wipe the rims of the jars to make sure they are clean from any jam droppings, place on the lids and lightly screw on the rings (you will tighten them after the final bath). Place back into the hot boiling water for another 10 minutes.

5. Remove the jars and place them on a wire rack or on a surface that can withstand the hot jars.  Be sure to allow a few inches of space between the jars and let them sit for 12-24 hours for the jam to set and the lids to seal with a "pop."

Have a great weekend and check back with us on Sunday, when we will let you know what events/festivals are happening around Tennessee for the next weekend. If you missed this weekend's list, you can find the post on our blog from this past Sunday, August 24, 2014!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Simply Garden Accent Lighting

Mason Jar LED Light
Welcome back everyone!  Today, we are going to discuss a simple way to set up accent lighting in your garden.  Earlier this year, we set up a large butterfly garden and have been planting all summer long.  It is looking great and we hope to have a posting very soon once we complete the project.  While we were working, we decided that a little lighting would be a wonderful addition to the garden.  We were clearing out a brush line this summer and found some old iron fence posts, so we decided to use them as the base and put mason jars on top. Jason cleverly thought that we should use colored mason jars with solar lid lights like our friends in Atlanta have at their home. I like to have colors "pop" in the garden, so I found some cool blue mason jars which stand out among the green foliage. The solar LED lights have worked great and put out the perfect amount of light to accent the garden.  The solar lids are easily found on Amazon under Colonial Tin Mason Jar "2 Solar Lid Lights."  The solar panels are built into the tops and are water resistant, so you can use them anywhere outdoors.  However, I would assume that submerged in a pond or fountain would not be a good idea, but I may try and see what happens!  You never know unless you try, right?  Anyhow, I hope all of you have a great rest of the week, and we'll see you on Friday for our Recipe of the Week!  Till next time!

Butterfly Garden with Mason Jar LED Lights

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Get Out & Explore: Events and Festivals for the Week/Weekend of 08/25 - 09/01

I hope everyone is having a great weekend! We have compiled a list of festivals and events that are happening around Tennessee for the upcoming week/weekend. You will find that the listings below are divided into three categories based on the areas of the state. I hope you find the list useful. Please feel free to leave a comment if this was beneficial for you. If you have an event you would like for us to post, please let us know! We will see you on Wednesday, when we post about creating your own mason jar garden lights. Have a fun and safe week! :)


West TN
  • Aug 25-30, Gibson County Fair
Fairgrounds, Trenton, TN
  • Aug 28-Sept 07, Tennessee Soybean Festival
Downtown Martin, TN
  • Aug 29-Sept 07, Delta Fair and Music Festival
Agricenter International, Memphis, TN
  • Aug 30, WLOK Stone Soul Picnic
Tom Lee Park, Memphis, TN


Middle TN
  • Aug 25-30, 147th Robertson County Fair
Robertson County Fairgrounds, Springfield, TN
  • Aug 28, Live on the Green 2014: Featuring Capital Cities, All Them Witches
Public Square Park, Nashville, TN
  • Aug 28-30, Summertown Bluegrass Reunion
Highway 240, Summertown, TN
  • Aug 28-30, Clay County Moonshine Daze
Courthouse Square, Celina, TN
  • Aug 29-Sept 01, Benton County Bargain Highway
Bargain Highway Route, Benton County
  • Aug 29-Sept 01, Tennessee Cup
Richard Sigel Soccer Complex, Murfreesboro, TN - Rotary Soccer Park, Smyrna, TN
  • Aug 29,  Annual Spaghetti Dinner
Smyrna Senior Center, Smyrna, TN
  • Aug 29-31, Short Mountain Disc Jam and Music Festival
Short Mountain Distillery, Woodbury, TN
  • Aug 29-Sept 6, White County Agricultural Fair
565 Hale Street, Sparta, TN
  • Aug 30, 14th Annual Camper's Night Light Contest
Standing Stone State Park, Hilham, TN
  • Aug 30,  Clarksville Sunrise Rotary Club Sunrise Century Bike Tour
Rossview High School, ClarksvilleTN
  • Aug 30,  Habitat for Humanity Mud Run
Cane Creek Park, Cookeville TN
  • Aug 30,  Collinwood Old Timer's Day
Ralph M Hughes Park, Collinwood, TN
  • Aug 31, 30th Anniversary Party at Falls Mill
Falls Mill, Belvidere, TN
  • Sept 01, Palmer Annual Labor Day Celebration
2135 Main Street, Palmer, TN


East TN
  • Aug 25-30, Claiborne County Fair
Fairgrounds, Tazewell, TN
  • Aug 25-30, Cumberland County Fair
Fairgrounds, Crossville, TN
  • Aug 30, Knoxville Boomsday Festival
Downtown Knoxville, TN
  • Aug 30-31, Fairfield Glade Labor Day Arts & Crafts Show
Fairfield Glade @ the 4way, Crossville, TN
  • Sept 01 , Labor Day Celebration
Sneedville City Park, Sneedville, TN
  • Sept 01, Marion County Cruisers Annual Labor Day Car Show
Ball Park, Powells Crossroads, Marion County
  • Sept 01, Harrogate's Annual Labor Day Celebration
Harrogate City Park, Harrogate, TN
  • Sept 01-06, Sevier County Fair
Sevier County Fairgrounds, Sevierville, TN

Friday, August 22, 2014

Simply Cinnamon Pear Jam

Cinnamon Pear Jam
Happy Friday everyone! We're still in the heat of the summer, but fall is right around the corner.  The jam recipe we have today has become a staple around our home during the fall.  The color, smell and taste is perfect, especially for Thanksgiving turkey, but I'm getting way to ahead of myself!  You can use any pear for this recipe, but I like to use Asian Pears.

Ingredients:

5 Cups - Chopped Pears
2 1/2 Cups - Sugar
2 TB - Fruit Pectin
1 TB - Lemon Juice
1 TB - Ground Cinnamon

Makes about 6 half pints.

1. Make sure to wash your pears and finely chop them, or you can use a food processor.  At this time, you can also get the water and canning jars ready since they will need to bathe in boiling water for 20 minutes.

2. Place the pears into a large pan and heat on medium until they begin to boil.

3. Add the lemon juice, pectin, cinnamon and gradually stir in the sugar. Boil for another 20 minutes, or until the jam begins to congeal.  You can check by using the spoon test.  Stick a spoon into the jam and then lift it out.  The jam should mostly stick to the spoon and slowly run off.

4. Remove any foam from the top of the jam, then pour into hot sterilized jars. Wipe the rims of the jars to make sure they are clean from any jam droppings, place on the lids and lightly screw on the rings (you will tighten them after the final bath). Place back into the hot boiling water for another 20 minutes.

5. Remove the jars and place them on a wire rack or on a surface that can withstand the hot jars.  Be sure to allow a few inches of space between the jars and let them sit for 12-24 hours for the jam to set and the lids to seal with a "pop."

Have a great weekend and check back with us on Sunday, when we will let you know what events/festivals are happening around Tennessee for the next weekend. If you missed this weekend's list, you can find the post on our blog from this past Sunday, August 17, 2014!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Simply Hummingbirds

Hummingbird
Summer would not be complete without the humming of the Hummingbird.  We make sure to provide a feeder for these delicate creatures, so we can enjoy watching them buzz around the kitchen window.  It's easy to prepare the feeder.  I would recommend you purchase a feeder that is already red, so you don't have to add any artificial coloring to the sugar water mixture.  Some say that the color does not matter, but I have many friends that tell me the Hummingbirds will pass the clear feeders and go towards the red ones.  So, I would just go with what we know works well and keep with the red feeders.  The sugar water is really simple to make.  You just need to thoroughly mix a 1 to 1 ratio of plain white sugar and water.  You will then pour this mixture into the feeder and hang it in a low traffic area of your yard.  Also, unless you already have Hummingbirds, you will need to wait for them to find your feeder. When we first set up our feeder, it took about 2-3 months before they started coming around.  Now, we have about 6 of them that are continuously coming and going.  It's so nice to be working in the kitchen and look out the window to see these beautiful creatures humming about.

Hummingbird Feeder
Hummingbirds are actually only found in the Western Hemisphere. They span the continents from as far north as southern Alaska, down to the southern tip of Chile.  The varieties of these birds are numerous and area specific.  Their name comes from the fact that they make a humming sound with their wings.  They can flap their wings up to 80 times per second!  Also, they can fly in any direction and even upside down.  The legs of the Hummingbird is only for perching and are not used to walk or hop with them. So, you can imagine how much energy is must take for these birds to be flying around all the time.  They do have to feed often since they have a fast heart rate, high body temperature and quick breathing.  The Hummingbird's primary food is nectar, tree sap, pollen and insects.

I hope you will set up a feeder for these beautiful creatures, if you have not already.  Enjoy the rest of your week friends! Check back with us on Friday, when we will have our Recipe of the Week!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Get Out & Explore: Events and Festivals for the Week/Weekend of 08/18 - 08/24

I hope everyone is having a great weekend! We have compiled a list of festivals and events that are happening around Tennessee for the upcoming week/weekend. You will find that the listings below are divided into three categories based on the areas of the state. I hope you find the list useful. Please feel free to leave a comment if this was beneficial for you. If you have an event you would like for us to post, please let us know! We will see you on Wednesday, when we post about attracting Hummingbirds.. Have a fun and safe week! :)


West TN
  • Aug 23, Enville Fun Day
Enville Community Center, Enville, TN
  • Aug 22-24, Memphis Gift & Jewelry Show
Memphis-Cook Convention Center, Memphis, TN


Middle TN
  • Aug 15-23, Wilson County Fair
Wilson County Fairgrounds, Lebanon, TN
  • Aug 19-23,  Franklin County Fair Tennessee
Southern Tennessee Agricultural Pavilion, Winchester, TN
  • Aug 19-24, Maury County Fair
Maury County Park, Columbia, TN
  • Aug 20-30, Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration
Celebration Grounds, Shelbyville, TN
  • Aug 22, Free Swing Concert & Dance Lessons
Riverwalk Park Farmer's Market Shelter, Columbia, TN
  • Aug 22-23,  Wartrace Community Wide Yard Sale
Throughout WartraceTN
  • Aug 22-24,  Father-Son Adventure Weekend
Deer Run Retreat, Thompson's Station, TN
  • Aug 22-23,  Music City Festival & BBQ Championship
Riverfront Park, Great Lawn, Nashville, TN
  • Aug 22-24, Nashville Flea Market
Tennessee State Fairgrounds, Nashville, TN
  • Aug 22-24, World Music & Food International Festival
Centennial Park, Nashville, TN
  • Aug 23, The Stone Fox Presents Nashville Outlines Festival
The Stone Fox, Nashville, TN
  • Aug 23, Cedar Ridge Bluegrass Concert
Rocky River Community Center, Rock Island, TN
  • Aug 23-24, A Showcase of Newly Constructed and Remodeled Homes Parade of Homes
Throughout Cookeville, TN


East TN
  • Aug 18-23, Appalachian Fair
Fairgrounds, Gray, TN
  • Aug 22-23, Eighty-Ninth Fiddlers Convention
Old Mill Music Park, Laurel Bloomery, TN
  • Aug 22-24, Knoxville Home Design & Remodeling Show
Knoxville Convention Center, Knoxville, TN
  • Aug 22-23, Plateau British Car Club Rugby British Motorcar & Motorbike Show
Throughout Historic Rugby, TN
  • Aug 23, Scenic City Chorus Aca-Fest 2014 Show
Frierson Theatre, Girls Preparatory School, Chattanooga, TN
  • Aug 23, Wonder of Hummingbirds Festival
Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN

Friday, August 15, 2014

Simply Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread
What do you do when you have way too much zucchini?  You make zucchini bread!  The recipe we have today is from Jason's family, and I absolutely love it.  You can make one big loaf or two smaller ones with this recipe.

Ingredients:

3 C - Flour
2 1/2 C - Sugar
1 tsp - Salt
1/4 tsp - Baking powder
1 tsp - Baking Soda
1 tsp - Allspice
1 tsp - Cinnamon
2 C - Shredded Zucchini
1 C - Crisco/Vegetable Oil
3 - Eggs
3 tsp - Vanilla Extract
3/4 C - Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking power, baking soda, allspice and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.  Mix well.

3. Add in the Crisco/vegetable oil, shredded zucchini, eggs and vanilla extract and thoroughly mix.

4. Mix in the semi-sweet chocolate chips.

5. Pour the mixture into a greased bread pan and bake for 45 minutes or until the center is fully cooked. You can check by inserting a toothpick or knife into the center of the bread and then remove.  If it comes out clean, with no gooey residue, then it's done. Enjoy!

Have a great weekend and check back with us on Sunday, when we will let you know what events/festivals are happening around Tennessee for the next weekend. If you missed this weekend's list, you can find the post on our blog from this past Sunday, August 10, 2014!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Simply Kitchen Tips

Hi, everyone.  I am going to share some kitchen tips today.  You always seem to run into a situation in the kitchen that no book really handles, so here is a short list of things to help you out!  It's just a little bit of useful information.

1. Grinding or Chopping Sticky Fruits - If you use a food processor, heat the blades thoroughly in boiling water before using, or use a heated knife or scissors.  By heating the cutlery, the fruits will not stick to the blades.

2. Souring Milk - Add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup of milk and heat for 1-2 minutes, or till the milk begins to curdle.

3. Colored Sugar - Place the white granulated sugar (preferably coarse) on waxed paper.  Add the food coloring a drop at a time.  Work the color into the sugar with the tips of your fingers until evenly distributed.

4. Seasoned Flour - Add 1-2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper to each cup of flour and mix thoroughly.

5. Cooking Eggs in Shell - Do not place the eggs into boiling water since this will cause the eggs to be tough and leathery.  You want to place the eggs in cold water and heat the water slowly to boiling.

6. Scalding Milk - To keep the milk from scorching, rinse the pan with hot water before using.

7. Keeping Lemons Fresh - Place them in a glass jar, fill with water and cover tightly.

8. Baking Apples - To keep the skin from wrinkling, slit in a few places before baking.

9. Cut Fruits -  Sprinkle with lemon or pineapple juice to keep the fruit from discoloring.

10. Cooking Macaroni or Spaghetti Noodles - Add 1 Tablespoon of cooking oil or shortening to prevent "boil overs."

These are just a few different tricks to use in the kitchen.  We'll continue to post new techniques in future posts, so be sure to keep in touch!  Check back with us on Friday, when we will have our Recipe of the Week!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Get Out & Explore: Events and Festivals for the Week/Weekend of 08/11 - 08/17

I hope everyone is having a great weekend! We have compiled a list of festivals and events that are happening around Tennessee for the upcoming week/weekend. You will find that the listings below are divided into three categories based on the areas of the state. I hope you find the list useful. Please feel free to leave a comment if this was beneficial for you. If you have an event you would like for us to post, please let us know! We will see you on Wednesday, when we post about everyday kitchen tips. Have a fun and safe week! :)


West TN
  • Aug 11-16, Obion County Fair
Fairgrounds, Union City, TN
  • Aug 14, Homeschool Drop-in Days
Pink Palace Museum, Memphis, TN
  • Aug 15, National Apple Week
The Children's Museum of Memphis, Memphis, TN
  • Aug 16, WS "Fluke" Holland's 60th Rockin' Anniversary
Carl Perkins Civic Center, Jackson, TN
  • Aug 16, Free Scarecrow-Building Seminar
Lichterman Nature Center, Memphis, TN
  • Aug 16-17, Wings Over Halls Airshow
Halls Veterans' Museum, Halls, TN


Middle TN
  • Aug 12, The John Conlee Show
Palace Theatre, Crossville, TN
  • Aug 14,  Music at the Market with Todd London Jazz Trio
Downtown Gallatin, TN
  • Aug 14-16, 59th Annual Trousdale County Fair
Trousdale County High School, Hartsville, TN
  • Aug 14-16, "Lunch"
Hickman County Fairgrounds, Centerville, TN
  • Aug 15, Highballs & Hydrangeas
Cheekwood, Nashville, TN
  • Aug 15-23,  Wilson County Fair
James E. Ward Agricultural and Community Center, Murfreesboro, TN
  • Aug 15-30,  "Shout"
The Arts Center of Cannon County, Woodbury, TN
  • Aug 15-23,  Wilson County Fair
Fairgrounds, Lebanon, TN
  • Aug 16, Wine on the WestSide
Historic West Side, Cookeville, TN
  • Aug 16, Music on the Square
Downtown Waverly, TN
  • Aug 16, Southern Arts Revival
Mount Pleasant Community Center, Mount Pleasant, TN
  • Aug 16, A Night of Jazz, Food and Fun
The Blue Building, Sparta, TN
  • Aug 16, Sumner County Live, Love, Latch! Potluck Brunch and Family Fun Day
Municipal Park, Gallatin, TN
  • Aug 16, Stewart County Open Horse Show
245 Sandy Road, Dover, TN
  • Aug 17, Wilson County Fair Donkey Show
James E. Ward Agricultural Center, Lebanon, TN


East TN
  • Aug 11-16, Cocke County Fair
Fairgrounds, Newport, TN
  • Aug 11-16, Greene County Fair
Fairgrounds, Greeneville, TN
  • Aug 14-23, Jefferson County Fair
Jefferson County Fairgrounds, Jefferson City, TN
  • Aug 15, Big Ridge State Park Bluegrass Festival
Big Ridge State Park, Maynardville, TN
  • Aug 15, Border Bash Concert Series
400 & 500 Blocks, Bristol, TN
  • Aug 15-17, KidsStyle Tour and Fashion Camp
Tanger Five Oaks Factory Outlet Center, Sevierville, TN
  • Aug 17, Davy Crockett's 228th Birthday Celebration
Crockett Tavern Museum, Morristown, TN

Friday, August 8, 2014

Simply Baked Macaroni and Cheese

We love macaroni and cheese at my house!  I was taught this recipe by my mother.  She makes this dish whenever we have a family get together.  It's easy to make and always a hit!

Ingredients:

3 1/2 C - Milk
6 TB - Flour
3/4 Stick of Butter
4 C - Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
5 Cups - Macaroni (cooked)

1. Prepare the cheese sauce mixture. In a sauce pan, melt the butter on the stove over medium heat.
2. Combine the flour and milk. Mix until the flour is dissolved and then add into the sauce pan.
3. Once the mixture begins to steam, gradually add in 3 cups of the shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
4. Stir occasionally until the mixture thickens.  Usually takes about 10-15 minutes.
5. Combine the cooked macaroni and sauce into a greased casserole dish (9x13 inch).
6. Mix thoroughly.
7. Spinkle the remaining shredded cheese over the top and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
8. Enjoy!

Have a great weekend and check back with us on Sunday, when we will let you know what events/festivals are happening around Tennessee for the next weekend. If you missed this weekend's list, you can find the post on our blog from this past Sunday, August 03, 2014!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Simply Natural Weed Control

Propane Torch
We were going to discuss recycling materials for your garden, but a minor set back in plans has caused me to change course.  It's all good though, we have other things we can discuss.  I have recently found a new way to control weeds.  It's a propane fueled flame torch!  Yes, we get to play with fire!  Instead of using chemicals, a controlled flame is a great way to kill unwanted weeds.  Of course, you have to use caution when using fire.  You do not want to set your lawn on fire or kill the plants you are tyring to save. I purchased the Flame Engineering VT 2-23 C Weed Dragon Torch Kit.  It has been easy to use and effective.  A regular propane grill tank is your source of fuel and easily attaches to the torch.  As always, be sure to read all instructions before operating the torch.

You can use this torch around fence rows, sidewalks, driveways or any other border that can withstand the heat.  No chemicals to worry about and no more constant weed whacking around the yard.  The flame is used only to burn the top/body of the grass.  In other words, you do not want to implement a scorched earth policy!  The heat from the flame will interrupt the photosynthesis process, damage the cell walls and kill the plant down through the roots.  If you burn the weeds to the ground, it may not completely kill the roots and the weed will grow back sooner. So, you only need a few seconds of heat to damage the plant enough to kill it.  In this way, you are not spending any more time than you normally would when using chemicals or weed whacking.  If you need to use the torch closer to your plants, then you can use a metal shovel to place between the plant and the flame.  You will keep the heat from damaging your plants, but still get close enough to scorch the weeds. 

I enjoy using this method when I can for weed control.  It's easy to do, effective and fun!  You also get to destroy the weed instead of pulling it up and tossing it somewhere else where it may root and grow all over again. Plus, it does benefit the land.  Fire is a natural way for the earth to destroy, rejuvenate and replenish the soil with life giving nutrients. So, unless you are the Scarecrow, don't fear the flames and try it out!  You may enjoy torching the lawn!  Check back with us on Friday, when we will have our Recipe of the Week!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Get Out & Explore: Events and Festivals for the Week/Weekend of 08/08-08/10

I hope everyone is having a great weekend! We have compiled a list of festivals and events that are happening around Tennessee for the upcoming week/weekend. You will find that the listings below are divided into three categories based on the areas of the state. I hope you find the list useful. Please feel free to leave a comment if this was beneficial for you. If you have an event you would like for us to post, please let us know! We will see you on Wednesday, when we post about re purposing materials for use in your garden. Have a fun and safe week! :)

West TN
  • Aug 08, Savannah Gospel Summer Sing
Hardin County High School Auditorium, Savannah, TN
  • Aug 09-10, Intergalactic Bead Show
Woodland Hills Grand Ballroom, Cordova, TN
 
 
Middle TN
  • Aug 08-09, Smokin' in McMinnville BBQ Competition
McMinnville Civic Center, McMinnville, TN
  • Aug 08-09,  Tomato Art Fest
5 Points East Nashville, Nashville, TN
  • Aug 08-09, The Annual Viola Valley Homecoming
Downtown Viola, TN
  • Aug 08, Live in Livingston Summer Music Series
Town Square, Livingston, TN
  • Aug 08-10, 35th Annual South Jackson Goes Country
South Jackson Civic Center, Tullahoma, TN
  • Aug 09,  The Jazz Alliance
Charlie Daniels Park, Mt. Juliet, TN
  • Aug 09,  Fun with Fido
Swan Lake Pool, Clarksville, TN
  • Aug 09,  Family Day At Oz, featuring Dan Zanes and Friends
OZ, Nashville, TN
  • Aug 09, Excursion Train to DelMonaco Winery in Baxter
Tennessee Central Railway Museum, Nashville, TN
  • Aug 10, Annual Marching Patriot Golf Tournament
Forrest Crossing Golf Course, Franklin, TN


East TN
  • Aug 08-09, 25th Annual Old Butler Days
Babe Curtis Park, Butler, TN
  • Aug 08, Reptiday Chattanooga Reptile & Exotic Animal Show
Camp Jordan Arena, Chattanooga, TN

Friday, August 1, 2014

Simply Blueberry Jam

Blueberry Jam
Happy Friday everyone!  I have another great jam recipe to share.  It seems that I can't get away from canning this time of year, but that's a good thing. We will have plenty of goodies when the weather gets cold! I hope all of you are having a great growing season with plentiful harvests as well!  And as always... don't forget to share!

Ingredients:

10 Cups - Blueberries
7 Cups - Sugar
7 TB - Fruit Pectin

Makes about 6 pints or 12 - 8oz jars.


1. Make sure to wash your blueberries and remove any stems.  At this time, you can also get the water and canning jars ready since they will need to bathe in boiling water for 20 minutes.

2. Place the blueberries into a large pan and use a potato masher to mash the berries (you can use a food processor if you like, but a masher works best for me since I don't want them completely liquefied). You will then boil them on medium-high for 20 minutes.

3. Add the pectin and gradually stir in the sugar and boil for another 20 minutes, or until the jam begins to congeal.  You can check by using the spoon test.  Stick a spoon into the jam and then lift it out.  The jam should mostly stick to the spoon and slowly run off.

4. Remove any foam from the top of the jam, then pour into hot sterilized jars. Wipe the rims of the jars to make sure they are clean from any jam droppings, place on the lids and lightly screw on the rings (you will tighten them after the final bath). Place back into the hot boiling water for another 20 minutes.

5. Remove the jars and place them on a wire rack or on a surface that can withstand the hot jars.  Be sure to allow a few inches of space between the jars and let them sit for 12-24 hours for the jam to set and the lids to seal with a "pop."

Have a great weekend and check back with us on Sunday, when we will let you know what events/festivals are happening around Tennessee for the next weekend. If you missed this weekend's list, you can find the post on our blog from this past Sunday, July 27, 2014!

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