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Working hard on the farm while everyone is at home

Today was such a beautiful sunny day with the temperature around 60 degrees. Everyone is home due to the coronavirus precautions. It seems so different not to set an alarm. Of course, we sleep later since no one is leaving home.

The boys took advantage of the nice day and hauled a lot of manure out to the fields. My husband, Joe, tilled up both gardens. The soil looks so nice and black. We also did a lot of raking outside such as flower beds beside the buildings, etc.

We would like to make one of our gardens into raised garden beds to plant vegetables. We thought this would be a way our children with handicaps could help with the gardening. They could sit in the mobility scooter and plant, pick or weed the vegetables.

With Joe and I also getting older, it would be nice not to bend down to weed and harvest the vegetables.

We would like to use something affordable, but we are not sure what to use. I know some use wood but are bothered with lots of ants and bugs in the plants. We would like to use vinyl boards, but our budget couldn’t afford to do that. It would last a lifetime though.

Joe measured that we would need 16-foot rows and would make them 4 feet wide and 2 1/2 feet deep. To fill our one garden, we would need eight of these.

Maybe we will figure something out before planting season. It would work out so well if we could somehow make it work.

I am wondering if any of you readers have suggestions about what to use. Joe says he doesn’t want to have to mow under them and wants something neat in appearance. We will see, but we would appreciate any suggestions from you.

I hope to go searching for dandelion greens tomorrow. My sisters Susan and Verena found enough already to make a meal of them. Yum! Looking forward to that!

One night, our family sat around the table after we ate supper looking in Country and Country Extra magazines searching for the needles they hide in there. It was a challenge to see who would find it first. The girls also had tricks for us to do with picking a chair up somehow with our head touching the wall bent halfway down.

We seem to find enough to entertain us while everyone is home. Some things seem silly, but as a family we need to live, laugh, and love!

Most of all, let us read from our Bibles for encouragement and pray that God will be with us during this time of trial. It’s something most people have never seen. Our hearts and prayers go to those affected by the virus. God is in control even though the road ahead looks overwhelming.

I try not to think about our income not coming in, like so many others also are experiencing. I am thankful for the meat in our freezers and all the vegetables we canned last year from our garden. The fruits of our labor are worth all the hard work put in the gardens. Not everyone has a garden so it’s not as easy.

Our biggest challenge is getting enough supply of toilet tissue to have on hand. Every time we make a trip into town, which is sometimes longer than a week apart, the shelves are empty already.

Let us be considerate of others. Stay healthy and safe everyone. This, too, shall pass.

Daughter Elizabeth says she is trying out recipes from my new cookbook, “Amish Family Recipes,” published by Herald Press. She loves making new dishes and trying different recipes.

In my cookbook, I try to stay with recipes that are simple and made with ingredients you have in your kitchen. You can find the cookbook online from various booksellers.

God’s blessings to all.

Potato Chowder

4 cups potatoes, peeled and diced

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 cup grated carrot

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon parsley

4 chicken bouillon cubes

6 cups scalded milk

1/2 cup flour

4 tablespoons butter or margarine

Optional: shredded cheese

In a large kettle, combine potatoes, onion, carrots, salt, pepper, parsley and bouillon. Add enough water to just cover the vegetables and cook until tender. Do not drain. In a separate pan, scald milk until tiny bubbles form around edge of pan. With a wire whisk, mix butter and flour with 1-1/2 cup scalded milk. Add remaining milk to vegetables, then stir in thickened milk mixture until blended. Simmer a few minutes on low heat. Yield: 8-10 servings.

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