Archive for the ‘Learning’ Category
The Winter season here in Missouri is in full swing and everyone has predicted we are going to have a harsh winter season. When cold weather hits, one of the most important things you can do for you and your family is to keep warm. There are many different ways of staying warm including space heaters, electric heat, indoor wood stoves, outdoor heat, etc…..but one thing you SHOULD NOT heat your house with is your kitchen stove. I’m going to talk specifically about outdoor wood heat for you home covering the benefits and drawbacks of using this type of heat for your home.Benefits Many homes in rural Missouri use outdoor wood furnaces. One of the most common benefits I hear homeowners tell me about their outdoor wood furnace is that heating your home is cheaper. The cost of fire wood is cheaper than natural gas or electric heat. Outdoor furnaces do no only blow warm air into your house, but can also provide you with hot water for your house as well. In my opinion, I think the hot water is hotter than if we weren’t using the wood stove. Woods stoves by nature are more energy efficient. Since you are using wood, which is a renewable resource, you are not relying on fossil fuels and are helping to reduce your carbon footprint. Using an outdoor wood stove is safer for your home. You are less likely to start a fire in your house with an outdoor wood stove…..if for some reason your outdoor wood stove would malfunction, it is placed far enough away from your house to where you probably won’t have any damage to your home. You do not have to fire your outdoor stove as often when compared to an indoor fire place/ wood stove. You only need to throw wood in your outdoor wood furnace a couple times a day. Usually you can thrown 10 logs (depending on size) in the furnace at a time, which is a larger holding capacity compared to an indoor wood stove. You can still control the heat of your home through your thermostat. Drawbacks Keeping an outdoor wood stove running requires work. You will have to provide wood for your furnace in some way. Many people go out and cut their own wood for their furnaces which requires effort and additional tools such as a chainsaw and something to haul your wood in to get it to your wood stove. Some Missouri residents buy their wood from the local community so they don’t have to cut it which does require some money. Although you may only need to fire up your stove twice day, it may not be very pleasant to wade through inches of snow on the ground outside to fire your stove. So if there is a lot of snow on the ground or if it is extremely cold outside, it may not be very pleasant to run outside and fire it up.
Dickey Bub Farm & Home offers a line of outdoor wood stoves made by Fire Chief. If you would like to view these wood stoves and find out more information, navigate to our Outdoor Heating page. Each wood stove listed has additional information and specs available to you. If you love your outdoor wood stove or dislike having one, share your experience with me in the comments section of this post!
Recently an employee here at Dickey Bub brought in this weird shaped squash….I’ve only seen squash like this in the fall but had no idea how to even cut it up or what to make from this….I assume other people have the same problem when they are given produce they’ve never seen or aren’t familiar with. Nevertheless, I am always interested in trying new things, but I had no idea what to make from this saucer-shaped vegetable.
This white saucer-shaped summer squash is called a “white bush scallop” or a “patty pan” squash and originated from the region between Mexico and Guatemala. It was largely popular during the 18th & 19th century, with Native Americans and American gardeners. Since then, it has been largely replace by other groups of squash.
The squash tastes better when it is relatively immature and is about 3 inches in diameter. You can probably expect the patty pan has some good nutritional value; a good source of magnesium, niacin, and vitamins A and C. One cup contains approximately 20 to 30 calories and no fat.
Preparing The Squash The patty pan’s odd shape can confuse a cook….it confused me! You can cut up the squash any way you like but if you are going to make zucchini bread, you want to be conscious about where the seeds are…you don’t want those in your bread. Other ways to cook the vegetable include:You can avoid the whole idea of how to slice the vegetable and cook it whole. They can be steamed over boiling water until they are tender (about 4-6 minutes) and you can even eat the skin. They are often sliced, breaded and fried until golden brown. In Polish cuisine, they are pickled in sweet vinegar. You can cut up the squash and grill them with other vegetables using your own spices (click here for a skewer recipe) Cut them up and use them in your salad You can also utilize this vegetable’s odd shape by scooping out the insides and replacing it with some kind of dip or stuffing for a neat presentation. My co-worker used her squash and made a zucchini bread out of it and she said it was good! Since they are a squash, you can look up any squash recipes and use them in those.The patty pan squash seeds are sold in Dickey Bub stores in the spring when other garden seeds are available. If anyone else has other ideas on how to cook this summer squash, please leave your comments below! -Andrea B
1. Harry S. Paris, “Summer Squash: History, Diversity and Distribution,” Hort Technology, Jan/March 1996, http://horttech.ashspublications.org/content/6/1/6.full.pdf (accessed July 22, 2013).
2. Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pattypan_squash (accessed July 22, 2013).
3. Marie Iannotti, “Patty Pan Squash – Growing the Flying Saucer Shaped Patty Pan Squash,” About.com Guide, http://gardening.about.com/od/vegetables/p/Patty-Pan-Squash.htm (accessed July 22, 2013).