Neighborly Advice Vol. 5: Neighboorhood Gone Wild With Free Food


A. Onion Grass  B. Mint  C. Violets  D. Dandelion

A. Onion Grass B. Mint C. Violets D. Dandelion

With beginner articles on Mason Bees; Mushrooms; Crystallized Edible Flowers and Fruits; Dandelion Bread, Soup, Salad, Casserole and Wine; Violet Jelly; Sugared Violets; Stuffed Wild Grape Leaves; Outdoorsy Kid Activities, you could say we’ve gone a little wild this week. Join your neighbors for a new adventure!

Congratulations to Jen Neff, the only one to get all 4 correct in the You’re Eating WHAT From Your Lawn Quiz.

After we harvest some wild goodies, let’s head into the kitchen to make a feast from our foraged finds.  Don’t be afraid.  Open your palate to something new.  We’re all adults here.  If we are brave enough to step out of our comfort zone, then we open ourselves to a whole new world of learning, adventure and … well, free gourmet food.

In The Kitchen/ Into The Wild

Surfer Sam inspired the creative juices for this weeks edition with the following comprehensive article.

Everything Mushrooms — varieties, recipes, etc.

Langdon Cook’s new book, Fat of the Land: Adventures of A 21st Century Forager sounds like my kind of adventure. From his blog we have…

Dandy Muffins and Bread

Here are more dandelion recipes from all over…

Dandelion Fritters

Dandelion Pesto

Dandelion Soup or Dandelion Salad w/ Eggs or Italian Dandelion Casserole or Dandelion Wine

And just look at all the fun we can have with violets.

Violet Jelly

Sugared Violets

Crystallized Edible Flowers and Fruits

I am particularly eager to try the two recipes that follow as I have never tried either.

Stuffed Wild Grape Leaves

Simple Delicious Fiddlehead Fern Recipe

Waiting to be mounted to get morning sun, afternoon shade, one of my semi-homemade mason bee homes.  Attracting more pollinators means more garden goodies!

Waiting to be mounted to get morning sun, afternoon shade, one of my semi-homemade mason bee homes. Attracting more pollinators means more garden goodies!

In The Backyard Barnyard

How to Build a Mason ( Orchard ) Bee House

Beneficial Bugs: Mason Bees

Attracting Pollinators

Mason Bees

Shaw, age 6, explains how to make candied violets.

Shaw, age 6, explains how to make candied violets.

Up In The Tree House

Make Your Own Printable Birthday Cards

Candied Violets — So Easy A Child Could Do It

Sorry for the quickie edition

In case you missed the past editions, here are the links:

Neighborly Advice Vol 1pizza dough, making jam, using a pressure cooker, learning to knit, rescuing lost stitches, adding goats to your backyard

Neighborly Advice Vol 2 — kool-aid dye, spinning wool, kids’ activities, natural egg dyes, keeping chickens, line drying clothes, making applesauce, finding your sanity, pickling eggs, frugal groceries, growing peas, tomatoes and even worms

Neighborly Advice Vol 3 — grocery budgets, foraging free food, starting a garden, seed tape, hemming pants, chickens, turkeys, fruit trees, goat cheese, fermentation, kid’s activities and my favorite book sale

Neighborly Advice Vol 4 — making marshmallows, starting a garden, planting potatoes, herbs and onions, charming row markers, slow-roasted tomatoes, foraging free food, kids’ activity to-do list, 100 ways to cook eggs, tabletop gardening, and even starting an aquarium

Neighborly Advice Vol. 4 — Mostly Gardening Edition


Climb over the fence and join your neighbors in a learning adventure.

Climb over the fence and join your neighbors in a learning adventure.

With beginner “how – tos” on making marshmallows, starting a garden, planting potatoes, herbs and onions, charming row markers, slow-roasted tomatoes, foraging free food, kids’ activity to-do list, 100 ways to cook eggs, tabletop gardening, and even starting an aquarium, you’ll find some new adventure to begin this weekend.

We shall start with some simple wise advice for everyone

A Survival Guide For The Economic Times

Now that the weather is getting nicer, it seems that everyone is either in the kitchen or in the garden.

In the Kitchen

Since we are cleaning up the grill for the season, how about making the freshest fluffiest marshmallows for a little after dinner roast? Okay, who knows all the words to Catalina Magdalina. ” Oh, she had a funny name, but she wasn’t much to blame. That’s what she’s called just the same, same, same… OoooH..”

Ahem. Sorry. Once I get singing, things just get right out of hand.

Homemade Marshmallows

Oh my! Look what Joel and Dana are up to. Someday, I’m just gonna show up on their doorstep for…

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

Eggs are still one of the more affordable proteins out there. Plus, if you have a backyard flock you are always looking for recipes. Well, here’s…

100 Ways to Crack an Egg

In the Garden

So you’ve wondered what the heck are they talking about with all these different kinds of seeds. Oh look! Finally, a clear, concise explanation.

Organic, Heirloom and Regular Seeds Explained

Everyone should know how to plant potatoes. Let’s watch this family to learn their simple, common method. Very easy.

Planting Potatoes

Next, we’ll turn to the experts for info on…

Planting Onions

Herbs for the Home Garden

Here’s two nice little getting-started-in-gardening tutorials. You can do it.

How to Build a Raised Garden Bed

How to Start an Organic Garden

Once you get your stuff in the ground, you should try making these simple charming…

Row Markers

I don’t know about you, but I like to bring a little of the outdoors in. Why not try…

Indoor Tabletop Cactus Garden

And to calm ourselves, nothing is more peaceful than an aquarium. And guess what? When it’s time to change the water, give it to your garden. Aquarium water is wonderful fertilizer!

The Home Aquarium

Up In the Treehouse

Young or just young-at-heart try something new.  It's an adventure everytime.

Young or just young-at-heart try something new. It's an adventure every time.

100 Things to Do Before Kindergarten

In the Wild (Free Food Through Foraging)

Cattails

That’s it for this week’s edition. See you next week for more tips from our smart neighbors.

Go outside and plant something.

In case you missed the past editions, here are the links:

Neighborly Advice Vol 1pizza dough, making jam, using a pressure cooker, learning to knit, rescuing lost stitches, adding goats to your backyard

Neighborly Advice Vol 2 — kool-aid dye, spinning wool, kids’ activities, natural egg dyes, keeping chickens, line drying clothes, making applesauce, finding your sanity, pickling eggs, frugal groceries, growing peas, tomatoes and even worms

Neighborly Advice Vol 3 — grocery budgets, foraging free food, starting a garden, seed tape, hemming pants, chickens, turkeys, fruit trees, goat cheese, fermentation, kid’s activities and my favorite book sale


Neighborly Advice: Vol 3 — Where to Begin


Hop the back fence for a little neighborly advice for beginner's

Hop the back fence for a little neighborly advice for beginners

With beginner articles on grocery budgets, foraging free food, starting a garden, seed tape, hemming pants, chickens, turkeys, fruit trees, goat cheese, fermentation, kid’s activities and my favorite book sale, we are full of advice

…or, at least, full of… something.

You neighbors have a zillion tips. So, grab a cup of coffee and a fresh, warm Philadelphia Sticky Bun let’s see what everybody’s up to.

The biggest problem with being a creative, frugal, productive person is the clutter that accumulates. Personally, I’m a sucker for windows from the garbage heap. I think yo myself, “Ooo, that would make a lovely hot box.” Of course, as of yet there is nary a hot box to be found on this property. Although there are about 10 windows waiting for me.

I guess it’s time for…

Reorganization — At Long Last

Okay, enough of that for today. What smells so good?

In the Kitchen

Oh, it is Joel and Dana with another wonderful tutorial

How to Make Your Own Turkey Gravy

Mm! I can just feel my arteries clogging. Scrumptious! Well, how about we balance that out a bit with a great list from FitBuff. So, grab an apple and check out:

Top 10 Lower Cholesterol Foods

Our next article comes from Heather, whose site looks like what I imagined mine would look like when I first started. She is obviously a kindred spirit. She offers ” a reminder that coupons are not the only way to save money in your food budget.”

Tightwad Tuesday: Talking Grocery Budget

Pickles, sauerkraut and fermenting. Oh my!

Pickles, sauerkraut and fermenting. Oh my!

Here’s a nice article with good resources on getting started with fermenting. I’ve got my crocks. I can’t wait to get started.

Homestead Critters on Your Countertop

More fermenting? Yup, ’cause it’s just so darn cost efficient.

Home Brewing to Save Money ( and have fun )

Confession: I absolutely ache to own dairy goats. You know, just two little Nigerian Dwarfs to provide milk, soap and, of course cheeeeese. Our next article shows just how simple the cheese making process can be.

Making Goat Cheese

Did you know it was that easy? Me neither.

My goodness! What is all that chatter going on…

In The Sewing Room

Oh, it’s a debate over sew and no-sew hemming methods. You’ll just have to check them all out and decide what will work for you.

How to Hem Pants — No Sew Method

How to Hem a Pair of Pants — Blind Hem Tutorial

How to Hem Pants into Shorts, Then Use the Pant Leg to Make a Hat

My those three just have such different ways for everything. I get a charge out of them.

Let’s head out to the back porch to see what Melissa is up to.

Oh dear, she has fallen asleep in the hammock with her knitting. Give me a moment here I just want to remove her project before she pokes an eye out.

(Neighbor Nancy covers Melissa with a warm blankey and giggles quietly as Melissa lets out a giant snore.)

We’d better tiptoe down the porch steps and see what’s growing…

In The Garden

Our first article was actually information I was try to dig up about this time last year. I guess I should have started the magazine sooner.

How to Make Your Own Seed Tape

Oh dear! You’re not even sure how to begin your garden? Have no fear. Go Green Thumb is here to walk you through the process.

Starting an Organic Vegetable Garden

And since I am crippled from working on our new orchard, I think everyone should know…

How to Plant a Fruit Tree

Just look at those silly chickens play in the freshly dug holes!

In The Backyard Barnyard

Nothin’ says frugality like some easy to care for backyard poultry. With two different authors, on two different topics, it should be easy peasy to get started.

Raising Turkeys for Fun and Profit: Basic Facts and Terminology

Raising Chickens for Meat and Eggs

What the heck is all that dad-blasted noise? Oh, it just all the kids…

Up In The Tree House

Well, it looks like they are up to some interesting project. Let’s take a peek.

Making a Backyard Weather Station

Very nifty!

Every tree house should have its own little shelf full of wonderful books. Grab your binoculars or just pretend with your hands. Here are…

Three Bird Books For Spring

I like to test the structural soundness of my tree house by weighing it down with as many books as possible. So, since it’s that time of year again, I offer you advice on my favorite source of children’s books.

Your Local Scholastic Warehouse Book Sale

Let’s finish our visit by going for a walk. I think you should see one way we can find some free food

In The Wild

I told my mom about the following article. She’s so excited she just may pop. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, too. I know I did.

How to Forage for Pine Nuts

Well, that’s it for this week. I hope you found something to keep you frugally busy.

Climb over the fence and join your neighbors in a learning adventure.

Climb over the fence and join your neighbors in a learning adventure.

Join the neighborly discussion Saturday night at 8pm. All you have to do is type in the Meebo box at the right so I can pull you into the chat room.

If you are a blogger with a beginner “how-to” article, please feel free to e-mail me the link. NeighborlyAdvice@gmail.com

Missed the other editions? Click below:

Neighborly Advice Vol 1pizza dough, making jam, using a pressure cooker, learning to knit, rescuing lost stitches, adding goats to your backyard

Neighborly Advice Vol 2 — kool-aid dye, spinning wool, kids’ activities, natural egg dyes, keeping chickens, line drying clothes, making applesauce, finding your sanity, pickling eggs, frugal groceries, growing peas, tomatoes and even worms

Neighborly Advice Vol 4 — making marshmallows, starting a garden, planting potatoes, herbs and onions, charming row markers, slow-roasted tomatoes, foraging free food, kids’ activity to-do list, 100 ways to cook eggs, tabletop gardening, and even starting an aquarium

What are you going to try?

Which was your favorite article?

Are you going to the book sale?

Neighborly Advice: Vol 2 — Beginner Projects for Every Age


Climb over the fence and join your neighbors in a learning adventure.

Climb over the fence and join your neighbors in a learning adventure.

With beginner articles on kool-aid dye, spinning wool, kids’ activities, natural egg dyes, keeping chickens, line drying clothes, making applesauce, finding your sanity, pickling eggs, frugal groceries, growing peas, tomatoes and even worms, we’ve got quite a bit of neighborly advice this week. Grab a cup of coffee and join us…

In The Kitchen

We begin with King Biscuit Pants and a wonderful method for the flavorful long-ish term storage of eggs. I have decided that if he eats too many of these I will simply rename him to King Crackle Fannie.

Shu’s Pickled Eggs

Here is a blogger of my own heart offering good advice on getting more food for less.

Frugal Grocery Shopping

Tracey has a quick tip for

The Most Perfect Rice You’ve Ever Eaten

Next, we will go visit Joel and Dana, who are using up their storage apple for a delicious endeavor. They have plenty of pictures so you can learn how, also.

How to Make Your Own Applesauce

Whew! Was it warm in there or am I having hot flashes? Let go see what’s going on…

In The Sewing Room

Hm. That shirt looks a little faded. Maybe you should perk it up.

How to dye with kool-aid

Grap your drop spindle, 'cause Einstein is ready for his Spring hair cut

Grap your drop spindle, 'cause Einstein is ready for his Spring hair cut

That’s better.

Spinning your own yarn doesn’t require an expensive spinning wheel or even sheep, for that matter.

Drop Spindle Spinning

Now, let’s go visit Melissa, who is knitting away on the back porch swing. She will offer you encouragement for your first simple knitting project.

First Ribbed Hat — Where Do I Begin?

Oh dear! Do you hear that? It sounds like the washing machine is off balance. We better run to see what’s going on…

In the Laundry Room

Aparna offers some simple advice to help keep your sinuses happy and you better rested.

Beware of Dust Mites on Your Pillows

Sometimes we forget some of the simplest frugal ideas. The Greenest Dollar will get you started with…

How to Line Dry Your Clothes

My clothesline is next to a mock orange bush. When I dry our clothes there, while it is blooming… Hoo boy! Delicious clothes. Makes me wish I was a goat so I could eat them.

Since we are already outside, let’s check out what’s growing…

In The Garden

You know your garden will be great, when you have an extension agent on your side. Ladybug at the University of Connecticut offers us a nice how-to for pea planting. Just remember, to check my “What to Plant Now” post for what timing is appropriate in your neck of the woods.

Time to Plant Peas

Of course, just about every vegetable gardener’s first experience is with tomatoes. So we have some neighborly advice here too.

Grow Your Own Tomatoes

Our neighbor, Mary will help you turn your kitchen waste into beautiful, rich soil with a little help from her friends.

My New Best Friend–A Worm

Run get your sugar free non marshmellow peep.

Click here to learn about getting started with your own Beginner's Flock of sugar free non marshmellow peeps.

Speaking of critters, let’s check out the new arrivals…

In The Backyard Barnyard

Every month Gina, takes question, shares reader photos and offers great advice. Sign up for your free subscription to…

Keeping Chickens Newsletter

For heavens sake, what are those boisterous children up to? We’d better take a peek at what’s going on…

Up In The Tree House

Try an old fashioned method for coloring eggs this weekend from DaVinci’s classroom

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

Keep kid’s busy with this wealth of activities site from our neighbors across the pond

10 Inspiring Ideas for a Rainy Day

Now, while the kids are occupied for a bit, how about a little work on your own sanity.

In The Mind

There won’t be any new adventures taking place, if your feeling less than lovely. Here are two articles from neighbors that care.

5 Body-based Paths to Happiness

Owning Yourself Introduction: Making the Choice

Well, that’s it for this week. Here are links to some other editions

Neighborly Advice Vol 1pizza dough, making jam, using a pressure cooker, learning to knit, rescuing lost stitches, adding goats to your backyard

Neighborly Advice Vol 3 — grocery budgets, foraging free food, starting a garden, seed tape, hemming pants, chickens, turkeys, fruit trees, goat cheese, fermentation, kid’s activities and my favorite book sale

Neighborly Advice Vol 4 — making marshmallows, starting a garden, planting potatoes, herbs and onions, charming row markers, slow-roasted tomatoes, foraging free food, kids’ activity to-do list, 100 ways to cook eggs, tabletop gardening, and even starting an aquarium

If you have a “How-to” article you would like to share, drop me a line at NeighborlyAdvice@gmail.com.

Join us here in the Meebo box at the right on Saturday night around 9pm East coast time. We will be opening up the Neighborly Advice chat room. Meet your neighbors, share advice, recipes, whatever. I do hope you’ll come… and bring a friend or two.

Of course, there will be virtual coffee and and warm Philadelphia Sticky Buns.

Hop the back fence for the Saturday night Neighborly Advice chat room.

Hop the back fence for the Saturday night Neighborly Advice chat room.

So, which article was you favorite?

What would you like to see more of?

What new thing are you going to try?

“Neighborly Advice” Chat Room Opening Saturday at 8pm EST


The next edition of “Neighborly Advice” weekend “how-to” magazine for beginner’s will be published in just a few more hours, but first I wanted to tell you about the new Saturday night live chat room.  Right here

Grab a cup of coffee and a warm blueberry muffin.  Join the fun tomorrow night.

I will be opening the “Neighborly Advice” chat room any everyone is invited.  I’ll be there with other folks from around the neighborhood.  You can ask questions, offer advice, chat about your garden or critters, share recipes, whatever.

Double check that I’m “available” in the Meebo box to the right.  Just start typing and hit enter so I pull you into the chat room.  Sign into your regular IM account or try the Meebo website, if you want a screen name.

Drop by, join the fun and feel free to bring friends.  There will be plenty of virtual coffee and Philadelphia Sticky Buns to go around.

Don’t forget to come back tonight for this week’s edition of “Neighborly Advice” weekend “how-to” magazine for beginners.

I do hope to see you there.

Neighborly Advice: Vol. 1–How to Begin


With beginner articles on pizza dough, making jam, using a pressure cooker, learning to knit, rescuing lost stitches, adding goats to your backyard, we heartily welcome you. Are you ready to learn a new skill?

Climb over the fence and join your neighbors for a new adventure!

Climb over the fence and join your neighbors for a new adventure!

I grabbed a few smarty pants neighbors. Each one has expertise in a specific skill that they want to teach you. Every Friday we will try to take you further on your adventure. Whether you are afraid of death by pressure cooker or that you will poke your eye out, trying to learn to knit, we have a smart neighbor to whisper their secrets to you.

Grab a cup of coffee and a warm muffin from the basket and come meet my friends. There’s a load of reading to get you on your way.

Let’s begin our adventure.

Not interested in the following adventure? Skip down the page to choose from many others.

Tons of folks have been visiting me with questions about baking their first loaf of bread. Others have offered their condolences for the untimely death of my Oregon Trail Sour Dough Starter. Thanks for the support, by the way.

In my neck of the woods, many families enjoy pizza on Friday nights. What if you could make better pizza yourself for less. Kaela, who mostly writes about using local food has joined us with two wonderful tutorials.

Quicker Whole Grain Pizza Dough for the beginner

12 Grain Pizza Dough for the more advanced baker

Here’s what she asked me to pass on:

The 12-grain is likely not for beginners; it can be a difficult dough to work with, as the sharp grains can cut the gluten, making it difficult to achieve a good rise, and it is therefore not as elastic and easy to shape as a regular pizza dough. So maybe the quicker pizza dough is for people who have never made pizza dough, and the 12-grain is ‘advanced.’

She refers to local flour she uses and offers us some additional advice about the flour found in our neck of the wood.

Working with the Wild Hive flours has taken some experimentation, as it seems to be more hyrdrated (and less capable of taking in water) than most supermarket brands. So, the basic idea if you are following my recipes, but not using Wild Hive flour, is to know that you may need more water in your recipe, and to pay attention to the pictures and descriptions of how the dough should look and feel. This is true of any baker using any flour really; flour changes day to day, with the weather, temp & humidity in your kitchen, age of the flour, etc., so you always have to adjust; but in general, when trying out new recipes with Wild Hive flour, I start out with about 25% less water than called for in the recipe, and proceed from there.

So, you would like to make your own jam from the baskets of goodies you’ve picked? Visit Joel for a very comprehensive jamming lesson that will ease your where-do-I-begin worries. Dana, a designer by trade, has beautifully photographed the process.

How to Make Your Own Jam — Step-by-Step Case Study (Step 0)

Why haven’t they written a book? Dunno. Maybe they will if we offer them some encouragement.

On we move to visit two silly goats, Doris and Jilly, who are masters of the art of pressure cooking. The will help take away your deathly fear of pressure cooker explosions as they offer their advice on how to get started.

Pressure Cooking Explained

I don’t know about you, but I need to get out of the kitchen for a while. Melissa is sitting in the back porch swing with her knitting. If we take her a warm Philadelphia Sticky Bun, she will certainly chat with us about teaching yourself to knit.

One Project at a Time — or How I Learned to Knit in 8 Easy Years.

Another neighbor offers a pictorial lesson in rescuing dropped stitches in your knitting.

Search and Rescue at Selects Wool and Flax

Let’s head off the back porch to visit the backyard livestock. Fias Co Farm has all the the information you need if you are thinking about adding goats to your backyard.

Getting Your Goat

Well, that’s it for the first edition. In a lousy economy, you need to develop your skill. What will you try?

Next Friday will be our next edition. I hope you drop by.

Join us at the back fence next week for more learning-a-new-skill challenges

Join us at the back fence next week for more learning-a-new-skill challenges

If you are a blogger who writes informative articles about something you think everyone should know how to do, please let me know. Leave a comment, e-mail me.

Or even use the IM at the right if it says that I’m “available.”

(Neighbor Nancy reties her apron and flies out the back door to stir her compost pile, allowing the screen door to bang loudly.)

Note: here are some following editions:

Neighborly Advice Vol 2 — kool-aid dye, spinning wool, kids’ activities, natural egg dyes, keeping chickens, line drying clothes, making applesauce, finding your sanity, pickling eggs, frugal groceries, growing peas, tomatoes and even worms

Neighborly Advice Vol 3 — grocery budgets, foraging free food, starting a garden, seed tape, hemming pants, chickens, turkeys, fruit trees, goat cheese, fermentation, kid’s activities and my favorite book sale

Neighborly Advice Vol 4 — making marshmallows, starting a garden, planting potatoes, herbs and onions, charming row markers, slow-roasted tomatoes, foraging free food, kids’ activity to-do list, 100 ways to cook eggs, tabletop gardening, and even starting an aquarium

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