Curb Find: Vending Machines

Vending Machines

While we were out yard-saling this morning, we passed a curb pile with vending machine parts. What a fun find! We loaded everything into the car, and when we got home, we had enough pieces to put three machines together, with plenty of leftovers.

Vending Machine Parts

See all the extras? We even have the different dispensing wheels that you need to sell gumballs, bouncy balls, etc.

Double Vending Machine

And we rescued this double machine, too.

I’m not sure what we’ll do with them yet, but if nothing else, I think they’d be a cool way to store some of our art supplies. Wouldn’t the three red ones look cool sitting on a shelf?

When to Pick Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash Vines

This spring my husband added some soil from one of our compost bins to our front beds, and before long we had butternut squash vines coming up in the front yard. Nice!

Butternut Squash - Not Ripe Yet

Those plump butternut squash have been tempting my taste buds every time I walk past them, but I’m not picking them just yet because I know if I pick them too soon they won’t keep well.

So, how do you know when butternut squash is ready to be picked?

Pick them when …

  • the skins are tan, with no green lines showing
  • the stems are brown, and the vines have died back

Many gardeners also recommend waiting until after the first frost to harvest any winter squash.

To Pick Your Butternut Squash

Be sure to leave two to three inches of the stem intact. If you cut them shorter, they’ll rot quickly. Inspect your squash carefully, and place any with damaged skins or stems in a pile to be used right away. Cure the rest by sticking them in a warm spot with good air circulation for a couple weeks. Turn them regularly to ensure even curing. This will allow the squash to shed some of their water weight and to develop tougher skins, so they store well.

Coupons for Real Food

Coupons for Real Food

People say you can only find coupons for processed foods, but that just isn’t true. Check out this list of coupons for real foods and real ingredients, and see for yourself:

Coupons.com

Hopster

  • $1 off Brown Cow Non-GMO Greek Yogurt
  • $1 off any Once Again Nut Butter product

SavingStar

SmartSource

  • $1 off any Olivari Olive Oil
  • $.55 off one C&H Flip-top Sugar Canister (Quick Dissolve or Pourable Brown)
  • $.55 off one Sargento Natural Cheese Slices
  • $1 off one jar of Star Olives, 7 oz. or larger
  • $1 off Wholesome Sweeteners brand Organic Sugar, Stevia, Agave or Honey

Redplum

  • $.75 off one flip-top dispenser of Domino Sugar (Quick Dissolve Superfine or Pourable Brown)
  • $1 off one bottle of Domino Organic Blue Agave Nectar
  • $.55 off one Florida Crystals Sugar product
  • $.75 off any two Domino Sugar products, 2 lbs. or larger
  • $1.50 off one Tate + Lyle Fairtrade Certified Sugar product

Common Kindness

  • $1 off Alter Eco Unrefined Mascabado Cane Sugar
  • $1 off Alter Eco Thai Sticky Purple Rice
  • $.75 off any Clover Stornetta Farms product
  • $.75 off any Country Choice organic canister oats
  • $1 off any one Star Olive Oil, 7.2 oz. or larger
  • $.50 off any Uncle Matt’s organic 12 oz. juice
  • $.75 off any Uncle Matt’s organic 59 oz. juice
  • $1 off any Woodstock Frozen Fruit or Veggies
  • $1 off any Woodstock Organic or Natural Nut Butters

PorkBeInspired.com

  • Click “Sign Up Now.” Register for a free account, and print a coupon for $1 off any fresh pork product

Like this list? I’ll be updating it weekly, so be sure to check back.

How to Tell When Crabapples are Ripe

Crabapples

I’ve been watching the crabapple trees near our house closely, and it’s almost time to pick them! If you’ve never picked crabapples before, here’s a simple way to tell when they’re ripe and ready! [Read more...]

How to Keep Birds from Eating Your Grapes

Immature Grapes

Our grape experiment was a huge success. Read on for my update.

Grapes are easy to grow, but hard to protect from birds. The first year our grape vines produced, I decided to hold off on netting our grapes, until I saw the first sign of birds munching on them. Well, the very next morning all of our grapes were gone. Clearly the wait and see approach was the wrong approach to take.

Having learned from the experience, we netted our grapes as soon as they set fruit last year. And that worked brilliantly, until a mocking bird figured out how to get inside of our nets. She had quite the feast at our expense, and we were left with just a few grapes (not grape bunches) to sample.

But that’s all in the past. This year, we will be the ones to eat our grapes. And we’ve taken drastic measures to ensure that it ends up that way … [Read more...]