Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

John F. Houpt II, PhD's Blog (15)

Reisling now being served.

Finally got the wine to clear using an age old method...Egg Yolk. One egg yolk did in 7 days what chemicals couldn't do in 21 days. Nice tartness with a clean full apple secondary taste. Very smooth and way too drinkable!? Hefeweizen and Witbier next in the fermenter and on to a 2013 Mosel River grape Reisling.

Added by John F. Houpt II, PhD on June 4, 2015 at 10:21am — No Comments

Gotta check the Reisling for clairity tonight/! LOL!!

Busy two days. Started building a new container garden this week using 5 gallon buckets and self watering using a float/resivoir. Will use this for the 8 Brandywine Black organic tomato plants that were given to me this weekend. While doing that, got the smoker cleaned up ready for a brisket this weekend, updated my substitute cream soup/sauce mixes, a chicken-less chicken flavor bouillion/powder, made some bread machine mixes for a friend. Hate buying commercial items when I can make them…


Added by John F. Houpt II, PhD on May 5, 2015 at 12:45pm — 2 Comments

New Year, New Skills

Been a busy 4 months with little time to say hey y'all. During this time, I learned the boys are rainbow loom masters, me, fat fingers. So, not to be out done (male vanity kicked it), I'm learning to weave and loom knit while teaching the boys as I go. Funny how fast they pick it up and do better than I with a little encouragement. Weaved 2 baby blankets, 1 more in the loom, & 2 heart shaped trivets. Knitted 8 Christmas gift scarfs with 10 more in the que. Appears, folks still like gifts… Continue

Added by John F. Houpt II, PhD on January 10, 2015 at 10:36am — 2 Comments

Busy day dehydrating and smoking.

Starting a busy week. Started 10 trays of medium tomatoes today and will run the dehydrator till I use up the 25 pounds we picked up at the state farmers market in Saturday. Also set up 1 tray each of fresh plums and peaches. Smoked two chickens yesterday, one for Sunday dinner and the other in today's chicken bog with fresh picked salad greens and corn. Tomorrow is smoke the brisket and another chicken. Wednesday is 10 pounds of wild salmon. And I'm retired?????

Added by John F. Houpt II, PhD on July 14, 2014 at 5:34pm — 1 Comment

Sticker Shock - $3.99 for a box of crackers!?

Went to a local grocery store to pick up a few things to go with my fish salad and had sticker shock!! $3.99 for a box of no name crackers!!!! Came home, took 2 cups of whole wheat flour, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/3 cup of olive oil, 2/3 cup of warm water, mixed rolled out dough on a baking sheet, cut with pizza cutter, baked @400deg F for 15 minutes. Total time: 30 minutes start to finish, or less time than going to the grocery store. Wife loved them and wants more. Need to roll thinner across the… Continue

Added by John F. Houpt II, PhD on March 22, 2014 at 11:54am — 3 Comments

HIckory Smoked Potatoes - Great salad!!

 72 degrees yestarday, so I decided to make a batch of hickory smoked Idaho baking potatoes in Little Chief. I left them in the smoke for two hours and remain in the smoker until tender, about 2-3 hours. To prepare your potatoes, wash and leave the skin on, cut about a 1/4 inch thick, toss in a bowl of olive oil and seasoning of your choice. Cover your smoking racks with foil and perforate it. This keeps the slices from falling through the racks. When smoking the…


Added by John F. Houpt II, PhD on March 3, 2014 at 5:01pm — 1 Comment

Simple Dehydrated Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips

Here is a recipe I use to make salt and vinegar kale chips. More healthier than fried potato chips and taste good even using kale that sat around for a while.


10 oz or a "bunch" of Baby Kale

1/2 Cup of Olive Oil

1/3 Cup of Balsalmic Vinegar or 2-3 Tbls Raw Honey/Agave if you like sweet

1 tsp Sea or Kosher Salt

1/2 a lemon (Juiced). I used 1/4 tsp of lemon extract since I was out of lemons.


Mixing… Continue

Added by John F. Houpt II, PhD on February 27, 2014 at 4:51pm — No Comments


It's true Georgia and South Carolina are looking down the giving end of a double barrel storm shotgun with a very negative outcome predicted by the National Weather Service.  So, being the dedicated husband I am, I decided to make a nice grass finished braised beef brisket and root vegetables crock pot meal and stock base while marinating about 4 pounds of steak for jerky and steak sandwhiches.  I'll use about a cup of the crock pot stock to make tonights' french onion soup and some of the…


Added by John F. Houpt II, PhD on February 11, 2014 at 11:00am — 5 Comments

To cold to run the smoker today...

so I cranked up the new Nesco dehydrator (Christmas present) and drying some apple slices for snacks. Next project is to make some sesame crackers. Tomorrow is corvina and beef jerky day.  

Added by John F. Houpt II, PhD on January 7, 2014 at 12:21pm — 9 Comments

Bluffton Oyster Factory, a heritage oyster & shrimping business in South Carolina.

How many folks recall the family run oyster factories?  For those who don't know what I'm talkng about or just want to see how our "sea farmers" are keeping their businesses alive,  take a look at an article on one of the remaining family "old style" oyster/shrimping familes out of Bluffton, SC - "The Oyster Factory." I've been blessed with these folks being in our local area and always "visit" at least twice a monh, even though I tell the wife its' to visit the…


Added by John F. Houpt II, PhD on July 16, 2013 at 2:00pm — 1 Comment

Anyone ever use milk to give tomatoes an emergency calcium infusion for blossom rot?

A couple of my Better Boy tomatoes show blossom rot, but not the blossoms. After talking with the organic farmer we buy our eggs and organic plants from at the farmers market saturday and they recommended adding old milk to the container at the root level for an emergency calcium infusion. I had about a 1/2 gal of sour raw milk, added 1/2 gal of water and poured the mixture on the soil  under the mat, some roots are under the mat at surface level and down into the root system. They also…


Added by John F. Houpt II, PhD on June 11, 2013 at 12:08pm — 3 Comments

Last year's garden should have been named the Drought Bowl! So it's containers all the way this year!!!!

Just completed planting 3 container boxes (Garden PatchTM GrowBoxTM) and 1 City Picker Patio garden box with vaired tomato, bell and sweet peppers, Thai hot peppers, cabbages, strawberries, and leeks.

I plan to continue with the remaining…


Added by John F. Houpt II, PhD on April 24, 2013 at 2:19pm — 3 Comments

Recycle discarded produce to make low cost compost and reduce the waste stream.

Has anyone recycled discarded produce from supermarkets and maybe even restaurants to use as a source of compost?   I was considering this as one of our projects to develop the compost for our bucket brigade and maybe even resale as a fund raiser at our local farmers market and maybe if viable, as a small cottage industry for my NPO.

Added by John F. Houpt II, PhD on April 9, 2012 at 3:07pm — 2 Comments

Garden is now going! And the race is on!!!

Started two plants and herbs this week outside and they are going very well. Strawberries and lettuce are in two containers along with some potted basic herbs.

Received 4 packets of seeds this week from the Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds Company in Mansfield, Missouri as part of their entry giveway in their Heirloom Garden Show. 

They consist of Tomato Golden King of Siberia; Squash Pipian from Tuxpan; Gourd Dishclothor better known as Luffa;  Moon Flowers and one that I couldn't…


Added by John F. Houpt II, PhD on March 16, 2012 at 3:44pm — 2 Comments

Digital subscriptions - save money, space, and take it with you.

 Want to save some money and take your subscriptions with you?  When  subscribing to periodicals or purchasing  books,  go with  the digital version of your subscription. 

I have updated the majority of my magizine subscriptions this way.  I've, stopped those which were not in digital format, after asking the publisher to digitally publish their periodical and moved over to reading artilces using their on line websites.  I  also purchase my hard books in digital format as well when…


Added by John F. Houpt II, PhD on June 18, 2011 at 9:28am — No Comments



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