Getting Started With Golden Oyster Mushrooms

This past week, I noticed that our very first Golden Oyster Mushroom has started fruiting! Then when I came to update my post about Golden Oyster mushrooms, I realized I never wrote an original post. Whoops!

Golden Oyster sawdust spawn

Anyway, when we started the Wine Cap Mushrooms, we also got spawn for Golden Oysters. We decided to make use of some cattle protein tubs because they were readily available for free. First we washed them out. We filled five of the tubs with wheat straw and water so that we could soak the straw for three days. (By the end of three days it smelled pretty ripe!) Eli and I then dumped the tubs to allow the extra water to run out. We consolidated the wet straw into four tubs so we could begin the next step.

Golden Oyster tub

We drilled two rows of 1 1/2″ holes in the first tub.  We then put in a 3-4″ layer of the wet straw, then a layer of the Golden Oyster spawn (broken up and scattered on the straw). We continued this layering until the tub was full with the top layer being straw. We repeated the process for two more tubs that are completely full and one more tub that is about half full.

Golden Oyster Spawn

Golden Oyster Spawn


Golden Oyster Spawn and Straw

A layer of straw with Golden Oyster spawn.

We then moved the barrels under a lean-to roof so that they would be in shade for the biggest part of the day. I have checked them periodically to make sure that the straw doesn’t dry out. When necessary, I have poured water into the tubs until it runs out the holes.

The tub that has started fruiting is one of the full ones. It is so hard to wait for them to get bigger before we harvest them! We are all watching and waiting anxiously for them to get large enough that we can all enjoy our first crop of Golden Oyster Mushrooms.Golden Oyster fruiting

I have to say, I was really expecting the Wine Caps to fruit first but the Golden Oysters proved me wrong.




Posted in Homesteading, Mushrooms, Our Farm | Tagged , , | 1 Comment ~ Review

Our family has been using an exciting Bible Curriculum from Veritas Press, called  This is a one year subscription that is good for the entire family to use.

Old and New Testament Online Self-Paced Bible Veritas Review an online program which allows multiple students to work through lessons from the Bible. There are three courses:  Genesis to Joshua, Judges to Kings and The Gospels. Each student has the option to choose which set of lessons they would like to work through first. Each course has 128 lessons, designed to be a one year homeschool Bible curriculum.

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The lessons start with a video of actors dressed in Bible era clothing. They, along with help from animated characters, introduce the story in a fun, but accurate portrayal. After watching the story there are games to play that continue teaching the student about the Bible story and reinforce what the student was taught with the video. The lessons are set up on a pathway that the student travels. Each new lesson has a banner on the path. As the student completes lessons, stars are accumulated on their banners.

Old and New Testament Online Self-Paced Bible Veritas Review
Each lesson has a quiz at the beginning, smaller quizzes throughout and a quiz at the end. It is my understanding that the only real difference between and Self-Paced Bible, which some of the other members of the crew have been reviewing the Self-Paced Bible program, is that with the students grades are not recorded.

Throughout the lessons there are fun games, catchy songs and funny videos. These songs, games and videos really help the kids to remember what they are learning. In turn, the kids have enjoyed telling me about the lessons they’ve been completing. I keep hearing the song: “Genesis to Joshua, Number 1 is the Creation, God created everything in only 6 days. Number 2 Fall in the Garden back in Genesis three. Number 3 is Cain and Able down in Genesis 4…” Old and New Testament Online Self-Paced Bible Veritas Review

This is one curriculum that I think it is safe to say that the kids love.  I have often “caught” them working through even outside of school time. Although they have all enjoyed it, Adisyn seems to be the most drawn to it. Much like a good book that you can’t put down, that is Adisyn with! She says that “it’s fun, interactive and great for kids.” Some days it has actually gotten to the point that I have to tell her to log off the computer and let someone else have a turn!

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If you are looking for a different way for your kids to study the Bible, that is fun, interactive and refreshing, then I would wholeheartedly recommend They even offer a free trial, which is a great way for you to try the programs from Veritas Press to see if they will be a good fit for your family. No credit card information is needed for the free trial.

Old and New Testament Online Self-Paced Bible Veritas Review

Connect with Veritas Press on these Social Media Links:
Twitter:  @VeritasPress

Other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew have also reviewed while others have reviewed Self-Paced Bible. I encourage you to click on the banner below and read their reviews.

Old and New Testament Online Self-Paced Bible Veritas Review




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My School Year ~ Review

Are you starting to make plans for your upcoming school year? I know I am, Brock will be starting his freshman year. We have been busily planning the courses he needs to take, along with those he would really like to take, during high school. Recently, I received access for one year to My School Year (Homeschool Record Keeping) from to help with this planning process. Review

My School Year is an online subscription service that makes it easy to create:

  • Lesson plans
  • Transcripts
  • Report Cards
  • Course Descriptions
  • and other useful documents.

When scheduling classes there are two options for setting up the classes; Quick Split and Rapid Repeat. Quick Split works great when using living books or other books that need to be read or for other material that has a defined time period to be completed.  The screen shot below demonstrates using Quick Split to divide up Brock’s Biology text.  By entering the total number of pages and the number of days to complete the text, My School Year automatically divides the text into increments and the dates that correspond to each assignment.

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With the Rapid Repeat feature you can enter the total number of lessons in a course and the dates that you will have school.  Then the lessons scheduled on the days they need to be completed. Next you have the option to look over the scheduling and make any changes that you might need to.  Then click on the generate button to have the course schedule generated.

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Within the My School Year  program you have the option to record Awards, Events, Extra Curricular activities in addition to Course Descriptions, Reading Logs, and Instructional Hours and several other options. Last year when Brock and Adisyn were the prince and princess candidates for  their 4-H club, we found out just how important it is to have good records of their involvement in 4-H and community. I can see that My School Year  would be very useful for recording their community service projects and awards both for their transcripts but also for  the 4-H records. By having a good record of these things, their chances of receiving a scholarship from 4-H will be much higher.Screenshot 2016-06-24 at 10.40.04 AM

My School Year  also has the ability to make official looking transcripts. Below is an example of what Brock’s transcript might look like at the end of this school year.

Sample Transcript

Each transcript is tailor made to fit the needs you have.  For example, with each class you have the option of how many credit hours are associated with it.  The classes can also be designated as AP, Core, Dual Credit and/or Elective. The attendance can be recorded by hours of by days. You chose which school terms will be shown on the transcript.

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There are so many aspects to My School Year that make it a very handy resource.  I like that it is easy to generate professional looking reports for things such as report cards and transcripts.  I also appreciate the fact that there is a place to record other important information such as extracurricular activities, events, and awards. There’s even a free trial if you would like to try out My School Year risk free for one month.

Connect with My School Year on these Social Media Links

Twitter:  https:///  @MySchoolYearWeb

I encourage you to read the reviews from other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew by clicking on the banner below.

Homeschool Record Keeping { Review}


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Posted in Homeschool, TOS Crew Review | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Our Farm: Wild Black Raspberries

We have been working to replace a short stretch of exterior fence that was in very poor shape. This particular fence is on the perimeter of our farm and runs along a highway.  It was overgrown with brush, part of it was board fence that had rotted, and the other part was barbwire that was old, rusty and broken. The first order of business was to remove the old fence.  Next we cleared out the fence row so that we could put in the new stretch of fence. While working on clearing out the fence row, we discovered wild black raspberries just down from where we were working.

Wild Raspberries

The berries aren’t very big but they sure are tasty!

Continue reading

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Growing and Freezing Broccoli

This year we planted broccoli seeds in January in hopes of raising lots of broccoli to freeze. We didn’t get along nearly as well with the broccoli plants as we did the tomato plants.  There were a couple of times they dried out quite a bit and they never seemed to recover afterwards. So most of the broccoli plants that made it to the garden were purchased.

Faithful Homestead Broccoli

Nevertheless, we have had a bountiful broccoli harvest.  The kids have enjoyed helping cut the broccoli heads.

How Do I Preserve All That Broccoli?

Once the heads are washed, I cut them up into bite sized chunks.  I put the chunks in boiling water to blanch them for 3 minutes.  (You can also steam blanch for 5 minutes.)  I then immediately immerse them in ice-cold water.  Then I put the colander over a bowl so that the water will drip off the broccoli.  I then put the blanched broccoli in gallon sized freezer bags; making sure to lay these bags flat in the freezer so they will stack easier. Continue reading

Posted in Garden, Homesteading | Tagged , | 1 Comment