All posts by admin

Sweet Potato Pie Recipe: Taste The Potato!


There are so many foods we look forward to during the holiday season, and I wanted to offer my take on a Southern classic, Sweet Potato Pie. This is my favorite recipe for sweet potato pie offered to you just in time for the holiday season. I hope you like it. At the bottom of the page you will find a list of more articles on the sweet potato, including information on growing, curing, and baking them.

You will need:
1 pound of sweet potatoes from your local farmers market
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pie crust (unbaked)

Boil the sweet potatoes whole in their skins for about 45 minutes or as long as it takes to soften them up.
Remove skins. Tip: If you dip them in cold water the sweet potato skin will be easier to remove, and it will be easier on your fingers.

Homeade Sweet Potato Pie

Chop or break the sweet potatoes into a bowl.
Add the butter, and mix it in.
Stir in milk, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
Continue to mix until smooth.
Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust.*
Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, or until a knife poked in center is clean when removed.

*For a variation on the standard pie crust, try this:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup melted butter
1/3 cup sugar

Mix the ingredients together and press into a pie plate.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 8 to 10 minutes.
Use in place of the standard pie crust for a special variation.

You have probably noticed that the standard nutmeg and or cinnamon that most folks use in a sweet potato or pumpkin pie are absent. Before you go and dump a bunch of spices in, at least try it. You will probably be surprised at just how delicious the pie is without them! The natural flavor of the sweet potato has subtleties that are missed when spices are added. If you simply must add something, try crushing 1/2 cup of pecans and spreading them over the top.

If you enjoy sweet potatoes, you might be interested in the following articles on this site, including my favorite way to cook them:

Growing Sweet Potato Slips

Curing And Storing Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes The Curing Process

Cooking Baked Sweet Potatoes

Why Use Weed Killer?

Guest Author: Luis Alberto Simauchi Jr.

When tending a family garden, proper care of the areas around your plants is required. Normally pulling weeds is sufficient but on occasion, there are those persistent strains of weed that may require more thorough methods of removal to ensure a healthy garden. A very good preventative (and relatively cheap) measure is to place mulch around your plants; this makes it harder for small weeds to grow due to the weight of the mulch above them and the reduction of sunlight exposure provided by said mulch. Even if a couple stubborn weeds did manage to pop their ugly heads above the mulch, you still have the option to pull them out or spray them with a non-selective weed killer.

weed control sprayer

Weeds are almost always bad for every home garden or flower bed. They use up much needed nutrients and minerals that other plants need and in severe cases, that includes water and possibly sunlight that would feed other plants. Planning the landscape of your garden can also be helpful to deter weeds (as well as insects) from thriving near your home. And on the subject of insects, by keeping weeds out of the garden, one goes a long way towards keeping pest from the garden as well.

Inexperienced weed pulling is often ineffective and in the long term it can take too much time especially if you are maintaining a large property or have weeds that are particularly difficult to remove. In such cases you can use a weed killer. Non selective weed killers are designed to kill any plants they are sprayed on down to the root. When using these kinds of weed killers always exercise caution and follow the directions.

One of the best non selective herbicides to use is a glyphosate based herbicide, these herbicides will kill any plant they are sprayed on, but you should take proper precautions. Even though it is designed to kill plants it could potentially harm your skin, it always a safe assumption that any type of herbicides and pesticides could cause harm to your skin.

Some herbicide safety tips

Own a set of ‘landscaping’ clothes, using light breathable clothing that covers your arms to your wrist, and your legs to your ankle. These clothes will be your gardening clothes, they don’t need to be expensive or fancy, make sure they are comfortable above all else! Normally the precautions only require glove use if it takes longer than thirty minutes, but I always wear gloves regardless of duration.

If you are treating a very large area with a sprayer designed for spraying a large amount of glyphosate herbicide, then you will need some protective equipment for your eyes and your lungs. You can use a respirator mask and goggles. DO NOT go cheap on your safety, spending fifty dollars for a good mask is better than being hospitalized with burning lungs and red eye balls, and even if you recover you will be stuck with a $25,750 hospital bill! Always take whatever measures are needed to protect yourself when doing any kind of do it yourself pest control. As a final note on the matter, you may also need to take note of the weather. On a windy day sprays can fall on not only yourself, but on other plants that you may want to keep!

Luis Alberto Simauchi Jr. is an inbound marketing specialist at Do My Own Pest Control

3 Advantages Of Native Landscapes

Home owners should be concerned not only about the aesthetics of their landscapes, but also about the content.

I am going to go ahead and say this in spite of my friends in the landscape industry who think otherwise:

All landscaping should be done using only plants native to the area.

I trust that they will forgive me for swimming  against the tide. Many of them are coming to agree, and I suspect that many more will follow as the weight of science and public opinion come to bare.

There are at least 3 very good reasons why:

Native landscapes help the homeowner

Yuapon Holly Is native to this area.
Plants like this Yaupon Holly are native to my area, and can be used in many ways in the landscape.

Native plants do well in landscapes because they are native. It is really that simple. Because natives have become established over hundreds of years, they have adapted to the conditions in which they grow, and are therefore resistant to native pests, acclimated to local weather patterns, including rainfall, and are comfortable with the fertility levels of their native soils. This means little expense in the areas of irrigation, labor, pest control, and fertilizer.

By contrast, non native plants are generally ill suited to one or more of those climatic factors. They may flounder and require much more of one element or other, requiring more time, effort, and expense than their native counterparts. On the other hand, they may flourish in the new environment to the point of dominating it. Expenses rise in relation to the difficulty of keeping such plants alive, or keeping them from taking over the landscape.

Native landscapes help the environment

Because native plants in the home landscape require little beyond what nature affords them, the elements which are typically thought to be damaging to our environment are needed less often, if at all. The impact of introducing fewer pesticides, less fertilizer, and less wasted water spread out over millions of home lawns throughout the country would be a positive step toward easing the strain on our planet.

Introduced plants may not only add more of a strain to resources that can be ecologically damaging, but they may also escape into the wild and cause problems with the environmental ballance in an area. There are many cases where they have done so. Invasive species have developed near mono-cultures in many areas, removing both native plant life and the animals that depended on them for survival.

Native landscapes do both at the same time

Native landscaping saves money and help the environment simultaneously. There are few examples of such synergy in most fields  It is the perfect marriage of good economic and environmental policy for the home owner.