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12/31/2008 11:34:00 PM

Happy 2009!

MySpace Graphics

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12/31/2008 01:13:00 AM

Recycled Newspaper Pots

Recycle your old newspaper! Patti Moreno shows you how:

It's very simple to make these and that way there is more room in the cupboard for dishes instead of yogurt cups for seed starting.

If you've gotta have a do-hicky to make your life complete, Thompson and Morgan have a newspaper pot maker.

12/31/2008 12:27:00 AM

Green Tomato

Aunt Ruby's German Green Tomato

Green tomatoes are not necessarily unripe tomatoes, there are a few out there that when fully grown and mature are no other color but green. When the green tomato does ripen, it does change color, it just happens to be another shade of green.

Green Grape Tomato

While the tomatoes roots come from a small yellow berry from South America, the green varieties emerged during the 18th century or so. Green tomatoes were a favorite in the 19th century for pickling but this was more for the unripe fruits than for the green tomato varieties. Now mostly, they are prized for their flavor and the fact that they are heirloom varieties.

Green Zebra Tomato

I know more than one gardener that are completely anti-green tomato, but I believe they add texture and color and flavor to whatever salad or meal with which they are paired.

12/31/2008 12:18:00 AM

Lavender Jelly

Lavender Jelly

3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup dried lavender flowers*
Juice of 1 lemon (approximately 1/4 cup)
1 (1 3/4-ounces) box powdered pectin or 1 pouch (3-ounces) liquid pectin
4 cups sugar

In a large saucepan over high heat bring water just to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in dried lavender flowers, and let steep for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, strain mixture into a deep kettle or pot, discarding the lavender flowers. Stir in lemon juice and pectin; continue stirring until the pectin is dissolved.

Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil; add sugar. When the jelly solution returns to a hard rolling boil, let it boil for 2 to 4 minutes (see below), stirring occasionally.

Boil Times:
2 minutes - soft gel
4 minutes - medium gel

After boiling, transfer the jelly into hot sterilized jars. Fill them to within 1/4 inch of the top, wipe any spilled jam off the top, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them.

Makes five 1/2 pints.

12/29/2008 08:25:00 PM

Easy Hydroponic Seed Starting Factory

Patti Moreno's newest video. A hydroponic set up for seedlings.

12/29/2008 07:47:00 PM

Black Tomatoes

Black Cherry

Black tomatoes are native to the Ukraine and didn't make it out of a small area in the southern part of the country until the 19th century when Russian soldiers took seeds home with them. Up until them, there were very few black tomato varieties out there but by the the seeds spread through Russia, there were all sorts of them. Now there are over fifty black tomatoes to choose from, ranging from black plum tomatoes, to Black Prince, Black Zebra and Southern Night. Germany, former Yugoslavia and also the US have been credited with new versions of the black tomato over the years.

Black Krim

Black tomatoes are noted for their very earthy flavor and are noted to have the strongest flavor of all tomatoes. They are prized for their lovely colors ranging from deep mahogany (Brandywine) to dark purple (Cherokee). There are many places to sell seeds for these tomatoes, but the safest bet is to go to a place like Seed Saver's Exchange who actually know the lines of the heirlooms (for the most part, they don't always get full histories when they get seeds).

Some varieties:

Black Prince

Black Plum

Black Russian

12/28/2008 06:54:00 PM


I was whipping together basil chicken in the kitchen when a friend of mine pointed out that I could just run down to the Thai restaurant and pick up some fantastic basil chicken with all the veggies and a little spring roll. I smiled at that, not in the least bit offended that she thought that my basil chicken wasn't as delicious because that wasn't the point she was making. She was making the point that it would be more cost effective for me to spend $30 at the Thai place down the street than to go through all the trouble of going to the store buying what I needed and then coming home and making it myself.

Is that true? I don't think so. There is something compelling about chopping the vegetables, frying up the food, tasting it to make sure that there is just the right amount of basil and then laying it out on a bed of jasmine rice so that my family can eat healthy.

Even better is pulling the ingredients from your own back yard and doing it. Fresh broccoli, peppers, basil, carrots, zucchini, onion, garlic. Everything you can pick up from the grocery store, sure, but it means so much more when you do it yourself. The time and patience that goes into a good meal is also the same time and patience that goes into growing it yourself. It just takes a little more time and a little more patience and once you've established your garden, these meals will be second nature.

Once you've tasted the flavors and textures from your garden, the grocery store will not look so economical. Why spend 2.99 a pound when you can buy the seeds for much cheaper and just use a little elbow grease? The rewards are so much more satisfying than the rat race. And the only things you'll be buying from the grocery store will be the things you can grow unless you have the space for cows and pigs and such. I personally am profoundly happy for little kids all over the world that don't have to spend hours churning butter (yep, that was me) because of the electric ones that have recently come out in the last 50 years or so.

We live in a time when we have access to foods from all over the world and we can grow them in our back yards. Our ancestors brought over their staples from the various countries they came from and encompass those varieties with the varieties native here, that is just a stunning array of flavor, texture and color. We are losing them now, from the thousands to hundreds. Our palates have become placid and we are accustomed to singular lines of bred foods that are now becoming hybrids whose seed do not produce the same as the parent. Slaves to what someone else thinks is easy to ship, long lasting after harvest and quick growing. Where is the fun in that?

Space is a problem now. There are many, many more people here now than in the day of my great grandparents. Where my great grandparents had acres. My grandmother and uncles have acres, I have 3 acres that I'm about to leave for a back 40. Vertical gardening, raised beds, and indoor gardening are the keys to being liberated from foods that taste like plastic. When I moved to Atlanta from rural Louisiana, that is exactly how everything tasted to me when I was 12. I grew up eating foods right out of the garden, then I was confronted with huge grocery stores with tomatoes wrapped in plastic and apples coated in wax. My mother said I'd get used to it and unfortunately, I did.

But as I stood over my basil chicken chuckling getting a strange look from my friend, I just nodded and said "That is probably so," and left it at that.

12/27/2008 11:22:00 PM

Solar Revolution Project

I came across an article from earlier this year and was excited by the potential after I read it!

12/27/2008 08:56:00 PM

Freedom Gardens

This is a very interesting set of videos. I encourage everyone that comes through here to watch them.

12/26/2008 11:21:00 PM

Another Year..

2008 is almost over. I look back over the year and see wonderful things. My children are growing up and most of all they have an active interest in growing their own food and that leads to them being more healthy eaters. I've learned a lot about my family through gardening, successes and failures have contributed to a closeness that we would not otherwise have. It is interesting to think that this small thing endears us so to one another and it is becoming more important to me.

Our seed stock is becoming rather respectable, a plethora of new things to grow and try. This has sparked off the need for new ways of cooking and offers a wonderful addition to the palate that would otherwise be stuck statistcally in 10 alternating meals. We are a family that spends 80% of our time together in the kitchen and at the table. Another amazing everyday activity that keeps us close.

This coming year will see the upheaval of a major relocation. And then another after we've found a place to buy. It is going to be a hard road to walk for a while, with most of our lives in storage until we can break free from rental properties and into our own house with our own land. It has kept us from buying all those trees I keep pointing at and jumping up and down over, and that is going to take a toll, too. The prices are rising and it is frightening to think of what the cost will be initially be. That is our only fear in all of this. It just seems that nothing can outrun the rising costs, including our want to return to a simplier lifestyle. Especially our absolute longing for the land we've dreamed of having.

I'm a tad put off because I won't be able to garden this year like I'd planned. I will only be able to do the bare minimum which puts my teeth on edge. Our grand plans for a year of growing, harvesting and preserving are on the backburner until this entire mess is back to flowing easily. I'm looking forward to getting this over with as soon as humanly possible.

On a lighter note, my seed swaps have, indeed, put me in a much better position to be a good gardener next year. I'll definately have a choice in what to grow and will be able to expand gradually over the course of the growing season. I'm looking forward to getting to know each of the plants we intend to grow and taking endless notes and pictures to share here. I'm also looking forward to finding a garden mentor to help unlock some of what I already know but have not recalled so far. Growing up on a farm, I spent a good time in the garden, I remember from seed to harvest. Endless hours of shelling, shucking, dicing, canning. But those memories are through a childs eyes and some of it doesn't fit into what I "know". So I'll be hunting for garden buddies and mentors in the Portland, OR/ Vancouver, WA area.

Very exciting!

I started with Jack-o-lantern pumpkin seeds and some carrots and through seed swaping I've come up with:

Carrot, Danvers #126
Broccoli, De Cicco, Organic
Chives, Garlic
Corn, Sweet, Early Golden Bantam
Cucumber, Miniature White
Honeydew, Earlidew
Leek, Summer
Lettuce, Organic, Mix
Mix, Carrot, Lunar, Solar, Cosmic, Atomic
Mix, Salad Greens
Oregano, Greek
Paprika, Capsicum Annum, Szentesi Pincos
Parsley, Italian Flat Leaf
Pepper, Sweet, California Wonder 300 TMR
Pepper, Sweet, Orange
Pepper, Sweet, Orange Sun
Pumpkin, Jack-o-Lantern
Radish, Altaglobe
Tomato, Black Cherry
Tomato, Black Moor
Tomato, Black Plum
Tomato, Cherry Red
Tomato, Gold Nugget
Tomato, Green Grape
Tomato, Health Kick
Tomato, Heinz 1439
Tomato, Hong Yuen
Tomato, Red Pear
Tomato, Roma Giant Paste
Tomato, White Currant
Tomato, Yellow Lemon
Tomato, Yellow Pear
Watermelon, Sugar Baby
Watermelon, Yellow Doll

With more on the way. I also have a lot of flower seeds that I'm looking forward to getting out there. That list is about as large as this one and I started only with cypress vine and ended up with a lot more from swaps and newbie freebies.

My seed box needs to be replaced soon, I'm running out of room.

I have been very blessed with generous amounts of home grown seeds from good people who want to help us get started.

I want to experiment with growth lights and aeroponics since I won't have a lot of land for a few months, it seems the easiest way to do things for now. I'm looking forward to having a nice salad before meals and later growing most or all the vegetables that we cook with on a regular basis.

I just have to get over that potato hump. My husband thinks I'm crazy for wanting to grow two or three different varieties at the same time, but he is thinking on too large of a scale. He'll just have to wait and see.

2008 was a year for planning, 2009 will be the year that we get through one project at a time.

12/24/2008 05:00:00 PM

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays Graphics provided by MUDTRAP.COM

12/23/2008 10:34:00 PM

Seed the Day and Rue It At The Same Time

Dagoba, you know how I love Dagoba, is doing Seed the Day. You send them a pic with you and your favorite bar of their chocolate and they will send you a packet of seeds. You can't beat that. Details on their website. The offer actually ends at the end of the month so get moving!

On a more dramatic front, Obama nominates Tom Vilsack as the Secretary of Agriculture. I'm not usually a hugely emotional person when it comes to politics. I'm not usually a hugely political person, period. But what a downward swing this is. Vilsack lobbies for Monsanto *shutter*, the makers of Roundup (which has been shown to be damaging over long term use if I'm not mistaken) and supports things like not putting labels on milk declaring them rBGH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone) free because they know that the public would rather not drink the stuff and they know that we're willing to pay whatever it takes to protect our health. Better that we just don't know about that. This would be devastating to companies like Monsanto who are major researchers for these types of hormones and other things too.

With such disastrous chemicals as Agent Orange riding on their coat tails, Monsanto has a long history of covering things up. They recently paid out a staggering $700 million for not cleaning up their mess from back in the 70's to a town in Alabama. They are also in deep with foreign court systems for basically lying about the type of seed they brought into the country for farmers to plant. Not nice business at all.

Then there is my favorite. The "terminator" seed. What did you say? You're asking if this is a seed dressed up like Arnold Swartzenager from the Terminator movie, complete with shot gun, cool glasses and clad in black leather? Nay, I say! If only. This technology produces sterile seeds, my friends. That's right. Commercial farmers would be forced to purchase seed over and over from Monsanto because the seeds that the plants would produce would be non-viable.

Did anyone actually stop to think about this on a global scale? A bunch of morons go into a lab, decide to figure out how to make all seeds sterile so that big companies can decide the fate of the world's food. And in the mean time while commercial farmers are forced to abide by this, who gets completely screwed in the end? Well lets see, uh the WORLD maybe? Cross pollination with these plants would devastate natural forests and fields. It would complete shut down the home gardener. Grow your own only to find out next year that half the seeds you saved are sterile.

And where would everyone have to go to get viable seeds? Hmm? You got it. Monsanto. Even though they say they have no interest in further research on the sterile seed, I still find it terrifying that they purchased the company that came up with the concept in 2007.

Idiots. All of them, complete morons. Once you let it all out into the world, things change. The earth is not a laboratory and life finds a way, strangely enough. I, personally, like things just how they are. I enjoy the fresh foods of my labor and certainly don't need some big company coming in and screwing up the planet more than it already is by letting loose to the world plants that produce sterile seeds. It is just unthinkable.

This is what Tom Vilsack supports. This is the future that he could potentially bring forth. It isn't just the growth hormones, its is much bigger than that. The GM corn that actually causes damage to the liver and kidneys. It's the audacity they show by trying to patient the birth of pigs because they have a specific instrument they use to artificially inseminate. The patients on specific varieties and the law suites they filed against farmers for selling seed they grew. It's Terminator, Agent Orange, DDT, Roundup.

For shame Tom Vilsack. For shame Monsanto. For shame Obama for even thinking that this guy would have the minds and hearts of the American people on his agenda.

Sound your voice! Make you're voice heard. Take action!

Say "No!" to GMO's. Say "No!" to the lack of labeling on our foods. Say "No!" to the cover ups and the lies. Say "No!" to Tom Vilsack and to Monsanto. And for the love of all things sacred, say "No!" to the Terminator seeds. They may be saying that they aren't pursuing research, but look at their track record and make the decision for yourself.

12/22/2008 08:03:00 PM

Citrus Crisis

While this time of year is a time for giving fruit baskets filled with orange and apples and nuts of all sorts, there could be in the very near future a small problem with giving a good old fashion fruit basket.

There is brewing in the southern part of the US a small crisis that is beginning to escalate. The Asian citrus psyllid is causing quarantines all over the southern United States. This has also hit Brazil and Asia. The Asian citrus psyllid apparently carries a bacteria that causes the fruit to green and from this they call it Deadly Citrus Greening Disease. It destroys the plant and fruit.

The Citrus Crisis Alert site has a full listing of what and why. Keep an eye on this page and watch as the citrus prices go on the rise. All the more reason to have your own right now.

12/22/2008 07:29:00 PM

Multiple Fruiting Trees

Yea, I know. My obsession with dwarf fruit trees has again caused research and a post concerning it, but there is the thing: Last time there weren't as many of these out there and now that they are out there, I have to post about it.

The fruit cocktail tree is a very interesting tree producing a staggering six different fruits on the three including nectarines, peaches, plums, and apricots. Fairly amazing in my mind.

This is the graphic that accompanies this tree wherever I've found it, which are:


Both places charge the same price for the tree, but what I also found interesting was at the House of Wesley is the pear and apple trees. Each tree has 5 different apples or pears and they are both dwarf varieties, not growing over 10 feet. Lovely.

Excitingly enough, Direct Gardening has a citrus version. A dwarf variety that has orange, tangerines and lemons. I'm just loving it!

Now if only we could manage to get all my favorite fruits onto one tree.

Outside of fruit, while driving along one day I saw a Roses of Sharon tree with two different color blooms. I was surprised to see it and thought it was a fluke. I was wrong! I found this little gem and also a butterfly 3 in 1 and a red white and blue hydrangea. Completely awesome!

I was also surprised to find a site selling Mayhaw. This is not a well known fruit as it is a southern tree growing primarily in Eastern Texas, all over Louisiana and in Mississippi. I grew up on the jelly, ice cream and cobbler. I also grew up harvesting this berry. It is much like a cranberry and harvested similarly. We would get out in the boat and use a net to gather them out of the water and lay sheets around the bank side of the tree to catch dropping fruit, usually caused by one of the boys shaking the tree. It is a delicious fruit and tastes similarly to cranberry made into a jelly but is much different when eaten as ice cream or a cobbler. I found it at Aaron's Nursery.

These trees will have the same shipping restrictions for specific states. Most will not be available to the west coast and citrus producing states like Florida from these sites and specific searches will need to be local for those areas.

12/19/2008 11:34:00 AM

Peppermint Patty

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12/16/2008 11:39:00 PM

Victory Gardens

A forum post got me to thinking about Victory Gardens and the roll they once played when First Lady Elenore Roosevelt planted hers at the White House. The Victory Garden was utilized in the US, Canada and the UK as a way to not only boost food production in those countries but it was a way to help keep the home fires burning brightly. The Victory Garden accounted for an astonishing 40% of the total fresh food production during the war years from about 20 million Americans.

Families were encouraged to plant their own, harvest and preserve their home grown foods through such major periodicals as Saturday Evening Post, Good Housekeeping and Life. This helped to ease the burden on the labor and transportation shortages that were abound throughout the country and it also helped to save the commerically canned items for the troops. The government urged everyone to make Victory Gardens a family and community effort. And it made a tremendous difference, more than 20 million gardens were planted putting out about 10 tons of food.

Unfortunately, when the war ended so did the push for Urban American to be more self sufficient. The gardens that were grown during the war years declined significantly, but the concept never died. With our current economic status in the US and worldwide, the Victory Garden is making a come back, however small.

12/14/2008 10:54:00 PM

Winter Sprouts

Part of winter gardening is growing sprouts to munch down on. A popular sprout is alfalfa. Sprouting is becoming more popular as gardeners yearn for more fresh produce that isn't grown in some distant country, costing more and more every season.

You will need a quart (or liter) glass jar or maybe a sprout container or bag.
Alfalfa seeds (untreated seeds).
Something to prop the jar up on so that it is sitting at an angle to allow for drainage.
A warm dark place to stash your jar.

Rinse your seeds, then soak for 4 to 8 hours. Drain the seeds and then prop your jar so that the excess can drain. The idea behind sprouting is to keep moisture available without harboring mold or drowning the seeds so make sure that your jar can drain.

Once or twice a day rinse your seeds. This keeps them from developing funky smells and sludge that comes from beneficial bacterial growth that the seedlings will use to help them grow in soil. Make sure your jar is returned to a draining position.

After a few of days, taste test your sprouts (after a good rinse) to see if they are ready to eat. If they are, munch down, if not, try again the next day. Always check your sprouts for mold before you eat them. Throw out any sprouts that are moldy.

Spouts can be stored in the chill chest for a few days. Put them in a dry container and in the case of alfalfa, ventilate the container, and eat whenever your in the mood.

Sprouts can be used in stir fry for added nutrition. Remember that the older some sprouts get, the tougher they will be so make sure to use them when they are only a few days old.

This is another grand experiment. Not all sprouts are the same!

12/14/2008 01:35:00 AM

Irish Cream Fudge Recipe

Irish Cream Fudge Recipe

2 packages ( each package should be 12 oz. each) of milk chocolate chips 
1 (12 oz.) package semisweet chocolate chips 
2 jars of marshmallow cream, 7 ounces EACH 
2 t. of vanilla extract 
2/3 C. of Irish Cream 
2 C. of chopped nuts - optional 
4 1/2 C. of granulated sugar 
1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk 
1/2 lb. of butter

In a very large bowl, combine the 2 packages of milk chocolate chips, the one package of semisweet chocolate chips, both jars of marshmallow cream, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, the Irish Cream, and nuts if you are adding them. Set this mixture aside. 

Line a 10-x-15-inch pan with foil and spread lightly with butter or margarine. 

In a medium sized saucepan, combine 4 1/2 cups of granulated sugar, 1 can of evaporated milk, and 1/2 pound of butter. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat and cook slowly, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes. 

Pour the milk mixture into the very large bowl holding the chocolate chip mixture. Stir slowly by hand to combine. It is very important to do this by hand and NOT use any kind of mixer. 

Pour the fudge into the prepared pan and chill until set.

12/14/2008 01:05:00 AM

Holiday Rush!

Christmas is right around the corner and it is almost like the year managed to sneak past me.  Normally by Thanksgiving I've done all my shopping already but this year, like so many others, I'm behind and unorganized.  We've managed to keep our tradition of getting the tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving, I'm happy to say, but I'm still waiting for some things that we've purchased to come in, some of it not even clearing the account yet.  That is more than a little frustrating because some of it needs to be mailed on after I get it.

I've been making candy again this year, too.  The chocolate rum candy I made last year was a hit, but the chocolate covered everything else was far more popular.  

But, even with all the rush, and the standing around waiting for midnight to roll around because we're waiting for the Wii... that was annoying.  They had it, but they refused to bring it out before midnight.  Figure that one out.  And they only had 3 of them!  The guy told me that this was not their doing, but Nintendo will only send so many out.  But after over an hour waiting and hearing the woman who was in front of us tell us that she had an hour and a half drive home, I didn't feel so bad because we were right up the street.  Though it shocked me to see that she racked up nearly $700 just in stuff for the Wii.  I started to say that we should probably rethink this when it was our turn.  

The kids got their Wii, however, and we're kinda liking it because it isn't a sit on your butt and play, its a get off your butt and play, better than the former.  At least it will keep the kids up and ready for next spring.  Christmas will be fairly good this year because they just don't see it coming.  Now to keep them from finding it...

12/10/2008 03:31:00 PM

Heirloom Vegetable Archive

I just love this site. Jeff has a massive directory with pictures of the cut fruit, whole fruits and leaves of each of tomato, garlic and peppers. Very handy information with seed parentage for some.

12/10/2008 02:18:00 PM

Wire Growing Bins

An easy way to compost is to take a length of wire for fencing and let it naturally roll up, take the ends, wire them together and then drop your leaves and compost materials in and allow it to do its thing.

But another idea for one of these bins and plant your potatoes in it. If you're going to make a wire cage compost bin why not make a couple of larger holes in the wire to insert potato seeds? It saves space, its mobile to keep pests down and you can still use the compost in the bin as a soil amendment later.

Pull the plants from the bin and either knock your bin over or dig them out. The one in the article from Hill Gardens of Maine is rather large, but if you're interested in a variety, there is no reason why several smaller bins couldn't be done instead. Just remember, the smaller, the faster they will dry out.

12/10/2008 10:58:00 AM

I think i got it

I think I've got my template straightened out here. I'm not seeing any more bizzare stuff but it was at the expense of a couple of widgets. I'm sure everyone will live until I get everything put back up, again. I think what steams my potato most about is that I had just finished putting everything back up from the last time there was a template problem and the day I got finished I'm suddenly knee deep in html (not a stong suit of mine, I'll be the first to admit).

Anyway, I'm pleased that its all back in one piece and hope you are, too!

12/09/2008 10:33:00 PM

Remember that Generosity?

Welp, here is another example of it. A post over at Garden Girl, Patti Moreno's forums talks about gardeners helping out by donating fresh seed and food to Gleaners based out of Beaverton, OR with a list of seed needed to help the establishment out.

One thing that annoys me more than anything in the world is to see a field of beautiful orchard trees with a ton of rotting fruit sitting on the ground beneath it. *sigh* I went to a farm recently and this was the case. I tried not to let it bother me but it did. I wanted to say something to the owners but thought better of it. 3 or 4 pear trees with 50+ pears just rotting on the ground and that was only what I could actually see. There are hungry people, what is wrong with you!

In addition to helping out a place that will grow it like Gleaners, there are other emergency places that will accept the food stuffs. Fish Emergency Services comes to mind. They accept cash, packaged foods, canned foods and fresh produce and they are all over the place. Fresh produce being the key here.

Feeding America has a food bank locator that can be used to find a local food bank to drop off your extra produce.

I'm an American but I've lived abroad and know that other countries face the same challenges as my native home:

Canada has a variety of programs like the US. The Food Banks of Canada has "Plant a Row, Grow a Row" on their website and a list of the food banks they have or are affiliated with across the country. Both sites are in both English and French.

The worlds first food bank ever: St. Mary's Food Bank.

The European Federation of Food Banks. Has a map of participating countries in Europe. According to the site, there are as of 2007, 232 food banks with 14 in creation, serving about 17 countries.

Food Bank in Australia. Has listings of locations throughout Australia and a nice list of donors.

These are just a few of the big ones. There are lots more out there. One such is Second Harvest, in the US.

This was just a quick look around on the net. Imagine what else is out there with more time and a specific location. If you're going to grow it and you're not going to eat it, what is the point? On many of the sites I read through there has been talk of food and seed shortages. What happens when this becomes such a reality that the hungry rates goes up and up and up? Will it be as it was during the Great Depression where everyone eats more cabbage (the poor humble cabbage has never recovered since) than they really want because there is nothing else? I say not!

My own plans for my garden are to feed my family, sell at the farmers market, but what I don't sell, I intend to drop off at a food bank. With so many of us gardeners out there that are going to end up with more than we can eat, can or sell, it is the only logical choice. Don't let it sit there and rot. That is such a waste and we're living in a age were waste is the worst thing we can let happen.

12/07/2008 04:59:00 PM

Garden Network

It amazes me how easily gardeners all over slip into their own world during the growing season and then get back into the networking habit during the off season. Every year I talk to more gardeners and network and meet more gardeners during the winter. Seed exchanges and plans for plant swaps for the following year. It occurs to me that the people that are the home gardeners are the most patient people ever. Even when a small garden, I realized that I let my own correspondences slip during the growing months and have only just now gotten back into email and phone calls.

I'm also amazed at the generous many of my gardening friends truly are. Seed swaps and cutting exchanges. I've only really recently started to really swap and it is just stunning at the amount of plants there are on the "swap market". Purchasing seeds is nice, but exchanging seeds is better. This is not only because the seed will be fresh and the plant known, but because of the intricate threads that are woven by each of us. That guy that knows that lady who has the daughter-in-law that just loves to grow that thing you're looking for! That is so much better than just going to a website and just buying it.

In the past few months, I've corresponded with several very excellent people and have swapped with them and I really thing that these are going to be lasting relationships. Will I ever step foot in their gardens? Probably not. But I know without a doubt that if they have something I want, they'll be more than happy to share and I'll do the same.

12/03/2008 08:27:00 PM

Seed Swap

I have a list of seeds I want. I have a stash of seeds I'll never go through! I found a few places to go to for your seeds.

Browse through The National Gardening Association site for people looking for seeds with seeds of their own for trade. The Farmers Almanac has one, similar. Thrifty Fun has a large list of seed wanted adds on their forum. Blossom Swap has a nice set up to include the US, Canada, Europe, and other places, too.

I found Southern Seed Legacy's Old Timey Seed Swap a good place for heirlooms. But you'll need to show up in person at this one as they are based out of Georgia.

Garden Web has dedicated a forum for seed swaps.

And there is always the Seed Savers Exchange. You can get a catalog or you can join up for swaps.

There a tons of these out there, but if you love your seeds and you love to network, this is a great way to do it.

12/01/2008 02:20:00 AM

Template Woes Take Two

Yep it's screwed up.  Yep, I'm trying to fix it.  I've followed the directions on getting it fixed up from the site I got it from but for some reason even though I've changed the links to the images, here we are.  It no workie.

But I'm still trying to get it to work and I'll get it figured out eventually.  I'm not sure why only the one image is showing properly.  If you've got ideas, I'll be happy to hear them.

Ok, I've got a few more things working properly now.  It's late and I'm gonna head to bed.  I'll tackle this again tomorrow!

I'm Green Inside!

I'm Green Inside!
How green are you?

The Growing Challenge

The Growing Challenge
Just one more...

Fred's Fine Fowl

Fred's Fine Fowl
All things poultry