Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Here's How To... Build a Patio

A patio can be an intimate outdoor space or a wide expanse for barbecues and entertaining. Choose from a wide variety of patio pavers and select a style that complements the location. Make it even more inviting with furniture, umbrellas, lighting, and a chiminea or fireplace for cool evenings.

How the patio will be used usually determines its location. Patios for sunbathing obviously need to be placed in a sunny location, while barbecues will be easier on patios placed close to a kitchen.

Follow the link to... Build a Patio.

Here's How To...
How To Do It
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Patio Paver Mold

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Here's How To... Propagate Houseplants.

Have you ever tried propagating your houseplants?

Most people simply place cuttings in water and hope for the best. While the shoots of species such as creeping Charlie will root in water, many species won’t. Even when a shoot roots in water, they must be repotted into soil quite soon or they won't thrive.

There are several ways to propagate houseplants, and each houseplant responds best to a certain treatment.

Follow the link to... Propagate Houseplants.

Here's How To...
How To Do It
Plants and Seeds
Artwork: Jade Plant

Sunday, April 6, 2014

One True Thing About Farming in New Jersey

Now available with Non-Fiction in Books & Publications:
One True Thing About Farming by West Windsor Community Farmers' Market now available from West Windsor, New Jersey

New Jersey farmers have more to contend with than weather: they face high taxes, prohibitively expensive land values, and an urban fringe that brings homes to the borders of their fields. Their success often depends on skills they never expected to need when they began to farm: the ability to innovate and direct market their products, the sensitivity to plant a diversity of crops to match the tastes of their communities, and the savvy to turn relationships with non-farming neighbors into opportunities.

In this collection of oral histories, fourteen New Jersey farmers who have embraced community farmers’ markets tell the stories of their lives in farming. They are the farmers of the West Windsor Community Farmers’ Market, and this book is a tribute to the work they do.

One True Thing About Farming by West Windsor Community Farmers' Market
Books & Publications
Outrider Reading Group

Friday, April 4, 2014

Vegetable Seeds from Bay City, Michigan

Now available in Plants and Seeds:
Vegetable Seeds from Bay City, Michigan

Vegetable seeds available direct from Main Street Seed & Supply in Bay City, Michigan.

Seeds are available in quantities large and small year-round. This includes a large variety of vegetable seeds for home gardens.

Main Street Seed & Supply also has a a full selection of organic seeds including beans, beats, carrots, herbs, lettuce and many more.

Vegetable Seeds
Plants and Seeds
Home and Garden Center
add your seeds to Plants and Seeds

Monday, March 24, 2014

Home Grown: A Choice of Tomatoes.

For home gardeners, there is a huge range of tomato cultivars from which to choose.

In the Penn State Extension office in Chambersburg and at the Penn State Southeast Ag Research and Extension Center in Lancaster County scientists have been running variety trials on tomatoes since 2000. They've evaluated more than 400 varieties across the complete spectrum of tomato types in that time. Every year, they examine 30 to 70 varieties, looking at taste, production, disease resistance, ease of training and appearance.

Following are some varieties recommended by Penn State Extension horticulture educator Steve Bogash for the coming season, along with his comments about them...

Continued at... A Choice of Tomatoes

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Tomatoes and Tomato Plants and Seeds
Growing Guides
Artwork: Sungold Cherry Tomato.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Rural Delivery: Good Fences, Bad Neighbors.

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 1993. All rights reserved.

"Good fences make good neighbors," said the poet's neighbor, as if a wall could improve on human nature or protect one from its failings.

The poet was not convinced, and from what I've seen lately his neighbor had it backwards. Only good neighbors make good fences.

For the past several months Neighbor B has been feuding with Neighbor A over the size and appearance of his fence -- eight feet tall and a hundred feet long, sculpted from old barn wood.

An eyesore, says Neighbor B.

A necessity, says Neighbor A.

Neighbor B, you see, bought land next to Neighbor A a few years ago and built a home there.

Then he started landscaping and, as neighbors often do, questioned the property line. Neighbor A's fence was trespassing, said Neighbor B. That's where its always been, said Neighbor A, whose favorite apricot tree grew from the contested soil.

Continued at... Good Fences, Bad Neighbors.

Rural Delivery
Artwork: Old Wood Barn with Fence.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Recipe: Scape Soup

Recipe Archive: Scape Soup adapted from "The Farmer's Market Guide" by Jennifer Loustau.

Scapes are the flower stalk of the hardneck or "ophio" garlic. Growers cut off the stalks to increase growth in the garlic bulbs underground, but chefs know that for about three weeks every year there is a delicious vegetable that tastes like a cross between asparagus and garlic. Great for sautes, soups, and flower arrangements.

Chop the buds off the scapes and cut the stems into bite-sized pieces. Cut the stems off the spinach and chop the leaves finely. Melt butter in a large saucepan and sauté scapes for 2 minutes minimum. If you like a "roasted" flavor, cook them until they are slightly blackened. Dice potatoes into ½-inch (1 ¼ cm) cubes. Add them and the stock  to the saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, add spinach, and purée in a food processor (carefully, allowing steam to escape). Add cream and seasonings. Serve with chopped chives floating on top if you wish.

Recipe: Scape Soup
The Farmer's Market Guide: With Identification Guide and Recipes
Recipe Archive
Farm Kitchen