Sunday, February 8, 2015

Home Grown: Organic Production Guides

Free organic production guides are now available for farmers.

The guides provide information on how to produce certified organic apples, blueberries, grapes, lettuce, potatoes, spinach, strawberries and cole crops, including cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. There is also a guide on management of dairy cattle  pests using organic integrated pest management (IPM) methods.

The guides offer clear, research-based information to help farmers interested in transitioning from conventional to organic production.

Continued at... Organic Production Guides
Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Organic Strawberry Poster

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Here's How To... Make a Dream Pillow.

Dream pillows are used to promote restful sleep and pleasant dreams. They are small and flat, placed in a standard pillow, and stuffed with a sachet of calming and sleep-inducing dried herbs. As the sleeper sleeps, movements of the head will gently crush the herbs to release delightful scents and please the senses throughout the night.

Such dream pillows have been used for centuries.  George Washington reportedly used one filled with hops, which have a decidedly sedative effect.

Follow the link to... Make a Dream Pillow.

Here's How To...
How To Do It
Artwork: Herbal Dream Sachet.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Recipe Archive: Salmon with Spiced Red Lentils and Bacon.

Salmon with Spiced Red Lentils and Bacon.
Cooking Slow: Recipes for Slowing Down and Cooking More, by Andrew Schloss.

This is a heady, aromatic, elegant one-pot meal. A rainbow of spices elevates this homey dish to a sure thing for a splash at a dinner party—and stirring them together may be the most labor-intensive part of the simple slow-cooking method.

1. To make the spice rub: In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients:

2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

full recipe at

Recipes for Slowing Down and Cooking More
by Andrew Schloss
Chronicle Books, 2013
Recipe Archive
Farm Kitchen

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Home Grown: When to Prune.

It is generally better to prune trees and shrubs in February or early March just before spring growth begins. This is the ideal time to prune fruit trees, shade trees, crape myrtles, shrub roses, hollies and other evergreen plants.

Pruning in late winter minimizes the time the wound is exposed. As trees break dormancy in the spring, their rapid growth will quickly heal over any exposed wounds or cuts.

Continued at... When to Prune.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Recipe Archive: Sagne e lenticchie

Sagne e lenticchie (Lentils and noodles).

from Sauces & Shapes: Pasta the Italian Way by Oretta Zanini De Vita and Maureen B. Fant

This winter recipe comes from the Sabine country an hour two northeast of Rome, where sagne, as the locally made fettucine are known, are practically a cult object. Every household makes them almost every day. They are almost as thin as capelli d'angelo and are cooked very al dente... Any lentils will be good in this recipe, and domestic brown lentils, the smaller the better, will give the closest approximation of the original dish.

You'll make the soup in two pots, one for the lentils and one for the tomato condiment, which ass red highlights and sweet notes when blended with the brown lentils. Although this is technically a soup, it is quite dense, and you should certainly set forks at the table as well as spoons.

see the full recipe

Pasta the Italian Way
by Oretta Zanini De Vita and Maureen B. Fant
W.W. Norton & Co., 2013
Recipe Archive
Farm Kitchen

Monday, December 15, 2014

Out of the Past: A Right Jolly Old Elf

This Santa Claus is certainly a magical fellow. He flies through the sky, is rarely seen outside of shopping malls, possesses an uncanny intelligence about who has been naughty or nice, and has a seemingly inexhaustible supply of toys.

Some say he is descended -- or evolved -- from Kris Kringle, a legendary figure from Norse folk tales. Or perhaps he's related to Odin, the Lord of the Winds who rode through the stormy nights on an eight-legged flying horse.

continued Out of the Past

History and American West Titles
Out of the Past: History Lessons
Artwork: Spirit Of Santa

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Home Grown: Tabletop Christmas Trees.

Not everyone is able to enjoy a full sized Christmas tree in their home. For some, budgets may be stretched or space can be at a premium. Others may not have the time to put up a tree this holiday season.

Whatever the reason, an alternative to full sized Christmas trees are tabletop plants that can be decorated for the holidays, offered as holiday gifts, and in some cases can be used for several years.

Continued at... Tabletop Christmas Trees.

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Christmas Trees
Artwork: Snow Tip Pine Tree with Lights