Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Home Grown: The Virtual Greenhouse

Growers can now build and heat a "virtual" greenhouse -- or upgrade existing greenhouses -- on a computer, to find out how much it would cost to heat with different fuels, heating schedules, heaters, building designs and materials.

Developed by Agricultural Research Service researchers with the ARS Greenhouse Production Research Group at Toledo, Ohio, the "Virtual Grower" software is available for download free of charge.

A plant component is being added to the computer program so growers can see the effects of their heating choices and schedules not only on costs, but also on their plants.

The software is gradually being expanded to include all other aspects of greenhouse management, including applications of nutrients, water, growth regulators and pesticides. Ultimately, it will also help growers manage labor, optimize plant productivity and set sale prices.

There are many individual programs like this, but none that considers all of these factors interacting together, as this one eventually will.

Continued at... The Virtual Greenhouse

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mustard from Portland, Oregon

Now available with Mustards in Specialty Foods:

This is
an all natural product with a hint of chili and garlic in every jar. The mustard is flavored for the discretionary gourmet that will make any sandwich come alive with flavor.

Wood carving from Bogorodskoye, Russia

Now available with Carvings in Handmade:
Easter Rabbit Bunny Skier wood carving from Bogorodskoye, Russia

This animated woodcarving was created with traditional hand tools by craftsmen living in the small village of Bogorodskoye in central Russia.

Made of solid linden wood, this simple yet sophisticated carving boasts extraordinary detail. The Easter Rabbit starts to move its ski poles when you swing it in a slow circular motion.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Home Grown: Keeping Out The Kudzu Bugs

Megacopta cribraria, also known as the kudzu bug, prepares for winter by moving from its preferred host, kudzu (aka the "plant that ate the South"), to protected sites where it will spend the winter. The adult bugs are attracted to light-colored surfaces, frequently migrating in
to houses and other structures.

Adult kudzu bugs will emerge in the spring, lay eggs on sprouting kudzu and begin building large populations. In addition to dining on kudzu, the insect also feeds on soybeans and other legumes, including beans in home gardens.

Researchers have been searching for ways to control the insect, recently introduced from Asia. Until a control is found, the following some tips are offered to homeowners who want to keep the pest at bay...

Home Grown: When to Prune

As the days get shorter and plants go dormant for winter, many homeowners become anxious to prune their landscapes. But for most trees and shrubs, pruning in the fall is not the best time.

Some woody trees and shrubs can be injured during winter from pruning cuts or open wounds that won't have a chance to heal properly until next spring. An open wound in the winter is more likely to suffer damage from water freezing and thawing inside the cracks and crevices of the exposed wood.

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. Wound sealants or pruning paints are not recommended. Numerous studies have shown that these products actually slow or delay the healing process and provide little or no benefit.

Continued at...When to Prune

Here's How To... Care for a Guinea Pig

Talkative, social and rather cute, guinea pigs are great as a child's first pet or as a lifelong hobby. They are members of the Cavy family (Caviidae) of rodents native to South America.

A guinea pig cage should have a solid floor covered in bedding rather than a wire-bottom cage, which can cause problems if the guinea pig catches its toes on the wire. If you use a cage with a wire floor, be sure to provide another surface where the guinea pig can relieve its feet.

Good bedding for guinea pigs will be absorbent, soft, and non-aromatic. Wood shaving bedding should be avoided. The aromatics in the wood can cause irritation to the guinea pig's very sensitive sense of smell. Cedar bedding can be toxic and pine too dusty, and corn cob can harbor mold spores.

Follow the link at... Care for a Guinea Pig

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Holidays and Notable Events: Black Friday

The day after Thanksgiving in the United States - the 4th Friday in November - has become the traditional starting date for the Christmas shopping season in the U.S. and Canada, marked by promotional sales by major retailers attracting throngs of eager
shoppers at early hours seeking the best deals before supplies run out.

The idea that Christmas shopping season begins the day after Thanksgiving has been promoted by retailers and local communities for more than a century with parades like the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York and the Toronto Santa Claus Parade that concluded with the appearance of Santa.
It was an unwritten rule among department stores that Christmas advertising would not begin until the parade was over.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Wristlet Pig Change Purse from Saratoga, California

Wristlet Pig Change Purse from Saratoga, California

This cute change purse has a brown piggy face on the front cover. Handmade from choice genuine, special-tanned cowhide.

The wristlet purse has magnet closure on the cover and a zipper for the inside closure. Measures 4.5" wide by 1" deep.

Leather wrist strap included.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dried Peaches from Honeyville, Utah

Now available with Dried Fruit in Specialty Foods:
Dried Peaches from Honeyville, Utah

These are freeze dried peaches produced in a process where moisture is removed from the frozen product using a very low temperature and a vacuum. Only about 3% moisture remains in the product at the time of packaging. The end product weight is reduced by over 90%, while the volume stays the same. This process concentrates the fresh taste, natural color, and texture of the fresh product in it's freeze dried state.

When re-hydrated with water, these peaches will maintain the texture and shape of fresh peaches, with no shrinking or shriveling.

These freeze dried peaches are a stable product with a long shelf life, but no additives or preservatives.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wholesale Wedding Flowers from Glendale, California

Now available with Flowers in Plants & Seeds
Wholesale Wedding Flowers from Glendale, California

These are premium fresh-cut flowers, from Gerberas Daisies and Snapdragons to Lilies and Rose Petals.

Flowers are shipped direct nationwide to individuals, hotels, restaurants, event planners and more. No tax ID required to purchase wholesale.

Flowering Orange Jasmine Bonsai from Patchogue, New York

Now available with Bonsai in Plants & Seeds
Flowering Orange Jasmine from Patchogue, New York

The Orange Jasmine (murraya paniculata), also known as "satinwood", is a small tree that belongs to the Rue family.

The very fragrant white "orange blossom" flowers stand out against the evergreen dark foliage. This evergreen tree flowers at intervals throughout the year and produces fragrant orange jasmine scented flowers and striking bright orange-to-red fruit.

This plant makes an outstanding indoor flowering bonsai tree due to its compact habit and dense glossy green foliage.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Norfolk Island Pine Christmas Trees from Medina, Ohio.

Now available with Christmas Trees in Plants & Seeds
Norfolk Island Pine from Medina, Ohio.

Native of Norfolk Island (somewhere between New Caledonia and Australia in the South Pacific), the Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla) can reach a height of 80 feet in its natural habitat. When grown in a container, the tree will maintain a reasonable size.

The beauty and symmetry of this tree, as well as the soft texture of its foliage, will make you want to decorate it, and use it for a living Christmas tree.

The Norfolk Island Pine is a great house plant. It prefers full sun or very, bright, indirect light. Water when the soil is on the dry side.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Home Grown: Potted Perennials in Winter

At one time annuals were the majority, if not the only type, of plant material being used in containers. Now everything from perennials to small trees and shrubs are being grown.

Taking care of your potted perennial plants over the winter will ensure they are around next season to provide another year of enjoyment.

While perennials can be treated like annuals and replaced the next season, many gardeners prefer looking for ways to overwinter their potted perennials so they can have these plants survive the winter and come back next spring.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Coconut Curry Sauce from Fullerton, California

Now available with Curry in Specialty Foods:
Coconut Curry Sauce from Fullerton, California

This is a Malaysian-style yellow curry with pineapple flavor and a touch of coconut.

Use this sauce to make curried Chicken or Shrimp, or use as a dipping sauce for Crispy Coconut Shrimp, Samosas and Egg Rolls.

Gluten Free. Fat Free. Vegan. Shelf Stable.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

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.

Outline the patio area with stakes and string. Then, using a spade, remove about two inches of soil from inside the boundary. The depth should be about an inch deeper than the depth of the pavers that are being used. Rake the soil smooth and compact with a roller or tamper until level. (If the patio is near the house, a slight grade away will encourage water runoff away from the home.)

Follow the link at... Build a Patio

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Gourmet Vanilla Marshmallows from New York City

Now available with Candies and Other Sweets in Specialty Foods:
Gourmet Vanilla Marshmallows from New York City

These handcrafted, small batch gourmet marshmallows are fresh, flavorful, squishy delights, made using all natural ingredients.

Sold in bags of 10 oversized morsels measuring 1.5" square x 1" tall.

Candies and Other Sweets
Specialty Foods and Beverages
Linkadvertise on the Candies and Other Sweets page
add your candies to the Buy Direct Directory

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Farm Kitchen: High Plains Hash

Now serving in the Farm Kitchen:
High Plains Hash

"The March morning dawns with a mass of gun-metal gray clouds. John, our guide, keeps an eye on them as he fixes a broken strap on one of the pack saddles. Jeff stows gear in a set of panniers, the term for saddlebags used on pack animals. But I alone capture the attention of our seven curious pack goats because I'm fixing breakfast, High Plains Hash." - Sierra Adare, Backcountry Cooking

Organic Ganoderma Coffee from San Antonio, Texas

Now available with Coffee in Specialty Foods & Beverages:
100% Organic Ganoderma Coffee from San Antonio, Texas

This is a pre-brewed coffee beverage offering a rich gourmet taste without sugar or any artificial additives.

The special ingredient that makes this organic coffee stand out is a proprietary blend of ganoderma extract.

Specialty Foods and Beverages
advertise on the Coffee page
add your coffee to the Buy Direct Directory

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Adjustable Auger with Wood Handle

Now available with Augers and Post Hole Diggers in Farm Supply:
Adjustable Auger with Wood Handle

This auger has a general purpose design for use in a variety of soils. The 21-inch hard-maple cross handle gives leverage for turning the auger with ease in a variety of soils. Boring 6-, 7-, or 8-inch holes is accomplished by adjusting the yoke, which is secured into position with a locking bolt.

The construction features heavy-gauge steel blades riveted to the cast-iron yoke and a steel tee welded to a high-tensile steel tubular shaft.

Augers and Post Hole Diggers
Farm Supply
add your supplies to Farm Supply