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
Pasta
Cookbooks

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
Christmas
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

Monday, December 8, 2014

Home Grown: Scouting Key to Mole Control.


Two moles per acre is considered an infestation and ridding a home lawn of moles can seem like a never-winning battle. But the odds of success are increased when the right scouting techniques are used

No matter what the control method -- granular or gel baits, repellants, or traps --scouting techniques are the key.

Moles will feed on earthworms and grubs every two hours, 24 hours a day. Once a mole has eaten the food supply throughout a run, the mole will stop using that run and start a new one.

Mole traps and baits must be placed in the active runs to be most effective. That makes good scouting essential.

Continued at... Scouting Key to Mole Control.

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Farm Supply
Pest Control
Artwork: Live Animal Trap


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Rural Delivery: Winter Lights.


by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.

There are some nights so dark you can't see your hand in front of your face. There are some nights so dark you'll lose your bearings, mistaking north for south and near for far. There are some nights so dark they penetrate the soul.

Once you've seen this kind of darkness it's easy to appreciate a flashlight, a candle, even a match. The glow of a campfire is like a warm blanket against the cold. The lights of town reassure us that we are not alone.

It is little wonder that early civilizations devoted so much attention to the heavens and obsessed on figuring out the mechanics of the seasons. Even those of us who live in cities notice the days growing shorter and the night extending its domain. How frightening it must have been to see the darkness and coldness of winter spreading while supplies dwindled. .

Continued at... Winter Lights.

Rural Delivery
The Nature Pages
Second Nature
Artwork: Golden Light Flows out of a Window on a Winter Night

Friday, November 28, 2014

Here's How To... Test a Well.


Clean drinking water is a top priority for families. But homeowners who rely solely on well water can be open to certain risks.

If your water is provided by a city or county source, it isn't necessary to have it tested unless an in-house contamination is suspected. Public and municipal water supplies are routinely tested and must meet Environmental Protection Agency standards.

Well water can become contaminated from various sources and can make homeowners sick. Since there are no federal or state monitoring regulations for private wells, it is the homeowner's responsibility to make sure their well water is safe to drink.

Follow the link to... Test a Well.

Here's How To...
How To Do It
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Farmer and his wife drilling water well with cable tools in Pie Town, New Mexico.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Home Grown: Overwintering Geraniums.


You can beat the frost and save your geraniums by taking them inside to overwinter.

In freezing temperatures, unprotected annual geraniums will turn a mushy green and die. They can be preserved, however, by overwintering indoors before they get nipped by a hard frost.

Pot up the plants, take cuttings, or store the plants as bare-root specimens.Whichever method you choose, understand that success isn’t guaranteed.

Continued at... Overwintering Geraniums.

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Plants and Seeds
Geraniums

Artwork: Geraniums


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Home Grown: Potted Perennials in Winter.


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

Container gardening is a form of gardening everyone can enjoy no matter how large or small their garden may be. Those with only a balcony or patio can enjoy the pleasures of gardening just as those with areas of space.  Containers can be quite elaborate, and the types of plant material can be quite varied. When it comes to what gardeners are putting into containers, the trend is leaning toward just about anything.

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.

Continued at... Potted Perennials in Winter.

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Plants and Seeds
Artwork: Bougainvillea Bonsai


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Home Grown: Selecting Holiday Plants

When the winter holiday season approaches, it is time to purchase holiday plants.

As with most holiday purchases, shop early to ensure that you get the plant of your choice. Purchase clean, healthy plants that are properly identified.

Plants should have dark green foliage and abundant unopened flower buds or fruit. Wrap them carefully before transporting them to avoid subjecting them to freezing outdoor temperatures.

Poinsettias are the most popular holiday plant sold in the United States. The bracts, or modified leaves, are available not only in traditional red but in white, pink, peach, and yellow and in marbled and speckled patterns. The actual flowers are the small yellow blossoms in the center of the bract.

Continued at... Selecting Holiday Plants.

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Poinsettia
Artwork: Everblooming Azalea


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Home Grown: Keeping Out the Kudzu Bugs

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.

Continued at... Keeping Out the Kudzu Bugs.

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Pest Control

Artwork: Kudzu Bug

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Have You Tried... Husk Cherry Tomatoes?



The skin of this tomato is smooth and taught, like a cherry tomato, but the juicy flesh has a hint of citrus, pineapple and mango in its sweet taste. The consistency is the same as a tomato. Often used in salads.

The fruit grows on a small vine. When ripe, the husk turns brown and the fruit drops from the plant. If left in the husk, it will keep for several weeks.

Continued at... Husk Cherry Tomatoes

Have You Tried...?
Plants & Seeds
Tomatoes
Farm Produce

Monday, October 20, 2014

Home Grown: Autumn Tree Planting

Late summer and fall is a great time to take advantage of end of season sales at nurseries and plant some trees and shrubs. With the heat of summer over, plant water needs are less and roots make good growth in the warm soil. Just be sure to plant early enough that plants get a head start before the ground freezes.

It takes less than a minute in bright sunlight for small feeder roots to die, so protect the roots before planting. Without these, the plant must struggle to absorb moisture; transplant shock will be greater and survival lower. Make the planting hole at least a foot greater in diameter and six inches deeper than the plant's rootball. If your soil is heavy, loosen it on the inside of the hole.

Continued at... Autumn Tree Planting.

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Trees
Arbor Day
Artwork: Planting a Tree by Sir George Clausen


Monday, October 13, 2014

Have You Tried... Goat Meat?

Goat meat is the most widely consumed red meat in the world, feeding about 75 percent of the population. Its popularity in the United States is on the rise as more people from Asia, Africa, India and the Middle East begin to call the nation home.

Goat meat is a low-fat and low-calorie food, more than 50 percent lower in fat than American beef and about 40 percent less saturated fat than chicken.

Continued at... Goat Meat

Have You Tried...?
Raising Meat Goats
Chevon
A Growing Demand for Goat Meat

Home Grown: Pruning Flowering Shrubs

Timing is important when pruning flowering shrubs. It can make the difference between a delightful show and a disappointment.

Buds of spring bloomers form on "old wood," which means they form during the late summer and autumn of the previous year. Therefor, the best time to prune spring bloomers is right after you enjoy the floral display, before the flower buds form on the new summer growth. If you prune them at any other time of year, such as early spring or fall, you sacrifice future blooms.

Continued at... Pruning Flowering Shrubs.

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Plants and Seeds
Flowers
Artwork: Hydrangea arborescence

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Tips from the Farm Kitchen: Making Homemade Pickles

'Tis said that a meal should include all four flavors -- sweet, sour, pungent and astringent -- and homemade dill pickles or sauerkraut fill the bill for those with a "sour-tooth" to balance their "sweet-tooth."

Mouth puckering foods have been around since the first cider went sour, but processes have improved since the time when the sour taste happened  accidentally.

Continued at Making Homemade Pickles

Farm Kitchen
Pickles
Kitchen Supply
List your product in Kitchen Supply
Artwork: Stocked: Canning Jars


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Home Grown: Growing Oaks from Acorns.

One plant that is relatively easy to start from seed is the oak. Acorns mature in early fall. You can tell the seed is ripe when the outside changes from green to yellow, brown or black and the caps can be easily removed. Acorns can then be plucked off the tree or picked up from the ground soon after falling. It's important to note that acorns left on the ground for several days begin to dry out and become a food source for insects and wildlife.

After collection, acorns should be soaked in water overnight to rehydrate any dry seeds. Floating acorns, along with any other debris, should be skimmed off the top. The remaining sunken acorns are the most viable and pest-free.

Continued at... Growing Oaks from Acorns.

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Plants and Seeds
Trees
Artwork: Washed & Dried Acorns


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Plant of the Week: Camellia

As beautiful as sugar maple foliage is in the northern fall, camellia blooms in the South are unrivaled in their fall and winter beauty. As the rest of the garden is waning, camellia sasanquas provide a fresh infusion of color, delicate form, and subtle scent.

Yuletide Camellia (Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide') is an exceptional winter plant, boasting single, brilliant, fiery red blooms centered with bright yellow stamens standing out in high contrast against dark green glossy foliage.

continued at the Farmer's Market Online Guide to Camellia

Home Grown
Plants & Seeds
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Yuletide Camellia

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Home Grown: Talking to Plants.

The theory that plants benefit from human conversation dates to 1848, when German professor Gustav Fechner published the book "Nanna (Soul-life of Plants)." The idea is a popular one, and has spawned several more books and even an album — recorded in 1970 by an enterprising dentist — titled "Music to Grow Plants By." But will crooning compliments to your ficus really have any effect on its growth?

"There isn’t a lot of research in this area, but there is evidence that plants respond to sound," says Rich Marini, head of Penn State’s horticulture department.

Continued at... Talking to Plants.

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Plants and Seeds
The Lost Language of Plants
Artwork: Dancing Grass Plant


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Here's How To... Keep the Bats Out.

Winter is approaching and many mammals are getting ready to hibernate. Bats are one of these mammals and homeowners may find bats in their homes.

The best way of dealing with bats in homes is to focus on prevention. Make sure that your house is tight; any gap three-eighths of an inch or larger needs to be sealed.

Follow the link to... Keep the Bats Out.

Here's How To...
Bat Ecology
How To Do It
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Lesser long-eared Bat


Monday, September 22, 2014

Recipe Archive: Barley Wine Marshmallows.

from The Best of American Beer & Food by Lucy Saunders.

These ale-fluffed confections were originally made by Executive Sous Chef Piet Vanden Hogen at Pelican Pub in Pacific City, Oregon. Using Pelican Pub's Wee Heavy or a local Barley Wine will add a bit of beer flavor to marshmallow-topped mugs of hot cocoa, or as the filling for adult S'mores, made with graham crackers and bittersweet chocolate.

Ingredients:

3 envelopes plain powdered gelatin (3 tablespoons)
4 to 5 ounces cold water
Unsalted butter for pan
1/4 cup sifted organic powdered sugar for pan
4 ounces decanted (no foam) Scottish ale or Barley Wine
2 cups pure cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
6 ounces corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon Madagascar Bourbon
vanilla extract
2 cups organic powdered sugar sifted with 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Artwork: Organic Marshmallows
Recipe Archive
Farm Kitchen
Candies and Other Sweets

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Here's How To... Control Yellow Jackets.

Late summer is the season for yellow jacket wasps, one of  the most common stinging insects homeowners encounter. There are steps that can be taken to control them.

These social wasps build their nests underground in abandoned rodent burrows, under compost piles, in voids of wood and sometimes in trees or shrubs. The nest is constructed out of paper and holds the queen and her many workers.

Yellow jackets are an important health risk due to their aggressive nature when disturbed and the fact that individual wasps can sting multiple times.

Follow the link to... Control Yellow Jackets.

Here's How To...
How To Do It
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Yellow Jacket Eating a Bee


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Here's How To... Propagate Houseplants.

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

Herbaceous stem cuttings are made by clipping a 4- to 5-inch long piece of stem from the parent plant, with leaves attached. Make the lower cut just below a node, or the point of attachment of a leaf. Remove any leaves on the bottom 1.5 to 2 inches of the stem. Dip the base of the stem in water and then into a commercial rooting hormone, which is usually a dry powder.

Follow the link to... Propagate Houseplants.

Here's How To...
How To Do It
Home Grown
Artwork: Jasmine Sambac "Grand Duke Supreme"




Monday, September 1, 2014

Home Grown: Saving Seeds.

As fall approaches, enthusiastic gardeners want to store seed for next year's production. Before you decide to save seed from your plants, it's important to consider whether saving seed will get you the type of plants you want.

Continued at... Saving Seeds.

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Plants and Seeds
Seed, Plant, and Nursery Catalogs

Artwork: Heirloom Carrots


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Recipe Archive: Maple Breakfast Sausage

from Home Sausage Making by Susan Mahnke Peery and Charles G. Reavis.

The perfect accompaniment to pancakes or French toast, these sausages have the subtle sweetness of maple syrup accented with sage and mustard.

Ingredients:

3 pounds lean pork butt or shoulder
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon kosher or coarse salt
2 teaspoons dried sage
1 teaspoon dry mustard
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (fine grind)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons milk

Artwork: Maple Breakfast Sausage
Recipe Archive
Farm Kitchen
Sausage
Pork

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Home Grown: Adding Color to Autumn Landscapes

As the summer wanes, so do most of the plants in the garden. Whether you're looking at a foot-wide container or 100 square feet of landscape bed, your thoughts turn to the yellows, oranges and reds of a typical autumn garden.

Mums are plentiful at the garden center at this time, and they're terrific old standbys. They've certainly brightened many a fall garden.

But mums aren't the only word in fall gardens and landscapes. Here are some other wonderful plants that can add splashes of color to your fall...

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Plants and Seeds
Wildflowers
Artwork: Black-eyed Susans


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Home Grown: Fall Wildflowers

Fall wildflowers are particularly outstanding at attracting adult moths and butterflies, which lay eggs that hatch into larva (caterpillars). The larvae provide a high-protein source of food for many birds, particularly warblers and neo-tropical migrant birds of conservation concern. Birds are very good at keeping populations of these insects in check, so it is a very good situation for all.

Some flowers that bloom in the fall are tall, up to 2 to 6 feet or more, depending on the species and cultivar, and in a garden these work best at the back of a flower border.

Other varieties have been selected, and given cultivar names, because they   are shorter, more compact or more disease resistant than the average species of plant.

Continued at... Fall Wildflowers

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Plants and Seeds
Wildflowers
Artwork: Mammoth Sunflowers


Friday, August 8, 2014

Home Grown: Growing Oaks from Acorns

To grow plants from seeds, you don't need to go to the local nursery and buy a colorful packet. A little knowledge can create a rewarding do-it-yourself experience.

One plant that is relatively easy to start from seed is the oak. Acorns mature in early fall. You can tell the seed is ripe when the outside changes from green to yellow, brown or black and the caps can be easily removed. Acorns can then be plucked off the tree or picked up from the ground soon after falling. It's important to note that acorns left on the ground for several days begin to dry out and become a food source for insects and wildlife.

After collection, acorns should be soaked in water overnight to rehydrate any dry seeds. Floating acorns, along with any other debris, should be skimmed off the top. The remaining sunken acorns are the most viable and pest-free.

Continued at... Growing Oaks from Acorns

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Plants and Seeds
Trees
Artwork: Acorns


Monday, August 4, 2014

Tips from the Farm Kitchen: Making Homemade Pickles

'Tis said that a meal should include all four flavors -- sweet, sour, pungent and astringent -- and homemade dill pickles or sauerkraut fill the bill for those with a "sour-tooth" to balance their "sweet-tooth."

Mouth puckering foods have been around since the first cider went sour, but processes have improved since the time when the sour taste happened  accidentally.

Farm Kitchen
Pickles
Kitchen Supply
List your product in Kitchen Supply
Artwork: Stocked: Canning Jars by Kristine Kainer


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Recipe Archive: Old Fashioned Bread Pudding.

A serving of  this pudding is a delicious way to add whole grain breads to your meals. Buttering each slice of bread and sprinkling it with cinnamon before cutting it into cubes makes every bite especially tasty.

5 slices whole wheat bread
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar, white or brown
1/2 cup raisins
3 eggs
2 cups nonfat liquid milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spread one side of bread with margarine or butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Continued at.... Old Fashioned Bread Pudding.

Artwork: Bread Pudding
Recipe Archive
Farm Kitchen
Bread
Butters

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Plant of the Week: Gentian


This plant has been recognised as the source of a valuable drug since the time of the ancient Egyptians, for there are records of it on. a papyrus found between the bones of a mummy at Thebes, and it was also probably one of the sacrificial herbs which were buried with Egyptians of high rank.

The old name Gentian was given it in early Grecian times in honour of a King Gentius, who experimented with herbs. There are many varieties of garden Gentians, most of them of the mar­vellous blue of the summer sky, though Gentiana lutea, a large Alpine variety, is of soft bright yellow.

As a rule, unfortunately, Gentians are not very easy to establish in gardens.

The Gentian is an annual, and its root (the part required for medicine) is small and short. It has a very bitter flavour, which at once associates it with tonic drugs. Flower-lovers will be glad to know that nearly all the supplies of the drug come from the Yellow Gentian, which grows abundantly in various mountaino­us parts of Europe, so there is little fear that our own sparsely scattered Gentians will be eradicated.

Home Grown
Plants & Seeds
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Gentiana Sceptum


Monday, July 28, 2014

Tips from the Farm Kitchen: Seasoning a Cast Iron Skillet


Cast iron skillets ought to be re-seasoned at least once a year.

To begin, wash the skillet, making sure to rinse and dry. Melt bacon grease and run it all over skillet, inside and out.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place skillet in the oven upside down with a cookie sheet on rack below to catch drippings.

Continued at Seasoning a Cast Iron Skillet

Farm Kitchen
The Cast Iron Skillet
Kitchen Supply
List your product in Kitchen Supply
Artwork: Cast Iron Skillet


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Garden Markers from Heathcote, Ontario

Now available in Home and Garden Center:
Garden Markers direct from the designer and manufacturer in Heathcote, Ontario.

Based on a small farm in the lovely Beaver Valley area north of Toronto which borders Georgian Bay and the Niagara Escarpment, the producer's goal was to design a strong stake for a home garden -- something that would not break or easily bend. The objective was to have a simple, pleasant appearance and not be distracting from the beauty of the garden.

The garden markers they designed are available as 3-inch, 6-inch and 10-inch stakes. They are reusable, never rust and are two-sided with lots of room for marking.

Garden Markers
Planters, Flower Pots and Plant Containers
Home and Garden Center
add your product to the Home and Garden Center




Monday, July 21, 2014

Rural Delivery: The Northern Spy and Other Edible Antiques

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 1998. All rights reserved.

A Rhode Island Greening is about as common in the contemporary American kitchen as a butter churn. It's as likely to be used as a woodburning cookstove or an icebox. Few of them have ever been microwaved.

The Northern Spy, once a standby at neighborhood grocers, is rarely seen in today's supermarkets. It's gone the way of the horse-drawn carriage and the stagecoach. Just try to find one.

The Greening and the Spy are both apples, two of the finest-tasting varieties ever to touch the American palate. But today they are "antiques," each more than a century old. Each has been replaced by varieties of apple better suited to the mass-production technologies of the modern era: Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith.

Continued at... The Northern Spy and Other Edible Antiques

Rural Delivery
Apples
Home and Garden Center
Out of the Past
Artwork: Northern Spy



Home Grown: Planting a Second Crop

It may be midsummer, but you can make it spring again in your vegetable garden. Don't let the summer heat cheat you out of more fresh vegetables. Go for two crops this year.

Gardeners across much of North America generally plant summer vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, squash, sweet corn, southern peas, snap beans, cantaloupes and eggplant in March and April and finish the harvest around the middle of summer.

Much of the continent has a subtropical climate, however, and that means another round of summer crops can be squeezed in before the first frost in  mid-October or November.

Continued at... Planting a Second Crop

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Plants and Seeds
Seed, Plant, and Nursery Catalogs
Artwork: Kentucky Wonder Organic Beans


Growth Spurts: The Big Get Bigger, Whatever the Weather

The size and age of plants has more of an impact on their productivity than temperature and precipitation, according to a landmark study by University of Arizona researchers.

A fundamental assumption in most ecosystem studies is that temperature and precipitation directly influence how fast plants can take up and use carbon dioxide. Warm and wet environments allow plant metabolism to run fast, while cold and drier environments slow down metabolism and lead to lower biomass production in ecosystems.

This assumption is mostly true, as countless experiments have demonstrated that temperature and water control how fast plants can grow. But when applied to an entire ecosystems, the assumption appears to be flawed.

continued in Growth Spurts

Growth Spurts
Plants and Seeds
Farm Supply
Growing Guides
Artwork: Pine Sapling Sprouting


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Have You Tried... Gooseberries?

Indigenous to much of Europe and Asia, gooseberries belong to the same genus as currants. They grow naturally in alpine thickets and rocky woods and have been widely cultivated.

Popular with gardeners in the United Kingdom, gooseberries are less familiar in the Americas because federal and state governments outlawed their cultivation to prevent the spread white pine blister rust. The federal ban wasn't lifted until 1966.

Continued at... Gooseberries

Have You Tried...?
Home & Garden Center
Plants & Seeds
Farm Produce

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Vegetarian Jerky from Bayside, California


Now available with Jerky in Specialty Foods and Beverages:
Vegetarian Jerky direct from the producer in Bayside, California

This unique product is a perfect imitation of real beef jerky, but without the beef.

Vegetarian "Beef-Less" Jerky was originated by Mark Turman of Californiavin 1995. Working at home, he combined special ingredients with a soybean base to come up with the veggie jerky that he began marketing.

He sold the recipe and his jerky business in 1998 to his friend, Eleanor White, who continues to provide a jerky that's preservative free, fat-free and high in protein for vegetarians and omnivores alike.

The vegetarian jerky is available in Hickory Pepper, Cowgirl, Hot Chili Pepper and Teriyaki flavors as well as in combination and sample packs of multiple flavors.

Vegetarian Jerky
Jerky
Specialty Foods and Beverages
Advertise with Jerky
add your Jerky to the Buy Direct Directory

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Home Grown: Tips for Growing Tomatoes by the Ton


Water your tomatoes every week, unless you have lots of rain.

Spread a 1-inch-thick layer of manure around the plants two or three weeks after you plant them. Or give your plants a drink of garden tea every few weeks all summer long.

Mulch your plants to keep their roots cool and to keep the tomatoes off the ground.

Look for big, green, ugly tomato worms. Pick them off with your fingers and kill them

Continued at... Tips for Growing Tomatoes by the Ton

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Tomatoes
Artwork: Tomato Trellis Twine


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Home Grown: Sun Protection for Tomato Skins

The sun's rays are tough on our faces and arms, but we can wear sunscreen to reduce the damage to our skin. Tomatoes don't have that option. Exposed to bright sun, the fruit can heat up dramatically, reaching temperatures as much as 18 degrees warmer than the surrounding air.

Sunscald damage to your tomatoes depends on their stage of maturity, and the intensity and duration of the heat. The fruit is most susceptible when it is green or when the first pink color begins to show (called the breaker state).

Continued at... Sun Protection for Tomato Skins

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Tomatoes
Artwork: Better Boy Tomato



Monday, June 30, 2014

Home Grown: Saving on Beneficials


excerpted from Greenhouse Gardener's Companion

When you first peruse a bug catalog or price list, you might suffer from sticker shock. One order of bugs might run anywhere from $15 to $75. And to add insult to injury, they must usually be shipped "overnight" or "next day," which can run as much as $35 to $40.

All that may not be so bad until you realize that it might take more than a few shipments to get a good establishment of critters in your greenhouse. If you go with only one shipment, you may find that the population of good guys goes down as their food supply (bad bugs) is depleted. When this happens, it can give the pests a chance to establish beyond the capability of your beneficial bugs to ever catch up with their numbers. By doing a few releases, you can even out these population swings and gain better control.

Continued at... Saving on Beneficials

Home Grown
Greenhouse Gardener's Companion
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Live Ladybugs


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Rural Delivery: Pushing Progress

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 1998. All rights reserved.

Bought a new lawn mower recently, my first ever, and I'm not sure I did the right thing.  I hated to give  up on my old one, you see, since it's served me faithfully the past ten years since I bought it at a flea market for $5. It's an old (1940s?) Montgomery Ward manual reel mower with a wooden handle that's splitting. The well-worn blades chatter like crickets as I push them gainfully across the lawn.

A push mower doesn't trim grasses as readily as one of those self-propelled motorized models, nor does it cover as much ground as quickly as those riding mowers can, but it has its advantages. Starts every time, for instance.

Continued at... Pushing Progress.

Rural Delivery
Lawn Mowers and Yard Supplies
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Industrious Boy Mowing Lawn


Friday, June 27, 2014

Home Grown: Planning a Water Garden

Before adding a water garden to your landscape, sit down and have a long talk with yourself.

Ask yourself why you want a water garden: Do you want goldfish or koi? Or do you just want a water garden with plants and no fish? Do you want to hear the water rushing?

Fish dine on mosquitoes and adding a few fish to a water garden wil keep the mosquito larvae population down. It's a misconception that water gardens bring in more mosquitos, because the water is moving and the fish are dining.

Select a site you can enjoy from outside and inside your home. It should be elevated to avoid runoff into your pond. Runoff can introduce sediments, fertilizers and pesticides.

Continued at... Planning a Water Garden

Home Grown
Pond Kits and Pond Supplies
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Pond Kit with Lighting


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Home Grown: Nectar Plants that Attract Hummingbirds

Agave
Claret Cup Cactus
White Honeysuckle
Red Morning-glory
Bottlebrush
Western Columbine
Lantan
Indian Paintbrush
Bougainvillea

Continued at... Nectar Plants that Attract Hummingbirds 

Home Grown
Planting for Hummingbirds
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Hummingbird


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Here's How To... Use Plants from the Garden to Create Natural Colors for Fabrics and Fibers.

Home-grown botanical dyes are popular, and they're part of today's shift toward natural and organic living.  And you don't have to have a degree in chemistry to create your own natural dyes. It just takes a garden plot and a kitchen.

A Garden to Dye For shows how super-simple it is to plant and grow a dyer's garden and create beautiful dyes.

How to Use Plants from the Garden to Create Natural Colors for Fabrics and Fibers
by Chris McLaughlin
St. Lynn's Press, 2014
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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Home Grown: The Many Varieties of Tomato

For a long time, gardeners were unwilling to change tomato varieties. What worked for their grandfather still worked for them. And since that variety performed well, this wasn't a bad philosophy. Probably, though, many others would have done just as well or better.

Many old tomato varieties are still in circulation. But in recent years, many gardeners have adopted hybrid varieties that have better disease resistance and better yields.

Even more recently, tomato growers have been faced with the ever-increasing presence of tomato spotted wilt virus. Transmitted by thrips, this virus is not only the plague of commercial growers but is actually even worse for home gardeners.

Continued at... The Many Varieties of Tomato

Home Grown
Tomatoes and Tomato Plants and Seeds 
Home and Garden Center
Farm and Garden Books
Artwork: Mortgage Lifter

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Corrugated Garden Beds from Austin, Texas

Now available in Home and Garden Center:
Corrugated Garden Beds from Carrier Security Corporation in Austin, Texas

Easy to assemble, installs in minutes, these corrugated garden beds are perfect for growing organic vegetables, herbs and fruits.

Strength and long life are two well known features of galvanized  steel.  The retro look offers a modern and versatile way to grow plants.

These raised garden beds add color to your garden and allow complete control over soil and drainage.

Raised Gardens
Planters, Flower Pots and Plant Containers
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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Home Grown: Knowing What's What in the Garden.

Labeling and documenting data is the key... Plants of the same genus look similar enough to one another that you may be able to make a good guess, but seeds vary considerably. Some seeds that are not even remotely connected look alike.

When labeling plant tags, always use a pencil or a botanical pen or marker.

Continued at... Knowing What's What in the Garden.

Home Grown
Garden Markers
Home and Garden Center
Farm and Garden Books

Friday, May 16, 2014

Rural Delivery: Canine Alter Ego.

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 1992. All rights reserved.

When Ulysses, that ancient Greek king, returned home in disguise after being on the road for twenty years only his faithful dog -- Argos -- recognized the hero in beggar's clothing.
     
External trappings don't mean much to the canine species. Rich or poor, famous or ordinary, your dog still responds to character and performance. There's no fooling Fido.
     
"The fact that dogs haven't given up on humans completely and still make people their friends shows there must be some hope for the human race," said President Lyndon Johnson, whose beagles stood by him despite that awful ear pulling.

This ability to see beneath the surface of humans probably explains why dogs, almost invariably, resemble their masters.

Continued at... Canine Alter Ego.

Rural Delivery
Pet Supplies
Where Did Dogs Come From?
Artwork: Elizabeth Taylor with Little Black Dog.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Here's How To... Balance Your Bathroom


The most Yin room in the house, the bathroom is often damp and dark, so add yang for balance - some bright splashes of color or lighted candles.

Keep drains covered as much as possible and the toilet seat closed when not in use. If you flush the toilet with the lid open, chances are your money will go down too.

Use green indoor plants to help activate stagnant Qi.

Follow the link to... Balance Your Bathroom.

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Artwork: Feng Shui Bath II by Charlene Olson