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
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
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
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
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
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
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