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Showing posts from 2012

From Seed To Table Project Update

The Seed To Table Project was started as a homeschooling activity for my three young children. In a world filled with short attention spans and the soft humm of technology I felt it was important to nurture the strong connection my children possessed with the green Earth.

Though the project is still in its infancy it has provided us with some extremely interesting learning opportunities. As I have mentioned in previous post we significantly increased the size of the garden and that in itself has created both early success and failure. One of the difficulties exist in the fact that the soil has not neccesarily recieved the same amount of nourishment as the pre-existing garden space so the soil is a bit more compact and clay like in nature, especially after a hard rain. Due to this some of the young plants have had a tough time getting established. Of course the so called weeds have had no problem flourishing. This has reinforced the notion of healthy soil with the kids though and h…

Rabbit Manure

Your plants are only as healthy as your soil. By feeding your soil regularly you are ensuring that a healthy community of microorganisms are flourishing in your soil, thus benefiting your overall garden health.

We decided as soon as we began gardening not to rely on synthetic fertilizers. For a number of years now we have been keeping a compost bin of kitchen waste and recently started another one for yard scraps. The benefits have been obvious, our plants are heavy producers and disease is at a minimum year after year.

Living in town it can be difficult to get our hands on manure though. Lots of offers from farmers and friends but transportation can be an issue. So we decided after some research that a rabbit would be a welcome addition in our household.

Rabbit manure is arguably one of the best manures available for your garden. It is loaded with nitrogen and phosphorus, which are important for foliage, roots and flowers. This is not to say that it lacks potassium because it doe…

From Seed To Table Project

"There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again." ~Elizabeth Lawrence~

All three of my children have been introduced to the garden very early in their lives. My four year old , for example, is working the family garden for the third consecutive year now. The point that I am trying to make is that there has always been a value placed on gardening in our home. Caring for the land, self-sufficiency, eating healthy and simply spending time out doors are just a handful of the character traits we are hoping to pass to the next generation. Now that we home school gardening has taken on new meaning in the aspect that we are actually able to create curriculum out of it!

This year we decided to focus on the concept of local foods and where they come from. We buy maple syrup and eggs from a farmer outside of Delhi, honey from Unadilla, free range beef from Deposit and free range chickens…

Organic Food Myth

Since I started seriously gardening a number of years ago I have repeatedly run across a certain myth in regards to organic food. That myth would be that there are no pesticides used on organic produce and this is simply not true, at all. About a year ago NPR did a piece on it and people went crazy claiming that they had been infiltrated by Monsanto. Just today I saw a news report from an ABC affiliate attempting to expose Whole Foods for their organic products from China. The reporter kept repeating that organic foods are pesticide free, once again, not true.

The difference between organic gardening/farming is that if they choose to use pesticides on their crops it is not synthetic, rather it is derived from natural sources. The claim set out by the organic community is that these natural pesticides break down in the environment much quicker than synthetics. There is also an illusion that they are "healthier" pesticides because they are natural in origin. Berkeley listed …

The Next Generation

“Let Nature be your teacher.” – William Wordsworth

It took me a few years not to fall for natures prank. I know the good weather can't last forever but it is still hard not to get excited when you can finally step out of your home nestled deep in zone 5 only wearing a sweater.

Yesterday was such a day. Along with my three children we began early preparation of the main garden. Shovel full by shovel full we turned last years crop under the soil. It was a day of discovery for the kids as well. We homeschool our children so every activity embraces a level of learning. The kids found the skeletal remains of a radish and some kohlrabi quickly decaying. Our first worm was discovered and quickly covered back up. They were most excited by the jackpot of pumpkin seeds they found under a thin blanket of composted squash.

We worked fresh organic matter into the ground and checked the raised bed full of garlic. There was still plenty of time for everyone to make mud pies and for our 1 year …

Seed Hunting

As we near the end of January I have a pretty good idea of where I will be getting my seeds and plants for the upcoming growing season. Previously I had written about a catalog or two in particular that I really tend to enjoy. As the winter wore on though I went a little overboard in my search for the oddities of the fruit/herb/veggie world. I reached out beyond my normal scope of The Seed Savers Exchange and I thought I would weigh in on what I found to be of interest.

For those of us who happen to be involved in heirloom seeds there are a few companies that have become a bit of a stand-by in regards to product and selection. One of those companies happens to be Baker Creek. They have a solid fan base and a devoted following. I know a number of people who have had great success with them. I am sad to say that for one reason or another this year they are having serious difficulty getting their catalog out to people. Over the course of three months I have requested three catalogs and …