Vegetable & Food Gardening

5 Sustainable Ways Your Garden Can Help the Earth

IMG_0757Creating a Certified Wildlife Garden is one of many ways to garden sustainably.
By default, gardens help the Earth by providing vital green space, but there are smart ways to boost a garden’s overall value—environmentally, socially, and economically. Some steps are small. For example, growing your own food organically takes little effort and offers big rewards with fresh, low-cost produce. Composting your own food scraps […]

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Heirloom Vegetable Power: Why Old Seed is New Again

Bean-Diversity3A diverse collection of dried heirloom beans.
 
Every seed has a story.  When it comes to heirloom vegetable seeds, those with great stories have been nurtured for hundreds and thousands of years by diverse peoples worldwide. Many heirlooms have been lost in time, but some have been preserved, bringing with them wonderful traits that tell us something about the people who grew them and the […]

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DIY: Homemade Seeded Paper Garden Cards

CArdsSunflower seed circle and herb garden seeded homemade cards are shown. We made gift tags with the extra seed paper!
Making homemade paper is fun and easy to turn into seeded holiday gift cards with garden themes. Simply add a few dried petals to the paper pulp, sprinkle in designer compositions of garden seeds, and you have holiday grow-your-own-garden cards. These useful, impressive cards are […]

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Growing Lemons, Oranges, and Other Citrus Indoors

Citrus aurantiifolia var. myrtifoliaMature Chinotto Sour Orange (Citrus x aurantium ‘Chinotto’) Fruits.
From the seventeenth to nineteenth century European aristocrats in the north grew citrus and other tender fruits in specialty greenhouses called orangeries. By the early Renaissance, pane glass could be sufficiently produced for the creation of greenhouses large enough to hold tropical and subtropical fruit trees. These glass houses were status symbols, in […]

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Recipe: Authentic Pico de Gallo

fresh-tomato-salsa-300x225Feeling a little hot after harvesting your summer tomatoes and peppers?  Why not make this spicy, authentic pico de gallo recipe?  It’s fast, simple, and tastes great served with crunchy tortilla chips.
Ingredients
3-4 medium fresh tomatoes, finely diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 serrano pepper, finely chopped
1 lime, juiced
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 large pinch salt
(Wear gloves when preparing the pepper and don’t touch your eyes!)
After dicing and chopping, combine all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Season to taste. If the serrano makes your […]

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Fresh Herbed Cucumber Cocktails

Cucumber Cocktail refreshing-300x300
Nothing is more refreshing in summer than a delicious cocktail made with crisp cucumbers and aromatic herbs harvested straight from your garden. These drinks contain fresh rosemary and basil, though you can also replace them with fresh mint, if you like. Whip up one of these delicious summer cocktails, and let your party stand above the rest.

Cucumber & Basil Mojito
2 sprigs fresh basil leaves
2 slices […]

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Strawberry Kiwi Salsa Recipe

Fruit salsas are both sweet and savory. This spicy strawberry kiwi salsa tastes great over seared fish or chicken, or it can simply be enjoyed with fresh tortilla chips. Use fresh summer strawberries, cilantro, and jalapeño from the garden or local farmer’s market to make it extra special.
Ingredients
1 cup fresh strawberries, finely chopped
1 cup kiwi fruit, peeled and chopped
1 fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Mix all of the ingredients together, and let them chill for […]

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Spend Less and Roast Your Own Sweet Peppers

roastedredpeppers1Roasted red peppers are delicious on salads and sandwiches, and but they are expensive to buy at the grocery store. Thankfully, they are very easy to make, so when peppers are in season, take some time to make your own. If you have a bumper crop of sweet peppers, roasting is a perfect way to make the most of your crop.
Work with as many fresh bell peppers […]

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Chicken Fajitas with Garden-Fresh Vegetables

FajitasFajitas may seem like they have lots of ingredients, but they are so easy to make. It’s especially convenient (and more delicious) when half of the ingredients are from your garden. Making your own fajita marinade from scratch makes the recipe that much better. Most of the time is spent with the prep and fresh marinade. Cooking time is quick!
Marinade Ingredients
3 limes, juiced
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves roughly chopped
3 chipotle chiles in Adobo sauce
3 […]

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Rehab Raised Beds Inside and Out

density-1024x768Raised-bed hoops and row covers can help you protect crops from harsh growing conditions and winter cold.
Second gardens are always better than first gardens.  When those first gardens were your raised beds, then maybe it’s time to raise the bar.  Bigger, better, and more prolific are garden characteristics that all gardeners want, so perhaps it’s time to rehab and expand in preparation for next year’s summer garden.
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