The 5 Easiest Vegetables to Store

The 5 Easiest Vegetables to Store - These crops are so simple to store they should be a staple in every garden or "stock up" item from the farmers market.

In this post I’ll discuss the easiest vegetables to store and how to store them.  These crops have all moved onto my “must plant” list because they  require little or no processing and last reliably in storage for months.  I also have a quick video of our awesome new root cellar makeover.  August and the boys did a great job adding a ton of storage to the root cellar under our front porch. [Read more…]

10 Tips Everyone Should Know About Small Space Gardening

10 Tips Everyone Should Know About Small Space Gardening - Learn how you can maximize your home food production with small space gardening techniques for high yields in even the smallest planting areas.
This is a guest post by Amber Bradshaw of the Coastal Homestead.

Small space gardening has seen big growth in recent year.  From rooftop gardens to urban homesteads, people are taking back the control of their food supply by planting gardens. Through creative gardening techniques, people are growing enough food to sustain their families and have enough left over to sell and generate an income on less than 1/10 of an acre, producing high yields in small spaces.

If you are like me, you don’t have the luxury of living on a farm or owning acreage, but that shouldn’t stop you from growing your own food.

Here are ten tips to help you grow more food in less space. [Read more…]

5 Reasons I Want Weeds in My Garden

Buzz off, Monsanto! 5 Reasons I Want Weeds in My Garden. From free food and medicine to wildlife habitat, weeds are a natural part of a healthy garden.

I know this is going to sound crazy to many of you, but I let some weeds grow in my garden on purpose.  This wasn’t always the case.  When I was growing up on the farm, we had a huge garden for fresh eating and preserving.  With long, straight rows of veggies and paths in between each row, weeding was a never ending chore.  My stepdad used to run the tiller up and down the paths, while the rows themselves were tediously weeded by hand.  Inevitably by the end of the season, weeds that escaped the hoe would be overgrown and seeding out, to be tilled into the soil and start the whole cycle again.  I dreamed of a garden without weeds.

Fast forward to the 90’s, and my very own garden beds to arrange any way I wanted. I discovered the magic of mulch and planting in blocks instead of rows with nekked empty space between.  Instead of dirt paths that turned to dust when things got dry and mud when it got wet, I had raised beds with tidy paths between, perfect for a suburban yard.  Then things changed again.  Attached to the end of another article a friend had copied off for me was a page of another manuscript – “Weeds:  Guardians of the Soil“.  It caught my eye, but I had no idea where to read more as the book was no longer in print, and the friend passed away.  [Read more…]

Transform Your Landscape with Vertical Gardening

Transform Your Landscape with Vertical Gardening - 10 Reasons to Garden Up Instead of Out to improve your home landscape, make your garden healthier and more productive and create visual interest.

Often when people start talking about integrating a garden or other food crops into the landscape, the design ideas still tend to focus on two dimensional diagrams.  How many fruit or veggie plants can I fit per square foot?  While there’s nothing wrong with this per se, it means you’re missing out on some great opportunities to optimize growing space you might not even realize that you have.

If you haven’t tried vertical gardening, hopefully this post will win you over.  Yes, growing up instead of out takes a little more work initially, but the end result is well worth it.  I use trellises throughout my garden to make plants easier to care for, reduce disease and predation, and produce a larger crop in less space.  In the flower garden, vertical elements add visual interest and focal points – and can be just plain gorgeous.

[Read more…]

Before You Plant Sunchokes, You Need to Read This Post

Before You plant sunchokes, you need to read this post.  What are sunchokes? What are the health benefits of sunchokes? Why you shouldn't plant sunchokes in your regular garden.

It all started innocently enough.

Somewhere I read about this native vegetable that was great for diabetics – or maybe it was that episode of Top Chef where one of the contestants made a sunchoke and spinach puree that the judges just raved about.  It could have been an article on easy care perennial vegetables.  I honestly don’t remember.  Whatever prompted me to grow sunchokes, there’s a few things I need to share with you so you don’t make the same mistakes I did. [Read more…]