Recently we were out at a local market when I came upon this neat plastic lid that you simply place on a wide mouth canning jar to turn it into a sprouting system.
After reading a lot on the subject, I discovered that as long as you keep your sprouts well rinsed and refrigerated after they are ready, they are safe to grow at home and extremely healthy for you.
You just place a small amount of sprouting seeds in a jar, add water, and let sit overnight in the dark.
The next morning you begin to rinse them 2-3 times per day, tilting the jar to let out any extra moisture, and keeping it covered.
Day 4, almost ready.
Rinse heavily when they are ready, to remove any leftover seed hulls.
Let ‘green up’ in indirect sunlight for a day.
You can choose specific seeds for particular health benefits or flavor, or try a mix at first like we did.
Caution: Check to be sure the seeds you use are meant to be used for sprouting, or at least have a very high germination rate. Unsprouted seeds, according to the manual we purchased, may ferment and spoil the whole batch.
We really enjoyed these sprouts on our Thanksgiving Day salad, with fresh greens and carrots from the garden.
Knowing you are giving your family something healthy that you grew yourself, really is something to be thankful for.
And a healthier year ahead? Yeppers- you can grow that too!
This post is a part of a collaborative effort by gardeners around the world to help others learn to grow.
Click on the link above for more posts.
Picture a beautiful sunny day on a California ranch, with horses pulling plows through the fields and cows grazing in the grassy meadows, and that’s the setting where you’ll find Annie Haven.
For generations her family grew plants for seed, and were one of the major suppliers in the U.S.
They used the manure from their ranch animals to nourish and replenish the soil. They ‘brewed’ the manure in large vats, in big sacks the size of pillowcases.
Now this wonderful, all natural, eco-friendly and amazing product is available to the small grower.
We first heard about ‘Moo Poo Tea’ on social media, and everyone was raving about the results they got from it.
So we ordered some to see for ourselves.
The plants did great, so this past summer we decided to do a side-by-side comparison.
Early in the season we brewed some tea and poured it onto one side of the parsnip bed. Mid-season, we did it again.
To be honest, we were shocked by the difference:
Let me just say that Annie knew nothing about this trial, we ordered under our real names and didn’t say anything until we saw the results for ourselves.
We liked it so much that we put her ad on this site.
One of only two, yeah- we are that picky about ads.
But don’t just take our word for it, check out the pinterest link and also hear her interview with Mike the Gardener by using the links below.
Oh and by the way, it does wonders for houseplants too.
Perhaps ours will actually survive this year.
My parents grew up in the same small town, and both sides of the family were only a few blocks from each other.
My Great Uncle, one of only a handful of men to serve in both World Wars, was by trade a florist, as was his father.
He lived in the same house as my Dad’s parents, and every Sunday after church we would go over to visit them.
Early spring by the flower garden.
He was a wonderful man, soft spoken and funny, and as a gardener always happy to show what was in bloom. There was also a vegetable garden, and that was where I first saw a tomato growing.
Where the gardens used to be.
He has been gone many years now, and yesterday we took on the task of cleaning out the basement where he used to can.
Still looking pretty good.
It was only a few years before he passed that he stopped putting food by. I remember him showing me once how he did it, I was fascinated.
My parents made jam, but you could can tomato sauce and sauerbraten? That was probably the moment I became hooked on growing food.
His stove, our stove.
The stove he used is now coming, piece by piece, to our house.
It’s wonderful to have something that was such a part of his life in ours, that connection to another person and to the past.
Just part of the larder.
As our work party did their thing, it made me sad.
When the basement is done, that’s it. No more Unc.
I thought to myself that what I would really like to find, other than just things, would be some kind of handwritten notes about his garden.
I kid you not, in the very next stack of seed catalogs I picked up, this was sticking out just enough for me to see:
My heart was touched and it made me smile, he was there. He was a part of what I was feeling.
Then I chuckled as it hit me- apparently, he never knew you could overwinter parsnips.
Fall is the time of year when many people’s thoughts turn towards expressing gratitude for what they have, and to giving to others.
Commercialism aside, gardening affords you the greatest opportunities to do just that.
Whether it is bringing a small basket of fresh produce to the elderly woman down the street who can no longer grow a garden; or a dozen eggs to the disabled vet next door who not only enjoys them himself, but loves to share with his dog; being able to give really is more rewarding than receiving.
Plenty to share.
It means you have more than enough, that you think of others and care about them, and your heart grows bigger with each act.
Whether you share produce, pickles or seeds, or even just the information to help others grow their own, it is a wonderful way to connect and improve someone’s life every day.
This is a lesson I have learned well these past few years blogging.
What began as a simple attempt to share what I know about growing food, has given me in return wonderful new friendships and connections, a whole lot more information, and expressions of gratitude that truly touch my heart.
“What do you get out of this blogging thing?” a more cynical acquaintance asked me recently. “Look at how much time you spend, what’s in it for you?”
“Much more than I could ever have dreamed.”
This post is a part of a collaborative effort by gardeners around the world.
Click on the link above to read more.
Want a very simple way to give?
When you read a post that teaches you, uplifts you, or just makes you laugh- share it using the icons below, or share from another source.
You are not only changing someone else’s life, you’re making yours better too.
Even if you don’t see it right a way, trust me.
It is a bonus to be truly thankful for.
Plants area divided into three groups namely Annual, Biennial, and Perennial. The lesser known Biennials develop as a plant the first year, surviving the winter, and producing flowers the second year. Two examples of biennial are Digitalis also known as Foxglove and a Dianthus variety know as Sweet William. These plants survive by producing thousands of seeds which are scattered around where the plant is growing and some being carried by the wind. Only a few plants are reproduced from this large quantity of seed but obviously enough to insure the plants survival.
Next we have Annuals which everyone is familiar with. These plants are grown mainly from seed saved from plants grown for that purpose and placed on sale at your local garden center. Annuals normally bloom all season until killed by frost or freezing conditions and have to be replaced every spring.
Finally we have Perennials which survive the winter months and reproduces from their roots when the soil becomes warm in the spring. Most perennials however only bloom for a short period of time. Some bloom in the Spring, some in Mid Summer, while others bloom in the Fall .In addition the perennials are divided into hardiness zones determined by the average high and low temperature for your region of the country. The hardiness zones have been established by USDA and range from zone 10 at the southern tip of Florida to zone 1 at the northern tip of Alaska. When a perennial plant is listed as such it must include its hardiness zone. Otherwise if it is not hardy for where you live it will not survive the winter, or the summer. The hardiness number not only tells you what freezing temperature the plant can tolerate but also under what conditions of heat. Some plants are cool weather plants which cannot survive hot weather such as found in the southern part of the country while others are tropical and cannot survive cold climates.
Now that we have established all these facts let’s see if we can figure out why all of this occurs.
Every living thing that we see is made of molecules that are joined together in such a way that we recognize them by the light waves they emit. Each different thing having a different molecular configuration than any other. These “things”, such as plants, are held together in some cases strongly like perennials and in other cases loosely like in annuals. When plants are subjected to extremes in temperature, either freezing or heating, they expand. This expansion can cause the molecular bonding to be torn apart to the degree as to destroy the plant which leads to its death.
In conclusion: Even though perennials are labeled as such doesn’t mean they will live forever. Even among perennials, some are short lived and others can last for decades. This is determined by the degree to which the strength of a plants molecular structure is held together, and what a native plant looks like was determined by its ability to adapt to changes in the earths evolution and its ability to reproduce itself.
Walter Kunz MG
The following information was reprinted with permission from my gardening mentor, Walter Kunz Sr., a fellow master gardener with over 80 years’ experience. We thought you would enjoy this well thought out look at plant longevity:
It is not the intention of this article to be of a scientific nature or to be completely accurate. The scientific evidence of what has occurred on earth over the last 800 million years ago is constantly changing as new evidence of these events is found. The purpose is to provide perspective of what has occurred from then until now.
The earth has gone through 4 or 5 glacial periods which have had a profound effect on all living things. Eight hundred millions years ago the earth was covered with ice which extended possibly to the equator. The glacial periods took a long time to reach their peak and a relatively short period to end. We are currently living in a glacial period which peaked 20,000 years ago when the earth’s average temperature was from 10 to 40 degrees F. colder than it is today
On December 1831 Charles Darwin set sail on the Beagle. A voyage which was supposed to last two years but actually lasted almost five years, returning to England in October 1836. The purpose of the voyage was, in part, of a scientific nature in which Darwin observed, and took detailed notes, of animals, plants, and geology. The voyage studied numerous island groups and land masses eventually reaching the Galapagos island group, which are located on the equator, in the Pacific Ocean, 575 miles west of Ecuador. This distance from any land mass isolated the island group so that its evolution was not affected by any outside influence.
The study of the scientific data collected by Darwin led him to the conclusion that all living things existing in their present form are through the process of natural selection and the survival of the fittest. The book he published called “The Voyage of the Beagle” made Darwin, not only famous, but highly respected throughout the world.
This brief history of the earth brings us to where we are today. Everything we see around us developed through these processes. Except for plants which have been developed by hybridizers, all other plants referred to as “native” plants survive to this day because of their ability to adapt to changing climatic conditions and reproduce themselves successfully.
Meet Jennifer, a self-admitted non-gardener who sees the beauty in all things gardening related.
We heart chickens!
“I love to paint things from the garden; I want to preserve their beauty for posterity. A local farm provides most of my veggie and flower subject matter, mainly because I kill everything I try to grow; only the hardiest plants will survive in my world. Chickens, cows and bunnies are also favorite subjects.”
“Pickled” is the first in a series of paintings featuring the beautiful canning of Betty and Al Ulrich of NY state. Each of their jars is a work of art in itself.
“I have been drawing and painting since childhood.” says Jennifer, “and have a degree from Florida State University in creative art. Light, drama and color are my priorities in a painting. My home and studio is in Charleston SC overlooking the marshes of the Ashley River.”
Stories of everyday people successfully following a passion are so uplifting, and this one is happening not far from our neck of the woods.
Meet Vincent Suozzi, a middle school Physical Education and Health teacher in NY. He also happens to have been in the landscaping business for over 30 years.
One day while tediously weeding a garden the idea of Edward Scissorhands came to mind. “Why not have a weeding tool that was attached directly to the hand?” he thought.
Now like many people, Vincent didn’t pursue it beyond that point. It was just about a year ago that his son Stephen and his college roommate Gee Tae encouraged him to get a prototype made. The result is the “Ring Weeder”, so named because it is worn like a ring over a gardening glove.
Now I won’t go into how wonderful this product is, and it really is.
It simply makes weeding, especially in tight spots, so much easier and faster. It has received a heck of a lot of positive attention, and was very successful on Kickstarter; a suggestion made to Vincent by his other son John.
But I’m not here to push a product, but rather to tell you the story of an everyday guy who, with the help of his sons, put himself out there to make gardening just a little bit better.
It takes a lot of time and work to design a product, apply for a patent, raise the incredible amount of funding such a project requires, and get the product to market.
Many people have great ideas, only a few put themselves out there and pursue them.
I admire that.
And there’s a bonus:
When I asked Vincent why he named the company Angel Tool Co., he told me the story of the passing of his 15 year old dog, the love of his life.
He named the company for her.
Yeah, everyday people. They’re awesome.
Oh, by the way, if you are interested in getting a ringweeder you can preorder one and get 15% off on the very first production run the end of this month at Vincent’s website: The Ring Weeder.
They make great stocking stuffers too, jus’ sayin’. Watch how it works here.
It was a few years ago on Facebook that some gardeners and I were talking about different problems in the garden. The conversation went from pests to frosts to not enough room to the difficulties that come with aging- namely how much harder getting down on the ground, and even worse, getting back up, becomes.
We talked about row covers and low tunnels, cloching and cold frames to add to the season and all kinds of barriers to keep out the deer and other critters.
A few of the gardeners in more urban settings commented that these things are all well and good if you have a large garden, or if you don’t live in a HOA. But what about the urban and suburban gardener, what’s out there for them?
As A Geek (and proud of it) I love to solve a problem, so set about designing a gardening system that could answer that need.
Really, I should probably just learn to knit.
Instead Mandolin and I went back and forth with the design, hammering (literally) out issues and finding alternative solutions.
What we got was far more effective than we even anticipated.
Without going into too much detail, suffice it to say that we did not have even one tomato attacked by anything, grew carrots without fear of rabbit invasions, and even grew squash and melons vertically.
The only critter issues we had at all were in the old garden area.
Bite free tomatoes.
We spent little time weeding with the new system and had tomatoes and green beans a good month before anyone else around here.
And we’ll keep getting tomatoes for weeks after the frost takes out all the other gardeners’ plants.
All of this in a relatively small amount of space.
So what does this have to do with y’all?
We need your 2 cents.
We were told we need a market survey if this is ever going to become an actual product, and well, we’re just regular working stiffs and really cannot afford to hire a professional.
So we are turning to the people that matter the most- you.
If you would take a minute to fill out the survey at the end of this post, we would greatly appreciate it!
Once you are done, please just leave a comment below to let us know.
July 6- tomatoes. Really really.
We were given, between the two of us, three $25 gift cards valid in the US. We will let the online randomizer choose one person who fills out the survey and leaves a comment to win a gift card.
Because we want to get as much feedback as possible, we will also randomly choose another person who Tweets this link and mentions Gardening Jones in their tweet.
The third gift card will go to another wonderful individual who shares this link on Facebook, again mentioning Gardening Jones. That way we will get the message that you shared.
If any of the names chosen are outside the US, we have a few wonderful gardening books we will give instead.
Thanks y’all so much for your help, for stopping by the blog, and for being a part of our gardening lives!
Rest assured we will never share your name or email address with anyone else. Heck, we wouldn’t want anyone to do that to us either!
The contest part ends on Oct. 31st.
Here’s the short survey, please only hit Submit when you are finished:
Whether you are allergic to wheat, have a problem with gluten, are trying to reduce carbs in your diet, or are just looking for a healthier alternative to the typical store-bought bread crumbs, your garden is the place to go.
It was a few years back we looked at making flour from pumpkin flesh. The same can be done with a slew of other veggies, in fact I’m sure you could combine different vegetables to make a very healthy flour.
Note here that if you are going to bake with it, you can only substitute 1/3 of your vegetable flour in the recipe.
But then the same line of thinking led to… what about bread crumbs?
How to fit a head of cauliflower into a canning jar.
So the theory was tested by dehydrating an entire head of cauliflower. The result was about 1 3/4 cups of dried vegetable. Pretty potent stuff.
Some of that was then ground up in a good coffee grinder. Tofu was chosen for the experiment since it has pretty much no flavor of its own, a good test to see how strong the cauliflower taste would be.
Tofu slices were dipped first in organic corn meal, then in some beaten egg, then into the cauliflower. Some pieces were baked, some were fried. Just for comparison sake, some were also made with rice flour instead of the cauliflower.
Mandolin was the unknowing taste-tester. Good thing he trusts me! “Is that cauliflower?” he asked, “It’s good, I like cauliflower.”
The taste was much milder than we expected, and we agreed if it were anything other than tofu you would probably not taste the cauliflower at all.
We both liked it better than the rice flour, as it was crunchier. We also preferred the fried to the baked.
We then served it with a nice orange-ginger sauce, and it was wonderful.
This weekend we’re looking forward to trying it again, when SaveTheWorld is home on fall break; but this time with fried green tomatoes.
Maybe we’ll even try a variety of veggies for the breading, just to see how it tastes.
I’m betting she doesn’t notice the difference at all, though she will be happy to know it is a healthier alternative.
With younger kids, you may want to keep this a secret for a while.
This post is part of a monthly group effort by gardeners around the world to encourage people to grow. Click on the link below to find a variety of posts with that theme.
Everything here is original (unless otherwise noted) and has legal copyright 2013 by Gardening Jones (tm), and cannot be re-posted or reproduced without permission. Any re-posting of information, photographs, and/or recipes is considered theft and subject to prosecution.
As a gardener, I love to share, so let me know what your intentions are and I'm sure we can work together. Please feel free to link any post you see. I hear they call that Link Love.