When I heard about the Ball brand Can-It-Forward Day, I got really excited. In 2016, the Ball Can-It-Forward Facebook Page will be hosting the live event today, July 22nd. Throughout the day, experts will be demonstrating canning recipes live! I can't wait to attend. As a bonus, for every engagement on the page, Ball brand will donate $1 to a local charity. You can participate by signing up at the Can-It-Forward pledge page and tuning in on Facebook.
Citrus is coming into season in Arizona -hurrah! This weekend, I had the good fortune of having both a student and a garden club member bring me bags of key limes. Of course, I had to make key lime pie!
But one of my daughters cannot have enriched grains or dairy products. She has an MTHFR gene abonormailty and is lactose intolerant, so we improvised. I found a recipe by The Minimalist Baker and simply substituted gluten-free graham cracker crumbs for the crust (we could have used crushed almonds for the crust to keep the recipe completely vegan.) It turned out delicious! Enjoy.
7 Ingredient Vegan Key Lime Pies
-by The Minimalist Baker
Should I get a soil test? How can I build my soil?
These are common questions that we receive at the farm. Soil health is intriguing to me, and a topic of utmost importance to urban farmers and gardeners. I recently watched "The Roots of Your Profits" with soil expert Dr. Elaine Ingham, in which she teaches about soil health at the Oxford Real Farming Conference earlier this year. It was absolutely fascinating!
I learned something interesting from her talk. People often ask me if they should get a soil test. My reply is usually to suggest skipping the test and focusing on adding organic matter to the garden. I always thought that this practice would balance the nutrients in the soil. While my advice was correct, my reasoning was WRONG!
What do the words on an egg carton mean? You may be surprised! Educate yourself by watching "The Story of an Egg" by The Lexicon of Sustainability.
And read the article below, from Fix.com. To read it FULL SIZE on the Fix.com website, click on any graphic in the article.
Simple steps to growing a great garden without pesticides and other chemicals. This article by Kelly Roberson at Fix.com makes it easy!
To view and read the article FULL-SIZE on Fix.com website, click on any graphic.
Can You Believe Your Eyes?
When you consider corn, what comes to mind? A common yellow vegetable? A healthy snack? Or a crop grown for livestock feed and fuel? How about a beautiful piece of art? That's what your impression may be the first time you see glass gem corn, a surprising variety which appears to be a cob full of gemstones of every color. This is no trick of Photoshop, but the most beautiful, and surprising, corn variety in the world!
In 2013, I wrote an article about Glass Gem Corn. At that time, it was rare and nearly IMPOSSIBLE to get. Today, you can readily order it from many seed companies (see some sources below.)
Read my article about Glass Gem Corn here.
Of all the ways that people feed themselves in healthy and responsible ways, my favorite is Growitarianism. And though I don't yet grow and raise everything that my family eats, I am working toward producing as much of our own food as I can!
Do you feel the same?
For the last few weeks, I have spent nearly every waking moment working in my garden and teaching others how to grow. 'Tis the season for getting fall gardens started in Phoenix! I am physically and mentally tired, but overwhelmed with a sense of joy and satisfaction.
Being able to grow my own food is an amazing privilege. Today, I just want to encourage those of you who labor in the garden, and those who have a desire to start a garden. The benefits FAR outweigh the work and the yard space that a garden requires.
My good friend Greg Peterson of UrbanFarm.org sums up a few of the best reasons:
Growing a food garden is great, but what does one do if they have limited space or are living in a temporary location? Grow a mobile food garden!
They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and this mobile garden system fits that description! Created for a friend who knew that she would be moving at least three times within a year, the system worked to grow abundant food for her family, and she didn't have to leave it behind when they changed residences.
As an avid veggie gardener, much of my focus is outdoors and the interior of my home often goes neglected. Recently, a rash of allergy, headache and fatigue symptoms among our family members has turned my attention to the air quality inside our home.
I came across an article that put a fine point on my concerns, but also provided some answers. The article, NASA's Favorite House Plants for Space Stations and You, describes the problem this way: "As NASA researchers explored the possibilities of long-term human habitation in space... they quickly learned that the air in a tightly sealed space capsule or a large space station would quickly become contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs, as NASA calls them) and other chemicals released by the materials used to manufacture the capsule interior. This problem, as it turns out, is comparable to the situation in newly constructed energy-efficient buildings." Our homes are subject to many of the same toxicity problems experienced on the space station. Fortunately, there is a solution.
Join or email list.
Sheet mulching is a great way to build soil and compost in place, eliminating the need to move finished compost from the pile to the garden. Also known as Lasagna Gardening, building a sheet mulch garden is a process of layering brown and green organic materials directly in a garden bed.
What are browns and greens? Browns are organic materials that have been dead for a while, or that have been processed, such as dry leaves or shredded paper. They are very stable and break down slowly. Greens are organic materials that were recently alive, such as salad trimmings and yard waste. They tend to decay quickly.
Kari Spencer is a happy wife and the mother of four beautiful daughters. Always on the go, she invests her time in nurturing her family and farm, volunteering as a Master Gardener mentor, and teaching Sustainability online at South West College of Healing Arts. A popular teacher and speaker in Phoenix, Arizona, Kari enthusiastically shares her passion by training others to garden, raise livestock and nourish their families.
What Do You Want to Learn Today?
Did you know that The Micro Farm Project has written dozens of in-depth articles to help YOU expand your farming, gardening and homesteading skills? All of the info is free. Check it out!