Summer Sprouts!

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It was the first week of July when I started to plan the garden. I was considering planting a cover crop, annuals, or just covering the beds with straw for the first year to help with the contents of nutrients in the soil. I also was concerned that it was too late to plant.  I spoke with many master gardeners, and was surprised that  some recommended that I plant now because “seeds are cheap” others said “the weather this year is so hot and windy, and don’t think that the seeds had the proper conditions to germinate.”

I had some seeds, so I planted seeds.

I am so glad I did! 

 I was conscious to plant only seeds of vegetables that were frost tolerant and take a short period of time to grow.

It has been about 7 days after planting:

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Seeds are inexpensive and if you have some bare soil, consider planting organic open pollinated – heirloom seeds. If you decide to leave your soil unplanted, consider covering it with an annual that will just grow for the remainder of the season, or putting mulch,straw, or a cover crop on top of  the garden bed.

 

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Victory Garden

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We tilled the ground, added compost, and planted seeds. I am blessed to be able to garden in such a beautiful landscape. I planted seeds this past week and I am looking forward to harvesting from my victory garden.

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This morning I saw the first sprouts in the garden: Radish. They will only take about 20 days to grow, and I planted over 100 of the teeny tiny seeds.

 

 

“Think about it. A whole habitat in a tiny clay ball…” — Masanobu Fukuoka

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“Think about it. A whole habitat in a tiny clay ball…” — Masanobu Fukuoka


Seed balls consist of a variety of different seeds 

rolled within a ball of red clay and compost.  

Seed Balls : aka : Seed Bombs : aka : Earth Dumplings : aka : Garden Cookies


The technique for creating seed balls was developed by Japanese natural farmer, Masanobu Fukuoka.

Seed balls promote biodiversity and have use in nearly any region where plants can grow. This method is great because the balls created have a strong structure to help protect them from the seed eating animals and insects. Seed balls are beneficial for natural landscapes, home gardens, edible landscaping, planting cover crops, and  also for reseeding ecosystems into areas of man-made deserts. When the rains fall it will soak the clay ball and stimulate the seeds, then the seeds contained inside the balls will germinate in ideal conditions for the climate/region.

Making seed balls is a fun project is great for all ages and focuses on a creative way to create biodiversity in our local ecosystem.

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The recipe is simple:

5 parts       red clay

3 parts       organic compost

1 part          wildflowers, cut flowers, or vegetable seeds

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 The additional tools you will need are:

2 buckets (1 for seed mix, 1 for water to wash hands)

Measuring cup (can be any kind of reusable or recycled cup)

Gloves (only if you want to try to keep your hands from being dyed red by the clay)

Egg carton (for drying the seed balls and easy transportion)

Wear some Art clothing (I can almost guarantee that you will get dirty doing this project)

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There are three steps:

1. Mix all the ingredients together and add enough water so can easily be shaped and rolled into a ball.

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2. Get creative with the seed ball mix and make simple balls or fun shapes. The size isn’t very important, but a seed ball the size of a quarter will have roughly 50 seeds inside.


3. Allow them to dry for 24 hours in the sun.

Now, go and toss them around town when you are biking, hiking, driving— or plant some in a container and watch them grow! Enjoy.

Today, I joined a local C.S.A.

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C.S.A. stands for Community Supported Agriculture and typically the farm offers a box of locally grown food each week to share-holders.

7 GREAT reasons to join a Community Supported Agriculture program:

  1. Eat ultra-fresh food (Typically, the farmers will harvest the food within a few hours of pick-up.)
  2. Eat locally (The CSA I am a share holder of is only 2.5 miles from home)
  3. Supporting local businesses and farmers (Boosts local economy)
  4. Promotes generation of healthy soil, and healthy beings.  (When no herbicides, artificial fertilizers, or pesticides are being used, ground water pollution and toxic residues on food are avoided.)
  5. Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown (A simple reminder that food comes from the soil, sun, water, and the skills of the farmer… and not from the grocery store)
  6. Get exposed to new vegetables (What IS mizuna?)
  7. Meals become attuned with the seasons (Each week, share holders receive different vegetables. These items change over the season.)   Examples of a CSA Share by Month, Park City, Utah

The amount written is what share-holders will receive each WEEK.

June

1 pound lettuce or salad mix

1 pound spinach

¼ pound arugula

½ pound mustard greens

1 bunch chives

1 bunch radish


July

1 pound lettuce or salad mix

¼ pound arugula

¾ pound Swiss chard

¾ pound bok choi

1 bunch Marjoram

1 bunch salad turnips

1 bunch gold beets

hardneck garlic

August

¾ pound lettuce or salad mix

½ pound mizuna

¾ pound kale

3 pounds heirloom tomatoes

1 pound zucchini

½ pound cucumber

1 pound green beans

¼ pound sweet basil

1 bunch Italian parsley

hardneck garlic

2 pounds red onion

September

¾ pound lettuce or salad mix

1 pound broccoli raab

½ pound spinach

¼ pound pea shoots

¼ pound sweet basil

2 pounds heirloom tomatoes

1 bunch Chioggia beets

1 pound carrots

3 pounds potatoes

2 pounds onions

hardneck garlic

October

1 pound lettuce or salad mix

1 pound spinach

¾ pound Swiss chard

1 bunch leeks

1 bunch salad turnips

2 pounds onions

3 pounds potatoes

1 bunch cilantro

hardneck garlic

Thanks Edible Wasatch for the awesome list of CSA’s in Utah. 
Find one nearest to you and become a share holder of a CSA today!
Look for these farms and growers at your Local Farmers Market this seasons as well!


Surprising Spring (Brussels) Sprouts

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I was so excited to check out Nancy’s garden during the first day of Spring 2012. I went to go find some of the seeds and garlic bulbs had grown during the winter and are flourishing in the cold weather.

Did you know that brussels sprouts looked like this? They have an interesting and cool characteristic of growing on the stalk under each leaf. (In this photo, most leaves have been dead-headed/trimmed) Try this season to plant some brussels sprouts into your garden. They seem to love the cold Park City climate.

Did you know that Brussels Sprouts are on considered on of the World’s Healthiest Foods? (whfoods.com)

Brussels Sprouts have many nutritional benefits and support detoxifying and getting rid of toxins in the body. They have antioxidant supporting vitamins including vitamins C, E, and A and help rid of unwanted inflammation in the body. This tasty food helps to create proper digestion and has been proven  beneficial for heart health.

 

A simple and delicious recipe for brussels sprouts:

Drizzle a small amount of  e.v.o.o. into a plan and sautee brussels sprouts.

When they are tender add some real salt and serve.

Grow food for Personal Health benefits (mind, body, and spiritual)

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The benefits of growing food or buying local organic food are excellent for personal health and well-being.

1. There is nothing more local that eating food you have grown.  The food you grow is more fresh and delicious than that in the store, and you can trust that the food you grow is safe and healthy to eat. Also, by growing a garden, you know exactly what does and does not go into your food and exactly where it comes from.

2. Working in the garden reduces stress. It feels good for our spirits and bodies to play in the garden, be in the sun, and breathe the fresh air. Enjoy and dedicate yourself to your garden.

3. Learning and educating friends and family where food actually comes from and the process of how it is grown is a beneficial education for all generations. Food doesn’t come from the supermarket, but from the soil, water, sun, and the earth we all live on.

(teach your parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, and friends)

4. Experiment by trying grow your food even if you don’t have a backyard, you can still grow food with container planting or by joining your local community garden.

Summit County Community Gardens: http://www.summitcommunitygardens.org