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Eliot Coleman: Four Season Harvest

Eliot Coleman – Four Season Harvest
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

We understand why people all over the world want to talk to Eliot. We wish we could interview him ourselves! He is truly a master at growing wholesome and delicious organic good for you foods. When we began our journey in gardening, which stemmed from a need to be in better health, Eliot Coleman was the stand out grower, farmer and gardener. He has set what we consider to be today’s gold standard in True organic growing. I lieu of our own interview, below is his book The Four Season Farm, Gardener’s Cookbook, which we love because if you do not grow you Do likely cook. So, it is the best of both worlds. If you decide to go from the table to a garden, you already have the book. Eliot crystallized what organic means in definition and in practice. We are growing from Norfolk, VA, USA and enjoy his books and think you will too.

How can a recipe get you started on growing your own foods? What do you wish you knew about gardening? Do you wish you could ask someone who knew? Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Hydroponic Gardening

Hydroponic Gardening
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

True Organic Growers like Eliot Coleman do not grow hydroponically. They believe that food and plants should be grown and need soil to grow as nature intended. Soil is the source of plants’ foods. Without soil plants are feed nutrients in a non biological manner and process. Many people like hydroponics. Would you consider growing your food hydroponically? What do you think the benefits would be? What do you think the drawbacks would be?

Learn more about True Organic Growing – Eliot Coleman’s “The New Organic Grower”

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Where to Buy Organic Seeds

seeds shidonna raven garden and cook

To truly grow organically one must first start with a seed that is organic. There are several other standards that the USDA require. True organic growers go even further than the USDA. These growers believe the USDA has relaxed its standards below what is truly organic in favor of corporate industrial farmers rather than true family farms. One will not always find organic seeds at their local garden center or nursery. When one does find organic seeds, the selection can be limited. Consequently here are a few sources for obtaining organic seeds:

  1. True Leaf Market
  2. Seed Savers Exchange
  3. Grow Green Space

Below is the book we read when we began our garden. Learn more about gardening and growing with Eliot Coleman’s book “The New Organic Grower”

Try these sources out and leave a comment for the community on what you thought. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Gardening during a Pandemic

Green Roma Tomato Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

During World War II food rationing was introduced in the United States, prompting Americans to grow their own fruits and vegetables in order to sustain themselves during tough times. It’s estimated that by 1944, roughly 20 million victory gardens were grown, resulting in 8 million tons of food. That’s was about 40 percent of the country’s supply of fresh produce at the time!

Though we are currently not experiencing a food shortage crisis, being self sufficient and resourceful at a time when essentials (honestly, where is the garlic?) are frequently sold out at grocery stories, isn’t a bad thing. Plus, are we all looking for a new hobby during quarantine?

We used this book when starting our own garden.

During uncertain times being proactive and not waiting for the next crisis to hit is a good idea. Indeed staff at garden centers and nurseries have reported an increase in those purchasing garden supplies. People have several of their own reasons for starting a garden and the pandemic seems to be chief among them. What do you need to get your own garden started? What is your reason for starting your own garden? What do you do differently now since the pandemic? Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

Source: Forbes

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USDA Organic & True Organic

USDA Organic Standard & Honey
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Many farmers, some apart of the real organic project, and organic growers such as Eliot Coleman have been sounding the alarm, that the USDA standards are not true to organic growing. They allow for some and certain pesticides and include hydroponic foods, which true organic farmers reject because they believe food must be grown in soil to be considered organic. So, while the USDA Organic label provides some standards and guidelines, true organic growers do not believe these standards go far enough and have been broaden to allow corporate industrial complexes to slide in under the label. Do you know what hydroponic growing involves? What do you think of the farmers and growers comments on the USDA standards? As a consumer, what do you think the standards should be? Share your comments with the community by posting your comments below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

Scroll up and down…learn more about Eliot Coleman and what true organic means.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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How to buy food

vitamin d sun shidonna raven garden and cook

The New Organic Grower by Eliot Coleman has been essential to us in understanding how to buy food. It also helped us understand what our food should look, how it should be produced, processed and labeled. It also left us with concerns regarding transparency in the food industry and how our foods are labeled. In this day in age where scientists seem to be making more contributions to food production and processing than farmers, Eliot’s book reminds us that the growth, not production, of food is a biological process that begins in the soil not a scientific process that begins in a lab. When we look at many of our foods and the additives as well as preservatives in them, we can see there is a reason to be concerned about the things we are knowingly or unknowingly consuming. Eliot’s book is the beginning of understanding and knowledge of food and how science has taken food production away from this biological process.

To understand how to buy food appropriately we must first begin by reading our food labels and asking questions regarding the foods we buy. How were they grown and processed? Where do they come from? How far do they come? Coleman helps us understand what organically grown food means, looks like and how it is processed. It was one of our most helpful reads and can be found below. Where do you buy your foods? Are they organic? Are they locally grown? Share your comments below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Watermelon, Greenhouses & Indoor Gardening

Sugarbaby Watermelon Shidonna Raven

When we decided to start our garden, as you know, it began humbly with a mere 2 packs of seeds destined for the kitchen window. It quickly grew into over 30 seeds. We planted each one. Some where successful and others were not. But, as Eliot Coleman will tell you, even the experienced farmer learns through trail and error. When we started we began in our mini greenhouse, which is really our garage with 3 windows. We were so excited to get started that we begun at the end of the winter season, which was at the very very beginning of the growing season for many of our seeds in our zone (Virginia, USA). When you began before the last frost has past, you must start inside with the seeds that can be transplanted. Then once the frost has past and its growing season has begun one can transplant them outside. So, because we began early we started in our mini greenhouse and got a jump on the season. Greenhouses can be used year around for various reasons. However, they are key when you want to grow outside of a seeds growing season by either starting early or extending the season.

Pumpkin Flower in Bloom
Pumpkin Flower in Bloom

The watermelon you see (1st image) in our outside garden started as a seedling in our mini greenhouse. The mini greenhouse presented several challenges to us with its high moisture and low light. We discovered there were many other factors that were hindering the success of some of our seedlings. When we had questions and were left scratching our head when our seedlings ran into trouble, we turned to Richard Bray’s book “Greenhouse Gardening” for answers to our questions. Understanding greenhouse gardening is understanding how to garden indoors whether one has a kitchen herb plant or a simple house plant. He helped me to understand factors such as heat, ventilation, watering and sunlight. This book was a tremendous resource that helped us grow our watermelon successfully. We had to sow her several times. At first she did not sprout successfully. But, once we understood greenhouse gardening more, we were able to grow her successfully into a plantling. Now she is in the garden outside thriving. We located “Greenhouse Gardening” for an absolute steal. We love deals around here. Click the link below to get yours. We can not wait to see her fruit. I know someone who is a huge watermelon fan! So we are happy to report that she is doing well and in the same row as pumpkin. Stay tuned to see her progress.

What information do you find helpful? How did “Greenhouse Gardening” by Richard Bray help you? Email us photos to share with the community. Which one do you prefer: pumpkin or watermelon? We have big fans of both. As usually, we are all waiting to taste!

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Moist Mulch

Garden Mulch Shidonna Raven

When we began our Organic Gardening Journey one of the most essential books we read was “The New Organic Gardener” by Eliot Coleman. One of the key things we learned from this book was the importance of mulch along with its many benefits:

  1. Retains Moisture
  2. Dark colored mulch increases the benefits of the sun for plants
  3. Prevents weeds from growing

We are almost finished mulching our garden. We wanted to wait until all the plants had sprouted. For the most part what is going to sprout at this time has sprouted. Some seeds never sprouted for varies reasons. We choose to go with a black mulch to maximize the sunlight benefits. Although, it is so hot this summer (in Norfolk, VA, USA), we hardly think we need to intensify the benefits. It is great for watering with the sprinkler system. Instead of water pooling and slowly seeping into the ground, the water is managed by the mulch. It slowly releases the water into the ground without pooling.

Most people have never heard of using mulch in a garden. Many have used dark colored plastic to cover the soil and discourage weeds while promoting growth. What are some Organic gardening techniques you are aware of? Do you use any of these techniques for your house plants? How else do you use these techniques?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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The Winter Harvest: Eliot Coleman

Winter Harvest, Eliot Coleman
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Learn more about Winter Harvesting with Eliot Coleman.

Its good to know even the experts have trail and error and must try and try again when it comes to pests. What are your favorite summer fruits and vegetables that you wish you could eat in the winter? What did you think of Eliot Coleman’s organic approach to preventing pests? Share your comments with the community by positing them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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The Organic Movement

Real Organic Project
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

My Agricultural Grandparents by Eliot Coleman | Real Organic Project

Eliot Coleman believes that food is more of a function of biology than science. He also believes that the USDA could go further in regulating and understanding what true Organic growing means. Do you think the USDA goes far enough? Do you think the USDA is transparent enough? What questions do you have about Organic food? Do you think non Organic food can give your body the nutrients it needs to be healthy and to function properly? Share your comments below with the community by posting it below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.