Posted on Leave a comment

Why it is worth going the extra mile to get heirloom seeds for your garden

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Sowing heritage seeds can result in better flavour, a true connection with nature and hope for the future, expert Ellen Ecker Ogden explains. Hannah Stephenson reports.

By Hannah Stephenson
Tuesday, 9th February 2021, 4:45 pm
Source: Yorkshire Post
Feature Photo Source: Unsplash, Markus Spiske

When we can buy so many vegetable and flower seeds designed to give us great harvests, why would we want to search harder, and possibly spend more, for heirloom varieties?

Conservation of edibles that may have been grown by your grandparents, feeling more connected to nature and being aware that the seed you are sowing hasn’t been tampered with, is all part of it, says garden lecturer Ellen Ecker Ogden, author of The New Heirloom Garden, a guide to having a beautiful and self-sufficient garden, in which she shares the secrets of heritage vegetables, herbs, and flowers.

“Many of the best tasting fruits and vegetables are heirloom varieties because often the breeding companies have been breeding for a bigger, better, taller, stronger, disease-resistant plant, and have not been paying attention to what cooks really want in terms of flavour,” says Ecker Ogden, who is a keen cook herself.

As the need for responsible, ethical growing continues to nip at the consciences of gardeners, some are moving towards a more organic approach by selecting seeds that haven’t been genetically modified to make the harvest more uniform and disease-resistant.

F1 hybrid seeds, the ones so many of us buy, are produced through the manual cross-pollination of two related parent plants that offer particular growing traits. For instance, one parent may taste great while the other might produce large fruits and from that, breeders can produce a seed which, when grown, will possess both traits. However, in future years, saved seeds from hybrid plants may produce different results in either taste or appearance, so it may not be worth saving the seed.

“It may be inconsistent,” says Ecker Ogden. “It may not germinate at all and it can cross pollinate so easily.”

Heirloom seeds are open pollinated, meaning they’ve been pollinated naturally by insects, birds and the wind. They cross pollinate randomly, so you may have a different result in subsequent years, but you are letting nature take its course. Also, they may develop a natural tolerance for regional conditions, she notes.

The work that goes into hybridisation to cross-match beneficial traits of two parent plants is time-consuming and costly. So unless the heritage seed is extremely rare, you shouldn’t be paying more for it, notes Ecker Ogden. And you can cut your seed bill year on year by saving seeds from your heritage plants, she observes.Ecker Ogden says they generally taste better.

“Carrots, for example, used to be sweeter than they are now. Today, they are bred to have really strong tops so they can be mechanically harvested, and a lot of the flavour from the roots has been taken away in order to increase the productivity,” says Ecker Ogden. “Tomatoes are the biggest example. Most people who grow tomatoes in my region will grow some heirlooms which aren’t necessarily as disease-resistant as some of the hybrids, but better flavour comes from ‘Brandywine’, ‘Big Rainbow’ and ‘Green Zebra’.”

Keeping history alive is all part of it as we grow vegetables enjoyed by previous generations, Ecker Ogden adds.

“A lot of these heirloom seeds have been handed down and they get stories around them and you can research the heritage. It creates a curiosity of wanting to know the story behind the seed, creating a sense of longevity,” she says.

“It’s about the cycle of life. When you have a seed you’ve put in the ground, seen it grow and then save the seed for the following year, you are creating that connection with your garden that takes it to a higher level.”

What will you be planting this season? Why are heirloom seeds so important? What would you like to know about the types of seeds available?

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. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

Looking toward spring: how to start seeds

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
  • BY Alena Steen
  • Feb 12, 2021 Updated Feb 12, 2021
  •  Source: Coastal View

Starting seeds directly in garden soil is the simplest way to get a spring garden started. Make sure to label what and where you’ve planted to avoid surprises.

  • Joel Patterson

These large purple and black podded scarlet runner beans are delicious both fresh and dry, and one of the most beautiful seeds around. Beans are very easy to start from seed once the weather warms: Wait until mid to late May to plant out on the coast. Beans are also very easy to save for seed for next year’s crop. Simply allow beans to dry in their pods in the fall until they rattle, then remove the beans and store in a sealed glass jar or paper bag for next spring.

  • Alena Steen

Seeds come in all shapes, sizes and colors, from the tiniest specks of white sand which are chamomile and lettuce seeds to thick and robust pumpkin seeds and corn kernels. All seeds, no matter how tiny, contain a combination of genetic material from two parent plants. For as long as plants and humans have co-existed, humans have worked with the variability and diversity of plants’ genetic inheritances to create different varieties (or cultivars) of a plant, such as a more vibrant or fragrant flower, tastier pepper or cold-tolerant tomato.

Seeds contain genetic memory in the form of a plant embryo encased in a tough seed coat. Many seed coats are designed to facilitate one of several methods of mechanical dispersal away from the parent plant to reduce competition and increase the plant’s range. Depending on their structure, seeds can be wind-borne, snagged and carried along in an animal’s fur coat, dispersed and buried by foraging birds, awakened by wildfire or carried along in river or ocean currents to distant shores. Many of our tastiest fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, tomatoes, melons, peppers, cucumbers and eggplants evolved to tempt passing birds and mammals to eat their sweet fruit and deposit seeds in the ground as scat. 

Starting plants from seed is the simplest way to garden. You don’t need any special equipment other than a packet of seeds and some loose dirt rich in organic material. My method for direct seeding is to loosen compacted soil with a spading fork or shovel before layering about an inch and a half of homemade compost on top of the soil. I plant directly into the compost, which creates a weed-free seed bed full of fertility where seeds are quick to germinate. 

If you are planting a larger area, it’s easiest to dig a shallow furrow to plants seeds and then gently cover them with soil to the appropriate depth. In a smaller space, you can also simply tuck each individual seed into the soil. The general rule of thumb is to plant seeds twice as deep as they are large, though seed packets typically have a more precise suggestion. There are also several types of seed which should not be buried, since they rely on direct sunlight for germination. This is true mostly of certain types of cut flowers, and those directions should be clear on the seed packet.

Once you’ve dug your furrows or tucked seeds into the ground, it’s important to press the ground firmly to slightly compact the surface. Firm seed to soil contact is an important trigger for germination. As you wait for seeds to germinate, ensure the soil remains moist so that a thick crust does not form to inhibit germination. I gently water the soil surface every two to three days depending on temperature and cloud coverage. 

Once seeds have germinated (most veggies should take no more than a week, while certain cut flowers may take up to three weeks), it’s important to reduce watering to prevent soil-borne diseases and moisture-loving insect pests. Veggies and herbs that do well sown directly into garden soil this time of year include kale, lettuce, spinach, arugula, cilantro, dill, parsley, radishes, carrots, beets and turnips.

Many of our annual native flowers, as well as several cut flowers, germinate easily when broadcast on bare dirt just before rain for an effortless pollinator garden come spring. Flowers such as California poppy, phacelia, ornamental breadseed poppies, Queen Anne’s lace, love-in-a-mist and larkspur are all tough plants which grow quickly in cooler temperatures with some rainfall or supplemental hand watering. 

Another option is to start seeds indoors. This is a good choice if you have a lot of bird or insect pressure in your garden or are eager to increase the speed of veggie production, since seedlings often grow faster in a more controlled climate. The same techniques of seed depth, soil compaction and moisture retention apply. Make sure to choose a high-quality potting soil with enough fertility to ensure your seedlings a healthy life. My top choice is E.B. Stone Recipe 420 potting soil, which is certified organic and readily available at garden stores.

Some of my favorite sources for vegetable seeds with excellent germination rates and detailed growing instructions are Johnny’s Seeds, Siskiyou Seeds, Uprising Organics, Wild Garden Seeds and Plant Good Seed (based in Ojai). These are small to medium-scale growers saving and selecting seed on their farms and working toward a more diverse, sustainable and food-secure future. If you are curious to learn more about spring garden tasks such as building soil, preparing seeds beds and planting seeds or transplants, be sure to tune into the Garden’s upcoming Spring Gardening 101 Zoom class on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 10 a.m.

Alena Steen is coordinator of the Carpinteria Garden Park, an organic community garden located at 4855 5th St., developed by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. Community members rent a plot to grow their own fresh produce. For more information, visit carpinteriaca.gov/parks-and-recreation.

How will you start your seeds: in or outdoors? Last year the majority of our seeds began indoors. Select your space whether in or outdoors carefully. Where will your space be that you begin planting your seeds? Why did you choose that space?

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. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

Biden’s climate change strategy looks to pay farmers to curb carbon footprint

PUBLISHED FRI, FEB 12 202111:47 AM EST
UPDATED FRI, FEB 12 20214:07 PM EST
Emma Newburger@EMMA_NEWBURGER
Source: CNBC

  • The Biden administration is looking to steer farm aid from the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation to encourage carbon emissions reductions on farms.
  • By adapting more “regenerative practices,” experts estimate that American farmers can sequester a large enough portion of emissions to avert a climate catastrophe.
  •  “If the government supports the farmers who are getting good results, everyone else will follow,” said a fourth generation cattle rancher.
Fourth generation cattle rancher Loren Poncia has made Stemple Creek Ranch carbon positive. He's implemented rotational cattle grazing systems that allow soil and grass to recover, applied compost on pastures and planted chicory that aerate the soil.
Source: CNBC
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Fourth generation cattle rancher Loren Poncia has made Stemple Creek Ranch carbon positive. He’s implemented rotational cattle grazing systems that allow soil and grass to recover, applied compost on pastures and planted chicory that aerate the soil.Courtesy of Paige Green

President Joe Biden has called on U.S. farmers to lead the way in offsetting greenhouse gas emissions to battle climate change — a goal fourth generation cattle rancher Loren Poncia set out to achieve over a decade ago.

Despite working in the beef sector, a big contributor to global warming, Poncia has transformed his Northern California ranch into one of the few carbon-positive livestock operations in the country.

“It’s a win-win — for the environment and for our pocketbook,” said Poncia, who adopted carbon farming practices through a partnership with the Marin Carbon Project.

Experts estimate that farmers across the world can sequester a large enough portion of carbon through regenerative agriculture practices to avert the worst impacts of climate change. Research suggests removing carbon already in the atmosphere and replenishing soil worldwide could result in a 10% carbon drawdown. The United Nations has warned that efforts to curb global emissions will fall short without drastic changes in global land use and agriculture.

Poncia’s ranch sequesters more carbon than it emits through practices like rotational cattle grazing systems that allow soil and grass to recover, applying compost instead of chemical fertilizers to pastures to avoid tilling, building worm farms and planting chicory to aerate the soil. Such climate-friendly projects have allowed Poncia to grow more grass and produce more beef.

“If we as a world are going to reverse the damage that’s been done, it’ll be through agriculture and food sustainability,” Poncia said. “We’re excited and positive about the future.”

While some farmers, ranchers and foresters have already embraced sustainable practices that capture existing carbon and store it in soil, others are wary of upfront costs and uncertain returns that could vary across states and farming operations.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently said it would incentivize farmers to implement such sustainable practices. And more researchers and companies have started to better quantify and manage carbon that’s stored in the soil.

USDA push towards carbon farming

Battling climate change has become a matter of survival for American farmers, who have endured major losses from floods and droughts that have grown more frequent and destructive across the country.

In 2019, farmers lost tens of thousands of acres during historic flooding. And NASA scientists report that rising temperatures have driven the U.S. West into the worst decades-long drought ever seen in the past millennium.

In the U.S. alone, agriculture accounts for more than 10.5% of planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, according to the estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency.

As a result, the Biden administration now wants to steer $30 billion in farm aid money from the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation to pay farmers to implement sustainable practices and capture carbon in their soil.

This Monday, March 18, 2019 file photo shows flooding and storage bins under water on a farm along the Missouri River in rural Iowa north of Omaha, Neb.
Source: CNBC
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

This Monday, March 18, 2019 file photo shows flooding and storage bins under water on a farm along the Missouri River in rural Iowa north of Omaha, Neb.AP Photo | Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Biden’s USDA Secretary of Agriculture nominee, Tom Vilsack, who has vowed to help meet Biden’s broader plan to reach a net-zero economy by 2050, said the money could go toward creating new markets that incentivize producers to sequester carbon in the soil.

Former President Donald Trump previously tapped those funds to bail out farmers harmed by his trade wars with China, Mexico and Canada that sent down commodity prices.

Using the CCC money to create a carbon bank might not require congressional approval, and agriculture lobbying groups are expected to persuade Congress to expand the fund.

“It is a great tool for us to create the kind of structure that will inform future farm bills about what will encourage carbon sequestration, what will encourage precision agriculture, what will encourage soil health and regenerative agricultural practices,” Vilsack said at his Senate confirmation hearing this month.

Vilsack, who spent eight years as President Barack Obama’s Agriculture secretary, has also asked Congress to have an advisory group of farmers to help build a carbon market and ensure that farmers receive the benefits.

The administration’s push to encourage carbon capture on farms could bolster an emerging market of on-farm emissions reductions and the technological advances that are helping growers improve soil health and participate in carbon trading markets.

An emerging market

Some farmers have started partnerships with nonprofit environmental and policy groups to work on environmental sustainability. The movement has seen increasing support from private companies, too.

Indigo Ag, a start-up that advocates for regenerative farming practices, said corporations like Barclays, JPMorgan Chase and Shopify have committed to purchasing agricultural carbon credits that help growers with transition costs.

Chris Harbourt, global head of carbon at Indigo Ag, said the company is working with growers to address financial barriers during the transition and provide education on implementing regenerative agriculture practices, like planting off-season cover crops or switching to no-till farming.

“Growers who adopt regenerative practices see benefits well beyond financial,” Harbourt said. “The soil is healthier and more resilient, which creates more opportunities for profitable years even when weather conditions are challenging.”

Erik Fyrwald, CEO of Syngenta, a Switzerland-based seed and crop protection company, said government policies need to provide proper incentives to farmers to accelerate the transition to regenerative agriculture.

“The incentives must be sufficient and reliable enough to give farmers the confidence to make the necessary investments to implement these practices on their farm,” Fyrwald said.

Poncia, who has received state funding twice from California’s Healthy Soils Program to implement sustainable practices on his ranch, said he hopes the administration can provide enough support for agricultural so other people can achieve similar results.

“The agriculture community wants to support this movement, but they need help, education and an ability to decrease risk,” Poncia said. “If the government supports the farmers who are getting good results, everyone else will follow.”

How can you support farmers? What information would you like to see on your food labels? How do you identify food from sustainable and nutritious sources? Foods purpose is to support the body and its functions: the give nutrition to the body.

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. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

Salinas Valley continues to grapple with contamination problem

Canada’s crackdown on romaine lettuce a stark reminder of frustrating battle to keep leafy greens safe

Source: Silicone Valley

Romaine lettuce in particular has had contamination problems. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

By STEPHANIE MELCHOR | newsroom@montereyherald.com
PUBLISHED: December 26, 2020 at 3:52 p.m.
UPDATED: December 31, 2020 at 1:11 p.m.

The Salinas Valley has long billed itself as the Salad Bowl of the World. Last year alone, Monterey County grew $1.4 billion worth of lettuce.

But for years the valley, which grows the majority of the nation’s lettuce, has also increasingly been known for something else: dangerous contamination in its leafy greens — particularly romaine lettuce — and an apparent inability to solve the problem.

The recurring contamination has sparked distrust in international markets, leading to a bombshell announcement in October that Canada was imposing harsh restrictions on the importation of Salinas Valley-grown romaine lettuce through the end of the year. The new import rules applied to romaine planted in four counties: Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Benito and Santa Clara.

Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had announced a sweeping plan in March aimed at reducing outbreaks related to leafy greens, Canada wasn’t willing to take the risk, the country’s food inspection agency said.

The move was a stark reminder to local growers who have been working vigorously for more than a decade to safeguard leafy greens from contamination — a journey that in many ways has been an exercise in frustration.

“We absolutely recognize that there are millions of servings of these products consumed every single day. And the food is safe — except when it isn’t,” said Trevor Suslow, a food safety expert at UC Davis who recently stepped down as the vice president of produce safety at the Produce Marketing Association.

Any level of illness caused by leafy greens, Suslow said, is not acceptable.

Despite the addition of numerous testing and safety procedures, contamination still occurs in leafy greens. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Salinas Valley’s contamination problem drew international attention in 2006 when three people died and more than 200 people across the U.S. and in Canada were sickened from eating raw spinach contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, a virulent strain of bacteria that can cause severe stomach pain, bloody diarrhea and kidney failure.

Even though the source of the outbreak was eventually traced to a remote valley in San Benito County, where a cattle ranch owner had leased land to a spinach grower, the eyes of the world were suddenly on the Salinas Valley.

Federal investigators could not say definitively how the spinach became contaminated. But they did find the outbreak strain in nearby cattle and wild pigs, theorizing the pigs had traipsed through the spinach field or bacteria from the animals’ feces had made its way into wells used to irrigate spinach.

And the outbreaks didn’t stop there. According to a recent study by several U.S. and Canadian government agencies, there were 32 E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks in the U.S. and Canada linked to leafy greens from 2009 to 2018.

In the fall of 2019 alone, three major outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7 were traced back to romaine lettuce grown in the Salinas Valley. All told, 188 people across the U.S. and Canada got sick from those outbreaks, leading to 92 hospitalizations and 16 cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome, a potentially fatal condition caused by bacterial toxins damaging blood vessels in the kidneys.

Romaine lettuce and other leafy greens are particularly susceptible to contamination. The crops are grown directly in the ground, sometimes putting it into direct contact with animal feces containing E. coli. And romaine’s large, open leaves can catch potential contaminants spread by air and water. Most importantly: Because romaine lettuce is eaten raw, there is no “kill step”— an opportunity to destroy pathogens through cooking.

Recurring contamination of leafy green products such as lettuce harvested in the Salinas Valley has sparked distrust in some international markets. (Monterey Herald file)
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Canada’s announcement took many in the industry by surprise, in part because there have been no outbreaks traced to the valley this year, said Norm Groot, executive director of the Monterey County Farm Bureau.

To some scientists, however, the Canadians’ decision seemed like a no-brainer.

“What took them such a long time?” said microbiologist Mansour Samadpour, president of IEH Laboratories and Consulting Group in Seattle.

Years ago, Samadpour was hired by San Juan Bautista-based Natural Selection Foods — which had packaged the tainted spinach that triggered the 2006 crisis — to overhaul microbial testing procedures.

Despite numerous investigations, no one has been able to find the exact source of contamination in last year’s outbreaks.

As was the case in the 2006 outbreak, fecal contamination from nearby pastures is suspected, according to an investigative report by the FDA on the 2019 outbreaks released last May. Investigators found a strain of E. coli O157:H7 that matched one of the outbreak strains at a cattle grate less than two miles upslope from a lettuce farm tied to the contamination.

Federal investigators said irrigation water was another suspect, as were environmental factors such as heat, humidity, wind and wildlife, making the source of the outbreaks a moving target.

The FDA recently launched a multi-year study aimed at determining how human pathogens persist in the environment and contaminate produce.

But growers need answers now.

“How do we move forward with practices and implement something that works when we don’t have that full understanding?” Groot asked.

UC Davis’ Suslow said the food-safety system doesn’t need to be overhauled. “I think there are ways to more effectively and strategically apply what we do know, while we’re waiting to work out some of the things we don’t,” he said.

One organization committed to improving the safety of leafy greens is California’s Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement. The LGMA was created by farmers in response to the 2006 E. coli outbreaks.

Membership in the LGMA is voluntary and allows growers to agree to a layer of food-safety regulations that exceed government requirements.

To reduce the risk of contamination from neighboring livestock farms, the LGMA last spring stepped up its efforts to scrutinize adjacent land use and has extended the required distance of buffer zones — land where no grazing is allowed and no leafy greens can be grown.

But Samadpour said that while the larger buffer zones might curb direct produce contamination from livestock, they won’t stop birds and other wildlife that routinely travel long distances from spreading contamination between pastures and row crops.

To combat pathogens in irrigation water, the LGMA in 2019 approved more stringent standards for testing and treating water used to irrigate leafy greens. The new standards include treating within 21 days before harvesting all water from open sources like canals and rivers that will be used in overhead irrigation.

“This is a pretty staunch new metric – something that’s never been done in fresh produce before,”  Greg Komar, LGMA’s technical director, said at a Sept. 1 webinar outlining the new standards.

Samadpour, however, said that just testing for generic E. coli won’t do much to catch O157:H7. He said that many common tests detect E. coli by observing a chemical reaction caused by a bacterial enzyme. But many strains of O157:H7, he said, don’t cause this chemical reaction, allowing dangerous strains of E. coli to slip by undetected.

“The problem is that nobody’s found the needle in the haystack,” said Steve Church, CEO of Church Brothers Farms in Salinas.

But Samadpour thinks there is a way to find the needle.

“We make the haystack smaller,” he said. “And we make our needle larger.”

Growers, he said, can shrink the “haystack” by testing smaller plots of land – say a quarter of an acre rather than 10 acres. And the “needle” can be enlarged by taking dozens of sample leaves instead of just one and testing them together, increasing the likelihood that the test will pick up evidence of contamination, Samadpour said.

Bill Marler, a Seattle attorney who has represented thousands of food poisoning victims, said Salinas Valley growers need more government regulation to “save them from themselves.”

“They may not like regulation,” but neither did the beef industry in the early 1990s, Marler said.

In 1993, an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 in Jack in the Box hamburgers sickened more than 700 people and killed four children. The tragedy led to immediate changes in how beef was regulated, including a federal mandate that burgers must be cooked to an internal temperature of 155°F.

In addition, E. coli O157:H7 was classified as an “adulterant” in ground beef. That meant that any beef containing the bacterial strain could not be sold.

“They got their act together and, in fact, they put me out of business,” Marler quipped.

Groot, however, argued that the LGMA has actually been outpacing the FDA when it comes to raising standards for safely growing and processing leafy greens. The U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act of 2012, he noted, incorporated food safety standards originally established by the LGMA.

“The industry is a lot more nimble and can adapt itself a whole lot quicker,” Groot said.

Suslow points to a growing body of research on leafy greens contamination by various research groups. But, he said, there needs to be a system for sharing data on a large scale so that growers, scientists and government officials can learn from each other.

“No single grower or single commodity or industry,” he said, “is going to be able to fix this alone.”

Where does your lettuce come from? What could be contaminating the lettuce in Silicon Valley? What else could it be contaminating?

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. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

Eliot Coleman: Four Season Harvest

Four Season Harvest: Eliot Coleman speaks to Maddy Harland

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
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.

Posted on Leave a comment

Dr Greene’s Organic RX

Dr. Greene's Organic Rx – Intro

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Dr Greene’s Organic RX
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Dr Greene along with many other doctors are increasingly giving Organic foods as a prescription for health. What does your doctor think about Organic foods as apart of your diet and over all health? Would eating more organic foods reduce your need to take medications? What does your doctor think about exercise as apart of your over all health?

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. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

African American Farm

Clemmons Family Farm: Ready Set Go!

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
African American Farmers
Source: Clemmons Family Farm
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

How far are the local farms from where you live? Do you know your local farmers? Do you know that some farms allow second gleaning for free? My family and I visited a farm in New England when we lived there and picked apples (second gleaning) at a local orchard in the northern part of Massachusetts. The orchard was about an hour away from where we lived. We purchased some apple cider from the farm and got the apples for free. It made a delicious apple pie. Have you considered visiting your local farmer?

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. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

National Black Growers Council

Bridging the Information Gap for African-American Farmers

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
National Black Growers Council
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

What is the importance of African American farmers? What is the importance of farmers vs industrial corporate farmers? How would you feel if all of your food came from an industrial corporate farm?

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. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

Prince Charles: Pick for Britain

Prince Charles Urging People to ‘Pick for Britain’

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Prince Charles Urging People to Pick for Britain
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

During this global pandemic we all have been challenged in unique and new was as we face together obstacles that we have never seen before. The Pick for Britain campaign renews our connection with the earth and the production of food. Prince Charles is no stranger to gardening, farming nor Organics. Nor is he a stranger to the importance of food in our everyday lives. What can you do locally to help your community? What are some of the local initiatives that you can get involved in to help your community? Where is your local food pantry located? Where are your local gardens and farms located? Do they need help harvesting foods so they do not go to waste on the vine? 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.

Posted on Leave a comment

Sierra Harvest

Sierra Harvest: Seeding Our Future

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Sierra Harvest
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Source: groworganic.com

Would you like Sierra Harvest at your children’s school? How can Sierra Harvest help you? Need help with starting your own garden? How can this change your eating habits? Will you allow yourself to eat and live healthier? Why not? 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.