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Mahatma Gandhi & Saving Seeds

mahatma gandhi and seed saving shidonna raven garden and cook

If you know even a little bit about Gandhi, then one can easily understand what Gandhi means to seed saving or what seed saving would have meant to Gandhi. Gandhi was very much a promoter of the freedom of man and his country man. Like King he saw freedom in both simple and profound ways. A seed in itself is simple. Yet seed saving is a revolutionary concept even today. Where there is industry and money to be made, there is always controversy. More specifically where the industry is not truly needed is where the controversy seems to begin. Gandhi believed that people should have the right, yes right to grow their own food rather than being subject to purchasing food at prevailing prices. To this day there are many industries that surround the growth of food. Even farmers struggle against this industrial corporate complexes.

So in the midst of a pandemic when many people have begun to start their own gardens, seed saving is more important than ever. Understanding the profound yet simple practice of seed saving is important. Knowing and being able to save seeds gives one freedom to contentiously produce their own food sources. One might say, I buy food out of convenience and to save time. During a time when money is short for many but time is long, one might say, like many have, I will grow my own food. Exercising the right to grow ones own food has become important to many in the midst of COVID 19. Jim Ulager “Beginning Seed Saving for the Home Gardener” helps one to understand the background of seed saving as well as the application of seed saving.

We have saved several seeds of our own such as pumpkin, green beans, lentil beans, pinto beans, cantaloupe and more. A few of these seeds are in our garden and did sprout. Pumpkin is our largest saved seed. How has COVID 19 impacted you and yours? How could you and yours benefit from saving your own seeds? How has this article helped you? How could this article help your friends and family especially during these times? “Beginning Seed Saving for the Home Gardener” can be found below or by clicking the link. Share your experience with seed saving 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!

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 Great Pumpkin

Many of you know that Pumpkin suffered the first fatality in our garden from an unknown pest. We spotted a white and black cat in the garden today. While some of us do not believe cats are the pests we need to worry about, we still have not truly identified the culprit. The garden has attracted many birds and possibly the birds are attracting the cats. It is not the first nor last cat we will see around here – pre garden. Both the Pumpkins big and beautiful leaves were missing leaving only a stalk, which never produced more leaves once the only two it had were gone. As you might expect Pumpkin was our largest sprout and one of the first plants to go out into the garden from the mini greenhouse. It was an interesting plant we truly enjoyed watch growing so when it suffered its attack, we were all pretty disappointed.

Like most gardeners we were far from giving up. We sowed another few seeds from our arsenal and hopes of getting it out in time for fall and we are thus far on schedule. The good news is Pumpkin is beginning to show signs of sprouting as you can see. We expect to see two bold and beautiful (soap opera reference :)) green leaves soon. When Pumpkin finally sprouts and makes its return we will transplant her out into the garden and be sure to give you an update. Pumpkin’s anticipated return it here!

Does starting a garden seem overwhelming? How can you get started? How can you start a small garden and grow? How can you learn from set backs like pests and disease? 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.

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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Stake Holder

Several people we know like tomatoes. If there is one plant we have several varieties of, its tomatoes. We have Roma, San Marzano, Early Girl & Delicious tomato varieties. The weather has been unusually cold. Once the plants get past one thing, here comes another. Although we are well into May, we expect some low temperatures tonight and early morning. And the day has been pretty chilly although sunny. A few of our tomato plants came to us as plantlings already and not seeds. When we put them in the ground, we immediately put a stake in the ground too. Because tomatoes grow into pretty large plants and bare weighty fruit, they need to be staked to help the stalk of the plant from giving into the weight of the fruit it bares and its sheer size.

As you can see pictured above, we took some gardening twine and tied thus tomato plant to the stake so that the plant is standing straight up and no longer bending away from the stake. We found the gardening twine at the local dollar store in the gardening section for $1. There are several yards in the twine package. It is more than enough for staking a few plants and can be used for other tasks in the garden. As the tomato plant continues to grow we will continue to tie its stalk to the stake replacing it with a taller stake if necessary depending on the ultimate height of the plant. This tomato plant came to us as a plantling and is growing up nice and tall.

My gardening cohort helped me stake this tomato plant. he gets creative and resourceful finding sustainable sources of wood such as old wood pieces; cut tree limbs and old two by fours cut into stakes. What are some ways you could make your in or outdoor garden sustainable? Did you know you can stake herbs too? We used a Popsicle stick and sewing thread to stake our Dill plant. Curious which plants need to be staked and which ones do not? Ask. 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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Mahatma Gandhi

mahatma gandhi and seed saving shidonna raven garden and cook

Have you ever been asked, if you could meet anyone past or present who would it be? If we were asked that question, one of them would surely be Gandhi. He is by far one of the most interesting man of the post colonial age. Among many of his inspiring beliefs was the belief in Seed Freedom. Ask any gardener and they will immediately connect with this issue. In my research about gardening at the local library I came upon a book that caught my interest right away. Eliot Coleman talks a lot about sustainability and the industrial complexes that surround and hinder the natural and Organic approach to gardening and farming. Not to mention how the industrial complex surrounding farming works against sustainability. Eliot also talks a lot about paradigm shifts in the approach of gardening and the quality of the food we consume. I believe him and Gandhi would have gotten along very well. So, what does that have to do with seeds. Everything, really. When I read Beginning Seed Saving by Jim Ulager, I was very inspired and relieved.

Ulager discussed how the economics of seed producers discouraged seed saving and also encouraged myths about seeds. All three man highlight a very important issue in gardening and food growing. Gandhi might have said in freedom itself. A people able to gather what God has freely provided are able to feed themselves if willing to cultivate their own foods. Gandhi might say freedom. While Coleman might say sustainability. While Ulager might say save. Many things have been used to oppress people in the long history of the world. Food is one of them. When you begin your own garden you will rediscover a quite peace in growing your own food.

Who knew seeds were so controversial? Seeds are often the beginning for many gardeners as from it all things grow even the livestock and wild game we may eat. I encourage you to read Ulager’s book Beginning Seed Saving. It is a very informative and liberating book. We know some basics of seed saving but Ulager gives us an in depth look at just how to do it. It is also worth noting that some of the foods we consume we can not collect seeds from. For one reason or another, some believe on purpose. Typically industrial food producers do not want you to have access to seeds because you will cut into their business if you grow your own food. Seed producers also lead you to believe that perfectly good seeds can not be used beyond a certain date. Ulager begs to differ. Coleman so clearly points out that those business involved in the industrial complex that surrounds farming are constantly trying to convenience farmers that they must have certain products year after year in order to grow food and these claims simply are not true. And such pursuits make it unsustainable for the farmer to financial continue.

We have begun saving a few seeds of our own. We have pumpkin, navy bean, lentil bean, pinto bean and cantaloupe thus far. We would save papaya but think this fruit is best grown in warmer more tropical climates. Here are a few basics about starting to save your own seeds:

  1. Identify the location of the seed. This is not always obvious. In this case Ulager’s book can come in very handy.
  2. Free your seed of any plant matter that is not seed.
  3. Clean your seed
  4. Allow your seed to dry (spread them out on a plate)
  5. Store your seed in a cool and dry place discouraging growth until you are ready to sow the seed. So, no water, soil or sun.

It is important to note that not all seeds are the same. Sometimes the child of the seed, the seed of the seed you sowed, is different from the parent of the seed. So, if you like a particular seed, it is important that you save as many of those seeds as possible so you can grow that same plant in some cases the same variety of that type of plant. So, sometimes a good seed becomes prized and thus preserved. You might do the same with some of your seeds so read Ulager closely on how to preserve your seeds so they are there for you when you are ready to sow.

What did you learn about seed saving that you did not know? How can seed saving be a liberating experience for you? What are your thoughts on Gandhi, Coleman & Ulager’s points about seeds and farming? How does this influence how you approach your food consumption and gardening? 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 Urban Landscape

Chef Ponder was to the point about the food choices in our urban environments. He warned us that our food choices are often to full of meats, canned and frozen foods and often lacked choices of fresh vegetables, fruits and fresh foods in general. And so was inspired our organic garden. My grandfather had a corn field where our neighbor’s house is located now. So, it was not hard for us to take the leap and reclaim some urban space for gardening.

Our beginnings were and are humble. So, we have a lot of hope for our garden. Not only will it provide us a reprieve from the food choices to often found in urban grocery settings, it will also give us some organic options as well. Chef Ponder pointed out to us that many of the health challenges we face today may be solved by proper diet. I have personally suffered tremendously because of a mineral and vitamin deficiency and know many other women who have also suffered like me. Needless to say, we have high hopes for our journey and know improvements do not happen over night.

As always at the root of any organic mission is your health and wellness. During a time when Corona is so prevalent, we can all appreciate those things that add to our good health and well being. What challenges have you faced because of poor diet? What would you like to grow in your garden? How can you transform your urban landscape into a vegetation heaven? Join us on our organic journey.

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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Harvesting Herbs

We had a few questions about harvesting herbs. And we are here and happy to answer. First and foremost we have a love for herbs because they are a great way to start gardening. You can keep them in containers on your window seal if you like. Or you can place larger pots on your front or back patio. It is how we begun our organic garden. Although we went from 2 seeds to over 30 seeds in the same day, it is a great way to get started and introduce yourself to organic gardening. We highly recommend it. So, go ahead and get started. Remember, to send us your pictures and leave comments all about your journey in organic gardening. We invite you to join us on ours.

Dill before harvesting
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Question: When you harvest your herbs will they grow back?

Answer: The quick answer is yes.

As long as your herb is in its season it will continue to grow back for some time. Some herbs will come back year after year but lose their flavor after a few years, like oregano.


1.You can see the dill before harvest. 2. You can see the dill pre cooked. 3. You can see the dill after we cooked it up with salmon. 4. You can see how the dill is slowly growing back in its small container. This is after about 5 days after the initial harvest. Dill was the first plant that we harvested in our organic garden. We also used a little thread from our sewing room and a popsicle stick (from the local general store) to stake the herb as dill has a tendency to get a little leggy and want to flop over. We did this to encourage growth and to prevent the stems from breaking and becoming damaged, hindering growth. Remember to keep the herb and not the popsicle stick towards the light.

Thank you for your questions. We truly enjoy making this journey with you and hope that you will soon visit one of your local garden stores or nurseries and began your organic journey with us. What questions do you have? What are your observations. We invite you to leave your comments with us. We love pictures. Be sure to contact us and e mail them right over.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.