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Pumpkin, Externally Yours

Pumpkin Vine Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Pumpkins Grow more Roots
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Recently we discovered that our pumpkin had been cut at the root. This pumpkin has endured much and had to be re sown a few times. We wondered since it has vines that anchor itself to the ground and also pull nutrients from the soil that way, could it still survive. Our researched yielded a resounding yes. In fact they grow additional roots as well. What wonderful things have you learned about your plants, yes even house plants? What have these articles taught you? How have these articles helped you? 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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Keeping Cayenne Coming

cayenne pepper Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Staked "Korean Lettuce" Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

We know a few of you are like us: you like it hot. So, when it was discovered that we had cayenne pepper in the garden, it was welcomed. We have our first fruits from our cayenne plant. We recently had to stake our “Korean Lettuce” plant, as described by one of the staff at the international market where we picked the seeds up from, because it was growing more vertical and in the way of the cayenne plant. The cayenne plant has put out a lot of leaves probably to grow from under the canopy of the “Korean Lettuce”, so we finally staked her today to get her to grow more upright and to stop her canopy from growing over the cayenne plant. We hope to get more peppers from the cayenne plant now that we have done this.

Our “Korean Lettuce” is also sporting some beautiful flowers. This is typically a sign that a plant is either about to bear fruit or die. We were not sure what to make of our “Korean Lettuce” because the directions were all in Korean and we had so little information to go on. So, we planted her anyway and have kept a close eye on her. Since it is suppose to be a lettuce like plant we are really not expecting any vegetables from her. So, we clipped a few leaves as if to harvest. But, once they have flowered then they seed and die because the plant has not been harvested and it feels its cycle is ended. So, we shall see what happens to this plant. Stay tuned for updates. Have you begun your own garden like several others? What do you think of the Wilson Victory Garden and the gardens that several people have started in the wake of the COVID 19 pandemic? Does a garden seem more useful than ever? Michelle Obama had a garden before there was a pandemic. Some people are just ahead of their time!


Cayenne Plant Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Cayenne Plant Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

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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For the Love of Lavender

Lavender Plant Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

We started most of our seedling early in the season inside our mini greenhouse, which is actually a garage with several windows. Lavender was one of the plants we started in our mini greenhouse. We started our seedlings in February just before the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic. Since the pandemic many people have begun their own gardens for a host of reasons. Since our growing season for the seeds we planted did not began until March we planted inside in February and then transplanted them into the outside garden when the season began. There are several benefits to growing in greenhouses. Many gardeners and farmers use greenhouses or some type of greenhouse system to lengthen the growing season. Indeed I have seen some gardeners and farmers growing in snow season. Our homes are a sort of greenhouse for the plants we keep indoors. The plants needs are not the same when they are inside or in some type of greenhouse structure. Richard Bray gives an excellent brake down of the greenhouse in their many forms in “Greenhouse Gardening” . What was most helpful about “Greenhouse Gardening” was understanding how to create an environment in which plants can grow indoors. Bray reminds us that plants have different needs than we do when indoors and that their needs change when they are indoors as oppose to outdoors. Read our review of “Greenhouse Gardening” to learn more. “Greenhouse Gardening” can be found here.

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greenhouse shidonna raven garden and cook
Mini Greenhouse
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Lavender was one of those plants we struggled with until we had a better understanding of how to care for our plants inside our mini greenhouse. She grew from a simple shoot into a shoot with several leaves. We re-potted her and brought her outdoors once the growing season began here in Norfolk, VA, USA. We were not certain if she would make it. But, these plants will surprise you. Just when you think they will not make it they come back in big and powerful ways. As you can see lavender has gown into a host of shoots with leaves and what we believe will grow into stems of lavender blossoms. We know a few people who like lavender so we kept sowing her until she grew into the large plant picture above. For gardeners and farmers alike the growing process can be one of trail and error even for the masters. Many have great difficulty growing lavender, so we were pleasantly surprise to see her flourishing. One thing to remember about lavender is to keep her well drained and sparsely watered. She does not like much water and her seeds must be properly prepared.

Did you know that besides smelling amazing lavender is an edible flower? Which edible flowers do you like? Many of us enjoy these flowers for their medicinal purposes (such as echinacea). Which edible flowers are your favorite? How do you eat them? We also know several tea drinkers. Share your comments with the community 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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MiMi’s Response

Cynoglossum amabile shidonna raven garden and cook

We are surrounded by nature and God’s wonders constantly. But, when one slows down or stops to take a closer look, things begin to look a little different. One can see how the small and simple things are connected to the big and profound things. Indeed when you observe nature and all its wonders the discoveries are endless. Scientist have only begun to scratch the surface in some areas. So, when MiMi saw her Cynoglossum Amabile blossom, she had a sense of awww that I have heard many adults echo as the garden grew one sprout at a time. It is easy to stand in aww of God when you see how a little water, soil, seed and sunlight can transform a tiny seed into trees and if we are lucky a delicious watermelon.

How have you observed the wonder of God? Many people have simply said “wow” in response to the progress of the garden. What were your “wow” moments? MiMi and Mom decided to start growing their own edible flowers and purchased a growing kit. How can you start your own “wow” moments? 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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MiMi’s Flower

cynoglossum amabile shidonna raven garden and cook

MiMi’s flower has come a long way since they were just a couple of seeds. Her flowers’ have begun to finally blossom into beautiful clusters of deep lavender. They began as a few seeds in a growing kit. MiMi and Mom have since gotten their own growing kit with 2 different flowers. MiMi’s gift blossomed into a wonderful exploration between MiMi and Mom into starting their own kitchen garden. And the Cynoglossum Amabiles are a wonderful addition to our front porch. What easy and simple ways can you start your own garden along with MiMi, Mom and many others. Since the beginning of the pandemic many people have begun their own gardens for various reasons. Do you think starting a garden as a response to the pandemic is a good idea? Why? Share your thoughts below by posting a comment. 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 growing!

Cynoglossum Amabile – MiMi’s Flower
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

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The Story of Two Trellises

trellised beans shidonna raven garden and cook

Today one of our neighbors and garden cohorts came over to help us trellis our beans. Beans like tomatoes need something to grow up on. Pumpkin and watermelon will grow along the ground. But other tendril like plants like green beans and tomatoes need to grow up and not along the ground. Bean plants can actually grow pretty tall like tomato plants. So, today we placed the beans into 2 types of trellises. One type (red) is circular while the other (green) is a flat web of string placed between to poles or stakes, so that the plants can grow up and have plenty of space to bare their fruit.

Trellised Beans
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

What other plants need to be trellised? Which plants can grow along the ground? How do you care for the plants that grow along the ground and not up? Wondering? Post your questions below.

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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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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Harvesting & Growing Radishes

Korean Radish Flower Shidonna Raven
Harvesting & Growing Radishes
Source: Almanac.com
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Several months ago we took a trip to our local international food market where we sourced a few Korean seeds. Although we had no idea what they were, we grabbed several. Regardless, a staff member at the store was able to give us some basic information regarding the seeds and how to prepare them. Of course we want to eat them! Our Korean Radishes have flowers that are in full boom. We have a few root plants such as carrots. We were wondering how do you know when they are ready if they are underground? God is indeed perfect in all his ways. When the roots are ready the tops will peek above ground. How many varieties do you think there are? Have you ever had radish on your taco? We know a few authentic places. Post us a comment if you are curious. We spent some time in Latin countries and in California so our pallet regarding Hispanic food has been well developed. The things one must suffer through : ) What is your favorite type of Hispanic food?

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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How is the Garden

Cynoglossum amabile flower

The Garden is progressing very well. MiMi’s flower has grown pretty big. She out grew another pot and will probably out grow this one too. We are thinking of just getting a pillar. She really wants to be in the ground. But, we will see how we do with the pot for now. She has come a long way from a small little seed in a little bucket a few inches tall to a ma-mouth pot that looks great on the front porch. We recently moved a few plants from the back porch to the front porch (oregano, dill and chives). We put these plants in bigger pots hoping to give their roots more space to spread out and grow up. We also have echinacea on the front porch that went into a bigger pot. We freshened up cilantro hoping a few more seeds will sprout filling out cilantro’s bunch. And Parsley is doing just great and is absolutely delicious.

We also harvested some parsley from the garden and placed it into some water until we cook it. We believe that we have “Korean Lettuce”. It has grown into a full grown plant. And the cayenne pepper has one full pepper on its plant. One pepper is all you need with cayenne so, that is good. We know a few people who like it hot. Do you? If so, stay tune for updates on cayenne pepper. Have you ever grown a plant you knew very little about? We did: our “Korean Lettuce”. Stay tuned for how we cook up this mysterious treat. Have you been by our neighborhood garden? What are you waiting for? Schedule a time to come by.

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.