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Kitchen Garden Made Easy

Kitchen Garden Made Easy
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Have you considered starting a kitchen Garden with a partner? Children can make wonderful kitchen garden partners. What would you grow in your kitchen garden? Would a kitchen garden be ideal for an urban 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.

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Soul Fire Farm

Soul Fire Farm
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Who are the Organic Growers in your community? How are you apart of the Organic Farms and Gardens in your community? If you are not a farmer or gardener, are you an organic consumer? How can you get to know the farmers who grow your food? Don’t know, Ask. 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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African Americans & Organic Farming

Do you think that organic foods are for only the rich and famous? Is what we call organic farming today just the way people farmed before scientists begin selling farming products and chemicals? Is organic farming not just not industrial farming? 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.

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MiMi’s Flower

MiMi’s Cynoglossum Amabile (Chinese Forget Me Not) flowers have finally bloomed. These short and thick sprouts are sure to grow into a beautiful addition around the house. For only a dollar this is a great way to introduce your children to gardening. The growing medium discourages over watering because it is a little lose, runny and slow to absorb. Similar growing mediums are available for growing other seeds / plants. These blocks are sold individually from kits and come in blocks of different sizes. They also come in packs with a tray. These packs also have growing medium sold in different sizes.

Kits are great because they take some of the guess work out of beginning to grow plants that many newbies face. The Soil Blocks and Growing Mediums offer the gardener a way to save in many forms. If you would like to learn more about Soil Blocks read our article titled “Soil Blocks” dated May 4, 2020. So far, we favor well drained clay pots. Many kits will not come with a clay pot but you can find one at your local garden center for a little more than $1 depending on the size you want. Metal pots can be lined and if you are remaining true to the Organic Journey you probably do not want to use plastic pots.

Among the Cynoglossum Amabile flowers we also found our Korean Radishes sprouting all over the place now that, fingers crossed, our vole problem is under control and we do not have underground munching going on. Our Pumpkin, Sugar Baby Watermelon and Beans (Green, Pinto & Lentil) are all doing very well. The plants have been getting plenty of water from Mother Nature over the last several days and are slotted to get a lot more over the next several days. We love and we think the plants do too. As soon as the rain lets up and we get a few sunny and calm days, we will set some plants out for transplanting and hopefully get the rest of the plants out into the garden. We halted transplanting until we could figure out our pest problem and then came the rain. So, hopefully we will get back on track in about a week.

We have a few squash and melon lovers out there, we are sure they are happy to see them sprouting and doing well. What pest problems have you encountered? How can you use these Organic Pest Remedies around the house as well as in the garden? What do you think the benefits would be? Do you think it would help save money and improve your health? 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 growing.

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 Flowers

Matthew 18:3-4 and said, “Truly , I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven”.

It has been a beautiful day in the garden today. The rain is falling perfectly for the plants and the birds are out sining their songs. As I stand in the mini greenhouse sowing the seeds that were recently attacked by what we believe was a vole, I could not help thinking this must be similar to what a rain forest sounds like. Starting this garden has made us more aware of our environment even in our urban and residential areas. Barbra and many others have been inspired to begin their own gardens. We will keep you updated on the inspiration that is sprouting up.

When we get our children involved in productive things and things that involve the environment as well as the cycle of life, my hope is that wonderful things ensue. So, I want to thank MiMi & Mom for the inspiration. This bible verse immediately came to mind. It is a wonderful thing to get children involved and a wonderful thing when they remind us of those things that are of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Since MiMi & Mom gave me a growing kit, they have went out and got their own really cool growing kit. This growing kit has metal pots. An important thing to remember when using metal pots is to line them so the roots of the plants do not get scorched by the pots and the sun when the metal heats up. We got on the topic of lining and paper. Because of the issues we had with mold, I recommended wax or parchment paper as a lining. They will be keeping an eye on things and letting us know how this works out. As always we will keep you updated on what we learn.

MiMi & Mom’s kit includes Lavender and Chamomile. Because they are both edible flowers, this kit is a very interesting combination. Lavender can be used for almost anything: cooking, sachets, balm, oils and decoration. Lavender can grow into a fairly tall and beautiful plant. Some people use them almost like shrubs. Chamomile is often used in teas but can also be used for decoration. Both make beautiful teas. Lavender can be placed on chicken breasts and baked as well.

During harvest season we look forward to seeing how MiMi & Mom use these beautiful flowers. MiMi & Mom are like me. They love a good deal and found this gorgeous kit at 5 below, which is a store where everything is $5 or lower. If my knowledge serves me correctly. What are some of your favorite flowers? Are they edible? How can you inspire someone else? Thank you for sharing with us MiMi & Mom. 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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Crowded

MiMi’s Flower started it all. MiMi & Mom brought us a Cynoglossum Amabile (Chiense Forget-Me-Not) Flower Growing Kit. We spotted the same brand in the gardening section of our local dollar store. When we saw the Growing Kit we were pretty excited. So we got the Echinacea Purpurea Flower Growing Kit also. Echinacea Purpurea is known for its ability to boost and build up the immune system, which is a perfect way to stay healthy in this Corona climate. You guessed it. It is an edible flower and can also be put on salads. When we bought Echinacea Purpurea home we decided to do an experiment on crowding. Just a note, the Echinacea Purpurea seeds from this Growing Kit are 100% Natural and come from Czech Republic. MiMi’s Flower (Cynoglossum Amabile) is also a 100% Natural Seed coming from the Netherlands.

We sowed all of MiMi’s Flowers in the one pot provided in the Growing Kit. While the Echinacea Purpurea we sowed in 2 pots (because we had already moisten our growing medium and had enough for 2 pots); we also sowed it in a Soil Block and directly in the ground. We sowed 3 – 4 seeds in each location and saved the remaining seeds. As all flowers grow we can observer how these plants handle crowding (since the packet did not provide spacing instructions) and how they react to the different sowing environments (pot, Soil Block and directly into the ground).

You will also find videos in this article showing how the growing medium in the kit absorbs water as well as how the Soil Blocks absorb water from the bottom up going from a dry medium disc into moistened growing medium. What did you learn from the videos? Would you like to see more videos? We have a You Tube channel now. Be sure to check it out and see what is new. 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.

Soil Blocks
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
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Roots

When transplanting a plant, one of the first things we do is give its roots a lot of water. And when we water our plants daily, we water the roots not the leaves. If you water the leaves, you can encourage disease. So, this is the one time you can aim low and its ok. The first thing we want our plants to do is grow a healthy and well developed root system. This is typically underground so we tend to forget it. But, it is very important to the plant. The roots go out and seek the nutrients the plant needs to survive and thrive. We want to encourage a well developed and deep root system with access to all the nutrients it needs to cause our plants to thrive. So when applying fertilizer or just watering your plants, always aim for the roots of the plant. This practice will encourage and promote good plant health.

Regardless if you are growing a simple indoor herb or an outdoor onion nourishing the roots is key. Thank you for taking this journey with us. What have you learned so far along the way? What has been most helpful to you? How are your plants responding? Send us a picture and leave a comment so we can share your success and trail and error with everyone. 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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Near Fatality – The Follow Up

As you might remember, when Roma & San Marzano were transplanted, Roma Tomato was transplanted next to San Marzano. Roma tomato had an ant infestation at the bottom of her pot. This infestation could have happened in the mini greenhouse or outside during acclimation. Either way, Roma was in trouble and we could not tell from top side. We discovered the infestation when we went to remove Roma from her pot and place her in the ground. Roma was uprooted from her new home in the ground and left inches from her mound with no source of nutrition. We are sad to say that Roma did not make it and had to be resown right into the ground. Because it is now April and we have likely seen the last frost for the year, it should now be safe to sow right into the ground and transplanting is not as necessary. Though we do have another Roma plant that came to us as a plant and not a seed. She is growing taller everyday and doing very well.

San Marzano Tomato
San Marzano Hierloom Tomato – Organic Seed
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

San Marzan was also tugged from her mound and had to be nursed back into her mound and into good health. We are happy to report that she seems to be recovering nicely and taking to her new home (pictured above). Her stalk is strong and her leaves are high.

As we stated, our goal is to get them into plantlings and outside into the garden fast. As April was the popular month for our Zone (Norfolk, Virginia) for planting. Some seeds should be sown in May (check your seed packages). But, for the most part our seeds should have all gone out in April. So we are filling in our rows as quickly as we can. Speaking of which, you can see pictured in our featured image, green bean and habenaro pepper lined up to be the next transplants that go into the garden. It seems like one after the other these days. They are both acclimating well and looking good for transplanting.

We know a couple of people as stated in a previous article who like it hot. So, this is for you. Stay tuned for updates and harvest season for habenaro. We have a couple questions with answers coming up soon and an update on the Soil Blocks. What did you learned from this experience? What questions do you have? What subjects would you like to see for our next article? 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.