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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

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Harvesting & Growing Radishes

Korean Radish Flower Shidonna Raven
Growing Radishes from Sowing to Harvest

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
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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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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When will Corona End?

In just the last few months the United States was hit hard and fast with a mired of COVID 19 challenges. It seemed to bring the world to a stop. There are still several questions as to how we will emerge from this pandemic. One thing almost everyone can agree on is that business will not be business as usual. We are sure to see several changes come out of this. 

Perhaps the most striking thing I have learned about the corona virus is that it has been around for sometime. We have heard several reports of corona virus cases in the poultry industry and the SBA has refocused some of its support to cover the agricultural industry as a part of the CARES Act. Corona viruses are not new to livestock nor poultry producers either, reports a Texas A&M AgriLife veterinary epidemiologist. Organic or not diseased food is an important and vital concern for the consumer.

In fact the CDC noted that corona viruses common to humans typically cause mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illness similar to the common cold. Most people are likely to have had one or more of these viruses during their life time. What is different about COVID 19 is that it is a new strand or novel corona virus. As we all know this strand of corona virus (COVID 19) was first detected in Wuhan City of Hubei Providence of China.

The interesting fact about China and corona viruses is that wild life have been known to carry strands of the corona virus that can mutate, adapt and spill over into other species like human begins. Bats along with other wild life have been known to carry strands of the corona virus and are sold in live markets in China. While much is still under investigation and to be known about corona viruses, what we currently know is that domestic animals and live stock are not known to carry strands of the corona virus that spill over into human beings. Wild animals, however, do have such strands that can spill over to human beings. In fact wild civets are the sources of the corona virus that causes SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). Civets are commonly found in southeast Asia. SARS, as you remember, was first reported around 2002 – 2003.

One notable difference in domestic animals is the camel. Domedary camels have been known to pass corona virus (MERS-COV) to humans. However, neither domestic animals nor livestock are known to pass corona viruses to humans. The respiratory and gastrointestinal systems of animals are typically affected by corona viruses as reported by Feedstuffs. So, we have been dealing with corona viruses for a long time. Should you have any questions regarding animals and livestock consult your veterinary. 

Naturally, we are just as concerned as you are regarding Corona. While the medical community may know a lot about corona viruses this virus is a new strand and it took the whole world by storm. We are waiting by cautiously, as are most, for more and up to date information. Our leaders feel confident enough that we have slowed the spread of COVID 19 to begin opening back up. However, this deadly virus is remains in our midst. We encourage you to err on the side of caution and to make informed decisions regarding your food consumption. There is, admittedly, a lot for the medical community to learn about COVID 19 as well as the community at large. What concerns do you have about COVID 19? What information can you share with the community? How has COVID 19 changed things for you? 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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Korean Connection

Now that we have 3 more rows, we decided to gather a couple more seeds to sow to fill in our garden as we wrap up the planting phase and move into cultivation. We sowed a few directly into the ground and will be transplanting another 10 – 14 plants over the next few weeks. After we get all our transplants out, everything that we will be sowing for the season will be in the garden. We will then focus our efforts outside and tuck our remaining seeds away in a cool dry place until next season. As we were looking for a few more seeds to sow and perhaps a good deal since the sowing season is winding down, we discovered a slim selection and no deals. Nurseries and garden centers have begun to put out plants and flowers. We did however find some okra, which should be an interesting and delicious addition to the garden.

We were so intrigued by the Korean “lettuce” that we decided to get a little more adventurous. The pickings were also slimmer than before. Nonetheless, we picked up a couple more lettuce like seeds as well as some radishes and green onions Korean style. We sowed these seeds directly into the garden. It has been a beautiful day and the garden is always a peaceful as well as fruitful place to be. As much work as there seems to be, there seems also to be an abundance of peace and connection with nature while working in the garden. It never seems nearly as long as it is. The time flies. The bugs and worms are busy beneath the surface doing their work as well. So are the birds, bees and butterflies. We are not so much worried about them as we are about the ants that never seem to go away.

These Korean Seedlings should be interesting to observer as well as eat. We hope you are feeling just as adventurous as us. If so, grocery stores are another common place to source international seeds. So, try your local international food market to locate some international seeds. Every seed we selected we got a little information on since the packet was all in Korean. Even if it was a lose translation. We discovered a few things about our seeds:

  • What is it like? In other words, is it like Spinach. Often we got it is like such and such but, with for instance, a different texture.
  • How do you cook it? Can you eat it raw? Must it be cooked? What are common dishes that it is cooked in. For instance, soup or salad.
  • What is its name? In English or in the foreign name so you can research it. Or ask us.

From what we discovered, we have a few lettuce like, radish and green onion Korean varieties. But they should be nothing like what we have had before. The whole process will be an interesting learning experience and adventure. What are your favorite international foods? Where are your local international food markets? Tell us about any gardening deals you see! Share the wealth of information 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!

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From the Far East

Korean "Lettuce" Seeds Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Beginning your own garden, and an organic one at that, is an adventure in it self. So is going to the international food market. I am pretty adventurous. But, if I am not in a restaurant my adventure gauge for food goes down. What is it? And how do you cook it? Well, today I got a few answers and that is all I need to add some intrigue and adventure to our organic garden. The seed packet is all in Korean, which I completely do not speak, read nor write. The guy at the international food market told me that it was something like a Korean lettuce they “…like it” and that it could be eaten fresh or cooked. So, I am guessing a little more like Spinach. He said they liked it. Initially, I was hoping for basil. At least something I know. But this was better. Something totally new. Not too adventurous. How adventurous is lettuce anyway. The picture of the plant gave me a good idea of spacing and depth. That it is similar to lettuce gave me an idea of how to care for the plant. Initially, I thought no…it’s in all Korean. I don’t stand a chance. But I went ahead and did it anyway. They are in the ground now and we are off to another gardening journey.

I have traveled the world; studied international relations; been to an array of ethnic restaurants in and out of the states; try to speak a second language and have meet a host of people from across the globe. So, I thought it only fitting that we add some international varieties to our garden.

It is important to note that when you are trying a plant you know very little about to test and taste the harvest at different stages of maturity to determine when it is ripe or has the ideal flavor. What international foods do you like that you want to grow in your own garden? What are their nutritional benefits? How can you learn more about a seed when the packet is in a foreign language? How can you learn how to cook your international favorites? Have questions? Want to share? Do you have a international recipe? Share with us by leaving a comment. And send us lots of pictures! We are visuals. 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.

Korean “Lettuce” like
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
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Transplanting Progress

Our goal over the next several weeks is to get all the plants from inside the mini greenhouse and outside into the garden. Things are progressing well. But, there is still much left to be done. We will be planting a few of the same types of plants. We have been anticipating the harvest and looking forward to a bountiful one. We will also be resowing some plants that did not either sprout or did not grow into successful pants or transplants.

As with any garden there is much work to be done; many observations to make and much progress ahead. Today we put out 4 (pinto bean, navy bean, parsley and sage) more transplants (pictured in the article) and observed some successful transplant progress. We also observed some recent and first transplants that are doing pretty well ( 2 tomato plants and 2 kale varieties that we put out. We are actually having kale tonight. But, that is store bought. Wait to you start your own garden as everyone says. You will not regret it and you will notice the difference.

Early Girl Tomato came to us fresh from the store as a plant and she is one of the plants we transplanted right away with out acclimating her. Because she went into shock, we spent many weeks nursing her into good health and protecting her from pests while she recovered from shock. So, we are pleasantly surprised to see her doing so well and growing tall. Her stalk is growing thick, tall and strong. As goes nature from time to time tomato leaves will grow yellow and then brownish. It is recommended that you clip these leaves to maintain the health of the plant and prevent disease. We have not yet seen any flowers. Tomatoes are perfect plants and will pollinate themselves. So, we are expecting to see some flowers before we see any fruit. The birds and butterflies love the garden and come to visit quit often. We will talk more about the birds and bees in another article.

Roma Tomato, very good for sauces because of the few seeds, has truly and literally blossomed. She too came to us straight from the store and went straight into the ground. We prune her and keep her in good health. Her stalk is growing strong, thick and tall. She is healthy and holding her leaves high. And as you can see, she really has blossomed two beautiful yellow flowers. So, we are expecting fruit to start budding any time soon. So we can patiently watch it ripen on the vine. I think this is going to be Charles’ top pick as I know he is into homemade pasta. She has come a long way. We are so pleased at her progress. The neighbors come by often to see the new garden in the yard. They have commented more than once how beautiful the yard is. We are hoping to make a couple of more inviting additions to the yard that will keep the yard a warm and welcoming place.

We planted two varieties of kale, which we love around here. Dark leafy greens are always high on the recommended good for you list. We like them because they are high in iron. Initially, I was very concerned about kale because no matter how much dirt I piled around it, they were just leggy and wanted to flop over and lie close to the ground. I noticed today that they seem to be holding their stance and growing their leaves big now that they are out of the pot. They are bright green and growing crinkles around the edges of their leaves like most typical kale. While you can cook kale, we have lots of salads in store for this duo. We are eager to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Waiting to enjoy seems to be the hardest part. At least my father and I both share that sentiment.

In keeping with our mission to get all plants out to the garden over the next several weeks, we brought out pinto and navy bean, which look very similar to green bean. Unlike lentil bean, which looks tall and stalking bearing several small leaves and a few branches. At least for now. They are not nearly as tall. Nonetheless, they went through the transplanting acclimation period very well and are standing tall as well as looking good. We gave them a healthy amount of water and will be watching how they take to their new home in the garden.


Sage and Parsley went out today also. Sage is looking a little saggy. But, it seems to be holding kind of low. Or either it was reaching for sunlight in the greenhouse. We are hoping that once she catches to her new home that she will spread out and full up. Parsley is one of those plants who did very well. We had one in a clay pot and one in a cardboard like pot and the one in the clay pot did very well in our mini greenhouse aka garage (which seemed to be very mold loving. if we decide to make cheese we should be good.). We are sure that the mold had something to do with that. Overall we were very pleased at how the clay pots were able to shrug off disease. We were able to get the smaller clay pots at a local dollar store. So, they were a good investment. We will wash them out and use them again.

When washing pots it is important to note that you should remove all past substance to prevent disease from spreading. However, if you use a detergent, sit your pot out in the sun for a few weeks and allow the chemicals to leave the pot. You might also try a water and bleach solution or an organic cleanser. What observations have you made? Have you begun your kitchen herbs or garden yet? What is holding you back? Have questions? 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.