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Michelle Obama’s Garden

Michelle Obama’s First Family Kitchen Garden
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Michelle Obama has been a great champion for good health and nutrition especially with children. Her garden is indeed a testament to that. Have you considered starting your own community garden? How can you get children involved in your community garden? Do you think they are growing food in 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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Eliot Coleman: Four Season Harvest

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.

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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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Gardening during a Pandemic

Green Roma Tomato Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

During World War II food rationing was introduced in the United States, prompting Americans to grow their own fruits and vegetables in order to sustain themselves during tough times. It’s estimated that by 1944, roughly 20 million victory gardens were grown, resulting in 8 million tons of food. That’s was about 40 percent of the country’s supply of fresh produce at the time!

Though we are currently not experiencing a food shortage crisis, being self sufficient and resourceful at a time when essentials (honestly, where is the garlic?) are frequently sold out at grocery stories, isn’t a bad thing. Plus, are we all looking for a new hobby during quarantine?

We used this book when starting our own garden.

During uncertain times being proactive and not waiting for the next crisis to hit is a good idea. Indeed staff at garden centers and nurseries have reported an increase in those purchasing garden supplies. People have several of their own reasons for starting a garden and the pandemic seems to be chief among them. What do you need to get your own garden started? What is your reason for starting your own garden? What do you do differently now since the pandemic? 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.

Source: Forbes

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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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COVID 19 causes more to start Gardens

covid 19 shidonna raven garden and cook

During my recent visit to a local nursery here in Norfolk, VA USA I stuck up a conversation with a staff member. This is not difficult to do when you obviously share common interest. She is a highly knowledgeable gardener with a keen sense of observation. While we started our garden in February, just prior to COVID 19, she stated that people who you would have never seen gardening have begun gardening because of the uncertainty that COVID 19 has struck across the nation and indeed across the world. People have serveral reasons for starting thier own gardens:

  • Promotes social distancing by cutting back on grocery store trips
  • Saves money on ones grocery bill
  • Protects people with underlining conditions from having to go into public
  • Allows people to give food to others
  • Allows people to earn money by selling food to others

If COVID 19 has taught us nothing it has taught us how to be resilient and resourceful and indeed these are all good reasons to start a garden. They were good reasons before COVID 19 and they are better reasons since the pandemic has hit the world. How has the pandemic effected you and your family? How have you coped with the prevailing pandemic? Share your comments with the community by positing here. What have you learned since COVID 19?

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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Growing & Harvesting Carrots in Containers

Growing & Harvesting Carrots in Containers
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Its amazing what you can grow in containers. No more limits for the urban and container gardener. Are you ready to grow your own carrots or vegetable? Which one(s) would you like to grow? What questions do you have? Leave us a post. 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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Organic Soil Fertilizers

By: Anne Baley

Organic materials in the garden are more environmentally friendly than traditional chemical fertilizers. What are organic fertilizers, and how you can use them to improve your garden? What are Organic Fertilizers? Unlike commercial chemical fertilizers, organic fertilizer for gardens is typically made up of single ingredients, and can be matched to your garden’s particular nutritional needs. The various types of organic fertilizer can come from plant, animal or mineral sources, depending on what chemicals your garden requires. In order to qualify as an organic fertilizer, the materials must naturally occur in nature. Fertilizer for organic gardening isn’t the quick and instant fix that chemical fertilizers can be. With organics, you have to let moisture and beneficial organisms break down the content of the fertilizer material in order for the plants to get to the nutrients inside. In general, half of the nutrients in an organic fertilizer ingredient can be used the first year it is applied, and the rest of it is slowly released in the years to come, feeding and conditioning the soil. Different Types of Organic Fertilizer for the Garden .

What is the best organic fertilizer to use?

There are a number of organic fertilizers from which to choose. There may be all-purpose chemical fertilizers, but this doesn’t exist in the organic side of gardening. Different organic fertilizers add different nutrients and ingredients to the soil. The materials you need depend completely on your soil and the plants you are growing in the garden.

Plant-based fertilizers

Plant-based fertilizers break down quicker than other organics, but they generally offer more in the way of soil conditioning than actual nutrients. These materials, such as alfalfa meal or compost, help to add drainage and moisture retention to poor soils. Other plant-based fertilizers include: Cottonseed meal Molasses Legume cover crops Green manure cover crops Kelp seaweed Compost tea.

Animal-based fertilizers

Animal-based fertilizers, such as manure, bone meal or blood meal, add lots of nitrogen to the soil. They’re great for leafy plants and strong growth in the early weeks of gardening. Additional animal-based fertilizers for the garden include: Fish emulsion Milk Urea (urine) Manure tea Mineral-based fertilizers.

Mineral-based fertilizers

Mineral-based fertilizers can add nutrients to the soil, as well as raising or lowering the pH level when needed for healthy plant growth. Some of these types of organic fertilizer are: Calcium Epsom salt (magnesium and sulfur).

Source: Gardening Know How  

What types of plants are you growing indoors and outdoors including house plants? What are there fertilizing needs? What fertilizer best meets this need? Did you know you feed the soil to feed the plant including water? Feeding the soil is essential to keeping your plant healthy and growing as soil nutrients are depleted as they feed this is particularly true for indoor plants that may not be exposed to things like natural rain.

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.