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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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Where to Buy Organic Seeds

seeds shidonna raven garden and cook

To truly grow organically one must first start with a seed that is organic. There are several other standards that the USDA require. True organic growers go even further than the USDA. These growers believe the USDA has relaxed its standards below what is truly organic in favor of corporate industrial farmers rather than true family farms. One will not always find organic seeds at their local garden center or nursery. When one does find organic seeds, the selection can be limited. Consequently here are a few sources for obtaining organic seeds:

  1. True Leaf Market
  2. Seed Savers Exchange
  3. Grow Green Space

Below is the book we read when we began our garden. Learn more about gardening and growing with Eliot Coleman’s book “The New Organic Grower”

Try these sources out and leave a comment for the community on what you thought. 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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Marigold Flowers on Order

Marigold Flower Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

When we learned more about Marigold we fell in love with the flower all over again. When we first began the garden we had a huge ant problem. The ants came out in a full fledge army not just a few. They were moving significant amounts of soil and uprooting plants and seedlings by digging from bottom up right in their pots. So, when we learned that ants disdained them, we got several seed packets and placed them strategically around the garden. It took some time but our ant problem was soon reduce to almost non existent. When one first starts gardening, one wonders will these organic remedies work? Am I doing it right? We have remained true to our organic journey and did not use any chemicals while growing our plants. The Marigolds have been no exception. In fact they helped us along our organic journey.

Many neighbors and gardening cohorts come by from time to time to view the plants in containers and the garden. When one of our neighbors came over and saw the marigolds he immediately put in an order. They are coming along very nicely as one can see. Once they have grown and are more easily managed, they will go home to his mother. Want to take a plant of your own home? Shop our plants. Would you like to start your own garden? Wonderful! What questions do you have? Share your comments with the community by positing them below. Share the wealth 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, Cooking & Eating Swiss Chard

Growing and harvesting Swiss Chard is a tremendous joy. But, eating the fruit of one’s labor must be the best part. Today we clipped some Swiss Chard fresh from the garden and made a lamb and swiss chard warp with it the same day. It does not get fresher than that! We harvested Swiss Chard by clipping a third of its leaves and clipping from the outside. Plants such as lettuces tend to grow from the inside leaving the mature leaves on the outside. Also one should leave leaves on the plant such as these (also herbs) so they can continue to photosynthesize and grow more leaves.

I harvested these leaves which were used in a lamb, salmon and vegetable wrap. We hear that the harvest was delicious. What are the benefits of eating fresh foods? What are the benefits of growing your foods organically? How can you and yours benefit from growing and harvesting your own foods? Share your comments with the community. 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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Sow What! The Basics of Sowing

apple seed gala shidonna raven garden and cook

Sometimes its good to get back to the basics so, lets talk about the basics of sowing. Sowing is the beginning of gardening. After you prepare the soil, form your rows and select your seeds, one must sow the seeds in order to get started. There are a few different ways to sow. One can have a water garden, container garden, a garden with beds, a garden in a greenhouse or in the ground directly. This basically boils down to 3 forms of sowing: in a container. That may include a pot or a bed. Or in the ground. Or in water. We will be covering the 2 main ways to sow: either in the ground directly or in a container such as a pot or a bed. This will cover the basics, should you require more information just post a comment and we will give you more specific details.

Sowing in a Container

Sowing in a container involves selecting soil rather than preparing the soil on the ground. You will also have to select a container. Its important that your container has a hole in the bottom to allow for water to drain. This prevents over watering. We are partial to clay pots because its organic and ideal. Metal can scorch a plant. Glass can be difficult to find but a good choice. Plastic is just not apart of our Organic Journey. The clay pot can be glazed or not. It is recommended that your tray be glazed to prevent the surface your container is on from getting moist from the water from your pot. Choose a location with the proper amount of light. Give your plant the proper amount of water and fertilize the soil so the plant can continue to pull nutrients from the soil.

Sowing in the Ground Directly

Sowing in the ground directly involves tilling, fertilizing and forming the soil into rows that will allow enough space for specific plants to grow. Each plant will need a different amount of space. Preparing the ground soil is a lot more involved since it is not all in the bag. This can get very involved including testing the soil, composting and green manures. Similar to container gardening you want to give your plants the correct amount of water and light for the plant as well as fertilize your soil on a regular basis to replenish the soil with nutrients as the plants pull the nutrients they need. This is why crop rotation is popular with farmers because different plants will pull different nutrients from the soil. To even this process out they move crops around to prevent one nutrient from being pulled from a particular spot until there is not more.

Many people are beginning gardens because of COVID 19. Now is the time to get started! What would be the benefit to you and your family to start a garden? How much do you think you can save on your grocery bill? How much do you think you could save by obtaining a plant from us to maintain and continually harvest?

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.

sowing flower seeds shidonna raven garden and cook
sowing flower seeds shidonna raven garden and cook
These are the seeds from MiMi’s Flower
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Cynoglossum amabile flower
Cynoglossum amabile flower
Today Mimi’s plant is bigger than this!
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
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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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Sowing, Growing & Harvesting Carrots

Sowing, Growing & Harvesting Carrots
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

The great news is if you know one root plant you pretty much know them all. Similar types of plants share similar growing and harvesting needs. Similar to radishes these roots will come close or above the soil when they are ready. As Chef Ponder would say, do you know the true color of carrots? The true color of carrot is purple. Do you know how we got the orange carrot? They added beta carotene to the carrot creating the color orange. How did this video help you? What did you learn about food and food production?

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.