Posted on Leave a comment

Organic Pest Control: What Works, What Doesn’t

Our nationwide reader survey reveals the best methods for managing common garden pests.

By Barbara Pleasant
Source: Mother Earth News

  • Tomato HornwormThe tomato hornworm, a thorn in the side of many tomato growers, claimed the No. 7 spot in our list of the 12 worst garden pests.

Last fall, MOTHER EARTH NEWS launched our Organic Pest Control Survey to learn more about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to limiting insect damage in organic vegetable gardens. About 1,300 gardeners from across North America responded, providing new, region-specific insight into organic pest control.

Our survey had strengths and weaknesses. It included opportunities for open comments, which became the source for the practical tips in this article. But, although we asked many questions about specific methods, we failed to always list chickens and ducks, which we learned many gardeners regard as essential players in controlling Japanese beetles and other garden pests.

We were surprised by some of the results. For example, we suspected gardeners would report that coping with various root maggots was a challenge, but 90 percent of respondents reported getting good control with crop rotation. Similarly, flea beetles didn’t make the list of worst pests because most gardeners achieve good control by using row covers and growing susceptible greens in fall rather than spring.

Ultimately, the survey revealed 12 widespread garden pests that give gardeners grief. Here are the nitty-gritty details, including down-in-the-dirt advice on how to manage each pest, plus details on which pests are the worst in each region. (To see illustrations of each of the worst pests, check out the Image Gallery.)

Join the Garden Club Today
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

1. Slugs took top honors as the most bothersome pest in home gardens, with 55 percent of respondents saying the slimy critters give them trouble year after year. Handpicking was highly rated as a control measure (87 percent success rate), followed by iron phosphate baits (86 percent) and diatomaceous earth (84 percent). Opinion was divided on eggshell barriers (crushed eggshells sprinkled around plants), with a 33 percent failure rate among gardeners who had tried that slug control method. An easy home remedy that received widespread support was beer traps (80 percent success rate).

Relying on bigger predators — such as chickens, garter snakes and ducks — appears to be the most dependable way to achieve long-term control of garden slugs, as well as several types of beetles, cutworms and many other pests. Ducks are reportedly sharp slug-spotters, whether you let them work over the garden in spring and fall, or enlist a pair to serve as your personal pest control assistants throughout the season.

“Hungry ducks follow me around the garden daily. They love slugs and turn them into eggs,” commented a Mid-Atlantic gardener with 10 to 20 years of experience. In the Pacific Northwest, several longtime veterans of slug wars said ducks are a gardener’s best (and most entertaining) way to end chronic problems with slugs.

2. Squash bugs had sabotaged summer and winter squash for 51 percent of respondents, and even ducks couldn’t solve a serious squash bug problem. Most gardeners reported using handpicking as their primary defense, along with cleaning up infested plants at season’s end to interrupt the squash bug life cycle. The value of companion planting for squash bug management was a point of disagreement for respondents, with 21 percent saying it’s the best control method and 34 percent saying it doesn’t help. Of the gardeners who had tried it, 79 percent said spraying neem on egg clusters and juvenile squash bugs is helpful. About 74 percent of row cover users found them useful in managing squash bugs.

Several respondents pointed out that delaying squash planting until early summer and growing the young plants under row covers results in far fewer problems with this pest. This makes sense because natural enemies of squash bugs become more numerous and active as summer progresses. Until then, keep scraping off those egg clusters, and handpick as best you can.

Three readers shared this tip: In the cool of the morning, place open pizza boxes beneath squash plants. Jostle the plants and let the adult and juvenile squash bugs fall into the boxes, and then slide your captives from the boxes into a pail of soapy water.

A creative idea from Editor-in-Chief Cheryl Long is to create a simple Squash Bug Squisher out of two thick boards and a hinge. Find out how to build the squisher, plus read comments from fellow readers who are battling squash bugs.

3. Aphids were on the watch list of 50 percent of respondents, but the success rates of various control techniques were quite high. Active interventions, including pruning off the affected plant parts and applying insecticidal soap, were reported effective, but so were more passive methods, such as attracting beneficial insects by planting flowers and herbs. Several readers noted the ability of sweet alyssum and other flowers to attract hoverflies, which eat aphids. “We attract a lot of beneficials by planting carefree flowers in the vegetable garden, including calendula, borage, zinnias, cosmos and nasturtiums” (Midwest, more than 20 years of experience). Other respondents commented on the importance of having some aphids around to serve as food for ladybeetles, hoverflies and other well-known beneficial insects.

4. Imported cabbageworms came in fourth, with a 47 percent “disapproval” rating. If you see these little white butterflies in your garden, take action to protect your brassicas before the cabbageworm moths lay eggs. Two widely accepted biological pesticides, Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) and spinosad, received remarkably high effectiveness ratings: 95 percent for Bt and 79 percent for spinosad. Row covers had a reported success rate of 82 percent, while companion planting and garlic-pepper spray had disappointing failure rates in excess of 30 percent.

Several respondents said they rely on paper wasps to control cabbageworms. “They’re friendly, docile and voracious eaters of cabbageworms. My garden is full of cabbage butterflies, but I’ve yet to see a single worm; the wasps beat me to it” (Mid-Atlantic, six to 10 years of experience). To attract paper wasps, place bottomless birdhouses in the garden to provide nesting sites. Gardeners in the South, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest noted that cabbageworm populations drop if yellow-jacket nests are nearby, which enhances the success of fall cabbage-family crops.

5. Squash vine borers had caused problems for 47 percent of the survey respondents. The best reported control methods were crop rotation and growing resistant varieties of Cucurbita moschata, which includes butternut squash and a few varieties of pumpkin. The C. moschata varieties are borer-resistant because they have solid stems. Interestingly, if you’re attempting to fend off squash vine borers, lanky, long-vined, open-pollinated varieties of summer squash (zucchini and yellow crookneck, for example) may fare better than hybrids, because OP varieties are more likely to develop supplemental roots where the vines touch the ground. Many gardeners dump soil over these places, so if squash vine borers attack a plant’s main stem, the plant can keep on growing from its backup root system. Because borers attack stems, compact hybrids, which tend to grow from one or two main stems, are naturally more susceptible.

One tactic is to wait out the borer’s egg-laying season. “To avoid squash bugs and squash vine borers, planting vining crops late and covering them with row covers until the first female flowers has been effective for us” (Midwest, six to 10 years of experience).

6. Japanese beetles slid in at No. 6, which is surprising because they don’t pose problems in extremely hot or cold climates. Forty-six percent of respondents reported working in the unwelcome company of Japanese beetles, with handpicking being the most popular control method. Some gardeners grow trap crops of raspberries or other fruits to keep Japanese beetles away from plants. Several commonly used interventions — garlic-pepper spray, milky spore disease, pheromone traps and row covers — had high failure rates.

Numerous respondents said chickens ended their problems with Japanese beetles, with guinea fowl and ducks also recommended for ridding areas of Japanese beetle grubs and adults. Even if you don’t let your chickens scratch in your garden, your handpicking may be more enjoyable because you’ll have something tasty for your birds when you’re finished collecting the beetles. In late spring, when Japanese beetle larvae are close to the soil surface, letting wild, bug-eating birds work over the area can have a lasting impact, too. Several readers shared that having nesting pairs of robins and bluebirds (which feed insects to their young) is the best way to keep Japanese beetles from getting out of hand.

7. Tomato hornworms claimed the No. 7 spot, and were of concern to 42 percent of our survey respondents. Bt and handpicking were the preferred control methods, and several folks commented that tomato hornworms are among the easiest garden pests to handpick (probably because they’re large, easy to spot and produce a telltale, pebbly trail). Many gardeners reported seeing tomato hornworms often covered with rice-like cocoons of parasitic braconid wasps. “I had a lot of tomato hornworms this year, but the wasps took them out! Just like in the photos online and in bug books!” (Mid-Atlantic, more than 20 years of experience). Gardeners named zinnias and borage as good companion plants for reducing hornworm problems.

8. Cutworms were a concern for 41 percent of respondents, and effectiveness ratings for using rigid collars (made from plastic drinking cups or cardboard tissue rolls) to protect young seedlings from damage were amazingly high (93 percent effectiveness rating).

A common practice to reduce cutworm damage is to cultivate the soil’s surface once or twice before planting and hope robins and other bug-eating birds will swoop in to gather the juicy cutworms. Big, sturdy seedlings are naturally resistant to cutworms, so many gardeners said they set out seedlings a bit late to avoid cutworm damage.

9. Grasshoppers were a problem for 40 percent of respondents, and they seemed to be getting worse. We received many reports that increases in rainfall seemed to trigger an explosion in grasshopper populations. Chickens and guineas reportedly give good control by gobbling grasshoppers, but keep an eye on your poultry helpers to make sure they don’t harm crops. Gardeners described two interesting setups incorporating chickens for managing hoppers: a fenced garden with a fenced chicken “moat” around its perimeter, and a series of three small fenced gardens, each with a gate into the chicken yard for easy rotation of pecking services. (Sound cool? Check out our instructions on how to build your own chicken moat.) If grasshoppers are getting worse at your place, you may need chickens more than you think.

10. Cucumber beetles wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t transmit deadly bacterial wilt to cucumbers and melons, but as it is, 39 percent of our respondents named them as serious garden pests.

Neem, handpicking and good garden cleanup (removing all plant debris) were all rated as effective control measures, and once again poultry received many honorable mentions. Row covers earned more widespread use for the control of cucumber beetles than for any other pest, with more than 80 percent of people who had tried row covers reporting them to be effective.

Seventy percent of gardeners who’d tried companion planting said this method works for controlling cuke beetles, and 64 percent of people who’d tried yellow sticky traps reported these work.

11. Corn earworms were pegged as serious pests by 37 percent of respondents, many of whom get easy relief by using instruments ranging from oil cans to eyedroppers to add a few drops of canola or olive oil into the tips of ears, right when the silks start to show. Others reported using a standard solution of Bt in the same way, and several experienced gardeners pointed out the value of choosing varieties that have tight ear tips.

The corn earworm comments included several mentions of the ease with which earworm damage disappears if you pop off the end of the ear, thus making this pest not such a big deal. Raccoons, on the other hand, were reported to be a big deal, which was the main reason many gardeners gave for not growing corn. “If I plant sweet corn, the raccoons always eat it unless I fence them out” (Midwest, 25 years of experience).

12. Whitefly problems may be on the rise, because whitefly-plagued gardeners (36 percent reported a problem) often used exclamation points to emphasize their frustration with these tiny sucking pests. Insecticidal soap earned a high effectiveness rating (90 percent), though many respondents said they use Dawn or other dishwashing liquids rather than regulation insecticidal soap. (Caution: Some research has found that repeated use of soap or detergent sprays can reduce yields.)

Broad-Stroke Pest Control

Along with working to improve your soil and thus grow healthier, more pest-resistant plants, several other common-sense approaches echoed through the comments sections of our survey. “The best way to beat the bugs is to plant more than you can use yourself. You can always give the surplus away” (North Central/Rockies, six to 10 years of experience). Others pointed out the advantage of setting the stage for beneficial insects and then simply standing back. From the Midwest: “I am willing to overlook some bug damage in order to provide good habitat for the beneficials reproducing all though the gardening season.” From the South: “A balance of insects is the goal, and ‘good’ and ‘bad’ insects both have to eat.”

Garden Pest Control Trends

Pest Control on the Wing 

“Wild birds are a huge help, and gardeners should be encouraged to provide both nesting habitat and feeding stations for them. The bluebirds, flycatchers and other birds that live on my property spend a lot of time around my gardens catching bugs. The much-despised house sparrow is also a terrific boon to gardens, so urban gardeners would be well-advised to put out feeders even if that’s the only bird they will attract” (Maritime Canada, six to 10 years of experience).

Are Six-Legged Changes Afoot? 

One of the questions we asked in our survey was this: During the past three seasons, have there been noticeable changes in the insect activity in your garden? Thirteen percent of gardeners reported they’d had many more pest problems, and 29 percent reported slightly more problems. Several respondents noted that increases in rainfall during the past few seasons seemed to be associated with more grasshoppers. Also, the appearance of a new, exotic insect, the marmorated stink bug, has brought new pest control challenges to gardeners in Pennsylvania and nearby states.

The Value of Beneficials 

Seventy percent of survey respondents said they work to provide habitat for beneficial insects. Here’s what they said about whether this effort had helped to reduce pest problems:

Seems like it has helped a great deal — 32 percent

Seems it has been somewhat helpful — 49 percent

Seems to have helped with some pests — 6 percent

Doesn’t seem to make any difference — 13 percent

Top-Rated Natural Methods for Controlling Common Garden Pests

Aphid: Insecticidal soap, attracting beneficials, horticultural oil

Armyworm: Bt (Bacillus thuringiens), handpicking, row covers

Asparagus beetle: Poultry predation, neem, handpicking

Blister beetle: Poultry predation, neem, handpicking

Cabbage root maggot: Crop rotation, beneficial nematodes, diatomaceous earth

Cabbageworm: Bt, handpicking, row covers

Carrot rust fly: Crop rotation, beneficial nematodes, diatomaceous earth

Colorado potato beetle: Poultry predation, neem, handpicking

Corn earworm: Bt, horticultural oil, beneficial nematodes

Cucumber beetle: Poultry predation, neem, handpicking

Cutworm: Rigid collars, Bt, diatomaceous earth

Flea beetle: Insecticidal soap, garlic-pepper spray, row covers

Harlequin bug: Handpicking, good garden sanitation, neem

Japanese beetle: Handpicking, row covers, milky spore disease

Mexican bean beetle: Poultry predation, neem, handpicking

Onion root maggot: Crop rotation, beneficial nematodes, diatomaceous earth

Slugs: Handpicking, iron phosphate slug bait, diatomaceous earth

Snails: Handpicking, iron phosphate slug bait, diatomaceous earth

Squash bug: Handpicking, good garden sanitation, neem

Squash vine borer: Growing resistant varieties, crop rotation, beneficial nematodes

Stink bug: Handpicking, good garden sanitation, neem

Tarnished plant bug: Handpicking, good garden sanitation, neem

Tomato hornworm: Bt, handpicking, row covers

Whitefly: Insecticidal soap, attracting beneficials, horticultural oil

Worst Garden Pests by Region

Ever wondered which pests thrive in your region and how your region compares with others in North America? The information in our regional pest chart breaks it down.

Originally Published: June/July 2011

What organic pest remedies do you use in your garden? Why? How does it work?

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. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

The Smart Way to Grow Roses

Source: New York Times
Photos Source: New York Times

It’s the season for ordering roses. Here’s how to choose the right ones — and how to grow them sustainably once you’ve got them.

Many breeders and retailers make it easy to choose varieties by region and disease resistance. The Sunbelt collection from Kordes Roses, selected for strong performance in warmer zones, includes Plum Perfect.
Many breeders and retailers make it easy to choose varieties by region and disease resistance. The Sunbelt collection from Kordes Roses, selected for strong performance in warmer zones, includes Plum Perfect.Credit…Peter E. Kukielski
Source: New York Times
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

By Margaret Roach

  • Feb. 17, 2021

Roses have a reputation for being difficult to grow and disease-prone. But who’s really to blame?

We are, said Peter E. Kukielski, a rosarian and the author of “Rosa: The Story of the Rose,” a new book about the flower’s place in human cultural history. After the genus Rosa had survived some 35 million years on the planet, it took us less than a century to render it less resilient than it had to have been to stick around that long.

“It has to be one tough plant to go through all the climate changes and everything else it’s gone through before we started hybridizing roses,” Mr. Kukielski said, referring to the human interventions to change the flower’s shape into what became the hybrid tea, achieved at the expense of disease resistance.

So “give them some credit,” he said. And give them some proper companions, too: flowering perennials, annuals and bulbs that foster a healthier rose garden, without chemical intervention. Like the one he designed three years ago for the Royal Botanical Gardens in Ontario — a chemical-free province — that he proudly describes as “3,000 roses and 18,000 perennials chosen as insect-attracting companions.”

He added: “I don’t mind bad insects. As long as we have the good insects, we will have balance.”

It’s no surprise that Mr. Kukielski doesn’t recommend a diet of synthetic fertilizer, or propping roses up with pesticides and fungicides if spider mites or black spot threaten. As a curator at the New York Botanical Garden, he won attention for his work from 2008 to 2014 on the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden — an approach that involved planting and trialing roses for disease resistance, using fewer chemicals. That served as research for his first book, “Roses Without Chemicals: 150 Disease-Free Varieties That Will Change the Way You Grow Roses.”

“When I first did the garden revamp,” he said, “choices of disease-resistant roses were kind of limited.”

But now there are many more roses bred with that intent, he said: “The rose world woke up to the idea that gardeners don’t want to rely on chemicals to grow their favorite flowers.”

Garden Delight from Kordes Roses has distinctive yellow-centered blooms with red tones at the edges, as well as disease-resistant foliage.Credit…Peter E. Kukielski
Source: New York Times
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

That pink rose on the latest catalog cover looks delicious, but wait: How would it fare where you garden, compared to similar-looking varieties?

“A rose is a rose is a rose … not,” Mr. Kukielski said. “Choosing the right one for your climate region can make for instant success. But the wrong rose will constantly be diminished, and the home gardener may give up.”

Fortunately, he said, more companies are now educating customers about which regions a variety is best suited to: “It’s certainly an advance from where we were even five years ago.”

Breeders (on their wholesale websites) and retailers (on their consumer-focused ones) often make it possible to filter varieties by regional adaptability and disease resistance. So rose-shopping gardeners take note — and do your homework.

Some breeding has focused on cold-hardiness, producing varieties like the Buck roses from Griffith J. Buck of Iowa State University or the Easy Elegance roses bred by Ping Lim. Other varieties meet the opposite challenge: The Sunbelt collection from Kordes Roses is selected for strong performance in warmer zones.

Certain trademarked series are marketed for toughness, including Carefree, Knock Out, Drift and Oso Easy, although there may be genetic trade-offs. As Mr. Kukielski pointed out, “When a series has been pushed to fill out an entire color wheel of varieties, some colors — especially yellow — may be less resilient.”

Fragrance may also be diminished.

“If you want a fragrant garden, depending on where you live there may be some disease issues,” Mr. Kukielski said. “Breeding efforts focused on fragrance may not have the resistance, especially in hot, humid climates, against fungal diseases.”

But putting scent back in is on some breeders’ to-do lists, he said. One example is the Parfuma collection from Kordes, a company long focused on disease resistance.

At the Royal Botanical Gardens in Ontario, Canada — a chemical-free province — Peter E. Kukielski proudly described his design as “3,000 roses and 18,000 perennials chosen as insect-attracting companions.” Here, an Innocencia Vigorosa rose pairs with native goldenrod, a favorite of beneficial insects.
At the Royal Botanical Gardens in Ontario, Canada — a chemical-free province — Peter E. Kukielski proudly described his design as “3,000 roses and 18,000 perennials chosen as insect-attracting companions.” Here, an Innocencia Vigorosa rose pairs with native goldenrod, a favorite of beneficial insects.Credit…Peter E. Kukielski
Source: New York Times
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

There is no better proof of a plant’s durability than having data on what happens when it’s put to the test of multiyear garden trials in diverse regions. One program currently underway is the American Rose Trials for Sustainability, which Mr. Kukielski co-founded, taking place at Longwood Gardens, the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College, Tucson Botanicals Gardens and university cooperative extension sites around the country, where roses are subjected to the challenge of no-spray environments, offered no help from pesticides and fungicides.

Another is the American Garden Rose Selections Trials, with testing sites at Queens Botanical Garden, Chicago Botanic Garden and other places in diverse zones.

Both programs publish results and recommended varieties every year.

For local information, try asking at garden centers with landscaping businesses, where employees may be able to recommend varieties that perform well for clients near you.

Or talk to the local rose society, Mr. Kukielski suggested, and neighbors who garden: “If the person down the street is growing Queen Elizabeth and it looks great, take that as a cue.”

Mr. Kukielski’s definition of a modern rose garden at any scale: “Not a monoculture, but a mixed border.”

Into his rose beds he layers a long season of companion plants, using a heavy hand, with emphasis on flower types preferred by beneficial insects (pollinators, predators and parasites alike). Grouping multiple plants of a single variety makes for a more inviting appearance than scattering one-offs around.

Of course, there are the classic rose companions: the chartreuse froth of lady’s mantle (Alchemilla mollis) or catmint (Nepeta), with Clematis scrambling up the shrubs. A range of Allium — from tiny yellow-flowered A. moly to towering purple Globemaster — and, later, self-sowing annual Verbena bonariensis (a butterfly favorite) make big statements.

But Mr. Kukielski also likes the umbel-shaped flowers of carrot family members, which are attractive to many beneficial insects — including, he hopes, tachinid flies, particularly one species imported in the 1920s as a biological control from Japan, where it is a natural enemy of the Japanese beetle that is a scourge to roses.

He is also partial to dill’s yellow umbels, its ferny texture and its inclination to sow around. And he allows cilantro to flower and self-sow along garden edges.

Beyond dill and cilantro, favorite herb companions include tansy, feverfew, lavender and thyme.

The self-sowing annual Verbena bonariensis makes a colorful companion for roses and is a favorite of butterflies at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Ontario.Credit…Alex Henderson
Source: New York Times
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Composite, or daisylike, flowers have wide insect appeal, and Mr. Kukielski uses many, including asters, gloriosa daisy (Rudbeckia fulgida), coneflowers (Echinacea), Cosmos, sneezeweed (Helenium) and yarrow (Achillea millefolium).

Native plants are, of course, particular magnets for insects: Besides the asters, Rudbeckia, Helenium and coneflowers, Mr. Kukielski favors Zizia aptera, wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) and cultivars of Penstemon, Phlox paniculata and goldenrod (Solidago), plus perennial grasses like prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis) and switch grass (Panicum virgatum).

A honeybee visits an Allium at the Royal Botanical Gardens. “I don’t mind bad insects,” Mr. Kukielski said. “As long as we have the good insects, we will have balance.”
A honeybee visits an Allium at the Royal Botanical Gardens. “I don’t mind bad insects,” Mr. Kukielski said. “As long as we have the good insects, we will have balance.”Credit…Alex Henderson
Source: New York Times
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Think healthy soil, not bagged fertilizer, Mr. Kukielski advised. “When I stopped feeding my roses and started feeding the soil,” he said, “the rose garden became a lot easier.”

He was inspired by the Earth-Kind methods promoted by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. The inspiration for the soil-management practice, as he translates it: “Think forest floor, where nobody fertilizes but leaves fall, that then break down and feed plants.”

To mimic that process, he puts down three inches of mulch, maybe an inch of which has decomposed into humus by season’s end, benefiting soil health and fertility.

“Just top up the mulch again next spring — but don’t disturb the soil,” he said. “Once we started doing that at NYBG you could just tell that the plants were happier. There was a big difference by Year 3.”

At his home garden in Maine, he also allows fallen tree leaves to remain in place and degrade. He hasn’t fertilized in three or four years, he said, beyond an occasional soil drench of dilute fish emulsion.

By using disease-resistant, regionally appropriate roses, Mr. Kukielski has also been able to break the rose-spacing rules established to minimize black spot.

“When I first started on the Peggy Rockefeller garden, I did get comments on that,” he recalled. “‘The plants should be six feet apart,’ people said. But the new hybrids are so resistant, I can put them closer. And as they grow together, the colors really show off — you’re painting with the colors.”

Disfigured, excessively thorny and often red-pigmented tissue are symptoms of rose rosette disease, a formidable viral disease spread by a mite.
Disfigured, excessively thorny and often red-pigmented tissue are symptoms of rose rosette disease, a formidable viral disease spread by a mite.Credit…Star Roses and Plants
Source: New York Times
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Today, rose researchers and breeders face a formidable opponent. Rose rosette disease, a naturally occurring virus, is spread by a tiny, windblown mite that has used the invasive multiflora rose as a host to expand into an increasing territory.

Early symptoms of infection include abnormal growth: excessive thorns, red pigmentation and general disfigurement — even what is known as witch’s broom, growth that resembles birds’ nests.

Industry and university experts have created a website about the disease and ongoing efforts to combat it. But at the moment, only vigilance — including eradicating nearby multiflora roses — and drastic measures are prescribed.

“If the gardener does discover it in the garden, the plant should be removed and destroyed, roots and all,” Mr. Kukielski said.

But a new rose can be planted right away, as the virus cannot live in the soil. Or you could just let all those companion plants take up the slack.

All the information offered by Mrs. Roach in this article are good garden practices regardless of what you are growing? What did you learn from this article? What are some other ways you can grow without chemicals? What are other ways you can keep chemicals out of your foods? Why is this important to 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. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

Pastoral Counseling

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Physician heal thyself comes from the Bible. Specifically, it can be found in Luke 4:23 where Jesus quotes a common Jewish phrase of the time, saying, “Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, ‘Physician, heal thyself’.” (KJV).

Over the centuries pastoral counseling has been one of the main responsibilities of pastors throughout the church. Jesus provided pastoral counseling to his disciples and to the crowds that followed Him. He talked regularly with those who were physically sick and emotionally hurting. The Apostle Paul also gave pastoral counseling to his young students and preachers such as Timothy and Titus. He also gave pastoral counseling through his letter to Philemon to address the issue of Onesimus returning home. He even gave pastoral counsel to Peter as he attempted to correct the issues facing the church in book of Acts.

Throughout all church history, pastoral counselors have been the foundational and focal point of helping people deal with all sorts of issues and problems. Pastors are frequently the first person church members will seek help from when dealing with grief and death issues, crisis situations, marriage struggles, family issues, health problems, job-related problems, etc.The goals…This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. American Association Pastoral Counselors. Retrieved September 15, 2008 from
  2. The Holy Bible, New International Version. (1984). International Bible Society. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.Google Scholar
  3. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved 15 September 2008
  4. Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved September 15, 2008, from website:
  5. Porter, N. (Ed.) (1998). Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Version published 1913, by the C. & G. Merriam Co., Springfield, MA. 1996, 1998 by MICRA, Inc. of Plainfield, NJ. Last edit February 3, 1998.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

How to cite

Cite this entry as:Allen D. (2010) Pastoral Counseling. In: Leeming D.A., Madden K., Marlan S. (eds) Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion. Springer, Boston, MA.

Are you religious? Do you have a church, temple….etc. you belong to? How do you obtain a healing from those things that ill people in the seasons of their life of you are or are not religious? What is your religious beliefs?

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. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

Beliefs, History & Model of Care

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Source: CCEF
Featured Photo Source: Unsplash, Anna Might

Physician heal thyself comes from the Bible. Specifically, it can be found in Luke 4:23 where Jesus quotes a common Jewish phrase of the time, saying, “Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, ‘Physician, heal thyself’.” (KJV).

Understanding the roots of medical branches is key to implementing your own health care properly to secure a healing, a cure. When one goes to the doctor, they do so seeking a solution to their health care concerns. What is important to understand about profit and Western medicine is that in the pursuit of profit medical professionals seek to manage and not cure illness leaving patients in a state of perpetual illness, which typically leads to other disease and chronic disease which insurance companies and patients grapple with from rising health care costs to patient deaths. In fact doctors often prescribe medications with murky clinical trails with no true proof of healing or medical solution. In fact health care cost have gotten so out of control that people such as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffet have taken notice.

Below CCEF reminds us that historically pastors counseled and that God’s promise to us is a healing not a perpetual state of disease. CCEF looks at the rise of mental health and mental illness secular rise in the 1800s, which was born out of Germany. Prior to this advent of modern medicine pastors counseled people regarding the seasons of the human condition such as dealing with job, home and loss of loved ones (all of which many have experienced during COVID 19). Indeed, the CCEF is calling you back to the healing hands of God … (for those who did not go to the church for such counseling historically family comforted and counseled one another).

Source: CCEF (Christian Counseling Educational Foundation)

We are Protestant. We affirm the unique authority of Scripture, and subscribe to the historic creeds of the early church and Reformation (i.e., Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, Westminster Confession of Faith, London Baptist Confession, Heidelberg Catechism). And though we are grounded in the Protestant reformed tradition, we are also ecumenical and seek to minister to and with Christians from a range of theological perspectives.

We seek to apply these core commitments of historic orthodoxy in ways that are humble and winsome.

  • Because God teaches us to see the world the way he sees it, and to see all things as they exist in relationship to him, we are committed to the complete trustworthiness and primacy of the Scriptures.
  • Because the working of God in human life unfolds historically, we are committed to the narrative perspective provided by redemptive-historical theology, the story line that frames our understanding of systematic theology, practical theology, and church history.
  • Because God’s saving work in Christ Jesus creates a people for his own possession, we are committed to serve the visible church.
  • Because there is one Body and one Spirit, we are committed to serve Christians of many different denominational associations.
  • Because God’s ways and words are relevant across time, in all places, and to all peoples, we are committed to cultural sensitivity. Because the church is called to move towards the world redemptively, rather than existing in defensive or hostile isolation, we are committed to cultural engagement.

Brief History of Pastoral Care

The Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF) was founded in 1968 and stands in a long tradition of pastoral care that dates back to the 1st century church and the New Testament. Through the centuries there have been high points and low points in the church’s understanding and practice of good pastoral care. High points include the early church fathers, the Reformation, the Puritans and Jonathan Edwards. In principle, for the first 1900 years of the church’s existence, the Scriptures formed the basis for diagnosing both psychological-spiritual maladies and interpersonal problems. And Scripture offered a consistent basis for addressing people’s problems by rooting our lives in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. So, in many ways, CCEF’s ministry is not new, because its theology expresses this heritage of a God-centered understanding of people and a Christ-centered understanding of how God redeems people. But CCEF is doing something new in terms of its application of these time-tested truths to modern problems.

Whether or not the church was doing a good job of pastoral care, for the first 1900 years all Christians agreed that Scripture was the basis for restoring human lives. But a fundamental shift came with the advent of the modern secular psychologies, pioneered by Sigmund Freud in the late 1800’s. In a short amount of time, historic biblical categories of creation, fall and redemption were replaced by secular categories of mental health and mental illness.

The main effect of that shift meant that secular psychological thinking excised the personal God from the world he made. In the new theories and psychotherapeutic practices, there was no mention of sin, of God, of the necessity of a Savior, or the promise of eternal life. The solution to our “personal and interpersonal problems” lay within us and counseling involved drawing it out.

Though these were secular theories, they greatly impacted the church. From the turn of the 20th century, a shift took place in pastoral care instruction in seminaries. While many seminaries continued to make the Scriptures primary in the preaching of God’s word, they no longer made the Scriptures primary in pastoral care and counseling. This vacuum was filled by a host of alternatives that tended to minimize, change or overshadow the redemptive message of the Scriptures.

Responding to this trend, David Powlison writes in his book Speaking Truth in Love: Counsel in Community :

But as we look more closely at life, it becomes clearer and clearer that Scripture is about counseling: diagnostic categories, causal explanations of behavior and emotion, interpretation of external sufferings and influences, definitions of workable solutions, character of the counselor, goals for the counseling process…These are all matters to which God speaks directly, specifically, and frequently. He calls us to listen attentively, to think hard and well, and to develop our practical theology of conversational ministry.

The Advent of CCEF and Biblical Counseling

In response to these trends in the church and pastoral training, a “biblical counseling” movement emerged in the late 1960’s. The initial spokesman for this approach to pastoral care and counseling was Jay Adams. In 1968, Jay Adams and John Bettler started the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation just outside of Philadelphia. For the past four decades, CCEF has been growing and contributing to the biblical counseling movement as that movement has grown in both influence and maturity. For a more detailed history of the biblical counseling movement, see The Biblical Counseling Movement: History and Context by David Powlison.

CCEF’s early history was largely prophetic and therefore polemic. The church was challenged to rethink its beliefs about why people struggle and how to help them when they do. CCEF called pastors and seminaries back to the primacy of Scripture as the basis for thoughtful and effective pastoral care and counseling. From the beginning, there was always a concern to define what could legitimately be learned from modern psychology, but Scripture provided the orienting “generalizations”: a God-centered view of people and problems and solutions. What was at stake was which source would be primary.

As CCEF entered the 1980’s and 90’s, it was apparent that the second and third generation of leaders benefited from the strengths of their predecessors as well as learned from their weaknesses. They moved CCEF in a direction of increased sensitivity to human suffering, to the dynamics of motivation, to the centrality of the gospel in the daily life of the believer, the importance of the body of Christ and to a more articulate engagement with secular culture.

As CCEF enters the 21st century, it continues this positive trajectory with a commitment to work out the implications of biblical counseling in many areas of counseling methodology. CCEF continues to emphasize the centrality of the body of Christ as the primary context for care and counseling while recognizing the legitimate place of broader resources within the body of Christ. The relationship between biblical counselors and fellow evangelicals involved in professional, clinical counseling continues to be worked out in the pursuit of cordial relationships in which differences can be constructively discussed. Biblical counseling offers a distinctively Christian understanding of people, problems, influences, suffering, motives, and change processes. These beliefs are continuing to be developed and applied at CCEF.

Model of Care

CCEF’s distinctives regarding counseling grow out of our theological convictions. The points listed below express some of the counseling implications of our theological convictions.

  • We are Christ-centered. Therefore, we point people to a person, Christ, and not a program. He is wisdom from God, the inexpressible gift who delivers us from our sins and sufferings. He is the faith-nourishing foundation in whom the call to obedience finds its inner principle and power. People need the Savior, not a system of self-salvation.
  • We believe in God’s common grace to all humanity, and therefore we can learn from those who do not espouse a Christian or even a theistic worldview. For example, while the fundamental worldview of secular psychology runs counter to Christianity, there are descriptive riches to be found in the writings and teachings of those who have gained case wisdom through their research and care. These materials can enrich our care of those in need and can be useful to us as we continue to develop our biblically-based counseling method.
  • We are aware that human behavior is inextricably tied to deeper motivational drives. Therefore, we emphasize the primacy of the heart, because all human acts arise from a worship core, either disordered or rightly ordered.
  • We believe that we best image the triune God as we live and grow in community. Therefore, we embed personal change within God’s community—the church, with all its rich resources of corporate and interpersonal means of grace.
  • We believe the Scriptures are rich in their understanding of who we are as human beings. Therefore, we use Scripture with a full commitment to its authority and sufficiency, convinced that from beginning to end, it reveals Christ and his powerful redeeming grace addressing the needs and struggles of the human condition.
  • We believe that human beings are both spiritual and physical beings. Therefore, we recognize that people are physically-embodied by God’s design. A variety of bodily influences impact moral response. We take the whole person seriously, granting that there are ambiguities at the interface of soul and body. We seek to remain sensitive to physiological factors, as the context within which God calls a person to faith and obedience.
  • We believe that people are socially-embedded by God’s design. Therefore, we recognize that a variety of socio-cultural influences and sufferings influence moral response. We take the person’s whole context seriously, granting that there are ambiguities at the interface between an individual and their environment. We seek to remain sensitive to social factors, as the context within which God calls a person to faith and obedience.
  • We believe that the incarnation of Jesus is not just the basis for care but also the model for how care is to be administered. Therefore, we seek to enter into a person’s story, listening well, expressing thoughtful love. Such incarnational patience recognizes that a particular season of intentional counseling plays one part within a life-long process of Christian growth.
  • We believe that Jesus is our faithful Redeemer who enables us to persevere in the midst of our problems. Therefore, we understand that change is often slow and hard. Jesus promises no instant panacea. He abides in us as we abide in him. He gives grace to walk a long obedience in the same direction, learning wisdom.
  • We believe that we at CCEF have not “arrived.” We have not fully and clearly expressed all that the Bible has to say about counseling ministry. Therefore, because Jesus tarries and we are not yet what we shall be, we humbly admit that we struggle to consistently apply all that we say we believe. We want to learn and grow in wisdom. We who counsel and teach counseling live in process, just like those we counsel and teach.

Were you aware of this history? How do you deal with the seasons of the human condition? How do you reconcile medical profit with your health care outcomes? What would you like to see happen?

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. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

The New Wave of Fishless Fish Is Here

Lead Photo: Edward Addeo (fish); Iakov Kalinin/iStock (ocean)

Source: Outside
Nov 24, 2020

Food scientists and marketers are creating healthy, plant-based, imitation tuna, crab, and shrimp that look and taste like the real thing. Better yet, switching to faux seafood will help curb our reliance on an international fishing industry that has become an environmental and human-rights disaster.

The year 2020 has not been good to many things, but it has been very, very good to the tuna melt. As the world got weird and we sheltered at home, many of us hankered for the familiar, the stable, the uncool. And there was the tuna melt waiting for us, as uncool as ever. 

References to the sandwich spiked on Reddit. New recipes (more or less indistin­guishable from the old recipes) flowed onto the internet. 

I, too, felt the allure. So, during the height of the pandemic, breaking away from the monotony of the keyboard, I made myself a lunch of soaring satisfaction: crispy bread and creamy tuna under a warm security blanket of cheese. What made it especially gratifying, however, was that it was the first tuna melt of my life that involved no fish at all. It was made with a new plant-based faux tuna called Good Catch, and while I can’t exactly say it changed my life, it definitely changed my lunch.

I swore off canned tuna last year, after reading The Outlaw Ocean, Ian Urbina’s wrenching account of human-rights abuses in the global fishing industry. For years, my list of morally acceptable seafoods had been narrowing as I learned about the environmental impacts of industrial fishing. Bluefin tuna, of course, went out the window long ago. Then it was Chilean sea bass, swordfish, and farmed salmon. Cod, gone. Shrimp, toast. But I clung to canned tuna, in part because of the convenience. A highly functional shot of protein, shelf-stable and cheap, it seemed morally defensible as long as it sported the logos certifying that it was dolphin-safe and sustainably fished.

But that changed when I plunged into Urbina’s book, the result of more than three years reporting on high-seas crime across 12,000 nautical miles, all five oceans, and 20 smaller seas. He shipped out on roach-infested, barely seaworthy trawlers, chased pirates and poachers, got caught in border wars, and uncovered a grainy cell-phone video of casual assassinations at sea. After all that, Urbina asked, did we really think “that it is possible to fish sustainably, legally, and using workers with contracts, making a livable wage, and still deliver a five-ounce can of skipjack tuna for $2.50 that ends up on the grocery shelf only days after the fish was pulled from the water thousands of miles away”?

Spoiler alert: it’s not. The average can of tuna drags behind it a tangled net of wrecked ecosystems, definned sharks, debt bondage, child labor, human trafficking, physical abuse, and murder. By the time I finished The Outlaw Ocean, I couldn’t open a can of tuna without imagining a trickle of human blood oozing out. And it’s not just tuna. Swordfish, snapper, mahi mahi, mackerel, sardines, squid, and anchovies are all tainted by slavery. So are farmed salmon, farmed shrimp, and cat food, which relies on meal made out of small fish caught in fisheries rife with human suffering. 

Many fishing boats are crewed by migrants from poor countries who are desperate for work. The boats can spend years at sea, periodically off-loading their catch to refrigerated mother ships and taking on fresh supplies. Oversight is almost nonexistent. Men are forced to work brutal hours in filthy conditions. Beatings are common. So are deaths.

A typical experience is that of Lang Long, a poor Cambodian man Urbina met in Thailand. Long was smuggled to the Thai coast by a trafficker who promised to get him a construction job, but the job never materialized. Instead, Long was sold to a fishing captain for $530, to cover his trafficking debt. Once on the boat, he didn’t see land again for three years.

During that time, Long was beaten regularly, forced to work up to 23 hours a day, and given insufficent food and water. After trying to escape, he was shackled by the neck and chained to the deck whenever his boat approached another ship.

But Long was relatively lucky. He survived, and was returned to land after a Catholic charity paid the boat’s captain $750 for his freedom. Other sea slaves have described sick deckhands being thrown overboard and intransigent ones being locked in the hold, whipped, or beheaded.

All this happens on the untraceable high seas. By the time a tender comes into port, it can carry a vast mix of legally and illegally caught fish. And that’s how a can of tuna gets to your grocery shelf for $2.50.

Rowan Jacobsen is an Outside contributing editor.

Hoagies made with Good Catch imitation tunaHoagies made with Good Catch imitation tuna
(Photo: Courtesy Good Catch Foods)

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

So I kissed tuna goodbye. Lunch became a little more inconvenient, but then Good Catch showed up in the grocery aisle. Instead of a can, the product came in an upmarket pouch featuring a photo of a plate heaped with extremely tuna-like shards. Fish-Free Tuna, the label advertised. Chunk Albacore Texture. The ingredients list revealed that it was made using a blend of six legumes—soybeans, peas, chickpeas, fava beans, lentils, and navy beans—with some algal oil and seaweed powder mixed in for “Real Seafood Taste.” At $5 for a 3.3-ounce portion, it was pricier than canned tuna, but not exactly a budget buster.

I’d written a lot about the battle for burger supremacy among fauxtein peddlers like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, and I knew the pattern those trailblazers had to follow: media campaigns to convince people their fake meats weren’t bizarre, slow rollouts of product in a handful of hipster restaurants, and then years of struggle to develop the production and distribution needed to reach the mainstream. I’d assumed alternative seafood would follow the same tortuous path. Yet here was Good Catch, already stocked by mainstream supermarkets like Whole Foods and Giant. Perhaps the trail had been blazed. And that made me wonder if the world of seafood was about to get pounded by a wave of fishless fish.

Second spoiler alert: it is. Many of the most popular seafoods now suddenly face direct competition from dozens of startups offering animal-free alternatives. The industry is still tiny, but sales of plant-based foods have surged 29 percent in the past two years, compared with just 4 percent overall for U.S. retail foods, and many expect the category to follow the arc of plant-based milks, which now account for 14 percent of all retail milk sales. 

Ibought a pouch of Good Catch and a can of solid white albacore for comparison. At home, I opened the pouch and dumped out a jumble of flaky chunks that had the same pallored look as tuna. The chew was quite firm, which impressed me. Springiness is one of the main attractions of meat, and it’s hard to replicate using plants.

The albacore, stripped of support, was weirder than I remembered. Did you know tuna is canned in vegetable broth to give it flavor? Drained, it has nothing going on until you add mayonnaise, celery, and salt. Why had I been killing some of the sexiest fish in the sea for this loser lunch meat?

I preferred Good Catch in every way. It didn’t taste like much either—think seaweed-scented chicken breast—but the texture was addictive, and I found myself testing the little bouncy fibers between my teeth. I didn’t think of it as tuna so much as chew-na, and I used it liberally, sprinkled over caprese salad for extra tooth, tucked under melted cheese on a piece of toast. It made tasty fish burgers and cakes. It even held up beautifully in a pasta al tonno, simmered in garlicky tomato sauce. In other words, it passed the plug-and-play test. So long, Big Tuna.

When I called Chris Kerr, Good Catch’s cofounder and executive chair, he told me I wasn’t the only one to recently discover his product. COVID-19 had triggered a run on shelf-stable everything, and he was scrambling to keep stores stocked. His new 42,500-square-foot factory in Heath, Ohio, had come online just in time. 

Kerr asked me how his product measured up. I told him it was never going to take over Instagram, but it was good enough. He agreed, and added that this was all it needed to be. “For the love of God,” he said, “it’s just a fucking tuna melt!” 

Kerr, 53, is irreverent and savvy, and he’s got the vision thing. A longtime vegan, he worked at the Humane Society for seven years but eventually found the group’s traditional tactics frustrating. “We weren’t getting very far in terms of moving the needle on animal welfare,” he says. “Vegans are still 0.5 percent of the population.” He left in 2014 and was recruited to launch New Crop Capital, a venture firm that invests in vegan food startups. New Crop was an early backer of Beyond Meat and now has a stake in more than 40 companies.

Kerr was one of the first to see the need for a Beyond Meat of seafood. Like the founders of Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, he came to the problem from the perspective of animal welfare. We’re so used to the traditions of fishing that we rarely notice that they involve the mass killing of wild animals, usually in painful ways that would never be acceptable with birds or mammals. (Try hooking a deer in the mouth and dragging it kicking and screaming for miles.)

But until the revelations of human-rights abuses in the fishing industry, the biggest knock against fishing was environmental. According to Daniel Pauly, a prominent British Columbia–based marine scientist, almost no fisheries are truly sustainable. “It’s so bad,” he says. “Sustainable is not a reliable term anymore. So many fisheries have been reduced to a small fraction of what they once were. You can ‘sustainably’ fish them at that diminished level, but they really need to be rebuilt to support the ecosystem.” According to a number of papers published by leading scientists, the agencies that certify fisheries are deeply flawed, and many fish that have the “sustainable” label applied to them are anything but.

Then there’s bycatch—other animals unintentionally caught and killed in nets. About 40 percent of the fishing industry’s combined haul is bycatch, a total of 63 billion pounds per year. That carnage includes an estimated 650,000 marine mammals, a million seabirds, 8.5 million sea turtles, and ten million sharks. In the Indian Ocean, more than 80 percent of the original dolphin population—four million animals—has been killed in tuna nets.

Good Catch, a brand of faux tuna, made tasty fish burgers and cakes. It even held up beautifully in a pasta al tonno, simmered in garlicky tomato sauce. In other words, it passed the plug-and-play test. So long, Big Tuna.

Aquaculture has not been the salvation many had hoped. Farming fish turns out to have the same problems as farming livestock in industrial settings: animal-welfare issues, disease and parasites, antibiotic overuse, and massive pollution.

For all those reasons, Kerr says, he felt a need to help jump-start the plant-based-seafood industry. “But I couldn’t find anything solid to invest in. So I just said, Fuck it, I’ll start my own.” 

Now more mainstream investors—having watched Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods take the world by storm—are scrambling to catch up. In January of this year, General Mills joined a group of companies that invested $32 million in Good Catch. Soon the celebrities rushed in: Lance Bass, Paris Hilton, Woody Harrelson, and Shailene Woodley all invested in the company.

But the biggest development came in March, when Bumble Bee Foods, the international tuna giant, announced a new partnership to distribute Good Catch’s fishless tuna in many places where Bumble Bee sells its own. “They approached us!” Kerr told me. “We were prepared to be attacked by that same company.”

“That shocked the industry,” says Monica Talbert, CEO of Van Cleve Seafood, a Virginia company that has launched a subsidiary, Plant Based Seafood, that sells a line of fish-free products. “The seafood industry sees plant-based as treasonous. They’re trying to squelch it. So for a giant, global company like Bumble Bee to take it on was huge.” Talbert thinks the writing is on the wall. “Consumers are demanding it. It would behoove the industry to jump on board.”

In Bumble Bee’s press release announcing the partnership, CEO Jan Tharp explained the thinking. “It is critically important that, as an industry, we continue to find innovative solutions to decouple growth with ­environmental impact,” she explained. “Providing great-tasting alternative ways for consumers to enjoy ocean-inspired foods is a key pillar of our long-term commitment to ocean health.”

If Good Catch is basically the Beyond Meat of seafood, Van Cleve is something possibly more significant: a traditional business eagerly transforming itself into a meatless powerhouse. “I love plant-based seafood,” ­Talbert says, “because it gives us a platform to shine light on the unsavory things going on in the seafood industry, just like plant-based meat did for the livestock industry.”

Van Cleve Seafood started in 2001 as a Virginia crab shack, launched by Shelly Van Cleve and her teenage daughters, Monica and Monica’s sister Allie. The restaurant and shop soon became a celebrated destination, and they expanded. In 2013, the company began selling its signature products in supermarkets and found that its ­supply needs outstripped local options. When ­Talbert researched international sources, she was horrified. “The lawlessness,” she says. “The mislabeling. The fish illegally soaked in chemicals. The child labor, slavery, and human trafficking. Just horrendous practices. It was so disheartening.”

Talbert had been transitioning to a plant-based diet, so they decided to do the same with the company—starting, naturally, with crab cakes. “We’ve probably made a million crab cakes in the past 20 years,” Talbert says. “There’s a weave to the texture of a crab cake that’s very specific. We went through more than a hundred versions to get it right.” 

If you want to wield your fork for food justice, however, crab is small potatoes. The average American consumes half a pound of it per year, making it only the ninth most popular seafood. The big three are canned tuna (2.1 pounds per person), salmon (2.6 pounds), and the Goliath of seafood, shrimp (4.6 pounds). 

If anything can make tuna fishing look scrupulous, it’s shrimp. Wild shrimp are caught using a massively destructive practice called bottom trawling, which John ­Hocevar, Greenpeace’s longtime oceans campaign director, describes like so: “Bottom trawlers fish with nets that weigh a couple of tons and are big enough to catch two 747s side by side, and they drag those along the bottom of the ocean. It’s insane.” For every haul of shrimp, a large amount of bycatch is brought in and tossed dead over the side.

Most shrimp is farmed, and that’s even worse. For feed, operations depend on small fish caught by boats using forced labor and relentless tools that rake the ocean clean. “Off Thailand,” Hocevar says, “the boats fish the water with very fine-meshed nets designed to strain out every last living thing. It’s endgame stuff.”

Shrimp is farmed along tropical coasts in shallow ponds made by ripping out mangroves, trees that protect shorelines and provide essential habitat for many marine species. The ponds become cesspools. After a few years, the ground is so contaminated that the site must be abandoned for a new one. “You just devastate one coastline after another,” says fisheries scientist Pauly.

Despite this mayhem, shrimp hasn’t suffered from consumer resistance the way other seafoods have. “Most people are somewhat aware that shrimp has big problems and they shouldn’t be eating it,” Hocevar says. “But they love it and there’s no real alternative, so they’re not willing to give it up.” For those reasons, he says, “a plant-based alternative would be amazing.”

Pauly was even more enthusiastic about the proposition. “The faster the better. If you can produce some gunk that can take the place of those disgusting shrimp operations, that would be wonderful.”

Well, I just happen to have some of that gunk right in front of me. It’s called konjac root, and it’s popular in Japanese and Korean cooking. Because it’s rich in soluble fiber, it can be boiled into a firmly textured gel. “It bounces back,” says Monica Talbert.

The product I’m sampling—Mind Blown Plant-Based Crunchy Coconut Shrimp—comes in the form of plump pink crescents with a coconut coating. (Paprika provides the pink.) I fried them in oil until they turned golden and served them with cocktail sauce.

And let’s be honest, any breaded product—shrimp, chicken nuggets, whatever—asks very little of its core protein. All it really needs to do is bounce back, and the plant-based shrimp aced that test. The outside was crispy, coconutty, and slightly sweet. The inside was snowy white. (If you are attached to the black vein that bisects real shrimp, you’re out of luck.) 

Most of the press on animal-free seafood focuses on what’s known as cellular aquaculture—fish in a dish, no head, gut, or tail attached. Rumors of its impending awesomeness have been circulating for a few years, goosed by venture capitalists who’ve sunk tens of millions into the California startups Wild Type (salmon), Finless Foods (bluefin), and BlueNalu (yellowtail and mahi mahi). Before diving into the world of fishless fish, I’d expected these lab-based products to be the standouts. But as is true with lab-grown meat, the hype has gotten well ahead of the science.

The theory seems solid enough. In animals, muscle cells are supplied with a stream of nutrients delivered by the circulatory ­system. But those cells can be grown in a tank if they’re bathed in a broth of the same nutrients, along with hormone-like growth factors that tell them how to develop. This is the idea behind lab-grown meat, and it’s been achieved with various species of fish as well.

You can see the appeal. Cellular seafood doesn’t have parasites. It isn’t contaminated by mercury or microplastics. It isn’t tainted by slavery or ecological damage. And it doesn’t die a horrible death.

But the industry faces multiple challenges that so far lack solutions. To grow living cells in a vat is incredibly costly and energy intensive. (One life-cycle analysis of cultured meat found that it has an even larger environmental footprint than conventional beef.) And no one has mastered culturing meat at scale. In a 20,000-liter commercial tank, cells can be crushed by the weight of water or killed by the force of the paddles that keep everything circulating. The serum that bathes the cells costs hundreds of dollars per liter, and it takes 50 liters to produce one serving of meat. Microbial contamination is a constant threat. Texture and flavor are works in progress. 

Greenpeace’s John Hocevar says most people know shrimp has big problems. “But they love it and there’s no real alternative, so they’re not willing to give it up.” For those reasons, he says, “a plant-based alternative would be amazing.”

But Jennifer Jacquet, a professor of environmental studies at New York University who has studied the fishing industry extensively, thinks progress may come surprisingly fast. “I don’t think you can judge a product’s market price by its prototypes, especially with an industry in its infancy,” she says. “There are many examples, from clocks to computers, that show us how much prices can fall.” Sure, a single serving of cellular fish or meat currently costs hundreds of dollars, but not long ago it cost hundreds of thousands.

Jacquet points out that governments can strongly influence the affordability—and success—of beneficial new technologies. “It’s a little bit like renewable energy,” she says. “Right now, the cellular animal products, including seafood, have to compete on a very uneven footing with meat, dairy, and seafood companies that receive enormous government subsidies, which makes it even more difficult to become price competitive.” Jacquet believes that if the seafood industry stopped receiving these subsidies, cellular-based seafood would quickly succeed.

None of the California startups were about to let me sample their lab creations. BlueNalu anticipates having its mahi available by late 2021 in a few select restaurants in San Diego, but experts estimate that it will be five to ten years before cellular seafood is commercially viable. And by then it may be too late. Plant-based seafood is already here, and given another decade of R&D, it’s going to be very good and very cheap. Sure, there will still be holdouts who want real fish that came from the sea. But who exactly is going to demand fish from a lab?

Not all the plant-based seafoods I tried were as successful as the ones highlighted here. I very much wanted to like Ahimi, an ahi substitute whose production is simplicity itself: a skinned, seeded tomato lightly concentrated in soy sauce, water, sugar, and sesame oil. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much what it tastes like. If you squint hard, it looks a bit like a pink slab of ahi, but there’s no getting around that what you have on your plinth of rice is limp tomato. (Apparently others felt the same; the company ceased operations this summer.)

I also wanted to try Kuleana—a bluefin replacement made from a blend of algae, pea protein, seawater, iron from fermented koji, and beetroot (for color)—but its founder told me it wasn’t ready for sashimi prime time. For now, true sushi analogs are out of reach, and we’ll have to stick to the low-hanging fruits de mer: canned tuna, crab cakes, and breaded shrimp.

But check back in a couple of years and I expect you’ll find the sushi counter transformed as well. By then I should be ready to complete the leap to plant-based. I’ll make exceptions for a couple of seafood standouts—American shellfish and Alaskan salmon, for example, are paragons of sustainability and deliciousness—but I’ll leave the rest to the ocean. Unless, of course, the seafood industry can solve its outlaw problem once and for all.

Rowan Jacobsen’s research into alternative seafood was supported by a grant from the Safina Center.

Eliot Coleman (farmer, grower and educator) would say that true organic food is a function of biology and nature not science. What do you think of plant based, science produce fish or seafood? Most dietitians would tell you a health diet includes wholefoods rather than processed foods. Is science produced food not processed foods? What do you think about the new fishless fish options? Are you veterinarian or vegan?

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. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

Personal Gardens of Norfolk

This personal garden is located in Norfolk not too far from Norfolk State University campus. It is a raised bed garden with a black covering which has many benefits such as intensifying the sun, keeping pest away and increasing moisture retention. Its a wonderful example of a kitchen garden grown right here in the urban environment of Norfolk. It is a garden maintained in the yard next to a home with lettuces and vegetables such as tomatoes.

Do you know some one who has a garden in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia? Do you know of anyone with a garden outside of the area? Where?

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. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

How to start a home garden

Source: CNN

May is not too late to start a garden. Here’s how to begin a vegetable garden for beginners, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, a print and online periodical providing planting charts for gardeners, sky schedules, weather forecasts and recipes since 1792. Pick the right spot.Choosing a suitable location is important because it affects the quality of the vegetables, the guide says. Most vegetables need at least six hours of sunlight daily, so pick a sunny location.If you’re not buying soil, you should have the soil in your yard tested for lead. Lead contamination is common in urban areas due to years of industrial development and pollution from man made toxins, according to Garden Collage Magazine. If your vegetables are contaminated from the soil, that could mean lead poisoning for you or any pets roaming around. You can have your soil assessed by sending several samples to a testing site for a low cost. Plant the vegetables in damp, not totally saturated, soil. If you have soil that doesn’t drain well, plant vegetables in a pot that’s raised from the ground. You should also garden in a place where your plants can remain stable — exposure to strong winds, floods or constant foot traffic could damage your plants.

Choose a plot size. Beginners should start small, considering what they can handle and what they’ll actually eat, the guide suggests. The size it recommends is 11 rows wide, each 10 feet long. But this guideline is to feed a family of four through an entire summer, so feel free to downsize if it’s just you. Make sure there’s enough space between each row to be able to easily walk through to weed and harvest your plants. The rows shouldn’t be more than 4 feet wide, as you probably won’t be able to reach over a bigger width to care for the vegetables. Select your vegetables (or any other produce). There are several vegetables that are common and easy to grow: tomatoes, radishes, chard, zucchini squash, peppers, cabbage, lettuce and carrots. Also consider what you like to eat, and again, how much you’re likely to consume. Here’s a guide to figuring out which vegetables grow best in your state. You could buy individual starter plants or opt to start from scratch with seeds. But the seeds should be high quality, the guide says, so your money isn’t wasted if the seeds don’t germinate. The almanac recommends buying seeds from a plant nursery; you can order them online, too. Decide where and when to plant. Planting one or two vegetables doesn’t require much strategic planning. But if you’re growing a whole garden, you’ll have to think about where each vegetable will go and when it needs to be planted.

Some vegetables, such as lettuce and root vegetables, grow in the spring. Others, including tomatoes and peppers, should be planted in the warmer months. Plant taller vegetables on the north side of your garden so they don’t shade shorter plants. Check to see whether the information along with your plant says it needs a permanent bed. Lastly, stagger your plantings. Don’t plant all your seeds at one time, or you’ll have a vegetable bounty that needs to be harvested and consumed in a tight time window. If you stagger your plantings, you’ll have a steady supply of food coming in.

How has this article helped you? How will you apply what you have learned? What will you grow in your garden?

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. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

The Best Indoor Garden Ideas for Bringing the Great Outdoors Inside

Chopped Garden Fresh Parsley

by MELISSA EPIFANO updated JUN 9, 2020
Source: Apartment Therapy

Vegetable gardens, patio planters, and flower beds undoubtedly add appeal to any home and make for some really fun hobbies. But sometimes you just don’t have the space, or you might prefer to spend your time inside where the elements (and bugs!) can’t really get to you. In these instances, you can never go wrong with curating your own indoor garden.

Lucky for you, the options for indoor gardens are never ending. You can cultivate your own indoor lemon tree, start a delicious herb garden, grow a living wall—or, if you’d rather start simple, try nurturing a small collection of succulents. What makes the indoor version of a garden so fun is how easy it is to mix and match the most random and diverse group of plants and the ability for you to keep your garden blooming and sprouting year-round.

To bring some greenery into your home and experience all the benefits different plants and flowers have to offer, see the ideas below to get started on your own indoor garden.

1. Similarly Sized Collection

Use a small cluster of mid-sized plants, like the ones in this Oakland home, to help take up awkward blank space. Their medium size makes a bigger impact than a small succulent display, but these plants aren’t as high maintenance—or difficult to move around—as large indoor trees.

2. Outdoor-Indoor Hybrid Garden

A half-and-half garden helps blend the inside and out, making your home feel even bigger. This colorful home in Mexico is the perfect example of how to make both an indoor and outdoor garden work with your style.

3. Eclectic Indoor Garden

Mixing and matching plants and pots, like the residents of this vintage Australian home did, makes for a visually interesting display for anywhere in your home. Old canisters, handmade pots, and antique finds all work well together.

4. Hanging Herb Garden

Your dinners will seem even tastier with a fresh herb garden at your fingertips. A hanging setup like this means you don’t even have to sacrifice any counter space to grow a small collection of herbs.

5. Indoor Garden Closet

Commandeer a set of shelves or closet for your indoor garden, as seen in this plant-laden Brooklyn apartment. If you already have enough storage space for clothes, what better way to deck out an empty nook than with plants?

6. Small Terrarium Garden

An indoor garden doesn’t need to be over-the-top or take up ample space, as proven by this terrarium in a comfy Austin home. A few glass display cases and a handful of your favorite air plants or succulents is all it takes to form a mini plant world.

7. Colorful Hanging Garden

One bonus to indoor planting? The ease of mounting planters from the ceiling to create a hanging garden. This maximalist Chicago home shows how colorful plant hammocks and a variety of leafy friends can make a fun statement in any room.

8. Mini Succulent Garden

If you have a tiny empty corner, you have room for an indoor garden. The owners of this Scandinavian-inspired Airstream trailer created a mini succulent collection that still adds a boost of greenery but takes up little room in their small home.

9. Floating Shelf Garden

Floating shelves let you display plants from floor to ceiling, as seen in this Brooklyn apartment. You can place plants based on their light preferences, or even rotate them as needed to keep them healthy.

10. Unique Indoor Garden

For a splash of personality and color, arrange your plants around and inside your non-working or faux fireplace like the tenants of this San Francisco apartment did. You can do this with working fireplaces, too, as long as they’re not getting use—so it’s a great display for warm spring and summer months, when the fireplace won’t be lit.

11. Indoor Greenhouse

As seen in this Nashville home, adding a few fronds and leaves to a mudroom or laundry room space instantly gives it greenhouse vibes. The plants help enliven these utilitarian spaces, adding interest to a room that doesn’t always get a lot of love.

12. Kitchen Garden

While herbs are popular for kitchen gardens, they’re by no means the only plants that can thrive in your cook space. The residents from the same San Fransisco home from above also allowed plants to take up room in their kitchen for a lively, fresh display.

13. Bathroom Indoor Garden

Convinced you have, like, zero room for an indoor garden? This Philadelphia row home will make you think twice. Your bathroom can be a glorious location for plants, whether you stack a few on a shelf, hang one from the ceiling, or drape one from the shower head (or all the above).

14. Indoor Cactus Garden

Terracotta pots and cacti are a simple but striking display when wall-mounted in cutout shelves, like in this poppy RV home. You could DIY your own version with wood boards and a jig saw.

15. Wall of Plant Cuttings

If you’re in full plant parent mode and have started to amass cuttings of your favorite plants, take a cue from this Charleston home and hang them in a chic wall display until they’re ready to be repotted.

Re-edited from a post originally published 5.17.16

Which indoor garden style is best for you? Why? Which plants will you be bringing in doors this fall and winter?

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. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

9 Best Vegetables to Grow Indoors

harvested tomatoes shidonna raven garden and cook

Source: All Recipes
Make it easy on yourself by choosing plants that do best indoors. These vegetables have proven successful indoors:

1. Carrots

Carrots require don’t much space around them (or wingspan you could say) but they do tend to require deeper soil than other vegetables. They’re cool-tolerant vegetables that thrive at about 60 degrees F. Make sure they get plenty of light, at least 12 hours a day.

2. Green Onions/Scallions

Green onions do well indoors because they’re easy to care for and don’t require as much sunlight as some other veggies. You can either use seeds or you can simply replant the root end of the green onions after using the top.

Related: How to Store Green Onions to Keep Them Fresh

3. Herbs

Herbs (a subset of vegetables) love the sunshine, so you’re going to have to make sure they get a lot of it: 12-16 hours a day. They tend to do best around 70 degrees F. Some of the best varieties for indoor growing include: chives, parsley, cilantro, oregano, mint, rosemary, sage, and thyme.

4. Hot Peppers

Pepper plants are tropical perennials, meaning they thrive in warm weather and full sun. But because they’re self-pollinating, they can do quite well indoors. They need high levels of light between 14-20 hours a day, and thrive at about 70 degrees F. Pot them in a container that’s at least eight inches tall, and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

5. Leafy Salad Greens

Maybe the most reliable of the bunch are cool-tolerant leafy salad greens like spinachkale, and arugula. They’ll grow in as quickly as four weeks in compact spaces. They need about 12 hours of sunlight per day, and they do well at around 60 degrees F.

6. Microgreens

Don’t let their size fool you, microgreens are packed with 40 times more vitamins and nutrients than fully grown plants. You’ll grow them the same way you would leafy salad greens, but you’ll harvest them when they’re just about 2-3 weeks old. Try adding them to sandwiches for a nutritious crunch.

7. Potatoes

This one may surprise you, but you can grow potatoes (both sweet and regular) in soil from scraps. Start with a sprouted potato and cut it up into chunks, laying them out sprout-side-up on at least four inches of soil. Top them off with another four inches of soil and in about two months you’ll have potatoes! Make sure you have a large enough pot, because these can get quite large and you may have to continue adding soil as they grow to ensure that the potatoes are always covered with soil.

8. Radishes

Radishes are quick growers, with only 30 to 40 days from germination to harvest. They won’t need as much light as many other veggies, but make sure they’re not too crowded so their bulbs can grow.

9. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a warm-weather loving plant, but that doesn’t mean they’re hopeless indoors. They’ll need a lot of light, about 14 to 20 hours a day. Like peppers, they’re self-pollinating, but you can also shake them to help the pollen fall from flower to flower. Smaller varieties tend to do better in containers, and you’ll find the seeds germinate fairly quickly.

We still have a few plants out doors, but soon the winter weather will be here. Which vegetables will you be growing inside? Why?

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. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

Prince Charles on the Importance of Organic

Raw Video: Prince Charles Talks Organic Farming

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Prince Charles on the Importance of Organic
Source: Prince Charles
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

What are your thoughts on organic? Do you eat organic? Why? Why not?

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. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.