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Harvesting Tomatoes

We hate to disappoint. But, this will not be a detailed presentation on harvesting tomatoes. Nothing could be simpler than plucking this red globes from the vein, cleansing them and preparing them to eat. Our early girl plant has delivered time and time again. We are often asked: how is the garden. Consequently, we wanted to share some recent harvest that were give to a garden cohort to cook up. Many of you have been growing your own plants in your kitchens as well as yards. Share your updates with the community.

Tomato plants can grow tall. They are definitely doable in an urban garden. Which herbs and vegetables do you eat often? Which ones would you like to start to grow? Where do you get the most light? Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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The Seed that Saved a Life – Seed Saving

Seed Savers Exchange
Source:Edible Gardens
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

So its a pandemic and you decided to start your own garden or you have another reason for wanting to start your own garden. What do you do with the left over seeds you have? Where do you get seeds in the first place? If anyone remembers the Potato Famine and the devastation it caused because certain varieties of potatoes could not be grown, then the Seed Savers Exchange program makes a tremendous amount of sense. In the wake of a pandemic, there is no better time to be reminded that pro-action can save a lot of lives as well as heart ache. That is why we are particularly fond of this Exchange and the work they are doing. What do you feel is important to preserve? Why? What kind of impact can it have on your life or your neighbors life? 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!

Pumpkin Flower in Bloom shidonna raven garden and cook

We used what we learned from “Beginning Seed Saving for the Home Gardner” to help us save seeds for this Pumpkin plant pictured to the left. She is just getting started and should produce pumpkins around fall. Stay tuned for an updated on the progress of our Pumpkins.

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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Mahatma Gandhi & Saving Seeds

mahatma gandhi and seed saving shidonna raven garden and cook

If you know even a little bit about Gandhi, then one can easily understand what Gandhi means to seed saving or what seed saving would have meant to Gandhi. Gandhi was very much a promoter of the freedom of man and his country man. Like King he saw freedom in both simple and profound ways. A seed in itself is simple. Yet seed saving is a revolutionary concept even today. Where there is industry and money to be made, there is always controversy. More specifically where the industry is not truly needed is where the controversy seems to begin. Gandhi believed that people should have the right, yes right to grow their own food rather than being subject to purchasing food at prevailing prices. To this day there are many industries that surround the growth of food. Even farmers struggle against this industrial corporate complexes.

So in the midst of a pandemic when many people have begun to start their own gardens, seed saving is more important than ever. Understanding the profound yet simple practice of seed saving is important. Knowing and being able to save seeds gives one freedom to contentiously produce their own food sources. One might say, I buy food out of convenience and to save time. During a time when money is short for many but time is long, one might say, like many have, I will grow my own food. Exercising the right to grow ones own food has become important to many in the midst of COVID 19. Jim Ulager “Beginning Seed Saving for the Home Gardener” helps one to understand the background of seed saving as well as the application of seed saving.

We have saved several seeds of our own such as pumpkin, green beans, lentil beans, pinto beans, cantaloupe and more. A few of these seeds are in our garden and did sprout. Pumpkin is our largest saved seed. How has COVID 19 impacted you and yours? How could you and yours benefit from saving your own seeds? How has this article helped you? How could this article help your friends and family especially during these times? “Beginning Seed Saving for the Home Gardener” can be found below or by clicking the link. Share your experience with seed saving with the community by posting your comments below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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MiMi’s Flower

cynoglossum amabile shidonna raven garden and cook

MiMi’s flower has come a long way since they were just a couple of seeds. Her flowers’ have begun to finally blossom into beautiful clusters of deep lavender. They began as a few seeds in a growing kit. MiMi and Mom have since gotten their own growing kit with 2 different flowers. MiMi’s gift blossomed into a wonderful exploration between MiMi and Mom into starting their own kitchen garden. And the Cynoglossum Amabiles are a wonderful addition to our front porch. What easy and simple ways can you start your own garden along with MiMi, Mom and many others. Since the beginning of the pandemic many people have begun their own gardens for various reasons. Do you think starting a garden as a response to the pandemic is a good idea? Why? Share your thoughts below by posting a comment. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep growing!

Cynoglossum Amabile – MiMi’s Flower
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

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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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Sow, Everything!

Everything you need to know about Sowing
Source::Grow Veg
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

You are fully informed on the basics and then some when it comes to sowing seeds. Now is a great time to start a garden and to join the many others who have started their own gardens since COVID 19. How did this article help you? What did you learn? What will you sow? Email us photos and we will share them with the community.

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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Watermelon, Greenhouses & Indoor Gardening

Sugarbaby Watermelon Shidonna Raven

When we decided to start our garden, as you know, it began humbly with a mere 2 packs of seeds destined for the kitchen window. It quickly grew into over 30 seeds. We planted each one. Some where successful and others were not. But, as Eliot Coleman will tell you, even the experienced farmer learns through trail and error. When we started we began in our mini greenhouse, which is really our garage with 3 windows. We were so excited to get started that we begun at the end of the winter season, which was at the very very beginning of the growing season for many of our seeds in our zone (Virginia, USA). When you began before the last frost has past, you must start inside with the seeds that can be transplanted. Then once the frost has past and its growing season has begun one can transplant them outside. So, because we began early we started in our mini greenhouse and got a jump on the season. Greenhouses can be used year around for various reasons. However, they are key when you want to grow outside of a seeds growing season by either starting early or extending the season.

Pumpkin Flower in Bloom
Pumpkin Flower in Bloom

The watermelon you see (1st image) in our outside garden started as a seedling in our mini greenhouse. The mini greenhouse presented several challenges to us with its high moisture and low light. We discovered there were many other factors that were hindering the success of some of our seedlings. When we had questions and were left scratching our head when our seedlings ran into trouble, we turned to Richard Bray’s book “Greenhouse Gardening” for answers to our questions. Understanding greenhouse gardening is understanding how to garden indoors whether one has a kitchen herb plant or a simple house plant. He helped me to understand factors such as heat, ventilation, watering and sunlight. This book was a tremendous resource that helped us grow our watermelon successfully. We had to sow her several times. At first she did not sprout successfully. But, once we understood greenhouse gardening more, we were able to grow her successfully into a plantling. Now she is in the garden outside thriving. We located “Greenhouse Gardening” for an absolute steal. We love deals around here. Click the link below to get yours. We can not wait to see her fruit. I know someone who is a huge watermelon fan! So we are happy to report that she is doing well and in the same row as pumpkin. Stay tuned to see her progress.

What information do you find helpful? How did “Greenhouse Gardening” by Richard Bray help you? Email us photos to share with the community. Which one do you prefer: pumpkin or watermelon? We have big fans of both. As usually, we are all waiting to taste!

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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Heirloom Seeds

Heirloom Seeds
Source: Seed Savers Exchange
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Seeds and plants can be changed over time to create different plants. Sometimes these seeds are a result of GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Heirloom varieties can focus more on the preservation of plants in their original state. Go to your local nursery and shop the seed section. Did you find any Heirloom seeds? If not, did you ask them about Heirloom seeds? What do you think are the benefits of preserving seeds and using heirloom seeds?

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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GMO & your Health

GMO and Your Health
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Scientist are often responsible for creating GMOs and ‘food products’. Food occurs in nature naturally and can be cultivated from seeds. If all the food we eat are GMOs, food will cease to be grown in nature but looked at as products. This has health, financial and economical implications. Scientist created chemical pesticides that Organic Farmers state they do not need and are detrimental to food and food nutrition. Further Organic Farmers state that scientist are always pushing products farmers do not need making farming unsustainable and economically impossible unless farmers become industrial farmers. Industrial farmers are known for focusing on quantity and not quality: nutrition. The lack of nutrition in food is said to be the source of many health problems and concerns today. These very food production practices have Organic Farmers returning to the strength, health and nutrition found in food that focuses more on biology rather than science or medicine.

What do you think the profit is in GMOs? Do you think GMOs should be put on the market for sale before they know the effects of GMOs on humans? Do you think they should disclose the effects of GMOs to people similar to cigarette labels? 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.