Follow me into my organic garden and country kitchen through photo illustrations and text, as I share tips and how-to information focused on growing and preparing delicious and nutritious food, all from our 120 acre family farm in central North Carolina.
25After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time—if you then become corrupt and make any kind of idol, doing evil in the eyes of the LORD your God and provoking him to anger,26I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed.27The LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the LORD will drive you.28There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell.29But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.30When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the LORD your God and obey him.31For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath.
It is tomato season and their are some great things you can do with tomatoes to spice up your diet and add nutrition. Homemade spaghetti sauce is one option. The USDA Canning Guide is a great resource. Visit the following links for spaghetti sauce recipes to can.
The photos above show vegetables I gathered from my home garden on two consecutive days. Fresh from the garden, savoy cabbage, yellow crookneck squash, asparagus, cucumbers, tomatoes, and blue potatoes! They are not many days old, they were not grown by using chemicals, and they didn't travel 1500 miles before I got them! As vegetables age they lose nutritional value and flavor. Produce grown in the United States travels an average of 1500 miles before it gets to your plate, using much energy for transport while losing flavor and nutrition because of age. Fresh produce from the home garden is a jewel to be treasured. If you, however, cannot grow some or all of your vegetables local organic farms are a good alternative. Visit Local Harvest to find farms near you.
In the photo on the left above you see corn at different stages of growth while the photo on the right above shows that the first corn I planted is almost ready for harvest. In the center photo above cucumber vines climb wire cages saving garden space.
I received sweet potato plants that I ordered from Sandhill Preservation Center. The plants looked good but they were not rooted very well. I put them in soil in 3 inch pots to allow them to root better before planting them in the garden. Sandhill Preservation Center has a large selection of sweet potato varieties. I order plants from them for trials. If they perform well in my garden and I decide to plant them the following year I grow plants from the potatoes that I harvest. The photo on the right has the sweet potato plants on the left and Burmese Okra plants that I am trialing this year on the right.
Remember the May 16 post when I put sweet potatoes in the ground? Now they have grown nice sweet potato plants for this year's garden. The photo on the left shows the plants that have grown from the sweet potatoes that were put in the ground. In the center photo the sweet potato has been taken out of the ground and you can see the roots that have developed on the plants (called slips because you slip them off the sweet potato). Finally, in the photo on the right the slips have been planted in a garden bed mulched with leaves. I planted in the morning of a cloudy day with a forecast of 2 cloudy days with rain. This gives the roots a chance to establish in the soil before the plant is exposed to the hot sunshine. If no clouds or rain are in the forecast, planting in the late evening and watering well should get your plants off to a good start. Before mulching a bed for sweet potatoes, allow the soil to warm sufficiently as they need warm soil to grow.
As you see from the photo on the left the tomatoes are doing well. I continue to grow corn seedlings to make periodic plantings of corn to extend the harvest. The photo on the right shows cabbage, potatoes, garlic, tomatoes and corn. The garlic is ready for harvest, I've harvested a few of the potatoes, spuash and cucumbers while the rest of the garden is coming along well with one exception. The neck pumpkins that were growing well suddenly died. Normally I would think the problem was vine borers, however, neck pumpkins have a hard stem that vine borers do not usually enter and I saw no damage. I removed the plants, planted more neck pumpkin seed in a different place plus made second plantings of cucumbers and watermelon.
Judy's Bookshelf: recommended reading For additional information on gardening, cooking, baking, health, nutrition and more you will find great selections on my bookshelf. I invite you to browse, read, learn, and enjoy!
John Ikerd articles and books Thought provoking articles and books addressing the sustainability of our food supply, the real cost of food, the importance of home cooking and more, by John E. Ikerd, Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics, University of Missouri .
Local Harvest Find locally grown produce, anywhere in the country.
ATTRA National sustainable agriculture information service.
Eatwild The #1 site for grass-fed food and facts with a state-by-state listing of farmers who sell grass-fed meat, eggs and dairy products.