Tag Archives: Conservation

Free Range…Tomatoes?

Free Range…Tomatoes?

I’m not a fan of tomato cages. While they are quite effective at reining your sprawling queens in, they also make the tasks of picking off pests, wilted leaves or sometimes even fruit, laborious. I know I’m in the minority on this matter.

Everyone I know cages their tomatoes. They are perfectly happy with their arrangement. I am perfectly content with mine. It’s just a personal preference on my part.

I’ve taken to using the same fence method that I use for melons, and I’m quite satisfied with it. It is simply straight rows of stakes with chicken wire, hog wire, or whatever wire I have handy at the time, tied to the stakes.

 

 

I plant my tomatoes on both sides of the fence and tie them to the fencing as they grow. In this way I am able to get to the middle of my plants at any given time. I don’t have to wonder if there is fruit somewhere in the middle of that mass of leaves and flowers because I can see clearly to the main stem. Read the rest of this entry

Ark of Taste

Ark of Taste

Have you heard of the Ark of Taste? If not, now you have.

Maintained by the global Slow Food Movement, the Ark of Taste is a catalog of heritage foods that are in danger of extinction. I love that this is food that is being preserved to use as food.

These fruits and vegetables are not being grown at University, in a Botanical Garden by Master Gardeners for scientists. This is food, being grown for food, by people like you and me. To preserve food because it tastes good! I love that.

When I found out about Slow Food I felt like I had reconnected with an old friend.  It was akin to when I was in the third grade and I found out that we needed to save the pandas. I knocked on every door USNB Beeville, TX. Those pandas were not going to save themselves. I raised $112.67, but it was 1977 so that was like 9 million dollars then, right? Now the panda has a fighting chance. Because of me and the Navy Base in Beeville, TX.

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Anyone Can Can? 5 Things to Can and Preserve This Year

Anyone Can Can? 5 Things to Can and Preserve This Year

I am amazed at the resurgence in popularity of life skills that were once completely taken for granted, deemed “archaic” and “dying arts” that now are considered chic and fresh. Recently I read an article that surmised more people under the age of thirty knit than do over the age of sixty. My friend Staci Brown, a statistics teacher, would say that was skewed because of population density or size of survey but that, notwithstanding, is an interesting supposition I think.

Anywhere you look you can see a mounting interest in homesteading, gardening, canning and preserves, and several of the needle arts from bygone eras. You can find it in the bookstores, on television, on the radio, podcasts a plenty, even our fashions are reflecting the trend.

One of the most popular dresses right now is a modern version of the “pillow case” dresses that were prevalent in the depression of the Thirties. It’s interesting to me that during the depression these were used because flour sacks and feed sacks were used to make pillowcases because that was the only “fabric” people could afford or was available, and now these dresses are made from expensive designer material very often.

Dress made from Flour Sack 

Antique Flour Sack Dress

New "Pillow case" dress

Modern equivalent of the old "Pillow Case" Dress

 

So what does any of this have to do with the garden? Hold your horses, I’m getting there.

We’re at the precipice of the growing season, so close to jumping off. Now is when we need to decide to can or not to can. If you’re going to be putting up some of your produce, it’s a good idea to get your stuff together now so you’re not in a mad scramble come August or September when you have fifty pounds of tomatoes, two bushels of zucchini and mountains of green beans in your kitchen. If you’re not going to can, you should start deciding who you’ll be giving all of your leftovers to and arrange for delivery. ; )

If nothing else, start looking for bargains on canning jars, easily the most expensive component when canning after you have your basic equipment. Remember, you can reuse jars, but you’ll need new lids and collars. I get jars from estate sales and yard sales all the time, you’re going to sterilize them anyway, why not?

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