Two varieties that grew well in my garden last year (and hence made it into this winter's stewed tomatoes) are yellow pears and Black Krim. Both were absolutely delicious for fresh eating as well.

Home-Canned Tomatoes: A Tantalizing Taste of Nature in Winter

You may remember I’m an ultra-beginner at canning. Luckily, I am learning from my sister, who has spent years learning from others and experimenting to perfect her own techniques. Not to mention she has a large kitchen stocked with all the necessary equipment. So I give you Ultra-Beginner Tip #1: find a canning buddy with […]

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Posted by on February 3, 2016 at 2:09 am   This post has 7 responses.

Historic Flavors of Fall

Once upon a time, cider-making, not football was the fall preoccupation throughout much of this country.  Wherever apples grew – and thanks to pioneering nurserymen like John Chapman that included much of the Midwest and upper South as well as the Northeast and Pacific Northwest – the fruit was...

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Posted by on October 1, 2015 at 7:03 am   This post has 10 responses.

Way Down Yonder in the Blue Ribbon Pawpaw Patch

Tony Joe White’s Poke Salad Annie couldn’t change my mind about pawpaws. Nor about what deserves recognition as the best native plant song of all time. Nothing against pokeweed, but over the years, I’ve grown partial to pawpaws. Once you’ve found yonder, and a pawpaw patch, there is no...

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Posted by on September 9, 2015 at 7:44 am   This post has 15 responses.

My Hot and Spicy Adventures, or She’s On Fire!

I HAVE A HEAT TOOTH!!! Not a sweet tooth, a HEAT TOOTH! I love hot peppers. I have been honing my tolerance for heat for a few years now, and at this point I can take a bite out of a habañero and not pass out or vomit. It...

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Posted by on August 25, 2015 at 11:34 pm   This post has 9 responses.

Could a weed be the next kale?

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Posted by on July 10, 2015 at 7:23 am   This post has 3 responses.

Grow your own?

What do gardening and Japanese anime culture have in common? There are probably a number of strange intersections, but this is the only one I know about. And it’s weird. The Ripe Boyfriend Cultivation Set home gardening kits ask us to imagine vegetables and herbs as sexy young men....

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Posted by on April 20, 2015 at 8:00 am   This post has 2 responses.

Treasure the Winter Farmer’s Market

My heart goes out to urban dwellers with no access to a winter Farmer’s Market. Just as the twinkle lights on trees and houses offer comforting pinpoints of light in the dark winter nights, farm stands with freshly made products remind us that good local foods (not to mention...

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Posted by on December 17, 2014 at 12:50 am   This post has 11 responses.

New Roots is Planting Seeds of Change for Refugees in America

Guest post by Kimberly Bryant What difference can a garden make? To newly arrived refugees in America, the answer is plenty. It’s no secret that gardening is a pleasant way for the average person to get in touch with nature, but it holds an even deeper meaning for those...

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Posted by Kimberly Bryant on November 27, 2014 at 7:53 am   This post has 3 responses.

The Success of Failure

By Amanda Morris, Ph.D Twisted, dessicated, browned vines droop across their cages, all life and vitality wrecked by powdery mildew, too much water, not enough air, and failed planning. These are my spaghetti squash, Honey Bear acorn squash, Jubilee watermelon, Sugar Baby watermelon, and honeydew plants; a pitiful display...

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Posted by Amanda Morris on August 28, 2014 at 6:41 am   This post has 19 responses.

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Compost?

Guest Rant by Amy Campion  If we gardeners agree on anything, it’s that compost is wonderful stuff.  We can never have enough of it.  We make it ourselves in heaps and bins and barrels, and we ask for more of it on our birthdays.  Compost makes clay soil loosen...

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Posted by Amy Campion on July 22, 2014 at 8:05 am   This post has 20 responses.

A Growing Trend in the U.S.: Food Forests

Upstart food forests — designed landscapes incorporating perennial and woody plants that produce food — are popping up around the US, inspired no doubt by Seattle’s new Beacon Hill Food Forest as well as successful older sites including Mercy Emily Edible Park on 18 vacant lots in Philadelphia and...

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Posted by on July 16, 2014 at 2:01 am   This post has 12 responses.

From Organic-Only to Big-Picture Sustainability

I recommend a fascinating article in Wednesday’s Food Section of the Washington Post this week: “Organic standards fight over synthetics  shows there’s room for a third system,” starting with the news that proposed broadening of organic standards brought out the protesters at a recent meeting, and the police had to...

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Posted by on June 20, 2014 at 11:03 am   This post has 16 responses.

Kentucky King of Taros

  Poi, a traditional edible starch of the tropics, made from the ground corms of taro, can’t keep up with its popular starchy rivals—potato, corn and rice. But its ornamental qualities have come out of the shadows in the last ten years. The tropical plant, commonly known as elephant...

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Posted by on May 14, 2014 at 6:38 am   This post has 9 responses.

Who’s Eating Our Orchard?

Delayed almost a month by an unusually cold and prolonged winter, our friend Gini–an avid arborist– arrived the other day to give us our first lesson in orchard pruning. We were anxious to begin work on the more than 100 young fruit trees we acquired when we bought our...

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Posted by on March 28, 2014 at 8:05 am   This post has 18 responses.

Believe it or Not: Rutabaga Souffle

Think of Thanksgiving dishes you most dread and mashed rutabaga probably springs first to mind. What was that vaguely bitter orange stuff Aunt Tilly was so fond of anyway? Outside Minnesota, rutabaga have all the appeal of a dead skunk on the highway. Or do you have to be...

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Posted by on February 6, 2014 at 8:37 am   This post has 3 responses.

Tale of a Strawbale Raised Bed

One year, three friends and I decided to make a vegetable garden together. It would be built on one of our properties in the suburbs west of Minneapolis, and all of us would help maintain it and share in the harvest. We built the garden in a mowed area...

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Posted by on January 15, 2014 at 2:54 am   This post has 32 responses.

Celebrating the New Year with a Giant Potato

No need for me and my fellow Idahoans to sit at home and watch the New Yorkers having all the fun… now Boise has a locally grown New Year’s Eve tradition: an evening of magic shows, live music, street food, and general merrymaking, capped off by dropping a giant...

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Posted by on January 1, 2014 at 4:42 am   This post has 11 responses.

I was a Lab Rat for GMO Apples

How does a gardenblogger find something to write about in December?  By jumping at the chance to taste-test produce for the USDA, that’s how, at least if it’s just 5 minutes from home.  Anyway, I was curious about the process, starting with the detailed pre-test instructions – no eating/drinking...

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Posted by on December 5, 2013 at 9:13 pm   This post has 47 responses.

More than just seed porn

It’s ironic that by far the largest and most beautiful garden catalogs I receive are for the smallest commodities. And some might find it sad that I never buy any of these small items. Seeds are really cheap for all they can deliver, and nobody celebrates the glory of...

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Posted by on November 25, 2013 at 8:56 am   This post has 4 responses.

No poo for you, organic farmers!

If the FDA’s proposed food safety regulations go through, the use of animal manure on farms over a certain size, or which supply food to supermarkets, will be severely limited. According to this NPR story (and I am sure it has appeared in other news outlets), when farmers spread...

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Posted by on November 21, 2013 at 9:38 am   This post has 25 responses.
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