August 27, 2009
August 26, 2009
By Lee Reich
Most fruit trees are best grown from grafted trees that cost $25 to $35 each. But with peaches, nectarines and apricots, you can cut your cost to zero by growing trees from seeds.
Because cross-pollination between varieties produces variable results, apples and some other fruit trees are usually not grown from seeds. (Instead, cuttings or buds of the best varieties are grafted onto rootstocks to produce trees that bear fruit just like the parent tree’s.) But the almondlike seeds in pits from peaches, nectarines and apricots do a good job of carrying on the desirable traits of their parents. You can simply sprout and grow a seed from a great-tasting specimen, and you have a good chance of sinking your teeth into sweet, juicy fruit from your own tree in only three to five years.
Summer is the best time to kick off this project, because you can seek out mid- or late-season varieties grown in your region. The best seeds come from fully ripe fruit. Avoid seeds from early maturing varieties because their seeds may not develop enough to sprout. Locally grown varieties are more likely to prosper in your garden compared to varieties grown a thousand miles away, and looking for likely candidates is tasty fun! Eat lots of peaches from farm stands and farmers markets, and save the pits from those that taste like peach heaven. And if you live where you can get local apricots and nectarines, you can try growing them from seeds too.
more follows at
August 25, 2009
everything else is a make work project
daily doing all you can
seems like spinning wheels
til the day you realize
it was a slow steep climb
to the top
in the cool of dusk
the day slips away
my breathing to
the techno rhythm
. . .
would you like to add some lines? thought it would be fun to do it together, bringing your joys to mine - peace for all
August 20, 2009
By Kathy Cogo from Townsville , QLD
Cattle are considered one of the worst contributors to greenhouse gases and climate change, but now they've a chance to redeem themselves.
Cow dung is being used in conjunction with salt water to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and remarkably inventors say it works better and more reliably than trees and soil."
I linked the title to the story. Peace for all
Why do we feel we have to be productive all the time?
It is very hard to give up the treadmill. We have been chasing the carrot for so long we refuse to believe we could survive living another way. Even when we are not productive we do things to help with our productivity. It is easy to be obsessed with doing the right thing all the time and constantly pressure ourselves to produce, devoted to securing the future for my family.
I love to create with words, food, gardens, colors - doesn't everyone. They don't pay off. What you love, your inner joy, is not important. The only thing important is production, captivity, my slavery. It is hard to turn from slavery where pleasure is not allowed.
Looking at our lives like a business we cut the overhead of living at every turn. We are not frugal, we are practical.
My responsibility to my family is to save money, my husband's is to make money, and together we work to reducing the need for money at all. We live on a little farm. We both work from home. You make money and save money at the save time. I started making jewelery in my spare time, making my pleasure productive allows me to enjoy my life more.
It is hard to break free, and it is always done in steps. Just acknowledging there is more to life than consumerism is difficult for most.
If you attempted to grow your own food at all the only correct answer is "a success"!
Gardens fail. They fail every season, even plants that grow successfully have in their community "failures". This is natural, and not negative or wrong.
Perfection is only an illusion, sponsored and paid for.
Success is aligning your needs with the natural providence which is our free birthright.
Living without much money, I understand how frustrating it is to loss food crops. I could go on and on about all the food lost to bugs and mistakes. But now, after many years gardening, it is plain to me that my role here is to "go with the flow".
An all or nothing mentality is erroneous as compromise is the natural solution. We can't have everything, know this on the outset, all accomplishment must be steps. Don’t put a blind eye to the limitations they only indicate where you will have to work at improving. It is natural, until you are experienced, you will experience some debilitation. At first this can make you uncomfortable or unsure of yourself, but gladly submit, these are the first steps to freedom.
This is gardening. You have worked so hard, just because the little critters have claimed you food doesn't mean you didn't grow it well. This is an extremely tough situation you are in, with the summers weather. Some years will be tougher than others, and each year the yields from each crop will be different. Success comes from unseen places, know you did your best, and let it go. The experience is valuable, and each "loss" can be replaced by a "win" if we allow that win to come the unseen too. For example maybe squash will be really cheap at the farmer's market and you will be helping a poor person by purchasing them from her. You are doing such a great job, this is the nature of the beast, don't let it get you down. Peace for all
August 19, 2009
Five Minutes a Day for Fresh-Baked Bread
Discover this ridiculously easy — and cheap! — technique that revolutionizes home baking.
The Secret: Keep Dough Refrigerated. It is easy to have fresh bread whenever you want it with only five minutes a day of active effort. Just mix the dough and let it sit for two hours. No kneading needed! Then shape and bake a loaf, and refrigerate the rest to use over the next couple weeks. Yes, weeks! The Master Recipe (below) makes enough dough for many loaves. When you want fresh-baked crusty bread, take some dough, shape it into a loaf, let it rise for about 20 minutes, then bake. Your house will smell like a bakery, and your family and friends will love you for it."
Read much more at the site http://www.motherearthnews.com/print-article.aspx?id=142688
many recipes are included.
August 18, 2009
mmmmm i can smell it from here! i haven't had a tomato yet, despite planting over 20 heirlooms - we keep tiny tims and yellow pear tomatoes in the windows over winter and they produce much, much more than you would assume - tomatoes are perennials you know - but we can't wait for the big succulent ones you can only get in summmer - i just love watching your kitchen (go see for yourself)- peace for all
August 19, 2009 1:47 AM
August 17, 2009
I quit canning after the third year. I never seemed to get ahead with the work needed and the losses that just "naturally" occur. Canning uses a lot of energy to cook and sterilize. It really reduces the nutrient value of what you are trying to save.
I freeze everything. Lord help us if the power goes out, but a generator is the next item on the self-sufficiency list. I pickle cukes and hot peppers because they are a no brainer and well worth the effort. Vegetables like beans I saute in butter before freezing. Tomatoes, bananas and ginger can be frozen whole. To use the tomatoes thaw them in a strainer, just lovely. I make up salsa with cilantro, onions, lime, hot peppers and tomatoes and freeze it in small bags too (i strain it before freezing). The ginger gets grated as needed. I freeze berries whole and use them for desserts or smoothies through the winter. If I do want some jam I make a small batch in the winter, when the house needs to be heated, and we enjoy it until its gone.
Don't give up, it all works as education for next year. You are way ahead of the learning curve even if you don't realize it yet.
Peace for all.
August 13, 2009
August 10, 2009
Why not give it a go? Your plants will receive more essential growing energy & will be more resistant to harmful bacteria & funghi. You will enjoy the satisfaction of being kind to the environment.