Cold Cellars (Thoughts from the Garden Episode 14)

You don’t need a huge space for a cold cellar. A refrigerator fits the bill just fine. Ideally you want a cold place between 33 and 40 degrees. You can keep just about anything in a cold cellar. All the methods we discussed have different uses and advantages. Use them all to keep your harvest all year round.

View Post

Dehydration (Thoughts from the Garden Episode 13)

Dehydration is one of the oldest methods of food preservation dating back thousands of years. There are endless possibilities when it comes to using a dehydrator. Some of our favorites are dried cantaloupe and strawberry rhubarb fruit leather. There are many dehydrators on the market so find the one you like best, any will do. You can also use a …

View Post

Drying, Using a Food Dehydrator (In the Garden 2018 Episode 13)

Why Drying is Effective To continue our series on Preserving the harvest let explore using a dehydrator. Drying foods is one of the oldest methods of food preservation dating back literally thousands of years.  Foods like grains and beans have long been a staple food for humankind dried to last not just one season but over many seasons.  Fruits, vegetables …

View Post

Freezing Your Harvest (In the Garden 2018 Episode 12)

Original Air Date: July 28, 2018 Why Freeze? Freezing your harvest is easy and rewarding.  I recommend it for everyone.  My own personal favorite is freezing Pesto; I make and freeze 30 – 1 cup containers for the winter from 16 plants that fill a 4×4 bed.  It is simple to make and freeze and get rewarded every week throughout …

View Post

Canning (In the Garden 2018 Episode 11)

Original Air Date: July 21, 2018 To preserve the harvest, you a have a few options. Canning, Freezing, Cold Storage, Fermentation/Pickling, and Dehydration. Let’s start with canning. What is Canning? Canning is called ‘canning because it originally was done in, you guessed it, tin cans.  Today home canning is done solely in glass jars, Mason or Ball jars.  The glass …

View Post

Fermentation and Pickling (Thoughts from the Garden Episode 12)

Fermentation and pickling are different in that fermentation is when the veggies make a brine of it’s own juices where pickling uses a brine made from vinegar. They’re similar in that they preserve using a brine to store the veggies. Sandor Katz has a great book on fermenting called Wild Fermentation. I also recommend taking a class as well as …

View Post

Freezing (Thoughts from the Garden Episode 11)

Freezing is fairly easy and rewarding. Tomatoes are ridiculously easy to freeze, for example, I wash them, put them in a gallon bag in the freezer, then remove the skin when I thaw them to prevent peeling. This is perfect for soups and sauces in the winter. Most vegetables need to be blanched before freezing so do some research on …

View Post

Canning (Thoughts from the Garden Episode 10)

Today, home canning is done almost exclusively in glass Mason or Ball jars. There are 2 ways to process canning jars and it’s extremely important to note the difference. The hot water bath method is for high-acid foods like fruit, jams, and tomatoes or vegetables with a vinegar brine like pickles or dilly beans. Low-acid vegetables like beans or corn …

Storing the Harvest (Thoughts from the Garden Episode 9)

One of the best things about gardening is having a steady supply of home-grown foods throughout the year. The objective of storing your harvest is having enough crops through the winter until next year’s crops come in. There are a number of ways to keep your crops through the winter: Canning Freezing Cold Storage Fermentation and pickling Dehydrating It’s best …

View Post

Lawn Care, Second Season, and Mulch (In the Garden 2018 Episode 10)

Original Air Date: July 7, 2018  Lawn Care There was a question last week about lawns, so I thought I would run through lawn basics.  The first thing is to test your soil.  It probably is on the acid side and needs lime but the test will answer that question.  Make sure to test a few locations.  Then over seed your lawn in the …

Seed School (In the Garden 2018 Episode 9)

Original Air Date: June 30, 2018 Seed School Today we are talking with Bill McDorman of the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance located in Ketchum, Idaho. Bill is presenting a six-day “Seed School” at Sterling College up in Craftsbury Common. This is an immersion course, August 5th through 10th. The course covers both the mechanics of seed saving and breeding as well as …

View Post

Watering The Garden (In the Garden 2018 Episode 8)

Original Air Date: June 23, 2018 Watering The Garden Over 70 to 90% of our garden plants is water.  The benefits of providing enough water to your plants regularly are not always obvious.  Your plants will certainly be more productive and stronger but also will be more resistant to pest, more resistant to diseases and absorb nutrients more consistently so …

The Trellis (Thoughts From the Garden Episode 8)

Grow Up with the Trellis The Trellis is one of my favorite garden basics. I use it for all of my cucumbers, peas, pole beans, cherry tomatoes, tomatillos, and even zucchini plants, winter squash, and watermelons. Growing up uses 1/10 of the space you use growing on the ground. This means less work weeding, fertilizing, and watering. For instance, I plant 8 cucumber plants on a 4-foot trellis. …

View Post

Using Green Manure in Your Garden (In the Garden 2018 Episode 7)

Green Manure and Cover Crops Often in the garden you have a bed that is empty after harvest.  If you don’t have anything that you plan to plant in that bed consider using a green manure crop, sometimes called a cover crop.  A cover crop was initially used to prevent erosion of open land after a harvest but in now …

View Post

How to Choose The Varieties of Garden Vegetable Plants That Are Right for Your Garden (In the Garden 2018 Episode 6)

Varieties: The Spice of Life in the Garden, An Important and Fun Tool Why are there so many varieties of some vegetables?  Different uses dictate different varieties.  If you want to make pickles, then you want to select a pickling cucumber variety. Take Tomatoes for instance, the nation’s favorite vegetable, (which is actualy a fruit!), has so many varieties that …

Grid Planting (Thoughts From the Garden Episode 7)

Grid Planting vs. Row Planting Rather than planting in a row, plant your seeds in a 1 square foot block. For instance, radishes are planted 3 inches apart in rows, so in a square foot block, they’re 3 inches apart in both directions, giving you 16 plants in one block. Grid planting saves you a lot of space, saving you …

Perfect Soil (Thoughts From the Garden Episode 6)

Make Your Own Perfect Soil Rather than dig up soil trying to improve it, I start with 6 inches of perfect soil on top of the bed. It’s just like the soil you see in greenhouses to start plants or in potted flowers. It’s a perfect mix for starting plants of 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite, and 1/3 compost. Use …

Garden Fortress (In the Garden 2018 Episode 5)

Original Air Date: June 2, 2018 Garden Fortress: Beasts, Bugs, Blights, Oh My!  Weeds, Hot Days, Cold Nights, Wind, Hail, Yikes! There are so many elements that can in some way spoil your hard work in the garden.  There are beasts, bugs, blights, viruses, bacteria, weeds, soil imbalances and fertilizer needs. You need a sort of garden fortress to protect …

Permanent Pathways (Thoughts From the Garden Episode 5)

Permanent Pathways and Permanent Beds: A Power Couple The second part of garden basics goes hand-in-hand with permanent beds. Mulching the paths between beds saves lots of time spent weeding. I extend the path 2 feet on all sides from the garden. This keeps any grass from creeping in. I recommend using a landscape cloth covered with cedar bark. Both are available from our …

Permanent Beds (Thoughts From the Garden Episode 4)

Why Permanent Beds are Better Than Rows for Gardens The first part of garden basics is the permanent beds. I like raised beds made out of wood frames, boxes about 6 inches deep. The best part about raised beds as opposed to rows is that you will never need to rototill or dig the garden again. The prime tool for hand preparation …

Soil Preparation for Planting (In the Garden 2018 Episode 4)

Planting Seeds and Sets in the Garden Original Air Date: May 19, 2018 Last week we went into more details about Planning the Garden. This week let’s talk about what to do with those seeds and sets you grew or bought and soil preparation. But let me remind folks that the podcast is available anytime online, but also the write …

More on Planning Your Garden (In the Garden 2018 Episode 3)

Original Air Date: May 12, 2018 As Requested, More Detail on Planning Your Garden Last week we talked about planning your garden with a Garden Notebook and a Garden Map.  I had a number of requests for more detail about planning so I’m going to detail how I start the process.  This is just how I do it, and I …

The Garden Plan, Pt. 2 (Thoughts From the Garden Episode 3)

The Garden Plan, Continued with the Garden Map So now that you have your list with quantities, you are ready to draw out your garden plan. Take a pencil and paper and make what I call a garden map. For example, I have about 50 4-by-4-foot beds. I like to store carrots so I plant 2 beds of that and I mark it …

The Garden Plan, Pt. 1 (Thoughts From the Garden Episode 2)

Why Have a Garden Plan? The Garden Plan is a very important tool for gardening and should never be skipped. To determine what to grow, I suggest start with your grocery list. What do you already buy? From that grocery list, make your garden list and see what you could feasibly grow at home. You can skip tree fruits like …

The Garden Notebook (In the Garden 2018 Episode 2)

Original Air Date: May 5, 2018 The Garden Notebook is Important as a Rake and a Hoe One of the most important tools for a gardener is a garden notebook. Yeah, I know, it doesn’t sound like much of a ‘tool’ but it is as much a necessity as a rake and a hoe.  Since we are now eyeballing the …

Garden Basics (Thoughts From the Garden Episode 1)

Every week we’ll be releasing a bonus feature on Wednesdays with useful garden tips. This week is about garden basics. My Garden Basics Philosophy Gardening isn’t farming. It’s entirely different. My two goals of gardening are:  Have a continuous harvest of fresh veggies  Keep us in veggies all winter long  To do this, I follow the gardening basics. The gardening …

Early Season Prep (In the Garden 2018 Episode 1)

Original Air Date: April 28, 2018 Early Season Chores If you still have snow on your garden you can lay out a sheet of black plastic to melt the snow or scatter ashes from the wood stoves to hurry things along. Other early season chores: Empty the compost bins by adding about a 5 gallon bucket to each 4’ x …