Oct 232011
 

After watching this video, your pumpkin carving will take on a whole new life.

But first you have to get a pumpkin. Here’s few varieties:

A whole pile of pumpkins, gourds and squash

Can you count these? A lot!

 

Here’s a picture of my squash climbing up the back porch steps:

Wandering Squash

Heading up the steps and into the kitchen for some serious carving

Pumpkins are in the Gourd family, which includes summer squash, ornamental gourds and many kinds of pumpkins. They need sun and plenty of room to grow.  Give them good fertile soil.  They need regular water to grow well, but try to keep the foliage dry to prevent leaf disease. Pumpkins are ready to harvest 90 – 120 days after sowing, when the shell has hardened.

One of the best for jumbo Halloween pumpkins is  ‘Atlantic Giant”. Orange Smoothie is smooth skinned , making it easy to decorate with paint.

If you haven’t grown your own, go out and find one that has a great shape and looks healthy and firm.  That will help it last longer. Get the right tools for carving.  The right tool always makes the work easier.

 

Watch the video and have fun with your carving.

Sep 152011
 
Heirloom tomatoes

Amazing Heirloom tomatoes at the Expo in Santa Rosa

On Tuesday, September13, I went to the Heirloom Exposition in Santa Rosa, California. It was truly amazing.  There were many vendors from seed companies, tool companies, produce, nurseries, irrigation, master gardeners, farms, gardens, restaurants. And everyone there was interested in healthy, organic food.  The ripple of movement towards healthy food is becoming a tidal wave.

The keynote speakers were Jeffrey Smith from the Institute of Responsible Technology, talking about genetically  modified foods and the dangers they pose to human health and the environment, Alice Waters, the pioneer of the local food movement and the Edible School  Yard, and Dr. Vandana Shiva from India, who founded the movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources, especially native seeds.

Heirloom gourds

A mountain of gourds at the Expo defies description

Seed Savers Exchange defines heirloom seeds and plants as follows:

The genetic diversity of the world’s food crops is eroding at an unprecedented and accelerating rate. The vegetables and fruits currently being lost are the result of thousands of years of adaptation and selection in diverse ecological niches around the world. Each variety is genetically unique and has developed resistance to the diseases and pests with which it evolved. Plant breeders use the old varieties to breed resistance into modern crops that are constantly being attacked by rapidly evolving diseases and pests. Without these infusions of genetic diversity, food production is at risk from epidemics and infestations.

This is just the tip of the heirloom iceberg. How we grow plants, what we grow, how we take seed, how we harvest, sell and preserve this food is all part of the big picture of growing healthy, safe food, that is good for all living beings and good for the earth.

The simple act of planting food in your own home garden is an important step you can take to make a difference in your lives and your children’s lives. Choosing what to plant and how we take care of our gardens is up to each one of us.

Over the next few days I’ll be telling you about the wonderful seed companies, tool companies and more that I found there.  Just know, that you’re on the cutting edge.

Herbs in box

Herbs in box

Even a small wooden planter box can supply you with healthy, delicious herbs for the season. Start small and keep on going.

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