tomatoes

Preparing Your Harvest Can Be as Simple as Growing It

Preparing Your Harvest Can Be as Simple as Growing It 560 315 Eco Garden Systems

Who doesn’t want to eat better? We all have that nagging desire to exercise more and to add healthy choices to our diets. Every once in a while you hear people say it is too expensive to eat healthy. It can be expensive and choices are limited of where to buy fresh produce and not fork out a lot of money for it.  Farmers markets probably have the best choices when it comes to produce straight from the farm, but they can be pricey and in smaller towns can only appear on weekends. Supermarkets offer a wide variety but you have no idea where or how it was grown and now you have money into something that can potentially make you sick. If eating better is what you desire you definitely want to have complete control on what you are consuming. Farmers Market Supermarket One way to do that is to start your own garden. There are many different choices in gardening methods to get you started. One of the easiest is a raised garden bed that you fill with soil and plant. This type of garden will help you start as a beginner without a whole lot of work. Many of the raised garden beds out there come in different sizes that will fit wherever you may live. Self-watering features are a benefit because they can eliminate confusions over watering. One of the biggest mistakes in a garden is too much water or too little. Research your options and decide what works best for you. Considering how much time and effort you want to commit will help you in the long run maintain and keep a garden. Raised Garden Bed Whether you purchase or grow your own vegetables there is still the desire to prepare vegetables in different ways…

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Two Sweet Petunias: Day 32

Two Sweet Petunias: Day 32 1024 768 Eco Garden Systems

Day 32: Getting Cozy I talked before about the plants getting “cozy” with each other. This week it’s like venturing into the jungle! Everyone is growing like mad, but despite the close quarters, all are healthy and seemingly happy. We harvested our first meal this week as well! A small (snack-sized) amount of broccoli, and from the herb garden some Romaine lettuce, sweet and red basil, dill and parsley. The dill will be great on fish and “dirty cabbage” (basically cooked cabbage with whatever I feel like putting with it), and the parsley is just going to garnish everything I eat (except maybe my oatmeal). I have yet to figure out what to do with all the basil though. I’ll probably “phone a friend” on this one…stay tuned! Day 32: Getting Cozy originally posted on Two Sweet Petunias, June 20, 2018. Follow along with Two Sweet Petunias this summer as they chronicle their family’s journey in year one of their Eco Garden.

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Two Sweet Petunias: Day 25

Two Sweet Petunias: Day 25 1000 1000 Eco Garden Systems

Day 25: Tendrils & Tenacity One of the most amazing aspects of the garden is how it is simultaneously hearty and delicate. Let me elaborate. First, let’s talk about two aspect of heartiness: space and resources. The actual footprint of the garden is 4 feet by 6 feet, and we have no less than 20 different species of fruits and vegetables living not only harmoniously but thriving in this “cozy” environment. Additionally, because of all the rain we’ve had in Minneosta of late, we haven’t watered the garden once in the last week. And still, it thrives. This is thanks to the advanced air gap technology which keeps enough water accessible in the reservoir for the plants to drink all they need when they need it, without it seeping too deep down through rocky or sandy soil. The wonders of modern technology — or rather modern technology applied to the ways of yore. We should coin something here…”retro techno” gardening? I offer the following Day 16 (left) versus Day 25 (right) comparison below for proof of this heartiness. Ok, now let’s talk about the delicacy. And I’m talking about more the how delicious these vegetables will be once we harvest them. It’s simply awe-inspiring to think about the lifecycle each plant goes through to produce its…well, produce its produce! Each of the little flowers on the plant will eventually become a tasty fruit or vegetable, but the process from germination to proliferation through growth to maturation is so much more. These little plants have journeys of their own, and are so much more than what stocks our refrigerator produce bins and fresh produce aisles at the grocery store. Excuse the blatant anthropomorphism here. Sorry / not sorry. Every aspect of the plant has a purpose. The roots deliver nourishment to the…

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Two Sweet Petunias: Day 16

Two Sweet Petunias: Day 16 1170 878 Eco Garden Systems

Day 16: Growing Gains We have REAL SPROUTS! I would never get this excited about two of the smallest broccoli spears I’ve ever seen if I were examining them at the local farmers market or grocery store, but in our own garden…well it’s a downright cause for celebration — and another post! The gift of rain provided by Mother Nature herself last week was well received by our little garden. With the balancing of water reservoir and the overflow hose no flooding occurred and all the roots are holding firm in the soil! There are numerous tomatoes and lots of flowers on our four plants. In fact I placed tomato cages over them to support their skywards stretch! Beans are ready to blossom, as lots of little flower pods are visible at the top of our bean plants. And oh my the squash plants, pumpkin, cantaloupe and watermelon have more than doubled their size in two weeks! We purposefully planted these little gems on the outer borders of our garden so we can train the vines over the edges and out into the yard. We’ll see how that goes! Somehow I’m guessing the plants will be in charge and let their preferences be known. And that is how it is between a garden and her sweet petunia gals. We try things we think are best and the plants let us know if they are happy. Either they grow or we adjust. A little (or rather a lot) like life itself and our passage through it! I’m trying to be a good listener! Day 16: Growing Gains originally posted on Two Sweet Petunias, June 4, 2018. Follow along with Two Sweet Petunias this summer as they chronicle their family’s journey in year one of their Eco Garden.

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The Difference Between Tomato Varieties

The Difference Between Tomato Varieties 560 315 Eco Garden Systems

Why so many tomato varieties? Tomatoes are either highly praised as wonderful or highly disliked as disgusting. I think of the children’s book “I Will Never Not Ever Eat A Tomato” written by Lauren Child which covers not only a child’s distaste for tomatoes but other vegetables as well. (Carrots? really?) Cherry tomato    Indeterminate One thing is for sure, if you can include any of the many tomato varieties in your daily diet you have half the battle of the tomato won. I say this because I have two children who just can’t stomach a tomato. (Probably should have read them the book more often.) I have always had tomatoes at just about every meal whether it was in salads or sauces. “Why on earth don’t they like them?” Growing up with an older generation father, it was known in our house that nothing beats a sliced tomato with pepper on it, which was one of my dad’s favorite! When I was sick as a child, my mother would offer a sliced tomato with mayo, which became my go to sick food. This was not only comfort food for me but also helped nurture my love for all tomatoes. With that love came the desire to try different tomato varieties. There are so many tomato varieties out there now it is overwhelming on how to decide which one is best for your garden location to which one is best for your taste buds. Tomatoes are classified under two categories that indicate their growth pattern: Indeterminate and determinate. From these two categories, is where you get the heirloom, hybrid and dwarf tomato varieties.   Indeterminate is really the most popular of the tomato varieties because they can produce up till the first frost in the fall. This type of tomato plant eliminates…

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