Posts Tagged ‘How-to’

USA Science and Engineering Festival

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014
Recently, the Nutrients for Life Foundation participated in the third annual USA Science and Engineering Festival (USASEF).The event has taken place in Washington, D.C. for the past 4 years and is the largest science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) event in the United States. (more…)

Nutrients in the Garden 16: Weeding the Garden

Monday, June 2nd, 2014
“Moooooom, your garden is weedy!” said a bossy little five-year old. She is good at pointing out the obvious. After some much needed rain and sunshine, the garden is bursting with green, most of it weeds. (more…)

Nutrients in the Garden 15: Thinning Small Seeded Vegetables

Saturday, May 24th, 2014
I am a bit frustrated in the garden. I don’t even want to show you these pictures.  Can you see this row? It’s supposed to be a row of broccoli and it’s actually a pile of broccoli sprouts. Not sure what I am going to do here, I am considering putting my cucumbers there since we failed at getting a good stand. There are several other rows of seeds that did not come up and they should have by now. I think we may have covered the seeds too deeply. I do have a good stand of peas, lettuce and radishes. Tonight we thinned all three. Thinning is the process of removing seedlings from the row. I don’t like to be crowded and neither do seedlings. If plants are overcrowded, they fight for nutrients and water producing a smaller weaker plant. With a small amount of space to garden we need to use water, soil and nutrients as efficiently as possible. When sowing seeds, we often over seed. This helps ensure we have a good population rate or a good stand of seedlings. When two seedlings are too close to each other, I simply pull the smaller, weaker seedling. It seems a bit of a waste but it is a common garden practice. In a perfect garden (aren’t we all striving for perfection), the plants grow in nice straight lines and each plant is evenly spaced according to the spacing requirement for each vegetable. Thinning helps the gardener obtain this goal. Farmers are much better at this. Over time equipment has allowed farmers to plant with proper depth and spacing, eliminating the need for hand thinning. Can you imagine hand thinning one acre of lettuce? Thanks goodness farming has evolved and we all don’t have to rely on humans to do…

Nutrients in the Garden 13: 5 Steps To Directly Sow Seeds

Friday, May 9th, 2014
Between soccer games, track practice, birthday parties, and life we finally started planting the garden. The girls were as excited as I was to be digging and planting. We had limited time before the sun set, so I handed the camera to twelve year old and started sowing. (more…)

Nutrients in the Garden 12: How To Read A Fertilizer Label

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014
As promised, this week we are looking at fertilizer labels. When you walk into the garden center you will see there are lots of different choices. Below, I show different samples of fertilizers. I am not promoting one or the other; I use a variety of different fertilizers for different purposes. (more…)

Nutrients in the Garden 11: Why Fertilize?

Thursday, April 17th, 2014
Snow and rain have me talking about gardening rather than actually gardening. I’m not complaining. We need the moisture and it gives me the opportunity to help a few friends by planting seeds of inspiration for their first garden. (more…)

Nutrients in the Garden 6: Get Acquainted With Your Soil

Monday, March 10th, 2014
There is a Chinese proverb that says, “He who plants a garden plants happiness.” I could not agree more. If you have been following the blog from the beginning of this series, you are four steps closer to planting happiness. You have decided why you want to garden, you know where to put your garden, you know what you want to plant, and you have a map of your plan!   Now, we talk about the most important ingredient to your gardening success: soil! Side note: I prefer not to call it dirt. Dirt is the stuff I tell my kids to wipe off their feet before coming into the house. Soil is where our food comes from. Without soil, we are naked and hungry. Soil is cultivated by hard working farmers that keep us fed and clothed. It is critical to our mortality; out of respect for this precious resource, I prefer to call it soil. This is where you want to get it right! With the wrong soil, your garden will struggle and you might consider throwing in the trowel and giving up. Simply put, poor soil = poor garden. We can prevent this by doing our homework now, while it’s still too cold to garden. There are over 70,000 types of soil and they are not all created equally; some soils are more plant friendly than others. Soils can have too much clay, be too sandy, too compacted, too acidic... the list goes on, but don’t worry, soil can be improved! Keep in mind that if you are dealing with a dire soil situation, sometimes it is easier to garden in pots or a raised bed, because you have total control over the type of soil you use. If you choose to garden the traditional way, cultivating a spot in…

Nutrients in the Garden 5: Map It Out

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
Planting a vegetable garden, I am good at. Planning said vegetable garden, I am not good at. Writing this blog has been a bit agonizing as it forces me to sit down and make a plan, rather than winging it, which I am really good at. (more…)

Garden Recipe: Pumpkin Puree

Monday, January 13th, 2014
Yes, those are pie pumpkins around Christmas decorations. Embarrassing as it may be, I thought that I would have used them before now. I should have made pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but we traveled for both holidays and I didn't have to do any baking. The pumpkins just sat and waited... Now that the holidays are over and we have settled back into our routine, I have made the pumpkins a priority! Frankly, I am surprised they did not rot! Making pumpkin puree is simple and straightforward. We are accustomed to the convenience of the grocery store, but I don't think we realize how easy food preservation can be. I’m not saying that I make everything from scratch but when I do, I feel a sense of satisfaction and pride. Better late than never; I first washed all seven pumpkins in the sink (they had a dusting of Christmas glitter on them). These left over pumpkins happen to be pie pumpkins, but you can make puree with all types of pumpkins, although different varieties have a different texture and water content. Next, I cut the tops off and removed the “guts.” I saved the seeds to roast and the rest of the pulp went into the compost. I cut each pumpkin into four to eight pieces. I put the pieces on baking pans, pulp up or down. Some people have a strong opinion on which way is better; I don’t think it makes much of a difference. You can form your own opinion when you make your own puree. Bake them in the oven at 350 degrees for forty-five minutes or until the pulp is soft. Remove from the oven and peel the rind from the pulp. I started with a knife, but then realized it wasn't necessary…

My Garden Resolutions

Monday, January 6th, 2014
Whew, the Christmas season is exhausting! The tree is still up, suitcases sit full of dirty laundry, and new toys are strewn from one end of the house to the other. (more…)

Garden Spotlight: Sue Meggers & Hannah Ludwig

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013
Sue Meggers has gardened for many reasons over the course of her life.  When she was young, she gardened because her grandparents did.   (more…)