Posts Tagged ‘Vegetables’

FFA Friday: Florida

Friday, September 5th, 2014
Happy FFA Friday! Florida had sixteen participating chapters in the Helping Communities Grow Program this year. Congratulations to the top three chapters, Lincoln Middle FFA, Fort White FFA, and Hamilton County FFA. The Lincoln Middle FFA took top honors for a project addressing the issues in food availability, quality, and stability. The chapter gave presentations to the community about growing fresh produce in small spaces and the importance of fertilizer. Fort White FFA won second place for educational presentations about the importance of plant nutrients in the production of food in their very own back yard. The chapter was able to donate 590 pounds of mustard greens to two charities, serving over 190 families. Hamilton County FFA took third place for research on different aquatic plants and the plants ability to removed nutrients and improve water quality. They learned that nutrients the aquatic plants drew in from the water made the plants grow quickly and also cleaned the water. Congratulations to all of the Florida chapters that participated! The Nutrients for Life Foundation program in Florida is supported by the program’s founding sponsor Agrium Inc. FFA chapters, remember to complete step 1, by November 14, 2014, to participate in the 2014-2015 program! Details can be found at https://www.nutrientsforlife.org/helpingcommunitiesgrow.

FFA Friday: At Large

Friday, August 15th, 2014
It’s FFA Friday! Today we are highlighting the top chapters from the At Large category. The Helping Communities Grow program’s at large category had eleven participating FFA chapters this year. Congratulations to the top three chapters, Canby FFA, Troy FFA, and Corinth Holders FFA. (more…)

10 Reasons to Visit Your Farmers Market

Friday, July 18th, 2014
While I wait for my garden to mature, I support my local farmers market and road side stands. I have always been grateful for farmers markets. They have given me fresh produce when I didn’t have the time and space to plant my own garden. During my youth, the farmers market was a source of income (and entertainment) for my family. (more…)

Nutrients in the Garden 19: Garden Maintenance

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014
We are in the dog days of summer and there isn't a lot to report in the garden. The hail set us back so while others are harvesting, we are waiting and watching for everything to grow, bloom and produce.  As we wait; we water, weed and fertilize. (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 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 8: Soil for Container Gardening

Thursday, March 27th, 2014
While working on our advanced degrees, my husband and I lived in a tiny apartment with an even tinier balcony. We were living off student loans and trying to make the most of it. (more…)

School Garden Spotlight: Tony Jensen

Monday, March 24th, 2014
Mr. Jensen, agriculture teacher in Nebraska, has always spent a lot of time outside.  From landscaping with his wife to activities like hiking and camping, he knows the value of getting some fresh air.  Now, with the creation of a growing dome, his students are able to connect with nature while at school!  The garden is almost a year old and has already had two successful seasons of growing vegetables.  Below, Mr. Jensen shares the challenges and opportunities of creating a school garden. Name: Tony Jensen School: Freeman Public School County, State: Gage County, Nebraska Grade, Class: 7-12th Grade Agriculture   Tell us about your background with soil science, nutrients, and gardening. I have always enjoyed being outdoors doing activities like fishing, hiking, and camping.  My wife has a horticulture background so our family spends a lot of time in the garden and working on landscaping around our home and community. Why did you decide to start a school garden? We constructed a growing dome greenhouse in May 2013 and are using the raised beds inside the growing dome to grow vegetables year-round.  We then donate our harvests to local food banks and pantries to provide for our neighbors in need. To me, there are many teachable moments that come from this facility.  We can teach about crop production, soil science, renewable energy, healthy eating, food safety, and service to others through hands-on activities. What were the first steps in making the growing dome a reality?  We researched a feasible option for a greenhouse structure that would meet the needs of our school, we set goals for our project, and then began raising funds for the structure. What did you grow and how did you choose that plant?  The first year, we decided to experiment with a variety of different vegetables to…

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…)

Nutrients in the Garden 4: What to Grow

Thursday, February 27th, 2014
If you read Tuesday's post, you know there are three important decisions to make before you get started with your garden.  We covered location and type/container, so now on to the really fun part, deciding what to grow!  (more…)

Nutrients in the Garden 3: Decision Making

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014
Now that you have decided why you want a garden, let’s talk about how to get started.  A gardener never stops learning and though it’s easy to become overwhelmed in the beginning, we all have to start somewhere.  Don’t worry about failing at this point; the biggest mistake you will make is NOT starting!  (more…)