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Grow Your Own Food

This category covers a wide range of topics focused around the benefits you will see when you learn to grow your own food. Benefits like self-sufficiency, health, cost savings, flavor, and fun!!

Explore this category for:

detailed how-to’s on planting, growing and harvesting;
distinguishing the flavors and colors of different vegetable varieties;
freezing, drying and cooking with your homegrown produce.
Growing Vegetables:

No garden? Even urban dwellers can grow tasty tomatoes and many vegetables if they have access to a community garden or a large pot that will fit on a patio or balcony.

If you can’t grow your own produce, knowing the differences in taste, color and use of the huge range of specific vegetable varieties is helpful when making decisions at the farmers’ markets or grocery store.

Starting Tomato & Peppers Indoors – LED vs Fluorescent Lights

There are very scientific, detailed studies available regarding indoor seed starting with LED lights. This post is a summary of my experience using both LED and fluorescent lights as grow lights for starting tomato and pepper seeds indoors.  5 Tips to Consider when Comparing LED Shoplights to Fluorescent Shoplights  I am going to summarize the …

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Preserving Tomatoes as Dehydrated Tomato Powder

There is no comparison between the sad tasteless grocery store tomatoes of winter and the fresh summer tomatoes which are packed with umami, a bit of sweetness and a touch of acid. There is an option however for that fresh tomato taste in winter. Dehydrating mid-summer tomatoes in their peak and then grinding them to …

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Preserving Fresh Herbs as Herbal Infused Salts (includes DIY video)

Summer offers an abundance and variety of fresh herbs that are not readily available in the Winter. There are many ways to preserve fresh herbs for year-round cooking, and making herbal salts is one of the easiest preservation methods. A step-by-step video is included in the recipe card. How to Use Herbal Infused Salts It …

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Preserving Fresh Herbs as Herbal Compound Butters

Dried herbs can’t compete with fresh herbs when it comes to cooking with flavor. If you have a garden, a nearby farmers market, or a good grocery store, preserving fresh herbs as herbal compound butters is my favorite way to ensure fresh flavor year-round. It’s very easy, you can create wonderful blends, and they’ll last …

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Heirloom Tomato Crostata or Galette with Herb Cheese

An heirloom tomato crostata (aka glaette) is a beautiful, savory way to enjoy the waning days of Summer. The crust is an easy biscuit dough, but if you want truly quick and easy, pick up some store-bought pastry dough. Just be sure and use the tastiest, freshest tomatoes available, heirloom tomatoes if possible. Crostata vs …

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Kosovar Ajvar – a Red Pepper Eggplant Spread

Ajvar is a red pepper spread popular in the Balkan region.  This recipe is a particularly robust version enhanced with a Peruvian hot spice. The video that accompanies the recipe demonstrates a quick and easy way to roast and peel peppers. Author: Tesla Stainbrook What is Ajvar? Ajvar is a condiment made from red sweet …

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Growing Herbs in Containers for Cooking & Culinary Use

There are so many different uses for herbs, ranging from cooking style to healing to making craft cocktails. This post (and video) offers ideas for how to successfully combine herbs in containers around six different, fun, year-round themes. Six Great Themes – From Kitchen to Cocktails Often people will plant herbs based on what is …

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Salt & Vinegar Cucumber Chips – Baked or Dehydrated

You can make these chips in a dehydrator or in your oven set at low. They are a truly easy low carb snack which satisfies the cravings for those salty, crunchy high-carb chip options! By Dorothy Stainbrook, with video by Tesla Stainbrook. This post may contain affiliate links. See Disclosure Dehydrator vs Oven-Baked The dehydrator …

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Beginners Guide to Growing Herbs in Containers

This is a summary of the key requirements to successfully growing a variety of themed herb gardens in containers, whether on your deck, balcony or indoors. It covers which herbs to combine for Mediterranean, Mexican or Indian cuisines, for Tea Gardens, for Salad Gardens or for Cocktail Gardens. Which Herbs Grow Best Together in Same …

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Beginners Guide to Growing Strawberries at Home (with video)

Growing strawberries at home can be relatively easy if you get the 5 key requirements right. This guide will help you successfully grow long-lived berries with that old-fashioned truly sweet flavor. Start with the Right Variety In choosing the strawberry variety to plant, start with researching those that are successful in your particular zone. This …

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Best Heirloom Tomato Varieties in 2020 (with some hybrids)

Whether you want to use heirloom tomatoes for making a spaghetti sauce, a caprese salad, a tomato tartine or a simple BLT, it is important to choose the right tomato for your intended use. This roundup of heirloom tomatoes will help you decide the best variety to select at a farmers’ market or to grow …

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30-Minute Pickled Onions for Mexican Dinners

Pickled onions are a tart and slightly sweet accouterment to a wide variety of dishes (a favorite with Mexican cuisine).  The cool, pungent crunch adds a crisp breath of freshness to carnitas or fish tacos in particular. They take 30 minutes to make and keep in the refrigerator for many weeks. Pickled Onions for Mexican …

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