Saturday, April 18, 2009

Seed to Table

Instead of growing more and more of our own food, my hubby and I seem to be growing less and less. Partly because so much of it ends up in the bellies of the rabbits and groundhogs that get past any fencing we devise and partly because although our heads and hearts are green, our thumbs have not caught up. But this year we are determined to improve our output and get more home grown goodies to our own table.

We are hoping to get at least some of the the seeds into the ground this weekend. I am also planting a large cutting garden of zinnias. Having flowers to bring in each night with the veggies will make the effort more worthwhile for me.

When we can't grow our own it is often worth it to buy organic especially if the foods you eat most often are ones that tend to be the most heavily treated. More pesticides are found on apples than any other fruit (36!) - if you can't find organic- rinse them well, peel them and look for little produce stickers that saw New Zealand (they use about half as many pesticides as the United States).

You should also choose organic grapes, because grapes ripen quickly and tend to mold, growers hit them with multiple applications of various chemicals. The worst are Chilean grapes which are treated with as many as 17 chemicals (90% of the grapes eaten in the U.S. this time of year are Chilean). The key is always a very thorough rinse in cool or warm water.

You should even rinse your cantaloupes before cutting since your knife can drag exterior residues through the fruit as you cut it and cantaloupes often contain five of the longest-lasting chemicals including one banned in 1974 that still persists in soils and is taken up by the fruit. When you can - choose local and 100% organic.

Here's a few "organically" grown Etsy beauties:

1. Xenotees - Good Luck Fork T-Shirt
2. afiori - 4 Mini Pictures Il Giardino Segreto
3. SpoonerZ - Fork Top Family Necklace
4. Kootsac - Reusable Food Bags
5. BCStoneDesign - Mushroom Planter
6. CustomEyes - Vintage Egg Beater
7. BovineBubbles - Assorted Jams and Jellies


Botanical Bird said...

Happy planting!! I, too am starting to do some gardening here in Portland, love diggin in the dirt!! Also I am totally in love with my new Dilkabear locket that you made...thank you!

Valerie said...

I'd love to grow more food as well ourselves---but alas, large pine trees and lots of deer make that pretty much impossible. One can always go to local farmers markets though!

Love the organic picks. Very lovely choices.

Sherry said...

Oh, I think you've sent the bunnies to South Jersey. This year we are planting lettuce in wine barrels instead of raised beds. It's worth a try.

Zinnias are my "go to" flower, too. I just love how staight the stalks always are, and "cut and come again" are my favorites.

jenny-red yellow and blue ink said...

Great info on the purchasing and washing of fruits and veggies.
we have gophers-they are little monsters, sometimes going up, over and around the cages we put in-it can get crazy. They get a lot-but not all, we just have to keep at it.