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Organic Vegetable Gardening for Beginners: Planning

  1. February 2008 Update
  2. Elisabeth C. Miller Library: Horticulture Book Reviews
  3. Gardening Answers Knowledgebase
  4. January 2008 Update

Mayr Health Center we know that in order for the body to be healthy, it needs to have an acid-alkaline balance. How do we know this? The pH range is numbered from 1 to The higher the pH number, the more alkaline the substance; 7 is considered neutral. Numbers below that are in the acid range; the lower the number, the higher the acidity. Although 7 is the neutral reading, for optimal health you should be slightly alkaline — ideally around 7. This is to counter the increase in acidity that comes with ageing and diet. Test yourself on a daily basis at home every morning shortly after you wake up and before eating anything.

After two weeks of the cure you will notice a marked improvement. You should still test yourself every day to track changes. If you would like to purchase test strips you can order these online from Micro Essential Inc. Encourages Weight Loss You will lose weight — or, more importantly, achieve your natural body weight or body mass index BMI.

Strictly speaking, the alkaline cure is not a slimming diet. It often helps weight loss because many of us are overweight, but the aim is a healthier you, a better functioning you, a more capable you. Your clearer digestive system and efficient metabolism will lead to weight loss as you eliminate the toxic load you have been carrying.

February 2008 Update

Your renewed energy levels will also motivate you to exercise more so you will become fitter. Improves Mood and Brain Function Your mood will improve and you will start to feel more positive and less stressed. In , Rudolph Wiley PhD , conducted a study in which he postulated that acid imbalance is often a major, and sometimes sole cause of disorders routinely classified as psychological, stress-related, psychosomatic or psychogenic. His study found that an alkaline diet reduced and eliminated the symptom severity in more than 85 per cent of participants. A broader choice of properly digested food should reduce peaks and troughs in the availability of amino acids and vitamins.

Without vitamins such as B6 from fresh herbs, nuts, legumes, fish , you are likely to experience mood swings and sleeping troubles. The cure also encourages a favourable work-life balance, taking gentle exercise, and the avoidance of alcohol, caffeine and processed food. In addition to alleviating physical and mental stress, the alkaline cure can help support brain function because it encourages you to eat a diverse range of vitamin- and mineral-rich foods. The pH of your saliva is affected by what you have eaten or drunk recently.

Spit some saliva onto a spoon and dip the litmus paper in the liquid, then compare the resulting colour with a pH colour chart. The pH of your urine is affected by how much water you have consumed and the amount of acid-forming foods you have eaten. For this reason, it is best to test urine first thing in the morning.

Pass a small amount of urine into a cup and dip the litmus paper briefly into the liquid. Compare the result with a pH colour chart. Reduces Bloating and Constipation You will be able to move your bowels regularly and in comfort because you are working with your body, not against it. One very positive sign of good health is passing clear urine and soft faeces. Constipation is bad for you as it stresses your system. An alkaline diet is better than any laxative. If you eat well, you will have a bowel movement every morning. If you drink enough, your stools will be softer.

The above pH chart illustrates the colour range between very acidic and very alkaline results. It will take longer for the alkalising effect of the cure to reach your urine, so you can generally expect a higher alkaline reading from your saliva. However, testing your urine will give you a more accurate reading as it is a better indicator of how well your kidneys are eliminating acid. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions, and do not put the paper in direct contact with your body.

Organised by season, The Alkaline Cookbook suggests meals for every time of day: energising breakfasts, delicious salads and soups, side dishes, satisfying main courses and sumptuous desserts. Dr Stephan Domenig is fully trained in Mayr theory with certifications in orthomolecular medicine, applied kinesiology, chronobiology and chiropractics.

A clean, lean and delicious menu of over 75 smoothies, fresh juices and satisfying drinks. It is a practical guide to packing light and eating well for everyone from weekend campers to experienced hikers. Don co-founded Footloose, an outdoor activies magazine. Between them, they have written over 55 books on food, drink and travel.

Trail mixes are essential supplies on the trail to keep energy levels high, especially if you are walking over rough terrain and carrying a heavy pack, and trail mixes of nuts, raisins and dried fruits provide a quick energy boost. Energy bars are also important both as carb-loaders and morale boosters. Drinks are equally crucial to keep the body well hydrated, and refuelled with nutrients. If it is chilly, they provide warmth and there is no better feeling than sitting around a campfire under the stars, having enjoyed a great dinner, with a warm drink in your hand.

Floridian lamb kabobs Delicious lamb kabobs are great for a party. We call this Floridian lamb because, while you will rarely see sheep in the Sunshine State, we do have a lot of orange trees. Make up the marinade the day before, add the lamb and by the time you come to grill it, all the flavors will be absorbed. Follow with Just peachy, a subtle, rum-infused dessert.

At home: Rub the ground coriander into the cubed meat. In a large bowl, mix the meat with the orange juice, liqueur and pepper. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator overnight. Before leaving home, transfer the meat and marinade into a large plastic container. Keep cool. Serve in pretty glasses or bowls. At camp: Fire up the grill to a medium heat.

Put out two bowls, one for the meat and the other for the orange slices. Pour the marinade into a small pan, bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, until it has reduced to a sticky orange sauce. Set aside. Take a skewer and thread a piece of lamb, then a slice of orange and repeat until the skewer is full. Repeat with the other skewers. Place the skewers on the grill and cook to your liking. Remove the meat and orange slices from the skewers, arrange on plates and drizzle with the sauce. Serve with Scalloped potatoes p. Beauty Detox Plan provides you with all you need to cleanse your body inside and out, boost your immune system, and give you a glowing complexion, with superfood diet plans and natural treatments for face and body.

It includes a 3-Day liver detox and stop-smoking detox, as well as 24 hour, 3-Day and 7-Day total cleanses. Beauty boosting plans Skin is your largest organ both by weight and surface area and usually the first place that illnesses or symptoms show. For example, if your hair is dry and splitting, it usually means that you need more essential fatty acids and oils in your diet eating salmon is an excellent means of obtaining these.

Your skin offers very useful insight into the state of your health. Do you have spots along your jaw line? Concentrate on lowering your stress levels, and drink warm water with lemon juice first thing every morning. Including walnuts in your diet can also increase blood flow to the head and. For: dry, cracked lips If you suffer from sore lips, particularly in the colder months, it may indicate a lack of riboflavin, or vitamin.

The Beauty Lab shows how to make cheaper, healthier and more natural alternatives to synthetic beauty products at home. It contains more than 75 ideas and recipes, from face creams to hair care products, from lip tint to body butter as well as a guide to useful organic ingredients. This book will revolutionise beauty routines, revealing a range of new, creative and organic solutions, and enriching lives with a healthy, natural lifestyle.

Janet Hayward is the co-founder of the beauty and health website, beautydirectory. Susie Prichard-Casey is a beauty-guru with diplomas in remedial massage, aromatherapy, reflexology and LaStone therapy. This vibrant and accessible book explains how to extract oils from plants and herbs and how to use the oils afterwards to make infused oils, creams, balms, ointments and waters. There are step-by step photographs, information on the equipment needed and the health benefits of all the herbs and products.

Julia Lawless is a well-known authority in the field of aromatherapy and the author of many herbal guides including the global bestseller, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils. She is also the owner of the essential oils company Aqua Oleum. Dr Ilona Boniwell is both an academic psychologist and a practitioner, specialising in Positive Psychology.

She has also acted as a consultant to the BBC , and is also a regular contributor to Psychologies Magazine. Bridget Grenville-Cleave has an MSc in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of East London and is a management consultant specialising in the use of positive psychology to improve business performance. Part self-help book, part psychology primer, Be Happy features pieces of advice on what will and will not lead to a life of contentment. A distillation of the latest research into happiness, this is a guide to the tools and strategies most likely to make you happy.

Be Happy is highly interactive. Informative, factual, accessible, and scientifically rigorous, Be Happy gives the best available advice across a range of situations and activities that are relevant to our happiness. Dr Patricia Macnair, M. Bachelor of Medicine , Ch. Bachelor of Surgery , Dip Anaesthetics, M.

She divides her time between working as a physician specializing in Medicine for the Elderly at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford, Surrey, and working as a medical journalist. Part health advice, part self-help, part survival guide, Live Long is divided into five manageable sections, including emotional well-being, physical, environmental wellbeing, coping with diseases and risk factors that affect the choices we make in our lives. Perfect for implementing into your daily routine, the cumulative power of these simple changes aims for overall holistic improvement and a longer life.

Written by a team of experts, Change Your Life One Day at a Time includes achievable ways to take control of your lifestyle choices and become healthier, happier and smarter. She is the author of Ways to Happiness. The climate in which we live exerts a crucial influence on our health. Extreme cold weather brings the threat of exposure, hypothermia and infections such as influenza, bronchitis and pneumonia, while excessively hot weather can put intolerable strain on the heart and cause problems with dehydration.

Very old and very young people are most vulnerable, especially from diseases such as seasonal flu. Somewhere between the extremes is the ideal climate, where the winters are mild and the summers are pleasantly warm. A remarkably high proportion of people who live there reach their one-hundredth year, including, unusually, a large number of men — there are The critical aspect of these statistics seems to be that many of those who reach the age of 80 proceed to survive for much longer — they are entering a period of life in which human beings are most sensitive to the effects of climate and least able to cope with harsh conditions.

In general, people with a high level of self-esteem put considerable effort into looking after their health and wellbeing. There are several positive steps you can take to build up your self-esteem if it is at a low ebb:. Once you have your list, abandon modesty and congratulate yourself on these points every day.

A beautiful view helps all of us to keep healthy by lifting our mood, easing stress and providing a deep sense of optimism and contentment. So place your chair by the window and have a good look outside. Hot yoga will improve your muscle tone and help you enjoy vibrant good health and wellbeing. Work toward this ultimate goal by standing and balancing on one leg while holding the opposite foot behind you, arching and then twisting the upper back while kicking your leg up to a standing split.

As in the previous pose, progress is best developed by breaking down the posture into stages: only by doing this will you be able to work out and eventually resolve your unique personal combination of imbalances. Repeat a second set. A blend of several standing postures, known in traditional hatha yoga as the Extended Triangle Utthita Trikonasana , Warrior II Virabhadrasana II , and Extended Side Angle poses Utthita Parsvakonasana , this position, with its external rotation of the legs and forward rotation of the pelvis, creates a stretch in the inner thighs as the hips open up.

There are many opposing factors to bear in mind while you work, and it really puts your overall strength and hip flexibility to the test. By outlining various mix and match stretching, breathing, toning, cardiovascular and relaxation options, this book allows the reader to build programmes to suit their fitness, goals and time available. Popular training systems such as yoga, Pilates, weight training, kick-boxing and circuit training are brought in with fully illustrated, step-by-step instructions for completing each workout.

Chrissie Gallagher-Mundy is a fitness expert and author of several books including Body Sculpting and Minute Workouts. Concentrating on building the deep muscles in your body, Pilates works on your core strength to help you achieve that strong, long and lean body you desire. Suitable for any skill level. She co-wrote Power Pilates and is a contributor to Pilates Style magazine.

From the dedicated beginner to the experienced orgasmee, the book takes you on a journey of discovery - from learning to love yourself, to toe curling multiple and simultaneous orgasms. She has also written for numerous publications, including the Guardian, the Observer, Minx, She, More! Masturbation Hands up everyone who masturbates. Not up there. None of you? Well, the official figure is 64 per cent of women and a huge 92 per cent of men. Quite a low figure when you consider how easy, pleasurable and relaxing masturbation is, how. Guilt is a common but groundless fear.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying the pleasures. Alone, I tend to concentrate on stimulating my clitoris, so the orgasms are shorter and sharper. When I feel the orgasm is about to happen, I nearly stop breathing. Then, I do! Thou must not fake What? Not even then. Of course, one reason why we do feel like faking is when the man is doing something wrong. Or not wrong, exactly, but just not quite right. This is common with new partners, who sometimes assume that what drove their ex wild in bed will drive you mad too.

The last thing you want to do in that situation is pretend. Instead, learn how to say what you like while still making him feel manly. There are two ways. The first is to lead with praise: be very loudly. Have fun finding your G-spot and your A-spot. Test out the latest toys that press your bliss-buttons.

And invite your man to share in your new-found wisdom and make it a double act that takes you to heaven and back. And its oh, oh, ooooh, so easy to. Susannah Marriott is a health and wellbeing author and journalist, whose writing has appeared in the Guardian, Pregnancy Herbal and The Pregnancy and Baby Book. Maja Pitamic is a trained Montessori teacher with a specialisation in Early Years teaching. No prior knowledge of music needed. These practical play-and-learn Montessori-based activities will help your child gain confidence and independence through learning a range of essential life skills and creative activities, including sections on nature, language, numeracy and science.

Designed for ages one to three, these playand-learn ideas for parents to enjoy with their children foster creativity and encourage the child to explore the world around them. Five areas of creative play are targeted: stimulation, exploration, experimentation, creation and innovation, while projects include art, games, sensory play, movement and language. Visit the great outdoors for hiking and camping escapades. In the wintry months go sledding with your own homemade sled. Back home, try crafts and crazy science experiments indoors.

Fit it out with pulleys, climbing ropes, and telescopes and you can spend hours exploring without even moving. Most of the time, the ladder will come up right under the best branches for building on. They should be at least 8 inches 20 cm thick to support the weight of you and.

Better to. You can land one just to observe the underwater creature and then return it to its watery life. First, you need to find the right kind of stick. Bamboo works well because it can bend just enough without breaking if you catch a big one. Otherwise, a. With a few. If you can find a worm, use that to bait your hook.

Fish love worms. Pay attention to your surroundings. More often than not fish dine on the insects and vegetation that is locally available. Your chances of catching a fish will be better if you tempt them with something familiar. Perfect for fun-lovers and science geeks alike, the book triumphantly frees science from the confines of the classroom. Science Adventures introduces children to the wonders of science in an exciting and fun way.

But, what exactly would that look like? However, if you do have an indoor room or hallway long enough, you can put it together inside as well. Although Venus is the closest, its hostile atmosphere would make it dangerous but has a more similar atmosphere and temperature to our own planet.

You can monitor its progress, and that of its sister spacecraft Voyager 1, even. In , it. There are lots of other things in including an asteroid belt about 18 sheets from the sun , comets,. In certain situations water can actually flow upward! Did you know that soap can power a paper boat? Surface tension is how light objects, like a leaf, can float on water instead of sinking. The ingredients in soap can disrupt the forces that hold the water molecules together, and so dissolve the surface tension.

This is how we can use soap to power a paper boat, by using soap to disrupt the surface tension on just one side of the model. The soap breaks down the surface tension of the water at the back of the boat, but not at the front. Combining the grace of a gymnast, the virtuosity of a skateboarder and the discipline of a martial artist, Parkour is one of the most exciting, new, non-competitive sports in the world.

Each skill is presented in step diagrams, with special hints on timing, positioning and landing. From making a simple fire for a night in the open, to constructing a log cabin, this guide draws together essential skills and advice that will prepare you for a journey into the wilderness. Complete with clear, step-by-step diagrams, How to Survive in the Wild contains all you need to know about finding shelter, food and warmth, as well as other important survival advice.

Christian Casucci has spent years exploring the wilds of the United States. Sam Martin is an author and former senior editor of This Old House magazine. Includes indications on the correct materials needed and the stroke sequences for different scripts, the talented author guides you through applying these skills in the creation of labels, invitations, menus, greeting cards and much more.

A book that is truly an art piece in itself. From basic materials and fundamental painting skills to advanced compositions, it is a complete guide to the world of watercolours. Ekkehardt Hofmann is a freelance watercolour and acrylic artist. He has had his work shown in numerous exhibitions, and he now paints out of his private studio in Leutershausen, Germany, where he also offers workshops for beginner and intermediate-level artists.

Tilly is a smaller-than-average illustrator who works with largerthan-life clients. Tilly draws inspiration from the everyday as well as the quirky, and enjoys creating characters based on the people around her. Each project has a difficulty rating and predicted length of time, which means beginners, intermediates and everyone in between can find a manageable yet challenging project to work on. The chapters are divided by the techniques and materials used, and there is a handy measurement conversion chart.

In addition to being the founder and owner of a successful mixed-media jewellery business, Shannon LeVart is also an experienced arts and crafts instructor. It begins with yarn types and tools, and each chapter contains a range of projects shown by category, including: dressing warm, dressing up and dressing down. There is a convenient measurement conversion chart and the instructions are clear and enhanced by helpful hints. Laura Long has a degree in knitted textiles and has shown her designs at London and Paris Fashion Weeks.

Melissa Halvorson designs and creates patterns and pieces for designers, knitting magazines and pattern books, including Rowan Yarns, Simply Knitting Magazine, and Knit Today. Explore the stories and meanings of 18 masterpieces of Western Art and use them as inspiration for children to create their own exciting and creative art projects.

She has 15 years teaching experience and holds degrees in Art History and Montessori Teacher Training. Jill Laidlaw has written numerous books, including works on the history of Western paintings and sculpture. The activities are designed for children between the ages of 5 and 12, with a range of simple and more challenging activities. Each chapter covers a different genre of modern art: sculpture, textiles, collage, illustration, pop art, abstract, modern portraiture and street art.

Jill Laidlaw has written widely on the history of Western painting including monographs on Klee and Kahlo. Over 35 Creative, Artist-Inspired Projects in Sculpture, Ceramics, Textiles and More 3D Art Adventures explores the stories and meanings behind 18 sculptures, ceramics, and other ground-breaking masterpieces of 3-dimensional art as inspiration for children to create 36 exciting and creative projects. Perfect for ages 6 and up. She worked on a range of illustration projects for several years before eventually focusing her attention on illustrated maps and architectural subjects.

Buildings are arranged chronologically, from ancient forts to towering skyscrapers, with information provided about each one. There are 35 intricate and detailed illustrations for you to colour, including building by legendary architects such as Antoni Gaudi and Frank Lloyd Wright. Abi Daker is a British illustrator who studied art at the University of Reading and interned as an archaeological illustrator. In Colouring Shakespeare, you will find 31 beautiful and well-known extracts from his plays and sonnets, combining original artwork with the immortal words of the bard.

Contains a foreword by celebrated actor, director and writer, Simon Callow. Illustrator Judy Stevens trained in painting and printmaking at Middlesex University. Simon Callow is an actor, director and writer. He has worked extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company. She uses her travels in India as inspiration for her work and exhibits regularly.

The males and females look so similar that only DNA tests can tell them apart. The rockhopper penguin got its name from the hopping motion it uses to get around its habitat on the craggy islands north of Antarctica. Year after year they return to the same breeding ground to mate. However, escapees from captivity have ensured that the birds can be found more widely across Europe. Characterized by its golden coat and long mane found on male lions only , the lion can grow to a length of 2 m, making it the second largest living cat after the tiger. Lions live in family units known as prides and are mainly nocturnal, sleeping during the day and hunting at night.

The females are the primary hunters while the males defend their territory, which can be up to km2 square miles wide. It also has black rings around its eyes, giving it a permanently surprised expression. Lemurs communicate with each other with their strong scent glands; when male lemurs compete for a female, they try to out-scent each other. They live nocturnally in treetops in groups of around seventeen, with a female as the chief of the group.

This compact, illustrated guide offers advice on 30 superfoods and beneficial ingredients, with tips on why they will boost your beauty routine. From apricots to olives, avocados to pomegranate, find out how each natural wonder product boosts well-being and nurtures healthier skin, hair, body and nails. This book is packed with beauty treatments and easy-to-follow recipes that will help you eat yourself to a more beautiful you. This tropical superfruit is loaded with vitamins — predominantly C and B — minerals and high antioxidant, anti-ageing compounds with.

When young, coconuts have an outer green husk and softer,. As they mature, they develop a brown husk and the meat is much firmer. Although green and mature coconuts both contain coconut water, the level of beneficial nutrients is much higher in the green coconut. With good levels of iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, copper, phosphorus and being impressively rich in potassium, green coconut water is ideal for restoring electrolyte levels during hot weather.

It is also hugely hyrdrating, which is great news for skin and muscles. The water also makes an effective treatment for stomach upsets and can help regulate blood sugar levels. Crisp, juicy cherries are at their best during the summer months. Mainly grown in the temperate climates of Europe and North America, these fleshy stone fruits feature in a wide range of delicious recipes, both sweet or savoury.

Cherries are particularly rich in the minerals potassium, magnesium and iron, as well the B vitamins folic acid, niacin and riboflavin. Vitamins A and C are present, too. Assisting in collagen production, these useful nutrients help maintain the elasticity of the skin, keeping it looking young and fresh.

What better boost for all-round beauty than that? She works as a freelance illustrator in Brighton, surrounded by cacti. A large garden bursting with colour and beauty is, for most urban dwellers, nothing but a dream. The perfection that is the low-maintenance-yet-high-impact cactus is here to save your city abode. How to Train Your Cacti will guide you through selecting the right cactus or succulent for your balcony or bench, will ensure you keep them alive, see them thrive and make your life a little greener. Janet Hayward is a passionate home baker. She believes that home-made is best, using only the freshest ingredients.

Aimee Twigger is a baker, crafter and blogger. In her blog Twigg Studios, Aimee shares recipes with readers across the globe. Reconnect with the lost pleasures of cooking at home. A host of homemade delicacies await in this book of over 75 recipes and kitchen-related activities. From baking perfect scones, to making your own traditional strawberry jam and citrus marmalade Teatime Treats is full of creative ideas. Designed for all levels of experience, it features simple projects and more advanced recipes. This recipe uses the classic combination of apple, almond and cinnamon to make a moist, warmly spiced cake with a light texture.

Decorate with flaked almonds and serve warm with whipped cream or Greek yogurt to make this cake extra special. In a large bowl, beat the remaining butter with the caster sugar, until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs and almond essence. Gently fold in the flour and ground almonds, and spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Smooth the surface and arrange the cooked apple slices on top. Pour any juices left in the frying pan over the batter. Bake for 45 minutes, using a skewer to check that it is cooked through. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning it out.

Peel off the baking paper. Grease a cm spring-form cake tin and base-line with baking paper. Melt 25 g of the butter in a frying pan, stir in the brown sugar and keep stirring until the mixture bubbles. Add the apples and cinnamon, and cook gently, turning occasionally, until the apples are tender and slightly caramelized. Remove from the heat. The following is a selection of ideas for teatime treats:. Dainty sandwiches, cut into small triangles without crusts.

You can make any fillings you like, but some popular choices are cucumber, egg or poached salmon. An assortment of chintzy teapots, china teacups with saucers , milk jug, sugar bowl and plates. A layered cake stand will make for a lovely presentation. Fresh scones and a selection of delicious mini cakes, such as fruitcake, macaroons, carrot cake, brownies and banana bread muffins. Stock up on English breakfast tea, Earl Grey, peppermint, chamomile, jasmine and any other varieties that take your fancy. Pink champagne is an optional extra.

Natasha lives in London and spends as much time as possible in her small but perfectly formed urban garden. Bring nature inside with a range of gardening projects and activities designed for homes, balconies and windowsills. Get started with easy-to-follow projects and gems of advice, from how to grow roses in containers to watering a succulent. Introduction by A. Jacobs, a best-selling author and editor-at-large at Esquire magazine.

Part of the magic or mystique about wearing a bow tie is the aura of difficulty in tying one. Impressing fellow wearers of formal wear is not hard as long as the Right Way to fasten a bow tie is well-practised. Step 1: Pull your collar up and out of the way. Dangle your untied bow tie around your neck, with the longer end extending about an inch and a half lower than the shorter end see Fig.

Step 3: Fold the shorter end into the hourglass shape of a bow and hold it horizontally against your neck see Fig. Step 2: Keeping in mind that the longer end should work around the passive shorter end, tie the two ends in your most basic wrap-around knot. Step 5: Form the longer end into an hourglass shape as well, and pull it under and behind the bow made with the shorter end. It makes these folks aware that you are there and that there is something about you that is attractive beyond your natural attractiveness.

Making an entrance is a nuanced undertaking. Luckily, there is a Right Way to do it. Step 1: Accomplish all those petty tasks before crossing the threshold. If there is a cloak to be removed, remove it; a business card to be procured, procure it; a stray hair to be arranged, arrange it. Step 2: Stand up, straight and tall. Inhale deeply. Think: grace, confidence, elegance. Step through the doorway purposefully. You are not hurried or harried. Nor are you are dazed and snail-like.

You are poised. You are approachable. You are confident. Look at you! You are smiling.

Grow a lot of Food in a Small Garden - 10 easy tips

But not too much. Observe Figure 1. Nice to see you! I am so happy to be here!

Elisabeth C. Miller Library: Horticulture Book Reviews

Dally not in the doorway. Move on and in. Extend a hand to shake, if appropriate. Nod the head, if the occasion so calls. From avoiding small talk on public transport, to losing the party bore or even escaping the premises of a one-night stand and much more, a wide array of situations are covered. David Jacobson is a San Francisco-based humorist and journalist. And you? How do you handle it? Remind them of life back on Earth.

Explain that you may be late because your favorite pawn shop gets busy near mealtimes. Then suggest a nice but more reasonable place around the corner. Shout over your own honking horn about an impossible traffic jam. Without being anti-social, here are your anti-dancing steps:. Perhaps later. To retain their friendship and your solvency, you need a lacy veil of excuses:. With the cachet knowledge every expert must possess, plus authentic insights into the lives and skills of distillery artisans, it features an authoritative directory of rare and prestige whiskies to help you explore the very finest international styles in greater depth, and offers impeccable advice on all aspects of this venerable spirit, from pronunciation to professional tasting techniques.

Bowmore distillery adds an extra layer of flavour to its whisky by turning to tradition. During germination, the starch inside the seed is converted to fermentable sugars. The grain is then heated over a peat-fed open fire whose heat stops the germination so that, while some of the fermentable sugars have been used to.

Yeast is added to the wort and bacterial. Complete with historical examples and inspirational quotations, this book shows you how to build yourself up from an anonymous citizen to the ruler of a country. How to Rule the World also includes personality tests that allow you to compare your potential with that of other great rulers. Taking inspiration from many of the great leaders through history, de Guillaume encourages readers to believe in their own dreams for reaching the top and offers invaluable advice on how to get there. Do you aspire to general greatness? You need to plan your climb to conceptual loftiness, organise your intellectual assets and embrace the personal and the professional risks.

Learn how you too can change the course of history with the power of your mind, and make your intellectual inferiors gasp in open-mouthed wonder. Clear, concise and cogent, How to Be a Genius is full of advice, tips and fact-filled profiles that will help you unleash your potential. Paul Barker teaches high school maths and has contributed to The Enthusiast Almanack.

This is his first book. Packed with indispensable information such as how to be the perfect lady, how to groom and dress, how to host parties and how to conduct yourself in the workplace, this handbook can help any woman make the transition to leading lady. She is the author of numerous books, including The Good Date Guide. It is full of essential information that covers everything from the ideal wardrobe, to socialising, dating and workplace etiquette. Beautifully illustrated, this little book offers priceless advice and tips as well as being the perfect gift that no man can do without.

He works full-time as a freelance writer and modern gentleman. He lives in Austin, Texas. Like the art of idleness or the business of party-hopping, cultivating the art of Decadent Housewifery is not for the faint of heart. Though fainting, you'll learn, is an excellent tactic. From lazy lunches to retail therapy, The Decadent Housewife is your guide to filling your days with fabulousness, feigning the skills as necessary, and micromanaging your man. Rosemary Counter writes for an urban web-guide for stylish women called www.

Rosemary is based in Toronto, Canada. This bible to hip urban living will give you the street smarts to survive any situation and the savvy to get anything you want. As your essential guide to moving to the big city, it will show you how to avoid the landlord from hell, the best way to acquire an amazing group of friends, how to score yourself the ultimate job, what to spend your wages on and what to get for free.

This is your essential guide to your new life. From finding a flat and settling in, to getting around and going out, you will soon have the know-how and street smarts to navigate the city like a native. Cathay Che and Rachel Pask give the low-down and let you in on the secrets to a smooth and successful city life.

You will find tips about:. In no time at all you will be the ultimate city girl. Comfortable in the knowledge that you can cope with anything life throws your way, the stage will be set for your exciting new life to unfold. Rachel Pask is a journalist living in London. She worked as Features Writer at teen magazine, Bliss. From there she moved onto help launch celebrity teen weekly Sneak, and then to Glamour. Finding a person to share a room with you is even harder than finding flatmates.

What you need is not a really fantastic new friend, although of course that would be a great start, but you need someone you can trust to look after herself and your shared space. Where do you find someone to room with? Send an email around at work. Put a sign up in your gym. Talk to acquaintances who might know someone looking to save a bit of cash by sharing a room. If he or she rents a few properties, they might be in touch with people who are looking for roommates. Try roommate and flat-hunting websites and, of course, look through the listings in your local papers.

Focus on these issues: Will you split the room down the middle and literally have a side each? Will you take it in turns to clean? Are you happy to go out if they want a friend over and vice versa? Do they get up early while you sleep late? In fact, sometimes moving in with your best friend is the fastest way to kill a friendship.

The hottest opportunities Half the trick to landing your dream job is actually hearing about it in the first place. So you must cover every base and approach the job search with military precision. Before you move, check trade publications and websites in your field to see how many positions are available and how frequently they come up. You could even apply for positions before you move and set up interviews for once you arrive. Once in the city, buy newspapers and magazines and check out the positions advertised in the back sections. Some newspapers advertise jobs in specific industries on specific days, so buy papers on the days when the field you are interested in is covered.

Take time to research companies and log onto their websites. Call them to see if they will send you details of internal vacancies. Talk to people in the industry to find out how they landed their job. Look into joining a temping agency that supplies cover for holidays and maternity leave in the area you are interested in. Sign up with a headhunter or recruiter — they can give you advice, tell you what positions are out there and set up interviews for you. The most important thing? You will have to do all the legwork, all the chasing and hit every possible target.

If you approach people, maybe one will get back to you. But one is all you need. Even if you already have a CV, you should rewrite it each time you apply for a job to make it relevant to the position you are applying for. Your CV should briefly outline your employment history, qualifications and education, beginning with the most recent. Be sure you check with these references first, so they are prepared for the inevitable phone call and have thought about all the glowing things they can say about you.

From the Heart is a beautiful keepsake book to help you make the most of any occasion. With 28 vows, blessings and poems from around the world, it will never fail to share love and bring joy. Each page also contains a beautiful and precisely designed illustration. The perfect gift for someone you treasure. Wild Nights! Ah the Sea! Might I but moor—Tonight in thee. How can I raise it high enough, past you, to other things? Upon what instrument are we two spanned? And what musician holds us in his hand? Oh sweetest song.

Few parenting books are written for fathers by a father. He lives in Texas with his wife and two sons. Sam has travelled widely, is also an award-winning author for Lonely Planet guidebooks and a contributing editor at Budget Living magazine. It takes some practice to feel confident for long periods of standing up.

After about two months of carrying baby around, you might start to feel a twinge in your lower back and shoulders — babies are small but they reach 7 kilograms 15 pounds quickly. You also might want to free up at least one arm to actually get something done while baby is awake and ready to play. This is a fun way to frugally multiply your landscaping! Summary The edibles garden took little time this month — about 4 hours — especially if you don't count the many trips I took outside just to squat and peer at the soil where I had planted seeds. We anticipate an inexpensive April as well.

That's a bargain! April was a slow month for our garden. We didn't do much. Part of this is because we've become more efficient. But another part is because we did some of our chores earlier this year. Kris has been antsy to get plants in the ground. I always tell her that May 1st is our target date, but she'd plant out on the first of April if she could.

Last year she put her tomato starts out a few days early, and that was a mistake. They were pummeled by a freak hailstorm and never did produce much.

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This year, she decided to wait. She did, however, do a little bit of work. She planted beets, radishes, and lettuce. She transplanted her tomatoes into bigger pots. And she produced a garden map that outlines where she intends to plant things. My only garden work was a frustrating hour spent rototilling the compost and leaves and horse manure into the soil. It was frustrating because we have a large, willful rototiller that seems to have a mind of its own.

Our actual garden isn't very large, and we currently have created a sort of maze around the asparagus and onions. That makes it difficult to maneuver. I did manage to get the ground worked up, but it didn't happen without cursing! Speaking of cursing: Last year, our gooseberries were mauled by a sawfly infestation. This year, the sawfly larvae are back, and they're not only devouring the gooseberries, but the currants as well. The gooseberries we can live without, but not the currants. Kris is researching organic pest controls.

Garden tour We may not have much to share about our garden this month, but we do have some photos. The last few days have been sunny, so we've had a chance to photograph our garden in its early stages. Here, for example, is the mostly blank canvas:. As a reminder, the area of our vegetable garden space is roughly 15 ft by 34 ft 4.

This actually isn't very big, and we've considered enlarging it. As I mentioned before, Kris planted out her tomatoes yesterday, so this space is no longer empty. I know this photo doesn't really show it, but these things are enormous after only six weeks of growth:. Meanwhile, we do have some crops up. We've recruited help to maintain them.

Meatball has been tasked with patrolling the beets, radishes, and peas, and Simon has been given charge of the onions:. The peas and onions aren't the only things growing. This is the time of year that berries begin to go berserk. They're not producing fruit, of course, but they're beginning to show promise. The blueberries are laden with blossoms especially the Toro, which are our favorite. So too are the strawberries:. Though I don't have photos, our fruit trees have also begun to bloom.

We have two apples, three plums, a cherry, and a pear. We've set out pest control in a few of these, and that's all we'll really have to do until harvest. Finally, here's a salad that we made from herbs and lettuce greens that Kris grew indoors. This is a perfect example of how you can harvest home-grown food in a small amount of space.

You can't harvest a lot of it, but you an harvest some. Summary The edibles garden took little time this month — just 3 hours. We didn't spend a dime. We harvested a single asparagus spear which Kris consumed raw , but we won't count that in our totals. What a difference a year makes!

Our fruits, berries, and vegetables had a slow start last year and then were further slowed by a cold, cold June. This May was warm — very warm. Our food crops loved the weather, and they've shown explosive growth. First harvest The sunny weather produced lots of growth. The peas and raspberries and blueberries and fruit trees all look amazing. We're going to have huge crops. We have a couple of small snow peas on the vine, and the tomatoes are blossoming.

But only three crops have yielded fruit through the end of May:. Challenges Though our garden is going well this year, we've experienced some minor annoyances:. These aren't major problems, obviously — they're just minor annoyances. We try to take care of our equipment, but there are a few failures every year. Partly because of this, May was an expensive month.

It was also expensive in Summary I spent zero hours in the garden this month. I did a few quick tasks, but no major work. Kris made up for that. She tells me she spent 15 hours on food-producing activities last month. I'm skeptical. On the other hand, she did do a lot of work out there. She tells me that just as some GRS readers warned, the horse manure we spread last fall has produced a fine carpet of weeds, which she hoes daily. It's the beginning of summer, and that means our garden is lush and green and growing. It also means there's nothing exciting to write about.

We've begun to harvest a couple of things, but mostly our chores have become routine. We weed and fertilize while we wait for the crops to ripen. One problem we've encountered this year is weeds. There are always some weeds to be pulled, but as many GRS readers warned, spreading horse manure on our vegetable garden caused more weeds to sprout. Kris is the weed-puller and plant-fertilizer , so she puts the most hours into the garden. She spent four hours working on food crops this month, while I spent three, all of which were harvest-related.

Harvest As our harvests begin, I want to remind you of our methodology. Also, last year we established through repeated measurements that a pint of berries weighs roughly grams. I'll use this approximation frequently throughout the summer. Despite the correct pruning we gave them this year, our raspberry harvest looks as though it's going to be pitiful. The culprit? They're overcome by the monstrous marionberry vine that has taken over the entire trellis. We may relocate the raspberry canes, so will evaluate the yard for a suitable spot and decide later this summer.

However, there is a silver lining; we love marionberries a type of blackberry-boysenberry cross. Summary And so the profit portion of our project has begun! July, August, September, and October will be even more productive as we begin to pick our caneberries, our tree fruit, and, especially, our tomatoes.

As always, we've been supplementing our own produce with food picked elsewhere. Last weekend, our friend Jolie joined us for a trip to the strawberry patch. On Friday, our neighbor came over to let us know that her cherries were ready to harvest. We've decided not to preserve any cherries this year, but we picked about 10 pounds just for snacking. Welcome to Oregon, where for the past week it's been hot. How hot? The heat hasn't prevented us from working in the garden. We've been watering the thirsty plants, and we've begun harvesting their fruit.

It's hard to believe that just three months ago , this was a bare patch of earth. Now it's grown so lush that it's difficult to photograph:. Currently currants Remember how last year Kris and I couldn't find a price for our currants or gooseberries? They're just not available here in Oregon, so we used the same figures for them as we did for our other berries. Well, in July we harvested 8. That's a lot of currants. Look again at that price in the last paragraph. But what can you do with eighteen pounds of red currants? Kris made two batches of red currant jelly with the most beautiful ruby red color you've ever seen.

She's going to enter some in the county fair in mid-August. We also had two friends come glean the extras. Plus there were currants left over to freeze! More harvest While the currants gave us a bumper crop, other plants were less productive. The gooseberries didn't produce much.

And for the second year, they fell victim to the gooseberry sawfly. Kris and I agree: Those things are out of here! I'm going to dig them up and we'll replace them with more blueberries. Speaking of blueberries, they weren't very productive this year either. I'm not sure exactly what the problem is, but we've harvested less than half the blueberries we did last year. Our raspberries were pathetic for the second year running; they just can't compete with the vigorous marionberry canes.

Without those to salvage our stats, we would have finished behind last July. That's okay, though. The tomatoes are just about to come on, and we're going to have a lot more of them than we did last year. The fruit trees will also give us bigger crops than last year since they're a year more mature.

Summary As we often do, we also picked fruit from friends this month. We picked cherries from the neighbor across the street, and on July 3rd we drove out to raid the cherries belonging to our friends Ron and Kara, coming home with thirty pounds of mixed Queen Annes, Bings and sour pie cherries. We also made use of some early apples for a juicing experiment. After late July's blistering heat, August has been relatively cool around Portland. Our fruits and vegetables have been producing excellent crops.

Kris is constantly busy in the kitchen, canning and preserving food. We're eating fresh salsa all the time.

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And hard as it is to believe, I'm almost sick of blackberries. This is actually the best year we've had for blackberries. They started producing at the end of July, and there's been a non-stop flood ever since. Sometimes — in mid-winter — I think I want to plant more blackberries. But during the month of August, I'm reminded that this is a silly idea. The blackberries aren't the only prolific producers this year. Our young plum tree is going gangbusters. It yielded its first small crop last summer, but this year it's really loaded. And Kris's cucumbers are the most eager growers of all.

She has more cucumbers than she knows what to do with and has been taking the excess to share with co-workers. Also, our tomatoes are doing much better than last year. The cool June in stunted the crop. We only had This year we picked Not everything has produced well, though. July's heat ended our blueberries early. Our current blueberry plants are transplants from the neighbors, and they're 25 years old. They're weak producers. Time to put in something that will produce fruit worth picking. Last month, we discovered that our red currants are worth quite a bit, which distorted the totals for July.

This year, for the first time ever, Kris entered some of her produce at the county fair. Her dilly beans took first prize out of ten entrants. When I picked them up after the fair was over, the woman who returned them to me raved about the beans. Friends and neighbors share their surplus, just as we share our surplus with them.

Last weekend, for example, the old couple next door brought over a wheelbarrow load of pears. Things are looking good! Better weather in combined with more effective efforts on our part has created a far more profitable garden project. And again, that's even though we're not particularly frugal gardeners. After a long productive summer, our September in the garden was kind of anticlimactic. It was a chore instead of an obsession.

September can be that way sometimes. Now we're just waiting for the grapes to ripen soon, very soon and the harvest season is done. Kris and I are both disappointed that, for us, this has been the Summer of No Corn. We didn't grow any ourselves, and we didn't have another convenient source. When people did give us corn, it was terrible.

Ah well — there's always next year. Here's this month's tally:. As always, we also enjoyed some of the harvest from our friends and neighbors. We obtained 28 pounds of plums from other folks, a bunch of onions from my cousin, and about 30 pounds of fresh-caught salmon and halibut from the millionaire next door when he returned from Alaska. And Tina offered us as much corn as we wanted, but we weren't able to pick it. I'm a little worried about October. This year, though, tomatoes are essentially over. Kris and I don't expect to harvest much more than we already have.

Who knows, though…maybe we'll be surprised. Still, our harvest total for the year is already greater than our total for all of , so we've made improvements! As those of you who follow me on Twitter already know, it's been a l-o-n-g Saturday filled with all sorts of misadventures. Murphy's Law has been in full effect this Halloween. I'd meant to post this month-end garden summary around noon, but now will have to do. In fact, there wouldn't be a summary at all except that my wife sat down and wrote it for me. Here's what Kris has to say about the month of October….

October arrived with the typical cold and damp, bringing Portland's garden season to a close. During the fall and winter we'll enjoy the hearty foods we've packed away from this year's crops, until by early spring we're ready to begin anew. We've been eating fresh fruit and vegetables from our garden patches since May's first strawberries. Not bad! The last of the tomatoes We harvested the last of the garden produce this month. Rain and wind don't mix well with ripening tomatoes, so I picked 15 pounds of semi-ripened tomatoes to take inside.

Stored in a cool place between layers of newspaper, some of these will turn out to be fairly delicious. The rest will rot. The cucumber plants coughed up enough for another month's worth of salads, and the beets were ready for roasting. In fact, I'm roasting some in the oven even as I write this. In addition, I tore out the jalapeno plants and dried the peppers in slices in the dehydrator. Some went to our neighbor who loves spicy foods; the rest will go into winter cornbread and soups.

Usually I collect the fallen English walnuts in our front yard, but the squirrels have been especially voracious this year! And my volunteer vine turned out to be a birdhouse gourd that gave me two mature gourds for fall decorating. The fruits of autumn I spent time in the mud ripping out cucumber and squash vines, then the beans and tomato plants, and tidying up the apple trees. We also dug out the beleaguered gooseberry plants and three poorly-producing year-old blueberries.

We're trying to stagger the berry harvest so it lasts as long as possible. As we rake leaves in our yard, we'll spread them onto the garden bed to mulch the asparagus and keep down the weeds over the winter. In the waning hours of sunshine, early October in our neighborhood smells of Concord grapes.

We wait until the scent tells us they're ready, then head over to the generous neighbor's yard to pick all we can use. Our own young vines produced a good crop as well. This year, J. I made juice 22 quarts and grape jelly. It's a long day but so worth it every time we open a jar. We also made another batch of applesauce from twenty pounds of fruit brought back from an orchard by a friend and fellow canner. My pantry is full to bursting!

I love being able to eat this local bounty during our winter, rather than buying produce that's been shipped from far away. In addition to the canned food, the freezer is stacked with berries and assorted sauces, and dried fruits and herbs are stored in a dark and dry place. It's like a savings account for food! Monthly totals The fall is when I tally the herbs for the year. Our herb garden provides me with sprigs and snips all year. Throughout the summer, I've dried lavender flowers, mint and lemon balm, stevia and raspberry leaves for making tea infusions.

Spring is around the corner. I think. After spending three weeks basking in sunny skies and temperatures of degrees yes, I've taught myself to think in centigrade! Still, I know warmer weather is just around the corner — and that means it's time to garden. Ordering Seeds Kris has already started to think of the garden, of course.

Her mind makes the leap just after Christmas, when the first of the seed catalogs starts to arrive. In January, she went through her seed supply — her leftover seeds and seeds saved from last year's crops — to determine what she needed to order. In the end, she chose:. If you can buy your seeds from a regional company, do so. You'll get plants better suited for your growing conditions. Kris has a system for buying seeds. If it's a new variety she's trying, she buys the smallest package possible. If it's a kind she knows she likes, she buys enough to plant for the next two to four years.

She saves the extra seeds in the fridge in an air-tight container. We'll plant more in the garden, of course. As usual, we'll pick up tomatoes, basil, and peppers at the Master Gardener sale at the end of April. These plants will have a good head start, and will let us try a few new varieties. Early work While Kris was buying seeds, I spent some time getting the garden ready. With the help of the boy we hired for a weekend, I tore out some of the old plants, weeded some patches, and — gasp! This won't kill them.

It's like pressing the reset switch. They were out of control, and this will give us a chance to guide their growth. But it does mean we won't get many berries this year. We spent maybe two hours total doing this. This weekend, Kris intends to plant the peas — if the weather cooperates. The ground is very wet, and there seems to be more rain on the way. What is this? She'll also start seeds indoors for her flower garden nicotiana, zinnia, cosmos, marigolds, and so on. The flowers are mostly from seeds saved in previous years, though the flower-garden costs aren't included in this project.

Flower gardening is one of Kris' favorite hobbies. Next month, Kris will start seeds indoors for food crops: cucumbers, pumpkin, and zucchini. She times when she plants the seeds based on when she intends to plant them outside which is May 1st , and counting backwards to get the weeks needed according to the seed-packet instructions. This is the third year our friend Rhonda has organized a plant swap. Everyone brings their extra plants and seeds, sets them out for others to see, and then takes home what they want or need. In anticipation of this event, Kris will plant extra flowers and vegetables for trading.

She'll also dig out some perennials to share. A garden exchange is a fantastic, frugal way to share plants, but now is the time to organize this if you live in a cool climate. Don't wait until the last minute. Favorite Fruit Smoothie It'll be a while before we have fresh berries, but we're still able to enjoy the fruits of last year's harvest. In fact, Kris has been using our supply of berries in yogurt smoothies.

Here's her recipe:. We don't grow the bananas or oranges, of course, and we don't harvest the honey. But we grow the berries, make the jelly, and, thanks to Jolie Guillebeau, we make our own yogurt. And in just a few months, we'll have fresh berries to use in the smoothies. Monthly totals With the cold weather and our trip to Africa, the garden project is off to a slow start.

January 2008 Update

It'll pick up over the next few weeks, though. We've spent a total of 4. If you had ask me to guess before I started this project, I would have thought that each year would be much like the year before. Apparently, that's not the case. I'm eager to see how this year's costs and harvest unfold…. March is usually a time for Kris and me to get back to work in the garden. The weather warms, and we get to watch as our first sprouts poke through the soil. This year? Not so much. It was a cool, wet month. The average temperature in March was about 46 degrees Fahrenheit — which is below normal for this time of year.

In fact, Portland just had a record stretch between degree days. The last such day came in early December. We usually get a couple of degree days in February, but if the clouds hadn't parted on the afternoon of March 31st, this year we wouldn't have had a warm day until April. If that rain had all been concentrated over a few days, we might have done some work in the garden.

But it wasn't. It rained 28 days in March. It was so wet last month that the peas we planted after returning from Africa simply rotted in the ground. And now it's too late to plant replacements. So, we probably won't have peas this year. Which is sad, because I love peas!

As you've probably deduced, between the cool weather and the heavy rainfall, Kris and I did nothing on our garden in March. In fact, we did nothing in the yard. The lawn did get mowed — but not by us. It's been far too wet for my mower. Sure enough. There was the Real Millionaire Next Door on his riding lawnmower.

I went outside to chat with him. He just got back from his winter in New Zealand where it was summer, of course , and he'll be here a month before heading north to Alaska. He's like a migrating goose. But he's a goose who mows our lawn and brings us salmon, so it's always good to see him. This garden update is pretty lame, I know. Trust me: There'll be more to report for April. And May's installment will be packed! After a long vacation in February and a wet, dreary March, Kris and I finally were able to do a little work on our vegetable garden in April.

Sort of. The weather remained chilly and damp throughout the month, so we didn't get as much yardwork done as we'd like. The average high temperature for April was 4. The average low was 2. Rainfall was 5. Waiting for the sun Though we couldn't really plant anything until the last day of the month, Kris has been itching to get in the garden, so she's been doing a lot of maintenance and clean-up. She and I put a total of twelve hours into our food-producing gardens in April though eleven of those hours were hers. Most of these hours were spent pulling weeds, digging out old overgrown herbs, and getting the gardens ready for planting.

We opted against using the rototiller this year, so it took longer to prepare the plots. In mid-April, we attended the neighborhood plant swap , where we were able to pass along plants we no longer need or want while picking up others that might be more useful. Kris brought home parsley, tomatoes, and lovage a celery-tasting herb.

She also scored lots of perennial flowers. But we don't track flowers in our garden project, thank goodness. That's purely for fun. At the plant swap, our friend Craig gave us three kinds of lettuce seeds and some plant-marker stakes made out of old mini blinds. What an awesome idea! Though we never have success with lettuce, Kris planted some indoors, and we're giving it a go.

She also has some basil started in a window box. Blossoms and sprouts Meanwhile, most of our fruits and berries have begun to blossom, and our early crops are finally starting to show some life. The apple trees, for instance, are in full bloom, as my allergies can attest:.

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In January, we cut back our blackberries and raspberries hard. The grapes and blueberries currants are blooming, too. The peas are up, though they're behind, and we've harvested a few spears of asparagus. The peppers are in a container this year so that they can have warmer soil than the rest of the garden will get. We're hoping this will make them more productive.

The tomatoes are currently in Kris' mini greenhouse. They'll stay there until the garden soil warms — our night-time temperatures are still in the low forties, about five degrees below normal — or until they get too big, whichever comes first. In short, we're being patient. When the weather turns warm, we'll be ready to plant things out.

If we're lucky, by the end of June, we'll be writing about sunny days and sweet, delicious berries. She bought:. Kris also bought some herbs. All we harvested in April was about grams of asparagus. We won't really start getting our money's worth until June, when the strawberries begin to ripen.

I can hardly wait! In my mind, Oregon has mild springs: plenty of rain, sure, but also lots of sunshine and hints of the summer to come. Since we started the garden project, though, that just hasn't been the case. Our springs have mostly been cool and moist — just like our winters. May was again — surprise! There were some sunny days, and our rainfall was around average, but the temperature was much cooler than normal.

Well, long-term normal, not recent normal. Still, our garden isn't as stunted as it has been in years past. The state of the garden Despite the weather, our garden is thriving. She set out the tomatoes to harden off allowing them to become acclimated to the great outdoors , and eventually moved them to the garden. From seed, she planted green beans, cilantro, cucumbers, zucchini, and pumpkins.

She also planted nasturtiums — edible flowers — from seed. And sunflowers though we don't plan to eat those! Indoors, we've been growing lettuce, which is rare for us. We've tried lettuce and carrots before, but for some reason, we never have success. But our friend Craig, who is a fantastic gardener, gave us some lettuce seeds saved from last year's crop. We planted them indoors and now have quite a crop. For the first time, we've grown lettuce that actually tastes okay. It's not great, but at least it's not bitter.

Meanwhile, some of the cucumbers are still under cloches made from two-liter soda bottles because it's been too cold. Kris has been hoeing her garden and performing routine maintenance. I haven't had time to tend to my berries the blueberries are overrun with weeds! And last weekend, Kris and I spent half an hour working together to tie up the blackberry canes. Interlude While working on the berry canes last week, we disturbed a nest of baby spiders. There must be a hundred of baby spiders.

And then I had a thought. I ran inside to grab my camera so that I could shoot the following short video. I went outside this morning to look at the spiders again, but they were gone — every single one of them. I don't know enough about spider life to know if they were eaten, washed away by rain, or simply grew up and moved off of their mother's fencepost. Monthly totals Our costs in May were relatively low when compared to past years. Kris spent about six hours working on the food crops this month.

The forecast for this weekend is sun, sun, sun — and the long-range forecast looks promising, too. I spent about an hour in the garden, giving us a total of seven hours worked this month. I'll never know why, though! June's harvest will be our first of any size for the year, as we begin to pick the ripening berries. And, of course, July and August will bring us a bounty of fruits, vegetables, berries and herbs! We've spent a lot less on the garden this year than in past years.

That's because we haven't spent anything on infrastructure. In and , we had some major expenses for hoses and tomato cages and so on. We've had none of those costs this year. In theory, our infrastructure costs should be minimal now that we own most of the things we need to grow our garden. Summer is finally here in our corner of the Pacific Northwest: The birds are chirping, the insects are humming and the garden is producing. June started cold and wet but has gradually warmed enough to make Kris think this year's garden is going to be successful. And she needs a successful summer after two straight years of poor tomato harvests — our pantry needs restocking!

But those tomato crops are a long way off. At the moment, we're enjoying our strawberries, peas both snow and snap , and the lettuce from the window box we keep inside under a fluorescent shop light. The strawberries have been a morning staple this month mixed into yogurt with homemade granola , and the peas are delicious straight from the vines or cut for a crispy addition to our salads. But as much as we like these early crops, the best is yet to come. The zucchini are almost big enough to harvest — maybe this weekend — and the currants are ripening to a gorgeous ruby red.

The promises inherent in blossoming crops are making our mouths water: cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, blackberries, raspberries and elderberries, as well as peppers and pumpkins are all blooming like mad. Do your job, bumble bees! From the herb garden, we're harvesting basil and oregano. The oregano gets dried in the sun, and the basil is added fresh to pasta and pizza. Meanwhile, the apple, pear, and plum trees show potential for sizable crops — if the weather cooperates.

You may remember that we cut the berry canes back hard this year. Well, you'd never know it to look at them! They're out of control! We're expecting a small berry crop this year, but I need to get out there and tie up the canes before they take over the neighborhood. And we spent some time this month weeding our patch of young blueberry bushes and adding bark mulch. Based in part on GRS reader feedback, we're looking for some help with the yard and shrub maintenance since I'll be traveling more.

That will leave Kris able to focus her energies on the food and flowers as the summer continues. Altogether, she estimates we had about eight hours of garden-related labor this month. The next few months should see a bounty of tasty, low-cost food. We had a strange July in our garden. First, the cool weather lingered longer than it ought to have.

It wasn't cold and wet, but the days were cool. Then we were gone for much of the month: Alberta, Colorado, Washington. Finally, our harvest was much smaller than in previous summers. Part of this was because gave most of our currants to a friend, and our new blueberry plants we replaced the old ones last year produced fruit, but it went unharvested. This is a dumb way to garden. July totals The low production, the donated fruit, and the wasted berries meant our numbers for the month were pretty pitiful.

Our harvest for July included:. This total doesn't include the cherries we picked from neighbors and friends. The good news? August has been awesome so far. We've harvested a lot of beans, peas, cucumbers, and more. If the sun continues to shine, we'll have a great tomato harvest. And the fruit treas are loaded! In three weeks, we hope to be sharing some big numbers with you. I don't know about your garden, but mine produces way more zucchini than I can ever eat. And although my basil is thriving, it's put to shame by the zucchini. How happy was I to find a frugal pesto recipe in our local paper that uses plentiful zucchini as an extender in a Zucchini-Basil Pesto?

It replaces expensive pine nuts with more affordable almonds, but don't skimp on a good quality cheese—it really kicks up the flavor of this mild summer pesto. Add the almonds and shallot and cook until the shallot is softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the almonds, shallots and garlic to a blender and add the zucchini, basil, lemon juice, and cheese.

Pulse until finely chopped. Blend until smooth and season with salt and pepper. I've adapted the recipe slightly to my taste and I use the lesser amount of garlic because I can find it overpowering. Feel free to make changes of your own and play around with it! This pesto would be good with pasta, grilled chicken, or as a dip or sandwich spread. This recipe makes about two cups — a pesto recipe using only basil would need about four cups of basil leaves instead of the one cup required here — and freezes well in small portions.

August finally felt like summer here in Portland. The entire month was sunny and warm, and there was very little rain. The garden rewarded us with productivity. Our harvest in August wasn't huge, but we expect to pick a lot of fruits and vegetables in September. Still, we did begin to harvest many favorites, including nearly four kilograms or nine pounds of green beans! Our harvest for August included:. For instance, Kris and her friends picked apples at the house next door. We ended up with about 50 pounds of fruit, enough to can three gallons of juice and four pints of apple butter.

Plus, Kris picked enough roadside blackberries to make two batches of jam. Speaking of canning, Kris has been hard at work storing up the food from our yard and from the local produce stand. She's canned zucchini bread-and-butter pickles, dill pickles, ginger pickled beans, and a variety of jams. She entered some of last year's goods in the county fair, and came away with prizes for her plum jam, bread-and-butter pickles, and pickled carrots. Plus, her sour cherry jam won a special award. It's just that good!

We're looking forward to a big harvest in September. The forecast is for hot, clear days, which should keep our garden producing. Our fruit trees are laden with apples, plums, and pears, and there are still blackberries to be picked. Plus, by the end of the month or perhaps early in October , we'll start to harvest grapes.

Weeds This month, the cats weeds got out of control. As you'll recall, we used to have four cats weeds but one died last February. We were doing fine with three, but when my mother had to move out of her home, we adopted her two cats weeds, giving us five. That's a lot of weeds. To make things more interesting, if you follow my personal blog , you know that we're dealing with a new weed over the past ten days.

A rabbit appeared in our yard one morning and adopted us and our cats as his own. Nobody in the neighborhood claims this rabbit weed, nor have our attempts to find his owners on-line come to fruition, so Blackberry as we call him is living on our property for now. He's a cute little sucker, as this video demonstrates:. We had no expenses during August, and we worked very little in the garden. Our only time was spent harvesting. Our late summer this year meant that our crops were delayed, but when the sunshine came, it came on strong!

I was very busy in the kitchen in September, but not so busy in the garden itself. My records show that since the beginning of the month, I've preserved pints of food for pantry and freezer, bringing my year-to-date total to over pints quarts. Not included in those numbers are the dried pears and plums I've been able to make from this year's bumper plum crop from our tree and some of the 50 pounds of Bartletts shared by our neighbor, Roberta. And the fresh fruits and vegetables have meant I've purchased only lemons, limes, and onions at the store over the last month; of course, we all know J.

My pantry is now stocked with jars of applesauce, spiced pear sauce, and apple juice, apple butter, pear butter, pear-vanilla preserves, and plum-anise jam. The freezer has nine quarts of herbed tomato and onion pasta sauce and four pints of oven-roasted tomatoes with olive oil and sea salt. Added to the many pickled items and jams from earlier in the summer, we're in good shape for the cold and gloomy Oregon winter months ahead! I've also made a good number of jams to give to friends for this year's holiday gifts.

Starting to clean up for the season On one of our last sunny September days, I tore out the bean bushes and cucumber vines. They probably would have produced a bit more the beans were still flowering , but I was in a mood to clean. Out came the smaller of the two zucchini plants, the dried pea vines, and the gourd vine once I had harvested this year's gourd crop. Other than that work, the only labor for the month was the time spent harvesting — about 5 hours total. What's left to come I've only collected about half the potatoes and will dig the rest in October. There are still tomatoes on the vines, but our recent rains may make them split and rot before they ripen.

And time will tell about the Concord grape crop as well. I'd love to make some Concord grape juice and jelly — we're out of both — but without J. And there are still a number of jalapenos and habaneros turning bright colors on my plants—waiting to be picked and turned in to something much too spicy for me to eat myself! After spending so many hours over a hot canning pot in September, I'm ready for the gardening season to end and the enjoying season to begin. Here's our total harvest for the month:.

That's a record harvest for any single month, and doesn't include the 20 pounds of apples and 50 pounds of pears we picked up from friends. Maybe that'll help make up for the slow year we've had so far. Let's look at the annual totals. Our gardening season is complete for After an initial burst of cold and rain, our October weather was surprisingly pleasant. The garden plot has been cleared and is ready for us to rake leaves over it for the winter. The birds are enjoying the dried sunflower heads, and I'm waiting for a hard frost to cut back the asparagus ferns.

October means grapes around here, as well as the end of the apples and tomatoes. I made final harvests of our chili peppers and potatoes, and I've been carefully meting out my precious remaining plums and last batch of fresh salsa from the fridge. It will be many long months before we have any fresh produce from our own yard. Final tally for food put-up to date: That's a lot of jars, and the pantry under the stairs is stacked high — more boxes are stored in the basement.

February 2008 Update

That also includes the preserves that will be part of this year's holiday gifts to our friends — we love our tradition of exchanging homemade treasures. I look forward each year to planning what I will make to share. Ha — that's a canning pun! Oregon's many wineries are worried about a poor harvest this year, but our grapes had their best year ever. In addition to harvesting from our own vines, I was able to pick about 30 pounds of Concord grapes from our neighbor the millionaire next door and made J.

Garden clean-up and harvesting totaled about six hours of labor for the month. Here are the numbers:. Lessons for the year Some of our crops this year were small currants, blackberries , bringing our annual harvest value down. But despite that, this year's overall profit is higher than for the other years we've tracked our progress. First of all, our costs were very low this year — we've got the main garden infrastructure established and didn't need to purchase many items.

In addition, I was very selective in my choice of seeds and plant starts this spring. And perhaps even more importantly, our maturing plants are producing substantial crops of asparagus, apples, plums, and grapes. I look forward to next year's crops from these perennial plants, as J. I'll turn my attention to the somewhat neglected flower beds instead and we'll enjoy eating the pantry down. I think I may have enough jam to last us until ! Final word This garden project is not a formal experiment.

Kris and I are long-time hobby gardeners, and we have set ways that we do things. This year, we're trying to incorporate some new ideas from GRS readers, but most of the time we'll do things the way we have for more than 15 years. Instead, we're trying to see just what our garden costs and produces based on our normal habits. We hope the results of this experiment will help us find new ways to economize and to improve our crops. In , J. Over time, he learned how to save and how to invest.

Today, he's managed to reach early retirement! He wants to help you master your money — and your life. No scams.