Neighborly Advice Vol. 5: Neighboorhood Gone Wild With Free Food


A. Onion Grass  B. Mint  C. Violets  D. Dandelion

A. Onion Grass B. Mint C. Violets D. Dandelion

With beginner articles on Mason Bees; Mushrooms; Crystallized Edible Flowers and Fruits; Dandelion Bread, Soup, Salad, Casserole and Wine; Violet Jelly; Sugared Violets; Stuffed Wild Grape Leaves; Outdoorsy Kid Activities, you could say we’ve gone a little wild this week. Join your neighbors for a new adventure!

Congratulations to Jen Neff, the only one to get all 4 correct in the You’re Eating WHAT From Your Lawn Quiz.

After we harvest some wild goodies, let’s head into the kitchen to make a feast from our foraged finds.  Don’t be afraid.  Open your palate to something new.  We’re all adults here.  If we are brave enough to step out of our comfort zone, then we open ourselves to a whole new world of learning, adventure and … well, free gourmet food.

In The Kitchen/ Into The Wild

Surfer Sam inspired the creative juices for this weeks edition with the following comprehensive article.

Everything Mushrooms — varieties, recipes, etc.

Langdon Cook’s new book, Fat of the Land: Adventures of A 21st Century Forager sounds like my kind of adventure. From his blog we have…

Dandy Muffins and Bread

Here are more dandelion recipes from all over…

Dandelion Fritters

Dandelion Pesto

Dandelion Soup or Dandelion Salad w/ Eggs or Italian Dandelion Casserole or Dandelion Wine

And just look at all the fun we can have with violets.

Violet Jelly

Sugared Violets

Crystallized Edible Flowers and Fruits

I am particularly eager to try the two recipes that follow as I have never tried either.

Stuffed Wild Grape Leaves

Simple Delicious Fiddlehead Fern Recipe

Waiting to be mounted to get morning sun, afternoon shade, one of my semi-homemade mason bee homes.  Attracting more pollinators means more garden goodies!

Waiting to be mounted to get morning sun, afternoon shade, one of my semi-homemade mason bee homes. Attracting more pollinators means more garden goodies!

In The Backyard Barnyard

How to Build a Mason ( Orchard ) Bee House

Beneficial Bugs: Mason Bees

Attracting Pollinators

Mason Bees

Shaw, age 6, explains how to make candied violets.

Shaw, age 6, explains how to make candied violets.

Up In The Tree House

Make Your Own Printable Birthday Cards

Candied Violets — So Easy A Child Could Do It

Sorry for the quickie edition

In case you missed the past editions, here are the links:

Neighborly Advice Vol 1pizza dough, making jam, using a pressure cooker, learning to knit, rescuing lost stitches, adding goats to your backyard

Neighborly Advice Vol 2 — kool-aid dye, spinning wool, kids’ activities, natural egg dyes, keeping chickens, line drying clothes, making applesauce, finding your sanity, pickling eggs, frugal groceries, growing peas, tomatoes and even worms

Neighborly Advice Vol 3 — grocery budgets, foraging free food, starting a garden, seed tape, hemming pants, chickens, turkeys, fruit trees, goat cheese, fermentation, kid’s activities and my favorite book sale

Neighborly Advice Vol 4 — making marshmallows, starting a garden, planting potatoes, herbs and onions, charming row markers, slow-roasted tomatoes, foraging free food, kids’ activity to-do list, 100 ways to cook eggs, tabletop gardening, and even starting an aquarium

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Neighborly Advice Vol. 4 — Mostly Gardening Edition


Climb over the fence and join your neighbors in a learning adventure.

Climb over the fence and join your neighbors in a learning adventure.

With beginner “how – tos” on making marshmallows, starting a garden, planting potatoes, herbs and onions, charming row markers, slow-roasted tomatoes, foraging free food, kids’ activity to-do list, 100 ways to cook eggs, tabletop gardening, and even starting an aquarium, you’ll find some new adventure to begin this weekend.

We shall start with some simple wise advice for everyone

A Survival Guide For The Economic Times

Now that the weather is getting nicer, it seems that everyone is either in the kitchen or in the garden.

In the Kitchen

Since we are cleaning up the grill for the season, how about making the freshest fluffiest marshmallows for a little after dinner roast? Okay, who knows all the words to Catalina Magdalina. ” Oh, she had a funny name, but she wasn’t much to blame. That’s what she’s called just the same, same, same… OoooH..”

Ahem. Sorry. Once I get singing, things just get right out of hand.

Homemade Marshmallows

Oh my! Look what Joel and Dana are up to. Someday, I’m just gonna show up on their doorstep for…

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

Eggs are still one of the more affordable proteins out there. Plus, if you have a backyard flock you are always looking for recipes. Well, here’s…

100 Ways to Crack an Egg

In the Garden

So you’ve wondered what the heck are they talking about with all these different kinds of seeds. Oh look! Finally, a clear, concise explanation.

Organic, Heirloom and Regular Seeds Explained

Everyone should know how to plant potatoes. Let’s watch this family to learn their simple, common method. Very easy.

Planting Potatoes

Next, we’ll turn to the experts for info on…

Planting Onions

Herbs for the Home Garden

Here’s two nice little getting-started-in-gardening tutorials. You can do it.

How to Build a Raised Garden Bed

How to Start an Organic Garden

Once you get your stuff in the ground, you should try making these simple charming…

Row Markers

I don’t know about you, but I like to bring a little of the outdoors in. Why not try…

Indoor Tabletop Cactus Garden

And to calm ourselves, nothing is more peaceful than an aquarium. And guess what? When it’s time to change the water, give it to your garden. Aquarium water is wonderful fertilizer!

The Home Aquarium

Up In the Treehouse

Young or just young-at-heart try something new.  It's an adventure everytime.

Young or just young-at-heart try something new. It's an adventure every time.

100 Things to Do Before Kindergarten

In the Wild (Free Food Through Foraging)

Cattails

That’s it for this week’s edition. See you next week for more tips from our smart neighbors.

Go outside and plant something.

In case you missed the past editions, here are the links:

Neighborly Advice Vol 1pizza dough, making jam, using a pressure cooker, learning to knit, rescuing lost stitches, adding goats to your backyard

Neighborly Advice Vol 2 — kool-aid dye, spinning wool, kids’ activities, natural egg dyes, keeping chickens, line drying clothes, making applesauce, finding your sanity, pickling eggs, frugal groceries, growing peas, tomatoes and even worms

Neighborly Advice Vol 3 — grocery budgets, foraging free food, starting a garden, seed tape, hemming pants, chickens, turkeys, fruit trees, goat cheese, fermentation, kid’s activities and my favorite book sale


Neighborly Advice: Vol 3 — Where to Begin


Hop the back fence for a little neighborly advice for beginner's

Hop the back fence for a little neighborly advice for beginners

With beginner articles on grocery budgets, foraging free food, starting a garden, seed tape, hemming pants, chickens, turkeys, fruit trees, goat cheese, fermentation, kid’s activities and my favorite book sale, we are full of advice

…or, at least, full of… something.

You neighbors have a zillion tips. So, grab a cup of coffee and a fresh, warm Philadelphia Sticky Bun let’s see what everybody’s up to.

The biggest problem with being a creative, frugal, productive person is the clutter that accumulates. Personally, I’m a sucker for windows from the garbage heap. I think yo myself, “Ooo, that would make a lovely hot box.” Of course, as of yet there is nary a hot box to be found on this property. Although there are about 10 windows waiting for me.

I guess it’s time for…

Reorganization — At Long Last

Okay, enough of that for today. What smells so good?

In the Kitchen

Oh, it is Joel and Dana with another wonderful tutorial

How to Make Your Own Turkey Gravy

Mm! I can just feel my arteries clogging. Scrumptious! Well, how about we balance that out a bit with a great list from FitBuff. So, grab an apple and check out:

Top 10 Lower Cholesterol Foods

Our next article comes from Heather, whose site looks like what I imagined mine would look like when I first started. She is obviously a kindred spirit. She offers ” a reminder that coupons are not the only way to save money in your food budget.”

Tightwad Tuesday: Talking Grocery Budget

Pickles, sauerkraut and fermenting. Oh my!

Pickles, sauerkraut and fermenting. Oh my!

Here’s a nice article with good resources on getting started with fermenting. I’ve got my crocks. I can’t wait to get started.

Homestead Critters on Your Countertop

More fermenting? Yup, ’cause it’s just so darn cost efficient.

Home Brewing to Save Money ( and have fun )

Confession: I absolutely ache to own dairy goats. You know, just two little Nigerian Dwarfs to provide milk, soap and, of course cheeeeese. Our next article shows just how simple the cheese making process can be.

Making Goat Cheese

Did you know it was that easy? Me neither.

My goodness! What is all that chatter going on…

In The Sewing Room

Oh, it’s a debate over sew and no-sew hemming methods. You’ll just have to check them all out and decide what will work for you.

How to Hem Pants — No Sew Method

How to Hem a Pair of Pants — Blind Hem Tutorial

How to Hem Pants into Shorts, Then Use the Pant Leg to Make a Hat

My those three just have such different ways for everything. I get a charge out of them.

Let’s head out to the back porch to see what Melissa is up to.

Oh dear, she has fallen asleep in the hammock with her knitting. Give me a moment here I just want to remove her project before she pokes an eye out.

(Neighbor Nancy covers Melissa with a warm blankey and giggles quietly as Melissa lets out a giant snore.)

We’d better tiptoe down the porch steps and see what’s growing…

In The Garden

Our first article was actually information I was try to dig up about this time last year. I guess I should have started the magazine sooner.

How to Make Your Own Seed Tape

Oh dear! You’re not even sure how to begin your garden? Have no fear. Go Green Thumb is here to walk you through the process.

Starting an Organic Vegetable Garden

And since I am crippled from working on our new orchard, I think everyone should know…

How to Plant a Fruit Tree

Just look at those silly chickens play in the freshly dug holes!

In The Backyard Barnyard

Nothin’ says frugality like some easy to care for backyard poultry. With two different authors, on two different topics, it should be easy peasy to get started.

Raising Turkeys for Fun and Profit: Basic Facts and Terminology

Raising Chickens for Meat and Eggs

What the heck is all that dad-blasted noise? Oh, it just all the kids…

Up In The Tree House

Well, it looks like they are up to some interesting project. Let’s take a peek.

Making a Backyard Weather Station

Very nifty!

Every tree house should have its own little shelf full of wonderful books. Grab your binoculars or just pretend with your hands. Here are…

Three Bird Books For Spring

I like to test the structural soundness of my tree house by weighing it down with as many books as possible. So, since it’s that time of year again, I offer you advice on my favorite source of children’s books.

Your Local Scholastic Warehouse Book Sale

Let’s finish our visit by going for a walk. I think you should see one way we can find some free food

In The Wild

I told my mom about the following article. She’s so excited she just may pop. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, too. I know I did.

How to Forage for Pine Nuts

Well, that’s it for this week. I hope you found something to keep you frugally busy.

Climb over the fence and join your neighbors in a learning adventure.

Climb over the fence and join your neighbors in a learning adventure.

Join the neighborly discussion Saturday night at 8pm. All you have to do is type in the Meebo box at the right so I can pull you into the chat room.

If you are a blogger with a beginner “how-to” article, please feel free to e-mail me the link. NeighborlyAdvice@gmail.com

Missed the other editions? Click below:

Neighborly Advice Vol 1pizza dough, making jam, using a pressure cooker, learning to knit, rescuing lost stitches, adding goats to your backyard

Neighborly Advice Vol 2 — kool-aid dye, spinning wool, kids’ activities, natural egg dyes, keeping chickens, line drying clothes, making applesauce, finding your sanity, pickling eggs, frugal groceries, growing peas, tomatoes and even worms

Neighborly Advice Vol 4 — making marshmallows, starting a garden, planting potatoes, herbs and onions, charming row markers, slow-roasted tomatoes, foraging free food, kids’ activity to-do list, 100 ways to cook eggs, tabletop gardening, and even starting an aquarium

What are you going to try?

Which was your favorite article?

Are you going to the book sale?

Neighbor Nancy Blows Raspberries at MSN Money Over Hunger-Fighting Gardening


(Neighbor Nancy removes her garden apron and plops in front of the computer for some clarifications on the frugal hunger fighting garden.)

Being a total junkie for news on the effects of this current economic state, I read the following article on MSN Money.

5 Foods It’s Cheaper to Grow

To say the least, I was … disappointed. Oh, you can do way better than that!

Either the writer is a lousy gardener, who had under-researched by reading only a few popular books on the subject or she has never been unemployed/underemployed, fighting hunger and poverty in her own household. A mighty learning motivator, indeed.

Just about everything that is appropriate to your growing region and doesn’t have some tricky harvesting method is cheaper to grow, especially if you are using integrated gardening methods.

There are many simple, little techniques like seed saving, composting or encouraging mason bees that can make a huge difference for the frugal gardener.

Let’s skip right to the part with which I have the most concern. Then I will offer some additional suggestions and further readings.

In the MSN author’s opinion–5 to leave to experts (or farmers) and in mine –why she might be wrong

“… not every crop is cost-effective to grow at home. Skip these five if you’re in it primarily to save money”

Potatoes — Absolutely, positively disagree! For every pound you plant, a lousy yield is 10 pounds a good yield is 20. Plant them in a whiskey barrel of straw, a plastic grocery bag full of leaves or directly in the ground. If you can’t grow them for less than you buy them, contact your county extension agent or try directing that question here: Extension.org

Carrots — Semi-disagree. Carrots are a little fussy about soil, however the varieties for home gardeners do taste far lovelier than commercial varieties. But for the most part, carrots are still an acceptable price in the store. Again, contact your county extension agent for regionally appropriate varieties that can make it worth your while.

Celery — Agree … but only if we are referring to the novice gardener. Celery is left to the more skilled gardener. Once everything else is old hat, then try celery.

Asparagus — Couldn’t disagree more. While it does take a few years to get going, it is well worth a little effort. For the same amount as a single veggie isle bunch, you could get your perennial asparagus patch started. Weed problems? Try old news papers, moistened and covered with free wood chips from the tree trimming contractors that are out and about. I’m a lazy weeder and yet these thrive on year after year.

Wheat — hm… Wheat is a little more labor intensive, yes. But still very affordable for the big backyard. The amount of labor and yield is very much variety related.

A less labor intensive grain choice might be hull-less oats that are great for poorly tilled areas. They can be simply harvested by hand and threshed by banging them on the inside of a clean garbage can or 5 gallon bucket.

What about field corn that can be dried in the field and stored in any cool dry place?

Rotate corn with nitrogen producing soy beans (also field dried) to offer your family a fantastic source of protein, especially if you have no other.

Don’t take my advice or that of the MSN Money author. Do you own research.

Read everything you can get your hands on. Compare methods. Every garden is different and it is up to you to figure out what works best.

Mound your soil. Practice composting, use biochar, add crushed egg shell or fish bones.

Read. Research. Engage your brain. Be brave and start a conversation with a neighbor whose garden you admire. Don’t just read what’s popular, ask yourself, “is that practical for my situation?”

Things I will always have in my garden, due to ease and efficiency:

Potatoes — prolific, stores well, low maintenance, surprisingly decent source of vitamin C, Niacin, B6 and Folate.

Soy beans— extremely prolific, dried or frozen stores very well. According to the USDA a 1 cup serving of soybeans, contains 17 grams of protein … that’s a lot! Also, they are an excellent source of vitamin C, Folate and Thiamin.

Tomatoes — ease, flavor and yield vary greatly by variety. With a good seed catalog or your county extension agent, you can make an appropriate choice.

Soft fruit — raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, etc. You can even grow a dozen plants in a nice, sunny apartment window. Click here for a Ton of Garden, A Tiny Space: Strawberries

Recommended books that can be found at most free libraries or through interlibrary loan:

The Self-Sufficient Gardener by John Seymour — a wonderfully integrated approach from man with a lifetime of experience. Much of that experience was gained working in countries where food supplies was in crisis. The best gardening book in my vast collection. Also by this author, The Self-Sufficient Life is outstanding and includes animals for smallholders, skills and much more.

Backyard Homestead edited by Carleen Madigan — Typical to Storey publications it covers a wealth of information. This one is targeted for people trying to be self reliant on two or less acres.

The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery — Oh, it just has everything.

Gardening When It Counts by Steve Solomon — an experienced seed man’s methods to high-yield, low-cost gardening. Another author, who encourages you to mix methods, depending on your situation.

Root Cellaring by Mike and Nancy Bubel — a classic on the subject first published in 1979. Now it is in its, at least, 28th printing of the second edition. And no, you don’t need a separate “root cellar.” A great book to help you choose what varieties to grow and how to store them.

Complete Guide to Home Canning and Preserving by the USDA. Paid for by your tax dollars Click here to read it online for free.

So, remember that what may grow efficiently and inexpensively for one person may not for another. Check you resources and make up your own mind. Click this link for local gardening advice.

For more information on getting started, whether in a sunny window or in a big field, check the Beginner Gardening category on the right.

(Neighbor Nancy reties her garden apron, decorated with the grime of the season, and brushes her hands of the subject. As she heads back out to the garden, the screen door slams shut behind her with an air of finality.)

What do you think?

What are the “always there” plants in your food garden?

The Beauty of a Recession — Where to Invest Now


If you came looking for stock tips, surf on. The market is too volatile. Think tangibles.

As everything crashes around us, deals abound.

The following advice is only for those out of all debt except possibly mortgage. Otherwise, the best investment you can possibly make is to pay off all the debt you can.

Assuming your pantry is stuffed to bursting, all your bills are caught up, and your garden is growing… or about to, let’s look to the future.

Winter clothes:

The kids don’t stop growing. While cool weather gear is on clearance, consider buying for the future. Simple, classic styles a size or two ahead. This goes for you, too. Nice coats, wool sweaters are all deeply discounted, yet many sizes are still available. Warm clothing= a need

Electronics:

My mom just got a printer for less than the ink that goes in it. Keep your eyes peeled. Try woot.com that offers a new gizmo every night at midnight. Computer, DVD player or digital are dying, now is about the best price you’ll get. Electronics (used for money making purposes)= need Otherwise, like it or not, they are wants.

Furniture:

I have no idea why furniture sales go to heck. Do that many people really redecorate before their furniture literally sits them on the ground? I’ve never been that financially comfortable. Well, what ever. The prices are great. So if you’ve been wanting to replace that chair that has a funny smell that the dog has chewed to shreds, go for it. Cash, paid in full, only. The only furniture that is truly a need is a mattress that gives you good enough rest to keep trudging. For the most part, like it or lump it, furniture is a want.

Luxury:

Oh, there are deals here, but I generally consider them thoroughly in the want not even close to need category. Too bad. Surf to some other blog to learn about them.

The general theory — once you are paying for an 80% off item, you are paying less than the store did for it. Yippeee!

(Neighbor Nancy looks over her glasses and contemplates the recliner with all the exposed wood due to the cats wrong assumption that it is their clawing post. She dismisses the idea, realizing the money is still better spent on canning jars.)

(sigh)

What wonderful thing

Neighborly Advice: Vol. 1–How to Begin


With beginner articles on pizza dough, making jam, using a pressure cooker, learning to knit, rescuing lost stitches, adding goats to your backyard, we heartily welcome you. Are you ready to learn a new skill?

Climb over the fence and join your neighbors for a new adventure!

Climb over the fence and join your neighbors for a new adventure!

I grabbed a few smarty pants neighbors. Each one has expertise in a specific skill that they want to teach you. Every Friday we will try to take you further on your adventure. Whether you are afraid of death by pressure cooker or that you will poke your eye out, trying to learn to knit, we have a smart neighbor to whisper their secrets to you.

Grab a cup of coffee and a warm muffin from the basket and come meet my friends. There’s a load of reading to get you on your way.

Let’s begin our adventure.

Not interested in the following adventure? Skip down the page to choose from many others.

Tons of folks have been visiting me with questions about baking their first loaf of bread. Others have offered their condolences for the untimely death of my Oregon Trail Sour Dough Starter. Thanks for the support, by the way.

In my neck of the woods, many families enjoy pizza on Friday nights. What if you could make better pizza yourself for less. Kaela, who mostly writes about using local food has joined us with two wonderful tutorials.

Quicker Whole Grain Pizza Dough for the beginner

12 Grain Pizza Dough for the more advanced baker

Here’s what she asked me to pass on:

The 12-grain is likely not for beginners; it can be a difficult dough to work with, as the sharp grains can cut the gluten, making it difficult to achieve a good rise, and it is therefore not as elastic and easy to shape as a regular pizza dough. So maybe the quicker pizza dough is for people who have never made pizza dough, and the 12-grain is ‘advanced.’

She refers to local flour she uses and offers us some additional advice about the flour found in our neck of the wood.

Working with the Wild Hive flours has taken some experimentation, as it seems to be more hyrdrated (and less capable of taking in water) than most supermarket brands. So, the basic idea if you are following my recipes, but not using Wild Hive flour, is to know that you may need more water in your recipe, and to pay attention to the pictures and descriptions of how the dough should look and feel. This is true of any baker using any flour really; flour changes day to day, with the weather, temp & humidity in your kitchen, age of the flour, etc., so you always have to adjust; but in general, when trying out new recipes with Wild Hive flour, I start out with about 25% less water than called for in the recipe, and proceed from there.

So, you would like to make your own jam from the baskets of goodies you’ve picked? Visit Joel for a very comprehensive jamming lesson that will ease your where-do-I-begin worries. Dana, a designer by trade, has beautifully photographed the process.

How to Make Your Own Jam — Step-by-Step Case Study (Step 0)

Why haven’t they written a book? Dunno. Maybe they will if we offer them some encouragement.

On we move to visit two silly goats, Doris and Jilly, who are masters of the art of pressure cooking. The will help take away your deathly fear of pressure cooker explosions as they offer their advice on how to get started.

Pressure Cooking Explained

I don’t know about you, but I need to get out of the kitchen for a while. Melissa is sitting in the back porch swing with her knitting. If we take her a warm Philadelphia Sticky Bun, she will certainly chat with us about teaching yourself to knit.

One Project at a Time — or How I Learned to Knit in 8 Easy Years.

Another neighbor offers a pictorial lesson in rescuing dropped stitches in your knitting.

Search and Rescue at Selects Wool and Flax

Let’s head off the back porch to visit the backyard livestock. Fias Co Farm has all the the information you need if you are thinking about adding goats to your backyard.

Getting Your Goat

Well, that’s it for the first edition. In a lousy economy, you need to develop your skill. What will you try?

Next Friday will be our next edition. I hope you drop by.

Join us at the back fence next week for more learning-a-new-skill challenges

Join us at the back fence next week for more learning-a-new-skill challenges

If you are a blogger who writes informative articles about something you think everyone should know how to do, please let me know. Leave a comment, e-mail me.

Or even use the IM at the right if it says that I’m “available.”

(Neighbor Nancy reties her apron and flies out the back door to stir her compost pile, allowing the screen door to bang loudly.)

Note: here are some following editions:

Neighborly Advice Vol 2 — kool-aid dye, spinning wool, kids’ activities, natural egg dyes, keeping chickens, line drying clothes, making applesauce, finding your sanity, pickling eggs, frugal groceries, growing peas, tomatoes and even worms

Neighborly Advice Vol 3 — grocery budgets, foraging free food, starting a garden, seed tape, hemming pants, chickens, turkeys, fruit trees, goat cheese, fermentation, kid’s activities and my favorite book sale

Neighborly Advice Vol 4 — making marshmallows, starting a garden, planting potatoes, herbs and onions, charming row markers, slow-roasted tomatoes, foraging free food, kids’ activity to-do list, 100 ways to cook eggs, tabletop gardening, and even starting an aquarium

Don’t Let This Happen in Your Town – or – Neighbor Nancy’s No Good Very Bad Week


A very big, dark, political cloud closed in around me, while I was busy “getting by.” The daily chores of financial survival kept me too busy to notice the following.

I was talking to my pop this morning and he said,” did you see today’s headline in the little local paper.”

I had not so he summarized the story that followed this local head line:

Dalton Council: No chickens

Go ahead and click that I dare ya.

While I understand their concerns, I am still reeling from their decision. So, please forgive my lack of words. I’m stunned.

This decision has nothing to do with our “girls”. It is, however, just a hop skip and jump away. What thoughtless things are going on in my township? Very scary.

Obviously, the councilmen that voted against have had the luxury of full, comfortable employment.

That’s right I say luxury. A job is a privilege and not a right. Obviously, they have not gone to bed hungry so their child did not. Obviously, my brain is going to explode.

It is apparent that their eyes are wide shut to the world events around them. I am deeply saddened and shamed by them.

I want to shake them and yell,” engage your brain!”

Why not offer town courses in chicken keeping. You county extension agricultural agent was extensively trained, by your own tax dollars for just this sort of teaching. A clean, well maintained chicken coop has very little odor. Education, folks, not ignorance will get us through tough times.

Aw, they don’t like how the chicken coop looks? Then teach people, help them create a structure you can tolerate. Hold a covered dish chicken coop building party, where everyone helps according to their skill.

I would rather see a neighbor’s truly hideous coop built from scrap than try to fall asleep at night knowing they might be going to bed hungry.

Shame on you, councilmen. I was always proud of my little town. Now, I am truly ashamed.

Again, forgive the poor writing. I’m just too angry to even be able to collect my thoughts in a clear, concise manner.

I’m sorry that tonight waiting-for-payday recipe may be a little late. I need to settle down first. Check for others in the category at the right.

Has this happened in your town?

Please take a moment to leave a comment.

(Neighbor Nancy hides her tears of outrage, fear and frustration behind her apron and goes to sit with her hens for a little company)

A Ton of Garden, A Tiny Space: Vegetables for the 6″ Container


Okay, science teachers, apartment dwellers and container gardeners, get those 6″ pots ready. You are gonna grow a feast.

Save money on pots by planting the big Ricotta cheese containers or other similar sized containers you have saved. Poke about 4 or 5 holes in the bottom with a nail for drainage and off you go!

Here are just a few…

Vegetables for the 6″pot

The number after the variety name refers to how many of that plant can go in your 6″ container. Have fun!

Beans, bush

  • Tender Crop — 3 or 4
  • Romano — 3 or 4

Beets

  • Ruby Queen — 4 or 5
  • Burpee’s Golden — 4 or 5
  • Little Mini Ball — 5 or 6

Carrot

  • Tiny Sweet — 8 to 10
  • Baby Finger Nantes — 6 to 8
  • Planet — 8 to 10

Celery

  • Chinese — 4 or 5

Eggplant

  • Long Tom — 1
  • Classic — 1
  • Morden Midget — 1
  • Slim Jim — 1

Lettuce

  • Simpson — 4 or 6
  • Oakleaf — 6 or 10
  • Salad Bowl — 3 or 4
  • Ruby — 6 or 10

Hot Pepper

  • Hungarian Wax — 1

Radish

  • Champion — 6 or 8
  • Cherry Belle — 6 or 8

Swiss Chard

  • Rhubarb — 3 or 4
  • Fordhook Giant — 3 or 4

Cherry Tomato

  • Tiny Tim — 2 or 3
  • Pixie Hybrid — 1
  • Small Fry — 1

Well, I would love to tell you that my gardening knowledge is so vast that I dreamed all that up myself…

I swiped it without permission (Buh Bum!)

from: The Young Gardening Book by Lynn Ocone

Of course, she notes the source as “Cooperative Extension Service: The Ohio State University” — which is paid for by tax dollars. So, therefore, I feel no guilt.

(Neighbor Nancy straightens her apron and brushes her hand of the subject with an air of finality)

Take a peek at the freebie category on the right. There are several free seed offers, including tomatoes.

or

Find inspiration for little green thumbs with Essential Gardening Books for Kids

Check out other small space container ideas:

4″pot veggies

8-10″pot veggies

Hanging Basket Veggies

Big Bucket, Bushel Basket or Tub vegetables

Strawberries

Windowsill herbs

or

Join me, while I take a basket of warm muffins over to Edible Container Gardening in trade for any tips that I have missed.

Join me Friday afternoons for the latest edition of the Neighborly Advice weekend magazine. A few neighbors and I have gotten together to share some beginner articles on backyard livestock, preserving, cooking, baking, knitting, etc. Join the fun as we challenge you to learn a new skill.

Dig in and join the adventure!

What are you going to try?

A Ton of Garden, A Tiny Space: Ideas for Space


Well, hello there. I hope you are well this evening.

Me? Oh, I’ve been cooking up some ideas.

I’m worried … about my friends and neighbors loosing their jobs.

(sigh)

Let’s not dwell on the negative. Let’s see what we can do to improve things. I’ll not have anyone going to bed hungry on my watch. Let’s get busy.

( Neighbor Nancy straightens her apron with resolve and heads to her potting table)

I encourage you to grow a little something. Sure, a lot of something would be great, but not always feasible.

Tonight, let’s focus on the sunny window of the apartment dweller.

For the apartment dweller:

1. Consider a community garden.

Check with your local church, library, school, etc. for information.

2. If a neighbor has some ground, offer them some of your harvest in return for using the space.

3. Ask you employer about planting any unused land around your workplace.

Point out that it would be less for a grounds keeper to worry over. Any sunny spot, even the grassy area between parking rows would work just fine.

4. Do a little container gardening in a sunny window.

With about 6 hours of good sunlight, you could try:

Alibi cucumbers are a good container cuke, growing to only 3 or 4 inches. A window box of leafy greens can provide a lot of nutrition in a small space. A single 12″ pot can grow a regular tomato or pepper plant or about seven prolific soybean ( edamame ) plants. Bush Delicata is a popular winter squash that was bred with the container gardener in mind. There are special compact container peppers, such as Mohawk or Apache Hot.

5. How about the rooftop? If it’s flat who could you ask for permission?

6. Consider “geurilla gardening”.

Okay, so this may be … well … tricky. The basic idea is that you plant public land — a nearby park perhaps. I have no advice on this. So, you’ll just have to check with your favorite search engine.

Start your adventure. Plant some food, whether for yourself or a neighbor. Dig in!

More sunny window links:

A Ton of Garden, a Tiny Space: Strawberries for the Apartment Dweller or Suburbanite —just what to grow them in

A Ton of Garden, a Tiny Space: Choosing the Right Strawberries for You — A little help choosing

Windowsill Herbs

What are you going to grow? And for whom?