Here are a couple of TED talks that really emphasize the importance of growing and cooking your own food – and the potential health benefits.

One from Jamie Oliver (22 mins) about educating kids about food and the other from guerrilla gardener Ron Finley (11 mins) who creates urban gardens on south central LA.

 

 

 

Baking bread takes an investment of time and effort but it’s well worth it, especially when the kids get involved. They mostly get involved in the eating rather than the making but that’s okay.

Home made bread 1 Home made bread 2 Home made bread 3 Home made bread 4

 

 

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It’s that time of year again when there doesn’t appear to be much going on around the farm in Florida because it’s too stinking hot and humid to grow much, but all the groundwork is being set for expanding the garden and preparing for the fall right now.  A dump truck full of dirt was delivered to level out new garden space as we expand.  Hours of fun for the girls, hours of intense manual labor for the parents….

imageUnfortunately we had to clear out a few trees to make more room and less shade for growing more veggies, as a by product we had an awesome bonfire one evening.  The Lorax may not approve but it’s all for the greater good!  I’ll make up for it by planting some new fruit trees in a different location.

 

 

When the hot and humid weather takes over and the garden is resting, what better activity is there than to spend some quality time indoors with a good book? Here’s a quick look at some of the great books we’ve been reading this summer. All three of these come highly recommended – especially so if you are one of the cool kids (like me!) that are into organic farms, worms and cooking.

Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers’ Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm by Forrest Pritchard

This is a biographical account detailing the serious (and occasionally hilarious) trials and tribulations of a young farmer on a mission to save the family farm. It’s not about how to farm, and so that fact that he raises livestock – he actually describes his job as growing pasture – doesn’t really matter. It’s an inspirational and motivating story about one mans journey into farming

 

 

 

 

 

The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms by Amy Stewart

It seems that the bees have been getting all the attention these days but in ‘The Earth Moved’ it’s time for one of the other unsung heroes of nature to take a turn in the spotlight – the earthworm. I have EarthMovedbecome a big fan of this humble creature since I started composting with worms a few years ago and have come to view them as the easiest pet in the world to take care of. All you do is feed them garbage and they produce nutrient rich castings for your garden. It hardly seems fair but it appears that’s just how the worms like it. The book is witty and educational. If you have even the slightest interest in worms then this is the book for you.

 

 

 

 

Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan

cookedCooked by Michael Pollan (The Omnivores Dilemma, In Defense of Food) takes through the 4 elements of Fire, Earth, Water, and Air and relates each to cooking. From barbecuing whole hogs in the deep south, to braises and stews, baking bread and fermenting all kinds of things the story is typical Pollan and throughout the book he pauses to reflect and muse on the pleasures of each activity as well as analyze and research facts and historical information about the evolution of cooking.

I love a homemade loaf and so taking some inspiration from the bread making section I am working on cultivating my own culture (instead of commercial yeast) to use ion my own bread. More on that to come as it takes a week or two to develop.

 

 

 

 

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Some families idea of  summer fun is going to a water park or exotic location, ours is  getting soaked by the hose while cleaning out pots for our hydroponic towers.  Everyone has a job to do around here to get ready to begin planting for the fall season (two weeks and counting).  It turns out jobs that include getting water spray are easier to find volunteers for.  We’ve already begun planting some seeds with the majority to plant in the coming weeks.

What if…everyone grew their own food?

What if…your food traveled 12 feet (instead 1200 miles)?

What if…growing your own food was easy?

What if…you took that next step and tried for yourself?

I am currently testing out the ‘Urbin Grower’ at home. I have it out on the front porch growing Poblano Peppers and so far I am really appreciating the way it looks and the way it works. It is available here or contact us directly for more info about getting your own UrBin grower locally.

I came across this innovative idea that helps you conserve shower water to use on your plants.

Simply put the Joeycan in the base of the shower when you switch it on and catch the cold water as you wait for it to warm up. It holds about 1 1/2 gallons of water that you can easily carry out later and use on your plants. The Joeycan is available on Amazon for $25.

How to Use Joeycan

 

WormFactory360In America we throw 34 million tons of food waste into landfills each year, more than any other type of waste (www.EPA.gov).

We have been composting with worms for a while now and it makes it easy for us to recycle kitchen scraps, paper waste (junk mail) and cardboard into nutrient-rich fertilizer for our plants. It helps us create a more sustainable lifestyle by recycling more waste and also helps improve soil quality to help us grow healthy plants.

It’s one of the easiest steps you can take to reduce your environmental impact and create nutrients for your plants.

Sassakala is now a proud reseller for Natures Footprint products so we can help urban gardeners like you create a more sustainable lifestyle and help you ‘grow your own food’.

The WormFactory is available now. Contact us for more information or to order one for yourself.