Winter Storm

Our Homestead
Wow. It has been a very long time since I have seen this much snow where I live. Oklahoma is considered a "West South Central" state in the United States.. and I always thought I was in the midwest, LOL. The garden is completely covered, the chickens are completely freaked out, the quail are still their cute little selves, curious yet content. The kale that has kept us with fresh green nutrition for the last few months is gone. I have to say, Kale does indeed become more flavorful when you add frost. I have come to truly enjoy its taste this year. I will be curious to see how it weathers the deep cold snow. It slays me how anything with green leaves can survive when winter temperatures hover…
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Still January

Growing Food, Organic Gardening, Our Homestead
Today I went outside to find the slightest whiff of spring in the air... or was it just wishful thinking? After checking with the online weather report, I realize it is probably wishful thinking and that peas will not be in the ground quite as early as I had at first hoped. It is going to RAIN. <sigh> The heirloom seeds have been ordered. The seed trays have been dusted off in the greenhouse, found their tables and are ready to plant. I wash them with castile soap, but you can also use a 3% bleach solution. ALWAYS start with things as clean as you can get them... especially if your supplies have sat around in a moist greenhouse all winter. I've heard that when the whippoorwill sings, it is time…
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Fall Cabbage Worms

Organic Pest & Disease Control
Cabbage butterflies herald the spring, but their caterpillars, hatching from hundreds of eggs laid during a single spring day, are among the most terrible of pests. They attack cruciferous plants from the Brassicaceae family - cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, bok choy, nasturtium and others. The most successful control is prevention. When you spot these lovely white butterflies, check the undersides of leaves of cabbage and other plants from the Cruciferae family for eggs, a concentration of yellow pinheads, and destroy them with the pressure of your thumb. [caption id="attachment_3374" align="alignright" width="300"] adult cabbage looperphoto courtesy, Keith Naylor, bugwood.org[/caption] If the caterpillars have already begun to eat leaves, only manually removing them or an organic insecticidal spray will get them off. Please don't use poison as they CAN be controlled organically!…
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Control Cabbage Worms Organically

Control Cabbage Worms Organically

Organic Pest & Disease Control
Did you have beautiful cabbage plants yesterday? Did you come out to your lovely organic garden this morning to this... Cabbage worms can do damage to the entire cruciferous (cabbage) family of plants but definitely prefer cabbage and cauliflower; also Alyssum and Nasturtium in the flower garden. They frequently damage turnips, kale, collards, radishes, and mustard. Cabbage Worm Identification Let's determine if this is your real problem... if you click on the photo, you can see this little buggar up close and personal. I didn't have too much trouble with them this spring, so I didn't get very many good photos, but this fall began the emergence of the dreaded, white cabbage moth. But before you begin any form of control, even organic pest control, you need to make sure…
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The Magic of Leafy Greens

The Magic of Leafy Greens

Growing Food, Healthy Eating
How much of my food can I grow in a small garden area? This is the question I receive most frequently from residents interested in starting vegetable gardens. Like all things in life, the answer is: it depends. In this case, it depends on the size of the garden, the amount of sun, and what you want to eat. Since sun and garden space are difficult to change, the easiest way to eat more of your homegrown vegetables, is to start eating vegetables that are high yielding and easy to grow. Hence, we discover the magic of leafy greens. Leafy greens are a backyard food gardener's best friend. They are easy to grow, harvest, and cook. They produce an abundance of food even in low-light conditions. Moreover, they taste great,…
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History of Cabbage and Kale or Coles

History of Cabbage and Kale or Coles

Community
Cabbage and kale are among the hardiest and most nutritious vegetables a home gardener can grow with ease. Both are handsome in the garden, with colors ranging from pale green through dark battleship blue, to deep reddish purple. Flavors range from mild to strong, and both lend themselves to dishes both raw and cooked. The history of cabbage and kale is as flavorful as the vegetable! A History of Cabbage and Kale Cabbages, with their leaves formed into heads, are more sophisticated than kales. Greek and Roman colonists brought cabbages to the Black Sea region; Slavs were growing cabbages in the 9th century. Soon cabbages worked their way north into Russia. Within several centuries, Russian princes paid tribute with garden plots planted with kapusta (as they called cabbage) in addition…
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Cruciferous Vegetables for the Winter Garden

Cruciferous Vegetables for the Winter Garden

Growing Food, Organic Gardening
Dig in now - with cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower transplants - and a healthy harvest of these cancer-preventing vegetables will be ready to serve within two or three months. It is not too late to plant broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, even in September in most places. These vegetables will survive most winters and then be ready to harvest in February through March. Cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli are among vegetables known as cruciferous - so named for the cross-like shape of their flowers - and have been widely documented in research around the world as having properties that prevent cancer. These vegetables should be planted in a sunny location, in rich, well-drained soil. All are hardy annuals that will tolerate evening temperatures in the 40-70 degrees range, so gardeners should watch…
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How to Grow Cabbage & Kale

How to Grow Cabbage & Kale

Growing Food
Learn How to Grow Cabbage and Kale If you'd like to learn how to grow cabbage and kale then you need to understand that they both prefer cool weather and can withstand light frosts. They grow best in full sun in rich (mix plenty of organic matter, such as compost, humus, well rotted manure, or leaf mold into the soil before planting), moist, slightly alkaline (pH 7.0) well-drained soil. To avoid any soil borne diseases, rotate crops; i.e., do not plant any members of the cabbage family (including broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, rapini, Brussels sprouts, mustard) in the same place for four years. Start Cabbage Seed Indoors Start cabbage seeds indoors eight to ten weeks before the last frost date. Sow the seeds 1/2 inch deep, in sterile starting mix. Water…
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