Peak Moment 51: Tour Scott McGuire’s “White Sage Gardens” in the back yard of his rental home — a demonstration site for suburban sustainability. He ponders, “How might a household produce and preserve a significant portion of its own food supply?” Composting, a water-conserving greenhouse, and seed-saving are all facets of this beautiful work in progress.
At this time of year many of us think about rhododendrons. Although the different types flower for a long period, it is in May that they really make an impact on gardens across the land. But rhododendrons must have lime-free soil and that can make them tricky for some of us that garden on neutral or limey soils. Planting in the garden is a waste of time and money. If you want, you can make a raised bed and fill that with acid soil but digging a hole in your garden and filling it with acid (ericaceous) compost only works for a while. The water from the surrounding soil will drain in and spread the lime and although you can acidify soil with sulphur chips you really are making life hard for yourself.
By far the best way to grow rhododendrons in these circumstances is to put them in pot. Rhododendrons have compact, fibrous roots and grow well in containers. But before you rush out and plant one in your favourite container, consider a few basics. Choose a dwarf rhododendron — many can get huge but there are lots of compact varieties, such as the ‘Bow Bells’ I chose, or all the Yakushimanum varieties (‘Yaks’). Then think about the pot. It should not be made of concrete or contain lime and must have straight sides so that, when the time comes, you can get the roots out of the pot to move it into the next size. It must also have drainage holes but if it has a saucer which can be topped up with water in summer, that is of benefit. You must use a lime-free compost. There are many brands of lime-free, or ericaceous compost but most are loam-free. Most are not, in my opinion, good for long-lasting plants and I prefer to use lime-free John Innes compost, possibly mixed with some fine bark.
A Short film about making Bokashi–a fermented wheat bran–used to pickle kitchen food waste to help it compost quicker without foul odors. Can also use to feed to animals into the garden or the septic system. Need wheat bran, molassa, high mineral salt, ceramic powder, water and effective microbes (EM).
How to make kimchi using western type cabbage and not using Chinese cabbage.
1/2 a cabbage, 150g small green onion, 1/2 cup sea salt, a bit of water
1/2 cup powdered red pepper, 3 tablespoons water, 5 tablespoons minced garlic, 3 tablespoons minced ginger, 1/2 cup fish sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, and 1 cup water
1. Cut and discard the head of the cabbage and chop the remainder into edible sizes. Sprinkle with salt and water and let it sit for 1~2 hours.
2. Mix the flour with water and stir it over heat until the mixture thickens. Let it cool.
3. Chop the small green onions into 4~5cm pieces.
4. Mix the seasoning ingredients.
5. Run the cabbage under cold water. Dry the cabbage of all moisture and mix it with the seasoning.
6. Mix the small green onions withthe seasoned cabbage. Combine leftover seasoning from the bowl with water and pour it over the kimchi.
7. If you’re cooking this in the summer, ferment it for 10 hours. If it’s winter, ferment it for 2 days and keep it in a refrigerator.
Nutrition by Natalie
What is the difference between organic food and conventional food? Is organic really more healthy for you?
The USDA lays out certain guidelines that farms have to follow in order to be able to claim the food is organic. In this video Natalie discusses what each of those guidelines are.
What is surprising to learn is some of the growing practices of conventional farming and food processing. As an example, chemical plants and waste water treatment facilities will actually sell their toxic waist to conventional farms to use for fertilizer.
What you eat is an important part of health and nutrition.