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Do YOU have a climate-fr​iendly garden? a repost


Today the Backyard, Tomorrow the Nation

Most home gardeners already see evidence of global warming in their own backyards and these droughts, floods, pests, and weeds can challenge even the greenest thumb. But you can do more than merely adapt to these new conditions: you can make choices in your garden that don’t add to the problem.

As the summer gardening season swings into full gear, we’ll be bringing you expert advice – from Master Gardeners and our very own scientists – so that you can be a climate-friendly gardener in your own backyard, and encourage the same on our nation’s farms.

In Your Garden

Norma Jean Wade, a Master Gardener from Livonia, MI, offers this tip on how to be a climate-friendly gardener.

gardeners guide “Synthetic chemical pesticides require a lot of energy to manufacture, producing a significant amount of carbon dioxide in the process. To reduce your use of synthetic pesticides, consider planting native plants. Native plants are low maintenance because they are adapted to local soils and climate, and are more resistant to native plant viruses, insects, and bacteria. Incorporating native plants is a key strategy for establishing a climate-friendly garden.”

See page 4 of The Climate-Friendly Gardener (pdf) for more tips on how to limit chemicals in your garden, or contact your local Cooperative Extension Office for gardening information specific to your region.

On the Farm…

Farmers can also adopt climate-friendly practices, such as lowering their use of chemical pesticides, on our nation’s farms. Farmers employing sustainable farming techniques, including organic systems, have demonstrated that it is possible to produce abundant quantities of nutritious food while avoiding the use of these synthetic pesticides which are dangerous for our health and our environment.

The Farm Bill—voted on every five years in Congress—largely determines what food farmers will grow and what practices they will employ. Programs designed to help farmers successfully transition to sustainable agriculture practices that reduce their reliance on synthetic pesticides are on the chopping block, despite the already low levels of funding for these programs compared with support for outdated, chemical-dependent conventional agriculture systems.

Write to your member of Congress and demand farm policies that help farmers lower their use of synthetic chemical pesticides.

Take Action Today!    www.ucsusa.org

Sincerely,
KateAbend_jpg
Jenn Yates
National Field Organizer
UCS Food and Environment Program

Norma Jean Wade, a Master Gardener from Livonia, MI, offers this tip on how to be a climate-friendly gardener.

In the Library : In Your Garden by Vita Sackville-West


by Vita Sackville-West

From 1946, the poet and novelist Vita Sackville-West wrote a gardening column in the Observer. The columns were later collected into a set of books published between 1951 and 1958. Vita’s extensive gardening knowledge, her intense passion for her subject and her lively literary flair make these classics of garden writing essential for any serious gardener’s bookshelf. Volume 1 in a series of four anthologies reproducing the lively gardening columns by Vita Sackville-West. This volume covers 1946–1950.

50 Ways to Never Waste Food Again ::: By Colleen Vanderlinden, Planet Green


By Colleen Vanderlinden, Planet Green

“Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without” is a favorite adage
in both frugal and green circles, and it is something I strive to live
by. One of the best ways to “use it up” is to think differently about
our food and ways to avoid wasting it. Lloyd wrote a great post a while
back about the statistics for how much food we waste
in the U.S., and the numbers are, frankly, appalling. On average, we
waste 14 percent of our food purchases per year, and the average
American family throws out over 600 dollars of fruit per year. Most of
the food we waste is due to spoilage; we’re buying too much and using
too little of it.

We’ve all had it happen: half the loaf of bread goes stale because no
one wants to eat sandwiches today, and the grapes we bought as healthy
snacks for the kids’ lunches languish in the crisper. With a little
creativity, and an eye toward vanquishing waste in our lives, we can
make use of more of our food before it goes to waste. Here are a few
ideas for you.

Using Up Vegetables

1. Leftover mashed potatoes from dinner? Make them into patty shapes
the next morning and cook them in butter for a pretty good “mock hash
brown.”

2. Don’t toss those trimmed ends from onions, carrots, celery, or
peppers. Store them in your freezer, and once you have a good amount
saved up, add them to a large pot with a few cups of water and make
homemade vegetable broth. This is also a great use for cabbage cores and
corn cobs.

3. Don’t toss broccoli stalks. They can be peeled and sliced, then prepared just like broccoli florets.

4. If you have to dice part of an onion or pepper for a recipe, don’t
waste the rest of it. Chop it up and store it in the freezer for the
next time you need diced onion or peppers.

5. Roasted root vegetable leftovers can be turned into an easy,
simple soup the next day. Add the veggies to a blender, along with
enough broth or water to thin them enough to blend. Heat and enjoy.

6. If you’re preparing squash, don’t toss the seeds. Rinse and roast
them in the oven, just like you would with pumpkin seeds. The taste is
pretty much the same.

7. Celery leaves usually get tossed. There’s a lot of good flavor in
them; chop them up and add them to meatloaf, soups, or stews.

8. Use up tomatoes before they go bad by drying them in the oven. You can then store them in olive oil in the refrigerator (if you plan on using them within a week) or in the freezer.

9. Canning is always a good option. If you’re doing tomatoes, you can use a boiling water bath. If you’re canning any other type of veggie, a pressure canner is necessary for food safety.

10. Before it goes bad, blanch it and toss it in the freezer. This
works for peas, beans, corn, carrots, broccoli, brussels sprouts,
cauliflower, and leafy greens like spinach and kale.

11. Too many zucchini? Make dark chocolate zucchini cake, zucchini bread or muffins. If you don’t want to eat the bread now, bake it and freeze it, then defrost when you’re ready to eat it.

12.Pickle it.
Cucumbers are the first veggie most of us think of pickling, but in
reality, just about any vegetable can be preserved through pickling.

Ideas for Cutting Down on Fruit Waste

13. Make smoothies with fruit before it goes bad. Berries, bananas, and melons are great candidates for this use-up idea.

14. Jam is really easy to make, and will keep for up to a year if you
process the jars in a hot water bath. If you don’t do the water
processing part, you can keep the jam in the refrigerator for a month,
which is a lot longer than the fruits would have lasted.

15. Dry your fruit and store it in the freezer or in airtight containers.

16. Make fruit leather.

17. Make a big fruit salad or “fruit kebabs” for your kids. For some
reason, they seem to eat more fruit if it’s in these “fancier” forms.

18. Use up the fall bounty of apples by making applesauce or apple butter.

19. Don’t throw out those watermelon rinds! Pickled watermelon rind is a pretty tasty treat.

20. Make a fruit crumble out of almost any fruit you have on hand.
Assemble and bake it now, or leave it unbaked and store it in the
freezer for a quick dessert.

Jolinda Hackett – About.com Vegetarian Food Guide


About Vegetarian Food: Tips for gluten-free vegetarians

From Jolinda Hackett, your Guide to Vegetarian Food
If you’re vegetarian or vegan and sensitive to wheat or gluten, your choices don’t necessarily have to be limited. I’ve put together a collection of dozens of gluten-free and wheat-free vegetarian and vegan recipes, including gluten-free breakfasts, entrees and desserts. Enjoy! Also, learn how a low-fat and vegan diet can help those with diabetes.
Vegetarian and Vegan Gluten-free Recipes

Whether you suffer from wheat sensitivities, celiac disease, or you just want to reduce the refined grains in your diet, there’s a number of reasons to try cooking vegetarian and gluten-free. Although many gluten-free recipes require special ingredients, these vegetarian gluten-free recipes are simple dishes you can try for lunch or dinner any time.
Most popular gluten-free recipes

Here’s what other gluten-free vegetarians and web-surfers most frequently view when searching for gluten-free and vegetarian recipes. Maybe they’ll be your favorites too!

Cinnamon Toast Crunch … Homemade


English: A Bowl Of Cinnamon Toast Crunch
English: A Bowl Of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Homemade Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Makes 5 to 6 cups

1¼ c. white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1¼ c. all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon

⅓ c. coconut oil, at room temperature (or room temperature butter)
⅓ c. brown sugar

2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

2 tbsp. honey
½ c. buttermilk maybe coconut milk

For the cinnamon sugar topping
1 tbsp. coconut oil, melted (or melted butter)

2 tbsp. granulated sugar
¾ tsp. cinnamon