Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Almost time for Fall Garden Seed Saving

My fall garden is winding down, and I am looking forward to saving seeds from what I planted back in October.  Above is Matador Spinach.  It tastes wonderful, but it got a bit yellowed around the leaf edges.  Next year I will try planting it in a more shady spot.  

I dedicated an entire raised bed to this Parris Island Cos Romaine Lettuce.  This one was a real winner.  

This is my second year growing this Yugoslavian heirloom red lettuce.  It is extremely tasty.  

This is sword leaf lettuce.  The flavor is a bit stronger than the Romaine or the Yugoslavian lettuces, but I really like the leaf shape.   The Sword leaf lettuce and Yugoslavian lettuce were having a hard time in the full sun until I threw up the shade cloth behind them a couple weeks ago.  

Lutz Salad beets.  Nice texture and color in the leaves for salad.  The leaf miners have absolutely no interest in these which is a bonus.

My Lacinato Kale from 2 Octobers ago still hasn't flowered.  I wonder if it will flower for me this year.  

I thought I planted corn salad in this spot, but I guess this is a purple Pak Choi.  I have no idea where I got these seeds.  All the purple Pak Choi I have seen online is Hybrid, so I am thinking to yank these for the compost and put a tomato in their place.  

This is the 3rd year I've grown seed saved from a brocoli Moira planted with her homeschool group.  I left the largest brocoli head for our baby sitter and the girls when I went out of town last month, but  no one harvested it so it had bolted by the time I came home.  That's ok because there will be lots of seeds to share from this plant.

Still harvesting Calendula....

...and I'm hoping to get at least a few chamomile flowers before it gets much hotter here.  It's been a very warm winter.

Here's a bit of what's on deck for my spring and summer garden...

I always have to keep at least one Perilla plant going in my garden, though they would like to completely take over.

Black Krim Tomatos are waiting for space in the raised bed.  I also have Ceylon Tomatoes and Costoluto Genovese Tomatoes about this size at home.

The plants are growing fast and so are the chickens.  I will post more pictures of our teen aged hens to share soon.  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Best Sewing Machine Repair Man in Volusia County

Photo by Christine Landis
For all my local Volusia County sewing friends, I need to take a minute to make sure you know about my sewing repair man Jim.  Jim is a retired sewing machine repair guy who fixes up machines out of his daughter's garage in Port Orange.  He also always has well tuned used machines available at reasonable prices.  I have purchased 3 machines from him and they have all been good.  The price is right also with beginner or basic machines starting at $40.  I purchased a Singer 401 A from him yesterday and it was only $150.  These are going for over $220 plus shipping on ebay.  Right now he has a Singer 301 A for sale, which is great for quilters.  He only wants $75 for it (he will ship too).  Fair market value for these in Canada is 700.  I'm not sure what they go for here in the US.  Call him up for your repair needs: 386-681-8354 (I hate to say it, but while you can).  He is an elderly person who is desperate for work to cover his medical bills.  He is so reasonable that the dealers call him and harrass him and tell him that has to stop doing repair so cheaply.  It is not just that he is good at his job and inexpensive, but I like him because he is also sharing with information that most of the proprietary-minded repair people will not tell you about.  Also thanks to my Daytona Etsy Teammate Kim Fienberg of Purple Thumbprint Creations for referring me to Jim.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Garden Start Up Giveaway - 40 seed packs

I recently hosted a seed swap here in Daytona Beach.  I have lots of seeds left over from the swap and I have put together 2 packages of 20 seed packs each to giveaway.  Twenty seed packs will go out to 2 winners.  The packs include a mix of flowers, vegetables and herbs.  Some of these seeds are from plants that I have grown including Seminole pumpkin and Lemongrass.  Others are from my friend the Wooden Bee of the Backyard Florida Gardening Blog.  Others are from seed or garden companies who donated seed packs that were too old to sell.  These companies include Green Winters of Ormond Beach Florida, Garden Hoard of Livonia, Michigan, and Moonlight Microfarm of South Florida.  Finally there are a bunch of wonderful seeds that were generously donated for the swap by WinterSown.org.  There are still a bunch of seeds here for the community garden, so I am hoping to find good homes for these seeds.  The 20 seed packs are:

Seminole Pumpkin
China Aster
Gloriosa Daisy
Thai Basil
Mini Red Turks Turban Squash
Rose Mallow
Lewis Flax
Mixed Lettuce blend
Bibb Lettuce
Marmande French Heirloom Tomato
Aurum Cherry Tomato
White Scallop Squash
Southern Giant Curled Mustard
White Milan Turnip
Matt's Wild Cherry Tomato
Summer Carnival Holly Hock
Belemcanda chinensis (She Gan) Lily AKA Blackberry Lily
Rio Grande Tomato

 You can enter to win using the raffle copter widget below.  If you don't see the form right away, try clicking to reload your page.  This contest is open to adults with US shipping addresses.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 11, 2013

Great Idea: Turn Pallets into a Green House

I spent a little time in the Bonner Center Community Garden yesterday. Someone had decided to frame up a little house using pallets. This is Central Florida, so I'm not sure if it will be a shade house or a green house. Either way, great idea. Kale is looking good too.

Update 2/13/13  My friend Jason tagged me in his photo on facebook.  Looks like a green house to me!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Zeolite Detox Soap

My Zeolite Detox Soap has a new look.  I hope you like it.  This unscented soap has a high concentration of Zeolite, Bentonite Clay, and Activated Charcoal.  The charcoal gives the soap the dark color. The soaps have a mild gentle lather and are moderately exfoliating. This can be used as a hand soap, body soap or a facial soap for people with normal to oily or blemished skin types. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Free Screening of Genetic Roulette through Feb 10

The documentary Genetic Roulette—The Gamble of Our Lives was awarded the Top Transformational Film of 2012 by AwareGuide.  To celebrate the Institute for Responsible Technology is making the film available to watch for free again.  If you haven't seen it yet, be sure to set aside an hour and a half sometime between now and February 10th when the free screening period ends.  You can also purchase a copy of the film online.  I highly recommend this film to anyone with unexplained food allergies.  

Monday, February 4, 2013

Seed Saving E-book - Free Guide

I came across this e-book for seed saving this morning from Seed Ambassadors. It has a lot of helpful information including cultivation for pedigree versus adaptivars and different seed saving techniques for different types of plants. You can down load all 37 pages for free here: A Guide to SeedSaving, SeedStewardship & Seed Sovereignty

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Herbal First Aid with 7Song featuring Yarrow

Learning Herbs has another great online course starting.  Herbalist 7Song teaches about herbal first aid starting with Yarrow.  With over 30 years experience, 7Song, director of the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine, is one of the country’s most respected herbal first aid experts.  After taking this course you will have confidence for dealing with acute situations.  You can watch the first part of the course for free.  Free videos this week include how make an activated charcoal poultice, an amazing natural wound treatment, and also includes an in depth look at 7Song's favorite herb for first aid.