How to Garden: Culinary and Medicinal Herbs Resources

Interested in learning about culinary and medicinal herbs?  Check out these great resources!

I’m a firm believer in food as medicine.  Herbs add great flavor to the foods we love, give us beautiful hair and glowing skin, and help to heal us when we’re sick.  These wonderful plants are useful, tasty, and make a great addition to any garden.

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DIY: How to Re-Grow Celery

Don’t toss that celery end into the compost pile, re-grow it!

You know that end piece from the celery bunch that you probably compost?  Did you know you can grow a new celery plant from it?  It’s so easy you may never need to buy another bunch of organic celery again!

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How to Garden: Growing Garlic Chives

Garlic Chives from Sprouted ClovesSprouted garlic cloves?  Turn them into chives for cooking!

I love garlic and keep a lot of it on hand for cooking and using medicinally.  A raw clove of garlic a day is great for your health.  Sometimes I don’t get an opportunity to use it all up before it begins to sprout – so instead of throwing into the compost pile I’ve started growing it.

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DIY: How to Garden with Recycled Containers

Recycled Container Garden

Is this cute or what?  A great idea for re-purposing and old pair of shoes.

Source: blog.builddirect.com via Michelle on Pinterest

Reuse Old Items to Create a Beautiful Garden

Take a look through your old or unwanted items and I bet you’ll find something you can turn into a flower pot.  Or if your item is big enough, an entire container garden.  I like to save empty glass jars, large tin cans, and the empty containers that once held the raw honey I love so much.  In the past we’ve even used old plastic storage containers, large five gallon buckets, and even an old entertainment center to grow our plants and veggies.

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DIY Green Gardening Projects for Spring

spring mint

Get Dirty!

Spring has sprung, and we’re all getting in the mood – the gardening mood that is.  It’s time to gather our seeds and our gardening tools, and get some dirt on our hands.

Have you decided what you want to plant this spring?  How about adding some delicious herbs to your garden landscape.  Not only do they add some tasty flair to your favorite dishes, they’re also lovely to look at.

Don’t have a ton of space for planting a vegetable garden?  Don’t worry, you can still grow some veggies in a one-pot vegetable garden.  This is also an excellent way to get your feet wet if you’ve never grown your own food before.  Try it – you’ll be amazed at how simple, easy, and tasty vegetable gardening can be.

If you’re short on cash, want to reuse some of your old stuff, or just want to add a unique look to your garden, then get creative with planters.  Don’t know what to do with that old run-down wheelbarrow?  Don’t chuck it in the garbage, grow some greens in it!

Have a great gardening tip?  Share it below, or send me a tweet @greenearthbazar .  I’d love to hear from you! ;)

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Homegrown Zucchini

Oue zucchini from June, 2010

It’s A Mystery…

Our single zucchini plant has been a mystery to me. Once it began producing I was very excited that our zucchinis were actually growing as they should be.  This was the first year our family attempted growing our own food, so it’s been a constant learning experience – a lot of trial and error.

Our single zucchini plant began growing and producing at a very fast rate, and although we weren’t getting a large amount from the one plant we planted in our up-cycled entertainment center turned raised garden bed, I was happy nonetheless.  We certainly had enough for some tasty homemade zucchini bread, as well as some nice steamed zucchini with dinner on a couple of occasions.

Zucchini squash is a funny thing.  They seem to grow at break neck speed, and before you know it you have a squash that’s 10+ inches long and in dire need of cutting before it gets too big to be used for anything.  Then growth seems to come to a halt, and you’re left with yellow, shriveling fruit that doesn’t want to do anything but cease to exist and become compost fodder.

At least that’s been my experience thus far.

Our plant growth started to slow down considerably.  The zucchini that was being produced was growing at a much slower rate than their predecessors, and seemed to be deficient in something.  They would grow to a couple of inches in length and then turn yellow before reaching maturity – I assumed they were lacking some kind of nutrient, or that the red ants that invaded our garden bed managed to ruin the plant’s rooting system. I thought our zucchini plant was done for and that we had gotten all of the squash out of the plant that it was going to give. We didn’t give up watering it however, and lo and behold, our zucchini plant began producing once again.

It’s amazing, the power of nature!

What about you?  Do you have some great gardening tips to share, or some useful tips for growing award-winning, killer zucchini?  Leave a comment, we’d love to hear from you!

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Zucchini Nut Bread: From Garden to Table

June 2010 022

Today I picked the first zucchini of the season from my garden.  Two beautiful, lusciously green, ripe zucchinis.  I really couldn’t be more excited.  I was so excited in fact, I called my husband and text messaged my mom and dad about it.  It may seem silly to some, my excitement over some fruit (yes, according to Wiki Answers, botanically  zucchini is a fruit, while in common and culinary use it is a vegetable),  but this has been our first go at growing our own organic fruits and vegetables, and seeing the fruits of our labor so to speak, is very exciting.

So in honor of my lovely little harvest, I thought I would share my recipe for zucchini nut bread.  I love zucchini bread – with nuts or without, it makes a wonderful breakfast, dessert, or any-time snack.  It’s delicious, nutritious, and is something that my kids will most happily eat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking  powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup finely shredded unpeeled zucchini
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use canola)
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or any nuts of your choice – nuts are optional)

Directions:

In a mixing bowl stir together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and baking powder; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl beat together sugar, shredded zucchini, and egg.  Next, add oil and lemon zest, mixing well.  Add flour mixture to zucchini mixture, mixing well until thoroughly moistened.

Fold in nuts, if using, and pour into a greased 8x4x2 inch loaf pan (or any loaf pan of equivalent size).

Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 55-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted at the center comes out clean.  Let cool 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and allow to cool completely before slicing.

Note: While baking, I turn the loaf and cover with aluminum foil about halfway through the baking time, or when the bread looks golden brown.  This ensures even baking, and helps to prevent the bread from becoming burned.  Enjoy!  Peace. :)

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Passionate About Wildlife? Get Your Yard Certified as an Official Wildlife Habitat!

What could be a more wonderful way to say you care about nature and the environment, than getting your yard certified by the National Wildlife Federation as an official certified wildlife habitat.  Yes, it’s true, you can have your very own certified wildlife habitat in your very own front yard – or backyard, or side yard…wherever, you get the idea.  Watch this very informative video from the National Wildlife Federation to learn how you can set up your very own certified wildlife habitat.  You’ll not only get a beautiful spot to look at and relax in, teeming with lots of wonderful plants and critters, you’ll also get the satisfaction of knowing you did something great for the environment.