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Organic Crops Field Tour Wednesday at University of Tennessee Farm

When you pick organic at the farmer’s market or grocery store, what does that mean about the field where the food was grown? Ready to cut out toxic, persistent pesticides and try some family friendly methods in your family garden this year? Are you already farming but ready to convert some fields to organic growing? […]

Continue Reading By on April 22, 2013 in agriculture, eating better, education, farm, food, garden, green, grow, organic

Seedlings Making Progress

If seed starting were a race, my Cherokee Purple heirloom tomatoes would be sprinting out of the starting gate.  The cherry tomatoes are a close second, with the sweet peppers slowly getting onto the straightaway. Cherokee Purple Tomato Seedlings Sweet Pepper Seedlings I’m concerned that these Cherokee Purples are already too leggy, reaching too high […]

Continue Reading By on April 14, 2012 in eating better, frugal, garden, green, grow, organic, sustainable, thrifty, with our own hands

Organic Cotton Availability

Love the notion of buying organic cotton, but can’t afford it?  Our family has struggled with that, too.  I was thrilled to find some organic cotton robes on sale for my children a few years ago.  But we couldn’t begin to replace all of our towels and washcloths.  I’ve purchased the occasional new organic clothing item for the […]

Continue Reading By on November 4, 2011 in farming, grow, organic, sustainable, textiles

Growing Cabbage and Kids

Growing Cabbage and Kids How about an all-natural family project for $2 or less? That’s what I reassured myself after noting that I’m probably a few weeks late this time getting the red cabbage seeds planted from Sow True Seed. They are perfect for late summer, per the package. I’m not so sure about early […]

Continue Reading By on October 1, 2011 in family, garden, grow, outdoor, parenting

Saving Zinnia Seeds

The waning days of summer have included some gorgeous late afternoons filled with enough sunshine to lure us outdoors.  The girls and I made a project of collecting seeds from our eye popping zinnia flowers.  These flowers are encouraging because they grow so prolifically, even though other things in our garden might struggle. We tried […]

Continue Reading By on September 16, 2011 in frugal, garden, green, grow, outdoor, seed, thrifty

Picking Grapes in the Vineyard

The girls each had their own gallon-sized bucket to carry along the little vineyard.  We’d been invited to pick all the free grapes we could carry.  This was an enticing offer from our friend and neighbor, Marcia Fisher, in the hills of rural East Tennessee.  She generously picked off entire bunches of Concord grapes for us, […]

Continue Reading By on August 29, 2011 in farm, garden, grow, outdoor, vineyard

UT Student Market Promotes Organics

UT Market Students returning to campus at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville will have a fitting alternative to the usual fast-food destinations. Their classmates in the organic crop production program are serving up a fresh market with food and entertainment planned through mid-October. Students can shop the UT Market without having to cook. Market […]

Continue Reading By on August 2, 2011 in eating better, farm, garden, green, grow, organic, sustainable

Seasoned Canners Preserve for Families

Seasoned Canners Preserve for Families Natalie Kennedy and Ann Smith’s mother used to cook food outdoors in an open kettle before canning it.  She didn’t use the extra step of putting full jars into a boiling water bath.  And she sealed jams with paraffin wax.  Now the Morgan County, Tennessee sisters are learning the latest food safety techniques for canning.  They’ve gone […]

Continue Reading By on August 1, 2011 in eating better, farm, garden, grow, local, sustainable

Colorful Swiss Chard

“Is this rhubarb?” I awkwardly asked the vendor at the Farmers’ Market in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee,  thinking of baking a sweet, tangy pie.  Dean Yoder patiently explained that it was the “bright lights” variety of Swiss chard that had caught my eye.  The stalks ranged from yellow to pink to orange.  I decided I needed […]

Continue Reading By on June 25, 2011 in eating better, farm, garden, grow, natural, organic, sustainable

Why Family Farm Goes Organic

Richard, Diane, son Joshua, daughter Bethany Kann Heart of Christmas Farms is a family farm in the most authentic sense.  Husband and wife team Richard and Diane Kann manage their Central Florida acreage, complete with goats, chickens and an outdoor, hydroponic vegetable-growing operation.  They purchased their acreage from another family who had farmed and waited […]

Continue Reading By on June 14, 2011 in farm, Florida, garden, green, grow, sustainable