Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

August 2009 Blog Posts (26)

Vollmer Farm educating families at the Grow And Share Music Festival (Sunday, Sept 6th)

During the festival next weekend, we will have some farm education stations. These are vendors folks can stop in and talk with about farming and gardening, and where they can learn a bit about the US food supply. Thanks to Yummy Designs and the USDA, we also have some coloring books about farmers markets and growing food, and these will be given away free at one of these stations.

While finalizing details, we were invited to visit one of the farms: Vollmer Farms in Bunn NC. Vollmer… Continue

Added by thewhatleys on August 31, 2009 at 2:56pm — No Comments

Canning Jamboree 2009 (part 1)

What I started with: 50 pounds of 'O Henry' peaches and 56 pounds of 'Friar Plums'

Heres just some of what I've made so far: (In this photo) 9 1/2 pints of plum jam, 3 quarts of brandied peaches, 4 pints of peaches in light syrup, 9 quarts of plums in cinnimon syrup…


Added by Cynthia R. on August 29, 2009 at 9:04pm — 2 Comments

Lesson Learned: Do not add cold jars to a hot canner

I had chicken stock simmering all night, and today needed to get it strained, chilled (to remove the fat) and canned. My mind must have been somewhere else entirely, I had turned the stove on to heat up the water in the pressure canner while I filled jars with cold stock...then when I added the first jar in- CRACK!

I freaked out and checked to see what cracked before it hit me that the water was hot, the glass jar was cold, bad combo. I've never had a jar crack on me. So I carefully… Continue

Added by Cynthia R. on August 29, 2009 at 9:02pm — 1 Comment

August Garden Update, tomato issues

My summer Balcony Garden ( and eager 2 year old looking for ripe tomatoes)

Yum, nothing beats a sun warmed ripe tomato fresh from outside with a bit of salt and pepper. I didnt even bother with basil this time,… Continue

Added by Cynthia R. on August 29, 2009 at 4:50pm — 2 Comments

The Garden

Wow - just watched The Garden. If you haven't seen this documentary yet, rent it ASAP.


...if only for the Willie Nelson dance scene. Seriously, rent it. I can't believe it sat in my Netflix queue for so long.

Added by michael on August 28, 2009 at 11:00pm — No Comments

looking for kefir grains

Anyone interested in sharing their kefir grains? Can't seem to find any available.

Added by mary josie 72 on August 28, 2009 at 4:47pm — No Comments


I received my first grains a couple days ago from a very nice lady on a forum. They were shipped fresh in a bit of milk and had over-fermented and probably gotten too hot. Soo hoping for the best, I mixed the whole shebang with about two cups of milk and let it sit for a day in a mason jar, stirring once. By the time I got back to it it smelled and tasted very yeasty, not sour at all. Also the milk had curdled a bit, though that part could have been from the original shipped mix. Strained and… Continue

Added by caton mew on August 26, 2009 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment

AMAZING: A Farm that went Vertical ...

... reaching "Upper Limits" !


Their history


Rising Up ...

Rising Out ...



I've got to see… Continue

Added by Sherri on August 25, 2009 at 7:36am — No Comments

Call for a demonstration urban vertical farm in the NYT

"A vertical farm would behave like a functional ecosystem, in which waste was recycled and the water used in hydroponics and aeroponics was recaptured by dehumidification and used over and over again. The technologies needed to create a vertical farm are currently being used in controlled-environment agriculture facilities but have not been integrated into a seamless source of food production in urban high-rise buildings."…


Added by Cornelia on August 25, 2009 at 6:06am — 1 Comment

Farming Games on Facebook = Excellent Opportunity for Discussion

I'm a Facebook junky, no lie! That said, there are several farming themed games which have become very popular in my circle of friends, some of which include: FarmTown, FarmVille, CountryStory and BarnBuddy. The fact that they are becoming popular gives me encouragement and an open door to talk more about growing your own produce in the real life, not just in the virtual one! Not sure who all hangs out at Facebook around here, but if you have friends who play these games, maybe take the… Continue

Added by Carrie Seal-Stahl on August 24, 2009 at 3:02pm — 1 Comment


I have been reading about slow roasted tomatoes for years and I don't know why it took me so long to jump on the train with all the cool kids, but I am here now! Let me tell you, these things are a revelation. Everything good about tomatoes is magnified in the slow roasting approach, turning a perfectly serviceable Roma into a thing of brilliance. Think of the depth of flavor in a good quality tomato paste, but sweeter, and with the added fragrance of… Continue

Added by Magpie Ima on August 22, 2009 at 2:00pm — 6 Comments

Growing My Own

After losing my job last year due to a RIF, I am saving money every way I can so that I can pay the COBRA for our family Medical insurance plan. One big thing I did was plant a big garden. It was a challenge this year because it was such a dry summer here, but I grew and froze over 20 quarts of green beans, 10 quarts of beets, about 10 quarts of carrots and at least 10 quarts of green peppers diced and ready to use in recipes. I will be harvesting the… Continue

Added by Lincoln Builds on August 20, 2009 at 5:04pm — No Comments

Funny Carrots

Our recent CSA box provided new potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, berries, cauliflower, and carrots.

I've seen carrots with legs before....

but never carrots that had to pee!…


Added by Magpie Ima on August 18, 2009 at 3:48pm — 2 Comments

Do it yourself produce wash

For a few seasons I have been looking for commercially available produce rinse, not really to buy it, but to figure out what it contained so I could make some myself. I have been using a simple salt water rinse to get (mostly bugs) off the produce from the weekly share. Looks like someone has done the heavy lifting for me providing a few different recipes for easy, DIY… Continue

Added by Arthur on August 17, 2009 at 9:24pm — No Comments

Share your Farm Fresh Pics!

One of my favorite things to do here on HOMEGROWN.ORG is look at all the photos so many people upload (there are over 1,500 of them as of right now!). Some of these photos are really lovely and I would encourage people to upload them to Farm Aid's new site called Farm Fresh Pics. The idea is that we want to put together a site full of the beauty of family farms and… Continue

Added by matt on August 17, 2009 at 1:13pm — No Comments

Art of kefir making

I have been meaning to post about how I make kefir from the grains I got from my pal Theresa. Its only taken 6 months to pull this post out of my draft folder and finally finish it! Kefir grains are interesting in that they cannot be made in a lab persay as a culture, the only way to get more kefir grains is to keep some happy until they grow (propogate) and you have so many grains you end up having to give half of them away unless you're making huge qualities of kefir daily. My grains came… Continue

Added by Cynthia R. on August 17, 2009 at 10:26am — 3 Comments

Carpet Stain Removal

Borax can be used to remove stains and to spot clean your carpet, too. To do this, make a borax paste (mix with water) and rub it into the spot. Let it dry and vacuum.

For hard-to-remove stains make a paste of the following ingredients:

* ¼ cup of salt

* ¼ cup of borax

* ¼ cup of vinegar

Apply the paste mixture to the stain. In this case, rub it into the carpet fibers. Let it dry and vacuum.

This really works! I tried it this weekend on our… Continue

Added by Misty on August 17, 2009 at 9:34am — No Comments

Goji Berries!

I've got a pretty serious addiction to gojis. It started about 5 years back and shows no sign of waning. Frustrated that this berry is far from local (China is a long boat ride) I thought I'd try my own.

I bought some plants from http://www.timpanogosnursery.com about a year and a half ago. The Gojis are royalty in the backyard. First to get attention, prime real estate, etc. They had a rough summer last year, 3 months of 100+ and little rain. This summer hasn't been… Continue

Added by michael on August 16, 2009 at 10:52pm — No Comments

The Durians are here!

Our durian harvest has begun. We have two trees, an older one of about 15 years which is roughly 18 meters tall, and a 5 year old which is maybe 6 meters in height. The young tree has her first fruiting this year, last year she gave flowers but they all dropped. I'm happy she's fruiting.

Durians are beautiful trees large yet somehow delicate with smaller leaves which are a mossy green above and a subtle golden bronze below. The flowers are fist sized and shaped rather like a bell… Continue

Added by Ancel on August 16, 2009 at 11:38am — No Comments

Easiest Tomato Sauce Ever

I originally posted this last year on my food blog Magpie Eats but I thought I'd re-post it here in the hope that some of you would find it useful. This is still a brilliant way to capture summer goodness and I have a batch bubbling away right now!

Is your garden overflowing with tomatoes? Mine is. Plus I was lucky enough to get a vacationing friend's CSA delivery for two weeks--more tomatoes! Though tomato sauce is… Continue

Added by Magpie Ima on August 14, 2009 at 3:00pm — No Comments

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