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

Aliza Ess's Blog (34)

Biodiversity in Okra


This article is re-posted from BaltimoreDIY

Recently two amazing Baltimore organizations, Blue Water Baltimore and…


Added by Aliza Ess on December 5, 2012 at 7:44pm — 2 Comments

Small Measure & Cold Antler: Favorite Homesteading Blogs

Is anyone else out there a fan of Ashley English of Small Measure or Jenna Woginrich of Cold Antler?

Ashley English is a…


Added by Aliza Ess on October 9, 2012 at 4:30pm — 1 Comment

Summer Pickle Platter Recipes

Here in Baltimore, beets are being harvested and the green beans are finishing up. It's time for pickles!

This pickle platter was made recently for a friend's barbeque. The chopped up pickles are great alongside meat and/or veggie burgers. They would also be lovely mixed in a cold pasta, potato, bean, grains, tuna, or chicken salad. Or hoard for winter…


Added by Aliza Ess on July 11, 2012 at 10:00am — 2 Comments

Baltimore Mini Goats

Baltimore  City has legalized mini goats!

Nigerian Dwarf Goats are highly prized for their small size, ability to produce up to two quarts of high butterfat content milk a day, and their companionable nature.

These little guys are "wethers", or castrated male goats. They come from a hobby dairy farm- the goats must be "freshened"…


Added by Aliza Ess on May 29, 2012 at 5:28pm — 3 Comments

Learn what kind of food license you need to sell your pickles, jams, eggs, meat, and more!

Here in Baltimore, we have learned that value-added products such as pickles and jams, dried teas and spice rubs, drinks, baked goods, and more can really supplement the income you earn to support your homestead or urban garden project.

Especially for our urban farm, where we want to create a lot of community engagement programs such as cooking…


Added by Aliza Ess on May 9, 2012 at 4:00pm — 2 Comments

Growing in the City: Garden Theft & Garden Love

This morning we experienced the low point of growing food in the city, as our intern saw a few men walking away with handfuls of our garlic, which is about five months old.

We haven't had much produce theft so far, but it's always a little frustrating when it happens. I guess we don't have to worry about four legged produce thieves like deer and rodents…


Added by Aliza Ess on April 13, 2012 at 3:47pm — 3 Comments

Baltimore Chickens: Week 3 update

My friend Carey took this photo! These are three week old meat breed chickens. You can see the chickens at a week old on this earlier blog post.

My gentleman was amazing over the weekend, while I was relaxing in New York City, he built an outdoor coop…


Added by Aliza Ess on March 12, 2012 at 8:13pm — 4 Comments

Week Old Baby Chicks

The photo above is of the chicks when they are just a day or two old... I can't stop staring into the box at them rambling around!

We're taking photos and video each week so we can keep track of how they grow and share some basic how-to information on raising the chicks. We have raised egg laying hens before but this is our first time with meat…


Added by Aliza Ess on March 1, 2012 at 12:30am — 5 Comments

Korean Anchovy Stock Soup with Bean Sprouts


Thanks to Amazon for letting me steal this photo! I always like a nice photo with a blog post :)


Anyway, I've recently been writing about "seeds" and how we are using them around the winter urban homestead here in Baltimore. (If you want to see the first post where I recommend some favorite seed catalogs, feel free to visit this link…


Added by Aliza Ess on January 17, 2012 at 2:00pm — 5 Comments

Backyard Rabbits in Baltimore

Well, we did it. We successfully completed our experiment in raising rabbits for backyard livestock.

Those of you who read my blog post back in November know how ambivalent I was feeling about raising rabbits for meat. For some reason the chickens haven't…


Added by Aliza Ess on January 10, 2012 at 6:00pm — 8 Comments

Morning Glory Muffins & Cheap Homemade Applesauce

I'm sure many of you on here already know about buying apple "seconds" (the apples that have some dings and bruises) to make cheap homemade applesauce. Now that it's winter I absolutely love making lots of baked goods and replacing some of the fat with applesauce!

I recently posted on my blog about making low-cost homemade applesauce…


Added by Aliza Ess on December 13, 2011 at 3:30pm — 4 Comments

Baltimore Area Women Farmers


Last night there was a potluck for Baltimore-area women farmers. The meet-up was really inspiring, a little bit nerve-wracking, but definitely the thing I needed to snap me out of this winter hibernation mode I've been feeling lately.


There was a range of farming experience among us, from desk jockeys like me (hence me feeling a little…


Added by Aliza Ess on November 18, 2011 at 5:00pm — 5 Comments

Vegetarian Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwich Spread

We recently harvested cucumbers and carrots from our garden here in Baltimore City (Boone Street Garden) and I decided to marinate the veggies in equal parts rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and honey to make pickles.


The pickles ended up being highlighted at a recent…


Added by Aliza Ess on August 2, 2011 at 1:22pm — 2 Comments

It's over 100 degrees right now... might as well experiment with solar baking!

Do any of you have much experience with solar baking? Since it's so hot here in Baltimore today I figured I would finally try it! Trying to bake a loaf of bread right now... I'll check on it at 3 p.m. and see how it looks.


I parked my truck in the most open, sunny spot of the parking lot this morning and let the pan pre-heat from 9 to 11:30.  Then I…


Added by Aliza Ess on July 21, 2011 at 2:00pm — 10 Comments

Chickens: Pet or Food Product?


So on our Baltimore foodmakers discussion board, there was a conversation between several people who own city chickens. Some love their birds as pets, and have adopted them from shelters and feed the eggs to their dogs for feed supplements or to friends. Others view their birds as livestock and have no problem butchering a bird once it is finished laying, rather…


Added by Aliza Ess on July 13, 2011 at 5:00pm — 11 Comments

What are your summer solstice plans?


Hi everyone! I'm getting excited to celebrate the start of the summer solstice tonight. Anyone else have special plans?


Above is a photo of my friend Katie Red at our solstice celebration last year. We actually ended up celebrating at the very end of the solstice instead of the beginning since we were both busy the night before. I brought…


Added by Aliza Ess on June 20, 2011 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Boone Street Garden Update


For those of you new to my posts, my friend Cheryl and I have started a community garden and urban farm in Baltimore City. This link will take you to the early March section of the blog that shows us meeting with the neighbors to clean the empty lot, start seedlings, and…


Added by Aliza Ess on June 15, 2011 at 1:00pm — 2 Comments

HOMEGROWN Fair Submission: New Baby Rabbit!

Our American Chinchilla rabbits had kits! Two, to be exact, although only one has survived (I think the other one may have been squashed by the mama when it was still in the nesting box, but I'm not sure.) Two is a really small litter, as some rabbits can have up to eight. Not sure if small litters are characteristic of American Chinchillas as a breed, or if it's just our…


Added by Aliza Ess on June 3, 2011 at 4:00pm — 2 Comments

The SWAT team invades our radish harvest! Only in Baltimore....

Yes, you got that right, the SWAT team! We sure had an interesting day picking our first harvest at the Boone Street community garden and urban farm!

Here I am with our first vegetable harvest of white and red radishes. That's Lolita, one of the neighbors and frequent garden visitor standing next to me.


So there we were, giddily snapping pictures…


Added by Aliza Ess on May 13, 2011 at 3:30pm — 7 Comments

One-Day Old Ducklings!


That's right, four little ducklings. And you are correct, that is a White Orpington chicken that's raising them!

A month or so ago, one of our White Orpington chickens got a little broody, which means she didn't want to get off her eggs. So we decided we might as well make use of it and get some fertilized duck eggs.


Four hatched successfully yesterday! In the morning when we fed the chickens one of the eggs had hatched, and by the time I…


Added by Aliza Ess on April 21, 2011 at 3:30pm — 4 Comments


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