Sustainable Vegetable Gardening

I was psyched to find another gardener thinking this way. More and more people are becoming aware of the need to preserve genetic diversity in our food supply:

“My main goal this year is to plant primarily heirloom varieties of tomatoes and peppers. If possible, I’ll do the same with green beans and squash.”

I write about gardening using organic methods on my blog, Your Small Kitchen Garden. I hope you’ll visit.


White House Garden Stats

The Obamas got a lot of buzz last year when they planted a vegetable garden on the White House lawn. It was great to see that they planted again this year, and expanded the garden to grow more and different kinds of produce.

This article represents the Obama’s project in numbers: how much they planted, how much they harvested… even how many people have helped out. The White House didn’t plant a small kitchen garden; an enthusiast would be hard-pressed to maintain such an operation without the extra help. Here’s hoping their example inspires many more people to grow their own vegetables.

For a whole bunch of how-to information about growing vegetables and fruit in a kitchen garden, check out Your Small Kitchen Garden and Your Home Kitchen Garden blogs.

Free Guide for Kitchen Gardeners

Free Guide for Kitchen Gardeners

I haven’t looked at it yet, but it seems impossible to go wrong: Burpee is giving away an electronic version of “Garden Fresh” a guide to vegetable gardening. Click on over to the web site, fill in a short questionnaire, and you have instant access:
Burpee Home Gardens

For all kinds of information you won’t find in Burpee’s guide, also visit Your Small Kitchen Garden and Your Home Kitchen Garden. On these blogs, you’ll find information about designing produce gardens, prepping soil, planting, increasing yield, increasing the quality of your homegrown produce, harvesting, preserving, and preparing food for your table.

Collect Seeds from Chili Peppers

Found a short video about collecting seeds from chili peppers for next year’s planting. Collecting seeds from fresh produce saves money and reduces your carbon footprint. This video confirms that collecting pepper seeds is as simple as it sounds… but I offer a caution: oils from the peppers will adhere to your fingers. Even after you wash your hands, the heat can build and your fingers might feel very hot. Worse: if you rub your eyes, your nose, or other sensitive body parts, they can really burn.

So, try to handle only the skin sides of peppers, and scrape out seeds using the edge of a knife. Or, get a box of latex or rubber gloves and wear some while you work.

Read more about saving seeds at

New Yard Birds in the Home Kitchen Garden Store

New Yard Birds in the Home Kitchen Garden Store

Yard Birds are adorable, whimsical garden sculptures made from tools such as shovels, rakes, hoes, and cultivators. These clever pieces of folk art come from the small town of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania where the artist has worked for years repairing lawn, garden, and farm equipment. The artist is a skilled machinist who designs his yard art and builds every piece by hand. Usually, he sells his lawn sculptures at an annual street festival in Lewisburg, but the Home Kitchen Garden Store posts photos of Yard Birds that you can purchase for shipment within the United States.

The Store recently posted a new batch of Yard Birds. Even if you aren’t shopping for lawn art at this point, do yourself a favor and have a look at these amusing sculptures.

Make and Can Tomato Sauce

Make and Can Tomato Sauce from a Home Kitchen Garden

Here’s a handy step-by-step video that demonstrates how to prepare tomatoes and cook them into tomato sauce. It also shows how to can the tomato sauce for long-term storage.

Learn more about canning at

Fried Green Tomatoes from a Small Kitchen Garden

Fried Green Tomatoes from a Small Kitchen Garden

My friend Kerry gardens in Maine, and grows all kinds of plants in containers. She recently wrote about cooking with green tomatoes, and provided a recipe that she describes as “delicious.” I’ve never eaten a fried green tomato I liked, but that doesn’t mean you can’t. Please check out her recipe at Container Gardening.

Find information about harvesting tomatoes to assure the best possible fruit at The Vine-Ripened Tomato Lie blog. You might reduce the number of green tomatoes you have to deal with at the end of the season.