It's never too early to begin planning your garden. Instead of bemoaning the cold and snow, start thinking spring. Here is a short video of hints and tips for transplants and seeds using some common household items.
I have already placed and received two orders of seeds. I might have enough but without a doubt there's more to be found with all the seed catalogs that continue to come in the mail.
Have a question about your garden. Ask away. I would be happy to help.
Sounds ominous... but it's not.
It's coming on time to be planting our little seedlings. You will find many voices of advice out there on social media. Yes, voices of reason, but also all those "hacks" you see to make your gardening more simple. Well, here's what I think.
My spouse spends more time on Facebook than I do and so he sends me things like recipes and hints and tips to make my life easier.
We all do it in February or March whether full bore hundreds of seeds or just a windowsill garden. Some of the hacks for seedlings include egg cartons, egg shells, paper pots, etc. etc. His latest post was about planting seeds in ice cream cones. Oh, yes... they are inexpensive, but with all the rest of those crazy ideas, they are never quite thought through. Imagine this. An ice cream cone poses several problems.
It won't stand up on its own
What happens when a cone gets wet? Even only melted ice cream will create a huge mess, and you will never be able to get those cones out of the tray and into your garden in one piece.
So take this little tidbit of advice and watch the video on "pot rolling" on the home page of this website. And, stay tuned for more planting advice and photos as winter slips into spring - "Yippee the season of gardens."
Got questions, please don't hesitate to comment on this post, I will respond as soon as possible.
.The next two weeks find us talking about food trends on Main Street Eats with Ashley Thronberg and Doug Hamilton. It's kinda crazy and usually humans end up eating what they want anyway. However, you will find some stranger and stranger things on the shelves inyour supermarket so let's take a look at what's in and what's not for 2019.
This list came from the Whole Foods market list. It's based on what they are seeing people ask for and purchase as well as experiment. Where I come from, food was not too experimental, more basic ... but it's fun to try new things, so here's a few ideas to get your new year off to a flavorful start.
What’s in for foodies in 2019 (Whole Foods list)
Pacific Rim flavors
Jackfruit as an alternative to meat. I read that this can be used instead of barbecue pulled pork.
And, extract of Monk Fruit can be used in place of added sugar.
Everything pickled again makes the shelf. Of course, if you know me, you know that my probiotics come from the farm milk we drink, homemade kombucha and sauerkraut straight from the crock. With new strains of probiotics such as Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 and Bacillus coagulans MTCC 5856 being created? Discovered? Manufacture? there are more shelf-stable products possible. Youwill find manufacturers are adding probiotics to other foods like granola, soup and nut butters.
Not only that there will be probiotics sunscreen, lotion and cleaning supplies. We had a lot to say about that including the fact that we agreed sauerkraut is shelf stable. So, is this just a ploy?
Nope, there was a minuet moment in my life when I used margarine for cookies. I blame it on being a stay-at-home mom with a limited income and two children. However, I just couldn't eat the stuff on bread. And, my pie crust always had lard in it. But a lot of people gave up butter (God Forbid) and lard and things they felt were not good for them. Hoever, fats are making a comeback, and the trendiest diets are on board. People are poo-poo-ing margarine and getting out the butter and lard.
Some popular ways to injest healthy fats (think grass-fed beef) are
Melt over medium-low heat.
When the whey floats to the top, skim it off. ...
When the milk fat sinks to the bottom and the butter turns clear, you've
made clarified butter.
When the milk fats brown and become fragrant, you've made ghee.
Variations on traditional meaty snacks like chicken chips and thin, crisped beef jerky.
Sorry, I like the traditional flavors and really have issues with chicken chips... ugh.
Next level hemp
(2019 Farm Bill legalizes industrial hemp production)
Here's a crop after my own heart. But we will save that for another story. It's in and coming on strong in all different directions. But this hemp is not to be confused with the kind that makes you high. Here's a web page that will inform you on the virtue of hemp to our farm industry. https://ministryofhemp.com/hemp/history/.
Hemp will be broght to you way of hemp hearts, seeds and oils, body care products, foods, microgreens and fabrics. I have used hemp fabric, dyed hemp fabric and it is amazing.
Andalou Naturals has introduced hemp plant stem cells in their CannaCell body care collection. Non-cannabis-derived sources from the endocannabinoid system (which are named after the cannabis plant that inspired their discovery), like phytocannabinoids that exist in nature, are also becoming more visible and prevalent due to the growing trend. It’s clear that hemp-derived products are going mainstream, if not by wide distribution, then by word of mouth!
Faux meat snacks
We will just skip over this cause as my friend Annie says, “If you are going to abstain from eating meat, quit trying to fake it…or just eat the real thing.”
Thats correct, any good food trend addresses the issue of packaging. I can't believe how much packaging it takes to bring food and such to the general public. And, we don't even buy processed food at the store. YIKES.
Here's what you need to purchase/do.
• Banning straws,
• Recyclable straws
• Straw-less sipper cups
• FINALLY – bring your own mesh produce bags to market.
• Waxed canvas or silicone covers for bowls and wrapping sandwiches.
Trailblazing frozen treats
Okay, Ashley's dream topic - weird flavor ice cream. Yep you gotta listen to the second episode of food trends cause you are not going to believe what she has tried.
But you can surely get on board with these new ice cream flavors - avocado, hummus, tahini and coconut water or ...
CocoWhip Soft Serve and ice creams with savory swirls of artisanal cheese. Who doesn't appreciate adding dairy to dairy.
Globally-inspired frozen desserts are taking the stage — possibly sparked by 2018’s mochi craze and that Thai rolled ice cream craze. Popsicles and gelatos won’t be left out of the fun — they’ll get some buzz with boozier infusions coming to market. Yep, you will be carded.
Marine munchies, beyond seaweed
What can I say? We are fairly land-locked here in the Northern Plains.
More takes on snacking nod to the comforting treats of your second grade lunchbox, with better ingredients. Portable snack packages will feature bites like prosciutto and aged mozzarella, and artisanal versions of classic snacks like cheese or peanut butter cracker sandwiches. Ingredient-conscious snack and treat makers are creating new packaged snacks that take us back to our treat-loving childhoods but with higher quality ingredients, some of which are updated to accommodate special diets.
NOTE: This year’s predictions came from Whole Foods Market’s culinary experts and industry leaders who source items and lead trend-spotting initiatives across the retailer’s more than 490 stores. The in-house specialists combine their expertise from all departments including cheese, specialty, grocery, meat, seafood, prepared foods, produce and body care when preparing the forward-looking trends report. READ it yourself right here.
Whether you bought one your self or were gifted a poinsettia, they can be kept as a houseplant. Now, getting them to bloom is a totally different story.
First off, poinsettias are a tropical plant. That means they don't appreciate the weather in the great white north. So keep them away from windows where temperature changes can affect their sensitivities.
Being tropical, they appreciate light, humidity and even watering. You can keep them out of direct sunlight, but they like bright light -- at least six hours a day. (That in it self may be hard to find in December in North Dakota.)
Temperatures should be 65-70-degrees, and the soil kept moist, but not sopping wet. That means if repotting, put them in a pot with drainage.
If you are determined to force your plant to bloom again in time for Christmas, follow these tips from LOWES.COM.
Good luck with your newest houseplant - but if want my advice ... buy a new plant next December and call it good. Listen to the Main Street Eats episode on poinsettias by clicking the logo on the home page or HERE.
Sue B. Balcom
Writing, or maybe talking, comes naturally to me and under the guidance of a great newspaper editor I have acquired skills that led me to author four books.