Friday, October 07, 2005


Flowers at temple Square Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Canning/Bottling or "Puttin' Up"

So, bottling is my new favorite family hobbie. Julie and I can do it together, we can involved kids(though we only have a young one now) and you can chat, work, and have a good time. *sigh* So much for the old simple life.

From our garden, we used peppers and Pink Caspian Tomatoes to make 2 batches of bottled salsa. Today I got 4 boxes (small boxes) of Anju Pears from a friend of mine's tree that I plan on puttin' up.

We purchased a water bath to do with with the kit of jar handlers, lid getter, all that jazz. We have a friend who believes firmly in steam bottling, but I read an article at the USU extension office that it's not fully investigated yet and a little risky. So water bath it is, not to mention Julie said so, so there you are...she's the boss.

So with Permaculturing, putting up for storage over the winter is the way to go. You have veggies year round. There are some other ideas, like greenhouses, but this way you can do it cheap. I heard that you don't really save a lot, but when you think that you grew it all, I can't think how you can't? Especially if you don't pay 2 bucks a plant and plant them early yourself.

So, again, bottling/canning/puttin' up: good idea and very easy. Once you get that garden going, look at all the veggies you'll be getting. Try and find a place for them with yoru friends, or save and store for a hard winter. That way you'll always have enough and save more money/food in the long run.

See the USU extension office for more info under food and nutrition. You can bottle almost anything.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Heirloom or Heritage Seeds

So, I've been discovering there is more to seeds than just going to the Home Depot or any old store and picking out seeds. There are hundreds of varieties that have been developed by people like you and me for hundreds of years looking for the best kind of fruit for them.

There are now movements to collect and store these "heritage" seeds as they are valuable for their diversity and protected from large corps like Monsanto to take control of and control.

I've tried a "Pink Caspian" heritage type of tomatoe. Very meaty! I bottled several with some salsa and they were great. I'heard on NPR a show(Splendid Table) on heritage seeds and was interested in "German Pinks."

They talked to a company called Seed Savers. http://www.seedsavers.org/ It is one of the many companies growing hundredds of varieties of stuff that is original and clean(no bio-enhancing--except the natural kind).

Saturday, September 17, 2005


I have recently gotten involved with the ideas of Nature photography. This is one of my first attempts. What do you think? Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 15, 2005

Cool Ideas that I've found

Cool Backyard Ideas

This site is full of cool ideas:
Kountry Life

There garden section is full of ideas.
Garden Section of Kountry Life
One of their coolest is a homemade cheap greenhouse. I might have to try this.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

State Aggie Schools

I learned some time ago that states always tried to have an "Aggie" school. Utah State University are the "Aggies," but what I mean is agricultural school. Univ of Arizona(which should have been my Alma mater in AZ) is another example.

Anyway, part of their job is to educate farmers, always has been. I think each state has one, I think. Anyway, to get back to the point, USU is ours in UTah. It has some of the coolest info around for basic stuff from gardening to canning, to bugs to whatever on its "Extension" Site. All over the state are small extension offices that have flyers, handouts, classes and what not to teach about things Utahns want to learn about.

So, one day, after my wife and I bought a house, we saw this strange sinewy bug which looked like a fuzzy catapiller on the wall. I happened to find a publication on common insects of Utah at the Website of the USU Extension and found it was called a "House Centipede." Crazy, eh? Anyway, It has tons of resources. So I wanted to post the link on my bar.

It has a LOT of information. Interesting stuff too.
http://extension.usu.edu/

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Saving Seeds, making an heirloom

I have become interested this year in saving seeds. I watched a movie documenting the exploits of a seed company pushing genetically modified (GM) seeds. They have a patent on their modification and if they happen to cross pollinate into anyone elses areas, they sue until they scare everyone into using their crop. It's really scary.

Anyway, remembering Mendel and all his work, he was merely a man who did heritage seeds and kept track of what happened to them. He changed the course of history in science.

Here are some web sources I've found:

Mother Earth News: Saving Seeds

This is an article written by Mother Earth News. My parents used to get it when I was young, and I remember the interesting articles. This one is just on seed saving. Goes through some of the plant types and when to save them. Very interesting.

http://www.seedsave.org/

This led me to look for seed saving articles where I found the "International Seed Saving Institute" in Idaho. They are seeking to save seeds so that the genetic and social aspects of those seeds can be used again and again. They have many links about Permaculture, Sustainable Agriculture, and articles. Also many comercial links to Organic Seed saving companies.

Permaculturing Resources

So here I am, starting a new blog. The purpose is to document my adventures in Permaculturing and pool all my findings. I'm striving to learn how I can make a permaculture back yard and make it work. I've joined a Tree Utah listwerve that's just for permaculturing projects. (See Links on the right for Tree Utah).

I'll list resources I get here, book and web. The first of these was given to me by Laura, the Education Director of Tree Utah.

***Gaia’s Garden. Toby Hemingway - A very good look at practical urban permaculture- I would suggest starting here.
*The Permaculture Designers Manual. Bill Mollison
*Forest Gardening. Robert Hart
*Global Gardener video. Bill Mollison
Gaviotas. Alan Weisman
EcoTeam workbook. Global Action Plan
The Education of Little Tree.
The Man who planted Trees.
Your Money or Your Life

Web Resources

http://www.permacultureactivist.net/
good permaculture page with loads of info and links- check out the Planetary Pc pages for local groups; also the home of the Permaculture Activist magazine *

http://www.permaculture.dhs.org/
more permaculture info and links to sustainable living resources, seeds, books, journals *

http://www.permaculture.net/
more Pc and classes, internships, etc

http://www.crmpi.org/
central rocky mountain permaculture institute- in colorado *

http://www.cityfarmer.org/
out of Canada- incredible amount of info from around world *

http://www.newroadmap.org/links.asp
voluntary simplicity, home of “Your Money or your Life”, more links

http://www.newdream.org/
conscious living info, everyday actions

http://www.futurenet.org/
web page for YES! Magazine- an awesome source of inspiring and motivating work being done around the globe

http://www.localharvest.org/
search engine to find your own local business, farmers markets, CSAs, etc…

http://www.organicconsumers.org/
food safety, organic agriculture, fair trade & sustainability- campaigns, a great electronic newsletter

http://www.planetfriendly.net/
Canadian calendar, jobs, links, etc…

http://www.wasatchgardens.org/
salt lake city community gardens, classes, etc *

http://www.treeutah.org/
planting and care of trees, restoration work, classes, etc *

http://www.sagesway.net/
salt lake city landscape and design the permaculture way *

http://www.odemagazine.com/
Ode magazine- another great inspiring magazine

http://www.motherearthnews.com/
Mother Earth News magazine- organic gardening, alternative building etc…*