It’s that time of year in north Missouri to start collecting and storing seeds. If i see a flower or plant along the road banks i like, i stop and collect as many seeds as possible. Lay them out to dry, then store in a dry place and start them early in the spring. I direct sow where i want the plants – transplanting just doesn’t seem to work for me.
Had never heard of pruning zucchini until i searched online for a way to keep my plants producing. So, i tried it – on all of them – it’ll work or kill them, but it’s okay either way, i have plenty frozen up for winter use now anyway.
I used some hand pruners since these stalks are very easy to cut, yet i was afraid if i tried ripping them off, i would damage the main stalk. The video i watched said to cut off the leaf stalks up to the first flowers.
Web search sites to help consumers find producers of all sorts of food products near you or available for shipping. CSA’s, farmer’s markets, and all sorts of shopping opportunities. Be sure to check to see if your own state has a state buyer’s guide! and be sure to let me know of any i missed.
Local Producers’ websites or contact information. These are just some in my circle of knowledge, you’ll have to search out those in your area.
Chad and Emily Fisher 816.804.8571 Pasture finished beef – Northwest central Missouri
Sue Stropes, firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile 816.405.9545, grassfinished hamburger, eggs. Chilhowee, MO
Several others in our area, but these are the only ones who asked to be listed here.
Oh, i suppose there are many, including farmers, who could somehow find a way to argue with the title of my blog (which is also the title of a great article in the latest issue of Missouri Life magazine written by Corin Cesaric). But, the arguments will need to be pretty convoluted and perhaps mostly fall into the fallacy department.
Anyway, this is a beginners guide to exploring and discovering fresh food in Missouri. If you live in another state, the same guidelines can be applicable. No one is guaranteed a meal, nor is it even easy to find actual food in this country anymore. It takes planning, a change of diet (more seasonal or simply eliminate them from your diet), and exploration. Where is this great food?! The home manager/economist must take up the important mantel of “She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.” (Proverbs 31:14-15)
Now, i’m not one to worry with eating out, but if that is your thing, there are meals out there provided by restaurants committed to purchasing and serving fresh, in season, local as possible. Don’t forget to buy from your neighbors!! As the saying goes, “Costco doesn’t buy Little League t-shirts for your community.” Guessing that is true, but i’ve never been in a Costco or other big box store – i think there is one in Columbia (1 1/2 hours away)
Last night hit 31 F and my garden is wilted and done. Sadly, there are several large green tomatoes which will not ripen, but not a loss – fried green tomatoes are a treat. My tomato plants just didn’t get a good early start this year; same with Zucchino Rampicante Squash. Only two are grown and large. Incredibly, last year, i had so many of these and they are such good keepers, that i still have 3 of them to eat! It was a challenging year for growing food.
Perhaps Jessica was 8 or 9 when she enrolled in the University of Missouri’s Master Gardener program. That was nearly 20 years ago! She really got a lot out of it (though i think her favorite lesson was flower arranging) by learning a lot about companion cropping, planting and caring for flowers, trees, and community involvement. One of the requirements for finishing the program was to do a community service/beautification project. Contact your local county extension agent for information about Master Gardener and other education programs available in your area.
Anyway, October Gardening Tips from Garden Talk! for the Heartland garden enthusiast, a 4 page newsletter available online including past editions.
The ones which i will use are:
- Transplant deciduous trees after they have dropped their leaves. We found a few redbud trees saplings we’d like to enjoy closer to our house.
- Persimmons start to ripen, especially after frost. Well this year, no frost yet, but the persimmons are already ripe, picked up, processed, and in the freezer!
- Place wire guards around trunks of young fruit trees for protection against mice and rabbits. Last year, i lost nearly all my new fruit trees during the winter. i did have protection around them that was about 18 inches tall, but the snow drifted taller than that and the critters girdled them above the protective sleeves by walking on top the snow!!! Grrrrr…..
- Continue harvesting produce.
- Sow oats as a cover crop (i’m also chopping down the Sunn Hemp and laying it flat on the soil)
- Winterize lawn mower. We send ours to John Deere for complete maintenance then remove the battery and store it inside so it doesn’t freeze.
In the United States, many of us automatically think of an InSinkErator, which is a brand of electrically run mechanical grinder of food which then flushes it all down the drain for someone else to deal with. It is attached to a kitchen drain and mounted underneath.
I remember when i was growing up, we had one. There was always a good respect for its power – keep fingers and spoons out of them! However, as an adult, i’ve never had one and honestly never missed it. Now, i wonder why one would ever need this type of garbage disposal. Natural processes are excellent at garbage disposal – especially food scraps and other organic stuff.
But, garbage disposal is actually just a term that describes various ways to dispose of garbage. Your location and occupation often determines your definition of garbage and how you may dispose of it. If you have too much; it might be time to make a plan to reduce, reuse, repurpose, recycle, repair.
In my world, food scraps are not garbage – either they are composted, (i’m lazy and just throw them out on the garden spot to break down over time, or if i’m really energetic, i may get a spade and bury them) or i feed them to our pastured laying hens (chooks), but chicken scraps go to the dog – (i never feed chicken bones and such to chickens – it just seems wrong). Fruit from fruit trees almost always produce far more than i’m willing to preserve in some fashion, so the extra is allowed to fall, rot, and provide fodder for soil microbes which in turn provides fertilizer for the tree.
There are some amazingly attractive kitchen sized compost bins available. Here are some on Amazon, but i’ve never tried any of them. Do some research before purchasing – you sure don’t want smell and/or flies in your house!
But, by and large, we have very few scraps. Leaves from broccoli and cauliflower, for example, make awesome replacement for celery or other similar greens. This goes for nearly all greens attached to vegetables. The core from tomatoes go to the chooks; they love them! Beef fat goes to the chooks for extra protein they need when bugs are in short supply outdoors. (As an aside, if you are buying eggs that are labeled as vegetarian raised chickens, the label is either a lie or the hens are in confinement – either crowded in a floored building or in a cage.)
There is a lot of hue and cry about being ‘green’, but as is usual, the ones crying the loudest are often the ones living the least ‘green’ and the biggest wasters of natural resources. They are the crowd who shout ‘do as i say, not as i do’ while they manipulate regulations to suck cash out of your pocket and put it in theirs.
We can all do better at managing resources – we are, by and large, a wasteful country because we are blessed with so much abundance.