There was a post on Change.org, Federal Budget Cuts Threaten Food and Water Safety Programs, which should give you another reason to grow your own food and source as much of it locally as you can. Here’s an excerpt: Congress recently proposed a federal budget that threatens to eliminate critical funding for food safety and clean water programs, placing the health and safety of all Americans at risk. Since our country is in such an economic crisis, Congress sees it fit to cut the budget when it comes to the safety of our food and...

Mint is a pretty invasive plant. Just ask anyone who has ever grown it in their garden. It can take over pretty quickly. This is why most people recommend growing it solely in containers. I’ve had my mint plant for a few months now. The leaves have remained pretty small. It’s not until I started my garden from scratch that I began paying more attention to it. The roots of the plant have been spreading all through the container and without much room to grow. Since the soil line is about 2-3″ below the top of the container,...

Nothing quite says spring time (or makes your pee stink) like asparagus showing up again in your garden or at the local farmers market. This recipe I slightly adapted from a cooking demo that I attended at Native Foods in Culver City. Make this in the beginning of the week and enjoy throughout. Here’s what you’ll need: 2 bunches of asparagus 2 avocados Handful of mint, cilantro and parsley 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil Tablespoon of balsamic vinegar Tablespoon of raw honey Juice of one lemon How to make: Boil up a pot of water ...

Update: I was corrected by someone and told that People’s Gardens are the name for Community Gardens, not people’s individual gardens. It still doesn’t sit well with me. Last month the USDA announced People’s Gardens. I’m sure that my thoughts on why this database will be questioned by the “anything having to do with gardening...

It’s been two-months since I’ve started my garden from scratch and for the most part it’s doing pretty well. Though I did notice that there were some white clusters on the stems of the spinach plants. These clusters were forming around the part where the leaves are coming off of the stems. I also noticed an insect on the plant as well around the clusters. At this point, it’s hard to tell whether it’s insect larvae or that the plant is attempting to go to seed. I had an aphid infestation last year, so it wouldn’t...

Butternut squash are still readily available at the Farmers Markets. Since Beth Buczynski of EcosphericBlog was happy that I posted a non-soup recipe when I made the roasted butternut squash fries, I’m posting another non-soup recipe. Here’s what you’ll need: 1/2 butternut squash 2 apples (one sweet and one sour) Handful of walnuts 2 tablespoons of raw honey tablespoon of olive oil teaspoon of cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg dash of sea salt How to make: Cut and cube the butternut squash and apples Place in oven at 400...

There was a post on EcoSalon titled The Conscious Case Against Veganism by Abigail Wick. The gist of the post was that just because one is vegan that doesn’t mean that they are eating in a more sustainable way than an omnivore. This is a topic that I wrote about in the past on GreenLifestyle Magazine. To me what was most interesting about her post were the comments. The people who left comments were so tied to their label – be it vegan or omnivore. “As a vegan…” “Veganism is about…” People...

A lot of my posts contain the words “I” and “me” a lot. If you’ve been following along, you know that I started my garden from scratch, did some succession planting and thinned out the seedlings. My thoughts on that right now are, “who cares?” Most of you have been buried in more snow than you can imagine this past winter and are finally starting to see some regular sunlight. It’s almost April and planting season is certainly near . Since the purpose of this site is to get you to grow your...

I’d like to introduce MasterGardening.com as a sponsor of Urban Organic Gardener. I spoke with their Social Media Coordinator, Jessica, to learn more about the company. Here’s the Q&A. What does your company specialize in? MasterGardening.com specializes in products to help you get better results in the garden. As a leading supplier of garden tools, composters, supplements and other garden essentials, we are committed to making your garden grow bigger and better than ever. Which of your products do you think is a must...

Posted on Mar 24 2011 - 2:11am by Mike Lieberman
#1

Here’s another recipe using one of my new favorite vegetables – the rutabaga. I’ve already made a soup out of it and was given another idea by one of my friends on Facebook – a rutabaga mash. This rutabaga mash is dairy and gluten free. Here’s what you’ll need: 1-2 rutabagas Tablespoon of olive oil 2-3 clovers of garlic Dash of sea salt and black pepper How to make: Bust open the cloves of garlic and roast them in the oven at 400 for about 15-20 minutes Peel and cube the rutabaga Put into a pot and cover...

When President Obama was campaigning in 2008, there was all this promise of “change”. That was the rallying cry “change.” Everyone jumped on board and was happy when he was voted in. One of the first things that happened when he moved into office was his wife, Michelle, became the poster child for healthy living, especially for kids, with her Let’s Move program. She also received and continues to receive a lot of press coverage from traditional media about the organic garden in the White House that she had...

The one thing that I don’t say enough when writing these posts is “Thank You.” I’d like to thank all of you for taking the time out of your busy lives to read what I have to say. The reason that this has come to mind right now is because in the past few weeks, I’ve been nominated for a few awards. While I’m pretty happy to be nominated, it wouldn’t be possible without any of you. My reason for writing and keeping this site is to inspire you to reconnect with your food by growing your own and...

I’d like to introduce Gardener’s Supply Company as a sponsor of Urban Organic Gardener. I spoke with one of their Social Media Manager, David Grist, to learn more about the company. Here’s the Q&A. What does your company specialize in? Seedstarting systems, composters, containers, garden and yard decor, landscaping, pest control, watering,...

Brussel sprouts are the vegetable that everyone likes to make fun of for some reason (that’s likely dumb). This recipe is a quick and simple way to enjoy them and you can make it in bulk for the week. This recipe is dairy and gluten free. Here’s what you’ll need: Half to one pound of brussel sprouts 6-8 cloves of garlic tablespoon of olive oil tablespoon of apple cider vinegar Dash of sea salt and black pepper Teaspoon of raw honey How to make: Cut off the knubby part of the brussel sprouts and place in food processor ...

There was a post on SimpleBites.net by Aimee titled Why (and How) You Should Create a Healthy Food Culture for Your Family that got me thinking about the food and health culture that I’ve created and the one that I grew up with. Aimee’s talks about food culture as it relates to couples and kids, why food culture is important today, the food culture of her family and how you can create one of your own. I’d like to address some of those same issues and some others as well. My Food Culture Growing Up Growing up I always...

Since I’ve started my garden from scratch committed to eating off from my balcony more often, I am taking better care of the containers. It’s been a few weeks and the seedlings are starting to grow, so now it’s time to thin them out. What that means is cutting out the extra ones. When you planted your seeds, you likely scattered a few of them in the soil. Now that they’ve grown a little bit, there are a few of them that are really close to each other. You want to remove some of them. If you don’t they will...

I’d like to introduce BlueStone Garden as a sponsor of Urban Organic Gardener. I spoke with one of their E-Commerce Marketing Manager, Kelly Van Eschen to learn more about the company. Here’s the Q&A. What does your company specialize in? Everything but the plants! We offer great garden tools from Wolf-Garten, planters, greenhouses, water and irrigation solutions, composters and more! What is your best selling product? We do really well with the Ooze Tube, which comes in different sizes and people also love the Crumbler...

Posted on Mar 10 2011 - 2:10am by Mike Lieberman
#16

When I was at the farmers market last week, I noticed rutabagas. I’d never had them before and was curious. The vendor hooked me up with one for free (gotta love the farmers market) and recommended making a soup with it. So I made one and it came out damned good. This rutabaga soup is dairy and gluten free. Here’s what you’ll need: 1 rutabaga 2 ribs of celery 1/4 medium sized onion 3-4 cups vegetable broth Tablespoon of olive oil 2-3 bay leaves Dash of sea salt How to make: Peel and cube the rutabaga Slice up celery...

The rising food prices have been in the news a lot lately. I mean c’mon it helped to cause an uprising in Egypt. Here in the States, the food prices are starting to rise as well. While indeed that may be true, it’s not the food that is too expensive it’s everything else that goes into getting the food to your plate that’s causing the price to increase. The Daily Green had a great post titled For Every Dollar You Spend on “Food,” Less than 16 Cents Pays for Food. They broke down where the money goes based...

About two weeks after I started my garden from scratch, I did some succession plantings. Since I’m gardening food to eat, not look at, this will help me to grow more on my balcony garden and eat from it more than twice in a year. Succession planting is when you plant a new set of seeds about 2-3 weeks after your initial planting. The purpose of this is that it will keep you with a continual harvest. When you harvest the first set, the second set is growing right behind it. Make sense? When I did the first round of plantings, there...