Raised Bed Gardening Blog

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Gnudi

On a cold, blustery, snowy evening, there's nothing more satisfying than making your own Gnudi pasta and fresh tomato/marjoram sauce. Ah, for that lycopene hit from those Italian cherry tomatoes! High in Vitamin C, with anti-cancer potential, tomatoes provide so much more for you than just great tastes. And with a bit of resveratrol from a glass of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, you have a wonderfully appetizing and healthy meal! Buon Appetito!! Go to the Recipes section for Ricotta Gnudi with Tomatoes and Marjoram!

Lemons

When life deals you lemons, gladly make lemonade, or anything else for that matter that has lemons in it! Lemons contain bioflavinoids- antioxidants that help cleanse the blood, detox the liver, and strengthen the immune system. They are loaded with nutrients, and may be used to treat inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Last night, we made a simple dish of sauteed chicken thighs, with lemon zest and juice, sherry, and mushrooms, with a nice bottle of Carmenere from Chile. Delicious, and it had us puckering up all the way till bedtime!

Santa Fe Head Start Programs

Grow Y'own, along with CCLI- (Climate Change Leadership Institute)- will begin installations at all the Santa Fe Head Start facilities this week. Head Start offers parents opportunities and support as they identify and meet their own goals, nurture their children in the context of their families and cultures, and advocate for communities that support children and families of all cultures. We are proud and honored to work alongside CCLI and the Head Start locations in Santa Fe and surrounding areas, and can't wait for all involved to enjoy fresh, organic, healthy, and free food supplies!

Cimate Change and Grow Y'own

As the climate changes, and yes, the climate is definitely changing no matter who you talk to, and all of a sudden there's 2' of snow in your backyard and you need food from the store, then no matter what your leaning or who you pray to, the only sure way to feel secure is if you have food and water to survive. Grow Y'own raised and covered beds can give you that safety and stability year round!

Soup!!

The Winter snow storms keep rolling through the New Mexico Highlands, and there's nothing better to warm you up and keep your belly fed than delicious, nutritious soups. Enter 'Vegetable Soups' from Deborah Madison's Kitchen! She guides you through the art of soup-making, starting with the addition of olive oil, dark sesame oil, butter, stocks, and even unidentified leftoves from the fridge! For all soup-ianados, THIS is the book that will inspire you and leave you to wonder why it took you so long to add it to your collection. From beginning to the creative-finishes end, these soups will whet your appetite, and sustain you through those cold Winter months!

Institute of American Indian Arts

In August of 2015, Grow Y'own was fortunate to coordinate a large, multi-bed installation at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. The existing IAIA Demonstration Garden was already growing beautiful crops of tomatoes, squash, amaranth, sunflowers, and more. This existing garden demonstrates and promotes Indiginous agricultural methods for food and medicinal crop cultivation, while serving as an outdoor learning space. It is designed and maintained by the Center for Lifelong Education, local tribal members, students, and faculty. The garden is representative of IAIA's 1994 Land Grant Mission to provide training and outreach that promotes tribal sovereignty and self-determination. In one day, with the help of 20 students, 4 faculty members, and our crew of 5, we moved 45 tons of material- block and soil-, set up 11 4'x12' units, installed drip systems in each bed, and collectively planted one. It was a gargantuan effort, and we pulled it off without a hitch. Since that time, we have finished planting all the beds, and have covered them with both the Summer and Winter covers. Within 2 weeks, the gardeners were giving away big bags of greens to anyone on campus who wanted them. By next Spring and Summer, the plentiful food will be used in the campus cafeteria, as well as open gifts to students and faculty. Many hands made light work to construct this wonderful addition to an already powerful gardening space, and Grow Y'own and crew look forward in 2016 to more of these communal types of installations that can benefit multitudes of people.

Heat it Up!

Last night we made chicken parmigiana with an arrabiata sauce over pasta. The arrabiata sauce is a spicy Italian red sauce made with red bell peppers and crushed red peppers. Red peppers contain almost 300% of your daily Vitamin C intake, and have powerful anti-oxidant polyphenols, which give them strong disease-preventing properties. The capsaicin in hot peppers promotes circulation, which may prevent hardening of the arteries and reduce the risk of heart attack. They also have strong analgesic or pain-relieving and anti-=inflammatory qualities. Eating red peppers can increase libido and build collagen, which ensures beautiful skin. Red bell peppers are a great source of Vitamin B6 and magnesium, help support healthy night vision, and help to burn more calories. People who consume hot red peppers eat fewer total calories per day, and have diminished interest in food. Great for dieting! In the Winter, whenever I feel a cold coming on, I power down hot peppers to get a good sweat going and create a nice internal heat. Adding them to soup or other foods takes a lot of the 'bite' out of the peppers. Whichever way you consume them, red bells or crushed or whole peppers have a wealth of things that can make you healthier, and add a nice kick to sauces and foods which you find bland!

Gift Yourself a Garden!

Xmas is over, the presents AND the tree are gone and put away, and its a quiet time to start planning what to plant this season in your garden. For those already with Grow Y'own raised beds, you're probably continuing to grow and harvest from your existing units. For anyone who has longed to or thought about getting a Grow Y'own and starting a year round gardening program, why wait? You can get setup now, plant starts, install a heat system, and by the beginning of March, your bed will be flourishing and you'll have a 2-3 month jump on the season. We plant 12 months a year here in New Mexico, and for states like Arizona and California, its a no-brainer. So put the catalogues down, pick up the phone, and call for an appointment with Ken. Grow Y'own now! You'll be glad you didn't wait till May!!

Gimme Shelter

At the end of last year, I joined CCLI, (Climate Change Leadership Institute) in Santa Fe, NM, in their effort to 'gift' raised beds to Youth Shelters, and in the future, to low-income housing recipients and community housing projects. By growing their own food supply, these residents will be able to raise their own organic vegetables and herbs, without having to go to stores and pay inflated prices for 'natural' foods, that they can easily grow themselves out their back doors! We can all affect climate change, by changing the way we eat and obtain our food sources, and by growing what we consume the most in whatever forms that we can afford. Now in its 8th season, Grow Y'own continues to be committed to helping people achieve these goals, both locally and nationally, one by one, and family by family. 1,000 beds later, the movement is becoming stronger than ever, and with partners like CCLI, it will grow exponentially, enriching individuals with better health.