Foraging for Elderberries – What are Elderberries and How to Find Them

Foraging for Elderberries Elderberries are all over the place here. Since they make fabulous jam and syrup, we went and picked a bunch last Saturday. We just moved to the area, so we were afraid it would be a bit of a wild goose chase to find ‘good spots’ to pick elderberries. No problem there…

When to Pick Your Winter Squash and How to Store It

Before the cold temperatures of winter come, you’ll want to make sure you’re able to harvest as much of your produce as possible. The first thing you’ll need to do is pull off all the extra flowers, and possibly even some of the smaller, undeveloped squashes, so that the energy of the plant can be…

Stevia: Grow This Natural Alternative Sweetener in your Garden

When most people think of ‘Stevia’, they think of the powdered green (or white… if it’s been bleached) stuff used as an alternative sweetener you can buy from most supermarkets. But it doesn’t start out that way. Stevia is an herb that you can grow in your garden. It’s always a fun experience to invite…

Organic Matter

If you’ve ever looked into gardening or if you’re already into gardening and you keep up on gardening literature, I’m sure you’ve heard volumes of discussion with respect to organic matter. It seems like you can never escape the topic: organic matter this, organic matter that. Well, there’s actually good reason for that. Having lots…

Green Composts

Green composts – Examples of green manure include freshly clipped grass clippings from the lawn, green leaves, stems or other green plant anatomy, kitchen scraps, etc. Unlike brown composts, green composts are not as nitrogen-poor and therefore do not run into the same decomposition problems that brown composts have. Keep in mind that green composts…

Brown Composts

Brown composts are older dead plant material. Examples of this would include straw, old leaves, sawdust, branch or twig pieces, old grass clippings, old stalks or stems, wood chips or shavings, etc. The main point is that brown composts are older composts. Aged, or older composts, have unique properties that need to be addressed so…

Green Manure as a Source of Organic Matter

We all know what a brown manure is, but what is a green manure? Green manures come from plants, in fact, green manure is the plants themselves after they’ve been plowed or tilled back into the soil. That’s right, a green manure is nothing more than a bunch of plants that are grown in the…

Brown Manure as a Source of Organic Matter

There are two types of manures: brown and green. Brown manures, the manure we’re all more familiar with, come from animals, green manures come from plants (the result of covercropping). Brown manures, or animal wastes, are a great organic matter source but it does have some interesting characteristics that ought to be understood before using…

Gene Discovery May Lead to New Varieties of Soybean Plants

Just several weeks following the soybean genome was sequenced, a Purdue College researcher has discovered a lengthy-searched for gene that controls the plant’s primary stem growth and can lead to the development of new kinds of soybean plants that will permit producers to include preferred characteristics to their local varieties. Jianxin Ma (Jen-Shin Ma), a…

Roots Meshed in Waste Materials Could Clean Dirty Water

Plant roots enmeshed in layers of discarded materials inside upright pipes can purify dirty water from the washer, which makes it fit for growing vegetables and flushing toilets, based on Penn Condition horticulturists. “Our global freshwater supplies are fast depleting,” stated Robert D. Cameron, doctorate student in horticulture. “So it’s crucial that we start to…