Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hooptie Houses: A winter container garden experiment

Optimistic is the nice way of describing what we did. We kept waiting for that magical stretch of sunny autumn days to squeeze the last remaining redness out of the clusters of unripe green tomatoes on our tomato plants. Yeah, that didn’t happen. It’s been pretty rainy so far. The result is we planted our winter garden way late.

So what to do? Get cheap and crafty.

We're trying this experiment to see if we can make up for lost time. We built some small DIY hoop houses for our containers: micro container-garden greenhouses to kickstart our late plantings. We made ours from things you probably have hanging around the house. They’ve been working like fantastic little charms, getting our seeds to sprout and grow quickly. And, the benefit has also been that we can make the overall roof taller by raising the metal spans as the plants grow. Here's what we did if you want to try it out yourself (click to zoom in on the image):

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Delicious 180-Day-Old Apple?

It’s apple season. If you’re finding yourself with more than you can cook, cut, candy, swap, etc., consider this tip from the Old Farmer’s Almanac… According to their site, apples can be easily stored and stay good for up to six months. All you need is a cool place in your home and a couple of cardboard boxes.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Donate! Another Way to Give Your Extra Veggies a Good Home!

Veggie Trader believes in putting good food to good use. Last month we picked and donated some Asian pears ready to go to waste on a neighbor’s property (yes, we asked first!). Our neighbors were happy to oblige.

In the spirit of sharing, we’ve also just connected with Ample Harvest, a national organization putting backyard gardeners in touch with local food pantries. And, you’ll also find local organizations in need in our Donate section of the Veggie Trader listings. We’d love to see this section grow as many people are in need these days.

So, if you run or work for a food pantry or other group that can put fresh produce to use, please consider posting a free listing in our Donate section. Let gardeners in your area know what you're looking for. And if you're a gardener with a backyard overrun by tomatoes, zucchini, or whatever, please consider checking the Donate section for local groups that can use your produce. Donations are often tax-deductible. Plus, it's just a great thing to do for your community.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

We've Got Bumper Stickers!

Lots of people have asked us for Veggie Trader bumper stickers, so we now have a couple of bumper stickers available via cafepress.com. Find them here. If you have any ideas for bumper stickers you'd like to see, please let us know.

Apple bumper sticker

"I like to swap" bumper sticker

We're also working on creating Veggie Trader shirts, totes, etc. and hope to have these available soon. Again, if you have ideas for designs you'd like to see, let us know.

Friday, October 2, 2009

We're Missing Veggies! Help Us Find Them.

We'll be doing some updates to Veggie Trader this weekend to include many of the tasty veggies grown around the country. We'll be adding okra, tomatillos, swiss chard, and other fruits and veggies people have let us know to include. Are we missing fruits and veggies commonly grown in your area? Please let us know!