Chelsea Green Publishing

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Long Orange Firecrackers

In our home garden, we just picked carrots this week. From one raised bed, my kids unearthed an armload of long orange firecrackers. Picking carrots, potatoes, and root/tuber vegetables is such a satisfying harvest. There is something special about bringing up buried treasure: you’re never quite sure what is hidden until you pull it out of the ground. Most people love the taste of carrots, which are very nutritious and versatile in the kitchen. Their sweet, earthy flavors are a welcome addition to almost any dish, sweet or savory. But quite honestly, the only carrots that get cooked at our house are the ones we buy in the store. The ones we grow don’t make it to the kitchen; they are so much tastier that they are eaten first. Homegrown carrots are so good we tend to eat them all raw. When the kids are pulling up carrots, they don’t even want to wash them before taking a bite. Once the roots are rinsed, my kids will eat two or three large carrots before they slow down. We put them in school lunch boxes and they disappear. There’s no shortage of vitamin A this time of year. As soon as we pick carrots, a light bulb flashes in my head. It’s the reminder to plant more carrot seeds, which I plan to do very soon!  Carrots prefer cool temperatures, so in the hot days of late summer, give them plenty of water and perhaps a little shade. In a mild climate, you can grow carrots year-round. If your winters are cold, hard frosts and temperatures in the teens will kill off the foliage, but carrot roots can remain in the ground even into winter. Just cover them with a thick mulch, say six inches of leaves, straw, or sawdust, which should protect the roots for now. If your soil stays workable, you can dig them up as needed over the winter. Otherwise, you should get them out before the ground freezes up solid or else wait until early spring to pull them out. When you buy seed, you can look for overwintering varieties if this is what you plan to do. For more information on growing carrots and other hardy cool season vegetables, please see my Fresh Food From Small Spaces book and several of my online articles/e-booklets, which are available here. If you’re a parent, involving kids in the garden is the best way to get them interested in eating their veggies. Carrots may be the easiest place to start. If your kids don’t like the ones from the store, wait till they taste real homegrown carrots!

Furniture from Mycelium

The house is filled with the earthy smell of mushrooms cooking. It’s not a welcome-to-winter soup simmering or a ragout thickening; I’m baking a little mushroom footstool in the oven. That’s not all that’s baking in that house, you may be thinking… Read more: Read More..

Roasted Squash Soup (Recipe)

Roasted Squash Soup This recipe makes some delicious squash soup, which is a healthy way to keep yourself warm as the evenings turn cool. If you like a creamy, herby, or spicy soup, there are some flavor variations included below. I recommend using a sweet, dense-fleshed winter squash such as butternut, buttercup, or kabocha. Alternatively, […] Read More..

Grameen is installing 1000 solar home systems a day…in rural Bangladesh!

In one of the poorest countries on the planet a renewable energy service company is installing one thousand solar home systems – a day. Not in its capital or busy urban centers, but where 80 percent of the population lives – in rural Bangladesh. The company, Grameen Shakti, literally translates as rural energy. By the […] Read More..

Some Sick Chickens and Eggs in Your Food Supply

The U.S. government is attempting to cut the jobs of 1,000 poultry inspectors to save $85 million per year. The new plan is to have the poultry industry “self inspect” themselves (after all, the same concept worked well with Wall Street, right?). One poultry industry inspector will now be responsible for “inspecting” the dizzying number […] Read More..

Dairy cows happier on waterbeds

Dairy Farmer Spoils Cows with Waterbeds…Apparently, the cows are happier because their joints feel better, and make better quality milk. Who knew? Follow link below for a local news article and video clip. Link:,0,2493141.story Read More..