Wednesday, July 05, 2006

What's Growin' On: 7/5/06

Realization Of The Day:
The mixed lettuce bed I ate from every day for weeks and weeks in the spring and am now letting go to seed (as an experiment) looks totally cool--like a bizarre alien landscape or something. (Click on the photo for a bigger view.)

Culinary Newsbite:
KGI Sign Campaign Contest! Some of you may remember when I first wrote about Kitchen Garderners International back in April. KGI is a "fledgling international movement for dirt-y minded food lovers whose goal is to get people growing and cooking some of their own food again." Since then I've been asked to join the Advisory Board, and we've been having all sorts of e-discussions regarding possible projects, ways to make operating capital, and what direction the organization should take in general.

One question of great importance we were asked is this: Where will the next crop of kitchen gardeners come from if we don't plant it ourselves?

With that in mind, the Advisory Board realized that if kitchen gardens are not as popular with kids as, say, SpongeBob sweetened cereal, maybe it's because we're not advertising them as cleverly and creatively--and as much--as we should. One person mentioned the slogan used by Paul Newman's food products company (which donates all of its profits to charity): "shameless exploitation in pursuit of the common good." And that's what we decided needs to be done.

So here's how the KGI sign campaign works. Anyone sufficiently shameless can participate. All you need to do is create a sign that advertises kitchen gardens, gardening, food self-reliance, etc. in your own special way. You decide on the slogan. You choose the artwork. If you want to include the web address or as a way of connecting it to the campaign (both of these addresses bring you directly to the KGI website), that would be great, but it's not required.

And to make things even more fun, we've turned the campaign into a contest, complete with valuable prizes, including a Cobrahead Precision Weeder and Cultivator and a $40 gift certificate to Johnny's Selected Seeds.

Deadline for entries is the end of the day Friday, July 21st. Click here for more contest details and to see the two unofficial poster boys for the We Grow Food campaign showing off their wonderful handmade signs. And then go make your signs!


  1. An interesting challenge. So we are discussing physical signage as opposed to virtual signage, or does it matter what format your sign is?

    Yes, those mixed greens are radiantly beautiful! And Cary makes an adorable backdrop.

  2. A group of gardeners after my own heart. My gandsons have plenty of space for a huge garden in the country. We have their parent's permission and are drawing our plans for raised beds like yours before we turn the soil.

    Did you assemble the white frame over you lettuce? Or, was it a kit?

  3. Does Cary ever stop eating...I mean weeding?

  4. I signed up for the daily "Feedblitz" after seeing the blog featured as a "blog of note," or some such. It's a nice antidote to the humdrum of mass American life. It's also a nice antidote to the subject matter I tend to deal with in my blog. If you can take the sun, the farming life is a great one, in deep connection with the Earth. Thanks for spreading the connection. By the way, I spent some time in rural Missouri, and ticks were a big problem. How do you deal with it?

  5. Hi Jade,
    Well, the original idea was physical signage that you could put up in your yard, etc., but I don't see why someone couldn't come up with a virtual sign to post on their blog or whatever. In fact, I quite like that idea.

    It's been fun watching that lettuce bed. I have pictures going back a couple of months of its progress. But one thing after another keeps popping up, and today I finally realized that I think what I will do is put up some of these longer "how to/how not to" posts (like about the lettuce, the potato planting experiment, etc.) in the fall or winter when I should (ha ha) hopefully have more time. That would still give people time to incorporate the ideas (or find out what not to do!) in their own gardens next year. We'll see. At least I have a plan. : )

    Hi Mary Lou,
    How wonderful that you are going to help your grandsons to be part of the next generation of kitchen gardeners! I was just discussing with Steven how sad it is that so many farmers who live in the country and have plenty of land don't even have kitchen gardens or grow any of their own food!

    So glad you're going with raised beds, too (yet another topic I've been meaning to cover and haven't gotten around to it).

    Regarding the "mini greenhouse" frames (as I call them) over two of the raised beds--Joe designed and made them himself. Click here and scroll down to the comments section for a detailed explanation of how they were constructed. They are super handy, long lasting, and inexpensive. And we did toy with the idea of creating kits and selling them. I saw something similar for almost $200. Crazy!

    I hope you'll keep me posted on the new garden. So exciting.

    Hi Yellow Dog,
    Well, of course Cary stops eating--to sleep! But seriously, sheep need to graze for 8 hours a day (then there's all that time "re-eating" their food--it has to go through four stomachs). So pretty much if they aren't asleep, they're chewing on something. Lucky sheep. : )

    P.S. See, that's why I felt compelled to put up today's photo on Farmgirl Fare, despite the Cary photo yesterday. I realized that in almost all the pics I's posted of her, you can't see her face because she's eating!

    Hi John,
    Welcome to my garden! Glad you're enjoying your visits, and thanks for the kind words.

    Yes, "big problem" is a good way to describe the ticks here. As far as dealing with them, we cover ourselves with special concoctions of bug away stuff (as safe and natural as we can find), and then we have various remedies we apply because no matter what you do, you're going to get bites. Your question reminded me that I've been meaning to write a little something about that. Another "I Can't Live Without" item. Soon, I hope!


March 2013 update: My apologies for the inconvenience - I know word verification is a pain - but I've had to turn it on to help stop the ridiculous number of anonymous spam comments I've been getting every day. Thanks for your understanding.

Welcome to! Thanks so much for taking the time to write. While I'm not always able to reply to every comment, I receive and enjoy reading them all.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated, and I especially love to hear about what's going on in your own garden. I know, too, that other readers also delight in reading about your garden successes, failures, helpful tips, and lessons learned. Feel free to leave comments on older posts!

I try my best to answer all questions, but sometimes it takes me a few days to get to them. And sometimes, I'm sorry to say, they fall through the cracks, and for that I sincerely apologize.

I look forward to hearing from you and hope you enjoy your visits to my kitchen garden!