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Garden Betty
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Garden Betty

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With all the rain we've had lately, my volunteer nasturtiums are going gangbusters - and they're glittering in the garden like jewel-encrusted lilypads. Have you ever watched raindrops dance around on a nasturtium leaf? The extreme water repellency is a phenomenon known as the lotus effect, and it means nasturtium surfaces are one of the most waterproof materials in the natural world.
Rain doesn’t happen too often in Southern California, but when it does, I always love the gleam it brings to the garden. And literally, too — the wide-spreading patches of volunteer nasturtium vines seem to sparkle with thousands of Swarovski […]
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I like kale. I also like turnip greens, collards, mustards, and other bitter greens. But a lot of my friends don't, and turns out, your taste buds' sensitivity to the bitter compounds in these plants all comes down to your genes. Yup - you can blame science for it.
Ever notice how some people like their leafy greens, while others refuse to eat them? This disparity may boil down to a particular gene inherent in some humans. Yes, you can blame science for it. Cruciferous vegetables such as collard […]
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Blogged on Garden Betty: Looking Forward
For the last several New Year’s Eves, our nights were spent somewhere far from home, usually with friends, and always with party poppers, glow sticks, and raucous dancing involved. But this New Year’s Eve was different. It was quiet. It […]
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Since becoming mobile a few weeks ago, Gemma's been much more interactive with the garden... touching all the 🌿 leaves, crawling after 🍊 fallen oranges, digging up 🌱 dirt, pulling on 🌼 flower petals. (Now if I could just have her learn to pull out the weeds!) Today she sampled some nasturtiums and I don't think she knew what to make of the mustardy spice! I'm guessing it tastes much better than dirt though. 😜
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Blogged on Garden Betty: Five Things Friday
The five little things that made my week… 1. Rain, rain, glorious rain. We’ve had more rain in the last couple of weeks than we’ve had in the last couple of years combined. It’s amazing for California on so many […]
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Hiking through a narrow gorge created hundreds of years ago by the San Andreas Fault.
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Did you know... Our bodies are built around our digestive systems. When our gut flora gets out of balance, we get sick, and that's because there isn't enough good bacteria to fight off the bad bacteria. Adding lacto-fermented foods (like sauerkraut) to your diet supplements your existing good bacteria with more probiotics that keep you healthy and strong. The pasteurized sauerkraut in the store isn't going to do it for you - but sauerkraut is very easy to make at home, even without specialized fermenting tools. Click through the link to read more!
Ruby kraut has sass. It’s like the sexier, sleeker, red lipstick-wearing sister of sauerkraut. And Ms. Ruby packs a healthful punch into one little jar. The secret is in the red cabbage: The compounds that give the vegetable its distinctive […]
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Prehistoric kale. 🐊
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Winter beauty tips from Iman the chicken: take a break from laying, eat lots of greens, luxuriate in daily dust baths, and condition dull feathers with black oil sunflower seeds. Huh, they're not so different from us after all.
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I'm obsessed with seeds and starting plants from seeds. There's nothing I love more than sitting down with a brand-new seed catalog on a rainy day, and marking all the vegetables and herbs I want to try growing this year. It's ridiculous how we only see a few types of tomatoes or cucumbers or radishes in the grocery store when tens of thousands of heirloom varieties exist in this world. Aside from the multitude of colors, shapes, and sizes that these heirlooms offer, they come with fascinating histories of how they arrived on this land through the pioneers, farmers, and families before us.
I love to grow my own food. And what I love most about planting, harvesting, and cooking all that food is knowing every vegetable that lands on my plate has a story behind it. The lettuce that started from a […]
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Downclimbing a dry waterfall with a little rope and ladder assist.
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I'm often asked this question by all the broccoli growers out there: are the big leaves edible? The answer is YES! You can eat the leaves of broccoli (and other brassicas like brussels sprouts and cauliflower) the same way you'd eat other leafy greens like chard or collards. This means you don't have to wait until the heads form before you can use the plant; it can feed you while it's growing and even after you've harvested the broccoli itself. One of my favorite uses for large broccoli leaves is making wraps with them! (And goodness, this old post from almost five years ago brings back fond memories of my then-mobile pug.)
… As my veggie-loving pug will tell you! Most people don’t realize that broccoli leaves are just as edible as the broccoli head itself. And I can’t blame them, since store-bought broccoli comes in a neat little package with only […]
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Diary of a Dirty Girl
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Author of The CSA Cookbook and The New Camp Cookbook. Urban farmer and garden foodie. Adventure traveler and pro road-tripper. Simply put, I love being outside!
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