Warm Saltines Are An Ephiphany

Sometimes the smallest effort can lead to a serious food upgrade.

Every once in awhile I stumble on a grand idea. I realize others may have already discovered this very same thing but when I actually experience it, somehow it becomes more real. Isn’t that the way with almost anything? A physical experience writes knowledge on you in a way that reading about it cannot fully convey.

So read this article to get the idea, but then go do it for yourself. It is quick, easy and painless.

Unless you burn your fingers.

Continue reading “Warm Saltines Are An Ephiphany”

Decluttering Financial Records

If you have been listening to our podcast Farm Chatter over the past few weeks, you know we have been focused on ridding the house of clutter. (If you haven’t heard one yet, check out Episode 102-The Declutter Report.) One of those decluttering tasks was to purge old financial records.

Does anyone else have trouble throwing out bank statements?

Paid credit card statements?

Old utility bills?

How about the maintenance agreement on a product you no longer own? Ok, that one is easy.

But those old financial records are a different matter.

Set Up Your Own Rules

Use a rule that makes sense to you about your financial records.

Our general rule is to keep tax returns forever; paid bills, bank statements and tax supporting documents for 3 years. Other things like maintenance agreements, operating manuals, etc. are only necessary while we own the item.

Everything else found in the bottom of a box in the back of a closet can go.

Who knew so much paper could accumulate?

After the financial record purge, a 3 foot high mountain of paper was stacked in the floor. No one wants to just throw these in the landfill. What if a page with sensitive personal data blows across the road to someone’s house?

Out comes the shredder.

We discovered after about 20 minutes of constant use, the poor little cross cut shredder would overheat. It took about 3 days of on-again, off-again shredding to get through the pile. Now the 3 foot high mountain is a huge stack of trash bags full of teeny-tiny, itty-bitty pieces of paper.

Now what?

These could go to the landfill now without fear of personal data scattering to the winds. But we feel an obligation to recycle.

This paper is now getting a second life around the Farm. It can go directly into the compost pile but can also be used in other ways.

How about in the bottom of transplant pots for new little seedlings?

It can also be used as a soil additive in raised beds to help with water retention. A 2 foot by 8 foot raised bed may accommodate 2 or 3 gallons of shredded paper. Pro tip: add a little at a time and mix thoroughly through the soil. Wait a week, then add more if necessary.

What can you do?

—Even if you don’t have such a mountain of paper to shred, you can use what you have. You can always wad up newspaper in the bottom of a flower pot before adding soil and plants. This helps reduce the amount of soil needed, makes the pot lighter weight (especially useful when re-potting large plants) and assists with water retention.

—Always think about recycling whenever possible.

For more information or tips about things to do at your place, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Do You Eat Flowers?

Have you ever eaten a flower?

Many flowers are edible and if you are unfamiliar with eating flowers, start with chive blossoms. These light purple flowers are more than just a pretty decoration at the end of an oniony stalk. They are easy to pick and clean, plus beautiful in a salad, on potatoes or even just sprinkled around a plate for garnish.

To use, pick whole blossoms by pulling gently at the base of the flower to pop off the entire bloom. Give them a quick rinse and dry on a paper towel or drying rack. You can even use a salad spinner.


After most of the bloom is dry (don’t worry about every drop of water evaporating), grasp the stem end in one hand and pluck out the tiny blossoms with the other. These individual blooms will pull out several at a time.


Then add to your favorite dish. Like potatoes grilled in foil. With melty cheese.

What flowers do you eat?

How To Choose Determinate or Indeterminate Tomato Plants

Are you anxious to experience that warm taste bud tingling bite of juicy tomato on top of a burger or the classic bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich with a tomato you grew yourself? Or maybe you dream of a plate of red and yellow tomatoes interspersed with slices of fresh mozzarella cheese, sprinkled with finely shredded basil and drizzled with olive oil.

Then you walk into a garden center to buy your plants and the number of different varieties of tomatoes is overwhelming.

This post aims to breakdown one of the more confusing questions around tomato plants.

Determinate vs. Indeterminate

What on earth could that mean to a tomato?


A determinate plant is one with a limit to growth and production during the season. The plant will remain compact and is the best choice for a container garden. This limit to growth also means that at the peak of it’s growth cycle, it will also stop producing tomatoes.


The indeterminate variety will continue to grow and unless pruned will grow throughout the season becoming taller and taller, sometimes almost tree like. It will continue to produce fruit until frost or the gardener pulls it out of the ground. Indeterminate plants need to be in a garden or deep enough soil to support the large plant. These tomatoes also need to be staked, caged or somehow supported to keep them upright.

How do you know?

We recommend you buy plants directly from the grower. Check your local farmer’s market in April and May for vendors who have plants for sale. The farmer will know what type of plant they are offering and will be more than happy to tell you all about their tomato plants.

If you are shopping in a garden center, check the plant tag. It will specify determinate or indeterminate as well as several other facts that will help you choose the best tomato plant for you.

We will cover a few more of these in our next blog posts.

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