Tag Archives: urban ag

Urban Ag: Backyard Market Gardening

Just a short note: I’ll be speaking on Backyard Market Gardening on Thursday (Nov. 14, 2013) at the Mississippi Fruit & Vegetable Growers Convention.

Even a small plot can make big dollars if done right. I'll be speaking at the Silver Star Resort in Choctaw, MS, Nov. 14, 2013 on Backyard Market Gardening. (Photo by Jim Ewing, ShooFlyFarmBlog)

Even a small plot can make big dollars if done right. I’ll be speaking at the Silver Star Resort in Choctaw, MS, Nov. 14, 2013 on Backyard Market Gardening. (Photo by Jim Ewing, ShooFlyFarmBlog)

Held at the Pearl River Resort’s Silver Star Conference Center in Choctaw, MS, near Philadelphia, the conference features a host of experts on various agricultural practices.

Specifically, my talk will be on how to turn your home garden into a profit making enterprise, or take a small garden and expand it into a small farm — complete with marketing tips.

It’s an honor to be asked to speak. Some may recall that I’m a former president of MFVGA; I look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones!

Those who read this blog regularly probably will recognize some of the information — and photos! — from my writings over the years here. Nevertheless, you may not have seen all the info presented at one time.

So, you if get a chance, come on down. Here’s registration info:

http://www.msfruitandveg.com/

See you there!
Jim PathFinder Ewing is a journalist, author, writer, editor, organic farmer and blogger. His latest book titled Conscious Food: Sustainable Growing, Spiritual Eating (Findhorn Press) is in bookstores now. Find Jim on Facebook, follow him @edibleprayers or visit blueskywaters.com.

Advertisements

Urban Homesteaders: Probiotics a Yummy Alternative

By Jim PathFinder Ewing

Modern homesteaders, that is, urban and rural folks who are into self-sufficiency, could do little better in regard to their food choices than delving into probiotics.

Simply put, probiotics are the tiny organisms that help maintain the natural balance (microflora) in the intestines. That may sound yucky, but it can be tastier than it might sound.

If you visit Rainbow Natural Grocery Co-Op in Fondren, for example, you’ll see row after row of “natural” sauerkrauts in a remarkable variety of flavors. That’s probiotics.

If you dine at a fine Asian restaurant and sample the spicy and wonderfully complex flavors of kimchi, that’s probiotics.

Finally, if you grew annoyed at the Jamie Lee Curtis TV ads touting how her body is in such great intestinal balance, that’s (yes, you guessed it) probiotics.

Probiotics is a form of homesteading because it’s all about taking leftover or common materials and recycling them into healthful, edible food.

The “sauerkrauts” at Rainbow are carefully fermented unsold produce; Kimchi, basically, is fermented cabbage that was too tough or bitter to eat straight from the fields; Curtis’ product is yogurt with a trademarked probiotic culture added.

It all boils to lacto-fermentation: a long word for homegrown food. As my beautiful wife Annette has blogged (blueskywaters.com/articles.html): Dr. Andrew Weil makes his own sauerkraut, not because it’s a way to preserve summer crops and eat them all year, or a cheap way to recycle old, tough, bug-eaten or leftover garden crops (which it is) but because it’s a healthier way to eat.

“Fermenting does some of the digestive work for you, so it makes a lot of foods more digestible and the nutrients in them more bioavailable,” Weil says. Unlike other methods of preserving foods, lacto-fermentation actually increases nutritional value.

There are a couple of methods for doing this. Weil uses a Harsch crock, as does Rainbow Grocery, but that takes weeks to produce, and they are rather pricey. Annette uses a cheaper method that’s also quicker. Read about it at store.therawdiet.com/
pisaandkimch.html.

She writes: “I use the sea salt proportion Weil recommends (http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02021/Dr-Weil-Savoring-Sauerkraut.html), then add any veggie combination that appeals to me. I always add fresh grated ginger and fresh grated turmeric if available. I go easy on garlic, as the process makes its flavor stronger. You don’t have to use a starter, but I do. Yogurt whey, miso, kraut juice or a capsule or two of a probiotic culture is fine.”

Read about more fermentation methods and recipes in the book “Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods” by Sandor Ellix Katz (Chelsea Green, 2003, $25).

Vegans Take Note!

“Sauerkraut is a perfect alternative source of acidophilous and other friendly micro-flora, for those who prefer not to eat yogurt. These flora aid digestion, boost the immune system, and help to keep your digestive system balanced and detoxified.” –Dr. Andrew Weil

Make Your Own Yogurt

Everything you need to make homemade yogurt is probably already in your kitchen, with the possible exception of a thermometer. Visit makeyourownyogurt.com/make-yogurt/what-you-need.

Jim PathFinder Ewing is a journalist, author, writer, editor, organic farmer and blogger. His latest book titled Conscious Food: Sustainable Growing, Spiritual Eating (Findhorn Press) is in bookstores now. Find Jim on Facebook: http://bit.ly/cuxUdc or follow him @edibleprayers or @organicwriter or visit blueskywaters.com.