Monday, November 26, 2012

Easy Green Beans w/Bacon Recipe

Image: Gnawme/Flickr
Looking for a tasty side dish to make? Then try this easy green beans with bacon recipe. Using 6 ingredients, this recipe is quick and simple to make.

Green Beans with Bacon Recipe


1 Pound Green Beans Frozen or Fresh
6 Slices Crispy Bacon, Crumbled
3 Tablespoons Water
2 Tablespoons Butter
½ Teaspoon Salt
½ Teaspoon Chicken Bouillon Granules


1. Combine all ingredients except bacon
2. Cook green beans until tender
3. Sprinkle with bacon

Additional Recipes

Zucchini Pickle Recipe
How to Cook Acorns
Hungarian Green Bean Soup
Ground Beef and Vegetable Soup
Vegetable Terriyaki Wraps
Garden Vegetable Fried Rice
Baked Apples Recipe
Pumpkin Pecan Butter Recipe
How to Fry Pumpkin Seeds
Popcorn Ball Recipe
Make Your Own Pumpkin Pie Filling Recipe

Monday, November 19, 2012

What Were You Thankful for This Gardening Season?

With Thanksgiving only a few days away I thought I’d get into the swing of things by talking about what I’m most thankful for from my garden this year - after all this is a gardening blog and I want to stay on topic. So, without further ado, here are the 3 things that I’m most thankful for now that this gardening season has come to a close.

Number 1: My Garden’s Bounty

After all the hours of work and sweat I put into my organic vegetable garden planning, planting and weeding, I was rewarded with a bountiful harvest. I’m thankful for the bags of homegrown organic vegetables in my freezer, some of which my family and I will be enjoying this Thanksgiving.

Number 2: Habitat for Little Critters

I noticed lots of what I call little critters in my vegetable gardens this year - mainly toads and snakes. I’m thankful for the habitat my plants and mulch provided for the “good” critters that called my gardens home this summer. I’m thankful because toads and snakes help keep the bug population down naturally while they stay sheltered and well fed.

Number 3: Exercise and Relaxation

Believe it or not, I’m thankful for all the work it took to keep my greatly expanded vegetable gardens growing healthy and strong. Not only did I get a great workout while keeping my garden tended, I worked off lots of stress as well, providing myself with great relaxation later on. I enjoyed and am thankful for the peace and quiet my garden provided me.

What are you thankful for from your garden this year?

Related Articles

3 Things I Learned from My Vegetable Garden This Year

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gardening Definitions You Should Know

When it comes to gardening, there are lots of definitions that you should know. Why? Knowing these definitions makes it easier to understand growing guides, plant descriptions, the backs of seed packets etc. Knowing the right terminology also enables you to become a better gardener.

List of Gardening Definitions

Blight: A plant disease(s) that causes the plant to wilt or die off

Bolt: When plants suddenly produce flowers or seeds prematurely

Companion Crop: Vegetables planted next to one another to benefit and assist each other

Cross-Pollination: When pollen is transferred from the flower of one plant to a flower of a different plant

Floating Row Cover: A protective covering used to protect plants from cold, wind and insects

Prolific Grower: Producing a large quantity of fruit or vegetables

Self-Pollination: When plants have both a stamen and pistil and can pollinate themselves

Sunscald: Damage or death of a plant caused by the sun in summer and sun and low temperatures in winter

Yield: The quantity of fruits and vegetables that are produced from a single plant

P.S. This is a work in progress. I’ll continuously be adding more definitions to the list.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

3 Vegetables to Try in Your Garden Next Year

Looking to spice up your vegetable garden next year? Well, why not try growing something new? I know I did last year and I’m glad I did. Now is the perfect time to scour the internet in search of a new vegetable or two to try in your own garden. 

To help give you a gentle nudge in the right direction, I’ve put together a list of my must-haves - all of which I grew in my own garden for the first time last year.

3 Must-Have Vegetables to Try Growing


Kohlrabi, once a staple in many European vegetable gardens, is quickly becoming more and more popular in the U.S. It’s readily available in most produce sections and has been popping up in more gardens across the country.

Kohlrabi has a crisp, almost sweet taste that is sort of a cross between cabbage and a mild radish. It can be eaten raw or cooked and makes a fresh addition to salads and stir-fry’s. Due to the amount of rain we had last spring, I didn’t get a huge crop of kohlrabi but the plants that survived were tasty enough to make me want to grow kohlrabi again next year.

Here are some must-have early varieties, one of which I’ll be growing myself come spring, and yes, kohlrabi can be grown in the north.

Early White Vienna - 55 Days
Eder - 38 Days
Korridor - 42 Days
Winner - 45 Days
Kolibri - 45 Days


Lots of people love popcorn and knowing that it came from your own garden makes it much more enjoyable. There are a handful of varieties of popcorn to choose from and many double as ornamental corn so its like getting a 2 for 1 deal when you grow it in your own garden.

I myself grew Japanese Hull-Less popcorn in my garden last year. I like this variety because it takes about 83 days to mature and since I live in the north, an early variety works best for me. The trick to growing popcorn is to let the kernels dry right on the stalks even after they’ve turned brown.

Robust - 112 Days
Red Beauty - 120 Days
Neon Pink - 110 Days
Emerald Green - 110 Days
Shades of Blue - 110 Days
Japanese White Hull-Less - 83 Days

Yard Long Beans

Image: clayirving/Flickr

Yard long beans have a slightly different taste than other varieties of beans. They're a bit milder in flavor, meaning not as sweet. I love them in a stir fry or lightly sautéed in olive oil. What’s fun about growing your own yard long beans is watching them grow. Some beans can grow an inch or two in a single day. If you do decide to try growing yard long beans in your own garden, keep in mind that they are pole beans so they’ll grow best along a fence or trellis.

Yard long beans taste the best when they’re about the thickness of a pencil. In my opinion, they are a must-have and an exciting new vegetable to grow due to their size alone. The three varieties I have listed below can grow from 15 - 20” long.

Orient Wonder - 85 Days
Gita - 78 Days
Red Noodle - 85 Days

Which new vegetables are you going to try in your garden next year? Have any suggestions?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Homeowner’s Guide to Firewood

Image: Berillium/Wikimedia Commons
 Tis’ the season to buy, stack and store firewood. Before you shell out any money to your local firewood dealer, make sure you are getting the best deal on seasoned firewood. Find out how to stack it properly to keep it out of the elements and how to keep your home bug-free when bringing it indoors.

Guide to Buying, Stacking and Storing Firewood

The Best Wood for Firewood is Seasoned

Learn about seasoned firewood and why it makes the best wood to heat your home.

Read full article . . .

What is Seasoned Firewood?

Find out exactly what seasoned firewood is and how to tell if that’s what you’re getting.

Read full article . . .

What is a Cord of Firewood?

Firewood is commonly measured and sold by the cord in the U.S. and Canada. Find out how much wood is in a cord of firewood to figure out how much you’ll need to buy.

Read full article . . .

How to Keep Bugs Out of Firewood

Bugs like to find dry, sheltered places to keep warm for the winter. For many insects, a stack of firewood, especially when covered, makes a great winter home. Learn how to keep bugs out of firewood to keep from bringing them into your home.

Read full article . . .

How to Stack Firewood

Stacking firewood the right way has many benefits including keeping firewood dry and easily and safely accessible. Follow this simple guide to learn how to stack firewood.

Read full article . . .

How to Build a Firewood Rack Directory

Provides links to different step by step guides on how to build a firewood rack. All plans are free. Pick which type of rack, whether indoor or outdoor, is most suitable to your household.

Read full article . . .

Friday, November 2, 2012

5 Ways to Scratch the Vegetable Gardening Itch in Fall & Winter

Gibby's Garden
For those of you that have vegetable gardening in your blood, how do you scratch that itch for wanting to get out in the garden when winter hits and the garden‘s under a foot of snow? Read, research, browse and plan your garden during fall and winter - that’s what I do.

Read, Research, Browse and Plan

Read about Anything and Everything Gardening

I love perusing the sale section of the bookstore for books on gardening. Since my passion is organic vegetable gardening, I tend to stick to buying and reading books on this topic which can include planning, planting, growing guides and organic pest control. I also scour the internet during fall and winter reading up on tips and how-to’s to improve my garden next spring.

Here’s a List of Some of my Must-Have Gardening Books

Garden Pest Control: Organic Gardening Basics Volume 7
Compost: Organic Gardening Basics
The Vegetable Gardeners Bible, 2nd Edition
Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Tips for Vegetable Gardeners
Blue Ribbon Preserves

Research Vegetables, Growing Conditions and More

Fall and winter are great times to get in a little gardening research. Take your time and look up different types of information. Here are a few ideas to get you started on your quest to learn.

Growing Conditions for Specific Vegetables
Vegetable Nutrition
Vegetable Varieties
Time Saving Tips
Frugal Gardening Tips
Space Saving Tips
Monthly Gardening Tips
Pest Control
Container Gardening
Vertical Gardening
Companion Crops
Weed Control

Browse and Shop for Vegetable Seeds and Score a Deal

Before vegetable planting season begins and stores are fully stocked with supplies, browse the internet and seed catalogs to find sales and the best deals on seeds and transplants. (Winter is my favorite time do this.)

Start Planning your Vegetable Garden Now

Make a list of the vegetables you want to plant and group them together with those that have similar growing conditions. I like to do this after I’ve bought my seeds or done my research. Figure out which plants grow the tallest and shortest and which ones go in the middle.

Draw a rough diagram of your garden marking individual rows, mounds, trenches or trellises. Write in where each vegetable is to go. Make sure the veggies you plant will receive enough sunlight in their allotted spots and the soil conditions are right.

You can also make a list of gardening supplies and tools you’ll need to pick up. If you haven’t already bought your seeds, make a list of which ones you want making sure to jot down the variety that grows best in your area.

Here are a few Guides to Help Plan your Vegetable Garden

Planning a Vegetable Garden
Choosing Vegetable Seeds
Soil Preparation: Getting Those Gardens Ready
3 Tips for Figuring Out Where to Plant Vegetables
Choosing Which Vegetables to Grow in Your Garden
How Many Vegetables to Plant per Person
Average Frost Dates for the North (2012 – 2013)

What type of gardening information do you read, research or write about? Have any suggestions?