Why I'll Never Buy Tomato Paste Again

Tomato paste is one of my 'go-to' kitchen ingredients. Combine it with some wine and a few herbs, and you end up with a fresh tasting, go with anything sauce. Until this year, I kept searching store shelves for the latest trendy import hoping for something that tastes rich and hearty without that metallic aftertaste. But then an idea struck! A few years ago I took a chili making class when I was in Santa Fee. Many of the sauces we made started with dried chilies. I thought why not try making tomato paste with dried tomatoes. I always have these in my pantry and I like them for snacks as well as cooking. So after a number of tries, here's my latest recipe. Makes ~ 1/2 cup of paste Ingre

How to Attract Bumblebees

Learning how to attract bumblebees goes beyond planting a few summer blooming plants and hoping for the best. Certainly adding in their favorite forage invites bees to your garden, especially if you offer plants that flower from very early spring through late autumn. But, there are a few other things you can do the create a garden habitat that attracts bumblebees. So to recap 4 easy ways to attract bumblebees into your garden: Cultivate an assortment of plants that flower throughout the year for bumblebees. Sign up with a local beekeeper who does poison-free extractions and offers to re-home any intact bumblebee nests. Create undisturbed bumblebee friendly areas on your property. Don't use p

Monthly Tips for September

Plant September is a great time to plant. The weather starts to cool and early rains make the soil easier to work with. Now is the time to plant trees, shrubs, fall bulbs, and perennials. Fall planting lets the roots develop Cool season vegetables Beans, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and basil will keep producing until frost arrives if they are thoroughly harvested every week. Remove any basil flowers that form. After frosts arrive, there will still be greens, brassicas, and root crops to pick. Tidy Up Prevent pest and disease problems next year by removing plant waste on the ground that can become home to slugs and disease spores. Compost dead or dying disease-free annuals. Diseased plant

Oregon Dept of Agriculture Finds Contaminated Organic Insecticides

Four organic insecticides were recently found to be contaminated with several synthetic insecticides by the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA). ODA is now working to identify the source of contamination for these insecticides. All found contaminants are insecticides, and their presence in treated plant products could lead to unknown health effects for consumers and major economic losses for organic and other growers. + Read more

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