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Edible Landscaping: Where Beautiful Botanicals and Flavorful Foods Meet

May 4th, 2011

 

Beans, herbs, leafy greens, and strawberries are great choices if you’re considering an edible landscape for your front yard. Edible landscaping combines the beauty of botanicals with edible plants that provide many textures, unique shapes, and vibrant colors to your landscaping. And edible landscaping maximizes your return by way of putting healthy, homegrown food on the table.

One of the biggest reasons why individuals are choosing edible landscaping today is the economy. With food prices continuing to rise—not to mention our carbon footprint and food safety—discerning individuals are going back to basics when it comes to living better and living a more joyful life.

There are several ways that herbs and vegetables can be incorporated into landscaping:

1. Instead of planting flowers in window boxes try lettuces that vary in color, from purples to reds.

2. Plant vegetables with contrasting colors next to each other for striking beauty, such as purple cabbage and snow white cauliflower.

3. Thyme pairs well with colorful strawberries, and they’re both perfect for containers.

4. Add a touch of French gardening into your edible landscape by incorporating raised beds with gravel-lined paths in between the beds.

5. Grow beans on trellises behind flower beds.

6. Include edible flowers into your landscape, such as peppery-flavored nasturtium, scented geranium, and violet.

These are just a few ideas for edible landscaping that can turn your front yard into a work of delicious art!

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Guest Blog: It’s Dinner Time – Do You Know Where Your Food Has Been?

July 29th, 2010

When you buy a sweet pepper at your local market, do you know how many people have touched it?  Even bagged apples had to be sorted and put in that bag. What did that banana go through before you picked it up, or worse, what was in that cart before you put your bananas in there?

Many people see the obvious reasons to wash an apple bought loose at the market-they see others pick up the fruit, sometimes even place to their nose, and then put it back. Gross; okay, wash the apples. What about fruit that you don’t eat the peel like oranges or watermelons? Suppose there are some bacteria on that watermelon. You slice with a knife and now the bacteria are on the knife. Keep slicing, keep spreading the germs. Well, what if I grew that melon myself. I’m the only one who touched it; I know where it’s been. Safe? Not necessarily.

Food grown on the ground is susceptible to bacteria often found in the soil. What about prewashed veggies, like salad mixes and fresh spinach – safe? Again, maybe not; if the water used was contaminated, as has happened on occasion, you can get sick from it, or worse.

Now I’m not going to tell you what to do, it’s your life. Heck, I’ve seen people handle money (which has more germs on it than anything) and then handle food; and I saw my husband get very sick from someone doing just that. If you care about what you are eating, or even more so what you might be feeding others, the precaution is simple-Before you eat it, wash it, all of it – from the asparagus to the zucchini, whether you eat the peel or not. I use dish soap or hand soap, a little goes a long way.

Simple to keep it safe.

~Gardening Jones

About Gardening Jones-

GJ has been gardening and preserving my family’s food for many years (25+). Recently new to raising free-range chickens for the eggs and blogging. GJ is a Master Gardener through Penn State Cooperative Extension; HAACP licensed in Safe Food Handling, a former restaurant owner and also a formerly licensed home food canner.

GJ can be found at:

Facebook: http://bit.ly/FBGJones

Blog: http://gardeningjones.com/blog

Website: http://gardeningjones.com

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