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The Farmer’s Garden

June 22nd, 2011


Guest Blogger Maureen Farmer has come up with the perfect solution for all of you ‘locavores.’  She has created a mash-up of her passions (gardening + web development) and as a result started The Farmer’s Garden – Your Online Resource for Local Produce.

The Idea

A few years ago, I tried vegetable gardening in one 3 by 6 raised bed to save money, eat healthier and become more self-sufficient. I was so thrilled with the outcome that the next year I enrolled in my State’s Extension Service Master Gardener program. I discovered that I had a passion for growing vegetables and wanted to learn more about gardening in general.

Since then, every year I have expanded my garden by building one or two additional raised beds. Now I have eight raised beds and grow more varieties of vegetables and herbs every year. This year I’m trying potatoes and acorn squash for the first time. I also built a miniature greenhouse out of old metal storm windows so that I can extend my growing season. I also use it as a place to start my seedlings in the spring.

I tend to get a little carried away and end up harvesting more produce than I can eat, freeze and give away. I soon realized that I am delighted to give my extra vegetables and herbs away to my family, friends, and neighbors. People seem genuinely happy to receive a bag of mixed greens or a zucchini. As the saying goes – one of the most difficult things to give away is kindness; it usually comes back to you.

My current profession is a web application developer/project manager. Two years ago, I taught myself the PHP programming language to supplement my existing programming skills. Home gardening is growing more popular every year and everyone enjoys just harvested homegrown produce. I had the idea to combine my profession and passion to create The Farmer’s Garden so everyone can have access to locally grown food.

It’s Easy

The Farmer’s Garden is the place to post free classified ads to sell, trade or give away your excess backyard produce. Individuals and food pantries can also register and post wanted classifieds. Free registration is required to post a classified (we need to know your zip code for it to work), but anyone can search for ads within their local area.

If you’re looking for fresh locally grown seasonal produce, visit The Farmer’s Garden website. Simply enter your US zip code, select the radius that you are willing to travel and see what people in your area have to offer. Share your surplus harvest with people in your area. You’ll be surprised how wonderful a small act of kindness will make you feel.

Many backyard gardeners also grow varieties of produce not found in your local grocery store. This is a terrific opportunity to taste new foods. If you don’t know how to prepare something, ask the grower. He or she will probably offer you several tasty recipes to try. You might even make a new friend in the process.

Join Us

The Farmer’s Garden is relatively new, so if you don’t find what you’re looking for today, try again next week. We have registered users in almost every state and the number of visitors to the website has been steadily increasing every month. We’re growing every day.

About the Author: 

 Maureen Farmer is a master gardener and has loved plants all her life. She enjoys growing vegetables, herbs and flowers in her yard, writing gardening articles and giving advice to her acquaintances. She grows most of her own produce in homemade wooden raised beds.

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Slowing Down

May 17th, 2010


Today, it’s not easy to slow down. Between working, taking kids to and from activities, laundry, house cleaning, grocery shopping, yard work, etc., etc., etc., it’s hard to find the time to truly relax. And, getting the whole family to relax together can be an even bigger accomplishment. Perhaps that’s why vacations were created so families can get away from home, and into a setting where they are not in their day-to-day routines.

However, there is one activity that most families partake in together that should create a sense of relaxation: mealtime. While breakfast and lunch can be hurried or difficult meals for gathering the whole family because of school schedules and work, dinner is a great opportunity to unwind, build family quality time, and appreciate food, which is our sustenance to life. One way to incorporate a sense of relaxation and appreciation around the dinner table is to embrace the Slow Food movement.

The Slow Food movement began with Carlo Petrini in Bra, Italy, in 1980. While Carlo’s colorful and very interesting story is one that should be learned it is too long to include in this blog post. We recommend that you read The Pleasures of Slow Food: Celebrating Authentic Traditions, Flavors and Recipes by Corby Kummer, with Preface by Carlo Petrini and Foreward by Eric Schlosser.

In a nutshell, in December 1989, delegates from 15 countries created the Slow Food manifesto and approved the movement’s symbol: the snail, a tiny, slow moving creature that calmly eats its way through life. Slow Food is all about helping people grow, produce, and consume the right kind of food; food that is good-tasting, produced in a sustainable way, and fair, whereby producers receive fair compensation for their hard work. Slow Food also believes that consuming food should be a pleasurable experience, whether you’re eating alone or with family or friends. Slow Food pays tribute to an unhurried life that begins at the table, differentiating itself from fast food values.

With more than 100,000 members in 132 countries, this international movement—which started with a very small group of passionate people—has proven, and continues to prove, its dedication to the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.

To learn more about the Slow Food lifestyle visit Slow Food Usa™ and Slow Food®.

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