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Homemade Pesto with Walnuts, Basil, Sage, Oregano and Garlic

Looking for a new way to use your herbs?  A fresh take on pesto?  Something you can serve with pasta, crusty bread, salad or all those wonderful heirloom tomatoes? Try this nutty pesto recipe with a more complex flavor profile. I threw these ingredients in a blender as an experiment and boy was I pleased Read More

Tomato Hornworm Video

Little Miss Squash Blossom is faced with a rude garden pest in this fairytale featuring live shots of the tomato hornworm. Transcript HORNWORM Copyright © 2014 Home Grown Fun Something sneaky is ravaging Little Miss Squash Blossom’s heirloom tomatoes. A pesky hornworm hides under the leaves during the day and devours the plants in the Read More

Difference Between Straw and Hay with Cartoons

Until recently, I thought hay and straw were the same thing. Hayrides, barn floors, over-stuffed scarecrows and cows munching on grass – that’s what I knew growing up in Maine. I went to the Scarborough Fair and checked out the 4-H animals but never payed attention to the stuff. Now I know the basics and Read More

Homemade Garden Markers Using Clay, Wood and Found Objects

Popsicle sticks work just fine in the garden to mark plants but when that creative streak strikes, use what you have around the house and found objects to bring new life to your labels. Tree Slices and Galvanized Steel Wire WOOD: Recycle your Christmas tree or other solid wood trimmings into garden markers. Simply slice the trunk Read More

Homemade Fossils – MADE EASY!

It’s easy to “mix up some mesozoic” at home or at school!  Making homemade fossils is fun and addictive. We’ve got a simple recipe for creating rock-like relics sure to bring out the Paleontologist in everyone! Below you’ll find our cute video with basic instructions plus a list of materials and extra tips for success. Also lower down the page Read More

10 Natural Fertilizer Recipes

Go no further than your pantry, backyard or the beach for materials to make your own organic fertilizer: BANANA PEELS  –  Eating a banana helps replenish lost potassium. Roses love potassium too. Simply throw one or two peels in the hole before planting or bury peels under mulch so they can compost naturally. Get bigger and more blooms. I also use Read More

HOW TO Grow Cucumbers Over Other Plants to Save Space

How We Did It Selected varieties of cucumbers that we prefer eating. A no-brainer but try and pick the ones with smaller seeds. We like the pickling cukes as long as we don’t forget them. Don’t let them become more than a few inches long. Their skin will be like cardboard. We make many hills Read More

Homemade Soft Pretzels with Herbs

Herbs are fun to experiment with and we hit a home run with these homemade pretzels. Click here for a printable recipe using no herbs. Makes 16-24 pretzels, several pretzel sticks and a dozen small pretzel bites GO AHEAD, FREEZE THE DOUGH!  You can freeze or refrigerate the dough. If this recipe is too much Read More

Grow your own loofah sponges with video!

We’ve wanted to grow our own sponges for years now ever since we learned about them from Chet at the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum in Vista, California. A great place for old fashioned fun and our favorite, the Fall Tractor Show. They grow all sorts of plants and sell them to keep the tractor parades going and Read More

The Crazy Things You Can Compost

Wowza – you’ve probably got a bunch of this stuff hanging around your house. Once used, it can be composted into soil amendment!  Top 5 Tips for the Best Compost Mix You can compost almost anything but meat, cheese and fatty/greasy foods. There are Brown (carbon-rich) materials and Green (nitrogen-rich) materials. You need both for the Read More

5 Tips for Using Manures in the Garden

Before you “poop your plants” LOL, learn these key handling and processing techniques to keep you and your plants free from contamination and sickness. Here’s the scoop on the poop: 1. Fresh Ain’t Best! Never Use New Manure Near Your Edibles Manure is a prime source of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. It’s also rich in Read More

Quick and Easy Guide to Growing Garlic

Growing garlic is easy! Don’t let it be a complicated process. Check out these 5 simple tips for success: When to plant? The best time to plant garlic cloves is right after the first frost in your area. No frost or always warm temps? Consult local experts. How to find garlic seed? Look online for Read More

Create an enclosed terrarium that lasts for years!

This is an exciting project for all ages, especially when you’re stuck inside for an hour. It’s educational and fascinating. Learn about the water cycle and discover changes in your homemade ecosystem as time goes on. There’s little maintenance. Just pay attention to location. We have ours out of direct sunlight. If you see yours Read More

HOW TO MAKE Potting Soil with Eggshells and Coffee Grounds

Learn how to use leftover eggshells and coffee grounds to supplement your supply of potting soil! If you’re like me, the thought of lugging home a heavy bag of potting soil from the store is a deterrent and I tend to run out of the stuff, often, especially in the spring. I do have recipes Read More

Protein Cookies for Athletes

Instead of trying to copy popular protein bars from the grocery store, we put the ingredients into a delightful cookie! Both of my kids are student athletes and the oldest is always game to experiment with healthy snacks. It’s been over two years since she’s had fried food! Now if she could apply the same Read More

Homemade Dry Shampoo – Chemical Free and Non-Irritating

Are dry shampoo sprays bad for you? Good question. I cannot prove that all dry shampoo products are unhealthy. However, after our own personal, scary experience with dry shampoo aerosols, I am more than skeptical about the safety of these chemical-laden sprays. My daughter started using dry shampoo at 14, about the same time she Read More

Five Things To Do To Your Tomatoes RIGHT NOW

Use these five tips NOW for healthy tomato plants. Combat disease, prevent pests and catch problems before they take hold. Stop adding nitrogen fertilizers. Excess nitrogen encourages leaf growth at the expense of fruit. If you’re wondering why you’re not getting blossoms or developing tomatoes, put down the liquid fertilizer and instead drench the soil Read More

Gardening WORD SEARCH Puzzle Downloads

Word search puzzles relax and challenge the mind. Download this fun new word search and try to find: amendment, borage, chard, compost, germinate, herbs, kelp, mint, orach, perlite, pollinate, potato, soil, spinach, sunchoke and worms. FREE for a limited time. Or visit our eBookstore to see everything on sale today.   Read More

All About Sunflower Seeds to Attract Birds

Sunflower seed is by far the most preferred seed type to feed backyard birds across the United States. There are many birds that love sunflower seeds and the most common birds could be flying around your backyard right now looking for a snack! Some Common Backyard Birds Attracted By Sunflower Seed: American Goldfinch Black-Capped Chickadee Read More

HOW TO Grow Ginger Indoors

It took a few weeks to pop through the soil and a couple of months for it to take off. I picked up organic root so it would have a better chance of sprouting. The soil mixture is homemade – sifted compost, worm castings, vermiculite and perlite. Learn more about all those ingredients on Home Read More

10 Natural Cleaner Recipes

Go no further than your refrigerator and your pantry to make your own natural, non-toxic cleaners. Avoid harmful chemicals in store-bought cleaners! They have been found to damage lungs, skin and other organs. It couldn’t be easier to create your own for peace of mind, especially if you have children in the home. You don’t Read More

HOW TO Start Seeds EARLY OUTSIDE – Seed Starting Tips and Tricks

Too busy to start seeds indoors? Don’t have a sunny south facing window or enough artificial lighting to properly grow seedlings inside? Or maybe it’s already too late…Don’t give up on sowing your own seeds just yet. Plant Seeds Directly Outside EARLY Plant directly outside under a homemade mini greenhouse and create your own ecosystem Read More

Homemade Doggie Banana Cupcake Treats

These are the most delicious, homemade dog treats that your dog will ever taste! They are sugar-free, grain-free, and contain no artificial sweeteners whatsoever. Many of the items in these nutritious dog treats are healthy replacements or organic ingredients that provide extra nutrients and necessary fats for your dog. For example, both coconut oil and Read More

All About Malabar Spinach – Grow, Eat and Craft!

Malabar spinach is a leafy green from East Asia that is gaining popularity in home gardens everywhere. Also known as acelga, bratana, ceylon spinach, Chinese spinach, Indian creeping spinach, climbing spinach and vine spinach, Malabar spinach is not technically a spinach but it acts like one with a more succulent texture. Belonging to the Basellaceae Read More

Kissing Bugs and Chagas Disease – 25 Facts That Will Save Your Sanity!

What are kissing bugs and how much should you worry about them? Kissing bugs are one of the latest creatures to cause a scare in the United States. They are bloodsucking insects with the scientific name triatomines. Kissing bugs are called many different names in the U.S.: chinches, cone-nose bugs, walapai tiger and Mexican bed Read More

Organic Pest Control Secrets

Synthetic insecticides, natural oils and homemade sprays can be toxic to your garden! Chemical and natural pest control applications upset the natural balance of “good” and “bad”. Before you crush up a jalapeno to make your own (Do-It-Yourself) DIY repellent…before you douse your plants with neem oil…before you reach for a can of chemical death…please Read More

Fake Chewing Tobacco Recipes – Healthy DIY DIP made from Herbs

Someone near and dear to me started chewing tobacco. He used it to stay awake while driving vehicles across the country, two trips in one month! To help my loved one, I concocted a fake snuff using plants from the garden. He likes the taste and simply swallows it when he’s done – no spittin’ Read More

How to Use Wood Ashes in the Garden

If you have spare ashes lying around from a backyard fire pit, recycle some of it into your soil! Two hundred years ago, ash was processed for use as a potash fertilizer source. Eventually, the production became more costly and new methods to produce potash were developed. Why might ashes be good for the garden? Read More

Homemade Seed Starting Mix and Simple DIY Potting Soil Recipe

You can make your own seed starting mix and potting soil at home with the same recipe! You’ll need: One regular sized brick of coconut coir. This will make approximately 2 gallons (8 quarts) of medium. One gallon (4 quarts) of organic compost (NO MANURE) One gallon (4 quarts) of vermiculite (not a huge bag Read More

10 Best Tips for Starting Seed Indoors

Is seed starting somewhat of a mystery? Are there too many techniques to keep track of and to test? Because there are as many seed starting methods as there are seeds, we thought we would share exactly how we start seeds at Home Grown Fun. This is not a generic post. Not everyone will agree Read More

Build an Inexpensive Greenhouse in One Day

Would you love to have a traditional greenhouse but your budget and schedule prevent you from making it a reality? Are you confused by the all the choices and packaged kits on the market? What if I told you that you can build a greenhouse for the price of four hanging flower baskets? I also Read More

5 Companion Planting Mistakes Tomato Growers Make

Are you unknowingly ruining your chances of a successful tomato crop? Want to avoid the biggest mistakes when placing tomatoes near other plants in the garden? There are several plants that may stunt tomato growth and there is one tree that could potentially kill your tomato plants! Stay clear of these vegetables and your tomatoes Read More

Helicopter Gardening

It was a balmy spring morning in a Southern California coastal community and tiny streams of leftover rainwater make their way around weed bumps in a suburban school garden. The fog is lifting and the place is peaceful although a bit disheveled. One lady takes a seat on a crude bench made from cement blocks Read More

How To Make an Earth Model Showing Layers EASY NO STYROFOAM

The core, mantle and crust make up the layers of the earth. Learn about the earth’s layers and plate tectonics by making your own scale model using a tennis ball and clay. NEW – Get the FREE printable for this project! To the eBookstore and Digital Library to see other fun references Materials Needed: Tennis Read More

Five Ways to Keep Pests Away in the Vegetable Garden

Organic Pest Control Tips for Chemical-Free Gardening If every growing season you struggle with garden pests that damage and even ruin your harvest, there are several critical steps you should take to change your garden ecosystem now: Get rid of all chemical products. YES, all synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and soil amendments! Synthetic fertilizers create Read More

Interviews with Cindy Rajhel of Home Grown Fun

Host Mike Podlesny of the Vegetable Gardening Podcast talks with Cindy about innovative school gardens and making your own fertilizers and soil amendments. Host Dave Ledoux of Back to My Garden talks with Cindy about nature appreciation, watermelon pickles and the secrets of Home Grown Fun! For more podcasts with garden gurus visit these links: Read More

Basil Crossword Puzzle

Solve these fun clues to uncover 11 types of basil! Across Unscramble this to make a two word phrase: T L T U C E E L F E A Root of Glycyrrhiza glabra October birthstone Down Violet quartz αβγδεζηθικλμνξοπρσ/ςτυφχψω Frilled accent of a garment on the wrist or neck. This one is purple. Rubin Read More

Wheel of Whitefly Answer

Here’s the solution to the Wheel of Whitefly puzzle. If you have other techniques for controlling whiteflies, please add them in the comments. Thanks for Playing! First get control of the ants if you have any on your vegetables. Also remove dust that can protect whiteflies. Buy or make your own yellow sticky traps. It’s Read More

How To Buy Tomato Plants – Common Mistakes to Avoid

Avoid these mistakes when buying tomato plants this spring. Think of it like the Seven Dwarfs but with modified spelling, different names and no cottage deep in the woods. (I need to be sensitive of copyright laws.) When you head out to the nursery or garden center, skip along and sing “Whistle While You Garden, Read More

Chocolate Chip and Chia Seed Cookie Recipe

“I’m not a vegan but sometimes I cook like one.” These easy to make, light and airy cookies make a great breakfast or snack food. They fill you up and provide fiber, protein and a bunch of nutrients. They’re low in carbs and do not contain grain, butter, eggs or white sugar. HELLO! It takes about Read More

Winter Garden Update

OK, we’re supposed to have our crops established before the cold weather hits. Despite this best practice, my veggies are growing and we have freezing temps at night. Mostly 50’s during the day but the weather regularly goes from one extreme to the next. I covered the beds with cheap plastic. They already had cloth Read More

10 Fun Garden Ideas for Home, School and Community

1. Create Garden-Inspired Gifts 2. Grow Historical Plants Read more about amaranth! 3. Grow Plants over other Plants Read more about growing cucumbers on an arch! 4. Grow your own Sweet Potato Slips 5. Build a Bench without Nails or Screws Learn how to build raised beds fast! Build a greenhouse in a day! 6. Read More

3 Reasons to Chit Potatoes – Is Chitting Necessary?

Chit Potatoes Is chitting just busy work for passionate gardeners? Honest gardening folk would NEVER waste time doing mindless chores to avoid grocery shopping, cleaning the house or paying bills. Is chitting necessary? It is NOT. So why should I prepare my spud before it hits the mud? There’s lots of talk about chitting but Read More

Build 6 Raised Beds in ONE DAY on a Budget

GOTTA HAVE A GARDEN! We just moved to a new house and there are plenty of repairs and errands to tackle. Some would have to wait! I need a garden NOW! THE GOAL: Build 3-6 simple raised beds IN ONE DAY without power tools, or a truck, or another human to help. THE BUDGET: $240. Read More

Veterans Day Crossword Puzzle

Click on the file name below to download this fun holiday crossword puzzle. Celebrate and learn about Veterans Day! Find the answers to the crossword puzzle here. Don’t look yet! Give it a try first. Veterans Day Crossword Puzzle PDF Document Download   Read More

List of Deer Resistant Herbs

Deer Resistant Herbs In my neck of the woods we have deer that will eat anything. They snip the tops off all my neighbors’ flowers in the pots on their porches. Nothing seems to get by them. In the middle of winter their standards go even lower and anything green with moisture is fair game Read More

ALL ABOUT Amaranth – History, Cook It, Eat It, Grow It

At school, we call amaranth an ancient grain because it has history. People in Mexico, Guatemala and Peru grew amaranth thousands of years ago and utilized it as a staple grain, much like a oats and wheat. It may have been just as popular as corn. It’s technically not a cereal grain but it acts Read More

Homemade Fish Fertilizer Improves Celery at School

SCHOOL GARDEN UPDATE: We tested a simple “fish tea” solution on half of our celery starts at school and we were impressed with the results! The half that got plain water were yellowed and slow growing. The half that received fish water grew more vigorously and took on a more rich green color. We simply Read More

Model of a Red Wiggler Worm

I love composting with red wiggler worms. I started many years ago and have brought them with me when I moved. I’ve given away more than 20 worm bins to kids and adults. When I bring worms in to school, they quickly captivate even the most squeamish. It’s fun to show children how a red Read More

Collect Worm Castings the Easy Way

You’ve started composting with worms. They’re eating the food scraps and the bedding just like they’re supposed to. The contents of the bin will be dark and earthy, almost like coffee grounds. Now how do you harvest the castings without spending all day picking out the worms? Mountain Method There are several methods that work Read More

How to Make Watermelon Pickles

Pickled watermelon rind adds a new twist to many a dish! This article gives you key tips for making the best watermelon pickles eva! !UPDATE I ate 3 of these jars alone last week – glad I gave away the others. ADDICTIVE! Most folks have never tried watermelon pickles – that’s why I love making Read More

Remove White Spots on Wood

I’ve got a quick solution to remove white marks on wood. I used my dining room table with a blanket on top to iron a large sheet for an art project. When I removed the blanket I was shocked to see white stains. I washed the table but they didn’t come off. I researched online Read More

How to Compost Acorns

How do you Compost Acorns? Apparently, very carelessly! There is a lengthy article in Scientific American about using acorns as a food source. As you can imagine there are plenty of caveats – they’re not the most renewable material and they require lots of processing – the tannins need to be leached out well before Read More

How to Thin Seedlings – Thinning Chart – Cool Weather Crops

Every fall planting season I shuffle through seed packets to find out how to thin the seedlings. I simply forget. Sometimes it’s damp out in the garden, or it’s an uncommonly warm day. I would rather leave the seeds inside. To solve this little inconvenience, I created a chart for cool weather crops. No more Read More

Dirt Cheap Outdoor Bench

While planning the school garden I took a trip to the home improvement store and started brainstorming ways to make a bench for many kids, without breaking the bank, that would hold up over time. After touring the aisles and repeating my tracks a few times, I settled on this idea. You might be able Read More

11 Fun Pumpkins and Winter Squash and How to Use Them

My oldest and I are on the lookout for the most interesting pumpkins and winter squash. Check these out at your local farm stand and use our tips to help you choose the best ones for carving, cooking and decoration. Also check out my other posts about stuffing pumpkin blossoms and creative recipes for pumpkin Read More

How-To Make a Hypertufa Planter, Trough and Sculpture!

It is easy to create your own hypertufa pots, troughs and sculptures using these simple recipes and instructions. WHAT IS HYPERTUFA? Hypertufa is a lightweight stone material created to mimic the look of porous limestone or volcanic rock. Once cured, it is much lighter than cement or even terracotta. Over time, the natural materials in Read More

How to Grow Kohlrabi and Solve Common Problems

TIPS FOR GROWING GREAT KOHLRABI WHAT IS THE TASTE AND TEXTURE OF KOHLRABI? It tastes like a combination of a turnip, radish and cucumber – on the mild side. The alien-looking bulb grows above the soil. You peel it and it is most tender toward the top. The leaves are edible and make great chips. Read More

Damsel Bug – Good Bug? Bad Bug?

Interview with a Damsel Bug HOST: Thanks Damsel for joining us today on PEST WATCH!!! AUDIENCE: ~ Applause ~ It’s been a while since we’ve had you on the show. Where have you been overwintering? DAMSEL: I took a break among some weeds and hung out for a while, then laid some eggs in the Read More

HOW TO Make Your Own Solar Oven – Fast, Easy and Cheap

Solar ovens are fantastic fun for all ages. It’s a special thing to be able to cook your own food without electricity. Our giant solar oven in the school garden was all the rage. Classes would pass by and peer inside, watching the temperature gauge rise and veggie chips crisp up. We couldn’t afford to Read More

How to Grow Garlic Sprouts and Scapes

Grow your own gourmet garlic scapes year round! How to Grow Garlic Sprouts/Scapes The goal is to get sprouts or scapes – not more garlic cloves. Growing Medium: The cleanest way to sprout garlic is with a planting medium that does not contain soil. Use straight perlite or vermiculite, or a combination of both. Vermiculite Read More

FREE Seed Envelope Template

You can make your own seed packets with just about anything including sticky notes, scrap paper and old seed catalogs! Think about printing your own! Include personalized information for friends or customers. Great for gifts, seed exchanges, merchandising or promotions. I’m going to use them as a school fundraiser or fun gift for garden club Read More

How to Keep a Cricket as a Pet

Going through a little pet withdrawal these days as we come to an end of our stint in pet-free military housing… so, to fill the void, we took a little cricket in. We saved it from Dad. (Usually he is saving spiders FROM Mom). These buggers of the baseboards make a loud racket – driving Read More

Using Edible Cover Crops and Green Manures in the Home Garden

I always seem to plant too much arugula and mustard greens – seeds are so tiny. Luckily, I discovered years ago that they make a wonderful cover crop for smaller spaces. Plant arugula to eat, protect the soil, control weeds and add nutrients. If you live in a cold climate, they’ll naturally decompose over winter. Read More

10 Ways to Eat Arugula

Arugula is a versatile green. We grow lots of it in our community garden plot. It also grows well in burlap sacks and grow bags. We even plant extra to use as an edible green manure! If you’re looking for new ways to use arugula, check out these fun ideas: 1. As a pizza topping. Read More

Alfalfa Pellets Fertilizer | HOW TO Use Alfalfa Pellets in the Garden

Do you stay away from synthetic fertilizers, maybe forage around your area for natural options? Alfalfa pellets work great to fertilize cole crops – broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale and kohlrabi. Many folks use alfalfa rabbit food to fertilize their gardens. The pellets are smaller and will break down quickly (but not much Read More

Is Sewage Sludge a Safe Fertilizer? What are Biosolids?

WHAT IS SEWAGE SLUDGE? Sewage sludge is a byproduct of water treatment plants and as you can imagine it’s plentiful. It comes from homes, hospitals and businesses – anything flushed or dumped down the drain. You’ve got human fecal matter, heavy metals, pathogens, pharmaceuticals, and hundreds of contaminants that are not fully removed even after Read More

What is a Geode and How Do You Hunt for Geodes?

Holidays around here are usually an adventure. Our extended families are on the other side of the country so we seek out some kind of nature activity. This year’s Thanksgiving was spent out in the desert with a rock club hunting for nodules and geodes. What are Geodes GEODES: You’ve probably seen them in gift Read More

How to Eat Kohlrabi | 5 Ways to Prepare Kohlrabi

Everything is doing well at our school garden including the kohlrabi. The farm stand that I visit regularly sells a bunch for $1.75 and I’m also growing two kinds in my community garden. Most of the students in our garden club have never seen kohlrabi before. It’s a weird-looking veggie. Looks complicated but it couldn’t Read More

Myths and Tips on Saving Tomato Seed

Whether you simply rinse and dry tomato seeds, create a smelly fungus to kill evil pathogens, or drop whole fruits on the ground, many of your preserved seeds will survive and sprout if stored properly. No one method of seed saving reigns supreme. All you “funky fermenters” out there, your way is not the only Read More

Interview with a Pea Moth Maggot

Cindy: Thanks Maggot for joining me this morning. Let’s get right to the interview – you look exhausted! Maggot: It’s my pleasure Cindy. Yes, I’ve enjoyed nibbling on your peas and today I cut my way back out of the pod and I’m pooped. Cindy: When did you first arrive on my pea plant? Maggot: Read More

Healthy Coconut Macaroons with Flaxseed

In my quest to make healthy lunchbox treats I created these flax seed-based coconut macaroons! They are barely sweet and my kids love them. This recipe makes about 108 small, 1-inch bites that fit into 3 canning jars (quart). If you want different flavored macaroons, after creating approximately 36 bites, add chocolate to the mix. Read More

Tomato Seed Fermentation Steps

Five EASY Steps to Ferment Tomato Seed – IF YOU MUST Choose a healthy tomato from a healthy plant. Cut the tomato in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon or squeeze the tomato inside a container, gunk and all. Put your collected seeds in a container (glass or ceramic works great but Read More

Take the Gas Out of Kale Plus Kale Chips Recipe and More

Why is it that sometimes the healthiest foods are the gassiest foods? Kale, kohlrabi, broccoli and Brussels sprouts should have warning labels – something like, “Eat too much of this and your jeans won’t fit.” or “Work up to a bowl full gradually.” or “Best not eaten on date night.”  Here are two ways we Read More

10 Tips to Control Aphids Plus a Flowchart Action Plan

Help!  I Have Aphids On My Plants Right Now! What do I do? Before I gained a better understanding of how aphids work, the first sight of them turned me into a revengeful maniac. I wanted to annihilate every last bugger! Now I’m a bit more relaxed and realize that unless my garden shows extreme Read More

5 Simple Steps to Candy Grapefruit Peel

To candy orange, lemon and grapefruit peel, the trick is to boil the peels first to remove bitterness. This step is critical to create yummy, gourmet, bittersweet slivers. You’ll need: 4-5 grapefruits that have not been sprayed with chemicals. (OR 8-10 oranges, OR 10-12 lemons) 2.5 cups water 2 cups raw sugar 1/2 cup fine Read More

Dinosaur Math Word Problems for 2nd Grader

If you like to play school or home school your children, customizing some of the worksheets can make a lesson FUN! Incorporate their interests and hobbies and by all means add a bit of humor to it all! Go ahead and copy the text below into a document, format if needed and print at home. Read More

Fun Facts About Ladybugs

“Hi, I’m actually a lady beetle, not a bug. I chew my food instead of sucking it up. When something threatens me, I ooze smelly stuff from my legs to scare it away – like a tiny, gooey, super hero! I eat all kinds of pests like aphids, mites, white flies, and scale insects – Read More

How to Prepare Your Container Garden For Vacation

If you’ll be away for a few days or more, your garden will know it. If you don’t have an automatic drip system for your container plants, the obvious solution is to call a friend and ask for help – ask them to visit every other day and give the plants a sprinkle – make Read More

Quinoa Recipes and Ideas

“Keen-wa” is easy to cook! Prepare it like rice. Vegetable broth or stock of some kind in place of water enhances its nutty flavor significantly. It needs to be rinsed before you do anything with it otherwise it will have a residue that gives it a bitter taste. Wouldn’t that be the worst? Feeding your Read More

Themed Fruit Salads – A Simple Way to Celebrate any Special Day

Some of the best birthday and father’s days end up being the most simple. Instead of buying him  gadgets and trinkets to store on the shelf we executed an idea from one of the kids: “Let’s each make a fruit salad for Dad!” The littlest made a king’s crown. The oldest made a peacock in front of Read More

How To Make Pumpkin Crisps, Fries, Roasted Seeds and S’mores!

This season I’ll be experimenting with candied pumpkin rind! I’ll post my results soon. Also see my other post that shows you pictures and tips for 11 Fun Pumpkins and Winter Squash. Learn which ones are best for carving, cooking and decor. Use the entire pumpkin!  Well, everything except the stem. No recipe for that Read More

How to Plant Edibles in Burlap Sacks

A versatile material in the garden, burlap is used to wrap tree and shrub roots, mulch growing beds, protect newly planted seeds.  I love adding strips of it to my worm bin. Red wigglers will devour the jute cloth along with the food scraps as they weave in and out of the fibers. I’m not Read More

Stuff those pumpkin blossoms for a gourmet treat!

Don’t let those male flowers shrivel up before you have a chance to convert them into a gourmet treat! The farmers market had beautiful, huge squash blossoms for sale but they were $4 each – so I passed. That same day I took a walk to my community garden bed and saw that my pumpkins Read More

Tomato Hornworm – Fun Poem about a Pest

Tomato Hornworm – A Pesky Poem ©2013 Home Grown Fun Tomato hornworms are sneaky they take the garden cake for the most annoying four-inch pest devouring heirlooms of any shape. They work at night in stealth mode speeding around your plants. You could be a tomato bragger at dusk then a victim of the Hornworm Read More

How-To Use Burlap Sacks in the Garden

When you run out of garden space or you want to try something new, consider the burlap sack. These recycled coffee sacks will probably last one season but they can be plopped down anywhere and blend naturally into your surroundings. We’re growing herbs, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes and potatoes. Lay them down, close them up after Read More

Seed Saving Chart – Easiest Seeds to Save

To enlarge the chart, click to access the image and then click again. We’re working on a seed saving kit and these tips will come in handy for the beginner. Check back again for more tips as we gather images and techniques. Do you have any tips for the amateur seed saver? Read More

Herb Planting Chart

I’m planting herbs like crazy this year. Used coffee sacks are my container of choice these days. As part of my own research, I put together a chart to help me keep on top of when the seeds are supposed to germinate, proper sun requirements and of course spacing, something I didn’t pay attention to before Read More

Coffee Sack Herb Garden

Recycled coffee sacks make great planting containers because they look natural, drain well and can be composted later. I don’t need permanent garden containers. The bottoms of these sacks will rot out if I don’t put a barrier down but that’s ok with me. Makes herb gardening easy, fun and beautiful.   Read More

Sand Castings Made Simple

Simple crafts provide us precious moments of tranquility and excitement – there’s nothing else to do but MAKE and ENJOY. Our best experiences with sand castings happen when we don’t get too fussy. All you need is wet, compact ground or a spot on a sandy beach moist enough to make a mold that will hold. Feeling fancy? You Read More

How to Grow Potatoes in Recyled Coffee Sacks

The Great Tater Experiment I tried growing potatoes in my pants, in t-shirts, pillow cases, garbage bags and my husband’s shorts! But the “spuds split our duds!” We have a fun video for you on the bag that worked the best! In Southern California, the soil is less than ideal for growing vegetables. For this reason, 90% Read More

Zucchini Bread with Flax Seed and Dark Chocolate

It’s fun to rev up traditional recipes and this one for zucchini bread gets a health boost from flax seed and other natural ingredients, plus a pleasant kick in the zuke from dark chocolate. When they were little, my daughters loved bringing zucchini to our neighbors. Now that they’re playing sports competitively and growing up fast, they Read More

Aliens or Tomato Hornworm Leftovers?

What a surprise when I blew up a photo of a hornworm looking for detail on the caterpillar and noticed a mangled blotch of ‘alienness’ nearby resembling hornworm parts. We immediately called the FBI. No sorry, we made a quick call to our ultra-knowledgeable friend Kay and she explained that tomato hornworms go through 4-5 “Instar” stages or shifts where Read More