Do this now to be healthier instantly

I was inspired to write this post after seeing my Word Press Daily Prompt email today. The one word prompt was, “artificial”. The minute my brain sorted out those 10 letters it clicked! One of the reasons my family and I stay so healthy is because we have nearly eliminated artificial ingredients from our diets.

So how can this tidbit of information help you get healthier instantly?

Right now at this very minute you can make the decision to limit or eliminate artificial ingredients from your diets. While you are at it, keep the ingredient lists short for any meals or snacks you are planning.

How many ingredients can you see in the picture below?



What did you guess? If you guessed one you are wrong. The answer is actually two. Two fresh, delisious and organic goldren raspberries grown right in our backyard.

It might not be raspberry season for much of the world, but most people can grow their own food for many months of the year. When you have a farmer’s market outside your door it is easy to eat natural and keep ingredient lists to a minimum. Check out some scenes from our DIY Backyard Farm.

Winter, spring summer and fall. In our garden we have something for all!

Even if you live in an apartment on the 44th floor you can still keep artificial ingredients to a minimum. Shop carefully, buy fresh, local produce whenever possible and order simply prepared foods when eating out. Are you going to start being healthier in this very instant? Are you inspired to plan a bountiful, edible garden of your own?

Nothing artificial, keep it real and get healthier today!

Garden Therapy

We can’t believe the amazing, spring-like weather we are enjoying here in New Jersey. We are working our soils and nourishing our garden loving souls far sooner than expected.

One of the many wonderful things about gardening is how there’s only a few tasks you must complete to be successful, but so many more you could complete just for the heck of it. Did we really need to build our own pea trellis this evening?

Of course we could have just bought one, but my daughter and I felt like doing something creative. We needed time together to just chill and create. That is garden therapy! That is living!

It took us 30 minutes to turn her soil over and design and build the little trellis. It took me about 3 minutes to forget about my troubles from the day.

How do you unwind in the garden??? Do you want to learn to grow you own healthy, delicious produce just like we do? Check out my book and learn how!

How to “Kid” Around in the Edible Garden

Engaging kids with their food is a great way to create healthy, lasting eating habits. Just look at the fun and excitement we share in our backyard edible garden. Even more exciting is all the feedback I have been getting on this topic. People keep telling me how amazed they are that their children are eating their veggies, fruits and herbs!

One parent recently told me her son will only eat what he picks. He will eat picked string beans, but won’t touch store bought. Smart kid!

A Six Year Old’s Question on Edible Gardening

I am so happy to have captured this cute little gardener’s perspective on edible gardening. She asks a really interesting question at the end. Do you think she is on to something here?

My hope is this will inspire others to start an edible garden or at least take their kids to a farm to see where and how things grow. My book can help get you started in backyard edible gardening. It is designed to give the reader enough information without overwhelming them. Plus, the garden design worksheets in the back allow one to sketch out the garden of their dreams! You can buy the book here.

Tomato Tending Tip For Late Season Success

Right after July 4th, it seems that the days fly off the calendar. While that is happening the tomato plants keep growing. It is like watching Jack and the Beanstalk right in your own backyard!

A few nights ago I had an experienced gardener at my home. She was complaining about how her tomato plants have all flopped over and begun to die. It sounded to me like the plants grew too tall and started to collapse under their own weight. I have seen this often and experienced it myself. Plus, the added weight of tomatoes makes the plants even more likely to become damaged.

Long ago I learned to “top” the tomato plants. Topping is only really needed for indeterminate tomato plants because these varieties just do not know when to stop growing.

I demonstrated my technique for topping tomato plants in the video below.

DIY Backyard Farm Video Tour

Have you ever wondered what our backyard, edible gardens look like? I often find myself trying to visualize the people, places and things I read about. Using your imagination is fine, but seeing is believing! Come along on  brief video tour of our gardens.

Happy Viewing!




Why I Love My Backyard Edible Garden…

Actually, there are many reasons I love my organic, backyard edible garden. The obvious ones are:

  • Having an abundant supply of organic produce nearly year round
  • Being closer to nature. Just open the door, harvest, and enjoy!
  • Knowing more about the foods my family eats. No chemicals, non GMO, just tasty goodness!
  • It looks fantastic!

Those are all great reasons to have an organic, backyard edible garden. However, just yesterday I was reminded by my kids and their little neighborhood friends about what really gets me charged up. They were playing children’s games in the yard and having a blast. Then, all of a sudden the garden gate swings open and in comes a trio of 6 – 8-year-old girls. The youngest was my daughter. She was leading the other two over to see her personal plot of vegetables.

Next, she explained to the other two girls that they can pick some radishes if they like. She showed them which ones are ready and how to pull them from the ground. She also bragged about her soon to be ready “candy of the garden”, AKA beets. She said those were her favorite because they tasted like candy.

I observed this action with such joy. Every ounce of thought, planning and physical effort I put into the edible garden had paid off in a way I could not quantify. The experience was topped off when they started asking me questions about the radishes and other plants they saw. I could count two new disciples of backyard edible gardening goodness!

Yes, the just picked radishes tasted amazing too!

Our New Book Is Available!

If you or someone you know is looking for tips and tools to start or improve their edible garden then check out our new book. It is a simple, easy and fast read with just enough information to get you started on the path to edible gardening success. Use our “8 Simple Tips” and edible garden planning worksheets to help you grow your best produce ever!

The book is available on and also in our E-Store. A more complete description can be found there as well.

Let us know what you think!

book cover

Book Front Cover

Spring Cleaning – Asparagus Beds


An image of spring glory to motivate you to do some spring asparagus cleaning

This is a special edition post by our friend, Dawn Crescitelli of Small Wonder Farm in NJ.

Here at Small Wonder Farm we have three types of perennial fruit (blueberry and raspberry) and vegetable (asparagus) beds to prepare. Today, I will be focusing on how to clean up and prep your asparagus beds.

First, carefully rake out your bed of left over frond pieces, seeds, and leaf debris. Clear off the debris from your row covers (if you have them) with a broom and large dust pan. You can also remove the stumpy old stems of last year’s asparagus from the garden bed. Only take the ones that are loose, do not pull or force an old stem out because this might damage the plant’s crown.

Next, weed the beds completely of ALL competing plants. Asparagus disdain competition. If not weeded, the asparagus will eventually be choked out and you will have to replant your bed which will waste precious time, energy and money. Asparagus beds can last for twenty-five years, so be prudent and take good care of them. After carefully removing all weeds dispose of them by taking them to the town compost.

Once the beds have been cleared of all the weeds, fertilize with an organic liquid vegetable fertilizer or side dress with a granulated organic vegetable fertilizer. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer container carefully. You should consult your local garden center for assistance if you are not familiar with organic vegetable fertilizers. Then cover the beds with straw (not hay) to suppress any left-over weed seeds from sprouting.

Then it is time to watch and wait for those fabulous spears to appear! Eat and enjoy!