CabbageRemember the Cabbage Patch Kids? Me too! I’m growing cabbage this year and every time I walk past the cabbage patch I think of the Cabbage Patch Kids. I can’t seem to get those cute little images out of my mind.

Last year, my cabbage patch did not do well. I rotated my crops this year and so the cabbage is now located in a completely different area of the garden. It is doing very well in the new location. Last year, I grew lettuce where the cabbage is growing now and the lettuce produced moderately well. Honestly, this year the cabbage is doing better in this location than the lettuce did last year.

My husband and I enjoy coleslaw, so it is only natural that we grow cabbage. In our garden, we also grow onion and carrots. We pick those and add them to the coleslaw. We make coleslaw that doesn’t have a lot of ingredients and is quick to make.

We like to shred the cabbage and carrots very thin and the onions so thin you can almost see through the slices. The texture of these thinly prepared veggies, creates a dance on the tongue that makes this dish fun to eat.

You can serve this vegetable combination with Ranch Dressing and a little cracked pepper and it will taste divine.

We like a vinegar based slaw and more than that, we like to make our own dressing because then we know what’s in it.

D & M’s Vinaigrette Coleslaw


  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¼ onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded


  1. Place vinegar, sugar, oil, salt, and pepper into a small bowl. Whip with a fork until blended well. Set this dressing aside.
  2. Place onion, cabbage, and carrots into a large bowl. Toss until the veggies are distributed well.
  3. Pour dressing over veggies. Toss until veggies are well-coated with the dressing.

That’s it!

One time, I made this coleslaw without the sugar and it tasted alright, but it didn’t have the flavor punch that I expect to have when I eat coleslaw. So, while I don’t like the added sugar, I do like the added flavor. I also tried making the dressing with a sugar substitute; that didn’t work either. So now, while I’d prefer not to have the added sugar, I put the sugar in the mix. Flavor wins! It’s a compromise I’m willing to live with.

I hope you enjoy your coleslaw.

Salsa Salad Harvest

Salsa Salad Harvest

Normally, when my husband and I are planning the night’s dinner we look in the cupboard to see what is available to put together a flavorful meal. But, now that we are growing a garden, we have to go outside to see what is ready for harvesting and then we plan the meal around the vegetables or fruit that are ready to be picked and prepared for eating that day. Tonight, we saw that the romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers were begging to be picked.

At first, we thought we’d make a simple salsa as an appetizer, but then we saw that the lettuce needed to be harvested, as well. The lettuce suggested that we make a salad. The peppers and tomatoes suggested that we make a salsa. Perhaps, we could marry the concept of a salsa and salad to form a complete concept. Salsa Salad!

We tore the lettuce into bite-sized pieces and put that into a bowl. Then we chopped  up some onion and cilantro and placed that into the bowl of torn lettuce. We diced the peppers and sliced the tomatoes. We added the peppers and tomatoes to the other prepared veggies. Our Salsa Salad was born.

It’s a salad, so we felt at liberty to add a chopped boiled egg to round it out. Then, we served this salad with Newman’s Own Caesar Salad Dressing. Oh… my… goodness! This is the best combination of ingredients I have ever thrown together in a flash. Try it. I am sure you will enjoy it. It’s simple, fast, and easy.

I don’t have a picture to show you because we made the salad and then ate it. It wasn’t until we were done that we thought it would have been a good idea to take a picture. Sorry! We’ll try to be better food bloggers in the future. In the meantime, make your own Salsa Salad and enjoy it. Let me know how you like it.


+This blog post has some valuable information for people who grow their own food. I really enjoyed reading it. I hope you will, too. –Marlene

Originally posted on SheRetired:


ImageIf you want to have rock star status in Sacramento, be a participant in the Farm-to-Fork movement and be passionate about what this region has to offer.  In 2012, Sacramento was proclaimed “America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital” by elected officials–targeting Sacramento’s food, food production, culinary talent, and restaurants.

According to local chef Adam Pechal, the idea of a restaurant obtaining its food from local farms is not new.  In his 20 years experience as a chef, he continues to obtain food from locals farms and farmers markets in his cooking.  Pechal is an award-winning chef who downplays his accomplishments.  In Sacramento, he owns the Tuli Bistro, Tuli Catering at the historic Sterling Hotel, the Tuli Bistro Smoked Out Trailer, and Restaurant Thir13en.  Pechal also appeared as a contestant on ABC’s “The Taste.”  His newest creation is a vegetarian sofrito (Cuban sandwich), and it will be featured at Sacramento’s Good: Street Food…

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+Mint is one of my favorite fresh teas to make. –Marlene

Originally posted on Look What Mommy Made:

Mint Plant for Free
If you like to garden so that you can really home-make things yourself, than you’ll enjoy this one.

I like mint flavor. I like the smell. I’m not in love or anything, but I find it pleasant, and even enjoy mint tea on occasion. When I found out that mint plants were easy to grow (and I mean, they-turn-into-a-weed-if-you’re-not-careful, easy) I wanted one.

I’ve actually grown it before, having tried sowing it from seed. This is uber difficult. Apparently, mint seeds have a 50% chance of growing, so out of a seed packet, you’ll get lucky if you get 50% of those seeds to grow. (However, germinating the seeds in a paper towel first, does do some good, that’s another post!).

So anyway, if you’re like me, and you’re broke more often than not, You’ll love finding a way to get this plant without paying for it.

Here are some…

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–My tomatoes are running me back and forth. I pick a basketful one day and then more the next day. No, I’m not complaining. I enjoy the bounty. When I read this gardener’s experience with tomatoes, I thought you’d enjoy reading it as much as I did. -Marlene

Originally posted on Throwback at Trapper Creek:

The tomatoes have been coming on fast, and we have been enjoying the different flavors and keeping production notes to see how the different varieties perform in our growing conditions.  On all varieties except the cherry tomatoes, I cut off the weekiy watering this first week of August, and start topping the plants to direct energy to ripening the fruit already set.  We’re on the downhill side of the light now, and with the days getting shorter, any tomatoes set today would not ripen until October and they just never have the taste that the August/September fruits do, so lopping is in order.

We love the fresh tomatoes, but the bulk of what we grow is for cooking down into sauce, paste, soup and canned whole tomatoes for eating throughout the winter.  Nothing brightens up a winter beef stew like a pint of farmstead ratatouille mix, or whatever is at…

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English: The contents of a fruit and vegetable...

English: The contents of a fruit and vegetable box from Riverford Norton. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is it a fruit or a vegetable?

There is so much contention as to what is classified as a fruit and what is classified as a vegetable. Even people who study plants disagree wholeheartedly between the distinction and pure classification.

A pure botanical definition that lists the difference between a fruit and a vegetable is this:

Definition of a fruit:

  • A ripened ovary of a flower.

Definition of a vegetable:

  • The edible portion of a plant which does not include the ovary; of, or pertaining to the vegetative portion of the plant.

Examples of fruit:

  • apple, cherry, grape, string beans, eggplant, cucumbers, corn, and wheat

Examples of vegetable:

  • celery, broccoli, cabbage, onion


At my website, GrowVeggies101 I list some “vegetables” that are technically classified as fruit, simply because most people recognize them as vegetables in the same sense of the ruling handed out by the Supreme Court definition for purposes of trading.

Supreme Court Ruling:

“Basically, if a food item is served as or with dinner, then it is included here as a vegetable. For example, tomatoes are technically a fruit, however because most people serve vegetables as part of a dinner meal in a salad or as part of the dinner, then it is on our list of vegetables.

Botanically speaking, tomatoes are the fruit of a vine, just as are cucumbers, squashes, beans, and peas. But in the common language of the people, whether sellers or consumers of provisions, all these are vegetables which are grown in kitchen gardens, and which, whether eaten cooked or raw, are, like potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, beets, cauliflower, cabbage, celery, and lettuce, usually served at dinner in, with, or after the soup, fish, or meats which constitute the principal part of the repast, and not, like fruits generally, as dessert.”

So, to me, it seems like vegetables are pretty much those things we grow and eat as part of a meal and fruits are those things we grow and eat as a dessert. A lot of it comes down to the seeds and whether we see and eat the seeds.

Certain things are never confused. For instance, we readily recognize lemons, oranges, and apples (things where we see the seeds) as fruits. And we readily recognize potatoes, lettuce, and celery (things where we eat the whole produce and don’t see the seed) as vegetables.

Whether you are someone who recognizes the botanical or standard definition, either way, growing food for our table is what is most important for our health and sustainable lifestyle.

Grow Veggies101I just launched my new website called GrowVeggies101. The reason I developed GrowVeggies101 is because my husband and I had differing opinions on how to grow vegetables. We had seed packs, we had plantlings, we had raised garden ideas, and we had watering ideas, but what we didn’t have was any idea of how to grow vegetables.

We read an insane number of articles and blogs about growing vegetables and we watched an insane number of videos trying to learn how to grow vegetables in our back yard. What we discovered was that many of the articles, blogs, and videos did not deliver on their promise to show us how to grow vegetables, so we started keeping track of the blogs and videos that we found helpful. We compiled them into one place for easy reference. Realizing how valuable our pile of reference was to us, we thought it would be great to share this information with others. So, we created a website and called it GrowVeggies101.

GrowVeggies101 is a compilation of blogs and videos that show gardeners how to plant, grow, and harvest vegetables. Vegetables are listed alphabetically. Each page is dedicated to one vegetable with blogs on the left side and videos on the right side. So, depending on which way a gardener prefers to learn, they have a choice that suits their preference.

All blogs and all videos are used with permission through a web curator process. Furthermore, all blogs and videos are read, viewed, and approved prior to being added to the website.

My husband and I use our own website as a reference guide to growing vegetables and we hope others will find the website helpful, too.

When you need to know how to grow vegetables for your back yard, visit GrowVeggies101.


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