Set Up Your Kitchen Garden—and Save!

It’s spring—time to dream of ripe tomatoes and sugar snap peas.  You can grow them yourself and save hundreds on organic produce with a few tips and a bit of inspiration.  Our first post in a four part series on organic home gardening will focus on garden materials and the money you can save once you do. 

You don’t have to invest hundreds of dollars to get results.  In fact, you may be able to get started with a very modest investment that will yield you a harvest for several weeks. 

Today’s contributors, Mara Reynolds and Caitlin Blethlen are expert gardeners with plenty of tips to share.  Mara works with Portland Community Gardens to further support gardening in the city. This tremendous program allows families to rent garden plots, learn how to preserve food, and get their children involved in gardening.  Caitlin is the Youth Gardening director for Growing Gardens, a non-profit dedicated to helping low-income, urban families grow their own food.

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Saving Organic Milk From Going Bad: Re-Pasteurizing 101

At five to six bucks a gallon, it can be heart breaking to toss a gallon of sour milk down the drain.  After today’s post, you won’t ever need to do it again!  

When your milk begins to approach its due date, simply pour it into a microwavable container or a stovetop saucepan and heat it until it barely boils.  You’ll re-pasteurize the milk by killing the bacteria that would cause it to go bad.  It may strike a few of you as rather icky, but the truth is that when you finish it will last for another week or two.  
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Making Potato Print Valentines

Last year we showed you how to recycle your magazines or your children’s finger paintings by cutting them into creative Valentines, but we decided to keep life even simpler in 2009.  For those of you that need to mass produce cards for school or family, potato print Valentines are the perfect earth friendly, budget friendly solution.  

Simply cut a potato in half, draw a simple shape on the open end, and then carve around your pencil lines.  Once the carving is done, you can welcome your child to join in the fun.  Dip the potato stamp into some thick tempera paint and plop it down upon a piece of paper.  You can experiment with several shapes, colors and textures all for just pennies!  
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