Welcome to Bepa's Garden!
This blog is about organic gardening, healthy eating and healthy living.
Each month I will be posting Garden To-Do Lists, Tips & Techniques, Garden Project Plans, Photos from the Garden, Recipes and Book Reviews.
I hope you enjoy reading and I hope I can inspire others to start a backyard garden!
Happy Gardening!
~Rob~

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!



2012 was a crazy year and I am a little happy to see it pass. There were some really great things that happened, and a few that I would much rather just move past and put behind me. It has been a year of change and self reflection leaving me excited for the possibilities of what 2013 may hold! I am looking forward to more big changes and adventures while I journey down this path.

For me the winter solstice signified a time for new beginning. The days between the solstice and January 1st are a time to reflect, dream and plan with New Year's Day being the starting point to take action.

With that being said, here are some of my goals for 2013:
  • Build a 2nd larger greenhouse
  • Expand the gardens to be able to grow more of our own food
  • Fence in the gardens
  • Put up a 12' x 20' high tunnel for winter growing
  • Build a garden shed
  • Install rain barrels
  • Set up a drip irrigation system
  • Attempt to get into the local farmers markets to sell seedlings, flowers and herbs
  • Get the school garden started
  • Put in blueberries, raspberries and grapes
  • Grow more varieties to preserve for our winter food supply
  • Plant mostly heirloom varieties and save seeds for following years garden
  • Work towards becoming more self-sufficient, growing even more of our food
  • Read more organic gardening, farming and homesteading books
  • Develop more of my own products
  • Redesign website to include information on organic growing
  • Organize blog posts to provide information from starting seeds to harvesting crops
  • Take more steps to keep me moving towards my dream
  • Work less, play more
  • Try to live more in the moment! 
What are some of your goals or resolutions for 2013?

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!!

~Rob~

Shared at:

Tilly's Nest

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Our First Snow of the Season!



We finally had our first real snow of the season!


The cold frame is covered, adding extra warmth to the plants inside.


The ducks seem to be enjoying the snow for the first time.
I brought them out of the garage and the first thing they did was lay down in it!


And as always, Buster enjoyed running around in the fresh snow!


Shared at: 


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Taking some time off to enjoy my family ...



With the holidays drawing near, I find myself extremely busy preparing for Christmas, filling and shipping the last of the orders, and traveling to look at new jobs for my business.

Instead of stressing myself out trying to do everything that I think I need to do,  I am going to slow down so I can spend more time enjoying my wife and my children. 

I have some big changes planned for the new year and I hope you will all continue to follow me along my journey! I have made many new friends and really appreciate all the inspirational and supportive comments. I have enjoyed reading everyone's posts and stories and look forward to seeing what the New Year has in store!

I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season and I will be back in January!

~Rob~



Friday, December 7, 2012

Book Review - Seed by Seed


Seed by Seed, The Legend and Legacy of John "Appleseed" Chapman
Normally I would review a farming or gardening book, but seeing that my wife is an elementary school  librarian and we are trying to get a school community garden started at the elementary school where she works,  I though it was appropriate to review a children's book.

Seed by Seed is about the legend and legacy of Johnny Appleseed. 
 They say the stories of Johnny Appleseed are part legend and part fact, but he was real. His real name was John Chapman and he was born September 26, 1774 in Massachusetts. He was a farmer who grew apples and offered them to pioneers heading west. He planted apple seeds every day and changed the landscape of our nation. He traveled by foot or canoe and planted apple trees in over a hundred thousand square miles across the Ohio Valley.

John Chapman was a simple man who lived by example. 
The examples he "planted" are:

Use what you have,
Share what you have,
Respect nature,
Try to make peace where there is war,
 and You can reach your destination by taking small steps.

This book gives details about how he lived each of these examples everyday until his death in 1845.

This is a great book to have in your personal library, especially if you have younger children. It would also make a nice Christmas gift and is a fantastic way to teach children about the important lessons he lived by, and possibly get them interested in gardening!

John "Appleseed" Chapman grew so many apples that chances are any apple you eat today is from a descendant of a tree planted by him!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Vegan Chocolate Chip Scones




We have been making these for quite some time. I can't remember where this recipe originally came from but I think we started with a basic scone recipe and veganized it. These scones are so fluffy and delicious, you can't tell that they are made without dairy or eggs. You can also substitute blueberries for the chocolate chips for equally delicious scones!


Ingredients:

2 cups white, or whole wheat pastry flour
5 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons vegan margarine (Earth Balance)
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/3 cup vanilla soy milk (or rice milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 teaspoons EnerG egg replacer mixed with 4 tablespoons warm water

Directions:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400° and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine egg replacer and water, wisk and set aside.
  3. In a food processor, combine flour, 4 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add the vegan margarine and pulse until it resembles a coarse meal.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine egg replacer mixture, soy milk and vanilla.
  6. Add chocolate chips (or blueberries) and wet mixture to dry ingredients, stir until a dough forms.
  7. Place dough on a floured surface and knead a few times. then flatten into a circle about 2 inches thick.
  8. Transfer to a cookie sheet and flatten into a circle about 2 inches thick.
  9.  Slice like a pie into 8 triangles and sprinkle with remaining sugar.
  10. Bake 20 - 25 minutes until golden.
Enjoy!

~Rob

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Making the Holidays Handmade


Fretwork angel ornament.
Each year we pledge to make most of the holiday gifts we give away to family and friends, but we usually end up way too busy to get everything done. We do however always find time to make new ornaments for our tree, sometimes creating keepsakes from items saved from our vacations.

Sea shell angel ornament - shells from out Cape Cod vacation.
If you don't have the means or time to make gifts yourself, there are several online shops that have many talented artist who sell their handmade items.

Some of my favorite places to shop for unique gifts are:

and 

Carved snowman ornament
We also prefer to buy at local shops rather than at the big box stores or malls. We have several shopping villages close by like Old Mystic Village and often take day trips to Quechee Gorge Village in VT.
One of our favorite places to shop for food gift items is The Woodstock Farmers Market in Woodstock, VT. They also have an on-line store which makes it easy to send gift baskets to out of state family, friends or my business clients.

Carolina snowflake ornament.
We are looking forward to the day when we finally have our farm and can give more gifts like canned tomato sauce made from our heirloom tomatoes, or dried herbs, herb infused oils, and other items grown or raised on our farm!

Dried hot peppers from our garden.
Do you prefer handmade gifts for the holidays?

Shared at:

The Backyard Farming Connection
The Chicken Chick 
Deborah Jean's Dandelion House