NATURALLY Jan/Feb 2017
The Dirt on Succulents
Guide to Growing Citrus Indoors Flowers to Make your Heart Flutter
To me, seeking peace means living in the midst of problems while remaining calm, understanding, and serene. It may seem passive, but itâ€™s definitely an active process. Striving to create tranquility during a stressful time is far more difficult than allowing yourself to be swept away in a tide of drama or negativity. This is our greatest challenge as humans. Albert Einstein once said, â€œPeace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.â€? This means peace begins inside your mind. You must face fear and anxieties within and without. Your steady demeanor can bring comfort to those who are suffering. Stay poised in the face of trouble and those around will naturally look to you for guidance and strength. But Einstein might say this begins with understanding. Understanding begets compassion and compassion gives rise to peace. When we seek to understand others through empathy, we feel compassion for their point of view and bring peace into our lives. Try it!
“When the mind is peaceful, hearts will bloom with love.” ― Debasish Mridha
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In Season 16 of P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home, Allen visits with next generation farmers, innovative chefs, and visionaries making a difference in their communities. He’ll teach viewers how to delight in nature with ideas for attracting hummingbirds to your garden, cooking fresh dishes, or learning to make bold flower crowns using natural elements available year-round. He travels to cities around the country to discover local cuisines, lifestyle trends, and big-hearted people with amazing stories to tell.
Table of Contents
Succulent Party 6
Plants Personified 14
Homemade Vanilla Extract 18
Homemade Bone Broth 24
Contain Your Love For Citrus 30
Herbs to Grow Inside 36
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Grow Friendship with
h a Succulent party
Succulents have been a favorite of mine for many years, and I’m delighted to watch them become more popular each year. Though these carefree plants make wonderful gifts for friends, instead of prepping and planting alone, why not gather your favorite people together for a succulent party? We recently did just that at Electric Ghost in Little Rock, and it was an incredible success. Owners Brooks Tipton and Shannon Shrum have a screen printing business and a lovely shop, and often host succulent and terrarium parties for groups of friends. What a great idea! You could easily recreate our party at home with a dozen or so beautiful succulents, some pebbles, and potting soil. You might have guests bring their own interesting planters — like pretty pottery bowls, buckets, terrariums — and encourage them to get creative! Succulents are easy-going and don’t really need the standard terra cotta planter. They’ll take root almost anywhere; just don’t overwater. Now, simply add a few bottles of wine and a tray of fruit and cheese, and you’ve got the perfect party!
Caring for Succulents To care for succulents indoors, you’ll need a sunny window, but don’t worry if that’s not possible throughout the entire day as succulents will survive in lower light for a few months. Move indoors when temperatures drop below 45 degrees. Don’t expect much growth during winter, but keep the dish in a location with cooler temperatures — between 50 and 60 degrees F — and cut back on watering to about once a month. During warmer seasons, water when the soil is dry and feed plants once a month with liquid fertilizer diluted to 1/8th strength.
herbal sea salt Bonnie Sea Salt FOR EASY DIRECTIONS, CLICK HERE.
beauty.provenwinners.com I N S P I R A T I O N / A D V I C E / I D E A S
Unearth this yearâ€™s inspiration for your garden online or by requesting our FREE Gardenerâ€™s Idea Book at www.provenwinners.com. Or talk with one of our gardening enthusiasts by calling 815-895-8130. Look for Proven Winners in our distinctive containers at independent garden centers across the country and The Home Depot or buy online at provenwinners.com.
Love with Flowers:
Valentine’s Day. Love it or hate it, the holiday has us all atwitter. Instead of bright red boxes of chocolates or pink candies, try adding some of my favorite pink or red flowers to your landscape and watch your heart skip a beat for weeks to come. You may be familiar with some of these, but I thought I’d add a dash of personality to them. I’ve personified each and equated them to famous romantics. Choose the ones that work best for your landscape, your zone AND your love language.
Supertunia® Pretty Much Picasso® Petunia
Superbena® Royale Red Verbena
Famous romantic: Elizabeth Taylor
Choose if you: need freedom, passion and beauty.
Choose if you: like showing off and need
A multi-talented flower with brilliant red blooms.
compliments, but can be possessive.
This annual loves basking in the full sun. It has a
This is one of those flowers everyone will
mounding and trailing habit — a bit of a wandering
ask about. Bright purple blooms edged
eye — and should be contained in hanging baskets
in chartreuse are borne on robust stems.
Beautiful, sweet, and wants to be loved.
Famous romantic: Casanova
Superbells® Pomegranate Punch Calibrachoa
Senorita Rosalita® Cleome
Famous romantic: Shakespeare
Choose if you: think love has a soft, gentle appearance with a
Choose if you: like love that’s deep,
feisty fire simmering underneath.
brilliant and a little dark.
This variety is thornless with sterile flowers, which means
The hummingbirds love this Calibrachoa
they don’t produce seeds; all qualities that add to its appeal
with its sultry velvet red blooms and
for many gardeners. The lavender-pink blossoms are produced
yellow throat. This plant loves full sun and
all along the stem, not just at the top. The heat and drought
well-draining soil and can be contained in
tolerance make this Senorita a must-have for gardeners
window boxes and hanging baskets.
watching their water usage.
Famous romantic: Sophia Loren
Summerific® ‘Cranberry Crush’ Hibiscus Famous romantic: Cyrano de Bergerac Choose if you: need a love that’s pure, witty and steadfast. A charming Colossus! ‘Cranberry Crush’ has extraordinary 7-8″ flowers of scarlet red, is a compact grower, and a profuse bloomer even into the fall. Its flowers are irresistible to hummingbirds. This hibiscus keeps its glow right through the tough summer heat.
Can you guess this heritage Breed?
Be sure to support your local 4-H/FFA chapters and to visit your county, state and regional livestock and poultry shows to help further the cause.
Answer: Buff Orpington
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> Chicken Basics > Feeding the Flock > Health of the Flock > Processing Birds > Choosing Better Birds > How to get Started
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vanilla Extract & Sugar By Jennifer Burcke
I started making my own vanilla extract more than a decade ago. I didnâ€™t set out to be frugal or to make a better product. I did it because itâ€™s what you do when someone in your family suddenly has food allergies. Necessity really is the mother of invention. Little did I know that I would indeed save money, make a better product, and forever choose to eschew purchasing store bought vanilla extract.
After our family was faced with the new prospect of
vanilla. As the weeks turned into one month and then
eating and baking around food allergies, I began to
a second, the extract became dark amber in color,
look more closely at every ingredient in our pantry.
the fragrance was deep and earthy, and the flavor
One of the baking staples I had a terrible time finding
was exceptional. This homemade vanilla extract had
ingredient information and allergy warnings for
exceeded my high expectations in every single way.
was vanilla extract. Many companies that produce
Years have passed since I made that first batch, but
vanilla extract also make almond and other nut based
my practice of making homemade vanilla extract has
extracts, making their products off limits for my family.
continued. Once you make your own, you may never
In my hours of searching online, I made a wonderful
purchase vanilla extract at the store again.
discovery. I learned that making vanilla extract required only two additional ingredients, a glass
Making your own vanilla extract puts you in complete
bottle, and a bit of cupboard space. It didn’t take me
control of the final product. You can choose the
very long to decide to create our own vanilla extract
quality of the ingredients and determine the strength
right in our kitchen.
of your extract. Making your own extract can also be a real money saver. For the price of a small bottle
I was a little skeptical. The process seemed too simple
of premium extract from the store, you can create
to yield a vanilla extract that would be as fragrant and
a steady supply of your own extract to use in your
flavorful as the premium extract I kept on hand in
family’s favorite recipes.
our kitchen. I had very little to lose, so I gathered the supplies, followed the easy steps, and set the glass
Brewing a bottle full of delicious homemade vanilla
bottle aside to see what would develop.
extract is as simple as making a cup of tea. You’ll need to gather a glass container with a tight fitting
With each passing day, the clear liquid took on a
lid, vanilla bean pods, and vodka or bourbon. While
deeper color. Every time I gently turned the bottle
I have used both vodka and bourbon, I prefer the
to help mix the contents, I marveled at the specks of
vanilla extract made with vodka. If you use bourbon,
vanilla bean floating about in the liquid. After a few
resulting extract will be equally delicious with a bit
weeks, the vodka no longer smelled of alcohol, but of
darker color and a slightly more intense aroma.
This homemade vanilla extract had exceeded my high expectations in every single way.
When making vanilla extract, I like to use four ounce
or eight ounce glass bottles with a rubber gasket
To make a batch of vanilla bean sugar, simply tip the
and swing lid to keep them tightly closed. I find that
vanilla bean pods out of the empty bottle on to a
this tight fitting lid helps to prevent the extract from
paper towel or clean tea towel. Allow them to dry for
evaporating. For a four ounce bottle of extract, I use
several hours before placing them in a large Mason jar,
two vanilla bean pods. For an eight ounce bottle, I use
covering them with granulated sugar, and placing a lid
four vanilla bean pods.
on the jar. In a matter of days, you will open the jar to find the sugar has been infused with the aroma and
To make your extract, use a sharp knife to carefully
flavor of the vanilla bean pods. This vanilla bean sugar
split each vanilla bean lengthwise or cut them into
is a delicious addition to your baked goods. I sprinkle
lengths about two inches long. Place the beans in the
it on top of muffins, sugar cookies, and my morning
clean empty bottle. Warm the vodka or bourbon as if
you were making a cup of tea before adding it to the bottle. Allow the mixture to steep uncovered until it
No matter how you choose to use your homemade
has cooled to room temperature. Replace the stopper
vanilla extract, youâ€™re sure to enjoy its rich amber color,
or tight fitting lid before storing the bottle in a cool,
intense flavor, and delightful aroma as much as I do.
dark place. I store my bottles of vanilla extract in the
Youâ€™ll be amazed at how delicious your favorite recipes
same cabinet with my olive oil as they thrive in similar
taste with the addition of your homemade vanilla
extract and vanilla bean sugar.
Gently agitating the bottle occasionally will help to
If you'd like to purchase a kit to make the process
distribute the vanilla beans throughout the liquid and
easier, I sell one in my etsy store.
facilitate the brewing process of the extract. In four to eight weeks, you will have a rich, delicious vanilla
Jennifer spends her days living and writing at 1840
extract ready to use in your recipes. The longer the
Farm with three generations of her family and their dogs,
extract is allowed to brew, the more intense the flavor,
chickens, ducks, goats, and rabbit. She loves to create
color, and aroma will become.
homegrown recipes in their farmhouse kitchen and dream up new handmade products for their Etsy Shop. You can
When you reach the end of the first bottle of extract,
follow their daily adventures on Facebook and enjoy a
you can refill it with warm vodka or bourbon and set
collection of homemade recipes on their blog.
it aside to brew a second time using the same vanilla bean pods. The second batch is often a bit lighter in color, but should be no less flavorful or aromatic. After the vanilla bean pods have brewed two batches of extract, they can be used to flavor custards and sauces or allowed to dry slightly before adding to a mason jar full of sugar to create a batch of delicious vanilla bean sugar. 21
“Deep down, nature is inherently peaceful, calm and beautiful. The universe as a whole is perfect. The chaos is on the surface.” ― Amit Ray
Upgrade Your Broth By Jennifer Burcke
Until a few years ago, I had never made homemade
After the bones have spent an hour in the water and
bone broth. I had created my own stock and quick
vinegar, I turn the slow cooker on at high heat. Once
broth with good success, but I didnâ€™t realize I could
the liquid has come to a boil, I reduce the heat to low.
make something with more flavor and nutrition
The liquid should remain at a simmer as the broth
without creating any extra work for myself in the
cooks. Leave the lid securely on the pot to reduce the
amount of liquid that evaporates away from the pot. If you notice the liquid level has dropped
Since then, I find myself unable to pass up the
dramatically as the broth cooks, you can add more
opportunity to turn the leftovers from a roast
water as needed.
chicken into a batch of bone broth. I love transforming something that used to be discarded
The longer the broth simmers, the richer the broth
into a bone broth full of healthy calcium, magnesium,
becomes in flavor, color, and nutrition. While you can
phosphorous, collagen, and a host of other nutritious
stop the process at any point, I like to let the broth
simmer for around 72 hours.
Bone broth is the simplest of preparations and yields
To determine if it's ready, remove a large bone from
delicious and nutritious results. Preparing a batch
the pot and allow it to cool slightly before applying
requires no special equipment or fancy ingredients
firm pressure with your fingers. When the bones have
and doesnâ€™t demand your constant attention. Given
released all of their mineral content, they will crumble
enough time and heat, the bones will break down
in your fingers. If it crumbles, it's finished cooking.
and release all of their gelatin and minerals into the filtered water. The resulting bone broth is rich in
At this point, the slow cooker can be turned off. I
nutrients and adds a beautiful color and flavor to any
allow the broth to cool to room temperature before
straining it through a colander lined with cheesecloth. Discard any bones, vegetables, or scraps, straining the
To make a batch of bone broth following our meal of
broth a second time if any solids or sediment remain.
roast chicken, I transfer the roasting panâ€™s drippings
Strained bone broth can be stored in the fridge in a
to the ceramic insert of a large slow cooker before
large Mason jar with a tight-fitting lid. I keep a jar
adding all of the bones, skin, and small bits of meat
in our refrigerator at the ready, using it in any recipe
that might be attached. Filtered water is added to
that calls for stock or broth. I freeze the remaining
completely cover the bones and vegetables, like onion
bone broth in ice cube trays for long term storage.
and celery, along with two tablespoons of apple cider
After the cubes of bone broth are frozen solid, I
vinegar. The vinegar helps extract the calcium from
transfer them to a freezer bag. When I need bone
the bones, resulting in a richer and more nutritious
broth for a recipe, I simply remove the frozen bone
bone broth. I place the lid on the slow cooker and
broth cubes from the freezer before warming them in
allow the ingredients to rest for about an hour.
a small saucepan. 25
Our bone broth doesn't last long in the freezer as
Jennifer spends her days living and writing at 1840
we continue to find new ways to incorporate it into
Farm with three generations of her family and their dogs,
our favorite recipes. The flavor, aroma, and color are
chickens, ducks, goats, and rabbit. She loves to create
so superior to standard broth that I only regret that
homegrown recipes in their farmhouse kitchen and
I didnâ€™t start making bone broth sooner. Once you
dream up new handmade products for their Etsy Shop.
discover the simplicity of making homemade bone
You can follow their daily adventures on Facebook and
broth and its amazing depth of flavor, youâ€™ll be finding
Instagram and enjoy a collection of homemade recipes
new ways to use it in your favorite soups, stews, and
on their blog.
sauces all year long.
LUNCH TOURS Spring Tours
Gather your friends and spend a spring morning in our abundant gardens. Walk through the 300,000 blooms on Daffodil Hill, tour Allenâ€™s private home, then enjoy a garden-to-table lunch featuring recipes from his cookbook, Seasonal Recipes from the Garden.
MOSS MOUNTAIN FARM
IN ROLAND, ARKANSAS
Thursdays & Fridays March - May $96.75 PER PERSON ( All applicable taxes included)
Space is limited. Visit www.PAllenSmith.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Joyce at 501.519.5793 to make your reservation!
Well, Orange you sweet
This fruit can deliver much more than a dose of Vitamin C. Some of the more common plants in our lives can also be the most potent when turned into an essential oil. Lavender, rosemary and peppermint immediately come to mind, but one of the most overlooked, in my opinion, might be the lowly orange. Yes, you may turn to this fruit when you need a natural dose of vitamin C, but the essential oil – derived from the peel – has many useful benefits around the home. First, the smell of orange is energizing and invigorating, and you may think that’s why it’s typically found in many household cleaners and cosmetic products. However, orange oil is a strong antiseptic and can fight off bacteria when applied to cuts or abrasions. Orange oil was found to prevent the proliferation of E. coli bacteria in one 2009 study published in the International Journal of Food and Science Technology, according to this site. And when it comes to anti-inflammatory properties, orange oil beat other popular options like lemon, pine and eucalyptus. The aroma can also act as an antidepressant, lifting your mood and relaxing your body. Research has shown the scent of orange oil can lower your pulse rate and cortisol levels. Orange oil can also reduce gas and relieve painful pressure in the stomach by helping to relax abdominal muscles. It’s even been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce the signs of hypertension.
5 uses for orange oil: 1. Blend with cinnamon and clove in a carrier oil for a warm aroma during the holidays. 2. Add to a spray bottle of water and use to refresh towels and sheets. Or spray in the closet to add an energizing smell during the winter months. 3. Dilute in a spray bottle and combine with lemon and rosemary oils to cleanse and disinfect household surfaces. 4. Add a drop to water once a day for flavor and to enhance digestion. (Recommended 1 drop per 4 oz of water) 5. Some say orange oil is an aphrodisiac and an antidepressant so try it during the winter months when your energy levels are low. It might be the boost you need!
Contain Your love for Citrus
Historically, citrus fruits have been relegated to more
in the ground, and when they were prepared for
tropical climates, but these days, growing your own
shipping, the soil around the roots was removed.
lemons, limes and oranges is as simple as caring for a
Although they wonâ€™t look like much, those bare twigs
have a lot of potential in them.
These can now be grown on dwarf citrus trees that
Once removed from the packaging, prune damaged or
bloom and fruit indoors. The fresh fruit, fragrant
broken stems and then soak the roots in water for at
blooms and glossy green leaves of these miniature
least five hours, but no longer than 24. This completely
trees are a joy to have inside during the winter or close
rehydrates the plant before it is potted up.
at hand on the patio during warm weather.
The next step is to select a container. The size will
Theyâ€™re grown on dwarf fruit trees, which are created
depend on the size of the plant. If you purchased your
by grafting a standard variety onto a dwarf rootstock.
dwarf citrus tree in a nursery pot, go up one container
Though standard trees may grow up to 12 feet tall
size. Bare root plants should be planted in a container
in the yard, when grown this way and planted in
large enough that the root system can be comfortably
containers, they remain a more diminutive size.
spread out, but not so large that the tree is swamped
Late winter is the perfect time to order these trees.
by soil. Dwarf citrus trees must have good drainage;
They will most likely arrive as bare root plants,
so select a container with plenty of holes in
meaning they havenâ€™t been grown in a container but
Citrus fruits require 6 to 12 months to mature, depending on the type and cultivar. Lemons and limes
Quick Start Guide
usually take about 6 to 9 months to go from bloom to edible fruit, while oranges generally take a year. These trees require a long day of full sunshine and good air circulation to thrive. When the weather is warm, position your plant outdoors so it receives plenty of light and protection from strong winds. They can remain outside as long as temperatures stay above 40 degrees F. When it’s time to overwinter your plant indoors, place it in a shady spot for about two weeks
• Citrus won’t give you instant gratification, but
prior to making the move. This will allow it to acclimate
you can enjoy the sweet scent of the blooms
to the temperature change and prevent leaf drop.
while you wait for the fruits. Look for a variety
To maintain a nice shape, prune the limbs any time
known to thrive indoors and produce year-round
of the year if the plants are overwintering indoors. If
such as Meyer lemon or Bearss lime.
you live in a mild area of the country and leave your
Place container near a bright, southern or
citrus trees outside for winter, it is best to refrain from
western facing window and away from sources
pruning until the danger of freezing temperatures
has passed. Pruning encourages new growth, which is susceptible to cold weather and even some of the
• Deep soak the soil every 5 to 7 days.
warmest regions of the country can experience a
Citrus prefer slightly acidic soil and high nitrogen
surprise drop in temperature. It is important to prune
fertilizer. Feed with a slow release fertilizer
back any growth that emerges from below the graft.
designed for citrus plants. Once a month is
This is sucker growth, which will not bear fruit. The
best for fertilizer, but be sure to follow the
graft is identifiable as a knobby area on the trunk.
• Every 2 or 3 years as the plant grows, it should
MEYER LEMON: bears large, sweet lemons almost
be repotted so it doesn’t become root bound. As
you increase pot size, consider using a more light
DWARF BEARSS SEEDLESS LIME: large fruits ripen
weight material than terra cotta or purchasing
in winter and early spring, established plants can be
a plant stand on casters so that you can easily
move your tree around.
MINNEOLA TANGELO: a grapefruit and tangerine cross, winter through spring ripening fruit.
• It is hard to determine ripeness just by looking
KAFFIR LIME: leaves and zest are used in Thai recipes,
at the fruit, so your safest bet is to taste one.
very fragrant leaves and unusual fruit.
Look for fruits that have deep color and feel
OWARI SATSUMA MANDARIN ORANGE: seedless,
heavy. Harvest from the lowest branches first
juicy fruit produced in winter and early spring, hardiest
and work your way up.
of all the mandarins.
Bulldog Collards & Cabbage Slaw 1/2 head cabbage, shredded 1 small bunch of Bulldog Collards, thinly sliced 1 red onion, thinly sliced 11/2 Tablespoons honey 2 Tablespoons whole grain mustard 1/2 Tablespoon black pepper 1 Tablespoon kosher salt 1/4 cup cider vinegar 2/3 cup olive oil 6 slices of bacon
Cook the bacon, crumble, and set aside. Chop the red onion and mix with shredded cabbage and sliced collards. Combine the other ingredients (except for the bacon) and toss together with the greens. Marinate for up to 6 hours. Add bacon at time of service.
Rice Salad Recipe
Golden Rice Salad 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
1 ½ teaspoons salt, plus more if needed
3 cups chicken stock, or water
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more if needed
¾ cup chopped dried apricots ¾ cup golden raisins 2 shallots, finely chopped 1 ½ Tablespoons ground cumin
Grated zest and juice of 2 oranges 2/3 cup pine nuts, toasted ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Cook the rice in a rice cooker or pot with water or stock. When it’s finished, add orange juice and stir in orange zest. While the rice is still warm, add apricots, raisins, shallots, spices and salt and pepper. Then add toasted pine nuts and parsley and fluff with a fork to combine the ingredients. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Serve hot, at room temperature, chilled or rewarmed in the microwave.
Winter spice on Your Windowsill
GUIDE TO GROWING HERBS DURING THE COLDER MONTHS Though most herbs prefer to bask in the summer sun, many will grow well on a windowsill in the winter, too. But choose your indoor herbs wisely, some will perform better than others, and you don’t want to waste time and money on herbs that won’t produce. They may grow taller than outdoor plants and may not be as full and bushy, but you can still collect enough herbs to get you through. It’s best to start with established plants, rather than trying to grow from seed. You can also dig up herbs in the garden before winter hits, pot them and let them overwinter inside.
TIPS FOR GROWING: Choose a window getting about 4 hours of sun a day. South or southwest facing windows work best. Start with a good potting mix. Then give them good drainage but use a pot that won’t dry out quickly. Glazed or plastic containers work best for this. Keep herbs away from glass during colder temperatures. They can also dry out faster when the heat is on, so make sure they’re watered at least once a week. Fertilize once a month if you’re harvesting regularly.
RECOMMENDED INDOOR HERBS: CHIVES ROSEMARY SAGE THYME MARJORAM OREGANO PARSLEY MINT CILANTRO DILL
"BIG SISTER DAFFODILS, SPRING" GICLEE PRINT shop.pallensmith.com
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The sheep at Moss Mountain Farm love to greet visitors, but some might say Barbara is the friendliest. She usually pushes her way to the front of the herd and says, "Hello!" Of course, Barbara is even friendlier if you've got a bit of food in your hand. She'll nip it gently from your palm and then beg sweetly for more. She always delights visitors â€” and me! â€” with her gentle demeanor. Come take a farm tour, and I'll be happy to introduce you.