Seed Starting in Rockwool Plugs Hydroponically

There are so many different ways to grow your seedlings for hydroponic gardening.  No one way works better then another, you just need to decided what works best for your situation.  We are growing in an Omega Garden Volksgarden, which uses a rockwool cube as the growing medium.  We could simply have germinated he seeds between soaked towels, in Jiffy peat pellets, clay growing medium, or rockwool plugs.  Most of these methods require you to transplant the seedling, which can cause shock and the plants might die.  We went with the least traumatic method of rockwool plugs.

Rockwool Plugs

Visit this past post for a step by step guide to starting your seeds in the rockwool plugs.

Here is a day by day look at our first batch of hydroponic seedlings.  We have planted, bush beans, cherry tomatoes, yellow pear tomatoes, Russian kale, red lettuce and arugula.

Day 1:

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Day 2:

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Day 3:

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Day 4: by tomorrow we will have the majority of the plants breaking the surface of the rock wool and we can remove the cover. This will allow them fresh air and room to grow tall. If we leave the lid on we run the chance of rotting the tender baby plants or growing a mold.

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Day 5: Look at those crazy tall beans!

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Day 6: I just cannot get over the beans lol

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I will continue to update the pics as the seedlings progress, in about a week we should have enough height to transplant them into the Volksgarden unit.

[Disclosure: Salty Suburban Homestead is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. We receive a small commission whenever a product is purchased through these links.  Thank you for your support!]

Preserving the Summer Squash and Zucchini Harvest

Our summer squash harvest was UNBELIEVABLE this year.  We had an over abundance of the green and yellow squash cluttering our countertop for weeks, and still do. We also received a ton in our CSA.  This seems to be the norm.  Even if you do not have your own garden, I am sure family, friends and neighbors are practically begging you to take some off their hands.

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So, what to do with all this fresh and nutritious produce?  You can simply eat it now; sauté with olive oil and garlic, roast in the oven with other squash, make into pasta and toss with pesto or shred and use in muffins and breads.  Speaking of muffins, here are our favorite! YUM!

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Besides eating all your zucchini and yellow squash right away, you can also preserve it for use later in the year when squash is not in season or available.  We chose to preserve a lot of our harvest by freezing and dehydrating.  You can also can it if you like, we have not tried this method yet.

We make a really great stuffed squash with rice and ground turkey, but it is hot and time consuming to make in the summer.  So we made, blanched and froze the boats to stuff when the weather gets cooler. Also, we sliced and blanched squash coins to freeze.  With these you can just deforest and sauté for a quick side dish. Make sure you blanch your squash before freezing, this will insure it doesn’t get frost bit or go soggy before using.

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Utilize the dehydrator as well for preservation.  This is one of my favorite methods, it doesn’t take up room in your freezer and the dehydrated product last for a very long time.  We shredded and then dehydrated our zucchini.  Find the how-to here.  Later, we can rehydrate the squash with a little water and use in breads, muffins, sauces and sautés.  So many possibilities with this.

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How was your summer squash harvest this year?  How are you eating or preserving it?

[Disclosure: Salty Suburban Homestead is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. We receive a small commission whenever a product is purchased through these links.  So if you decide to order anything that is recommended on the blog, we would LOVE it if you used the affiliated links. We thank you in advance for your support!]

Garlic Scrape Pesto with Fresh from the Garden Basil

Garlic Scrapes, if you have not tried them your missing out!  Think of them like the scallion of the garlic world.  Click the pic to visit Green City Market Blog and find out more about them.

Fresh Garlic Scrapes

We received a half dozen garlic scrapes in our CSA share this week. I decided to use basil from our own garden to make a beautiful pesto. Here is how I did it:

Garlic Scrape Pesto

Rough chop about 6 garlic scrapes and throw them in the food processor
Add about 2-3 handfuls of basil and about 1/2 cup of pine nuts
Process until smooth, pulsing and scraping as needed
Slowly add about 1/3 cup of olive oil in a steady stream while the processor is running
When it reaches your desired consistency mix in a a squeeze of lemon juice and salt to taste

You can add this right to your cooked pasta with some cooking water to thin out or can save in the fridge for a week and freezer for months!  I can not do dairy so we left the parmesan cheese out but feel free to add it if you wish. Enjoy!

 

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Do you enjoy garlic scrapes? What do you make besides pesto with your bounty?

[Disclosure: Salty Suburban Homestead is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. We receive a small commission whenever a product is purchased through these links.  So if you decide to order anything that is recommended on the blog, we would LOVE it if you used the affiliated links. We thank you in advance for your support!]

DIY All Natural Sunscreen

I LOVE Wellnessmama.com!  Today, I made her Natural Homemade Sunscreen.  It was super easy and cost WAY less than the $11 I paid for 3oz of a high end all natural version.  I went basic and did an olive oil, coconut oil and beeswax base then added the powdered zinc.  Working with the zinc was a little scary but just be careful and it will be fine.  I also bought these adorable little cups to keep it in.  It smells wonderful, like the tropics, cant wait to try it out!

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[Disclosure: Salty Suburban Homestead is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. We receive a small commission whenever a product is purchased through these links.  So if you decide to order anything that is recommended on the blog, we would LOVE it if you used the affiliated links. We thank you in advance for your support!]

DIY Miracle Healing Salve

I happened to come across this DIY Miracle Healing Salve from Backdoor Survival.  Having dealt with Eczema and very very dry skin my entire life, I am willing to give any sort of cream or lotion a try.  Let me tell you, it actually WORKS!  3 weeks of apply this at night to my heals and they are softer and healing, no more dry, cracked and bleeding skin. It has so many uses and really is amazing stuff.  Give it a try and let me know how it comes out.

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DIY All Natural Homemade Eyeliner

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Continuing on my mission to rid our family from harmful chemicals, I had to evaluate my cosmetics.  I switched a few years ago to a mineral based powder makeup line that is very popular.  Although, I like the products and they are somewhat natural, they are very very expensive.  The most common product I use is eyeliner.  Seriously, if I have time to throw that on its a good day!  I save the whole face process for special occasions such as weddings and formal gatherings.

I had the small eyeliner brush already and had a hard time finding a pencil DYI version.  So, my eyeliner is in powder form and takes just a few tries to learn how to apply.  If I can do it sans eye glasses without making a mess, you can too!

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Really all you need are two ingredients: activated charcoal capsules and arrowroot starch (corn starch will work but not as well).  The charcoal is the base and gives you the deep black color, and the arrowroot is just an anti caking agent.  I used an equal amount of each, poured it into a small jar and gave it a good shake.  You will end up with a deep grey color.  For more of a midnight black, use less arrowroot.

Application is simple, dip the brush in water or run it under the tap to make it moist.  Then dip the wet brush into the powder.  Swirl the brush on the cap of the container to form a paste.  Smooth out the paste and apply.  It will take some practice, I use the side of my hand and it wipes off easily.

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This is NOT waterproof, it will run, but I feel thats the price you pay for going all natural and its easy to reapply.  Also, try not to get it in your eye, it will sting a little, trust me I know.  Best part? This container cost PENNIES to make, way better then the $19 I was paying before.

Has anyone used homemade eyeliner before? Or any other homemade beauty product?

[Disclosure: Salty Suburban Homestead is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. We receive a small commission whenever a product is purchased through these links.  So if you decide to order anything that is recommended on the blog, we would LOVE it if you used the affiliated links. We thank you in advance for your support!]