The USDA’s People’s Garden has a wide variety of resources for the home gardener, including recipes. Many of the recipes were developed by students in DC’s Central Kitchen Job Training Program.
The recipes are brimming with fresh vegetables and herbs. They include:
- Roasted Root Vegetable Medley
- Roasted and Curried Butternut Squash Soup
- Afghani Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Kabobs
- House Brined Pickles
- Summer Corn Salad
- Tomato Bruschetta
- Chinese Veggies and Rice
- Minted Cucumber and Tomato Salad
- Gazpacho Andaluz
We hope you enjoy them!
The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) works extensively with the nation’s farmers and ranchers to protect soil, water, air, plant, and animal resources while meeting production goals.
Working with agricultural producers allows NRCS to promote conservation practices approximately 1.4 billion acres of the privately held land in the United States. About 92 million acres of land in our country is tended by home gardeners. In an effort to promote conservation on these lands, NRCS has partnered with other organizations to produce, Backyard Conservation: Bringing Conservation From the Countryside to Your Backyard.
This full-color and informative online resource highlights 10 conservation activities that can be used in your backyard, shared spaces, and public places too.
- Trees add beauty and so much more.
- Trees, shrubs, and other plants can provide homes and food for wildlife.
- A backyard pond will likely become the focal point for all your backyard conservation.
- Wetlands filter excess nutrients, chemicals, and sediment and provide habitat for a host of interesting creatures.
- Composting turns household wastes into valuable fertilizer.
- Mulching cools, protects, and enriches the soil.
- Apply only those nutrients the plants can use. (See our previous post on soil test kits to help you get accurate test results.)
- Terracing makes flower and vegetable gardening possible on steep slopes.
- Drip irrigation and other water conservation practices can save water and money.
- Early detection and treatment of pests means a healthier growing environment.
- Author: Jim Downer
- Author: Chris M. Webb
Agriculture is more than food production. The term is used to describe the human cultivation of food, fiber and other products. Many people think of food farming and raising of livestock as the extent of agriculture, but there is much more to this powerful industry.
For approximately 10,000 years agriculture has shaped civilization. And in fact some say that agriculture has made civilization possible. Agricultural progress allowed groups of people the first alternative to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Continual improvements in methods and technology took people from subsistence agriculture to production levels. As the production continued to increase fewer people were needed in food and fiber production and were able to focus on other pursuits and careers.
Today agriculture includes foods, fibers, biofuels, biopharmaceuticals, bioplastics, lumber, cut flowers and nursery plants. New agricultural technologies already available and those in the research stage will continue to shape, expand and influence society both locally and globally.
Ventura County has a wide range of agricultural products and production. The size of our local farms are smaller than average; however, our growers efforts combine to form an impressive cumulate result. Using data from the most recent USDA Ag Census Profile, the market value of Ventura County agriculture is ranked 9th statewide and 10th nationwide. When the value of nursery and greenhouse crops are included our county is 4th both state and nationwide. To learn more about the types of agriculture products grown in Ventura County please see the crop reports released by the County of Ventura Agricultural Commissioner.
In addition to crop values, the local agriculture industry branches out and positively impacts our local economy with, transportation/shipping, packing houses, product manufacturing and development, landscape design and maintenance, and much more.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides many resources for public use. In addition to educational resources, the NRCS has some financial assistance programs available to help eligible landowners and agricultural producers plan and implement conservation practices.
These programs address natural resource concerns and include: saving energy; improving soil, water, plant, air, animal and related resources.
Specific programs include:
- Agricultural management assistance
- Agricultural water enhancement program
- Air quality initiative
- Cooperative conservation partnership initiative
- Conservation innovation grants
- Conservation stewardship program
- Environmental quality incentives program
- Emergency watershed protection program
- Wildlife habitat incentive program
Part of the USDA’s Healthy Garden Workshop Series, Container Gardening and Window Boxes provides practical information to help people successfully grow plants in containers.
Readers will learn to:
- Choose the right container
- Use the right soil
- Grow the right plant for the right season
- How to water and fertilize container plants
- Choose plants that grow well in pots
- Protect plants
- And more