2019 Newsletter 8- Don’t Treat Your Soil Like Dirt!

2019 Newsletter 8- Don’t Treat Your Soil Like Dirt!

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Today, I am into soil.
Although many commercial potting mixes exist, I decided to make our own custom soil mix. I didn’t come to this decision on a whim, but as a direct result of customer feedback. We had complaints that the perlite, the little white pellets, was bad in those other mixes.. We also had other complaints that the vermiculite, the expanded stone, was not natural.
Keeping those things in mind and knowing that the single best thing you can do for your soil is to add organic matter, I wanted to make a growing mix that broke down in the soil completely. It has been a long journey to formulate the ideal soil for our plants with 15 years of fine tuning and formula changes.
Our growing mix combines sustainably harvested peat, composted pine bark, rice hulls, and the husks from coconuts. It also has calcium added to correct the PH.
The key is finding the right ratios as you need a soil that holds just the right amount of moisture. In addition, we add beneficial bacteria, beneficial fungus, humates, kelp, and yucca. All of this adds up to a superior product for you.  
Signing off until next week,  
Ed
Garden Center Spotlight
SEED STARTER KIT
Floral Feature
WELCOME KATIE
Saturday, March 2
STARTING SEEDS INDOORS
Why did the farmer bury all his money?
To make the soil rich
“What kind of garden did the baker plant?”
A “flour” garden
Shepherd’s Pie
Traditional Shepherd’s Pie is an Irish dish made with ground lamb cooked with peas and carrots and topped with a mashed potato crust. In the US, many people substitute beef or use a mixture of both. Feel free to change up the ratio to best suit your family.
Ingredients:
Potato Topping
  • 1 1/2 lb. potatoes, peeled
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp. melted butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper
 
Beef Filling
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1 c. frozen peas
  • 1 c. frozen corn
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley, for garnish
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Make mashed potatoes: In a large pot, cover potatoes with water and add a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until totally soft, 16 to 18 minutes. Drain and return to pot.
  2. Use a potato masher to mash potatoes until smooth. Add melted butter, milk, and sour cream. Mash together until fully incorporated, then season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Brown meat: In a large, ovenproof skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion, carrots, garlic, and thyme and cook until fragrant and softened, 5 minutes. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink, 5 minutes more. Drain fat.
  4. Stir in frozen peas and corn and cook until warmed through, 3 minutes more. Season with Worcestershire, salt, and pepper.
  5. Sprinkle meat with flour and stir to evenly distribute. Cook 1 minute more and add chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and let mixture thicken slightly, 5 minutes.
  6. Top beef filling with an even layer of mashed potatoes and bake until there is very little liquid visible and mashed potatoes are golden, about 20 minutes. Broil if desired. Garnish with parsley before serving.

 

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