Commercial vs. Organic Tomatoes - Try Batting Practice to See the Difference

John Coykendall, renowned seed saver and farmer, talks about the difference between commercial and organic tomatoes. John is the master gardener at the mountain retreat Blackberry Farm in his native Tennessee. (See NPR story.) Dr. Howard Conyers, a rocket scientist at NASA, interviews John on his show Nourish for PBS Digital Studios. John has collected more than 500 varieties of seeds gathered from small farmers and backyard gardeners from around the world. He’s been doing this long before GMOs became a concern.

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How VA Facilities Are Using Gardneing as a Theraputic Tool

We're really happy to see more use of gardening and working with the earth as a theraputic method to help soldiers with PTSD.

"In this setting, they can tend to focus on the negative aspects of what brought them into the hospital," she said. "Bringing them outside, giving them something to focus their attention on and a reason to socialize, I think that makes their mood better, makes their self-esteem improve, and it makes them more willing to interact with others." 

Read more from the News & Observer article

The Birth of the Mantids


Any day now, one of our lucky clients will be hosting potentially thousands of praying mantids on his property! We found many egg cases while trimming his bushes & trees and each case contains about 200 eggs. These fierce warriors are beneficial in the garden, dining on pests such as aphids, thrips, flies and maggots, small caterpillars, leafhoppers, grubs and other soft-bodied insects. When older, they will take down bigger prey such as large caterpillars, earwigs, beetles and grasshoppers. They are also fascinating to watch and luckily, they tend to stay in one place while waiting for their next meal.

Read more about using beneficial insects in your organic garden here:

Winter Containers for the Holiday Season

What a perfectly lovely day creating holiday containers for farm to table restaurant Oak + Almond with guest star and dear friend Gretchen DeMattia working her amazing organic garden designer magic! For these containers we used an assortment of cut greens and berries, pine cones, tall white branches and strands of lights.

Stargazer lights welcome the night sky.

Stargazer lights welcome the night sky.