mary-beth-shaddix
Mary Beth Shaddix

Recent Posts By Mary Beth Shaddix

The ABCs of a Fall Kitchen Garden

I love fall. I love everything about it — cooler weather, colorful trees, cocoon-y sweaters, and pumpkins piled everywhere. I also love the long list of groceries I can grow without sweating in the oven-like air of August. Not sure what can replace those tomatoes and beans? Here are 8 suggestions, easy as reciting your ABCs. Whether you garden on […]

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A Hibiscus That’s Heart-Healthy?

What if I told you this beautiful plant in our garden could lower your blood pressure, make a tasty hot tea, be the base of a great curry, add zing to fresh salads, and stir up a pretty stellar cocktail? Skeptical? Sure. But take just one of those benefits from the many uses of Roselle, Hibiscus sabdariffa, and it still […]

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Freezing Fire: An Easy Way to Preserve a Huge Harvest

It is indeed possible to freeze a cube of fire…and save your sanity while preserving a huge summer harvest. We’re not practicing sorcery over here — simply roasting and freezing hot peppers for quick recipe starters. In my own garden patch, I’m outdone with just how many jalapeño, serrano, Lemon Drop, and spicy bell peppers I have picked this week. Our August […]

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A Peachy Trick in Kitchen Tools: Teeth

Never mind the nirvana of freshly picked peaches. I’ve discovered a new tool that takes all my garden girl kitchen gadgets to task! Yes, the perfume of peaches is intoxicating and the rosy-glow skin makes everything seem peachy-keen. And yet it’s that same fuzzy skin that keeps me from enjoying every dripping ounce of my fresh harvest. When I peel peaches […]

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What to Do With 54 Pounds of Blackberries?

We have a joke at our farm, specifically describing my husband’s excitement for anything outdoors, his work ethic, and his hunger to grow: “Why do, when you can overdo?” Staring at my inky-purple stained fingertips as I type, it’s evident this applies to our ever-expanding blackberry patch. I’m just about outdone. I’ve been picking more than any Peter and his peck […]

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Garden Wonder: White Strawberries

Glancing at this photo, one might think I picked these strawberries a little too soon. Fear not! These are perfectly ripened albino versions of a highly-anticipated alpine variety. Here in the Cooking Light garden, we’ve grown quite a few colorful contradictions: purple carrots, yellow zucchini, and red corn. And why not? Growing our own trial garden satisfies a taste for the unusual […]

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Pick Fresh: Today’s Harvest from the Cooking Light Garden

Summer’s here. In case you haven’t noticed, the mercury is rising, and the sweat is dripping. Maybe you’ve been at the community pool. Or at least in an air-conditioned car chauffeuring the kids all over town for day camps and lessons? If you have a garden, or you are one who loves to eat from one, you know it’s also the […]

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Video Blog: New Raised Beds in the Cooking Light Garden and Container Gardening Design

Join me behind the scenes! See our new raised beds and container gardening ideas. Also, be sure to look for the adorable new additions to the chicken coop.

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A New Mom, Fuzzy Chicks, and Celebrating Mother’s Day in the Cooking Light Garden

Nothing shows the unconditional love of a mother like a hen sitting on a nest for 20 straight days. She’s huffy, puffy, protective, and foregoes food, water, and stretching her legs all but once a day. Ladybug, our Cuckoo Maran, plucked her own feathers from her breast, feathered her nest, and hunkered down to make an incubator only Mother Nature could […]

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Eat Your Mulch: Tips to Get Better Groundcover from the Cooking Light Gardener

No palate for pine bark? Spare your imagination–no recommendations to munch on woody mulch here. Mulch is a marvelous addition to all gardens, especially our edible one. We’d rather spend time harvesting and eating than weeding. Any groundcover that sufficiently blocks sunlight from nourishing those weed seeds lurking in the soil is a smart solution. Use landscape fabric, black plastic, two inches of […]

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