1
Mexican Taco Salsa Hot Dog, Perfect for Summer Grilling
2
Simple Pea Garden Pasta
3
Greens and Radishes Salad with Lime Dressing – Bon Appétit Pizza Party!
4
PSA: Cocoa Husks + Rhododendron = NO! DONT DO IT!
5
What I LOVE: Seltzer Water + Drink More Good
6
Family Recipe Italian Pasta Salad – Perfect for Summer veggies!
7
Radish and Lettuce Picking In the Garden
8
Baked Brown Sugar Apples – Great Way to Use Up Apples
9
Our trip to Doha, Qatar – Part 1 – Food and friends!
10
Bok Choy and Bacon Macaroni and Cheese
11
Amish Potato Stuffing Recipe
12
The Great Big Bacon Picnic, What a Ride.
13
Turkey Peanut Butter Bacon Burger
14
What’s Growing in the Garden!
15
Spoiling Kitties With KitNipBox
16
Bringing the Garden Inside, Easy Herb Growing – Win a $100 American Express gift card to start your garden!
17
Happy Hour In The Garden, What’s Growing
18
No Boil Rotini Pasta With Plenty of Vegetables – Quick Dinner Recipe!
19
How to Build Cat Shelves That Your Cat Will Love
20
Here comes the onions and kale… more Spring planting!

Mexican Taco Salsa Hot Dog, Perfect for Summer Grilling

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WhatAGrillWants #CollectiveBias

This post should really be titled:  #WhatABoyWants #WhatAGrillWants because Boys Want Grilled Food.  All The Time.  With Summer in full gear are you having outdoor get-togethers around the BBQ? If you’re on a rooftop in NYC and look around you’re guaranteed to almost always find a rooftop full of friends around a grill, laughing and sharing hot dogs.

I really love Mexican food, I mean look at the recipe index I have for it.  So when it comes to hot dogs it might not surprise you that I wanted to try to give them Mexican flare.  Imagine one delicious Hebrew National beef frank, covered with shredded cheese, salsa, tomatoes and jalapenos on top, inside a taco shell.  My mouth is watering just thinking about this.
Mexican Taco Salsa Hot Dog_14

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Simple Pea Garden Pasta

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Ronzoni, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #RonzoniSummer  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

There is a strong possibility that while you are reading this I am daydreaming about this pea pasta for dinner. During the Summer time when it’s peak garden season this is our go to dinner that we have a few times a week.  Once we start harvesting sugar snap peas by the pound (right now there’s over 10 pounds worth in my fridge!) then we start to sing “It’s pasta time..”.  
Simple Pea Garden Pasta _16

Let’s start at those fresh ingredients, just picked from the garden.  There’s sugar snap peas, chopped lettuce, radishes and one gorgeous tomato.  I counted the roma tomatoes a few days ago and there’s over 200 on the plants ready to turn red. July is going to be tomato time!
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Greens and Radishes Salad with Lime Dressing – Bon Appétit Pizza Party!

Do you know what I think we all need? Pizza Night!
How many times do you have pizza night? For how much we love pizza,  we don’t have it nearly enough.  Homemade pizza is the best, especially since Matthew is a pizza crust making master. 

But unfortunately homemade pizza takes time to make, and we don’t always have those extra minutes to let the dough rise and roll it out.  That’s how I fell in love with a new frozen pizza, made a salad straight from our garden and started to declare it pizza night in our house once a week!
Bon Appetit Pizza_2

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PSA: Cocoa Husks + Rhododendron = NO! DONT DO IT!

I’m hoping you came to this page because you were thinking about adding cocoa husks as mulch for your Rhododendron plants.  Because you love your Rhododendrons so much you looked this up on almighty Google before doing the mulching deed.  So now I answer your question..

Can I add cocoa husks as mulch to my Rhododendron plant?
NO! DON’T DO IT!  
ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Our 3 year old beloved Rhododendron plant had some weeds starting in the container, so we decided to add some mulch around it.  It sure gets hot on that roof, so we thought it would help lock in that moisture too.   That day in the garden though we didn’t have our phones on us to first look if this was a good idea.. so we did it.  Cocoa husks acts like great mulch for lots of plants and it’s fantastic as compost material, so this would be ok, right?

Two weeks later, we home from a short few day trip and this is what we see. Our baby, almost dead.
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What I LOVE: Seltzer Water + Drink More Good

In this new series, I’m sharing current things that I love.  Maybe it’s cats, maybe it’s a new restaurant, maybe it’s a new cookie, maybe it’s… anything!

What do you call it:
Seltzer Water?
Carbonated Water?
Fizzy Water?
Bubbly Water?
Club Soda?
Sparkling Water?

Ever since we gave up soda almost 5 years ago, we are seltzer water monsters.   We love our SodaStream maker.  We love it so much we have 2 machines – for home and for work.  We also have always 2 carbon dioxide cylinders on hand, so we never run out. When the rare occasion happens that we do run out and we have to go a day without it, we’ll cry about it all day long.

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Family Recipe Italian Pasta Salad – Perfect for Summer veggies!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Newman’s Own for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

When it’s hot out all I crave is fresh vegetables.    That’s why this Family Recipe Italian Pasta Salad is one of my favorite dinner meals of the moment.  

The last few days have been hot.  It’s that humid dry heat that melts you when walking to work to the point of where you have to dry yourself off before stepping into the studio.  There you work in the AC until it’s time to go home.   Now it’s time to sweat again.  Once home, I don’t want to even think about turning our oven on.  I also don’t want to even think of drinking or eating anything hot, so that’s why chilled pasta salad is the winner! Family Recipe Italian Pasta Salad_1

One thing that I do enjoy about the Summer is that it means fresh vegetables are being picked in the garden by the handful.  Our tomatoes have taken off and are already close to outgrowing their 54 inch tomato cages.
Tomatoes already outgrowing their 54 inch cages.  #tomatoes #garden #urbangarden #urbanfarming #vegetablegarden #monsters #containergarden

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Radish and Lettuce Picking In the Garden

As we gear up for Phase 2 of the garden (that’s Summer time), our Spring plants are in full bloom and ready to be picked. If you open up our fridge right now you’ll see bags and bags of wrapped greens, peas and more.

Soon we’ll be transitioning our containers to the Summer soybeans, watermelons and cantaloupes which means many of our leafy greens need to be picked. Radishes are usually planted 3-4 times a year and the first harvest is already ready. As soon as the radishes are picked, then the new seeds are planted immediately after (literally minutes later!). The radishes reside next to the carrots which we’re all anxiously waiting for.

First up, the lettuce.
The seeds were planted on March 31 and transplanted outside to their containers on May 7.  Remember when they were just babies?
Garden May 15 2015_38

Well look at them a month later…! They are bigger than my head!
Our lettuce heads ready to be picked!  #lettuce #greens #vegetablegarden #vegetables #containergarden #rooftopgarden

 

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Baked Brown Sugar Apples – Great Way to Use Up Apples

Do you know the apple song?  It goes something like this:

Apples, Apples, you are so pretty. Apples, Apples, you are so yummy.  Apples, apples, come over here. Apples, Apples, get in my belly.

Have you heard of it before?  Oh, no?  That’s probably because I just made it up.

Goodness, I love apples.  My favorite is Fuji, I say no Fuji apple left behind.  But sometimes I’ll be in the apple aisle (usually where I hang out), touching all the apples, oohing and awwing at some new varieties, googling what each one taste likes (I’m in the aisle a long time) and I end up with a variety of apples in my cart.  Honestly, Granny Smiths aren’t my favorite to eat raw, but I think they’re one of the best to bake with.

That’s why when I saw the Granny Smiths starting to age on my counter top I begun thinking of what to do with them.   I hate when anything goes to waste.  Seeing a lettuce head go back in my refrigerator (that we grew!) turns me to tears.  Seriously.  And don’t get me started on tomatoes that are forgotten about.  I’ll save that for my next psychiatrist visit.  So there’s some Granny Smith apples, slowly starting to fade.  I can see their end soon.  But we can’t let that happen.. we must save the apples!

So when life gives you almost at the end Granny Smiths, you give life baked brown sugar apples!

Oh goodness gracious, these are delicious.   It’s like eating warm apples in a pie, but without the crust.  The apples are covered in a brown sugar butter glaze and they are just the key to my apple loving heart.  Serve with some whipped cream or ice cream on top and you have your new favorite dessert!  If you have leftovers, I will warm them up in the morning, chop them into bite size pieces and throw on top of my oatmeal.  MMMMM.  

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Our trip to Doha, Qatar – Part 1 – Food and friends!

I have been waiting to make a trip post for weeks but I was unsure how to do it, so I’ve decided to break it up into sections.  The first part – food and animal friends!

In March, Matthew and I were traveled on a  journey across the world to Doha, Qatar.  While there we would be teaching a GIF, VIDEO, ANIMATION, EVERYTHING COOL workshop to students at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar.  The trip was amazing and so much more. We were in Doha for almost 2 weeks so got to see alot which means I have a ton of pictures to share.  Instead of making one looooooong post, I’m going to break it up into sections which will be more concentrated.  

The flight to Doha was about 13 hours and thankfully nonstop.  We flew with Qatar Airways which had a night flight which worked nice to sleep on.  On the flight there and back our row of 3 only had 2 (us!) so I was able to take up to  2 seats, eat some decent airplane food and catch up on nearly the entire season of Downton Abbey.   

Almost there…
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Bok Choy and Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

Happy June 1st everyone!  Can you believe it’s June already?  The garden season began months ago (officially with seeds) but when the hot and humid weather hits then it really seems like it’s garden time.  That time is now!  The garden is in full bloom right with all of our Spring and many of our Summer plants growing (cucumbers and cantaloupe seeds inside).  

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Every year we grow a few heads of bok choy.  Do you remember the size of last year’s bok choy?  This year is no exception.  We decided to plant the bok choy in the long kale and onion box this year instead of the usual container.  I was worried they wouldn’t grow as big, but they always like to show how great they are… and here they are:
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Amish Potato Stuffing Recipe

This Amish Potato Stuffing recipe is like sleeping on clouds.   

What does that even mean? I don’t know.  But it sounds nice, and this recipe is extra nice, so let’s just say that, ok.

When I was a kid we would always hit up the weekend markets.  These markets were a mixture of flea markets outside with regular food vendors inside.  I come from near Amish country in Pennsylvania so on the way there it wouldn’t be strange to pass a horse and buggy going by.  Once at the auction first you would browse the treasures outside ($2 rainbow ceramic pie pan!) while working up a appetite.  Next stop would be the Amish stands outside where you could buy fruits and vegetables at discounted prices (hello 4 for $1 corn on the cobs).  Finally you’d go inside and grab lunch or head to the butcher to buy meat for dinner that week.    There was a popular place inside one of these markets that sold a chicken breast stuffed with potato stuffing. Not only was it stuffed with it but it was also laying on a bed of it.   It was one of my favorite meals.  We would buy a couple to eat throughout the week but as soon as we got home mom or dad would make me one right away.   

Last week I was craving that potato stuffing so I made a batch of it and boy (and girl) was it delicious.  As soon as I mixed everything into the saucepan, the smell of nostalgia hit me. Isn’t it amazing how sensitive we are to smell and how just a little whiff of something can make us recall  memories so quickly?   That’s what happened with this potato stuffing.  I was in my kitchen in Brooklyn, but in my mind I was a kid being served by mom and dad back in Pennsylvania.  

I served this Amish Potato Stuffing alongside some chicken and it was the perfect meal.   The stuffing is so easy to make that I ask next time you are craving it, skip the boxed stuff and make this.  You’re going to fall in love and that’s what I want you to do!

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The Great Big Bacon Picnic, What a Ride.

After you attend a picnic called “The Great Big Bacon Picnic” you say things like “What a ride” afterwards.  You’re in a different state. You’re not the same person you were when you walked into that picnic.  Your taste buds are going wild.  You tell yourself you can’t eat anything else.  You need a nap.  

Brooklyn’s FIRST bacon festival, The Great Big Bacon Picnic, happened May 16th and May 17th.  The event featured three different sessions of inspired bite-sized bacon dishes with the best in craft beers and local craft spirits, giving bacon lovers a truly unique culinary experience.  Also, The Great Big Bacon Picnic had the FIRST EVER “Bacon Bar” – yes, a bar supplied only with different varieties of bacon.  I won’t tell you how many times I stopped by that bacon bar.  
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(This is 1/3rd of the bacon bar!)

There was even a “Boss Hog” awarded to Bareburger who received the highest percentage of Licks (votes) for all the sessions.  Other awards went to Streets who had a Tuna-Bacon-Truffle Roll With a Roasted Jalapeño- Avocado Creme Fraiche and a Kimchi Aioli. Goodness, that was good.  For Creativity URBO won with their Smoked Bacon Stuffed Oreos which was well deserved.  I wanted to go back for Oreos every 2 minutes but I feared they would tell me “no more!”. 
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Turkey Peanut Butter Bacon Burger

If I ask what my husband he wants for dinner, more than likely he will say “burgers.” This recipe is a twist on the usual burgers and packs a big taste punch with the creamy peanut butter and Worcestershire sauce. If you’re anything like me then a burger needs to be covered in cheese, bacon, and many slices of pickles and tomatoes.

Turkey Peanut Butter Bacon Burger_2

Turkey Peanut Butter Bacon Burger
You all know I’m a pickles and tomatoes kinda girl with burgers!

Hop on over to Peanut Butter & Co for the recipe.  Who knew peanut butter in a burger could be so good? But then again, doesn’t peanut butter make everything better?

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What’s Growing in the Garden!

Hey friends,
Happy Monday – did you have a good weekend?  How’s your garden looking?  Have you started planting your veggies?

Here’s a garden update with MANY photos!  I wanted to show you how we have expanded the garden and also what’s growing in it.    So let’s take a look around the garden!

Welcome….!
Garden May 15 2015

Hey Matthew!
Garden May 15 2015_46

Broccoli – we spotted our first head!
Garden May 15 2015_1

 

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Spoiling Kitties With KitNipBox

I love our cats.  A whole lot. So it might not surprise you I like to spoil them.

The cats have a big container of toys, to the point of whenever we’re at a pet store and I see something new Matthew is like “They have so many toys!”.  Well, yes, they do.  But they don’t have THIS! And I know they’re going to love for this for a whole 8 minutes, so just let me get it.

With work busy, I wanted to spoil the cats with a new boxing ritual.  We would receive a box in the mail once a month full of new toys and treats, and then we would all sprawl out on the floor and play the heck out of those toys.  That’s what we did last week.     There’s subscription boxes for clothes, beauty products, books, food and dog toys.  But for some reason I have never heard of a cat box.   I found out about KitNipBox while searching for a monthly subscription service and immediately fell in love. 

For May’s box they teamed up with Noah’s Animal House of Las Vegas to bring love and cheer to kitties in need.   Noah’s Animal House is a veterinary and boarding sanctuary , providing shelter for pets of domestic abuse victims.   A portion of May proceeds with be donated to Noah’s Animal House to keep our fur families safe.  So this is great cause too. 

KitNipBox_7

This month the box was full of toys and a bag of treats.  If you add up the prices of the toys then it was well worth the monthly subscription price.   Many of the toys were catnip scented which our critters love.   Two of them were “crinkle” toys which the cats love to drag around the loft to hear the sound.   
KitNipBox

 

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Bringing the Garden Inside, Easy Herb Growing – Win a $100 American Express gift card to start your garden!


So you’ve just made a beautiful lasagna.  Your kitchen smells like the best Italian kitchen in the world and you can’t wait to cut a big cheesy slice.  What would be perfect?  Throwing some fresh oregano or basil on top.    Wouldn’t you love to just walk on over to your window, reach into a pot, grab a few pieces and then *hocus pocus* you have fresh herbs on top of your lasagna and you’re ready to dig in?  Well you can!
Planting Herbs Inside to Add some Apartment Green_9
We grow lots of vegetables and herbs in our rooftop garden, but I also love growing herbs inside.   Growing herbs inside is a great idea for many reasons. First, it’s easily accessible.  Need fresh oregano? No need to throw your shoes on (and maybe pants – let’s be honest) to run to the garden. Second, you can grow herbs all year inside.  It’s easy to grow basil, oregano, mint and more inside next to your window no matter the season. Lastly, it sure looks pretty.   Want to spruce your home up with some greens and life?  Grow herbs and visit Burpee Home Gardens!
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Lots of friends often ask me about growing their own herbs and they tend to be a bit scared.  They have many questions and many fears behind all of them.  I always give them a hug and tell them it will be ok!  Sure, you can grow herbs from seeds (which is very economical) but you can also get herb plants that have already started to grow.  This is perfect for both beginning gardeners and experienced ones who want something quickly to plant.    You can find these herb plants at your local home store which is what I did when I bought oregano and cilantro. 
 

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Happy Hour In The Garden, What’s Growing

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  Hope you like what’s growing in the garden! #CokeHappyHour #CollectiveBias

Coke-Happy-Hour_4-combo

Hey guys,

Sorry I’ve been a bit missing here at Brooklyn Farm Girl.  If you follow me on Instagram (I hope you are!) then you know I’m still around, but it’s been a busy few months. Right now we’re putting finishing touches on a Mother’s Day video that I will post on Friday – get ready for bling bling envy!   Besides working and trying to find time for the cats (I miss them so much when we work to midnight!) we also need to spend time in the garden! Right now the Spring garden is planted and we are putting aside a day this weekend to bring in the Summer plants (tomatoes! tomatillos! peppers! more!).    With such a busy schedule right now I really value our time in the garden as it’s the best time to relax (sometimes I even leave my phone downstairs so no phone calls or emails, gasp!).     Happy Hour in the garden is the best time, it’s around 6-7PM where the sun set is setting and you can see it glaring off the skyscrapers in Manhattan.  We cheers with some Diet Coke, hold hands, and marvel at our baby broccoli plants.  I think we all need a garden moment.
I think our plants grow so well because of the view they see everyday.  #strawberry #skyline #worldtradetower #sunset #sky #vegetablegarden #rooftop #NYC #Brooklyn #vegetables #healthyeating #garden #gardening #urbanfarming #urbangarden #containergarden #

 

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No Boil Rotini Pasta With Plenty of Vegetables – Quick Dinner Recipe!

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Barilla®, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #OnePotPasta http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

It’s not often that taking photos of a recipe actually takes longer than how long it took me to make the dish!

We’ve been busy with work lately so when we get home we usually want a quick  meal so we can gather in front of the television and watch NBA playoffs (best time of the year, go Cavs, go Net).  Pasta is a great quick meal but are you ever so hungry that you can’t even wait for the water to boil?    Let me introduce you to Barilla’s Pronto pasta which is one pan, no boil, no drain pasta.   I wasn’t sold on it when I first heard about it – I mean seriously, I didn’t have to boil the water? But after multiple recipes, I’m hooked.  A great tasting pasta dish with fresh vegetables that actually only takes 10 minutes?  Totally sold.  

No Boil Rotini Pasta With Plenty of Vegetables_1

Say hello to No Boil Rotini Pasta With Plenty of Vegetables, it’s my new favorite quick dinner recipe. Fact: We had it for dinner last night!  This recipe calls for red peppers, yellow peppers, tomatoes and basil so it’s a fresh harvest meal!  I can’t wait until Summer time when I can pick our peppers and tomatoes from our garden and throw them right in this dish.   This dish is entirely customizable too,  add whatever vegetables you want!  It’s a great dish to clean out that refrigerator!   Never let a pepper go bad, life motto to live by. :D)
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How to Build Cat Shelves That Your Cat Will Love

If you have a cat your goal in life is to probably wow them.   If it isnt, then you should get on it right away.  There’s a cat waiting!

Ways to wow them? You can try:
Singing and dancing to them, or even better with them. Most likely they won’t be wow’d at all and will ask you to put them down.
Buying them a new toy.  They might get wow’d, but most likely they are going to like the box it came in better.
Buying them a new bowl.  They don’t care, it only matters what goes in it.
Dressing up like a cat. Ok, I did this over the weekend and the cats were just weirded out by it.

Mom and babies.

 

What I found is that the best way to wow them is to make them feel special.  Rub their bellies when they provide it, rub under their chin for a few seconds longer than expected, or next time you’re reading snuggle up with your cat and let them sprawl out as big as they want.

What else do they love? Entertainment that doesn’t involve a human.  Sure, they love when you play “chase the fly” with them but you aren’t always home.   They love to sleep while you’re going (so they can store up all their energy for when you’re trying to sleep)  but they also love to play by themselves.   Instead of a cat tree, we decided that we were going to build cat shelves on our wall.  This would be a spot for the cats to climb, sleep and let the cats show each other who’s boss (answer always: Xanadu).

The outcome is a series of brightly colored shelves for our kitties to climb up.  Goblin loves relaxing on the shelves.  He’s a little guy so he doesn’t go very high.
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Here comes the onions and kale… more Spring planting!

Every time it rains I remind myself I need to get a raincoat.  Then the raining stops and I forget.  Then it rains again and I remind myself I need to get a raincoat. Then the raining stops…  Does this happen to anyone else?   April showers bring May flowers they say and this week is a rainy one.   

On Saturday it was near 80 degrees (too soon!).  We no longer have to worry about frost during the night.  Now it’s the usual garden business to worry about.   One thing that is looking good is all the Spring seedlings.  Besides the carrots and radishes, the Spring garden is officially planted.  We were able to get the onions, kale and pak choi planted a day after we planted the broccoli and friends.  It feels nice to be back up on the roof everyday checking on the plants and watering the containers.  

So the Spring garden is: broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, onions, kale, pak choi, sugar snap peas, carrots and radishes.    Don’t forget you can follow along with planting dates in my seed calendar too.  

Now to the planting, first up, the onions.  Like the sugar snap peas, we went a bit crazy with onions this year.  We planted 68 onions this year, which is about 48 more than we were planning.  What happens is you plant what you were going to, and then you look at the sad leftover onion seedlings and know they will just go to waste if you don’t plant them.  So you save those onions and make room in other containers.  The funny part of all this is that onions are one thing in the garden I don’t eat. I’ve never been a onion fan so I’m going to leave it to Matthew to eat all those onions, good luck! 
Planting Onions and Kale Spring 2015

Onion seeds are itty bitty tiny little things, so when you see how big this little seeds roots are already before you plant, you need to smile.
Planting Onions and Kale Spring 2015_5

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For more information contact Pamela at pamela@pamelareed.com.