Small Footprint Family http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com sustainability starts at home Mon, 15 Sep 2014 20:34:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 GIVEAWAY: 18-Piece GlassLock Storage Set {$40 Value!}http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/giveaway-glasslock-storage-set-3 http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/giveaway-glasslock-storage-set-3#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 06:59:43 +0000 http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/?p=13889 glasslockIf you are trying to eat more whole foods and home cook […]

If you like this post, you'll find even more at Small Footprint Family

]]>

If you are trying to eat more whole foods and home cooked meals, it makes sense to have a set of storage containers that can hold your leftovers well. So you’ll want to invest in food storage containers that are made of glass instead of toxic plastic, and which can also easily go from fridge to oven to microwave or freezer.

Well, you voted for it on Facebook, and here it is! This month’s giveaway is this very useful 18-piece GlassLock Storage Set!

Storing your food in glass containers not only helps you avoid the endocrine disrupting chemicals found in plastic food storage containers, but glass is also an easily renewable, low-footprint resource that, with care, is much longer-lasting than plastic, too.

I have had a set of these for years, plus several extra pieces, and I ADORE them!

The GlassLock 18-piece set features:

  • All-Natural glass vessels with BPA-free airtight lids
  • Ideal for serving & storing; safe for the oven and microwave cooking
  • Rectangular Containers: 1.6 cups, 3.5 cups, 3.5 cups, and 6.3 cups with 4 matching lids
  • Rectangular Containers: 1.5 cups and 3.3 cups with 2 matching lids
  • Round Containers: 0.73 cups, 1.6 cups, and 3.1 cups with 3 matching lids

I not only use these glass containers to store leftover food in the fridge, but I also use them as serving dishes, to reheat food in the oven, and even to freeze things. They are also great for taking soup or other liquid items to lunch, because of their leakproof BPA-free lids!

They clean up easily in the dishwasher, and the lids are resistant to staining. How does it get better than that?

These GlassLock containers are the crème-de-la-crème, and every kitchen would benefit from having at least one set!

Enter to Win this 18-Piece GlassLock Storage Set

Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Official Rules

  • No purchase necessary.
  • Giveaway open to residents of the U.S. Canadian residents will receive an Amazon gift certificate of equivalent value.
  • The giveaway begins September 11, 2014 and will end September 25, 2014 at 12:00am PST.
  • This giveaway is hosted and paid for by Dawn Gifford and Small Footprint Family.
  • The prize was selected by informal Facebook vote, and is one 18-piece GlassLock Storage Set, valued at $40. The odds of winning are approximately 1 in 300, though it depends on how many people enter the giveaway.
  • Prizes will be shipped directly from Amazon to the winner’s home, and any exchanges or returns should be handled by Amazon. Canadian residents will receive an Amazon gift certificate of equivalent value, which will be delivered by email.
  • Winners will be selected via Random.org integrated with the Rafflecopter widget. Winners will be announced within 1 week of the last day of the giveaway in a post on this blog.
  • Winners will have 1 week from the last day of the giveaway to claim their prize by contacting Small Footprint Family with your full name and mailing address.

If you like this post, you'll find even more at Small Footprint Family

]]>
http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/giveaway-glasslock-storage-set-3/feed/ 25
How To Stop Blossom End Rothttp://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/stop-blossom-end-rot http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/stop-blossom-end-rot#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 02:28:51 +0000 http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/?p=6479 blossom-end-rotYour tomato plants are tall and green; you’ve tak […]

If you like this post, you'll find even more at Small Footprint Family

]]>

Your tomato plants are tall and green; you’ve taken the time to carefully stake or cage them to support their growth. Right now they are loaded with tons of green tomatoes, and some of them are just starting to blush red. And then three days later, it all goes horribly wrong. 

There is nothing more disheartening than to see that all of your ripening tomato beauties (or peppers or squash) are now rotting from the bottom—right on the vine!

What is Blossom-End Rot?

Blossom-end rot looks like a discolored, watery, sunken spot at the blossom end of the fruit, most commonly tomatoes. The spot will start out small, and grow larger and darker as the fruit continues to grow.

Blossom-end rot can quickly cover half the fruit, making it totally inedible. Secondary diseases or mold can also form on the affected areas, overtaking the entire fruit.

Blossom-end rot is more common if you planted in cold soil or when your garden experiences extremes in soil moisture levels—either too dry or too wet.

How to Stop Blossom End Rot

Blossom-end rot is caused by calcium deficiency.

While this may be a result of low calcium levels in the soil, more often than not, it is the result of erratic watering. When the plant is allowed to get too dry, or is given too much water over a period of time, its ability to absorb calcium from the soil is greatly diminished.

If your soil is low in calcium (determined by a soil test) the easiest solution is to add garden lime several times per year, according to the directions on your soil test results.

Over fertilization, especially with high nitrogen fertilizer, can also cause blossom-end rot. Over fertilization can cause such rapid growth that nutrients such as calcium won’t be able to keep up with the growth. Always soil test before fertilization and fertilize according to the results. 

You can also choose varieties of tomato that are resistant to blossom-end rot. Varieties of tomatoes that produce large fruit tend to be more susceptible to blossom-end rot, while varieties with smaller fruit are less likely to suffer it.

Blossom-end rot is much easier to prevent than it is to cure. Once it has set in, it can be really hard to reverse, but there are a few things you can do that have a good chance of turning things around.

Ensure Consistent Water Supply

If the issue is erratic moisture, here are some tips:

1. Make sure your soil isn’t allowed to dry out. The best defense against blossom end rot is a nice, consistent soil moisture level.

2. As the summer rolls on, it is easy to forget to water the garden regularly. If it is hard for you to be consistent, or if you plan to take a vacation, consider installing a drip irrigation system and a timer. Drip irrigation is a major time-saver, affordable, water-wise and an outstanding disease prevention method because it both keeps soil moisture regular and keeps water (and therefore fungus spores) from getting onto the leaves of your crops. (This is the system I use)

3. Mulch. By adding a three-inch layer of organic mulch, you can help maintain adequate soil moisture levels, even during dry spells. It is best to add the mulch after your soil has warmed in the spring.

4. Plant susceptible crops (such as tomatoes, melons, squash, peppers, and eggplants) in well-drained soil that has been amended with compost or well-rotted manure. Soil amended with plenty of organic matter will retain moisture better and supply plenty of nutrition (including calcium) to your plants.

Fortify Your Crops at Planting

In addition to making sure you have consistent moisture levels in your soil, you can fortify your plants when you put them in the ground to make sure they get plenty of calcium throughout the season. 

Many people use garden lime to adjust their garden pH and add calcium at the time of planting. This will treat the entire garden soil. You can also add 2-3 Tums or other calcium carbonate antacid to each planting hole to add extra calcium.

I personally like to use a teaspoon or two of eggshell calcium to each hole as I plant my tomatoes, peppers, squash, etc. This is a great way to use up a common food waste product. Here’s how to make it.

If you already have signs of blossom-end rot, you can add a couple antacid tablets to a glass of milk and water your plants with it daily to help prevent blossom-end rot from destroying more of your crops than it has to. You can also buy calcium sprays at the garden store. These might help turn things around, but aren’t foolproof.

Prevention is really the cure here.

Preventing Blossom End Rot is the Best Cure

Good, fertile soil and consistent watering can make all the difference in stopping this heartbreaking disease before it starts and ruins your crops. Get your soil tested each spring, and amend it accordingly. 

If you like this post, you'll find even more at Small Footprint Family

]]>
http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/stop-blossom-end-rot/feed/ 0
28 Vegetables That Grow in Partial Shadehttp://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/28-vegetables-that-grow-in-partial-shade http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/28-vegetables-that-grow-in-partial-shade#comments Thu, 26 Jun 2014 17:37:37 +0000 http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/?p=13719 partial_shade_vegetablesMost food gardening requires a full day of sun to […]

If you like this post, you'll find even more at Small Footprint Family

]]>

Most food gardening requires a full day of sun to help your fruits and vegetables to grow and ripen properly. But what if your yard has shady spots? Can you still grow some of your own food?

The answer is YES! There are plenty of vegetables and herbs that can be grown in full shade, dappled shade, or as little as three to six hours of sun a day. Here is a list of 28 vegetables that grow in partial shade.

Partial Sun and Partial Shade Vegetables

On the seed packages in the garden stores and catalogs, you will often see the words “partial sun” or “partial shade.” But what does this mean, exactly?

“Partial Sun” are vegetables that require at least four hours of sunlight per day, but often thrive with less than six hours of direct sunlight. 

“Partial sun” usually means that the plant could still do well with more sun, and “partial shade” often means that the plant would do better with four to six hours as a maximum.

28 Vegetables That Grow in Partial Shade or Partial Sun

Salad Greens – Salad greens like loose leaf lettuce, sorrel, endive, cress and arugula will actually scorch and bolt to seed if they get too much sun all day. If you plant them in partial shade, you might be able to harvest these veggies for a few weeks longer than those with full-sun gardens.

Herbs – Herbs like as mint, chervil, coriander/cilantro and parsley prefer partial shade. In fact, mint is a such a strong plant, even your best attempts to kill it will probably fail. Be sure to grow it in a container so it doesn’t smother everything around it.

Peas and Beans – If your garden area gets at least five hours of sun each day, you might be able to grow some peas and beans. Just be sure to choose bush and dwarf varieties rather than pole varieties. 

Broccoli and Cauliflower – Full sun on broccoli can cause rapid flowering (which ruins the taste), while partial sun encourages tighter heads and slower flowering. Remember that after you cut off the large central head, leave the plant in the ground so smaller heads can form along the stem in the leaf axils. With cauliflower, limiting sunlight to under 6 hours daily means tighter heads of cauliflower.

Cabbage and Brussels sprouts — Brussels sprouts are a cold-tolerant plant, and like most cool-weather plants, they do well with limited sunlight. Although cabbage is broad-leafed, too much sun will dry it out and encourage smaller heads and bigger open leaves.

Radishes – Radishes are fast-growing, easy veggies that fit nicely between your larger plants. They prefer a bit of shade during the heat of summer, when too much heat can cause them to turn woody and bolt to seed.

Leafy Greens – Super nutritious greens like spinach, Swiss chard, collards, mustard greens and kale only need about three or four hours of sun each day to thrive.

Root Vegetables – Beets, carrots, potatoes, rutabaga and turnips will do OK in partial shade, but you’ll have to wait longer for a full crop. But the good news is that less light encourages more root growth than leaf growth. And, don’t forget that with beets and turnips, you can harvest the delicious greens, even if the root stays small.

Leeks and Onions — Leeks and onions thrive in cooler, more moist environments, and need less sun in order to encourage below-ground growth. 

Take Advantage of Shade in the Garden

Knowing more about the sunny and shady places in your yard can help you plant the right crops in the right place.

Pay attention to the way the sun moves through your yard throughout the year. Does your shade come from trees or from buildings and other structures on your property? How does the shade change throughout the day during the spring? How about during the summer, when the days are longer and the sun is higher in the sky? 

You’ll find that even the most sunny garden areas provide some shade, and this is a good thing! Be creative with plant placement and you’ll find that you can create shady areas to improve the conditions your plants prefer.

Tall stalks of corn, for example, can provide partial shade for smaller radishes and peas, while heavy-leafed squash and zucchini plants might provide shade for smaller carrots or turnips.

Be creative, and take advantage of the many yummy crops that will thrive in your shady spots!

If you like this post, you'll find even more at Small Footprint Family

]]>
http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/28-vegetables-that-grow-in-partial-shade/feed/ 0
GIVEAWAY: $300 Amazon Gift Card!http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/giveaway-amazon-gift-card http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/giveaway-amazon-gift-card#comments Tue, 13 May 2014 15:00:53 +0000 http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/?p=13765 300-Amazon-Gift-Card-GiveawayGreat things happen when bloggers unite… like thi […]

If you like this post, you'll find even more at Small Footprint Family

]]>

Great things happen when bloggers unite… like this giveaway, for instance. :)

Are you ready to win a $300 Amazon Gift Card

We can hear your inner voice: “Well, duh! How do I enter?”

Step 1: Click on the link below

Amazon.com

If you were to win the gift card, what would you purchase? Let us know with a link to the item in the comment section! It’s VERY possible that what you choose will be on our list for future giveaways. :)

Step 2: Join the Small Footprint Family Blog Update!

Simply enter your preferred email address in the box at the top of the sidebar. We send one email a week to our newsletter subscribers and you can unsubscribe anytime after the giveaway, if you wish.

Already subscribed? You may move on to step 3.

Step 3: Rafflecopter Time!

Fill out the rafflecopter widget saying that you have subscribed to the HYH Newsletter. Rafflecopter will be choosing the winner at random so don’t forget this step!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Step 4: Visit the blogs who contributed to this giveaway!

Make sure to visit all of the blogs responsible for making this giveaway happen! As you noticed in the rafflecopter widget, you can earn multiple entries by subscribing to newsletters, following on Pinterest, or liking on Facebook.

A winner will be chosen via rafflecopter.com. We will announce the lucky winner on Wednesday, May 28, 2014. We will email the winner using the email address provided when entering the giveaway via the rafflecopter widget below. The winner will have 72 hours to respond of which then we will email the gift card. There is no purchase necessary to win. This giveaway is open to everyone 18 years and older.

Sharing is Caring

We would love to give you extra entries for sharing this giveaway on Facebook, but it’s against Facebook’s rules. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t share it on Facebook regardless…we just can’t reward you like we want to. But, the more people that enter this giveaway, the more giveaways we will do, and the more valuable they will become.

And don’t be afraid to plus one this giveaway on Google Plus, too. We are giving away a $300 Amazon Gift Card after all!

Good luck!

If you like this post, you'll find even more at Small Footprint Family

]]>
http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/giveaway-amazon-gift-card/feed/ 36
GIVEAWAY: RainBird Drip Irrigation Kit {$30 Value!}http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/giveaway-drip-irrigation-kit http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/giveaway-drip-irrigation-kit#comments Tue, 29 Apr 2014 07:02:46 +0000 http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/?p=13745 drip-irrigation-kitFresh water is becoming scarce all over the world, even […]

If you like this post, you'll find even more at Small Footprint Family

]]>

Fresh water is becoming scarce all over the world, even in seemingly wet places like Florida or Michigan. So it is very important that we use water conservation methods whenever we can. 

Landscape irrigation is one of the biggest uses of household water during the summer, so anything you can do to save water outside your home will also save you at least $75 a year.

Waste Not, Want Not

Sprinkler systems are typically very inefficient. They spray water all over the place, not just on your plants, and often they spray or run off onto the sidewalk, driveway, etc. where the water is simply wasted. And watering the leaves of your plants, instead of the soil, not only doesn’t hydrate them, but it can also lead to the spread of fungal diseases.

A drip irrigation system, in contrast, delivers water slowly and directly to the base of your plants, making sure they get what they need and nothing is lost to run-off, evaporation or overspray. In fact, a drip irrigation system can save thousands of gallons a year in irrigation water, not to mention a ton of money.

If you are a vegetable gardener that needs to water your crops every day, a drip irrigation system will not only save you a lot of water and inconvenience (who wants to hold a hose!), but it will also save you a ton of time too!

The Prize

Well, you voted for it on Facebook, and here it is! This month’s giveaway is this very useful RainBird Drip Irrigation Kit!

This All-In-One Drip System waters a 75 square foot area. It attaches easily to your outside faucet, takes care of regulating pressure, filtering sediment and preventing back flow—the three essentials to make a drip system work efficiently.

The tubing is easy to cut and connect and can be set up to conform to your landscaped area. You can use the drip tubing for larger areas and widely spaced plants, and then connect the drip emitters for spot watering.

This kit is highly adaptable and expandable. If you need additional drip tubing, couplings, or emitters to fit your particular garden, RainBird extra parts are very affordable and easy to install. The configurations are endless, and if you add a timer like this one, you can water your entire landscape efficiently and automatically!

Each Drip Irrigation Kit Contains:

  • (1) Faucet Connection Kit,
  • (50-foot) 1/2-inch emitter Tubing,
  • (50-foot) 1/2-inch tubing,
  • (25-foot) 1/4-inch tubing,
  • (2) 1/2-inch barbed couplings,
  • (3) 1/2-inch barbed tees,
  • (2) 1/2-inch barbed elbows,
  • (1) 1/2-inch end closure,
  • (10) galvanized stakes,
  • (5) 1/4-inch barbed tees,
  • (2) 1/4-inch barbed couplings,
  • (5) 1/4-inch tubing stakes,
  • (10) 1/4-inch tubing plugs,
  • (5) 1.0 GPH spot watering emitters, and
  • (1) emitter tool.

Enter to Win this RainBird Drip Irrigation Kit!

Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Official Rules

  • No purchase necessary.
  • Giveaway open to residents of the U.S. Canadian residents will receive an Amazon gift certificate of equivalent value.
  • The giveaway begins April 28, 2014 and will end May 15, 2014 at 12:00am PST.
  • This giveaway is hosted and paid for by Dawn Gifford and Small Footprint Family.
  • The prize was selected by informal Facebook vote, and is one RainBird Drip Irrigation Kit, valued at $30. The odds of winning are approximately 1 in 500, though it depends on how many people enter the giveaway.
  • Prizes will be shipped directly from Amazon to the winner’s home, and any exchanges or returns should be handled by Amazon. Canadian residents will receive an Amazon gift certificate of equivalent value, which will be delivered by email.
  • Winners will be selected via Random.org integrated with the Rafflecopter widget. Winners will be announced within 1 week of the last day of the giveaway in a post on this blog.
  • Winners will have 1 week from the last day of the giveaway to claim their prize by contacting Small Footprint Family with your full name and mailing address.

If you like this post, you'll find even more at Small Footprint Family

]]>
http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/giveaway-drip-irrigation-kit/feed/ 77