Blog Archives

Handouts from the Grow Good Food Workshop

If you couldn’t attend the workshop or if you missed out on one of the sessions, here are the presentations:

1. Getting Started with a New Garden Beginning Gardening

2. Choosing What to Plant Choosing What to Plant Handout

3. Common Pests & Problems Common Vegetable Pests & Problems

4. Growing Heirlooms & Saving Seed Growing Heirloom Vegetables & Saving Seed

5. Raised Bed Gardening (not available yet)

6. Success with Squash & Other Vines Success with Squash & Other Vines

7. Food Preservation 101 Preserving the Harvest Basics

8. Vegetables for Picky Eaters (not available yet)

9. Equipment & Gadgets for Food Preservation (not available yet)

Handout from the Planting & Preserving Workshop

I usually try to post the handouts/presentations from all of my classes on the blog, and I realized that I never posted my presentation from the Planting & Preserving Workshop back in February.

Planning and Planting to Preserve (PDF)

I realized in looking through the slides that I didn’t really have any speaker’s notes included. If you have questions after looking through the slides, please feel free to leave a comment or send an email and I’ll try to help you out.

2014 Grow Good Food Workshop

Both beginning and advanced home food gardeners will find something to interest them at the 4th annual Grow Good Food Workshop. The workshop will be held on Saturday, March 22, 2014, from 9 am to 4 pm at the Sedgwick County Extension Education Center, 4-H Hall at 21st and Ridge Rd. in Wichita.

Cost of the class is $5 for all day. Register online at or call 316-660-0100.

The morning session of the workshop includes three classes on basic gardening topics. During the afternoon, attendees will have the choice between more advanced gardening topics and classes on preserving and cooking garden produce.

Morning Sessions

9 a.m. – Getting Started with a New Garden

10 a.m. – Choosing What to Plant

11 a.m. – Common Pests & Problems

Advanced Gardening

1 p.m. – Growing Heirlooms & Saving Seed

2 p.m. – Raised Bed Gardening

3 p.m. – Success with Squash & Vines

Cooking & Preserving

1 p.m. – Food Preservation 101

2 p.m. – Vegetables for Picky Eaters

3 p.m. – Equipment & Gadgets for Food Preservation

Register online at or call 316-660-0100. 

Handouts from the 2013 Grow Good Food Workshop

If you missed out on the Grow Good Food Workshop this past Saturday (or if you had to leave early), here are the handouts for you to download. They are all PDFs, and some of the files are pretty larges, so be warned!

Vegetable Gardening from the Ground Up 2013 Revised

Growing a Garden in Heat and Drought

Organic Pest Control

Grow Your Own Salad

Starting Seeds Under Lights

Fruit Trees for Small Spaces

Cooking with Fresh Vegetables & Herbs

Food Preservation 2013

Harvesting & Preserving Basil

This is a little bit of a review post. I did a post about preserving basil a couple years ago, and we tried several methods. This year I stuck with the one method that I liked the best from before: freezing in oil. We decided that most of the applications we use the frozen basil for would not be hurt by a tablespoon of oil.

The same day I picked a bunch of lemongrass, I also cut what I wanted from our Thai basil plant and a few stalks from the sweet basil plant. The sweet basil we used fresh for pizza and to make the kitchen smell nice, because we still have some sweet basil ice/oil cubes in the freezer. The Thai basil was what we wanted to preserve, because we like making Thai dishes in the winter.

The Thai basil had gotten a little bit stemmy and gone more to flowers in the last month before I picked it, so I had to go through and pick off the clumps of leaves.

I also picked off much of the flowers separately, thinking I might freeze them apart from the leaves. In the end, I just decided to throw them in with everything else.

I chopped it all up in our food processor, and then put it in the ice cube trays, covered with grapeseed oil. Then, after 24 hours, I discovered that grapeseed oil doesn’t solidify in the freezer like olive oil. ARGH! It was kind of funny though, because there were these frozen bits of basil leaves floating in not frozen oil. At that point, I transferred the whole mess into a couple of 1 cup plastic storage containers and threw them back in the freezer. After all, it isn’t so important that the oil solidifies as it is that it protects the basil from oxidation and otherwise getting brown and slimy.