Living Tomato Ripeness Chart

Living Tomato Ripeness Chart

These are sweet 100/super sweet 100 tomatoes. The guy who grew them did so in zone 6. “Very easy to find seeds. They are amazingly productive,” said grower Cole3823.

For those who don’t know about “zone 6,” the world is separated into different main climates for growing. They are categorized by numbers. I’m in new England in zone 6.

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Countries put out maps of what zones exist within their borders. The USDA puts one out in the States, for example, so gardeners and growers can pick the right seeds and crops.

Zone maps are the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location.

The maps are based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree F zones.


Save Your Citrus Trees With White Paint

Saplings and very young trees are susceptible to damage in ways older, bigger trees are not vulnerable to. An old-time method of dealing with this is shielding trees behind a layer of white paint.

Insect damage to trees, sunscald, cracked, damaged bark on the young saplings and trees can all be minimized with white paint.

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Orchards do this, and so do tree farms. The main purpose isn’t insects; it’s preventing the cracking and splitting that can happen to tender new bark.

Once that bark is split, then disease, insects and fungus can get in.

What it does for insects is show where the infestations are more easily. Insects show up better against a white surface than bark. Some borers are also inhibited from making their home in the white trees. I could also imagine birds and other predators could more easily see insects walking over white bark and find them easier meals.

Painting with white is controversial, however, especially if the wrong paint is used, because it can harm a tree.

So what to use? Water-based latex paint, diluted at one gallon of latex mixed with 4-5 quarts of water. However, more latex is better against borers and thirds of the two listed ingredients plus joint compound is reported to be good against sunscald.

Sustainable Living? This Urban Homestead Produces 6,000lbs of Food Every Year!

Everyone loves the concept of being self-sufficient and being able to cultivate and grow one’s food. However, it is not that simple and easy to have a self-sustaining lifestyle, especially when there are instant and processed foods in every corner of the city. But an inspiring way of living that the Dervaes family is showing to people makes it interesting for others. At present, the family of four yields around 6,000lbs (approximately 2,720kg) of organic food a year on their 1/10 acre plot.

Their house is in Pasadena, California and it is a sweet dwelling for their three kids and all their cultivated vegetable and fruits plus their animals. Finding land for sustainable living can certainly be a challenge, but this family has managed just that. It even gets better.

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They are able to save a big amount of money with their lifestyle and they get extra income from selling their crops to restaurants. That’s about $20,000 annually!

These 6,000 pounds of produced foods on only 1/10-acre of land every year, it’s undeniable that they are an incredible family!

The family is able to grow around four hundred types of fruits, berries, vegetables, and even herbs. This vegetarian family also takes good care of ducks, hens, small goats and little rabbits for eggs, dairy milk and compost.

This urban farmhouse does not just dwell merely on foods; they also do their best to conserve energy by making use of solar panels. Using solar panels is one way in which you can be energy savvy, and try to keep bills to a minimum. If purchasing solar panels is unattainable for you then you might like to try other ways to save money. These include trying out an energy comparison site to see if you could be better off elsewhere. The family does not have to worry about high energy consumption and they only spend around $12 for the whole year! And how about spending on gas? Deaves family brew theirs! They use biodiesel from used oil from restaurants. They use a processor that will turn used vegetable oil into biodiesel gas!

How all these things started?

In mid-1980’s, Jules Dervaes purchased a house and lot in Northwest Pasadena needed a lot of restoration. He was really desperate to live a simple country lifestyle that made him decide to start with growing their own vegatables. This did not make them satisfied so they thought to become more self-reliant and be able to create less impact to the environment.

Growing and Preserving Food

Hence, they grow their own food and also started to preserve food. Making their own bread, butter, cheese and yogurt also made them more self-sustaining.

Water Conservation

And for water conservation, they use low-flush toilets. If this is something you are not familiar with, it might be in your best interest to look at a site like At least this way, you can understand how saving money through an everyday item like a toilet could make all the difference. You can also look into solar-powered shower, as they also reuse water. For conserve moisture for their plants, they make use of mulch and they use clay pot for plant irrigation. Imagine, this system made them conserve at least 50% of water!

Energy Conservation

The family uses energy-efficient appliances and for their lighting, they have olive oil lamps and home-produced beeswax candles. They also opted to have manual appliances such as toaster, blender, and a pedal-powered grinder. They are able to save big on their gas because they make use of brewed biodiesel. And if they can, they also use a bike or just commute.

Simple Living

With this modest country way of living, they are really mindful of whatever they consume, hence, they have learnt to reuse and recycle, spot for pre-loved items instead purchasing new ones and if possible they also use. Their cleansers, roll-ons, toothpastes and all other cleaning goods are all home-produced and made out of natural substances which makes them nontoxic. For their medicines, they make use of herbs, for their hair, they know how cut theirs and whatever DIY that they can do, they use it!

Aside from just living this life themselves, the family loves to teach people that urban homestead is sustainable. They are making a recording of their means and practices online for at least a decade now to show to people how they start this way of living. They have an updated blog, they also arrange events and even workshops for others to learn basic skills on how to have sustainable homestead.

It is really a fantastic and remarkable lifestyle. The Urban Homestead tells us that it is not just a fanciful model – it is actually a very manageable way of living even if you are in a very busy and highly modern city. You can start a few steps at a time.