Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Organic Fish Based Fertilizer for Gardens

Bell Aquaculture recently announced the launch of a new product, Fish Rich Organic Fertilizer 2-3-2. Fish have been used as soil fertilizer since the Native Americans first began farming our nearby land centuries ago. Bell Aquaculture's new natural plant fertilizer, Fish Rich, is made from the remains of the Bell Perch processed at its aquaculture facility in Albany, Indiana.

Fish Rich is made from toxin and mercury-free fish, has a very mild fish odor and is good for any soil. Fish Rich contains these three major nutrients: nitrogen, which promotes green leaves, and quicker growth response; phosphorous, which is good for root growth, disease resistance, promoting seed and fruit growth, and for blooming and flowering; and potassium, which increases root growth, and offers disease and drought resistance.

Further, Fish Rich is also a good source of calcium. Calcium is essential for all plants and their maturity. Plants need calcium for cell wall development and growth. Pathogens attack weak cell walls to invade a plant, and a stronger cell wall structure will play a big part in avoiding this potential problem.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

American Regional Food Festivals

Across America, communities celebrate local foods, cuisine and crop harvests with a variety of small festivals. Some of these are annual events and are highly promoted whiles others simply involve putting up a few tents, passing out fliers and counting on word of mouth throughout the community.

Most festivals are held during summer, when foods are abundant and the climate is suitable for outdoor venues. Meats are often served, especially beef, pork, chicken, fish and shellfish.

Other local festivals showcase harvests of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts or other local foods. At many festivals, locally harvested foods are available unprocessed, in bulk as well as being offered in ready-to-eat forms.

Aside from food, there are almost always food-themed arts, crafts, and collectibles for sale at local food festivals. Among the most popular items are t-shirts, hats, stickers, jewelry, prints, and other artwork.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Things To Do With Excess Fruits and Vegetables

fresh garden tomatoes
Summer is a time of plenty for home gardeners. By mid-season, many homeowners are overwhelmed with vegetables such as sweet corn, string beans, lima beans, squash, cucumbers, melons, tomatoes, bell peppers, jalepenos, okra, potatoes, and other fresh vegetables.

For fruit growers, there are apples, peaches, pears, cherries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and other treats.

Canning is a traditional method for storing fruits and vegetables for the off season. Home canners often "put up" jars of tomatoes, corn, beans, pears, peaches, relish, jams, jellies, and other foods.

Canning vegetables is hard work and takes not only equipment, but considerable knowledge, time and effort. Despite the hassles associated with canning, the end result can be high-quality products which can be stored all winter without requiring refrigeration.

Some vegetables, such as squash, corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers, and okra can be blanched and frozen in vacuum bags or other containers. Freezing foods is not as energy efficient as canning, but simplicity of this method makes it a viable option for most home gardeners.

Dehydration is another option for gardeners. Dehydrators are expensive and use energy, but yield high quality dried fruits and vegetables.

In rural areas, a few home gardeners and micro-farmers still keep chickens, ducks, geese, guinea birds or other fowl. These birds all have insatiable appetites for fruits and vegetables.

When all uses at home are exhausted, producers still have a variety of options. Non-gardening friends, family and neighbors are usually happy to accept when offered fresh produce. These arrangements become even better when fruits or vegetables can be exchanged or bartered for other goods.

Excess fruits and vegetables can also be sold at local flea markets or farmer's markets. This can be a challenge when markets are flooded with produce, but some areas seem to have a strong demand for locally sourced foods.

Not to be forgotten are local shelters, soup kitchens, food banks or other facilities where food is always in demand. By providing fresh fruits and vegetables to these facilities, gardeners can provide a valuable service to their community.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

FDA Report: Pathway to Global Product Safety and Quality

In June, 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released their new strategy to meet the challenges posed by rapidly rising imports of FDA-regulated products and a complex global supply chain.

Details of the plan are contained in a report called the "Pathway to Global Product Safety and Quality."

The FDA report calls for the agency to transform the way it conducts business and to act globally in order to promote and protect the health of U.S. consumers.

The report identifies four key elements needed to make the change:

1. The FDA will partner with its counterparts worldwide to create global coalitions of regulators focused on ensuring and improving global product safety and quality.

2. The coalitions of regulators will develop international data information systems and networks and increase the regular and proactive sharing of data and regulatory resources across world markets.

3. The FDA will build in additional information gathering and analysis capabilities with an increased focus on risk analytics and information technology.

4. The FDA increasingly will leverage the efforts of public and private third parties and industry and allocate FDA resources based on risk.

source: FDA