Common Sense Home Good News Letter 1/28/24

“The opposite of sickness is not simply surviving, it’s thriving.”

I know this is going to sound crazy, but the best way to get rid of pests is to make your plants vibrantly healthy. Over the years as our garden soil improves, our pest problems are fading away.

Yes, the​ duck patrol​ eats some of the pests, like slugs and squash bugs. But they don’t like the taste of potato beetles, and those have largely disappeared too, even though neighbors still have to spray for them.

I’ve been thinking about how we can best serve our community in the new membership program, and I’ve decided to shift gears a little. We’re still going to talk about boosting nutrition, but we’re going to start with addressing things like weed control and pest control. The great thing is that when you do these things the right way, the same strategies that reduce pests and weeds improve nutrition. It’s a win-win!

We’re also going to explore options to save time and money, and make growing food an option even as mobility issues creep in.

Most of all, we want to have a space for like minded people to connect and share ideas and what works for them, and ask for advice in a helpful environment.

What’s 2024 going to bring? Flowers – because I’m planting flowers (and herbs, and vegetables, and…) Even in challenging times, people can thrive, and we can do it together.

All our best to you and yours,

Laurie (and August IV, August V, and Duncan)

This week’s featured articles…

Speaking of gardening challenges, this week’s main article is all about small space gardening. It can be frustrating to not have a lot of room for gardening, but sometimes small space gardening can be a blessing. It allows you to give each plant attention, and helps to prevent overwhelm.

​Get tips for small space vegetable gardening.​

The weather switched from below average to above average this week, so I can walk outside without my face freezing, which is nice. The temps above freezing mean that the snow pack is turning into a slushy mess, but the ducks are pleased as punch to have puddles and grass showing up.

There hasn’t been much sun, so we’ve been doing some baking to keep the house toasty. ​This banana bread​ is one of my favorite quick bread recipes. It’s easy to make, and stays moist, not dry.

Daytime temps above freezing with nighttime temps below freezing mean that sap is starting to flow. I saw the folks at ​Silloway Maple​ have started tapping for the season.

Bette from Silloway Maple shares ​how to make maple syrup here.​ (I’ve also added on instructions on how to make maple syrup substitute, much to Bette’s chagrin, for those who don’t have maple trees.)

Popular on Instagram – ​Duncan’s first solo kolache​ and ​the apple butter that inspired him to turn it into kolache​.

Did you know?

There are easy ways to search the website located on every page.

On the homepage (​​), there’s a search box right under the first image on the page.

On individual articles, there’s a box that says, “Explore more” with a spot to type in search text at the bottom of each article, before the comment section.

When using the site on desktop, there’s also a search box in the sidebar, right below “Popular Posts”.

A Free Way to Support the Website

Every time you leave a positive starred review on a recipe or take time to leave a comment to share your thoughts and questions directly on the website, that’s a signal to search engines that you think the site is helpful.

Pinning and sharing articles on social media, or forwarding newsletters to a friend also helps.

My eldest son (August V) mentioned this week that AI generated content now has more volume online than human generated content. This makes it tougher for us to cut through the noise to connect with like minded people, so your support really does make a difference and is greatly appreciated!

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