A backyard vegetable garden brings 2 generations together — How tomatoes led to friendship

This is a story of the friendship between 89 year old World War II vet, Erling Kindem and a 3 year old pre-schooler, Emmett Rychner in Farmington, MN. The story was reported by Boyd Huppert of KARE Television  (NBC affiliate–Minneapolis/St.Paul, MN).

“They kind of bonded over the tomatoes in his garden,” said Emmett’s mom Ankia, “because Emmett loves tomatoes.”

A touching story (you will probably need a tissue) that shows how something as simple as a tomato garden can lead to a deep friendship.


Would you grow an organic garden here? Unusual garden locations–train stations and London bomb shelters

Would You Eat a Salad Grown in a Bomb Shelter?
Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/would-you-eat-salad-grown-bomb-shelter-180949909/#xZ63Ih6W1gee5M3p.99
Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv
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Would You Eat a Salad Grown in a Bomb Shelter?
Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/would-you-eat-salad-grown-bomb-shelter-180949909/#xZ63Ih6W1gee5M3p.99
Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitte

Whenever you think that you don’t have the right space or location to have a garden, think about these two instances in which would-be gardeners were not going to be denied.

Earlier this year, the Smithsonian Magazine published a story about a company growing greens 33 metres underground in a London bomb shelter.

With the use of LED and hydroponics, Zero Carbon Food grows salad leaves and micro greens. The company maintains that they are growing pesticide-free crops in a sustainably, eco-conscious manner.

When space is a commodity, any available growing location is utilized. In Japan, some commuters are tending train station rooftop gardens. As reported in Fast Company, the first Soradofarm, also known as a Machinaka Vegetable Garden, was built on top of the Ebisu station in Tokyo over four years ago.

Now there are thirteen stations around the country with operating gardens or gardens in the works that are soon to be rented out.

Would You Eat a Salad Grown in a Bomb Shelter?
Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/would-you-eat-salad-grown-bomb-shelter-180949909/#xZ63Ih6W1gee5M3p.99
Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

Independence Day — Grow your own organic vegetables and free yourself from pesticides

4th of July and America is celebrating with parades, fireworks, picnics, barbecues and grilling. Time to enjoy summer and be thankful for all of our blessings, privileges and freedoms.

Including …  freedom from pesticide laden fruits and vegetables. Declare your independence from toxic chemicals, rising grocery prices and Grow Your Own Organic Food.

harvest from Burbank gardenHomegrown organic vegetables are tasty additions perfect for use in these suggestions for side dishes for your holiday meals:

Heirloom Tomato-Watermelon Salad

  • 2-1⁄2 pounds fresh heirloom tomatoes, sliced, halved, or quartered
  • 2 cups seedless watermelon cubes, chilled
  • 1⁄3 cup thinly sliced sweet onion
  • 4 tablespoons cane or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1⁄2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, torn
On a serving platter, arrange tomatoes, watermelon, and onion. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, canola oil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Drizzle over tomato mixture. Let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle with basil.


Vegan Tomato Salad with Cucumber, Avocado, Cilantro, and Lime

(Makes 2 servings, recipe created by Kalyn. Amounts of each ingredient can be adjusted to taste.)


  • 6 medium tomatoes, diced into bite-sized pieces (about 2 cups diced tomatoes)
  • 2 medium cucumbers, diced into bite-sized pieces (about 1 cup diced cucumber)
  • 1 avocado, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro (use more or less to taste)
  • 1 T + 2 T fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 T best quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. Spike seasoning (optional, but good)
  • salt to taste (I used Vege-Sal, but sea salt would be great here)


Peel avocado and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Put avocado pieces into plastic or glass bowl and toss with 1 T lime juice. Season generously with salt.

Chop tomatoes, cucumbers, and cilantro and add to avocado in bowl. Whisk together 2 T lime juice and 1 T olive oil (with Spike seasoning if using) then stir gently into salad. Serve immediately. This doesn’t keep well, so only make as much as will be eaten right away.

Grilled Zucchini Corn Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing


  • 4 medium zucchini, summer squash or a combination thereof
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 ears corn, unhusked
  • 2 avocado


  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of half a lime
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder or chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste


Preheat gas or charcoal grill.
Cut zucchini lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick slices and brush both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
Soak corn in its husk in large container of water for 10 minutes. Remove from water and shake off excess.
Place zucchini slices and corn directly on grill. For zucchini, grill a few minutes on each side, until slices are tender and have grill marks. Remove and let cool. For corn, grill 15-20 minutes, turning every few minutes to cook all sides, until husk is charred all over. Remove and let cool.

Chop cooled zucchini into 1/2 inch pieces. Husk corn and use a sharp knife to remove kernels from cob. Chop avocados into 1/2 inch pieces. Mix vegetables in a medium bowl.

For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and well combined. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss to combine. Refrigerate salad until chilled.


Summer Zucchini Salad

(recipe from Glamour Magazine) — serves 4

12 oz. gluten-free pasta
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 package (10 oz.) frozen corn, defrosted
1 large zucchini, diced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
3 chives, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. GO Veggie! vegan Parmesan, for toppingDirections1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Toss pasta with olive oil, corn, zucchini, crushed red pepper, and chives; season with salt and pepper.
3. Divide pasta among four serving bowls. Top with GO Veggie! vegan Parmesan and serve.

Be safe and have a great holiday weekend!

groO logo-1_phixr

GMOs — What’s in our food?

While more states are considering adding legislation requiring GMO labeling, the issue continues to be a hotly contested topic. Vermont became the first state in the nation to require the labeling of genetically engineered foods. In other states (i.e: California, Washington, etc.), recent ballot initiatives requiring GMO labeling  were defeated.

The debate rages on about the safety of GMOs and keeping up with the news is challenging, but consider this:

  1. There have been no independent studies that prove definitively that GMOs are safe.
  2. The FDA does not require foods to be labeled as having been produced with GM technology.
  3. FDA official, Michael Taylor (Deputy Commissioner For Foods) was once a VP at Monsanto.
  4. Monsanto is a monolith that is a lightning rod for this issue. [Why Does Everyone Hate Monsanto - Modern Farmer]
  5. The Agriculture Secretary Sees a Smart (Phone) Solution to GMO Labeling Fight, The NY Times reported–USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack says: “The way to go, long-term, is to embrace a 21st-century answer to this problem,” Vilsack said, suggesting “an extended bar code or some mechanism [through which] consumers who are interested in all the information about a product could obtain it fairly easily, either through their smartphone or through a scanner that would be available in grocery stores
  6. Cheerios from General Mills is now GMO free.
  7. More American consumers are supporting GMO labeling. According to a 2013 poll conducted by the NY Times, “93 percent of respondents saying that foods containing such ingredients should be identified.”
  8. European Union has stricter GMO laws than United States, according to the Voice of America.

Our client provided her viewpoint — “DIAGNOSIS GMO” Comic Strip By Lucy Ulikhanova Dedication & Thanks to: Dr.Sam Chachoua & (memory of) Dr.Peter Michael Ulikhanov Diagnosis GMO panel 1 rev Jul 2Diagnosis GMO panel 2(view larger Diagnosis GMO all three panels rev Jul 2 here) ============== Read more about GMOS:

Winner of Maria Menounos’ new book: The EveryGirl’s Guide to Diet and Fitness: How I Lost 40 lbs and Kept It Off-And How You Can Too!

Just this June 3rd was the release date of Maria’s new book and our contest giveaway of her book. And here is our winner — picked at random:     (drumroll please)

book winner Here was Cokie’s response when notified that she won:

“Oh wow thank you so much! I sorely need a change and am
hoping to find what I need to make a positive, permanent change
to the good! Thank you again!”

And here are her entry comments:

“My garden is growing just fine so far (fingers crossed!) but my healthy eating challenge is myself! I love trying new food, new recipes and they are not always so healthy especially when you love pasta! My assorted food allergies do not help but I always try to take unhealthy recipes and change some of the ingredients so it may not be healthy but at least its somewhat less unhealthy!”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
seedlingCongratulations Cokie!  We know that you will be forever helped by all the tips in Maria’s book. And don’t forget to check out Gro-O’s mention in her book, too.Gro O mention in EveryGirl book