Cover Crops for Home Gardens
Using cover crops is one of the secrets to a successful food garden. Cover crops, also known as green manures, are any green plant tilled back into the soil to improve soil fertility. They can add nitrogen and organic matter to the soil, loosen compacted soil, and reduce soil erosion over the winter. They also attract beneficial insects to the garden. Depending on the cover crop chosen, they can be planted in the fall or spring. To learn more about cover crops, visit Cornell's Improve Your Soil With Cover Crops Web page.
Clever Gardening Technique
Baked Miniature Pumpkins
Not only are miniature, or baby, pumpkins fun to use in fall decorations, they also make a great dinner companion. Like other pumpkins and winter squash, they are rich in nutrients, especially beta-carotene. And, they are the perfect size for an individual serving. Plus, they're easy to prepare. Be forewarned, they don't keep as long as other winter squash, so buy only a few at a time. To prepare, simply slice off the top half-inch of the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon dairy or non-dairy milk, one fresh or dried sage leaf, and then fill with grated cheddar, swiss, gouda, or whatever cheese you prefer. Replace the lid, put in an ovenproof dish, and bake in a preheated 350-degree F oven for 45 minutes, or until tender.