“We’re only truly secure when we can look out our kitchen window and see our food growing and our friends working nearby.” ― Bill Mollison
Strawberry Jam is one of the first things I preserve each year.. and all the men in my home are so happy when I do! I am making this first small batch using store bought strawberries so I can get the recipe out before the Michigan strawberry season starts for all of you.
Fresh strawberry jam is by far superior to canned, in my opinion and my boys lol! Check out my YouTube video for a step by step tutorial and then read on below for the complete list of ingredients & directions. Enjoy friends!
Do you know the difference between jam or preserves, jelly, & marmalade? Well friends, there is a difference. In the coming weeks & throughout the summer and fall, I’ll be showing you how-to make all of the above, but here is a quick differentiation~ Jam or preserves generally have chunks or bits of fruit in it, jelly is made just from the juice, marmalade generally made with citrus using the whole fruit with or without some of the rind in it.
I am a huge advocate for supporting local businesses. You will see me out & about every week posting about a local business wherever I go. As an entrepreneur, I completely understand the importance of small businesses supporting one another!
It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on businesses globally. Small businesses, in particular, have been hit hard, and many have had to close their doors permanently. This has left many communities without the local businesses that they rely on for goods and services.
Supporting local businesses is more important than ever before. When we shop locally, we’re not only supporting the local economy, but we’re also creating jobs and promoting a sense of community. The 3/50 Project is a simple yet powerful initiative that encourages consumers to support their local businesses by spending $50 at three local businesses each month. In this article, we’ll explore why supporting local businesses is so important and take a closer look at the 3/50 Project.
This is Jacob & Lizzie, and they are the Owners of The Dearborn Shop. They started out as vendors of mine at The Dearborn Farmers & Artisans Market back in 2020. Now, with the support of the local community and other entrepreneurs, they were able to open this beautiful shop up in the heart of West Dearborn, Michigan. They help support other entrepreneurs by offering goods crafted by several other small business owners… including me! You can find my cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats in this beautiful shop. Be sure to tell ’em Jean sent you!
The Importance of Supporting Local Businesses
There are many reasons why supporting local businesses is essential. Firstly, when we shop locally, we’re supporting the local economy. When we spend money at a local business, that money stays within the community, creating a ripple effect that benefits everyone. Local businesses are also more likely to source their goods and services from other local businesses, further boosting the local economy.
Secondly, supporting local businesses helps create jobs. Small businesses are the backbone of the economy, and when they thrive, they create jobs for local people. By supporting local businesses, we’re helping to create jobs and keep our communities strong.
Finally, shopping locally promotes a sense of community. Local businesses are owned and operated by people who live in the community. When we shop locally, we’re supporting our neighbors and helping to create a sense of community pride. Local businesses also often support community initiatives, such as local sports teams or charities, helping to strengthen the fabric of the community.
How the 3/50 Project Works
The 3/50 Project is a simple initiative that encourages consumers to support their local businesses. The idea is to spend $50 at three local businesses each month. This may not sound like a lot, but it can make a significant difference to small businesses.
To get involved in the 3/50 Project, all you need to do is choose three local businesses that you want to support. It could be your favorite coffee shop, a local boutique, or a family-owned restaurant. The idea is to spend $50 across these three businesses each month. You can choose different businesses each month or stick with the same ones.
The 3/50 Project has a website where you can find local businesses to support. You can search by zip code or city and find a list of participating businesses in your area. You can also use social media to share your support for local businesses and encourage others to get involved.
The Impact of Supporting Local Businesses
The impact of supporting local businesses is significant. When we shop locally, we’re helping to create jobs, boost the local economy, and promote a sense of community. Here are some stats and facts that demonstrate the impact of supporting local businesses:
For every $100 spent at a local business, $68 stays in the local economy, compared to $43 for non-local businesses.
Small businesses create two out of every three new jobs in the United States.
Local businesses are more likely to support local charities and community initiatives.
Shopping locally reduces the environmental impact of transportation and shipping.
By supporting local businesses, we’re not only helping to keep our communities strong, but we’re also making a positive impact on the environment and society as a whole.
Getting involved in the 3/50 Project is easy. All you need to do is choose three local businesses that you want to support and spend $50 across these businesses each month. You can find participating businesses on the 3/50 Project website or by searching on social media.
You can also encourage others to get involved. Share your support for local businesses on social media and encourage your friends and family to do the same. You can also leave positive reviews for local businesses online, which can help attract new customers and support the local economy.
While supporting local businesses is crucial, it’s not always easy. Small businesses face many challenges, including competition from larger corporations, rising costs, and changing consumer habits. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made these challenges more significant, with many businesses struggling to stay afloat.
As consumers, we can help by supporting local businesses whenever possible. If we want to keep our communities vibrant and thriving, we need to make a conscious effort to shop locally and support small businesses.
I certainly hope you are encouraged to garden. Even if you start with only two or three of these things, that’s a great start!
Supporting local businesses is more important than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on small businesses, and many have had to close their doors permanently. However, by supporting local businesses, we can help to create jobs, boost the local economy, and promote a sense of community.
The 3/50 Project is a simple yet powerful initiative that encourages consumers to support their local businesses by spending $50 at three local businesses each month. By getting involved in the 3/50 Project and supporting local businesses in other ways, we can make a real difference to our communities.
So, the next time you’re thinking about making a purchase, consider shopping locally. By doing so, you’re not only supporting your community, but you’re also making a positive impact on society as a whole. Together, we can create a strong and thriving local economy that benefits everyone.
Other great Local Resources:~Edible WOW Magazine: This is one of the best resources out there for Southwest Michigan www.ediblewow.com
~Local Harvest: list of producers in every state www.localharvest.org ~Google Farmers Markets to find local ones in your area ~Local Dirt: listing for producers www.localdirt.com There are gobs more out there and thanks to the internet you can find just about anything you want LOCALLY!
Dave & I at L.A. Café getting breakfast & some cool gifts!
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Until next time friends, eat fresh, shop local, & have a happy day, Jean
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If there is one thing I’m passionate about, it’s local food & farmers markets! I was a farmer for almost 15 years, and most of that time a farmers market vendor. I know what it’s like to be on both sides of the table~ as a vendor, and a market manager.
My heart is most at home in the garden & the farmers markets. Today I will talk to you about my heart felt desire to inspire every person to shop at the farmers market. When you do you are supporting local producers, your local economy, help the sustainability of farmland, and so much more!
Maybe you’ve even been contemplating becoming a market vendor! Do you create, bake, grow, or develop something? Well, a farmers market might be your first step to a successful business start up. Farmers markets are great starting points for local entrepreneurs!
I want this podcast to inspire you… please let me know in the comments below if I did!
What is an Heirloom & why should you plant them?May 6th, 10:00am
Have you registered for my upcoming class taking place at Goldner Walsh Garden & Home on May 6th, at 10am?
If not, click the button below to register!
Jean Roman, Author, Podcaster, and self-professed Master Gardener will discuss the value of Heirloom vegetable seeds & plants regarding their bio-diversity, and natural disease resistance, along with some of her favorite varieties she has grown for over 20 years!
She will also discuss the benefits of companion planting and how Heirlooms benefit from it.
“I grow plants for many reasons: to please my eye or to please my soul, to challenge the elements or to challenge my patience, for novelty or for nostalgia, but mostly for the joy in seeing them grow.” ― David Hobson
Spring is finally here, and if you’re a newbie or avid gardener, you’re probably itching to get your hands in the dirt. Of course many of you know I started several of my seeds indoors early in March, but now it’s time to plant outdoors!
But wait! If you live in zones 4 and 5 like I do, where the winters are harsh & the growing season is short, you may be wondering which vegetables are hardy enough to survive the cold temperatures.
Thankfully, there are plenty of cold hardy veggies you can grow! In today’s blog post, I’m going to discuss my top 10 cold hardy vegetables to plant in zones 4 and 5 this April. From beautiful heirloom lettuces & leafy greens to root vegetables, I’ve got you covered. Not only will these vegetables survive the cold weather, but they’ll also thrive and produce delicious, nutrient-rich crops for you and your family to enjoy. So grab your gardening gloves and let’s get started!
To watch this episode tune into my YouTube Channel!
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“From plants that wake when others sleep, from timid jasmine buds that keep their odor to themselves all day, but when the sunlight dies away let the delicious secret out to every breeze that roams about. ” Thomas Moore
Over the years I’ve shown you oodles of photo’s of my gardens, and have always stressed my love of the cottage garden. That love has not waned once over the years. I have always been fascinated with the charm of a cottage garden. And what better way to create a stunning cottage garden than by incorporating pollinator-friendly plants in it?
In today’s blog post, I’ll start by walking you through the steps to create a beautiful cottage style pollinator garden with both annuals and perennials.
But before we get rolling, be sure to SUBSCIBE below so you don’t miss an episode!
One of the main reasons I’ve always been drawn to the cottage garden is its informal and relaxed appearance, along with a mix of colorful flowers and foliage plants. These gardens are often associated with old-world charm, and the inclusion of pollinator-friendly plants can make them even more appealing.
Pollinator gardens are designed to attract bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other beneficial insects, which help in pollinating plants, ensuring a bountiful harvest, and keeping the ecosystem in balance.
Let’s Look at the Importance of Pollinator Gardens
Pollinator gardens are essential for supporting the health and survival of our planet’s ecosystem. According to the Pollinator Partnership, pollinators are responsible for over 75% of the world’s food crops, and without them, our food supply would be severely impacted.
Pollinators are also crucial for maintaining the biodiversity of our planet, as they help in the reproduction of plants, which in turn provide food, shelter, and habitat for other wildlife.
What are the Benefits of Using Both Annuals and Perennials in Your Garden?
Annuals and perennials are two types of plants that can be used in pollinator gardens. Annuals are plants that complete their life cycle in one growing season, where perennials come back year after year. It’s beneficial to incorporate both as annuals usually fill in with blooms in between the bloom cycles of your perennials.
Using a mix of both annuals and perennials in your garden can provide several benefits. Annuals bloom all season long, providing a continuous source of nectar and pollen for pollinators. Perennials, on the other hand, provide a more stable source of food and habitat for pollinators.
Let’s Design Your Cottage Style Pollinator Garden!
Designing a cottage style pollinator garden is all about creating an informal, relaxed atmosphere. You can achieve this by incorporating a mix of plants with different heights, textures, and colors.
To create a natural-looking garden, you can plant in irregular groups or drifts, rather than in straight rows. You can also include features such as a birdbath or a small pond to attract birds and other wildlife. I love to use garden art in my gardens. I even have an antique lightning rod!
Consider these factors as well:
Is your garden up against a wall or does it have a backdrop? If so, you want to be sure to have your taller plants placed in the rear, cascading downward in height as you move towards the front of your garden.
Is your garden located in an area where it can be walked around on all sides? If so, you will want the tallest plants placed in the center, then cascading downward to the edges.
Selecting the Right Plants for Your Garden
When selecting plants for your garden, it’s essential to choose varieties native to your region. Native plants are adapted to the local climate and soil conditions, making them more resilient and less reliant on fertilizers and pesticides.
Some excellent choices for a cottage style pollinator garden include lupines, foxglove, hollyhocks, peonies, coneflowers, black-eyed susans, bee balm, and milkweed. These plants are attractive to a wide variety of pollinators and are relatively easy to grow.
Before planting your garden, it is essential to create a planting plan. This plan should take into account the size and shape of your garden, the location of existing plants and features, and the sun and soil conditions.
If it’s a brand new garden spot, then you’ll still need to design this in order to utilize your space and be sure not to over plant. I recommend if this is a new garden you fill in the empty spaces with annuals so it looks full and beautiful. The perennials will fill in the following year.
Start by drawing a rough sketch of your garden, including any existing plants or features. Then, decide on the placement of your pollinator-friendly plants, considering factors such as height, texture, and color.
Once you have a rough plan in place, you can refine it by selecting specific varieties of plants and determining the number of plants needed for each area
Another factor is if you are partial to particular colors. I personally prefer pinks, purples, blues, and whites. I tend to be drawn to plants in those colors. Use what makes you happy and fits into the scheme of things for your gardens.
Some Final Tips for a Successful Pollinator Garden!
Remember to choose plants that are native to your region, create a planting plan, and care for your garden regularly. And most importantly, have fun and enjoy the beauty and diversity of your garden!
Here are some of my favorite flowers to incorporate for pollinator gardening. Take into consideration I am a cottage gardener, so these flowers are well suited to that style. This is by far not an exhaustive list, more so a list of mine & Tim’s personal faves! Pollinator’s aren’t just for bees, I grow some of these specifically for my little feathered friends. Also, my garden themes generally incorporate purples, pinks, blues, and white. I don’t use very many red, and I don’t really include orange or yellow with the exception of Black Eyed Susan’s.
Sunflowers~ I like to incorporate a row of these in the back of my garden so the blue jays can harvest the seeds once they’ve developed.
Purple Coneflower or Echinechea~ I don’t cut back the seed heads as goldfinches feast on these in the fall and throughout the winter months.
Black Eyed Susans
Lavender~ my lavender plants are generally covered with honey bees while in bloom. I just love to hear the buzz of the little guys.
Any variety of mint~ this serves two purposes… one for me to make yummy mint tea, and one for the bees!
Join Jean & Tim as they connect for their Spring Garden Talk.
This month Tim & Jean will be discussing the importance of creating natural habitats and pollinator gardens. Learn the importance of incorporating native plants to your area specifically along with specific pollinator plants.
Raised Bed Gardening: Why raised beds are so much easier to use & grow your veggies in! Jean Roman, Author, Podcaster, & Self-professed Master Gardener will show you why raised beds are more efficient to use for home gardeners. Raised beds offer less weeding, less watering, and eliminates the need for tilling! You’ll wonder why you haven’t been gardening this way!
Heirloom Vegetables: What is an Heirloom & why should you plant them? Jean Roman, Author, Podcaster, & Self-professed Master Gardener will discuss the value of Heirloom seeds & plants regarding their bio-diversity, natural disease resistance, along with some of her favorite varieties she has grown for over 20 years! She will also discuss the benefits of companion planting and how Heirlooms benefit from it.
It’s strawberry season in Michigan friends! Join Jean Roman as she teaches you how easy it is to make homemade freezer strawberry jam! Recipe will be included. Roman will have her popular cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats available at a discounted price for attendees today. Samples will be provided.
Plan your fall garden now! Lettuces, spinach, kale, broccoli, & more!
Did you know you can continue growing delicious, fresh veggies late into the fall? Well, you can even here in Michigan. All you need to know is the right crops to plant, and how to care for them. Join Jean Roman as she guides you through the steps of preparing for a bountiful fall garden.
How-to Make Marinara Sauce
August 26, 2023
Homemade Marinara Sauce- How to make & preserve summer’s bounty! Jean Roman, Author, Podcaster, & Self-professed Master Gardener will teach you how to make her delicious & incredibly easy Marinara sauce recipe from your homegrown tomatoes. Don’t grow your own? That’s ok, Jean will share how you can purchase large quantities at your local farmers market. She will have her popular cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats available at a discounted price for attendees today. Samples will be provided.
Easy & Delicious Pesto Sauce- How to make & preserve it! Jean Roman, Author, Podcaster, & Self-professed Master Gardener will teach you how to make her delicious & incredibly easy Pesto recipe, and how to preserve it so you can have it all winter long. She will share tips on how to grow & stimulate continued growth of your plants. Roman will have her popular cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats available at a discounted price for attendees today. Samples will be provided.
Fall Garden Clean Up: 10 Step How-to Fall Vegetable Garden Clean Up
Cleaning up your fall vegetable garden is an important step in preparing for next year’s crop. By removing dead or diseased plants, clearing debris, and adding compost and organic matter to the soil, you can improve the health of your soil and reduce the risk of pests and diseases for years to come. Jean Roman will go over her easy 10 Step How-to Fall Vegetable Garden Clean Up.
Stay tuned for more information coming for my November Class!