Historical Fun Facts

In the 17th century western carrots first appeared in the Netherlands. Dutch carrot growers invented the orange carrot in honor of the House of Orange, the Dutch Royal Family.

According to a 5th century Chinese scroll, fashionable Chinese women used to make a dye out of the skin of purple eggplants and polish their teeth with it until they were a shiny gray.

References to coriander can also be found in Sanskrit texts and the Bible.

A 17th century recipe with thyme as one of the main ingredients claims to enable people to see fairies.

Water in the morning

In warm weather, water the garden in the morning to give plants a chance to drink up before the hot sun or strong winds evaporate the moisture. This also protects the plants from wilting in the afternoon heat. If you can’t water in the morning, try watering in the late afternoon—but not too late. There should be enough time for the foliage to dry before the sun goes down in order to avoid developing fungal diseases.

Pizza Twist

Pizza TwistThis recipe was inspired by an appetizer I had at a home party for kitchen supplies. The original recipe calls for pepperoni pizza style fillings but you can experiment with any type of pizza toppings you’d like! This version is vegetarian-style to feature veggies harvested from the garden. Serve with pizza sauce, a side salad or sliced tomatoes for a full meal sure to be a favorite for adults and kids alike!


  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/2 bunch of baby spinach leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small can black olives, chopped
  • 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 packages prepared french bread dough (Pillsbury has a great one, you can find it in the refrigerated section) or 1 recipe homemade french bread dough
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp. italian seasoning
  • 1/4 c. shredded parmesan
  • Pizza sauce for serving


Heat olive oil in sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes until beginning to soften. Add garlic and spinach, cook for two more minutes or until spinach is wilted. Set aside to cool. While vegetables are cooling, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place cooled veggies in a bowl with olives, mozzarella and flour. Toss to combine. Remove french bread dough from canister. Using a sharp knife cut down the seam to the center of the loaf, about 3/4″ inch. Press dough flat until it is about 5 inches across. (If you are using homemade bread dough split the recipe into two pieces of dough and roll out into two 5″x12″ rectangles).

Pizza TwistDistribute filling equally down the center of each flattened loaf. Bring up sides of filling, pinching dough together to seal, forming one long filled tube.

Lay the loaves on a parchment paper lined baking sheet in an “X” pattern. Cross each end again leaving approximately an inch in between the ends.

Combine egg white and italian seasoning. Brush pizza twist with the egg wash. Use a sharp knife to cut slits into the top sections of the twist to reveal some of the filling. Sprinkle with parmesan.

pizza-twist-3Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Cool on baking rack for 10 minutes before slicing. Cut into 1 inch slices and serve with pizza sauce for dipping.

Inventory Reduction Sale

Take advantage of our Inventory Reduction Sale, now through July 31. Save BIG on some of our popular Square Foot Gardening books and downloads.


Original Square Foot Gardening Book: $5
Square Foot Gardening Harvest and Cookbook: $5
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SFG Lesson Plan for Children Download: $1.99
The Wealthy Earth eBook: $1.99
Rekindling the American Dream eBook: $1.99


Introducing Square Foot Gardening Video Download: $1.99
City Gardening with Patti & Mel Download: $1.99

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July 2014 Newsletter

Karen-PageCheck out our July Newsletter and read about growing cucumbers in your garden. Get some great watering tips along with our July To Do List for the garden. Meet our newest Certified Instructors and try our Cucumber Salad recipe and more.

July 2014 Newsletter

Fun Facts in the Garden

Peanuts are legumes.

Asparagus is a member of the lily family, which also includes onions, leeks, and garlic.

Onions contain a mild antibiotic that fights infections, soothes burns, tames bee stings and relieves the itch of athletes foot.

Medieval artists extracted green pigment from spinach to use as an ink or paint.

Fried Okra

Fried OkraFried okra is an incredibly popular dish in the southern states. Many people have a love/hate association with this particular vegetable due to its unusual texture. To encourage everyone to give this pod a try why not add some breading and fry it up for a crispy snack? Enjoy!


  • 1 lb. fresh okra, sliced into 1″ sections (can use frozen)
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 c. cornmeal
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt & pepper or your favorite seasoning mix (we used a cajun spice mix)
  • Hot sauce


Heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil in cast iron skillet over medium heat.

Pour flour and cornmeal each onto two different plates. Add desired amount of seasoning mix or salt and pepper to the flour. Be generous, you are trying to flavor both the okra and the flour! Beat eggs in a pie plate, add a few dashes of hot sauce.

Roll okra pieces in flour mixture. Shaking off excess flour, roll the flour-covered okra in the egg mixture. Again shaking off excess, dredge okra pieces in cornmeal.

Test the oil temperature with one pieces, if the okra sinks but pops right back up to the surface it is ready to go. Add okra to the oil. Stir and turn occasionally in order to brown all sides. Using a slotted spoon, transfer okra to a baking sheet with a rack to drain. A paper towel lined plate will work too.

Serve with hot sauce for dipping!

*Note – The fresh okra gives this snack a very crunchy texture. If you prefer the okra to be on the mushier side frozen would be best for you!*