We found this tip online, tried it, and are excited about the results.  For most berries, this will help to keep your berries fresher, longer. The key ingredient? Vinegar!

How to Prepare Fresh Sunflower Seeds To Eat

Here is a great article on preparing sunflower seeds for consumption. Before you get started, know that the average Santa Barbara Blueberries sunflower face is about 13" across and it contains approximately 1 lb of sunflower seeds. This is a big ole' flower!
You may notice some sunflowers have some seed gaps on the flower face. This is because the birds like sunflower seeds almost as much as they like blueberries- bird netting goes up next year. Also notice that the ready-to-harvest flowers are now facing downward. This is a defense mechanism built into the sunflower that discourages many bird species from feasting on the seeds when they are edible. As soon as the seeds start ripening, the flowers bend to the ground.  

Residential farming and gardening services are taking hold in some American cities, furthering the homegrown food craze and helping people save money in the process. Assessing "a small but ripe niche market" According to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune, Minneapolis residents are increasingly interested in the idea of growing their own food because they "want to eat locally and organically, and they could save money in the long term." 

The newest way to achieve such lofty ecological goals is to hire a personal farmer, a professional who builds a garden of healthy fruits and vegetables, and returns weekly to tend to it. In the Twin Cities, "at least two new residential farming services were launched" in the past few months. Catherine Turner, a lawyer, hired a personal farmer. "This garden has been planned and engineered for greatest yield," she told the Star Tribune.

Eat blueberries for brainpower!!

They are rich in polyphenols known for antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Older adults with early memory decline get improved test results by drinking about 2.5 cups of blueberry juice a day Blueberries are also high in soluble fiber, which can help lower cholesterol and slow the uptake of glucose, helping you maintain healthy blood sugar levels. But there's much more packed inside those blue skins: Vitamins C and K are the major players, as are antioxidants and the mineral manganese. Blueberries are, indeed, the American super fruit. Oh, and they taste good too!

May 26, 2011 6:00 AM



Late Saturday morning, a steady stream of cars turned off Highway 101 in Gaviota and entered a dirt parking lot.  The sign at the entrance said "closed," but those in the know knew it didn't apply to them. They were VIPs.

Clad in baseball caps, T-shirts, jeans or shorts, and sunglasses, they'd arrived for the first day of blueberry picking season at Restoration Oaks Ranch.

From a purely legal perspective, organic is certified by a government regulatory body and natural is not. Organic food fans want their food to be completely free of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and preservatives.  Natural food folk believe that synthesizing a food item results in loss of nutrients and other healthy properties, so they want natural foods.  

The United States Department of Agriculture is the domestic certifying body for organic food. The Organic Food Products Act defines the rules and parameters for food items that are produced, manufactured and handled organically.

Here are the practical differences:

Blueberries are native to North America and you can find them across the "fruited" plains of the U.S. In fact, the first pilgrims learned from the North American natives how to dry the Blueberries and save them for winter, so native Americans had the first processed super food on the continent. Some varieties of blueberries are also native to South America, and the ripening seasons between the two continents is different, hence you see different varieties available at different times of the year.

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