Edible gardening is thrifty, good for the planet and good for our health by providing plenty of fresh food for our diet. But many people avoid growing food because they can't imagine planting and maintaining a vegetable garden.

Luckily, edible landscaping doesn't have to be so utilitarian as planting a vegetable garden. Making edible plants part of your overall landscaping plans can result in a beautiful outdoor space, full of interesting textures and designs that taste as good as they look.

An easy approach to growing food involves starting with a simple one-on-one replacement. Switch out just one ornamental plant or tree with something similar that's edible. Then try it again with something else. Go at whatever pace suits you.

In the book The Beautiful Edible Garden, the authors offer several simple swaps, including: replacing a magnolia tree with a fuyu persimmon, planting peppers in place of zinnias, using hanging tomato plants in place of hanging spider plants, and switching out boxwood with blueberries. Chives and onions add texture and purple flowers, while leafy greens can replace broad-leaf ornamentals.

Growing food in your yard provides an inexpensive source of produce and the chance to grow unusual varieties. It also saves water, since you are already watering the lawn and ornamentals anyway. Finally, there’s something satisfying about having a source of food in your own yard.


...is a penny earned. You might be interested to know that this old saying is not true. The saying implies that by keeping the penny, you are being wise. But the idea that you can earn money by saving it is backwards. You need to invest that penny to earn.

Both saving and investing have their places in good financial planning. The trick is to both save some pennies and make others grow through wise investing.

Perhaps the saying should be "A penny saved is a penny kept." Or perhaps "A penny invested is a penny earned."


The winter months can be dangerous for driving, especially if a blizzard hits. Don’t take chances. Respect the power of a blizzard, and remember these guidelines for staying safe:

• Check weather conditions. Don’t set out in a blizzard unless you absolutely have to. Call ahead to make sure the roads are safe all the way to your destination.

• Fill up your tank. Don’t risk running out of gas in a snowstorm. Stop at the gas station to top your tank off before heading out.

• Dress appropriately. Always bring a warm coat, gloves, and winter boots, even if just running to the store.

• Carry adequate supplies. Carry a shovel, road flares, booster cables, emergency food, a sleeping bag, and other supplies that will keep you warm and safe.

• Make sure your cell phone is fully charged. If you get stuck use it to text or call for help, but don’t use it for anything else.


The first print advertisement for Wonder Bread came out before the bread itself. It stated only that “a wonder” was coming. When it arrived, Wonder Bread was considered the perfect loaf.

That evenly sliced, squishy, moist, perfectly white, industrial loaf was a designed solution to a critical problem of the day...consumers were complaining that they didn't know where their food was coming from.

In a strange quirk of cultural de-ja-vu, that is the exact same statement that modern food purists use against Wonder Bread: We don't know where our food comes from...real food doesn't look like that.

Here’s how Wonder Bread became a welcome solution before it became an iconic symbol of bland.

For most of humanity’s long history with bread, we baked bread in homes. Eventually small bakeries cropped up to supply bread for more people, but they weren’t a picture of purity. Bakeries of the early industrial age were dirty and often underground, usually with terrible working conditions. You never knew when the baker would cut costs by mixing the dough with sawdust or other horrible additives.

Also, around the late 1800s and early 1900s, people became more aware that cholera and typhus, among other diseases, were food-borne illnesses.

That's when people started getting interested in where their food came from. Back at the turn of the century, that meant avoiding locally baked bread. Factory bread, the thinking went, was made by clean hands in a modern, light-filled palace of industry. One could see that factory-made bread was clean and healthy, because it was spotless and white.


A police officer found a perfect hiding place for watching for speeding motorists.

One day, the officer was amazed when everyone was under the speed limit, so he investigated and found the problem.

A 10 years old boy was standing on the side of the road with a huge hand painted sign that said “Radar Trap Ahead.”

A little more investigative work led the officer to the boy’s accomplice. He found another boy about 100 yards beyond the radar trap holding up a sign reading “TIPS,” with a bucket at his feet full of change.