Gardening Tips: What You
Need to Know about GMOs

We've been getting a lot of
questions from customers lately...

read more

Tips to Grow a Reader

For most kids, reading is either
a "love it" or "leave it" kind of
thing... If your child falls into...

read more

Help Your Kids
Spring into Style

For most moms, one of the many
perks of parenting is dressing our...

read more

Gardening Tips: What You Need to Know about GMOs

Provided by Green Acres Nursery

We've been getting a lot of questions from customers lately about genetically engineered plants. To clarify, a genetically modified organism – or GMO – is not the same as a hybrid. Here are some tips to help you understand what these terms mean and why these methods are used.

Genetically Modified Organism

Genetic engineering is a process that allows scientists to move genetic material from DNA between organisms to change their characteristics. The genes transferred to another organism are selected to enhance or repress a certain characteristic. The genes of one organism are physically incorporated into another organism and are now part of its DNA.


A hybrid is a variety of plant which has been strategically bred to encourage desirable characteristics possessed by the parents. These characteristics are often natural mutations that plants develop to give them an advantage in their environment. The plant is bred and produces seeds for a plant which hopefully inherited that desirable characteristic. This does not change the plant's DNA and the change is not passed on to its offspring.

Why Modify

People have been breeding plants for desirable characteristics for years. It is done for increased yield, pest resistance, improved aesthetic qualities or even nutritional benefits. The limitation is that the species which are bred must be closely related to one another. Genetically modifying an organism is different in that it allows scientists to take the genes that produce desirable qualities in plants and transfer them to any organism, not just those which are closely related.


Using tomatoes as a prime example, an heirloom tomato variety must be at least 50 years old. Heirloom tomatoes are often valued for their taste, unusual markings, color and shape. They can be planted from saved seed and result in the same plant as the parent plant.

How are hybrids and heirlooms different?

According the UC Cooperative Extension program, "Hybrid tomatoes are cross bred from two or more different plants and are created for a particular purpose (disease resistance, color, shape, etc.). Their seeds will revert back to one of the parents, so they are not reliable to grow from saved seed. Heirlooms on the other hand are open pollinated and the seeds have been handed down through generations of growers and they can be grown from saved seed to replicate the original plant."

Green Acres does not carry any genetically modified plants in our seeds or starters.

For more tips on planting and landscaping, visit Green Acres Nursery!

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Help Your Kids Spring into Style

For most moms, one of the many perks of parenting is dressing our little ones up in cute, fun styles. Springtime is a wonderful time to clean out your child's closet, donate items that have been outgrown, store winter items and make notes of items your child will need heading into spring and summer. And once you've done that, it's time to shop! Here are a few pint-sized fashion tips from our friends at Starlight, Starbright – a Folsom children's boutique specializing in clothing, furniture, accessories and shoes.

Get Colorful!

Spring means colors so help your child embrace a more colorful wardrobe. Look for bright shades or mix pastels – whatever you like and whatever looks best on your little one. Color is a fabulous way to make your wardrobe current this spring – regardless of your age!

Have Fun with Patterns!

This season mix and match is in, especially when it comes to patterns. Get creative with florals, stripes, even polka dots... When it comes to kids, having fun is the key and nothing says fun better than a great pattern.

Pop that Color!

Look for accessories that will add a pop of color to your child's look. Some great, fun options are fedoras, chunky necklaces, sparkly hair clips... A bright, colorful accessory can really bring an outfit together and make it special.

Nautical is Big!

Another big trend this spring is nautical wear for both girls and boys. Sailor shirts and dresses, navy and white, anchor trim – it's all in! Help your little sailor stand out by rocking this cool look.

To get more springtime wardrobe ideas, visit Starlight, Starbright either online or in their store at 711 Sutter Street in Folsom.

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Tips to Grow a Reader

For most kids, reading is either a "love it" or "leave it" kind of thing... If your child falls into the "leave it" category, don't give up! It is never too late to cultivate a love – or at least, an appreciation – for reading. April 13-19 is National Library Week, which is a wonderful to visit your local public library as a family.

Here are some tips to help get your kids hooked on books:

  • Read Together: One of the most important things you can do for your child is to read with him or her. And just because your child may be old enough to read on his own doesn't mean he has outgrown this special time. Choose a book you will both enjoy and snuggle up. Take turns reading aloud. It will be time well spent.

  • Variety is Good: For kids who don't naturally love reading, sometimes thinking outside the box – or the book, as the case may be – can make a difference. If your child shows an interest in comic books, encourage it! If he enjoys perusing the sports section, hand it over! Whatever it is that seems to catch your child's eye, let her follow that interest.

  • Fun is Key: If you want your child to enjoy reading, it can't be a punitive activity. Never punish a child with reading. And while tracking minutes may be important to your child's teacher, try to find a way to keep reading time a little less structured and forced. Look for opportunities to play games related to what your child is reading or seek out family activities that may tie in to a current book.

  • Track Success: Some children respond well to visible records of achievement or completion – like a goal chart. If your child falls into that category, create a chart specific to reading. Reward your child for completing a book or reading a variety of different topics or genres. Whatever it is that will motivate your child, do it!

  • Follow Up: As your child reads, stay in touch with the topic of her book. When she puts the book down, have a conversation about what took place in the book, how the characters reacted, what the setting was... Anything to encourage her comprehension of what she just read. Often times, children who do not enjoy reading are also having trouble with comprehension. A brief conversation can teach them how to pick out important facts as they read.

  • Make Time: Set aside time, every day, to read as a family. The quiet calm that occurs when everyone is cuddled up with a book or magazine can be a nice respite to the hurried pace of the rest of the day. Family reading time also teaches your children that reading can be relaxing and restorative – and that it should be a part of every day.

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