Freezing Meat With Freezer Paper

A good question came in on Friday’s post about freezing fruits and vegetables about how to freeze meat products without using plastic bags. I don’t know of a way to avoid plastic with meat products, but you can use freezer paper instead of ziplock bags. The University of Georgia Extension Service has a handy info sheet on how to wrap meat with freezer paper: Freezing Animal Products. Correction: an earlier version...

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Picture Sunday: A Winter Harvest in Florida

...ocal fruit grown in Florida to remind us that winter gardening is big there too. Noel grows over 500lbs of fruit and veggies every year on a quarter acre city lot. In the picture: Canistel, Rollinia, red navels, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Carambola, pineapple, sapodilla, sugar apple, dwarf Cavendish bananas, ambarella, jaboticaba, jackfruit flowers, papaya, lemon and red palm fruits (inedible). Amazing. If you’ve got a picture to share, send it a...

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Sources for Interesting Perennial Crops

...In the midst of my frustration I stumbled upon a interesting list, put together by the USDA, of retail nurseries and perennial crop resources. You can view that list here. Here’s three sources I found particularly interesting from that list: California Rare Fruit Growers Member Nurseries and fruit sources CRFG members are always on the hunt for interesting varieties of fruits. Note that this list of nurseries covers the entire US, not just...

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Deadly Nightshade vs. Black Nightshade

...ooks, . . . the comparable number of accounts reporting that these species [Solanum nigrum] are harmless as food and fodder sources suggest that this toxicity is variable. Indeed a chemical suvey of various members of the section Solanum reported the presence of potentially toxic alkaloids only in unripe fruits, with ripe berries and vegetative parts tacking these compounds. Shilling et al. (1992) therefore concluded that the plants are probably...

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Gardening Tip: Senecent Seedlings

...t the bottom of the container. If roots are poking out, it’s a no-go. This pertains particularly to annual vegetables. Perennials don’t like being root bound either, but the outcomes are not as extreme. In addition to long roots, also look for tell-tale signs of maturity in a vegetable, like flowers or fruits. Tomato plants already bearing tiny tomatoes are not a good thing. Cukes that are flowering are not a good thing. Look for...

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Pop Quiz Answer: Pineapple Guava

...y, like so many things we mention here it is plant that prefers a warm climate. It’s hearty to 12 degrees, and generally recommended for zone 8 and up, though I think some people have successfully grown it in colder places with special care. But when grown in a climate which is comfortable for it, the pineapple guava is a really sturdy, easy plant. We utterly ignore ours. It gets some of our laundry greywater once in a while.  That’s...

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Back to the Ranch

...an Farming Advocates. The UFA went on to craft, along with the city’s planning department, the “Food and Flowers Freedom Act” which made it legal in the city of Los Angeles to grow fruits, nuts and flowers and resell them. Kelly and I spoke next in a rambling and bizarre lecture that involved vegetables, barefoot running and humanure among other topics. Kelly kept things on track, as usual, and headed off my tendency towards pre...

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Cure for Prickly Pear Stickers

...kly pear fruit stickers (glochids) which somehow end up embedded in my hands every time Erik brings one of those fruits in the house. The answer? Pumice stone. It’s so simple. Just rub the site with a pumice stone. I think it just shaves off the top part of the stickler, and then lower part works its way out eventually, I suppose. But the important part is that the top part isn’t moving anymore, which means no more pain. I’ve tr...

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What We’re Going To Do About That Lead

...raised higher. Most plants don’t take up much lead, it turns out. Our soil phosphate levels are high and the pH is moderate, two factors that further decrease the ability of plants to access lead. The main health concern comes from directly ingesting dirt, and that can be avoided by washing and peeling vegetables and fruits. The recommended wash for lead is a splash of vinegar in water (1 tsp per 1 1/2 qts water). I’d be more c...

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Gifts for the Holidays Food Crafting Workshop

...1 to 4 pm. Master Food Preservers Ernest Miller, Felicia Friesema, Joseph Shuldiner, Amy Goldman, Roshni Divate and Craig Ruggless. Learn how to make truly unique and special home crafted food gifts for the holiday season! Topic include food ornaments, elegant liqueurs, gourmet mustards, seasonal spiced jams and candied fruits. Guests will take home samples and recipes, knowledge and a healthy dose of holiday cheer. Proceeds benefit the Master F...

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