Seaching for Seeds

Old school seed searching: order assembler standing next to racks containing packages at the W. Atlee Burpee Company, 1943 It’s never too early to start planning that garden. And towards that goal, Mother Earth News has created a nice custom Google search engine that scours over 600 seed suppliers. It’s the perfect way to find those obscure plants and varieties not at the local nursery. The search engine even includes our favorite s...

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Borlotto Bean Lingua di Fuoco

...cultivation and harvesting details for dry beans click on over to the Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute. It may seem like we’re pimping for Seeds from Italy, but these beans are yet another success we’ve had with the Franchi’s companies seeds that Seeds from Italy imports. We just discovered the competition, Italian Seed and Tool, which imports the rival Bavicchi company’s seeds. We’d appreciate feedback from...

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Mongolian Giant Sunflower

Nothing much to say about the Mongolian Giant Sunflower other than, “wow”. I got these seeds from Seed Savers Exchange and they have lived up to the “giant” in the name. I’m going to have to climb a ladder to harvest the seeds. Though I don’t see the need to get competitive with my sunflowers, Renee’s Garden has some good harvesting advice, As the petals fall off, the center florets dry up and the seed...

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Our Winter Vegetable Garden

...fanciest restaurant in the US. Frankly, every time I try another seed source I’m disappointed. I also like Italian cooking with its emphasis on flavorful ingredients prepared simply–no fussy sauces or complicated recipes. Salad Makings First off an endive and escarole mix from Franchi Seeds recommended and sold to us by our friends at Winnetka Farms. Looking forward to this one. “Cicoria Variegata di Castelf...

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Michael Tortorello on Urban Homesteading

...website, I’ve collected a few of his articles here in one place for your reading pleasure: “Heirloom Seeds or Flinty Hybrids?“Yes, hybrid seeds are o.k. and I agree. “The Permaculture Movement Grows From Underground“The wonders of permaculture plus a jab at aerated compost tea. “Finding the Potential in Vacant Lots” Recent boom and bust cycles have left us with a lot of room to grow stuff. “Food Sto...

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What to do with all those hot peppers: Harissa!

..., a spicy Moroccan condiment. The recipe is simple and quick. We cut open five of our hot peppers, discarded the seeds, and combined them in a food processor with: 1 tsp salt1 tsp cumin1 tsp caraway seeds2 tsp coriander seeds1 tsp fresh mint3 garlic cloves Turn on the food processor and add enough olive oil to form a paste. That’s it. Harissa will last several weeks in the fridge or you can freeze it. You could also can it, but you’ll...

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Vegetable Gardening for the Lazy

...flavored and we’ve eaten them both cooked and raw. The problem with this plant is finding one. Search for it on the internets and you’ll find other people searching for it. So dear readers, leave a comment on this post if you know of a good source either local or mail order. We’ll definitely be making some cuttings, as it would be nice to have more than one. 2. Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus). A member of the sunflo...

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Josey Baker’s Awesome Adventure Bread (gluten free!)

...its easy to make! Seriously, it’s foolproof. If you have bread baking anxieties, just leave those behind. Making this “bread” is easier than making cookies. In texture, Adventure Bread  could belong to that camp of dense Nordic/Germanic breads, like Vollkornbrot, but its nutty nature sets it apart. The only thing I don’t love about it is the pumpkin seeds–I don’t like their slippery texture so much in this con...

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How to Make Stock

...ndrik Valkenburg, 1872 (image courtesy of Wikimedia) By reader request, we’re going to cover the basics of making soup stock today: how to make it and how to use it. Let’s start with the why you’d make it and how you use it. Why you make stock: It is the basis of good cuisine: everything tastes better with stock It boosts the nutritional value of anything you cook with it. It’s thrifty: it puts all your odds and ends and...

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Lila Downs Video Showing Tortilla Making in Oaxaca

Gloria En la Huerta from the Los Angeles Bread Bakers sent me a link to this music video that shows tortilla making in Oaxaca. The song is “Palomo Del Comalito” (Dove of the Comalito) by Lila Downs. Note the huge corn tortillas, proof of the regional diversity of Mexican cuisine (and one of the many details I got wrong in my tortilla press post–thanks for the corrections Gloria). Lyrics in English after the jump. The beautif...

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