The World’s Most Beautiful Okra

If you live in a warm climate, okra is easy to grow and both beautiful and tasty. I spotted this variety growing at the Huntington Ranch: Burgundy Okra from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.The stems and seed pods are a deep and vibrant burgundy–a very stunning plant for your vegetable garden. While not as striking, this year I grew Clemson Spineless okra from seeds I saved. And thanks to a tip (can’t remember where I heard this) I’...

Continue reading…

Return of Bean Friday: Spicy Mayocoba Beans

...or Teresa of Tularosa Farms gave us this recipe. She not only gave us this recipe, but a bag of beans to go with it, and a loaner dutch oven.  How’s that for neighborly? I made it a while back and really liked the results. Erik proclaimed it to be the best of all the Bean Friday dishes, though I remain partial to the Bastardized Puerto Rican beans. I’m happy to finally get a moment to share this with you. Mayocoba beans are pretty yel...

Continue reading…

Content Mills: Pimples on the Information Superhighway

Yes, there really is a “How to Get Rid of Pimples on the Buttocks” video on eHow. If only they had a how to get rid of eHow article. Google’s powerful search engine has become an essential component of the urban homesteading toolbox. From diagnosing tomato diseases to cooking Ethiopian injera Google has the answers. In recent years, unfortunately, low quality “content mills,” such as ezinearticles and suite...

Continue reading…

Ordo Ab Chao

...nto gardening advice.Got attention deficit disorder? Well, here’s how ya mix up your own potting mix. Face it, we’re all in the diagnostic manual somewhere. I suffer from a chronic lack of organizational ability. Square foot gardening has never worked for me–I just can’t keep up with the schedule. For some folks, I’m sure it works great. John Jeavons’ biointensive methods , however, have worked well for me. Tha...

Continue reading…

You’ve probably never met a soup like this

Mushroom and Fruit Soup. Yep. I don’t know if you’re going to like this recipe. I did. Erik made it, which shocked me, because he has a general prejudice against savory fruit preparations. In fact, he has a general prejudice against soup, seeing it somehow as being a substandard food form. Nonetheless, he cooked this soup.  I smelled it first, as it was cooking, and it smelled really good. Then I saw it in the pot, and said, “...

Continue reading…

Saturday Linkages: Now With Catagories (and Skateboarding Goats)

Design Small Cabin Plans Online http:// lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/2012/08/small- cabin-plans-online.html#.UCFFrqY1GF0.twitter  …   How-To: Crackle Paint Finish with Elmer’s Glue http:// blog.craftzine.com/archive/2012/0 8/how-to_crackle_paint_finish_wi.html  …  Flat pack live/work loft: http://www. spaceflavor.com/Cube_Prefabric ated_Home_Live_Work_Loft.html  … Events Are you pressure cooking, yet?!? Free San Francisco Bay demo...

Continue reading…

How to Prep Fabric for Dyeing: Scouring

.... Scouring helps assure even color and good penetration of the dye. Cotton in particular needs scouring, even if it is brand new from the fabric shop, because apparently it is full of hidden waxes and oils. In my case, I’ll be using an old top sheet for my experiments, so it certainly needs lots of help. Cotton and wool are scoured differently. I’ve never scoured wool, so am not going to cover it here. I understand it is also a washin...

Continue reading…

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...

Continue reading…

Roasted Corn on the Cob – Indoors!

This is the actual corn, looking somewhat wan under the kitchen lights. It was actually very pretty. And tasty. Mrs. Homegrown here: Oh. Em. Gee. Why have I never done this before? I suspect everyone else has, but if there are a few ignorant souls like myself out there, let me tell you a secret: cook your corn on the cob in the oven. I knew about corn on the grill, of course. But when it came to indoor corn cooking, I only knew to boil...

Continue reading…

Magenta Spreen Lambsquarter

...s this beautiful variety, oddly named “Magenta Spreen.” Like other members of the Chenopodium family it has a fair amount of oxalic acid which could be a problem if it’s all you ate. Even though I’m prone to kidney stones I’m not concerned about oxalic acid in moderation. Cooking reduces oxalic acid as well as saponins that the leaves also contain. The Plants for a Future database entry on Chenopodium giganteum has a...

Continue reading…