Cichorium intybus a.k.a. Italian Dandelion

...le the common dandelion weed, Taraxacum officinale (a relative which is also edible). Both Cichorium intybus and its weedy cousin share a powerfully bitter taste that took our supermarket weaned taste buds some time to get used to the first time we tasted this plant. Changing the cooking water a few times if you boil Italian dandelion is one way to deal with the bitterness, but we prefer to just throw it together with some fat in a frying pan, su...

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Fruitacular!

Noel Ramos, writing to correct an inaccuracy in my guava post (“Guayabas” is the word used all over Latin America for guava not “guyabas”) was nice enough to include this amazing photograph of some of the many kinds of fruit that you can grow in Florida: red bananas, sugar-apple, canistel, pink guayaba, dragon fruit and orange-flesh lemon. Noel is the director of communications for Slow Food Miami, “an eco-gastronom...

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Tomato Review #2 Banana Legs – it don’t look like a banana and it don’t got legs

It’s raining tomatoes here at the Homegrown Evolution compound and time for the second in our series of tomato reviews. Today, Banana Legs, a determinate variety with yellow flesh and light green streaks. It has a mild, low acid flavor and a meaty texture. Not bad, not thrilling, not nearly is as good as a similar looking tomato we grew last year, Power’s Heirloom. We grew our Banana Legs in a self watering container (SWC) and it pro...

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The High Cost of Golf

...gh I’m partial to my Xtracycle cargo bike, once in a while I’ll rent a pickup truck to haul some big items. Yesterday it was time to get a bunch of straw bales to use as bedding for the chickens. While driving by a public golf course on the way to the feed store, the windshield suddenly shattered startling me and my passenger, Ari of Islands of LA, who had come along to help out. Instictively, we ducked thinking that someone was shoo...

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Without Merit: poison in your compost

...tended effects of a powerful herbicide called aminopyralid, sold by Dow Chemical under the brand names Merit and Forefront. This herbicide is used to control weeds such as thistle, knapweed and yellow starthistle. The problem is that aminopyralid survives the digestive systems of animals pastured on land sprayed with it, as well as compost piles made from their manure. Most other herbicides break down eventually, but this stuff sticks around. An...

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Bread and Transformation

...this 2008 Ted talk on the alchemical symbolism of bread. If you’re either a baking or brewing geek like me it’s worth a view. The baking method I’ve used for over a decade is from Nancy Silverton’s book Breads from the La Brea Bakery. You use a sourdough starter and at least half the flour must be white to get it to leaven properly. I’ve had great results, but would like to someday make a loaf entirely from whole wh...

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How to Bake a Traditional German Rye Bread

...night before I want to bake I take a tablespoon of rye starter (see our video on how to make a starter) and mix it in with 125 grams of dark rye flour and 125 grams of bottled water. 2. In the morning I mix all the ingredients together. Ideally, let the mixture rest for a half hour to an hour before shaping it, but I’ve skipped the rest period and the loaf has turned out just fine. 3. Form into a boule (round) and dust heavily with rye flo...

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Sunday Spam: Automatic Chicken Cage

...or Madam, Liaocheng Dongying Hengtong Metal Manufacturing Co.,Ltd here. Glad to hear that you are on the market for Automatic chicken cage. We are a professional producer of the complete sets of equipment for raising birds. At present, it is an enterprise which has the import-export license and exports a batch of complete sets of automatic equipment for raising chickens. These products gained good prestige among customers and they are not only u...

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The Perfect Chicken Coop?

...un gives chickens some space to scratch around in while keeping them safe from predators if you can’t make it home by dark. You can hang a feeder in the space under the hen house to keep their feed dry. The run is tall enough to stand in. You can put an access door to the nesting box from the outside so you don’t have to go in the coop to collect eggs. It has a roof over the run to keep your chickens dry. It’s the basic form I...

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What To Do With Old Vegetable Seeds

...eeds around our micro-orchard to see what comes up. Fukuoka has some tips in his book The Natural Way of Farming for creating a semi-wild vegetable garden: Include nitrogen fixers (in my case some clover seeds) Use daikon and other radishes to break up hard soil Sow before weeds emerge Scott Kleinrock has used the same strategy at the Huntington Gardens. Here’s what his semi-wild vegetable garden, growing in the understory of some small f...

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