Bobbi Luttjohann

Exceptional Elderberries

Ah, elderberries, deliciously poisonous, yet good for you. The fruit you should eat…if you know what you’re eating. While they say all berries are edible, at least once, the berry of the Sambucus genus is indeed edible but MUST be cooked first to break down the cyanide-inducing glycoside. Why? Because, eating too much of the cyanide-inducing glycosides will cause a toxic buildup of cyanide (yes, that is poison) in the […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Perfect Pumpkins

To eat, carve, or simply to decorate with, pumpkins are a wonderful annual to grow. The genus Cucurbita L. encompasses a variety of cultivars including Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbita argyrosperma, Cucurbita moschata, Cucurbita mixta, and Cucurbita maxima. All Cucurbita varieties are members of the Cucurbitaceae family which also includes cucumbers, squash, and watermelon. While you can’t go wrong planting any variety of pumpkin, you may want to choose your variety based […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Remarkable Rutabagas

What do you get when you cross a turnip (Brassica rapa) and wild cabbage (Brassica oleracea)? A rutabaga (Brassica napobrassica) of course! While that may sound like a joke from primary school, it really is where the rutabaga comes from. In fact, once you see this marvelous root vegetable you will definitely note the similarities between it and turnips and cabbage. The root of the rutabaga looks much like a […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Outstanding Onions

Onions (Allium cepa L.), being the most extensively cultivated species of the Allium genus, are a root crop that nearly everyone has heard about, seen, or eaten.  However, don’t let their perceived commonness lull you into thinking they’re uninteresting.  Onions are quite a fascinating garden vegetable that has some remarkable characteristics.      Onions of Olden Times It’s thought that for well over 7,000 years the onion has been consumed or […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Captivating Capers

closeup of beautiful caper buds and flower

Capers (Capparis spinose), the caper bush, also called Flinders rose, is a perennial plant that is known to have round, plump leaves and large fragrant white to light pink flowers. What the plant is best known for though are the edible (unripe/unopened) flower buds (capers) and the oblong fruit that is filled with many seeds (caper berries) that it produces. There are other Capparis species that are used for medicinal […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Tasty Turnips

Turnips (Brassica rapa var. rapa L.) are a member of the Brassicaceae family of plants (aka mustard plants) which includes some veggies we are pretty familiar with such as cabbage, kale, cauliflower, and arugula. Like many of the vegetables from this family, turnips are great because they have a unique taste all their own. Plus, with turnips, you can eat both the root and the green! They didn’t fall off […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Go Green Beans!

Green, string, snap, pole, or bush, whatever you call these beans, these edible little pods are great to grow in the garden. Green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), as we think of them, typically grow in two forms. These two main growing forms are what we call bush and pole bean growing styles. Bush beans usually grow more compactly and won’t necessitate support. Pole beans are more viney and will need stakes […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Very Mulberry!

Let me begin by saying mulberries aren’t for everyone. I say this because all my life I have grown up with mulberries. I love them, my family and friends love them, and my mom even sent us kids out to pick them so she could make the most amazing pies. However, as I got older I had several people tell me that I could have my mulberry trees cut down […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Stevia

detail of stevia plantation in brazil

Stevia, also called sweetleaf or sugarleaf, is probably something we have all heard of. It seems to have risen in popularity in recent times and can be found in several of the foods we eat. However, even with this plant’s rising fame, we may not know exactly what it is. With stevia being up to 300 times sweeter than sugar, with relatively no calories, it can be an important component […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Healthy Horseradish

The Brassicaceae family (mustard family) has so many amazing vegetables in it that grow splendidly in our gardens. Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana, syn. Cochlearia Armoracia) is no exception. This rugged member of the family, like its relatives arugula, wasabi, and radishes, has a definite bite to its flavor. In fact, horseradish can be downright hot and gets hotter after you grate it and let it sit. Placing it in white wine […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Brilliant Broccoli

Broccoli, officially known as Brassica oleracea, variety italica, is a well-known member of the mustard family (Brassicaceae, formerly Cruciferae) that also includes its cousins such as, cabbages, kale, romanesco, and broccoli rabe. Broccoli, a native of the Mediterranean and Asia Minor area, was grown by the Romans in ancient times, but didn’t show up until the early part of the 18th century in England. Mention of broccoli in the Americas […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Cool Kohlrabi

The name kohlrabi is a German term meaning cabbage turnip (Kohl = cabbage and Rabi = turnip). Aptly named, kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea variety gongylodes) is indeed related to the cabbage and the turnip, as they are all members of the Brassicaceae or Cruciferae Family (mustard family) along with others like kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and romanesco. All those members of the Brassicaceae family descend from the wild cabbage. Time Gone […]

Read More >
Shares Comments