Bobbi Luttjohann

Need Variety? Just Add Potatoes!

If variety is the spice of life, then potatoes must have the spiciest life of all. Nearly everything about potatoes is variety dependent. The differences in color (skin and flesh), flavor, texture, size, baking quality, and even their starch content are all reliant upon the variation of this spiffy little spud. A Tale of Two Tubers There are two varieties of potatoes originating over 5,000 years ago that are considered […]

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Romaine Lettuce

As all lettuces are, Romaine lettuce (Lactuca sativa. var. longifolia) is from the Asteraceae family, which also includes artichokes. Romaine is widely referred to as Cos lettuce, and in some areas is known as Roman or Manchester lettuce. This leafy green vegetable will produce a head, but unlike other head lettuces, Iceberg and Butterhead, it produces a much more elongated head. Plus, this lovely lettuce is more heat tolerant than […]

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Ground Cherries

Small, husk wearing, fuzzy leaved little gems, these golden cherry tomato looking fruits may be one of the lesser known members of the nightshade family. However, once discovered you won’t forget their sweet, tart pineapple-mango-strawberry-tomato cross taste. This charming little member of the Physalis genus, which includes other husk covered fruits such as tomatillos and Chinese lanterns, are a delight to grow in the garden and enjoy in the kitchen. […]

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Sweet Butterhead Lettuce

So, we just discussed the Crisphead variety in our last article on lettuce. There is still another head lettuce within the five distinct lettuce varieties known as Butterhead lettuce (Lactuca sativa var. capitate). The Butterhead lettuce has a slightly sweet buttery taste and forms a looser leafed head than that of the Crisphead. This lettuce is also known as Butter, Boston, or Bibb. While Butter and Boston are just other […]

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Lets Celebrate Celeriac

Whether you call it celeriac or celery root, this member if the Apiaceae family (carrot family) is quite the distinctive looking tuber. Celeriac (Apium graveolens var. rapaceum) is the variety of the celery plant that is cultivated for its roots as opposed to its stalks, as is the plant we often just call celery. In fact, unlike stalk celery, celeriac’s stalks and petioles are inedible. History Celeriac was cultivated from […]

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Beautifully Unique Romanesco

I’m not sure if I like Romanesco because I enjoy the way its name rolls off the tongue, because it’s such an odd conical shape and bright green color, or because I adore all produce hailing from the Brassicaceae or Cruciferae Family (aka mustard family) that also includes the likes of broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. It could also be because it’s a delicious edible flower with what seems like endless […]

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Lettuce

Oh the Variety! Lettuce is a universal term we use when we refer to anything that appears to be a leafy green that we can throw into a salad. When we get down to it though, actual lettuce comes in five distinct classifications, which all hail from the Asteraceae/Compositae (Aster) Family. The five distinct classifications of lettuce are: • Crisphead • Butterhead • Leaf or Loose-leaf • Cos or Romaine […]

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Artichokes

The artichoke (Cynara scolymus) is also known as the Globe Artichoke, but shouldn’t be confused with the Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) or the Chinese artichoke (Stachys affinis). This Mediterranean native is an edible flower variety of the thistle species within the Asteraceae family, which includes composite flowers such as sunflowers. Prior to cultivation, the ancestor and wild, natural occurring variety of the artichoke, the cardoon, was used by ancient Greeks […]

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Tasty Tomatillos

With fossil records dating back 52 million years ago in Patagonia, Argentina, the tomatillo (genus Physalis) is one historical fruit. This member of the Solanaceae family, which consists of all nightshades including tomatoes, potatoes, tobacco, peppers, and eggplants, was cultivated by the Aztecs and has been a staple food for areas in and south of Mexico. This tangy little summer annual, resembles a tomato, but stands out because it wears […]

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Charismatic Cauliflower

two beautiful cauliflowers

Brassica oleracea, the cool season crop cousin of the cabbage is completely captivating, and is commonly called cauliflower. Say that five times fast! That may get complicated, but the cauliflower would understand that. That’s because this member of the Brassicaceae family (mustard family) along with kale, cabbage, broccoli, and broccoli rabe, is known for being a temperamental grower. Complexities of Cultivating Cauliflower If you decide to plant cauliflower, and I […]

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Strawberries

Bush of red strawberry growing in a garden

Beautiful, red, sweet, and juicy, this brilliant berry is adored by many. It’s a common site in stores and farmers markets, and sought out for its bright color and scrumptious sweetness. Even the scent of the strawberry is quite popular and mimicked in many beauty products, candles, and cleaners. While the strawberry is rather popular today, it has been around since antiquity, growing wild and used mainly as an ornamental, […]

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Cucumbers: Cat Assassins?

You may have seen videos going around on social media showing cats being terrified by Cucumis sativus sneaking up on them. While this may sound like a vicious predator of the domestic feline, in reality, it’s the modest cucumber. While not an actual danger to your cat, although cats may disagree, the cucumber is a creeping vine plant member of the Cucurbitaceae family, which includes pumpkins, zucchini, and various melons. […]

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