Category: Food & Food Support Systems

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 […]

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The Health Benefits of Raising Reishi Mushrooms

If something is working, you might as well continue to use it, as the saying goes. Reishi mushroom powder has been used by Asian cultures as a natural medicine for at least 2,000 years. The Reishi mushroom, also known as the Lingzhi mushroom in China, is one of the only species of mushrooms that is consumed more for its medicinal and pharmaceutical properties than for its nutritional value. Due to […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Tasty Radishes

Radishes (Raphanus sativus), with their zingy flavor and firm texture, are a vegetable I have grown to love. This member of the Brassicaceae or Cruciferae (Mustard) family, which also includes garden favorites such as Romanesco and Cauliflower, come in many varieties. The varieties of radishes are classified by their planting times (early, mid, or late), their root shape (flat, oblong, round, half-long and long), and their color. There are some […]

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Celtuce or Stem Lettuce

Celtuce goes by many different names including Stem Lettuce, Chinese Lettuce, and Asparagus Lettuce. Celtuce (Lactuca sativa var. augustana, angustata, or asparagine) is the most unique of the five lettuce varieties. Originating in the Mediterranean, like most lettuces, it then arrived in China around 600 A.D., making its way to the western world in the 19th century. Not Like the Others What makes Celtuce so unique is that, unlike the […]

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The Local Food Movement as A Catalyst for Community

In the last couple of decades, the local food movement has gone from a fringe movement to a major player the national food industry. Almost every major urban center around the country has several farmers markets, community supported agricultural programs and other innovative ways to bring farmers and consumers closer together. The local food movement improves access to healthy, organic food, strengthens the local economy, and improves community relationships. What […]

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Astonishing Arugula

The appetizing annual Arugula (Eruca sativa) is also commonly known as rocket salad or sometimes called colewort, garden rocket, gharghir, roquette, rucola, rucoli, and rugula. While often viewed as a lettuce, this sharp-tasting leafy green is actually is a member of the Brassicaceae family of plants (aka mustard plants) which includes some other well-known veggies such as kale and cauliflower. Arugula is known for its signature spicy, peppery flavor, but […]

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Loose-Leaf Lettuce

Just as its name implies, Loose-leaf or simply Leaf lettuce doesn’t produce a head like Crispheads. Instead, it grows leaves loosely arranged on a stalk, in a rosette cluster. Loose-leaf (Lactuca sativa L.) can come in varying colors, including a gamut of greens and range of reddish purples, as well as differing leaf shapes. The flavors of the many varieties are typically mild and slightly sweet. Just as the Crispheads, […]

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