Category: Food & Food Support Systems

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 […]

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How to Forage Safely as a Beginner

Disclaimer: Always seek local advise prior to consumption of wild mushrooms. I guess, to be completely honest, the best ways to forage as beginner would be to either hire a guide to take you or attend some sort of class. However, I’m going to come at this thing assuming most people are at least somewhat like me and bit tight with the budget. Truly, and even still, I plan to […]

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The Cost of Food Insecurity

In many developing countries, undernutrition is a recognized – and well documented – crisis. However, with increasing urbanization, another health concern is beginning to emerge as people choose to consume foods of convenience rather than exert the effort it takes to grow their own produce. While nutritious foods are still readily available in rural areas, the industrial urban systems involved with food processing and supply means these healthy foods are […]

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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 […]

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The Best Perennial Vegetables

One of the tasks that I most dislike about the farming life is preparing the raised beds each time I want to plant out a crop of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, or onion. While I do enjoy eating a fresh tomato from my garden, the tedious, repetitive tasks of preparing the garden bed, weeding, and then planting out a winter cover crop does take up more time than I would like. […]

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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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