Category: Food & Food Support Systems

Red Radicchio

Radicchio (Cichorium intybus) is a perennial plant in the chicory genus that falls within the Asteraceae/Compositae (aster) family that includes the daisy and dandelion, amongst other composite flowers. This cultivated version of chicory, sometimes called red or Italian chicory, is a beautiful burgundy color leafed vegetable with white veins. Hailing from Italy, radicchio comes in several varieties that are usually named for the area of Italy they originated from. Benefits […]

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Unique Little Creatures

Mushrooms aren’t plants or animals. In fact, mushrooms are within their very own kingdom known as Fungi. They appear to grow like plants, yet lack the many key components of plants such as roots, seeds, chlorophyll, and the ability to produce their own food. Like animals, they consume their food, but not by grazing or hunting. They break down organic matter, similar to bacteria. This action helps to recycle nutrients […]

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Spinach for Happiness

Gardening is done many reasons. Some garden for the beauty of it, the need for food, to reduce chemicals ingested, to draw in wildlife, and the list goes on. Whatever the reason is, gardening should always lead to happiness. Happiness from our garden not only comes from the Zen of physically gardening, but also from the healthful produce we harvest. Eating foods high in vitamin and mineral content, as well […]

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Tigger Melons

Sometimes referred to as the tiger melon, these fiery looking little cuties are striped and colored as their namesake suggests. While they don’t bounce to and fro, they do indeed liven up the garden and kitchen. Tigger Melons, Cucmis melon, are a smaller heirloom melon that grow up to 1lb. and fit nicely in the palm of your hand. These vibrant colored melons are thought to have first been discovered […]

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Shallots: The Fancy Vegetable

If you are peruser of recipes you have undoubtedly come across the term shallots. Shallots are often in dishes that are savory and lean towards the gourmet and fancy side of the culinary spectrum. They are subtle in flavor and add just the right note to enhance or bring out the flavor of other fine foods. What exactly is a shallot? Shallots are a member of the Liliaceae family (Lily […]

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All Hail Kale!

Kale is a cool-season leafy vegetable that resides in the Brassicaceae family (mustard family) along with cabbage, broccoli, and broccoli rabe. It’s a native to Asia Minor and the eastern Mediterranean, and the Greeks were growing several varieties by the 4th century BC. Kale became quite the world traveler and was a common vegetable in Europe until the end of the 15th century, and then it even found its way […]

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Beautiful and Nutritious Lupinus

Have you heard of this little beauty?  Most likely you have but just didn’t know it. Lupinus, also called Lupine, Lupin, Lupini beans, bluebonnets, and several other names, is both an agriculture crop and a smaller scale garden plant and ornamental. There are many species of Lupinus, but all hail from the legume family (Fabaceae, Leguminosae or Papilionaceae), and like all legumes can fix nitrogen, which benefits the soil and […]

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Grow a Little Sunshine in Your Garden

It’s true, gardens need plenty of sunshine. Plants thrive on its energy and we love its warmth. So how do you capture and show off that vitality in a garden plant? Simple, you grow sunflowers! These beautiful, bright flowers, with delicious and nutritious seeds, turn any garden into a sunny oasis. Steady as the Sun(flower) Properly known as Helianthus annuus L., the sunflower is a member of the family Asteraceae […]

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Understanding Commonly-Used Produce Labels

Nutrition labels are posted to packaged and processed foods to help consumers make informed choices about the foods they choose to purchase at eat – but the words used on these labels are often confusing and difficult for the average shopper to decipher. As more and more people are starting to pay attention to these labels in an effort to eat better, some clarification is needed to help consumers know […]

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Local Food: On Personal Responsibility

Food. We all eat it. Why every single one of us needs to accept our personal responsibility to contribute to the growing of local food. First, let’s look at the somewhat grim reality. Don’t be discouraged as you read onwards. The sooner we take on board the complexity of the problems, the more creative and complete the solutions can be. The good news is that every single one of us has so much to offer towards the […]

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Tomatoes for Your Little Tomatoes

Tomatoes for Your Little Tomatoes My favorite thing about gardens is that they are blank canvases that you can paint anyway you want to.  Put in some hard work and creativity and you have a beautiful picture come fall.  However, to create beautiful works of art, we must be inspired.  Often we get bogged down into organization and toil and forget to remember why we do what we do.  When […]

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Stop and Smell the Roses… And Don’t Forget To Eat The Fruit!

The only limit to your garden is your imagination. You can cultivate both beauty and function all in one space. A plant that can be grown in most gardens or flowerbeds, that adds stunning beauty and bears beneficial fruit, is the rose. While we don’t typically think of this as a fruit bearing plant, it indeed is. The beautiful rose produces the rose hip fruits, aka rose haw or rose […]

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