Category: Processing & Food Preservation

Cooking Against Capitalism: Oaxaca’s Traditional Kitchens

After an earthquake in late 2017 destroyed their outdoor kitchens, Tehuantepec locals opted to rebuild themselves rather than relying on state support. Dispatches from Resistant Mexico is a series of short documentaries from southern Mexico, each depicting one of the thousands of pockets of resistance throughout Latin America that are in struggle against what the Zapatistas call “the capitalist hydra”. These individuals and communities affirm a way life in opposition to capitalist economics and […]

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Growing Grains at the Home-Scale Farm

I dream of growing grains, of being so far down the line in establishing a kitchen garden, a vegetable garden, a food forest, that time can be allocated to developing a system for handling the cereal part of the food supply. Well, let me put that differently: I aspire to get to that project one day, and from time to time, I do catch myself daydreaming and wondering just how […]

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Horseradish: Why I Should Try It Again

Earlier this year, in the spring, I was able to acquire a handful of horseradish roots to plant in a garden my wife Emma and I were putting together. I’d first encountered it as a plant the year before and was happy discover the leaves were edible with a flavor reminiscent, though milder, of the root. I’d never had horseradish in anything besides cocktail sauce, possibly some other condiments here […]

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Pure Hop-iness

When you hear the word hops, you may think of beer or bunnies. While I love the ever-bouncy bunny, I’m referring to the plant version of hops, aka Humulus lupulus. Hops, which are the female flowers/cones of this dioecious perennial, have a distinct aroma and flavor and are best known in the beer brewing world as a stability agent and for the bitter taste, they impart that balances out the […]

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Calendula

Butterfly landing on a calendula flower

Calendula is a bright little member of the Asteraceae Family, which includes stevia, sunflowers, and even lettuces. The name Calendula is actually the genus name for around 20 species of herbaceous plants. The most often recognized and utilized species is the Calendula officinalis (English or pot marigold) and is edible. This is not the same as the French marigold from the Tagetes genus. Calendula is often grown in polyculture gardens […]

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Cosmic Carambola

Carambola in the palm of a hand.

Carambola (Averrhoa carambola), often called starfruit, does seem like a fruit that is out of this world. This beauty is a member of the Oxalidaceae family, and is considered a slow growing, fast producing tree with evergreen foliage. The foliage is light sensitive and most often folds in upon itself as the sun goes down. The carambola is thought to have originated in Sri Lanka and Indonesia, but is also […]

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The Charm of Cabbage

Large purple cabbage

Cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitate) is a cool season vegetable that comes in both purple and green and is related to other vegetables such as broccoli, romanesco, horseradish, and cauliflower. This Mediterranean native has been around for over 4,000 years and was used medicinally by the ancient Romans and Greeks. Cabbage was brought to Europe around 600 B.C.E., and around 200 B.C.E. the Celts began using it to make sauerkraut. Later […]

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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 […]

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How to Build a Solar Dehydrator to Preserve Food

If you are a gardener, you understand the abundance that comes during harvest season can be overwhelming. Instead of frantically searching for friends who will take away your fresh tomatoes or spending hours over a hot stove on a humid summer day making hundreds of canned tomato sauce, a solar dehydrator might be an option for you. One of the easiest ways to preserve food is through dehydrating. Instead of […]

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The Chai Guild

The Chai Guild

The Chai Guild is your homegrown one stop shop for refreshing vitalizing herbal teas and a living first aid cabinet. It also serves to attract a host of beneficial insects, provides habitat for many others, accumulates essential mineral nutrients and displays beauty and interest throughout the year.

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Farm-to-Table Diary

Farm-to-Table Diary

It’s nearly the end of the season for tender new growth grape leaves. We’re air-pickling them so we can use them in the Farm to Table course coming up this March! The Farm-to-Table Course will cover the five stages of food production from harvesting, processing, storing, packaging, and consumption. This course has a particular focus on the link between farmers, farm communities, ancient food-production practices, and the food we eat. At the heart of this course is the preference for the freshest ingredients supplied directly from Zaytuna Farm.

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10 Things to Do with Avocadoes Besides Making Guacamole

Over the last five years, I’ve spent a good three of them living and working at an eco-hotel, Earth Lodge, that doubles as an organic avocado farm. It was here that I first started pursuing interests in gardening, as well as eco-building, fermenting, and much more of the like. At the lodge, I’ve worked reception, reigned as dinner chef, acted as a handyman, developed diverse polycultural gardens, and played for […]

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