Category: Processing & Food Preservation

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 […]

Read More >
4 Comments

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 […]

Read More >
1 Comment

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 […]

Read More >
1 Comment

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 […]

Read More >
1 Comment

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 […]

Read More >
0 Comment

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 […]

Read More >
0 Comment

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 […]

Read More >
5 Comments

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.

Read More >
0 Comment

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.

Read More >
0 Comment

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 […]

Read More >
1 Comment

Fermenting Beverages

It was some time ago, over a year to completely admit the extent of my procrastination, that I was working through a breezeblock of a book entitled The Art of Fermentation, by Sandor Katz, the modern Moses of the dark and mysterious process. It all sounded so fun, so magical for a guy who loves a tip of the tipple but has never made his own, and I couldn’t help […]

Read More >
4 Comments

A Little Sauce on the Side: Your Guide to DIY Condiments

Homemade Condiment Collection For all of the growing and eating of fresh produce most of us do, or aspire to do, condiments often survive our purging of processed and problematic foods. Ironically, many of us are growing the exact ingredients we need to make our own homespun condiments, free of food industry chemicals and additives but stocked with real nutritional value and flavor. Plus, once the basics are in motion, […]

Read More >
0 Comment