"Six amazing cooking tips." Unique garden-to-cooking tips using a jar.  watch video


Costa Rica is a banana republic, and Dole is providing wholesome employment to people in that country.      The following video is a look at how the banana plant is harvested and prepared for international distribution.  Gardeners will notice familiar mulching and other horticultural practices.  Consumers will be persuaded to avoid processed foods in favor of this natural fruit.   watch video



Families love to grow corn.  It's easy, the seeds are big, the plants are tall, and the yellow produce a pure delight to eat.  But garden food should be just as easy to prepare and cook if it's going to be a regular part of the diet.  

  Watch this video to show how the microwave does it all for you, shuck-free, fully cooked in 8 minutes, with no silk or leaves remaining.


Goodwill, gift party in the garden. Plan an afternoon with the recipient of your gift: Choose plants, plant them and have a mini party in the garden. Make this a tea party with a favorite child or plan a potluck dinner with friends to celebrate the start of the season.  more

Greenhouses can make summer longer, food supply more interesting!   The eye-catching décor of upscale restaurants continues to stimulate restaurant goers in every city.  Everywhere the eye rests is a visual cornucopia of unexpected, amusing, and nostaligic images.  Banish humdrum routine; welcome sensory overload. more

Extend the seasons on both ends to maximize the food crop!    A cold frame is one of several types of constructions that gardeners  have used for centuries to extend the growing season (conditions) of a specific crop - and this has almost always meant a food crop. Many contemporary gardeners use variations of the familiar greenhouse...more

There's more to sea berry plant than expected, Cathie Draine tells us. "The berries are high in sugars, having, according to some authorities, seven times more vitamin C than lemons as well as vitamin A and E...

     We made a recipe that we think really works: one 16-ounce container of frozen orange juice added to 32 ounces or 48 (your choice) of water plus either ½ cup or 1 cup of sea berry concentrate. This makes a fine, hearty juice that tastes like a mixture of orange juice and tropical fruits."   Read more . . .  

Days to maturity.
  Are you frustrated because there seems not to be enough days in the summer for 
 tomatoes, peppers, melons and other desired fruits to ripen? Part of the problem may be in the DAYS TO MATURITY of the plant. Read plant labels very carefully. Days to maturity means the period of time beginning when a PLANT is put in the ground (having produced the second set of leaves) until the first fruit is ready to harvest.
     Jolly Lane Greenhouse (www.jollylane.com) has posted the days to maturity of the vegetables they will be offering this spring. Studying that list to make your selections is both education and some insurance that you will have a fine harvest at the end of the summer.

Growing vegetables is fun.  Whether one is inspired by the “romance” of growing one’s own food, or prompted by the worldwide rising costs of food, the reality is that many people—some for the first time—will be growing vegetables this summer.  As one who has recently added veggies to the garden, I can attest without equivocation to the positives of veggie gardening... These include better taste, healthier eating, a sense of accomplishment, self-sufficiency, opportunity to share, enjoying the outdoors and educating children to grow and enjoy consuming veggies.   Read more . . .

Wild Black Hills fruit is delicious.  “It’s easy to find wild honeysuckle doing well here," says Joe Hillberry. "Like its honeysuckle parent, the honeyberry is ripe in early June and is wonderful fresh, as juice, jelly or wine.
     Look along the creek beds for the wild clove currants. Wild currants are good indicators the domesticated black, red and white currants will also grow well here and ultimately be delicious in jams and jellies.”   Read more . . .

A staple of most diets.  It kept Europe from starvation on more than one occasion.  It sent the Irish to America.  Better yet, they're easy to grow, with dozens of delicious varieties to choose from.  Now that I've dug up my potatoes, what is the best way to peel them without using a peeler?  Answer:  score, boil, and quench.

Postcard from our heritage

Click on picture to see another grassroots "Hippie" approach to local food supply


Summer Food in Wintry February


16 Popular Foods You Didn’t Know You Could Freeze

1. Garlic – You can freeze whole garlic, garlic cloves or chopped fresh garlic. Frozen garlic does lose some of its texture, but the flavor remains intact.

2. Corn – You can freeze fresh-picked corn on the cob for up to one year. Pack it in freezer bags — husk and silk and all. For store-bought corn, husk and blanch it before freezing.

3. Avocados – The bad news is that frozen avocados lose their consistency. The good news is that they do not lose their taste, so you can use them for guacamole or dressing. Wash and halve them before peeling. Freeze as halves, or puree them with lime or lemon juice and then store for up to eight months.

4. Mushrooms — You can freeze raw button, creminis and portabellas mushrooms for later use. Chop and slice mushrooms and then spread them on a cookie sheet. Freeze. Then transfer the pieces to bags or containers.

5. Onion – You can save chopping time – and tears – by freezing onion for cooking later. Store peeled, chopped onion in plastic freezer bags. The best part is you can just toss them into your recipes without thawing them first.

6. Hummus – Scoop your fresh hummus into plastic containers. Then drizzle a thin layer of olive oil on the top to keep it from drying out. Thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours before mixing and serving.

more such winter gardening from Off the Grid News