Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Anyone heard of Fuzzy Melon?

The Ashland Farmers Market has many fine vendors. This season I have bought way too much handcrafted jewelry (at affordable prices, I might add) and pounds and pounds of gorgeous produce. One vendor from Flats Mentor Farm, features Asian produce. Flats Mentor Farm has created a wonderful situation to support small farmers of diverse ethnic backgrounds. Check out their website to read about this wonderful organization.

I always ask Nua, who runs the booth, for directions on how to use these vegetables I've never seen before. She has been very helpful. She is also happy that I am so willing to try new veggies. I've tried Pea Vines and loved them, and Bitter Melon which is really bitter! And most recently I've tried Fuzzy Melon. It runs from about 8 inches to 16 inches long and has a layer of fuzz on the outside of it. When the melon is young the fuzz rubs off with your finger but when it is more mature the skin needs to be peeled. I've only bought young ones so far.

Nua told me it is used in soup, even in summer! Sometimes it is peeled but I decided not to peel it since the peel was fairly thin.

I chopped it up and simmered it in some tomato water leftover from making ketchup. I tried to make ketchup and used whatever second quality tomatoes I could find at the farmers market. Problem was that we had huge rains just a few days before and the tomatoes were extra juicy. They were also Heirloom tomatoes rather than paste or sauce tomatoes. I learned my lesson as I only got 3 cups of ketchup from 15 pounds of tomatoes.

What I did get, however, was a gallon of watery tomato juice. I used this flavorful juice to simmer the fuzzy melon, which worked very well. Fuzzy melon, without much of its own taste, takes on the taste of whatever it is cooked with.

Here is the finished Fuzzy Melon in Tomato Juice. I read online that it is better to cook the whole thing rather than leave it uncut for very long. I used the whole melon and froze lots of it in portions in the juice. I believe it would be excellent in a crock pot stew, or in a bean pot. It is really delicious and I highly recommend trying it if you can find it!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Saving Veggie Trimmings, Boosting Nutrition & Wasting Nothing!

    Remember, now is the time to freeze your veggie trimmings for fall and winter soupstocks. As you harvest from your garden or bring home your CSA share or bring home fresh produce from the market, save all those peelings, tops, ends, seeds, outer leaves, tough leaves and overgrown beans. If it is not spoiled, it's good for soup! Use as much of the veggies as possible and waste as little as possible.

    The gelatin in those slow cooked meat/bone soups is excellent for rebuilding digestion, healing joints and strengthening the immune system. Adding the frozen veggie trimmings to the soups boosts the nutritive value of your soup stocks. Also, those oversized squashes that hide under the leaves are excellent grated and frozen and then added to winter bean pots.

Check out the frozen veggie photos:

Carrot Greens

Grated Summer Squash

Radish Greens

Garlic Scapes


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

July Newsletter

This month's newsletter features an article on baking Gluten-free Sourdough Bread in the heat of summer!

Also a recipe and video for Marinated Tomatoes using home made Kombucha vinegar. Yum!

Click here to read!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Walking Onions!!

Grow Your Own Perennial Onions!! 
Also known as Walking Onions, Egyptian Onions, and Topsetting Onions.

Every part of the Walking Onion plant is edible.
Plant them once and start harvesting the very next year.
The harvest grows larger each year, yielding pounds and pounds of food!
Great fermented, raw, sauted and steamed.

20 bulblets, plants a 4x4 patch of soil and costs $21 including shipping.
They can thrive in ordinary soil in half to full sun.
supplemental watering after they are established.

Order now for summer shipment 

Watch Video about Growing Walking Onions! 

Watch Video about Cooking with Walking Onions!

More info: 
I love this plant because it can thrive in poor soil with not too much light. I do not water it! The better the light and soil, the better the plants but you do not need an optimum spot for walking onions.

 I harvest pounds and pounds of food from my walking onion patch with almost no work. I have 2 patches that I used to occasionally weed but one patch has developed a native ground cover called henbit, which keeps the weeds down.

$21 gets you 20 onions sets which are little bulblets.They ripen at the top of the plant through early summer. I harvest them in late July/early August and ship them out quickly by priority mail. They should be planted as soon as possible

You will see small scallions growing in the fall. Best to leave them alone. The following Spring you can cut scallions and use the other parts for freezing for future soups and stews, saute's, fermenting, and marinades.

I love to use the stalks in place of regular onions. The bulbs are fairly small so I usually just leave them in place for a few years. They will multiply over the following winter, doubling the amount of your patch.

Over the years when you have too many plants you can harvest the extra bulbs for winter soups and stews. The plant is called "Walking Onions" because when the sets develop at the top of the plants, the weight of them makes them fall over. Sometimes the sets root themselves outside the boundaries of the patch hence they seem to be "walking" out of their beds.

Order now for summer shipment

Monday, May 27, 2013

May Newsletter

May Newsletter has photos of readers' baking creations and their personal variations!

Also a piece on getting ready to ferment vegetables as we move into the gardening season.

Click here to read newsletter!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Walking Onions for sale!

Walking Onions are a fabulous perennial vegetable. They need minimal care and will produce a large amount of food in a very small space. All the parts of the plant are edible!

I use the different parts in salads, sautes, stews, soups and lacto-fermentation. I begin harvesting in early spring when the first greens come up. I continue to harvest the greens and later on harvest flower stalks, flower buds, and sometimes complete plants.

The top photo is my walking onion bed in early spring. The bottom photo is in late spring.

As I harvest I keep in mind not to use it all so there will be plenty for next year.

This season I have extra walking onion bulblets for sale!!
20 bulblets for $21 including shipping. US only please. Comes with planting directions.

20 bulblets will plant a 4 square foot bed. Planting directions included. Order now. Shipping begins in late July and runs through mid August.

To learn more about this high producing plant
Watch this video.

Click Here to Order Walking Onions for your garden.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Free March Newsletter

March Newsletter

This month I share about some of my experiences as a gluten-free sourdough recipe developer. I also share a quick treat concoction I threw together.
Here's the link: Newsletter

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Free February Newsletter

February Newsletter

This month features:
"Throw-together Pancakes" using leftover frozen starter and whatever flours are left in the fridge.

Soft Food
I needed to have some dental work a few weeks ago and needed a whole week of soft food. Using my blender I transformed nutrient dense, highly digestible and tasty food into sustaining mush. It's not so much about the blending but about the food choices.

Photos of bakers' successes!

Here's the link: Newsletter