Defending the Garbage Plate

Bring on the plants! The wildcrafting season is in full tilt and what better way to christen the ship than preaching the good word of Garbage Plates. Now traditionally, Garbage Plates, if you’re not familiar, are a dish native to Rochester, NY. They’re a regional food much like a Philly cheese steak or a Chicago…

Rutabaga

If you’ve ever read the children’s book Rootabaga Stories by Carl Sandburg, you might say the whole book might have been better off if the above mentioned bibbed pigs would have just ate it cover and all, and the stories could have finished right there. We had a copy when my daughter was growing up,…

How To Eat Beets: History, Planting Instructions, Nutrition and Recipes

Mangles, Sugar Beets, Garden Beets, Chard, and Perpetual Spinach … What’s the diff? The beet is a master of variety. While plants like lettuce or the tomato might vary in characteristics of its edible part, each beet type emphasizes a different use of the plant. Chard for example emphasizes the edible leaves and so the…

Turning Food Deserts into Food Desserts by Design

Food Deserts:  Choice and Design Scarcity of food still exists amidst the fresh fruit and vegetable abundance most of us experience in the US.  And even in the US, people are starving themselves of nutrients through an improper diet of fast food and over-processed food.  To loosely quote guerrila-gardener extraordinaire Ron Finley, for some people…

Jicama Salsa Recipe

Jicama–humongous Let’s eat some jicama salsa. Jicama (pronounced Hick-a-ma) is an ancient food-tuber, purportedly eaten by the Mayans.  It’s a vining plant that grows in Central America and as far north as Mexico.   It has also naturalized in Asia, but it’s not native to that region.  While people have tried to grow jicama in the…

Seven Reasons Why You’ll Want to Eat Wild: Wild Food Matters (Part 2)

  In our previous post on wild foods, we mentioned some of the reasons that people don’t go out foraging.  In this post, we review some of foraging’s benefits. Benefits of wild food What characteristics does wild food have over agricultural food?  Well, first, it’s impractical to think we could live entirely off wild food…

Bark Is Food Too: Feeding Your Inner Porcupine

Mountains, Falcons, and Bark For Breakfast Once when I was a young, I read a book about a boy around my age who survived in the New York wilderness through an entire winter.  The book, My side of the mountain, inspired me.  At the time, I thought I might go out and live my own…

The Weekend Variety: Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)

This week’s Weekend Variety post is on the stately Juglans nigra, otherwise known as the black walnut.  Not a finicky tree, black walnuts grow well wherever they plant themselves.  In the late summer to early fall, the walnuts bear and then drop their round green fruits.  The husk of the fruit covers a black sponge…