Spanakopita, for those who may be wondering, is a delicious savory Greek pastry. It is traditionally made with spinach, but it is just as delicious, and more nutritious, when made with stinging nettle. No, I’m not Greek, but a local church has a wonderful festival each year and my taste buds definitely say yes to Greek food!Continue Reading
Evergreen needles are one of the most commonly used foraged foods in my kitchen. I love that they are available year round, and I often infuse them in oil to make salad dressing, ferment them for soda, dry them for tea or sugar cookies, or best of all use them to make spruce tip ice cream.Continue Reading
Hosta is Edible
I get that everyone wants to forage the trendy plants – ramps, morels, fiddleheads, etc. And why not? They are delicious. But my passion is to use, and teach others to use the common weeds and landscaping plants that are right in our own back yards.
It’s mid-spring and our quarter acre is just full of good eating – wood sorrel and dandelion, creeping charlie and garlic mustard, day lily shoots, and hosta. And so much more.
Yes, hosta is edible and the rolled up leaves, as they emerge in the spring, are a great alternative to asparagus. Continue Reading
Lasagna Gardening Builds Soil
I was heavily influenced by Ruth Stout in my early years as a gardener back in the 70s. She advocated a style of gardening that was no-dig and heavy on mulch so that weeding was eliminated. As the mulch decays, it builds soil, and more mulch is added.
In those early years, I continued to hand dig my garden, but I did take Ruth’s advice and mulched heavily. Our gardens were productive.
But for the past 8 years we’ve taken our garden from good to great with a style of gardening that improves on Ruth Stout’s work. Continue Reading
No Running Water
There has not been a time when a beautiful lake has not been a part of my life. Growing up, my family spent every summer at a lake in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Swimming and hiking and wild berry treats were part of our daily routine.
That cottage is still in our family, but Mike and I also own a small place at another lake a little farther away. The cottage at Swago is much more rustic and does not have running water.Continue Reading
When you think of preserving the harvest do canning, freezing, and dehydrating come to mind? Have you wondered how our ancestors preserved food before the days of modern refrigeration and canning? One method they used was to preserve vegetables through lacto-fermentation in stoneware crocks.
When canning was found to be more shelf stable and easily shipped, lacto-fermentation fell by the wayside. So why would we even consider fermenting vegetables today? Canning preserves food by destroying bacteria that causes spoilage. In the process, many nutrients are also destroyed. Lacto-fermentation, on the other hand, preserves food by growing the good bacteria present on all vegetables–lactobacillus.Continue Reading