Celebrate Ugly Fruits and Veggies!

Do you all know about the Ugly Fruit & Veg campaign? It’s an awesome push to end food waste through convincing stores, and customers, that ugly fruits and vegetables are just as delicious as their prettier siblings. A significant amount of food is wasted each day because it doesn’t look perfect. In honor of this awesome effort, I’m sharing a photo of my wonky strawberries from last spring.

Learn more at endfoodwaste.org, and check out the list of grocery stores by country that you can contact to “Demand Ugly”!

Strawberries

Funky deformed strawberries

So many potatoes, so little yard…

Getting ready to place my order with the Maine Potato Lady for this year’s seed potatoes. Last year I grew Adirondack Red and Magic Molly because above all I like the food in my garden to be fun. And what’s more fun than purple and pink potatoes?!

But as with last year, I’ve got about a million different kinds of potatoes in my cart right now, unable to decide. Do I want early? Mid? Late season? Purple on the inside? Purple on the outside? Pink? Red Gold? Fingerling? Sweet? And while I do love potatoes, I don’t think I can plant 20 different varieties of potatoes on a quarter acre lot and still have room for things like kale and tomatoes and pumpkins. So, what are your favorites? Do you grow potatoes? Got a variety that I have to try?

purple potatoes

Purple seed potatoes

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When Keeping it Rustic Goes Wrong

These are the cupboards that came with our house. They’re rustic and very ‘ye olde homestead’ and they blow. I mean, the kitchen itself is poorly laid out and clearly was designed by someone who hated to cook. But the cupboards. Oh god, the cupboards. About half of them have doors that don’t shut.

wooden cupboard doors

Note the doors that never close.

They’re made of rough hewn wood that seems to serve no purpose other than to give you splinters every time you touch them. Whenever I’m in the kitchen I fantasize about taking a sledgehammer to them. They’re the perfect absorbent texture to just suck any liquid into their pores. Spill a bit of raw meat juice while cooking? Forget about trying to clean or sanitize! All that juice and bacteria and yuck just soaks right in. Every now and then I just spray them down with a shit ton of vinegar and hope for the best. Continue reading

Eat Your Weeds – Making Jellies with Dandelions and Violets

Okay, I know it’s winter, and I should save writing up this recipe until spring. But my yard is currently covered in snow, and we’re getting warnings for the next big snow storm in a few days, and I’m tired of being cold and I want to be back out in the garden. So I’m tripping down memory lane and talking about floral jellies. Plus, it’s starting to be the “All Tallow All The Time Show” over here, so switching over to talking about the garden seemed like a good move.

One day last spring I was wandering around the yard dreaming up ideas for my next project and ended up in the “corner of neglect” (now home to my brand spanking new beehive!).  My corner of neglect is a weird patch of yard in the shadow of a massive pine tree and a dying (now dead and gone) Black Walnut. Black Walnuts produce the chemical juglone, which helps them to weed out competition. As a result, not much likes to grow in the shadow of a Black Walnut. So between the shade, the juglone, and the distance from my front door, that back corner sees very little attention from me. My husband dumps the ashes from our woodstove in the corner, and I’ve used it as storage for all the assorted bricks and giant rocks  I dig up around the yard. So imagine my surprise when the neglected corner exploded into a carpet of violets. To the best of my knowledge, they hadn’t been there the year before. But I neglect that corner, so maybe they were. Either way, seeing them inspired me to do something with them.

patch of violets

The neglected corner…

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