This is part 1 of a 3-part fictional short story that is written for all ages to enjoy. It is based on a true story of a cat that just arrived in our garden. "Tango, the Garden Cat" is about a feral outdoor cat that may never rest in the comfort of a cozy, safe, indoor bed.
Some consider Garcinia fruits one of those promising, “100% natural” plant ingredients often added to dietary supplements to aide in weight loss. Garcina cambogia caught my attention after several of my patients asked me, “Will Garcinia help me lose weight?” What does the science say? Learn more and share what you know about this interesting fruit.
The General Assembly of the United Nations has declared 2013 as The International Year of Quinoa! Learn more about Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) - a natural food high in nutritional value with a unique botanical classification. Quinoa seeds are now available from garden seed suppliers too - you may want to grow it in your garden!
Whether you grow your own pumpkin or buy it at the market, fresh roasted pumpkin is rewarding to make and enhances homemade breads, cookies, cheesecake, ravioli, pancakes, soups and of course, the ever-popular custard for PUMPKIN PIE. Here is a step-by-step recipe for roasting your own pumpkin and making a pie that is guaranteed to give you rave reviews!
Move over apples, pears and grapes; make room for persimmons. Have you and your family ever tasted a persimmon? My family just did. Now they want to know if we can grow our own persimmon tree! Discover the flavor and good nutrition of persimmons. They can be fresh picked from your own tree or found at your local food markets from October through the New Year.
Lemon grass, Job's tears, amaranth, sorghum, oats, millet, rice and any grain can be grown at home to enjoy the plants, but for volume of harvest, rice - like most grains - is usually left to commercial growers. I must say, I was surprised when I heard the recent Consumer Report of arsenic in rice. And it is not only in white rice, but also brown rice, even organically grown… what’s going on?
Pistachios stand out among almonds, cashews, walnuts and other tree nuts, due to their unusual natural green color and higher levels of healthy nutrients, like potassium, phytosterols, B vitamins and antioxidants.
Back in the days of commuting to and from culinary school in South Jersey, I would drive past the world's largest blueberry farm --Atlantic Blueberry Company. My eyes would scan across hundreds of acres to catch a glimpse of the beautiful landscape. I recently revisited the fields, renewing my culinary excitement for eating and cooking with Jersey Blues.
Little red spotted beetles are loved by all – especially gardeners. Ladybug designs are found on everything from napkins, placemats and kitchen accessories, to baked goods - especially cookies and cupcakes. Ladybugs make a great theme at summer barbeques and parties.
Of all the common fruits, figs are the highest in overall mineral content and are an excellent source of fiber. Growing fig trees is both easy and rewarding. The common fig, Ficus carica, is a nutritious snack right off the tree and delicious when used in such foods as stuffed figs, fig tarts, and fig cookies.
Did you know that Kiwi is a relatively new name for this nutrient-dense fruit? Join me on my quest to learn about the history, nutrition and varieties of Kiwi, as well as how-to-grow this delicious treat. Enjoy Kiwi as a healthy snack and as a serving of fresh fruit. It has a pleasant, fruity flavor, appealing color and high Vitamin C content, adding nutrition, eye appeal and flavor to holiday fruit trays, fruit tarts and pavlova. Try Kiwi pureed in fruit dips, smoothies, and frozen sorbets, or as a natural tenderizer for meats.
White House Chef Cristeta Commerford recently shared her seasonal recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Squash Soup with Pepitas and Greek Yogurt with the public. She added Espelette pepper powder to deepen the flavor and warm it up. Have you ever heard about or grown this hot pepper cultivar from France?
Thanksgiving feasts, whether centered on traditional or non-traditional menus, include a bounty of food to be thankful for. We know that in 1620 the Mayflower sailed for 66 days to America with 102 passengers plus crew. The ship arrived at the shores of Cape Cod that winter and anchored near shore until spring. Many of the passengers and crew died on board from diseases like scurvy (severe lack of vitamin C). When spring finally arrived, the 53 surviving passengers left the ship to explore Indian territory and seek shelter and food. There were conflicts between some Native Americans and Colonists. So, how did Thanksgiving begin? What did they eat from the garden?
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the majority of us consume too little dietary fiber, potassium, calcium, vitamin D, and unsaturated fatty acids from oils, nuts, seafood and other foods. Nutrient-dense Chia seeds contain all that and more, with the exception of vitamin D, which you can get from the sun while out gardening. Check out Chia! (part 3)
Grapes trained to grow along a fence, arbor, trellis (or any support you provide) add great interest to your garden landscape. Hand-picking fresh fruit right from your own backyard is a definite treat. A simple annual pruning is generally the most maintenance grapes require to insure a bountiful harvest. Seeded red grape varieties are best in recipes like antioxidant-rich grape juice, wine and jam and jelly.
What's not to like about Chia sages? The salvia genus fascinates many gardeners, and if you're like me, you grow more than one Salvia species. Why not try Chia? Salvia hispanica, S. columbariae and S. tiliifolia caught my interest because, not only are they beautiful hummingbird-attracting plants, their seeds are super high in nutrition, similar to flaxseeds. Chia seeds offer excellent health benefits and have benefited man throughout history. Check out Chia! (part 2)
Nutritious Chia seeds come from Salvia plants (sages in the Mint family) and grow easily in the home garden. Chia plants produce incredibly healthy seeds, super high in omega-3’s (like flaxseeds). Chia adds nutrition to your plate and interest to your kitchen garden, hummingbird garden and potted arrangements. Check out Chia!
This super nutritious, Asian, cruciferous vegetable deserves a spot both in the garden and on your plate. I decided to write about Bok Choy (Pak Choi) because many gardeners have never tasted or tried growing it. Have you? Pak Choi grows easily and can be eaten raw or cooked. In the marketplace you may see Pak Choi with variable spellings of Pac or Pak, and choy or choi. You may even see it referred to as Chinese White Cabbage or Celery Mustard.
The American Dietetic Association brings us National Nutrition Month (NNM) every year as a reminder to eat right from all the food groups for good nutrition and health. This year's NNM theme is "Eat Right with Color." As research has shown, an effective way to get children to eat right with more colorful fruits and vegetables is to encourage their involvement in gardening. Kids like to eat what they grow! This article features colorful plants selected by children as some of their garden favorites to grow and eat. Enjoy the crossword puzzle at the end of the article too!
Thoughts of New Orleans and its famous Mardi Gras Carnival bring to mind images of a party, masks, fun, drinks and food. I’d like to add to your vision… gorgeous trees and gardens! This article brings you a snapshot of some of the gardens and plants located among the great restaurants and attractions of New Orleans, Louisiana (NOLA).
Grow your own saffron crocus in your kitchen garden. Harvest their stigmas to add yellow color and flavor to rice, broths, soups, seafood, and sauces. The plants themselves will compliment your fall shades of yellow and orange, adding splendid lavender color to your yard and garden in the autumn.
Salmonella is no stranger to peppers, avocados, basil, spinach, lettuce, beans, tomatoes, cauliflower, peanuts; and as recently reported in the news - parsley and sprouts. Bacterial and viral pathogens can contaminate raw produce and herbs before they get to the marketplace or to your dining room.
Homemade jams and jellies make appreciated gifts from friends and family who have learned basic skills in the art of canning and food preservation. Last season, in our first attempt at jelly making, my husband and I used over seven pounds of our prized homegrown red grapes... and guess what? It didn't gel! Here are a few tips from our lessons learned and a step-by-step beginner's recipe for a simple, fun process that will work like a charm.
Pizza-themed gardens are a fun way to involve children in the garden and teach them about gardening, food science, and nutritious, healthy foods. Making a pizza from scratch is fun and rewarding for both adults and children. A homemade pizza becomes a work of food art, your very own creation to be savored and enjoyed by all, and it's as easy as 1-2-3.
Last October the National Restaurant Association surveyed over one thousand chefs asking them to predict ‘what’s hot in 2009’. More than half (73%) predicted superfruits would be a hot trend. Goji (pronounced go-gee) and Acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) and their related products are indeed hot sellers this year. Can we grow these Superfruits in our gardens?
Usually insects and arachnids live in our gardens peacefully, and we don’t even know they are there. Every now and then, though, they declare war on us, and our plants show signs of attack. Spider mites are a common garden pest that can severely attack when conditions are right. When they feast on beautiful roses, they create a not-so-rosy picture.
Cape May, New Jersey features beautiful beaches, Victorian homes and gardens, butterflies, raptors, songbirds, shorebirds, ruby-throated hummingbirds and wetlands. The Cape is nestled in a peninsula at the southern most tip of New Jersey, where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. This National historic landmark attracts travelers from around the world.
BASIL (Ocimum basilicum) is derived from the Greek word 'basileus', which means King. Is basil the best herb (i.e., King) or was basil fit for Kings, since it is supposed to offer protection from the mythological half-lizard/half-dragon of death? I cannot tell you those answers; maybe you can tell me. What I can share with you is my love for the many varieties of basil, along with the nutrition profile and popular culinary uses for sweet basil.
There are many reasons to create a hummingbird habitat in your yard and gardens, besides the enjoyment gained from watching the antics of these special little birds. Hummingbirds also spread flowering plant pollen necessary to produce vital greens, fruits, vegetables and grains.
Once you decide to plant nutritious asparagus in your garden, there are only a few things left to decide: 1) what cultivar(s)? 2) crowns or seeds? and, 3) where to plant your perennial asparagus patch? Asparagus could make a home in your kitchen garden for 20 or more years!
The more you learn about watercress, the more likely you are to include this tasty member of the mustard family in your diet. Discover gardening information about watercress, and why scientists find this nutrient-rich herb so fascinating.
You will love the theme selected by the American Dietetic Association for this year’s National Nutrition Month. 'Nutrition from the Ground Up' can be celebrated all year long, not just during the month of March. After visiting various children’s gardens in backyards, community gardens, and at camps and schools, I would like to share with you 10 of the best plants to include in a children’s garden (this article includes the first five).
This is the final chapter of a 3-part miniseries about a feral outdoor cat we named Tango, who one day arrived in our garden. Tango's garden adventure reminds us of the plight of millions of feral cats struggling daily for survival. Tango and his friends also made my family think about how we felt about other peoples' cats hanging out in our garden. Would they be welcome in your garden?
Participating in seed swaps here on Dave's Garden sure has wonderful rewards. In a swap last season I received seeds for a plant called Job's Tears, Coix lacryma-jobi. A member of the Poaceae (grass) family, it is quite a fascinating plant.
Rosemary is a tender herb with edible, aromatic, evergreen, needle-like leaves, resembling pine needles. This easy-to-grow, woody perennial herb is available in both cascading and upright forms. Rosemary's unique flavor remains potent when dried, making it renowned by chefs and cooks across the country. My favorite recipe using dried Rosemary is Rosemary Roasted Potato ‘Fries’, a healthy alternative to fast-food french fries.
Umeboshi and Ume plum products are a rich part of Asian culture. You will be introduced to an aromatic herb, Perilla frutescens, along with the historic and breathtaking Prunus mume plum tree, which boasts gorgeous, fragrant blossoms and can be grown in the United States.
Today’s hybridizing techniques are taking watermelon to a new high for nutrition and health. Fresh watermelon is still available, so don’t miss out on its summertime flavor and nutritional benefits. Learn from watermelon growers on how to grow the many varieties of this super fruit in your own garden.
Appreciated since Victorian times, Coleus (now Solenostemon) lights up gardens and window boxes like precious gems. Some species are edible herbs and root vegetables too, with medicinal health claims. I consulted with representatives from Gaia Herbs in North Carolina, and with Coleus expert Ray Rogers in search of health and nutrition information about the Ayurvedic herb, Coleus forskohlii.