I don’t know about where you live, but around here the flu has been going around again. In fact, in one of our homeschool activities, since the new year began we have had two weeks where over half of the families were out due to illness. We’ve been fortunate in that we haven’t been hit by some of the bugs going around. This is how I make all of my chicken stock during the Winter, to help ward off the nastiness.
This past Spring, I joined Herb Mentor and stayed with them for a few months, learning all I could about the use of herbs. One of the tips I picked up is that you can soak an herb in vinegar and use that in your cooking.
I’m always looking for ways to get medicinal herbs into me in ways that don’t resemble forms of torture. I know some of you laugh, but some of herbs I use are especially difficult to get down and I’m the type that can swallow anything. I am totally not picky when it comes to the taste or texture of what I have to swallow, a skill I learned while I was so ill and going through chelation. I found that some of the less palatable root herbs, like dandelion and burdock root, are easily done in vinegar without it becoming a mind-bending flavor.
So I began using the burdock and dandelion vinegars in all sorts of dishes, including uncooked things like my quick honey mustard dip (recipe below). So far, no one has noticed any change in flavors or made any comments. I now soak all of my apple cider vinegar in burdock or dandelion prior to use.
Here’s the varieties I’m looking into planting this year in my garden. I’m trying to pick high-yielding veggies appropriate for our zone, which is 6a/7a. My seeds come from Fedco, Bountiful Gardens and Baker Creek. I also do some trading with friends.
- Kale- dwarf Siberian, red Russian and white Russian.
- Broccoli- calabrese and rapini
- Cabbage- Brunswick
- Chinese cabbage- extra dwarf pak choy, ching chang, yod fah, Chinese kale, gailan
- Cauliflower- Violetta
- Cantaloupe- Jenny Lind
- Cowpea- Six-week pinkeye purple hull
- Tomato- my cold weather tomato will be Crnkovic Yugoslavian. Amish paste is my standard canning tomato. I will also grow Rutgers and Homestead and try Tomato Spear’s Tennessee Green, Roma and royal chico for the first time.
- Carrot- Autumn king, Atomic red, tonda di parigi, Amsterdam, and cosmic purple.
- Beet- early wonder and cylindra
- Winter squash- bush buttercup, table queen bush and sugar loaf delicata
- Summer squash- black beauty zucchini and yellow crookneck
- Fennel- zina fino
- Garden pea- sugar ann
- Cucumber- sweet marketmore for slicing and Boston for pickling
- Beans-provider snap bush, cannellini, king of the early, Tennessee greasy grits
- Peppers- Leutschauer paprika, Anaheim, tam jalapeno, long thin cayenne, California wonder, Toppo rosso
- Radish- daikon and white icicle
- Turnip- purple top white globe.
- Spinach- bloomsdale and winter giant
- Lettuces-anuenue, little gem, parris island cos romaine, winter bibb, mangetaspreen, dandelion, stinging nettle, deer tongue, pirat butterhead, black seeded simpson, tango, winter marvel, majestic red, pablo, strawberry spinach (which really isn’t spinach) and anything else I can seed swap for. We like a wide variety.
- Chard- five-color silverbeet
- Onion- Texas early grano
- Okra- Clemson spineless
- Leek- musselburgh
- Kohlrabi- gigante
- Potatoes- Kennebec
- Sweet potatoes- I’m not sure yet, but I have until May to decide.
- Garden berries- ground cherries and huckleberry
I’m not doing corn this year due to space limitations as compared to yield. Collards are one of the few veggies I will not eat. I think I’m going to leave out the rutabagas, too. I also decided not to grow another monster Candy Roaster squash plant this year due to the space, as well as any grains. Now I must plot the garden out then pick both culinary and medicinal herbs based off of how much space remains once I fit all of the veggies in. Then I will make a list of how many plants to start and on what date.
KerryAnn Foster runs Cooking Traditional Foods, the longest running Traditional Foods Menu Mailer on the internet. KerryAnn has over nine years of traditional foods experience and is a former Weston A. Price Foundation chapter leader. Founded in 2005, CTF helps you feed your family nourishing foods they will love. Each mailer contains one soup, five dinners, one breakfast, on dessert and extras. You can learn more about our Menu Mailers at the CTF website. For a free sample Menu Mailer, join our mailing list. You can also join our forum to chat with other traditional foodists and learn more.