Monday, May 22, 2023

Dandelion Tisane (Tea)

One should be so lucky to be like a dandelion.  When they are torn down they reappear even stronger and more resilient than before, the phoenix of the garden they are.

Dandelion Tisane
Dandelion flowers, mint, lemon bee balm, lavender, echinacea, and chamomile

For those who don't drink alcohol, there's a very easy and delicious way to enjoy dandelions that is sure to make you break out into extreme happiness.  Make a dandelion tisane!

Monday, May 15, 2023

Dandelion Wine

“And there, row upon row, with the soft gleam of flowers opened at morning, with the light of this June sun glowing through a faint skin of dust, would stand the dandelion wine."
- Ray Bradbury

Dandelion Wine
Freshly bottled dandelion wine

This is an odd article to write seeing as I don't drink anymore for various reasons.  But about 2 years ago I made this slamming dandelion wine and it was too good to not write about so here we are.

Most Americans consider dandelions to be a vile enemy.  They curse the dandelions very existence then spray them with noxious poisons that not only succeed in killing the plant but causes cancer in humans, destroys the soil, pollutes the waterways then ends up in everybody's bodies.  Without fail the dandelions come back from seed a few weeks later and the whole process starts over again.

Instead of that nonsense, what if people actually used the dandelions that grew and made them into something useful?  To be clear, dandelions are already useful in their raw existence.  The flower, leaves, and roots are edible, you can eat them right out of your yard.  Most people cringe at that idea, even though it's free food, but what if the dandelions were turned into a delicious wine?

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Many Moods of Spring Greens

"It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring, who reaps a harvest in the Autumn." 
- B.C. Forbes

Buttercrunch Lettuce - Spring 2023

Plants are alive - they communicate, they scream, the leaves get droopy / curled when they haven't had enough water, and the plants get upset if they get too much water.  It's quite clear, plants are alive even if they don't have what we consider to be a normal brain.

Just like other beings that are alive, each type of plant has preferences and certain conditions that they like.  Spring greens are where this is the most noticeable.

Spring greens like cool weather but they don't like freezing temps nor do they like it when it gets too hot (think 85+ F or 29+ C).  They have very specific conditions they need to thrive.

Greens that fall into this category are your arugulas, lettuce, radishes, spinach, etc.  To get the best tasting greens, they require cool weather.  Once it gets too hot out and past their comfort zone they start bolting to produce seed and the whole plant gets a hell of a lot more bitter the hotter the temperatures get.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Fluffy Pancake Extravaganza!

"The key dietary messages are stunningly simple: Eat less, move more, eat more fruits and vegetables, and don't eat too much junk food. It's no more complicated than that."
- Marion Nestle

Fluffy, Crispy, Creamy Pancakes!

The Holidays are long over.  Spring keeps poking its sunny head around the corner.  Yet you find yourself with mass amounts of left over cream cheese that's on the cusp of going to waste.  What are you to do?

These pancakes are fluffy, crispy, creamy, not the least bit healthy and are damn good.  Cream cheese and copious amounts of butter makes everything better.  Don't hold back, pack mass amounts of both into this recipe, you will not be disappointed:

Friday, March 3, 2023

Meat Me 2.0

“I think using animals for food is an ethical thing to do, but we've got to do it right. We've got to give those animals a decent life and we've got to give them a painless death. We owe the animal respect.” - Temple Grandin

Smoked Brisket
Brisket - freshly smoked all day long - ready to be devoured.  No barbeque sauce in sight, that's bark baby!!!

This original "What About the Meat?!" article written in 2021 is one of the very few articles that I have written where I naively assumed it would never ever need to be updated.  Up until that point in time the meat and ranching industry in Northern Colorado seemed to have been stuck in a grimy, oily, sludge and did not seem likely to change anytime soon, let alone change fast.

My how the times have changed, since then, the amount of ranchers in the area has seemingly exploded.  On top of that, the newer ranchers seem to be taking a crap ton of pride in their craft.  They want you to have the best possible meat and they have become a lot more transparent about their entire process all the way from the animals being born through the slaughtering and butchering up until the meat hits your deep freezer.

Friday, February 3, 2023

Just Add Salt

Stranger:  You grow how many pepper plants?

Me: (thinking) Last year I had about... 60.

Stranger: (jaw drops to the ground)  What???

Food or Science Experiment?

It's fascinating what people find strange.  60 pepper plants in one backyard can't be fathomed yet buying and eating ultra-processed foods that slowly kill you is completely normal.  It would seem as though our society has it's priorities backwards, but I digress.  What were we talking about?  Ah yes, the peppers.

Pepper seeds were just planted for the 2023 growing season and I'm currently starting 72 of them.  By the time they germinate and start growing there'll probably be around 60 plants again, maybe more.  What's one to do with all of these peppers?

Friday, January 27, 2023

Start Seeds Somewhere... Sometime

“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land.” - Abraham Lincoln

Seedling waking up for the year - 2022.

Seed starting is the essential first step to a vegetable paradise.  If you're in a colder climate that has a shorter growing season, such as Colorado, then starting your seeds inside is essential.  Different plants have different growing times.  Some plants, such as peppers, take forever to grow.  Others such as radishes, have a ridiculously short time before you are reaping the rewards.

The general strategy is to start the plants with the longest growing times first then each month keep moving along to plants that have slightly shorter and shorter growing times until you can plant outside and/or move the inside plants outside.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Seed Starting - Think Vertical!

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” - Kurt Vonnegut

Seed starting shelve station, succinctly standing.

What's one to do when one lives in a normal house and does not possess a surely luxurious greenhouse, which would make all this vegetable growing nonsense much easier?

Get creative of course!  You don't need no stinking greenhouse to be successful, although you may dream about greenhouses nightly.  In normal houses, space is almost always an issue.  But that's okay, just hop on the creative train and make do with what you have.  All that's really needed is some sort of shelving, a corner of a room or a wall, and some grow lights.