All posts filed under: Locally Grown

Garden Project 2015 – Celer-y… Celer-Ra!

We go through a lot of celery. That’s nearly 2 bunches a week. It goes in salads, soups, stews… the occasional ants on a log…and sometimes, just to munch. I mean, it’s like negative calories. The amount of jaw muscle work and digestive hoo haas going on far over-reach the measly 7 calories per stalk. But that leaves me with a bounty of these little celery stalk butts. Yes, I know it’s still celery… but the color is all wrong and to be completely honest, it doesn’t really taste like much of anything. You remember back in grade school when you stuck toothpicks in potatoes and suspended them over water to watch them grow leggy, useless plants? Or the carrot tops left rotting in jelly jar lids? I found out you can do pretty much the same thing with celery butts…. only instead of a pile of non-producing potato stems – you can get actual – edible – celery! And it only takes about 4 weeks. To do this, you have to understand a couple …

Locally Grown – Sorghum Syrup

Generally speaking, it’s a Southern thing. Although over the years it’s been produced across the country as far north as Minnesota. Sorghum syrup is to the South like baked beans are to Boston. And let me be clear, this isn’t anything like maple syrup. Sorghum originally came to the South  in the pockets and packs of the slave trade, and quickly became a favored feed stock because of the drought resistant qualities of the canes. Unlike sugar cane which does best  in moist, rich soils, sorghum thrived in the oppressive heat and humidity of the deep south. Sorghum syrup is made from the pressed canes of the sweet sorghum plant. It is similar to sugar cane in sweetness but far more complex in flavor. By the mid 1800’s sorghum syrup production totaled close to 62 million gallons a year. It was the primary sweetener in the southern states. However, syrup production was hard work. The canes had to be cut and stripped by hand, the presses were either livestock or man powered, the canes had to be continually fed into the …

Curb Market Crawl – Cornfield Beans

When we were kids, my brothers and I would trade off spending the weekends at my grandparent’s house. We would wake up early on Saturdays to fresh baked biscuits, fried ham, coffee and whiffs of my granddad’s pipe tobacco permeating through the house. Once they got us rousted out of bed, breakfast would be those crispy-bottoms biscuits slathered in Parkay Margarine with a healthy dose of my grandmother’s thoroughly horrible burnt sugar jam “doesn’t it taste just like fresh blackberries?” and a big glass of sugar laden coffee with Pet Milk (we weren’t allowed coffee at home). It, honestly, was the best part of the weekend sleep-over. Once the meal was done, it was out to the garden for a fun-filled full day of tilling, weeding, picking… in the garden. Looking back on it now, it’s pretty evident why we were over so often during the summer…. Slave labor. The big breakfast? It was just to make sure we didn’t pass out during the day… I’m convinced of it. As long as I can remember, …