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Large mature groundnuts from Nat Bradford

How to Grow Groundnuts (Apios americana)

Posted: November 2, 2017

A Native American perennial, edible tuber! Apios americana, also known colloquially as Indian Groundnut, is found in indigenous diets from Canada to the Gulf coast. This perennial from the pea family produces both edible tubers and podded beans. The vines can extend up to ten feet, with multi-colored flowers resembling wisteria from July to September. … Continue reading

Egyptian Walking Onions: A Perennial Wonder Crop

Posted: August 9, 2017

Egyptian Walking Onions (Allium proliferum) are a perennial onion, meaning they will continue to grow from the same root system each year. This makes them a fantastic addition to the edible landscape because, once established, all you really have to do is eat them. And there are lots of ways to eat them. I like … Continue reading

Cocozelle Zucchini SUmmer Squash

What do I do with so many zucchini?

Posted: June 8, 2017

Originally published in Smoky Mountain Living Magazine, Gardener’s Corner (a Q&A series for gardeners by Chris Smith). When I go to the store I can buy just what I need to eat, when I need it! I like the idea of growing my own food, but one month of eating zucchini for three meals a … Continue reading

Hill Country Red Okra

Growing, Eating and Appreciating Okra

Posted: April 27, 2017

Orignally published in Plough to Pantry. My first experience with okra was in a roadside greasy spoon somewhere near Clayton, GA. It was slimy, greasy, tasteless and only good for playing tricks on tourists. Okra was not being taken seriously. I understand why some people never give it a second chance. The second time I … Continue reading

Portuguese Kale (or collards)

COLLARDS and Portuguese Kale

Posted: April 7, 2017

(Originally published in Asheville’s Plough to Pantry) A long time ago, through selective breeding, the wild species of Brassica oleracea began to take on many faces: broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and collards. Today, most supermarket shoppers wouldn’t recognize these crops as direct relatives, but the budding botanist can tell! Note the four little … Continue reading

Starting Peppers and Eggplants from Seed

Posted: February 23, 2017

Peppers (both hot and sweet) and Eggplants are two crops from the Solanaceae family that have similar seed starting characteristics and are generally started around the same time. They are both frost sensitive annuals which require a fairly long and hot growing season. For this reason, they are starting indoors under controlled conditions and then … Continue reading

Arugula Sprouting Winter Green in Asheville NC

The Joys of Arugula

Posted: January 18, 2017

The little leafy green called arugula, or rocket, is really much more versatile than just for salads. I grow a little patch of cold-loving arugula outside my kitchen door, and when I need a quick parsley substitute…there it is. When I need a handful of tender greens to add to a soup or stew…there it … Continue reading

Red Russian Kale growing from seed in oval beds

Growing Winter Kale

Posted: November 8, 2016

…and kale can take your garden right through the next spring and perhaps summer as well. This super-hardy, easy-to-grow leafy vegetable can tolerate a range of temperatures but it really loves cool weather. To my surprise and delight, after I planted a packet of dinosaur kale seeds (Lacinato), sometimes called black kale, in the late … Continue reading

Fall Greens from Nan Chase

Fall Gardening Know How (Part III): Greens

Posted: August 18, 2016

With the first official day of fall just a month away, many gardeners are looking forward to the changing season and a reprieve from the heat and pests of summer. While gardening in cooler temperatures under the azure sky of fall, my attitude improves as I slow down and spend more time pondering my garden. … Continue reading

Early Wonder Beets Freshly Harvested

Fall Gardening Know How, Part II: Root Crops

Posted: August 5, 2016

Earthy. Sweet. Pungent. Sifting through gardening blogs and seed catalogs, these are some of the many adjectives used to wax poetic about the flavors of root vegetables. If asked about their importance to modern cuisine, a chef would likely add versatile and nutritious to their description. Root vegetables like beets and rutabagas can be steamed … Continue reading

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