Stuff they never tell you

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I'm a relative newbie at gardening, although enjoying it. I've bought (too) many books, and had a couple of relatively successful years growing veggies and such. However, though the books go into a lot of detail on how to grow plants, their soil requirements, etc etc, they don't usually have a lot of info on what to do with the produce (yeah, I know -- "eat it"). I'm thinking of information on what parts of plants are edible (or poisonous), how you process it, how you store it, etc.
Is there any online info that concentrates on this aspect of gardening? Or a good book that someone can recommend?
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Lots and lots.
First and foremost, get yourself the latest edition of the "Ball Blue Book." Imagine Ed McMahon saying, "That's amazing, Johynny.... EVERYTHING you could ever want to know about preserving food is in THIS BOOK!"
It's either a slender paperback or a big pamphlet... consider it the Holy Writ of food preserving. Beyond that, there's lots of information... plug USDA, canning, freezing, pickling into your favorite search engine and duck.
I just got "Wild Fermentation," which has more than anybody needs to know about pickles, kraut and more, with a lot of background on the cultures that invented these things (Who thought burying a bunch of fish in the ground to make sauce was a good idea). I like that sort of stuff. But then, I'm weird.
Peace,
Gary Woods AKA K2AHC- PGP key on request, or at home.earthlink.net/~garygarlic Zone 5/6 in upstate New York, 1420' elevation. NY WO G
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Sounds like a new way to make lutefisk . Not that I would ever like to make it. Or smell it.
Olin
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I want Gary to expand on the recipe a bit.
It reminds me of the buried casks of anchovies all Quang Nam province in Vietnam that were fermenting to make Nuoc mam. I think they were just layers of fish and salt-- buried to keep the temp more or less steady- and turning into an unforgettable condiment in a few months. [I happen to like it. It doesn't seem to be agree with most westerners.]
Jim
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know
cultures
the
But
to make

I have fond memories of lutefisk, disgusting though it was. My lovely Finn/Swede landlady made it every Christmas, dried codfish soaked in lye, and boiled into jelly.
s.
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The method I know about involves putting the cod in water for a few days to ferment it until it bloats, then soak it in lye water for a few more days until it gets soft so you can stick a finger in it. After that, you can use it right away or dry it to preserve it for later use. I thought that maybe by burying it in soil, Gary had a less unpleasant luting formula. Olin
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Server over rice with a white sauce..... or over toast bits. My mom made it too. I loved it. :-)
You can still get the dried, boxed, lye soaked cod at the store if you look hard enough.
--
K.

Sprout the MungBean to reply

"I don't like to commit myself about heaven and hellyou
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'Putting Food By' - I have a 1970's [bought in '73'] copy kicking around someplace & I still look at it once in a while. It covers freezing, canning, drying, making jams & preserves--- and what fruits/veggies are best suited for each.
Hopefully there is a newer version out there-- but if not, you can probably find some copies on bookfinder.com.
Jim
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I have a 1976 U.K. version of 'Putting Food By', it's still really useful if you want serious information.
Another good book that I bought many years ago and still use is '12 Months Harvest' a guide to canning, freezing, smoking and drying; making cheese, cider, soap and grinding grain; getting the most from your garden. It was published by Ortho Books in 1975 and describes the lives of the Dewey family through their year, from one harvest to the next, and tells you how to freeze things and also how to preserve them the old-fashioned way: fruit, veg, herbs, meats, fish.. Also, sprouting seeds and how to make sourdough, etc. etc.
I see this is available at abebooks for $4.00, which is 2 cents more than I paid for it at the time.
http://dogbert.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?imagefield.xg&tn + Months+Harvest&imagefield.y
s.
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Go to the web site of the National Center For Home Food Preservation. http://www.uga.edu/nchfp / There is enough information there to get you well on your way to being an expert in the field of safe and responsible home food preservation. Ross, Southern Ontario, Canada. New AgCanada Zone 5b 4317.446' North 8013.472' West To email, remove the obvious from my address.
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On 11/27/04 9:23 AM, in article lK2qd.363134$nl.291275@pd7tw3no, "Dennis

My first question: What vegetables have you grown? I'm dying to know! :) My second question: Do you have a freezer? If so, the manual that comes with it will tell you how to freeze your extra vegetables.
My first suggestion: You may want to checkout a 'cooking' newsgroup...alt.cooking-chat for example.
My first editorial: (off topic, sorry, but as you are relatively new, I feel you may find this helpful for the long haul). Many books will encourage the use of chemical fertilizers....chemical fertilizers don't nourish the soil or feed worms...a chemical fertilizer feeds the plants and that is all. Feed your worms (compost) and the soil becomes sustainable all on its own and less waste goes to landfills. :) Bill PS: Isn't gardening fun! I love growing vegetables and I compost everything in sight...well not quite, but I want to! :)
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wrote:

So far, what I've found is that I get far more compostable material than I can keep up with, so I don't see a lot of need for chemical fertilizers.
Last year I grew tomatoes (does anyone not?), peppers, carrots, onions, turnips, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and pumpkins. Some did very well, some not so good. I didn't really have the time to plan and organize very well, because I'm also renovating the house. Turnips were bitter, because I grew them in hot weather. Cole crops
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wrote:

My PC went "odd" while I was writing this. I thought it had dropped the message. Apparently it sent it half-baked. Sorry. The next message is the "complete" answer.
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wrote:

I don't see any need for chemicals -- I've got far more compostable material than I need. I grew the "usual" stuff: tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins, carrots, radishes, turnips, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cucumbers, etc. Unfortunately I didn't have time to really organize myself for successive plantings and such (I'm also renovating our house), so some of the stuff was grown in inappropriate weather. In particular the turnips were too bitter to eat.
Regarding the advice given, thanks to everyone. However, I'm still uncertain about some more "basic" questions. For instance, last year we grew a lot of potatoes (oh, yeah - forgot to mention that). I lost a whole batch because I left them out in the light and they turned green. Fortunately I knew not to eat green potatoes, but I'm sure there are a lot of tidbits about how to store or not store stuff that I don't know about. Also, what parts of plants can or can't be eaten? You wouldn't necessarily know that you can eat beet greens, but *not* rhubarb greens, for instance. What about stuff like turnip greens?
Then there's the question of pantries. As I mentioned, I'm renovating. Perfect time to build a pantry or vegetable cellar or some such. I assume it should be dark inside. Air holes? Or air-tight?. Plastic lined? Build against theconcrete foundation for coolness seems reasonable, but should I line the concrete with plastic (or wood panel) or just leave it exposed?
Are things like carrots best kept in the fridge or in a pantry-type thing? For how long? Ditto stuff like onions, potatoes, etc etc etc.
Maybe I didn't make it clear how clueless I am. Unfortunately, in the good ol' days, we learned this stuff from our family. In our modern urban Safeway-oriented society, most of this lore seems to be undocumented or at least not obviously available. Thus my whining.
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On 11/28/04 11:06 AM, in article wkpqd.375256$%k.219798@pd7tw2no, "Dennis

Save the green potatoes for seed...You could also eat them if you peel off the green skin. I'm thinking that you can also eat a few of the green parts... Eating turnip leaves? I have never eaten them...but they are a member of the brassica family which includes cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts etc. so yes, they can be eaten. There are some Persian people who will ask for them at farmer's markets...just the greens! Storing carrots? I have been told that burying them in sand, sawdust or leaving them in the ground will work. I personally choose to keep them in a plastic bag in the fridge...my beer fridge. Not all will survive for the duration. There will be some that get soft (mushy) on their surface- I eat them first by removing the mushy part. (I have found that keeping carrots pristine is tough to do. I am still working on a 'better' way). Sweet onions will not keep. Hot onions are better keepers and will last for a long time in a cool ventilated location. So when you choose varieties to plant, plant the sweet ones for immediate consumption and the hot ones for the winter months. Storing potatoes? As you know they need to be kept in the dark. Keep them cool and ventilated...they produce heat as they age. 'New' potatoes are not keepers because they have no skin. Thick skinned potatoes, like many vegetables, will keep for a long time when the skin is tough. (I had a winter squash (hard skinned) that lasted for a year!) You say you are 'clueless'. Nope! I respect your willingness to learn and you have asked some very important questions here. I'm glad to know that you are a composter. You are on the right track! Bill PS: You asked 'how long...to store', I missed that. Potatoes will last in storage until they decide to start growing. The conditions they are under will decide when that happens...and even when you have done your best 'they' will decide 'it is time' and start to send out shoots. Break off all the shoots and they will continue to be edible. Eventually, their time is up and they will grow in spite of your efforts. The good news is that they are still edible even when wrinkled. Cook 'em up...:) Onions will do the same thing. They will start to grow sending up green shoots. You can eat them even at this stage-green onions! Or, plant them....now that is an experiment I am trying right now! My thinking...so you want to grow! OK, go for it! Have fun and experiment.
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Bill is clearly not from the South! I'd say every supermarket in town has turnip greens--just the greens-- available. Right next to the collard greens and the mustard greens. And there aren't a great many Persians here in Montgomery;>
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On Mon, 29 Nov 2004 08:58:50 -0600, spamnoMore snipped-for-privacy@knology.net (Martin) wrote:

I was gonna say!

Not too many overe here in Columbia, either. The stores keep selling out, though.
Put in some kale this weekend, as I'm not too crazy about collards.
Penelope
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wrote:

Thanks for all your help and info. This year I intend to take the time to do it right. I guess I'd better get started on that reading....
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wrote:

know! :)

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Turnip greens and beet greens are rather tasty. When it was time to thin the beets, we would wash the culled plants (with the small root still attached) and cook them like spinach.

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Remember that root crops are supposed to survive the winter while in the ground. The original purpose for storing all that energy in the root was to give the plants a good start next year. Some, like carrots, survive freezing temperatures just fine. Others need to be kept above freezing temperatures.
Ray Drouillard

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Dennis:
A root cellar is what you need. A google search turned up lots of info.
As far as what part(s) to eat... Research each vegetable. Squash blossoms yes, potato blossoms no.
Turnips, there are greens types and root types. Can you eat the other part of a turnip? Sure. Will it be as good as the type for the use? Probably not.
Storage also depends on where you live. Carrots can be stored under straw bales in the ground. We freeze and can mostly.
Onions, I chop fine in the food processor and freeze thin enough to break off pieces. Same with peppers.
Good Luck and happy Gardening!
John!
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