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What's in your own backyard?
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cmschma



Joined: 18 Jan 2005
Posts: 13
Location: Culver City, CA & Atlanta, GA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2005 3:55 am    Post subject: What's in your own backyard? Reply with quote

I just finished making my favorite lemon pasta with lemons I picked from a friend's backyard. Despite the fact that he does absolutely nothing to maintain it, he has a lemon tree that is always drooping over with too much fruit.

When I moved to California five years ago, I was amazed at the fresh produce here that will change the way you look at a fruit or vegetable. In fact, I never liked avocados until I discovered what a truly fresh one tastes like...the difference being the still firm texture that somehow melts in your mouth! (not mushy like the ones that are shipped across the country)

So...what ingredients are native to your region?? And what do you do with them??

P.S. Lemon pasta is simple: cappellini, lemon olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2005 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'm out in SoCal too (Woodland Hills, to be exact) so I am also fortunate to have a wide range of excellent produce available. As you will well know, cmschma, our farmers markets have done an enormous service to our local farmers and to us as consumers to create a market for local, heritage and organic & inorganic, fruits & veggies.

We also have a climate that's favorable to so much. I feel very fortunate to have a number of fruit trees (tho I have NOT been fortunate enough to convince the local fauna to share very generously with me...) and a small veggie garden. So I get fresh lemons & oranges, apricots & plums. I've got pear and apple trees that probably need another year or two of maturity before I'll get yield. I have a Mission fig tree that always produces more than I can pick and eat.

When it's warmer I'll have tomatoes, cukes, clotilde's beloved zucchini (tho I don't think I'll ever grow any chocolate), mesclun, artichokes, carrots, onions, garlic, potatoes and pole beans of several colors.

What I'm disappointed not to have is really good spinach. Our climate just doesn't get cold enough for the really good stuff.
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mkraats



Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2005 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My father has a friend with a huge garden, where they grow peas, varieties of beans, cabbages, sprouts, lettuce, onions, and vegetables that are getting very hard to buy (at least here in the Netherlands) like black salsifies, a relative of the asparagus. There's also the backbone of traditional dutch cooking: the potato.

But my favourite is the Boerenkool (the English translation is curly cole which doesn't really do it justice in my opinion, a more literal translation would be farmer's cole). The traditional way to eat Boerenkool is in a hotchpotch with mashed potatoes, gravy, smoked sausage and some bacon. Boerenkool also tastes best when it's had a night of frost before harvesting.

But, don't just take my word for it, see:

http://makeashorterlink.com/?S16B32E4A
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swan



Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Posts: 450
Location: a Dutchie in HongKong

PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
But my favourite is the Boerenkool


I'm with you on the boerenkool! Yum, the traditional way, must be eaten during winter, though some diehards eat it in summertime as well, I've heard, made with the frozen version!


my backyard just provides a small but wonderfull place to relax as soon as the weather is nice enough to sit outside. Oh, and some grapes, (but those are just for show Smile), lavender and flowers. And all my neighbours cats somehow love my tiny garden.
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swan



Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Posts: 450
Location: a Dutchie in HongKong

PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh, I forgot: I think the Portugese use a similar kind of cabbage (boerenkool) for their wonderful soup called 'caldo verde'.
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cmschma



Joined: 18 Jan 2005
Posts: 13
Location: Culver City, CA & Atlanta, GA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW! Boerenkool sounds like something I need to try my hand at! My brief web search reveals that it is a form of kale, which my farmer's market has in season right now. Thanks for the link, I will definitely try my own version of it! I have some smoked sausage in the fridge too. Very Happy

I also found that salsifies apparently grow wild in North America, but I've never seen it on a menu. Interesting.

Rainey, you have a fig tree in your backyard? Now I'm jealous...
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cmschma wrote:
Rainey, you have a fig tree in your backyard? Now I'm jealous...


Yes. I found a tiny volunteer when we moved into this house 7 year ago. It grew quickly but I almost took it out 3 years ago because it never fruited. Glad I waited! Now I not only get more figs than I can use, I get the occasional voluteer as well.

Would you like to know if I see one this year? Last year one of the ones I found went to a friend in Culver City near Sony. How about that? Wink
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cmschma



Joined: 18 Jan 2005
Posts: 13
Location: Culver City, CA & Atlanta, GA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, please let me know if you see one!!

In the meantime, perhaps I shall stroll through my neighborhood and see if I can spot that fig tree, since I live near Sony as well. Wink
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 11:41 am    Post subject: in my really truly backyard.. Reply with quote

a gnarled, glorious rosemary bush we planted almost 30 years ago...it is generous and a most special part of our garden...as I walk past I often give its leaves a rub...ah, that memory..
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As much as I adore living in a place with 4 very distinct seasons I must express huge amounts of jealousy that so many of you live in places where it is warm enough to get year round access to fresh local produce! Our growing season here is very short. There is little point in planting until well into May and the first frosts occur in September. Now one wonderful thing about the first frosts is that it sweetens the apples on our three apple trees in the back yard. Apples and plums are just about the only kinds of fruit trees hardy enough to weather our clime. Lemon trees or a fig tree(!) are unimaginable. And a 30 year old rosemary bush! beyond imagining as well!
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was out in Ontario/Upland California last week for work. What wonderful weather they had out there last week!

Back home in Alabama, in my back yard I have Dafodills (which I now don't eat), wild onions, turnips, a fig tree transplanted just this winter from Ohio-- my father claims this has some Italian family connection. I'm going to be planting my backyard garden soon. Will be planting sweet corn, tomatoes, onions, carrots, cabbage, okra, cucumbers, peas, kale, pumpkins, watermelon, cantelope, and yellow squash.

I figure I'll use up as much of the back yard as necessary for the garden since I don't entertain in the yard. I just moved to Alabama last winter, so this is my first full year in the new place and the first time I'll be planting a real garden.

BTW, my fig tree is tiny -- basically a stick which is about 12 inches tall.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David, I can well sympathise. When I lived in Vacouver I tried to grow a potted tomato. It was on a wheeled trolley and spent as much time indoors as out! If we had stayed there isn't any way I could have coped without a greenhouse!
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sarape, you go girl! Wink It's so much fun to eat something you've grown! Even if I don't get a lot or get those gorgeous examples that show up in food porn it's still a great feeling to walk out the door, pick and wash something and take it directly to the kitchen.

You'll REALLY love fresh-picked corn! Corn starts a race to convert sugar to starch the second it's picked so cutting an hour off the time it goes from stalk to pot makes an enormous difference.

We used to have corn but I gave up planting it when my weight got completely out of hand and I had to give up the carbs that make my insulin soar. I hope you thoroughly enjoy yours! Be sure to plant it in blocks of at least 6 by 6 to get good pollenation.
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wasabi



Joined: 29 Nov 2004
Posts: 32
Location: Salt Lake City, UT

PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:31 pm    Post subject: Re: What's in your own backyard? Reply with quote

I would be a liar if i said that i wasn't jealous of you fortunate ones with fresh year round produce! a friend of mine visited from his bay area home with two huge bag fulls of meyer lemons. heaven...

but when my area blooms, i feast. so i cannot really complain for a few months out of the year...

sweet corn, barely steamed and eaten in what i've come to know as the midwestern style -- a thick slab of good white loaf bread (potato bread is fantastic, too) slathered with sweet butter and a small dish of coarse sea salt. take the hot ear and roll it across the bread to get it nicely buttered and sprinkle some salt and devour in one go while it's still hot. the bread is just as delicious devoured afterward with more salt and a slice of cherokee purple tomato Smile

local raspberries and peaches...here people love their sweets and ice cream, so milkshakes are a common incarnation of these summer fruit...perfect road food on the way to a turquoise lake. otherwise, a little cream is all you need.

i live on tomatoes in the summer...golden girls, brandywines, black princes, green zebra, cherokees...yum. we grow them until the first of november.
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey wrote:
Sarape, you go girl!

You'll REALLY love fresh-picked corn! Corn starts a race to convert sugar to starch the second it's picked so cutting an hour off the time it goes from stalk to pot makes an enormous difference.

We used to have corn but I gave up planting it when my weight got completely out of hand and I had to give up the carbs that make my insulin soar. I hope you thoroughly enjoy yours! Be sure to plant it in blocks of at least 6 by 6 to get good pollenation.


Actually, "Sarape" is a boy -- me. Guess we have that cleared up.

Yes, sweet corn picked from the end of the row with a pot of boiling water sitting there at the row end is the best -- I stole that from someone who said the only way to eat sweet corn was to get the pot boiling out there in the field at the end of the row.

I have to figure out the best location for my sweet-corn plants since I don't want them consuming all of the sunshine. The local farmers tell me sweet corn grows best with morning sun and is best kept out of long afternoon suns -- it can get hard and dry.

Also, Alabama is abundant in wild peach, apple, and pear trees. And there are a smaller number of persimmon and cherry trees. I only listed the things which grow in my yard or which I'm planning on planting.
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