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Thread: Plants I might grow this year

  1. #1
    Bob Terwilliger Guest

    Default Plants I might grow this year

    I'm told that this is the best season for adding plants to my landscape, so
    I'm thinking about adding these:

    Chestnuts: Chestnuts are mostly a relic of bygone days. They used to be very
    popular, but they've fallen out of fashion over the last eighty years or so.
    Culinarily, they're interesting because they can be used in both sweet and
    savory ways.

    I bought some chestnuts from a farmstand a few weeks ago, roasted them,
    vacuum-packed them, and put them into the freezer. I plan to use them in
    several different ways. Some of them peeled nicely after roasting and some
    didn't; I call them the "pretty" group and "ugly" group respectively.

    The "ugly" group will be used to infuse heavy cream, which will then be made
    into a panna cotta. I don't want the panna cotta to be too sweet, because
    I'm going to be serving it as part of a dish which also includes duck confit
    and pan-roasted duck breast. At this point I'm undecided as to whether the
    panna cotta will be made using agar-agar instead of gelatin. The potential
    advantage of agar-agar is that the panna cotta could be served steaming hot,
    which might make it a better accompaniment for the rest of the dish.

    The "pretty" group will be used in two ways. Some of them will be made into
    marrons glacÚs, i.e., glazed chestnuts. They're made over a four-day
    interval by cooking chestnuts in a heavier and heavier sugar solution and
    drying after each cooking episode. What you get are silky-smooth sweet
    confections with a mild chestnut flavor. (I recently read that candied
    cauliflower was sometimes used as a cheap substitute for marrons glacÚs.
    CAULIFLOWER? Seriously?) The rest of the "pretty" chestnuts will be paired
    with Tuscan kale as a side dish; I think those two items should go well
    together.

    I want a chestnut tree for a couple reasons: First, they're excellent shade
    trees. They grow a kind of umbrella canopy with big leaves, and I want shade
    trees on the west side of my house to alleviate the fierce afternoon sun in
    the summer. Second, I like the idea of having so many chestnuts around that
    I can casually pair them with things like Tuscan kale without having to
    embark on a major quest to find them, and without paying something like $20
    for a pound of them. Poking around online, it seems that if I want
    chestnuts, I might have to plant both a male and female chestnut tree. I'm
    okay with that; I've got plenty of room for trees on the west side of the
    house.

    Loquats: Loquats are a fruit of my childhood in Florida. They're little
    fuzzy fruit which look a bit like apricots which have been stretched
    lengthwise and then diminished in size. But they're MUCH fuller-flavored
    than apricots. The reason you don't see loquats often in stores is that they
    require very delicate handling; they bruise very easily, and once they
    bruise they're pretty much ruined.

    I've seen loquat trees growing not far from here, so I know they can handle
    the climate. They're also pretty good shade trees. I'd like to try cooking
    with loquats, too, but the interest in planting a loquat tree is mainly
    being driven by nostalgia.

    Rhubarb: Rhubarb is another plant which used to be much more popular. I'm
    intrigued by its culinary possibilities, which (like chestnuts) are not
    limited to sweet applications. Sour foods are prized by Iranians; in Iran,
    rhubarb stalks are dipped in salt and eaten raw. I'm not that hard-core
    about it, but I'm thinking that I could use it in ways similar to sorrel,
    e.g., as a sour flavor accent with fish or chicken. I'd also like to try
    pickling rhubarb and incorporating it into a summer salad; I think it would
    be refreshing used like that.

    I'm not completely sure that rhubarb can handle the climate where I live; it
    might be too hot or too dry. I know that it grows in the mountains nearby,
    but the scant research that I've done implies that rhubarb can die during a
    hot summer -- and I'm guessing that the summers here are hot enough to kill
    it. But I'll try anyway; maybe I'll get lucky.

    Bob


  2. #2
    The Cook Guest

    Default Re: Plants I might grow this year

    On Fri, 5 Feb 2010 04:00:40 -0800, "Bob Terwilliger"
    <virtualgoth@die_spammer.biz> wrote:

    >I'm told that this is the best season for adding plants to my landscape, so
    >I'm thinking about adding these:
    >
    >Chestnuts: Chestnuts are mostly a relic of bygone days. They used to be very
    >popular, but they've fallen out of fashion over the last eighty years or so.
    >Culinarily, they're interesting because they can be used in both sweet and
    >savory ways.
    >
    >I bought some chestnuts from a farmstand a few weeks ago, roasted them,
    >vacuum-packed them, and put them into the freezer. I plan to use them in
    >several different ways. Some of them peeled nicely after roasting and some
    >didn't; I call them the "pretty" group and "ugly" group respectively.
    >
    >The "ugly" group will be used to infuse heavy cream, which will then be made
    >into a panna cotta. I don't want the panna cotta to be too sweet, because
    >I'm going to be serving it as part of a dish which also includes duck confit
    >and pan-roasted duck breast. At this point I'm undecided as to whether the
    >panna cotta will be made using agar-agar instead of gelatin. The potential
    >advantage of agar-agar is that the panna cotta could be served steaming hot,
    >which might make it a better accompaniment for the rest of the dish.
    >
    >The "pretty" group will be used in two ways. Some of them will be made into
    >marrons glacÚs, i.e., glazed chestnuts. They're made over a four-day
    >interval by cooking chestnuts in a heavier and heavier sugar solution and
    >drying after each cooking episode. What you get are silky-smooth sweet
    >confections with a mild chestnut flavor. (I recently read that candied
    >cauliflower was sometimes used as a cheap substitute for marrons glacÚs.
    >CAULIFLOWER? Seriously?) The rest of the "pretty" chestnuts will be paired
    >with Tuscan kale as a side dish; I think those two items should go well
    >together.
    >
    >I want a chestnut tree for a couple reasons: First, they're excellent shade
    >trees. They grow a kind of umbrella canopy with big leaves, and I want shade
    >trees on the west side of my house to alleviate the fierce afternoon sun in
    >the summer. Second, I like the idea of having so many chestnuts around that
    >I can casually pair them with things like Tuscan kale without having to
    >embark on a major quest to find them, and without paying something like $20
    >for a pound of them. Poking around online, it seems that if I want
    >chestnuts, I might have to plant both a male and female chestnut tree. I'm
    >okay with that; I've got plenty of room for trees on the west side of the
    >house.
    >
    >Loquats: Loquats are a fruit of my childhood in Florida. They're little
    >fuzzy fruit which look a bit like apricots which have been stretched
    >lengthwise and then diminished in size. But they're MUCH fuller-flavored
    >than apricots. The reason you don't see loquats often in stores is that they
    >require very delicate handling; they bruise very easily, and once they
    >bruise they're pretty much ruined.
    >
    >I've seen loquat trees growing not far from here, so I know they can handle
    >the climate. They're also pretty good shade trees. I'd like to try cooking
    >with loquats, too, but the interest in planting a loquat tree is mainly
    >being driven by nostalgia.
    >
    >Rhubarb: Rhubarb is another plant which used to be much more popular. I'm
    >intrigued by its culinary possibilities, which (like chestnuts) are not
    >limited to sweet applications. Sour foods are prized by Iranians; in Iran,
    >rhubarb stalks are dipped in salt and eaten raw. I'm not that hard-core
    >about it, but I'm thinking that I could use it in ways similar to sorrel,
    >e.g., as a sour flavor accent with fish or chicken. I'd also like to try
    >pickling rhubarb and incorporating it into a summer salad; I think it would
    >be refreshing used like that.
    >
    >I'm not completely sure that rhubarb can handle the climate where I live; it
    >might be too hot or too dry. I know that it grows in the mountains nearby,
    >but the scant research that I've done implies that rhubarb can die during a
    >hot summer -- and I'm guessing that the summers here are hot enough to kill
    >it. But I'll try anyway; maybe I'll get lucky.
    >
    >Bob


    How hot is a hot summer? It grows in NC and we frequently have summer
    temps of 95░ or more. I started some rhubarb from seed last year.
    Today we are having our 3rd snow storm since just before Christmas.
    Will have to see if it survives the cold. It certainly should since I
    am sure that there are beds of it that are years old.

    If you are interested in starting seeds you can get them at Victory
    Seeds, P. O. Box 192, Molalla, Oregon 97038. www.victoryseeds.com.
    --
    Susan N.

    "Moral indignation is in most cases two percent moral,
    48 percent indignation, and 50 percent envy."
    Vittorio De Sica, Italian movie director (1901-1974)

  3. #3
    Bob Terwilliger Guest

    Default Re: Plants I might grow this year

    Susan wrote:

    >> I'm not completely sure that rhubarb can handle the climate where I live;
    >> it might be too hot or too dry. I know that it grows in the mountains
    >> nearby, but the scant research that I've done implies that rhubarb can
    >> die during a hot summer -- and I'm guessing that the summers here are hot
    >> enough to kill it. But I'll try anyway; maybe I'll get lucky.

    >
    > How hot is a hot summer? It grows in NC and we frequently have summer
    > temps of 95░ or more. I started some rhubarb from seed last year.
    > Today we are having our 3rd snow storm since just before Christmas.
    > Will have to see if it survives the cold. It certainly should since I
    > am sure that there are beds of it that are years old.


    From what I read, rhubarb can handle low temperatures pretty well. One of my
    coworkers (who lives in the mountains) has it growing in his back yard. He
    doesn't take any special care with it and it's thriving, even though the
    temperatures frequently get into the Fahrenheit twenty-degree range or lower
    in the winter.

    Where I live (only about 50 miles away from him), we usually have a couple
    weeks in which the temperatures exceed 110░F, and sometimes remain over
    100░F throughout the nights. We also get very little rain in the summer; it
    wouldn't be unusual for us to be completely rainless from mid-June to
    mid-September.

    Bob


  4. #4
    Virginia Tadrzynski Guest

    Default Re: Plants I might grow this year


    "Bob Terwilliger" <virtualgoth@die_spammer.biz> wrote in message
    news:01651bf8$0$20741$[email protected]..
    > Susan wrote:
    >
    >>> I'm not completely sure that rhubarb can handle the climate where I
    >>> live;
    >>> it might be too hot or too dry. I know that it grows in the mountains
    >>> nearby, but the scant research that I've done implies that rhubarb can
    >>> die during a hot summer -- and I'm guessing that the summers here are
    >>> hot
    >>> enough to kill it. But I'll try anyway; maybe I'll get lucky.

    >>
    >> How hot is a hot summer? It grows in NC and we frequently have summer
    >> temps of 95░ or more. I started some rhubarb from seed last year.
    >> Today we are having our 3rd snow storm since just before Christmas.
    >> Will have to see if it survives the cold. It certainly should since I
    >> am sure that there are beds of it that are years old.

    >
    > From what I read, rhubarb can handle low temperatures pretty well. One of
    > my
    > coworkers (who lives in the mountains) has it growing in his back yard. He
    > doesn't take any special care with it and it's thriving, even though the
    > temperatures frequently get into the Fahrenheit twenty-degree range or
    > lower
    > in the winter.
    >
    > Where I live (only about 50 miles away from him), we usually have a couple
    > weeks in which the temperatures exceed 110░F, and sometimes remain over
    > 100░F throughout the nights. We also get very little rain in the summer;
    > it
    > wouldn't be unusual for us to be completely rainless from mid-June to
    > mid-September.
    >
    > Bob


    Rhubarb is a pretty hardy plant. The only problem I see that you might run
    into is patience.......it takes about 3 years from the time you plant it (if
    you use sets) until you can actually harvest anything from it. As Susan
    said, it grows well in NC, and I can speak from experience, 100 degree
    weather in the summer is not unheard of.
    -ginny



  5. #5
    ImStillMags Guest

    Default Re: Plants I might grow this year

    On Feb 5, 4:00*am, "Bob Terwilliger" <virtualgoth@die_spammer.biz>
    wrote:
    > I'm told that this is the best season for adding plants to my landscape, so
    > I'm thinking about adding these:
    >
    > Chestnuts: Chestnuts are mostly a relic of bygone days. They used to be very
    > popular, but they've fallen out of fashion over the last eighty years or so.
    > Culinarily, they're interesting because they can be used in both sweet and
    > savory ways.
    >
    > I bought some chestnuts from a farmstand a few weeks ago, roasted them,
    > vacuum-packed them, and put them into the freezer. I plan to use them in
    > several different ways. Some of them peeled nicely after roasting and some
    > didn't; I call them the "pretty" group and "ugly" group respectively.
    >
    > The "ugly" group will be used to infuse heavy cream, which will then be made
    > into a panna cotta. I don't want the panna cotta to be too sweet, because
    > I'm going to be serving it as part of a dish which also includes duck confit
    > and pan-roasted duck breast. At this point I'm undecided as to whether the
    > panna cotta will be made using agar-agar instead of gelatin. The potential
    > advantage of agar-agar is that the panna cotta could be served steaming hot,
    > which might make it a better accompaniment for the rest of the dish.
    >
    > The "pretty" group will be used in two ways. Some of them will be made into
    > marrons glac s, i.e., glazed chestnuts. They're made over a four-day
    > interval by cooking chestnuts in a heavier and heavier sugar solution and
    > drying after each cooking episode. What you get are silky-smooth sweet
    > confections with a mild chestnut flavor. (I recently read that candied
    > cauliflower was sometimes used as a cheap substitute for marrons glac s.
    > CAULIFLOWER? Seriously?) The rest of the "pretty" chestnuts will be paired
    > with Tuscan kale as a side dish; I think those two items should go well
    > together.
    >
    > I want a chestnut tree for a couple reasons: First, they're excellent shade
    > trees. They grow a kind of umbrella canopy with big leaves, and I want shade
    > trees on the west side of my house to alleviate the fierce afternoon sun in
    > the summer. Second, I like the idea of having so many chestnuts around that
    > I can casually pair them with things like Tuscan kale without having to
    > embark on a major quest to find them, and without paying something like $20
    > for a pound of them. Poking around online, it seems that if I want
    > chestnuts, I might have to plant both a male and female chestnut tree. I'm
    > okay with that; I've got plenty of room for trees on the west side of the
    > house.
    >
    > Loquats: Loquats are a fruit of my childhood in Florida. They're little
    > fuzzy fruit which look a bit like apricots which have been stretched
    > lengthwise and then diminished in size. But they're MUCH fuller-flavored
    > than apricots. The reason you don't see loquats often in stores is that they
    > require very delicate handling; they bruise very easily, and once they
    > bruise they're pretty much ruined.
    >
    > I've seen loquat trees growing not far from here, so I know they can handle
    > the climate. They're also pretty good shade trees. I'd like to try cooking
    > with loquats, too, but the interest in planting a loquat tree is mainly
    > being driven by nostalgia.
    >
    > Rhubarb: Rhubarb is another plant which used to be much more popular. I'm
    > intrigued by its culinary possibilities, which (like chestnuts) are not
    > limited to sweet applications. Sour foods are prized by Iranians; in Iran,
    > rhubarb stalks are dipped in salt and eaten raw. I'm not that hard-core
    > about it, but I'm thinking that I could use it in ways similar to sorrel,
    > e.g., as a sour flavor accent with fish or chicken. I'd also like to try
    > pickling rhubarb and incorporating it into a summer salad; I think it would
    > be refreshing used like that.
    >
    > I'm not completely sure that rhubarb can handle the climate where I live;it
    > might be too hot or too dry. I know that it grows in the mountains nearby,
    > but the scant research that I've done implies that rhubarb can die duringa
    > hot summer -- and I'm guessing that the summers here are hot enough to kill
    > it. But I'll try anyway; maybe I'll get lucky.
    >
    > Bob


    Another thing rhubarb is great for is garden insect pests. Rhubarb
    leaves have a poison in them. We took the leaves
    and cut them up and put them in a 5 gallon plastic bucket and covered
    them with water. Let them steep for a few days
    and use the liquid to spray on the garden. Natural
    insecticide. You do have to handle it carefully, wear gloves and
    wash your hand thoroughly.


  6. #6
    blake murphy Guest

    Default Re: Plants I might grow this year

    On Fri, 5 Feb 2010 04:00:40 -0800, Bob Terwilliger wrote:

    > I'm told that this is the best season for adding plants to my landscape, so
    > I'm thinking about adding these:
    >


    i was in the hardware store yesterday and saw for sale packets of dandelion
    seeds. (yes, i know you can eat them; it still seemed odd.)

    your pal,
    blake

  7. #7
    ImStillMags Guest

    Default Re: Plants I might grow this year

    On Feb 5, 8:36*am, blake murphy <blakepmNOTT...@verizon.net> wrote:
    > On Fri, 5 Feb 2010 04:00:40 -0800, Bob Terwilliger wrote:
    > > I'm told that this is the best season for adding plants to my landscape, so
    > > I'm thinking about adding these:

    >
    > i was in the hardware store yesterday and saw for sale packets of dandelion
    > seeds. *(yes, i know you can eat them; it still seemed odd.)
    >
    > your pal,
    > blake


    we had a dandelion "patch" in the garden. You just have to make sure
    you don't let the flower heads go to that little puffy seed ball and
    they stay nice and tidy and produce greens like crazy.

  8. #8
    Dale P Guest

    Default Re: Plants I might grow this year

    "Bob Terwilliger" <virtualgoth@die_spammer.biz> wrote in message
    news:0165044d$0$20712$[email protected]..
    > I'm told that this is the best season for adding plants to my landscape,
    > so I'm thinking about adding these:
    >
    > Chestnuts: Chestnuts are mostly a relic of bygone days. They used to be
    > very
    > popular, but they've fallen out of fashion over the last eighty years or
    > so.
    > Culinarily, they're interesting because they can be used in both sweet and
    > savory ways.
    >

    The chestnut blight wiped out the American chestnut trees in the early
    1900's. The blight is still here, so new trees die in a few years. There
    is work to develop blight resistant trees, but I do not think there is much
    success yet. That is why chestnuts are so expensive. There are seeds
    available, but they do not guarantee blight resistance. There are trees
    available, but again, no guarantee.

    We were walking in the park in Rome in the fall some years ago, and the
    chestnuts were thick underfoot. The trees are beautiful.

    I love chestnuts.

    Dale


  9. #9
    Dan L. Guest

    Default Re: Plants I might grow this year

    In article
    <[email protected]>,
    ImStillMags <[email protected]> wrote:

    > On Feb 5, 8:36*am, blake murphy <blakepmNOTT...@verizon.net> wrote:
    > > On Fri, 5 Feb 2010 04:00:40 -0800, Bob Terwilliger wrote:
    > > > I'm told that this is the best season for adding plants to my landscape,
    > > > so
    > > > I'm thinking about adding these:

    > >
    > > i was in the hardware store yesterday and saw for sale packets of dandelion
    > > seeds. *(yes, i know you can eat them; it still seemed odd.)
    > >
    > > your pal,
    > > blake

    >
    > we had a dandelion "patch" in the garden. You just have to make sure
    > you don't let the flower heads go to that little puffy seed ball and
    > they stay nice and tidy and produce greens like crazy.


    BeeKeepers buy Dandelion seeds. Dandelion pollenate early and provide
    needed nectar for the busy bees. Some farm animals like Dandelions as
    well.

    Enjoy Life... Dan

    --
    Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.

  10. #10
    Doug Freyburger Guest

    Default Re: Plants I might grow this year

    Bob Terwilliger wrote:
    >
    > I'm told that this is the best season for adding plants to my landscape, so
    > I'm thinking about adding these:
    >
    > Chestnuts: Chestnuts are mostly a relic of bygone days. They used to be very
    > popular, but they've fallen out of fashion over the last eighty years or so.
    > Culinarily, they're interesting because they can be used in both sweet and
    > savory ways.


    They fell out of fashion because there's a plague among American
    Chestnut trees that keeps them from growing more than a tiny branch.
    There are very few left intact. The option is to grow a French Chestnut
    tree. They don't grow as big but they are quite beautiful once they are
    15-20 years old. Near where I grew up there was a row of chestnut trees
    that must now be over 100 years old. They are finally showing their
    age. Wonderful trees. The big spikey nut coverings are a pain when
    they get on the street or sidewalk so I suggest planting it in the back
    yard.

    Planting any type of nut tree is a very long term investment.

    > I bought some chestnuts from a farmstand a few weeks ago, roasted them,
    > vacuum-packed them, and put them into the freezer. I plan to use them in
    > several different ways. Some of them peeled nicely after roasting and some
    > didn't; I call them the "pretty" group and "ugly" group respectively.


    I've roasted chestnuts and then mushed them into a paste. It's like
    almond paste for baking. They are much easier to reduce to nut butter
    than other types of nuts I've tried. Chestnut paste is very rich and
    pleasant. I bet mixed with sugar it would be an awesome analog to
    marzipan.

    > Rhubarb: Rhubarb is another plant which used to be much more popular. I'm
    > intrigued by its culinary possibilities, which (like chestnuts) are not
    > limited to sweet applications. Sour foods are prized by Iranians; in Iran,
    > rhubarb stalks are dipped in salt and eaten raw.


    Rhubarb and asparugus are the only perennial vegitables I know of. My
    Dad loved rhubarb and grew it in the back yard. My wife is allergic so
    not an option for us now.

    > I'm not that hard-core
    > about it, but I'm thinking that I could use it in ways similar to sorrel,


    Sorrel grows like crazy here in Chicago metro, but the year we grew it
    in our herb garden I never learned how to use it so it just took up a
    flowerpot and looked nice. What sort of uses to put it to?

  11. #11
    Kalmia Guest

    Default Re: Plants I might grow this year

    On Feb 5, 11:36*am, blake murphy <blakepmNOTT...@verizon.net> wrote:
    > On Fri, 5 Feb 2010 04:00:40 -0800, Bob Terwilliger wrote:
    > > I'm told that this is the best season for adding plants to my landscape, so
    > > I'm thinking about adding these:

    >
    > i was in the hardware store yesterday and saw for sale packets of dandelion
    > seeds. *(yes, i know you can eat them; it still seemed odd.)


    You can make dandelion wine, which i have heard is wonderful.

  12. #12
    Kalmia Guest

    Default Re: Plants I might grow this year

    On Feb 5, 7:00*am, "Bob Terwilliger" <virtualgoth@die_spammer.biz>
    wrote:
    > I'm told that this is the best season for adding plants to my landscape, so
    > I'm thinking about adding these:
    >
    > Chestnuts: Chestnuts are mostly a relic of bygone days. They used to be very
    > popular, but they've fallen out of fashion over the last eighty years or so.
    > Culinarily, they're interesting because they can be used in both sweet and
    > savory ways.
    >
    > I bought some chestnuts from a farmstand a few weeks ago, roasted them,
    > vacuum-packed them, and put them into the freezer. I plan to use them in
    > several different ways. Some of them peeled nicely after roasting and some
    > didn't; I call them the "pretty" group and "ugly" group respectively.
    >
    > The "ugly" group will be used to infuse heavy cream, which will then be made
    > into a panna cotta. I don't want the panna cotta to be too sweet, because
    > I'm going to be serving it as part of a dish which also includes duck confit
    > and pan-roasted duck breast. At this point I'm undecided as to whether the
    > panna cotta will be made using agar-agar instead of gelatin. The potential
    > advantage of agar-agar is that the panna cotta could be served steaming hot,
    > which might make it a better accompaniment for the rest of the dish.
    >
    > The "pretty" group will be used in two ways. Some of them will be made into
    > marrons glac s, i.e., glazed chestnuts. They're made over a four-day
    > interval by cooking chestnuts in a heavier and heavier sugar solution and
    > drying after each cooking episode. What you get are silky-smooth sweet
    > confections with a mild chestnut flavor. (I recently read that candied
    > cauliflower was sometimes used as a cheap substitute for marrons glac s.
    > CAULIFLOWER? Seriously?) The rest of the "pretty" chestnuts will be paired
    > with Tuscan kale as a side dish; I think those two items should go well
    > together.
    >
    > I want a chestnut tree for a couple reasons: First, they're excellent shade
    > trees. They grow a kind of umbrella canopy with big leaves, and I want shade
    > trees on the west side of my house to alleviate the fierce afternoon sun in
    > the summer. Second, I like the idea of having so many chestnuts around that
    > I can casually pair them with things like Tuscan kale without having to
    > embark on a major quest to find them, and without paying something like $20
    > for a pound of them. Poking around online, it seems that if I want
    > chestnuts, I might have to plant both a male and female chestnut tree. I'm
    > okay with that; I've got plenty of room for trees on the west side of the
    > house.
    >
    > Loquats: Loquats are a fruit of my childhood in Florida. They're little
    > fuzzy fruit which look a bit like apricots which have been stretched
    > lengthwise and then diminished in size. But they're MUCH fuller-flavored
    > than apricots. The reason you don't see loquats often in stores is that they
    > require very delicate handling; they bruise very easily, and once they
    > bruise they're pretty much ruined.
    >
    > I've seen loquat trees growing not far from here, so I know they can handle
    > the climate. They're also pretty good shade trees. I'd like to try cooking
    > with loquats, too, but the interest in planting a loquat tree is mainly
    > being driven by nostalgia.
    >
    > Rhubarb: Rhubarb is another plant which used to be much more popular. I'm
    > intrigued by its culinary possibilities, which (like chestnuts) are not
    > limited to sweet applications. Sour foods are prized by Iranians; in Iran,
    > rhubarb stalks are dipped in salt and eaten raw. I'm not that hard-core
    > about it, but I'm thinking that I could use it in ways similar to sorrel,
    > e.g., as a sour flavor accent with fish or chicken. I'd also like to try
    > pickling rhubarb and incorporating it into a summer salad; I think it would
    > be refreshing used like that.
    >
    > I'm not completely sure that rhubarb can handle the climate where I live;it
    > might be too hot or too dry. I know that it grows in the mountains nearby,
    > but the scant research that I've done implies that rhubarb can die duringa
    > hot summer -- and I'm guessing that the summers here are hot enough to kill
    > it. But I'll try anyway; maybe I'll get lucky.
    >
    > Bob


    A friend is sending me some heritage tomato seeds he says will give me
    the biggest tomatoes in town. He has no idea what a lousy farmer I
    am. I think I will wait to plant them til I'm home for the summer.

    He's the guy who sent me that huge chunk of wet yeast he got from a
    Portuguese bakery which I managed to use up.

  13. #13
    ImStillMags Guest

    Default Re: Plants I might grow this year

    On Feb 5, 12:05*pm, Doug Freyburger <dfrey...@yahoo.com> wrote:
    > Bob Terwilliger wrote:
    >
    > > I'm told that this is the best season for adding plants to my landscape, so
    > > I'm thinking about adding these:

    >
    > > Chestnuts: Chestnuts are mostly a relic of bygone days. They used to bevery
    > > popular, but they've fallen out of fashion over the last eighty years or so.
    > > Culinarily, they're interesting because they can be used in both sweet and
    > > savory ways.

    >
    > They fell out of fashion because there's a plague among American
    > Chestnut trees that keeps them from growing more than a tiny branch.
    > There are very few left intact. *The option is to grow a French Chestnut
    > tree. *They don't grow as big but they are quite beautiful once they are
    > 15-20 years old. *Near where I grew up there was a row of chestnut trees
    > that must now be over 100 years old. *They are finally showing their
    > age. *Wonderful trees. *The big spikey nut coverings are a pain when
    > they get on the street or sidewalk so I suggest planting it in the back
    > yard.
    >
    > Planting any type of nut tree is a very long term investment.
    >
    > > I bought some chestnuts from a farmstand a few weeks ago, roasted them,
    > > vacuum-packed them, and put them into the freezer. I plan to use them in
    > > several different ways. Some of them peeled nicely after roasting and some
    > > didn't; I call them the "pretty" group and "ugly" group respectively.

    >
    > I've roasted chestnuts and then mushed them into a paste. *It's like
    > almond paste for baking. *They are much easier to reduce to nut butter
    > than other types of nuts I've tried. *Chestnut paste is very rich and
    > pleasant. *I bet mixed with sugar it would be an awesome analog to
    > marzipan.
    >
    > > Rhubarb: Rhubarb is another plant which used to be much more popular. I'm
    > > intrigued by its culinary possibilities, which (like chestnuts) are not
    > > limited to sweet applications. Sour foods are prized by Iranians; in Iran,
    > > rhubarb stalks are dipped in salt and eaten raw.

    >
    > Rhubarb and asparugus are the only perennial vegitables I know of. *My
    > Dad loved rhubarb and grew it in the back yard. *My wife is allergic so
    > not an option for us now.
    >
    > > I'm not that hard-core
    > > about it, but I'm thinking that I could use it in ways similar to sorrel,

    >
    > Sorrel grows like crazy here in Chicago metro, but the year we grew it
    > in our herb garden I never learned how to use it so it just took up a
    > flowerpot and looked nice. *What sort of uses to put it to?


    I love sorrel. It has a wonderful tangy lemony taste. I use it in
    salads and it makes a spectacular potato-sorrel soup.
    I'll poke around and find my recipe for you. You can cook it like
    spinach or use it as you would spinach in many dishes.

    Here, this recipe is close to mine ('m in the office right now and
    don't have access to my recipes) It's quite yummy.

    http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/t...oup-with-bacon

  14. #14
    Dave Smith Guest

    Default Re: Plants I might grow this year

    Bob Terwilliger wrote:
    > I'm told that this is the best season for adding plants to my landscape,
    > so I'm thinking about adding these:
    >
    > Chestnuts: Chestnuts are mostly a relic of bygone days. They used to be
    > very
    > popular, but they've fallen out of fashion over the last eighty years or
    > so.
    > Culinarily, they're interesting because they can be used in both sweet and
    > savory ways.


    I remember seeing vending carts outside the ROM in Toronto back in the
    50s. 60s and early 70. They sold popcorn, toffee apples and roasted
    chestnuts. My father liked roasted chestnuts, but I never cared much for
    them. Over the last year or two I have seen increasing numbers of
    recipes with chestnuts.





    > The "ugly" group will be used to infuse heavy cream, which will then be
    > made
    > into a panna cotta. I don't want the panna cotta to be too sweet, because


    Panna cotta is something I never had until a few years ago. I loved it.
    I made it a few times. One time I made the mistake of using sour cherry
    juice concentrate. Wow.... I have never seen anything curdle that fast. :-(



    > I want a chestnut tree for a couple reasons: First, they're excellent shade
    > trees. They grow a kind of umbrella canopy with big leaves, and I want
    > shade


    They are beautiful trees and great for shade. They are especially
    beautiful when they are in bloom. There are a few of them down the road
    for me. Being ride next to the road they make a bit of a mess when they
    start dropping their fruit and it gets squashed by by the passing cars.
    Plant one as soon as you can. They are slow growing hardwoods and it
    will take years for it to be a nice shade tree.



    > Rhubarb: Rhubarb is another plant which used to be much more popular. I'm
    > intrigued by its culinary possibilities, which (like chestnuts) are not
    > limited to sweet applications. Sour foods are prized by Iranians; in Iran,
    > rhubarb stalks are dipped in salt and eaten raw. I'm not that hard-core
    > about it, but I'm thinking that I could use it in ways similar to sorrel,
    > e.g., as a sour flavor accent with fish or chicken. I'd also like to try
    > pickling rhubarb and incorporating it into a summer salad; I think it would
    > be refreshing used like that.


    I love rhubarb and have several bunches of it growing in my garden. I
    look forward to spring and fresh rhubarb pies. My mother used to stew it.


    >
    > I'm not completely sure that rhubarb can handle the climate where I
    > live; it
    > might be too hot or too dry. I know that it grows in the mountains nearby,
    > but the scant research that I've done implies that rhubarb can die during a
    > hot summer -- and I'm guessing that the summers here are hot enough to kill
    > it. But I'll try anyway; maybe I'll get lucky.


    It thrives in southern Ontario where I live.

  15. #15
    sueb Guest

    Default Re: Plants I might grow this year

    On Feb 5, 4:00*am, "Bob Terwilliger" <virtualgoth@die_spammer.biz>
    wrote:
    > I'm told that this is the best season for adding plants to my landscape, so
    > I'm thinking about adding these:
    >
    > Chestnuts: Chestnuts are mostly a relic of bygone days. They used to be very
    > popular, but they've fallen out of fashion over the last eighty years or so.
    > Culinarily, they're interesting because they can be used in both sweet and
    > savory ways.
    >
    > I bought some chestnuts from a farmstand a few weeks ago, roasted them,
    > vacuum-packed them, and put them into the freezer. I plan to use them in
    > several different ways. Some of them peeled nicely after roasting and some
    > didn't; I call them the "pretty" group and "ugly" group respectively.
    >
    > The "ugly" group will be used to infuse heavy cream, which will then be made
    > into a panna cotta. I don't want the panna cotta to be too sweet, because
    > I'm going to be serving it as part of a dish which also includes duck confit
    > and pan-roasted duck breast. At this point I'm undecided as to whether the
    > panna cotta will be made using agar-agar instead of gelatin. The potential
    > advantage of agar-agar is that the panna cotta could be served steaming hot,
    > which might make it a better accompaniment for the rest of the dish.
    >
    > The "pretty" group will be used in two ways. Some of them will be made into
    > marrons glac s, i.e., glazed chestnuts. They're made over a four-day
    > interval by cooking chestnuts in a heavier and heavier sugar solution and
    > drying after each cooking episode. What you get are silky-smooth sweet
    > confections with a mild chestnut flavor. (I recently read that candied
    > cauliflower was sometimes used as a cheap substitute for marrons glac s.
    > CAULIFLOWER? Seriously?) The rest of the "pretty" chestnuts will be paired
    > with Tuscan kale as a side dish; I think those two items should go well
    > together.
    >
    > I want a chestnut tree for a couple reasons: First, they're excellent shade
    > trees. They grow a kind of umbrella canopy with big leaves, and I want shade
    > trees on the west side of my house to alleviate the fierce afternoon sun in
    > the summer. Second, I like the idea of having so many chestnuts around that
    > I can casually pair them with things like Tuscan kale without having to
    > embark on a major quest to find them, and without paying something like $20
    > for a pound of them. Poking around online, it seems that if I want
    > chestnuts, I might have to plant both a male and female chestnut tree. I'm
    > okay with that; I've got plenty of room for trees on the west side of the
    > house.
    >
    > Loquats: Loquats are a fruit of my childhood in Florida. They're little
    > fuzzy fruit which look a bit like apricots which have been stretched
    > lengthwise and then diminished in size. But they're MUCH fuller-flavored
    > than apricots. The reason you don't see loquats often in stores is that they
    > require very delicate handling; they bruise very easily, and once they
    > bruise they're pretty much ruined.
    >
    > I've seen loquat trees growing not far from here, so I know they can handle
    > the climate. They're also pretty good shade trees. I'd like to try cooking
    > with loquats, too, but the interest in planting a loquat tree is mainly
    > being driven by nostalgia.
    >
    > Rhubarb: Rhubarb is another plant which used to be much more popular. I'm
    > intrigued by its culinary possibilities, which (like chestnuts) are not
    > limited to sweet applications. Sour foods are prized by Iranians; in Iran,
    > rhubarb stalks are dipped in salt and eaten raw. I'm not that hard-core
    > about it, but I'm thinking that I could use it in ways similar to sorrel,
    > e.g., as a sour flavor accent with fish or chicken. I'd also like to try
    > pickling rhubarb and incorporating it into a summer salad; I think it would
    > be refreshing used like that.
    >
    > I'm not completely sure that rhubarb can handle the climate where I live;it
    > might be too hot or too dry. I know that it grows in the mountains nearby,
    > but the scant research that I've done implies that rhubarb can die duringa
    > hot summer -- and I'm guessing that the summers here are hot enough to kill
    > it. But I'll try anyway; maybe I'll get lucky.
    >
    > Bob


    You're in Sacramento, right? Loquats will be easy. Rhubarb you want
    to plant in the shade in really well drained soil because you'll have
    to water the hell out of it to keep it alive. It can take the heat in
    a humid environment - it can't handle the dry heat we have in
    California. Chestnuts you want to study the Sunset book on. It'll be
    years and years before it's big enough to shade your house.

    And you've reminded me that I need to prune my berries ASAP.

    Susan B.

  16. #16
    brooklyn1 Guest

    Default Re: Plants I might grow this year

    Doug Freyburger wrote:
    >
    >Sorrel grows like crazy here in Chicago metro, but the year we grew it
    >in our herb garden I never learned how to use it so it just took up a
    >flowerpot and looked nice. What sort of uses to put it to?


    Sorrel, aka sour grass, is used to make shav, a cold soup, delicious
    with sour cream.

    http://recipes.wikia.com/wiki/Sorrel

  17. #17
    brooklyn1 Guest

    Default Re: Plants I might grow this year

    sueb wrote:
    >
    >Chestnuts you want to study the Sunset book on. It'll be
    >years and years before it's big enough to shade your house.


    Nut trees take many years to begin production, nut trees are planted
    for the next generation.

    It's much better to buy chestnuts:
    http://www.chestnutsonline.com/

  18. #18
    Bob Terwilliger Guest

    Default Re: Plants I might grow this year

    Ginny wrote:

    > Rhubarb is a pretty hardy plant. The only problem I see that you might run
    > into is patience.......it takes about 3 years from the time you plant it
    > (if you use sets) until you can actually harvest anything from it. As
    > Susan said, it grows well in NC, and I can speak from experience, 100
    > degree weather in the summer is not unheard of.


    Thanks, I'll give it a try!

    Bob


  19. #19
    Bob Terwilliger Guest

    Default Re: Plants I might grow this year

    Dale wrote:

    > The chestnut blight wiped out the American chestnut trees in the early
    > 1900's. The blight is still here, so new trees die in a few years. There
    > is work to develop blight resistant trees, but I do not think there is
    > much success yet. That is why chestnuts are so expensive. There are seeds
    > available, but they do not guarantee blight resistance. There are trees
    > available, but again, no guarantee.


    There are plenty of chestnut growers in this part of the country:

    http://www.chestnutsforsale.com/
    http://www.chestnutranch.com/
    http://chestnuts.foodzie.com/
    http://www.chestnuts.us/
    Skyline Chestnuts Orchard in Palo Alto

    So maybe the blight never took hold here, or maybe the chestnuts grown here
    are from blight-resistant strains.

    Thinking about the amount of space I have on the west side of my house, I
    might plant an almond tree as well.

    Bob


  20. #20
    I am Tosk Guest

    Default Re: Plants I might grow this year

    In article <6f985f42-8905-456c-ba9e-78273eb7a572
    @k19g2000yqc.googlegroups.com>, [email protected] says...
    >
    > On Feb 5, 11:36*am, blake murphy <blakepmNOTT...@verizon.net> wrote:
    > > On Fri, 5 Feb 2010 04:00:40 -0800, Bob Terwilliger wrote:
    > > > I'm told that this is the best season for adding plants to my landscape, so
    > > > I'm thinking about adding these:

    > >
    > > i was in the hardware store yesterday and saw for sale packets of dandelion
    > > seeds. *(yes, i know you can eat them; it still seemed odd.)

    >
    > You can make dandelion wine, which i have heard is wonderful.


    The greens themselves are very bitter...

    Scotty

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