Seasonal Produce: November

  • apples
  • collard greens
  • sweet potatoes
  • pecans
  • turnips
  • lettuce
  • spinach
  • carrots
  • kale
  • kohlrabi
  • garlic
  • onions
  • beets
  • brussel sprouts
  • cranberry
  • chard
  • cabbage
  • horseradish
  • pomegranate
  • pumpkin
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • parsnip
  • avacado
  • bok choy
  • celery
  • kiwi
  • pears
  • persimmons
  • lemons
  • oranges
  • rutabaga
  • winter squash
  • potatoes

Did I miss anything?

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Seasonal Produce: Series Introduction

Eating in season produce is a good idea whether it be from your own backyard, a farmer’s market or the grocery store.  If you’re growing it, seasonal certainly makes sense, it’s much easier.  If you’re buying it, seasonal produce is cheaper.  You know, because it’s easier for the actual farmers to grow it and it doesn’t have to be trucked in from quite so far away.

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I saw this great sign in the produce section of a local grocery store, but I know not every grocery store or market has something like this.  Therefore, I’m starting a series where I’ll list what’s in season for each month.  It’ll be slow-moving, after all it’ll take a year, but eventually, we’ll have a list for each month.  Keep in mind though that my list will be for Georgia, USA.  Depending on where you live, your seasonal produce might differ from mine.  Look for my November’s list coming soon!

Everybody knows that fresh produce is the healthiest form of produce for you.  I don’t mean potatoes over french fries, but fresh versus frozen of canned.  But at your typical grocery store, everybody might actually be wrong.  Lots of produce, especially out of season produce, is picked too early so that it will look ripe when it finally gets to the store from the far away farm.

Canned food has added salt and sometimes oils and fats.  But frozen food, straight frozen produce, not prepared meals, are actually healthier than out of season produce.  Frozen produce is frozen sometimes as soon as a few hours after being picked at the peak of freshness.

Just something to keep in mind when you have a craving for broccoli in the middle of summer.

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

August Food Swap Atlanta

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Another successful food swap today!  I brought five loaves of bread (made with my mom’s new bread machine) and an assortment of peppers including two ghost peppers.  We got there a little late and because of the heat, swapping had already started.  I still scored a bunch of yumminess.  Some almond milk, some almond butter, two jars of relish, a bundle of herbs, candied watermelon rind, milk kefir grains, raspberry white chocolate scones, and rhubarb bitters.

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Wow!  The hero and I have already finished the scones and I’m really excited about trying the bitters and making kefir.  And of course, eating everything else.  So yea, food swaps are awesome!

Zone 8: My Goldilocks Zone

I sometimes wish I lived somewhere where I could grow a sugar maple and tap it for maple syrup.  While they will grow here, it never gets cold enough for the sap to make enough sugar or something.  So no homegrown maple syrup for me.  I also can’t easily grow sweet cherries here.  It’s too hot here.

Other times I wish I lived somewhere that I could grow citrus.  Lemons, oranges, grapefruit, limes, I love citrus.  But I’ll never have any from my yard.  It’s too cold here.

Still other times I am glad we can grow tomatoes, peppers, almonds, muscadines, sweet potatoes, and watermelons.  it’s Just right here.

There are a lot of plants that do grow and produce well here in lovely zone 8 therefore, I try to focus on them.  If I could get maple syrup and cherries, I wouldn’t be able to grow almonds and okra.  Similarly, if I could grow citrus, I wouldn’t be able to grow other yummy things.  There will always be something that you wish you could grow but can’t based on where you live.  But there will also always be something you can grow.

What are some things you wish you could grow but can’t?

Locally Grown: Support Your Local Farms

There is a network of local farms on the internet called locally grown.  They compile various products from local farms such as produce, animal products, and live plants.  They also carry non-edibles such as homespun yarn, soaps, and pest control items.  Basically whatever local farms would sell at farmer’s markets, they can sell on locally grown.

You pay an annual fee of $25 per household and then you buy whatever you want.  Generally you join the market by giving them your email and they tell you when the market is open.  You have about 2 days to shop on the online listings and place your order.  Then after your order is placed, the farms will harvest what you ordered and bring it to the pick-up location.  The pick-up is designated for the whole locally grown group so even if you order from multiple farms, you can pick it all up in one place.  There will be a few hours on a specific day that you will have to show up to pick up your order.  Then you eat and enjoy!

We have done this before going to the one in Athens Ga, which I just learned was the first one!  This time, though, we went to a different one since we moved and this different one had organic peaches!

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We also bought some gallberry honey.  They had a lot of interesting things on there such as water buffalo meat, about 20 different varieties of honey, and raw milk (for pet consumption of course…).

You should at least check out and see if there is one in your area and see what they have, maybe you’ll get inspired to buy some yummy-ness.

Atlanta Food Swap Success

The three of us (the pavlovinator did not accompany us) went to our second Atlanta Food Swap.  There were about 20 people there!  Success!  I was a little worried after the last one where only three other people showed up, but the food swap was featured on the website Scout Mob and that really helped publicize it.  We brought a bunch of produce; tomatoes, banana peppers, one bell pepper, cayenne peppers, and figs.  The figs were super popular.  We traded all these things for mulberry preserves, apple pear butter, whole wheat shortbread, fresh basil, foraged chanterelle mushrooms, and granola.  YUM!

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I’m really glad this whole thing is taking off, I was a little worried and the idea is so great, I really wanted it to happen.  I’m already thinking about what I can bring to the next one!

Atlanta Food Swap

The minion and I attended our first food swap today.  We went to the Atlanta Food Swap which met at The Goat Farm Arts Center which is a pretty cool place itself.  We brought some peppermint teabags, jalapeño poppers, and some tomatoes and peppers from the garden.  We traded for a couple of jars of salsa (complete with tips and recipes to use it) and some yummy raw raspberry bars.

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The swap took place in front of the coffeehouse at the Goat Farm Arts Center.  They had two giant wooden tables with benches on either side that we set up on.  There were only four people/families that brought items and it would’ve been better with more people.  Better, at least trading wise, but we did have a lot of fun talking to everyone, there was even a 5 month old for the minion to “talk” to!  This is only the second swap that has happened in Atlanta so I hope that more people come next time.  There are also swaps all around the country and a few in other countries.  Check one out near you, or start your own if there isn’t one.  A super awesome idea to help build a food community.

Eeek a Ghost! Pepper…

The hero has been wanting to grow ghost pepper, also known as naga bhut jolokia peppers, for a long time.  We both love spicy food and ghost peppers are supposed to be the spiciest peppers in the world according to the scoville scale which measures spiciness.  We looked for them online and only found kind of sketchy websites that sold them.  We had made a contact with a local farmer for next year, but we wanted some asap.

So today we went to Randy’s Nursery in Lawrenceville.  They specialize in exotic plants and water gardens.  We had mainly just wanted to look around and see what we could see, but we also decided to ask about ghost pepper plants.  They not only had them, they had a whole shelf of them.  They also had a great selection of other hot peppers.  We now have a go to place for hot pepper plants.

Anyways, we bought a ghost pepper plant and planted it in the yard.  We’ll see how it grows.

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Dig into Reading: Kid’s Books About Gardening

We’ve been doing our local library’s summer reading program with the minion.  The theme is Dig into Reading, thus this post’s title.  Our goal for the summer is to read her at least one book every day.  We went to the library and picked up a bunch of great kid’s books about gardening.

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In the Garden by Elizabeth Spurr

I was surprised at how much I liked this board book.  It’s kind of like a poem with one or two words per page, but it’s cute.

The Giant Seed by Arthur Geisert

A wordless book, but a great story about a community that plants a dandelion seed and it ends up saving them.  I really love that it’s a dandelion, something most people see as a weed.

Cool Tomatoes from Garden to Table by Katherine Hengel

This is a non-fiction book that describes all about how to grow, harvest, and cook tomatoes.  This is part of a series that is great for learning about where our food comes from.

Secrets of the Garden by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld

A super cute book about food webs set in the context of a family’s suburban homestead.  The family’s two chickens take the reader on a journey though the backyard to see various food chains and webs.

Dangerously Ever After by Dashka Slater

This one is a little more fantastical, a princess grows a garden with only dangerous plants in it, but she soon learns to love sweet-smelling roses too.  I absolutely LOVED the character design and illustrations of the princess.

I’m a Scientist Backyard by Lisa Burke

This is a collection of science experiments that have to do with the garden.  Not so much a great read, but good ideas for activities to do with kids.

The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons

Gail Gibbons is a go to for science books like this.  This book goes into the variety of sources we get vegetables from as well as gardening and how a farm works.

Ellen’s Apple Tree by Catarina Kruusval

A family loves their apple tree until one day it blows over in a storm.  They replace it and my only problem with this book is that they get an apple that first year.  Otherwise, this book explains what they do with their harvest and how important their apples are to them.

Lily’s Victory Garden by Helen L Wilbur

Lily lives during WWII and grows a victory garden.  A good starting point for talking about the history of gardens.

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So that’s our list, keep in mind this was just what our library had so I may have missed your favorite, if I did, leave it in the comments.

Athens Farmer’s Market Scores

So it’s still fairly early in the farmer’s market season, there’s only a few things that are ready for harvest right now.  But we went to the Athens Farmer’s Market and got some yummy stuff.  It was packed with people both selling and buying.  We even ran into a friend of the minion and his parents there.  There was a stall selling plants and they had some Habanero and other hot peppers, but no ghost pepper.  He said they used to sell them but there wasn’t enough demand.  He also gave us his card and said to contact their farm and they might be able to grow them for us in the future.  The hero has been looking for ghost pepper plants for a while now, he really wants to grow the hottest pepper in the world.

What we did find there were some carrots, ruby chard, and a loaf of seeded bread.

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We ate some of the bread on the way home and I had some of the chard in a smoothie.  So far everything has been great.

When we got home we checked on our own garden and finally harvested a few of our cayenne peppers.  They’re still green, but we’re excited about growing our own food and we wanted to encourage the plant to make more.  The hero chopped one up and put it in leftover chili he was having for lunch.  The minion and I tried a tiny bite of them, but they weren’t hot at all.  The minion spit her piece out.

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