This last month has been extremely hectic with hatching chicks and button quail, planting, getting sick, and taxes so I am only writing a half page. April is a month with so many plant sales I want to ask each of you to go out and enjoy them, but make sure you bring home the veggies along with the other prized finds. If you haven’t already made a commitment to grow more of your food, I ask that you do so this month. Laurie Meyerpeter and I have challenged each other to use something home-grown in our meals at least once each day. We have also opened it up to other folks ,and I ask you if you are ready for the challenge. To be fair to others we said if you bought it at a farmers market, CSA, or it is organic you can count that too. We have found that including these we can count almost every meal.
Many plants grown for their bottoms have edible tops
To help you reach this goal we can think about the book “Tops and Bottoms.” Mr. Bear would have been eating a lot more if he had better knowledge about veggies. Many plants grown for their bottoms have edible tops. Rutabagas, radishes, turnips, carrots, and sweet potatoes all have tops that are edible. They can be eaten raw but some are more bitter and do better when cooked, like carrots and sweet potatoes. The French cook lettuce stems after they have bolted, and when your cole crops bolt you can eat the flowers. Arugula, garlic, onion, chives, squash, okra, radish scarlet runner bean, sunflower buds, pea flowers, (except sweet peas,) and almost all herb flowers are also edible.
As a last note, I came across Slow Food USA’s request for people to grow, raise, or make foods on their “US Ark of Taste,” “which is a catalog of over 200 delicious foods in danger of extinction.” These foods have to have outstanding flavor, be at risk of being lost, sustainably produced, culturally or historically linked to an area, and produced in limited quantities. You can find the list on their website under US Ark of Taste and can get it broken down by US regions if you want items related to a specific area like the California area. Last year the Sierra College Plant Sale featured some plants from the list. Choosing any of them help keep them from disappearing forever.