Eggplant — One Confused Ego

So many fictions have plagued eggplant. Though commonly thought of as a vegetable, eggplant is actually a fruit, and specifically a berry. Eggplants belong to the Solanaceae plant family, commonly known as nightshades, and are kinsfolk with tomatoes, bell peppers and potatoes. Eggplants have nothing to do with eggs other than their oblong shape which [...]

Basil & Pesto

Birds of a feather… Summer is the season for this aromatic herb, often linked with that harmony called pesto.  Native to Asia, fragrant and tender basil (Ocimum basilicum) belongs to the mint family. Derived from the Greek word basilikohn, meaning “royal,” basil has long been considered noble and regal.  They have square stems, two-lipped flowers, fragrant oil glands, and are variable [...]

The Scarlet “T”

For shame.  Scientists have discovered a genetic reason that diminishes a tomato’s flavor even if the fruit is picked ripe and pampered.  The culprit is a chance gene mutation that was discovered, and apparently not shared, by tomato breeders. It was deliberately bred into almost all hybrid tomatoes as it made them more pleasing to the eye — a luscious scarlet when ripe.  [...]

Farmers’ Markets

In probability theory and statistics, standard deviation is often used to measure the variability or dispersion of a population. Sort of  the arithmetic mean of the mean.  To solve for population standard deviations:   Algebraic variables deliberately ignored and set aside, I embrace diversity (even kind aberrations) and conversely tend to mildly loathe the chase [...]

Hungry Faces & Places

On a somber note, every 5 seconds a child dies of hunger related causes in this world.  Some one billion people suffer from chronic hunger worldwide.  In the United States alone, 2.8 million children are living in households with incomes of less than $2 per person per day. An additional 20 million Americans live in [...]

Bosom Buds (Beets)

At the market this week, someone was asking about these appeasing friends. Beautifully hued beets boast a subtle, earthy flavor and are supremely nutritious. With the scientific name of Beta vulgaris, they are vegetables from the amaranth family which has been cultivated for some 4,000 years. Beets are herbaceous biennial plants with stems growing some [...]

Save The Bees

Honey bees are a keystone species which refers to an arch’s top stone, without which both sides collapse — a lot vital to environmental equilibrium. The impact of this breed on its ecosystem and ultimately the human food chain cannot be gainsaid. So, should honey bees vanish, and the plants that relied on bees diminish, [...]

Corn — Bumper to Bust?

For this season, American farmers planted the largest corn acreage in 75 years. Those lofty expectations fell by the wayside in some places as temperatures have soared and precipitation has plummeted. Withered stalks with no ears, no shoots, and no tassels with curling leaves and ominous yellowish hued stems have sprouted across much of the [...]

It’s A Fennel Affair

A promised retun to the land. Woody Guthrie, born nearly one hundred years ago, remains an iconic singer, songwriter and social activist whose audacious songs about our country’s have nots have been translated into numerous languages and resonate from the discs of other revered musicians. He penned songs about families facing foreclosure by unscrupulous banks, [...]

A Burger Practicum

Before we shift to greens from the soil and whatever ramblings, a final note on that revered trio of patty + cheese + bun. Then, it is time to return to earth for at least a short while. This post is not meant to be some step-by-step or how-to on creating a peerless backyard burger, [...]