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digitS'
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I was Busy Gardening

... in September and missed this:

The U.S.Doesn't Have Enough ... Vegetables ..!

You know, the ones we are supposed to eat. French fries and catchup? We got that covered ;).

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

HoneyBerry
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Re: I was Busy Gardening

It's a crisis. And so many of the veggies at the big box stores are stale. Sat on the truck & the shelves too long. There needs to be an organic farm revival.
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imafan26
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Re: I was Busy Gardening

Sad, but true. Farmers grow what they can sell, not necessarily what people need. It has to do not only with getting more vegetables on the market, but getting people to demand them. I eat more of what I grow and what fruit is readily available to me. If it were not available, I would not go out of my way to really get most of it. Some things like cilantro, and the short season crops are problematic because I have it when I don't need it, but because it is perishable, when I want it, there isn't much around. I don't care much for canned vegetables. I buy tomatoes, fruit, and corn in cans and I just bought some beans (I usually do not like canned beans). I am trying to not keep things too long in the freezeer and I don't have space, so I only have peas and mixed vegetables in the freezer. The rest, papaya, eggplant, hot peppers, some of the Asian greens, daikon, fresh tomatoes, squash (in season), and citrus fruit I grow and have available year round in my yard. Other fruits: papaya, mango, longan, lychee, mountain apple, mangosteen, starfruit, avocado, some bananas , pomelo, squash, and more eggplant I can get from friends and family and from the other gardens.

I rarely buy tomatoes, beans, green onions, and if I do, I feel like I am overpaying because I usually grow them.

I do buy onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, and bananas. I only buy 2 or 3 bananas because that is all I can use (barely) before they get to ripe. Onions and potatoes are not that easy for me to grow and I don't grow enough to last the year. They are also cheap to buy and not the easiest things for me to grow in my limited space. I would rather grow taro, ginger, herbs, and other things that I grow better;are more expensive to buy, and taste better fresh.

People should eat more of a variety of fruits and vegetables and farmers would grow more if enough people asked for it.

That being said, turnips, radishes, okra, and arugula are an acquired taste.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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digitS'
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Re: I was Busy Gardening

I'll agree with you on arugula, Imafan26 ;). But, lots of people would include cilantro in that short list.

Not me! I think I've always liked it, although I didn't know what cilantro was until I was in my twenties. My suspicion is that I associated it with Mexican restaurants and one of the reasons I liked showing up at one :).

I once asked a grocery store guy how he had cilantro in the heat of summer. He said it came from a greenhouse ... oh! Well sure. A controlled environment can control heat, as in too much heat. I have to pay special attention for a late sowing so that I can use cilantro with ripe tomatoes. It seems that just as the first sowing of sweet corn has produced and the stalks may as well go, I can sow some cilantro seed where they grew. If there are still corn stalks with more ripening ears to give the young plants some shade, so much the better.

Now, what can we grow that is best to have close at hand rather than waiting at the soopermarket for something coming a thousand miles to reach us? I'm a "greensman" and think salad and stir-fry veggies are top of the list. I don't neglect the storage veggies but I do as best as I can to have fresh green vegetables for as many weeks and months out of the year as I can.

Steve ツ
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

HoneyBerry
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Re: I was Busy Gardening

Yes, cilantro wilts fast. If there was a race amongst the garden crops for "fastest wilter", cilantro would win. Even the freshest just-picked cilantro looks sad and wilted. So cilantro is worth growing so that it can be picked fresh. And salad greens too. I wish that I could grow everything possible but I do have a full time desk job so time is my problem just like so many people. So I have to be selective about what I grow. I am motivated because the stores stock such crappy produce. At the same time, I am lucky to have access to the best organic fruits & veggies at the local health food store, although that place is expensive, which is another motivator. The fruits & veggies that I grew up on were so bad that I say that I didn't know what fruits & veggies were until I was well into adulthood. And the crappy veggies weren't cooked right either. No wonder I didn't eat much of it. I was deprived for so long. I finally discovered real fruits & veggies. Brocolli tastes so good when it's fresh & not overcooked & soggy.
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imafan26
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Re: I was Busy Gardening

Interesting, only recently has there been a couple of decent Mexican places around here. There were few Mexican restaurants and the ones that were around were not that great. My first taste of cilantro was with oxtail soup which I think is a Chinese recipe. It is used a lot in Vietnamese cooking and Ban Mi sandwiches. Salsa is the only Mexican connection I had with it and it was only good when I made the salsa. The salsa from the restaurants taste like they came out of a bottle.

I do agree though people either love it or hate it.

Arugula I can eat when it is very young, but not when it gets older or if it is grown in the heat.

All of the non-tropical fruits are imported except for Kau oranges. Since they are usually not picked ripe, they don't taste nearly as good.

I am spoiled too. It really makes a difference to have a really fresh cucumber with the spines on it, and corn on the cob and asparagus spears from the garden don't even have to be cooked when eaten just after picking. Broccoli is crisper and even radishes and carrots are not so limp. Coconuts are about the same just the husk is not as dry. It is the same with eggs. Eggs that are laid the same day are a brighter yellow and the whites are clear not cloudy and the membrane is tight on the shell. Older eggs though are easier to peel after they are boiled. Fresh ginger is juicy, fragrant and not so shrivelled up. If more people had access to really fresh produce, they would really eat more of it too.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

HoneyBerry
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Re: I was Busy Gardening

Yes, I do agree. The fresher the better. Healthier too. Sometimes I wonder if nutrition contributes to the school shootings that we keep hearing about. Most kids these days live on fast food. They don't eat enough fruits and veggies. Fast food lacks nutritional value.
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digitS'
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Re: I was Busy Gardening

Imafan26, you live where tropical fruits can be found that are only dreamed of by many of your North Americans neighbors. BirdLover, you aren't all that far from my arid environment but on the "wetside" of the state. My enthusiasm may be a little silly but it's kind of wholesome so, what the hay ;). Here are some thoughts.

Diversity. Like broccoli?

There's broccoli raab. And, if you are gonna enjoy it, you almost have to grow it yourself. But, there are some other similar veggies.

Kai-lan, with several spellings, is a close relative.

Choy sum seems to be a kitchen ingredient name but that's okay. I prefer the larger varieties that are more closely related to bok choy. And, if you like those flower buds from any of these, bok choy.

Most people think bok choy, common in Chinese cooking, should be used just like Chinese cabbage, for its leaves only but if you pay attention to it and harvest those flowering stalks at the right moment, they are especially sweet!

Steve :)
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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applestar
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Re: I was Busy Gardening

Brocolli tastes so good when it's fresh & not overcooked & soggy.
When my kids were little, I used to cut broccoli into "broccoli trees" and "broccoli rocks" "rocks" are the stem, with tough outer layer cut off (peel or roll like a log and cut off with a knife turning after each cut) then cut in diagonal while turning a little after each turn.

I used to encourage them to make foodscapes on the plate before eating, with the broccoli trees/shrubs, broccoli and carrot rocks, etc. (big carrots were cut into disks and cut out into flower shapes). When we went to my MIL's house, the kids loved that she always served a HUGE mound of her special mashed potatoes made with heavy cream and gravy. They could make mountains and rolling hills, and a muddy gravy pond and gravy fall.

But at first, they were very disappointed that her broccoli were too overcooked to stand up into trees and tended to sag into sad mushed mounds.

I had to bring steamed broccoli from home so they could demonstrate their joy in their creations.
When it was time to eat, the meats would go swimming or wallowing in the pond then fly over the broccoli trees into their mouths. I remember my BIL really got into it and often helped them eat. :lol:

...I'm not sure if my MIL approved of all the "playing with their food" at first, but she is wonderfully understanding, and did stop boiling the broccoli to death so her grand babies could have their trees and shrubs, and started making rocks and other likely side dishes for their foodscapes.
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