-Kristin Weeks- While grapes are, by far, the most commonly associated fruit with making wine, they certainly aren’t the only option. Here in the Southeast, where the terrain isn’t so ideal for growing grapes, we can instead turn to what is already growing right around us. One such plant that grows easily and in abundance in our region is the American elder (Sambucus canadensis), which bears purplish-black berries that come into season from July to late September, depending on where you … [Read more...] about Beyond Grapes: Elderberry Wine
-Jenn Hawthorne- Last month in the Charlottesville store, we had a workshop on fermentation. As I was teaching the class, I talked to one of the participants, and she had an amazing view on kimchi. I started the class thinking of kimchi as a finite, this is how you make it and this is the only way to make it thing. After my conversation, however, my eyes were opened to all the massive possibilities with this amazing food. A little history about this dish makes you realize why it is a very … [Read more...] about Kimchi: My Favorite Fermented Food
-Luis Guerra- Looking to add another ferment to your recipe book? Here is a good project to try with all those tasty peppers once the crops start coming in. As much as I love peppers on everything, sometimes there are just too many in my garden to eat before they go bad. Fermenting some of them for use in hot sauce is a great way to preserve the harvest. I really enjoy making fermented hot sauces, exploring how versatile the flavors of peppers can be. First, start with the peppers of … [Read more...] about Fermented Hot Sauce
At 5 AM yesterday morning my neighbor caught me picking raspberries in my pajamas. Having accessorized my bunny print PJs with pink fluffy socks and sandals, I was quite a sight that early in the day. There was a reason for my unusual fashion statement, though. Because of a very mild winter and a warm wet spring, all of the fruits, herbs, flowers and vegetables on my tiny urban farm have exploded into production all at once, a full 3 weeks ahead of schedule. Keeping up with the harvest has … [Read more...] about Raspberry Infusions
Foraging for local plants has become a hugely popular past time, but you don’t have to spend hours hunting in the woods to enjoy nature’s bounty. In fact, you are probably already harvesting some of these plants and don’t even realize it. A lot of very common weeds in the southeast are actually quite tasty and nutritious! As with all foraging, it is important to be sure of the plants you are picking, as some plants can be toxic. There are many books and online resources to help you identify … [Read more...] about Don’t WEED It; EAT It!