-Pam Scott- I truly love the jolt of drinking a strong cup of Earl Grey tea; it sends me into a creative whirlwind like nothing else. A pot of strong black tea has been the elixir to kick start my day and offer an intense “pick me up” for almost half a century. But .. alas, this roller coaster ride of caffeine can have its consequences when it comes to stable blood pressure and healthy digestion. Growing, blending and brewing my own herbal teas has led me to a new appreciation of the … [Read more...] about Growing, Blending and Brewing Herbal Teas
-Gabrial House- Enjoying fresh mushrooms is like nothing else. Rich with flavor and meaty with texture, these fun fungi make a great meat replacement in any dish. But did you know mushrooms are also easy and fun to cultivate? Here at Fifth Season Gardening Co. we sure do love to grow some beautiful mushrooms, both indoors and out! We have some great products to make mushroom cultivation as easy and fun as possible, and in this blog, I’m going to go over some of the ways you can cultivate … [Read more...] about DIY Mushrooms!
-Kristin Weeks- By now, most folks have heard of the popularized health tonic, kombucha, but fewer people are familiar with its less-known relative, Jun. Also known as the “champagne of kombucha” for its lighter, more effervescent profile, Jun (rhymes with fun) provides a nice alternative to those turned off by some of the more undesirable, not to say offensive, notes associated with kombucha. Within the history and lore of Jun lie some obscurities. Stories tell of the sacred elixir … [Read more...] about Jun: Kombucha’s Softer Side
-Pam Scott- My personal interest in Bitters started a few years ago using them as a cocktail enhancers. I like to drink alcohol, but don’t like to take the time to feel bad the next day, so my hard and fast rule became two cocktails, no more, and they had better be damn good and interesting. Using bitters as a cocktail enhancer started in the 18th century. Since most early spirits were not very refined and frequently unpalatable, it became popular to use bitters to spice up the undrinkable. … [Read more...] about Bitters Then and Now
-Trish Davis- Growing mushrooms at home is easy-really! There are many ways to grow mushrooms at home, but two popular methods are the log method and the countertop method. The same cultivation guidelines and methods apply to many varieties of mushrooms, both culinary and medicinal, that are often found in the home garden or kitchen. We’ll start off with Log method. Basically, wooden logs are drilled and then plugged with mushroom spawn, which fruit into mushrooms. We stock mushroom logs … [Read more...] about It’s Surprisingly Easy to Grow Your Own Mushrooms
-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!