Apple Picking & Apple Recipes

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle 

 

 

Apple Picking Along With Apple Recipes

This is an article that I ran before. I love the pictures and the recipes that Laurie gave are great. It makes me homesick for Virginia!

 

 

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 


Apple Picking and Apple Recipes

by David Proctor and Laurie Calloway


 November 14, 2019

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


The great thing about an apple is not only that it tastes good but is good for you.

Research has gone into the apple’s antioxidant benefits, cardiovascular benefits, benefits for blood sugar regulation, anti-cancer, and asthma benefits.

With such a starring role it is hard to not like the apple.

When you shop for apples you will generally see just a few types, that is because the apples that consumers buy are generally just pretty apples.  Looks are more than apple-skin, deep.

Most shoppers look for the red, perfectly shaped apple.  There’s nothing wrong with that, except you may be missing out on other varieties that may not have the shelf appeal but the taste is where they shine.

You will not see some of the heirloom varieties in the stores. You have to go to orchards to find those such as the Wolf River, Newton Pippin, and the Snow just to name a few. 

Some varieties are better for cooking and some for just plain eating.  It is hard to go wrong with eating an apple a day. 

They are good for your gums and teeth, good for digestion and other health benefits from the nutrition they give us.

When I think of apples I really enjoy this time of year going to an apple orchard.  Around Virginia, you will find outstanding produce along with the scenery. 

 

 Graves Mountain Apple Orchard

 Graves Mountain Apple Orchard

My girls and I have gone to Graves Mountain Lodge in Virginia to pick apples.  They offer “pick your own apples” fresh from the trees. Varieties include; Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Stayman, York, Winesap, Mutsu, Fuji, Granny Smith, Rome, and Empire.

Graves Mountain Apple Orchard

Graves Mountain Apple Orchard

As you can see from the pictures, they have breathtaking views. If you wonder about how many to pick, a bushel of apples is about 48 pounds. 

This chart gives an idea of weights.  Note: When it comes to cooking with apples, it may be helpful to know the following:

  • 1 pound of apples = 2 large, 3 medium, or 4 to 5 small apples
  • 1 pound of apples = 3 cups peeled and sliced apples

 
 

Tips for Preparing and Cooking

Tips for Preparing Apples

The skin of the apple is unusually rich in nutrients, and even if the recipe you’ve chosen requires peeled apples, consider leaving the skins on to receive the unique benefits found in the skins.

Apples

Apples

Ideally, of course, choose organic apples to avoid problems related to pesticide residues and other contaminants on the skins.

If you cannot obtain organic apples, and you are willing to accept some level of risk related to consumption of residues on the apple skins, we believe that it can still be a good trade-off between nutrients and contaminants if you leave the skin of the apple intact and eat the apple unpeeled.

Just be sure to thoroughly rinse the entire apple under a stream of pure water while gently scrubbing the skin with a natural bristle brush for 10-15 seconds.

To prevent browning when slicing apples for a recipe, simply put the slices in a bowl of cold water to which a spoonful of lemon juice has been added. For use in future recipes, sliced apples freeze well in plastic bags or containers.

There’s an important loss of nutrients that usually occurs when apples are processed into applesauce, and an even greater loss when they are processed into juice.

Apples Ready To Pick

Apples Ready To Pick

Some types of processing are easier on nutrients than others, but in general, apple sauces require boiling of apples and apple juices require some extraction of pulp.

In all cases, the more apple that can be retained, the better the resulting nourishment. Processing can take a special toll on polyphenols. We’ve seen recent studies where only 10% of the flavonols and 3% of the catechins from the original apples remained present in the processed apple juice.

Even chlorogenic acid (one of the more stable polyphenols in apples) tends to be decreased by at least 50% during the processing of whole apples into juice.

Obviously, there are exceptions to these generalized findings. For example, it is possible to put whole apples into a powerful blender and consume the resulting juice.

In this case, very little if any of the nutrients are lost. However, this type of blending is not used in the commercial production of apple juice.

Commercial apple juices are typically either “clear” or “cloudy.” Clear apple juices have the vast majority of the apple pomace (pulpy apple solids) removed.

Cloudy apple juices typically retain some of these pulpy solids because even though the pulpy solids have been removed from the juice through pressing and filtering, they are added back in at some designated level.

When purchasing apple juice, always choose cloudy juices if possible.
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=15

Apple Trees

Apple Trees

There are almost as many ways to eat an apple as there are apple varieties. What kind of apple eater are you? Compare your munching method with these apple profiles.

1. Compulsive Wedger: This apple eater can´t eat the apple whole; must have perfect, core-free wedges neatly arranged on a plate. Each wedge must equal one-eighth of an apple.

2. Splitter: This apple eater hates to deal with the core, but isn´t compulsive enough to bother with wedges − just chops the apple in half, removes the core and munches contentedly. Muscle-bound types show off their brute force by twisting the apple in half with their bare hands (though in fact it´s really not that difficult).

3. Circle Stickler: This rebellious sort slices the apple against the grain − across the core, to make round slices. She can often be found with convenient slices of cheese at hand. This person knows that round apple slices are much better than crackers!

4. Top-to-Bottom Type: This methodical muncher starts at the stem and munches all the way down to the bottom. He doesn´t change the apple´s position until one vertical top-to-bottom pass had been completed. He then rotates the apple to continue in the next lane until the whole thing is done.

5. Equator Eater: Probably the most common approach, this muncher takes bites out of the center of the apple all the way around, until the apple looks something like a mushroom on a mirror.

The nibbler then attacks the top, and finally the bottom, which is somewhat less convenient as there is no place left to hold apple without getting one´s fingers juicy − but she doesn´t mind!

6. The Streak: This eater prefers to eat his apples in the nude − the apple, that is! He does not care about what he´s been told about all those vitamins and fiber in the skin, peeling the stuff right off, preferably in one long winding piece.

Once the peeling is complete, he either eats the apple whole or sliced. The latter method is usually employed, as the apple´s skinless state can lead to copious juice drippings.

7. Core-Free Cruncher: This muncher comes in two personalities. Type B loves gadgets and small appliances. He eats a lot of apples because he gets to use that nifty “apple corer” gadget.

Type A is a seedophobic and doesn´t care whether she gets to use a gadget, knife or sharp fingernails – she just has to get those darned seeds out of there before she´ll even take one bite! The Type A personality does avoid core disposal issues, however.

8. Stem Plucker: Before the first bite, this apple muncher grabs the apple´s stem and twists, saying one letter of the alphabet with each turn.

The letter at which the stem comes off has profound meaning, usually interpreted as the first initial of the name of the future spouse. (Married munchers, take note: Turns can be modified to ensure the stem comes out at the desired letter.)

Particularly curious Stem Pluckers continue the ritual by poking the outside of the apple with the stem to determine the number of children they will have, said to be equal to the number of pokes it takes to break the skin of the apple.
(Hey, we don´t make these things up, we just reprint ´em.)

In a recent, incredibly unscientific poll, three out of four people surveyed reported themselves to be Stem Pluckers.

http://www.usapple.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=42&Itemid=32

In any case, whether you enjoy cooking with apples, just eating apples or both, try to find the time to pick your own if you do not have your own apple tree.  The time spent outside is well worth it.


Check It Out!

 

by Laurie Calloway

In the 1994 blockbuster movie, Forrest Gump, Forrest’s friend, Bubba, enthusiastically educated him about all the ways to prepare shrimp.  And there were quite a few!  However, if any food can rival shrimp in the number of ways it can be prepared, the many varieties of the humble apple would certainly be at the top of the list. 

Most families have a favorite apple pie recipe, and more than likely, apple pies are probably the most popular way to make use of apples.  However, as delicious as they are, they can be a bit labor-intensive, especially if you prepare your own pastry for the crust. 

So, if time is not on your side, here are two recipes that can be prepared fairly quickly, filling your home with the wonderful autumn aroma of cooking apples and spices in short order.
 
Baked Apples (This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled)
 
Two large, firm, crisp apples
Two tablespoons melted butter
Two tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark)
1 teaspoon cinnamon or ½ teaspoon apple pie spice
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons golden or dark raisins or dried blueberries
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts (Optional)
Aluminum foil and cookie sheet
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and core apples, leaving at least a quarter to half-inch at the bottom of the apple.  (Take care not to core all the way through.)

Cooking Supplies

Melt two tablespoons butter in the microwave oven in a small, microwave–safe bowl.  Add the brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, raisins or dried blueberries and walnuts.  Stir to combine.

Spoon the mixture into the cored apple, pressing it in tightly. Wrap each apple individually in foil, and place on foil-lined cookie sheet.  (I find this makes clean-up much easier.)

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.  This time may vary due to differences in ovens, or in the size of your apples.  

Remove from oven, cool for at least five minutes, then unwrap from foil and serve as is, or with whipped cream or ice cream.
 
Oatmeal Apple Crisp (Makes approximately eight servings)
Eight medium-sized apples of your choice. I used Gala.   (If using Granny Smith apples, you may wish to increase the amount of sugar.)
 
Two cups old-fashioned (not quick oats) oatmeal
½ stick melted butter, and 2 tablespoons butter, divided
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light or dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)8 or 9 inch square casserole,
(or 9 by 12 inch casserole, or large deep-dish pie pan), sprayed with canola or vegetable cooking spray, or greased with butter.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel and core apples. (This is the most time-consuming step.  However, I have a handy, little device that peels the apples lickety-spilt, then I core and slice them with an apple corer/slicer. 

If you cook a lot with apples, or can applesauce, you may consider investing in a device that either peels and cores, or just peels apples.) Place the sliced apples in the greased casserole, and sprinkle the granulated sugar, flour, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

Toss to coat and mix, right in the casserole. Dot the top of the apples with a tablespoon of butter, cut into small pieces.
Melt butter in microwave using a medium-sized, microwave-safe mixing bowl. 

Add oats, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and walnuts.  Mix well to combine.  Cover the apples in the casserole with the oat mixture.

Dot the top with tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces. (If desired, sprinkle a bit of cinnamon and granulated sugar on the top.)

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour.  

If you feel the topping is becoming too brown before the apples are cooked all the way through, cover with foil for the rest of the baking time.

Serve as is, or topped with cream, whipped cream, or spoon on top of your favorite ice cream!

With both of these recipes, the walnuts can be substituted with chopped pecans. 

Although the nuts are optional, unless you or a family member just does not like nuts, or is allergic, they make the finished product even more delicious.

Happy baking!


Quick Tip

 

by Laurie Calloway

 

Use only fresh, ripe apples to get the best results.

Apples vary in their natural sweetness.  When using sugar in any apple recipe, adjust according to taste.  Some apples may require little or no sugar, others more than what is stated in the recipe. 

Baking times and temperatures can often vary due to the variety, size, and freshness of your apples.  It is a good idea to check on your recipe while the apples are cooking to prevent over-browning of crusts or toppings.

Mixing up different varieties of apples in pies, applesauce, or apple butter often makes a better-tasting final product.

A gadget such as an apple peeler/corer can be well worth the investment if you bake a lot with apples, or can or freeze applesauce.


Bibliography:

N.p., n.d. Web.
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=15
N.p., n.d. Web.

Why Your Supermarket Sells Only 5 Kinds of Apples


“Best Apples for Baking.” Best Apples Baking Cooking. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2019.
“Apple Harvest.” Graves Mountain Lodge. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2019.
“U.S. Apple Association.” U.S. Apple Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2019.




 

Posted in Health, Magazine Issues, Plants, Recipes Tagged with:

Recycle Your Leaves

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle 

Leaf Composting

Autumn is here and the leaves are starting to change color. Most will think; great, now I have to rake or blow the leaves again and then get rid of them.  Why not compost those leaves?

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 


Recycle Your Leaves With Leaf Composting

by David Proctor


 November 7, 2019

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


Autumn is here and soon we will be putting our rakes into action. Once the leaves have been raked up what do you do with them?
 
When I drive around and see all the large leaf bags at the curbside waiting to be picked up to go to the landfill, I cannot help but think, “What a waste!”.
 
I have two thoughts when raking leaves:

  • Why rake the leaves, to begin with?
  • Why are you trying to get rid of them?

I have always loved being out in the fall. I enjoy walking through the leaves and enjoying the colors against an intense blue sky as a backdrop. But, as the leaves fall we all feel that every last one needs to be picked up and disposed of.

 

Compost Gold

Compost Gold

Leaves, as it turns out, are one of nature’s best compost materials or compost gold for your plants. They are dense in nutrients that have been collected by the trees that they fell from.
 
It is nature’s way of mining for nutrients deep in the earth through tree roots, which then travel up to the leaves.  The only thing the tree does not do for us is mulch the leaves!
 
Do not dispose of the leaves, instead, you should try to collect as many as you can. Even take them from your neighbor if they do not want them. You will never have enough.
 
Once these leaves compost down, the volume will be a fraction of what they are when first collected.
 
I very seldom will rake leaves, it just goes against my grain. It’s frustrating that the pile of leaves gets bigger and harder to move as you rake. 
 
Instead, I like to mow over the leaves and let them spread over the yard as a natural ground cover. If you do this for a few years you will have fewer dandelions and crabgrass.
 
Use a grass catcher to collect and then dump the mulched leaves if you would like to save them for your garden and flower plots.
 
You will find that the pile is a fraction of the size of one created by raking, and they tend to not want to blow away like a pile created by raking and no mulching.

Leaf Mold

Leaf Mold

Another method is to use your leaf blower. Instead of blowing the leaves, use the attachment that is probably still brand new (because you could not for life of you figure out why anyone would use a perfectly good leaf blower), to instead suck the leaves up into a bag.
 
When the leaf blower is used in this fashion, it has a blade that will mulch the leaves before they go in the bag.
 
Take these mulched leaves and put them in an area that can be contained, such as a wire mesh or a walled-off area. This way the leaves will not be disturbed by strong winds, but are still accessible to rotate.
 
This is for an open but contained composting method.

Compost Pile

Compost Pile

The leaf compost pile will need access to oxygen for the aerobic process to continue. If you use a closed system, where oxygen is not accessible, that is called anaerobic.
 
Anaerobic is a process that I will talk about in a future article. For now, we will look at the benefits of the oxygen, or aerobic, process.
 
The one thing that is really good to add to the leaf pile is coffee grounds. Coffee grounds will add nitrogen and will help the plants with warding off disease. Coffee does not appear to add acidity as one might think.
 
This is probably due to most of the acids being removed during brewing. So, save your coffee grounds for the leaf mulch.
 
The one thing I have not recommended for the leaf mulch pile is the kitchen scrapes. Which we all think will be great for the mulch pile, right?
 
Hold on a minute! Those kitchen scraps are not going to add much to the mulch pile. You are much better off using them in a different mulch pile, preferably one which uses worms to break down the mulch or compost.
 
This doesn’t mean that you will not have worms in a leaf mulch pile, but if you are feeding worms for worm castings, then that is the place to put the kitchen scraps.
 
What goes in the front of the worm, comes out the back end, a very rich product for your plants.
 
The other counter-intuitive is to start a mulch pile in the fall. One would think to mulch in the spring and have the warm weather help with the process.
 
The problem is that the leaves are still on the trees and the spring is when you want to be spreading the mulch as a nutritious plant ground cover.

Leaf Mulch

Leaf Mulch

Just an inch or two is all it takes to help hold moisture for your plants and simultaneously release nutrients to feed them.
 
Once the mulch pile starts to break down, the temperature will rise internally and help keep the process going.
 
Be sure to keep the mulch pile from drying out by adding water at least once a week. Unless you are getting a lot of rain, then rotate with a pitchfork.
 
These types of mulching systems are open, where the material is on the ground in a pile. It is easy to access for watering and rotating, but neighbors may not be too keen on the looks. If you rotate the pile, you should not have any smells.
 
The next type of system is open-contained. The containment may be a wire mesh, stacked blocks or, something commercially obtained (which is generally plastic and has interlocking walls).
 
They all will work, it just depends on what you want to invest in.
 
Another system is contained but unsealed. This way oxygen can still be used in the decomposition process.  The most commonly used product is barrels that open to add materials and can be rotated to mix content.
 
These barrels are normally pretty small and are not that easy to extract the materials from. So, I generally use the open system. I have a decently large yard, and the designated space to mulch is not very noticeable. Mulching in a spot, surrounded by trees helps, as well.

Composter

Composter

If you prefer a more manicured yard, you may want to look at the contained systems to build or purchase.
 
Hopefully, now you see why it is a good idea to keep those leaves instead of sending them to the landfill.

Now is the time to collect your leaf gold for your plants!


Check It Out!

 

Using Coffee Grounds:
 
• 10 to 20 percent of total compost volume
have been reported as optimal for compost quality and
effectiveness, while over 30 percent can be detrimental.
 
• Only small amounts of coffee grounds are required for effective disease suppression. Therefore, I recommend using no more than 20% by volume of coffee grounds in a compost pile. A diverse feedstock will ensure a diversity of microorganisms.
 
• Don’t assume coffee grounds will make an acidic compost; pH levels will undoubtedly change over time.

Linda Chalker-Scott, Ph.D.
MasterGardener WSU editor
Extension Urban Horticulturist
and Associate Professor,
Puyallup Research and Extension Center,
Washington State University
Puyallup, Washington
www.puyallup.


Quick Tip

Mike hosts the nationally syndicated public radio show You Bet Your Garden, which airs every Saturday at 11am on WHYY-FM (90.9) in Philadelphia. “You Bet Your Garden” is also the name of Mike’s column in the quarterly gardening publication Greenprints, appearing in every issue since…

Everything You Know About Composting is Wrong: Mike McGrath at TEDxPhoenixville 17:21


Bibliography:

“Leaf Mold, Mulch and Compost | Planet Natural.” Planet Natural RSS. N.p., 04 Dec. 2012. Web. 7 Nov. 2019.

“US Composting Council Announces the 2016 International Compost Awareness Week Poster Contest – Call for Entries for Poster Design.”US Composting Council. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Nov. 2019.

“CERTIFIEDCOMPOST.COM.” CERTIFIEDCOMPOST.COM. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Nov. 2019.

“Register for Our E-newsletter.” Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Nov. 2019.
http://cuyahogaswd.org/pdf_cuyahogaswd/en US/Brochures/backyard_composting.pdf




 

Posted in Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with: , , , , ,

Using Biodynamics In Viticulture

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle 

Biodynamics

Biodynamic viticulture (grape growing) uses organic farming methods while following Rudolf Steiner’s (1861-1925), a formula of planting and harvesting by astronomical configurations.  Sort of like the Farmer’s Almanac but a little more intense.

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 


Biodynamic Viticulture

by David Proctor


 October 31, 2019

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


One of the key components of biodynamic farming, besides the astronomical practices, is treating the earth as a “living and receptive organism”. 
 
“The concept behind biodynamics is that everything in the universe is interconnected and gives off a resonance or ‘vibe’. The interconnectivity of everything even includes celestial bodies like the moon, planets, and stars. Biodynamic viticulture is the practice of balancing this resonance between vine, man, earth, and stars. Essentially, biodynamics is a holistic view of agriculture.” (Wine Folly)

One of the strangest practices for preparing to fertilize the fields is to first get a bunch of cow horns and stuff them full of cow manure and bury them.  After a period of time, the horns are dug up and the green manure has changed into a rich fertilizer, thanks to worms and microbes.

 

Horns Stuffed With Manure

Horns Stuffed With Manure

“Stop to think about why a cow horn is used, it goes back to being a symbol of abundance.  The Viking would drink from horns, the Chinese believe in the concept, that is why the Rhino horn is coveted.  In fact, we believe in the tradition of abundance when we display the cornucopia at Thanksgiving”.

I’m not advocating that we all start burring horns in our yard full of poop, just saying their seems to be a precedence to the practice.

Several other practices are used for controlling or enhancing the biological aspects of the vineyard and that is chamomile (natural antiseptic) and stinging nettles (a natural cleanser) as examples.

The soils when tested, do show a greater disease suppression, a decrease in compaction and additional organic material versus non-organic soils.

The biodynamic practice follows a calendar that has four basic parts:

  1. Fruit Days: Best days for harvesting grapes
  2. Root Days: Ideal days for pruning
  3. Flower Days: Leave the vineyard alone on these days
  4. Leaf Days: Ideal days for watering plants

Biodynamic Calendar

Biodynamic Calendar

Besides the calendar, no chemicals or manufactured additions are allowed in the wine, like commercial yeast or adjusting the acidity.
 
Does the wine taste different?  According to some, it does.  The wine is supposed to enhance or have better expressions of terroir or character. Some say that the wine stays drinkable longer than other wines and has a more noted stronger yet clearer taste which is also more vibrant.

How do you know when you buy wine if it is biodynamic? Biodynamic is not a defined and regulated term such as organic. There does exist two governing bodies to certify the strict rules and regulations for certification, and they are:

  1. Demeter International (Certifies predominately North America)
  2. Biodyvin (certifies only 100 European wineries)

 

Demeter Certification

Demeter Certification

In that case why not just by organic wine.  No reason not to, but you have to look at the process that goes into the biodynamic wine.  Biodynamic predates “organic” by at least twenty years. 

Some say that it is worth it to drink these wines, due to taste, flavor and being in tune with the cosmos.
 
When it is all said and done, if your spirit tells you to role with the cosmic vibe, then biodynamic is your choice.


Check It Out!

 

Biodynamic vs Traditional


Quick Tip

 

 

An Introduction to Biodynamic Viticulture 7:02

at0zwinew0rks


Bibliography:

 

“Biodynamic Wine.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 31 Oct. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodynamic_wine.

“What’s the Difference between Organic, Biodynamic, and Sustainable Wines? | Ask Dr. Vinny | Wine Spectator.” WineSpectator.com, www.winespectator.com/drvinny/show/id/41226.

“Getting Into Biodynamic Wine.” Wine Folly, Wine Folly, 16 Sept. 2015, winefolly.com/review/biodynamic-wine-guide/.




 

Posted in Animal Husbandry, Health, Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with:

Decorative Pumpkins

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle 

Pumpkins

Pumpkins are used for decorations around the holidays and are also good to eat. This article will show some of the varieties of pumpkins, and ways to decorate with them.

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 


Beautiful Edible Pumpkin

by David Proctor


 October 24, 2019

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


One of the fun activities around Halloween is pumpkin carving.  I have seen some really creative and scary pumpkins come out of my house.

Pumpkin nutrition facts

The following is from nutrition and you.

“Pumpkin is one of the most widely grown vegetables, incredibly rich in vital antioxidants, and vitamins.

Though this humble backyard vegetable is low in calories, it carries vitamin A, and flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, xanthin, and carotenes in abundance.

Pumpkin is a fast-growing vine that creeps along the surface in a similar fashion like that of other Cucurbitaceae family vegetables and fruits such as cucumber, squash, cantaloupes…etc.

 

Traditional Pumpkins

Traditional Pumpkins

It is one of the most popular field crops cultivated around the world, including in the USA at commercial scale for its fruit, and seeds.

Pumpkins vary greatly in shape, size, and colors. Giant pumpkins generally weigh 8–13 lbs with the largest capable of reaching a weight of over 55 lbs. 

Decorative Pumpkin

Decorative Pumpkin

Golden-nugget pumpkins are flat, smaller and feature sweet creamy orange color flesh.

Pumpkins, in general, feature orange or yellow outer skin color; however, some varieties can exhibit dark to pale green, brown, white, red and gray.

Variations in Pumpkins

Variations in Pumpkins

Their color characteristics are largely influenced by yellow-orange pigments in their skin and pulp. Its thick rind is smooth with light, vertical ribs.

Cinderella Type Pumpkin

Cinderella Type Pumpkin

In structure, the fruit features golden-yellow to orange flesh depending upon the poly-phenolic pigments in it. The fruit has a hollow center, with numerous small, off-white colored seeds interspersed in a net-like structure.”

Saving Pumpkin Seeds

  1. Remove the pulp and seeds from inside the pumpkin. Place this in a colander.
  2. Place the colander under running water. As the water runs over the pulp, start picking out the seeds from the pulp. Rinse them in the running water as you pick them out. Do not let the pumpkin pulp sit in non-running water.
  3. There will be more seeds inside the pumpkin than you’re going to need to use, so once you have a good amount of seeds rinsed, look over them and choose the biggest seeds. Plan on saving 3 times more pumpkin seeds than the number of plants you will be growing next year. Larger seeds will have a better chance of germinating.
  4. Place the rinsed seeds on a dry paper towel. Make sure they are spaced out; otherwise, the seeds will stick to one another.
  5. Place in a cool dry spot for one week.
  6. Once the seeds are dry, store pumpkin seed for planting in an envelope.”

Properly Store Pumpkin Seeds for Planting

“When saving pumpkin seeds, you also need to store them so that they will be ready to plant for next year. Any seeds, pumpkin or otherwise, will store best if you keep them somewhere cold and dry.

One of the best places to store pumpkin seed for planting next year is in your refrigerator. Put your pumpkin seed envelope in a plastic container. Place several holes in the lid of the container to ensure that condensation does not build up on the inside. Place the container with the seeds inside at the very back of the fridge.

Next year, when it comes time for planting pumpkin seeds, your pumpkin seeds will be ready to go. Saving pumpkin seeds is a fun activity for the whole family, as even the smallest hand can help. And, after you properly store pumpkin seeds for planting, children can also help plant the seeds in your garden.”

Our Pumpkins

Our Pumpkins


Check It Out!

Professional Pumpkin Carver Jonathan Barwood Gives Carving Advice  4:06
The Oregonian


Quick Tip

 

Tips for Growing Great Heirloom Organic Pumpkins

The following quick tip is from Sustainable Seed Co.:

“Heirloom Pumpkins do not like wet, soggy soil.

Heirloom pumpkins aren’t too fussy, but if you want really big pumpkins you should add lots of great composted manure under each hill of pumpkins.

We dig large holes out about the size of a beach ball and replace it with rich composted humus. To that, we may add a hand full of bone meal and blood meal.

We stir this up really well and use the remaining soil to make our hill. It is on top of this hill we will plant our pumpkin seed.

Organic pumpkins are deep-rooted, water-conserving plants and should be watered deeply and infrequently to encourage good vine and root growth.

Remember organic pumpkins can ramble up to 12′ so give them plenty of space.”

http://sustainableseedco.com/pumpkin/

HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN PIE FROM SCRATCH 6:57
Gilroy Vlogs


Bibliography:

“How To Harvest And Store Pumpkin Seeds.” Gardening Know How. N.p., 30 Aug. 2008. Web. 24 Oct. 2019.

“Pumpkin Heirloom Seeds.” Heirloom Pumpkin Seeds. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2019.

“Pumpkin Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits.” Nutrition And You.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2019.

All photographs are copyrighted under Proctor Company Incorporated, can not be used without permission.




 

Posted in Health, Magazine Issues, Plants, Recipes Tagged with:

Benefits of Coconut Oil

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle 

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is one of the most convenient, versatile products to have in your house. Whether you’re eating it or making it into a hand cream, this stuff works. I invite you to read further and see how coconut oil can be a healthy addition to your diet, but also a lifesaver to have around the house.

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 


Benefits of Coconut Oil

by Kelsey Proctor


 October 17, 2019

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


Coconut oil is one of the most convenient, versatile products to have in your house. Whether you’re eating it or making it into a hand cream, this stuff works. I invite you to read further and see how coconut oil can be a healthy addition to your diet, but also a lifesaver to have around the house.
 
Up until the past decade, healthy and coconut oil were not used in the same sentence. This versatile oil was thought of as only a saturated fat no-no. How wrong we were! Now the buzz is all about how this healthy fat can be used in cooking, beauty products, cleaning products, and more. Coconut oil has hundreds of uses outside of just cooking.

 

Coconut
 
First off: how is this new superfood healthy to consume? Coconut oil is almost 90 percent saturated fat; however, that fat is mostly lauric acid. Lauric acid consists of medium-chain triglycerides (an MCT) which are metabolized easier than longer chains found in meat and dairy products. This metabolism boost means instant energy, and can actually help you lose weight.
 
As a point of reference, Bruce Fife (C.N., N.D.), author of The Coconut Oil Miracle, recommends consuming 1-3 tablespoons of coconut oil daily. Coconut oil is a healthy fat, but is high in calories (about 117 a tablespoon) so consider your diet and lifestyle when deciding what the right amount is for you.
 
So, now that you know how great coconut oil is for your diet, there are a few things to look for when buying your first jar. In my fridge, I have a jar of Simply Nature Organic Coconut Oil I grabbed from the grocery store for $4.99.

 

Coconut Oil

Simply Nature Coconut Oil


Check It Out!

 

Now the fun part: ways to use coconut oil outside of just cooking!

Face Mask

Face Mask


Quick Tip

 

The Top Three things to look for when buying coconut oil:

  1. Unrefined – this means there hasn’t been any bleaching or stripping that would compromise the oil’s health benefits.
  2. Virgin (tip: unlike with olive oil, you’re not going to find a discernible difference between “virgin” and extra virgin”).
  3. Good price! There’s no reason to drop tons of dough on coconut oil anymore. It’s become such a frequently bought product that you can purchase a 14 oz jar for anywhere from $5-$10 depending on the brand and your area. My 14oz jar will last me all winter! 

Bibliography:

How much coconut oil per day?. (2019, October 17). Retrieved from
http://www.newhealthguide.org/How-Much-Coconut-Oil-Per-Day.html

Kadey, M. (2019, October 17). Everything you need to know about coconut oil. Retrieved from http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/cooking-ideas/everything-you-need-know-about-coconut-oil

Michaelis, K. (2019). How to choose a good coconut oil. Retrieved from http://www.foodrenegade.com/how-to-choose-a-good-coconut-oil/




 

Posted in Health, Magazine Issues, Plants, Recipes Tagged with: ,

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