Common Types Of Microgreens

With the cooler weather of fall upon us, it is time to conder moving our gardening efforts indoors, which make growing microgreens an appealing option.

But what to grow as microgreens?

Considering most garden vegetables and herbs can be grown as Microgreens, the options are many. So, which microgreens to grow for your family depends on what your family eats regularly, and Your family’s taste preferences. 

Most Common Types oF Microgreens

The broad type of microgreens (listed below in family groups)  Should provide the basics of what kind of taste the microgreens will have, and the growing conditions the type of microgreens prefer:

Amaranthaceae family:

  • The Amaranthaceae family includes amaranth, beets, chard, quinoa, and spinach.

Amaryllidaceae family

  • Amaryllidaceae family includes chives, garlic, leeks, and onions.

Apiaceae family

  • The Apiaceae family includes carrot, celery, dill, cilantro, and fennel.

Asteraceae family

  • The Asteraceae family includes chicory, endive, lettuce, and radicchio.

Brassicaceae family

  • The Brassicaceae family includes arugula, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, radish, and watercress.

Cucurbitaceae family

The Cucurbitaceae family includes cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, and squashes.

Lamiaceae family

  • The Lamiaceae family includes the most common herbs like mint, basil, rosemary, sage, and oregano.

Poaceae family

  • The Poaceae family includes grasses and cereals like barley, corn, rice, oats, and wheatgrass.
  • The Poaceae family also includes in legumes, including beans, chickpeas, and lentils.

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Commonly Used Perennial Culinary Herbs

Perennial herbs are an excellent choice for your garden. Perennial herbs continue to grow and provide fresh herbs for your kitchen for many years if given a little care.

You can prepare a mouthwatering recipe by using Perennial herbs. Perennial herbs are good for your health, and you can also use them to make salads, stews, and soups.

Perennial herbs can be grown at ease, and the best part is that you can harvest them at any time of the year. Some of the most commonly used perennial culinary herbs are:

Mint

Mint is recognized to be one of the well renowned perennial culinary herbs which are used for cooking on an extensive scale. Though it is lemony or bit-peppery in its raw form, mint leaves a cool after taste.

Mints have slightly dented, pointy, oval, and bright green leaves along with the sturdy stem. Mint is used for cooking on an extensively in Middle-Eastern and North African recipes.

This herb emanates a refreshing smell. The intense flavor of this herb makes it the best option to cook fish sauces, peas, lamb, vegetables, and chocolate. You can also use mint to prepare tea and other beverages. The most popular varieties of mint which are used for cooking include spearmint, good old peppermint, and apple mint.

Rosemary

It is another popular favorable herb that can be used for cooking vegetables, meat, and poultry. In addition to this, you can also use it with apricots, garlic, roasted potatoes, and roasted chicken. You are going to love this plant for its delightful scent.

They are used on an extensive scale in different types of floral arrangements. The intense flavor of this herb contributes to being one of the prominent reasons why this herb is used for cooking across the globe. It has needle leaves along with hard woody stems.

Sage

This is another worth mentioning name in the list of perennial culinary herbs, which is used for the preparation of Balkan and Italian dishes. You can fry it with light batter for preparing pork, sausages, and bacon.

You can also make the best use of this herb for preparing fresh stuffed pasta, butter, rabbits, eggs, to name a few. Furthermore, you can use this aromatic herb for making sauces, seasoning meats, and vegetables. Sage in its dried form emits strong flavor.

Dill

This herb has earned a high reputation for its fresh aroma and amazing delicate flavor. The leaves of this plant are soft and light. It is used for the preparation of Eastern and Northern cuisines. Dill is an ideal choice for cucumbers, green soups, salmon, beetroot, cream, pickles, and other recipes. Dill can also be used to season peas, potatoes, lamb, and fish.

Oregano

This perennial herb is primarily grown in the warm climate of Mediterranean and Eurasia. Also referred to as the wild aroma, it is used to flavor a plethora of American and Italian dishes. Oregano is commonly used in the preparation of Turkish, Grek, and Mediterranean dishes. Oregano, also, goes well with olive oil, tomatoes, lamb, pizza, yogurt, and kebabs.

Spring is the ideal season for growing this herb. This delicious herb comes with a lovely smell, and you can use it for different purposes in your kitchen.

Winter Savory

It is recognized to be the perfect herb for the preparation of cold and warm dishes. You can use winter savory to make tasty teas. winter savory is useful in adding an aromatic flavor to a plethora of recipes.

Besides this, it boasts of a bunch of anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. The intense flavor of this spicy herb makes it an ideal choice for the preparation of poultry, beans, and fish. You can also use it for garnishing the salad and flavoring the liqueurs.

Lemon Balm

This perennial herb comprises of medicinal properties, and it is regarded as an ideal option for the kitchen. You can use lemon balm to garnish meals. It can also be used for the preparation of teas and other beverages.

Lavender

This perennial herb produces a variety of purple flowers which add to the beauty of the garden. It is used for the preparation of dressings and salad. It offers a bit of sweet flavor to a plethora of dishes.

The dried lavender buds and lavender syrup make it the ideal choice for the preparation of Lavender marshmallows and scones. This herb also consists of different health benefits, which make it the prime choice for cooking.

Thyme

The perennial herb tyme can found in most kitchens. Tyme is known to have a pungent, earthy, and lemony smell. tyme is used widely in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries recipes.

Tyme can be used in barbecue meats, eggplants, mushrooms, chicken, roasted vegetables such as tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, and goat cheese. You can also add this herb for preparing stews and soups.

Conclusion

The above-mentioned herbs are regarded as the best option for the preparation of different cuisines. They are used primarily after drying, and their flavor and aroma enhance the taste.

The best thing about these perennial herbs is that perennial herbs can easily be grown in pots, in your yard or in your garden. All you need is an adequate amount of water, right exposure to light, and care and you are good to go.

Easy Gardening – Garden Seed Tapes

What are Seed Tapes?

Seed tapes are products designed with seeds perfectly attached between narrow strips of biodegradable tissue layers, which are ready for planting in both the garden and house. They are ideal for sowing in containers, large empty garden plots, as well as fill-ins in tighter areas.

The seeds are applied at the correct distance along the tapes to reduce overcrowding of newly germinated seedlings. The tapes can consist of a single variety, custom mixtures, and multiple species of seeds. You can find products with flower, vegetable, and herb seeds embedded into them.

What are the Advantages of Seed Tapes?

  • Provide an easy and efficient way to plant tiny seeds quickly.
  • Seeds are planted at the same depth allowing for a more uniform germination rate.
  • Seed tapes enable you to space plants evenly and eliminate seed wastage. This helps avoid overcrowding that may call for thinning of young seedlings, which is a tedious and time-consuming task.
  • Less thinning also means less disturbance to the root of plants left in your garden. Otherwise, you risk delaying or inhibiting the growth and even performance of the plants.
  • Prevents birds from eating the fresh seeds that you sow.
  • Makes the sowed seeds less susceptible to wash away in a downpour and ruining the evenly spaced rows.
  • Almost all the seed tape products are biodegradable and considered to be environmental-friendly.
  • Very convenient for senior gardeners, particularly those suffering from arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or other mobility complications.

What are the types of Seed tapes?

Seed tapes

Seed tapes are one of the most common types, which are ideal for growing most vegetable seed varieties, salads, as well as flower seeds. They are usually available in different lengths, especially between one to six meters. However, it is possible to have the garden vegetable seed tapes produced in specific lengths to suit your unique gardening needs. Also, the seed tapes can come as a single track containing one variety of seeds or multiple tracks with different seed varieties.

Seed discs

Seed discs are designed in different sizes. You’ll find smaller and larger seed discs. With smaller seed discs, the diameter often ranges from 8cm to 12 cm, a size that easily fits most typical flowerpots. They are perfectly suited for sowing herbs indoor, such as in the kitchen or windowsills.

The larger discs, on the other hand, range from 14cm to 46cm in diameter. You can use them for sowing seeds in outdoor pots, as well as hanging containers or baskets.

Seed mats

If you want to sow seeds in big planters, garden borders or window boxes, then seeds mats are a great option. With seed mats, you can easily produce a great color display of stunning bedding plants. Well, good examples of such plants include marigolds and pansies.

The size of seed mats vary. Often than not, you’ll find mats available in the size of a small business card and up to 100cm in length.

Seed carpets

Seeds carpets are suitable for planting salads, mixed vegetables, and wildflower fusions in large borders or other large garden areas. They are simply ready-made “mini-gardens” or “allotments,” which are usually one meter or larger in length.

How to Use Seed Tapes

It’s an incredibly easy process. First off, you’ll need to prepare the soil for planting, just like you would with any new seedbed. Once you have a weed-free garden bed, it’s often recommended to follow the guidelines on the package of the seed tapes, discs, carpets, or mats.

In most cases though, you’ll be required to place the seed tapes in a straight line on the soil using the proper rowing space. After that, gently cover it with the top layer soil and then water the area. However, you should avoid prolonged watering after sowing.

If the soil has not been moistened by Mother Nature, consider watering it several hours before sowing. But don’t make the garden bed sopping wet.

Where to buy Seed tapes

You can find the different types of seed tapes we’ve discussed above at most local garden centers or nurseries, DIY stores, and grocery stores. Alternatively, you can just buy from reputable online garden retailers.

When to harvest Yardlong beans

While (Asparagus) Yardlong beans can grow up to 36 inches long, however, it’s best to harvest Yardlong beans at 18 inches or less when Yardlong beans are at their most tender and flavorful.

Nasturtium

Genus:

  • Tropaeolum majus

LIFECYCLE:

  • Nasturtiums are annual

Height:

  • 12 inches for a bush, 72 inches for vines

Spread:

  • 18 inches for bush

Description:

  • Distinctive, blue-green circular leaves are held up on fleshy stems. These annuals come in a variety of types ranging from compact bushes to long-spreading vines. They make an eye-catching addition to any garden. In addition, they have large attractive blooms that range in color from palest yellows, pinks, and apricots to deep, rich yellows, oranges, and burgundy. The vining types are great in hanging planters, window boxes, or for use on trellises and fences.

Ease of care:

  • Easy

How to grow:

  • Plant in full sun to partial shade in average to poor, moist soil.

Propagation:

  • By seed in late spring. They’re large and can be planted individually where the plants are going to grow

Pests:

  • Aphids love nasturtiums, so be on the lookout for them.

Uses:

  • Fresh leaves and flowers-salads
  • Fresh flowers-floral arrangements
  • Unripe seeds and flower buds-pickled for salads

Preservation:

  • Pickle unripe seeds in vinegar and use them in salads.

YOGURT MAKING – How to Make Yogurt From Unpasteurized (Raw) Milk

Making yogurt with unpasteurized raw milk is pretty much the same as making it from pasteurized milk you might bite the store. However, there are a couple of very important points that need to be made in the interest of your own health and safety:

  • first, you need to be sure that you get your fresh raw milk from a reputable source that you trust.
  • Second, you need to be sure the milk comes from healthy animals that are not taking antibiotics are being treated for some form of disease or illness.
  • Lastly, unpasteurized raw milk must be brought to the boiling point and pasteurize before making yogurt from it otherwise any number of on healthy bacteria can be in that milk, including such nasty critters as E. coli.

I grew up on a home farm where my mother always kept small stable milk cows, and we always drink our milk raw. It certainly didn’t do anything to us except keep us healthy, but my mother and all of us were exceptionally careful about the milking process, collection, and the immediate refrigeration are fraught raw milk. If we were ever in doubt about the safety or quality of the milk or the and health of the animal came from that milk would have been thrown out without question. My mother had a big emphasis on “when in doubt throw it out” the rule which is still rule I live by today regarding all food.

So, here is a quick outline of the process for making yogurt from unpasteurized raw milk.

What You Need:

  • Milk – You can make yogurt from whole milk or skimmed (cream removed) milk fresh raw milk.
  • Starter culture – The options available for your starter culture include powdered starter culture, store-bought yogurt, or homemade yogurt from a previous batch.
  • Yogurt Incubator – The incubator is important for maintaining your milk and culture mix at about 110 F to 115 F for close to five to eight hours. Therefore, options available to you include a yogurt maker, thermos, or heat keeper jugs. You maintain the needed temperatures for the required amount of time, and you ensure equal distribution of heat throughout the incubator to prevent the occurrence of some hot and cool spots.
  • Other requirements – include heavy, large pots, candy thermometer (preferably one with a clip for attachment), large spoon or whisk, storage containers, cheesecloth, colander, ladle, both large and small bowls.

How to make yogurt from unpasteurized milk

1. Clean all your tools

Did you know that you actually need a bacterium known as Lactobacillus bulgaricus to make good yogurt? Keeping in mind all the microorganisms, including other bacteria, present all around us, it is always advisable to wash and even sterilize all your yogurt making equipment and surfaces to avoid introducing other unwanted bacteria. Some clean their tools with boiling water, but thorough handwashing is also enough.

2. Heat the milk

— Important —

Unpasteurized (raw) milk must be heated to near the to the boiling point, not boiled, to kill the bacteria.

—————————-

Additionally, heating the milk for some extra minutes helps in concentrating it so that your yogurt can be thicker.

3. Cool the milk back

After heating your milk to the boiling point, cool it back down to 110 F-115 F. Make use of your thermometer to track the temperatures. Also, keep stirring to ensure even cooling.

4. Add your starter culture

When using a powdered starter, it is okay to whisk it in according to the amount specified on the packaging. However, when using yogurt as a starter culture, it is advisable to first isolate a small amount of the milk and keep adding it to the starter culture and stir until all of it has been mixed. This is because adding cold yogurt directly to the milk will slow down the incubation by suddenly dropping the temperatures too much.

5. Incubate

Use your ladle to transfer the milk and culture mix to your incubator of choice. The main importance of incubation is to maintain your milk and culture mix at the stated temperature for 5 to 10 hours undisturbed. However, keep in mind that shorter incubation periods under cooler temperatures will produce sweeter, thinner yogurt while longer and hotter incubation periods will produce tarter and thicker yogurt.

6. Check if it is done

After the first 5 hours, it is okay to start checking hourly if your yogurt is done. When ready, your yogurt should start looking firm. Moreover, it will get more acidic with each passing hour.

7. Store your yogurt

Once your yogurt is done, it is okay to put it in the fridge. It will remain safe and usable for about two weeks. As always, the “when in doubt throw it out,” the rule applies.

Related References

YOGURT MAKING – Making Greek Yogurt At Home

If you’ve been wondering how to make Greek yogurt at home, this article is for you. In it, we dive into the steps to take to make rich, creamy, and delicious Greek yogurt for less than the price commercial alternatives. So, without further ado, let’s get right to it!!

Ingredients you’ll need for two servings:

  • 4 cups of milk
  • 1/4 plain yogurt with active culture or yogurt starter culture (according to package directions)

Active Preparation Time:

  • 40 minutes

Ready In:

  • 18 hours

How to make Greek Yogurt in 3 Easy Steps:

Step #1 – Heat the milk

  • Heat your milk in a non-stick pot over medium or medium-low heat.
  • Stir frequently, until the milk starts steaming, but before it starts bubbling.
  • Use a candy or instant-read thermometer to determine when it registers 180F.

Caution

  • Don’t leave the milk unattended as it is likely to boil over quickly, stick, or burn.

Optional

  • If working with pasteurized milk, this step is not strictly required but may impact the texture of your yogurt.  At a minimum, your yogurt should be brought to room temperature before starting the process.

Step #2 – Make yogurt

  • Get a clean 5-8-cup container that is heat-safe and pour the milk into it.
  • Leave it to stand for a while, stirring it frequently.
  • Once it has cooled to about 110 F – 115 F, it’s time to combine the yogurt with 1/2 cup milk in a small bowl or yogurt starter culture.
  • Then stir the mixture into the rest of the warm milk and cover the container.
  • Place in an incubator and leave to stand until mixture is thickened and tangy (8-12 hours).

Step #3 – Refrigerate and Filter

  • Line a strainer or funnel with either a coffee filter or two layers of cheesecloth. I use a clean square of an old white tee-shirt for this, and it works just fine.  This is what will allow the liquid to drain out of the yogurt while leaving the milk solids behind.
  • Fill the funnel or strainer with the yogurt.
  • Cover the top of the strainer with cellophane wrap. Make sure that you get a tight seal.
  •  Place the strainer over a large bowl with space between the bottom of your strainer and the bottom of the bowl to capture the liquid that is going to drip out.
  • Put the strainer with the bowl under it into your refrigerate.
  • Let yogurt set in the strainer for eight hours or more, longer if you want your Greek yogurt thicker. I usually check the catch bowl and empty a few times to keep too much liquid from accumulating. The longer your yogurt sits in your refrigerator, the thicker your Greek yogurt will be. But don’t leave your yogurt too long or you will have yogurt cheese with a text similar to cream cheese.
  • That’s it; now you can remove your Greek yogurt and store your Greek yogurt in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Conclusion

These are the concise steps to follow to make Greek yogurt easily at home.

Related References