The New York Botanical Garden is a museum of plants, an educational institution, and a scientific research organization. Founded in 1891 & now a National Historic Landmark, it is one of the greatest botanical gardens in the world. http://www.nybg.org/
Malaysian artist Hong Yi set out with one goal—to play with her food in ways not seen since Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Though, admittedly, her methods are a bit more nuanced than those of Richard Dreyfuss.
I am an absolute sucker for the stories surrounding the names of heirloom vegetable and flower varieties. I have, on several occasions, thrown caution to the wind and picked highly unsuitable veggies to grow in my garden simply so I can say “Oh, that? It’s just the wild fuzzy pony geranium heart pea (n.b. not a real thing).” Back in the land of real vegetable varieties, here’s the story behind a particularly rare little bean called La Comtesse de Chambord. ~AR
Final Major Project is here, I have chosen to look at vegetables, vegetable gardens and insects. I chose this theme because growing up I eati home grown vegetables and fruit throughout the year and it is a lifestyle trend that seems to be blooming. The fresh colours, interesting textures and the historical context of these plants provides rich material for me to work with. The designs I create will be for interiors, predominantly for the kitchen.
These phenomenal images of fruits, veggies, and flowers scanned by an MRI really drive home how physics affect the shape of things. The broccoli in particular blows my mind. Look at it. It’s like watching the universe form, or watching neural pathways in the brain, or zoning out to a fractal-based screensaver. I’m just waiting for someone to set these to music. Volunteers please! Thanks to AMNH for pointing these out on Twitter.
Update: Thanks to the Internet we now know these images were taken by Andy Ellison. You can find many more on his excellent website Inside Insides.
The species was dethroned as the world’s hottest pepper a little over a decade ago.
The jalapeno boasts about 8,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU) at its hottest. By comparison, a particularly hot habanero can run as high as 300,000 SHU. The Trinidad Moruga Scorpion’s 2,000,000 SHU still makes a gentle beast out of the habanero, however.
The “Scotch Bonnet” and the habanero are not interchangeable monikers. While members of the same species, they’re different varieties, with different pod habits.
While I was in college, I tried to create some kind of half-baked “chili powder” by drying and grinding habaneros. Half of the peppers rotted for lack of knowing what I was doing, while I accidentally inhaled much of what I managed to grind. I spent the rest of the night crying involuntarily.
- New York State is the second largest producer of wine after California.
- New York produces the most cottage cheese and sour cream of any of the fifty states.
- The average New York farm is less than 200 acres. The national average is twice that.
- Pumpkins were the 18th-largest commodity in 2010 with sales of $35 million.
And that’s just the start. The next time you run into a farmer, thank them. They do a lot of hard work and have a huge economic impact on our great state. So raise a toast to New York’s farmers the next time you sip a glass of Long Island Meritage or dig into a pot of Greek yogurt! ~AR
Because I felt like it. Don’t forget that the NYBG’s own Greenmarket runs each Wednesday through November 21st, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. And grounds admission is free on Wednesdays, so, y’know, it might behoove you to snag some fresh produce for your crisper drawer. —MN
This summer has been hot, all over the United States, not just here in New York, and it has led to a lot of enfeebled produce. My lettuce petered out in May. My herbs gave up the ghost in June. And I have bought more than my fair share of fainting carrots. What’s a devoted produce lover to do?
According to this timely article from Tasting Table, the solution lies in a solution … of ice water and vinegar that is! According to their unscientific (but well reported) study, a 10-minute soak in ice water spiked with a tablespoon of vinegar was all it took to bring a suffering squash, some insipid parsley, and a limp lettuce back to life. Have you ever tried this trick? Do you have any other tips for resurrecting seemingly past-their-prime veggies? We’d love to hear them in the comments! ~AR
If you accept the belief that our distant, somewhat hirsute ancestors subsisted solely on mammoth steaks and bone marrow, be prepared to rewrite your theme menu. Thanks to research being carried out on Spain’s 50,000-year-old El Sidrón remains, it’s more likely that they were serving up salads.
The news comes thanks to dental records (of a sort). Using sophisticated methods, scientists were able to discern from the teeth of these neanderthal remains that the diet leaned heavily toward vegetarianism, going so far as to suggest that grilled vegetables—and maybe even medicinal herbs—were common fare. Carne asada? Less so.
Seeing as leafy greens rarely trample you, maul you, or gnaw on your head in the course of gathering them, I don’t know if I can blame these neanderthals. I’d probably opt for the easy route, too. —MN
In a perfect world, every cucumber and carrot would find its way onto someone’s plate, but, in reality, many farmers can face up to a 50% turn-under rate in a bad market. “Turning under,” for the uninitiated, is the process of working unsold produce back into the fields as fertilizer for the next crop. Good for the plants, maybe not so great for those who made the effort to grow them. That’s where (at least for the west coast) Larry Bain steps in.
It’s early days yet, but Bain—an established Bay Area hot dog guru—is hoping to find a home for those unsold vegetables with a profit for everyone involved. And he aims to do it with pickling. It’s a time-tested method for preserving surplus food, so why not? Click through for the whole story. —MN
A quick and tidy little piece from Heavy Petal on those weird, curly-cue things growing out of your garlic plant. They’re scapes! Ann actually pointed these out to me a few weeks ago in the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden, as they make for good eating.
Stir-fried, steamed, or run through the food processor, snagging those scapes can make your garlic plant more than a one-trick pony. —MN