How to grow beautiful carrots and what to do with them

I had a great time growing these carrots and came up with a delicious recipe, I hope you enjoy it!

These are Manpukuji carrots that I’ve grown in a large wooden container that I built from wood and filled with sand. Manpukuji carrots are from Japan and have the tendency to grow long. I used granite sand but any kind of sand would do the job. I added a metal mesh to the bottom of the raised bed, so no critters can get in and damage my carrots. I sowed the seeds in May because it was a very cold spring, but usually I sow carrots as early as March. I had some issues with the weight of the sand pushing the boards out and damaging the box to a some extent, which means that next year I will have to add metal hinges or something strong to reinforce it.

The recipe is this:

equal parts of organic rye and whole wheat

oil and water at a ratio of 4:1

salt

egg, pepper, cheese and cream (I used 3 eggs and didn’t add any salt because the cheese was quite salty already)

You need a sharp peeler to have very long, thin slices of the carrot that can be used to create the beautiful curls of the roses.

I baked these mini pies at 180 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes.

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Golden Amaranth

Everyone knows the wild amaranth and the beautiful red amaranth, a true gem of the garden, but it’s our first year growing giant golden amaranth from heirloom seeds. It grew really well in our colder, mountain climate. You can use the leaves in salads, and as it turns out, the desert made from amaranth seeds is simply amazing! Here is how you do it: you need to clean the seeds like the video shows, which sounds a bit tedious but actually it went pretty fast. The seeds should be soaked overnight in milk and then simmered until they absorb the milk, it took about 35 minutes.

This is the recipe I used:

1 and 1/4 cup of milk

1/2 cup amaranth

a pinch of cinnamon

a teaspoon of brown sugar

blueberries, raspberries and apricot liquor

The results was delicious, and it looks cool! Plus, amaranth has lots of vitamins and it is naturally gluten free. Enjoy ­čÖé

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Purified Coniferous Resin Salve

This scented and gentle salve is soothing for the skin. You will need only three ingredients to make it:

Infused oil

I used cold pressed sunflower oil as a base, because it’s local. You can use any local, cold-pressed oil, or whatever else you want. I infused dried yarrow, lady’s bedstraw, sage and calendula, which are all beneficial for the skin.

Beeswax and a bit of honey

I used local, from our mountain village. You can experiment with the amount of beeswax depending on how solid you want your salve to be.

Resin

You can collect resin without harming the trees. Just look around and you will find enough trees that already have some resin that can be collected. Resin usually has a lot of impurities, therefore you need to strain it before using it. This can be a bit messy, because it is very sticky, so it’s better to choose utensils that you will only use for this purpose. Don’t heat up the resin too much to make sure that the essential oils it contains don’t evaporate. You can clean resin from surfaces with alcohol.

Keep your salve in a cool, dark place. Enjoy!

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2020 Visual Newsletter

2020 was such a strange year. Instead of a newsletter, we decided to share with you some of the most beautiful moments of 2020 on our little homestead. Enjoy!

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Pumpkin doughnuts and lantern

There are lots of pumpkins during the fall, here are some new ideas to try with sweet pumkins. I used the Red Kuri variety, but others work as well. First, instead of a traditional Halloween lantern with the scary face you can try carving your favorite constellation into the pumpkin, and instead of a candle you can use string lights. Besides pumpkin soup and pie, pumpkin doughnuts are also delicious, with soft, moist texture, and rich, sweet flavor, as well as beautiful orange color. These are dipped in melted chocolate and walnuts to make them even more irresistible.

Recipe: 4 cups of flour

1/4 cups brown sugar, packed

1 cup pumpin puree

pinch of salt

nutmeg

2 eggs

1/2 cup of milk

1 cube of yeast (25 g)

4 spoons of melted butter

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Green Salsa Recipe

Experimenting with new recipes can be fun. What to do with all the green tomatoes? You can use them just like I did the Mexican husk tomatoes in this recipe. The flavor is not quite the same tough.

Recipe:

3 cups of tomatillos, husk removed and washed

1 or 2 chillies (I used a local variety, not super hot)

1 medium onion (I used red)

fresh cilantro

salt and pepper

lemon or lime juice, optional (I didn’t add any because I wanted to use only what I grew myself in the garden)

Roast the tomatillos and peppers under the broil setting and high heat for about 10 minutes. Add them to the blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until creamy.

You can use this salsa with a variety of dishes, my favourites are tamales, nachos and quesadillas.

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What to do with broad beans

We love this versatile, beautiful and delicious plant. We have experimented with some easy, light recipes, this is one of our favorites so far. Enjoy!

You’ll need:

1 cup of broad beans

1 cup of broad bean top leaves and shoots

4-5 large bean pods

2 cloves of garlic

Some chopped chives and parsley

Salt and pepper

Boil the beans for about ten minutes, then peal their skins. Blend the beans with the upper leaves and shoots of the beans, as well as the garlic. Mix the finely chopped parsley and chives into the creamy paste, add salt and pepper to taste.

Heat up the oil, and add the bean pods chopped into medium sized pieces, as shown in the video. Fry them on a high heat for about 3-4 minutes. Add a bit of salt towards the end.

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Stuffed squash flowers

Recipe

6 squash flowers

1 cup of soft cheese

1 tablespoon of sour cream (optional, if the cheese is very creamy) Continue reading

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How to make butter the old fashioned way

There aren’t many things that are as tasty as fresh homemade butter with freshly baked bread. We make butter regularly using cream that has been skimmed off full milk. Making butter is easy, even in the old fashioned way, but you can also make it using an electric blender, which speeds up the process a lot. With an electric blender or mixer this process usually takes only a few minutes. We use both methods, depending on how much time we have. Enjoy!

 

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Fermented Foods

One of the easiest fermented foods is fermented cabbage, or sauerkraut. It can ferment in its own juice, or in salty water. This video shows you two methods to try in order to get delicious and healthy food, high in vitamin C, that you can enjoy all winter long. I add red cabbage to achieve that deep, beautiful purple color, horseradish to make it last longer and give it spiciness, and quince to give it a fragrant aroma.

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