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Old January 22, 2009   #31
Medbury Gardens
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salsify - (a purple-flowered, composite plant, Tragopogon porrifolius, whose root has an oyster-like flavor and is used as a culinary vegetable.) it is pretty as a flower too. Take a look at this: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=TRPO

Can be a bad weed though,grows wild on the side of the roads around here.
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Old January 23, 2009   #32
the999bbq
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hmm, shouldn't we all yell : "all vegetables taste better homegrown" ? and why do we even wonder ...
Homegrown veggies are fresh, compare your onions with the ones you can buy in the store, mine are solid as a rock, the ones in the store aren't always so (I've seen a television show the other day where they explained onions are stored by the farmers sometime half a year to sell them off-season since they have to give money to get rid of them at harvest time - where are your fresh onions now ??). Homegrown raddish can make your eyes cry of their strong flavor but eat them instantly or be sure to run to the kitchen or they look 'different' already - the ones from the stores seem to last for days (no difference if you remove the loaf or not).
"You say tomato I say potatoe". I have never liked store bought tomatoes and never can get enough from my own. Growing tomatoes also is economically interesting - just look at the price of the "commercially odd varieties (the market wants a black tomato, we'll let them pay more for a black tomato)"... on the other hand people sometimes think that growing potatoes isn't worth doing so since they are that cheap and they can take up quite some space in the garden. But the difference is huge (taste and structure) and they seem to be treated a lot ... Same as the onions : by the end of season my own potatoes still look better than some you find in stores...

As average consumers we don't know anything anymore about how our food is grown - don't expect italian olives in all italian olive oils, don't expect meat from a single animal in your slice of protein-glued-meat, don't expect all cheese in your pizza-cheese,... expect the oil maffia, expect meat-binding, expect fake cheese,.... My region grows strawberries, but the seemingly commercially interesting soil grown varieties don't have the same amount of flavor as my own varieties (same soil, same air, same care, different varieties) but again mine don't store as long...

When you have the opportunity to buy local what they grow local things might be different, but as long as we buy stuff that is selected to be picked half mature, fly the world (sometimes more than once), get brutalised (handled and added value added ... duh) by a dozen of intermediate companies AND be cheaper than the locally grown food, don't expect better products than the ones we grow ourselves since the biggest qualities for selection are not taste ...

so my answer would be potatoes, tomatoes ... and everything else

Last edited by the999bbq; January 23, 2009 at 07:39 AM.
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Old January 27, 2009   #33
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Of course tomatoes! But alot of herbs too, parsley, cilantro, green onions. But so do leafy greens, like lettuce, chard and others.
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Old January 27, 2009   #34
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hmm, shouldn't we all yell : "all vegetables taste better homegrown" ? and why do we even wonder ...
Yeah... I ditto that!

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Old January 29, 2009   #35
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I truthfully was not blown away by the carrots I grew at home. Maybe I didn't do something right.
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Old January 29, 2009   #36
Medbury Gardens
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I agree with carrots in that they seem to lose there sweetness a day or so after been picked.
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Old January 31, 2009   #37
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When I lived in Miami a lady at work brought me a date from her tree at home. I thought I was being nice to try it, since I hate store bought dates, but her's was absolutely oustanding! I'd eat those every day if I could. I have no idea what variety it was, but it seemed to melt in my mouth it was so good.

Not sure if a date is considered a fruit, and while surely not a vegetable, I still had to tell that story here.
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Old February 10, 2009   #38
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Omaha, I thought I loathed dates. But when we lived in Tucson, we'd stop at date farms (ranches?) on the way to Los Angeles. I discovered dates are wonderful.

Unfortunately I haven't found a source for them now that we're back east. The ones in the grocery store are rarely enticing, especially not the big medjools they keep in stock all year long.

The rest of my family still loathes dates and thinks I'm nuts.

I'm going to take a stab at peas this spring as I've heard they're much better fresh. Having been raised on unadulterated canned peas , I'm looking forward to re-education.

Christine
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Old February 10, 2009   #39
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Christine,

If I lived in a warmer climate I'd definitely be trying to find fresh dates somewhere. Never could stand to eat them, but I'll never forget the one I had in Miami. Really, REALLY, delicious!
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Old February 12, 2009   #40
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Homegrown carrots are much sweeter than storebought, if they are grown for fall/winter harvest. Just like brussel sprouts, a few frosts really sweetens them up.

Even better is storing them right in the ground, and digging them up when they are under 2 feet of snow in February!

The variety makes a huge difference too. Sugersnax and Mokum are so much sweeter and tender than those big horse carrots sold in those supermarket cello packs.
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Old February 13, 2009   #41
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I bought these kind of carrots Tonda di Parigi (a French Heritage) I can't wait to try them. Small round 1" to 2" size ruddy orange, for my window boxes. By the time they're ready to pull up, my annuals will be up enough to take over the window boxes. The foilage is so pretty.

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Old February 14, 2009   #42
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Turnips! I always thought I loathed turnips, but it turns out I just hate the ones from the store. I planted Oasis and Hakurei last fall for my grandmother and as I was cooking some for her, I decided to be "brave" and try some for myself. Delicious! Sweet, sweet, sweet. I just picked the last of them and I'm sad they'll soon be gone.
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Old February 14, 2009   #43
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Originally Posted by barkeater View Post
Homegrown carrots are much sweeter than storebought, if they are grown for fall/winter harvest. Just like brussel sprouts, a few frosts really sweetens them up.

Even better is storing them right in the ground, and digging them up when they are under 2 feet of snow in February!

The variety makes a huge difference too. Sugersnax and Mokum are so much sweeter and tender than those big horse carrots sold in those supermarket cello packs.

Mokum are the very best. I dug mine up in early December and am storing them in the refrigerator. They are still great to snack on (as a matter of fact, I just now had a few). In the past I have left them in the ground, but we don't get much snow cover and I have never succeeded in mulching them thickly enough to keep the ground from freezing over and making harvesting impossible. So this year I harvested them before the deep freeze hit.

There is no comparison between a store-bought carrot and a Mokum harvested in late fall/early winter.
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Old November 13, 2009   #44
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Great question
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Old December 21, 2009   #45
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I truthfully was not blown away by the carrots I grew at home. Maybe I didn't do something right.
Try starting some seed in early September and then agin each month until December. Make sure your soil is dug deep with a lot of organic mater and well limed and keep well watered. Here in the south carrots that mature when it is still cold are much better than the ones maturing in late spring or early summer. You can also leave them in the ground longer in cool weather but when it gets hot you have to get them out or they will be bitter, pithy or tasteless just like the ones in the grocery store.
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