Sunday, June 19, 2022

@PHSgardening Philadelphia Flower Show 2022 and Photography Competition!

Welcome to the Flower Show

 Philadelphia Flower Show

In Full Bloom

We loved the 2022 Philadelphia Flower Show "In Full Bloom"! The show is open to the public from June 11th to Father's Day, June 19th. This was the second time outdoors in the historic FDR Park located in South Philadelphia.

We took public transportation, which wasn't a great experience. Patco was strangely very light in ridership. We were thinking perhaps from so many people working from home. 


We encountered the homeless problem at 13th street station and could not walk underground to connect with the Septa line to get to the show; we went above ground and walked further down. Thankfully, we managed to get ourselves to Septa and on to the NRG station to get to the show. 

NJ Pinelands Sunset by Harry Wind

There was so much to see once we got there. Of course, we stopped at the Photography exhibit. Harry and I both had photos that made the show! Congrats to Harry for his spectacular photo of sunset taken in the New Jersey Pinelands at Franklin Parker Preserve. My image was a macro shot of an Italian Anemone (shown below). 

Anemone blooms are very interesting and quite beautiful. Out of the 48 accepted photos into the exhibition, of the 6 that got accepted in the category of Macro Blooms, two were Anemones! That is incredible considering there are thousands of varieties of other flowers that could have been photographed. 

We really enjoyed visiting the children's exhibit by Fresh Artists. The kid's comments about their artwork was heartwarming. What a wonderful innovative, nonprofit program. See below link for more information. 

There were so many gardens that we ended up missing a lot. As always, it is impossible to see it all in one visit. The pollinator gardens were great. Hopefully more people replace a patch of their lawn grass with a mini meadow with pollinator and native plants.

This year we made it to the Olmstead Pavilion and Wow! what a sight. Valley Forge Flowers created quite an impressive display loaded with cascading orchids.

My pictures don't do it justice. It really was spectacular and was still in great condition by the near end of the show when we saw it. 

I also loved that the flower baskets surrounding the walkways on the show grounds included my favorite coleus, Inky Fingers or a variety similar.

Cooling Off with Watering Can Water Sprinkle

As we were leaving we saw people getting a watering can sprinkle of water to cool off from the 90+ degree heat of the day! All in all it was a terrific show and we can't wait to attend again next year. 

Special thanks to all who worked so hard in organizing the flower show and everyone who participated in the competitions - the creative works are inspiring!

Related Links

Young Fresh Artist and their Art Bloom Big at the Flower Show

Photographs and blog post Copyright (C) Wind. All rights reserved.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Pioneer in NJ history of Natural Foods and Organic Produce #GardenCuizine @SouthJerseyMag @EatRight_NJ

Diana Wind, RDN
South Jersey Pioneer Woman in history of Organic Produce

The recent news of my sister and nephew taking jobs in a company selling organic produce is heartwarming. Our mother, in heaven must be smiling! The late Junetta S. Mehl and I were leaders in bringing organic produce to South Jersey. 

The demand for Organic produce appears strong. Even with the higher costs and inflation related to the pandemic.

Now, having worked for over 10 years in each career, my journey from business owner to Registered Dietitian Nutritionist feels like it has come full circle! My business Garden of Eden Natural Foods and Country Kitchen, Inc. was among the first places in South Jersey where the community could buy a variety of organically grown produce. 

Junetta, Diana and Mayor; ribbon cutting

We sold all kinds of organic fruits and vegetables from organic kale to organic carrots. Organic carrots were a popular feature in fresh squeezed organic carrot juice at our juice bar. Customers in the Garden's 60-seat restaurant loved the 100% pure fruit smoothies!

I remember the days driving to Kennett Square to Albert's Organics to pick up cases and 50 lb bags of organic produce. I would take my dog Aspen on the drive too. Those were the days!

Upon arrival to Albert's, sometimes I'd have a chance to chat with Albert and his wife, Claris. They were from LA. He opened Albert's in 1980. This was back in the day before Whole Foods opened in Marlton, NJ. Albert's Organics grew into the largest wholesale distributor in the US.

In 1987, Garden of Eden was the hub for everything natural and organic. During the 1980's demand for natural and organic foods was rapidly growing. So was the explosion of technology. The Internet was born around 1983!

When Whole Foods did arrive in town, they started out as Fresh Fields. Natural Foods sales became big business. According to Natural Foods Merchandiser (The Evolution of an Industry), natural foods sales in the US grew from 1,900 million in 1980 to 4,640 million in 1991. 

Related Links

Growing Organic Demand

Photographs and blog post Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved. Portrait photo of Diana Wind (C) Harry Wind. All rights reserved.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Diana's pie dough recipe #pumpkin pie Happy Thanksgiving! #GardenCuizine

Diana's Pie Dough in a Pinch

Went to make a batch of my usual, shortening free, pie dough recipe for Thanksgiving pumpkin pie and apple pie and we didn't have any plain yogurt! Oh my!!

I could have used ground cookie crumbs or graham cracker crumbs; but some pies, like pumpkin and apple, taste best with a traditional pie crust. 

Below is another pie dough recipe to use in a pinch!

Ingredients

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 Tblsp sugar

7 Tblsp unsalted butter (or Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks*)

1/4 cup trans fat free vegetable shortening

1/4 cup ice cold water

 

Yields two pie bottoms or one pie top and bottom

Putting it all together

Sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Add to mixing bowl. 

Cut the butter into small 1/4 inch cubes. Add a few at a time while mixing on low. After a minute, turn off the mixer and reach in and feel for any chunks; squeeze the butter chunks with fingers to "sheet" into the flour. Mix again, but not for too long. 

Add in the shortening. Mix again to combine into the flour. 

Add the cold water and mix using the paddle attachment for another minute or so. Stop periodically to see if the dough can hold together when squeezed. Use judgement if you need to add a little more water. 

When dough can be squeezed and holds together, you're done. Divide and press into two equal balls. Do not over work the dough. Place one at a time onto clear wrap; flatten into disc about an inch thick. Wrap. Repeat w/other ball. 

Refrigerate to rest for at least one hour. 

When ready, roll out to about a 1/2 inch larger than pie dish and fit as desired.

*Have not tested this product, but should work for vegan option. Let me know if you try it.

Related Links

Is Butter Really Back?

Recipe and blog post Copyright(C)Wind. All rights reserved. 

 

Saturday, November 6, 2021

@RowanUniversity #RowanPROUD Bridgeton Schools Veggie Train! #GardenCuizine

 Veggie Train

Choo Choo... here comes the nutritious and delicious Veggie Train!! Last week, Rowan dietetic intern Ms. Lyndsay showed students at Bridgeton Public Schools how fun it is to nourish their bodies. 

 "Feeding education is always on the menu" is the philosophy at New Jersey, Bridgeton Public Schools Food Service Department. The Vegetable Train included colorful bell peppers, cucumbers for the wheels with grapes, celery and carrots for the cargo. This train shown above was created by special education children. 

This creative nutrition education lesson was lead by one of Rowan University's future Registered Dietitian Nutritionists, Ms. Lyndsay. She is participating in what Rowan calls "Supervised Practice".  

Supervised practice experiences are included in Rowan's Coordinated Masters in Nutrition & Dietetics curriculum. The curriculum is designed to meet the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) Core Knowledge and Competencies required for students who plan to become Registered Dietitians.

Great job Lyndsay! Special thanks to preceptor Ms. Allison!

Photos like this make me proud to be a supportive adjunct faculty member at Rowan.

Copyright (C) Rowan Dietetic Intern Lyndsay; photo used with permission.

Sunday, October 31, 2021

End of October Garden #GardenCuizine

End of October - Fall Harvest

How can it be Halloween and the end of October already? I'm sad to see the garden season wrapping up. As always, the many varieties of coleus didn't disappoint and will continue growing in one of our raised beds and in pots all around until a killing frost. The striking plants are blooming tiny, blue blossoms, which are beautiful! I started a few flats of cuttings to grow for next year. Coleus is easy to root from cuttings.

We didn't get many dahlias this year, but then, we didn't plant many. I miss my cousin Bob who passed away years ago now. Bob was my go-to source for dahlia tubers. It hasn't been the same without him.

As always, we harvested lots of heirloom tomatoes and peppers. The jalapenos keep on coming! I plan to snip a few bunches of Rosemary to take in before a freeze.

We had a surprise Fall Monarch sighting on October 25th, just in time for Loretta's birthday!! I couldn't believe it. I've been obsessed with Monarch's this year. Did you know that Fall monarch's migrate to Mexico? I find that fascinating and look forward to trying to photograph and witness a roost of them next Monarch migration 2022 at Cape May Point.

Our South Jersey garden has some strange things growing too, such as Passion fruits. For years I tried to get Passion vines growing to no avail. Now, it is growing all over, like a pesky weed. The fruits are extremely seedy. We don't use them in the kitchen.

What is still growing in your garden?

You can view more of my photos (and Harry's too) on Fine Art America.

Best for a Happy & Healthy Halloween!

Photos and blog post Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved


Saturday, September 25, 2021

Birds and Butterflies at Cape May Point #monarchbutterfly

Viceroy Butterfly
Monarch or Viceroy?

As you know from my previous post, Fall Monarch butterfly migration is now underway. We predict that our newborn NJ Monarch is on the way to Cape May! We followed her lead to Cape May Point yesterday for a day trip, hoping to see lots of Monarchs. Cape May Point also happens to be one of the most popular sites for bird watching in North America. Since it is a major migratory route, we met birders from all over, including Ohio and Lancaster.

The Cape May State Park hiking trails were scenic, easy to walk; the day was picture perfect too. Yellow goldenrod was blooming throughout. Unfortunately, we didn't see very many Monarch butterflies. We did see Viceroy butterflies, which look very similar to Monarchs.

Viceroy butterflies have the exact same color as a Monarch: orange, black and white. To tell them apart, note the horizontal line on the bottom wings of the Viceroy (see above photo). Monarchs do not have that (see below photo). Another difference is that Viceroys are smaller in size. Viceroys also don't migrate.

Monarch butterfly on Zinnia

At the end of the day, we stopped by a residential property in a final effort to see a few Monarchs. We got the tip from a birder on one of the trails. The location was a residential home with a lovely front yard corner garden that featured colorful zinnias, cosmos and tall, orange Tithonia (Mexican sunflowers). 

Others gathered around too, all of us with our cameras shooting butterflies as if we've never seen a Monarch before! So fun though. Butterflies were all over. We heard that there were even more sightings in the morning.

And, special thanks to the good Samaritan videographer who gave us a ride to our car after we got lost coming off the trail. 

Mute Swans at Cape May Point

At the end of the trail we reached the dunes along the Delaware Bay and passed a beautiful pond with ducks, cranes and swans. Then we found ourselves at Cape May Point Lighthouse! The parking lots there were not the small parking lot off Seagrove Ave that our GPS took us to when we first arrived.

Happy Monarch Watching!

Related Links

Monarch or Viceroy?

Photos and blog post Copyright(C) Wind. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Monarch Migration underway! Today in our NJ garden a Monarch was born! #WindPhotography

Monarch just born

Monarch Migration Underway

Today, September 23rd in our New Jersey Fall garden, a beautiful Monarch butterfly was born! All a monarch needs is Milkweed for mama Monarch to lay her eggs on and for caterpillars to munch on before their magical metamorphosis. It can be a small area in your front or back yard that you do not mow. Native plants like Common Milkweed can be encouraged to grow there and viola, you will soon be supporting habitat for Monarch's!

I noticed a sea-foam-green, opaque, chrysalis in our Milkweed meadow on September 11th and was watching it and photographing it daily, while counting down until the big day. According to Journey North, the chrysalis stage takes 8-15 days; this miracle arrived just as expected.

Last night I noticed that the chrysalis was starting to turn blackish at the bottom. The chrysalis eventually turns transparent and the butterfly's vibrant wing colors of orange and black can be seen. When this happens you know that the butterfly will emerge soon. 

Monarch Chrysalis Hug

Sure enough, the monarch butterfly ripped through the clear, thimble-sized chrysalis this morning!
What wasn't expected was for it to arrive on my birthday! Yahoo!! What a great gift! It all happened before 9 am. I was glad that the timing worked out to be hours before the rain storm.

According to Journey North, most Monarch's are born in the spring and summer and live for only 2 to 6 weeks. This late summer/fall Monarch butterfly lives longer and it will migrate all the way from our front yard milkweed meadow in New Jersey and fly 2,000 miles to overwinter in Mexico.

Monarch's born in the Fall are the special generation that migrate to Mexico. See the links below to see my photos on Fine Art America and to learn more about this popular endangered butterfly.

Happy Fall!

Related Links 

Sightings Flowing In

Monarch Lifecycle

Link to my photo of Monarch Chrysalis

Link to Monarch Water Bottle photo

Blog post and photos Copyright(C) Wind. All rights reserved.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Savoy Cabbage stars in our next batch of probiotic-rich kraut! #gardencuizine #stonesoupblog

    Savoy - Our next Batch of Kraut!

Savory cabbage stars in our next batch of probiotic-rich sauerkraut that is fermenting now. Did you see my social media posts of the most picture-perfect head of Savoy Cabbage? We bought it from our local farmers market. You can use any type of cabbage for homemade sauerkraut.

The Savoy cabbage was farm fresh, yet didn't yield as much brine as the regular head of fresh cabbage that we used in the last batch. I decided to add a little extra brine after 9-days of fermenting.

Making sauerkraut is fun and easy. I used one head of cabbage (Savoy this time), sliced it thin. In a large bowl, non-iodized sea salt was massaged into it: 1 tablespoon of course salt (not iodized) per 2 lbs. of sliced cabbage. 

I divided the cabbage mixture into two large glass mason jars, covered and set aside to ferment. Every day I open the lids to release any gases and poke down the kraut using tongs. With the lid on tight, sometimes turning the jar upside down to let any brine flow to the top so the top layer won't get moldy.

After 9-days the kraut seemed like it needed more brine. To reduce the amount of trapped air in the jars, I combined the two jars into one jar and pressed down the cabbage firmly. A small batch of additional brine was added. The brine still did not reach up to the top of the shredded cabbage; but, by the next day there was more brine! 

I learned from Holly Howe (see link below), who explains in her blog post, that brine level changes along with temperature in your kitchen. Perhaps our kitchen was a bit warmer. Plus the additional salt brine may have helped.

See below for my small batch brine recipe: note: this may or may not be a good idea! Some say that added brine could make the kraut mushy. I hope not. At the 21-day mark, I will add a comment on texture and flavor. - check back!

Recipe for 1/2 cup extra Sauerkraut Brine

1/2 tsp Non-iodized course sea salt

1/2 cup Chlorine free water (I used filtered tap water)

Related Links

Kraut in a Jar by book author Holly Howe

10 Delicious Kraut Additions

Blog post and photos Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Today in our South Jersey garden: beautiful blooms, Milkweed, Monarchs, Figs and ants! #GardenCuizine

Today in Our NJ Garden - zone 7a (was 6b)

September 5, 2021

Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer. "End of Summer" seemed like the perfect title to my above photograph taken today in our front garden of Black-eyed Susan's with Sweet Autumn Clematis. 

The highlight of my day today was to see both a Monarch caterpillar AND a Monarch butterfly!! The monarch caterpillar was resting on Common Milkweed in Harry's Milkweed Meadow and the Monarch butterfly was visiting a small patch of native hardy Ageratum. Of course, both got reported on Journey North's website as fall Monarch migration is officially underway! 

I snapped a few photos of the Monarch caterpillar and butterfly with my cell phone and when I went back with my good camera to get better pictures later in the day, they were gone.

Figs growing on one of our fig trees
Today, our veggie garden is bursting with blooming garlic chives, zinnias and cannas. We also have dahlias (not blooming yet), chia and peppers and heirloom tomatoes that will keep producing here and there until the first killing frost.

This is our best year ever for figs! Figs have to be picked as soon as they ripen. Both trees are producing figs. Today I picked two huge figs from our littlest fig tree (variety unknown). One fig had to be sacrificed to the ants; they beat us to it.

One quick note about when to pick figs. I had this question, "Will figs continue to ripen once picked?" I read that figs do not ripen after they are picked. However, we just discovered that they do continue to ripen. Our Chicago figs continue to ripen and get sweeter after they are picked. Now, we just need to improve our timing of picking figs before the ants march in.

Happy Labor Day!

Related Links

Journey North - report your Monarch Sightings!

Photos and blog post Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

@JerseyFreshNJDA Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage #GardenCuizine Low Sodium, Healthy Meal using fresh garden ingredients! @EatRight_NJ

low Sodium

Stuffed Cabbage

Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage made from a beautiful head of Savoy Cabbage from Burlington County Ag Center's Farmers Market. Stuffed Cabbage makes a nutritious recipe for a large family or as meal prep for several meals for a household of one or two. 

The outer leaves were large and unblemished, which gave me the idea of using them for stuffed cabbage rolls. I plan to make more sauerkraut with the rest of the cabbage.

We used lentils vs ground beef for something different from traditional stuffed cabbage rolls with ground beef and rice. Harry picked up some red lentils vs green lentils, because that is all they had at the store. And, guess what? The red lentils worked out great and were delicious!

GardenCuizine Free style recipe - meaning use as much or little as you want of the ingredients!


Yields: At least 10-12 servings or more

Serving size: one roll

Ingredients                    

1 cup rice - (I used a rice blend from Rice Select "Royal Blend" - Texmati white rice, brown rice, red rice and wild rice)

Outer leaves from fresh head of cabbage

1 lb dry Red (or green) lentils cooked and strained - (I used Goya Lentejas Rojas and cooked the entire bag. We had leftover filling to use for fritters at other meals)

Onion, diced - I used half of a large onion (from the Farmer's Market)

1 jalapeno pepper, minced (from the garden!)

few thin sprigs celery with celery leaves chopped - (I used Tango celery from our garden)

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 clove fresh garlic, minced

2 Tblsp olive oil

pinch salt and ground black pepper

Your favorite red sauce - we used a jar of Rao's

Grated Parmesan cheese for topping

Putting it all together

Cook the Rice

1) Cook the rice and set aside.

 Cook the Lentils

2) In a stock pot, saute the onion, peppers and celery in olive oil. Saute until onion is translucent; stir in the garlic and seasonings of your choice.

Add 4 cups water and lentils, salt and pepper and bring to boil, reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until lentils are cooked.

Combine

3) Stir in the rice blend with the cooked lentils and combine.

Set aside while you prepare the cabbage leaves

Prepare the Cabbage Leaves

4) Boil a large pot of water

Rinse off your selected cabbage leaves then add to boiling water; boil a few minutes to soften. Remove and place in a large baking dish to drip off and cool.

Use a paring knife to trim out the thick stem from the edge.

Stuff and Roll the Cabbage

5) Using an ice cream scoop, scoop a portion of your filling onto a cabbage leaf. Fold up the sides and roll burrito style.

Place into baking dishes with a layer of red sauce on the bottom.

Repeat for how ever many Cabbage Rolls you want to make.

Top with more red sauce and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese

Cover and keep in refrigerator or freezor until ready to cook.

Cook and serve!

When ready to cook, add a small amount of water, cover and bake in 350 deg oven until heated through and bubbling.

Serve with a side of chopped ripe and juicy heirloom Jersey tomatoes!

Enjoy!

Blog post and photos Copyright(C) Wind. All rights reserved.