Garden and Table

This blog is devoted to plants, their uses, cultivation, conservation, and the occasional recipe. Horticulture Student! If you have any questions, ask away!

Fagus grandifolia

Yet another tree I came across on my wooded journey the other day. The common name is American Beech. This is a very nice tree.

Ways to identify American Beech:

The most distinguishable characteristic about this tree is the leaf bud. The leaf bud is very thin, pointed, and what my professor calls “cigar shaped.” The leaf is paper thin and every leaf vein ends in a tooth. Pubescence is variable on the underside of the leaf. It has a smooth bark type. This tree matures to about 60-80 feet and it casts a pretty dense shade. It tends to hold on to it’s browned leaves in winter.

Posted October 20th, 2014 with 1 note.

southern4perspective:

Some of our backyard honey.

We just had to take two frames out today.

(via mattdoux)

Posted October 20th, 2014 with 114 notes.

southern4perspective:

ACORN FLOUR
October 2014
Atlanta, Georgia

Acorns can provide one with an exceptional nutritional value and have a tolerance for storage. This food source was a staple in the Native American diet. It is estimated that among one tribe, the Yokut, a typical family consumed 1,000 to 2,000 pounds of acorns each year! One analysis of uncooked acorn meal shows that it is 21% fat, 5% protein, 62% carbohydrate, and 14% water, mineral, and fiber.

The process is as follows:

- Gathering
- Cleaning
- Drying
- Peeling
- Grinding (course)
- Leaching the Tannins
- Squeezing out the water
- Drying
- Stone Grinding (fine)

It is not a quick or easy process. But discovering how essential it was to the Native Americans in the past and in our region we followed through with the best plan we could formulate to arrive to a top notch acorn flour.

We started with collecting about 7 lbs of large White Oak acorns making sure they were void of small holes and other defects. After collecting we put them into a bucket to wash them making sure to discard any acorns that float. Once cleaned we sun dried them for several days.
Once dry we crushed them with an arbor press to make the peeling easier. We placed the acorn meat into a blender and ground it into a course grind that was similar to consistency of coffee. We placed the ground acorn into glass bowls to began the leaching process.
Leaching the acorns took three days. By pouring cold water into the ground acorn and letting it sit the tannins that make the acorn bitter rise to the top that turns the water into a deep reddish brown color. Three times a day we pour out the dark water and refill it with new cold water. After three days the water cleared to the point where we could see the flour through the 1 1/2 inches of water before we poured it out and the flour did not taste bitter any longer. Once the tannin was leached we places the wet acorn grind into a thin cloth, gathers the acorn grind into a ball and twisted it tight until most of the water was removed. After repeating this step several times until all the acorn grind was squeezed out we were left with several acorn grind balls that resembled a plate of baseballs. We then placed and flatted the balls into our food dehydrator to remove the remaining water (this made our home smell like warm raisins… Awesome). Once dried we further process the acorn grind through our Wonder Mill grinder with the stone burrs in. Once done hand grinding we were left with a fine, stone ground acorn flour.

We hope our latest effort finds you inspired and adventuring into a deepening relationship with nature.

Visit Southern4perspective again soon. We are putting together our next post which will include what we make with out white acorn flour.

Links for further study:

- Acorn wiki link:
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acorn

- A YouTube video. This is as close to the process we use as I could find:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QitkIGNwUgs&sns=em

- A quick read on the Native American’s relationship with the acorn: http://nativeamericannetroots.net/diary/1055

- If you just want to buy some I found this site: http://www.buyacornflour.com

(via hqcreations)

Posted October 20th, 2014 with 101 notes.

biodiverseed:

plantyhamchuk:

woseph:

new fave tree - Ficus auriculata

Daaaaaamn look at this tree. Rowr. That’s a naughty tree. So naughty. Soo sexy. Ungh. 

I think we’re all a little hot and bothered right now.
Too bad (for me at least) it’s only hardy down to USDA zone 9b. Ficus carica it is then, for this nordic gardener.
#edible landscaping #forest gardening #fruit trees

That is a pretty sexy tree I must admit.

biodiverseed:

plantyhamchuk:

woseph:

new fave tree - Ficus auriculata

Daaaaaamn look at this tree. Rowr. That’s a naughty tree. So naughty. Soo sexy. Ungh. 

I think we’re all a little hot and bothered right now.

Too bad (for me at least) it’s only hardy down to USDA zone 9b. Ficus carica it is then, for this nordic gardener.

#edible landscaping #forest gardening #fruit trees

That is a pretty sexy tree I must admit.

Posted October 19th, 2014 with 52 notes .

I came across some small Quercus michauxii during my woodland journey Saturday! They were pretty prevalent actually. Common names include Basket Oak and Swamp Chestnut Oak. I encountered them as I got near the more wet areas at the bottom of this gorge. That being said, they prefer moist areas. 

Ways to identify them:

They generally have 10-14 teeth on each side of the midvein. More often than not they have a velvety pubescence under the leaf. The leaf is widest above the middle. The tree has yellow fall color. The bark is flaky/scaly. Do not get this tree confused with Quercus muehlenbergii (Chinkapin Oak) that has 10-14 teeth. The Chinkapin Oak has pronounced glands on the end of each incurved tooth. Basket Oak does not have glands. It’s also easy to get this tree confused with Quercus prinus (Chestnut Oak) but there is a major distinguishing characteristic: Chestnut Oak has ridged and furrowed bark.

I came across some small Quercus michauxii during my woodland journey Saturday! They were pretty prevalent actually. Common names include Basket Oak and Swamp Chestnut Oak. I encountered them as I got near the more wet areas at the bottom of this gorge. That being said, they prefer moist areas.

Ways to identify them:

They generally have 10-14 teeth on each side of the midvein. More often than not they have a velvety pubescence under the leaf. The leaf is widest above the middle. The tree has yellow fall color. The bark is flaky/scaly. Do not get this tree confused with Quercus muehlenbergii (Chinkapin Oak) that has 10-14 teeth. The Chinkapin Oak has pronounced glands on the end of each incurved tooth. Basket Oak does not have glands. It’s also easy to get this tree confused with Quercus prinus (Chestnut Oak) but there is a major distinguishing characteristic: Chestnut Oak has ridged and furrowed bark.

Posted October 19th, 2014 with 4 notes .

Sassafras albidum

So I recently went home for Fall break and while I was there I had a lot of downtime. What better to use downtime for than to put my horticulture skills to the test? I ventured into the woods behind my house and explored for probably about three hours. I came across many plants that I knew and probably even more that I did not. In my next few posts I am going to share with you some of my findings! 

Sassafras. What an exceptional and lovely tree steeped in Southern culture! It has various uses such as flavoring root beer and is often times used to make tea. It is generally a small tree with nice orange fall color! Sassafras has polymorphic leaves (multiple leaf types on the same tree) consisting of:

1.) An entire leaf
2.) One lobbed leaf
3.) Three lobbed leaf

All leaf types are visible in the photo above. It has interlacing ridged and furrowed bark.

Sassafras albidum

So I recently went home for Fall break and while I was there I had a lot of downtime. What better to use downtime for than to put my horticulture skills to the test? I ventured into the woods behind my house and explored for probably about three hours. I came across many plants that I knew and probably even more that I did not. In my next few posts I am going to share with you some of my findings!

Sassafras. What an exceptional and lovely tree steeped in Southern culture! It has various uses such as flavoring root beer and is often times used to make tea. It is generally a small tree with nice orange fall color! Sassafras has polymorphic leaves (multiple leaf types on the same tree) consisting of:

1.) An entire leaf
2.) One lobbed leaf
3.) Three lobbed leaf

All leaf types are visible in the photo above. It has interlacing ridged and furrowed bark.

Posted October 19th, 2014 with 9 notes .

jackjackwhackattack:

Started digging for my sweet potatoes today.

jackjackwhackattack:

Started digging for my sweet potatoes today.

Posted October 14th, 2014 with 30 notes .

nyackbackyard:

I spent an hour in my community garden plot yesterday pulling out my sweet potatoes. It was nice to see that the alyssum is still in bloom and has its own tiny alyssum-sized bees buzzing around it. Allyssum in full bloom is one of my favorite scents in the garden! The broccoli flowers have their own much larger visitors. The purple flowers you see growing near the alyssum are Texas bluebonnets - you won’t find many of those up here in Nyack. The beets are still producing new leaves. The peppers are still producing new flowers. My neighbor is growing bitter melon and I see that it’s also still making new fruits.

Posted October 13th, 2014 with 17 notes.

unleashbryan:

I had such a lovely walk to class this afternoon! Meconopsis ’Lingholm’ backdropped by Tulipa ’Rosalie’. I then waked past some impressive Echium wildpretii which were being planted in the beds. By the way, I think that might be my favorite specific epithet ever, wildpretii. Especially if you pronounce it pretty-eye :)

(via hyggehaven)

Posted October 12th, 2014 with 30 notes.

Terrarium!

I am setting up a carnivorous plant terrarium very soon! I have been doing quite a bit of research! I have already bought the aquarium and the grow light. All I lack are actual plants and a lid for the top (which my dad is making for me this week). I will post pictures of the completed project! So exciting!

Posted October 12th, 2014 with 11 notes.

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