Edible Zinnias

Bright, vibrant zinnias grow in lots of gardens. You can locate them in bouquets and dried flower arrangements. They also seem in tacos, tea and cheeses, as well as in fruit salads and birthday cakes. The edible landscaping movement is turning more people on to a simple fact that many state folks have known for a long time: several flowers make for healthy eating. Alphabetically, zinnias are last on the list, but that’s no reflection on their taste or adaptability for recipes.

About Zinnias

Zinnias (Zinnia spp.) Are annual flowers that grow in most of U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones. They’re native North American plants. Zinnias usually grow to be 1 to 3 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet broad, although some dwarf varieties are smaller. Their showy blossoms come many different colours, such as orange, red, yellow and bright pink. The leaves are 2 to 4 inches long.

Growing Zinnias

Zinnias are easy to grow from seeds. They require eight to 12 weeks to blossom after planting. Zinnias should be planted after the danger of frost is past. They grow in most types of soil, but it must be well-drained. Prepare the soil by adding compost. Add 1 or 2 inches of compost to the top of the flower bed, and dig 6 to 8 inches of soil and mix the compost and soil. Cover the seeds with 1/4 inch of this amended soil. Water well. Zinnias should be planted 6 to 18 inches apart, depending on how big the plant will probably be when fully grown. They need to be planted in full sunlight, which means they need over six hours of sunlight each day.

Cooking With Zinnias

Katie Shanks, who along with her family owns and operates Arcadia Farms, situated near Portage, Michigan, provides tips for cooking with zinnias. Shanks recommends rinsing the zinnias in cool water, shaking them checking and dry them thoroughly for bugs, which may hide under the big petals. Although the entire zinnia is creamy, Shanks recommends removing the seeds and just cooking using the petals. The flavor of zinnias is somewhat bitter, based on Shanks, who says, “Cooking with zinnias is much more about the enjoyment than the taste.” Nevertheless, she developed recipes to get 10 en plates that include zinnias within an ingredient. Miche Bacher, author of “Cooking With Flowers,” recommends tasting each type of flower before using that kind in a recipe.

Safety First

According to the University of Wisconsin, zinnias are nontoxic. You still will need to take precautions before cooking with them. Zinnias employed for cooking should not be treated with any chemicals, including pesticides or herbicides. If you use compost in the soil around them, it must be free of pathogens, which is present in manure. To compost manure so that it’s safe to use with edible plants, experts recommend that the compost pile heat to 130 to 150 degrees and keep that temperature for three days. Stir the compost, and permit it reheat three times; then, let it sit for about two months before applying it.

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Do You Have to Tie Up Romanesco Cauliflower Heads?

Due to its unusual color and contour, its hard to ascertain whether romanesco (Brassica oleracea var. romanesco) is cauliflower or broccoli. It is frequently called broccoli and you might find it recorded one of the broccoli seeds in catalogs, but technically, romenasco is just a cauliflower. The pyramid-shaped mind is made up of curds that grow in spirals and kind interesting fractals. Romanesco is just a self-blanching cauliflower you don’t need to tie up.

Blanching the Head

Blanching means protecting heads of cauliflower in sunlight so they develop a creamy white color. For many varieties, particularly old-fashioned kinds, this means pulling on the big leaves up above the head, and fastening them in place with string or a rubber band. Self-blanching cauliflower has leaves which grow up and above the mind naturally, providing partial protection from sunlight with no requirement for tying. Romanesco is just a self-blanching type. Most romanesco cauliflower cultivars create creamy, pale green heads instead of white. 1 notable exception is “Veronica,” which has bright, lime green heads.

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Difference Between Indian Bitter Gourd & Chinese Bitter Gourd

Mormordica charantia, or bitter gourd, is tightly linked to the cucumber and appears a bit like a large, warty zucchini. Normally called bitter melon in the United States, this fruit lives up to its common name. The bitter taste is foreign to most American palates and takes getting used to, but it adds a zesty snack to many cooked dishes. Grown as an yearly vine in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and 11, bitter melon is comparatively pest-free and easy to grow with patience and suitable support.

Chinese vs. Indian Melon

Indian and Chinese gourds have exactly the same hardiness, cultural requirements and bitter taste (particularly to those not familiar with the bitter melon taste). The sole difference is the appearance of the fruit. Indian bitter gourds are narrower than the Chinese type, as opposed to a zucchini. They’ve irregular ridges and triangle-shaped “teeth” all on the surface of the skin, along with slightly ragged ridges. Indian bitter gourds may be green or white. Chinese gourds can grow over 11 inches long and have blunt ends. Broader than Indian gourds, they have light green skins scattered liberally with wart-like bumps. Both types have thick skins and white seeds.


Mormordica charantia germinates easily from seed. Seeds could be hard to find locally if no Asian markets are nearby, but you can buy them via mail order or harvest your personal from the mature gourd, that turns bright orange since the fruit ages. Given enough time, the gourd will break open and the outer component curls up, revealing seeds covered in dark red pulp. Germination is improved if the seeds are soaked in water for 48 hours, according to the National Bitter Melon Council’s website.


The seeds can be started inside or sown directly into the soil, 1.5 to 2 feet apart, once the outside temperature is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Both Indian and Chinese bitter melons grow best in full to partial sunlight and require moist, well-drained soil. Although the vine can sprawl along the ground, it may be less vulnerable to ailments if it rises vertically. Bitter gourds require a trellis, pole or other scaling support that’s at least 6 feet tall.


Yellow, vanilla-scented flowers appear in spring to early summer. Flowers are both female and male and are followed by the fruit, which can be generally ready to harvest two months following planting. Fruit should be picked while it is young, eight to 10 days following blossom drop. Chinese bitter gourds are at their least bitter while the fruits are small — about 4 to 6 inches long. Indian bitter gourds can be harvested once they are 4 inches long.


You may cut the bitter taste of this fruit by cutting it into pieces and salting it, as with eggplant, or boiling slices in a brine of sugar, salt, turmeric and vinegar. Even though Chinese bitter gourds are frequently utilized in Taiwan, China and the Philippines for stir fry dishes, in India, the fruits are commonly used with meats or onions.

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Cortland Apple Tree Truth

Apples (Malus domestica) are precious not only for eating out of hand, however for making apple products like apple juice, cider, applesauce, baked goods, dried apples and apple butter. Not all apple varieties are suited to all purposes, since cultivars differ in fruit texture, tartness, taste and keeping qualities. Cortland apples are a long time general purpose favored, with delicious white flesh for eating and cooking and lots of juice for cider.


The Cortland apple resulted out of a breeding program at the New York Agricultural Experiment Station. In 1898, the apple number Ben Davis, known for its cold-hardiness, was crossed with the McIntosh apple, valued because of its taste. Cortland combines the resistance to cold with the taste and flavor of McIntosh. It was spread in 1915. It is adapted to grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 8.

Tree Attributes

Cortland apple trees are extremely similar in size and growth features to McIntosh apples. The tree is propagating with an upright, vase-shaped form, medium in vigor and medium in stature, with semi-dwarf trees growing 15 to 20 feet tall and spreading 10 to 15 feet wide. The growing period length is approximately 153 days. The trees have moderate resistance to fire blight and apple scab.


Cortland apples possess mid-season blossom starting in April with pink bows followed by abundant white blooms. Trees are partially self-fertile, needing a pollinating cultivar for good fruit set. The following varieties can function as pollinators: Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Cripp’s Pink, Burgundy, Florina, Grimes Golden, Redfree, Hewe’s Crab, and Wickson Crab. Cortland serves as a pollinator for other apple varieties that bloom before, mid-season, as well as later.


Unlike most apple trees, which bear fruit on branch spurs, Cortland apples create fruit on the conclusion of slender branches which are approximately 6 inches long. Preferred pruning for this fruiting style is the open-center or altered central-leader form, leaving terminal fruit-bearing branches unshortened. Trees usually start to bear after 4 to 6 decades. Big red fruits are ready to pick in September. They’ve a sweet flavor with some tartness. Cortlands are reliable annual bearers.

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What is In Your Winecellar?

I had been striving to determine the best way to arrange and decorate a small wine cellar my partner assembled in an integral part of our basement that is the the extent of a substantial cabinet after I joined Houzz, in the past in November 2008.

After investing lots of time using the pictures, I made a decision to take a course I had not noticed everywhere. I am in the method of papering the walls which don’t have ledges with amusing photos of buddies – the sort of photos that are too wild for Face Book (they are maybe not actually THAT insane – my buddies and I avoid placing anything even slightly contentious on Face Book). It seems fantastic.

I understood yesterday, however, that t had been some time since I Had perused the winecellar pictures here on Houzz, and I used to be interested to find out what was new. I am happy I did, also, since there are a few truly excellent wine cellar thoughts here:

I am unsure when the walls are glass, how humidity and temperature handle function – whether it’s it is less easy than with typically insulated partitions – but this glassed in cabinet seems excellent.

Kessick Wine Cellars

I really like the brick as well as this arch – it feels therefore large.


Iron work and wine cellars appear to really go hand in hand. These walls that are complex are wonderful.

I ‘ve no space in my own house for one, although a soft place for riddling stands. A big riddling stand will be an excellent addition to any bg winecellar.

For me in the winecellar, Oriental rugs only work for some purpose – they match.

JMA (Jim Murphy and Associates)

I wish I had the the room to get a lengthy tasting dining table such as this one

Jay Hargrave Architecture

I believe this chamber is really cool – I am that I really like how the room seems only a little such as the interior of the Matrix and envious of all storage.

Jay Hargrave Architecture

And I really like the way these glass partitions show off that Matrixy appear.

Design Construct Consultants Inc.

In a winecellar, the ceiling is prime decorating room (since the partitions are often covered with bottles).

InterDesign Studio

I love the way these ledges are set back in the wall, producing the semblance of space in the chamber itself.

I totally adore the thought of a vintage card catalog as wine storage device.

This chamber, in all it is gothic play, would be a fantastic setting for a supper party. Particularly a social gathering on Halloween.