Hi, my name is Stephanie and I kill plants. Cactuses even?? Why yes, even a cactus will turn black on my watch. It’s like a gift.
But, I live on a ranch now, and did you know that I can put half a sprouted sweet potato in this blessed ground and it will grow like crazy? Did you also know that I could plant seeds from my spaghetti squash and they, would also, grow like crazy? Did you know that I am now an official, bona fide, yet, self declared, “farmer”? Thank you. Thank you.
Actually, this is all Carolynn’s doing. Her precious, little science mind always wants to plant seeds. She brings home seeds from her plum in her lunchbox so we can plant it at home and grow a plum tree. She saves seeds from her apple to grow an apple tree. (Despite us telling her we can’t grow apples here. It’s ok, dream big girl.)
So, when our sweet potato sprouted, and I opened up a spaghetti squash, seeds everywhere, we planted the seeds and our sliced up potato. Drumroll please….Voila!
This is two squash plants, and one sweet potato (in the middle). We have about 10 squash coming in! I’m not getting my hopes up since the time of year isn’t quite right, but it’s been fun to watch it grow, so we’ll see what happens.
We have a lot of new, season appropriate seeds planted, but due to the weather being unseasonably warm, many of them have already shriveled up. After studying the weather for the rest of the month, we’ll be trying a lot of our seeds again next weekend. Hoping to see all the little sprouts popping up (and growing!) soon.
Recently, we heard that you can eat the leaves from a sweet potato plant. Potato plant leaves are poisonous, but SWEET potato leaves are not. They are nutritious, flavorful and can be cooked like most dark greens.
First, I boiled them in a little water and for just a few minutes, to remove some of the bitter flavor that naturally accompanies most greens.

 

Then I put some delicious, filtered bacon fat to my skillet. We use a fine mesh strainer to strain our bacon grease and store it in the fridge.
 I sauteed onions, but you could omit them.

 

Last, I added the greens. Much like spinach, the leaves shrunk up a lot once they were sauteed. So pick more than you think.
To accompany our greens, I also picked some squash blossoms. According to the Internet, which is never wrong (that’s sarcasm), it’s best to pick the male blossoms since those are the ones that won’t grow fruit. I THINK that’s what we did. The description of the male vs. female blossoms is helpful until you’re actually out picking them.
“Is this a thin stem?”
“Does this look like a squash ovary?”
“Is this one hairier than that one?”
We did our best.
Rinse them, and check for bugs. Unless you’re into that.

 

 

Remove the stamen at the base.

 

If needed, you can make a small slit to reach in and remove. The next few steps are easier if the top remains twisted shut.

 

There are recipes out there for fried, or baked squash blossoms. I just put a cube of mozzarella in ours, because that’s what we had.

 

Coat the stuffed blossom in egg, then breadcrumbs.
Bake at 350 deg for 15 minutes.

 

I put the leaves, and the blossoms over brown rice and served it up for lunch. Y’all, it was good! I heated up some leftovers to have also, but Brian and I both felt perfectly satisfied after this meal. We put the leftovers back in the fridge for another day.
Well, there was also a beer involved. I feel like I should be honest about that. 😉
We each ate several squash blossoms, and the kids each tried one. They did not like them as much, but they did try it, which is all we ever ask.
Even without fully fruiting plants in our garden, we are harvesting FOOD. It is exciting and gratifying. And yummy.
Thank you so much for stopping by to read about our adventures! I’ll update everyone about our seedlings soon and would love to hear from you about anything. Thanks for reading!
XO, Steph

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