Friday, February 10, 2012

turnip coffee-Blech!

Folks that have followed my ramblings for any length of time know that one of my hobbies is finding a suitable alternative to coffee. This time around, the adventure was using turnips. For hundreds of years turnips were animal fodder rather than people food but during the early 1900s in Germany, they became a staple food item. They were used as a coffee substitute, flour substitute and became a primary ingredient of many dishes including war bread.
Since we have had virtually no winter this year, turnips have grown very well and out of curiosity, boredom, and the need to know I decided to make me some turnip coffee. After slicing and dicing, drying and roasting, and grinding it all up I finally got to make me a fine cuppa turnip java.


Maybe it is an acquired taste, that comes from necessity? Hopefully it is a necessity I will never have to acquire a taste for. Of all my experiments, it is the worst tasting and smelling. After all the hard work, it still smells and has the flavor of a turnip. Perhaps not being a huge fan of turnips to begin with plays a part but liquid turnips is simply not appealing. Maybe it will be better used as a flour replacement though I doubt it.

ETA... I should have added that turnips have many other uses beside fodder for man and beast. They have medicinal as well as other uses around a homestead. Rather than write it all up here is a link ....

Thursday, February 9, 2012

sowing of the seeds

With the weird winter we are having this year, planning and planting of the gardens has been quite a challenge. We have had next to no winter weather and nice warm days with few cold nights which makes it very hard to hold back from planting early crops.

Over the last couple weeks I have decided to not hold back any longer since it is just seed and why waste what could be a perfectly good cold crop growing season. Of course, now that I have planted several thousand square feet of gardens, winter is going to arrive. Even if it all gets killed it is just seed and I will have wasted approximately five dollars. If I did not plant until the calendar tells me to I may miss the window and not get any of the cool weather crops.

Thus far, we have carrots, onions, peas, greens of all sorts, beets, turnips, sprouting broccoli, broccoli, brussel sprouts and cabbage of several varieties planted in the GH and outdoors. Since none have sprouted yet, I am hoping that the cold streak coming in for the weekend will not harm them in any way. Though, if it does, I will just plant again.

It is the perfect time to get some of our other seeds started. The tobacco was seeded the other day as were some tomatoes, paprika peppers, cabbage, and brussel sprouts. Now I can relax a bit while all the little darlings germinate and work on outdoor beds as time permits.

Speaking of time, only four more weeks until I am done with school! It will be awesome to have a three month break before I begin again but more importantly, it falls the 6- 8 weeks before our summer planting, leaving me with plenty of time to get gardens ready.

Lastly, after searching for a tobacco growing group on the lovely FB and not finding any, I made one. For anyone wishing to join in on the fun we now have frugal homesteads, homesteading, and hobby tobacco growers group on there .