I have released four recipe books so far:

The Best of the Sunny Raw Kitchen
The Best of Raw Freedom Community
Delightfully Raw and
Deliciously Raw

These feature some of the most delectable creations to have come out of my raw kitchen and will appeal to anyone interested in a healthier diet, regardless of their level of knowledge and experience. From easy one-step everyday fare to more elaborate and involved gourmet dishes and layered cakes, they offer something for everyone and every occasion. Incredibly tasty smoothies, creamy and comforting warm soups, sexy salads, delicious nut cheezes, satisfying entrees and scrumptious guilt-free desserts...

Healthy food never tasted so good!

To learn more about my recipe books, click here!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Tour of Matt & Dawnen's Backyard

Now that I have my very own little patch of dirt to play in back home, I'm particularly grateful to meet people that are experienced gardeners. I get to learn so much from looking at the way that they have set up their beds and the different techniques they use.

Shortly after we arrived at Matt & Dawnen's place we were given a little tour of their property. They have basically turned the entire backyard into a garden, dotted with several fruit trees. The garden was passed its prime in November, but there were still a few veggies for us to enjoy.

Cucumbers


OK, I'm cheating a bit here and sharing a photo that Matt took this summer. This is what the cukes looked liked back then.


Ground cherries. These are such a delicacy! Yum!


Kale


A few peas were still growing


But for me, their garden's main attraction were the tomatoes. This past summer we admired the largest and tallest tomato plants we'd ever seen at Mike and Ulla's garden. Amazingly Matt's bushes were even bigger! At 9 to 10 feet tall they were actually really more like trees. The first pic was taken by Matt earlier.


One of his secrets is to give them ocean water (water with minerals in it).



During our stay, while the weather was surprisingly warm for the time of year, we did have a couple of nights of frost. We thought it better to harvest what was left of the tomatoes, just in case.



Such bounty!



I don't think we've ever used our dehydrator as much as we did in the four weeks spent with Matt and Dawnen. We dehydrated prunes, apples, eggplant (made into 'bacon'), durian (nope, not from their garden) and several batches of tomatoes.


We also dried some beautiful peppers that they had picked before our arrival. I never knew that there were so many different varieties!



Matt's family used to be beekeepers. They sold their business a few years ago when his mom got very ill, but he has kept one beehive in his yard.


Let's take a closer peak inside, shall we?


Matt loooves his greens! Not only does he grow some in his garden but he also likes to make the most of what Nature has to offer. Therefore he likes to collect so-called "weeds" and forage trees on his property for their leaves. He says these are often overlooked but contain tons of nutrients. The leaves of most trees - including all fruit trees - are actually edible, although some may not be very tasty. Matt says that the list of edible trees would be exhaustive. Wow, I would have never thunk of eating leaves! A cool fact... the name Adirondack is derived from the Mohawk Indian word atirĂº:taks, literally meaning “tree eaters.”

Here are some of the leaves and "weeds" that Matt eats off his property.

Gogi berry bush


Mulberry tree


Cherry tree


Hawthorn; both its leaves and fruit are super good for you.



Chickweed


Malva or mallow


Other leaves and greens that he harvests include wild violets, prune leaves, plum leaves, Oregon grape leaves, rose leaves, cleavers, morning glory, lambs quarters, red root (amaranth or pig weed), dandelion, apricot leaves, stinging nettle, strawberry leaves, raspberry leaves, chicory, spearmint, shepherds purse, purslane, wood sorrel, sheep sorrel, melon leaves, bean leaves, pea leaves, some maple leaves are tasty (their young seed pods taste like lettuce), grape leaves, mulberry leaves, elderberry leaves and yam leaves. I know... what a list, yet Matt assures me that it could go on and on!

These may not be edible but I thought they sure looked pretty. ;-)


They have several beds protected by low plastic tunnels secured with rope which will allow them to harvest greens all winter long.


Several varieties of lettuces




We certainly made a bit dent in their arugula patch. Me love LOVE arugula!


Harvesting some greens for the road just before we left.


Now I can hardly wait to start playing in our own garden next spring... Yay!

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