Mahonia & Lavender Oat Bars: Berry Delicious! — Gather Victoria

Mahonia & Lavender Oat Bars …




You may not have heard of Mahonia berries but I know you’d love them – and they’re likely growing near you. Mahonia japonica and Mahonia bealei are both extremely common ornamental shrubs found in a wide variety of urban spaces – and in early July both are laden with deep blue dusky berries hanging in fat grape-like clusters.…

via Mahonia & Lavender Oat Bars: Berry Delicious! — Gather Victoria

Wild Food Profile: Milkweed + Fried Milkweed Pod Recipe

Wild Food Profile …

The Druid's Garden

Monarch catepillar enjoying a milkweed feast--they know the good stuff when they see it! Monarch caterpillar enjoying a milkweed feast–they know the good stuff when they see it!

I love the summer months for foraging wild foods.  One of my very favorite wild foods is Common Milkweed (asclepias syriaca).  Around here, the pods are just beginning to form–and its a great time to explore this delightful wild food.  They have a light vegetable taste, maybe something like a sugar snap pea–very tasty and delicious.  In fact, this is one of the best wild foods, allowing you to have four different harvests from the plant at four different times during the spring, summer, and early fall.

Ethical Harvesting and Nurturing Practice

With the excitement of harvesting from common milkweed, however, comes a serious responsibility.  New farming techniques over the last 20 years have eliminated many of the hedges that used to be full of milkweed.  Because of this issue, the monarchs have been in serious…

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Southwest Gardening: Sacred Mesquite ~Recipes

By Crooked Bear Organics

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Mesquite grows well in desert areas from the southwestern United States to the Andean regions of South America. Traditionally, native peoples of the Southwest depended on mesquite. It provided food, fuel, shelter, weapons, medicine, and cosmetics. As times changed, and as refined sugar and wheat flour became staples, the role of mesquite was diminished.

mesquite flour

Mesquite meal was once made by hand-grinding the plant’s seeds and pods on stones. Now modern milling techniques speed up the process, grinding the entire mesquite pod at once, including the protein-rich seed. This produces a meal that is highly nutritious as well as very flavorful. The meal ground from the pod contains 11 to 17 percent protein. High lysine content makes it the perfect addition to other grains that are low in this amino acid.


Although desert dwellers used mesquite pods as a source of food for centuries, when you order and use this product…

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Aromatic Culinary Herb Called the Savory

By Crooked Bear Creek Organics

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs


Satureja hortensis / Satureja montana

Also, Known As:

  • Mountain Savory
  • Savory
  • Summer Savory
  • Winter Savory

Ancient herbal texts frequently mention about two types of savories – summer savory comprising the dense parts of the herb Satureja hortensis L., and the winter savory, which is acquired from the herb Satureja Montana L. While the summer savory is an annual plant, the winter savory is perennial and is used to add essence to foods. Both these aromatic species belong to the mint (Lamiaceae) plant family. They are small plants that are cultivated extensively as garden plants. These plants produce slender leaves and flowers whose color varies from pale lavender to pink to white. Of the two Satureja species, the summer savory is valued highly and has been used widely in folk medicine in comparison to the winter savory. Both these herbs have been valued as sex medicines for several centuries. It…

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Aromatic Culinary Herb Called the Tarragon

By Crooked Bear Creek Organics

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs


Artemisia dracunculus

Also, Known As:

  • Dragon’s Mugwort
  • Estragon
  • French Tarragon
  • German Tarragon
  • Tarragon
  • True Tarragon

Tarragon is a green perennial shrub that is smooth and lacking in hairs and bristles. The shrub is native to the sunny and dry regions of the northern hemisphere, especially the United States, Asia, and Siberia. The plant derives its English name from the French estrange denoting ‘little dragon’. People in Europe grow this shrub commercially for it perfumed leaves that pass on a licorice-anise essence to salads, sauces, and foods prepared with vinegar. Normally, the tarragon plant, having slender stalks, grows up to a height of two feet and bears glossy green, elongated and slender leaves that are undivided. This shrub is intimately related to wormwood. Tarragon has fibrous roots that are long and extend to all areas where they are grown by means of runners. The shrub bears small flowers that are…

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Aromatic Culinary Herb Called the Dill

By Crooked Bear Creek Organics

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs


Anethum graveolens syn. Peucedanum graveolens

Also, Known As:

  • American Dill
  • Common Dill
  • Danish Dill
  • Dill
  • Dillseed
  • Dilly
  • Dillweed
  • European Dill
  • Garden Dill

The familiar culinary plant known as the dill is an annual aromatic herb, which is about thirty inches tall – seventy-five centimeters in height. The herb bears feathery leaves on an erect stem that is hollow inside. When in bloom, the herb bears a large number of yellow colored flowers in umbels on the stem.

The dill has been traditionally associated with superstitious beliefs in Europe, and hanging a bunch of dill herbs over the door was supposed to protect one against witches and sorcery in the olden days. While the herb is no longer associated with such superstitious beliefs these days, it is still used to a great degree in the manufacture of herbal medications and in culinary dishes in many cuisines around the world.


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June Herb of the Month: Capers

By Crooked Bear Creek Organics

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Did you know:

Capers – Capparis spinosa
• Capers are the flower buds of the Flinders rose (or caper bush) Capparis spinosa
• This thorny shrub is native to the Mediterranean and hardy to USDA zone 9
• Capers thrive in hot dry climates
• Grows as a mounding shrub with a sprawling habit
• The flower buds are hand-picked then either pickled, brined or packed in salt to preserve
• The bitter flavor is mellowed by pickling, resulting in a salty, slightly sweet taste
• Buds that bloom produce a white flower with purple stamens which then will form a small fruit
called a caperberry.
• Caperberries are also pickled and are often served on antipasto platters or used as a garnish for
• The smaller the caper, the better the quality, flavor and commercial value, and are also called
nonpareilles or surfines; larger ones are known as…

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Fragrant Linden Blossom Sun Cake: A Magical Midsummer Treat ~ Gather Victoria

Delicately perfumed with the GORGEOUS scent of linden blossoms, this moist, crumbly cake truly is delicious. I couldn’t stop eating it – so now I have to bake a whole new one for solstice! But that’s okay, it takes no time to whip up and I’ll get to enjoy even more of it! In Latvia,…

via Fragrant Linden Blossom Sun Cake: A Magical Midsummer Treat — Gather Victoria