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Seed Spotlight: Tongue of Fire Bush Bean

April 20th, 2011

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Don’t let the name of this bush bean scare you! Tongue of Fire Bush Bean is actually a very strikingly beautiful bean. Mature pods are ivory white with streaks of red coloring that look similar to flames, thus, Tongue of Fire. It has been said that the original Tongue of Fire seed was from Tierra del Fuego, on the tip of South America. From there, seeds were then sent to Italy then spread throughout southern Europe. Today, everyone can enjoy the beauty and taste of this unique horticultural bean.

Tongue of Fire Bush Bean pods can be harvested while young (before red streaks become too visible) and enjoyed like snap beans. The young pods are great for stir-fry dishes or any other way that you enjoy snap beans. Once mature the shelled beans of Tongue of Fire are large and round, and they offer excellent taste and texture. They can be canned, frozen or enjoyed fresh.

Maturing in 70 days, you can have a wonderful supply of Tongue of Fire Bush Beans for a variety of delicious dishes, from cold bean salads to soups and stews. This is a beauty in the garden and a taste bud pleaser.

On Thursday, April 21, 2011 Humble Seed will be at the Keep Phoenix Beautiful Earth Day event from 11am to 1:30pm at Cesar Chavez Plaza in Phoenix, Arizona. Humble Seed will be giving out samples of Tongue of Fire Bush Beans. If you’re in the Phoenix area come learn about recycling and sustainability at this wonderful environmental event celebrating the 41st anniversary of Earth Day, and stop by the Humble Seed booth for your free sample of Tongue of Fire Bush Beans.

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Seed Spotlight: Lancer Parsnip

November 14th, 2010

 

One of our favorite cold-weather root vegetables is parsnip. Cultivated in Europe since ancient times and a relative of the carrot, the ivory-colored, fibrous parsnip offers sweet, nutty flavor and celery-like fragrance. It can be harvested through the end of November, and if you wait until after the first frost of the year, you’ll find that they are delightfully sweeter, because cold temperatures turn the parsnip’s starch into sugar.

Because parsnips are so fibrous, they’re generally cooked before eating. Parsnips are the sweetest of all the root vegetables and easy to prepare. They can be cut up or left whole then baked, cut up or left whole then boiled and mashed with butter and cream, cut into big chunks then microwaved, or peeled, sliced and steamed like carrots. Vitamin C-rich parsnips make a great addition to roasts, soups and stews. Flavors that complement this root vegetable include: allspice, brown sugar, chives, cinnamon, ginger, maple syrup, nutmeg, rosemary, and sage, to name a few.

Here is a mashed parsnips recipe, perfect for pairing with roasted meats.

Mashed Parsnips

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds parsnips, peeled, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • ¼ cup heavy cream

Preparation

Place parsnips in a large saucepan then cover with water. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt to the water. Bring to a boil, lower heat then simmer for about 12 minutes or until parsnips are very tender. Drain parsnips then place in a food processor. Add butter nutmeg, cream, and remaining 1 teaspoon of salt; Process ingredients until smooth. SERVES 4

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