by Farmer Leo

The scientific name for yams is dioscorea.
Yams are perennial.
A yam is a Asian tuber of the genus dioscorea, most people when they hear the word yam they think of a sweet potato, a sweet potato is the tuber of the species of ipomora batatas, so if someone says yam they probable mean sweet potato.
There are approximately 870 species of yams.
Some yams weigh as little as a few ounces and some weigh as much as a 130 pounds.
Some cultivars of yams the tubers can grow up to 49 feet long and ½ inches thick.
Yams are native to southeast Asia but the will grow in most long season tropical or subtropical areas.
The skin varies in color from light brown to pink.
The flesh is white to yellow when their young but when their mature it is purple to pink.
Farmer who do not buy new seed yams usually set aside 30% of there harvest for planting the next year.

How to grow

You need a long hot season like in Florida to grow yams, Choose a spot with fertile well drained soil, get a large yam and cut it into peach sized chunks, then dip the exposed sides in wood ash to prevent the yam chunks from rotting well they sprout, you can start the yams in a large pot in a thick density to get a slightly longer season,space them out when you plant them in the garden, but the vines grow fast so when they are only a few inches tall it is time to plant them out so that the vines do not tangle, you can also plant them directly in the soil, because yams have a lot of vines you need something like a fence or chicken wire for them to climb on, keep the soil moist, they take a long time to grow so you will get the best harvest if you wait until late in the season, but they are very big so you need to use a shovel to harvest by digging around the tubers, you may find small yams growing on the vines theses are only edible for some species so before you eat them make sure they are edible.

How to cook
recipe:boiled yam

Peel your yams then wash them and cut them into 1 inch slices, put the slices in a pot and add enough water to cover the content, boil until soft.







by Farmer Leo

The scientific name of fennel is foeniculum vulgare.
Fennel is a perennial.
In Longfellow's poem goblet of life fennel is said to strengthen eye sight.
Fennel is said to have a flavor similar to anise and is often miss labeled as anise in American stores.
The Greek word for fennel is marathon, and the place of the battle of the marathon actually  means plain with fennel.
The bulb fronds and seeds are used in many of the culinary traditions of the world.

How to grow
choose a spot with full sun and loose well drained soil, plant in the spring just after the last frost. Plant 1 inch deep and 10 to 12 inches apart, space rows 3 feet apart, water well, once the plant is a few inches tall the soil should be almost dry before watering, when the you are done watering soil should be moist but not soggy.

How to cook
recipe:salami and fennel crostini
24 thin baguette slices
3 table spoons olive oil
½ fennel bulb thinly sliced
1 table spoon chopped fennel fronds
½ teaspoons grated orange zest
2 table spoons fresh orange juice
3 ounces thinly sliced  salami
Preheat the oven to 400, place the bread slices on the cookie sheet and brush both sides with olive oil, bake until golden brown 4-5 minutes, in bowl toss together the fennel the orange juice and zest and a table spoon of olive oil, dived evenly on top the slices of bread the salami and fennel mixture and sprinkle with fronds.


Red huckleberry
by Farmer Leo

The scientific name of red huckleberry is vaccinium parvifolium.

Red huckleberry is deciduous.

Red huckleberry grows up to 13 feet tall.

Red huckleberry leaves grow 1/3 and 1 1/3 inches long.

The bell shaped flowers of red huckleberry are era yellow-white to pinkish-white or even pink.

The fruit is a edible berry that is red to orange.

The natives of north America used the fruit for food in many ways, such as fresh consumption, being dried, after being dried being made into sauce, or being mixed with salmon.

They also used the berries as bate because they look like salmon eggs.

How to grow

Buy a potted red huckleberry at a nursery, dig a hole a a spot with part shade moist well drained soil with lots of organic mater, set the root ball in the hole and tamp soil in the gaps, keep the soil moist.

How to cook

Recipe:Red Huckleberry pie


2 ½ cups huckleberries

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons flour

a 9 inch pie pan with raw lined with uncooked pie dough and a little extra for the top

In a large bowl mix the berries, sugar, flour, and lemon juice, and pour in the pie crust, cover with extra dough and bake at 400 for 15 minutes and then bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes.




by Farmer Leo

The scientific name of sesame is sesamum indicum
It originated in India.
Sesame seeds have one of the highest oil content.
Some people  are allergic to sesame seeds.
Sesame seeds are considered some of the oldest oil seed crops.
Charred remnants of sesame seeds were fond and have bean dated back to 3500 BC.
Sesame grows 1.6 to 3.3 feet tall.

How to grow
Select a area with well drained soil and full sun, direct sow once the danger of frost has past, sow  2 to 3 feet apart, keep the soil moist but not wet.

How to cook
recipe:steamed green beans with lemon and sesame seeds
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 ½ pounds green beans with the ends trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
add the beans and salt to a large pot of water and cook until tender, transfer beans to a bowl of ice water then drain them and pat them dry, then transfer to a bowl and drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice, then toss the mixture and sprinkle with lemon zest and sesame seeds.


By Farmer Leo

The scientific name of  chrysanthemum is chrysanthemum.
Chrysanthemum is a perennial.
By the year 1630 over 500 cultivars of chrysanthemum were recorded.
There are colors of chrysanthemum other than yellow such as white, purple.
In Korea some rice wine is flavored with chrysanthemums.
The greens of chrysanthemums are boiled or steamed.
The flower is sometimes added to broth or thick snake meat soup to enhance the aroma.

How to grow
Buy a potted chrysanthemum from a local nursery, fill a large  pot with well drained soil, dig a hole the size of the root ball in the soil, set the plant in the hole and gentle pack down the soil, keep the soil moist but not wet.

How to cook
recipe:chrysanthemum tea
50 grams of dried chrysanthemum
1 ½ liters of water
50 grams sugar rock
In a pot boil the water the add the chrysanthemum to the water and boil for 2 minutes, then add the sugar rock, when the sugar rock is dissolved strain out the chrysanthemum, then chill before serving.


Common fig
by Farmer Leo

For convenience I will refer to common fig as fig.
The scientific name of fig is ficus carica.
Fig is a Asian plant.
Fig is in the mulberry family.
One place the word fig is though to come from is the name of the genus, ficus.
Figs are deciduous.
They grow between 23 and 33 feet tall.

How to grow:
Choose a fertile spot with well drained soil and full sun, dig a hole the size of the root ball and set the root ball inside it, put some soil in the small gaps and tamp it down, keep the soil moist.

Recipe:pear and fig pie
enough pie dough for a deep 9 inch pie pan
2 ½ pounds cored peeled sliced pears
2 cup fresh figs cut into quarters
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoons all spice
4 tablespoons corn starch
1 beaten egg
2 tablespoons cane sugar

Roll out the dough and place it in the pan, in a large bowl toss the pears, figs, lemon juice, lemon zest, brown sugar, cinnamon, and corn starch, spoon into the pie plate fold over any loose edges, brush with the egg and and sprinkle with cane sugar, bake at 400F until golden then bake at 375 until fully done.





Aloe vera
by Farmer Leo

The scientific name of aloe vera is literally aloe vera.
Aloe vera is an ever green perennial that is native to the Arabian peninsula.
Aloe vera is fond in skin lotion, cosmetics, and ointment for small burns and sun burns.
Aloe vera grows 24 to 39 inches tall.
Aloe vera contains a chemical called alion witch when eaten in excessive quantities can have negative health effects.

How to grow:

plant in cactus mix in a pot with a lot of drainage holes, place in bright direct sun light, each time you water drench the soil and let it become completely dry before watering again.

How to cook

recipe:poached aloe vera


1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 pound edible aloe vera leaves

wash the leaves and cut down the length, then split open and remove the flesh, cut the flesh into cubes, put the aloe vera lemon juice and sugar in a small sauce pan, and cook over medium heat until the liquid is not slimy, then serve over plain yogurt.




Snake gourd

by Farmer Leo

The scientific name of the snake gourd is trichosanthes cucumerina.

Snake gourd is tropical to subtropical vine.

In Asia they are eaten premature like a summer squash, in Africa the red flesh is of the mature fruit is used as a substitute for tomato.

The white unisex flowers open at night.

When mature the deep red fruit can be up to 78 inches long.

The name snake gourd refers to the long twisted smooth fruits.

How to grow

Get seeds online, Make sure they will grow in your climate, choose a spot with full sun and well drained soil, the spot should also have a wire fence or something simpler for the vines to grow on,

soak the seeds over night, then trance plant in to a spot prepared with organic mater and the topsoil,

when dry water until the soil is moist.

How to cook


1 medium snake gourd

1 ½ teaspoons of coarse ground pepper corn

1 ½ teaspoons of coarse ground cumin seeds

1 teaspoon butter

Wash the snake gourd and cut it in to two down the middle, discard the soft part in the middle, cut the haves of the gourd into pieces the size of a section of your finger, heat the butter in a pan and add the gourd, saute well until it shrinks, put the lid on it and simmer, stir every once in a wile, simmer 10 to 15 minutes, once it is cooked mix in the cumin and pepper, and let it coast for a wile, then transfer to a plate and mix in some cooked rice.





by Farmer Leo

The scientific name of hibiscus is hibiscus, Hibiscus is a genus in the family of mallow. There are more than 670 species in the genus hibiscus.

Hibiscus has both annual and perennial species, and the flowers can be white, pink, red, orange, and peach.

Some hibiscus is used in paper.

Varieties of Hibiscus are the national flower of haiti, Malasyia and South Korea, and Hibiscus also represents the Solomon islands.

In the Philippians the flowers and leaves of hibiscus are crushed until the juices come then the hollow stalks of papayas are dipped into the liquid to blow bubbles.

How to grow:

Choose a spot with full to partial sun, and well drained soil, dig a hole the size of the root ball and plant the hibiscus, make sure the soil is moist.