by Farmer Leo

The scientific name of almond is prunus dulcis.

Almonds are 13 to 33 feet tall.

Almonds are a botanical fruit.

Almonds are native to the middle east, in Syria, Turkey, and Pakistan.

Because they can be propagated from seed, and still have relatively good quality, for this reason they were one of the first domesticated fruit trees.

Domesticated almonds appeared in early bronze age(3000-2000 BC), such sites are in Numeria (Jordan).

Almonds were found in Tutankhamen's tomb(1325 BC).

In two thousand sixteen the United States produced sixty three percent of the worlds almonds.

The production of almonds in the United States is concentrated in California.

In the United States the almonds are grown on about one million acres.

In two thousand seventeen in the United States of America two and one fifth billion pounds of shelled almonds were produced.

The total value of shelled almonds exported by the United States in two thousand sixteen was three and one fifth billion dollars.

The pollination of California's almonds is the largest annual organized pollination event in the world. With almost 1 million bee hives (close to ½ the bee hives in America) being trucked to California almond groves in February. Most of the pollination is dealt with by pollination brokers, that contract migratory beekeepers from at least 49 states.

How to grow

Choose a variety that does well in your area, you might be able to get it from your local nursery. Choose a fertile sunny spot. Dig a wide hole, mix the dirt from the hole with well rotted organic matter and manure, put the soil back in the hole. Dig a hole in the prepared site the size of the root ball, then set the root ball in the hole, packing lose dirt into any spaces, then water it in well.

How to cook

recipe:peach almond crostada



7-8 ripe pitted sliced peaches

¼ cup flour

1/3 cup sliced almonds

1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

9 tablespoons sugar

1 refrigerated pie crust

2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 400, butter or oil a cooking sheet. Toss the peaches, almonds, flour, vanilla, and eight of the nine tablespoons of sugar in a bowl. Put the crust on the baking sheet, spoon the peach mixture into the crust, fold the edges of the crust inward. Dot the crust with butter, and sprinkle on the remaining sugar. Bake 45 minutes or until golden brown.








Marigold (Calendula)
There are two genera known as marigold(Tagetes and Calendula), last week I did Tagetes this week I am doing Calendula.

The name of the Calendula marigold is Calendula officainalis.
Officainalis grows to 31 inches tall.
Officainalis has 2 to 7 inch long leaves.

How to grow
Choose a spot with full sun and good soil.  Direct sow in the spring or fall.  Water during dry warm weather.

In late morning gently pluck petals from open flowers.

How to cook
recipe:marigold jelly
yield:3 pints
3 cups rinsed marigold petals
4 cups boiling water
1 pack low sugar pectin
2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice  
Add the boiling water to the petals and allow to steep for hours, then strain out the petals.  Mix ½ cup of sugar and the pectin in a small bowl.  Mix the lemon and pectin mix into the marigold infusion with the lemon juice, and bring to a boil in a large pot.  Add the rest of the sugar, bring to a hard boil, and boil for one minute.  Pour into sterilized jars and processes to according to caning instructions.


by Farmer Leo

The scientific name of elderberry is Sambucus.

How to grow

Plant at least two cultivars, plant in well drained loam, plant 3 feet apart in row 12 too 15 apart. Plant in early spring. Mulch to prevent weeds.


They need 25 mm of water a week, so during the summer if it does not rain for a few days you should water. Do not prune for the first two years, then prune of any dead matter. 5-15 days in mid August to mid September.

How to cook

Recipe:elder berry jelly

Yield:24 oz


2 lb elderberries

3 cups water

5 cups sugar

juice of have a lemon

2 pack sure jell

Rinse the berries and pull them off the stems, put the berries in a sauce pan with the water and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook until soft, then mash them. Set up a jelly strainer and bag over a bowl and pour the berries and juice through it, and leave it to drip. Measure the juice, for every 600 ml of juice get 450 g sugar. Place the jars and lids in the oven and star warming them on the lowest setting. Put a plate in the freezer. Put the juice in a pan and heat it to high, as it heats pour in the sugar, lemon, and pectin, then stir until they are dissolved. Bring the pan to a rapid boil until the setting point is reached (15-30 minutes). Check to sea that the setting point is reached by dribbling some on the frozen plate, leave it for a minute then push it with your finger if it crinkles then setting point has been reached. Let cool until a skin forms then skim it off and pour the jelly into jars. Try and eat within the year.

by Farmer Leo

The scientific name of borage is Borago officinalis.
Borage grows 2 to 3.3 feet tall.
Borage has blue pink or white blossom.  Borage flowers have both male and female reproductive organs.

How to grow
Choose a spot with full sun and fertile well drained soil that is rich in organic mater.  Space the seeds 6 inches apart and lightly cover with dirt, then keep the soil moist until the seedlings are about 6 inches tall.  When the seedlings are 4 inches tall thin to 12 inches apart.


by Farmer Leo

The scientific name of cashews is anacardium occidetale.

Cashews can grow to 46 feet tall.

The biggest cashew tree in the world covers 81,000 sq ft, it is located in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte

Cashews are a botanical fruit.

Cashews are a very tropical fruit.

The cashew apple is actually a special pedicel that expands after the flower is pollinated.

Cashews are related to pistachios and mangos.

How to grow

To grow cashews it is suggested to live in hardiness zone 10-11.

Choose a spot with at least 6 hours of full sun, and well drained sandy soil. If you can get one I suggest that you plant it from a potted. Dig a hole the size of the root ball, then gentle set the root ball in the hole, and then pack lose dirt in any spaces.

Tree care

Water only when soil is dry. Use 8-3-9 fertilizer every 2 months according to packet instructions, also use 30 pounds of animal manure on an adult tree once a year. Mulch with organic matter to prevent weeds and conserve moisture.

How to harvest and process

Harvest when the cashew apple is pink to red and the nut husk is gray, then separate the husk and apple. You can eat the cashew apple raw or make it into juice. Cashews in husks will store for up to 2 years. Do not open shells before roasting or they will burn your hands because of caustic acids.

How to cook

recipe:maple cashews

yield:3 cups


2/3 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon butter

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

3 cups cashews

Combine ingredients in a pan over medium heat, and stir until bubbling, then add the cashews and cook until the syrup coats the nuts. Spread mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then bake at 350 until the syrup sets around the nuts, then let the nuts cool and store in a air tight container.

Marigold (tagetes)

by Farmer Leo

There are two genera called marigold (tagetes and calendula), this week I will do tagetes, and next week I will do calendula.

African marigolds (tagetes erecta) have large 5 inch pompom flowers, and grow to 2 feet tall.

French marigolds (tagetes patula) have 2 inch flowers, and grow form 5 to 18 inches tall.

Signet marigolds (tagetes tenuifolia) is the edible verity, they have lacy leaves, and small single daisy like flowers.

How to grow

pick a spot with full sun. Direct sow after last frost. Watering often will help them bloom but they do not need it that much.

by Farmer Leo

The scientific name is Ananas comosus.
In the wild pineapples are pollinated by humming birds and some bats.
Pineapples are native to south America.
Pineapples grow from 3 to 5 feet tall.
Pineapples normally male 200 flowers.
25.8 million tonnes of pineapples were grown.

How to grow
Warning it is likely that unless you live in a warm climate you will be unable to grow pineapples.
Get a preferable organic pineapple.  Cut off the leafy part. cut as much flesh as you can from the leafy part, then put the base of the leaves in a cup of water and leave it until makes roots around 4 inches long.  Fill a large pot with a very well drained  tropical plant potting soil.  Carefully plant it in the pot, water frequently.

How to cook
recipe: peeled pine apple
yield: 1 peeled pineapple
1 pineapple with golden to brown skin and green lively leaves
Cut the leaves off the top and bottom, then if you look at the top you will see little brown tubes going to the bottom cut these tubes off. Once all the tubes are cut of look for any remaining skin any you find should be cut off.

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Passion fruit.
By Farmer Leo

The scientific name of passion fruit is Passiflora edulis.

How to grow
Grow in a frost free climate. Choose a spot with full sun a good low or no wind and the most fertile soil available. Bye a passion fruit remove the seeds and plant them as soon as possible. But first mix plenty of mulch into the planting site. Make sure the stay well watered but there is never standing water. Fertilize sometimes but not to often, and without to much nitrogen.


by Farmer Leo

The scientific name of pansy is Viola tricolor var. hortensis.

In Shakespeare’s a midsummers night dream a love potion made of hearts ease (a kind of pansy) and "on sleeping eyelids laid, will make a man or woman madly dote upon the next live creature that it sees."

how to grow

Get starts from a nursery, but make sure that the plants you choose are bush and are not blooming. Choose a spot with full sun and loose soil well drained soil. Make sure the soil does not dry out to much during the dry part of the year.

How to cook

recipe:candy pansy

Yield:9 dozen flowers and 3 dozen leaves


1 16 ounce pack of powdered sugar

3 table spoons meringue

1 cup of water

9 dozen pansies

3 dozen pansy leaves

16 onces of sugar

Beat the powdered sugar, meringue powder and water in a medium bowl for 4-5 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Brush mixture onto flowers and leaves and then sprinkle with sugar and let stand on a wire rack for 24 hours.


By Farmer Leo

Walnuts are a kind of drupe witch means they are a botanical fruit.

Walnuts are allelopathic, witch means that they excrete chemicals in to the soil that can impede the growth of other plants, or even kill them, because of this they should not be planted near other stuff you are growing.

Two of the main species of walnut are grown for there seed.

English walnuts (Juglans regia)are native to Persia.

Black walnuts (Juglans nigra)are native to eastern north America.

Other species include Juglans californica, Juglans cinerea, and Juglans major.

How to cook

Recipe: Raspberry crumble bars

yield: 24 bars


1 ¾ cups flour

½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoons ground nutmeg

¾ cups butter at room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cups raspberry jam

1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350°F, put parchment paper in an 8 inch square pan with a little paper over the edges. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy, then mix in the egg yolks and vanilla, next mix in the flour mixture. Put 2/3 of the dough in the pan and spread evenly, then spread the jam on the dough, then crumble the rest of the dough on top of that and sprinkle the walnuts over that, bake until golden brown, then remove from the oven and let cool. Lift the cake out of the pan by the paper overhang, then set it on the cutting board and cut into 24 rectangles.

How to grow

Choose a verity that does well in your area, pick a spot 65 or more feet from anything you are cultivating ( allelopathic) with full to partial sun. Break up the soil were you are going to plant and mix in plenty of organic matter, dig a hole in that the size of the root ball, gentle set the root ball in the hole then tamp soil in any openings.


by Farmer Leo

How to grow

Choose a spot with fertile well drained soil. Plant three weeks before the last frost. Plant 1 inch apart and thin to 6 inches once they are two inches tall. They need two inches of water a week, less if there is rain. When the leaves are turning yellow and the seed pods are turning brown pick them before they drop seeds. Shell and dry the seeds for long term storage.

How to cook

recipe:Spicy German Mustard

yield:1 ½ to 2 cups


¼ cup yellow mustard seed

2 table spoons brown mustard seed

¼ cup dry mustard powder

½ cup water

1 ½ cups cider vinegar

1 small onion chopped

1 teaspoon salt

2 garlic cloves minced

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon allspice

¼ teaspoon tarragon

1/8 teaspoon turmeric

In a small bowl mix the mustard seeds and dry mustard. In a one to two quart sauce pan combine all the other ingredients and simmer uncovered on medium heat until they are half there original size, 10 to 15 minutes. Mix the spice mixture into the seed mixture, cover it and let it stand for 24 hours. Process in a blender until the desired texture is achieved. Scrape into clean dry jars and cover them tightly. This mixture can stay in the refrigerator for 3 day before it is used.

by Farmer Leo

The scientific name of Rowan is Sorbus.
There are 55 species of Rowan.
Rowan trees grow from 32 to 64 feet tall.

How to grow
Choose a spot with fertile well drained soil, and full sun.  dig a hole 2 feet by 2 feet and 1 foot deep, then mix some organic matter into the dirt in the bottom the hole.  Mix organic matter with the that was in the hole.  Plant a bare root Rowan with the roots just below ground level, put the extra dirt on the roots and pack it into any spaces.  Mulch with 3 inches of well roted mulch and water in with general dilute fertilizer.  Stake with a tree stake and attach it with two tree ties.  Water during dry spells, especially the first few years after planting.[1]

How to cook
Recipe:Mountain ash jelly
Yield:6 8 ounce jars
4 pounds mountain ash berries (de-stemed and washed)
3 pounds apples (peeled, cored, and quartered)
1 pound of sugar for every 2 cups of juice
Put the berries in a large stock pot with room to boil.  Barely cover the fruit with water.  Bring it to a boil, then bring it down to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes or until the berries are soft.  Allow to drip through a jelly bah over night.  Measure out the sugar to juice, then combine the sugar and juice in a clean stock pot, then simmer 10 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.  Bring to a boil, and boil hard for 5 minutes.  Put a plate or spoon in the freezer, then put a spoon full of the jelly on it and if after a minute it forms a skin then it is ready if not boil longer.  Boil caning jars and lids for several minutes.  Pour the hot jelly into the jars leaving a ¼ inch head space, then put the lids on, and turn them upside down on a flat surface to cool.[2]



by Farmer Leo

The scientific name of kohlrabi is Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes.

Kohlrabi means cabbage turnip in German.

Kohlrabi is also called German turnip. [1]

In Vietnam kohlrabi is called su hao.

Kohlrabi is called Ol Kopi in west Bengal and Bangladesh.[2]

Monj-hakh is the name for kohlrabi in Kashmir valley in northern India.[3]

In northern India in general it is called Knol Khol.[4]

Kohlrabi is called Navalkol in Maharashtra.

Navilu Kosu is the name for kohlrabi in Karnataka.[5]

In Ceylon it is called Nol col.

In Cyprus it is known as kouloumpra.

How to grow

In the spring prepare a garden bed, so that you can plant during cool weather. 4-6 weeks before you plant start the kohlrabi indoors. Once the kohlrabi is 4-6 weeks old plant it in the garden. After that you can direct sow a second crop 55 day before the last frost. Harvest when the stem is 1-4 inches across.[]

How to cook

recipe:Roast kohlrabi



1 pound kohlrabi

2 teaspoons olive oil


Preheat the oven to 375°F. Trim stems, and peel. Cut the kohlrabi into equal pieces. Put the pieces on a cooking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, then toss to combine. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and tender in the center.[]









By Farmer Leo

The scientific name of lychee is Litchi chinensis.

How to grow
Warning only grows in very warm climates. Plant in a spot with fertile well drained soil with good sun exposure and a wind break. Plant a potted one from a nursery. Water often but to not let the soil get waterlogged. Fertilize 2 times per year with organic fertilizer.

How to cook
Select fruit with a red skin when harvesting or buying. Gentle pierce the skin and peel the skin off. Cut the fruit in two and remove the stone, now it is ready to serve or cook with.

by Farmer Leo

The scientific name of nasturtium tropaeolum majus.
Nasturtiums have trailing stems that grow  3 to 6 feet or longer.
Nasturtiums have large leaves 1.2 to 5.9 inches long.

How to grow
Choose a spot with full sun to partial shade that will not get to hot. When the soil is warm direct sow nasturtiums, after that they do not need much care.

How to cook
recipe:nasturtium salad
4 cups nasturtium leaves and flowers
2 ripe pitted sliced peaches
1/8 cup sliced scallions
¼ cups shelled pumpkin seeds
2 tables spoons lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
 1 table spoon maple syrup
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 clove pressed garlic
mix ingredients and serve.

The origin of the jack o lantern
by Farmer Leo

Stingy Jack and the devil
There is an old Irish tale that talks about a stingy man named Jack and the devil.
Her is how it goes
Jack and the devil were in a pub having a pint, when it was time to pay Jack said to the devil that that if the devil would take the form of a coin to pay for the beer that Jack would give the devil his soul, when the devil was a coin jack began to re think the deal, Jack put the devil in his pocket next to a silver cross keeping him from turning back to his normal form, jack said to the devil that if the devil could not take Jack’s soul for ten years that jack would free the devil, the devil enraged but without an other option accepted, ten years later well Jack was walking down a dark street alone the devil showed up asking for his soul, Jack asked that the devil climb a tree to pick an apple for jacks last meal, when the devil was up the tree Jack carved a cross on the trunk of the tree trapping the devil again, this time Jack asked that the devil never take his soul the devil agreed, and Jack freed him from the tree.  Years later when Jack died god would not let him into heaven and the devil could let him into hell so they had to send him back to the normal world, Jack could not see in the dark so he asked the devil for some thing to light his path, the devil gave him one of the embers of hell, because it was an ember of hell it would burn for ever.  The ember burned Jack’s hands so Jack  looked around for some thing to hold it, he found a turnip and made it into a lantern.  And because of that story the Irish would make turnip jack o lanterns to ward of spirits, and there is evidence that pumpkin jack o lanterns are based on turnip jack o lanterns.

Star fruit

by Farmer Leo

The scientific name of star fruit is Averrhoa carambola.
Star fruit make short shrubby trees.
Star fruit have 5 to 7 points.

How to grow
They need to stay above 60°F. Plant a dwarf verity in a big pot of loam. Do not water excessively. Put the put in a spot with full sun.

How to cook
recipe: fruit salad
1 cup pineapple cubes
1 cup mango cubes
one banana sliced
1 cup lychee flesh
1 cup strawberries
¼ cups coconut milk
1 teaspoon lime juice

Mix the lime and the coconut in a cup. Mix the fruit leaving at one slice of star fruit per serving. Sprinkle with coconut mix, then garnish with star fruit slice and serve.

Jack fruit
by Farmer Leo

The scientific name of jack fruit is Artocarpus heterophyllus.
Jack fruit trees grow 30 to 60 feet tall.
The trunk of the jack fruit tree grows 1 to 3 feet wide.
Jack fruit fruit can weight up to 100 pounds.

How to cook
recipe: cooked jack fruit
ingredients 1 jack fruit.
If you have a latex allergy I suggest you do not handle jack fruit. Put down news papers on a large clean surface, oil hands and a clean seared knife, cut the jack fruit in half before cut it into several large and boil for 45 minutes.  Remove the skin from the cooked jack fruit, then remove and discard the seeds, take the seed pods and the stringy flesh and cook or freeze them.