Several exciting tips for you all today.
Starting off, I am sure you have noticed one of the many bamboo forests around Conway. I learned a couple years ago that you can actually eat the bamboo sprouts, this being the part of the bamboo that you find canned in grocery stores. At the time, I wasn't willing to dig them up and try it. Yesterday, however, I cut off two bamboo shoots from the forest near my house where I was harvesting some downed bamboo for the gardens. I took them home, followed internet instructions on cutting them open and pulling out the tender inner area (found here). Then I boiled it for seven (7) minutes and then added it to my stir fry. Tasted just like all the other bamboo shoots I've eaten in my life. Pretty tasty stuff and completely free! I definitely recommend that you try it.
Secondly, for those of you that have very little space in/around your homes, I found a super adorable new gardening idea for you. Mason jar herb gardens. You can find the post I read here. All you need is a sunny area to place the jars, some mason jars, some soil, and some seeds. Or you could go all out and put them on their own fancy boards like this inspiring lady did.
A small update from the online Farmer's Market: Grass Roots Farmer's Cooperative is up and running, so we have several new options for chicken on the market (no more just whole chickens!). For those of you who haven't heard anything about the Grass Roots Farmer's Cooperative, it is a collection of eight meat producing farmers in Arkansas who are raising their livestock according to the same sustainable, healthy standards and sharing the business side of farming, such as accounting, purchasing, and processing. This means the eight farms gather all of their livestock together and take them to a butcher, hopefully receiving a bulk discount. What it means for us consumers is that we have options like just chicken breasts, just thighs, and just drumsticks for easier preparation in our kitchens. It also means that the farmers have the opportunity to provide to more restaurants and other businesses because they have a larger product selection together than they did individually. I hope this turns out to be a profitable transition for these farms. Though, I think I'll stick to the whole chickens; I do like my fresh chicken stock, after all.
I hope you all are getting inspired and planting your own gardens, now is the best time of year to get those summer veggies in the ground. Let me know if you want some help and I'll join you!