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P.Allen Smith's

NATURALLY September 2016

Farewell to Summer Cookout: Turkey burgers, taters and grilling the last summer veggies

Be Mindful

Today, practicing mindfulness might be harder than ever. Becoming more mindful has always required concentration, but with the added distractions of smartphones and social media, focusing takes even more effort. But it’s necessary. Studies have shown practicing mindfulness can improve your well-being and lower your stress levels, connecting you with your inner intuition and wisdom. To me, being mindful means being engaged with your senses. It gives me a sense of presence when I stop to focus on what I’m feeling, tasting, and hearing. Mindfulness also means taking note of your emotions, thoughts, beliefs and impulses. Study them, accept them fully, but also ask, “Why are you here?” The answers will make you more mindful of the energy you bring into a room and the imprints you leave on others. Start practicing mindfulness today, and see what you discover.

P.Allen Smith's





Alix Fiorino EDITOR

Melissa Tucker DESIGNER

Katherine Laughlin SOCIAL MEDIA


Beth Hall Mark Fonville



Table of Contents

Tea Tree Oil 7

Beet Cred 9

Green Tomatoes 12

DIY Herb Drying Rack 16

Two-for-One: Amaranth 22

End of Summer Cookout 28

CONTACT For advertising inquiries, email For editorial and general feedback, email

Your mind is a


your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.

- Anonymous



tea tree oil Nature’s Disinfectant

Tea tree oil could be the most essential of the essential oils. Native to Australia, the oil of the tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) was issued to infantry men in that country in the early 1900s to treat infections. And they were on to something. Scientific studies have shown when used in combination with other oils on wound dressings, tea tree oil can inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungus like Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans. And, when combined with geranium oil, tea tree oil inhibited the growth of


antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.

DEODORANT: Mix a few drops with coconut oil and

But for everyday purposes, tea tree oil has

rub under your arms, and the oil will inhibit the

antiseptic and antiviral properties and is often

odor-causing bacteria.

used topically to treat skin abrasions, acne, bug

DEODORIZER: Dab a little bit of tea tree oil on

bites, and fungal problems. It’s useful for cleaning and deodorizing your household, when diluted with water in a spray bottle. For that reason, tea tree oil has become a popular addition to natural cleaning and beauty products. Yes, the smell is quite sharp, akin to camphor,

a cotton pad and rub onto your shoes or gym equipment or any other smelly item. Dilute a few drops in water and add to your laundry to deodorize it, too! Spray that mixture onto your carpet or furniture for a refreshing scent.

KEEP MOLD AT BAY: Keep a spray bottle of diluted tea tree oil in your bathroom to keep mold at bay on the shower curtain and in the corners

and can be hard on the olfactory nerve in large

of the tub. You can also use it to disinfect your

quantities. However, when diluted and mixed with


other powerful essential oils, such as lemon or

TREAT BUG BITES: Ideal for soothing ant bites or

orange, it can be quite pleasant.

mosquito stings, a few drops of tea tree oil can keep the area clean and reduce swelling. Click for a quick primer on other essential oils. 7




Know Your Way Around the Beet Plot Beets are fairly easy to grow and delicious when prepared in numerous ways. However, you may have questions about which varieties are best to plant, and if you should thin them, and why are some beets a different color? For answers to those questions and more, watch this and you’ll be beet savvy before you know it.


Garden Home Candle Collection by Aromatique®

Introducing our Fall scents

Pumpkin Caramel Crème, Orange Spice Whether it’s the delicious aroma of a Pumpkin Caramel Crème candle or the scent of Orange Spice wafting through your home, create a cozy atmosphere with these collectible fall fragrances. 10


Can you guess this heritage Breed?

Be Sure to support your local 4-H/FFA chapters and to visit your county, state and regional livestock and poultry shows to help further the cause.

SPONSORED BY: HubbardÂŽ Life & HubbardÂŽ Homestead


Answer: Silver spangled Appenzeller Spitzhauben

Ripe for the Pickling:

And other ideas for your green tomatoes At some point in your area’s growing season, those tomatoes will stop turning red and stubbornly stick to a tart green. If that happens, don’t despair! You have at least three options for those little nightshades. You can fry them, pickle them or force them to ripen under your bed. Here’s a quick and easy guide to all three.





Green tomatoes, firm and heavy weight salt black pepper sugar 1 egg 1 1/2 cups buttermilk 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal canola oil Yield: 6 to 10, depending on the amount of tomato slices Slice tomatoes 1/3-inch thick. Put on a sheet of foil and dust with salt, pepper and pinch of sugar. Let sit for 15 minutes. Pour oil into skillet to a depth of 1-inch. Heat to 360 degrees. Mix flour and cornmeal in a paper sack or gallon Ziploc bag. In a bowl, mix egg with fork, then add buttermilk and stir. Press tomato slices into flour and cornmeal mixture and coat both sides. Then put slices in egg mixture. Finally, return slices to flour mixture one more time. Shake off excess. Once oil is heated, slowly add slices. After several minutes, the bottom will turn golden brown. Flip slices carefully. Remove with slotted spoon and place on a plate with paper towels. Do not stack. Let sit for at least 10 minutes. Before frying a second batch, return oil to 360 degrees. Serve with a side of pimento cheese with peppadew.



Ginger Pickled Tomatoes by Amy Renea, courtesy of Crafting With Nature If your garden is overrun with tomatoes, this recipe is a great way to preserve them or give them a second life. Add these salty-sweet pickled tomatoes in lieu of standard dills on sandwiches and sliders. It was taken from a great little crafting book by Amy Renea. She has hints on growing tomatoes from seeds as well as crafting projects for kids. I was particularly interested in this ginger pickled tomato recipe because it looked so fresh and delicious. So, we made a batch in our test kitchen with a Red Pride tomato (picked green) from the Sakata Homegrown Seed collection, and it did not disappoint.



Ginger Pickled Tomatoes INGREDIENTS

1-quart canning jar 3 tbsp of sliced ginger 5 to 6 Roma tomatoes or equivalent green tomatoes Ÿ tsp pickle crisp granules 2 tbsp salt 5 tbsp of brown sugar (don’t leave out!) 2 tbsp mustard seeds 1.5 cups apple cider vinegar hot water (if needed) 1. Sterilize jar, rinse and dry 2. Cut ginger into small slivers and tomatoes into bite-sized chunks 3. Add the ginger, pickle crisp granules, salt, sugar and mustard seeds to the jar. Cover with vinegar and shake. 4. Add the chunks of tomato until the jar is 5/6 full. 5. Pour hot water over the top if needed to fill. Leave 1-inch of space at the top of the jar. Seal and shake. 6. Use the pressure-canning methods to store for long periods of time or simply seal and store in the fridge for a small batch. Yield: 1 quart jar


Ripen with Newspaper


herb drying rack



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A season ahead: Planning for spring blooms It may seem counter-intuitive but spring bulbs need to


spend some time in the cold before they can emerge

HEIGHT: Once you decide on a color palate, the next step

into the sunshine. That hibernation period is necessary

is to measure up your planting area — length, width and

and beneficial, which means you should be planning your

height. Just like when you’re arranging family for a photo,

garden for spring before winter hits.

you’ll want the tallest ones in the back. Always check the

If you’re like me, and you tend to fall back on the same old

estimated height of the bulbs you’re considering and then

standbys like tulips – I love Temple of Beauty, any of the

break out the tape measure, just to be sure.

parrot varieties, peony-flowering tulips, and who can resist the Angelique? – maybe it’s time to switch it up a bit. This year, I’m thinking of ordering small bulbs like Snowflake Leucojum, English bluebells or the tiny, delicate Puschkinia. I also love the idea of underplanting my yellow flowering magnolias with muscari and blue hyacinth to create a canopy of blue with yellow above it. No matter which spring palette you have in mind, you

Bloom time: For continuous color all season long, try mixing up early, mid and late-season bloomers in the same bed. For instance, narcissus ‘February Gold’ blooms in late winter, narcissus ‘Minnow’ blooms mid-spring and narcissus ‘Stainless’ blooms at the end of spring. By planting all three varieties, you will have a continuous wave of flowers throughout the season. Check packaging and catalog descriptions for the bloom time of bulbs.

can find bulbs to suit your style. If you keep these tips in mind when planning your spring garden, you can expect success. And now is the time to order bulbs.

BULB SIZE: When it comes to tulips, I go for the larger bulbs because mine don’t always return year after year. Generally speaking, the larger the bulb, the larger the flower, but keep in mind bigger is not always better. Sometimes smaller bulbs, for instance daffodils that will multiply, are the better deal. QUANTITY: Don’t be shy about planting drifts of 10 to 15 bulbs. Sometimes squirrels will root up some of the bulbs, so it’s best to throw in a few extra. Plus, a large swath of bulbs creates a dramatic cluster of color in one area of your garden.




True quality means the coffee in your cup is some of the ďŹ nest in the world, ethically obtained and carefully crafted just for you.



Mindfulness practices enhance the connection between our body, our

mind and everything else that is around us. — Thich Nhat Hanh

amaranth Two for One Plant

An edible grain useful for crafting and coloring year after year. By Amy Renea Amaranth is an under-appreciated native grain that has a host of beneficial uses. It grows easily in most of the United States and can be found growing wild in many U.S. states. Wild amaranth is known as ‘pigweed,’ but you might also find various cultivars popping up in your yard that have seeded from a neighbor’s garden. My initial exposure to amaranth was in our first house where a tiny seed of ‘Hopi Red Dye’ had managed to settle in the cracks of an aging sidewalk. I didn’t know what it was, only that it had beautiful wine red leaves, so I let it go. That tiny little seed in that tiny little crack with its tiny little red leaves grew and grew and grew until it was 6 feet high. Beautiful plumes developed and seed was set for the next generation. I was hooked for life. Amaranthus is a fantastic native plant for the backyard gardener, but goes well beyond simple attractiveness. The name ‘amaranthus’ actually means “does not fade” and that long lasting quality makes amaranth a perfect choice for crafting, flower arranging and wreath-making. The plumes hold both their color and shape well, and once dry, the plant will last for years before succumbing to nature’s crumbling. Once it does, you simply toss the detritus into the compost pile, keeping your holiday decorating guilt free.



You can choose which amaranth you’d like based on simple attraction to form and color, but you might want to dig a little deeper and find an amaranth with even more benefits! Take that ‘Hopi Red Dye’ growing in that crack in my sidewalk — perfect for creating a beautiful red dye! Even better, all amaranths are edible. In fact, they are a fantastic grain that cooks up similar to quinoa. You can even make a crude pop'corn'! In fact, the ease of growing partnered with the nutritional value of amaranth makes it one of the best grains for North American gardeners. A. cruentus and A. hypochondriacus are regarded as the best for cooking, but a good rule of thumb is the golden seeds taste much better than the black.

HOW DO YOU GROW AMARANTHUS? Growing amaranth from seed is very easy, and there are plenty of heirloom varieties to choose from. 'Love Lies Bleeding' in both green and red is a classic, but 'Hopi Red Dye,' 'Dreadlocks,' 'Calaloo' and 'Elephant Head' are other fun choices. Simply scatter seed on a raked area of soil in fall or spring and let nature do its work. Amaranth can be grown in large containers as well, but will not grow as tall as it will in the ground.

WHAT IS AN HEIRLOOM VARIETY? An heirloom seed means that the plant can grow from seed, and it has not been hybridized. In other words, you can collect the seeds from your plants each year, replant them and produce the exact same plant year after year.

HOW DO YOU HARVEST THE SEED? Wait until the plumes are dry and then shake them into a bag. The small, black or golden seeds will shake loose. Mature seed will fall off immediately, while immature seed might need a little massaging to release into the bag. If you are harvesting for viable seed, skip this step, but crafters will want to remove the immature seeds as they will fall out continually as the plant dries. If you store the seeds, keep them in a cool, dark and dry place.

WREATH-MAKING WITH AMARANTHUS Amaranth plumes can be utilized in any dried arrangement, but the curved nature of the plant makes them ideal for wreath-making. Simply attach the still pliable stems to a wreath form with wire and then add in touch up bits with hot glue for a pretty and long-lasting wreath. Green and brown look great all year, the oranges and yellows are pretty for fall and the reds/greens can even transition into Christmas time.

TIPS FOR AMARANTHUS - Pick plants for crafting/arranging a little early to reduce the amount of seed Or - Wait until black/gold seeds are clearly visible in plumes if you desire viable seed - Gather plumes when they are dry on the stalk or hang to dry - Shake plumes into a bag to remove any seed and chaff - Bend stalks into a wreath form while they are still pliable - Use hot glue to attach dry “fillers” - Plant harvested seeds in fall or spring

Amy Renea is the author of Crafting with Nature and blogs at A Nest for All Seasons. She lives in central PA with her family in a former B&B named Stonecrest. You can find more gardening articles from Amy on and check out her crafts at














The ristra, a strand of dried peppers commonly seen in the New Mexico area, is a symbol of abundance and hospitality. This time of year, they decorate the walls and doorways of homes and restaurants as peppers air dry on strands of string or twine. Some say drying outside enhances the flavor, but you’ll have to find out for yourself. To make your own, pick peppers in September and October, hang in a well-ventilated area, like on banisters or rafters, for three to four weeks. The peppers will retain their color and heat during the drying process, and they can be rehydrated and used to make chili sauce or to add heat to your soups and salsas throughout the winter months. You could even use them to decorate your Christmas tree!



- Use red chilis, not green; commonly used cultivars

If you have a large needle and string, it’s easy to

are 'New Mexico 6-4' and 'Sandia'

thread the pepper stems together with minimal

- Choose blemish-free peppers with good stems

knotting or tying. Make a knot around the first chili,

- For a 2-foot ristra, you’ll need about 130 pods; for a

then push the needle through just above the base.

small one made with de Arbol pods, you’ll need 800

For this method, it’s easy to string together 20 or

pods for a 1-foot ristra

30 peppers.

- To use, remove seeds and stems, rehydrate the pods; put in a pan, cover with warm water for 30

If your sewing skills are questionable, but you’re

mins to an hour, simmer pods and water for 10

handy with a knot, this method from Sichler Farms


is easy to do in one afternoon. You’ll need string

Source: chilipepper

and twine. Only chili peppers with strong stems should be used.






Before it gets cold, go turkey Say goodbye to summer with a grilled-food gathering

Photography by Mark Fonville


It’s a bittersweet time when summer ends. Those summer months are a blessing and a curse, but now the hot evenings, the mosquitos, the sweat, and the sweet juicy tomatoes are all on the way out. What better way to say goodbye to short sleeves than with an end-of-summer cookout? Gather your friends, grill up some fresh turkey burgers, open a can of light beer, I used Lost 40 Day-drinker, and pay your respects to the days of bright summer flavor. My good friend Scott McGehee of Yellow Rocket Concepts in Little Rock shared a few secrets to turkey burgers, aioli and Italian salsa verde on the patio of his restaurant. As the chef at Big Orange, which specializes in classic and innovative burgers, he would know a thing or two about the subject. This menu serves six people, so keep that in mind when you’re making the invitation list. (Hint: Double it!)



“For the best turkey burger, keep it simple,” he said. “Have your favorite butcher coarsely grind boneless, skinless turkey breast. Make into patties, about 5-6 ounces each, season with salt and pepper, and grill over medium heat. A very clean grate surface and pan spray can help avoid sticking.” He also recommends grilling endof-summer vegetables — squash, peppers, eggplant, zucchini — with a light coating of olive oil and salt, to top the burger or to go on the side. “Slice zucchini, and eggplant in ¼-inch thick slabs, then stem and seed peppers and keep them in pretty good size pieces, and quarter the large peppers,” he said. “Toss in a small amount of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and grill on both sides over medium heat until there are brown, crispy areas on both sides. Set aside.” McGehee also shared recipes for aioli — using Duke’s mayonnaise — and Italian salsa verde to add even more flavor to the turkey and vegetable combination. (I’ve tried this combination and can assure you it’s delightful.) “Have a fork and knife handy because this one can get messy,” McGehee said. “Enjoy!” 31


1 cup finely chopped parsley 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme 3 Tbsp rinsed and chopped capers 1 Tbsp minced anchovy (optional) 1 tsp minced garlic Zest of 1/2 lemon 1 tsp kosher salt 3/4 cup high quality extra virgin olive oil Combine all ingredients in a bowl. In a second bowl, combine: 1/2 small red onion, finely minced 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar 1 Tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice Mix together just before serving. If they are mixed earlier, the vinegar and lemon juice will turn the parsley an unattractive olive color, rather than vibrant green.


This is a quick version of garlic mayo using our favorite brand. 1 cup Duke's mayo 4-5 cloves very finely minced garlic (1-2 tablespoons total depending on how strong you like the garlic flavor to be) 1/4 cup high quality olive oil 2 Tbsp lemon juice 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar 1 tsp kosher salt




Toast buns. Apply aĂŻoli on both sides. Put a small pinch of fresh arugula on the bottom bun. Place turkey patty on arugula, grilled veggies on the turkey, spoon about a tablespoon of salsa verde over the veggies and burger, add top bun.





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MEET Duncan

Mr. Duncan wears many hats around Moss Mountain Farm, but he takes

his job as the head of the house most seriously. He spends his days tirelessly assisting Allen with all manner of tasks, only taking short breaks for head scratches and the occasional treat. He considers his morning walks around the farm with his master to be the best part of his day.

Profile for P. Allen Smith's Naturally

P. Allen Smith Naturally September 2016  

Farewell to Summer Cookout and more!

P. Allen Smith Naturally September 2016  

Farewell to Summer Cookout and more!

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