Why Is Wood Turned to by Basil Stems?

Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is usually grown as an herb along with also the young, tender leaves are traditionally utilised to season meats, vegetables and sauces. Sometimes it’s grown as a decorative plant because of its small white or pinkish-white blossoms that bloom from midsummer until frost. Annual basil may live through the winter, however the flavor deteriorates, the stems become woody, and it expires in the next season. It is best to plant fresh basil often.

Mature Woody Growth

As it evolves, basil becomes a shrubby plant which grows 1 1/2 to 2 feet tall and wide. Harvest its leaves and stems often to promote fresh new growth. Old stems that haven’t been cut turn hard and woody and you’re going to receive fewer leaves. Stems who have flowered also are somewhat woody and also the leaves lose their flavor.

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German Tomato Plant Information

The tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) did not come to Germany until well after the Spanish introduced it into Europe in the 1600s. Initially grown as an ornamental, rather than food, even in the mistaken belief the fruit was poisonous, it took until the late 1700s prior tomatoes were widely grown in northwestern Europe. Once Germans began growing tomatoes, they produced new varieties, a few of which are still with us today since heirloom cultivars.

German Tomatoes

Germany has cold winters, so the tropical tomato, hardy only to U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 11 and 12, grows as a summer annual or greenhouse plant there. Tomato cultivars produced in Germany generally take 75 to 85 days to produce fruit. This leaves enough of this summer growing time to crop a generous crop. Some heirloom tomatoes have “German” as part of the name, but this does not signify that they originated in Germany. Many of them are American heirlooms that came from Amish or Mennonite communities, like “Early German,” “Striped German” and “Tidwell German.”

Red Fruits

“German Red Strawberry” does not taste like strawberries, but it’s a heart-shaped fruit narrow in the bottom end, resembling the shape of a strawberry. It’s a favorite for slicing for sandwiches as well as eating fresh. The flavor is rich and complicated, with a minor lingering sweetness. Tomatoes are meaty, with few seeds and small juice. Most fruits weigh in about one pound.

Bicolored Fruits

“Marizol Gold” is a sizable 2-pound fruit, yellow flushed with crimson. Cut open this juicy tomato to see the red-and-yellow marbled flesh. It was brought to the USA in the 1800s by the Bratka family. Fruits are somewhat flattened and ribbed along with the crops are somewhat heavy bearers. “Mary Robinson’s German Bicolor” has red stripes and shading on a gold background. It has a sweet, mild flavor and takes 80 to 90 days to produce fruit.

Pink Fruits

“German Head” is a midseason dark pink beefsteak type tomato. Plants have high yields of 12-ounce into 1-pound fruits borne in clusters of 2 to three tomatoes. The rich flavor combines with a smooth, creamy feel unusual for tomatoes. “Eva Purple Ball” is a very symmetrical around pink tomato additionally attributed to this Bratka family. The deceptive common name dates back to the Victorian custom of referring to colours containing pink as “purple .” Yet another beefsteak tomato, “German Pink” has a complete sweet flavor and is used fresh or to make paste. This cultivar is potato-leaved and vegetables are generally about 12 ounces.

Cherry Tomatoes

“Riesentraube” is a red, heavy-bearing old German variety with richer flavor than most cherry tomatoes. The name means “large group of grapes,” reflecting that often 20 to 40 fruits cluster together on branch ends. There’s also a yellow version, “Yellow Riesentraube,” that is sweeter than the red variety. Other yellow cherry tomatoes comprise “Blondkopfchen” and “Reinhard’s Goldkirsche.” “Blondkopfchen” is sweet with citrusy overtones, and is very prolific, with large clusters of 1-inch fruit. “Reinhard’s Goldkirsche” is a modern hybrid made by Reinhard Kraft. Large vines yield ample, somewhat translucent, golden-yellow 1-inch fruits.

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When Are Cactus Pears Ripe?

The condition plant of Texas, prickly pear cactus (Opuntia spp.) Is grown for many motives — animal fodder, fuel, ornamentation and also for its sweet, edible fruit. Also called “tunas” or “Mission cactus,” more than 150 species of opuntia grow around the planet. The cactus pears you discover at the grocers are likely to be Indian fig (Opuntia ficus-indica). With fragrant yellow or orange flowers growing out of flat green pads, these prickly pears thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8b to 10b. They are easy to harvest and even easier to identify.

Prickly Pears

Cultivated to make sweet fruit and nearly thornless pads, Indian fig includes a shrubby or treelike growth habit, reaching 10 to 15 feet at maturity. In spring, showy orange or yellow flowers give way to roundish 2- to 3 1/2-inch long fruit which ripens from yellow to crimson. The fruit is covered with a skin, dotted with clusters of short bristles — called glochids — which can irritate skin and must be removed prior to eating. Under this tough exterior is sweet, juicy flesh speckled with hard black seeds.

Harvesting

Cactus pears are ripe when they turn a heavy, nearly magenta, red. Beyond the simple colour test, two more signs of peak ripeness are birds pecking at the fruit and fruit falling to the ground. If you select a pear and see green flesh at the wound, then the fruit isn’t quite ready. The glochids deserve your attention because they can detach in the fruit through harvest, lodging on your skin and creating discomfort, irritation andalso at times, allergic reactions. To be on the safe side, wear leather gloves and select the fruit with metal tongs.

Eating

Prickly pear cactus fruit saved at 43 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit will keep for at least two weeks — lots of time to discover your favourite means of consuming it. To prepare the fruit, then cut the ends off, slit the skin down the center with a knife, and peel away the skin. Remove the seeds. To protect your hands, wear heavy leather gloves or hold the fruit with metal tongs. Cooked cactus fruit puree makes a refreshing addition to salad dressings and yogurt, cubed fresh pears with lime juice are great in fruit cups, and prickly pear juice can be made into drinks, sauces and syrups.

Growing Tips

Like most desert plants, prickly pear cactuses thrive in full sunlight and favor well-drained, sandy loam soil that is slightly alkaline — a pH array of 6.1 to 7.8 is ideal. Although prickly pears are highly drought-tolerant, they do need moisture during warm spells to make the biggest, juiciest fruit. Tolerant of a wide range of elevations, prickly pears grow anywhere from sea level to more than 15,000 feet, but benefit from some protection against cold winter winds. Through the flower- and fruit-producing interval employing a balanced fluid retains the plants healthy. “Burbank Spineless” is a nearly spineless cultivar great for backyard gardening.

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What Is an Ash Gourd?

The ash gourd goes by many names, including wax gourd, winter melon, Chinese watermelon, white gourd and white pumpkin. Officially named Benincasa hispida, the ash gourd is native to Southeast Asia and winters well in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 11. Ash gourds belong to the Cucurbitaceae plant family, making them associated with cucumbers, squash and melons.

Description

The ash gourd is an annual creeping vine that can either climb structures or be permitted to distribute to the ground. This plant contains large green leaves and thick stems covered with rough hairs. The showy, golden yellow blooms appear early in the summertime, and feminine flowers give way to round or round fruits. Young ash gourds are covered with a soft down that disappears with adulthood. Totally renovated gourds have a white, waxy coating covering the surface. Mature fruits weigh in from 5 to 20 pounds, but they are able to reach as large as 50 pounds in optimum growing conditions.

Culture

Ash gourds thrive in well-draining, organically rich, fertile soils in full sun spots. You can begin planting the seeds once the soil temperatures in your area reach at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant three seeds together in every planting pit and lean out the weaker plants once they sprout. Planting seams should be about 1 inch deep and spaced about 10 inches apart.

Maintenance Requirements

Gardeners appreciate the fact that the ash gourd is a low-maintenance plant with just medium moisture needs. Because these plants are relatively drought tolerant, you need to water the gourds just every 6 or 7 days in dry weather. Just like with other melon plants, gently pruning the flowers and stem tips promotes better fruit production.

Potential Problems

Although ash gourds usually do not suffer with serious disease or pest problems, they sometimes attract mites, aphids, squash bugs, cucumber beetles or squash vine borers. Keep an eye out for powdery mildew and downy mildew as well. Powdery mildew appears as small white spots on the leaves and shoots, while downy mildew causes light green or yellowish spots to form on leaves, giving them a mottled appearance. These problems aren’t usually serious enough to warrant the use of chemical sprays.

Harvesting and Usage

Ash gourds have edible leaves and stems that may be picked at any time and cooked just like other greens. Flowering begins anywhere from 45 to 100 days after sowing, and you may start selecting immature gourds about a week after the flowers look. Immature fruit can be cooked in the very same manners as summer squash. Mature gourds need to remain on the vine for 30 to 40 days after flowering, or until they develop their feature white, waxy coat. Ash gourds have a mild flavor, making them a frequent ingredient in curries, soups and Asian stir-fries. Old fruit shops for as much as six months if stored in a cool, dry place, but you should eat young gourds within a week of selecting.

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Roots of Style: Where Does Your House Get Its Appearance?

One of the most common questions people have about their own home is, What style is it? This isn’t always an easy question to answer. “Style” is an elusive term, since it can be applied to many distinct things, and fashion is often an amalgamation of unique capabilities. But most houses have a link to an established fashion of architecture, characterized by the total form of the structure and/or its own details. Also, it ought to be taken into account that lots of structures are made purely out of necessity with little regard to design aesthetic, and are deemed to have a folk or vernacular style.

It may be stated that a fashion is a definition after the fact rather than during or before. To tag a unique construction as it is being designed makes little sense. Time will tell if it holds up to replication and garners a subsequent, thereby establishing a fad. However, by far most houses have a suspended identity which has evolved to adapt to present living standards.

Isler Homes

Designs and styles of home layout once were regional and changed gradually over time. Construction techniques were ordered by the ability of local tradesmen, and materials came from local sources or were given far beforehand and anticipated. Beginning with the construction boom after World War II, modern construction practices fully changed how and what we built.

The Disneyland effect took hold. Layout was motivated by faraway places, and materials could be sent by truck or truck and even flown to virtually any location in the developed world. From the luxury of choice developed a few persistent fashions, which can be pressing in the most recent century with fantastic affection. Here you can view five home styles which have roots in the past yet are ardently 21st-century dwellings having a strong sense of place and character.

1. French diverse. Considered to be suspended in Renaissance classical design rather than ancient classical design, French eclectic style can be symmetrical, as with the home shown here, or asymmetrical. This particular house also has the impression of a chateau with its usage of stone, as well as Beaux-Arts architecture with the thorough articulation of the facade. There is even a hint of Greek revival with its centered, gabled pediment. Though classical design is practically absent in contemporary business construction, it shows no signs of giving up in the national arena.

Sicora Design/Build

2. Shingle. With some reference to classical detailing, the shingle style started to look under the Victorian tradition of design in the late 19th century. It ironically stems from medieval structure — which is, the span of construction between the end of ancient classical and the beginning of Renaissance classical. First shingle was a style before its time; shingle designs emphasized a more open floor plan, a characteristic so common today. With this home there are also components of pole style (notice the gable over the entrance porch) and Tudor (notice the steep roof formations and varying window shapes). Shingle style is now very common in the southeastern United States but may also be found in all areas of the nation.

Studio 1 Architects

3. Prairie. Though accurate examples of the style are rare outside the Midwest, and though it had been only temporarily popular (1900 to 1920), it had a profound effect on vernacular suburban structure for the rest of the 20th century. The long, low, horizontal lines and heavy eaves together with hipped roofs can be found all over the United States in the more comfortable ranch style. It’s also uniquely an American creation and is considered a part of contemporary design and, more especially, stems in the Arts and Crafts movement. As may be seen in this example, the detailing can be quite complicated and complex.

Rockefeller Partners Architects

4. California modern. This coastal California design alludes to midcentury style together with vernacular modernism, hence its designation as modern; it also exhibits now popular materials and construction techniques. A powerful affection for midcentury modern structure, especially nationally, resurfaced in the turn of the 21st century.

Initial examples date back to the 1930s, but the Case Study program in Southern California and developer Joseph Eichler in Northern California place the country on a path of exactly what most labeled, in the time, modern. Many houses were constructed with this sway until a change of taste in the 1980s led fashion back to historic revivals as well as postmodernism, although the latter was uncommon in residential architecture. A strong connection between indoor and outdoor spaces is evident in this example, together with walls of glass and the use of hot materials.

AR Design Studio Ltd

5. International. This fashion is somewhat rare in the United States but may also be found in many places around the planet, like this example in the United Kingdom. Produced in the work of architects like Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier before World War II, this style fell out of favor after the war in Europe but concurrently closely influenced the aforementioned midcentury modernism in the United States.

Structural transparency is located in the heart of the style, which may readily be identified by horizontal roofs, walls of glass and long airplanes of strong walls punctuated with openings. Together with the home displayed, the landscape is characterized by the expansion of primary wall components, while the upper level seems to float above the setting. Minimalism marks its identity, but closer inspection of those masterpieces often reveals complicated, thoughtful and careful detailing.

Next: Meet Your Conventional House’s Classical Ancestors

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Guest Groups: 20 Basics for the Home Bar

I like to entertain, and I believe that a house bar is an absolute requirement. Stock it with these functional and chic essentials and you will always be prepared to host any celebration. These are some of my favourite go-to things, many of which I maintain in my own bar at home. — Candice from The Design Boards

Lacquer Wine Rack – $39

This is such a great wine holder; it is small enough to fit on a bar or countertop, and can easily be stored away in a cabinet. Its sleek and simple design goes with any decor, and it has a little playfulness to it that I love.

Homestyled

Teraforma Whiskey Stones – $19.50

Look like a true entertaining pro when you pull out these stones to serve to your whiskey-loving guests. These are great because they do not water down and dilute beverages, and they also look super-cool and chic!

Etsy

Midcentury Silver Rim Barware Set, Cheeky Chic Vintage – $138

This is a gorgeous piece of mid-century history and design that will look amazing on any home bar. I love that this set comes with an ice bucket and shot glasses. Your bar would be complete with this!

Candelabra

Arteriors Connaught Polished Nickel Glass Bar Cart – $1,667

No home bar is complete without a gorgeous bar cart. This is the best cart for storing glassware and bottles or decanters of your chosen spirits. I love the elegant and traditional appearance of the cart.

Homestyled

Brooklyn Glass – $5.50

I lived in New York for 3 years and am such a sucker for well-designed odes to the city, like this Brooklyn glassware. I love the design and style — excellent for serving beer.

Fishs Eddy

Squirrel Nutcracker – $24.95

I received this as a Christmas gift this year and it now sits on my bar. Fun, lively and works good — I Iove it! My guests always smile when they use it too, which I also love!

West Elm

Fez Platter – $49

I’m obsessed with whatever these days, and this stunning tray is no exception. I love the appearance of the tray, it has such a great diverse, bohemian feel to it.

Homestyled

Williams Martini Pitcher – $39

Understanding how to make a great martini should be in each entertainer’s arsenal. What makes a fantastic martini better? Serving it in a gorgeous martini pitcher like this one.

Homestyled

Timeless Hotel Cocktail Napkin – $12

This is my favourite pick for cocktail napkins. They are a brilliant white, the cloth is fine and they look good with a drink sitting at the top of those. You can get them simmer for a more conventional appearance. In general, these are one of my must-haves for a home bar.

Homestyled

Classic Glass Beaker by Modern Poetry – $49

I have a classic glass beaker much like this one that I use for measuring alcohol out for cocktails. It is a unique little piece and looks good sitting on my bar. I like finding different applications for classic items!

CB2

Format Tray – $39.95

I love Lucite; it is fun, modern and super stylish. This is a great pub menu for serving beverages and snacks to your visitors.

West Elm

Hammered Large Rectangular Tray – $59

This is such a gorgeous piece. I love the appearance of metal and this would look great filled with champagne flutes prepared to serve at your next celebration. It is such a nice piece you could leave it on screen even when not being used.

Homestyled

“The Exact Many Varieties of Beer” Printing by Pop Chart Lab – $25

I bought this print for my husband for Christmas and it makes this a great addition to our house bar. It is sure to spark some discussions about beer during your next cocktail party!

Homestyled

Striped Paper Straws – $4

Drink fun and fruity cocktails with these brilliant paper straws. I think these are a must-have for men and women who like to entertain, and you will get them in many colors to go with whatever color scheme you are using.

Homestyled

Stainless Steel Champagne Gift Set – $49.95

This is such a beautiful serving bucket for champagne and I love the style of the stemless champagne flutes — super modern.

Homestyled

Wiener Dog Ashtray – $16

This is intended to be an ashtray but I think that it would be a very fun serving piece on the bar for olives, nuts or garnishes. I have a dachshund so I am always drawn to fun and quirky dachshund-y things like this!

Homestyled

Wine Journal – $30

I love the idea of a wine journal. If you like to drink wine, then it is a great way to keep track of your favorites. I know my husband and I always seem to forget which ones we like when we are shopping in the wine shop, therefore this is a great way to jot notes down about the bottles you drink. It’s also a excellent hostess or housewarming gift!

Homestyled

Cape Wineland Cutting Board – $38

I love this serving plank. The wood has such a deep, beautiful color to it — elegant but also rustic. It is so amazing you could keep it on screen all the time.

Homestyled

Heavy Metal Guitar Bottle Opener – $8

I love this funky and lively bar accessory. It is a great conversation piece and a fun and helpful way to open beers in your next cocktail party.

Anthropologie

Castle Key Bottle Opener – $12

I love this quirky yet classic spin on a simple bar instrument. It might work with many distinct styles and has a great classic feel to it.

Homestyled

Cocktail Guide Set of Four Placemats – $43

Catch a set of these fun and quirky placemats, ideal for your home bar.

Next: More guest blogger product selections

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