Farm and Garden / Recipes

From our Fans (and $20 Greenhouse, part III)

We love fan mail!  We recently received a box of love from our fan Paul VanSavage in New York.  Paul is a food writer and cook, and has come up with his own line of sauces and spice mixes.  He sent us some samples, including 2 jars of barbecue sauce (“sweet and mild,” “hot and wild”)  and several different spice rubs for meats, including several “Umami” spice mixes. I had heard of umami but didn’t know much about it.  According to Paul’s bottle label, umami is the fifth basic taste, in addition to sweet, salty, sour, and bitter, and is sometimes described as “savory.”

Paul recommended the umami blackened seasoning on fish, so we decided to give that a try.  See next post. We also tried the “Hot and Wild” sauce on a pork chop, first outdoor grilling of the year!  Yum!

Several of our readers have also adapted our seed starting recommendations in “Build a Home Greenhouse for under $20, Part I and Part II,”  to match their houses and their growing needs.  Krista Summers in Ellensburg, Washington, sent these photos of her window shelf and happily sprouting plants.

Erica Jensen here in Boise is a long time gardener and has her own garden blog.  She expanded her operation this year to include a small outdoor cold frame for early season starts, a slightly different design than ours, which you can read about at her blog.

The refugees, meanwhile, are, for the most part, loving their $20 greenhouses.  The one problem, not completely unexpected, seems to be their suceptability to wind damage.  The unit might be better if bolted to the house at the top, if possible.  Here’s one family’s plant-filled greenhouse.

So, thanks for the feedback, everyone!  Further fan mail can be sent to 410 21st St., Boise, ID 83702, or to our new email address,!  Send us photos of your recipes and projects, and if we like them we’ll put them up!

— Katie


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