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Fall is Really Here, at Last!

Get a glimpse inside our October 2020 issue from our Executive Editor Bill Dugan, who shares his thoughts and favorite articles from the magazine highlighting fennel, grapes, and potatoes.

Bill Dugan - Executive Editor

Bill Dugan, Executive Editor of Food Gardening Network

October really signals fall to me—while fall technically begins in September with the Autumnal Equinox, when the sun crosses the celestial equator from north to south, it’s October when I start to really notice chillier mornings and the scent of fall in the air.

Not to mention the fall foliage that brightens the landscape all over New England and some points south—the colors reach their bold peak in October, and that says “fall” to me!

And this is the time of year when my garden starts to change—dramatically. No more never-ending sprouting bunches of basil or perfect parsley powering upward. My rosemary plant continues to produce, but I’ll have to take it inside soon if I want it to survive the winter.

Welcome to the October 2020 issue of Food Gardening Magazine! Take time to read the entire issue, because you’re certain to learn new things that you didn’t know. For example, I didn’t know that grapes are the most popular fruit in the world—I guess no wonder, when they are used for wine, juice, jelly, raisins, and basic table grapes!

Or did you know that fennel is part of the carrot family? And that it’s one of the most mysterious and ignored items for food gardeners, even though you can use the bulbs, stalks, feathery leaves, and flowers for all sorts of delicious recipes?

Or how about that sweet potatoes are not related to white potatoes at all? Sweet potatoes are a root whose closest cousin is the morning glory, while regular potatoes are tubers from the nightshade family (related to pepper, tomato, and eggplant). Who knew?!

This issue of Food Gardening Magazine is filled with fun facts about food and lots of information about the history and background of our featured foods—grapes, fennel, and potatoes.

And then there are the recipes in this month’s issue—here are three of my favorites that are unique, tasty, and easy to make:

  • Garlic Chicken and Grapes—A mix of savory chicken with sweet grapes! What could be more entertaining for your taste buds—and with easy-to-find ingredients, too? Check out this recipe now!
  • Rigatoni with Fennel and Capers— Tired of the same old pasta dishes for dinner? Try this flavorful recipe that is just so easy to make and full of zest. Even your kids will like eating their vegetables when devouring this meal. A+ for taste, uniqueness, and ease-of-preparation! Don’t miss this recipe now.
  • Mouthwatering Mashed Potatoes—What side dish says “fall” more than almost any other? Mashed potatoes! Try out this recipe—easy to make and delicious—in advance of Thanksgiving, and you’ll discover it’s table-worthy for your Thanksgiving feast!

In this October 2020 edition of Food Gardening Magazine, you’ll discover lots of valuable and helpful content and advice, with some of my favorites including:

  • “Gardening with Amanda” articles—Amanda McArthur is one fabulous food gardener! She takes gardening seriously, makes it fun, and delivers some great content—including companion videos to show you, not just tell you, exactly what to do. Check out these three helpful articles, with videos, from Amanda this month:
    • “5 Vegetables to Plant in October”: Learn what a “Cold Frame” is—and how important it can be for you in planning next spring’s crop. And get tips about how to build your own Cold Frame, if you don’t want to buy a pre-fabricated one. Then discover the details about 5 vegetables—onions, carrots, spinach, arugula, and garlic—that can be started in your Cold Frame in October. Check this article out, so you can keep your gardening skills going this month.
    • “RECIPE—Easy Maple-Roasted Potatoes and Squash with Bacon”: Your whole family will love these maple-roasted potatoes and squash with crispy bacon, and you’ll love this recipe because it’s so easy! Do you want a beautifully simple recipe that allows you to gather your white potatoes, sweet potatoes, and squashes, and transform them into a side dish you can eat all week long? Even the pickiest eaters will scarf down these Maple Roasted Potatoes and Squash with Bacon. You must try this recipe—easy and tasty, even as leftovers!
    • “How to Start Saving and Cooking Pumpkin Seeds”: When you’re carving your pumpkins this month, don’t forget about the seeds! You can separate them from the pulp and save them for later use. Get all the details from Amanda, including how to remove the pumpkin seeds, saving the seeds for planting, and cooking the seeds for your snacking enjoyment!
  • Special Collections—get reviews and summaries of three premium collections, complete with links to the full collections that include plant-specific history and background; seed, seedling, and soil advice; tips on fertilizing, weeding, and watering; best ways to avoid plant diseases and pests; even how to treat affected plants; plant profiles that highlight some popular varieties; quick-and-easy recipes that are tasty and worthy of your table; nutrition, health, and home remedies; more food gardening resources to help your efforts; and glossary items to explain technical or unknown terms and concepts:
    • Great Grapes: How to Grow the Popular Fruit Multi-Tasker—Grapes really are the multi-tasker fruit. Don’t shy away from trying to grow grapes—they’re worth trying, and grapes aren’t that difficult to grow. You don’t have to try to be a professional Napa Valley wine grower—you’re not trying to win the Paris Wine Tasting contest (or maybe you are, so get started with this collection now). We cover 12 different grape varieties that will have you making juice and jelly, popping the table varieties in your mouth for a snack, and using your harvest to make main dishes, salads, and desserts! Get it all in this collection right now!
    • Fabulous Fennel: All You Need to Know about Planting, Harvesting, and Cooking this Unique Flavorful Food—Fennel is one of the least understood of all food plants! Yes, parts of fennel can have very strong licorice flavor (so, what’s wrong with that, on occasion?)—but you just need to know how to cook all the parts, so that you can enjoy this versatile vegetable (and herb and spice, too!) in all kinds of dishes. Find out about the history and background of fennel, along with everything you need to know about growing, harvesting, cooking, and enjoying this flavorful food! And try out all of the easy-to-make and tasty recipes—you’re bound to find new favorites that will have you asking yourself why you haven’t grown fennel before—read all about it in this collection now!
    • How to Grow Potatoes: Everything About Growing and Enjoying Spuds—Please don’t think of potatoes as just some old common food—they are special, and there are lots of varieties to choose from. We cover the details on 18 different potato varieties, and—while they aren’t, botanically speaking, potatoes—we also give you details about 10 sweet potato varieties. Learn about soil and fertilizer requirements for potatoes. And oh boy, we have lots of easy-to-make and delicious recipes—new twists on potatoes that you’ve probably never tried before. You’ll also learn about the history of potatoes, how to weed your potato garden, and how to protect your potatoes from pests and diseases—all in this collection now!

Welcome fall! I’m ready for you—and so is my garden! Read this issue of Food Gardening Magazine to learn about everything that matters for your garden at this time of year.

Happy gardening—and happy eating!

Bill Dugan
Executive Editor

P.S. Please enjoy this issue of Food Gardening Magazine, and let me know what you think about it by commenting below with your feedback!


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