Upper South

July, 2012
Regional Report

Web Finds

Landscape for Life
How each one of us individually carries out the process called gardening cumulatively affects our own health as well as that of our planet. If you would like to learn more about how to garden sustainably, no matter on how large or small of a scale, Landscape for Life will help you. This website is divided into categories of plants, water, materials, and soil. Gardeners can see a comparison of a conventional landscape to a sustainable landscape and read tips about ways to make a garden more sustainable. The website also includes teaching resources. Landscape for Life is jointly sponsored by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas in Austin and the U. S. Botanic Garden and is based on the principles of the Sustainable Sites Initiative, the nation's first rating system for sustainable landscapes.

Clever Gardening Technique

Avoid Bitter Eggplant
Eggplants are an essential part of ratatouille and baba ganoush, plus a number of other dishes, especially those that draw on Mediterranean cuisines. One drawback to enjoying eggplant is that the flavor can sometimes be bitter. There are several ways to avoid these. One is to do a thumb test before using an eggplant. Press your thumb into the eggplant. If there's an indentation that doesn't bounce back, the eggplant is past it's prime. Another external test to check the blossom end (the one opposite the stem). The fruit with round, rather than oval, dimples tend to be more bitter. When you want to use the eggplant you have, whether it passes the above tests or not, you can reduce the bitterness by sprinkling eggplant slices with salt, waiting 30 minutes, rinsing, and proceeding with your recipe.

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