Tag: plant

Garden on the balcony: what to plant in September – Italian Cuisine

Garden on the balcony: what to plant in September


September, the month of transition between summer and autumn, a favorable time to dedicate to the care of the vegetable garden, even the one on the balcony!

The vegetable garden on the balcony is a widespread trend. Having salad, tomatoes, zucchini, onions at hand without having to leave the house is a great advantage. And even more so is the security of knowing what we bring to the table because … we have cultivated it!

September, with its beautiful days characterized by a mild climate and temperatures no longer as high as in the summer months, is a perfect month to devote to thevegetable garden on the balcony (or even to create one!) and sowing those vegetables that you can enjoy during the long winter months. Many are the plants, but also the flowers, to sow or transplant in this period: from spinach to leeks, from salad to onions.

Garden on the balcony in September: where to start?

Often returning from vacation, after one or more weeks away from our balcony, the situation we find is not the best. The first thing to do, therefore, is to put our vegetable garden back on its feet. Let's start by cleaning up the plants and weeds from the pots and soil.
We then buy the soil with fertilizer and start a manure the earth we have in the pots or in the seed beds. A good idea is also to use a home-made compost with food waste instead of commercial fertilizer.
Before starting the new sowing it is therefore essential that the soil is rich in nutrients. That's why the first thing to do is fertilization. Only then can we proceed with sowing.

What to sow in September?

It's time to think about which vegetables to sow. Our thoughts run to the cold winter evenings when on the table it is customary to taste hot soups and stews.
You will be pleased to know that this is the best time to sow such vegetables lettuce, chicory, rocket, catalogna, endive, spinach and even leeks, onions, turnip greens, radishes, carrots and cabbage. All vegetables, especially the latter, that you can safely grow in pots, obviously taking into account the spaces that each vegetable requires.
For cabbage and cauliflower – in addition to preparing pots of adequate size – better to take advantage of the first days of September and not wait too long, otherwise the best moment passes.

Look at the moon!

Since the dawn of time moon phases have affected the agricultural activities of man, especially the moment of sowing. The movements of the moon affect the amount of water and moisture that from the ground it radiates towards the roots, with direct effect on the growth of the plants. This is why it is important to take into account the moon phases when in the sowing period.

When the moon is growing the seeds absorb more moisture from the soil, to reach a peak on full moon days. While when the moon is waning it is considered a rest period.

The most widespread advice is therefore to wait for the crescent moon to sow plants, we have the desire to make flowers bloom as soon as possible (first they bloom, first the berries ripen) such as tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, etc … While it is good to wait for the waning moon to sow plants and vegetables that end the production cycle with flowering: lettuce, chicory and leafy vegetables in general.

Not just vegetables!

If there is no lack of space on your balcony, this is also the perfect month for plant flower bulbs (like primroses, daffodils, carnations, tulips) that with a bit of luck, as well as adequate care and a good dose of green thumb, will announce the arrival of spring towards February / March, filling your balcony with colors and scents!

Caper plant: to show off on the balcony – Italian Cuisine

Caper plant: to show off on the balcony


Generally the desire comes on vacation. You look up at the beach or you take a sunny path, and you see it. Here it is, anchored to rocks or a Wall of stones, one caper plant two meters long, with fleshy leaves that move in the wind and that explosion of pinkish white flowers, with a tuft of violet peduncles inside. She's gorgeous. Capers we know how to buy them, but are we aware that we can also cultivate them? like this: it is grown on the balcony. Converting the terrace into a vegetable garden is increasingly common. With capers we transform it into a magical, fruity and semi-wild landscape spot. And then the home made capers are a satisfaction on the table, to put on under salt or pickle to flavor the food summer, but it is useless to deny that at a domestic level true virtue is Decorative.

There flowering it is very long, from June to September, and throughout this period a choice must be made: whether to opt for flowers or for the kitchen. Yes, because capers are nothing but i buds still closed. If the flowering is generous, you can move on by half and half: that is, leaving a few flowers on the plant and picking up some buds for tuna veal, pizza bruschette, sweet pepper pans, rabbit and more. Then, later in the season, i also arrive fruits, sayings cucunci, large and fleshy, summer protagonists in aperitif bars. And those can be seized at will, they are there on purpose.

But back to our plant. When you see it in nature, the first instinct is delinquent, yes, you want to climb and take it away. Absolutely not to do. You want to disfigure the landscape because it's uncivilized, you want it because it's probably illegal, you want it because then the plant dies.[IconfessIamwritingthatIdiditItookasmalloneafteradangerousclimbonarockyridgeinSardiniaandinreturnIhaveonlyscratchescutsandbruisesleftWellheisrightwithmyrenownedgreenthumbBeyondthefeelingsofguiltIunderstoodonething:sorobustinitsnaturalenvironmentregardlessofthesunandthedrynessoftheearththecaperplant[ConfessoiochestoscrivendodiaverlofattoNehopresaunapiccoladopounapericolosascalatasuuncostonerocciosoinSardegnaeincambiomisonorimastisolograffitaglielividiBenmistaconbuonapacedelmiorinomatopolliceverdeAldilàdeisensidicolpahocapitounacosa:cosìrobustanelsuoambientenaturaleincurantedelsoleedell’ariditàdellaterralapiantadelcapperowild it is very fragile].

To be able to grow it on the balcony you need to buy one of it greenhouse, or already used to living in jar and to feed on adequate fertilizers. It can be found in nurseries specialized in vegetables, in agricultural consortia, in those small local shops that sell hoes, seeds and salads, in the markets in the square.

Once the plan has been purchased (do not leave from seed, is a botanical undertaking almost impossible), here is how to proceed.

1) Put the jar in one sunny position or semi-up and leave it there for a few days (irrigating as in step 3).

2) Transfer the plant with its undamaged ground bread into crock pot larger and deeper, which can last a few years: the roots are delicate and it is good not to disturb them often. Put a layer of expanded clay on the bottom and fill with soft soil mixed with 30% of sand (sell them ready-made).

3) The caper does not like moisture: moisten little and often, avoiding that the earth is soaked or dry.

4) If possible, avoid the the saucer and surely remove it throughout the autumn and winter: stagnant water is lethal.

5) For a more abundant flowering you can ask in a greenhouse fertilizer adequate.

6) At the beginning of winter, when the leaves have fallen, pruned the branches by cutting them to a length of 8-10 cm.

7) In winter, those who live in a harsh climate zone (below 8 °) will have to to protect the plant: place straw on the ground and wrap the stems with non-woven fabric, or move the vase into the stairwell or into an attic.

8) In the period of rest, little irrigated, only when the earth dries up, because the roots absorb little water; an excess would make them rot.

9) From the point of view of the illnesses, the plant fears above all the snails, to be removed by hand if possible, also to avoid poisoning with pesticides if you want to eat the buds. It is known that the caper attracts ants, which do not damage it, but could be a problem in the home. Especially in this case, do not use insecticides. On the market (supermarkets and greenhouses) there are cans that contain bollards that can remove them.

10) Capers cannot be tasted as they are, just picked from the plant: they have a slightly intense and too herbaceous taste. You will have to treat them by putting them in salt or vinegar. The best technique is that of under salt, it preserves the taste better and is more practical: just put the buds in a bowl with plenty of coarse salt and stir occasionally for 3 days. Then pour it all into an airtight jar and keep it in the fridge.

Cristiana Cassé
21 July 2016
updated July 2019
by Carola Traverso Saibante

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Vegan revolution in Brazil with the first plant eggs – Italian Cuisine


Vegan breakthrough in Brazil: one of the largest egg producers, by consumer demand, launches 100% vegetable eggs

Brazil, one of the largest egg producers in the world, seems to have reached a significant vegan turnaround. Recently, in fact, the leading company in the egg market, not only in Brazil but throughout South America, has recently launched a new product in all respects similar to the eggs, packaging included, but 100% vegan. What is the beginning of a change of food route, of a country increasingly oriented towards the reduction of animal proteins?

Vegan revolution in Brazil?

The growing worldwide attention to environmental and animal rights issues is gradually conditioning not only the mentality and eating habits of consumers, but also the trend of the food market. While increases the production and sale of vegetable and vegan alternatives, including the well-known Impossible Burger or the first plant-based can of tuna that has been on sale this year, even big brands and leading companies in the meat and dairy market are adapting to this new trend. It is the case, rather sensational, of the Grupo Mantiqueira, the first egg producer in Brazil, which has decided to adapt to the new needs of the market and to work on an alternative vegan food. For some time, in fact, even in what is the sixth largest egg producing country in the world with 2.2 billion eggs only in 2016, there is an air of change. A few months ago, following the Animal Equality survey on the dramatic conditions of caged chicken farms in Brazil, a survey was conducted that highlighted the growing demand from consumers for plant-based foods. In particular, 29% of the more than 9,000 Brazilian citizens interviewed stated that they would significantly reduce the consumption of meat, eggs and dairy products.

  n-ovo egg

The non-egg egg that the Brazilians expected

Grupo Mantiqueira, in order to face this social change and the growing demand for vegan food, has collaborated with the Good Food Institute (GFI) Brazil, a non-profit organization that promotes plant food through scientific and political initiatives. The end result was N.Ovo, or a 100% vegetable and vegan egg, made with pea starch and vegetable protein. This food, sold in the usual cardboard egg boxes, is their perfect substitute, ideal for example for preparations such as bread and cakes. The company said it was proud to be part of this national vegan turnaround and to have understood that there are much more sustainable ways to feed the world.

Photo: n-ovo_uovo vegan brasile_grupo mantiqueira_EmbalagemMarca.jpg

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