Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Ho-Mi Digger and Dried Mushrooms

Two weeks ago, I finally decided to go ahead and buy the Romanesco cauliflower seeds I have wanted for two years. They aren't cheap, and when shipping fees are factored in - and the currency exchange, depending on which seed company one buys from - they end up costing $9 to $15. Ouch.

Nevertheless, a gardener wants what a gardener wants, so... I found the hybrid variety ("Veronica") of Romanesco cauliflower I was looking for at Veseys.  Fortunately for me, I subscribed to the Veseys e-newsletter before buying them and discovered that a code for free shipping on my first order came with the subscription confirmation.  Woohoo!  In addition to buying these platinum-coated seeds (I jest....but they are $5.25 for "approximately" 25 seeds), I splurged and bought a gardening tool I have wanted for some time.  It is a Korean hand tool called a Ho-Mi Digger (also called an Easy Digger/EZ Digger). 

When my package from Veseys arrived and I took out the Ho-Mi digger, I was impressed.  It looks like it is versatile and easy to use, like a small plough for your hand.  Most remarkably, it looks like a weapon. Right some deadly.  Heaven help the foolhardy soul who tries to raid my garden.

Early in the year, I was looking for a Canadian business that sells freeze-dried or dehydrated mushrooms in bulk.  In the past, I have waited for sales on button mushrooms, then bought them, dry-cleaned them, sliced them, and dehydrated them.  While the flavour is excellent and it is wonderful to have them on hand whenever we want to make a quick soup or stew, prepping them that way is time consuming.  It took some hunting, but I found a place called Misty Mountain Specialties in Vancouver. 

I admit that I spent the first few minutes making sure that Misty Mountain was selling the kind of mushrooms I was looking for and not a more....mind-expanding product. *ahem*  They do, in fact, sell a wide variety of wild and cultivated mushrooms - fresh, dry, medicinal, and truffle products.  Also some specialty products, like black garlic, goji and juniper berries, chilis, and ginseng.  I ended up buying dried button, portabello, and shiitake mushrooms, as well as a canister of powdered porcini mushroom (this is delicious in stews!).  The package that arrived was very large, but very light.  They enclosed a snazzy pen/flashlight combo as a thank-you.  If you order, it might be an idea to do so with friends.  The mimimum order to qualify for free shipping in Western Canada is $100.  In Eastern Canada, it is $180.  Worth it to me.  We're enjoying them, and they should last until the end of the year.

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