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.