Today, I'm starting a series with Thanksgiving in mind. Next week, I'll continue with some recipes and how one product, uniquely North American, how it was grown and effected business in the 19th century. Prepare yourself for the turkey recipe, it was completely new to me.
Below is an excerpt from The Friends' Review published in 1886 out of Pennsylvania.
Winter Vegetables Where we have long winters, gardeners always try to keep the table well supplied with vegetables. In December, having noticed some turnips stored for winter use and sprouting, my mind was aroused to the fact that they would be useful vegetables if forced. I at once commenced working out the idea. Having a dark corner in a warm greenhouse, I placed on the floor two inches of sand, and then set out turnips close together, and gently pressed them into the sand; after which I gave them a watering, and closed them up. In about ten days I had my heart gladdened by beautiful blanched leafstalks. A bundle of them was cut, as much as would make a dish for twelve people, tied up as asparagus is, and sent into the kitchen. It was cooked the same as sea kale or asparagus, and when placed upon the table it was pronounced "excellent." It may be well to say that any cellar that excludes frost is suitable for forcing or growing turnips in this manner. Housekeepers can have a very delicious vegetable all winter by planting at intervals. Any kind of turnip may be used.
Kohl rabi may also be esteemed as a winter vegetable, although some raise it only for summer use. I manage by sowing in the spring in a cold-frame to have nice young plants to handle early. I transplant them from the seed bed into rows, say thirteen inches apart, and allow them to stand until they have been well frozen, then take them up and store the same as cabbage.
The drumhead Savoy I consider one of the most important of winter vegetables, as it answers two purposes; first, as a cabbage, to be boiled, which is much sweeter than the ordinary cabbage; secondly, as a beautiful, sweet, salad cabbage, when cut and dressed the Same as endive.
Perhaps few are aware that the leek is one of the finest winter vegetables, and when prop.erly grown can be had from one foot to a foot and a half of white, which, when boiled, is very nutritious, and much milder than the onion. With beets, carrots, parsnips, artichokes, salsify, celery, celeraic, Brussels sprouts, leeks, turnips and cabbage, all carefully put into a root cellar, we are prepared to give change of vegetables all winter as well as summer. — G. Hunter, in Vick's Magazine.
Food Value Of Ensilage.—In a paper read before the late Ensilage Congress, Dr. Sturtevant, director of the New York State Experiment Station at Geneva, told how, in 1885, he had filled a silo, without any precaution, with fodder corn of various kinds, and at dates all along from August loth to ipth. The lots, as they were put in, were tramped sufficiently to level the mass, and up to August 28th, the fodder in the silo was not covered. At that date the planks were laid on, but removed
September 3d, when some amber corn fodder was dropped in. September 4th the planks were laid on, the silo now being completed. No weights were used. November i8th, on examination, it was found that the ensilage at four inches down was in excellent condition. December i9th, about three inches of the upper portion were rotten, but below this the ensilage was in good preservation.
Dr. Sturtevant also gave the results of some figures bearing upon the food value of ensilage when fed as an adjunct to other foods. When the ration was 18 pounds of an even mixture of meal and bran, together with about 70 pounds of ensilage daily, and this compared with the same amount of grain with 30 pounds of the same dried fodder which, put in the silo, formed the ensilage, and the same amount of grain, with 20 pounds of hay, the following conclusions were justified by the results— viz., that 26 pounds of fodder-corn were the equivalent of 70 pounds of the ensilage, or 18 pounds of hay. Expressing these results in tabular form, using too pounds as the unit for comparison.
One hundred pounds of ensilage were the equivalent of 38 pounds of fodder-corn.
One hundred pounds of ensilage were the equivalent of 26 pounds of hay.
One hundred pounds of fodder-corn were the equivalent of 262 pounds of ensilage.
One hundred pounds of fodder.corn were the equivalent of 69 pounds of hay.
One hundred pounds of hay were the equivalent of 381 pounds of ensilage.
One hundred pounds of hay were the equivalent of 145 pounds of fodder corn.
Dr. Sturtevant did not recommend the proportions of ensilage as used in his trials. His experience leads him to believe that in addition to hay and grain about twenty-five pounds of ensilage can be fed daily per cow with advantage.—New York World.