Toka Plums in the Heartland Harvest Garden


Fresh Bites are seasonal demos covering a number of topics from growing edibles to upcycling. Reservations are not needed. The sessions are held at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on most Saturdays from late March through early September in the Missouri Barn and are great for visitors of all ages. Please check back for information about the 2015 season. In the meantime, here are some of Barb's favorite recipes from this season: 


Great Grains Breakfast Muffins

1 1/4 C oat bran
1 C whole wheat flour
1 C ground flax seed
1 C wheat bran
1 T baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 C brown sugar
1 C buttermilk
1/2 C canola oil 
2 eggs
1/2 to 1 C walnuts or pecans 
1 C raisins
2 oranges (quartered, put rind and all in blender and grind up)

Put all dry ingredients into bowl and whisk together. Add wet ingredients, nuts and raisins. Bake in muffin tin for 8-20 minutes at 375 degrees F. 

Chunky Chai Applesauce

1/2 C apple cider 
2 lbs Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 C packed brown sugar
1 1/2 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/8 t ground ginger
1/8 t ground nutmeg
1/8 t ground cardamom 
Dash of ground cloves
Dash of freshly ground black pepper

Combine cider and apples in a large saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until apples are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in sugar and remaining ingredients; simmer 12 minutes, stirring occasionally until mixture is thick. Cover and chill. Yield: 3 2/3 cups (serving size: about 1/4 cup). 


Meet Your Instructor

Barbara Fetchenhier (pictured to the left) has a passion for growing edibles of all types. As the Heartland Harvest Garden Interpreter, she gets to share her enthusiasm and knowledge with visitors. Drop by one of Barbara's Fresh Bites sessions. Even the most frustrated gardener will gain new excitement for growing edibles after spending time with her!

Barbara, who has been with the Gardens for more than 16 years, was previously the fruits and nuts gardener in the Heartland Harvest Garden. She and her husband Jeff run the 20-acre Fetchen' Honey Farm, which produces eggs, honey, fruits, vegetables and mushrooms. Barbara is a Johnson County, Missouri, Master Gardener. Her spectacular farm was featured on the group's Garden Tour in 2012.


Oven-Roasted Ratatouille

2 to 3 medium tomatoes, seeded
1 medium eggplant (globe, rosa bianca or Japanese) 
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded
1 medium yellow onion
2 medium golden summer squash
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
10 cloves garlic, whole (optional) 
1/8 C extra virgin olive oil
4 to 5 sprigs fresh oregano or sage
1/3 C fruity red wine 
1/4 C roughly chopped fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 

Chop tomatoes and other vegetables into large 1- to 2-inch pieces. Place in a heavy, 3-quart baking dish. Toss vegetables with all remaining ingredients except basil, salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and baste with pan juices. Return to oven for another 15 to 30 minutes or until vegetables are very soft. Season with basil, salt and pepper. Let cool slightly before serving. Barb says it's even better if refrigerated overnight. Simply reheat and serve. Serves 4 to 6

Bread and Butter Pickles 

8 C water
1/2 C pickling salt 
1 1/2 C thinly vertically sliced yellow onion
5 lbs pickling cucumbers, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
4 1/2 C white vinegar
3 C sugar
2 1/2 T mustard seeds
1 1/2 t celery seeds
1 1/2 t turmeric 

Combine 8 cups water and salt in a large container, stirring with a whisk. Add onion and cucumber; let stand at room temperature for 3 hours. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain. 

Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Add cucumber mixture; return just to a boil. 

Using a slotted spoon, divide hot cucumber mixture among 6 (1-pint) hot sterilized jars. Divide hot vinegar mixture among jars, filling to 1/2 inch from top. Remove air bubbles; wipe jar rims. Cover with metal lids; screw on bands. 

Process in boiling-water bath for 15 minutes. Remove jars from water bath. Cool completely; check for proper seal. For best flavor, allow 2 weeks before eating. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. 

Did you know? Powell Gardens has 7,000 varieties of permanent plants on display. No matter the season, this is a great place to see an inordinate variety of plants in the landscape and take home ideas you can use. See our Gardening Resources »


Carter Holton-Garden Chef Series 1

Visit the Heartland Harvest Garden at 2 p.m. most Sundays to learn how to cook from the garden!

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Give a gift membership to Friends of Powell Gardens. It's a gift that keeps giving all year long!

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Experience the tastes of the Heartland Harvest Garden with our new 'Fresh Bites' programs.

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