All posts by Mike Pearce

Gabriella F1 Onion

I started this onion from seed in November and harvested them in June (210 days). It’s a short-day onion, grows from 3-4.5″ in diameter. I grew them in my hand made grow pots custom sized for them. They worked quite well. From this variety I got 5 full sized, 4 medium sized, and 1 runt.

Given that I live in a long day onion zone, but can grow year-round, this year I will start the short-day seeds in September, and try multiple short-day varieties, and start my long-day seeds in January.

Can’t wait to see what happens with the long day onions.

Gluten Free Bread Recipe made with Lentil (Urad) Flour

After many (mostly) delicious and nutritious experiments with leavening lentil flour to make bread, this is by far the best result. One of the ingredients, methylcellulose K4M, might seem a little unorthodox, but it makes all the difference. Methylcellulose, better known as Metamucil, has different gelling properties at different temperatures, enabling it to capture yeast bubbles to let flours that normally wouldn’t rise well, hold onto the gas and lift higher. Different types of methylcellulose have different properties, and K4M is the one that works best for gluten free baking.

One of the important steps is proofing overnight in the refrigerator. In wheat flour recipes, overnight refrigeration enhances the flavor, in lentil flour recipes, the yeast breaks the stronger flavor down and makes it taste much better.

Mix the following together in one bowl and let gel for several minutes:

Mix the following together in another bowl and let the yeast activate:

  • 1/2 c Water – 110F
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Yeast

Mix the following together in a large glass bowl, sufficient for the first rise:

Pour the gel onto the flour, and then the yeast on top of that. Mix until everything is incorporated. It will be sticky. Cover with cling film and let rise until doubled in size.

Line your baking vessel with parchment paper and scrape the dough out of the bowl and into the baking vessel. Shape the dough with a spatula, then cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight.

Heat the oven to 350F and transfer the dough directly from fridge to oven and bake until golden brown. Let the bread cool completely before slicing with a good serrated knife.

Gaviota – Favorite Kratky Hydroponic Lettuce

Mature Gaviota Lettuce grown in Kratky Method Hydroponics
Mature Gaviota Lettuce grown in Kratky Method Hydroponics
I’ve tried quite a few different lettuces using the Kratky Method, growing them in individual containers, and Gaviota is by far my favorite. Not only does it grow well in the nutrient solution, but it grows fast. The leaves are perfect for salads. If you just rip the end off of it, it breaks down into perfect bite-size pieces. If you were to cut the entire head off at a certain point, all the leaves come apart. No chopping, no fuss, just a single cut. Starting at 3-4 weeks it’s great for cut & come again harvesting. I like to harvest 1/4-1/3 of a plant and put it in water in a bowl in the fridge and overnight it becomes even more crisp.