Janelle Maiocco

Hi.

Welcome to my blog. I live in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle on an Urban Farm (w/ five laying hens and a huge garden). I am a trained chef (w/ a certificate in food preservation), taught at a cooking school & like to share 'kitchen hacks' - culinary tips that save time, money & maximize flavor. If that isn't enough, I also run a food+tech startup called Barn2Door.com - a platform to help everyone easily find & buy food directly from farmers, fishers & ranchers (from CSA's to urban farm eggs to 1/2 a grass-fed cow).

Chickens like fennel. I like cavalo nero.

Chickens like fennel. I like cavalo nero.

chickens This owning chickens thing is so, so worth it. We are falling in love with this gaggle of creatures. My son said to me the other day: "mom, I just can't get enough of these chickens." None of us can. I peak around the corner and see: one son or the other, sitting in the coop with chickens nesting onĀ  their arms. I pluck fennel and arugula from my garden and we hang it in their coop: then watch to see. Will they like it?

So far: they don't love zucchini, red peppers or cantaloupe rinds. But they are loving: fennel fronds, arugula leaves and flowers, beet greens, artichoke greens and water-soaked, day-old bread. Who knew?

nasturtium

The garden: it was great to return from weeks in Montana and then Italy. To dive into giving my garden some much-needed TLC. I weeded, added topsoil, emptied my garden of rotting leaves and caressed just-opening squash blossoms. Pictured here: nasturtiums. These insane, growing-like crazy nasturtiums are one of my favorite finds. I haven't grown nasturtiums before; they entered my tiny little garden when I discovered 2 tiny humble plants at a garden festival. It was marked 'edible flowers.' Why not? And here they are growing like crazy and now, every year forward I will make space for them. Because they: 1. are brilliantly colorful, 2. grow into a substantial, eye-catching mound and 3. taste good (like apples at first, then peppery to finish).

I recently had a cooking class where I lined nasturtium flowers in a long, skinny tray in the center of the table. After we cooked up a storm, I invited the ladies to taste them. We eat plenty of leaves... so why not flowers?

Chickens, flowers and a little bed. As you may know, we have been in our 'fixer' house for just under a year. We are removing reams of bamboo and a long list of invasive plants while conjuring up big plans for our urban farm. This summer I take little plots for planting wherever I can find them: here is a bed of squash, tomatoes, loads of basil and just today I added: radicchio starts and black cabbage seeds (BTW from Italy! Brought them home last week. Black cabbage---cavalo nero---is what Tuscan's use for their ribollita).

(Growing black cabbage is a deliberate maneuver to cook up a pile of classic Tuscan dishes. DaVinci Wines sponsored myself and three others to take a trip to Italy; we ate hoards of Italian food. Now that I am back home, I am ever-inspired to recreate these authentic dishes. But don't worry: you don't need black cabbage for your ribollita. It is just as brilliant with Kale, dark leafy greens and/or other cabbage-cousins).

Taste Florence

Taste Florence

Morelli Pasta

Morelli Pasta