Sunday, June 26, 2011

baby beets

One of the advantages of growing your own vegetables is having the opportunity to enjoy them when they are small and especially sweet and tender. Here is a recipe for baby beets and carrots with fresh dill.

Monday, June 20, 2011

garden update

The last of the Mesclun lettuce is ready for harvesting. There are other more heat tolerant lettuce varieties coming along in the garden. The birds have been eating the leaves from the emerging bean seedlings - an injury they do not recover from. So I am pondering how to protect them in a way that the colonists three hundred years ago might have employed. In the home garden, a plastic plant tray inverted over the seedbed might work. The sugar snap peas were so sweet and delicious but nearing the end of their productivity were pulled. The tripod vine supports will now be used to grow delicata squash, pole beans and cucumbers. Other seeds were planted today including a tri-color patty pan squash mix, watermelon called Bush Sugar Baby, more of the previously mentioned lettuces called all season romaine and European reds and greens and additional beets and carrots in the raised beds where the red cabbage had been pulled. Seeds of the beautiful borage plant were scattered throughout the garden. Several red, orange and yellow bell pepper plants were added. Two sweet banana pepper plants and one sweet colorful pepper plant called gypsy were planted. I planted several viola Viva plants that were grown from seed with the hope that they will continually reseed themselves in the garden. And finally, one lovage plant and one container of sorrel seedlings were planted.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

evening of 06/08/2011 harvest

French breakfast radishes are very pretty and have a nice mild flavor. I was pleased to learn that radish leaves can be used to make this delicious pasta dish. The sugar snap peas are so good raw as a snack or in a salad that they never make it to the stovetop. The wild arugula is an exciting discovery this year. It is more intensely flavored than the more common arugula. This batch is destined to become pesto. The lettuce shown on the bottom right of the picture is called Rougette de Montpellier although it does not look like the red lettuce that was pictured on the seed packet. Even though it bolted with the heat, it still tastes mild and flavorful. The gorgeous red romaine lettuce is called Rouge D'Hiver.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

raised bed plantings

Here is a list of the vegetables growing in the first raised bed that was planted May 12. The purple cabbage is called Red Acre. French breakfast radish seeds from Renee's Garden were planted close to the cabbage plants since the radishes will be ready to harvest before the cabbage expands into that space. Close to the radishes is a row of mesclun called Paris Market Mix which is also from Renee's Garden. Her seed company sells a wonderful variety of lettuces and blends of salad greens with lovely artwork and useful information on the seed packs. Next is a row of carrots called Bolero Nantes. The sage was planted as a companion for the purple cabbage to repel the white cabbage moth. For a most impressive yet easy gastronomic delight, try butternut squash ravioli with sage brown butter sauce. Next is a row of red baron onions planted from sets. I have read that if growing onions for fall/winter storage, it is best to plant them from seed. The onions growing in the bed now will be harvested small and used as scallions then red onion seeds will be planted in their place. Another row of carrots is planted next to the onions. The lore of companion planting suggests that onions, leeks and sage might help to repel the carrot fly pest. Next are two rows of beets that contain five different varieties. The seed packs were all emptied into one container so that the planting would be random. The mix includes Detroit Dark Red, Iride, Chioggia, Golden Globe, Lutz Green Leaf Winterkeeper and Bull's Blood. A row of Summer Lettuce Bouquet - European Reds & Greens is planted next. Finally some more onions and radishes complete the planting.