Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
I Haven't Been Blogging
We had great tomatoes, especially grape tomatoes, bell peppers - red and yellow - and chilis. My hot peppers were mostly hot bananas and long cayenne. I had one big plant that produced some nice New Mexican chilis, but I had no habaneros. I planted the seeds, but never grew any plants.
I did not plant salisfy this year. It takes too much space for too small a harvest.
Cucumbers were great this year, as were the summer squash. Unfortunately, once again the squash bugs destroyed the winter squash before any of them grew large enough. We'll try again next year. The tiny little pumpkin shown is the only pumpkin I grew. It's a bit bigger than a Hershey's Kiss. The plant was supposed to grow normal sized pumpkins. This teensy little one is the only one it grew. I had bumper crops of winter squash and pumpkins for two years and nothing for the past four years. Go figure!
I now have three Aeorgardens growing herbs and salad greens year round. I just love them.
Getting the Kitchen Ready for the Holidays
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Friday, February 01, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Getting Ready for Spring
I have four Park's Original Bio Dome with 18 Whopper Cells to start seeds in. I first used these last year and had wonderful luck with my seedlings.
My first batch of seeds is from Gurney’s. Here’s what I have planned for my garden so far:
Inca Marigold – Yellow
Inca Marigold – Gold
Inca Marigold - Orange
California Giant Zinnia Mix
Cut and Come Again Zinnia Mix
Royal Flush Sunflower Mix
Lemon Queen Sunflower Mix
Lucullus Swiss chard
Clemson Seedless Okra
Romaine Lettuce seed Tape
Lettuce Blend Seed Tape
Mild Mesclun Mix
Gourmet Greens Mixture
Perfected Detroit Beet Seed Tape
Ruby Queen Beet Seed Tape
Tenderrette Bush Bean
Burpless Hybrid Cucumber
Sweeter Yet Hybrid Cucumber
French Breakfast Radish Seed Tape – I think this is my very favorite radish.
Radish mixture seed tape – You can never have too many radishes.
German Giant Radish Seed Tape
Sweet Bell Pepper Mix – lots of different colors and shapes of peppers
Sweet Lilac Pepper
Super Cayenne III Hot Pepper
Portofino Summer Squash
Bonbon Winter Squash
Scallop Summer Squash Mixture – Love my pattypan squash!
Orange Magic Winter Squash
I still must get some seeds for Marina di Chioggia Winter Squash, Salsify, and Long Island Cheese Pumpkins. I also need some Four O’Clock seeds for my side flower garden. I’m also hoping that my Four O’Clocks from last year will reseed so I’ll have a big variety of colors.
I haven’t decided whether to get onion sets or onion plants. I need to get that order done soon. I had an ok onion and leek crop last year, but I need to increase the sand to potting soil ratio in the Earth Boxes I use for root crops.
One interesting thing I noticed was that many of my seed packets were marked as a product of the Netherlands, Vietnam, Germany, Canada and China. I wonder when we began importing garden seeds. In 1996 we took a month long trip to the Pacific Northwest and Canada. I remember so well the miles and miles of seed farms we passed in eastern Washington. Each crop had a big sign so the Interstate traveler would know what seed was being grown on each farm.
Here’s a recipe for that Swiss chard. It will be a long time before there’s any in my garden, but with luck we’ll be getting some good chard in the supermarket by the end of February.
Swiss Chard Gratin
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons butter
2 bunches Swiss chard, chopped
2 cups heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large skillet, melt the butter and sauté the onion and garlic until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and cook until wilted, 3 minutes. Transfer to a colander and squeeze out any excess liquid. Reserve the skillet.
2. Add the cream and nutmeg to the skillet and boil until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
3. Stir the chard mixture into the cream. Add 1/2 cup parmesan; season with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into a greased 3-quart baking dish.
4. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup parmesan and the bread crumbs; sprinkle over the gratin. Bake until golden and bubbling around the edges, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007