Friday, April 30, 2010

Mother Nature was kind and the garden tour is over

This is the garden on the South wall and this is July
See the potato can at the back? You can click on this photo to enlarge it

I hope as you saw my garden you saw some ideas for your own. It was nice that the rain held off for us, I so enjoy seeing the children play in the yard!

Some of you didn't pick up the planting list or the potato handout or the salad table directions If you missed any of those three handouts would you e-mail me and I'll bring them to you on Sunday.

2009 little can

After everyone left I got my bag of mels mix and put my soil over my potatoes in the can, it was about 3 inches of soil over the top of the starts. There was a question about just putting them in the ground and yes that surely works.

The goal is to have loose soil, good drainage, and space to send lots of roots out to make potatoes on.
We had a big compost pile (that is the best word for it) back in the 80's and one year a big green plant grew all over it. That fall when I went to get compost for the winter gardens it was full of potatoes! Tons of potatoes all over the pile. Just leave your plant space to make you a crop and grow it where you like. I like the trash can because it saves space. The new movement to grow them in trash bags is not a good one, there is not enough drainage for healthy potatoes.

There were some interesting comments about the size of the gardens and I know why. Traditional home gardening took it's methods from the farm. When farmers moved away from the farms they took those long rows with them. A long row works perfect to pull a horse and plow or drive a tracker down to work your crop. In a home garden it just eats space that I'd rather leave open. French intensive now just called intensive gardening teaches us to dig all the way down and compost and feed highly the ground we work. It taught us to plant closely because the plant could send it's roots down so easily it didn't need a lot of garden soil to gather nutrition from. Mel took french intensive gardening and gave it the square. This helped gardeners think differently about space and a lot more food could be grown in a lot less space.

My three boxes in the back, one now taken over by the tree next door, where my gardens from 1986 until now and I fed all 7 family members out of those three gardens using the french intensive method.

Mel's original book did not have everything in squares, he had a way to give certain plants larger spaces and we used that with those three boxes.

Now I have what equals four 4x4 boxes on the South side, and what equals three 4x4 boxes in the North yard. All salad, which is tons, is grown in my salad table. I never lack for salad. I grew some scallions in the salad box along with one basil plant. This way when I went for dinner salad I had a nice variety. These are my favorite summer mixes: London springs mix, French nicoise blend, garden heirloom blend, Micro greens mix (these are picked while very tiny) and Italian saladini blend. I plant a two rows of each and leave 3 to 4 weeks between each 2 rows. This extends the salad harvest.

From these gardens we eat plenty of fresh produce, we share with neighbors and we get some pickles and beets and a few frozen squash to go through the winter. By using at least 1/3 of your squares for at least 2 better if it's 3 different crops you too will grow more than you thought possible. If you only have a 4x4 you will not lack in things you can grow but I'm thinking you will all want another box next year for more variety.

This is the square foot garden on the North side in late summer
See no garlic at all! It's all replaced with summer crops
In oct. all this summer stuff was gone. I put some compost in each square and planted all that garlic.
It's a circle of growth, one season to the next. I love this pattern of nature.

All the garlic you saw has been in the box since Oct and will produce after some heat. Even in a cooler summer I can harvest by August and then plant the fall garden of broccoli, kale, spinach, carrots, well just look at those orange fall cards and you will know what I plant in those garlic spots. Right now the peas are growing on the verticals in that garden, when they are done in early summer the beans will already be up and growing, I just put the seeds in every other from the plants and they can grow together for a time.

You have so many more choices of veggie crops you can grow than you find at your local grocery store. Try some things you don't know how to cook and we will all share with one another some recipes. There is NO comparison in taste that which you grow from your garden.

In our may meeting I will cover how to feed your plants and if you have recipes may would be a good time for us to share them. So here are the recipes for today's items from the garden.

Chicken and Raspberry Sandwich
from A cook's tour of Sonoma by Michele Anna Jordan

1 French roll or 2 slices of French bread
raspberry Mayonnaise
1 small red onion cut into thin rounds
Half a chicken breast or 4 to 5 ounces roasted or sauteed chicken meat
shredded red cabbage or a Asian cabbage
Fresh raspberries

Split the rolls, Spread them liberally with the Raspberry mayonnaise. Place some onion on the bread and top with the chicken.
Top the chicken with cabbage. Add some Raspberries. Place on serving plates with plenty of raspberry mayonnaise on top of bread and garnish the plate with more fresh raspberries.

Because the raspberry mayo is one of the authors signature sauces I'm not adding the recipe here. The author deserves to have you buy her book. You can order the black raspberry vinegar here and just make a nice mayo with it. I can teach you how if homemade mayo is new to you.

Or you can make your own raspberry vinegar as I do! It will be time to make some more very soon.

The signature sauce is only a mayo recipe using the raspberry vinegar above. You may find some raspberry vinegar, order from the Kozlowski Farms in my old home town or you can mash up some raspberries strain them and add just a bit to some commercial mayo, not enough to make it runny but enough to flavor it. If you want a mayo recipe call me.......

Pesto Northern California style

1 Cup fresh Basil leaves

3 t0 4 peeled cloves of garlic

1/4 cup fresh parsley (some people leave this out)

2 tablespoon pine nuts

1/2 cup olive oil, this amount varies

3/4 cup Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper

In the Blender chop everything except the oil and cheese. Once chopped slowly add oil while blending until smooth and creamy. Add more oil if needed. Add cheese last and serve. Great stirred into pasta or picked up on some great Italian bread.



Pumpkin Cookies

6 dozen

1 cup oil
3 cups sugar
3 1/2 cups pumpkin (large can)
2 eggs
1 cup chopped nuts
5 cups flour
2 tsp baking power
2 teas. baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 teas vanilla
2 teas nutmeg
2 teas cinnamon
1 large pkg chocolate chips
Raisins if desired

Mix oil, sugar, eggs, pumpkin, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Just stir with a fork

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Stir into the above mixture.

Add nuts, chocolate chips and raisins. Mix

Drop by tablespoon size on a greased cookie sheet.

Make at 370 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes or until lightly brown.


Kevin said...

Where is a good place to get a few seed potatoes - like for red and yukon golds?

Fonnell/Grammie/mom said...

Do you have your can ready? Call me tomorrow ok.