Organic

On not turning on the oven

Oh I felt so clever last night. I had radishes and pearly barley to use and, strangely enough, I found a recipe that used both. Thumbs up! But it involved turning on the oven to roasted some very pretty cubes and slices of vegetables. Thumbs down! It was hot yesterday evening and the house had not cooled off yet. But when I get an idea in my head...

Why I Garden #13

Garlic Scape bouquet

Few things stand out more than Garlic Scapes in the garden. They have a curly, serpentine look that even got the neighbors asking about them. But even better than their look is their taste. We harvested (a little late, but just barely) garlic scapes from our hard-neck garlic this weekend. They became part of a White Bean and Garlic Scapes Dip. We had friends over for dinner and the four of us nearly inhaled the dip.

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The Greens Tidal Wave continues

Topbar Beehive with blooming Penstemon

Hey kids! It's been an exciting couple weeks as spring has finally arrived and that means, um, lots of things! It means I'm still getting greens fast and furious from the Beneficial Farms CSA. It means that the garden looks more alive and plants are in the ground with all their promise of delicious things. It means that our newly acquired BEES have several flowered things to investigate. It means that we turned on the grill this weekend and could stand around poking our grilling food and not wear a jacket. Oh the promise of spring and early summer.

Why I Garden #12

Tray of Seedlings

What holds more promise (for a gardener, anyway) than a tray full of seedlings? Our average last frost-free date is 9 days away and I am getting ready to harden off a tray full of seedlings that we started about 3 weeks ago. We are trying everything from arugula to kale, broccoli to tomatillos, and basil to fennel. This tray full of bright green baby plants reminds me of grade school science classes and egg cartons sprouting bean plants. What are you planting in your garden this season?

Spring on hold

Tulip in snow

I can't stand it. I'm looking out my window and the snow is piling up. Okay, what's going on here. We turned in our taxes, we have skiied our last slope, my first proud tulip bulb was seconds away from blooming when a weird storm decided to pass over. I ask you, where was this snow the past few months.

Rebirth of the White House Garden

First Lady, Michelle Obama breaking ground for the White House organic garden

Not since WWII has the White House had a vegetable garden. Once again, a Victory Garden will grow at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. For those of us who love fresh, organic, home-grown fruits and veggies it is great to see a kindred spirit in the President of the United States. Today, the First Lady, Michelle Obama and students from Washington's Bancroft Elementary School broke ground on the South Lawn for a new White House garden.

Foreclosing on the Wasps

Wasp Nest, foreclosed

No, this has nothing to do with sub-prime mortgages or the bank meltdown. This is about some very surly 'social' insects. I discovered wasps in our compost bin this summer. Or, more accurately, the wasps notified us that they had moved in. After my wife and I were each stung in two days I found a wasp nest in the compost bin. Given their anti-social nature and their new residence in the compost bin I couldn't use toxic insecticides. So I did some research.

Why I Garden #11

Spring Garlic and new Compost

The first signs of spring are popping up across town. Irises are sprouting in the front yard and garlic is appearing in the backyard. We're still two months away from the last average frost date, but many of the hardier plants are showing new growth, swelling buds and sprouting leaves. I expect we'll still see some snow, even well past the Spring Solstice. But, that's life in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

When life gives you lemons...

Waffles with Lemon Curd and Orange Juice

This past week in the kitchen, I applied the old adage about life giving you lemons. In this case, I made limoncello and lemon curd from the Meyer Lemons that came with our Beneficial Farms CSA box. After my dark night of the soul regarding the squandered persimmon opportunities, it felt great to maximize use of something.

Squash-o-rama

Pie Pumpkins

Ladies and gentlemen, it was all about the squash this week. How to use it, can one type be substituted for another, what can it be served with, how long does it take to cook, etc. I had a mound of butternut squash sitting in the pantry that were tumbling out every time I opened the door. Having a several pound squash land on your feet several times is an excellent inspiration for finding a good use for it.

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