Garden Calendar – 1st Week of July

Garden Calendar – 1st Week of July

1.  Add compost to potato patch to protect potatoes from the sun.

2.  Spray bean seedlings with hot pepper spray to discourage wild creatures from nibbling on seedlings

3.  Transplant lettuce, cabbage, broccoli and fennel seedlings to the garden.

4.  Pull up first planting of peas, plant beans

5.  Harvest the following:
Broccoli
Peas
Golden Beets
Cauliflower
Glacier tomatoes

6. Transplant “Golden Treasure” tomatoes to the garden

7. Tomato plant maintenance (prune, clip, spray with fungicide)

 

Garden Journal – 4th Week of June

Garden Journal – 4th Week of June

A Grandson is Born

We were blessed this past week by the birth of our second grandchild, Theo.  Born in New Orleans the day after Father’s Day, Theo weighed six pounds, 10 onces and was twenty and one half inches long.  We are looking forward to seeing him in person in the next couple of weeks.

A GRANDSON IS BORN

GRANDSON THEO MINUTES AFTER HE WAS BORN

Harvest Time at Greg’s Garden Party

We’ve been enjoying lettuce, kale, asparagus and peas.  This week we added cabbage, beets, Jalapeno peppers and “Glacier” ultra early tomatoes to the mix.  I grow “Tender Sweet” cabbage because it is tender and sweet and makes the best cole slaw on the Planet.  Check out one of my earlier posts entitled “The Best Cabbage for Cole Slaw”.

I do love my beets.  I’ve waited patiently.  Beet season has finally arrived.  Last Friday night, we made some slaw, grilled some chicken, par-boiled the beets and finished them off on the grill.  Slightly charred, ever so lightly enhanced with smokey flavor to go along with their earthy freshness;  We live for these treats.

FINISHING PAR-BOILED BEETS ON THE GRILL TO ADD SMOKEY FLAVOR

FINISHING PAR-BOILED BEETS ON THE GRILL TO ADD SMOKEY FLAVOR

“Glacier” Tomatoes, the First Tomatoes of the Season

After experiencing some “critter” problems, I surrounded my three “Glacier” tomato plants with plastic chicken fencing last week.  Finally, I am eating tomatoes from my garden.  C’ant say enough about these babies.  For an early tomato, “Glacier” has great tomato taste.  This is a salad tomato, approximately 1 1/2″ in diameter, weighing in at about 2 oz.  “Glacier” is a great way to start the tomato season.

GLACIER SALAD TOMATO

A FULL SIZE GLACIER ULTRA EARLY TOMATO

THE FIRST TOMATOES OF THE SEASON

FEASTING ON GLACIER TOMATOES WITH SALAD

Tomato Plant Maintenance Continues

This week I fed all of my tomatoes and other fruit crops with organic fish fertilizer.  In addition, I pinched off new suckers, pruned the plants to rid them of leaves close to the ground and sprayed them with Copper Fungicide.

PRUNED TOMATO PLANTS

PRUNED TOMATO PLANTS

BLACK ETHIOPIAN TOMATOES NEARLY FOUR FEET HIGH

BLACK ETHIOPIAN TOMATOES NEARLY FOUR FEET HIGH

At this point, my three “Black Ethiopian” tomato plants appear to be leading the pack in terms of growth and vigor.  I will keep you updated with progress photos over the next six weeks.

All the best,

Greg Garnache

 

 

 

 

 

 

White Bean and Garlic Scape Dip

White Bean and Garlic Scape Dip

Over the last couple of years, we have been blessed/cursed with a huge supply of garlic scapes which we harvest in June. We have begun searching for new and delicious ways to use this unique vegetable/herb. A recent Internet search turned up a recipe for white bean and garlic scape dip, courtesy of the New York Times. This version is a tweak of that recipe. We have added more lemon juice, more salt and two tablespoons of fresh parsley.

Here is the recipe.

1/3 cup finely chopped garlic scapes
Juice of one lemon
1 teaspooon of course sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
1 15oz can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 of a cup extra virgin olive oil

Procedure:
1. Add garlic scapes, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper to a food processor. Work this mix to a fine chop.

2. Add cannellini beans and process to a rough puree.

3. Slowly pour in the olive oil as the processor is running.

4. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of water to thin mixture to desired dipping consistency.

BY THE WAY: We have discovered “Onesto” brand crackers. Made locally in Newburyport, Ma.. I found them at our local grocery store. Finally, someone has created a cracker that is strong enough for dipping, with a nutty taste and satisfying crunch. Check them out. Greg

 

Garden Calendar – 4th Week of June

Garden Calendar – 4th Week of June

1.  Harvest Beets

2.  Harvest Green Bell Peppers

3.  Harvest Heads of Broccoli

4.  Harvest Peas

5.  Harvest Jalapeno Peppers

6.  Harvest Cabbage

7.  Harvest Kale

8.  Harvest the last of the Asparagus

9.  Harvest Rhubarb

10.  Clean up Raspberry Patch

11.  Feed tomatoes, peppers, cukes, squash, zucchini, eggplants and pumpkins

12.  Weed Garden as Needed

13.  Harvest Frisee

14.  Prune, clip, and spray tomatoes with Copper Fungicide

Garden Journal – 3rd Week of June

Garden Journal – 3rd Week of June

It was another wonderful week of gardening.  I can safely state that the vegetable garden is now fully planted.  Some holes in the pepper patch were filled with seedlings that got a late start thanks to some lack of attention on my part.   I neglected to check the viability dates on a couple of seed packets and was rewarded with total failure.  New seeds were ordered, planted and coaxed along, but I lost a couple of weeks in the process.

Let this be a lesson.  Every Winter, check the dates of issue for all of your seed packets to make sure that the seeds are sill viable.  There are plenty of viability charts available on the Internet and many gardening books contain them as well. I won’t make that mistake again.  I’m reminded of the expression, “There’s no fool like an old fool”.

Garlic Scape Harvest

The biggest news from “Greg’s Garden Party” this week was the harvesting of over 100 garlic scapes.  Because we grow a type of garlic known as “hard neck” garlic, we have the advantage of a double harvest from the garlic patch; scapes in June and garlic in July.  Luckily, scapes will keep well in the fridge for a month which will give us time to research new and interesting ways to use our scapes.  My friend, Vicki Dyer, is also a scape advocate and has promised me a recipe that I can share with you.

This week, we made scape compound butter, fresh pea soup with scapes, a white bean and scape dip  and a premavera with peas, broccoli and scapes.  Noodling around the Net, I found a recipe for savory Japanese pancakes that uses scapes.  Can’t wait to try that.  I also noticed that there are quite a few references for grilled scapes.  Gotta try that.

Garden Maintenance

Weeding, weeding, more weeding.  Plant supports for late plantings of peas, supports for peppers, feeding leaf crops, harvesting, harvesting, harvesting.  All in a gardening weeks’ work.  Our second and third plantings of peas are starting to come into production.   I put up side supports to keep the plants upright.  Nothing special, just using resources that I had hanging around.

PEAS

ROW OF PEAS WITH SUPPORT

Protecting the Glacier Tomatoes

Last year,  I harvested my first “Glacier” tomato on June 8.  It’s June 22 and I have yet to enjoy the first real tomato of the year.  In addition to the cat bird incident reported on this blog recently, we have been visited by a larger, four legged creature who also has an appetite for fresh tomatoes.  I discovered plastic poultry fencing at one of the “Big Box” hardware suppliers.  It is three feet tall, easy to cut and easy to apply.  I just made a surround to  enclose my three plants and attached it with large plastic clothes pins.   I have three tomatoes ripening as I type and I am going to enjoy the heck out of those “bad boys”.

A SIMPLE SOLUTPION

PLASTIC CHICKEN FENCING USED TO PROTECT TOMATOES

GLACIER TOMATO

NEARLY RIPE GLACIER TOMATO

Nurturing the Next Batch of Leaf Crops

This week I transplanted lettuce, cabbage and broccoli seedlings from 3/4″ soil blocks to 2″ soil blocks.  So that we can enjoy these crops over a long season, I start seeds every three weeks or so.  I also pay attention to the recommended season for the seeds I select.  For instance, “Bay Meadows” broccoli is recommended for Summer Planting whereas “Amadeus” broccoli is recommended for Spring and Fall.

Speaking of lettuce, I harvested the last of the “Black Seeded Simpson” lettuce which was started in early Spring.  We now have “Nancy” and  “Truchas” lettuce almost ready for “prime time”.  “Allstar Mix” mesclun direct seeded in May will be ready to harvest next week.

What I Harvested this week

Garlic Scapes

3 Full colanders of Peas

Broccoli

lettuce

Kale for juicing

Asparagus

Tomato Plant Maintenance

Every week, I spend some time pruning and clipping my tomato plants.  Otherwise, they will quickly get out of control.  We don’t allow that here at Greg’s  Garden Party.  Seriously,  a little time spent each week caring for your tomato plants is time well spent.

This past week I also sprayed my tomato plants with “Oxidate” fungicide to prevent early blight.  Next week I will spray with Copper fungicide and continue this alternating strategy right through the season into late September.

Welcome to the new subscribers who have signed up recently.  Greg’s Garden Party now has 61 subscribers and growing.  I would love to hear from you.  Please feel free to leave comments and ask questions.  That’s what I’m here for.

All the best,

Greg  Garnache