Let's Get Dirty
A gardening blog for adults who still love to play in the dirt.
Send stories and pictures of your horticultural adventures to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Penny Stine
Monday, November 25, 2013
I decided the pea shoots in the living room were large enough to try to star in a salad. I found a recipe that just used pea shoots and shaved parmesan cheese in a lemon vinaigrette and decided to give it a whirl.
I meant to take a photo of the salad in the salad bowl, but forgot. So here it is on my plate.
The good news is that it was good - what there was of it. My husband also thought it was tasty, but he agreed that he could have easily consumed more. When pea shoots are the only real ingredient in a salad, you need a lot of them. I probably had a scant three cups before adding the dressing, which reduced it to less than two cups of salad.
The good news is that I finally confessed to my husband that I was growing a little garden in the living room on my plant shelf. Not that I was hiding it - the planters are out in plain site and all, but he never noticed them. Since he thought the pea shoot salad was fab, he didn't seem to care.
So of course, I planted more the next day...
By Penny Stine
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
I've been pulling onions for a couple of weeks, after I discovered that the texture was improving after a brief period of mushiness in September. I still have have a few in the ground, too. The harvested ones were piling up on a tray on my back deck in the shade, which was a fine place for them to cure in the fall. I don't think it's such a great place for winter, when they would all freeze like little onion-cycles. Actually, that should be onioncicles, since they'd be frozen onions rather than onions with two wheels.
Although my attempts to braid garlic didn't result in beautiful garlic braids, I did end up with OK braids. They're hanging on my kitchen wall and are slowly disappearing as I use the garlic. Without consulting a youtube video, I attempted an onion braid.
I got an onion blob.
They are all bound together, however, and I was able to hang them from our wine rack, off to the side where my husband won't bump his head when he does the dishes, so I'm happy with my hanging onion blob.
These onions are really small - just slightly bigger than a green onion. They have a nice flavor, however, and will probably keep for another month or two as I slowly use them.
I'm going to let the remainder of the ones out in the garden stay out in the garden through the winter, just to see if I can pull them in December or January (I doubt it) or will still be a good texture in February and March when the ground might start softening again enough for me to pull them out of the dirt.
By Penny Stine
Monday, November 18, 2013
I had every intention of pulling everything but the kale and the perennials out of my garden over the weekend. I've learned that kale often does just fine over the winter. This blue dwarf kale is in the shade, so it definitely stays in a dwarf-like state, but it's got to be at least three years old. It won't grow over the winter, but I'll be able to pick at least one more time before it shuts down and then it will probably start growing again in March.
This redbor kale has gotten prettier in the cold weather. I plan on picking a variety of kale for a Thanksgiving salad and this will do nicely. It's supposed to be sweeter after a frost. This was the first season for this particular patch of kale and I'm definitely hoping it survives the winter.
I was going to pull all the broccoli plants, but discovered they're still sending out little florets, so I picked all the florets instead and left the plants standing.I made a spinach/broccoli casserole with my harvest and hoped those plants would give me a few more before they shut down.
On Saturday, I made a tasty polenta dish (here's the recipe) using some of the leeks still in my garden. I was going to pull the remainder, but decided they'd survive in the garden as well as they would in my fridge, so I left them. I probably have enough for two more batches of potato leek soup.
I also left this in the ground. It's another celery root and it seems to be quite content in the ground.
I'm keeping an eye on the weather. As long as it gets above freezing during the day and stays in the 20s rather than the teens at night, this cold-hardy stuff will be fine. I want to pick it before daytime temps remain in the 30s, however, because then the ground will make it too hard to pull anything out of the ground.
By Penny Stine
Friday, November 15, 2013
When I was home for lunch, I went for a quick garden stroll in search of something fresh and green to add to my morning smoothie tomorrow. It's almost dark by the time I get home after work, and I don't want to go searching for something green tomorrow morning in my jammies in the rain. If it rains. So here's what I found.
The big green stuff is the top of a celery root, the darker green stuff is salad burnet and there's some parsley in there, too. No doubt my husband will say it all tastes like grass. He's not as fond of the morning smoothie as I am.
There's also some chopped onions, but I didn't pick those today, although I do still have lots of little onions in the ground.
Tomorrow, I'm hoping to pull almost everything else out of the garden and spread some compost all around. If it doesn't rain... or snow.
By Penny Stine
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
The temperature has dropped, the irrigation water is long gone and everything out in the garden has frozen at least once.
Yet when I look out my kitchen window, this is what I see:
I don't know what kind of tree it is. All I know is that it's the very last tree to drop its leaves in the fall. This year, there's a slight golden glow, as if the leaves really want to change color but haven't figured out how to actually do it. It usually won't drop its leaves until we get the first really cold snap accompanied by snow - usually on Thanksgiving as we're driving over a mountain pass somewhere in Colorado!
At least this year the city is extending the leaf pickup until December.