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.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
What a blessing to be able to pass on the thing you love to do to a younger generation. You may remember Bob and Darla Beasly with Bob's Garden from last year. Two of my favorite people to hang around, Bob has a world of farming/gardening information he loves to share. Well, a fortunate twenty-three year old man named Zay is getting the opportunity to be Bob's protege. The following is a note I received from Darla telling me about this special relationship in her own words.
"Just wanted to share the activities that have transpired at Bob's Garden this year. We have created a great relationship with a nice young man by the name of Zay Lopez, aka The Produce Peddler! Zay is 23 years old and is a graduate of Mesa State where he played football for four years. Zay came out to the farm to look at the tractor that we had listed to sell and a "blooming" relationship took off from there. Bob and Zay hit it off from the get go and have been working together ever since.
Bob is not physically able to do the heavy and continual work that farming requires and Zay is wanting to learn how to farm, so we have donated our field to Zay this year to grow veggies with Bob being his mentor. It is truly a match made in heaven as Bob still gets to be involved and give guidance to a young man who wants to learn to farm.
Just thought you might be interested to know that "Bob's Garden" still will exist except under the new name of "The Produce Peddler!" We are really excited to be able to help Zay with this project. Zay hasover 700 tomatoes & peppers already and has been working the field and he "LOVES IT." - Darla
The Produce Peddler will have several spaces at area farmer's markets. Fruita will be one of the lucky markets to be graced by this new young farmer who's living his dream.
By Penny Stine
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Look! This is why I plant spinach in November. Mine always, always, always goes to seed early like the spinach in this photo. When I used to plant it in April, I got maybe three leaves before it went to seed. By planting in November, I get a good month of picking spinach several times a week and then it goes to seed.
Speaking of picking spinach, here's a tasty salad made from spring greens, herbs and the last of my spinach. I went out to the garden and picked anything that was there, which was mostly spinach, a few mustard leaves (for a hot bite), a bunch of garden cress (for a peppery bite), and a handful each of kale and mint.
Then I tore up all the leaves, tossed them with cut up strawberries, blue cheese and toasted walnut. I made a simple dressing out of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Delish.
If you don't have quite as many assorted greens, you can make a similar salad out of just spinach, but the other greens give a few surprising flavors that are kind of fun.
By Penny Stine
Thursday, May 10, 2012
No, I'm not weighing in on the fight between Chick-fil-A and Vermont folk artist Bo Muller-Moore (what, you haven't heard of the Eat More Kale controversy??? Check it out here), I'm merely encouraging my fellow gardeners to plant kale. It is tasty, it is delicious and it grows in the heat.
Plus, if don't pull it up at the end of the season, sometimes it over-winters and gives you lots of lovely kale early in the summer, like this:
It's so nice to be able to pick and eat something from your garden in May, while you're still planning and planting.
Then you can take your lovely kale, toss it with olive oil, kosher salt, garlic and red pepper flakes and roast it in the oven.
I did not know this last year, but I have since learned that if you put roasted kale in an air-tight plastic container, it will keep for a couple of days, giving you tasty kale chips the next day. Unless of course, you can't resist eating just one more and end up eating all of the kale on the baking sheet.
I was going to bring some in to work to sample and share, but someone ate them all before I could do so. Besides, I can't eat roasted kale without getting little green bits stuck in my teeth, which is not such an attractive look for the office.
Maybe next time. I'll just have to bring my toothbrush, too.
All this gives yet another reason not to routinely rototill your garden in the spring.
By Penny Stine
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Here's a note from fellow Sentinel gardener, Beckie Giles:
We are trying a small hay bale garden this year to see how it does in our area. It started as my project and my husband has now taken over, which is good because he is meticulous with instruction so if we have any trouble we will know he followed the instructions to the letter and know what to adjust next year.
And here's a lovely garden quote sent by another Sentinel gardener, Darralee Matthews, which seems particularly pertinent, since several of us are experimenting with straw bale gardening and we have no idea whether or not it will work in our climate.
"A Garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself."
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Nothing says home more than the word "mom" and her special day is coming up this Sunday. Make sure to brighten her world with some spring flowers, but don't get half dead cut roses from the grocery store. Make her something unusual, something that keeps saying I love you all summer long.
I've gathered a few container garden photos fromPinterest. You don't have to have a big budget to get her something unusual. A container garden can be started from old junk you already have in your yard, garage or closet.
How about raiding mom's kitchen to find the perfect container? Just make sure it's not something sentimental she is saving from her mother.
Confessions of a Curb Shopahollic has something to say for our curb cleanup program.
Antique milk containers make a beautiful picture of spilt milk from suprbo.com.
Don't throw away those old boots!
Even junky cars can be turned into a work of art!
Have fun and use your imagination. Remember, mom knows the most special gifts were the ones you made for her.