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Where things either live or die!

Jul 6, 2009

Recent holiday beauties and more

 

With the running around lately, I’ve had to skip over some things. Today I thought I might post just a couple quick photos.

For Father’s Day, I did a post dedicated to the ‘Fathers’ in my life, but what I left out was the really yummy salad I’d made that day! The salad ingredients were from my garden except the mushrooms. My dream of making a salad packed with all kinds of yummies that came only from my garden came really close to reality this year!

Here are the ingredients: Not including the mushrooms that were from the grocery store.


lettuce ‘Red Sails’                                 
Beet greens ‘Bull’s Blood’   
Swiss Chard ‘Fordhook Giant’  
Beets (steamed, chilled, and sliced)  
Peas ‘Super Sugar Snap’  
Carrot ‘Parisian Market’  
Yellow cherry tomato ‘Gold Nugget’  
Pak Choi 
Nasturtium leaves and flowers
Red tomato ‘New Girl’


 

salad from the garden- except mushrooms!

 

It was delish! We’re getting closer and closer to that all organic salad every year!

On the 4th, I made an attempt at a red, white and blue bouquet. It wasn’t great, but it was patriotic! Sorry the pic isn’t great- I should have had Taylor take it ;)

Ingredients: 


Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ I think (thanks to Lynn identifying it) 
White Lily 
Lobelia ‘Trailing Sapphire’

4th of July bouquet!

 

How fun is that? I love making bouquets, especially fresh from my garden- you all know how I dislike ‘foreign’ flowers!

In more news, I’m really excited about a book order I just put into Amazon today! I ordered Eliot Coleman’s new book (of which I knew nothing about, until today!) The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses- Whew! What a title, but with Eliot Coleman there is no question that it is a ‘must purchase’ book. Although he’s looking a bit older (aren’t we all;), he is the master of all Master Gardeners, in my mind. Really nice guy too, I called him once because I was concerned about the build up of nitrates in leafy greens in winter (lack of sun), and knowing that I am about on the same latitude that he writes about in his book The Four Season Harvest, we still don’t get nearly the sun he gets- he set my mind at ease and said that my winter crops would be fine, and if I had any doubt to soak them for a bit in cold water and rinse well- great guy...I can’t wait to get that book!

One more tidbit of exciting news (well, at least for me!)- I finally found an answer to my bitter lettuce question! After asking around on blogs, posting the question on ‘expert’ gardening sites, etc. I finally have an answer- or at least something I can test! You all know I love to grow my greens and I’ve been on a search for a lettuce that doesn’t get bitter- it turns out that when you harvest the lettuce plays a significant role in taste. I know this, why it never occurred to me before is a bit mysterious and quite the ‘duh’ thing! For example, I know not to harvest any berries or tomatoes after the sun has been on them, why would lettuce be any different? Morning is always a better harvesting time. The answer came in a quick book purchase at the airport bookstore when I found out I would be in one airport or another pretty much all day! I looked and looked for a good gardening book that A: I didn’t already have, or B: If I didn’t have it, it wasn’t full of info I already knew ;). Of course, an airport bookstore is going to carry best sellers- well, gardening books (some of them anyway) should be on all the ‘bestsellers’ lists! In looking at the books (all 4 of them) I came across an organic gardening book, divided by month and it included recipes for things growing in the garden that month- perfect! The title of the book is From Seed to Table: A Practical Guide to Eating and Growing Green by Janette Haase- and as the title suggests it has more info than just growing food. At the end of each chapter it includes a ‘Food for Thought’ section that is full of environmental issues.

So on page 139, at the bottom in a harvesting tip- there it was! While working one day she tasted some of her lettuce and found it to be bitter. This was not a good thing since she was a market gardener, at the time, and the lettuce was to be sold the following week. Just to make sure she tasted it the following morning before pulling it all and tossing it in the compost pile. To her surprise, it was sweet as could be. She later read an article in a gardening magazine that explained why this happens.

Which brings me to my review of this book. Now I haven’t used any recipes, and the book did have a lot of info in it that I already knew. There is one thing that I didn’t like- the book claims to be for beginners or experienced gardeners, but I found that there were a few too many times that more info was needed, especially for a beginner- like just where and what article did she find that tidbit on when to harvest lettuce!!!! I always need more input, however, and I will give this book a fair review after I’ve used some of the recipes ;)

And never fear, a review of the Coleman book won’t be too far off!

Oh, one more picture for you...

 

Ransom

 

Happy gardening,

Tessa

8 comments:

  • Ellie Mae's Cottage

    Love this post! It's packed full with so much great info and wonderful pics too! -Jackie

  • gardenerprogress/Catherine

    That salad should be in a magazine! I bet it tasted as good as it looked. Your dog is so cute!

  • APRIL LORIER

    Hi, Tessa. My internet connection has been compromised all day due to a Union dispute, so I'm just now getting online. About the lettuce and other veggies/fruits. Pick'em like you want to eat'em - cool and moist! (Your salad photo was VERRRY appetizing!)
    April from Christian Nature

  • Thru a Tori-lens

    Thanks for visiting my blog (http://junipernews.blogspot.com) and I love yours! I think you are a bit more of a gardener than I pretend to be... we just built a greenhouse here, in Bend, but we're only just beginning our gardening journey! Stay in touch, especially as you prepare to move out here!

  • Karen

    Welcome back and thanks for stopping by today. I'm glad you have so many bees! I'm going to stop worrying quite so much about them now, unless I start to see their numbers falling back again. Oh, why not leave out the mushrooms and then it's all you! Maybe you can make raspberry vinegar if you have enough raspberries, and get a hardy olive and press some oil someday. Hm, what to do about the salt and pepper? Well, I think you're close enough already. Thanks for passing along the lettuce tip, that's a real "duh" for me too but I didn't know it! I always rush out right before dinner and am sad that it's on the harsh side, taste-wise. Though it was to do with age/bolting/not enough water/something else I was doing wrong. Nope, just picking time! Phew.

  • lynn'sgarden

    Tess, you make the prettiest salads...yummo! And the arrangement, lovely! Hey, Bandit wants a playdate...

  • Joanne

    Looks so appetising

  • texasdaisey

    Very pretty bouquet and that salad looks yummy.
    Debbie

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