Category Archives: Annual Color

Harvesting & Heading For Autumn

If the tomatoes are ambling, nectarines and peaches, plums and blackberries are all racing from garden to table. Neighbors have gifted us with enough to make lots of jam and desserts, but I’m also making large supplies of fruit vinegars. Delicious in dressings or drizzled over sliced avocados or watermelon, tomatoes or lettuce, homemade fruit vinegars also make excellent shrubs, combinations of vinegars and fizzy water that can be further concocted into mixed drinks. Making them at home, you can avoid the cloying over-sweetness of commercial kinds, and it’s rewarding to combine fruits, or add spices or anything else that strikes your fancy. Around here, the top favorites include a single kind of fruit with the addition of a vanilla bean, cracked peppercorns, lemon peel, or even a cinnamon stick. Here’s the basic recipe and a few favorite variations to play with, but I encourage you to start with cider vinegar, which tastes and carries flavors far better than white vinegar (too harsh) or rice vinegar (too mild). Continue reading

Posted in Annual Color, Care & Feeding, Climate Change, composting, fall/winter crops, Gardening With Children, Health & Wellbeing, Planting & Transplanting, Pollinators, Recipes, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living, Teaching Gardening, Vegan Recipes | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Refreshing The Garden

Print PDFImage by Robin Cushman Boosting Summer Color After the first ebullient rush of spring color melds into summer beauty, many gardens experience a few hiccups along the way. The best way to avoid color gaps is to make the … Continue reading

Posted in Annual Color, Care & Feeding, Drainage, Easy Care Perennials, Health & Wellbeing, Pruning, Soil, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Harvesting & Healthy Soil

When both pantry and freezer fill up, it’s time to make soup! Make enough to share and sit down with younger folks who just might want to learn a little more about growing and cooking.

Tuscan Bean Soup With Black Kale

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fennel seed
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1 organic lemon, juiced, rind grated
1 large onion, chopped
1 large bulb fennel with greens, chopped
2 sweet carrots, chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
2 cups cooked white cannellini beans (or any kind)
1 quart vegetable or chicken broth
1 bunch Black Tuscan kale, cut in ribbons

In a soup pot, combine oil, fennel seed, half the garlic, the lemon rind, pepper flakes, onion, fennel (reserve 1/4 cup chopped greens), and carrots, sprinkle with salt and cook over medium high heat until barely soft (8-10 minutes). Add beans and broth, bring to a simmer and cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Puree in small batches with remaining garlic and return to pan. Add kale and pepper, cover pan and cook until barely wilted (2-3 minutes). Stir in lemon juice to taste and serve hot, garnished with fennel greens. Serves 4.

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Posted in Annual Color, fall/winter crops, Garden Prep, Gardening With Children, Health & Wellbeing, Planting & Transplanting, Recipes, Sustainable Gardening | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Plants That Feel Like Home

Print PDFPlanting must harmonize with neighbor’s cars and backdrop shrubs, of course. Comfort And Joy Whenever we move to a new home, there’s always a period of adjustment as dreamy ideas start to mesh with reality. When I first realized … Continue reading

Posted in Annual Color, Early Crops, Easy Care Perennials, Garden Design, Hardy Herbs, Planting & Transplanting, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment