Category Archives: Early Crops

Gorgeous Garlic Scapes

A surprising number of gardeners toss the trimmed off garlic scapes on the compost heap, but these days, many people are catching on to what European cooks have known for centuries. The curly scapes can be treated much like asparagus; steamed, roasted, pickled, stir fried, added to soups or minced into salads and wraps. One of my favorite ways to enjoy them is in a fresh tasting raw salad. For the best texture, slice scapes thinly on the diagonal so there’s plenty of surface area to take up the dressing. Almost any kind of dressing will be delicious, from spicy Asian peanut to a perky citrus vinaigrette. This salad combines garlic scapes with creamy goat cheese, crunchy pumpkin seeds, velvety marinated mushrooms and a lively lime vinaigrette. Continue reading

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When Bees Ignore Blossoms

As a rule, bees will snub flowers that are low in nectar and pollen. Even favored blossoms like cherries can be lacking and the bees are evidently able to detect (nobody quite knows how) blossoms with low levels of these important substances. Sometimes this is because other bees have already been there and done that. There is some evidence that foraging bees leave behind a scent marker that other bees can sense. A study done at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California found that when bees approached flowers, then flew away without foraging, the rejected blossoms had about half the nectar of an average bloom.

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Posted in composting, Early Crops, Easy Care Perennials, Growing Berry Crops, Pollinators, Soil, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living, Weed Control | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Crispy Or Riced, Cauliflower Rocks

Sometimes sold as broccoli, heritage Italian romanesco cauliflower is indeed a kissing cousin, that distinctive swirling shape and rich flavor marking the transition of one vegetable into the next. (This blending is a bit like plums and cherries, which are so closely related that’s it’s sometimes difficult to suss out which a given fruit really is.) Veronica a striking Romanesco type with jade green curds. Broken into starburst-tipped spears, it makes a beautiful garnish or an elegant side dish, drizzled with a spritely spring herb sauce. If you haven’t tried stick cauliflower yet, plant a row of Fioretto 60 and prepare to play. This fascinating variation offers beautiful, long-stemmed florets that wouldn’t look amiss in a floral arrangement. The creamy curds atop the fresh green stems are great for dipping and very pretty on a veggie plate. Sweeter than headed cauliflowers, the crunchy stems can be stir fried with sesame oil, garlic and ginger, or tossed as is into salads. Continue reading

Posted in Early Crops, Genetic Engneering, Nutrition, Recipes, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Saint Patrick’s Day, Or Maybe Not

Print PDFOf Lilac Leaves And Planting Peas When I was a young gardener, I recall being told that the proper time to plant peas was on Saint Patrick’s Day. It stuck in my mind because I learned this bit of … Continue reading

Posted in Early Crops, Gardening With Children, Planting & Transplanting, Soil, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living | Tagged , , | Leave a comment