Category Archives: fall/winter crops

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

When Tradition Meets Trend

Print PDF Treasuring A Heritage Crop I recently took part in an ongoing if slightly weird community discussion about kale. It all started with a social media post asking if anyone actually liked kale. Yikes! The floodgates opened and hundreds … Continue reading

Posted in fall/winter crops, Gardening With Children, Recipes, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living, Vegan Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Honoring Seasonal Shifts

Print PDF Encouraging Engagement From Young And Old Thanks to timely summer rains and cooperative temperatures, this is one of the most spectacular years ever for fall color in the maritime Northwest. I grew up in New England, where fabulous … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, fall/winter crops, Gardening With Children, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living | Tagged , , | 4 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