Category Archives: Sustainable Gardening

Pick A Peck Of Peppers

To protect yourself, always use gloves when handling fresh chiles. Also, avoid touching yourself ANYWHERE, and keep some antihistamine (such as Benedryl) on hand in case of accidents. If hot peppers give your hands a “burn”, plunge them in cold water and take an antihistamine immediately; the burning sensation is a histamine response, so the usual burn treatments won’t help. Here’s another tip from direct experience; always work in a well ventilated space. When prepping peppers and when using a vegetable dehydrator, run a vent fan to avoid getting those volatile pepper oils in your eyes, nose, or throat and save yourself from a world of hurt.
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A Bevy Of Beans

Spunky Sizzled Beans

2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil
1 pound Romano beans, ends trimmed
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
4-5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon finely chopped Ristra or any hot pepper
1-2 teaspoons raspberry vinegar (or any)

In a wide, shallow pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Add beans, sprinkle with salt and cook without stirring until lightly charred (2-3 minutes). Flip with a fork or tongs, adding garlic and hot pepper. Cook until well browned (2-3 minutes). Splash with vinegar, stir to coat and serve. Serves 4. Continue reading

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Tomato Heaven

We were recently gifted with a splendid grill, so of course we’re going a little wild with the grilled vegetables. Zucchini and squash, eggplants and beets, even peaches and plums are magically transformed by searing heat and savory smoke. Naturally I have to take it over the top and smoke a little salt and oil as well, just to add that subtle difference to everything from salads to sauces. Ripe, juicy tomatoes are a little tricky to grill unless you use a grill pan so they don’t fall through the grate bars, but they are heavenly, as are ripe avocados. Together, they’re even better, especially in a breakfast burrito like this one: Continue reading

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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