Category Archives: Sustainable Gardening

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

Ready For Fall, Y’all?

As my early beets are fattening up, we’re eating them almost daily, boiled, roasted, or raw. In my book, few summer treats are as delicious as a raw beet salad lively with spunky sweet onions and the lush sweetness of ripe fruit. Naturally, along with the usual autumn crops I’m planting youngster beets to bring me more bounty this fall. Golden and tender, Boldor keeps its pretty color when cooked, and youngsters taste sweet enough to use raw in salads, grated or sliced thinly and tossed with bitter greens. Sliced crosswise, Chioggia, the classic Italian striped beet, displays concentric circles of red and white that look beautiful on the plate. The pattern is most dramatic on smaller beets, so harvest them when they’re about 2 inches across if you want to wow your friends with a stunning raw salad. Like what? So glad you asked! Continue reading

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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

Savory Ways With Ubiquitous Veg

Since squash are so very prolific, you can harvest squash blossoms freely, especially if you stick to the males, found on slender stems. Females grow on thicker stems and often have a tiny squash already forming while the flower still looks fresh. Squash blossoms must be picked and used as soon as possible; to keep them for a few hours, remove the stamens from each flower, rinse blossoms well and gently spin dry in a salad spinner lined with paper towels. Add raw squash blossoms to salads, use them to garnish soup, or stuff them with ricotta blended with chopped olives, or goat cheese, salsa, and green onions. Both zucchini or straight neck squash and flowers work well in this zippy raw salad, which I make with Kosmic Kale, an especially tender perennial variety with lovely variegated leaves. Continue reading

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