Thursday, June 23, 2011

garlic scapes and tire potatoes

When a garlic plant grows, there are two delicious parts: the garlic bulb, which is found under the soil, and the garlic scape, which is this long, round, sometime twirly stalk that protrudes from the top center of the plant. Picking off this scape allows the plant to dedicate all of its energy to producing the garlic bulb--and the scapes can also be used for food. Scapes have a subtle garlic flavor when cooked, and a pretty powerful garlic flavor when raw. Chopped finely in stir-fries, they're delicious. Or, made into pesto... 

the garlic plant; the scape is the cylindrical stalk that loops around

I made six cups of pesto with garlic scapes, olive oil, almonds, and a little bit of nutritional yeast. It was a bit of a process because the blender I borrowed from Dining Services doesn't function nearly as well as a food processor does...

Left: blending, Right: the final product (mm!)

I saved a small amount to eat immediately (above right), the rest is frozen for use in the fall, or later in the summer

We're also growing potatoes in the presidential garden in tire-stacks and in the ground. Because potatoes benefit from being "mounded", or covered with dirt as they grow, growing them in tires allows more (easy!) mounding, and therefore more potatoes. The only silly decision on the part of WSG was deciding to place these tire stacks at the presidential garden, so that we now have to wheelbarrow our compost up to the presidential garden to fill the tire stacks. They're growing really well, though! Potatoes are ready to harvest as "new potatoes" once the tops of plants flower. They can be harvested full size when the tops of the plants dry and turn brown.

potatoes in tire stacks

potatoes in the ground, at the presidential garden

 the presidential garden

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Welcome to Summer!

Hello everyone, and welcome to summer in the garden. It's a beautiful and exciting place, somewhat exploding (in the best way possible) with greens right now. For those of you who aren't here, here are some photos:

late May (or early June) 2011

late May (or early June) 2011


This is the very same claytonia we discovered underneath the mini hoop tunnels when we peeked underneath them off toward the end of winter. Claytonia is also known as "miner's lettuce" because miners during the California gold rush supposedly ate it to prevent scurvy.

tomato transplants, purchased from a nursery in Cheshire, MA

We had a bit of a greenhouse situation; everything that we had planted in the greenhouse to start as transplants (eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and more) is probably not going to make it. At first we thought it might be because we hadn't watered enough, but then we realized that other people who had used the same trays and soil as us were experiencing the same problems. So we aren't really sure what's going on, and from now on are pretty much just going to start everything from seed. That means it will be longer until we get produce, but that hopefully we will actually get some produce. 

so much deliciousness...

a snap pea pod


I had never seen so many radishes before. I picked about 1 1/2 lbs of them yesterday (Wednesday) and plan to pickle them in the next few days. (And when I say 1 1/2 lbs I mean just the radishes, not even including the greens.) These ones are known as "easter egg radishes" and can grow quite large before getting too bitter to be pleasurable. 

swiss chard

the mess I made while organizing the shed

and the end product! so much better than before.

I'll write more and continue taking more photos sometime. Expect another update next week! Also, check out the lists on the right-hand side of this page detailing what is ready to harvest in the gardens. If you help out, feel free to help yourself to some produce--just make sure you record what you take on the sheet on the right-hand side of the shed. Also, try not to harvest things that aren't ready yet (such as the carrots). If you're not sure, just send me an email or ask me, and I'm happy to explain. Or any general questions, or suggestions, let me know.

Here's the calendar of expected harvests and other things for the summer: