Friday, October 24, 2008

Next to Last Harvest

Getting close to the end. Pumpkins, one more watermelon, and one more musk melon harvested today. We're expecting snow in a couple days so probably one more harvest of carrots and kale this year.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Autumn Delivery

Today we delivered a little under 35 pounds of produce to Mt. Calvary food shelf. Eggplant, peppers (poblano, jalapeno, those spicy red ones), cukes, okra, tomatoes, kale, thyme - and my mutant carrots.

I'm getting to like those short fat carrots, regardless of how the more practiced gardeners make fun of them (me). They have character! Next year I'll plant a special row of them on top of rocky soil just like this year. But we'll make sure there are a couple of rows with the soil loosened so we can have the more traditional tall skinny carrots.

And here's a recipe we found for the carrots, including those beautiful greens on top of them:

1 bunch of carrots, tops included
2 tblspns unsalted butter
3 tblspns white rice
2 large leeks, white part only
2 thyme or lemon thyme sprigs
2 tblspns chopped dill or parsley
6 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
Salt and pepper to taste

Pull the carrots green off their stems. ( 2 to 3 cups, loosely packed).
Wash and chop greens and carrots finely.
Melt butter in a soup pot.
Add the carrot tops and the carrots, rice, leeks, thyme, and dill or parsley.
Cook for several minutes, turning everything a few times.
Add 1½ teaspoons salt.
Add the stock and bring to a boil.
Simmer until the rice is cooked, 16 to 18 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Liz's instructions for building a Tomato Trellis

From our Master Gardener Liz, who built the trellis in our garden, instructions for how to build one in yours:

I got the idea for the tomato trellis during a visit to Sabathini Urban Garden in Minneapolis.

I thought it was such a great idea I went straight to Home Depot to purchase the supplies, and next thing you know I’m building the trellis with a little help from my son.

4 – 2x2x8’s
2 – 1x2x8’s
2 – 5 inch bolts (to go through two 2x2’s), 4 washers to fit the bolts, and 2 wing nuts to fit the bolts
4 – 4 inch bolts (to go through one 2x2 and one 1x2), 8 washers to fit the bolts, and 4 wing nuts to fit the bolts
Roll of string

Drill & drill bits

Building Instructions
1. Cut one of the 1x2x8’s in half to make two cross bars.
2. In each 2x2x8, drill a hole one foot from the top and another hole 4 feet from the top.
3. In each 1x2x4 (cross bar), drill a hole about 6 inches from each end.
4. Attach 2 of the 2x2x8’s at the top with the 5 inch bolts, washers, and wing nuts.
5. Repeat Step 4 for the remaining 2x2x8’s.
6. Spread one set of the 2x2x8’s apart. Match the lower holes on the 2x2x8’s with the holes a cross bar. Attach the cross bar to the 2x2x8’s with the 4 inch bolts, washers, and wing nuts.
7. Repeat Step 6 for the other set.
8. Bury the 2x2x8’s about 6-8" into the ground, about 7 feet apart.
8. Place the remaining 1x2x8 across each ‘V’.
Planting Instructions
1. Plant the tomato plants under the trellis
2. Cut several pieces of string that reach from the ground to the top support, plus an extra 2-3 feet.
3. Tie a piece of string gently around the base of the tomato plant, gently wrap it around a branch, and gently pull the string up to the top support. Wrap and tie the string in a slip knot around the top support.
4. Repeat step 3 for each branch of the tomato plant, and also as new branches appear.
5. As the branches grow, unwrap the string from the top support, wrap a little more string around the branch, and then re-wrap it around the top support.