Radish Stew

A Central Texas Gardening Journal

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Congratulations to all gardeners!


Congratulations to all of us! I keep hearing from gardeners about the thrill of seeing their dreams come alive. Here is a Texas bluebonnet blooming in DC. Harper Farmer has sold radishes (!) at the farmer's market! My neighbor has planted veggies for the first time in many years. Students are loving their school and home gardens. Whether it's flowers, a few herbs, or one tomato, we should all be proud of our gardening accomplishments.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Carrots


Carrots fresh from the garden are not always carrot-shaped. They have bends, extra legs, crevices, and lots of dirt! I begin cleaning carrots in the garden by rinsing them off in the row from which they were picked. Then, I tear off the greens and put them in the compost. Next I take them into the house and use a soft brush to get the dirt out of the cracks. The brush just doesn't get all the dirt. I never want to peel the carrots because I don't want to lose any good vitamins. I leaned from a German-heritage friend to scrape carrots with a paring knife. I have adapted that method to using a butter knife. An improvement to the butter knife is my bunny knife. Originally used for serving appetizers, this simple tool works best for cleaning those carrots!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Yellow Squash

It's tiny, but gorgeous, the first yellow squash. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Caterpillars everywhere!




Little white ones, green ones, fuzzy yellow ones, brown globby ones, pretty stripey ones
Big ones, tiny ones, long ones, fat ones, camouflage ones, creepy crawly ones
They are everywhere!

Maybe they are so populous because we had another .45" of rain and some misty days. Welcome, but don't eat my lettuce!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Curried Vegetables

One of the versatile dishes we have been enjoying lately is Curried Vegetables. This pot consists of fresh cauliflower, potatoes, onions, garbanzos, fresh spinach, and canned coconut milk. A lighter version has tomatoes instead of the coconut milk and sweet potatoes and peas.

We had .55" rain yesterday. It was a lovely soft rain. The green beans are up! We picked the first snow peas!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Parsley

  

I harvested the Giant Flatleaf parsley this week and put 5 zip lock containers in the freezer. first, I washed the parsley and cut the leaves off the stems. I let it dry all day, tossing it whenever I went by. then I chopped it and placed it in small bags. This works great. I used all I had last year well before the new crop was growing in the fall. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Compost heaps

I'm out of compost to add to the garden at this time. I am having to purchase organic matter to fluff up the rows. Picture here is the new compost row in the foreground and the older row in the background. You can never have enough compost!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Garden Animals


The cilantro flowers are about 4 feet tall and quite abuzz with life. 



This snake was in the garlic row which was being watered. 



This tree lizard thought it was hidden. It shouldn't worry. I won't bother it. IT CAN BITE!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Busy Spring Planting

These have been busy days in the garden. First, I kicked out the non-productive plants. Next, I have been eating fresh produce daily: broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and lettuce. Then, as the rows were emptied, I started refurbishing the rows and planting the little upstarts. I have two rows of Roma tomatoes, 2 rows of Celebrity tomatoes, 2 rows of jalapeƱos, 2 rows of cucumbers, 2 rows of yellow squash, two rows of green beans, 2 spots with 2 melons each. I have more melons, jalapenos, cucumbers, the eggplants, and a few more celebrity tomatoes to plant. I have lots of seeds and plans for whatever vacant rows I can find. VERY BUSY!  It takes me several hours to turn the row, add compost, add fertilizers, get out the clumps, shape the row and then finally plant. The work is enjoyable, the weather has been beautiful. With no rain and just a few misty mornings, I may have to start a watering schedule.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sea of Spiderworts

Last year I left one little spiderwort plant to go to seed. This year we had a 10' by 10' solid patch of spiderworts! We had such great rain this winter that we are having a record wildflower season. I let these wildflowers bloom, then cut them down and turned them into compost. I left one!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Snow Peas

On Saturday, I visited with my cousins Amy and Megan, age 9, about their gardens at their school. What a wonderful conversation! I love talking with all who are excited about their gardens. Amy's Snow Peas were blooming and making little darts of peas. I had planted snow peas, but still had seen no flowers. So, I went home and checked on them at 2:00. No flowers. I went back out about 6:00 and grabbed my camera to show the pea flowers. HAVE FAITH! If you keep trying, you will have peas or tomatoes or whatever your heart desires.

Dewberries are Blooming

Look for stickery vines with white blooms. They grow wild around Lake Travis. These native blackberries are ready to pick on May 1. Dewberry pie, Dewberry Ice Cream. WONDERFUL!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter, Bunny!

This Easter I really understand the bunny connection! We have been eating salads from the garden every day, sometimes three times a day. This is a picture of the last Oak Leaf Lettuce, which was the centerpiece of our Easter dinner. Gorgeous.

We have also been eating Swiss Chard, Carrots, Radishes, Green Onions, Cauliflower and Broccoli. What a treasure! Happy Easter everyone.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Spring Garden Party



The menu for our Spring Garden Party was augmented by the addition of canned goods from the pantry. Sweet and Spicy Pickles and Dill Green Bean Pickles served as condiments. Sweet Relish was great in the Potato Salad. Fredericksburg Chili Sauce makes a great salad with Black Beans, Corn, and onion.