Boon Companions: Fennel and Apple Crostata

Writing in a recent post about the beneficial relationship that fennel has with apples in the garden made me think about how they might make great companions in the kitchen, too. I don’t think I’ve experienced the combination much before, if ever. Recipes for the two together seem to be fairly thin on the ground…

New Beginnings

I always find it exciting to begin to plant seeds again, after a hiatus in December. Planting radish seeds outdoors and starting artichokes, arugula, fava beans, kale, leeks, lettuce, mustard greens, onions, peas, scallions, and spinach indoors is my favorite way to start a new year. I use Portland Nursery’s Veggie Calendar as my guide…

Boon Companions: Fennel and Apples

Companion planting is not something that I’ve practiced much in the past, but now that I have a more permanent situation for gardening, I’m going to make an effort to plant things together that will benefit one another, and to keep things away from each other that will cause trouble. Since I haven’t been able…

Gingerbread Granola

The holidays aren’t over yet, and I haven’t had any of that spicy sweet treat, gingerbread. So, I decided to make a batch of Gingerbread Granola for breakfast, using some of my homegrown black walnuts in the mix. This recipe was inspired by one from the book Breakfast, by George Weld and Evan Hanczor. Their…

Blue Camas

Some of my favorite things to plant in my garden that are not fruits or vegetables are native wildflowers. Though they may not be edible themselves, many flowers have the benefit of attracting pollinators, which will help to get those fruit and vegetable blossoms pollinated, too. I like to grow native flowers, specifically, for a…

Tuscan Kale, Sausage and Tomato Broth with Linguine

  I’ll be honest. Kale isn’t one of my favorite vegetables, in and of itself. But it’s one of my favorite vegetables to grow — because it’s easy; it lasts in the garden forever; and it’s one food that I can pick fresh in the winter. I decided to use some of my garden kale…

Rascally Rats

Winter is a time when work in the garden and orchard is primarily about protecting the plants from the cold and other dangers. One of the potential dangers to fruit trees that may be even more of a problem for city growers than our country colleagues is rats. Rats are my least favorite animal. In…

Fiddly Fava Beans

Fava beans are the best bean. Their nutty flavor and creamy texture is unlike any other, and they are truly a delicacy, especially in the early spring when little else is yet in season, and I’ve grown tired of winter crops and stored food. But they aren’t widely eaten in this country because, frankly, they…

Wild Arugula

Now is the time to plan the garden for next year. I already have most of the seeds that I want to plant in 2019, but I’m still going over what I might want to grow more thoroughly, and thinking about trying even more! One thing I will definitely be growing is arugula — wild…

Nesting

There’s something comforting about a bale of straw, I find. Maybe it’s because I’m a country girl. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of hay rides from my childhood and youth. Maybe it’s a deeper instinct that tells me that if I’ve got a bed of straw, then I’m doing all right. Whatever the reason,…