You may have noticed, our garden tools are getting a little shabby, and we seem to have a few less than the past few years. I’d like to host a little fund raiser in spring at the garden so we can buy some more tools. I’ll call the newspaper to get it publicized, post on craigslist, etc. If you’re interesting in participating in any way, please let me know!
Here’s my idea for the event, please feel free to add your ideas as well. It would be 100% donation based. We can have the following things to offer the community:
- Seedlings of all kinds! I grow a lot of heirloom tomatoes that you can’t even find at nurseries. I’ll also grow extra basil and some other herbs, along with a bunch of fancy sunflowers.
- Farmers market guides (what’s in season & when, along with how to pick and store). Would need to get these printed and laminated
- Information! If anyone would like to show up and share their gardening expertise, I’m sure that people would love it.
- Crafty things: if anyone is crafty and makes cute pots, garden decor, or anything like that, great!
Where I need help:
- Growing seedlings! I can tell you how to do it for almost $0.00 if you are interested.
- Promotion: if anyone is friends with local business owners (sandwich shops etc), we can accept sponsorship on the farmers market guides. It’s much better when coming from someone they know, than a random walkin like me!
- A laminater: If I get farmers market guides printed, it would be ideal to get them laminated.
- Other ideas!
Goal: $500! If we can get 100 families to stop by and donate $5 each, that would be $500. And if we can get some business sponsorships on the farmers market guide, that’s another good source of funds. We can have a little get-together afterwards to decide how to spend the money.
About the compost (see brochure).
Alright everyone, the compost will be here
Thursday afternoon, Jan 23 Friday around 4pm, Jan 24. We only have 1 working wheel barrow (and a 2nd one with no wheel!), and it looks like only 1 good shovel. So we might want to pre-plan our garden times since it looks like only 1 plot can load up on compost at a time
If you want to leave a comment when you will try to be at the garden and coordinate, go for it! But it’s obviously not needed.
I will be leaving a sign in the compost to let people know it is NOT free. When you are done with your plot, please let me know. If there is leftover, I will let people know they can use it (or you can bag it up for any garden use at home).
I’m organizing compost delivery to the garden for $35 per cubic yard. If you’re interested in compost, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the amount of compost you want by Monday, Jan 13, end of day. I’ll follow up with payment and delivery details.
- The large garden plots that we have are 20’ x 5’9”. That 115 square feet.
- Most of our plots have side boards that are 9-12 inches tall. A lot of plots appear to be 3-5 inches short of the top of the boards.
- How many inches deep do you want compost?
- 3 inches deep (recommended for most plots) = 1 cubic yard
- 6 inches deep (good if your soil is very low) = 2 cubic yards
- For reference, here is a soil amendment report I got from a soil test a few years back. There is a section where they recommended quite a bit of compost.
ABOUT THE COMPOST:
It’s made of horse and chicken manure with wood chips, leaves and a few other things mixed in. It’s from a farm in morgan hill.
I’d love to get together again! I got some good feedback on the best times to get together and it seems like the weekends might be best. How does Saturday, Nov. 2 work out for everyone?
It was fun to meet everyone and socialize, so let’s do it again. And this time, I’m going to sneak in a small agenda too!
- Winter plot makeovers: I know a lot of people need more dirt, new dirt, compost and all sorts of things to get their plots ready for next year. I’d like to organize this and see if we can either get dirt and compost dropped off, or get some volunteers together to pick it up. I know one of the members said he has access to all of the horse manure we could use, we just need to rent a truck and do the work.
- Seed exchange: The seed catalogues start coming around the Holidays, and most seed packets have 50+ seeds in them. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need that many. I’d love to organize some group seed sharing
- Soil testing: I’ve gotten my soil tested professionally a couple times in the past and it’s incredibly helpful. I want to share that information with everyone and find out who’s interested in a test this year. We get a group discount which ends up being $17 per person for the basic test for nutrients and organic matter. There’s a more extensive test you can order as well if you’re trying to diagnose a problem.
Let me know if you can make it. If you can’t let me know what general days/times work for you. And if you have anything to add to the agenda, let me know!
So I love fall cooking and have been trying all sorts of new soup recipes. A note for vegetarians/vegans and people with lactose intolerance, none of these soups require the heavy cream as stated in the recipe. I’ve omitted it in all of them that call for it and the soups are still delicious (and don’t tell anyone, I don’t notice the difference!) The vegetables in the soup are enough to make a thick, creamy soup without the added cream.
Here are the ones that turned out really well:
I love ginger and usually have a heavy hand with all of my seasonings. However, I actually cut back the amount of ginger in this recipe or it over powers the carrots. I definitely recommend tasting as you go, and add more ginger as you see fit.
Garlic Potato Soup
I love the flavor of this soup. It has a subtle garlic taste that really stands out when paired wit the garlic chips (yes, even after adding BOTH heads of garlic!). I like a creamy potato soup so I just puree the whole thing together and it turns out lovely. Also, there is no real need for the cream unless you want the additional richness. And those garlic chips are well worth it! (recipe)
Roasted Parsnip and Apple Soup
The flavor of this soup was fantastic and had a lot of depth. Wouldn’t change a thing… and it might be the star ‘starter course’ for my Thanksgiving, it’s that tasty. (recipe)
Butternut Squash Soup with Sage and Hazelnut
This is an excellent base that you can season any way you’d like. I didn’t used hazelnut oil instead of coconut oil. I also made candied squash seeds as a garnish and they were excellent though got chewy as they soaked in the soup. I might try t candy hazelnut pieces next time instead. (recipe)
Since produce is coming in, I thought it would be a good time to have our first get-together!
- When: Thursday, August 1 from 4:30 to 6:30
- Where: At the garden
- I’ll bring some snacks and refreshments
- Friends and family are welcome
I’m thinking we can do this on the first Thursday of every month. But the day and times are open, so let me know if you’d like to suggest a different day or time!
See you soon!
U-pick berry farms are in full swing for the summer. Here’s a list that you can visit:
- Coastaways Ranch: Strawberries, blackberries and ollalaberries (and Kiwi in December). Open daily from 8am to 8pm.
- Phipps Ranch: Strawberries and ollalaberries. Open daily from 10am to 6pm.
- Webb Ranch: Ollalaberries and raspberries. A bit more expensive. Open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 8:30am to 2:30pm.
- Wolfe Ranch: Peaches, apricots and cherries. Open from 9am to 4pm.
I also added them to a google map with more information.
The May produce is still available throughout most of summer, get the list & recipes here for blueberries, peaches, apricots, strawberries and summer squash.
- Blackberries: they are in season all summer long. To store them spread on a paper towel on a plate. You can leave it on the counter for a day if you’re eating them right away, otherwise, throw them in the refrigerator. Recipes: Blackberry scones (these are delicious, I made them recently). Pork with blackberry & peach sauce, blackberry jam, and blackberry mojito.
- Raspberries: they are in season all summer long. To store them, spread on a paper towel on a plate and leave on the counter for 2-3 days (refrigeration saps their flavor). Recipes: Chocolate cupcakes with raspberry buttercream, brownie & raspberry trifles
- Figs do NOT continue to ripen after they are picked, so be sure to grab ripe ones. Softness, split skins, and sugar-water droplets are signs of ripeness, and mission figs shrivel when they are ripe. Store in a cool dark place with good air circulation for 2-3 days (put them on a wire rack so air can get underneath). If you must store them longer, put them in the refrigerator. Recipes:Fig ice cream, lamb & fig kabobs with honey and rosemary, fig old-fashioned drink, grilled figs, fig-walnut sticky buns, fig & goat cheese bruschetta, fig + goat cheese + radicchio salad.
- Corn: Look for corn stored in the shade or on ice at the farmers market, since heat converts the sugars to starch. A moist and pale-green stem indicates the corn has just been picked. After about a day, the stems become woody and turn brown. To store, place in plastic bags with husks on and put in the refrigerator. Lasts 2-3 days. The husks should be bright green and have golden brown corn silk. Recipes: 3 ways to cook corn on the cob, corn fritters, corn chowder with bacon, scallion and potatoes, summer squash and corn soup, southwestern chopped salad with cilantro lime dressing.
- Cherry Tomatoes: do not refrigerate tomatoes since it saps flavor and alters the texture. Store them on the counter, away from sunlight. Recipes: mini caprese bites, oven roasted cherry tomatoes, cherry tomato crostini with whipped feta, pasta salad with charred onions and roasted cherry tomatoes (use bulgar wheat, farro or any other whole grain).
Hey everyone, sorry I haven’t posted much recently. Been working on gathering a bunch of information that is scattered all over the internet: when to plant each crop, and when they are in season (for the Farmers Markets). It isn’t done yet, but I did want to share what’s in season for May, along with a few recipes.
Normally I like to try recipes before I share them, but I haven’t had time for all of these. If you do try some, tell me how they turn out. And if you have a favorite, share it!!!
Coming soon (Early summer, around June): Raspberries, blackberries, corn, tomatoes
Saturday should be a perfect day for transplanting! It’s going to be partly cloudy, which is best for transplanting (lets them get used to their new home without the harsh sun). Then it is going to be sunny and 77-80 all week! The plants should be incredibly happy about that
If anyone wants a few sunflower seeds, I have plenty to spare. Let me know and I will leave them in a ziploc bag on your plot
I’ll be in the garden Saturday afternoon. Maybe I’ll see a few of you there. I have a few spare tomato plants I will bring too, I wanted to share a few. If we don’t meet up, not to worry, I can leave them in their pot in your garden plot.