Ruby Coleslaw

Whew…what a hot Memorial Day weekend! And today we’re already at 91°F at 10 a.m.! With all this heat, we’ve been digging out some of the coolest, most refreshing recipes we can find–and ones that use our garden-fresh ingredients, of course. Here’s one of our winners, for using our first head of Red Acre cabbage….

Zucchini Bread

Before you give me too much credit, no, I haven’t used any amazing season-extension techniques to get fresh zucchini in mid-May here in Virginia. My zucchini plants are growing quickly, but they won’t be producing before the middle of June. On the other hand, June will be here before we know it, and that means…

Can’t Beet It!

I love the smooth texture and understated sweetness of a lukewarm beet. Since ours first got big enough to pull, I’ve been boiling them, chopping them, and eating them on salads, omelets, and even plain. They’re beginning to feel less like a luxury and more like a necessity. How did I go thirty years of…

May’s Bounteous Promise

May is the season when the garden is at its greenest, every plant lush with the possibilities of the coming months. When later everything’s yellowing in the late August drought, or better yet, blanketed under snow next January (fingers crossed!), I’m going to look back at these pictures with longing… And between now and then,…

Freezing Spinach

I didn’t have much success with spinach last year, in the spring or fall. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t very invested in it. I planted some seeds thinking, “It might be nice to have a little spinach,” and then basically didn’t pay any more attention to them. So I guess the weeds and the drought…

What’s a Weed?

About a week ago, we changed seasons here in Virginia. We put down the shovel and took up its summer counterpart: the hoe. This is not to say that there won’t be more planting going on (there will), and it’s not to say that there wasn’t some weeding going on back in March and April…

Of Tatsoi, Beets and Duck Eggs…

When it came time for lunch today, I knew I needed to use a bunch of produce from the garden. All the rain has made everything grow twice as fast, and it seems there’s already more available than we’ll ever be able to eat. Today my mission was to use a lot of tatsoi. I’ve…

What to Do with All These Strawberries…

I wish I could say this surplus of strawberries came from our garden, but even though the plants I put in the ground last fall have grown well and are producing runners like crazy, we’ve only gotten a few fruits from them so far–small but very sweet. So until next year, when the home harvest…

You Were Right about the Peas!

At the end of February, I wrote a post about last year’s abysmal failure growing peas. But I said that, despite all the non-germinating seeds and withered seedlings of last year, I was giving it another go, planting several feet each of Amish Snap, Mammoth Melting Sugar, and Burpeeana Early. And, my dear readers, you…

How Nature Deals with Deer

Two years ago, I planted a mock orange shrub in the backyard. It had tiny white flowers that smelled good enough to eat. I guess our neighborhood deer were of the same opinion, because they soon ate them all. As well as the leaves. And some of the branches. It’s only this year—probably through pure…

Mid-Spring Salade “Niçoise”

This salad isn’t made the way someone from Nice, France, would make it. For one, it has lettuce. And it doesn’t have any tomatoes. But it does have the trademark hard-boiled eggs and preserved tuna (even the Niçois wouldn’t dream of using fresh tuna in this dish!). And we combined those with the vegetables that…

Tatsoi Recipes?

While I can’t deny that I love bringing in from the garden crisp young lettuce, sun-ripened tomatoes, and the sugariest of sweet corns, I also get a lot of pleasure from harvesting foods I’ve never eaten before–or even seen. Tatsoi mustard (Brassica rapa narinosa) is one of the latter. I ordered Tatsoi seeds to help…