Cooking with Green Tomatoes

green tomatoGreen is the New Red – I hate to say it, but you know all those green tomatoes you have growing? They’ll likely stay that way. We’ve had a few nice weeks of heat, but the days are short now and it won’t be enough to ripen all the fruits. Since you’ve already trimmed up your plant and removed the teeny tiny green tomatoes so they won’t suck all the energy away from the bigger fruits, here are some tips on how to deal with a green tomato glut.

– If green tomatoes are full sized, you can bring them in the house to ripen. Be sure to try and Continue reading

Tips for Saving Seed

My apartment is full of all sorts of goodies of intrigue this time of year. At the moment, I have a bunch of parsley that I let go to seed drying, some brassica seed ready to be stored and two sheet pans full of flower heads waiting to be picked over.  I’m in full swing of seed-saving, a project most home gardeners seldom think to do.  Why spend $2.50 on a pack of cosmos AGAIN next year, when you have hundreds of seeds at your fingertips?  Saving seed is not only economical, it’s a good self-education on a plants biology.  (That was way garden geeky, I know) Some tips for seed saving: – Beans – if you’ve left some peas and beans on the vine too long, leave them be and let them turn brown and dry.  Remove the seeds (ie the actual bean or pea) from the pod, and store … Continue reading

Soil Savers

This weekend, I drove three hours out to apple country (which is now more of a peach country) for a last-of-the-season swim in Lake Chelan and first-of-the-season green apples for making green apple pectin. On the road through Blewitt Pass and the farm country just east of there, I couldn’t help but think about big agriculture. Amidst green vineyards and irrigated fields, it leaves a lot to ponder for a lil’ urban gardener, like me (and you!). As if the universe knew I was pondering, the next day I found an old National Geographic magazine sitting in the main cabin where I stayed. Drawn to the cover “Where our Food Comes From”, I picked it up for some lakeside reading. What I found was a fascinating article on soil that everyone should read. Now, I know soil doesn’t sound super important, but it is. Topsoil is not a dime a … Continue reading

Life of a Tomato

It’s happening. Days are getting noticeably shorter and cooler. Tank tops in the garden have been replaced by long sleeve shirts and there is a certain chill to the air – the seasons are changing. In the garden, especially given this summer’s cooler temps and late start, you’ve likely been staring at branches of green tomatoes with hopeful eyes and fingers crossed. While we can’t control the sun, we can control the plant, and there are some late-season tips for getting the ripest tomatoes in the last few weeks of warm(ish) weather. If you haven’t been trimming suckers off your plant all summer, now is the time. Essentially the branches on the main stem, suckers can be snipped off without affecting the fruit. By doing so, you are in essence re-routing the plant’s energy to making a full ripe fruit, not new leaves and branches. (That is a really simplified … Continue reading

GoGo Green Garden on DailyCandy

This week I had the fortune, luck, pleasure of being featured on the uber-cool Daily Candy for gogo.  What a treat!  By 7:15am I had five emails and by days end about 40ish from hopeful gardeners in Seattle and beyond.  I even got a few ‘Ask the Gardener’ type questions, which I loved.  Everyone seems curious about growing their own food, but not necessarily sure how to tackle the project.  Enter gogo green garden.  If you haven’t seen the piece, check it out. (And, yes, I know my arms are totally ripped – thanks to a bit of hard work and a whole lotta Dillon.  gogo see her – you won’t be sorry!)

Urban Farming, Here to Stay?

Well, well, well……. when the New York Times writes about something, it sorta becomes instantly legitimate. On the cover of today’s Sunday Styles section (and, yes, it’s my favorite) is a whole big fat article on young-in’s going green and moving to the country to farm. Once considered city slickers, these folks have traded in their Manolo’s for tractors.  Okay, I know I’m exagerating, but I think this officially seals the deal that we’re on to something good in Seattle. We might not all be heading out to the Puyallup Valley and buying up farms, but there is a keen interest in growing our own vegetables. With so many people interested in backyard edibles, I hope this remains a ‘movement’, as opposed to fading into merely a trend. Why not grow veggies in your backyard? Why pay $2.49 for a bunch of sage, when you can pay the same price for a seed-packet … Continue reading

Wild Edibles

Be sure to check out April’s issue of Martha Stewart for the Wild Edibles article.  I’ve been singin’ the praises of wild edibles since I met Arthur Lee Jacobsen – a local plant expert (yes, of course I have a crush).  Most of the ‘weeds’ highlighted can be found in the NW. Particularly delicious is a weed called “Chickweed”.  Nearly every garden I’ve seen thus far this year has this plant.  Not only is Chickweed a healthy soil indicator, it’s pretty delicious.  Sorta like if arugula and grass had babies – at once earthy in flavor with a bit of bite.  Get ’em while they’re small!  The longer the grow, the more bitter they become.  Everyone’s been talkin’ about Urban Farming………I’m moving on to an Urban Salad.

Seeds, Glorious, Seeds!

They’ve arrived! I came home a few weeks ago to a biiiiiiig box full of seeds. It was like Christmas redux, and I was in heaven. A few things I’m particulary excited for this year ….. – Jenny Lind Muskmelons – named for a favorite soprano singer from the late 1800’s (seriously) this melon should grow to about a pound and is meant to have a very sweet and lime-green flesh.  YUM. Only problem is……melons are tough to grow in these parts (or so I hear). – Lemon Balm – I can’t help but crave bruised lemon balm in my chilled white wine in summer.  It is sooooo delicious. But not only that, lemon balm supports the nervous system by calming the heart, relieves PMS symptoms AND helps clear congestion.  All that in one little seed. – Forellenschluss Lettuce – I have it on a hot tip that this is THE … Continue reading

Garden to GoGo

And without further adieu……….. I’m so very happy to have this website up and running. And while I’d love to make sure it’s all lookin’ fancy and making you hungry, I have seeds to order! On the order form today ~ Jacobs Cattle soup beans, Arugula – in any variety I can find, Deer Tongue lettuce, Scallions and Carrots (even though carrots never seem to like growing for me, much)