Category Archives: Gardening

From Amsterdam, With Love

From JH:

tulip bulbs

What’s the best organic-matter gift one can smuggle in from Amsterdam? Tulip bulbs from the floating flower market, no doubt. These are going in the ground today, and because I’m not sure what variety they are (maybe parrot?), I’m already looking forward being surprised in the spring. Thank you, FK!

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Filed under Flora, Gardening, Gift Ideas, Raw Materials, The Growth of a Garden

Why We Should All Go Work on a Farm…

From JH:

At last! I can tell you about my recent week away in VT now––I was here, at Luna Bleu farm in South Royalton, “wwoofing” (willingly working on an organic farm). For anyone looking to learn more about growing food and raising meat and dairy animals, this is the way to do it. Find a host farm through Worldwide  Opportunities on Organic Farms (wwoof.com) and go get your hands dirty. I can say without hesitation that the experience changed my life. Most profoundly, it changed the way that I think about food, and how much work goes into growing it, and the great amount of energy that can be gotten from it…Not to mention how much of that energy we waste in our country everyday, which taught me a great deal about what I can do to be less wasteful and more energy-efficient in my every day. Simply put, I’m finishing my dinner these days. And what I can’t consume, I try to pack-up and preserve, or re-purpose. Heck, I’ve asked for a compost bin for Christmas, haven’t I? I’m canning. I’m making small-batch sauce and freezing it for the winter. When I think about it, I’ve never eaten better.

Below are scenes from my week on the farm.

heirloom house and lettuce rows at luna blue

heirloom house and lettuce rows at luna blue

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herloom tomatoes

heirlooms and red slicers

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chard, corn, and the cherry house

cabbage patches, corn, and the cherry tomato house

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the sau

the sau

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just-picked leeks

just-picked leeks

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renegade spinach seedlings

renegade spinach seedlings

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the most you'll ever see of me

early evening

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luna bleu farm on a full moon

luna bleu farm before a full moon

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Filed under Aspirational/Inspirational, Gardening, Simple Syrup

Micro Farming: Food-Growing Made Simple

From JH:

micro farming from austin, tx

coming to you from austin, tx

Down in Austin, TX Lucas Brower and Jesse Kamm have started a genius company making and delivering Home Grow Micro Farms––self-watering garden boxes that yield a variety of seasonal, organic vegetables over the course of 3 months.

It works like this: You pick a box from their site’s monthly planning menu (in November, for example, you have a choice between 4 boxes; one’s filled with salad greens, another has beets and Chinese cabbage, etc.), then order it online, or by phone. Brower and Kamm deliver your box in their veggie oil-powered car, and do all of the installing for you (you need only to provide them with an outdoor water spigot, or, maybe you collect rainwater, and would prefer to hook it up to your well? Even better.). Give your box a lot of sun and reasonable TLC, and in approximately 30 days it will be ready for harvest.

good eats

good eats

Then, when 3 months has passed and you’ve eaten through your Micro Farm, Brower and Kamm will come collect the exhausted box and replace it with a newly seeded one. 1 box is only $30/month! Get your rotation right (i.e. have a new box returned and delivered every month), and you’ll have fresh, seasonal vegetables everyday, year-round.

Really, it’s so easy. It waters itself. It’s already seeded. It’s harvest without the hassle. And home-grown without a required green thumb. Get in touch with Brower here.

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Filed under Do It Yourself, Gardening, Gift Ideas, Raw Materials

The Growth of a Garden: Part 14

from JH:

long john cayenne peppers

long john cayenne peppers

Look what finally decided to join us, at last! To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to do another Growth post this year. These past few weeks, little by little, JB and I have been dismantling the H&O garden. Most of the raised bed is clear, and in an effort to use as much of the mint as is humanly possible before winter strikes, I’ve been continuously picking and consuming it (mint in my tea, mint in my salad, mint with my tomatoes, mint in my rice, mint bouquets all over the apartment…a girl can only use so much mint). The tomato trellises are all that’s left, but before we take those down, I needed to gather the last of the kinda ripe ones (look up), and the abundance of green ones that don’t stand a chance in New York’s now 40-degree days (winter in October? Seriously?). But look how many:

green tomatoes

green tomatoes

Seems I’m in for some more green tomato pickles. Thank goodness for Mrs. B’s recipe!

p.s. The chili pic is my very modest ode to the late, very great Irving Penn (1917-2009), still-life photographer extraordinaire and inventor of fabulous picture dreams. No one’s done food better than you, Mr. Penn.

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Filed under Find & Fix, Gardening, The Growth of a Garden

While I Was Out…

From JH:

The tomatoes went berserk! JB and I harvested 9 lbs of them when we got home:

austin red pears, jersey devils, slicers, and tommy toes

austin red pears, jersey devils, slicers, and tommy toes

And then, after the almost 4 hours of driving, 3 ferry rides, and a delayed red-eye that took JB and I back from the remote island in BC where we’d been for the past week, we made a most delicious lunch. It’s nice to be home:

the perfect plate

the perfect plate

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Filed under Cooking Chronicles, Gardening, The Growth of a Garden

And then I Became the Blogger at the Farmers’ Market Who’s Photographing the Flowers…

From JH:

lovely

lovely

It’s called Lavatera, and when I saw it from across the farmers’ market in Brattleboro, VT this past weekend I fell in love. Thankfully, the farmer didn’t think there was anything strange about me wanting to take pictures. “Notes for your own garden?” he asked, sweetly. I hadn’t even thought of growing these at home (so focused on edibles I’ve been), but now that you mention it…

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Filed under Flora, Gardening

The Growth of a Garden: Part 13

From JH:

H&O squash blossoms, mint, basil, oregano, and arugula

fresh-picked

Just harvested: squash blossoms, mint, oregano, basil, and arugula. What can simple city farmers and part-time home cooks do with this? How about a green salad, and prosciutto-and-squash blossom pizza! The blossoms, which essentially dissolved into the cheese (amazing), lent an earthy, flower flavor to the salty di Parma. I’m sorry I don’t have pictures, it was too dark in my kitchen to take any good ones, and I’d rather get your imagination going than post an ill-focused image. I promise that if you think hard enough about a salty-savory homemade pizza topped with San Marzano tomato sauce, garden herbs, ham, and mozzarella, you will get hungry.

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Filed under Cooking Chronicles, Do It Yourself, Gardening, The Growth of a Garden