Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Demo Garden Thrives!

It amazes me how much the demo garden grows every week! Last week I thought all of the plants looked pretty large, but this week they have really filled out. The plants are spilling over the edges of the beds. The garden looks really full and productive! We have small green beans, peppers, squash and tomatoes forming!

Some of our white radishes bolted and so we pulled them out of the garden. I made a mistake and pulled the rest of the white radishes out because I thought they were bolted as well. Afterwards, one of the volunteers informed me that is just the way white radishes grow. It just goes to show that you can learn something new about gardening every day.

We also discovered that the turnips are big enough to eat. When I announced that the turnips are ready to be pulled in the ECC office I created a problem. Where are we going to give all of our turnips? Taylor said that he is ‘turnipped out’. His comment made me think about the way you eat when you have a garden.

When spinach is ready you eat spinach, when peas are ready you eat peas, when zucchini is ready you eat zucchini, etc. This summer I have looked through my family’s cookbooks multiple times (with the arrival every new abundant veggie) for new ways to prepare our garden harvest. I actually find it quite exciting to flip through the pages of a cookbook in an effort to prevent myself from becoming sick of a particular food.

I love that gardening can lead to creativity in the kitchen! Besides trying many recipes out, I also enjoy doing taste tests with different varieties of zucchini, potatoes, lettuce, peas, etc. I encourage you to pick something out of your garden, grab a cookbook, and start cooking. There is also a wealth of recipes on the internet! If you do not have your own garden, I would push you to go to the farmers market and buy veggies with out worrying about what you will do with them, until you get home. This is a chance to be resourceful and creative!

Some delicious recipes for what is in season right now include:

Zucchini Hot Cakes
2 cups grated zucchini (pressed dry between paper towels)
2 T chopped onion
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
¼ cup flour
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 T mayonnaise
¼ t oregano
Salt & pepper to taste

Stir together all ingredients. Melt 1 T butter in skillet. Spoon 2 T batter into skillet and press down with spatula. Cook until both sides are browned. Repeat until all batter is used. Serve plain or with tomato sauce or grated cheese or sour cream.

Garlic Friendship Dip
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
½ cup sour cream
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup Parmesan cheese
a little Parsley

Blend together & let chill. Serve with veggies or chips.


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