Thursday, August 26, 2010

Radish Romance

The Radish-  one of the fastest growing root vegetables your garden is likely ever to meet. Ready to serve at your dinner table in less than a month, the radish is also very popular for use in children’s gardens as something that promises results very quickly.

Radish Seedlings/ by flickr user katerha
Did you know that radishes are related to both the horseradish and turnip? Yes they are, and they have a bit of a hot, peppery taste and crunch to remind you of this fact.
Radishes work well in salads, as colorful garnishes, sliced thin and serve on your sandwich to add a bit of “kick”, or of course eaten “fresh from the garden”.
~How to grow~
Radishes can be grown in any average soil, but do their best in a rich, well draining soil. Sow your radish seeds in a weed free prepared area. Planting to a depth of 1/2 inch. Once the seeds start sprouting thin them to a spacing of 2 inches apart. After 2 weeks you can start another crop of seeds going, to keep a constant supply though the season. Keep them watered well. You should be able to harvest your crop within 25-28 days. If you do not have a garden area radishes can also be grown in containers.
One thing you should know about growing radishes is that during the hot summer months/mid summer the radishes can have a tendency to bolt and become a bit bitter/hotter in taste. If your radishes have a bit hotter flavor than you’d like simply slice them and add them to salty water to soak for about 30 minutes. The salt and the water help to draw out the heat from the radish.

Radishes come in a variety of fun colors/photo by flickr user clayirving
~Storing after harvest~
Simply remove the green tops off of the radishes and store in your refrigerator  in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. Green tops can be stored for up to 3 days.
~Another..Did you know?~
Did you know that the green tops of radishes can be eaten? Use them in salads or added to sandwiches or cook as you would spinach. Highly nutritious and good for you 1/2 cup of fresh radishes is only 12 calories!
Have fun growing radishes. They are a fun variety for children to try in their own little garden area and can be grown year round.
(content property of Small Town Living/Tina Wilson)

Radish on FoodistaRadish

Monday, August 2, 2010

Deer Proofing with Plants

Deer Proofing Your Garden…With Plants

July 23, 2010
By Small Town Living
What?! ?? What do you mean? I can actually deer proof my know the garden that has nice vegetable plants and flowers in it that Bambi and all of his kin like to munch on… simply by planting more plants??
Deer photo by flickr user: Noel Zia Lee
Yes, you can…really. But the key is in knowing exactly what types of plants deer do no like and will not eat.
These varieties will keep the deer away from the “good stuff” and will (we hope) have them looking for other ground to munch from.
The key is making sure that you plant a lush border around your vegetable garden starting with the tallest plants and then tapering them down to the low growing specimens that deter deer. In other words …you want to build a living fence… A living deer deterrent. Sure Bambi and his kin are cute, but when you work hard on tilling the ground and planting a garden, having Bambi dine on what is intended to be your dinner just isn’t very fun at all.
Delphinium by flickr user: MShades
Below is a list of flowers and plants that deer do not find very appetizing.
You’ll find varieties like nasturtiums which have a peppery taste, mints, and a few herbs like thyme,oregano, and lemon balm that deer do not find appealing.
American Mountain Mint
Anise Hyssop
Baby’s Breath
Bachelor Buttons
Bishop’s Weed
Daffodils by flickr user: Mason2008
Bleeding Hearts
Blue Flax
Blue Star
Butterfly Bush
Butterfly Flower
Butterfly Weed
Butterfly Bush by flickr user: tophera
Forget Me Not
Geranium — Hardy, Scented Geranium; Cranesbill
Gloriosa Daisy
Grape Hyacinth
Lady’s Mantle
Lamb’s Ear
Lemon Balm
Lupine by flickr user:mwri
Ligustrum — Privet
Mariposa lily
Monarda — Bee Balm
Moss Pink
Northern Bayberry
Ornamental Chives
Ornamental Grass
Pincushion flower
Pincushion flower by flickr user: uzvards
Russian Sage
Siberian Iris
St. John’s Wort
Sweet William
So, just because Bambi likes to take his evening walks across your property it does not mean that you cannot have a beautiful garden area with gorgeous flowers and vegetables. Give it a try..plant a living fence.
~Happy Gardening!~

Artisan Farming

Book Review: Artisan Farming: Lessons, Lore and Recipes (Richard Harris with Lisa Fox/ Gibbs Smith 2010)

August 1, 2010
By Tina Wilson
Have you ever wondered how other farmers do what they do? How they keep the family farm going despite rough terrain and trying conditions? What the passion is that drives them to rise at the break of dawn and work from sun up to sun down and do it all over the next day…again and again?
Within the pages of “Artisan Farming: Lessons, Lore, and Recipes”(Richard Harris with Lisa Fox/Gibbs Smith 2010)You’ll have the chance to find out about the farming history of the New Mexico region, and how  some family farms across the region have kept their crops and farms going in an area that is known for its harsh terrain and hot weather. Many would look at the New Mexico area as being a very difficult area to farm in, but there are many farmers that have thrived and continue to thrive on what this area offers to those willing to stick it out and give it a try. This is their story.
You’ll read stories from buffalo farmers to garlic farmers to pepper farmers, corn farmers, wheat farmers,goat farmers, and many more specialty farmers. They’ll share with you their tips on what has worked for them on their farms and some of the challenges they have faced.
You will also find a wide variety of recipes that some of the farms and farmers markets share utilizing the ingredients grown in the New Mexico region, but that you should be able to find at your local grocers or farmers markets in your area as well. Recipes for such tasty items as: Indian Blue Corn Tortillas, Traditional Enchilada Casserole, Salsa Casera (Homestyle Salsa), and so much more.
You’ll also find a regional ” road trip touring guide” listing out a number of farms worthy of visiting, along with a list of farmers markets in the area.
If you desire to read a book in which farmers share their passion for what they grow, as well as their passion for preserving the traditions of their elders, and sharing with others the tips they have learned, as well as a bit of advice on just how to prepare some delightful food items from fresh produce this is definitely a book that you will enjoy.

Find Your Copy HERE

About the Authors:
Santa Fe gourmet cook, Richard Harris, author of 36 travel and history books, has teamed up with organic farmer, Lisa Fox, who produces “Farming in Season”, a Taos public radio broadcast, and Trent Edwards, a Los Cerrillos photographer, to provide this authoritative guide to the history, methodology,and intriguing character of independent farming in New Mexico.