June 22, 2009

It's not the size that counts . . . (well, maybe it is)

We're talking carrots here, people. (But at least they're dirty carrots.)

Last year, as you can see by looking back at some of my old posts, my adventures in growing carrots proved me to be a miserable failure. None - NOT ONE - of my many dozens of carrots of the 4 different crops of carrots topped an inch in length. And the ones that managed to take carrot-ish form were eaten through by ants. 

Pitiful, right?

So this year,  I tried a new approach: plant carrots that are supposed to be short and stubby so I can claim victory no matter what. Meet the Danvers Carrot.

The other morning, I started the day in my favorite way - coffee, husband, garden tour with the sunrise.
(and no makeup)

We wandered over to the front gardens to see what we could see.
(That's Erik, seeing all that he can see.)

And Hark! I spotted something!
A mature carrot?!
So I tugged and tugged and came to an instant conclusion:
 - that I didn't have to tug very hard. Not a good sign.
But it was bigger than an inch and not an ant in sight. So that made me declare a 73% victory.

And then I ate it. It tasted like a carrot. The rest are still in the ground. I'm aiming for a 100% victory in one week. Set your watches!

June 1, 2009

The Garlic Scape Caper

I walked out to the garden the other day, and saw this:
That, I found after a bit of Googling, is a garlic scape. And not only can you eat it, you should eat it. Leaving it on the plant will eventually sap strength from the bulb - not good.

Which begged the question: how big were the bulbs under there?
I am not a patient person.

Just ask my husband. Ask anybody.
Ask, well, ask this garlic plant.It wasn't very big as you can see. I replanted it and apologized with lots of water and gentle patting. (It's still not dead several days later...)

Instead, I just harvested the scapes and prepared to make some uber-yummy pasta primavera.
Chopped 'em up:They taste -- now get this! -- garlicky! And a little salty. Very nice flavor.

Threw them in a saucepan with some other stuff:Added mushrooms, sundried tomatoes . . .. . . some garden-grown oregano:. . . some summer squash, red peppers . . .
. . . garden-grown arugula, some white wine, yummy cheese . . .. . . saved some garden-grown basil to sprinkle on top:
And then we ate it before I remembered to take a picture of the finished dish. Doh! Should only have my wine after the photographs are done. Trust me, though; it was a delish dish. Try it out with whatever you have on hand.

Here are some other pretty pictures from the garden last weekend:

Happy chard:
Happy Amish Sugar Snap Peas in spring rain:

And a wee bean trying to make it out of the dirt.
Cilantro that is moving on to the next phase of life:
Spinach that was hiding so I wouldn't eat it (had it for dinner last night).
And summer squash getting ready to start a riot.
That's the update!