are such busy days, and the Spring weather has been unpredictable at
best! I haven't written since before our Spring Sale & Food Drive,
so I thought I'd give a little report: In spite of the ferocious rain
& wind, many, many customers braved the weather to attend. Alex,
Joaquin and Don Ernesto put up tents and tarps which helped, but it was
still pretty rough.
They brought nearly 300 lbs of food donations, and together we raised $478.96 in cash donations!!!
We're sowing seeds as fast as we can, and it still seems there's always something we're "out" of...BASIL, for example! But finally, we'll have all our basil varieties this weekend at the Markets! Yay for basil!
Lemon Basil Purple Petra Basil Genovese Basil
Here's my new motto:
"People always garden MORE, not less!"
see the growth (no pun intended) with every season, and there are no
signs of anything slowing down...to the contrary, as more and more
people discover the absolute joy of growing their own food, we're just
going to have to find a way to keep up!
"Switching Over" to Spring...
We've also been busy getting our 25 EarthBoxes and 25 Smart Pots "switched over" to Spring crops.
Much of it is done, with help from Alex and Joaquin, but I still have
corn, butternut and hot peppers to plant...plus more Leeks! And more
Beans! Can't wait to grow and taste fresh PINTOS! To the right is a
photo of our first Leeks and below is a recipe from our friend Laura
Eversz at the Larchmont Chronicle (who have been so good to us!) for an amazing sounding Leek & Potato Soup. I'll be trying this very soon!
Leek and Potato Soup
-4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
-4 medium leeks, white and pale green parts only, coarsely chopped
-2 cloves garlic
-4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
-6 cups chicken broth
-1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
-1 bay leaf
-1 packed cup coarsely chopped fresh spinach leaves
In a large pot, heat the butter over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and
garlic and cook, stirring, until the leeks are tender, about 15
2. Add the potatoes and cook another 5 minutes. Add
the broth, nutmeg, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove
the bay leaf.
3. With an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth and creamy. Add the spinach leaves and pulse to blend.
4. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with several BORAGE BLOSSOMS. Serve hot.
Rooftop Garden & Cover Crop...
Wednesday we'll plant our annual Tomato Taste Test Garden on the roof
of the warehouse; we turned under the cover crop two weeks ago, so it
should be broken down by then. It's amazing how fast it happens! We'll
be planting all 17 new varieties, plus 3 old favorites.
Because we really want Joaquin to enjoy some homegrown tomatoes before
he goes home on July 4th, we planted Early Annie & Legend very
early in the season; they are two of the three Determinates we're
growing, which means they'll produce a large crop all at once. He's
been such an amazing help in the Nursery (and at the Markets), he deserves to enjoy the fruits of his labors!
This year's recipients will be Fire Station #52 and #61 (right in our neighborhood!);
Myrna had the brilliant idea to create vegetable gardens at these two
stations. We love the idea...these good folks are known to be excellent
cooks (with hopefully, time on their hands), so why not? The stations
will also be re-landscaped in front, and additional funds will go to
"greening" the median at West 6th St. & Norton.
Whole Foods Markets is one of the event sponsors, and today they gave us a big stack of brown handled grocery bags, which, as you all know, are the perfect mode of transport for traveling tomato plants, so we thank them for their generosity!
Keyhole Garden - How to make an
African style raised bed
Things being as busy as they are, we decided not to participate in the L.A. GardenShow at the Arboretum,
but we did donate lots of plants to Shawn Maestretti & the UCLA
Extension Student Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects,
who are creating an exciting "Keyhole Garden" for the event. It runs May 4th thru 6th if you can make it.
Just some variety notes:
Silver Queen Kabocha Long Island Cheese Sugar Baby