Supporting Urban Gardening
One Organic Seed at a Time
Friday, October 23, 2015
TDN Newsletter: 10-23-15
Dear Gardening Friends,
Happy Fall! The weather's getting cooler and the days shorter. I always say this is a brief season, but if we start now, we can easily do a couple rounds of all our Fall favorites before it’s "Tomato Time" again.
We’ve already switched over most of our own garden: Kale, Chard, Peas, Spinach, Broccoli, Cauliflower (the first round of which got planted out 6 weeks ago, and didn't even blink at the repeated heat waves!), Beets, Garlic, Onions, Shallot & Leeks. We'll add more rounds as our Summer crops finish off and their EarthBoxes become available.
We're expecting our full line-up of seed Potatoes in just a couple weeks, and we'll get a nice batch of those going right away, too!
We’re still harvesting a bit of Summer...Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Beans are still producing, and we've got a nice batch of Sweet Potatoes "curing" in our oven as I type this...
Broccolini vs. Broccoli Raab?
This year we're selling Broccolini for the very first time; I've never seen seeds for it until now... I wasn't quite sure how it differed from Broccoli Raab (probably shouldn't display my ignorance, but what the heck), so I studied up!
Turns out Raab (also known as Rapini or Broccoli de Rapa) is a member of the brassica rapa family, which includes Mustards and Turnips, which is why it has that pungent, bitter flavor like mustard greens.
Broccolini is a hybrid of broccoli and a Chinese kale; it's sweeter and more tender than regular Broccoli, and every part is edible. So far this season, it's selling very well, but I know there are fantastic uses for each of these nutritious veggies!
Don't Forget... Garlic, Shallots, Onions & Leeks are available for a very limited time!
Saturday, Oct. 31st (Halloween costumes welcome!)
& Sunday, Nov. 1st (Don't forget to change your clocks!)
at the Two Dog Home Nursery
914 S. Cloverdale Ave.
Los Angeles 90036
Our first attempt to grow them was what you'd call a "Germination Failure"... then I read the seeds must first be "stratified" (which is a fancy word for "chilled"), so I put a bunch on wet paper towels, and stored them in our refrigerator for one month, making sure they didn't dry out. We sowed them, and Voila! ...nearly 100% germination! Let's help our Monarch friends by planting Milkweed in all our gardens!
Street Parking is available; please bring your friends! Cookies & Lemonade will be served! Please NOTE: We will not be in the Markets that weekend!
Yummy Carrot Puree...
One day we were eating at Morels Restaurant at The Grove, and I ordered this soup, which turned out to be one of the best things I'd ever had. I asked the waiter about it, and he went to the kitchen, and suddenly the chef was there saying it was so simple, and these were the ingredients.... I quickly jotted them down on a scrap of paper placemat, which I still have.
I never re-write recipes and put them in a file; instead, I keep the original "whatever" it's written on and store them in an ancient paper lunch bag. That way, when I take them out, I still have the full, sweet memory of how it came to join the others in the weathered bag. Included in the treasures are my Mom's recipe for her amazing Poppy Seed Cake and my Grandma's recipe for her dreamy Apple Butter (complete with admonition to go easy on the Clove, which I did NOT do the first time I made it!) They're like a lovely scrap book of experiences I can return to again and again.
I make this soup often, especially now for my Mom. The ingredients are indeed simple:
(And as I am like my Grandma in lots of ways, I will admonish you to go very sparingly on the Cardamom and Smoked Paprika... add them in just a little at a time, and taste!)
I usually use 1 large yellow onion, a small handful of homegrown garlic cloves, chopped, and at least 4 pounds of fresh, peeled carrots. I saute the onion & garlic in olive oil, then add in the cut carrots and chicken stock. I use Salt more heavily than I use the Paprika and Cardamom... I add these in in tiny increments until I get that yummy flavor.
After cooking for awhile, I use my immersion blender to puree; at this point, I sometimes add a bit more of the Smoked Paprika and Cardamom to taste.
I'm sure someone with more cooking chops than I could suggest a lovely garnish (I'm very open to suggestions!!), but we usually just devour it as soon as it's ready! Enjoy!
Fully Updated Fall Page...
As many of you already know, we've been selling our Lettuce & Spinach as "Mixed 6-packs" this season...everyone seems to love them, but I've yet to figure out how to present them on our website page, as the combinations are not always the same... Other than that, the Fall/Winter page is fully updated. Please check it out and make your "wish list"!