Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Out To Lunch

Some days gardeners get out.
 Like today, for a Press Luncheon at Montalvo, featuring the culinary musings of Niki Ford.
 Go Niki! Go Niki!
The table is set.
(first rate pizza oven outside)

The Menu:
 First course, my mountain grown assemblage of
 arugula, chickweed, endive, escarole, french sorrel, frisee, green lettuce mix, marjoram, miners lettuce, mint, mizuna, mustard, parsley, puntarelle chicory, purple mizuna,
radicchio, red lettuce mix, red veined sorrel, spinach, tat soy, wild cress, wild sorrel.

Alexis, the Egg Lady from Soul Food Farms, lays out her fare.


 
 Niki mingles her palette of color, texture and taste.
                
Oops, we forgot the edible flowers!
A yummy photo however... there are no mistakes in art.

Thanks to all for doing lunch.
Lets do it and do it and do it and do it!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Wall Post

Retaining Wall, Level 2
Hit the wall cleaning up and pruning. A few days later the lines and shadows caught my eye.

LOG:
harvest for chef, press luncheon
take out flowering Napa Cabbage and Asian Greens
cut back Tuscan Kale

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Magnolias for Brunch?


Magnolias are the first thing I see out my window these mornings.
My dear daddy, somewhat befuddled by old age, calls them granolas.
Not to be confused with mimosas...

LOG:
make simple fixes on irrigation system, (weird, its the rainy season)
harvest and pull arugula, Level 2/wall and Long Bed, amend and
broadcast purple mizuna, cover

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Kinda Seedy


Seeds Planted Today:
Flat Leaf Parsley, Burgandy Amaranth, Greek Sage,
Scallions, Cippolini Onions, Cilantro,
Kale-(Tuscan, Red, Blue,Green, Russian, Flowering)
Lupin
in 6 packs, indoors                   

Friday, February 24, 2012

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Shake Your Rootie

I dread planting carrots. The seeds are so small and reading glasses in the field feel downright silly. Fingers are not so nimble and squatting is awkward. Broadcasting methods have failed me.
The rows were ready to sow but procrastination hovered.
While plotting the garden in the wee hours, the thought of a seed shaker came to me. Seemed like a good idea so I tried it. Works like a charm, distributes the seed evenly, and waaay more fun!

The carrots are heirloom, a 19th century Parisian favorite called Tonda di Parigi or Daucus carota sativus. Aren't they adorable! Much cuter than those puny shaved ones. The roots are shallow and grow well in heavy soils,perfect for the upper beds here. It takes years to build good soil.

Chefs value Voss Garden carrots for their superior taste. Our mineral rich terroir seeps its goodness into the roots.
Yes, there is some truth to Juan Valdez and his "mountain grown" claims to enhanced flavor.

LOG:
cover beets and peas
plant carrots and cover
take out bolting arugula in Level 1/edge, prepare for spinach
cardoons are up!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

You Can't Beet Greens

So just beet it.

Planted 4 rows today, the "beta vulgaris" variety.
hmmm, sounds dirty...


LOG:
Plant beet seeds in Gabe Bed/center
Plant out snap pea starts in Gabe Bed/center
First daffodil!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fat Tuesday Crepes

I forgot how good crepes are until a mutant tree oyster mushroom (featured on a previous post, "Its Alive!!") inspired a mushroom crepe with wine and cheese sauce. So chic for a soiree.

Being more of a gardener then a food writer, although wildly enthusiastic about food and words, I suggest you google a basic crepe recipe and then run with it. Make them ahead and keep on hand for when the crepe muse calls.

So on this day of fat, crepe play is encouraged with three little words.

Sweet! Savory! Saucy!

LOG:
prune grapes on level 2, clean beds and trelisses
made a wreath
fill 6packs for seed starting
amend and row out carrot bed on top
soak rainbow beet seed





Monday, February 20, 2012

Cauliflower 3 Ways

They say you can take the girl out of the Catholic, but you can't take the Catholic out of the girl.
Somehow a diety always makes its way into my picture.

Ganesh is fresh!

Cauliflower season is upon us and here are three simple preparation strategies.

Roast: wrap in foil with a little water, salt, pepper, butter (curry powder is magical)
             bake at 450 for 35 min.
Puree: steam in water or stock until tender, blend
             in food processor or hand buzzer, season for soup or sauce
Raw: go au naturel with a squeeze of lemon and/or dip

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Its Alive!!

This Tree Oyster mushroom is growing out of a dime sized hole in the plastic surrounding our little mushroom farm. Still going strong!

LOG:
start by seed in 6 packs, indoors:
Runway Arugula
Lettuce, Garnet Rose
Broccoli, All Season Blend
Zinger Hibiscus
Celery, Tall Utah 52/70 Improved
Oregano, Purple Italian Heirloom

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tip of the Day

A new spin on salad...

video

LOG:
start Scarlett Runner Beans in pots, indoors
seed plant Early Wonder Beets, Gabe Bed/right
take out arugula, amend and prep Gabe Bed/center
transplant more fava beans from pots to Level 2/edge
restart purple asparagus in pots
plant out Little Gems on top, cover
cut back big grasses on top

Friday, February 17, 2012

Salad for Art

Dinner for 10 last night at Villa Montalvo.
Hosted by the Montalvo Service Group.
The table is set for an elegant occasion.
Guests bid for dinner at a silent auction duringYuletide festivities.
Proceeds support the Arts at Montalvo.
Voila! Artisan salad from Voss Gardens,
featuring over 20 varieties of greens, hand selected by moi.
Team awesome, dishing up sorbet.
The fabulous Linda Cole
and her macaroons!
She had me at white chocolate and rose water...
Thanks to the entire Gourmet Dinner Committee for another enchanted evening!

LOG:
work Gabe Bed; seed plant English shelling peas, plant out potted Snow Peas, plant out Little Gems
prepare upper bed for more Little Gems
inoculate Scarlet Runner Beans
soak Early Wonder beet seed overnite



Thursday, February 16, 2012

Appeasing

LOG:
seed planted shelling peas in bed 2
inoculated 2nd planting of pea seeds
cleared front of Gabe bed for more peas


Please peas me oh yeah!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

MAINTAINING / FEBRUARY LOG/2012

Tuesday, February 7
Seed starting cardoons in 4" pots, indoors

Wednesday, February 8
extraordinary weather, 72 degrees
start bronze fennel, Voss seed, indoors
plant out 1/2 flat Valentina lettuce mix in top beds
spray for aphids on Kale
rake pathways on top level
spring clean flower beds
separate and plant out ajuga and red sorrel

Saturday, February 11
Plant asparagus in pots

Sunday, February 12
transplant fava beans from pots to level 2 edge (companion with green garlic)
harvest arugula and artisan winter salad for chef
harvest watermelon radishes, starting to bolt

Wednesday, February 15
Beautification Day
Plant out violas, red lubelia, sedums
Plant cuttings of dusty miller, assorted succulents
Revamp front porch, cut back lavender, replace old flowers with new
Transplant mint out of pots into kitchen herb garden
Clear out bed #2 to make way for peas
Soak and inoculate shelling peas
Thin out harvested cauliflower stalks from beds 3 and 4
Harvest broccoli tips

Thursday, February 16
seed planted shelling peas in bed 2
inoculated 2nd planting of pea seeds
cleared front of Gabe bed for more peas

Friday, February 17
work Gabe Bed; seed plant English shelling peas, plant out potted Snow Peas, plant out Little Gems
prepare upper bed for more Little Gems
inoculate Scarlet Runner Beans
soak Early Wonder beet seed overnite

Saturday, February 18
start Scarlett Runner Beans in pots, indoors
seed plant Early Wonder Beets, Gabe Bed/right
take out arugula, amend and prep Gabe Bed/center
transplant more fava beans from pots to Level 2/edge
restart purple asparagus in pots
plant out Little Gems on top, cover
cut back big grasses on top

Sunday, February 19
start by seed in 6 packs, indoors:
Runway Arugula
Lettuce, Garnet Rose
Broccoli, All Season Blend
Zinger Hibiscus
Celery, Tall Utah 52/70 Improved
Oregano, Purple Italian Heirloom

Tuesday, February 21
prune grapes on level 2, clean beds and trellises
made a wreath
fill 6packs for seed starting
amend and row out carrot bed on top
soak rainbow beet seed

Thursday, February 23
cover beets and peas
plant carrots and cover
take out bolting arugula in Level 1/edge, prepare for spinach
cardoons are up!

Friday, February 24
broadcast poppy seed mix (in sawdust), Ray Bed, cover
seed plant spinach, Japanese and hybrid slow bolting, Level 1/edge, cover
feed nitrogen hungry spinach with manure and Sustain
broadcast mild microgreens mix, big holed shaker method, Level 1/edge, cover
transplant more fava beans into green garlic bed, Level 2/edge
water everything

Saturday, February 25
Seeds Planted Today:
Flat Leaf Parsley, Burgandy Amaranth, Greek Sage,
Scallions, Cippolini Onions, Cilantro,
Kale-(Tuscan, Red, Blue,Green, Russian, Flowering)
Lupin
in 6 packs, indoors

Sunday, February 26
make simple fixes on irrigation system, (weird, its the rainy season)
harvest and pull arugula, Level 2/wall and Long Bed, amend and
broadcast purple mizuna, cover

Monday, February 27
harvest for chef, press luncheon
take out flowering Napa Cabbage and Asian Greens
cut back Tuscan Kale

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Wild Valentine

Look what I found growing underneath my back porch...

Miners Lettuce

Does it get any more seasonal, local, organic and sustainable than this?

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Downpour

Managed to harvest for chef between cloudbursts: purple mustard, purple mizuna, purple cauliflower,
romanesco broccoli, rainbow chard. The challenge: What to do with the knarley watermelon radishes.


Catch of the Day

No rain, no rainbows.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

More Porn



As long as we're here...


LOG: 
transplant fava beans from pots to level 2 edge (companion with green garlic)
harvest arugula and artisan winter salad for chef
harvest watermelon radishes, starting to bolt

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Garden Porn


Is it me? or just Valentine's Day in the air?
Planting asparagus today.
It will be two years before I can wrap my mouth around those lusty spears.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Man Garden

Guests at Voss Gardens are enchanted by the Man Garden.
Our talented construction guys are ingenious with found objects on the property.
A work in progress, a little piece of His-Story...
Thanks guys!

LOG:
extraordinary weather, 72 degrees 
start bronze fennel, Voss seed, indoors
plant out 1/2 flat Valentina lettuce mix in top beds
spray for aphids on Kale
rake pathways on top level
spring clean flower beds
separate and plant out ajuga and red sorrel

 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Yeild

 Catch of the Day
Sending out Purple Cauliflower, Broccoli Crowns, Italian Parsley and Artisan Salad.
Feelin' the Love.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cardooning Around

Rainy day.
Seed starting cardoons in 4" pots, indoors.
 An Italian vegetable akin to the thistle-ish artichoke,
these hearty perennials turn out flavor prized by great cooks.
 The flowers aren't too shabby either.

 Their stems can be prepared in a myriad of ways.
(Google 'em, so many recipes, so little time)

Hungry for more?
Read all about how to cultivate cardoons on my mentor/neighbor Sara's blog:
via Love Apple Farm, www.growbetterveggies.com

Monday, February 6, 2012

Still Life

at Voss Gardens...

The calm before the storm...
Gusts up to 60mph predicted for tonight.
Batton the hatches mates!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Back to Eden

I'm baaaaackk!
Some plants simply carry on without me, as these mustards gone wild.


The roses, however, require more care.
Time for makeovers; grooming, feeding. planting anew. 
Flowers feed the soul.