It’s not always so simple as just sticking seeds in the ground. There are a number of techniques and treatments that encourage seeds to germinate. We’ve all soaked wrinkled-skinned pea and other big seeds to help loosen those skins and make water absorption easier. Or we’ve nicked hard skin seeds with a sharp blade or
Your friendly, gourmet-minded Planet Natural blogger likes to keep up on cooking and restaurant trends when planning next year’s garden. Why else would we have tried growing radicchio not so many years ago? (Since then, it’s become a favorite, though it needs a little growing attention.) This year, we’ve taken note of how many restaurant
A friend of Planet Natural, big on words and vegetables, writes in with a summer gardening report. We added the links: We got our vegetable garden in late this year. But the heat we’ve had the last few weeks made catch-up easy. There’s no watering restrictions here in our part of the Pacific Northwest, so
Fava beans, a rewarding cool-weather garden crop also called broad beans, have two lives. They’re delicious picked fresh and stripped from their bumpy green, inedible pods, then gently steamed, and served with butter. As the season progresses and the pods have dried, remove the beans and let them dry completely in a warm, airy space.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates It’s an old question among those interested in the quality of the food we eat. Do we get enough nutrition from the fruits, vegetables, and other foods we consume? Or do we need to supplement our meals with vitamins and minerals? The answers
Drying fruits and vegetables has distinct advantages over canning, freezing or other preserving methods that require extreme temperatures. Dried foods require little if any energy to store compared to frozen items that require refrigeration and canned items requiring cooking and container boiling. Dried fruits and vegetables weigh less and take up less shelf space than
Seems folks we talk to have been using their garden tools most of the winter and not for snow shoveling. For those who haven’t, it’s time to clean, sharpen, and oil, as well as check the handles and their attachment to the working end of the tool, if you didn’t do it last fall. We’ll
One of my favorite Thanksgiving memories has to do with green beans. Everything grandma put on the table was excellent — especially the pies — but my favorite Thanksgiving dish was her home-canned green beans. No, they didn’t come in a casserole held together by mushroom soup and topped with French-fried onions. They came just
Brussel sprouts — those wonderful miniature cabbages — are both cute and tasty. The old notion of them as flabby, smelly and mushy has long-since faded thanks to homegrown and small-farm sprouts that are tight, crisp-leaved and pleasantly flavored. Their fading, less-than-stellar reputation was based on a texture that could range from tough to soggy
Your optimistic and forward-thinking Planet Natural blogger has always enjoyed New Year’s resolutions, especially when they pertain to our garden and landscape. And we especially enjoy learning from other gardeners’ lists. This new year, having not put much of a list together ourselves, we’ve taken a new tact. We’re resolving to do the opposite of
We know some gardeners who do more than order seed in February. They’re out in their patch, cutting kale and other greens, pulling a leek or two and generally bringing in fresh veggies they’ve dug out from under mulches or hoop shelters. Granted, these gardeners mostly don’t live in Montana as we do. They’re situated
Your enthusiastic Planet Natural blogger writes a lot about the joys of gardening, how it enriches our lives, provides us exercise, and gives us measures of success. Sometimes those measures don’t exactly come in heaping spoonfuls. Frustration and disappointment are part of gardening, too. Setbacks, mistakes, and out-and-out failure are part of every growing season.
As your expectant Planet Natural blogger prepares to enter a season flush with zucchini, a thought entered his mind. Which of the vegetables that we plant each year give us the biggest return on our dollar? Zucchini, so prolific, should certainly be on any list of vegetables that give the most bang for the buck. What