Master Gardeners

Welcome,

The snack menu for October 7, 2004. A word about why. Its a personal thing, this relationship between gardening and eating. The kitchen garden is my passion, my necessity, my grocery store. Every day we eat something from the garden, some days everything we eat comes from the garden - those are the best days. So my presentation of garden snacks for the class is an attempt to share my own relationship to gardening with you all, and an attempt to tempt you into growing your own food. I hope it works, and that we have a long, slow, delicious sharing of food and dialogue.

If you have ideas about how to use this space to further Master Gardening or projects that you would like to be part of, please tell me about them. email is a good way to do that

The Menu for October 7, 2004
     
Hopi Pumpkin Squash - Cucurbita pepo

Fruits can be round or elongated, striped or solid green turning yellow as they mature. Originally collected from Hotevilla, Arizona. The vines grow 10 –15 feet or more in length with tendrils that hold on to everything. They can be trellised and they will root at the leaf nodes if in contact with damp soil. The fruit can be eaten raw when very young, cooked like a summer squash when still green and stored as a winter squash when mature.
Available at Native Seed SEARCH - www.nativeseeds.org

 

 
Black Spanish Radish Seed Pods – Raphanus sativus

This is a winter storing radish that should be planted in late spring to mid summer. It needs to be harvested and stored for 2-3 months before it is edible. The roots are very bitter when fresh from the ground. I grow them for the edible seed pods, not the root.
Available from Botanical Interests – www.botanicalinterests.com


 
Guatemalan Purple Fava Beans

A Mediterranean Broad bean, (but also cultivated in Central America) that grows well in New Mexico. The plants are small and can be seeded direct in early spring and late summer. They are heat and cold tolerant when young. Good as edible pods when very young, or cooked as shelly beans or as dried beans. Shown growing with Leeks.
Available (sometimes) from Seeds of Change – www.seedsofchange.com


 
Yellow Pear Tomatoes

The Yellow Pear Tomato is an heirloom tomato that dates back to the mid 1700s in the U.S. The plants are very vigorous and fairly resistant to wilt diseases. They make a delicious and naturally sweet sauce. They are sometimes available as transplants at local nurseries.
Seed Savers Exchange offers seeds of Beam’s Yellow Pear Tomato - www.seedsavers.org

 
Baby Leeks – Allium amperoprasum

These are very young winter leeks picked for their mild flavor. In southern New Mexico you can grow leeks year round. Three to four plantings a year will provide you with young to fully mature leeks at all seasons. There are many varieties, with the summer leeks being more yellow green and the cold hardy winter leeks being blue green in color. I have not found any that do not grow well here.
Leeks are available from many sources.


 
French Tarragon – Artemisia dracunculus - Perennial

Almost a weed - but does not produce seed. The best Tarragon is grown close to the kitchen door. I have fresh tarragon from March to December and do without the rest of the year. Drying or freezing it changes the flavor. In the U.S. most winter tarragon come from Hawaii. It spreads quickly and is easy to grow.
Tarragon is available as transplants from most nurseries.


 

Garden Sorrel – Perennial
If you want it, you have to grow it. Garden Sorrel is very common in parts of Europe and Eastern Europe, bit is not well know in the U.S. A member of the Rumex family it is very high in oxalic acid that gives it a delightful tart and refreshing taste. In New Mexico plant it where it will get morning sun and afternoon shade. It likes to be evenly watered, but will tolerate short periods of dryness. It bolts in the heat and will seed itself. Best when picked young.
Garden Sorrel is occasionally available as transplants at local nurseries in the spring. Shown growing with Parsley.
See me if you would like seed.

 

 

Flat Italian Parsley – Petroselinum crispum - Biennial

How can you have a kitchen garden without it? The flat leafed Italian varieties are best in flavor, but wilt quickly and don’t ship well. If you want it, grow it. With a little care you can have fresh parsley year round. It is cold hardy and can take summer heat if planted where it get afternoon shade and is evenly watered. I grow it next to the Garden Sorrel, but with a little less shade. It is a biennial, will seed itself and will sometimes sprout from the root crown. Available from many sources, both as seeds and transplants.
See me if you would like seed of Green River Flat Italian Parsley


 
Calendula Blossom Petals – annual/non-hardy perennial

Also known as pot marigolds. The flowers are edible with a light peppery quality. They are lovely in salads in combination with Blue Bachelor Buttons.
Varieties of Calendula are available from many sources.

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