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The Celery Challenge

The Celery Challenge
Celery I bought some celery starts at the local garden center this spring, even though I didn’t think celery would grow here on the wet side of the Cascades. Celery needs a long growing season, 5 months, and cool weather. We have the 5 months (May through September), but generally not cool summers....

Kale Flowers

Kale Flowers
Kale flower buds My over-wintered kale decided it was time to produce seeds in March. We had unusually warm weather in February and March which triggered the kale clock to get on with it and produce the next generation. It bolted, forming single towering stalks with flowers. Normally when vegetable greens...

Winter Kale

Winter Kale
Winter Red Kale Kale is a perfect vegetable garden plant. It will grow almost anywhere. It survives our Puget Sound winters without cover. It tastes best in the cool seasons, especially after a frost. It’s easy to cook. It’s delicious. It’s good for you. Wow. I plant every year for...

Spring Leeks

Spring Leeks
Spring leeks The little leeks planted last fall are wonderfully tasty this spring. These leeks were the last to be transplanted last year, intermingled with small cabbage transplants. The cabbages, alas, froze to death in that very cold snap in November, but the leeks lived. They will be good until the...

The Gourmet’s Onion: Leeks

The Gourmet’s Onion: Leeks
Growing leeks The Roman emperor Nero may have fiddled while Rome burned, but he did like his leeks. Egyptians grew them from at least the 2nd millennium B.C.E. As did the Mesopotamians. The leek is the national symbol of Wales, originating from a battle in a leek field (Wikipedia). I’m sure there...

Strawberries alive and well

Strawberries alive and well
Strawberries ripening The strawberries got off to a rocky start this year. We planted two types: Tristar, from the nursery, and some wild strawberries I took off a dune on the beach near the ocean. I divided my raised bed in half, keeping the plantings separate. We filled the bottom of the raised bed...

Blueberries are ripe

Blueberries are ripe
Ripe blueberries Blueberries are such an easy berry to pick. No thorns. Just put your bowl under a bunch and rub the bunch. The ripe berries will fall into your container. They don’t all ripen at the same time, so don’t pick any that are not blue. At least try not to. If they have a bit of...

Winter savory

Winter savory
Winter savory Overlooked, practically forgotten, rarely mentioned. It is not summer savory, the more commonly known and grown herb. It’s peppery, spicy, bold, distinctive. A wonderful addition to hearty soups, vegetables, beans, and chicken, fish and meats. And, it’s very easy to grow....

Elephant garlic scapes

Elephant garlic scapes
Elephant garlic flower bud on scape. Flowering plants, aka angiosperms, appeared on land 125-250 million years ago, depending on what fossil you are looking at, how you classify angiosperms, what author you are reading, and whether you have looked closely at that strange rock you picked up on vacation...

Spinach weather

Spinach weather
Spinach, May 27. Cool nights, damp days, occasional sun breaks: perfect weather for spinach. We planted our spinach on March 21. Last frost is usually March 15, but this year we had frost through March. It didn’t seem to hurt the spinach. This year’s seeds were from Territorial Seed; Olympia...
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