GARDEN UPDATE JANUARY 28, 2012

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Posted by Gordon | Posted in News | Posted on 28-01-2012

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Our blog is taking about 45 seconds to fully load because the photos everyone likes are big files.  I have asked John Ward, our web master, to see if there is anything we can do besides deleting all the old photos and reloading them as smaller files.  I know that will work but it will be very time consuming.  I have started using smaller files.

Several of us were very impressed with the crop of Jerusalem Artichokes (sun chokes) {http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem_artichoke}  we grew from 8  ounces of chokes we purchased from the Publix Supermarket.  We got about 20 +/- pounds.  I planted most back in the garden to get a really good crop again next year.  It is said that once you get them established that you will not get rid of them so we planted them in the larger garden next to the deer fence (still protected from the deer).  These are large sunflower plants (small flower) that grow well here and are native to the US.  I did take several pounds to eat.  Terry also tried them.  They are delicious and can be eaten raw in salads, roasted or baked.  Raw they remind me of a crispy water chestnuts     or carrot as they have a mild sweet flavor.  Cooked, they remind me of a potato but sweeter like a sweet potato.  They contain a starch,  inulin, that does not raise the blood sugar level as other carbohydrates so they are great for diabetics.  I have fried them sliced in a pan in butter (or olive oil) with salt or another favorite seasoning like thick potato chips and they are excellent.  I am including a couple recipes here and encourage everyone to try this new vegetable.  You will not be disappointing. but you will have to wait until next fall to harvest from the garden.  Also check out –  http://www.vegparadise.com/highestperch26.html.

Jerusalem Artichoke flower

 

Jerusalem Artichoke cream soup  – PALESTINE SOUP.
Chop and fry one large onion with butter or olive oil

Peel and chop 3 pounds of Jerusalem Artichokes and add to onion.  Cook in pot for 5 to 10 minutes but do not discolor the onions.

Add one quart of stock (any kind but preferably chicken or turkey).  I save the drippings from a baked turkey and remove the fat which leaves a jelled stock which works well in this recipe.

Simmer for 20 minutes

Mix in a food processor to break up the artichokes..

Add a little cream.  Not a lot, just enough to give it a cream flavor.

You might sprinkle crushed roasted hazel or almond nuts across the top as it is served.

To really set it off, drizzle a little truffle oil onto the surface.

 

You will be at the garden most days in the fall and winter to select your daily chokes.

 

 

Jerusalem Artichoke casserole

 

2 cups boiled and mashed Jerusalem Artichokes

One cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup oil or butter

1 beaten egg

black pepper to taste

bake for 30 minutes in a 375 degree oven

sprinkle top with diced shallots or spring onions.

 

 

I AM DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE THAT THE SUGAR PEAS ARE STARTING TO PRODUCE PODS IN AMOUNTS THAT WILL ALLOW AN OCCASIONAL MEAL.  We will have to continue  harvesting them before they make peas so that they continue to bloom into the spring to give us a truly bountiful crop.  There is enough on the vines today to cook for tomorrow’s dinner.  Someone get them.  I also want to remind everyone that the mustard greens (to the left as you enter the garden) as well as the turnip greens are both ready to harvest and use as a cooked vegetable.  We are doing the spring greens justice but they will still provide many more salads.  I had to harvest the broccoli florets today because they were starting to open.  Keep an eye on them as they continue to produce.  We also have lemons and small tangerines on the trees.  We need to pick the citrus and make some marmalade (especially the tangerines).  The Myers Lemons can be picked and squeezed and the juice frozen for use as lemon aid next summer.

Sugar Peas

 

Broccli Florets

I have started the tomato and pepper plants along with several other vegetables under the house (light tray) so that they will be ready to plant in the garden by mid to late March depending on the weather.  The blackberries and boysenberries have been retied to the supports and are ready for the bird netting once they begin to bloom.  The blue berry plants have been mulched and should do well this year especially with the bird netting placed over them.

I am still trying to determine where to plant the pole beans, green beans and field peas this year.  One can go where the sugar peas are (probably the field peas) but the Kentucky Wonder Pole Bean is too tall and will require more space.  They are usually planted in the old corn stalks with summer squash but we don’t grow corn as the raccoons destroy it before we can get to it.  Give it some thought as we all want pole beans.  The green beans can be bush type and will fit in anywhere in the garden.  I need to order another packet of Malabar Spinach as we accidentally pulled this perennial up by the roots and I doubt if it will come back (may have dropped seed and come back without our help).

I anticipate a stellar garden this Spring and Summer.  Empty your refrigerators and get ready to load them up.  By the way, there are 4 dozen fresh eggs in the small refrigerator ready to be taken home.  Spring is approaching and the chickens know it.

That is it for now.

Gordon

 

 

 

Comments (5)

LOVE READING YOUR BLOG! I WILL BE FOLLOWING CLOSELY AS I WILL TRY TO PLANT MY STUFF WHEN YOU DO!! MAYBE I WILL HAVE SO LUCK! MISSED SEEING YOU THE OTHER DAY. (I GUESS YOU CAME IN=SAW YOUR NAME ON THE SCHEDULE).
TAKE CARE, HAPPY GARDENING, LISA

Gordon, Thank you for sending us this newsletter. I am always jealous, and usually hungry after reading it. Our gardening efforts are primarily cosmetic as you would expect from Bill. We have a tropical oasis around the Koi pond and are anxiously awaitng the 450 bulbs we put out this year. We are expecting two litters of Cavaliers in February, and are considering putting in an aviary. It should be a busy spring for all of us. Take care. Anna

I love this gardening blog, I have also started all my spring transplants, as well as planting lettuce, broccoli, radicchio,radishes, endive, escarole, swiss chard, turnip, beets and carrots, we also planted a row pampus grass, half the plants we bought on a distress sale, the other half we pulled from an established planting of pampus grass, we finished our new house last fall and we are now ready to plant our yard, Janice and Nate

GOOD TO HEAR YOU ENJOY THE BLOG AND GLAD YOU COMMENTED. PLEASE KEEP ME POSTED ON YOUR GARDEN EFFORTS THIS YEAR.

I WORKED ON THE GRAPE FENCES TODAY (REPLACING THE WIRE TRAINING LATERALS AND INSERTING ADDITIONAL 4X4 POST FOR SUPPORT). I AM GOING TO TRY TABLE GRAPE VARIETIES (7) AS WELL AS CONTINUING WITH THE SCUPPERNONGS AND MUSCADINES. I TRIED THE TABLE GRAPES 30 YEARS AGO BUT THEY DIED AFTER A COUPLE YEARS. I THINK THEY NOW HAVE VARIETIES THAT ARE NOT SUSCEPTIBLE TO THE FUNGUS THAT CLOGS THE VASCULAR TISSUE.

THE BIG NEWS TODAY IS THAT I HAVE TOMATOES AND WINTER SQUASH SPROUTING UNDER THE LIGHTS.

TAKE CARE AND KEEP MAKING COMMENTS.

GORDON

Hey Gordon, (This is you, isn’t it) I found your site by gong to some link on the Soil Blocker,com website. Can’t believe this blog is based right here on Ladies Island and I didn’t know about it. I’m just finishing up greenhouse out by my garden. I’ve got lots of seed started in my “germination station”. Stop by sometime and check it out.
Skeeter

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