blog

blogPodcastVegetable

How to Grow: Asian Greens

Listen to this podcast and read more about growing and caring for Asian Greens in the vegetable garden.   podcast transcript Asian greens (Brassica rapa, B. juncea) used to be thought of as just bok choi. However, with the advent of interest in Asian cuisine, people are growing a wide variety of Asian greens with flavors from mild to spicy. Leaf colors range from purple leaved mustards to the white-ribbed Komatsuna. The leaf shapes can be flat and spoon-shaped, long and round, or thin and serrated. I like mixing young or baby Asian...

blogVegetable

How to Grow: Spinach

After a long winter in the Northeast, spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is a welcome site. It's one of the first greens to appear in spring and I've actually overwintered it from a fall planting to have it available as early as April in my Vermont garden. Not only is spinach a great green for salads, it's versatile too. You can steam it, toss it in stews and soups, and simply saute it with garlic and olive oil. Not only will with cool weather loving veggie satisfy your cravings for fresh greens in early spring, it's loaded with nutrients such as...

blogVegetable

How to Grow: Summer Squash

Learn about growing summer squash and the best organics controls for the squash vine borer insect. Listen to podcast: podcast transcript How to Grow: Summer Squash You've got to watch out when growing summer squash (Cucurbita pepo) and zucchini. When it's ready to harvest, you'll get so many fruits so fast you'll be begging neighbors to take it away. I've even heard of people dropping extra zucchinis through opened windows in unattended cars just to move the stuff. Yes, summer squash and zucchini has a reputation for being prolific. That's...

blogPodcastVegetable

How to Grow: Sweet Corn

Learn how to plant and grow sweet corn. Listen to Podcast: podcast transcript There's is nothing more all-American than sweet corn (Zea mays). I remember working on an organic farm when I was younger an discovering just how sweet, sweet corn is. I would be harvesting ears for market and whenever I got hungry I would just peel (shuck) and eat the corn raw right in the field. The flavor was sweeter than any cooked corn I ever ate. Most gardeners think they need a large field to grow corn. Actually the key with growing sweet corn is to plant...

blogVegetable

How to Grow: Swiss Chard

One of the most attractive plants in my garden has nothing to do with flowers, it's 'Bright Lights' Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris cicla). 'Bright Lights' has multi-colored stems and leaf ribs in yellow, pink, red, orange and white, with dark green leaves. Because it's so attractive, I've started growing it among the flowers. Plus, it's an easy green to grow and versatile in the kitchen. The young leaves are good in salads. Older leaves can be sauteed in stir fries, or tossed in stews and soups. Unlike other spring greens, such as spinach,...

blogVegetable

How to Grow: Tomatillos

This tomato relative is an essential ingredient in Mexican cooking. It's also known as the husk tomato, because the 2- to 3-foot tall bushy plants produce 2-inch diameter green or purple-colored fruits with a papery husk around them. They're cool to look at, easy to grow, and the fruits have a sweet, tart, citrus-like flavor. Use tomatillos (Physalis ixocarpa) when making salsa, chili, kebabs, salads, and other Mexican dishes. Tomatillos are prolific and unless you're making tons of salsa and Mexican food, you'll probably only need a few...

blogVegetable

How to Grow: Turnips

I got turned on to turnips (Brassica rapa) rather late in life. I was visiting a farm in New Hampshire when the farmer pulled a 'Hakurei' white turnip from the ground and bit into it like an apple. The only turnips I had known up to that point were the mashed ones at Thanksgiving dinner. I tried it and was hooked. The texture was juicy and crunchy and the flavor sweet and mild. While Southerns have enjoyed turnips as part of their traditional cooking, we Northeners are just getting turned on, too. Turnips are an efficient crop. You can eat...

blogFruit

How to Grow: Watermelons

Yes, you can grow watermelons (Citrullus lanantus) in our climate and they're worth the effort. I've grown the small round, ice-box types and kids and adults love to crack them open, munch on the sweet juicy flesh, and have seed splitting contests. While watermelons are mostly, water, they do contains vitamins such as A, B, and C and high amounts of the cancer-fighting anti-oxidant lycopene. Varieties are either oval or round with pink, yellow, orange or red flesh and seeded or seedless. When to Plant Watermelons like the heat, so wait...

blogVegetable

How to Grow: Winter Squash

It's tough to pigeon-hole winter squash (Cucurbita maxima, C. pepo, and C. moschata). There are so many shapes, colors, and sizes, they can turn your garden into a cornucopia of fruits. They take all season to produce and most take up lots of space. But if you have the room, they're worth growing. I love going into my basement in December and pulling out a buttercup squash from storage to eat for dinner. The flesh is sweet and flavor satisfying on a cold winter day. Pumpkins are a type of winter squash, but they're so special I talk about...