Thursday, November 4, 2010

Signs of the Time

I thought I'd just share some random photos from the garden:

leek flower
I noticed the other day that one of my leeks had sent up a flower stalk. It's pretty enough to be in a vase if you ask me.

Red Russian Kale
I'm trying to find new ways to prepare kale. The garden is overflowing with it right now. I wonder how my people you could possibly feed by planting an acre of kale. It has been a very reliable crop for me and unlike most greens, the leaves stay lush and healthy for a very long time when left unpicked. If there was ever worldwide food crisis, this is what I'd grow.

French Breakfast Radishes 2
Radishes are another reliable crop for me. I love the fact that you can plant and harvest them in as little as 28 days. I've also learned that what they lack in popularity they more than make up for in nutritional value.

Finally, the French lavender cutting that Winnie sent me earlier this year has grown into a wonderful healthy plant. The scent is amazing and flows throughout the garden. It's become one of my favorite things.


  1. Everything is beautiful! Will your lavender overwinter there? I've had problems with it here before but I sure do love it!

  2. I was going to ask the same question Erin did, this is the first year I have had lavendar do well, but the frost has come and now I expect death. Is your sunder your house?

  3. Hey Erin and Kelly - I was under the impression that French lavender was hardy to zone 6 but anyway, yes, it is in the house and I will probably cover it with fabric row cover for added insulation.

  4. I have the same stuff and it's "marginally hardy" here... depends on how severe the winter, and we are zone 8! That being said, normally a few will reseed and come back the next year but they never reach the shrubby proportions of my rosemary plants, the few that make it are pretty scraggly looking the next year.

  5. Thomas, have you tried making kale chips? I made some this week using recipe from Smitten Kitchen and it was AWESOME!

  6. Kale and lavender... two of my favorite things!

    I can finally say I successfully grew lavender this year. Now, the tomato's are another story....

  7. Kale is a great food production garden crop. My chickens love it too so I have lots of uses for it between our own fresh eating and the bird's fresh eating. It is a crop that grows magnificently in my maritime climate and is therefore highly appreciated as a result. No fuss, good eating, and always reliable.

  8. Thomas, my lavender does beautifully here in zone 7. I usually cut back in fall, if needed.

    I just love that kale with the tinges of purple...what variety is it?

    I often use the garlic chive, chive or leek flowers in arrangements, they stand so nice and tall.

    As usual, everything looks perfect in the garden of Thomas. :)

  9. Villager - Thanks for the tip! I have tried kale chips and they are delicious!

    Lorie - The variety is called Red Russian. I find it to be more tender than others.

  10. Thomas, the garden looks lovely!
    I live in Montreal, where sage, tarragon and French lavender are considered marginal, but all three have survived several winters without any cover besides the feet of snow we get here. So I guess it's all about the luck of the draw.

    I love kale, which is weird because my Mum was always lukewarm about this vegetable when I was growing up, and she never quite knew what to do with it. I especially like adding it to potato dishes (mash, scalloped...), but it is great in soups, and with pasta. I'm going to be posting a kale recipe soon, so keep an eye out for it!


  11. Thomas, I think the secret to getting folks to love Kale is to blanch it first in a big pot of water, like spaghetti. After 5 minutes, keep tasting it, when it is buttery, drain it and serve it or cool it in cold water to use it later. A current favorite is to heat a generous amount of olive oil and a little bit of butter and saute the kale briefly with a couple of whole cloves of garlic. Yumm! Forgive me if this is TMI.

  12. Kristi - Thanks! I will have to try the blanching. My earlier endeavor were a bit tough because I didn't cook it long enough.

  13. The garden still looks lovely! For the very first time, I made a salad with raw kale after "massaging" it for a few minutes with salt and olive oil. I really liked it!

  14. Thomas, we are still picking kale. My favorite way is to saute chopped kale in extra virgin olive oil, add kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, minced garlic and only for a few minutes.. until the kale turns dark; cool and then freeze. Lovely, to pop it out of the freezer as a side dish.