Review of 2012 vegetables

fall harvest


Here is my review of what I will and won’t grow again from last year’s vegetables that I tried and why. I will put tomatoes in another list since there are so many of them!

-Apollo-nice leaf size and flavor

-Rattlesnake bean/pole-remarkably flavored pole bean-grows very tall-great for trellises or arbor
-Tarbais bean/pole-dry bean-after much work FINDING IT last year in the states, you can now get this wonderful bean from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds this year. I will make a french dish called cassoulet with it.
-Fava Bean/bush-wonderful flavor and 2 crops last year. A little work shelling it twice but worth it. Also is a good cover crop replenishing the soil with nitrogen.
-Golden Scarlet Runner/pole-I grow runners for their flowers/foliage-the foliage on this one is a striking chartreuse color against the scarlet flowers-simply beautiful

– Craupadine-BEST tasting (but ugly) beet around
-Cylindra-long cylinder shape, great taste, easy cutting into slices

-Extra Dwarf Pak Choy-wonderful flavor-I like to cut one in half, saute it in olive oil, and add tamari when you flip it

-Atomic Red-great color and flavor
-Cosmic Purple-one of my favorites

-Bright Lights-adds great color tucked into the garden and good flavor
-Argentata-thick juicy stalks with huge leaves-very cold tolerant
-Ruby Red-one of the prettiest and tasty chards out there

-Parisian Pickling-used for making cornichon pickles
-Boothsby Blonde-used for making bread and butter pickles
-Poona Kheera-best flavor for eating
-Armenian– fun to grow, good flavor, few seeds

-Fairy Tale-sweet, no bitter taste and tender (not tough) skin

–Provencal Mix, Mesclun Mix, Buttercrunch, Yugoslavian Red, Santoro Lettuce

-Dwarf Sugar Gray-great in salads or steamed, grows about 3 ft tall

PEPPER–want to try some different varieties from Europe this year as well
-Shishito (Japanese non-hot pepper)-one of my favorites
-Poblanos-mildly hot (I call it warm), great for chile rellanos or scrambled eggs, wonderful smoky flavor

POTATOES–first year grower and I’m hooked!
-French Fingerling-OMG, the best flavor!
-Peruvian Purple-I loved the flavor of these as well

-Bloomsdale and Tyee

-Costata Romanesco-best tasting zuke around

SUNFLOWERS-technically a flower but they are veggies for the birds!
-will grow another huge patch of different varieties-beautiful and the birds love them
-Russian Mammoth AND Titan– for us/birds to eat
-Black Oil-for the birds only

TOMATILLO-Green-good for tomatillo salsa-only need one plant as they are so prolific.

BEAN-Emerite bean/pole bean- great flavor but didn’t grow high enough to cover my teepee and I will grow others this year.

-Paris Market-too small, bland flavor, not impressed

-seed from local grower-turns out it was a native winter squash, not calabacitas squash.

CORN-again not this year (I’ll get it from our Farmers Market)

-Di Firenze-might grow one or two but not 25 plants like last year!

-Jalapeno-I don’t use them enough to call for space in the garden. I’ll just buy the few I use throughout the year.

-Russian Banana-too crunchy and watery

Cook green beans and other vegetables-Julia Child’s way!

Watch Julia Child/The French Chef cook vegetables the french way! Bon Appetit! Part 1

I found this video on you tube on Julia Child back in 60’s when she had her TV cooking show.  Besides finding it very entertaining (I kept thinking of the ‘Saturday Night Live’ skits on her), I also learned a lot. In it she cooks green beans, carrots, stuffed mushrooms and braised spinach. I was most interested in how she cooked green beans. I use to steam my homegrown green beans but I think this might be a better way to cook them as they keep their color and flavor (yes even store-bought beans). Besides I like her accent! Yessss. Watch it and see!


Watch Julia Child/The French Chef cook vegetables the french way! Bon Appetit! Part 2

Create a teepee of pole beans for the summer

On Sunday, Caleb and Elodie and I created a bean teepee in one the beds where pole beans will grow. I wanted to make it large enough that a person (even an adult) could sit inside it this summer when it is covered with bean plants.  I can’t wait to experience what it will be like.

Here is the pole bean teepee I had last year but it was completely closed so this year we left an opening in the tee-pee to get in and out.

I had some really tall poles so we could get the height and width needed to make it large enough. I got the poles from my friend, Tuko, who had them on an arbor at her house and was taking it down. That was many years ago and I’ve saved them all this time for something special and I think I found that special project. I’m hoping that my neighbor’s grandson, Aiden will go in it later this summer.

So today in the wind, I went out and planted some seeds before this supposed rain comes. I planted beets and carrots on both sides and then I covered them with row cover (for now) so the seeds wouldn’t blow away and stay wet longer when I water them. The row cover helps the seeds stay in place! Later after the plants come up I will take off the sheets!