Tag Archives: organic vegetable gardening

Back into the Garden

Cabbage
I bet you were starting to think that there wasn’t much ‘garden’ left in this Sonoma Garden, weren’t you? Well now that all the other to-do list chores have been caught up on, we were able to plant a few things for fall which I’ll be sharing with you this week. The first thing to note is that if all works out well, we are going to be having cabbage coming out of our ears soon. We’ve planted both red and green cabbage, all starts from our favorite nursery, Sonoma Mission Gardens. We haven’t had great success with cabbage in the past, it just hasn’t formed very well. But being the gardening masicists that we are, we are trying again.
Cabbage

We’ve also grown some Napa Cabbage from seed. This is the first time we’ve grown that so I’m anxious to see how it works.
Napa Cabbage

And while this isn’t cabbage, look, the raddiccio is actually starting to form! We planted these seeds quite a while ago, maybe six weeks ago or so?
Raddiccio
I was starting to feel pretty ho-hum about the progress of our yard at the end of summer, but now that we’ve pulled out all of the old, ugly stuff it’s rejuvinating to get some new happy green growth back.
Update: Carrie asked for some cabbage growing tips so I thought I would share some things that we’ve read. Now mind you we are not cabbage experts, so we are learning from this too. Cabbages like a sunny spot with well drained soil. They are also heavy feeders and heavy drinkers, so be prepared to give them ample nutrients and water. Heavy mulching is also a good idea. While the cabbages are still young you can interplant them with lettuce and radishes since they have such a short growing period. Where as cabbage takes anywhere from 60-180 days to mature depending on the type you are growing. If you want to read more, check out Mother Earth New’s article.

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Filed under 1, Growing Challenge, Leafy Greens, Seeds, State of the Garden

Chinese Mustard


Isn’t this beautiful? This is Chinese Mustard called Gai Choy which we grew last year and let a few plants to go seed. This year we have been delighted to find them growing in all sorts of spots around our yard. They are a cool season crop which means that they sprouted in late summer and are now reaching maturity in early spring. They are gorgeous plants. They can be cooked like spinach or chard when young.

Yesterday I picked a large handful and cooked them for dinner. I diced two pieces of bacon into one inch strips. Cooked those until almost crispy, added the spicy (since our plants are quite mature, they have a spicy flavor) mustard greens until they wilted. Then added a couple of tablespoons of chopped rosemary, a quarter cup of sherry vinegar and a healthy seasoning of salt and pepper. They were delicious!

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Filed under Leafy Greens, Recipes

the seeds are planted

We got back from our long weekend at Sea Ranch yesterday and arrived to full on spring in our yard. Now that the fence is finished and the vacation has been taken it’s time to get into gardening mode. So the seeds were planted in the first hour we were home. It’s still frosty in these early mornings as is evident by the valley wide hum of the vineyard fans in the early morning hours.

After Scott planted all the seeds and put them up on a folding table to keep them safe from wondering toddlers and curious cats, I looked at them amazed that those small cups of dirt will provide so much food for us in just a few months. I suppose that’s why people become so fascinated with gardening – to turn a few seeds and dirt into gorgeous flowers and nurishing food seems like magic. Well, magic, hardwork and a little cooperation on Mother Nature’s part, that is.

What we planted:

  • Lemon Cucumbers
  • Japanese Cucumbers
  • Green Zebra Tomatoes
  • Brandywine Tomatoes
  • San Marzano Tomatoes
  • Chiogga Beets
  • Golden Beets
  • Tendercrisp Celery
  • Super Red Pimentos
  • Colossal Kim Hot Peppers
  • Russian Red Kale
  • French Thyme
  • Portofino Zucchini
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    Filed under Growing Challenge, Seeds