Monthly Archives: January 2013

2013 Garden Plans: Pizza Garden (and a Chard Recipe!)

Yes, I know the chard recipe is random. We’ll get to that. First things first!

The first group that did their detailed plans for the year was the Pizza Garden group. It worked out well, because Bed 6, where the Pizza Garden will be, is currently half planted to leeks and garlic. We won’t be short of garlic for our pizza sauce!

Pizza Garden SpringAs you can see, the better part of the garden is taken up with the garlic that was planted last fall. We are going to harvest one row of leeks early and replace it with onions. (I know, poor rotational practices, I know.) Then we have picked out a roma and a cherry tomato, a bell and an Italian roasting pepper, and whatever herbs we can fit in. (Basil, oregano, thyme, parsley)

We are tentatively planning to use either ‘Mariana’ or ‘Plum Dandy’ for the roma variety and probably ‘Chocolate Cherry’ for the cherry tomato. The bell pepper will probably be ‘Big Bertha,’ because I think I still have extra seeds. ‘Planet’ is the variety we’ll be trying for the Italian Roasting peppers.

Pizza Garden FallThen in the second half of the season we had to get a little creative. After we harvest the garlic, we need something semi-pizza-ish to plant. We are going to do a row of green onions (I know, poor rotation again), a couple of zucchini plants, and some greens. I know the zucchini and greens are maybe a bit of a stretch for some of you to put on pizzas, but they shouldn’t be! Hopefully we can showcase some pizzas this fall using those greens.

You might notice that we’ve got some different varieties of greens planned from what we usually plant. We are going with the ‘Lacinato’ kale rather than the ‘Redbor’ we’ve planted a lot in the last few years. ‘Lacinato’ is supposed to be more tender and flavorful. We are also planning to use ‘Fordhook’ Chard, which is completely white stems, instead of the multi-colored ‘Bright Lights.’

Speaking of Swiss Chard…I tried another recipe last night that was delicious! (See, I told you there was a connection!) I’ve got enough garden plans coming up that I don’t want to spend a whole post on it, but for those of you still looking for a delicious way to eat Swiss Chard, I give you:

Bacon, White Bean, and Swiss Chard Pot Pie!

The recipe came from Smitten Kitchen, (both from her new cookbook and the blog), and we followed her directions with the exception of the pancetta. We used bacon, because we had bacon. We also used some Swiss Chard from our community garden plot 2 years ago that was still kicking around in the freezer. I just realized that virtually every Swiss Chard recipe that I really like came from Smitten Kitchen. If you don’t like chard, you’ve clearly just been using the wrong recipe source! I also noticed that the recipe she posted today also features chard: Lentil Soup with Sausage, Chard, and Garlic. Now I have a recipe to try for the last bag of chard in our freezer.

So anyway, if you are growing a pizza garden this year, don’t leave out the kale and chard!

More New Vegetables for 2013

I’ve got a few more new vegetable varieties to share with you today. Of particular interest to many of you may be a new tomato with resistance to Early Blight and Septoria Leaf Spot. (Although if we continue in drought conditions, these diseases are much less concerning.)

 ‘BHN-871’ Tomato: This is a golden orange tomato. It isn’t necessarily “new,” but this is the first year I’ve seen the seed available in a smaller quantity. This variety did well in a K-State trial a couple of years ago, and I looked for the seed but could only find it if I wanted 2,000+ seeds. It has good disease resistance, 10-12 oz. fruit, and a mildly acid flavor.

‘Lunchbox’ Peppers: The snack pepper trend has been around for awhile, and we have tried the ‘Yummy’ series in the Demo Garden. They never seem to yield quite as well as I would like. I will be interested to see if this series produces any better. Orange, red, and yellow varieties are available.

‘Masquerade’ Potato: This is a potato with bicolor skin – purple and tan stripes. I’ve grown some heirloom potatoes with that characteristic before, but it is interesting to see it in Burpee rather than in the Seed Savers Exchange Seedbook.

‘Iron Lady’ Tomato: This tomato boasts “triple resistance,” meaning it is resistant to late blight (which we don’t worry about), early blight, and Septoria leaf spot. It sounds like it has good resistance to those diseases, but will be better planted away from susceptible varieties. The plants are determinate and yield 5 oz fruit. This will be a fun one to try, especially if we ever have a wet year again!

‘Esterina’ Tomato: Sungold is the standard for super-sweet, orange cherry tomatoes, and there has been a number of varieties released trying to find something comparable that resists cracking. This is another variety in that same vein. The claim is that it is sweeter, brighter yellow, and very crack and disease resistant.

‘Annelise’ Tomato: This is a 2 oz. truss tomato that can produce 10-12 tomatoes on one truss at about the same time.

‘Perseo’ Radicchio: This is a smaller headed radicchio that is also supposed to be extra early. I’m curious as to whether we could get a reliable crop with this variety.

‘Dragon’s Tongue’ Arugula: This is a type of arugula that has a red veins. I always like new shapes and colors of salad greens!

‘Noche’ Squash: This green zucchini has a plant with spineless stems and leaves. This make picking more enjoyable and also prevents the squash from getting damaged during harvest.

There are some interesting varieties this year, although not as many as last year. New shapes and colors are always the most exciting, but sometimes disease resistance and days to maturity advances is more important to success in the garden!


Delicious Whole Grain Waffles

This recipe is one created from scratch in our teaching kitchen.  It is so versatile, you can top with fruit, berries, or syrup.  If you want to add some protein to your meal, think about topping it with peanut butter, hazelnut butter or even an egg.  It is one of those foods that has some substance to it, so it will stick with you and not leave you hungry an hour later.

Also, the bonus to this recipe is there is no messy batter bowl to clean up!  Wahoo! Everything is mixed in a zippered plastic bag.  Extension Staff rated it an enthusiastic 2 thumbs up!

If you have a creative topping idea, please share it on this blog.

Delicious Whole Grain Waffle                

Serves 1-2

1 cup of oatmeal either old fashioned or quick cooking

1/2 cup of whole wheat flour

1/2 cup of all-purpose flour

1/3 cup non-fat dry milk*

1 – 2 Tablespoons of sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

Dash of Salt

  1. In a quart sized plastic zipper bag, combine dry ingredients.
  2. Can store dry mix in a cool place for up to 3 months.  Be sure to label contents.


To make waffle:

One package of dry mix

1 Tablespoon of oil

1 egg

1 cup of water*

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Cooking Spray

  1. Preheat waffle maker.
  2. Add oil, egg, water and vanilla to the dry ingredients.
  3. Close the bag.
  4. Be sure to “pop” the egg yolk and mix very well by shaking or massaging the bag.
  5. Spray waffle iron with cooking spray.
  6. Make a small clip into the corner of the bag and pour about 1 cup of the batter into the waffle maker.
  7. Close top and bake for 3-4 minutes.

Note:  * Can substitute low-fat or skim milk for the 1/3 cup of dry nonfat milk and 1 cup of water.*  Some waffle irons require the maker to be flipped after you have filled it with batter and closed the lid.

For Pancakes:

Heat skillet or griddle, spray with cooking spray and pour enough batter to make a small circle of batter.

Nutrition Facts: 359 cal., 96 mg chol., 5 g fiber, 242 sodium, 55 carb, 6 fat, 10g protein.

Brand names appearing in this publication are for product identification purposes only. No endorsement is intended,

nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned. Contents of this publication may be freely reproduced for educational purposes. All other rights reserved. In each case, credit

Denise G. Dias, Delicious Whole Grain Waffles, Kansas State University, January 2013.

Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service

K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension Work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, as amended. Kansas State University, County Extension Councils, Extension Districts, and United States Department of Agriculture Cooperating, , Director John Flores.

2013 Garden Plans

We had our first meeting of the year and did the work of doing the overall plan for the Demo Garden this year. Over the next 2 weeks we will have each sub-committee meet to plan the details of what will be planted in each bed. For now, I can share with you the overall plans.

2013 General MapJust the quick rundown:

Bed 1: Half orange/yellow tomatoes and half red tomatoes with the 2 raised areas for unique basils

Bed 2: Currently shallots, etc. We will plant some bush beans and then fall broccoli/cauliflower.

Bed 3: Currently garlic. Fall root veggies, salad greens and parsnips.

Bed 4: Half vertical garden and half eggplant trial. (You better believe there will be recipes coming this year!)

Bed 5: “Snacking” Vegetables/Children’s Garden

Bed 6: Currently half garlic. Pizza Garden

Bed 7: Grape TBD, underplanted with various thymes

Bed 8: Perennial Herbs

Bed 9: Sweet Potatoes

Bed 10: Horseradish and Rhubarb

Containers, Entry, Lattice, etc: Flowers, some herbs

You will notice that the Family of 4 Garden is taking a break this year. I think we have plenty of other fun things to take it’s place!


Friday PhotoEssay

I thought I would sneak in with a PhotoEssay this week and then perhaps highlight some more new varieties next week. We are also having our first planning meeting next week, so I may have some things to report regarding our plans too!

This is the spinach that is growing in our cold frame. It had been closed, but I opened it back up this week. Just in time for the rain, too! The plants that are on the end nearest the sidewalk are much larger, and I think it has to do with the amount of sunlight they are getting. The plants on the other side of the cold frame get shaded by the wall of the cold frame. That would be the argument for either a plexiglass side on that end or for a shorter wall on that end.

The overview of the radicchio patch looks pretty depressing. It obviously didn’t care for the cold temperatures of the past few weeks without protection. It is interesting though how distinctly you can tell where the green variety and red variety were planted.

If you get down close to the red radicchio, you can see that some of the larger plants have tolerated the weather pretty well and are even starting to develop the heads in the centers. I’ll be interested to see if they survive through the winter and how they continue to develop.

I pulled one of the ‘Red Beard’ onions just to see how they were doing. These are bunching type onions, so this is about the size you would expect them to be. They are still doing quite well without protection, as are the shallots and garlic. You can tell from the tips of the leaves that we’ve had some cold temperatures, but the plants are still healthy.

Did you know that you can eat the roots of onions like this? They are a little tough at this age, but you still get that nice onion-y flavor. Maybe something interesting for a salad garnish?

Last but not least is the rosemary. It is looking really good, even though most of the herbs are dead/very much dormant. I expected the thyme to look better, but I think it is either not the most hardy of varieties or it had too much vigorous, young growth late in the season that has gotten zapped by the cold. It’s still alive, just not looking too tasty, especially compared to the rosemary.

Speaking of Thyme, we will be highlighting thyme as our local Herb of the Year as well as Elderberry (the official herb of the Year) at Herb Day (May 4th) this year. Can you believe we have already started working on Herb Day?!? Yikes!