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Carrot Pineapple Salad

5 cups carrots, grated
1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1 cup pineapple chunks, packed in their own juice, drained
2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

In a bowl, mix together grated carrots and raisins; set aside.
In a blender, puree pineapple, vinegar, sugar, and cinnamon
until smooth. Pour over carrot mixture; mix well. Chill for 30
minutes and serve. Makes 12 (1/2 cup) servings.

Variations:
• Use 1/4 teaspoon crushed oregano instead of the cinnamon.
• Purchase a larger can of pineapple and add pineapple
chunks to the salad with the raisins.
• If no blender is available to make the dressing, try yogurt or
reduced-fat mayonnaise for dressing instead. Or mix 1 cup of
the juice from the pineapple with the cinnamon, vinegar, and
brown sugar to make the dressing — then add the pineapple
chunks to the salad.

Health Hint
• Raw carrots are often better accepted by picky eaters than cooked carrots.

This salad is a good source of fiber as well as being a fun change from
green salad with a meal.

Planting Parsnips, Peas, and More

This afternoon we did the very first planting of the spring out in the Demo Garden. That planting encompassed 3 different garden areas.

First, we planted some onion transplants in the Pizza Garden.

We made two “trenches” about 2-3″ deep between the leeks and the garlic. (Okay, so we pulled out one row of leeks to make space.)

The we put the onion plants in about 3″ apart. We have one row of red onions and one row of Texas 1015Y yellow onions. We tamped the soil around the plants, and then replaced the straw mulch that had been in the garden from last fall.

Next up was the Kids’ Snack Garden. We have some nice, freshly finished compost from our bins, and we worked a couple inches of it into the soil before planting.

We are planting right along the drip lines this year to help keep everything watered with potential continuing drought. The sandy soil in the raised beds doesn’t move the water as well laterally, so we want the seeds to have the best chance to germinate and keep growing. We planted two rows of Easter Egg Mix radishes along this drip line (one on each side, about 1.5″ away from the drip line). On the other drip line we planted 2 rows of carrots, one row of ‘Mokum’ and one row of Kaleidoscope Mix. Along the middle drip line we will be transplanting some lettuce in a couple of weeks.

We planted some ‘Sugar Ann’ sugar snap peas in a container that will sit next to the Kids’ Snack Garden.

Then we moved over to Bed 3, which is the Fall Root Vegetables & Greens garden this year. (It is full of garlic right now, except for this end section.) We planted about 4 1/2 feet along each of the three drip lines. As in the other garden, we planted one row on each side of each drip line. We did extend past the end of the drip lines, if for no other reason than to see what difference it makes in germination and growth.

We planted radishes and parsnips in this section of this garden, and we did something a little different with it. We actually planted BOTH the radishes and the parsnips in each row. This is something that I’ve heard recommended before (and I think my dad has done it…? I can’t remember.) Basically, the biggest challenge with parsnips is that they are extremely slow to germinate. It can take 2-4 weeks for them to show the first leaves, and even then they are very small leaves. In contrast, the radishes will germinate, grow, and be ready to harvest in about 4 weeks. The radishes will help us keep track of the rows, make sure we water sufficiently, and keep the soil loose to aid in the parsnips germinating. (We may also get some help thinning as we harvest radishes!) That’s the theory, anyway. The parsnips will continue growing all summer, all fall, and possibly through the winter. Parsnips are supposed to be the sweetest after they have gone through the winter.

Anyway, it will be fun to see how they do!

2013 Garden Plans: Garlic, Fall Greens, & Fall Root Veggies

This garden is currently planted to garlic with about 5 feet on one end open for something this spring. Then the area that is currently garlic will be planted with other greens and root vegetables in the late summer to early fall.

Fall Root VegetablesIn the open end this spring, we are going to plant parsnips and radishes together. The biggest challenge with parsnips is that they generally take about 3 weeks to germinate. Often they don’t get sufficient water or attention throughout that period to have good germination. They can also get lost in weeds if you aren’t careful. We are going to be co-seeding to try to beat that problem. We will plant the parsnips and then thinly seed radishes in the same row. The radishes should be ready to harvest in about 4 weeks, just as the parsnips are showing up. We’ll see if the technique works!

You can see that I have 3 horizontals rows in each section, rather than going perpendicular to the bed. We are going to be planting right along the drip lines, since most of these vegetables have small seeds that need to stay moist. Because of that, we chose during planning to plant 3 varieties of each thing…one variety next to each drip line.

There are some fun varieties in this garden…Black, pink, and white fall radishes. Purple, round orange, and yellow carrots. Gold, pink & white striped, and cylinder-shaped beets. Red, yellow, and white turnips. Three parsnip varieties, each of which claims to be “the sweetest” variety. It will be colorful this fall, even if only the worms appreciate it!

2013 Garden Plans: Kids Snack Garden

This garden should be a fun one!

Kids Snacking GardenSo the idea behind this garden is actually a combination of two ideas. I had the idea of planting a “snacking” garden, planted exclusively to vegetables that can be used for eating raw as a “snack.” One of our Master Gardeners wanted to plant a garden geared towards kids. So…we combined the two ideas! I think it will be a lot of fun!

We have been doing the cattle panel trellises in the raised beds for 3 years now, but for this garden we will be trying something different again. We are going to try putting a trellis over the walkway between beds 4 and 5. It will be quite an experiment! I hope it turns out!

Sunflowers: We will be planting 3 varieties, ‘Teddy Bear,’ ‘Aztec Sun,’ and ‘Valentine.’ These are a variety of heights and colors.

Tomatoes: We will have two cherry tomatoes, one red and one gold. The varieties are ‘Super Sweet 100’ and ‘Golden Honey Bunch.’ We will probably be doing some heavy pruning to keep them controlled on the trellis, so that will also be a new experience.

Beans: A lot of people do not have success with pole beans here, but one of our Master Gardeners has had good luck with ‘Emerite’ filet pole beans, so we will be giving those a try.

Cucumbers: We will be revisiting the white ‘Salt and Pepper’ cucumbers that we had in the Vertical Garden last year.

Peppers: Our pepper plants will be the red and yellow ‘Lunchbox’ peppers.

In the spring, we are planning to have some baby romaine lettuces and mixed color carrots and radishes. In the fall we will revisit the lettuces as well as try out some purple and white cauliflower varieties and the ‘Purple Peacock’ Sprouting Broccoli.

We are also going to try some fun containers near the garden, one with sugar snap peas and the other with perhaps a tomato or a bush pumpkin or melon.

This should be a fun garden to photograph this summer!

Family of 4 Harvest Report

  We harvested the remaining carrots and beets from the Family of 4 Garden today. Maybe it was the dry weather, but the carrots seem to have been growing deeper in the ground, without their shoulders showing above the soil level this year. Because of that, I kind of thought our carrots wouldn’t amount to munch. Wow! I was wrong! These carrots are really gorgeous!

We also had a couple of bell peppers that were ready to pick, and of course, some Swiss Chard.

Family of 4 Harvest Report

3 bunches of carrots @ $2.00/bunch = $6.00

1 bunch of beets @ $3.00/bunch = $3.00

2 bell peppers @ $1.25/each = $2.50

2 bunches Swiss chard @ $2.99/each = $5.98

Weekly Total = $17.48

Year to Date = $162.39