You may find it hard to believe that we jump right in to planning our Demonstration Garden the first week of the new year, but we do! This allows us plenty of time to plan, order seeds, start seeds, and get everything growing in the garden in a timely fashion.
Our Master Gardener Demonstration Garden committee met this past Tuesday to start the planning process and decide what the themes are going to be for our garden beds this year. We always have fun thinking about new things we could try growing.
Here is our overall garden plan for the 2016 garden:
Bed 1: Peppers are the Herb of the Year, so we will be showcasing a wide variety of peppers this year. We will also do some leafy greens in the spring and fall in a “quilt block” pattern.
Bed 2: There are so many new purple vegetables, herbs, and other edibles that we thought it would be fun to do an all purple garden.
Bed 3: Tomatoes! We don’t know yet what we will showcase, just that there will be tomatoes.
Bed 4: We will be featuring some Oriental vegetables that can be grown successfully in Kansas – some common, others not so much.
Bed 5: Our popular herbs & pollinator flowers garden will be moved to Bed 5 for this year.
Bed 6: Root vegetables – some old favorites, but also possibly some less- common roots.
Bed 7: Grape vine and thymes
Bed 8: Perennial herbs
Bed 9: We thought it might be fun to try Hops in advance of 2019 when it is Herb of the Year.
Bed 10: Plants from the Zingiberaceae (Ginger) family, such as ginger, cardamom, galangal, turmeric, etc.
Accessible Garden/Containers: We are going to feature some of the new “compact” or container-type tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and more. We may also try out a new salad table design from our Hort Therapy committee and make a “pallet” garden like those that have been so popular on Pinterest and Facebook last year.
As you can see, we have some exciting things coming your way this summer, so stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks!
After we got all the compost into the raised beds on Tuesday, we had a few things to get planted. Because of our garden plans this year, we just had a couple things to plant here and there.
First, we had ‘Yukon Gold’ potatoes to plant in the MG Favorites Garden. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of the planting. We also had a bundle of ‘Red Marble’ cippolini onion plants to go in the ground. They came in the mail yesterday, so we needed to get them planted.
The cippolinis are relatively small onions that are much flatter than normal onions. We chose them specifically for the Italian Garden, and then decided to plant the rest in the Salsa Garden, since we already had them coming. The plants for these onions were pretty small – smaller than I’ve seen before with other onion plants. I’m assuming it is because the end product is also smaller?
We also had some Lacinato Kale to plant in the Italian Garden and some ‘Parris Island Cos’ romaine lettuce for the Master Gardener Favorites Garden. These plants were started about a month ago, but I don’t think I ever got that on the blog.
We planted spinach and radishes in the MG Favorites Garden in an area that will be under the trellis later this spring. We also planted spinach in the ‘Taste of India’ Garden.
In the Italian Garden, we planted seeds of the endive/escarole mesclun and the ‘Italiko Rosso’ dandelion (red rib dandelion).
Hopefully by next week there will be growing things to photograph!
Both beginning and advanced home food gardeners will find something to interest them at the 4th annual Grow Good Food Workshop. The workshop will be held on Saturday, March 22, 2014, from 9 am to 4 pm at the Sedgwick County Extension Education Center, 4-H Hall at 21st and Ridge Rd. in Wichita.
Cost of the class is $5 for all day. Register online at http://growgoodfood.eventbrite.com or call 316-660-0100.
The morning session of the workshop includes three classes on basic gardening topics. During the afternoon, attendees will have the choice between more advanced gardening topics and classes on preserving and cooking garden produce.
9 a.m. – Getting Started with a New Garden
10 a.m. – Choosing What to Plant
11 a.m. – Common Pests & Problems
1 p.m. – Growing Heirlooms & Saving Seed
2 p.m. – Raised Bed Gardening
3 p.m. – Success with Squash & Vines
Cooking & Preserving
1 p.m. – Food Preservation 101
2 p.m. – Vegetables for Picky Eaters
3 p.m. – Equipment & Gadgets for Food Preservation
Register online at http://growgoodfood.eventbrite.com or call 316-660-0100.
Over the weekend, I read a post on one of the gardening blogs I follow (The Veggie Patch Re-Imagined) about another blog all about growing uncommon root vegetables. I was familiar with some of the roots/tubers mentioned (oca, mashua, mauka, etc) from attempting to grow them at a previous job. (I left them when the plants were still babies.) So I emailed myself to check out that blog this morning when I didn’t have to use my phone to browse.
From there, it was a quick trip down the garden blog rabbit hole. I found about a dozen new blogs and websites to follow, and because I have no sympathy for your needs to not spend time browsing the internet, I’m going to share them with you. So as a word of warning, if you don’t have at least an hour to spend browsing garden sites, please stop reading now and go do something else.
2 small zucchini diced
1 large onion diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 large tomato, diced
2-3 stalks of Swiss chard or other greens
¼ cup low-fat 1% milk
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
4 squash blossoms
1 cherry tomato for garnish
In a deep dish 9” pie pan, layer the zucchini, onion, green pepper and tomato. In a bowl, add the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and garlic. Blend until everything is mixed well. Pour egg mixture over the vegetables. Carefully cut the squash blossoms on one side without cutting through the entire flower. Open flowers and arrange on top of dish in a circular pattern. Add cherry tomato in the center for garnish. Bake at 350˚F, for 50-60 minutes, or until center is set. Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting into it. Serve with fresh fruit and crusty whole grain bread.