Van Etten, NY, US

gardening interests: Cooking, Culinary Herbs, Livestock, Organic Gardening, Sustainable Living, Vegetables

Member Since: 02/02/2011

recent comments

Re: Benefits of Going to Seed

My showy red amaranth went to seed in my northern garden last summer and I was surprised with a nice bed of volunteer red amaranth this spring! I had already planted it in my spring planting so now have two beds to enjoy and share. Dill also volunteers but gets dispersed throughout the garden. Sunflowers surprised me by coming up everywhere this spring as well but naturally we let those go to seed. What else...tomatoes and tomatillos come up in abundance but most of those are pulled as weeds. Chives have turned into a pest as well.

Re: Three Trellis Ideas for Vertical Vegetables

Not an original idea but I use cattle panels (4 x 16 ft) for cucurbits to climb. It's easier to find the cukes hanging from the trellis than when they are hidden under the foliage on the ground (though that still happens)

Re: Easy Recipe for Candied Jalapenos

Can you process these for longer keeping or does/would processing turn them into overcooked mush? I am looking forward to trying this! Thanks- I never would have thought of it.

Re: Should You Take Out All (or Some) of Your Lawn?

Yes, I, too, am expanding my vegetable garden, reclaiming some of the grassy yard that I have been mowing. So there will be less to mow and more to eat! I'm also planting fruit trees in the lawn that I am having to mow around, but hopefully that will be worth it in time. Wish I had done it years ago!

Re: Pole Beans Versus Bush Beans

I love pole beans- they are my favorite thing to grow. I keep adding varieties. Last year I grew 8 different varieties and I'm not sure what the count will be this year. Some drop out. Last year I added Fortex and Kwintus- both keepers. I'm trying the Emerite filet bean this year but after just reading the article on filet beans see that I may have to grow some bush beans to get really good filet beans. I prefer pole beans because of the longer picking period and the ease of picking. I like colored beans like yellow Kentucky Wonder and purple yard long beans because they are easier to find among the foliage. Green beans are really good at hiding among the foliage. I always go up and down both sides of the row to get a different view. I had bad luck with Kentucky Wonder beans from Gurneys last year- they did not breed true and most were a flat tough insipid bean instead of my beloved rich meaty flavorful bean.

A couple of things I've learned- 1) they needn't be planted two inches apart because they are so prolific. They get so thick it is hard to pick them through all the foliage. (I found a good recipe for sweet pickled green beans for the extras. If anyone has hints for freezing them successfully, please share. I've tried lots of techniques but still don't like the results.) 2)After my bean seeds rotted in the ground at least one spring, now I use a technique that I use on squashes and corn as well: I allow the seeds to germinate indoors between damp paper towels in lidded plastic fast food containers that I save (all labeled on tape on the top with the variety). I only plant the seeds that have germinated and they take right off when planted in the ground outside because they have passed the difficult process of germinating.

Re: Catalog Review: The Cook's Garden

I'm a sucker for pole beans and was introduced to two fantastic varieties from The Cook's Garden: Kwintus and Fortex. They are delicious and both stay tender on the vine a long time, especially fortex which is a long cylindrical bean. Kwintus is a long flat and can get a bit too large to be tender but it really takes a while. They both freeze exceptionally well. And they had repeat customers at the farmer's market stand. They will be standards for me in my garden from now on.