WHAT'S GROWIN' ON
IN LAKE & MENDOCINO COUNTIES
Here we are, in the middle of summer! This means vacations, tons of sun, and hopefully, a bunch of produce from our gardens. For most of us this turns into a surplus of certain veggies, so here are some creative uses for those summer varieties.
A plentiful summer crop, this can include all kinds of squash like butternut, calabaza, and zucchini. It can be added in for texture, or be the main affair!
Butternut Squash Rissotto
"Green Goddess" Zucchini Noodles
Spaghetti Squash with almonds
Whether it's snap beans, green beans, or lima beans, these tasty legumes come in quite a few varieties. Here are some to try!
Garlic Pole Beans
Butter Cranberry Green Beans
Fava Bean Dip with Goat Cheese
Last but not least, it's everyone's favorite poster-vegetable (or fruit, depending on who you ask!) Almost everyone has got some variety of tomato growing in their summer garden. Here are some ideas of what to do what them.
Honey-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Simple Pico de Gallo
You can also consider setting up a stand at your local farmers market if you have enough excess, or donating your produce to friends or to your local food bank. However you decide to use your extra summer produce, keep on growin'!
With spring in full swing, it's time to think of fresh new recipes to try. The best part about these is that they can come right from your garden! These simple but tasty recipes use a few key ingredients that are easy to grow, and can be part of an easy spring meal for you and your family.
First up, a classic: Grilled cheese with a garden twist.
Another important thing to think about is what spring veggies you can grow, and how they can be used in a million different ways! Check out the garden-to-table guide for some spring planting inspiration.
Lastly, here are some fun and EASY side dishes to try with your own garden ingredients:
Spring Garden Saute
Beet, Carrot and Couscous Salad
In the last few weeks fall weather has finally come to Lake and Mendocino Counties - cooler nights and shorter days mean that some of the summer vegetables are slowing in production and it's time to start planting new crops like lettuce, favas and onions that prefer cold weather. In Lake County we had a great workshop about fall gardening taught by Lake County Master Gardener Coordinator Gabrielle O'Neill you can read her guide on fall gardening here!
With the shut down of summer vegetables in the garden there is a new season of vegetables to enjoy cooking and growing! Here are some great recipes that highlight fall vegetables:READ MORE >
By Alex from Ithaca, NY (Swiss Chard Rainbow) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
When I worked at the farmers market this past summer in my hometown one of the kids favorite things to pick up was rainbow chard, it has beautiful colors that can make kids excited to eat vegetables! On the flip side chard is an interesting taste as a part of the beet family it tastes earthy with a spinach like texture. Chard is nutritious but does have oxalic acid which can inhibit iron intake and should be avoided by people who have kidney or gallbladder problems. To learn more about chard click here.
For people who like the earthy taste of chard it can be eaten raw in salads, however my favorite way to eat chard is sauteed with plenty of butter and garlic. I'm not super picky so I often use chard the same way I would use kale in cooking, with the stem removed, sauteed with pasta or cooked down with garlic, salt, pepper and lemon for a side dish. Chard can be tough to know what to do with so here are some great chard recipes:READ MORE >
Are you swimming in kale and hungry for a recipe? This delicious sesame-kale salad was shared and devoured at our latest Lake County Gardens Gathering Potluck by one of our Highlands Senior Center gardeners. Thanks Susan!
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Radishes are fantastic spring vegetables! Radishes are great to grow with kids because they grow quickly and are beautiful and rewarding to harvest. For years I did not think that I liked radishes because my family didn't eat them at home, it wasn't until I left for college that radishes became a regular part of my spring time diet. Now radishes are some of my very favorite vegetables! There are so many different ways to use radishes in cooking, and they are easy to add to meal-time regulars by tossing them into a side salad or quickly roasting them in the oven for a tasty side dish. For the more adventurous eaters radish greens can be eaten in salads or used in pesto.READ MORE >
Here at the Gardens Project we are getting excited for cooking with spring vegetables. Although at the supermarket you can buy most vegetables year round, we love to cook in season - it's not only cheaper but the veggies taste better! To me, spring always means a bounty of fresh produce, from tasty greens to spicy radishes.
Currently here in California we are at the tail end of citrus season so it's a great time to enjoy lemons and oranges at their peak!
Citrus is also really good for you! I always eat citrus to get a boost of vitamin C when I feel like I might be getting sick to give my immune system a good boost. Another great thing about lemons is that you can use the peel to flavor cakes, breads and even pasta to give it a bright, summery taste.READ MORE >
Since Easter is coming up this weekend here are a few egg-cellent ways to spruce up hard boiled eggs and incorporate some vegetables!
We love this first recipe because you get two things for one recipe - pickled beets and beautifully dyed pickled eggs! To make the eggs even more special you could devil the eggs after pickling them - my personal favorite way to enjoy hard-boiled eggs.
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It's the question we always get when a new gardener plants kale- how do you eat this stuff?
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