It is 2018, TheGardenLady hopes your New Year’s resolutions includes gardening.
Catalogs are arriving in my mailbox and my wish is that I could add more vegetables to my garden. Living on a wooded property means that there is limited space for sun-loving plants, especially vegetables. Most of the sun in this garden is near the street. I am afraid of growing anything edible near this street where there is exhaust from the cars that drive by.
Because this GardenLady is trying to go vegan, I would love to grow and eat my own vegetables.
Why is this GardenLady trying to go vegan? More and more evidence is that a plant-based diet is the healthiest diet one can be on. But more important than my health is the health of our wonderful planet. There is more and more evidence that animal agriculture is pollutingÂ and causing harm to our environment.
TheGardenlady knows how difficult it is, in our meat-based culture, to become a vegan. However, with the growing global population, according to scientists, there may soon be so many people living that there will not be enough food to go around if we continue raising and feeding so many animals for food.
As catalogs keep coming to the mailbox to be read and as this GardenLady scans the Internet for new and interesting plants for 2015, I thought it might be fun to write about some exciting and unusual vegetables to be considered for this summer’s gardens.
The most unusual plant I have seen this year is a tomato/potato plant called “Ketchup ‘n’ Fries“Â Â or “Tom Tato” (see here). These plants grow cherry tomatoes on top and white potatoes underground on the same plant so that if you have limited space to grow vegetables or you want to grow one plant in a pot on your deck, this is the perfect plant.
The colorful part of any meal seems to be the palette of vegetables that one can find on one’s platter. In today’s grocery market or farmers’ market one can shop for the usual vegetable but in an unusual array of colors. Or you can raise these colorful vegetable varieties in your own home garden. It amazes TheGardenLady to see all the new colors of vegetables that one can now grow in a home vegetable garden.
For example, orange always seemed to be a pretty enough color on the plate. For example, how attractive are orange carrots with the green of the green beans and the white of the potatoes? But now you can change the colors if not the foods. Using the same foods you can now serve them in different colors: like white carrots with yellow (green) beansÂ andÂ purple potatoes. Or would you rather have purple carrots with an orange potato and a colorful pinkish French green bean? (see here)To raise colorful carrots, check out Cosmic Purple Carrot for 2014 that is purple on the outside with shades of yellow or orange flesh. (see here).
TheGardenLady was amiss in not telling you in advance about the newest holiday. I just did not know that October 2 was proclaimed National Kale Day. Of course, in my defense, National Kale Day is not quite a holiday yet. But you can make it a reality if you vote for it here.
Though I wish a healthy food would be more to my taste, say like coffee ice cream. I can’t wait for a National Coffee Ice Cream Day touting the benefits of my current favorite ice cream. But alas, that might not happen in my life time.
However, since Kale is now considered one of the most nutritious foods around, perhaps you would want to add it to your garden.
Thanksgiving will soon be here and if you are like TheGardenLady, you are wondering what should be made to make this year special. I know I don’t want to have the same old menu each year. It is much more fun to prepare something that will surprise the guests but be a tasty, delicious surprise.
I am thinking of making something different as a sidedish or maybe a soup.. Because I want to try to have a more healthy feast, I am thinking of using broccoli as the different item on my menu. Isn’t broccoli, Brassica oleracea, the vegetable that is touted to be one of the healthiest of vegetables these days? (see here) I know that my physician is pushing me to eat more broccoli. Though not my family’s favorite vegetable. I want the broccoli at my table to knock everyone’s “socks off.” Do readers of TheGardenLady have a broccoli recipe that you can recommend that is outstanding and will make the family stand up and cheer? If you do have a great recipe that you are willing to share, please send your recipe to TheGardenLady so that all my readers and I could try it.
This is the time of year to start thinking of recipes for Thanksgiving. There are those who like to make the traditional foods- whatever the traditions are in your family- because with a big feast, your family doesn’t want surprises; they want the comfort foods they have grown used to.
Then there are people like TheGardenLady who likes to include new or unusual foods into the menu. I belong to the ‘variety is the spice of life’ group and want surprises on the table.
One of the surprises I have been considering this year is to try to make Native American foods for the table. TheGardenLady read somewhere that the Pilgrims probably didn’t have too many sweets at their feast because they didn’t have much sugar. But surely they must have been taught to tap sugar maple trees for maple syrup. Unless whatever date at the end of November they really celebrated was too early for the tapping of the trees.Â Continue reading “Native American Foods for Thanksgiving”
There are a few other vegetables or fruit that I want you to consider when creating your vegetable landscape.
One is the tomato- especially the miniature tomatoes, the cherry and grape type of tomatoes. The fruit of these plants look like jewels and come in red, yellow, orange, purple, chocolate, black, white and of course green fruits (see here). Some of these tomato plants bear 100s of fruits per plant- one claims to have over 650 tomatoes per plant- for a spectacular show. Some tomato plants hang down and others are upright. Some are great for container growing.
red small tomatoes by Martin LaBar
Another vegetable to look at for your landscaped garden is cauliflower. Everyone knows that there is white cauliflower. But did you know that Cauliflower comes in yellow and almost orange, green as well as purple heads? (see here) My favorite cauliflower look is the green Romanesco Cauliflower.The shape of the head is unique.
Landscaping a garden in your front yard whether you want to plant vegetables or flowers is enhanced by garden structures, containers and other items. It’s nice to have small garden areas and raised beds outlined with interesting rocks, but the vertical structures add interest to the landscaping and give vines a place to grow or another height for positioning plants.
Now if you are handy and can build your own structures, lucky you- there are lots of online directions.Â You might also be lucky to know someone who is handy who can build garden structures for you. I saw some wooden structures used for climbing pole beans at a local historical house with garden and museum. Volunteers make these structures. I asked if they would build two for me- the money I will pay for these towers will be a donation to the historical house. They agreed to doing it; but I await the approval from the people in charge.
Another vegetable suggestion for the flower garden or the front yard vegetable landscaping is the miniature or the dwarf hot or sweet pepper. Once again the gardener has the choice of the ornamental variety which may or may not bear edible peppers or the edible pepper plants. But why bother with the ornamental pepper when there are so many pretty edible pepper plant options? There is a huge selection ofÂ edible pepper plants that have green, red, yellow, orange and almost black peppers that grow against the pretty green leaves of the plant. The shapes of the fruit are varied and can either stand up or hang down. How decorative can those choices be?
Peppers in garden by Martin LaBar
Many plants look like Christmas decorations. Look at this photo ofÂ Chili Pepper Prairie Fire pepperÂ . Could any ornamental be prettier?