January Signs of Spring

I know it’s cruel and unusual punishment to post these pictures of a rhubarb bud and the first pea shoots, but here you go. For those of you encased in ice or buried in a snowbank, hang in there! Spring isn’t too far behind!

Support our Local Farms: PCC Tour of Nash’s Delta Farm; Visit Nearby Dungeness Valley Creamery

Saturday, Jan. 16, is the PCC Farmland Trust tour of the Delta Farm, part of the 400+ acres farmed by Nash Huber and his crew. Sign up and see first hand how he manages to keep us all fed through the winter. While you’re in the area, stop in and see the Dungeness Valley Creamery, which recently received some bad press by the WSDA which implied a link between e. coli and their certified raw milk. Nothing could be further from the truth! See for yourself what a wonderful dairy they have and taste the difference in raw milk that comes from cows that are catered to! Supporting our local family farms is just so important to preserving farmland in our region. It is such a privilege to have them here. Meet the hands that provide us with such incredible bounty!

Blue Moon Garden Review

A cold winter’s night beneath a blue moon: December 31 and it’s that time of year again: time to evaluate what worked and what didn’t in the garden. Once you complete this year-end ritual, you can dive into all those seed catalogs. But don’t skip this pre-garden planning step: a realistic evaluation now might prevent you from making crazy impulsive purchases based on glossy photos, mouth-watering descriptions, and a human tendency to forget the bad and remember the good. Or not.

Buy Garlic, Not Gold!

Garlic has been named the Best Performing Asset in China this year, outperforming gold, silver, oil, and real estate, a consequence of supply and demand and the H1N1 flu epidemic scare. If you’re looking for good garlic, though, the very best can be found at home. Buy local.

Local Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Check out the phenomenal variety of goods I purchased this week from the Sequim Locally Grown outlet: cinnamon rolls and a peach pie (wow!) from Sequim Valley Products, turnips, kohlrabi, and leeks from the Lazy J Farm, shallots from the Johnston Farms, flax seed from Teri Crockett, fresh oysters from QuilBay Seafood, and a live Colorado Blue Spruce tree from the Hydrangea Rangers (which we will plant after Christmas)! I had also Read more…

Ultimate Garlic Roaster

Looking for a really good garlic roaster? Look no further. Andi and Rudy Bauer of Bauer Haus Pottery make some amazing pieces. Roasted garlic elevates a simple dinner to a holiday feast. The Bauer Haus garlic roasters will ensure your garlic roasts to perfection.

Tomato Saga and Green Tomato Mincemeat

A story of growing tomatoes, from training them up a trellis to having them take over the garden. If you are wondering what to do with all those green tomatoes left at the end of the season, here is the best mock mincemeat recipe I have found. Ingredients include tomatoes, apples, raisins, citrus, and spices. No meat, lard, or suet. Makes a great mock mincemeat pie just in time for Thanksgiving and upcoming holidays. This post also recommends a couple of good garden cookbooks and a great place to purchase seeds and get gardening information.

Yes! You Can Still Plant Garlic!

It is not too late to plant garlic! This post discusses pros and cons of planting early or late. A detailed description is given on how to plant garlic, including planning, building beds, pre-plant techniques, spacing, and mulching. It is based on my over 30 years of growing garlic in the Northwest.

Harvest Abundance – and a Great Zucchini Bread Recipe!

True confession: I simply have not had time to follow up on my last post. Furthermore, I am not afraid to admit that I still have zucchini on my countertop. Yes, I continue to sneak them into spaghetti sauces and muffins, but in reality, they have been pushed to the back to make room for zillions of green tomatoes. I do mean zillions. Incredible summer that it was, we also managed to get enough RED Read more…

Garlic Scapes Return!

I have been getting a lot of questions about garlic scapes lately – and in checking my blog stats, a lot of people are searching for recipes using scapes. Scapes, those curly flower shoots from the hardneck varieties of garlic, arrive just as we are running out of our green garlic harvest. My favorite way to use them is in pestos with parsley, olive oil, & parmesan cheese. They are also great in hummus and Read more…

What I Love About May

May was an absolutely gorgeous month in the Sequim Dungeness Valley. This post features some spring photos, including some of a brand new baby calf, born at the Dungeness Valley Creamery. The Brown farm is a fantastic source of fresh raw milk from pampered Jersey cows.

Site Revisions in Progress

Thank you for your patience while we are revising our site! We wanted to get a table in here listing all our 2009 varieties of garlic, and in the process, give the site a bright new look and a better forum for talking about sustainable living! Check back in soon! Thanks – Blythe

Rainwater Collection System

Conflicting demands of population growth, agriculture, and environmental needs (endangered salmon and other fish) are putting a huge strain on our water supply. Setting up a system to collect rainwater is easy and inexpensive and can not only get you through the dry spells, but leave precious water for other uses.

Spring Cleaning in the Garlic Beds!

Spring is a busy time to get the garden in shape before planting. Garlic is up and so are the weeds! Efforts now to get rid of the weeds will pay off with big garlic bulbs later! Also time to fertilize the garlic with a little side-dressing of blood meal for a nitrogen boost. Seaweed and fish fertilizer foliar sprays also strengthen the plants. Raised beds are a real advantage to early growth.

Garlic is Harvested and Curing!

Hooray! The garlic is harvested and is now 2 weeks into the curing process. What do 1300 bulbs of hanging garlic look like? Granted, by some standards, that is not a lot. But for me – and for many who buy a few bulbs now and then – it’s like, wow – over one thousand bulbs! How to describe what it is like to step into a small room, surrounded by hanging garlic, and inhale Read more…

Garlic Scape Hummus

I promised you all my favorite hummus recipe. But first, I’d like to know how a bunch of smashed chick peas mixed with a little this and that, and a name that sounds like something related to compost, has become such an exotic dish among pseudo yuppies like myself. Indeed. Ok – I have a confession. I don’t really have a “favorite” hummus recipe. I make it different every time. But see, that’s the beauty Read more…

Garlic Scape Recipes: Pesto

I have been asked – no – begged – to reveal my soon-to-be-famous recipes for pesto and hummus using fresh garlic scapes. Ok. I bend to peer pressure. But not without this warning: EATING THIS STUFF CAN BE ADDICTIVE! And to lure you into my web, I also offer a recipe for homemade crackers to go with them. Go ahead…try these…don’t let anyone see you…scoop them into small bowls and go off to your happy Read more…

Garlic Status – Summer Solstice ’08

Despite the cold spring here in the Pacific Northwest, the garlic has been thriving! We got everything weeded over the weekend and thoroughly watered. You can almost feel them reaching upward, waiting for that promised sunshine! As you can see from the photos, I planted the garlic rather densely in beds (4 rows/bed) this year, which has really facilitated the weeding, fertilizing, & watering tasks! The picture in the lower right quadrant shows 2 plots Read more…

Rain! Rain! Rain!

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you know we’re still waiting for this season called spring and it’s almost summer! The cold temps have delayed most crops – but I have to say, the lettuce, spinach, peas, mustards, parsley, potatoes, rhubarb, and garlic are thriving! (And so are the weeds!) Garlic scapes are a little slow this year, but I see elephant spears are starting to shoot straight up, which means the curly scapes Read more…

The Scallions Are Here!

Garlic scallions – or “green garlic” – those tender little morsels before they mature into a pungent clove-divided bulb, spell spring in so many ways! Yes you can eat the shoots! And those garlic cloves that didn’t quite overwinter and have started to sprout? You can still plant them! Even a small pot will do. Crowded is ok. In a couple of months (maybe less), you, too, can be eating your own scallions right from the garden.