Thursday, August 30, 2012

Garlic cultivation class in Madison, Wis.

I just got this notice for a garlic cultivation class in the Madison, Wis. area. I had great garlic luck this year, but was it beginners luck? So I'm probably going to take one of the classes.


By Gary Kuzynski

The class with cover:
  • Seed selection
  • Soil preparation
  • Planting info (spacing, depth, winter care)
  • Best planting times this fall
  • Harvesting guidelines (summer of 2013)
Please sign up with the contact specified for selected class.

Sept. 7, Friday 10:00-11:30am
Madison Senior Center - Downtown
Contact: Pat Guttenberg (608) 267-8650

Sept. 11, Tuesday 6:00-7:30pm
Lussier Community Center - West Madison
Contact: Gary Kuzynski (608) 228-4172

Sept. 12, Wednesday 6:00-7:30pm
East Madison Community Center - Near MATC
Contact: Gary Kuzynski (608) 228-4172

Cost: $5 or 1 Dane County Time Bank hour

Questions: Call Gary Kuzynski (608) 228-4172

Monday, August 27, 2012

Get ready for garllic

Garlic. Tangy. Tasty. And fairly easy to grow.
And you have to start thinking about it now. 
Really, I mean it, NOW. 

For us "northern" climate growers, don't make the same mistake I did last September and order softneck garlic. Only the hard-neck varieties thrive in our latitudes. Last year I planted a soft-neck and it was a major disappointment. Fortunately, the hard neck variety I bought (Duganski) did amazingly well, some of my crowns weighed in at four ounces. We harvested 10 pounds of garlic from one pound of crowns!

I highly recommend Territorial Seed Company. They have a wide variety of garlic and great customer service. If you don't know what you want, call them, they are very helpful!

The best part about raising garlic is you can use the seed over and over; so once you purchase a variety you like, you can keep using your own seed stock from year to year.

What are your favorite varieties?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pressure-canning class

Jay and I took a pressure-canning class tonight. We're now feeling competent enough to enter Phase II of garden domination, food preservation. It's been great to eat fresh tomatoes and salsa, but we're ready to venture into canned marinara and salsa, and may even hit some single-vegetable canning such as carrots, beans and beets. 

Shout out to FAIRSHARE CSA Coalition for organizing this and many other food preservation classes, and to instructor and master food preserver Polly Reott of Polly Jane's Pickles and Jams.

From left to right: pickled zucchini and salsa (water-bath canning class from a few weeks ago); carrots and green beans from tonight's pressure-canning class.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Solution for not enough tomatoes

I have 13 tomato plants in my community garden. They are producing beautiful fruit (seem to be past blossom-end rot now), but slowly. My paste tomatoes are small and tasty, but I don't have enough to actually do anything with them such as can salsa or a marinara sauce. And the really big paste and beefy tomato varieties are still green and getting bigger. But we really wanted to can this weekend because we're out of town next weekend - we had the time today but the tomatoes didn't cooperate.

Then it occurred to me. There must have been someone in my community garden who, this weekend, had a lot of tomatoes and had to go out of town and was wishing his or her tomatoes had come in a week later. What if I had offered a trade - "You give me 30 pounds of tomatoes this week. I'll have enough to can and you won't have any vegetables drop on the ground while you're away. And next week, I'll give you 30 pounds from my garden."

Is this a new idea, or have I just not come across the right bunch of vegetable swapping people, website or email list?

How do you glean enough produce to put it up with tomatoes ripening at different times?

Good and tasty, but not enough to do anything with - yet.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Baba Ganoush

Looks like we're making baba ganoush this weekend. What's your favorite way to prepare eggplant. PLEASE comment on the blog so all can see your wonderful ideas.

Here's a nice recipe. I char mine on the grill and whip up the skins and all in a food processor.

Also in today's harvest are some tomatoes and a few tomatillos.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

What would you plant?

I pulled all of my onions out of the ground earlier this week. Not newly 1/3 of my garden is empty. I haven't started any plants, and greenhouses and nurseries are already thinking about poinsettias.

What would you plant here?