What are You Eating from the Garden?

ducks4you

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GOTTA learn how to grow leeks!! My leeks failed over the winter, but I am determined to try again!
We will be eating on tomatoes for the next month, AND I will be canning them. Tomorrow morning is 39 degreesF, Sunday morning is 35 degreesF and I am only covering peppers tomorrow bc my friend is coming over to collect extra jalepanoes and extra banana peppers. I am harvesting ALL tomatoes tomorrow.
 

digitS'

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I don't know about growing leeks through the winter, @ducks4you .

They were one of those vegetables that I had no idea that I could grow because I didnt know anyone around here that grew them. Like parsnips, I associated them with the UK - you know, those pictures of British gardeners with their giant vegetables!

This sure isn't the UK maritime climate but I tried them. They require a long season. I could probably have little ones by direct-sowing seeds but they get a start just like the onions in the greenhouse in early February. Well, the seed goes in the starter mix but the heat won't be turned on in there until mid-March so it is a slow start. I try not to allow the soil to freeze on cold nights.

Among the first things to go out into the garden, all the growing season they sit around and look at the world. They seem to benefit from afternoon shade. Leeks and onions like fertilizer (nitrogen). Side-dressing has to be done carefully for a funny reason - the plants will trap it in their leaves. They have flat leaves unlike the round leaves of onions. We are eating leaves when eat them --- we are eating our fertilizer!?! No! ... Except ... that holding of fertilizer make them good candidates for feeding them fish/seaweed emulsion ;).

I've never grown a leek the size of a baseball bat but 1" diameter isn't uncommon. Large or small, they are the very best choice for potato soup!

Steve
 

Ridgerunner

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In Northwest Arkansas I'd sow leek seeds in the fall and overwinter them. I sometimes used mulch but often not much. You should be a bit colder in Illinois so mulch might help. If I let some go to seed I'd get volunteers in the spring which I sometimes transplanted. I could tell the difference in garlic and leek volunteers. Ducks. starting them form seeds indoors is a pretty good idea but I don't know when the best time for you would be. I'd think earlier rather than later.

I never got leeks that big either Steve. 1" would be a good size. I agree on the potato soup. Sometimes I'd use leeks instead of onions when I made chicken broth.
 

Trish Stretton

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Oh, that doesn't sound slow to me, @Trish Stretton !

I'm trying to think ...

One month after your spring equinox? Oh, that environment must be like Florida. Maybe chilly at times? Maybe Orlando, you know - Disney World ;)?

I don't remember ever eating leeks from my garden early in the season. They might be tender at that stage.

Steve
likes curry
Down here, leeks are supposed to be planted by January at the latest-mid summer....mine were probably planted around April, so they are even now, still the size of obese spring onions and already starting to try to flower. BUT! They are so tasty.

I've been to Florida and no way is it that hot here.
Our winters are usually cold and the spring, usually wet and windy but things keep changing.
This year our winter has been very! warm with only one hard frost and thats being generous.

Its the first year I have had so many Avocadoes ripen and fall out of the tree. Okay, some of them fall due to the birds but even Jack keeps wanting to go down for a walk to see what is there to eat
Today, He got lucky and spotted one before I did. Yesterday, I found a nice big fat one which is now in the fridge cos I already have another 4 in the fridge waiting for me to eat.
 

flowerbug

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I've never grown a leek the size of a baseball bat but 1" diameter isn't uncommon. Large or small, they are the very best choice for potato soup!
from what i have seen 1-2 inches seems normal. for some strange reason Mom is not a fan of them, but i can eat them. we don't buy them, nor do we grow them so i can't say i've eaten many of them.

my most common exposure to them is in quiche...
 

ducks4you

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Harvested seven 10 gallon bucketfuls of tomatoes before this week's two freezes. I have a special bowl for ripening beefsteak tomatoes, another for canning tomatoes, but I can ANYTHING that says "tomatoes" on the skin.
Harvested my peppers yesterday. We will eat more stuffed pepper meal with red peppers, one next week with green peppers, and chili this weekend, with my sweet and hot peppers in it.
DH has given up on me using my brand new, still in plastic, pressure canner, now 3 years old, UNused. DD's are coming over after handing out candy, for a Saturday night Family bonfire in the fire pit, chili for dinner, made from 5 pounds of meat, so there Will be leftovers, then Sunday morning family breakfast,
And...
wait for it...
canning chili in the pressure canner!!
Eldest DD, who ALWAYS reads the instructions, will help DH, and I will assist only when asked.
 
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digitS'

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Lunch was the usual, tomato soup.

This time, it was with shallots, onions, and garlic sauteed with the bacon. Also added, mushrooms from the store. I have had mushrooms from the garden before. That was when the morels began to show up in early spring after I'd had a garden in the same place for about 5 years. No longer gardening there but it was really nice since morels are the only wild mushrooms that I feel safe harvesting.

Everything else was from the garden, even if it was several days ago. Oh, except the black pepper and I used cream cheese to thicken the soup. It doesn't add much flavor and I need to beat it in but the consistency is good. Flavor: those shallots and mushrooms!

Steve
 

ducks4you

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Chili last weekend, (my tomatoes, sweet peppers, banana peppers and jalepano peppers,) LAST stuffed pepper meal, with My peppers and My tomatoes.
I put a jar of tomatoes in the chili from 2008, btw. If you hot water bath correctly and STORE correctly, they Will last.
They would be rancid and dried out if the seal had failed.
 

Cosmo spring garden

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I made puree using cheese pumpkin and butternut squash (I sliced them in half, scooped out seeds, placed them skin side up on a cookie sheet and baked them at 350 for 40 mins and than let them sit in the warm oven until I had time few hours later) and it was so sweet and delicious. I went a bit crazy and made 3 loaves of pumpkin bread, pumpkin cheesecake, lasagna and waffles. I used up all the puree! Have t tried the waffles yet but the other dishes were so good! I was surprised how yummy and creamy the lasagna turned out.
We had a hard freeze this morning so all my summer veggies are dead.

Has anyone used winter rye as cover crop in the vegetable garden? Any advice on how to prep in spring?
 

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