Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Peas and Butterflies

Fresh garden peas and a butterfly got my kids excited about the garden this week.

The peas were perfect.  A handful of these will win anyone over!
We shelled these peas and ate them straight up without cooking.  Yum!  The kids thought it was great, although chasing uncooked peas around on your plate can be a little challenging.

I know if tasty fresh peas and carrots won't draw my kids to the garden, caterpillars and butterflies will. Aidan discovered this newly hatched monarch on the ground. He sat by the carrots and held it cautiously as it dried and stretched its wings.
Did you know you can tell a male monarch from a female monarch by the two black spots on its hindwings on either side of its abdomen.  Can you see them? This is a male monarch.

More great experiences from the garden.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

What's Growing

It's hot, hot, hot outside.  Summer is definitely here.

Around the house, I water the plants now and then (my least favourite garden chore).  Down at the garden, our plants have to fend for themselves - there's no easy way to water down there unless you feel like hauling buckets of water from the river or jugs of water from your house.  

Luckily, this spring provided good moisture and gave our plants a great start.  I hope they'll continue to do well during this heat and that their roots are deep enough to find moisture.

So far, things are looking great.
Pea pods - days away from munching on peas
A pepper almost ready to go 
Melanie's yellow pear tomatoes only a couple of weeks until we enjoy these beauties.
Royal burgundy bush bean blossom - soon there will be beans 
One of my all time favourites - carrots
Corn - still a long way to go, but it's looking good
Bachelor buttons in full bloom (those seeds are going to spread everywhere!)
Bachelor buttons in a vase - (one way to stop the seeds from spreading)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Kohlrabi Harvest

I'm excited to be a guest blogger for the Manitoba Canola Growers' Be Well blog this summer.  They have some amazing recipes, great giveaways and excellent information and strategies for leading a balanced, happy life.

My first blog post was about the flea beetles in our cabbage patch.  The last thing any gardener wants to see is their veggies being eaten by anyone or anything other than themselves!  So, as I describe in the post, we covered our broccoli, kohlrabi and cabbage with a floating row cover.

Were we able to save our kohrabi from being stripped bare?
It's time to roll back the row cover and see what we find. (insert drum roll here!)

Yay!  It's like magic.  Big beautiful brocolli, a lovely little red cabbage and some ready to pick kohlrabi.

Look at these three kohlrabi.  They're perfect.  Remember, you don't want kohlrabi to grow too big or too long because it will get woody - and nobody loves woody kohlrabi.  Enjoy them when they're young and tender.
How to Use Kohlrabi
You can eat kohlrabi raw by slicing it or grating it for a coleslaw type salad.  The taste and texture will be very similar to brocolli stems.  The flavour may be a little more sharp/spicy - sort of like a radish.

Chop kohlrabi and add it to a stir fry or steam with other mixed veggies.

Cooked with Dill Sauce
My all time favourite.  Peel, slice and steam kohlrabi until translucent and tender (the taste becomes a little milder and sweeter compared to when it's eaten raw).  Add a little of the creamy dill bechamel sauce from last week's blog.  Savour every moment!

What to serve with kohlrabi?  You won't be surprised to learn that we love serving kohlrabi with some nice German bratwurst - but equally delicious for a nice summer time fare is a sunny side up fried egg.  I'm telling you the combination is a sure hit.