Vegetables

Winter favas

It's the Thanksgiving weekend and I was lucky to have my family with us in the Napa Valley again this year. On Saturday - looking for a fun local project - my gardening-inclined  Mom, sister-in-law Susanne and niece Kate went to one of our local nurseries to scout around for winter goodies. As soon as we arrived, each of us meandered…
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Butternut Squash anyone?

I love butternut squash and have planted it in my garden the past three years. But I hadn't found the right spot for the large spreading plant until this year. My gardener suggested planting our 8 plants in a sunny area adjacent to our driveway which I have always considered a gardening challenge area (a unattractive, large dirt…
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Abundance

After three weeks of being away from my vegetable garden, in the middle of summer, I knew what I was walking into this weekend. Abundance. The photo above represents this morning's harvest and does not include all I picked on Friday and Saturday. It is a crazy amount of vegetables! I think it is safe to say,…
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Today’s harvest

I feel like I haven't been in the Napa Valley for ages, as we've had commitments elsewhere preventing us from being here. How I miss my garden when I'm away! The first place I checked out this morning was my vegetable garden and WOW has it gone crazy. My tomato and bean plants are 8' tall…
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Onion Harvest

I finally harvested all my onions after having them in the ground for over 200 days. As I mentioned in a previous post, it was cold and rainy this winter and it took a long time for them to mature. Now, what to do with all the onions? I used several in a simple sauté…
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Our first beans

Guess what I discovered on Friday? Our first beans of the season! I couldn't believe my eyes when I found beans ready to be picked - in May! I planted my seedlings over the first weekend of April and protected them from nibblers (squirrels, insects???) with netting and Critter Ridder, so I wouldn't lose my first…
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All that basil!

I always plant basil in my vegetable garden because I love Caprese salad and pesto all summer long. Basil, a member of the mint family, is one of my favorite herbs. The variety I've always planted is Genovese because I love the way it smells. I plant it alongside my tomatoes because tomatoes and basil make great companions.…
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Buy, buy, buy!

I was in Van Windens nursery Sunday morning, on a mission to buy some lettuces to complete my boxes. I was thrilled to discover my absolute favorite lettuce - Simpson Elite. This beautiful chartreuse lettuce is wonderfully tender and sweet. It's also hard to find. I had searched for the seed from Seed Savers, as well as…
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Meet my beans

My favorite veggies in my garden are always my beans. As I mentioned in a previous post, I bought heirloom bean seeds from Seed Savers this year and planted my beans in early March, transplanting them into my vegetable boxes last weekend. Choosing my beans was a difficult choice this year because there were so…
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Spring Planting

Forni Brown officially opened April 1st and Carolyn and I made our annual excursion Saturday morning to pick up starts to plant our spring gardens. We weren't the first gardeners to arrive, but I think were the second and third. Forni Brown has many varieties of heirloom plants. Every year I get overly excited while…
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My 2017 Veggie Garden

It's April 1 and it's officially time to plant my vegetable boxes! The first weekend of April is absolutely my favorite weekend of the year in the Napa Valley. Forni-Brown in Calistoga officially opens and sells their heirloom starts, which is an event that Vicki and I never miss. They are open to the public…
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Buy Seed Saver Seeds Now

Vicki and I decided to try heirloom seeds from Seed Savers this coming spring, after our inspirational meeting with Blackberry Farm's Master Gardener, John Coykendall. We haven't figured out all of the logistics yet, like where we're going to get our trays, what kind of potting mix we're going to use, where we're going to house our…
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Onions Love Lettuce

Companion planting has been going on for centuries and as the science behind the value is revealing a deeper understanding of the benefits, one of the main reasons companion planting has been used is for protection from pests. I do remember my father planting tomatoes and carrots on the same side of his garden bed…
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Fall is in the Air

I can always tell when Fall begins in the Napa Valley. Sometimes is it before the Autumnal Equinox and sometimes it is after. This year, Fall seems to be starting early. The light has changed, shadows are longer, mornings are cool (42 degrees this morning) with warm afternoons and the smell of the wine crush…
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The French Laundry vegetable garden

I visited the French Laundry vegetable garden, located in Yountville (in the Napa Valley) with some gardening friends yesterday morning. I've driven past it a million times but had never visited it before. It's located directly across the street from The French Laundry restaurant. What I didn't realize is that it is open to the public…
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Squash!

I personally love all kinds of squash - zucchini, yellow crookneck, butternut, spaghetti, acorn, kabocha... This year I planted two kinds of zucchini ('Ambassador' and 'Dark Green' - 'Ambassador' is my favorite of the two), yellow crookneck, butternut and spaghetti squash. Interestingly, squash is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family which includes gourds, melons, cucumbers and squash but only…
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Boo Hoo Beans

There is no food I love more than beans, and most of all: green beans. I love all of the vegetables I choose to plant in my garden, but there are none I look forward to more than my Kentucky Wonder and Blue Lake climbing beans. I love consuming them and the delightful process of picking them. Every year…
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Heirlooms at Blackberry Farm

Vicki and I traveled to Blackberry Farm in Tennessee this weekend while our husbands were out of town - a location we have both been interested in seeing for years. The first thing we booked was a tour of the vegetable garden with Master Gardener, John Coykendall who has worked at Blackberry Farm for the past…
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End of Broccoli season

This year I planted 8 Marathon broccoli starts in February and we finally enjoyed eating our broccoli over the past two weeks. The broccoli was fantastic! So much more tender than any broccoli I've tasted from a farmers market or store. So today, I pulled out the plants as they are done for the year.…
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Spring 2016 Planting

I have been traveling for most of the month of April and just returned to Napa for the weekend to take stock of what I planted April 2nd. As I had only one day to get my spring garden planted, I left San Francisco at 6 AM to drive up to Napa (about one hour…
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