Hurrah! Our first harvest!!

What's that sound? The sound of hard work paying off! We got to harvest our radishes today. Well, we still have some in the ground, but really, the radishes are ripe and ready to go. Yum. I always go for radishes in the relish tray, and they are one of Desmond's favorite, so this is more exciting than it might sound like to you. From just maybe a third of one packet of seeds, (seed strips, actually--an awesome invention) we got more than a 2.5 quart bowl-full of radishes. More than we can eat by far.
That's what makes gardening such a great way to make friends: We sent three pint-sized bags of Radishes off with people today. People who are going to think we are nice and be more than happy to help us out with our new house projects. Clever.
For a good radish recipe, I turned to one of my favorite cookbooks, Simply In Season. This cookbook, along with its buddy cookbook, More With Less are put out by the Mennonite community and are largely about cooking and eating foods in a way that benefits the body, the wallet and the world around us. Triple threat.
So, without any further ado, my favorite radish recipe from Simply In Season:

Marinated Radish Salad:
8 Large bunches sliced radishes
8 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup fresh dill (or 1 tbsp dill seed)

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 fresh lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dijon
1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste.
Stir, pour over radishes, and toss. cover and refrigerate 2-4 hours (no longer) remove from fridge 30 minutes before serving, and stir.

6 oz Swiss cheese (shredded)
sprinkle on the top just before serving.

Eat. It's awesome and delicious. People will be so excited to eat up all the fabulousness you just made.

What do you do with your little ruby red spicy delicious radishes?


More BPAwful news

Hello garden buddies!
More bad news on the BPA front. BPAs (Bisphenol A) has been found in most canned foods and drinks. Pretty much anything we wrap up in metal. Not a chemist, and I won't pretend to be--but I will say that studies show that pregnant women who take in a lot of BPAs may negatively impact the health and development of their baby. Suck-o. It might not cause problems, but it is worth thinking about.
This got me thinking about convenience foods in general, and what makes our hearts skip a beat when we walk through the grocery store aisles. Progress. Interesting idea. Seems like sometimes, we are better off staying closer to the dirt--the more steps between the dirt and our bellies, the more things to go wrong. And that's lame. Our hope would be that a couple of people read about how we are doing our little garden, how much produce we are getting out of it, how clueless we are, and think maybe they should give it a shot too. Why let big veggie have the chance to control what you are eating? BPAs, pesticides, underpaid workers, and big veggie putting small farmers out of business don't need to worry you anymore when you take that little bit of money from Green Giant and keep it in your pocket.
If you want more information about BPAs, you can read about it here: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/cancer/articles/2010/05/19/health-buzz-bpa-lurks-in-most-canned-foods-study-finds.html

Happy Planting!


Fabulous florals

Happy Monday to everyone!
It's a beautiful day here in the great state of Minnesota, and we are happy that the birds are singing, the plants are sprouting, and summer vacation is fast approaching! We have been behind on our posts for the past few weeks, as you may have noticed. My handsome husband the law student was getting through his finals and getting re-accustomed to having to work every day (his part time research assistant job becomes full time this summer, which is awesome). In the midst of the busiest time of the school year, my final projects for my class work for my masters, Desmond starting his new job, and his finals, we decided to buy our house. Good timing, Jensons. We have signed our purchase agreement and we are really pumped to close in a few short weeks. Needless to say, we have been spending a lot of time busting stress by gardening, not by writing about it.
Here are some pictures of our beautiful flower beds. When we first moved in, our flower beds were full of three things: weeds, hostas, and daylilies. For those of your who don't know, Hostas and daylilies are really just pretty weeds: Control your plantings or they will go out of control! Our garden had lost control, but we have now planted a lot of beautiful perennials: roses, coralbells, daisies, black-eyed susans, and sedum. There is lots of other stuff that we don't know the name of, and a few things we just planted this year.

We have been burned by dead flowers before. Here are some tips:
1. Perennials come back. Annuals don't. Annuals work well for container plants, BUT you will need to buy a new one each year. We suggest you spend a bit more for the perennials.
2. Pay attention to the little tag thing: light vs. shade, water a lot vs. no water--if you plant stuff in the wrong spot or water too much or too little, they will die and you will be sad.
3. Consider height and color. A tall plant in front of a short plant will create a lot of shade.
4. Some stores, like Lowe's, take back plants for a year if they die. A good investment for those of us that make lots of mistakes (like me)....

We are pretty happy with our outdoor progress, and we can't wait to start bringing you more of our indoor progress as we work hard to make our 1940 bungalow into the energy efficient and beautiful home of our dreams!! Soon enough we will be wielding hammers as often as a spade, and we couldn't be more thrilled!

Happy Gardening,
Allison (and Desmond)



Hello Garden Enthusiasts,

It has been a while since we last gave you a glimpse at our garden. It has been a busy few weeks. We are in the process of buying the house that we are currently renting. The closing will be coming up later this summer but we are under contract right now. We are very excited but as you can imagine it has been a very consuming process so we haven't had a chance to update the blog. Without further ado, here are some pictures.

Here's an overview of the whole vegetable garden. Everything is up and some of it is getting pretty big. The potatoes are off to a great start. The onions are looking very healthy. Some of the radishes have already been harvested.

Here's another view of the veggies. You can see some height in this picture. The herbs are in the front on the left. The carrots are in the foreground. They're still small but eventually they'll be delicious. The radishes are behind them on the right. The onion stems are behind the radishes on the right. The potatoes can be seen in the back in the center and the salad greens are in the back on the left.

We're less than a mile from the Mississippi River and as a result we have very sandy soil. Root vegetables like radishes and potatoes do very well in our garden. We had a very warm early spring so we were able to get most of our seeds in early. We are hoping to have a bumper crop this fall. Hopefully the rest of the summer is kind as well.

Holy Rhubarb! It's a well known fact that rhubarb, once established, is really easy to grow. We don't even make an effort to water ours. There are actually four separate plants in there. I believe last year we only had three. One plant went to seed while we were away for a weekend. If you don't want more rhubarb make sure to remove the tops once you see buds. We made some rhubarb crisp a few weeks ago with some of the nicer stalks. The recipe will be coming soon.

We'll try to give you an update again very soon but hopefully these pictures will tide you over. Enjoy the weather!