Kitchen Garden

  • Kitchen Garden: Taste of spring

    Kitchen Garden: Taste of spring

    Can taste buds have spring fever? Most gardeners have caught what Emily Dickinson called “A Little Madness in the Spring.” They’re salivating over catalog descriptions of juicy tomatoes and melons as their windowsills overflow with seedlings. In the old days, this period was called the “hungry gap.” Produce in the root cellar had seen better

  • Kitchen Garden: Send in the chard

    Kitchen Garden: Send in the chard

    In gardens, as in families, there are occasional cases of twins separated at birth. Beets and chard, for example, are intrinsically the same plant. It’s because of differences in their breeding and environments that they occupy separate produce bins or garden rows, as unlike in appearance as carrots and kale. Over the centuries, beet growers

  • Bat guano or cow patties, aged manure is prized

    Bat guano or cow patties, aged manure is prized

    The best gardening practices are the old ones, arrived at by observing processes already at work in nature, and steering them to the gardener’s advantage. They produce the best-tasting crops, with the safest and most economical use of resources. They contribute to the ongoing quality of the soil. They are easiest, because most of the

  • Miner’s lettuce packed with vitamins

    Miner’s lettuce packed with vitamins

    It’s funny how some American plants have to leave home to become famous. We have a wealth of native treasures, but it’s the Germans developing all those interesting cultivars of goldenrod and black-eyed Susan, the English planting named varieties of shadblow considered a “weed tree” by folks this side of the pond. Even some of

  • Salads to see you through winter

    Salads to see you through winter

    Summer’s salad days are over, not to mention fall’s. We’re supposed to welcome root vegetables, stocked away in the cellar, garage or cool pantry, as the season’s great gift. And we do. Nothing like a good beet borscht or garlic potato mash. But for true salad lovers, the show must somehow go on. Our household,