No Patience Girl Strikes Again: Garden Edition

Not only does patience evade me in the kitchen, it is also nowhere to be found when it comes to the garden.

We had our first coolish snap here in North Florida this past weekend and while at my favorite local nursery, Native Nurseries, I couldn’t resist picking up a few starter packs of veggies for the fall/winter garden. It’s the right time to start seeds, but a little risky on the small starter plants because we are guaranteed another heat wave before the weather truly breaks.

wpid-wp-1442362234194.jpg

But I just could not say no to those little four packs of cabbages and broccoli. I needed them. They needed me. It was mutual, so it happened. I chose “Red Acre” cabbage, “Golden Acre” cabbage, and “Belstar” broccoli.

(That Poohtea Bucket was made for me by a creative friend to brew manure compost tea in for my veggies. Don’t you just love it?)

They also had an endangered native called Brickellia cordiformis “Flyr’s Nemesis” which is a big time butterfly favorite, so I obviously had to add that to my purchases. Although rare in the wild, it’s supposedly easy to grow and propagate, so I’m optimistic in trying it. Here’s what the blooms will look like when they open…IMG_8629

 

 

 

As I was heading to checkout before I could grab anything else, an unusual bloom caught my eye.

wpid-wp-1442362242206.jpgWhat was that lavender-ish, spotted lovely? Oh, a Dotted Horsemint (Mondarda punctata)! Another Florida native that I did not have in my yard…yet. Picked up a gallon size pot of that because I love all beebalms and headed home.

The weekend itself got away from me, so I didn’t end up getting them into the ground until this afternoon. Recently, after seeing some pictures of my harvests from last year compared to this year’s summer harvests, I knew it was time to amend my soil. Overall, I have great dirt from years of leaf mulch and garden rotations, but it was clearly time to give it a boost. I want big production for fall/winter. I’ve got plans for those veggies. The freezer is already full of homemade veggie and chicken stocks ready for soups!

I gathered up the cabbages and broccoli and placed them with a general idea of what else would be added in the weeks ahead. For each starter plant hole, I mixed in two scoops of mushroom compost, a good dose of Jobe’s Organic fertilizer, and watered them in with Moo Poo Tea (which is the best stuff ever). If that doesn’t give them the best chance ever? I don’t know what will. Even better, it’s supposed to rain tomorrow and the next day. Nothing, nothing at all, beats all natural rain after planting.

As the baby veggies settle in for the night, I’m busy looking through my seed collection which has now reached 14 packets including this weekends additions…

wpid-wp-1442366670499.jpg

Did I not mention that I also bought more seed packets while at the nursery? Whoops. I did.

Clearly no patience girl is here to stay. I can pretend that baking has helped slow me down and taught me to do things in order, but the fact is, I can’t be stopped. I need all the foods, all the plants, and all the words (I may or may not have another shipment of books on the way as well) right now!

 

Advertisements

Cabbage Cabbage Cabbage

It’s National Cabbage Day and I’m celebrating!

I love cabbage. I love it in the garden, and I love it on my plate. If I could? I would marry cabbage. Yes, yes I would.

In my veggie garden it dutifully grows without any special attention. The large leaves fanning out from the center on the classic cabbage add textural interest to the garden and can be cut and enjoyed like other greens while waiting for the cabbage head to mature.

Classic cabbage
Classic cabbage
Tatsoi cabbage
Tatsoi cabbage

The dark green, spoon-shaped leaves of the Chinese cabbage, Tatsoi, are adorable clumps of yum. Their slightly spicy taste is delicious raw in salads or quick-cooked in a stir fry. I threw some leaves into my bean and potato soup at lunch and it was just the kick the soup needed.

For dinner I had cabbage two different ways…that’s how fond of it I am. First, I roasted some Brussel sprouts. Have I mentioned my passion for Brussels? These mini-cabbages are one of my favorite foods. They are so versatile in the kitchen and are an eye-catcher in the garden.

Brussel sprouts
Brussel sprouts

Before roasting, I cut them in half, tossed them in some olive oil and leftover bacon fat, and sprinkled them with cumin and garlic powder. Popped them in the oven at 350 for eight minutes, flipped ’em and put back in for eight more minutes. While that was going on, I made the bourbon smoked paprika aioli from this recipe. HOLY YUM.

Brussels with aioli
Brussels with aioli

Meanwhile, I reheated some baked chicken and topped it with another type of cabbage–SLAWSA! This cabbage-based relish is amazeballs. I sometimes just eat it straight from the jar, but I’ve also tried it on hot dogs, hamburgers, spicy sausages, and even fish. It’s truly a delectable condiment that can be used in many different ways and it was the perfect topping for my chicken tonight.

As you may have noticed, I celebrated the crap out of cabbage today. It deserves such celebration on a regular basis. Cabbage is one of those foods that is beneficial on so many levels. From its cancer fighting, immune building, anti-inflammatory properties to its ability to lower cholesterol and make your skin glow, cabbage is a superhero of the veggie world.

CABBAGE. GO GET YOU SOME.