Wednesday, March 17, 2010

new for the kitchen garden

It's that time.... seed catalogs stacked to the ceiling... garden plans graphed neatly... tiny peat pellets sprouting new life, promising a season of bountiful richness.

The Lonesome Road gardens are a bit soggy at the moment, but the choices have been made for this year's kitchen garden. Of course we have more seeds than we could possibly ever need (how did we end up with 7 or 8 different kinds of lettuce?). Yet enthusiasm wins over practicality every year and so we will get to work in the garden once again in a couple of months. Besides, any extra produce is always welcome at local food pantries and as part of Plant A Row For The Hungry.

The newest addition to the Lonesome Road kitchen garden this year will be the herb epazote. I am a Rick Bayless fan; I have been to his fabulous Chicago restaurant Frontera, I have one of his many cookbooks, and I love to watch his cooking show "Mexico One Plate At A Time." One of the ingredients that Bayless uses often in his authentic Mexican cooking is epazote; it's not readily found in my area stores so I ordered seeds to plant my own and will give it a try this year. In my research, I discovered that epazote is often used in bean dishes because it has digestive properties, kind of a natural "Beano."

I am also treating myself to Ichiban eggplant this year. In previous years I've planted several varieties of eggplant; the little white ones that look like actual eggs, the lovely lavender and white ones, and the list goes on. I've never really liked the texture and seediness of the others but have always longed for those elegant long, dark Japanese eggplants that need no peeling. So I found what I was looking for in my trusty seed catalog, and I will hopefully have a bumper crop of Ichiban eggplant for everything from ratatouille to Chinese stir-fries and oh yes... tempura!

Of course the usual suspects will be included this year. Last year was not a good year for tomatoes on the Lonesome Road; we will try again for a good crop of Roma tomatoes for my awesome homemade pizza sauce which is made in large quantities for the freezer (yes, I will post the recipe here!). Other garden favorites to be planted this year are Cubanelle and Poblano peppers, and herbs. This year the herbs will be part of a container gardening system; with my busy schedule of juggling a job and an ever-increasing show schedule, I just don't have the time to pick weeds in an extensive herb garden. Plus, it gives me an excuse to buy some cool pottery *wink*.

Post your garden suggestions here; what's new in your garden this year, and old favorites that you can't live without.


Katy said...

Oh I am just so jealous of your garden! Living at high altitude with only 10 or so frost-free days a year gives me lots of garden envy. Thanks for the lovely post - can't wait for your pizza sauce recipe :)

goodkarma said...

of course, the first thing i'm going to notice is the drunken woman lettuce. wha?? where on earth did you find those? awesome.

a first for me this year is utilizing a couple of homemade cold frames to get things going a little earlier. and also sunberries, which were an impulse buy at my food co-op.

Lonesome Road Studio said...

he he! The Drunken Woman Lettuce is from MyVictoryGarden on Etsy... there is a not-so-subtle plug for it in the photo, LOL. Lots of cool things there.

Melissa said...

Wow, I definitely must follow your blog and keep up with your Lonesome Road Garden for inspiration. It is my first year to have a garden. I'd better start thinking about seeds soon!

Lonesome Road Studio said...

Good luck this year Melissa! Do a lot of research as to what grows best in your area, and what growing conditions are preferred by the plants. You will truly love fresh produce from your own garden!

cabin + cub said...

i'm so excited about planting stuff this year too.
i tried lettuce last year, but it seemed to grow rather slow... like, we would have enough for 1 sandwich a week. i like planting herbs... rosemary, chive and oregano... those seem to do well. (probably since i can't eat them faster than they can grow!)

Lonesome Road Studio said...

Yes, and you can always dry or freeze the extra herbs!


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