Pickled Beets – Preserving the Winter Garden Bounty

2_Beets cleaned and ready for the potEvelyn, Jonathan Dye, and I have eaten many pickled beets made with this recipe. They’ve been added to cheese plates, paired with gravlax and other preserved fish, and also served simply with some dark rye bread, some fresh dill, and a dollop of crème fraiche (maybe a squeeze of fresh lemon too?). Evelyn’s winter garden has been a bountiful one. She has bushels of beets and needs a way to preserve them. Pickling is the perfect treatment for a homegrown beet. Here’s what I think Evelyn should do with her winter beet bounty! Continue reading “Pickled Beets – Preserving the Winter Garden Bounty”

Late Winter Gardening for the Southern California “Homestead”

These beets are ready for harvest!

The Southern Californian winter garden is a delicious one. Cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale, carrots, beets, and radishes, onions and leeks, and an astounding array of lettuces can all be pulled from your garden’s soil. The winter is starting to come to a close but there remain plenty of options for the winter gardener. The time for tomatoes, peppers, squash and cucumber is just around the corner. A post on the summer vegetable garden is soon to come. But today’s late-winter gardener should focus on crops that grow quickly (to make room for soon-to-be-planted summer crops) and on planting fruit trees. Continue reading “Late Winter Gardening for the Southern California “Homestead””

Late Summer Woes in The Kitchen Garden #1: Great Tomato Plants but No Tomato Fruit

The youthful blush of summer garden plants disappeared long ago. Tomatoes now look ragged, the basil won’t stop producing flowers, and some white, powdery stuff keeps ending up on your squash leaves. Fret not, some of these problems are easy to handle. The others will educate you in the art of acceptance (or toxic systemic pesticide use; your choice: zen or poison). You have gigantic plants that aren’t producing fruit – this has to be the most frustrating of summer garden issues. The big, beautiful plants attest to your garden mojo but the lack of fruit suggests otherwise… Continue reading “Late Summer Woes in The Kitchen Garden #1: Great Tomato Plants but No Tomato Fruit”