Lacto-fermented Green Beans

Fermented green beans are tasty, still raw, and more nourishing after months in the refrigerator than the day they were harvested. Hard to beat that, isn't it?

August is such an amazing time in the garden. Barely a day goes by that I’m not able to harvest a nice basketful of fresh vegetables.

Green beans are no exception, and they really benefit from daily harvesting. If beans are left on the plant too long, the plant will think it’s time to produce seed and will stop producing the flowers that turn into crisp, delicious green beans.Continue Reading

June Garden

Here's what's going on in my June garden.

May and June traded places this year. May was dry and warm for the most part, and yet we couldn’t get our warm weather crops planted because we had occasional night-time freezing temperatures right up until the end of the month.

June has been on the cool side, especially the first half of the month, and has rained for at least a part of the day 4 or 5 days a week.

Neither month has made gardening easy. That’s not really different from any other year – they all have their challenges.

We live on about a quarter acre, and so we use all of our yard for gardening, including the front where we grow dwarf apple trees, raspberries, comfrey, squash, calendula, and spring bulbs.Continue Reading

Lacto-fermented Garlic Scapes

Fermenting scapes preserves them for later use, and adds probiotics to your diet. The fermented garlic scapes may used in any way that you would use them raw.

Are you in love with garlic scapes? Me, too! They are great oven-roasted or grilled, in tossed salad, potato salad, or you can even use them to make pesto.

For the uninitiated, scapes are the curly stalks that form a seed head and grow on hardneck garlic varieties. It’s a good idea to remove them to allow all the plant’s energy to form bulbs. Milder than garlic, they are a treat themselves.Continue Reading

Using Wood Chips in a Vegetable Garden

Wondering if using wood chips in your vegetable garden is a good idea? We'll discuss some pros and cons in this post.

Four or five years ago, we had to have a tree in our yard cut down. We asked the arborist to chip the smaller branches, and we used those chips to mulch the paths in our raised bed garden. A year later, we discovered the documentary, Back to Eden, about Paul Gautschi and his method of wood chip gardening.

We were intrigued, and as I looked at the paths in our garden I noticed that as the chips were decomposing, the soil was becoming black and gorgeous. We’ve been mulching our garden with hay, leaves, and grass clippings for many years, but thought that it might be worth experimenting with wood chips. We’ve had some amazing results, as well as some dismal failures. Here’s some of what we’ve learned.Continue Reading