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In My San Diego Garden and Kitchen

In My San Diego Garden and Kitchen

Calendulas make a cheery addition to my vegetable garden and they have for many years. They attract beneficial insects and make colorful flower arrangements when little else is blooming. The petals brighten my salads.

My seed source is ‘Flashback’ from  Renee’s Garden .

My seed source is ‘Flashback’ from Renee’s Garden.

I’ve used them to make calendula orange cake and calendula orange biscuits. This season I decided to dry petals from the abundant blooms. I’ll mix them with other dried edible flowers for teas, lace about them about a charcuterie board and perhaps make some calendula salve. With fresh blooms I’ll try calendula-infused essential oil. Some add them to an edible mix for bitters. Check out Harvest, Unexpected Projects Using 47 Extraordinary Garden Plants for more ideas on using edible garden plants.

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After a recent rain, I gathered several dozen roses from my ‘Hot Cocoa’ rose and set them on the counter overnight to dry. I made some tea then dried the rest in the oven at 200 degrees F for about twenty minutes. I checked every few minutes after ten minutes for just the right degree of dryness. The fragrance coming from the oven was intoxicating.

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I’ll use the dried rose petals for making tea and crumbled atop cheeses on charcuterie. They’re also pleasant crushed and mixed with an organic sugar and sprinkled on fresh fruit, cake or cookies. Find other uses for dried rose petals in this blog post.

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As the weather has warmed, I no longer have Misshapen Strawberries. My blueberry bush is full of promise, goaded into full production by the winter rains and a severe fall pruning. We pick enough strawberries now to eat with breakfast and dinner.

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The rhubarb leaves could double as biblical fig leaves and the stalks widen. Time to begin the harvest, lightly at first. The freezer store is depleted so we begin again the seasonal rhythms.

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The artichokes are finishing their spring run. I’m sorry to see them go by but that is the seasonal garden. No need to purchase at the grocery store now. I’ll remember my artichokes and anticipate the ever reliable harvest that will come next year.

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Three weeks ago, before leaving on a 14 day trip to China, I transplanted seed-grown ‘Jericho’ lettuce. It is reported to perform well as a summer lettuce, having been developed in Israel. It has exceeded my expectation, though admittedly, I’m told our weather, in our absence was more conducive to growing lettuce than tomatoes.

Here’s what I gathered for a salad last night—’Jericho,’ ‘Cimarron’ and lettuce from a summer mix.

Here’s what I gathered for a salad last night—’Jericho,’ ‘Cimarron’ and lettuce from a summer mix.

‘Hot Cocoa’ roses, larkspur and scabiosa for my Mother’s Day bouquet at church.

‘Hot Cocoa’ roses, larkspur and scabiosa for my Mother’s Day bouquet at church.

See what other garden bloggers harvested last week in their gardens at Harvest Monday hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres.

In My San Diego Garden and Kitchen

In My San Diego Garden and Kitchen

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!