Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Fall Garden Begins

At the garden, we are all clearing out the (sadly) dying flowers and failing tomato plants to make way for new fall crops. Kaela has planted several different leafy greens (cabbage and kale) as well as some carrots. Elaine put in spinach, and on Wednesday she and I spent some time planting rows of beets and more carrots. We are lucky enough to have a great pile of compost to help get our plants off to a good start. Before planting, we cleared off the top layer of dirt, and worked a good amount of compost into the soil below. We then replaced the dirt cover and scattered the seeds in shallow trenches. While it has been done before, it’s best not to plant new seeds directly in compost because the intense amount of nutrients can overwhelm and kill the plant. After covering up the seed trenches with dirt, we packed down the soil to make sure the seeds have “soil contact.” Hopefully we’ll be seeing some new seedlings pop up in the next couple of weeks!

While the peppers and tomatoes have been less than prolific, our melon crop is turning out excellent! Yesterday I picked a huge watermelon from the garden. Taking it home, I had low expectations. But when I set it on the counter and stuck in my knife, the skin broke open with a crisp cracking sound to reveal a beautiful, red interior. I was overjoyed. And not only does it look great, it tastes amazing too! There are many more ripening on the vine, and hopefully they will be just as delicious as the one I am currently enjoying with my apartment-mates.

We are also very excited to have some new Hereford residents joining us at the garden. If you’re interested in helping out, or just coming by to see what we’re doing, we’d love to have you! You can find Elaine, Jim, or Nancy around the Hereford complex to find out more information.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Garden Photos

Here are some pictures from the garden!

Thai Basil

Marigolds and tomatoes

Butternut Squash plants

Our first butternut squash!





Sweet Potato vine

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Remember how I mentioned the garden’s abundance of basil? We finally got to enjoy this bounty last Thursday evening. In place of the normal garden meeting, members of the Hereford garden community opted to get together and make pesto. Shockingly easy and delicious, I would recommend pesto-making to anyone who has enough basil to pull it off. And you need A LOT of basil. The recipe we used called for a cup and a half tightly packed basil leaves…doesn’t sound like much right? Well, you’d be surprised just how much basil one can pack into a cup measurement.

We started off the evening with some of Elaine’s phenomenal homemade bread, then headed down to the garden with baskets to collect basil. Though nothing else is really producing, we are blessed to have a ridiculous amount of basil. We liberally broke entire stems off of several of our greener looking bushes (some have yellowed since flowering), and grabbed some parsley to add a little interest to our basil concoction. Then we headed back up to the kitchen for the fun (and rather messy) part.

Pesto is really easy to make. All you do is throw all the ingredients into the food processor and blend it well. Here’s the recipe we used:

1 ½ cup washed, drained basil leaves, tightly packed
4 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves
a handful of pine nuts
about 1 tsp salt

We added the pesto to some bow-tie pasta and served it with more bread and fruit salad for dessert. Our epic fruit salad proudly boasted cantaloupe and watermelon from the garden! And both fruits actually had flavor!

All in all, it was a delicious dinner and a great way to spend an evening.