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Basil Harvest!

August 31st, 2011

We are harvesting!  

  

On Wednesday, September 7th from 10am to 1pm we are inviting any and all to come and harvest fresh basil from our garden. The basil varieties ready for harvest are fino verde, red Rubin, and super sweet chen.  

We suggest that all harvestors bring:  

  • Pair of scissors 
  • Bag 
  • Wet paper towel (to wrap the ends of the basil with)

And our gardener, Pat, will be at the garden to answer any of your questions! We can’t wait to see you there!  

Try some of these pesto recipes:  

Give pesto a kick with some jalapenos!

  

Spicy Jalapeno Pesto (from Giada De Laurentiis, Click here to see her original recipe) 

Servings: 4-6  

Ingredients:  

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (2 inch long) red or green jalapeno pepper, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups Asiago cheese
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces baby spinach
  • 3 ounces arugula
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

Directions: In a food processor, combine the walnuts, garlic, jalapeno, cheese, salt and pepper. Process until the mixture is smooth. Add the spinach and arugula and process until blended. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil.     

Basic Basil

 

Fresh Basil Pesto (from SimpleRecipes.com, Click here to see the original recipe)  

Yields 1 cup  

Ingredients:   

  • 2 cups of fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
  • 3 medium sized garlic cloves minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions: Combine basil with pine or walnuts and pulse a few times in a food processor. Add garlic and pulse a few more times. Slowly add the olive oil in a stream with the food processor running. Add grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.

If you try either of these recipes, let us know how they turned out!!

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Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Peppers!

August 16th, 2011
 

Placer County Master Gardener, Judith Myrick, wrote an article in the Summer 2002 issue of The Curious Gardener that talks about everything summer pepper related! Click here to read the full article or continue on to see our summarized version.

Assortment of Bell Peppers

Planting Basics

Peppers need lots of sun, but too much will cause the fruit to suffer from sunscald, which is like a pepper sun burn, so shading your plant is very important. Shade can be created with good leaf cover or neighboring plants. For good leaf cover, an early supply of nitrogen to the young plants will encourage leafy growth before fruit development. Also plant peppers 12-15 inches apart and pinch out the tops of the young plants to increase shade to protect the fruit.

Jalapeno Pepper

Pepper Varieties

There are two types of peppers: mild flavored and hot chili. Some of the mild flavored peppers include bell, banana, pimento and sweet cherry, whereas the hot varieties are cayenne, celestial, large cherry, serrano, tabasco and jalapeno.

Growing Requirements

Growing requirements are the same for both types of peppers. They need daytime temperatures in the 70′s and 80′s. The pepper seeds will simply not germinate in temperatures below sixty degrees, so be patient when planting in the spring and wait for the right conditions. Cool nights and temperatures in the ninety’s can also cause problems, like blossom drop. If you are transplanting peppers, instead of seeding, a good rule of thumb is to wait until two weeks after planting tomatoes to transplant your peppers.

In hot and dry weather pay special attention to keeping the peppers well watered but avoid getting water on the fruit. Drip irrigation is the ideal kind of watering system for peppers.

It is also helpful to side dress with compost or a balanced fertilizer at fruit set to assure a good, healthy crop. When possible avoid planting peppers in the same area as previous family members, especially if there has been disease.

Stuffed Sweet Cherry Peppers

Vitamins

Chili peppers are higher in vitamin C than any other vegetable! Peppers are also a great source of potassium. Bell peppers, especially red and green, supply high amounts of vitamin B6, folic acid, and vitamin C.

Harvesting

In the proper growing conditions expect to harvest peppers about 85 days from seed or 65 days from transplanting. Also it is best to cut the peppers at the stem rather than pulling them off the plant.

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A Week in Photos: 8/1/2011

August 3rd, 2011
The garden is in full bloom! Here are some of the most recent photos from this week:
Love Lies Bleeding Amaranth
A butterfly about to land!
Pomegranate
Okra
Rudbeckia
View from the balcony bridge in between the RMI buildings

To see more of this weeks photos, see our facebook page for the album titled Aug 2, 2011 or the photos will also be available on our flickr page in a photoset with the same title.

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The week in pictures!

April 19th, 2011

Here’s an update on what’s happening in the garden this week – enjoy the photos!

artichokes

The word of the day is 'artichoke'...They are going crazy out there!

lavender

The lavender is the other show-stealer this week...

lavender2

It's the bee's knees!

bolted red cabbage

Unfortunately a lot of our lettuces and cabbages are bolting because our gardener was told to hold off on harvesting things due to Picnic Day and some other events. The flowers are pretty though! I would have expected them to be red or purple, like the cabbage.

lettuce

More bolting romaine lettuce! I think it looks cool, even if it's no longer edible.

winter barley

The winter barley is thriving.

radishes

And the 'pretty in pink' radishes are sprouting.

peas

We've got peas!

garden colors

Even though a lot of the plants are on their last legs and are going to be removed next week, the color is still vibrant.

fennel

The fennel is looking pretty tasty...

I can't wait for the brown turkey figs to be ready to eat! They're getting there slowly...

artichokes 2

The attack of the artichokes!

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Garden update-It’s a chard-topia out there!

March 29th, 2011

The word of the week is CHARD!  The chard looks fantastic and is definitely the show stealer in the garden right now.

rhubard chard

This particular bunch of rhubarb chard is going to be harvested and served at an outreach and development function taking place at the Chancellor's residence this week! Talk about eating local!

bright lights chard

The colors of the bright lights chard variety are so vibrant; they look like neon lights...hence the name!

bright lights chard

The bright light chard varies greatly in color - notice the bronze-colored leaves in the background?

bright lights chard

Ok - last chard photo... I promise. It's just so dang pretty!

barcarolle lettuce

The barcarolle lettuce is a variety of romaine. Stunning! I'll take this with some freshly grated Parmesan and crunchy croutons please!

pioneer shell peas

We've got pioneer shell peas!

ruby perfection cabbage

We seem to have gotten a handle on the aphid infestation on the ruby perfection cabbage. Unfortunately some of them have started bolting!

Snow queen nectarine

Snow Queen nectarines are blossoming!

brown turkey fig

Could that be a baby fig? Did you know that figs are actually inverted blossoms? Read more about it here!

crimson clover

The crimson clover is also blooming.

shot of the garden facing west toward the vineyard

Thank goodness the sun finally came out!

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