CTG 2014 Week 15: August 9th to August 14th- Lea Scott & Cooking with ‘Garden Scraps’, First Student Presentation, & Fletcher Allen Gardeners Visit the Intervale

Topics:

  • Lea Scott on ‘Cooking with Garden Scraps’: Getting the most out of your harvest

Activities:

  • First Student Presentation: Martine on Balcony Herb Gardening
  • Fletcher Allen & Fanny Allen Gardeners Tour Tommy Thompson Community Garden
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Bringing in the goods at the Ethan Allen Homestead

It’s safe to say that we’re all a bit relieved that the latest storms have finally passed, a downpour does make garden work a bit less enjoyable for some.  However, the rain made this week no less exciting at the Community Teaching Gardens as we were visited again by Lea Scott, as student from the UVM Farmer Training Program, heard the first round of student presentations, and hosted a tour at the Tommy Thompson Community Garden for the gardeners from the Fletcher & Fanny Allen teaching gardens.  All in all, there were certainly some ‘rays of sunshine’ midst the gray skies!

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Tomatillo ‘Lanterns’
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Garden Scraps Talk with Lea!

‘Cooking with Garden Scraps’: Getting the most out of your harvest with Lea Scott:

On Monday evening, the Ethan Allen Homestead group was fortunate enough to receive another enthusiastic presentation from Lea Scott, a student at the UVM Farmer Training Program.   During her talk, Lea addressed a concern all gardeners must feel at one point or another; the struggle of discarding a gorgeous plant after harvesting only its fruits.  Well, never fear because there are some seriously creative, and delicious, uses you can find for those ‘garden scraps’.

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  • Brassica leaves:
    • Ever wonder what to do with that huge broccoli plant after harvesting just the florets? Well, the leaves are full of vitamins and can be sautéed/ wilted like kale, and are delicious with some onion, olive oil, salt, soy sauce etc. thrown in.  They also can be made ‘kale-chip’ style, make sure to bake them low & slow!
  • Early roots:
    • Usually if things like radishes and turnips are left just a little too long in the ground they get an odd woody texture and are uncomfortably spicy when eaten fresh.  Roots that have ‘gone over’ make the perfect subjects for lacto-fermentation!  See last week’s post for information on this technique!
  • Radish Tops:
    • These spicy greens can be cooked in several ways, and even made into soup,  which is Lea’s favorite method of preparation.  Find a delightful recipe for Radish-Top Soup here: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Radish-Top-Soup/
  • Green Tomatoes:
    • Coming to the end of the season and have a TON of green tomatoes on your hands?  Don’t worry, they can be made into delicious dishes like Fried Green Tomatoes and infused with some tomatillos to make Salsa Verde (Green Salsa).
  • Pesto:
    • Pesto may in fact be a cure-all, especially when it comes to figuring out what to do with basil, arugula, parsley, and even lamb’s quarters!

 

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See you soon, Lea!

Thanks for all of the tips, Lea!  We’re thrilled to try them out, and we can’t wait to see you again in September!

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Balcony Gardening with Martine

Following Lea’s discussion, our gardeners listened intently to Martine, a first-year CTG student, as she presented on her venture with a balcony herb garden.  Using self-watering containers, Martine grew several types of herbs and hanging plants, including sage, oregano, basil, and parsley.  Some of the challenges she ran into dealing with the dry weather, which demanded additional watering, and figuring out what kinds of plant foods would be most beneficial.  She also talked about how she infused her harvested herbs into her daily meals, which all sounded quite delicious! Great job, Martine!

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Touring in the rain
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Gardens full of beauty

On Wednesday afternoon, the Lisa Hoare and her students from the Fletcher and Fanny Allen gardens braved the rain to join Libby and myself (Sarah) on a tour of the entire Tommy Thompson Community Garden.  Starting at the Eastern side of the garden, we perused all of the plots, noting the unique intricacies of each one, representations of the different style each gardener brings to the area.  We were impressed to see some incredible-looking flower varieties (zinnias, poppies, and so on), grape vines, hops, zebra grass, and some really interesting trellising methods!  As we meandered, Libby shared some of her knowledge on the Intervale as well as the functioning of the Burlington Area Community Gardens, which oversees the Tommy Thompson site as well as several others.  A huge thank you goes to Lisa and her students for not letting the rain get in the way of a great afternoon!  Also, kudos to all of you Tommy Thompson gardeners out there- it’s a truly spectacular landscape you’ve all helped to create!

 

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