Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Turkey Fresh from the Oven
Brined Turkey done this way.

Braised Turnips
Turnips from Bill Dorman after final harvesting from the Harvest 4-Health garden.

Green Beans
Green Beans blanched, seasoned and then warmed in olive oil and garlic.
Mashed Potatoes
Standard mashed potatoes - I leave the skins on.

Cooked in the bird.  Sorry, food safety folks.

Cranberry Sauce
Whole berry, of course.  Thanks, Ocean Spray.

Garden Salad
Garden salad - lettuce from Martin's, Yummy peppers, onions (from the garden), and radishes (again, from Martins)

Ready to Dig in
Hyacinth would be so proud!

I Musta been Hungry
But there's still room for dessert!

Butternut Squash Pie

Butternut Squash Pie - Two Ways
Two butternut squash pie recipes.  OneTwo.  Squash from the Victory Garden.  Thanks, Donna and Darl! Whipped cream and May strawberries from the freezer.
Stock for Future Yumminess
Life is good.  Nap time.

UPDATE: Friday, 11/25/11

Chef Salad 
Lettuce, green beans, onions, yummy peppers, turkey, swiss and cheddar cheese, really local eggs, and repurposed stuffing as croutons.

Friday, November 11, 2011

MG's in the News

Peace Garden in Shippensburg
Picture by Jill Hudock

Franklin County Master Gardener Jill Hudock sent me a link to a news story noting that Shippensburg's Peace Garden won a 2011 Community Greening Award from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.  This is the same organization that sponsors the spectacular Philadelphia Flower Show every spring.

From their web site:
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society recognizes greening and beautification efforts throughout the region that have benefitted communities.

The Community Greening Award acknowledges the efforts of those who improve their main streets, public parks, train stations, churches, schoolyards, libraries, traffic islands, etc.
The linked news article by George Weigel describes the Peace Garden this way:
The Peace Garden began taking on its current form in 1999 when Master Gardeners Jill Hudock and Sally Boice volunteered to design and plant it.

The garden now features a wooden bridge, vine-covered arbors, benches, a wide variety of flowering trees, shrubs, perennials and groundcovers and a “Gandhi Stone” that reads: “We must be the change that we wish to see in the world."
It’s especially nice – and peaceful – in the spring when the many trees and bulbs are in bloom.
Jill sent me some pictures of the garden in spring.

Peace Garden - Spring 2011
Picture by Jill Hudock

Peace Garden - Spring 2011
Picture by Jill Hudock
Peace Garden - Spring 2011 Picture by Jill Hudock

Peace Garden - Spring 2011 Picture by Jill Hudock

Retired MG Sally Boice (Phillips), MG Roy Burkepile, MG Jill Hudock, and Jill's neighbor Tim Hess Picture by Jim Boice
From Jill's email, "We are very happy we received this award and it's due to Master Gardening that this garden has flourished. Today the garden will host the 4th wedding, that I know about! The public has embraced this garden in many ways, with many personal stories. One never knows what a seed will accomplish."
Indeed.  Congratulations to all involved.
Back in 2007, The Falling Spring Nursing Home Garden also won a Community Greening Award.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Franklin County MG Videos - Part 1 - Fall Gardening with Kathy Engle

Franklin County Master Gardeners have teamed with The Chambersburg Public Opinion to provide periodic content about consumer horticulture via video.  Back in October, Amber South from the Public Opinion taped this segment at MG Kathy Engle's award winning garden.  Here's Kathy's Colorful Fall Gardening Series from 2010.  And her Mum's The Word post.

Last Friday, November 4th, Denise Lucas and Laurie Collins were filmed here at our Demonstration Gardens - Denise at the Perennial Demonstration Garden, and Laurie at the Pollinator Friendly Demonstration Garden. - providing tips for putting those gardens to bed for the winter.  I'll embed that video when it becomes available.

You can view all the videos, including Kathy's, that the Public Opinion has created here.

Monday, November 7, 2011

After Snow Harvesting

Cabbage, Paprika, Cayenne, and Yummy Peppers
I didn’t get home in time on Friday, 10/28/11 to do much last minute harvesting before the snow came, so I was surprised to find viable peppers and cabbage in reasonably good condition after the snow melted  and I got to check out the veggie garden.

Hinkelhatz and More Paprika Peppers

Parsnips - Freshly Dug and Rinsed

I also dug some parsnip roots. Doris Goldman gave me some parsnip seeds that we planted for the John Brown House effort in 2009. I had a few left over and planted them in the Spring of 2009, but only had a few sprout. I ignored them until those same few plants flowered the following year (Parsnips are biennial) and produced prodigious amounts of seed, which I used to plant a full row this year. I dug my first roots this weekend, and wasn't sure how to prepare them.  I chose this recipe from Martha Stewart, because it seemed the simplest.

Parsnip Fries

1.Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Peel 2 1/2 pounds medium parsnips; cut as directed above.

2.On two large rimmed baking sheets, toss parsnips with oil; season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Spread in a single layer.

3.Roast until tender and golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating baking sheets and tossing parsnips halfway through baking time.

Trimmed, Cut, and Awaiting Cooking
Dried, Coated in Olive Oil, and Seasoned with Salt, Pepper, and Some Cayenne Pepper from the 2010 Harvest
Roasted, or Oven Fried
I really liked them - sorta like a sweeter french fry.

Cabbage, Peppers, and Onions for a Salad
I also finally got around to trimming the onions and moving them from the garage in preparation for transfer to the root cellar.  I finished the last of the sweet ones, which don't store very well a couple of weeks ago.

Onions - Red Zeppelin, Big Daddy, and Multipliers
The ones starting to sprout are the multiplier perennial onions.  Will use them up first.  Yum.

Pumpkin and Snake Gourd
I expected the pumpkins and gourds to have survived, of course.  Weird snake gourd has no culinary interest.  Just weird.  Missed Halloween, because of the snow, but they'll remain on display through Thanksgiving.

Storing Tender Bulbs

MG Mary Crooks Dahlias
The newscolumn this week has an item about storing tender bulbs.  Here's an excerpt:

The term "tender bulb" refers to plants which have fleshy storage structures (bulbs, corms, tubers, and roots) which are killed by our cold winters if not brought indoors. Special protection, such as digging and bringing the fleshy storage structure into a warmer area for storage through the winter months is required.
MG Mary Crooks Dahlias
I dug my tender bulbs this weekend: cannas, glads, and dahlias. So did Mary Crooks. Her dahlias look much better’n mine, so I used her pictures. Here are some fact sheets describing how to store them for the winter. For Dahlias, from Colorado State University:
Place the tubers upside down in a dry airy space for about two weeks. This allows moisture to drain out of stems. The tubers need to be completely dry before they are stored for the winter. Next store the tubers in trays of dry sand or peat moss in a cool, dry cellar or storage area at about 40 to 45 degrees F. Never store at a much higher temperature, as dahlia tubers will dry out and shrivel rapidly.

Another method of storing includes placing tubers in a heavy-grade, black plastic bag without additional packing material. Then seal the bag. This will prevent the tubers from dehydrating. Keep the tubers in a frost-free area. The danger exists, however, that they will sweat and rot.

Inspect the tubers every few weeks during the winter to check for disease or shriveling. Cut off any diseased parts and, if the tubers have shriveled, place them in a bucket of water overnight to plump them up. Allow them to dry thoroughly before returning them to storage.

Glads and Canna's from Eckhart Garden
For Gladioli, from the University of Missouri:

After digging, wash off soil that adheres to the corm and roots. Cut the tops to within one-half inch of the corm. Corms can be left outdoors in the sun for a day or two if the temperatures are mild, and then spread out in a light, airy place to cure. They are cured to get the surplus moisture out of the husks and corms as quickly as possible to prevent storage rots. After two to three weeks of drying, remove the old corm from the base. Sort the corms and cormels according to size. The small cormels can be saved and planted the following year, but remember it will take two to three years to produce a blooming-size corm from them.


Corms should be stored during the winter at a temperature of 35 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit in a well-ventilated area. Airy containers such as loose-weave baskets, mesh bags or old nylon stockings make good containers that may be hung out of the way.
For Cannas, from the University of New Hampshire:

For winter storage they are treated much the same as dahlias. The rhizomes are dug after the frost kills the tops, they are dried in the sun for a day, clinging dirt is gently removed, and they are stored in a cool, moderately dry place (between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit). Cannas should be packed in dry vermiculite, peat moss or rice/peanut/buckwheat/cocoa hulls.

One of the things I learned recently reading the University of Maryland's Growit Eatit blog, is that dahlia tubers are edible.  There's even a grower, food historian, and Mother Earth News Contributing Editor breeding cultivars that produce tubers that taste good.

If you have any procedures of your own to add, use the comments section.

UPDATE: 11/7/11 5:10 p.m. - Erica Smith of the Growit Eatit Blog shares her experience eating dahlia tubers.