Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Seasonal Recipes

Try out a couple new dishes from Marie, our Garden Coordinator!

Thanksgiving, for obvious reasons, gets me thinking a lot about food. I tried to use as much local and home-grown food as possible in my family's holiday meal this year, which consequently consisted of lots of delicious root vegetables and fresh greens. Arugula salad and roasted delicata squash were two of my favorite dishes (and also two of the simplest!)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Season Extension: Eating fresh food throughout the winter

Hoop house construction at the Greenside Out Garden.
Late fall is a bittersweet time in the garden. I often feel a mix of emotions - pride in the hard work and bountiful harvest of the season, relief that the garden no longer needs to be tended to so diligently, a sadness as the supply of fresh vegetables dwindles, and a determination to have an even better garden next year.

Yet even in cold Northeastern climates, the onset of winter does not have to mean the end of all fresh produce. There are several techniques for growing food during this chilly time of year. At the Greenside Out Garden, we built hoop houses (also known as low tunnels) in which we are growing arugula (that tastes delicious right now!), and we have two cold frames with kale.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ecological Gardening: Improving the Health of Your Garden’s Soil

Sunday's workday at the Goodwin Garden.
At Bountiful Brookline’s workday this past weekend, we put the Goodwin Garden to bed for the season.  With the help of volunteers, we pulled out all of the annual vegetable plants and flowers and added this green matter to our yard waste compost pile to decompose.
Beyond cleaning up the garden, we focused on building the soil.  Healthy soil is essential to growing healthy plants and, in turn, to supporting healthy creatures - like us - who eat those plants!  Healthy soil is dependent upon the abundance of soil life: microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and larger organisms such as earthworms, millipedes, and mites. These organisms break down organic matter (food scraps, manure, leaves, dead vegetation, among many others) into nutrient-rich humus, an important component of healthy soil structure.