These braided onions remind me of the Little House On the Prairie books I read as a child and re-read to my kids. This year proved to be the best onion crop I have ever had as a gardener. I planted more onion sets than usual. The ground was ready for planting in early spring thanks to my creative son who wanted to design a new garden setting. Other years I have waited until my husband can get out and till. We have gone more toward Mel Bartholomew’s Square Foot Gardening method. I had peppers planted in the same square as the onions. The onions did great but the peppers did poorly. We harvested the onions when the tops began to fall over (or a little later when I could get to it). We laid them on cardboard to dry then transferred them to a cardboard box to dry in the sun and move indoors in the evening or if rain is threatening. After a few days of shaking the box to turn the onions, the dirty skins fall off. Then I can braid the ones with a stem remaining. I can’t hang these onions in my attic like the Ingalls’ did but I have a cool dry spot in the basement. The kitchen is too damp and hot to store the onions for any length of time.
My mouth has been watering watching the heads of asparagus pop up in the garden. Spring is here! I picked these this morning. A few of them were stir fried for breakfast with scrambled eggs. The remainder of the stalks are kept in water in the fridge until supper. The stalks will acutally grow in the water…but not much before supper-ha.
Asparagus is a perinnial garden vegetable. Once it gets going you have a repeating crop for about 8 weeks every spring. I acquired several starts from a friend. Both roots and seeds are sold in stores. It takes a few years for new asparagus beds to begin producing.
According to the Nourishing Traditions book by Sally Fallon pg 368 - ”Asparagus is a good source of rutin, a substance that prevents small blood vessels from breaking. Medieval medicine valued asparagus for the treatment of heart palpitations and as a diuretic. Asparagus is high in carotenoids, B Complex, vitamin C and vitamin E as well as potassium, iodine and zinc.”
We eat our fill for those few weeks in spring and are done until the next year. We eat asparagus in omelets, scrambled eggs, and quiche for breakfast. Steamed or stir-fried asparagus with supper. Last year I saw a recipe for lacto-fermented asparagus that I am planning to try. Stay tuned and I’ll let you know how it goes.
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Today we began planting in the garden. In the sun box I planted beets, spinach, carrots, radishes, and 2 kinds of lettuce. I mixed peet moss, compost and garden soil together in the box. A stick proved to be the perfect tool to divide the space into 6 squares and then poke holes for the seeds. After watering, the lid was closed to catch the last of the sun.
We also planted sugar snap peas and onions in rows.
A friend gave me the idea to plant my tomato seeds in an egg shell. I decided to try it since last year I forgot to put egg shells in with my tomato plants and they got bottom rot. It could have been the weather. Anyway I thought it would be interesting to try. She told me to water just a tablespoon at a time.
We had to replace a window and this is the old one we took out. My son built a frame to the exact size. We put the box in the garden at an angle so it will catch the most sunlight.
For most of my early gardening years I used the Square Foot Gardening method by Mel Bartholomew. After 20 years I finally got my sun box. When Mel came out with his new book, my son took interest. He wanted to help me plan the garden for this year. This was his first frame.
This beautiful spaghetti squash was a gift from a friends garden. It has been waiting patiently on my shelf all this time. Finally, I cut it open and baked it in the oven for an hour and a 1/2 upside down in a pan with water.
Put it into a pasta bowl.
Yum! This was so good! My kids even ate it.
Wait until you see what I do with the leftovers!
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This year the garden produced beautiful sweet peppers. I don’t know what kind they were because I got the seeds from my sister. And yes, I did save some for next year. The plants grew very tall. The peppers were rather small. These pepper look as though they would be hot but they are not. My sister suggested that I fry some up in a pan with onions. Now I am not a pepper lover. I just grow them to put in my homemade salsa and chili. I decided to give it a try. YUM! I ate it everyday for a few days. That’s it, just 1 onion and a few peppers fried in real butter.
Years ago I avoided peppers becasue they did not sit well on my stomach. My dad told me he had that problem with green peppers but not with red or other colors. I started eating red peppers in my chili and it didn’t bother me. Now I can eat any color natural pepper and my stomach is fine. I notice a difference between the ones I grow naturally in my garden and the waxed peppers from the store.
I even tried stuffed peppers.
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