As organic vegetable gardeners, we know how important it is to become familiar with the various plant families and to develop an understanding of how they relate to one another in the garden.
Filled with delicious, vegetarian recipes and gorgeous, full-color photographs, Vegetable Literacy is as beautiful to behold as it is delightful to read.
If your ricotta is wet and milky, drain it first by putting it in a colander and pressing out the excess liquid. Here in New England, a moment exists each growing season when the stars align and your local farmstand, farmer’s market or (if you’re really amazing), own garden suddenly has all the necessary ingredients for the first batch of Dilly Beans. As a kid, I spent a lot of time helping my Mom can things like peaches, pears and applesauce. This is where I’m supposed to give you a nice tutorial about making Dilly Beans; a specific recipe, step-by-step instructions and such.
I’d want to show you how I organize my workspace so that the jars are being sterilized in the large pot of water on the left front burner, the lids are simmering for 10 minutes (not boiling!) in their own separate pan on a back burner and the pickling liquid is simmering on the other front burner.  We’d remove one jar at a time from the hot water and pack them with the beans I’d prepared the night before (washed and trimmed), garlic cloves, chili peppers and dill. Every autumn, I plant many varieties of cold hardy, hardneck garlic in my potager (hardneck garlic is the best choice for climates with long, cold winters). Garlic Bulbs are Harvested in Late Summer, When the Tops Yellow, Wither and Flop (Also True for Onions). Many hard neck garlic varieties (including rocambole, porcelain and striped) store beautifully in cool, dark, dry conditions. Although I don’t consider myself anything more than an average home cook, experimenting in the kitchen certainly is one of my favorite pastimes.
Sometimes, when I have time for a leisurely lunch at home on my terrace, I will kick off my shoes and spend an hour browsing cookbooks in search of dinnertime inspiration. Combine the cherry tomatoes, garlic, salt, balsamic vinegar, arugula, basil, and olive oil in a large bowl. This patch of potatoes was planted in late April & for the past few weeks, several varieties have been blooming and producing flavorful new spuds!
Turn the burner back on and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until egg at sides of pan appears to have set (shake lightly).
One of the most highly-regarded vegetarian cooks of our time, Deborah Madison is author of eleven cookbooks.
In fact, the joy of experimenting with garden fresh ingredients in the kitchen is often what leads a gardener’s hands to soil in the first place. Chapters in this cookbook are divided by plant families (Apiacea, Lamiacea, Asteraceae, Brassicaceae, etc.).
Lightly oil a small baking dish; a round Spanish earthenware dish about 6 inches across is perfect for this amount. Pack the ricotta into the dish, drizzle a little olive oil over the surface, and bake 20 minutes or until the cheese has begun to set and brown on top. All images, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent.
I have the fortune of working in the ‘stand at Walker Farm in Dummerston, VT and this past Thursday it happened. We’d fill the jars to a ?” from the top with the hot pickling solution, remove any bubbles, wipe the top, slap on a lid and load each one into the canner basket.  Likely, there are much better ways to go about packing jars with garlic, chilies, dill and beans.
It’s a reasonable $9 or so and you might even find it at your local hardware store along with all the necessary canning supplies. Have fun!
When not experimenting with canning, baking, cooking, horticulture, entomology or other scientific pursuits, Jennifer can also be found hiking, making music, writing and delivering smiles to her very fortunate friends.
All beans should be picked frequently in mid-summer —daily when hot— to insure they don’t go to seed. Photographs ? 2012 Jennifer Audette and Michaela Medina for The Gardener’s Eden, as noted. Garlic and onion braids hang from the wooden beams of my kitchen, and they inhabit colorful ceramic keepers on my shelves. Porcelain garlic bulbs, such as German White and Music, are exceptionally good selections for long-term (up to 9 months under optimal conditions) storage.


Each year I rotate my crop; preparing a new garlic bed with fresh compost in late September.
All photos, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions) are the original, copyrighted property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent.
All photographs, articles and content on this site, (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent.
After months of hard work come the blissful rewards: a walk down the potager path at this time of year is like a trip to a private farmers market. This is part of my second crop, and the young vines are just starting to produce baskets of sweet, tender pea pods. When eggs seem to be setting, place the pan under the broiler for approximately 5-8 minutes, cooking until just golden brown. Add 1 tsp of grated lemon rind and 2-6 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice (use more or less lemon to suit your personal taste). In her most recent title, Madison explores the relationship between botany and cooking, and how that knowledge can serve us as we prepare produce in our kitchens. By learning the ways in which edible plants relate to one another, a gardener can become a more versatile and confident cook. In addition to 300-plus recipes, the author has included a chef’s notes about her favorite varieties of each edible plant, as well as interesting and useful botanical details for gardeners. Cover the surface with the bread crumbs and continue to bake until the bread crumbs are browned and crisp, another 10 minutes.
A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. On Wednesday, the fantastic field crew picked seven bushels of beans and then four more the following day.  That means beans coming out our ears for a few days.
My mom’s palate tends toward the sweet; she’s been known to sprinkle sugar on salad greens deemed too bitter. I’m not very good at specifics and I almost never following directions exactly and I certainly don’t do anything the same way twice. For best flavor and texture, harvest beans when they are no thicker than the diameter of a pencil.
I have garlic galore planted in my garden, squirreled away for winter use upon shelves in paper bags and hanging from floor joists in my cellar. Vampires dare not kiss me, for I cook with this delightfully stinky herb most every night.
One of my all-time favorite garlic varieties, which I finally found at the festival a few years ago, is Spanish Roja (a rocambole hardneck garlic). Russian Red, another good-sized porcelain hardneck variety, is also a top-notch keeper. I hang garlic braids in my kitchen and always have a few bulbs on hand in ceramic keepers, but most of my garlic is stored on shelves in a cool (approximately 55 degrees) part of my dark, dry cellar. Selecting large, firm bulbs from my crop, I carefully separate the cloves and prepare tags for each variety. I’ll be posting more articles and images from my autumn orchard visits over the coming weeks, but in meantime, you may want to check out previous Scott Farm Orchard posts from seasons past. I especially love going out and trying a new dish at a favorite restaurant — and later, trying to replicate it at home. New potatoes, peas, fresh herbs of every kind, strawberries, raspberries, early blueberries, edible flowers, garlic scapes, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, tender young onions, and the list goes on.
Add snow peas and turn off the heat (toss and allow the peas to cook in the radiant heat of the pan). Place a full size dinner plate over the pan and, while holding both together tightly,  in one smooth move, invert. A new gardener herself, the author takes a down-to-earth approach; with stories and observations that will be both familiar and inspirational to those who, like Madison, are just beginning to grow their own food. Simmer until the peas are bright green and tender; the time will vary, but it should be 3 to 5 minutes.
The first, shy harvest of red chilies appeared in a small bowl, bouquets of dill heads made my mouth water in anticipation of eating pickled things and the garlic has been harvested and waiting patiently for several weeks now.  It’s time to pickle those beans! She doesn’t do hot peppers or vinegar in large quantity and she’s only recently discovered the joys of garlic.


As with most crops, I think it’s best to pick beans very early in the morning, before the heat of the day. I’m a bit of a culinary voyeur, and I follow many food blogs (see right side bar) and delight in beautiful cookbooks, filled with simple, seasonal recipes.
With so much fresh produce to choose from, you might imagine that my meals are endlessly varied. For a continuous supply of fresh produce, sowing seed and planting new vegetable starts is an ongoing, spring through autumn process in my kitchen garden. Place a serving plate over the dinner plate and repeat the process (this will allow you to serve the frittata, browned-side up).
More experienced green thumbs will be delighted by new botanical discoveries and unexpected, creative ways to use the fruits of their labor.
Looking for a way to jazz up a simple plate of carrots, but haven’t a clue what might work with them? Side by side, you would help me find eight wide-mouth pint jars in the storage space under the stairs, wiping away cobwebs and hoping no mice scurried out.  You would fill the dishpan with hot, soapy water and then wash the jars, the brand new lids and the old screw caps. And for orchard-blossom-gazing, click here for a Scott Farm photo essay from this past spring. Of course when it comes to apple orchards, the best time to visit is during the harvest season. But with a busy work schedule and a long list of garden chores, I sometimes get stuck in a lazy cooking rut. Of course, if you have an large potato patch (I think I over-did it this year, myself), you can harvest entire plants while the potatoes are small, if you wish.
With a bit of coaching from Madison, gardeners may find the creative answers to these culinary challenges, right in the backyard vegetable patch! Together we would wait a long, long time for the half-full kettle of water to come to a boil, discovering while we waited that I didn’t have enough white vinegar for the recipe. Enrich soil with well rotted compost and provide plants with regular foliar feeding (applying liquid fertilizer to leaves in a spray or shower) of Neptune’s Harvest or fish emulsion to insure strong, healthy plants and a beautiful, tasty crop.
Some bulbs return to the garden every autumn, and the rest remain in stock on my shelves for winter and springtime use.
I use throughly rotted compost and clean straw or ground oak leaves for a nice thick mulch.
Should you find yourself wandering through the hills of southern Vermont this fall, be sure to stop in and visit this gorgeous, historic farm for rare and exquisite heirloom fruit, delicious, fresh-pressed cider, orchard honey, sweet preserves and delightful baked goods. I’m always looking for new kitchen inspiration, and eager to put my garden-fresh produce to good use! Timing is everything in the vegetable garden, and because I am so busy, I need to jot seed-sowing and harvesting reminders in my calendar; lest I forget to plant and run out of fresh produce! When sneaking just a few spuds early, be sure to carefully re-mound the soil or straw mulch around the potato plant, and save the main crop for harvest later on in the season.
Always wash beans thoroughly when harvesting, especially after applying fish emulsion or any fertilizer. Scott Farm will be hosting Heirloom Apple Day this Sunday, October 9th, and free apple tastings are scheduled at 10am, 12pm and 2pm. I like to stagger my potato plantings so that tender, flavorful, new potatoes are an option later in the season as well. Then we’d high-five and tell the cat to clean up the mess while we sat out on the porch toasting our efforts with a cool beverage. I’d give you your very own copy of the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving and you’d eagerly look through it for your next canning project (balsamic caramelized onions, sweet and spicy pepper relish, bread and butter pickles, tomato sauce, tomatillo salsa, hot peppers for sandwiches, barbecue sauce), knowing how easy it is to preserve the summer’s bounty, once you learn the ropes. With this in mind, I like to succession plant this crop for a steady supply of tender young beans straight through the killing frost.



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