Friday, May 18, 2012

Spring has Sprung

There is so much going on in the garden right now.  With the recent heat wave, many cool spring greens have really taken off. In fact some arugula in my garden thinks summer has hit and is beginning to bolt.  Here are some photos of spring veggies in many plots at the garden.

Top left is orange stemmed chard, super healthy, great chopped up and added to spring soups. 
Saute, onions, carrots, celery, garlic in olive oil until all are soft, season with salt and pepper and your favorite herbs.  Add your chard, broth to cover all the veggies, 1 can of crushed tomatoes, 1 can of your favorite beans and that is what I call a soup.  Simmer until all the veggie flavors blend together,  turn the heat off and add 2 handfuls of short pasta, we use elbow macaroni.  Leave the uncooked pasta to 'cook' in the heat of the soup for 20 mins and dinner is served.  We pair our veggie soups with homemade focaccia bread but that is a family secret.

Top right, a nice couple of rows of tender salad greens.  Keep picking the outer leaves until the heads bolt (start to form seed heads, then pull up the plant and get ready to do it again in the Fall.)

Bottom left, nothing is like fresh artichokes.  Great for salads and fresh eating when steamed.  The plants are large so give them enough elbow room, sometimes getting up to 4 feet high and 5-6 feet wide.  To harvest many heads at a time plant at least 2-3 plants.

Bottom right, a nice tight head of broccoli, just about the right size for eating too.  Don't let them flower, pick them right before and you will be eating a delicious tender vitamin packed treat.