All Posts including “gardening”

Taking back the reputation of fava beans

There is no doubt that Anthony Hopkins is one of the finest actors of all time. In fact, he is so good, he actually managed to ruin the reputation of one tasty vegetable—fava beans.

Even if you haven’t seen his role as the cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lector in the film The Silence of the Lambs, unless you live under a rock you’ve probably heard Hopkins’ character’s infamous quote about one of his devious meals, and how he accompanied it with fava beans and a nice Chianti. To this day, I’ve noticed that whenever you mention fava beans, that scene is mentioned.  However, fava beans are not a horror, they are a tasty vegetable that has a long history as a food, going all the way back to the Romans and Ancient Greeks.

Continue Reading: Taking back the reputation of fava beans

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/03, 2014 at 07:45 AM

Comments (0) | Permalink | Tags: recipe | gardening | favabeans | recipes |

Believe it or not, gardeners, it’s soon time to start seeds

Despite the relatively mild weather outside melting the snow, if we are being truly honest with ourselves, we know that winter is not over. Far from it, based on where we live. We know that it can snow into late April and even early May here in Central PA.

The good news for gardeners is that despite the snow-covered yards, it’s soon time for us to start gardening. We need to start certain things from seed inside, giving the plants adequate time to sprout, grow, mature, and produce fresh goodness by the time summer ends. In fact, certain things can be started very soon or even right now, depending on your last frost date.

Continue Reading: Believe it or not, gardeners, it’s soon time to start seeds

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/20, 2014 at 01:24 PM

Comments (0) | Permalink | Tags: seedstarting | gardening |

10 garden chores you can do in the winter (and probably should)

Earlier this week, the coldest air in 20 years overspread Central Pennsylvania, dropping temperatures below zero. While shivering through a cold snap like that, it’s hard to imagine doing garden work. But there are still some chores you can do, either in the comfort of your living room or during one of our inevitable thaws that we have most every winter and will have this weekend. Getting them done now can help ensure a better harvest this spring and summer.

Here’s 10 garden chores you can do this winter:

Continue Reading: 10 garden chores you can do in the winter (and probably should)

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/10, 2014 at 08:50 AM

Comments (0) | Permalink | Tags: gardening | winter | chores |

You can still plant fall crops for a tasty end to the garden season

I know that lots of people turn their thoughts to football and raking leaves once the days getting shorter and mornings are foggy and cool, but fall is really a good time to grow certain vegetables. While a lot of vegetables thrive in summer heat, there are a fair amount that prefer fall’s cool weather. And it’s not too late to plant; if you plant this weekend, you have anywhere from 37 to 52 days before this area’s average first freeze, depending on where you live.

Continue Reading: You can still plant fall crops for a tasty end to the garden season

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/22, 2013 at 08:26 AM

Comments (0) | Permalink | Tags: fall | gardening |

“Why won’t my tomatoes ripen?”

This weekend I was at a very nice event, a barn dance. In between promenades, I was chatting with some people about gardening, one of my favorite small talk subjects. As often happens when talking gardening, tomatoes came up. And as often happens when talking tomatoes, concerns about fruit not ripening came up. So, are there any ways to speed up the process?

Continue Reading: “Why won’t my tomatoes ripen?”

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/12, 2013 at 08:42 AM

Comments (0) | Permalink | Tags: tomatoes | gardening |

Not too late to get plants in the garden

Oh, man! A rabbit ate half your annual bed…your tomato plants got trashed by a storm…the neighbor’s dog dug up your favorite herb plant…too late to plant something new now, right? Actually, that’s not the case. You can can still plant flowers, vegetables, herbs, etc. and still get beauty and flavor from your 2013 garden.

Continue Reading: Not too late to get plants in the garden

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/28, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Comments (0) | Permalink | Tags: PatchworkFarms | gardening | annuals | perennials | vegetables |

Five Reasons to Compost

You just made a big pot of soup with all sorts of stuff you got from the farmer’s market. Now you have carrot tops, potato peels, yellowed greens, etc. Throw them in the garbage? No way! You have compost, not trash.

Continue Reading: Five Reasons to Compost

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/22, 2013 at 02:01 PM

Comments (0) | Permalink | Tags: composting | FiveReasons | gardening |

Measure of garden success?

Recently, several fellow gardeners and I discussed something that ended up being very interesting: how do you define a successful garden year?

We came to a conclusion—it’s all subjective. When you garden, you go into it with a variety of goals in mind. These might include fresh-grown herbs and veggies, saving money, or just making the yard look prettier. These are the yardsticks to measure a good garden year.

Continue Reading: Measure of garden success?

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/24, 2012 at 01:54 PM

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Five Unusual Edibles from the Garden

Right now, people are beginning to harvest all sorts of stuff from the garden. Some of it is conventional stuff, like tomatoes. However, there’s a lot of food in gardens that many people ignore. Some of these may sound outright, well, weird—but give them a shot. They are the “best kept secrets” of the garden.

Continue Reading: Five Unusual Edibles from the Garden

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/18, 2012 at 07:50 AM

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Rabbit vs. Gardener

I have heard before that a mild spring means a lot of rabbits the following summer. 2012 seems to be proving this true, as we have had both a warm spring and seemingly, a lot of rabbits.

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{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/25, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Comments (0) | Permalink | Tags: gardening | rabbits |

VeggieCommons

Please welcome our newest contributor, Dana Stuchul, founder of VeggieCommons—a resource for Growing Food Where We Live. At her home in State College, Dana has backyard chickens, a small apiary, a front-yard terrace garden, a backyard “mini-farm,” numerous fruit trees and shrubs, a roof-top water collection system (and bici-bomba, a bicycle powered pumping system), and a wood-fired bread oven. Take it away, Dana!

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{name} Posted by Dana Stuchul on 06/03, 2012 at 07:16 PM

Comments (4) | Permalink | Tags: veggies | gardening |

Diverse Beans a Warm-Weather Garden Star

Beans are a popular garden plant, with good reason—they are one of the tastiest vegetables in the garden. They are also pretty easy to grow, and with a little bit of TLC you can get quite a yield of tasty pods or shelled beans that can be used in all kinds of recipes. Beans are also a perfect garden crop for vegetarians because of their high protein content. What’s not to like?

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{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/31, 2012 at 08:31 AM

Comments (0) | Permalink | Tags: gardening | beans |

How to Transplant Tomatoes Now for Great Harvests Later

It’s mid-May, which is peak time for “putting in the garden,” an old saying that means planting your frost-sensitive plants now that we are mostly past the risk of frost. (Although not completely, more on that later.)

Whether you started tomatoes from seed or bought the plants at your favorite garden center or farmer’s market, transplanting them the right way is very important.

Continue Reading: How to Transplant Tomatoes Now for Great Harvests Later

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/23, 2012 at 08:43 AM

Comments (0) | Permalink | Tags: gardening | tomatoes |

Ten Tips to Get Your Garden off to a Great Start

Despite some recent backsliding into winter, spring weather is mostly here to stay. If you are like me, you are steadily spending more and more time in the garden, getting things growing to start the season. A good start is very important for a successful gardening season, as your plants are very young and tender at this point.

Here are ten tips, in no particular order, to get your garden off and moving toward a big harvest.

Continue Reading: Ten Tips to Get Your Garden off to a Great Start

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/07, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Comments (1) | Permalink | Tags: gardening |

Paper Pots Offer Cost-Effective, Environmentally Friendly Home for Seedlings

In my last post I talked about planting seeds indoors. And given that we are four to six weeks away from the last frost as I write this, you should have seedlings growing somewhere in your house.

Continue Reading: Paper Pots Offer Cost-Effective, Environmentally Friendly Home for Seedlings

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/20, 2012 at 08:00 AM

Comments (0) | Permalink | Tags: gardening |

Planting Cold-Hardy Veggies for Spring Crops

As you probably noticed, the weather in mid-March was more along the lines of early June. This caused some absolutely incredible early spring scenes as spring growth is about a month ahead of schedule—blossoming trees, daffodils in full display, and perennials peaking out of the dirt at a much earlier date than normal.

For us gardeners, it was so tempting to get out there and plant something. So I did. I planted several rows in my garden, knowing full well that they would need protection later from the inevitable cold snap. If you still haven’t planted, no worries—you still have lots of time to plant cold-hardy vegetables in your garden.

Continue Reading: Planting Cold-Hardy Veggies for Spring Crops

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/05, 2012 at 02:18 PM

Comments (0) | Permalink | Tags: gardening |

Starting Seeds is Easy: How to Plant the Seeds

If you followed my last blog post, you should be ready to plant some seeds indoors. First things first, fill your cell flats with moistened potting soil or seed starting mix. You want it moist, not saturated.

Next, plant the seeds. This is by far one of the most important tasks of your gardening year, and you need to make sure you do it correctly because, well, you want them to germinate.

Continue Reading: Starting Seeds is Easy: How to Plant the Seeds

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/23, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Comments (0) | Permalink | Tags: gardening |

Starting Seeds is Easy: How to Set Up

The weather has been warm lately, warm enough to start thinking about gardening. However, while the mild weather is great for daffodils, crocuses, and forsythia, it’s still too chilly to plant vegetables, especially frost-sensitive types like tomatoes and beans. You want to hold off planting those outside until early-mid May.

Continue Reading: Starting Seeds is Easy: How to Set Up

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/16, 2012 at 08:00 AM

Comments (0) | Permalink | Tags: gardening |

Take a Jar of Summer off the Shelf

In my last post, I talked about the benefits of freezing vegetables to use in the winter. Now let’s look at another way of preserving your garden harvest—canning.

Canning for me brings back memories of my mother and grandmother, who both canned. They canned stuff like pears, green beans, tomatoes, etc. Pretty much straight up, old-fashioned canning.

Continue Reading: Take a Jar of Summer off the Shelf

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/22, 2012 at 01:50 PM

Comments (0) | Permalink | Tags: gardening | recipe | eggs |

Pulling Summer from the Freezer when it’s Freezing Outside

During my garden harvest season, which stretches from summer through much of fall, I preserve a lot of what we get from our backyard in two ways—canning and freezing.

I like to do both because of cooking flexibility. You can do a lot of great things with canning: sauces, relishes, pickles, etc. But freezing for me tends to be about just the vegetable/fruit.

Continue Reading: Pulling Summer from the Freezer when it’s Freezing Outside

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/07, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Comments (0) | Permalink | Tags: gardening | recipes | kale | winter |

Don’t wait to make online seed orders for 2012 garden season!

We are in the heart of winter, so buying garden seeds may not be the first thing on your mind. However, if you are planning on ordering seeds online (you will more choices online than you will in a store), now is the time to do so.

Continue Reading: Don’t wait to make online seed orders for 2012 garden season!

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/18, 2012 at 05:48 PM

Comments (0) | Permalink | Tags: gardening |

Sowing the Seeds of a Great Marriage

Going to go a bit off-topic here, but I had to share this story with everyone who reads this blog. Gardening is something that often is done together by couples and who knows how many relationships are sparked at a plant sale or garden center. However, gardening is not really thought of something as romantic, per se.

Continue Reading: Sowing the Seeds of a Great Marriage

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/16, 2011 at 09:00 AM

Comments (0) | Permalink | Tags: gardening |

Field Notes

This week as we are adding more fall greens to the selection of choices, we are embarking on a project that will provide us with the ability to extend the season and have even more greens!

Continue Reading: Field Notes

{name} Posted by Erin McKinney on 10/25, 2011 at 06:00 AM

Comments (0) | Permalink | Tags: gardening | hightunnels | fieldnotes |

Get your garden ready for a long winter’s nap

While we haven’t quite yet had a true killing frost, it’s inevitable - at some point, your 2011 garden will be covered in frost, and soon after, snow. The garden will go to sleep until it warms again, but there is some work yet to do on your garden that will make things easier next spring. Time to put it to bed.

Continue Reading: Get your garden ready for a long winter’s nap

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/21, 2011 at 06:00 AM

Comments (1) | Permalink | Tags: winter | gardening |

Broaden Your Culinary Horizons

Just 20 years ago, the selection of produce was nothing like it is today. Iceberg lettuce, round red tomatoes, green bell peppers, regular orange carrots, and plain potatoes ruled the supermarket shelves.

However, today the expansion of the American palate is quite evident. Sushi is found in supermarkets. An imitation of a latte can be found at a convenience store. Ethnic restaurants such as Indian, Thai, Austrian, and Korean can be found in central Pennsylvania. And the broadening selections for the home chef have expanded culinary horizons, as well.

Continue Reading: Broaden Your Culinary Horizons

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/16, 2011 at 09:52 AM

Comments (0) | Permalink | Tags: gardening |

Useful Beauty

Home vegetable gardens are an ideal and super-local way to get fresh, delicious produce, but they can also be a beautiful addition to your yard. Many vegetable plants not only taste great, they look great, too—and not just on a plate.

Continue Reading: Useful Beauty

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/23, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Comments (0) | Permalink | Tags: gardening |

Plant Now for Garden-Fresh Fall Harvest

Please welcome Jamie Oberdick to the Local Food Journey! Jamie is an enthusiastic home gardener who grows a variety of plants from around the world in his Centre County backyard. Take it away, Jamie!

A lot of people think of vegetable gardening as a spring/summer thing, and you shut it down in the fall with the exception of the last pumpkins. Actually, there are plenty of different vegetables that thrive in the cooler conditions we have in fall in central Pennsylvania.

Continue Reading: Plant Now for Garden-Fresh Fall Harvest

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/19, 2011 at 12:40 PM

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