Friday, June 20, 2014

Beautiful Seedlings

On Tuesday of this week, we posted about the final seed packs we planted over the weekend.  I have great and wonderful news.  We already have seedlings sprouting.  Just look at these beautiful pots of six different plants which will eventually yield wonderful, fresh edibles.

The Rainbow Chard has really taken off.  This member of the beet family is tasty if you roughly chop the leaves and finely chop the stalks, then saute in olive oil and dress with fresh lemon juice.  You could also prepare it like asparagus - steam and serve with a hollandaise sauce.  I have a wonderful hollandaise sauce recipe that is done primarily in the blender.  So simple and so delicious.  We'll talk more about that later on once the chard is harvested.

You cannot see from this picture, but of the six pots we planted, the Burgundy Okra is the one which has produced the strongest sprouts.  In each of these pots, we covered the seeds with about an inch to two inches of soil and lightly tamped it down with our hands.  Don't press the soil down too firmly.  Leave it a little loose so the sprouts can push up through it like you see in this pot of Okra.  Okra is used as a thickening agent in gumbo.  It can also be fried, steamed, canned or pickled.  Dried Okra pods can be used in floral arrangements too.

Wonderful Sweet Corn.  We all know how to prepare this - a big pot of salted, boiling water with a little milk and sugar to help bring out the sweetness.  Or, if you prefer, simply placed it on the grill.  I prefer it done in boiling water.  And no matter which way you prepare, rolled in butter.  I'm getting hungry.

Peacock Broccoli.  This is a broccoli-kale cross. It has all the best qualities of both a kale and broccoli with the glamour and splendor of a peacock's display. Expect loose heads of purple florets encircled by deeply serrated, fuchsia veined leaves. The greens are extra tender when young, and sweet as the tastiest kale as they mature. Side shoots provide a continuous harvest of delicious florets.

Flashback Calendula.  Calendula is applied to the skin to reduce pain and swelling (inflammation) and to treat poorly healing wounds and leg ulcers. It is also applied to the skin (used topically) for nosebleeds, and inflammation of the lining of the eyelid (conjunctivitis).

So there you have it.  A primer on the many use of our latest plantings.  Again, many thanks to my BFF, Bev, for giving me such a wonderful Christmas gift.  Now she must come and help me harvest all of this once it matures!

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