All gardeners live in beautiful places because they make them so.
This demonstrative workshop is great for the beginner or seasoned gardener who has put seeds or transplants in the ground or pot and wants some knowledge, tips and advice on how to maximize their garden’s potential mid-season! We will review gardening basics and a selection of mid-season “how-to’s”, such as: transplanting, maintaining, feeding and harvesting techniques as well as some over-wintering basics and options for the 365 days a year style gardener.
Each participant will walk away with an information package as well as a package of over-wintering seeds.
Purchase your tickets today!
Date: Saturday, June 1st
Time: 10:30am - 12:00pm
Rhubarb season generally runs from mid-spring through summer. In our region, its prime time is May. Not only is it delicious with its acidic tang, rhubarb is also great for ornamental purposes with its massive, glorious leaves. It’s perfect in a potager-type garden, front yard garden or in a street boulevard. Technically a vegetable but widely regarded as a fruit, rhubarb (or botanically speaking, Rheum rhabarbarum) is a species of plant in the family Polygonaceae; it’s related to sorrel, another perennial edible treasure. If you’re contemplating growing some, it has few pests to speak of, and it’s super low maintenance. Rhubarb will thrive in the sun, and can grow in a container, provided it is big enough. Learn more and score a baked rhubarb compote recipe after the jump…
Before it was regarded as a culinary ingredient, rhubarb was originally cultivated for it’s root, important in Chinese medicine since about 2700 BC. Remember, the leaves contain toxic amounts of oxalic acid, so when harvesting, compost the leaves! In Europe in the 17th and 18th century, when consuming rhubarb as food was relatively new, this was not common knowledge (unfortunately).
Baked Rhubarb Compote
Rhubarb compote is incredibly versatile: Put a dollop on yogurt and granola in the morning, eat it with ice cream, wrap it in galette dough, or pair it with a fish. Make a fruit wine, or pickle it if you’re feeling adventurous. We love it when its season merges with strawberry and raspberry season!
2 pounds (6 cups) rhubarb (or enough to fill a glass baking dish)
1 Valencia orange
1-cup local honey
A teensy bit of water to barely line the bottom of the glass pan
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut rhubarb into 1″ pieces.
- Barely cover the bottom of the glass baking dish with water.
- Grate some orange zest, and squeeze the juice into the glass baking dish.
- Add rhubarb, zest, and drizzle honey; mix until rhubarb is coated in honey and juice.
- Bake for 20-30 mins, or until the rhubarb is soft. Serve warm or keep in fridge for later!
Brassica oleracea, Acephala group
Frost sweetens the taste of this vitamin- and mineral-packed cooking green. Kale can thrive in semishade and in cloudy climates; hot weather turns it tough and bitter. Some varieties have very curly, frilly leaves; others are smoother. ‘Red Russian’ is one variety that has leaves that develop a magenta hue after frost.
Planting: Rich soil promotes a faster-growing and more tender crop. Where summers are cool, sow seeds in early spring, ½ inch deep in rows 2½ feet apart. For a fall-winter crop, sow seeds or set out transplants at least 6 weeks before the first frost; rake to cover seeds.
Growing guidelines: Thin plants to 2 feet apart. Keep the soil moist. Mulch established plants to control weeds.
Problems: Major Kale pests include cabbage maggots, imported cabbageworms, cabbage loopers, and cutworms. The harlequin bug, a small shiny black insect with red markings, causes black spots and wilting leaves; control by hand picking or applying insecticidal soap. Slugs may chew ragged holes in leaves.
Black leg, a fungal disease, forms dark spots on leaves and stems. Black rot symptoms include black and foul-smelling veins. Club root prevents water and nutrient absorption. Fusarium wilt, also known as yellows, produces yellow leaves and stunted heads. Remove and destroy plants affected by these diseases. If club root has been a problem in your garden, test soil pH before planting and add ground limestone if needed to raise the pH to at least 6.8
Good growing conditions, crop rotation, and the use of disease-resistant cultivars are the best defenses against cabbage-family crop problems. Also, thoroughly clean up the garden at the end of the season, removing all remaining leaves and roots.
Harvesting: Harvest outer leaves as needed; use young tender leaves for salads and older leaves for cooking.
Well here you are, me, Lisa Giroday, of Victory Gardens, featured in this month’s Chatelaine! Thanks to everyone involved, including Jenny Charlesworth for the words and Alana Paterson, for the picture!
Great tomato tip!
When growing or picking out your tomato transplants for the season, make sure you figure out if you have determinant or indeterminate tomatoes.
Determinant are more of a bush or patio type plant, where Indeterminate are more of a vine type. I grow all indeterminate and have to string them up as they grow, and have to pluck the suckers from in between the stem and real leaves.
You can harvest Swiss Chard right now, and sow seeds and raise transplants. But when is it in season? The question is, when is it NOT in season? You can sow chard seeds from April to August, and the harvest duration for chard is even longer than kale! Freaking kale! If you have chard in the garden right now that has overwintered, it is probably beginning to bolt with this warm (insanely scorching and uncharacteristic) weather, but as this happens, if you started chard in the garden in April, you can soon be harvesting baby chard leaves for salad mixes. Did you know that Chard is in the same family as beets and spinach? Yup, they’re known as the Chenopods. Our absolute favorite variety to grow is the heirloom “Flamingo Pink”, with its hot neon pink stalks.
Swiss chard is high in vitamins A, K and C, with a 175g serving containing 214%, 716%, and 53% of the recommended daily value. It is also rich in minerals, dietary fiber and protein. Can this possibly be true?! One seasonal culinary pairing that is particularly delectable is spring leeks with chard – sautéed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.
Sauteed Spring Leeks and Swiss Chard
2 bunches of chard – pick your fancy – rainbow etc.
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (you know what amount you like to drizzle in)
2 large leeks, sliced relatively thinly
sea salt and pepper to taste
- Cut stems from chard. Stack chard leaves and roll like sushi. Cut rolls crosswise to make 1-inch-thick strips of leaves. Thinly slice the white and pale green parts of the leek.
- Heat oil in a skillet over moderately high heat, then sauté chard stems and leeks with sea salt and pepper to taste, stirring occasionally, until slightly soft, about 5 minutes or less. Lastly, add chard leaves and continue to sauté, stirring frequently, until wilted. If you find that the leaves are browning, add a bit of water to the skillet.
Where to Find Chard: Yippie! The Vancouver Farmers Market opens at Trout Lake this upcoming Saturday, so go get yourself some chard! Not only that, but we at Victory Gardens are participating in the Stone Soup Festival on the same day! You could head down Commercial after Trout Lake and pick up some Chard seeds and starts.
“My gospel is grow your own food. Grow your own food is like print your own money.” Ron Finley changing the landscape and food desert that is South Central LA.