If the trucks stopped coming to the grocery stores, where would you get your food? I’m sure many of you already grow some of your food and maybe you even grow a substantial amount, but very few people grow ALL the food they consume. When I taught at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, imagining the trucks would stop coming and you would have to source all of your food from farms and gardens within a 100 mile radius was a project I assigned students in my Four Season Food Production class. The students received extra credit if they brought in a highway map pinpointing where they lived with circles showing 25, 50, 75, and 100 miles from that spot. It is very enlightening making a map like this. You should try it.
At first the students thought about what they ate now and anticipated they would try to find that. This project was a real eye-opener to the students who ate mostly processed food. Preparing and eating food as it comes from a farm or garden is a much different experience. They soon learned that it would be better to see what was available and plan their meals around that. You could say that they could plan gardens to feed themselves, but it was September and the expected closing of the grocery stores was January 1. Not much time to grow a complete diet, even if they knew how, which they didn’t. That’s what they were taking my classes to learn. So, to get started they would have to visit farmers markets, meet the farmers, and find out what was being offered. There are more options for local food besides farmers markets. Some farmers sell directly from the farm; there are CSAs offering a set amount of food to their members each week; and some restaurants specialize in local cuisine. You can find sources of food local to you by checking www.LocalHarvest.org.
A real awakening came when they realized that if the trucks did stop coming, there wouldn’t be enough local food to serve everyone and it would be a community-wide problem. So, besides making sure they could find enough food to make it through the winter, they began to plan what it would take to grow their own food. This was a group project and I would hear discussions of who could keep a cow, who could store enough potatoes for the group, how much of this or that would they need for a year, etc. You can find out more about this project at Homeplace Earth.
Not enough local food is a community problem. As much as we gardeners like to think how self-sufficient we are, we need to keep in mind that there is a whole community that needs to be fed. It can mean opportunity to those who are just getting into selling what they grow. Instead of going for microgreens, heirloom tomatoes, or whatever the current hot crop is, working through a project such as the 100 Mile Food Plan could identify what is missing locally and a grower could seek to fill that niche. Of course, until the trucks actually do stop coming, more work needs to be done to educate the public on how to prepare and eat complete meals made of only locally produced ingredients. What part can you play in developing a community-wide local food system?
Learn more about Cindy Conner and what she’s up to at www.HomeplaceEarth.Wordpress.com.
At Mad Love Organix, we strive to simplify the complex organism we have become.
Dependent on materials outside ourselves, we daydream about how things should be: simple, practical and sustainable.
Daydreams can be enlightening. Before any plants were growing in the front yard, Mad Love Organix sprouted as an idea, just a random daydream. But it wasn’t my idea. And I am not responsible.
That brings me to a point. I, alone, am no one. I do not grow food. I do not water the garden. I do not photosynthesize. I do not put the life force in the soil. I do not make the seed.
A natural force other than I is responsible for all this. That same natural force uses this body I like to consider my own to garden. When gardening, something makes me feel aware that I am one with this natural force. And this body feels one with the natural earth. Feeling connected to an unknown something so colossal and vibrant, so much more than what the body’s eyes can see, gives me the impression that everything is interconnected and together we are one.
The seeded idea of Mad Love Organix has germinated into reality. And the reality we face is made complex by the large corporations who have industrialized everything, especially organic gardening.
“Feed the soil, not the plant,” is a common quote I heard early on which stuck. Trips to local nurseries, outdoor gardening stores, even hydroponic shops all offered one thing to build life in soil – products.
And products I bought. And bought. And sometimes couldn’t afford. Other than eating healthier, I thought I was supposed to be saving money, too.
Those large corporations got me. Again. Here I am looking for materials outside myself and the home for life-giving forces, when that feeling of oneness keeps letting me know everything can be available on-site.
Conversations with other gardeners quickly gave way to us saving food scraps. With two people living off 100% plant-based diets, composting has become a process which occurs as naturally as brushing our teeth. With a compost pile checked off our to-do list, more research revealed many different ways of building life in the soil.
One approach, referred to as biodynamic farming, strives to see the farm as a living organism. Consisting of separate organs - the farmers, the animals, the vegetables, the fruit, the land, the soil, the buildings, the water, the air, the community and so on - each organ is a life-giving resource to another organ. Essentially, the organs sustain the whole organism, while never becoming depleted, but instead, more available and life generating.
The only thing inefficient with taking this approach and applying it to our home garden, is that we do not have animals for a source of manure. Or land for the animals. That something continued to tell me that everything can be done with on-site resources on a small, home garden level.
Research then led to the term “permaculture,” which led me to discover food forests. Starting with bare, damaged, or un-used land, people use nitrogen-fixing cover crops to build nutrients in the soil. These cover crops are chopped down as mulch, creating a layer of organic matter.
Fruit trees and a biodiversity of edible plants are then planted, along with cover crops, until the forest functions on its own and cannot be stopped by the human body. That greater force is in full control, providing a forest of food. Chickens and other animals may also be used to build nutrients in the soil.
With this new-found information, I thought why can’t the compost pile along with the use of cover crops be enough to effectively build life in the soil?
It is simply too difficult for me to believe this mysterious universe, both beautiful and ugly yet magical at all times, developed a system where the manure from large animals is a must to build life-generating soil capable of producing life-giving food.
I am not arguing the fact that manure, especially from on-site, is a valuable resource used “to animate the life processes of the soil,” as Nicolaus Romer wrote in a July 1987 Temple-Wilton Farm Newsletter, a biodynamic, community supported farm since 1986 located in New Hampshire.
There’s just that something keeps telling me there are other ways, too.
Ways that allow small, home gardeners to grow organic-based gardens without supporting large corporations quite possibly responsible for some degradation of land, animals, water, and air, those natural elements sometimes referred to as life.
Inside a small, self-sustained home garden that same something continues to give me the idea that the quality of life will grow and expand to uncontainable levels generating life-giving inspiration much larger than the garden itself. Or me. Or you. Or we and the garden combined.
But then again, that is just an idea. And what do I know?
After much more research, I found a source of inspiration.
A man with 2,400 acres of land used to grow organic-certified grain. And this man does not use animal manure or compost. He has simplified the complex ideas of needing anything outside oneself, of needing costly, unsustainable materials coming from depleting organisms. All Bob Quinn uses are cover crops, also referred to as green manure.
Eureka! Of course it is possible. And this guy has been doing it since he sold his cattle in 1985 to focus on the grain aspect of his business, Montana Flour and Grains (MFG), which he sells for about 50 percent more than conventionally-grown grains, according to the USDA. Quinn also incorporates crop rotation.
This is what I’m talking about: an inexpensive and practical approach to building soil fertility with on-site resources for the small organic-based, home garden. Or a massive 2,400 acres if you’ve got it.
Everything is quite simple. It’s just difficult to look at all the ideas mega-corporations attempt to sell, and research those ideas in order to boil them down to raw simplicity.
For right now, I am moving forward guided by these simple concepts: Cover crops, crop rotation, and composting. And by that colossal, vibrant natural, life-giving force guiding everything.
I am constantly working on projects to incorporate beauty, resilience, and higher nutrition into my landrace crops. I do this by paying attention to what is going on in my garden, and by importing seeds from other gardens. This week’s blog documents some of this year’s selection projects and explains why I am working on them.
Some years ago when I started my landrace moschata squash project, I included seeds from Seminole Pumpkin because they are a wild squash. They may be closely related to the ancestral squash from which butternuts were derived. It is likely that there are many useful genes in these squash that were lost during domestication. Alas, the Seminole Pumpkin is a native of Florida, so when I planted it in my garden it had not even started flowering when it was killed by frost. I can’t do survival of the fittest selection among the offspring of a plant that fails to produce seeds or pollen in my garden, so my moschata squash landrace went forward without the Seminole Pumpkin. I have been sad about that for years.
I grow an abundance of seed, and share it widely. One of the collaborators with which I shared landrace moschata seed lives in a similar climate which has a longer frost-free growing season. He crossed my landrace squash with Seminole Pumpkins and returned the seed to me. I grew that seed this summer. Many of the resulting plants were still too long season for my garden and didn’t mature fruit, but a few did. I am elated. Due to the generosity of a collaborator whom I have never met, I will be able to work with the genes from Seminole Pumpkins. I’m expecting to find some clever traits among the offspring.
I imported some South American corn composites into my garden. A composite is new mixed population containing many different varieties. Composites are similar to landraces, in being genetically diverse, but they have not yet been adapted to any particular garden. I grew the South American corn composites in a patch by themselves. The seed that I collected this year is a composite of composites: I call it a hybrid swarm because of the huge diversity that exists in this population. I am attempting to combine the South American and Caribbean corns into a population that is suitable for growing in my garden. A lot of the plants in the patch were not suited to my garden and didn’t produce offspring, or had a very long season so they are only marginally useful to me. Overall they produced a lot of offspring which will be useful to me and contain traits which are not available in the North American corns that I have previously grown. It is my intention in a coming growing season to hybridize the South American population with my sweet corn, and with my popcorn. This should significantly increase the resilience and bio-diversity of my current crops.
This summer I also worked on projects to incorporate more color and nutrition into my popcorn landrace. I did this in several ways:
I selected white kernels and grew them in a separate patch. White is a recessive color which tends to be swamped out by other colors. Because it looks really good to have a few mostly white cobs among the landrace popcorn I add a bit of white kerneled corn into the bulk seed before sharing so that the visual interest of the harvested crop remains high.
One of the ancestors in the South American composites produces extravagant amounts of beta-carotene I value that trait because of its high nutritional potential. I selected the high nutrition seeds from the composite based on deep orange color. They popped poorly, so I planted them in my popcorn patch to make a popcorn hybrid. Hybrids are used to combine the traits of two different varieties. Corn hybrids are made by removing the tassels from the mother plant before they release pollen. I missed detasseling it because I forgot to stake the row or the stake disappeared. Some of its seeds got pollinated by my popcorn. Some of its pollen for poor popping ability contaminated my popcorn. Because the South American corn represented less than 1% of the plants in my popcorn patch the damage will be minimal. I intend to grow the obviously hybridized seed in a separate patch for a few years until the high nutrition trait and great popping trait are combined and consistent. I also crossed this corn with my sweet corn so that I can develop a high nutrition sweet corn.
I made a hybrid cross between my popcorn and Glass Gem flint corn. Glass Gem contains beautiful blues, greens, and pinks which do not currently exist in my popcorn, but it pops poorly. I figure that a cross will allow me to combine the traits of great popping ability and glorious colors into the same plant. I don’t know what the nutritional value of all those different pigments are, but plant pigments tend to be antioxidants or meet other nutritional needs so I figure the more color the better.
It doesn’t take much additional effort to incorporate beauty, resilience, and highernutrition into landrace crops. This is part of the reason why I believe that landrace gardening is a path towards food security through common sense and traditional methods.
Joseph Lofthouse grows vegetables in a cold mountain valley where he practices the art of landrace gardening in order to feed his community more effectively.
Nuts are underrated as a food and as garden plants. After all, how many gardeners plant nuts? In the landscape, nut plants range from majestic trees to graceful shrubs. As a food, nuts are an excellent source of protein, heart-friendly fats, and all sorts of other nutritional goodies known and unknown. Did you ever see a fat or tired squirrel? (True, we wouldn’t see those couch potato squirrels as they lounged in their den.)
Right now, I am enjoying the fruits of my nutty labors. Some nuts -- most nuts that grow around here, in fact -- need to be cured before they taste their best. Hazelnuts, ready in September, were good as soon as harvested but even better after resting a couple of weeks. Chestnuts, likewise ready in September, were likewise pretty good immediately, but sweetened after a few weeks in storage. The hazelnuts grow on arching shrubs that could instead be trained to small trees. The chestnuts are picturesque, spreading trees. Both hazelnuts and chestnuts are fast-growing and begin to bear within 5 years or less after planting.
The improvement in flavor from curing is most dramatic when it comes to black walnuts and their kin. They were harvested (from the ground) in October and husked (a messy job). The sooner the fleshy husk is taken off, the less stained and better-flavored the nuts. No end of innovative ways have been devised for separating the husk from the shell, everything from spreading the harvested nuts on the ground and repeatedly driving over them to stomping on each nut to letting the weight of a small sledge loosen them and then twisting them off with gloved hands.
Our newest innovation is to roll the nuts against a serrated trowel (like one used for spreading tile glue) that’s mounted vertically in a slit in a piece of wood. The two halves of the husk twist off easily. Husked nuts are left outdoors in the sun a few days to dry and then moved to our loft area above the garage. The loft area is cool, airy, and -- very important -- squirrel-proof. The nuts are ready to crack and eat around the first of the year.
Black walnuts are, in my opinion, the best-tasting of the nutty lot. The trees grow wild throughout much of eastern U.S. Around here, the nuts rain down each October, free for the taking. This is one nut that I have not had to plant.
The downside to black walnuts is that they are a hard nut to crack. After years of banged thumbs from cracking black walnuts on a concrete floor with a hammer, I purchased the Master Nutcracker, which is elegantly designed, somewhat pricey, but very effective and worth every penny. (Cheaper but inferior Chinese versions are available; I recommend the real thing, available from www.MasterNutCracker.com.) Separating the nutmeats and picking them out from their cracked shells makes for a convivial accompaniment to after-dinner conversation in winter.
Butternuts, also native to eastern U.S., but not as widespread and currently threatened with a blight, need the same treatment as black walnut and are equally tough nuts to crack. I don’t bother with them because the trees, in contrast to black walnut, are hard to find. Their flavor also has less appeal.
Butternut has naturally and been deliberately hybridized with heartnut, a Japanese-type walnut, to yield what’s known as a buartnut. Many trees thought to be butternuts are actually buartnuts, such as the gigantic, spreading tree I “discovered” in nearby Rosendale, NY a couple of years ago. My young tree, only a few years old, is very fast growing and already shows inklings of future grandeur -- and nuts, in the form a few flowers last spring (that, unfortunately, failed to develop into nuts).
I did revisit the Rosendale buartnut in September and rushed to gather up as many nuts as I could ahead of squirrels, who were also working the tree. Those nuts are now cured. Heartnuts are known for their ease of cracking, a trait also borne out in the buartnut offspring. With the Master Nutcracker, the shells popped open to reveal whole nutmeats. The flavor was mild and a little dry, good for variety and ease of access but not nearly as tasty as black walnuts.
The nut menu needn’t end there. The season here in New York’s Hudson Valley is too short to ripen pecans, although the trees will survive. Enter hicans, hybrids of hickory and pecan with a shorter ripening season. I’ll report back in a few years. Hickories are a native nut that is delicious although small and hard to crack, and yields little nutmeat. Still, there are some named varieties that improve in all respects. I planted two and hope for some nuts to try within five years. I also have some young Persian walnut trees, the one nut among this bowl of nuts for which I am not hopeful. Persian walnuts blossom early, so the flowers often succumb to subsequent spring frosts, are susceptible to some serious diseases, and -- mine, at least -- are on the squirrel highway (beneath power lines).
Have I been mentioning squirrels? Ah, squirrels, once the bane of my nutty endeavors. In years past, these “tree rats,” as they are sometimes nonaffectionately referred to by gardeners, have stripped my hazelnut shrubs bare.
For now, I have the creatures under control. They won’t wander into the high grass that I purposely let rise up through the summer around the hazelnuts. Chestnut burrs are too spiny for them - until the nuts drop out, by which time I’ve gathered them up. My hickories and buartnuts have not yet begun to bear, but the trees are isolated so a temporary squirrel guard of a cylinder of sheet metal should keep the squirrels from climbing. And black walnuts? There are plenty for everyone. The squirrels and I gather all we want and I still see plenty left on the ground.
Lee Reich describes the weekly goings-on at his farmden (more than a garden, less than a farm) at www.LeeReich.Blogspot.com.
A little more than three years ago, you could find on any one of my daily bank statements, transactions for McDonald’s, Dominoes and Burger King. Name any other processed and fast served food and it was in there as well. My freezer was full of frozen chicken pot pies and chicken patties while my trashcan full of plastic. I would use synthetic fertilizers on my lawn, because that is what people told me I needed to do. I would shop at big corporate stores with low, low prices because that is what I had learned to do growing up. Today, I am a little different.
My wife and I cook almost every meal together from scratch, using food picked just minutes before from our garden. When we have irritations on our arms after picking the zucchini or squash, we apply a chickweed salve made at home to soothe it. Most of what we bring into our home is recycled, and most of the rest is composted. This includes shred from junk-mail credit card offers or Q-tips made from natural fibers. Most weeks, I don’t have much of anything to put out to be hauled away by the fuel-burning garbage truck. If you were to compare these two versions of myself side by side, it would be hard to see all the steps that led from one to the other. In reality, it was easy small changes made every day that added up to the new me.
It first started by making meals at home, something easy enough to get me cooking instead of microwaving. My sister-in-law said something to me at the time, “Just add a little onion to whatever you are making.” It may not sound like much to some of you, but to me this opened up a whole new world. Once I got used to cutting up an onion for my meals, I started adding more things and trying different meals. My wife also showed me how easy this could be. My favorite breakfast is biscuits and gravy, which I would use the Pillsbury brand biscuits. She said "no way" the first time I tried making it for her, and handed me her recipe for homemade biscuits (I’m sure I exhaled loudly before taking the paper from her). The recipe was just mixing simple ingredients, rolling it flat and cutting out the shapes with a glass, then baking for ten minutes. It took 20 minutes from start to finish, ready to be covered with her homemade chicken sausage gravy. Nothing could have been easier.
All these meals I was now cooking from home led to produce becoming a larger portion of our shopping budget. This caused us to ask “why are we driving to the store to buy food we can grow at home?” The first year, we planted in the existing bed against the side of our house. Some rabbits and my dog made sure that whatever we grew was quickly eaten before we got to it. The next year we built a raised bed next to it and fenced off that whole part of the yard. I didn’t necessarily have the green thumb yet, but I realized the key to success was to just check on it every day. This takes nothing more than walking out to the garden and observing. If something needs more water, needs trimmed up or is getting eaten by bugs, if you check it every day you catch it early and can usually fix it before it’s too late. Simple as that, just go look at it.
This is when we started composting as well. We would collect the scraps in a container on the kitchen counter, and once full, we would empty that into a trashcan in the backyard. We made a tumbler from spare wood leftover from the fence and a rain barrel we picked up. We would empty the trashcan scraps into it when the compost in the tumbler was finished. This all sounds like a lot of work, but after the construction was done, all I have to do is move a little compost from this container to that container every other month or so and turn the tumbler whenever I feel like it. It just sits there and makes compost on its own. That is the easiest chore of all.
Once we started growing vegetables, the next logical step was growing herbs. This was at first just for seasoning food but rapidly became about healing as well. It was a natural progression because it’s still just growing plants and the diversity of our garden brought more pollinators around. We bought a book or two and read up on some ideas, and the first salve we made was the chickweed salve mentioned earlier. We pulled the chickweed that grew naturally in our yard, let it wilt in the sun for a few hours and then put it in a jar of olive oil for three weeks on the porch. That’s it; we just let it sit there, shaking gently a couple times a week. Once the time was up, we strained the oil and mixed it with melted beeswax we ordered online, added essential oils for fragrance and poured it into little jars. It works fantastic, its natural and it was the easiest thing to make a year’s supply of soothing skin salve for us and our family.
As we progress into more sustainable ideas and lean more towards the homesteading way of life, I remind myself of how far we have come and how easy it was looking back. For the future projects we have that seem overwhelming, like solar panels and chicken coops, it’s just one little step taken every day that becomes a big difference in our lives. And it all started from adding an onion to my meals, what would happen if you started adding an onion to yours?
Photos by Aaron Miller
It is nearing the time of year when people begin asking me about the best way to plant and grow gourmet garlic. In the following series of blogs, I will address various issues involved with growing the best garlic you can. I will also share what we do at Calling Quail Farm, where we have been successfully cultivating and selling gourmet garlic for three seasons. Each season we have experimented with different aspects of garlic cultivation and processing; some of these trials have been a success, some less so. The basic requirements of each season remain constant, however, and each season begins with planting.
Gourmet Garlic Seed Stock
Whether you are a seasoned or beginner grower of garlic, the first issue at hand for planting is your seed stock. The ideal source of seed stock for growing gourmet garlic is your own seed. If you are already growing garlic it is a straightforward process to "save back" a quantity of your own bulbs. Replanting your own healthy stock is your best option because you can be assured both that a particular cultivar is adapted to your growing area, and that your seed is free of disease. If you want to significantly increase your planting stock for free, or you have a great bolting (scape-producing) garlic that you want to proliferate, you can save back and plant the bulbils. It will take between 2-5 years (depending on the strain) to receive full-sized bulbs with this method, but you should eventually be rewarded with sizeable amounts of robust, healthy stock.
If this is your first time planting garlic, or you want to add new strains of stock to those you already have, there are several options for obtaining seed. The first decision to make, however, before acquiring gourmet garlic seed is what cultivar of garlic you wish to grow. There are hundreds of cultivars, most of which are grouped into 10 main types; Artichoke, Asiatic, Creole, Purple Stripe, Marbled Purple Stripe, Glazed Purple Stripe, Porcelain, Rocambole, Silverskin, and Turban. Each group has its own unique characteristics, and each cultivar within the group, its own unique flavor. Like other plants, different types of garlic perform better in particular growing conditions.
Since growing conditions will in large part dictate how successful your crop will be, your best chance for growing gourmet garlic is to source seed locally. Garlic that is already grown in soil and in a climate similar to that in which you will be planting will be more adapted to those conditions and more likely to produce good results. If there is one particular strain that you have your heart set on, but which cannot be locally sourced, go ahead and plant it. You likely won't get the best results in the first couple of years, but the cultivar should improve (within limits) as future generations will adapt to your local conditions.
Acquiring Locally Grown Garlic
Locally-sourced garlic is often readily obtained from local growers, via farmers markets and directly from the farm. Buying first-hand this way gives you the opportunity to evaluate the available seed. You will also be able to question the grower about the performance of a particular strain, and ask for advice in getting the best results from the seed. Chances are, if a grower local to your area is getting good results with that particular type of garlic, you should be able to get gourmet results too.
Another option for acquiring seed is through seed companies. Seed companies, whether regional or national, usually have an online catalogue and sales system, giving you a convenient option if local garlic is unavailable. These organizations should be able to recommend which of their seed stock would be best-suited to your area. Buying from a reputable, recognized seed company also provides a measure of security since you can usually be assured that the stock will be both viable and disease free.
In terms of viability, unless your supermarket carries verified locally grown garlic, I would not recommend it as a source from which to purchase seed stock. Much of this garlic, such as the commonly named white "Chinese" garlic, has been irradiated and treated with preservatives to help prolong transportation and storage capabilities. Although some of the cloves may indeed sprout when planted, any bulbs produced from them will be of poor quality.
Once you know which cultivars are available and practical for you to grow, you can narrow down your choice of seed based on desired taste, storage capability, and ease of use (for those of us who hate peeling many small cloves!). When you have decided which strain to grow, you can then calculate how much seed you will need to save back or purchase. How much gourmet garlic you plant will depend on the amount of yield you desire and the growing area you have available.
To calculate, decide how many bulbs of garlic you wish to produce. One clove will produce one plant, so the number of bulbs you wish to grow equals the number of cloves you need to plant. Then, determine the average number of cloves in a bulb of your particular strain. This number can vary from approximately four cloves (as in large Porcelain types such as "Music") up to 20 or even more (as in Artichoke types such as "Lorz Italian"). If you are buying or saving seed by the pound rather than by the bulb, you will also have to determine the average number of bulbs in a pound.
For example, one of our most popular cultivars is the 'Rocambole Russian Red,' which has an average of six cloves per bulb. There are approximately six bulbs, with 36 cloves total, per pound. Therefore, if I want to plant 180 plants I need to purchase or save back 30 bulbs, which would equate to five pounds of Russian Red. It is a good idea to acquire slightly more stock than you think you will need, since some cloves may be damaged either before or during the cracking process (Growing Gourmet Garlic: Planting Part 4 - Bulb Cracking and Clove Selection).
When purchasing seed check each bulb carefully before you buy, if possible, or as soon as you have received it in order to confirm that the bulbs are free of mold and any obvious discoloration or disease (Growing Gourmet Garlic: Planting Part 2 - Choosing Which Bulbs to Plant). These factors, if present, will negatively impact the health and production of both your crop and field. Seed bulbs should be left whole and stored, as all garlic, in a space with good air circulation that is cool (but not below 10°), dry, and out of direct sunlight.
There are numerous online sources from which to buy garlic seed. The examples listed here are reputable, however, I have not personally bought seed from these companies and so I cannot guarantee seed quality.
Garlic Growing Resources
Photos by Andrea Cross
Want to read the other parts in this series? Check out:
Growing Gourmet Garlic, Part 2: Choosing Which Bulbs to Plant
Growing Gourmet Garlic, Part 3: When to Plant and Soil Preparation
Growing Gourmet Garlic, Part 4: Bulb Cracking and Clove Selection
Growing Gourmet Garlic, Part 5: Spacing, Planting and Mulching
The Keystone Center, in partnership with the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center, is hosting a regional food workshop on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, called “The Traditional Winter Garden: Fresh Food From December to March.”
The workshop will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center on Luckenbill Road in Kutztown, Pa.
During the workshop, heirlooms expert William Woys Weaver and co-instructor Josiah Taylor, former farm manager for Colby College, will explore old-time as well as cutting edge techniques for using your traditional kitchen garden throughout the winter. The newly reconstructed kitchen garden of the historic Sharadin Farmhouse will be used as a classroom for demonstrating innovative ways to plant ahead using heirlooms that were developed for cold tolerance.
This workshop is limited to 30 people and the cost is $75 per person. Bring a bagged lunch; beverage and table setups will be provided. Part of the workshop proceeds will be given to the Heritage Center for the maintenance of the recently reconstructed kitchen garden.
For more information and to see whether spots are still open, email Amada Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org. To sign up, send a check payable to Kutztown University, and a note specifying the name of the workshop you wish to attend. Mail to the attention of:
Amanda Richardson, Public Relations and Events Coordinator
Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center
22 Luckenbill Road
Kutztown, PA 19530
More on the Workshop Presenters
Born in West Chester, Pa., William Woys Weaver is an internationally known food and plant historian who is the author of 16 books, his most recent dealing with Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine. He is the winner of numerous book awards including four Julia Child/IACP Cookbook Awards, and is planning a book on the Pennsylvania Dutch kitchen garden. He received his Master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Virginia, and a Ph.D. in food ethnography from University College, Dublin, Ireland. He presently maintains the Roughwood Seed Collection in Devon, Pa.
Born in New York, Josiah “Josh” Taylor grew up in New Brunswick, Canada. He is a multi-talented specialist in wild foods, herbal remedies and “green” farming. Josh pursued anthropology and environmental studies at Colby College in Maine, where he managed the school’s organic farm program. He is currently a farm and health consultant, educator, and writer who lives and gardens in Edgemont, Pa.
Photo From the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center Facebok page
Shelley Stonebrook is MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine’s main gardening editor. She’s passionate about growing healthy, sustainable food and taking care of our environment. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.