Friday, April 29, 2011

Road Trippin’ to Oregon for an Edible Garden

Road tripping – music to my ears. Especially when it’s with one of my best friends since seventh grade and we’re headed to a garden show! Pack up the VW, pump up the tunes, pump in the Starbucks, and – WOOHOO – we’re off!

I have been a gardener since I bought my home 8 years ago. But my friend, Angela, has been a gardener her entire life, thanks to her mother, and Snohomish County recently certified her a master gardener (check out her blog: Gardening In My Rubber Boots). I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from her over the years, mostly about which plants are great for my shady, woodland yard, but also about organic gardening, killing slugs, and, most recently, edible gardening.

Up until now, my boyfriend has been the veggie gardener in our little slice of the woods amid Microsoft country, growing mostly bitter greens and tomatoes, which I refuse to eat. (Yes, I am Italian and no, I don’t eat tomatoes, and yes, I know it’s a sin.) I’ve always maintained the herb terrace, which includes Italian and Greek varieties of oregano, thyme, cilantro, chives, and, of course, rosemary, among others. Cooking with fresh herbs is a staple and a luxury I insist on in my kitchen, but growing veggies: not so much.

Recently, thanks to my urban gardening friend, I’ve been introduced to growing the veggies I adore –green beans, edamame (soybeans), potatoes, and even Brussels sprouts! I don’t eat raw tomatoes, but I heart Brussels sprouts – go figure. We have pickled and canned green beans with garlic and dill from the garden, made the most amazing green tomato marmalade and even homemade mustard, which turned out exceptional. I’ve been told that I need to make it in bulk and sell it at farmers markets. Someday, maybe.

This year I’ve got even bigger goals, with the help of Ms. Master Gardener Angela: home grown and homemade tomato sauce, salsa and canning galore to last me through the long, rainy winters we have here in Seattle. Thus, this road trip to the Clackamus County Master Gardeners Spring Garden Fair in Canby, Oregon! (That’s a mouthful and a half!)

Us Snoqualmie Valley-raised girls are on a mission for new and unique veggies, fruits and herbs to create our edible gardens for the year and it’s gonna be a blast! Commence road trip in 3, 2, 1… WOOHOO!

I’m going to take you along on our journey, so stay tuned for pictures, stories and updates on the progress of our edible garden adventures from garden to table throughout the upcoming year.

Happy Edible Gardening!

ChefTools Foodie: Sara.

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