Archive for August, 2016

Cucumber Salad

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016
Cucumber Salad

Cucumber Salad

Need a quick cucumber salad for lunch or dinner that’s just a step up from plain sliced cucumbers?

Try this:

1-2 peeled cucumbers, thinly sliced

1/4 to 1/2 tsp. salt

1 T. white wine vinegar

Slice your cucumbers as thin as you can.  if you have a mandoline so much the better, and faster.  There’s something different about the slices when they’re thinner versus thicker.  Sprinkle with salt and lightly stir.  Let stand for 15-30 minutes.   Drain most of the liquid – no need to squeeze or dry the cucumbers.

Then kick those slices up a notch with a splash of white wine vinegar.  Gently and thoroughly mix it in.  Add more vinegar if you like but less is better.  This makes a simple but refreshing side salad.

Ergonomic Garden Tools: Your Best Friend When Planting to Attract Pollinators

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Planting to Attract Pollinators

  • According to the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, 75-80% of all flowering plants and staple crop plants depend on animal pollinators to produce seeds and fruit. We tend to think the pollinators are hummingbirds, bees and butterflies, but often times, pollinators such as ants, beetles, moths and bats do their jobs unseen by the human eye. Using an Ergonomic Garden Tool like the CobraHead, there are several easy steps that you can take to attract a wide range of important pollinators.

How to Create Pollinator Friendly Gardens

  • Use a wide variety of plants that flower at various times
    • Select plants that flower from spring to fall, and remember that night blooming plants will attract moths and bats. Plant in groupings, rather than individual plants, using Ergonomic Gardening Tools, which will make the job easier.
  • Avoid modern hybrid flowers
    • Hybrid flowers, especially those with double blooms, often lack the pollen, nectar and fragrance that pollinators need.
  • Eliminate pesticides whenever possible.
    • Pesticides will eliminate the pollinators that you are trying to encourage, as well as pests that you don’t want. Cultivating often and keeping weeds under control with an Ergonomic Gardening Tool can help keep unwanted pests at bay.
  • Include plants for the larvae
    • If you want butterflies, use plants that attract the caterpillars, and plant them in a place where the patterns of munching larvae won’t be an eyesore.
  • Create non-plant items that can attract pollinators
    • You can have some fun creating items for your gardens that will attract pollinators. Things like bee condos, bat houses, damp salt licks, and hummingbird feeders can be decorative as well as useful. Don’t forget that butterflies love rotting fruit, so toss those scraps into your garden, where the butterflies will enjoy the treat. Once decomposition begins, you can work them into the soil using your Ergonomic Gardening Tool like a CobraHead, giving a nice nutrient boost for the plants!
  • Education is key
    • If you want to encourage pollinators in your gardens and landscape, it is best to learn more about pollination. There are scores of books and online resources that will help you define what pollinators live in your area, and choose the correct plants for your climate that will attract them.

CobraHead – The Ultimate Ergonomic Garden Tool

When you are gardening to attract pollinators, the CobraHead will be useful for every gardening task: weeding, cultivating, scalping, edging, digging, furrowing, planting, transplanting, de-thatching, harvesting and more. The CobraHead long handle Ergonomic Garden Tool is available in 3 handle lengths to be comfortable for people of any height, as well as interchangeable between left and right handed use. The short handled CobraHead is designed to be an extension of your hand, giving you unbeatable flexibility getting into tight areas. Once you have experienced the ease of using the CobraHead Ergonomic Gardening Tool, you will never go back to any other tool again! Don’t waste another day using less effective tools – shop with us today!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad and Kohlrabi Pancakes

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016
Sweet Potato Salad and Kohlrabi Pancakes

Sweet Potato Salad and Kohlrabi Pancakes

‘Tis the season for garden veggie meals.  We’ve been mixing the old and the new, i.e. some veggies from last year’s harvest and some fresh from this year’s crop.  It’s not always easy to come up with brand new recipes but by virtue of what’s available in the pantry and/or the garden, the dishes end up being different most of the time.

One of our many favorites is Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad.  I first posted the recipe here.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad

Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad

This time, I tried something different.  I didn’t have a prebaked and chilled sweet potato so I peeled a raw one (from last year’s harvest), cut it into 3/4″ chunks and steamed them for 10 minutes.  I let the chunks cool naturally in a bowl while I prepared the rest of the ingredients.

The chopped red onion was also from last year’s crop.  Instead of a serrano pepper I sliced a banana pepper and threw in some parsley, pepper cress and lettuce from this year’s garden.  It was fine but I still love cilantro the best in this salad.  Unfortunately, unless you plant cilantro every 2 weeks or so (succession planting as they say) it never seems to be available when you really want it!

To accompany the sweet potato salad I made Kohlrabi Pancakes which I first posted here.   I followed the recipe using 2 kohlrabies about 3″ across.  When shredded they made just about the right amount – 2 cups – for the pancakes.  They were delicate and delicious.  I don’t think anyone would guess what was in them.

Let us know what you’re eating from your larder and garden these days.   Good appetite!