Archive for December, 2017

Horseradish Balsamic Glazed Beets

Saturday, December 2nd, 2017
Beets with Horseradish Dressing

Beets with Horseradish Dressing

The idea for this recipe was inspired from an hors d’oeuvres sandwich we enjoyed at the GWA (Garden Writers Association) Conference in Buffalo this past summer.  It was called a Beet Slider which consisted of a small dinner-size buttered roll spread with horseradish and a thick slice of cooked beet.  It slid down very nicely!

I had some cooked beets and no dinner rolls so I tried the next best thing.  I tossed some cubed beets with horseradish, added a little olive oil for the slippery factor and some balsamic vinegar for additional flavor.  It was a winner in our “CobraHead Test Kitchen”.

Here’s the recipe:

3 cups cubed cooked beets

2 tsp. olive oil

2 tsp. horseradish

2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Toss everything together and enjoy!  Feel free to change all amounts according to your own taste.

Prepping Open Raised Beds for Winter

Friday, December 1st, 2017
Open Raised Garden Bed

Open Raised Garden Bed

We’re taking advantage of good weather to get a lot of garden beds prepared for winter.  We’re loosening them up with a broadfork, pulling out most of the weeds, shaping them up neatly, and covering them with a thick layer of leaves.

Raked Smooth, Ready for Winter

Raked Smooth, Ready for Winter

I don’t use cover crops to protect the beds through the winter.  Cover crops are a good approach, as garden soil should not be left uncovered and bare, but I have an abundance of leaves, and covering the garden with them is a lot easier than planting another crop.   A bed all raked smooth as this one is will be ready to plant in the spring.  All we’ll have to do is rake back the leaves, which we can leave in the paths to break down and also act as a weed mulch.

Left – Done, Right – Not Done

Left – Done, Right – Not Done

Note the bed on the right, the one with the bucket.  It needs to be worked up, weeded, and re-shaped.

All Forked Up

All Forked Up

Here’s that bed after I worked it up with a broadfork and removed the weeds.

Shaped Up Bed

Shaped Up Bed

Here’s the same bed after it’s been shaped up and smoothed out using a five-tined cultivating hoe, an antique tool, that in my opinion should be made again, as it is so useful.

Tools

Tools

These are the four tools I use to work and shape my beds: a scoop shovel, a five-tined cultivating hoe, a broadfork, and a steel rake.

I maintain a large garden and the raised bed approach we use is working.  Our soil continues to improve and maintenance is in many ways a lot easier than it would be with a rototiller or any other more conventional approach.  From a sustainability aspect, using low technology and minimal outside inputs, I’m pretty sure this method ranks at or near the top of all home gardening systems.