|Shop Talk |
Harvest Shop Happenings
It only takes a few warm, sunny days to bring out the gardener in everyone. At the Harvest Shop, we are ready for the growing season with a great selection of Mud Gloves, Good Grips Gardening Tools, pots, totes and garden decor. A new shipment of gardening books has arrived just in time for spring planting. In addition to our assortment of baskets, pots and containers, we are pleased to present hand-painted flowerpots by local Boalsburg artist Pat Hayes. Pat's terracotta pots and saucers come in a variety of sizes and are painted in lovely floral patterns. So if you have been bitten by the gardening bug, visit the farm to see what's new and exciting for the season. Drop in, enjoy a cup of tea and savor the flavor & fragrance of spring.
| The Gardener's Greenhouse |
Exciting New Arrivals
Make way for poppies! Papaver orientale is one of the most brilliant perennials to grace the late spring/early summer garden. Its spectacular flowers appear to be fashioned of crepe paper, ranging in color all the way from the palest of pinks through deep plum, and from rich mahogany-red to the brightest orange. These dazzling, sun-loving plants are currently residing in our Greenhouse, awaiting good homes, along with the first snapdragons of the season, colorful columbine, vibrant dianthus, and an intriguing selection of dwarf and miniature conifers.
For the vegetable gardener, spring is a culinary dream come true. If you have always wanted your own asparagus patch, we can help. We have asparagus crowns available and ready to plant (planting instructions included). If you love growing your own root crops, our seed potatoes and onion/shallot sets have also arrived. And what would a kitchen garden be without fresh herbs? Our herbs are in and we have a great selection of annual & perennial varieties. Let our knowledgeable staff help you pick the perfect herbs for your garden.
What's "Growing On" in the Fields
And the season is off and running! The weather has been fair and generally pleasant for planting the first few crops. We always hope for cool, cloudy weather for putting out new seedlings, followed by an afternoon rain. The cold temperatures we had in late March didn't even phase our healthy kale transplants. Down to 18 degrees and those tough little buggers just shrugged it off. We delight in thoughts of big handfuls of kale and collards to be sautéed, but surely this is at least a month away. Not to mention how our minds wander back to the kitchen when we see the garlic and strawberries growing so wonderfully. Although we have to wait until June for berries and spring garlic, it will be here before we know it.
| The Happy Valley Gardener |
Answers to your gardening questions
"What vegetable seeds and plants can go directly into the garden right now?"
Peas, peas and more peas...snow peas, edible pod peas (my favorite), and shelling peas. You can never have enough peas. Peas are seeded directly into the garden, and if planted now, will be ready to start harvesting in early June. It is also the time to direct seed early root crops like radishes, carrots, beets and salad turnips (hakuri). And don't forget the greens - like lettuce mixes, spinach, mustards, Asian greens and Swiss chard.
Seedlings that can be directly transplanted into the garden in April include broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, cauliflower, lettuce, onion plants, leeks, Asian greens and more. It's also time to put in seed potatoes, asparagus crowns, onion sets and shallots. So don't wait until May to start your vegetable garden - get growing!
Feel free to submit your gardening questions to HVGardener@comcast.net.
Recipes from Tait Farm Foods
Spinach is one of the earliest spring vegetables we get to eat. It is always so exciting to harvest the first greens of the season! The great thing about spinach is that it is delicious eaten both fresh and cooked. It makes healthy salads, and cooked, it goes especially well with cheese, like in this tasty recipe!
Spinach and Feta Frittata
2 Tbsp Tait Farm Olive & Rosemary Oil
1 cup new potatoes, sliced
½ cup half & half
1 cup spinach, chopped
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
¼ cup scallions, thinly sliced
¼ cup Parmesan, shredded
salt and pepper
~ Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium. Arrange potatoes evenly in the pan and cook covered for about 10 minutes or until they just begin to soften. Sprinkle the spinach and scallions over the potatoes, season, and cover for another couple minutes.
~ Whisk together the eggs and half & half, pour over the vegetables, and top with the cheeses. Cover and turn heat to low, cook for 5-10 minutes or until eggs are set.
This recipe is courtesy of Steve Spanelli.
Raw spinach is a terrific source of beta-carotene and folate. This favorite Lemon Greek Salad recipe is tossed with light and refreshing Tait Farm Lemon Vinaigrette.
Lemon Greek Salad
1 bunch fresh spinach
1/4 cup Tait Farm Lemon Vinaigrette (or to taste)
1/2 cup crumble feta cheese
3 Tbsp pine nuts (optional)
Grilled chicken or salmon filet (optional)
Place washed and dried spinach in a bowl. Add the Lemon Vinaigrette and toss. Garnish with feta cheese and pine nuts. For a complete meal, top each salad with a piece of grilled chicken or salmon.