The Potager

The Potager

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dinner from the Potager

The idea of the Potager is to plan your meals around what is ready to be harvested. Last night as I walked the garden I planned for tonight's dinner, then tonight I picked the vegetables and herbs and cooked.  What a blessing to be able to eat food picked within minutes of eating it!

These are the purple top turnips I planted March 12.

These were trimmed and washed and diced into 1/2 inch cubes, then stir-fried with carrots.

Organic carrots are inexpensive and readily available. I used store brought. Because although I planned on using the ones that had wintered over and felt like they were big, when I pulled them, they looked like this:

Yes, a little strange.  Not appetizing. They went into the compost pile.

The snow peas planted on March 12 are ready for picking.  I picked about a cup and a halt of them for this meal. They were added to the stir fry.

A head of Pak Choi, planted April 10 was also added. I separated the stems from the leaves and added the stems with the snow peas. The leaves were added last.
I added a store bought onion, chopped to the carrots and turnips.

I also tossed in some frozen corn. And I took some of every herb in my herb bed except the basil and dill, chopped them up and added near the end of cooking.
Hubs grilled pork tenderloin that I had been marinating all day.

This is what it's all about. I love going into the garden and working or just looking at how beautiful all the plants are, but being able to feed my family with food raised by my own hands is such a pleasure.


I harvested the first bed of spinach that I planted on March 19. One warm day and a few were beginning to bolt. So I took them all.
The battery on my camera died, but I kept charging it enough to take a shot and then it would die again.
I washed the spinach three times to get all the dirt out.
I made a spinach salad with mushrooms, onions and bacon for hubs, along with some grilled salmon. This salad is in a 3 quart bowl. He ate all of it.
I took the salad ingredients and added cheese, eggs and milk and made a quiche for myself. I resisted the temptation to eat all of it. 
I still have one more bed of spinach. Yummy meals in the future!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Tour of the Potager in May

Welcome! Come into the Potager to see what is growing in May.

The flower bed in front of the Potager:
The Siberian Iris is in bloom.

Straight down the middle path takes us to the old planter that my Great-Father had in his yard.
The Nasturtiums that I planted from seed are doing well.  I thinned them, but they are still too close together. I'll see how they look as they mature.
In the center of the bed is the post for my whirly-gig airplane.

The interior boxes:
Black Seeded Simpson lettuce, Pak Choi Bonsai, Red onions, white onions, Spinach, 3 carrots that wintered over and Giant Crimson Radishes

Freckles lettuce, Bright Lights Swiss Chard, Snow Peas and my funky chickens

Garlic, White Onions, Spinach, Carrots and Radishes

Mesclun Mix, Turnips, English Peas

Looking from the tomato bed toward the peppers and eggplants.
Peas on the left, roses and pansies on the right.
Looking from the Tomato corner toward the front of the Potager:
Tomato beds and swing to the left with Clematis behind the swing.

Looking up the left hand path toward the peppers:
The broccoli and cabbage under the floating row cover, the faucet and little blue chair  and the peppers to the left, the onions, pak choi, lettuce and snow peas in the beds to the right.

The pepper/eggplant bed:
Peppers to the left, with White Scallop Summer Squash planted in the corner and eggplant (Black Beauty) planted and
dusted with Diatomaceous earth, and the rose bush.
The view looking toward the broccoli and cabbage bed:
Scallions, lettuces, jalapeno peppers, cucumbers, radishes and sweet potatoes to the left. Carrots and radishes to the right.

Looking from the broccoli/cabbage bed toward the tomatoes.
Tomatoes with Sunflowers in L-shaped box, scallions to the right, interior boxes to the left, hubby's muddy work pants on the fence.
The Cosmos are coming up nicely in the lower bed in the back:
Looking down central path toward the Cosmos.

Close up of Cosmos.

Looking toward the back gate from the ever bearing strawberry beds:
Ever bearing in the foreground, June bearing in the background.
Looking through the back gate into the Potager:
Gate with cat made by hubby, Strawberries and flowers in the back beds.
Behind the Potager:
Asparagus and Raspberry beds.
The new Perennial/herb Bed ( a work in progress):
Perennial flowers in the foreground, herbs in far bed on left, potatoes in box, and empty box that needs to be cleared of Nut Grass before it can house squash. Fence is eventually going to be put up. There is too much to do and not enough weekend!

Thanks for touring the garden!

I'm linking this post up to  at An Oregon Cottage.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Weekend Junking

I do not frequent yard sales. I have enough junk in my house without bringing home someone else's.
Having said that with conviction, I long to frequent yard sales. And flea markets and antique stores. I long to spend days hunting down perfect treasures and proudly displaying them in my home. If I didn't practice self control I could get out of control.
So I avoid yard sales and only hit flea markets a few times a year, and rarely venture into antique stores.
BUT, Saturday the house three doors down was having a yard sale. I walked down there telling myself I only was looking for something for the garden (as if my garden needed more decor!)
I got some really good buys.

First I got this pitch fork for $4.00! We have pitch forks, but none that look like this one. (Yes, the grass in my backyard is in need of repair. That's a someday project.)

I got this large plastic pot for $1.00! I am going to plant the ground cherry in it and put in on my patio.  Hopefully the height and the patio will keep critters out of it.

These cute hanging candle holders may go into the Potager with citronella candles to make my evenings more pleasant. I just have to figure out how to hang them so they don't burn any of the fencing.  Or plants. They were $1.00 each, with the candles inside.

This cute little aqua pot was free! (That's my kind of yard sale!) It has one tiny chip and just needs to be sterilized. It's a cute summery color for maybe a begonia plant.

But my favorite find of the day were these two birds. They are cast iron or steel (they are heavy) and they were 25 cents each!!
I absolutely love them.

They look perfect on the coffee table on my screened porch!

But that's not all. I was telling my Dad that I was going to the yard sale to look for garden stuff, and he asked, "Like what?" And I answered, "Old watering cans, tools or pails." He said, "I have some old pails in the shop. Come get them."
My dad is retiring and has sold his shop and needs to have it cleared out by the end of June. Hubs and I have already made a trip to bring home stuff. But off we went after church Sunday and among the other stuff we got, I came home with these items - free!

A galvanized pail, a clay flower pot, an old green canning jar with glass lid, a half bushel basket  and my favorite thing, a white enameled pail! Super cute!
I think my junking desire has been satisfied this weekend. And I didn't go over board. (Or maybe I should say I didn't show you the stuff I went over-board with that has my husband scratching his head and saying - "Where are we going to put this?")

Sunday, May 22, 2011

New Plants in the Potager

Saturday was warm and sunny. I planted the eggplant , sweet potatoes and the jalapeno peppers. 
Rosa Bianco Eggplants
I planted two Black Beauty and two Rosa Bianco eggplants. I dusted them in Diatomaceous earth so the flea beetles wouldn't attack them. I have had bad luck with eggplant seedlings in the past. I'm hoping this works. I planted four jalapeno pepper plants in the front bed. I removed a few lettuce plants that weren't doing that well. We ate them for dinner!
The sweet potatoes went in the corner bed, next to the jalapenos and watermelon radishes.
I kept the plastic on to warm the soil and keep down weeds.

Binx, the garden cat, supervised everything from a shady spot in the Potager. Smart cat!

A moment of panic

As I checked my Pak Choi for worms, I glanced to the right and saw...

Oh no! cabbage worms on my Radishes!!!
I really thought those holes in the leaves were flea beetles or something else.
In a panic, I looked at the radishes next to my broccoli.
Same holes, no worms. Arggh. Did they get inside my floating row cover? The floating row cover with the holes like this.... and this???
I quickly pulled up the row cover to take a peek!
The broccoli showed no signs of insect infestation and was large and healthy looking!
The cabbage was also healthy looking under the floating row cover. Whew!
The plants under the floating row cover are clean and non-infested and looking very healthy. This was a great idea to keep the pests away from my cole crops.  The row cover is no longer being supported by the arches I made but rather by the plants themselves. Sunlight and rain get to the plants, but no bugs. Thank goodness. I may actually get to eat some of these this year!

Friday, May 20, 2011


It's not an abundance, but we have been eating from the Potager daily. Snippets of herbs, and salads.

I'm harvesting Freckles, Buttercrunch, New Red Fire, Arugula and Spinach.

The Bonsai Pak Choi (at the moment bug free - rain is good for something - keeps the white cabbage moths from flying!).

Crimson Giant Radishes.  Martha Stewart has a recipe for a soup using the tops of the radishes.
I may try it and let you know how it is! For now these babies are going to be quick pickled in vinegar with some sugar and salt. Yummy.