OL 301 Assignment Eight Discussion
Online Learning: OL 301
Learn How to Grow a Family Vegetable Garden
Center for Sustainable Development
How You Can Grow a Vegetable Garden: Fresh, nutritious vegetables for your family.
This week’s resources on the Student Resource Page:
OL 301 Assignment Eight Homework Instructions
OL 301 Assignment Eight Discussion
The vegetable garden cookbook: 60 recipes to enjoy your homegrown produce
Renee’s Garden Seeds: Cooking from the garden resources
Recipes from A Kitchen Garden Renee Shepherd Cookbook
Discussion 8. Planning nutritious meals using your vegetable harvests and replanting new seedlings.
This Week’s Goal:
Part 1). To select two vegetables that are large enough for you to harvest and to find two recipes for cooking them.
Part 2) Choose 2/3 seed packets to replant for a second harvest in 8 weeks.
I love to cook, and there’s nothing quite so satisfying as to be able to walk out to my garden, find something that’s ready to harvest, and then choose a recipe to use it in for dinner.
I’m going to include six recipes as my example this week. Three of the recipes are for three vegetables that I very recently had in oversupply. Two of the other recipes (Vegetable Pasta and Weeknight Fried Rice) are great, last-minute family recipes that I can throw any number of things into the pot at the last minute from the vegetable garden.
Garden Vegetable Recipes.
What I’ve done over the years is that I have two Manila file folders with recipes in my pantry. One has every day family meals. The second one is also has every day family meals but they are focused on recipes that will incorporate my garden crops. So if I need to harvest bok choy I can leaf through my folder of garden vegetable recipes and find two or three bok choy recipes. So over several years I have collected quite a few exciting recipes that I can use for salads, soups and stir-fries. The six recipes below are examples to share with you from my garden vegetable recipe folder.
Keeping organized: meal planning using garden vegetables
I also have a very small magnetic whiteboard on my refrigerator where I can note what is coming available for harvest in the garden so I can keep them in mind for meal planning.
Otherwise I’ve discovered that I get busy and things get out of hand on the rooftop; suddenly I have more bok choy or lettuce or green onions that I can possibly eat.
On Sunday afternoons my wife and I try to take a couple of hours to “veg” out (sorry about the pun!) on couches to get some well deserved relaxation. I enjoy looking through the New York Times cooking section and the Guardian food section and clipping recipes. I also have a collection of cookbooks I can leaf through a few of those to find new recipes for my garden vegetables too.
So I actually have two stacks of garden vegetable recipes: 1) tried-and-true recipes that we make routinely and, 2) new garden vegetable recipes that we haven’t tried yet but that look promising.
1. Recipe for a Baby Bok Choy Harvest
Baby bok choy is always successful for me. It germinates quickly, it’s hardy, and it’s ready to eat in about seven weeks. We cook a lot of Asian food and so this simple recipe for making bok choy as a side dish to a main Asian dish —and tastes wonderful!
Our Grandaughter, Nicole, planted Baby Bok Choi seeds 7 weeks before this photo.
Recipe for Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy. Adapted from “Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge” by Grace Young. Simon & Schuster 2010.
2. Recipe for a Daikon Radish and Carrot Harvest.
Vietnamese Everyday Daikon and Carrot Pickle. I love Vietnamese food and a very simple Sunday lunch is to make their famous sandwich called a Bahn Mi sandwich. The recipe uses a crunchy loaf of French bread and has a little mayonnaise, a little meat or chicken, some cucumber, cilantro, jalapeno peppers—AND—Everyday Daikon and Carrot Pickle.
This is an absolutely delicious sandwich and can be made quickly; everybody loves the sandwich! So I usually make a large batch of Everyday Daikon and Carrot Pickle and I can store it in the refrigerator for several months because of the level of vinegar in it. This is an example of how to preserve a crop harvest.
Recently our seven-year-old granddaughter planted daikon radishes for a school project during the Covid lockdown—and within six or seven weeks we had more huge radishes than we knew what to do with. I also had a container of carrots that were just ready to harvest and so I made this pickle.
Nicole, planted Daikon seeds 7 weeks before this photo.
On the left you can see an example of the traditional Banh Mi sandwich. If you look at the Banh Mi Sandwich Overview you can see photos of several other variations.
The sandwich uses four things that I grow: cilantro, jalapenos (or serranos) daikon radishes and carrots.
On the right you can see the Everyday Daikon and Carrot Pickle which really brings the sandwich to life.
I am including the recipe for both the pickle and for the Bahn Mi sandwiches.
Everyday Daikon and Carrot Pickle Recipe from “Into the Vietnamese Kitchen.” Andrea Nguyen. Ten Speed Press, 2006
Banh Mi Sandwich Recipe from “Into the Vietnamese Kitchen.” Andrea Nguyen. Ten Speed Press, 2006.
Banh Mi Sandwich Overview by Andrea Nguyen from Saveur Magazine April 2019
3. Recipe for a Spicy chili pepper harvest.
This third recipe is because I love growing hot spicy chili peppers. I probably plant a dozen kinds of spicy chili peppers and when it’s harvest season I’m just overwhelmed.
When I have too many, a good way to use my peppers is to make Jalapenos in Escabeche and share jars of these with my friends. They last for months in the fridge.
So this is another example of preserving a crop harvest.
Serranos on the left and Thai Hot on the right.
Two Additional Recipes for Using up Garden Surplus:
I’m including an excellent, quick to make recipe for fried rice: Weeknight Fried Rice. Sam Sifton, New York Times. There are some notes at the bottom of the recipe about garden vegetables that I routinely add to the stir-fry recipe. It’s very, very adaptable
Vegetable Pasta recipe. This recipe is also very, very adaptable and can help use up a garden surplus. It’s healthy because we don’t use a lot of oil nor salt. There is also a note at the bottom of this recipe about garden vegetables that I routinely add to it.
Here is an excellent book on preserving food: Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning PDF.
A couple of times during this course we’ve asked you to plant some fast growing seeds. If they are doing well, and almost ready to eat, it might be time to replant them. This is called succession planting. The idea here is that in another eight weeks you may have eaten all of your lettuce. You will want more lettuce plants to replace the first ones.
So survey your seedlings and determine if some of the seedlings will be finished eight weeks from now and make a list of three things you would like to plant again.
Course participant Bob Sutton in Canada says: “We are moving into phase 3 of our plantings. In phase 1 planted a full container garden with seeds and starts (we made the first salad harvest of lettuce/arugula/radishes yesterday.) Now we are replanting some succession containers with more salad greens and radishes to keep a good thing going.” So Bob made the decision to replant lettuces and radishes for this assignment.
This weekend I realized that I will be running out of lettuce, bok choy, green onions and cilantro eight weeks from now: so I replanted these seeds in my seed trays. These are fast-growing crops that you can harvest quickly. But I also realized that in a longer timeframe I’m going to run out of basil, parsley parsnips and leeks; so I replanted those also. So I have two new seed trays full of seeds which will begin germinating in a few days’ time.
In summary, here are several ideas:
1. Keep a list on your fridge of what is available or becoming available for harvest. This will be a good reminder for you during meal planning.
2. Once a week on a lazy Sunday afternoon, look through your Sunday newspaper, your cookbooks or research on the Internet one garden harvest recipe that is timely for what crops you have available. Photocopy or print them out and save them in a manila file folder.
3. Once a week, try one of your new garden produce recipes.
4. Every eight weeks survey your garden and decide what you need to replant so you won’t run out in another eight weeks’ time. Plant two or three things.
Copyright © Tim Magee