Some Summer Dinners from the Garden – 2020

Harissa-rubbed chicken breast over arugula, heirloom tomatoes, peaches and parsley with tahini dressing – Aug 12
Zucchini/parsley frittata with cherry tomatoes – Aug 13
Roasted chiogga beets and goat cheese over arugula topped with toasted pepitas – Aug 21
Pizza with garlic scape pesto, kale and roasted shallots (all home-grown), cherry tomatoes (not home-grown) and mushroom. Before it was topped with cheese and went into the oven – July 17
Not a dinner in itself but a dinner condiment – quick refrigerator pickles – Aug 22
Lemony zucchini and pepper stir fry with fresh herbs and Aleppo pepper
(served topped with feta over rice) – Aug 25
Kale pasta with sausage, peppers, garlic, feta and toasted pine nuts – Aug 27
Zucchini potato gratin with tomatoes and fresh herbs (all veggies and herbs except the potatoes were home-grown) – Aug 31
Zucchini potato gratin (see above)
Roasted Ping Tung eggplant with goat cheese, pine nuts and parsley – Sep 13
Heirloom tomato feta sandwich with tahini and parsley – Sep 11
Korean bibimbap bowl with sesame Swiss chard from the garden – Sep 18
Thai basil chicken with hot Thai peppers, garlic and basil from the garden – Sep 24
Lunch: Egg on a bed of sauteed home-grown kale, tomato and garlic – September 28
Tomato tart with fresh heirloom tomatoes and roasted heirlooms on a bed of arugula pesto and cheese (all veggies except the arugula are home-grown) – October 5

Not pictured: countless Caprese sandwiches, creamy cucumber salad (with sour cream dressing), Swiss chard frittata.

Adjusting to Coronavirus

It is close to the end of March and I am starting to plan the gardening season. We had frost last night and will have more tonight and I am planning to get my peas in the ground in two days when it is a bit warmer again. I also started seedlings yesterday with my daughter. So far, so normal. However, the schools here in Boston have been closed for a week now because of Covid-19. The governor declared a state of emergency five days ago, restaurants are closed or do take-out only, people are encouraged to work from home, grocery stores now only allow a certain number of shoppers inside. The world is a very different place than just a week ago. Everyone is asked to stay home, which is hard for my two teenagers. My 17 year-old daughter copes with exercising, reading and asking me to teach her how to bake bread and how to grow your own food (she never showed much interest in gardening), and become more self-sufficient. So, we started by sowing seeds. For now, we started two types of lettuce (Bronze Beauty and Kagran Summer), eggplant (Ping Tung), Thai hot pepper (should have started those about a month ago, but alas), flat parsley (should also have been started earlier), basil, four types of tomato (Break O’ Day, Dr. Wychee Yellow, Green Zebra, Eva Purple Ball). We set them up under grow lights and with a heat mat in my bedroom.

We will need to adjust our community garden season as well. We will of course not have our annual spring meeting or our spring work day this year. We will need to think about disinfecting shared gardening tools and other surfaces.

So far, gardening has not been restricted by the city or the state, but should there be a “shelter in place” order in the future, we will likely not be able to tend to our plots. On the other hand, growing some of your own food will be more important this year than ever. The borders are shutting down, and migrant workers who pick most of our produce will not be able to enter the country and we will likely experience some sort of food shortage.

I will try to move as much as I can to container gardening at home, as this seems a feasible and safe option. For now, I am planning to grow herbs, tomatoes, lettuce, kale, chard, eggplant, hot peppers.

Rhubarb

Rhubarb – always one of the first harvests of the year in my garden, together with (my minature patch of) asparagus, spring onions, radishes, spring greens and herbs. I got a new plant last year, and the stalks are still thin. But very tasty. Sadly, this year’s rhubarb harvest is winding down. One of my favorite things to make is this strawberry rhubarb galette, which in my house is always gone within minutes. One last one of these today for my son’s birthday.

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