We upper midwesterners don't get to revel much in National Garden Month, and with this week's cooler weather coming in, it's no secret as to why.
Still, those of us inclined to growing our own get what we can out of the earliest of early gardening season.
We're often out cleaning up our growing areas, planting early potatoes and peas, spreading compost and planning what the next few months will look like. At this time of year we're as likely to be looking over seeds starting indoors as the ones outside.
Fortunately the return of the farmers' market season comes just in time to get into the gardening mood.
We can thank our nursery growers for pushing us along and making our gardens better. We're fortunate enough to peruse an aromatic selection of herbs from Harvest Moon Herbs or vigorous broccoli starts from West Star Organics. Flower baskets from de Block Nursery give those with limited space a colorful chance to tend their own.
As we push on to the last market of April, we'll be welcoming back Kopke's Greenhouse and Country Bloomer's Greenhouse, both with amazing selections of plants for both the vegetable, flower and decorative planting spaces.
We also welcome back Lor Farm this Saturday, with beautiful cut tulips for those who wish to bring a little of that verdant spring magic indoors to admire.
So join us Saturday to send off National Garden Month with plans of beautiful gardens full of flowers, vegetables and hopes of a fruitful growing season.
See you at the market!
Ben Zimmerman Market Manager firstname.lastname@example.org 608-628-8879
Absences - April 29th, 2017 - Chris & Lori's Bakehouse - Roots Chocolate - Herb n Oyster
Daily Vendors - April 29th, 2017 - Bruno Botanicals
The first rhubarb of 2017 from County Line Plants & Produce
Our favorite green thumb gurus return to the market Saturday, May 6th. Stop by with your garden inquiries and an open ear for garden advice.
More information on Master Gardeners in Wisconsin can be found here.
As spring grows up around us, we treasure each new bit of green growth and treasuring those finds at the dinner table is part of our seasonal appreciation. We start this week off with a simple recipe featuring the first of spring's alliums, chives.
Creamy Chive Potatoes
(From Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer, Bon Appétit)
Ingredients: - 4 large potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes - 1 1/2 cups half-and-half - 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter - Kosher salt - 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
Directions: 1 Combine potatoes, half-and-half, and butter in a large saucepan; season with salt.
2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer very gently, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender (the tip of a paring knife meets no resistance) and sauce is thick, 25-35 minutes.
3. Season with salt; stir in most of the chives. Top with remaining chives before serving.
Mizuna has become another favorite of the early market season, largely thanks to high tunnels utilized by our vegetable farmers. It's slightly spicy flavor is lighter than arugula, making it perfect for a big salad. Enjoy!
Mizuna Quinoa Salad with Lemon Scallion Vinaigrette
(From Early Morning Farm)
Ingredients: Salad -2 cups dry quinoa -1 bunch mizuna, stems removed, chopped into bite size pieces -green tops of 2 scallions, sliced - 1 cup diced radishes - 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese - 1/2 cup dried cranberries - 1/2 cup pecans - salt + pepper to taste
Lemon Scallion Dressing - 1/2 cup olive oil - 1 tsp dijon mustard - green + white parts of 2 scallions, minced - salt + pepper to taste
Directions: 1. Place quinoa in a pot with 4 cups of water, bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Let cool to room temperature before tossing with the mizuna leaves. 2. Combine dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. Toss the mizuna, radish, quinoa, and dressing together. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary. 3. Toast the pecans. Place the pecans in a small skillet over medium heat. Toast, stirring frequently. You’ll know the pecans are toasted when they smell toasty and start to brown. Remove from the pan right away so they don’t burn. 4. Fold the scallions, pecans, blue cheese, and cranberries into the salad. Serve at once or chilled. This salad holds up well if you want to make it a day in advance for a party.