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February 22nd, 2011

All-Winter Calendulas

bill_tnThe ‘Strawberry Blonde’ calendula we trialed this past year was transplanted on some row ends and in between some of my tomato varieties. I picked tomatoes into November and some of the beds (and trellis) haven’t been worked up. Pretty much all of the calendulas have trucked right through the winter, flowering periodically with absolutely no care. I may even try to avoid some of them when I finally plow up in the spring.

And while I’m on the subject of flowers… which I seldom am… I just finished reading Mike Madison’s “Blithe Tomato” (he’s a flower grower). Great collection of essays! Mostly about farmers’ market-type folks on both sides of the table. Serious at times, but laugh-out-loud funny also.  —Bill Nunes, Gustine, California

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February 9th, 2011

Kohlrabi in Winter

kathy_tnKohlrabi is one of my favorite winter vegetables. I love the large ones especially, as we’ve been growing the ‘Kossack’ variety to about 4″x 7″ or so and storing them. Last year we had some that were still hanging around until April—they made an excellent kimchi that we used as a salad and sandwich garnish all summer. Our pot roast last weekend had chunks of kohlrabi instead of potatoes. We don’t make a vegetable soup without throwing them in either, a la turnips. And “kohl” slaw can’t be beat!

When storing kohlrabis, they might get a little prune-y on the outside, and the tops sometimes start growing again. When I’m cooking with one, I’ll slice off about an inch of the top, press it into potting soil, and grow it for winter greens. The tops will actually bolt and make little broccoli-like florets.  Yum!  —Kathy Shaw, Neenah, Wisconsin

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