Front Yard Vegetable Garden.
July, 2014

Here’s the thing about growing a vegetable garden.  It’s fun.

But it’ll also turn you into a completely different version of yourself.  A person you maybe don’t even recognize or didn’t even know existed.  For instance.  Behold my cabbage.

 

vegetable-garden-1

 

It’s a thing of beauty isn’t it?  Just days away from being lovingly harvested and turned into something disgusting.  You see, I hate cabbage.  Karen, the vegetable eater doesn’t like cabbage.  Karen the garden grower loves it.  It looks good, is easy to harvest and any leaves that pests get at can just be pulled off with about a billion perfect, unnibbled leaves underneath.

But I don’t like cabbage.  It’s farty and gross.

So why grow it?  I don’t know.  That’s what’s so weird about it.  When you have a vegetable garden you’ll grow just about anything because that’s what we front yard farmers do.

I will use the cabbage to make cabbage rolls (which I do like) and coleslaw. So to say I hate cabbage is probably a bit of an exaggeration but I’d never just cut, steam and eat a cabbage. Ever.  Or I might.

I find I can easily trick myself.  Like a kid.  I’m so excited about growing the cabbage that I might just cut it up, steam it and eat it.  Along the same lines, you can also get me to finish my dinner by saying things like “YOU CAN’T FINISH THAT!  You’ll NEVER be able to finish that dinner! Don’t you finish all that dinner!”  I’m also a sucker for “What happened to that bite?  I think I saw a mouse!  A mouse must have eaten that broccoli. Did you see a mouse?”

Yeah.  I’m cute but dumb.

My friend Anj was over a few weeks ago and she commented on the amount of flowers in the garden and there are, so  thought I should point out that part of my vegetable garden.  I does have things like these cascading perennial sweet peas in it as well.  These aren’t edible peas, just ornamental … although a group of roving 5 year olds have been known to eat the pods that look like peas. It could be some sort of gang initiation.  I’m not sure.

 

perennial-sweet-peas

 

sweet-peas

 

The front porch has pots of red geraniums.

 

geranium

 

And in between a lot of the vegetables are flowering bushes and plants like Rose of Sharon, Day Lilies, and hydrangea.

 

front-yard-vegetable-garden-flowers

 

Then of course there are the vegetables that put out an impressive amount of flowers on their own, like lettuce and onions  that have gone to seed because summer decided to come all at once in about a 2 weeks stretch of 100 degree days.  It’s cold again by the way.  Summer was two weeks long in Southern Ontario this year.  It’s now time to replenish the wood pile and sit in front of the television waiting for the premiere of Gold Rush Alaska.

And then there’s the potato.  It’s a nice looking plant that puts out different coloured flowers depending on the variety of potato.  The Kennebec potatoes put out white flowers, and the Russian Blue potatoes have purple/blue flowers.

I’ve decided to hill entirely with straw this year to see how that goes.  I’ve grown potatoes entirely in straw before, but I found a lot of rot happened. I think this was because I compacted the straw too much and it didn’t stand a chance of drying out.  This time I just piled it loosely around the potato plants.

I’ll know how it turned out around September 1st.  Who am I kidding?  I’ll be digging, peaking and checking way before then.

Unlike cabbage, I LOVE anything potato related.  Except famine.

 

potatoes

 

I’m growing my regular favourite, Dinosaur (lacinato) Kale, but I’m also growing a different variety of it this year.  Rainbow Lacinato Kale is a cross between regular Lacinato kale and a curly, red leafed kale.  It produces kale with the long leaves of a lacinato kale, not quite as dimpled, with red veining.

Oh look.  There’s more cabbage.

 

lacinato-kale

 

Here’s my patch of broccoli.

Which as you may remember I said I’d never, ever grow.

 

broccoli-2

 

And I wasn’t going to grow it (because of the wormy pests) but then I did.  Because gardener Karen can’t be reasoned with.  Gardener Karen is unreasonable and quite frankly a little bit of a conundrum.

 

broccoli

 

Tried carrots again this year.  I went with the over seeding method (just dump all the seeds you can find/buy/steal and hope for the best) and it worked well.

 

carrots

 

Beets are ready to be picked and pickled.

 

beets

 

Oh, I’m sorry, what’s that?  Yes.  More cabbage.

 

 

big-cabbage

 

And its friend … cabbage.

 

 

small-cabbage

 

Just after I took the pictures of this lettuce I picked it all before it bolted.  All the other lettuces had bolted so I knew it was just a matter of time. And heat.

 

 

lettuces

 

Black Beauty Zucchini.  Should be ready to pick in a day or two. Normally  you’d be able to pick it sooner, but it doesn’t get 8 hours of sun in this spot.

 

Black-beauty-zucchini

 

The garden path.

 

front-yard-garden-left
In order of appearance from left to right: leeks, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage.  In behind there’s a few kales and a tomato.

 

front-yard-vegetable-garden-right

 

Sidewalk flanked by leeks and swiss chard.

 

front-yard-vegetable-garden-centre

front-yard-vegetable-garden-left2

front-yard-vegetable-garden-corner

front-yard-vegetable-garden-potatoes

 

Yellow onions.

 

front-yard-vegetable-garden-onions

 

Sweet potato slips that didn’t seem to want to grow.  The day after I took this picture, I took these slips to my community garden allotment and planted them.  I have no hope that they’ll grow into anything, but it doesn’t matter because …

 

sweet-potato-slips

… at my community garden I have a 20′ x 40′ plot filled with sweet potatoes, tomatoes, squash, potatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, cutting flowers, carrots, quinoa, amaranth, bell peppers, cucumbers, raspberries, horseradish, beets, green beans and yes … more cabbage.

Oh. I almost forgot. Of course I’m also growing … brussels sprouts

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103 Comments

  1. Mary Werner says:

    Your garden is BEAUTIFUL!

  2. Cynthia Jones says:

    Don’t steam it, that’s yukky. Just shred and pour some hot water over it while it’s in a sieve. Or some boiled water if you want it a little softer but still with crunch.

    When I am trying to trick my brain out of inhaling carbs I use it instead of spaghetti and just pour the meat sauce over.

    Do you really think it is farty? Hmm! maybe that is the culprit. I was blaming the onions and recently changed to leeks for that very reason. As for my husband, remember your analogy of the dead ebola monkeys? Yep!
    He is now banned from the onion aisle too.

    Methinks a blind study is in order to test the fartiness of cabbage.

  3. Cynthia Jones says:

    How rude of me! Your garden is beautiful. A sight to behold.

  4. TucsonPatty says:

    I have to leave my friend’s house and can’t read the rest of the post, but I keep seeing this on Pinterest —
    Slice the cabbage into thick “steaks” and grill them. It looked good! Season it with salt and pepper or spray it with some Bragg’s Amino Acids (kind of a fake soy sauce) and flip it and it looks good.
    These photo of your garden simply are fabulous! You didn’t even tell us when you planted and here they are – ready to harvest!

  5. Lisa says:

    Try this Karen – it’s easy, delicious (what isn’t delicious with bacon?), and I bet you could do it in your pizza oven! Roasted cabbage with bacon – yum!
    http://www.thekitchn.com/easy-winter-recipe-roasted-cab-105338
    Lisa

    • Karen says:

      Kay, she lost me when she said this recipe was her second favourite after brussels sprouts, lol. ~ karen!

    • Lisa says:

      Arrrgggg! Just read your sprout posting – even bacon can’t save it????? That’s OK, you will forever be golden in my books for suggesting the best Christmas gifts for family last year. They LOVED the french rolling pins from Cattails – other than real cabbage patch dolls, have you started a Holiday shopping list for this year? Less than 6 months to go!

  6. Kathy Hartzell says:

    When I am trying to shed yet more pounds…I scramble an eg and an extra yolk and pile on angle hair shredded cabbage and spritz with Braggs Liquid amino acids and, presto viola! “Egg fu Yung” and it is yummilicious. Especially with some sesame seeds.

    When did you put the beets in?

    • Karen says:

      Hey Kathy. I have a ton of Braggs so it would be a good way to use it up. I planted the beets indoors some time around April then transplanted them … some time after that, lol. ~ karen!

  7. Tabitha says:

    First of all, you seriously make me laugh out loud every time I read one of your posts! You kill me!!! Secondly, we are looking to buy a house and I want a minimum 10,000 sq ft lot just so I can have a big garden and fruit trees. I looked at a house with a 5,000 sq ft lot today and liked the house, but not how small the lot was. But now that I saw this post, maybe I can put up a fence like you and have a front yard veggie garden! I never thought of that. Great, now I’m going to lose sleep because I’m going to be thinking about the possibilities! Thank you!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Tabitha! I know a huge lot is enticing (and in fact i’d love one) but in my 133 square feet of growing space I can grow a TON of food. Like, 50 pounds in potatoes alone last year. 🙂 ~ karen!

  8. Stephanie says:

    So so beautiful. The photographs of your garden are very inspiring. I just loved this post!

    • Karen says:

      Really? Thanks Stephanie. That’s funny because there was another blog (I forget) that showed pictures of their front yard vegetable garden transformation. I kept going back to look at that post over and over again. The next spring, I dug out my front yard and planted a vegetable garden. So you’ve been warned. 😉 ~ karen

  9. Lavada says:

    7th photo, 1st shot of kale — what is that chicken wire dome thingy?
    BTW – gorgeous veggies. You need a collage for your new kitchen – The Art of “Growing” Stuff

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lavada – The chicken wire dome thing is just a chicken wire cloche that looks nice. I stuck it over a tiny kale that was being eaten by a random animal. It does nothing to protect it, lol. ~ karen

  10. Pam'a says:

    Here’s a cabbage recipe you reminded me of: Slice it up, sautee it in some butter until it softens a bit, and add sour cream and caraway seeds. Or dill. Or whatever sounds good. (What doesn’t taste good with butter and sour cream?) Alas, the bugs DEMOLISH cabbage down here, so we content ourselves with tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, and of course, zucchini (which we’ll soon start leaving on strangers’ doorsteps–hallowed midwestern tradition).

    Your garden’s gorgeous, of course. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Pam’a. And I just noticed stupid slugs on my cabbage 2 nights ago! I put out traps so here’s hoping they work. ~ karen

  11. Grammy says:

    I haven’t yet recovered from the beauty of your pizza oven all tricked out with the barn wood base, and now you show me the front yard looking like a movie set.

    It was 106 degrees here today and the drought in California has us struggling to carefully water each vegetable plant (after having cut back on the number and variety) while we watch the lawns turn brown and hope the shrubbery makes it through another year of this. So, yeah, I’m jealous. Your front yard garden is beautiful.

    I think it should be a criminal offense to be able to grow cabbage like that when you claim not to like it. Have you ever tried making sauerkraut? It’s fun, it’s garden nerdy, and it uses lots of cabbage.

    • Karen says:

      I’m not a huge sauerkraut (had to copy and paste the spelling of that one from your comment) fan Grammy. I lean more towards coleslaw. And potato chips. ~ karen!

      • Trisha says:

        Homemade, lacto-fermented ‘kraut (apostrophes save me from embarrassing spelling mistakes!) is nothing like the pickled variety. I’m only so-so on the regular stuff you see everywhere but I cold eat the lacto-fermented stuff all day. It’s crazy good and has great probiotics. Surely a yogurt-making, oven-building, do-it-yourselfer like you can’t resist the challenge to try it out!

      • Grammy says:

        I only eat sauerkraut maybe once a year, but I did make a big crock of it about 40 years ago and felt very smug about having done so, even though none of my friends wanted to try it. My mother used to feed our large family “sauerkraut and weenies” fairly regularly because it was a cheap way to fill up a houseful of kids, and I always liked it. Cole slaw and stuffed cabbage are the most frequent and common uses for cabbage around my house, but lately I’ve been using shredded cabbage in place of lettuce in a number of dishes, like tacos, and like it better than lettuce for those — it holds up and stays crunchy alongside the spicy meat.

  12. Jane says:

    I live in a deed restricted, gated community and I can tell you that front yard gardens are not allowed. In fact, the old type English gardens are not allowed in the front yard. These are just the rules!
    However I must say that I have never seen such a cute front yard garden! Yours actually looks like regular landscaping just using vegetables , etc. You kept it nice, neat & organized! I think our homeowners association would be surprised. Job well done!

  13. Wendi Miller says:

    Beautiful, beautiful garden!! And hey, don’t let that cabbage go to waste! This recipe is one of my absolute faves. I don’t like cabbage…at all…not even a little bit. But for whatever reason (yeah, it’s prob all the butter ;), I can’t get enough of this stuff!

    Haluski (cabbage & dumplings)

    INGREDIENTS:
    1/2 cup butter
    1 onion, chopped
    1 head green cabbage, chopped
    1 cup flour
    1/2 cup water
    salt to taste

    DIRECTIONS:
    1. Melt the butter in a skillet. Cook the onion and cabbage in the butter over medium-high heat until the cabbage is translucent.
    2. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Mix the flour and water together into a dough. Drop the dough by small spoonfuls into the boiling water and cook until firm; drain. Add the dumplings to the cabbage mixture. Season with salt to serve.

    • Beckie says:

      I was going to suggest halushki too!

      we make it a bit different, it starts the same, by sautéing the sliced cabbage with onions in butter, but then covering with just enough chicken broth (well, any broth, but we like chicken broth the best) and simmer until the cabbage is fully soft and fork tender

      meantime, boil your fav pasta shape (we use bow ties) until not quite done then mix the almost-cooked pasta into the cabbage/onions/broth and simmer until the pasta finishes cooking

      if the cabbage is on the bitter side, toss in a 1/4 cup or so of sugar

      the garden is lovely!! I grew swiss chard this year just for the prettiness, but found I love it in salad! who knew?

    • Karen says:

      Hmmmm. I’ll think about it. 😉 ~ karen! (oh! and it won’t go to waste. I’ll make cabbage rolls and give the rest away)

      • Toni says:

        Karen, don’t give all of it away–it’s my chickens’ favorite food! Out here on Vancouver Island where everything is in dead yellow drought in the summer, I grow extra cabbages just for them. If you slice off the head and leave the stem and base leaves, the cabbage will also grow back slowly, which I use to give them extra greens in the late fall… Your post reminded me that yes, all of my cabbages are ripe at the same time, and it’s time to try the lacto-fermented sauerkraut recipes I’ve been eyeing curiously all year…

  14. Debbie D says:

    Gorgeous!!! So jealous! Would love to have the space you mentioned for growing veggies and then canning them or freezing them for winter. Just a beautiful front yard. Congrats on all your hard work. Grammy and I must live in the same area of CA. Hot, hot, hot and humid. Normally it isn’t humid. Supposed to have been 108 yesterday but the rain clouds kept the heat down to a manageable 100 degree plus. Been about 108 for the past three weeks. I am getting sun dried tomatoes on the vine!

  15. Ellen says:

    Question or challenge……………… how the heck does one keep weeds out of brick sidewalk cracks…….. i have miles of weedy brick sidewalk and I don’t want that.

  16. Leanne says:

    My grandfather used to grow potatoes in seaweed. Though I imagine seaweed would be harder for you to come by living in Ontario than it was for him living in Shediac, New Brunswick.

  17. Su says:

    love the cabbage recipes ladies! right now I’m battle a **^&% muskrat that has decided my tomatoes are his next dinner….. love the veggie landscaping

  18. Tigersmom says:

    I was going to suggest roasting the cabbage as I have discovered (thanks to you, again) that roasting transforms vegetables I struggled to eat into yummy snacks I can’t get enough of.

    (Thanks to Lisa for posting a link to a recipe)

    If that doesn’t work for you, you could always use them for batting practice or freeze them until Halloween and hurl them at rude trick-or-treaters. Do the girls like cabbage?

    I think you grow them because they are beautiful. As is the rest of your garden, but I couldn’t find the Black Beauty Zucchini in the pic. Are they a particularly petite variety or am I really that blind?

  19. Melissa in NC says:

    What a beautiful garden! I can only dream…until we have water and electricty at the house I knew better than to put in a garden. I have to bring in water for the few flower containers I have. Enjoy those fresh veggies. Missed seeing the tomatoes!!!

  20. SheriS says:

    Karen – one word: Sauerkraut. Yum.

  21. LazySusan says:

    Your yard is beautiful, Karen, and even more so that it’s a mostly vegetable garden!

  22. jainegayer says:

    Karen, you inspired me to grow red leaf lettuce this year. I put it in pots in my front garden along with some herbs and a couple of potted flowering plants. What a treat to have fresh lettuce for my salad everyday.

  23. Ev Wilcox says:

    Garden is very nice. White flowers are my favorites, and your white sweet peas are beautiful. Thanks for the pics-enjoy all that cabbage!

  24. marilyn says:

    i love cabbage stir fried with olive oil , butter ,garlic and salt and pepper..yummy and good for you..it is gassy and i am not surprised you dont like it as you dont like brussel sprouts..they are both cruciferous veggies and taste very similar. yard looks great karen! i am wondering where i can purchase angle hair pasta however lol

  25. Ruth says:

    I don’t see the zucchini that you’re planning to pick…. I just see the plant… no fruit. *insert confused face here*

    Will there be photos of the community garden plot? Or is that against the rules?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ruth – It may be against the rules actually, but I’m going to see if I can take pics of just my plot. It’s quite a site. Zucchini is now in the hands of Betty, lol! ~ karen

      • Mary Kay says:

        Oh Yes Karen – can you please take pictures of your community plot?? I am sure it is a gorgeous as the front yard!

  26. Jodi T. says:

    I sure wish I lived in Southern Ontario, instead of Texas, right now! I’d take all of that cabbage and brussels sprouts right off of your hands. 🙂

    Also, it was 101 by 12PM yesterday. BUT — We are expecting a “Polar Vortex” by tomorrow. Mid 80’s and rain in July?!?!?! This must be the Twilight Zone.

  27. Bols says:

    I love the white sweet peas, I always thought they came only in blazing fuchsia? Never saw the white variety, I would love to have that one.
    I have given a serious thought to growing veggies this year but my garden is really badly situated and only gets a blast of noon sun for a few hours. But I planted 4 kale seedlings into a half-barrel that I wanted to move from the shady spot into a more sunny one …. only then I realized that the bottom rotted out long time ago so I had to leave it where it was. The kale is growing – slowly. The last seedling, that is getting the least amount of sun, looks like a Pygmy cousin of the bigger ones.

    • Grammy says:

      Bols, sweet peas come in several shades of lavender to purple, too. I like growing a mix of those along with white because they make such beautiful bouquets — in the house as well as in the garden.

  28. Shelly McKay says:

    Your garden looks amazing! You should whip up some sauerkraut with some of that cabbage 🙂

  29. Irena says:

    I love cabbage stirred fried. Just shred the cabbage, stir fry in olive oil, or other oil, and salt. Delicious. Even people who don’t like cabbage like this. Enjoy.

  30. Wendy W says:

    I don’t garden. Hubby and I were driving this weekend and I saw a sign that I swore said Potato sale. I told him to pull over so we could buy some delicious garden potatoes and he laughed so hard. The sign said patio sale. I guess I need new glasses. I really would have loved some garden potatoes. Oh well. Your garden is beautiful! Enjoy your potatoes.

  31. Adrienne in Atlanta says:

    I feel exactly the same about cabbage. It’s gorgeous and lush looking and even a lovely color…and it tastes wretched.

    Your garden is beautiful and enviable.

    Looking forward to a backyard tour. Getting a new yard soon and looking for serene inspiration like I’ve seen in your clips and pictures.

  32. Diane Amick says:

    Your front yard flower/veggie garden is wonderful…who knows how many passers-by you have inspired – even if it is just one pot with a tomato plant in it. I have a 44′ x 20′ raised bed vegetable garden that my hubbie just fenced to keep the deer and bunnies out – my son says it looks like a fortress. After last year I swore I would never again plant broccoli and cauliflower – what a buggy/wormy mess…but I did it again this year. I’ve learned my lesson – never again. My corn is just about ready, but only a handful of yellow squash so far – tons of blooms. Our summer has been so strange – wet then hot then drydrydry then hot then wet. This week we’ve had about 4″ of rain Sunday and Monday with cool air on the way. I’m envious of your potatoes – I tried them last year and it was dismal, but I will try your method next year. Do you have room for asparagus? I was lucky that the former home owners had an asparagus bed – it is worth any amount of trouble. Carry on lady – you inspire all of in so many ways!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Diane! I always swore I’d never grow broccoli again, but this year I was vigilant about using BTK. I spray it once a week, or after any rain and so far the broccoli has been fine. Dinosaur Kale has the same problem. It’s REALLY attractive to white moths. More than anything else or any other kale. Stupid white moths. ~ karen!

  33. Annie says:

    Karen, if you ever decide to grow Asian cabbage… I’ll teach you how to make my mother’s world famous kimchee. You may start to love cabbage *almost* as much as potatoes.

  34. Angie S says:

    Your garden is inspiring! An absolute delight!
    I didn’t read all of the comments, but we have started roasting our veggies and it has really opened us up to eating veggies that we didn’t before. OK, I roasted the veggies for the food I was making for my parrot (Timneh African Grey) and tried some and LOVED it! She eats better than we do…

    • Angie S says:

      And do you like my wire chicken that’s my avatar!? 🙂 I made it for a friend that has an egg farm and was thinking of your chickens while I made it and wondered if you’d approve… I loves them!

  35. Liz says:

    too bad dolls aren’t popping out of those cabbages, and too bad it’s not 1983; you’d make a lot of money…or have roving bandit mothers ripping out your garden. I was also going to mention kimchee, so yummy…on everything. We also use the leaves in place of a burger bun for a gluten free BBQ. They are sturdy enough to contain the meat, condiments and juices and have a crunch that satisfies in absence of the sweet sweet bread.

  36. Nancy W says:

    Along with everyone else, I adore your front yard garden. And the veggies which don’t seem to have any bug problems at all. We have a plethora of slugs,snails, and aphids…and now root maggots have decided to attend the party too! Wonder if anyone has used diatomaceous earth for the buggers.
    I’m inspired to plant a lot more in my 6 3 by 6 raised beds, thanks Karen!

  37. Gail says:

    Wow- you really hilled up those potatoes!! I just snuck a peek and yanked 3 baby yukon gold potatoes!!! Can’t wait- they make the best homemade french fries! My kale did not get that big because I have been eating my way through the garden since June 1st!!1 Yummy. Almost time to second plant the lettuce, arugula and onions!! Go you- good job, Karen!

  38. Olga says:

    This is my 2nd year gardening also. Not exactly front yard – we have raised garden beds. But I do the same thing as you, experimenting with whatever sounds interesting. I had no idea eggplants grew purple from flower to finish. I thought they turn purple when they ripe lol. I also swore that I will never grow cabbage again, the aphids bottle might just be too much to deal with right now, and then we put more garden beds and now I’m planning to plant some cabbage there in the fall lol. I have to say being a gardener is really rewarding, you learn so many new recipes and learn so much stuff about soil, pruning, the birds and the bees…and how to get rid of squirrels without poisoning neighbors cats.

  39. Pat says:

    Beautiful! We had a fresh from the garden feast last night. Don’t you just love it!!! It all tastes so darn good. After supper, my neighbour brought me over a bucket of green beans (which I forgot to plant) for tonight. This is the time of year when the neighbours swat successes which means you always manage to get something you did not plant. Your cabbages are so pretty.

  40. Vanessa says:

    BEST use of cabbage is on top of tacos instead of lettuce!! Fish, barbacoa chicken etc. It has more crunch and stays that way instead of getting limp as lettuce is want to do. And it’s good for you (but don’t tell my kids though).

    The one thing I wish I had inherited from my Grandfather is his green thumb. I can not keep ANYTHING alive (well my kids, and some days just barely). And to make matters worse last year we moved into my grandparents old house. The huge garden is there but in ruins, and after a particularly bad tenant its even worse then when my grandparents passed. I am at a loss as to how to begin. Do you perhaps have a book you might suggest? Also we have deer, more deer then I can even begin to contemplate considering we don’t live that far out of town. Or perhaps you’d fancy a trip to sunny California? The heart of wine country? Nothing but wine and pizza here…

    • Karen says:

      LOL. No trips in my future what with the baby chicks. 🙂 If you have deer you’ll have to put up fencing because they’ll eat everything in your garden. And deer can jump high so the fence needs to be ridiculously high. Like 8′! It doesn’t have to be particularly sturdy, just high. I’ve been growing vegetables sine I was a teeny child so I haven’t used much in terms of books to learn what I’ve learned. But I find different gardening blogs and forums make great resources for figuring out how to do what. Mainly growing a garden involves two things. Planting the seeds and covering them with soil. 🙂 From there on it it only has to be as complicated as you make it. ~ karen!

  41. martina says:

    Have you ever had Curtido? It’s my favorite way to eat cabbage, hands down. It helps that you normally serve it alongside super cheesy pupusas, but I bet it would be amazing next to grilled cheese sandwiches.

    http://www.southbeachprimal.com/fermented-curtido-salvadorian-sauerkraut/ – the right technique (ignore the term sauerkraut, it’s not at all the same)
    http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Masa-Cakes-with-Spicy-Slaw-Pupusas-con-Curtido – for the brine

    Your garden is really amazing!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Martina! I’ve bookmarked the recipes. Fermenting is probably what I’ll go for. ~ karen!

      • martina says:

        cool! A Salvadoran friend showed me how to do it and the technique is kind of interesting. You add the salt to the cabbage and then massage it, kind of like kneading bread, until “it stops squeaking”. This step makes a huge difference to the finished slaw. Plus, it’s kind of fun!

  42. monica says:

    I’m not a huge cabbage fan either, but we made this recipe for Grilled Cabbage the other night and it was delish! It’s mostly about the vinaigrette, I think, but still. 😉

    Your garden is beautiful!

  43. Heather says:

    This book http://www.amazon.ca/Vegan-Cooking-Carnivores-Recipes-Tasty/dp/1609412427, which may also be available at your library?, has an amazing recipe for a salad with cabbage, basil, soybeans, spinach, cucumber, tomato, carrots with a soy/ginger dressing. It’s my new favourite meal (although, I am not vegan or even vegetarian.)

  44. Kristin Ferguson says:

    When you harvest your cauliflower, here’s my favorite way to cook it: Slice it (like slicing a brain) and lay it on a metal sheet pan that will fit inside your pizza oven, drizzling the pan liberally with olive oil and sprinkling with salt and pepper first. When your cauliflower is laid out, drizzle with more olive oil (don’t skimp) and more salt and pepper. You could roast this in your Blue Star oven at the highest heat for about 45 minutes, or you could use your pizza oven and it will take only 15 minutes or so. Flip the cauliflower halfway through. It needs to get very, very dark, mahogany brown in most places. It’s so nutty and delicious I can easily eat an entire head of cauliflower this way. BTW, if you sauté those hated brussels sprouts in butter until they are more than halfway burnt, then add a squirt of lemon juice, they achieve a similar dark brown nuttiness that is not at all mealy. But I’m not sure if your objection to them is mealiness. Maybe you are a super-taster: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/super-tasting-science-find-out-if-youre-a-supertaster/

    • Karen says:

      No, i’m not a supertaster, lol. I just don’t like brussels sprouts. 🙂 And most of my cauliflower will be used for curried cauliflower soup, (which I make and freeze for the winter) but I’ll save one for the pizza oven! ~ karen

  45. gloria says:

    Last year, smashing success (mashing success?) w/ potatoes grown in big feed sack,vertically, and in an old laundry basket. I used more soil to hill up. Plants got tall, flowered, all the right potato growing progress. This year, I’m using the basket again and added 2 galvanized wash tubs. All went well until it was time to hill. I was out of decent soil so I used some coarse pine mulch mixed with some so-so soil. Soon a couple of the plants started to die off. Should I dig out the spuds from those plants or leave them? The other plants, which I think I have too many for the size of the containers, are growing but not flowering yet. Do you think my hilling material is too heavy? Here in w. NY, we’ve had a LOT of rain, a few days of really hot humid weather and some fairly cool days too, kinda like where you are. Have you ever had plants that didn’t flower. I’m growing all red potatoes, same as last year.

  46. Gwen H. says:

    I love your garden. It just looks beautiful. I am a huge fan of cabbage. I put it in my homemade egg rolls.

  47. Elen Grey says:

    I love looking at your front garden, Karen. It’s you, having introduced us to seeds from Cubit’s and Edible Antiques, that got me going on what I’ve hashtagged #containerfarming. When the Butterfly Bush in the frontscape didn’t survive the winter ice storms, I glared the neighborhood down and moved my #fromseed lemon cucumbers to the front. (I’m looking for a piece of crazy sculpture for that space.) I did exactly what you did with the carrot seeds in their big containers, and they seem to be thriving. Everything is thriving. Except the dill. So… thanks a bunch! Now. The sweetpeas you are growing. I think I see both white and pink. Are they trellised? And what variety did you use? Because they are one of my favorites. They might even be a True Flower for me. The pizza oven looks to die for, but I don’t have room for Gracie Allen Golden Pup and the pizza oven. So I’ll be over Sunday, if that works for you. 😀 😀 😀

  48. JeannieB says:

    Your vegetable garden looks wonderful. And I especially like the millwork, if that’s the word, for the design of your fence and the white, painted wood on your beautiful front porch . Or is it a verandah? It must have been replaced over the years but it is so pleasing to the eye. Just lovely!

  49. leslie says:

    Great job Karen! About fourteen years ago, the folks that built my house planted some sweet peas. We bought the house in 2006 and I was uncovering entire Lilac trees that had been taken over by sweet peas. Eight years later, I still can’t control them- they crop up everywhere in spite of the crazy hot New Mexico sun and drought! I’m amazed at their resiliency!!

  50. Kitten Caboodle says:

    I have another suggestion for your cabbage – and it goes really well with your new jet-engine stove-top burners! It’s an Asian stir-fry but, between you and me, it’s really just Chinese moo shu filling without the pancakes. The key is to stir-fry the cabbage in an insanely hot wok until it chars. It mellows the cabbage out and turns it sweet but it still has some crunch. I use about 4 cups shredded cabbage to 1 tbs peanut or rice bran oil (something with a really high smoke point). Turn on your range vent. Heat the wok and oil until just smoking and toss in (dry) cabbage. Keep tossing/stirring. Once it’s charred (5 minutes or less) set it aside, wipe out wok, heat it up with 1-2 tsp oil and do the same with a cup or two of julienned carrots and sliced onions or scallions. Repeat with a few cups of sliced shiitake mushrooms. If you want protein, repeat with protein (thinly sliced pork loin works well). Final round is just a tsp of oil – no need to get it scorching – regular hot is fine. Throw in a few tsps each minced garlic and ginger. Stir a minute. Mix 1/3 cup of hoisin, 1-2 tbs of sherry or shaoxing wine and 1-2 teaspoons of roasted sesame oil (most recipes also call for white pepper but I’m not a fan) and heat until bubbling . Return all other ingredients to wok and toss to coat. Serve as-is or with rice /noodles of your choice. It actually tastes better the next day.

  51. Paula says:

    I’m not a big fan of cabbage either but my son started ordering moo shu pork at the Chinese restaraunt and I liked it so I decided to try it at home. I made chicken moo shu though. The roast chicken 101 from Martha Stewart is so delicious and I make the moo shu on the second night. It makes a wonderful brown broth and it’s a good way to use up the cabbage. I don’t have a real recipe just kind of stir fry the cabbage, add some chicken and some of the broth onion mixture. The chicken is baked on a bed of sliced onions in the recipe. I just use thin tortillas in lieu of the chinese pancakes. My mouth is watering just talking about it. I need to make it again.

  52. victoria says:

    It’s all so beautiful! !!!!
    Due to limited Internet access I’ve totally missed your pizza oven tutorial! Hello gorgeous!
    I know you don’t have kids but you would make one awesome mom! You are a well of inspiration.

  53. Maria says:

    I shred the cabbage, petition the dehydrator for 24 hours and then put it in a canning jar. Then I use a food processor to grind it to powder and use that to thicken sauces and stews. Yes, it’s a lot of extra steps but the cabbage lasts over a year that way and it’s another use for it beyond the standard
    stuff. This year, I’ve branched out into doing zucchini the same way.

  54. Kim Merry says:

    I just got in from my garden and all I can say is wow!! How in the world do you keep it weed free????
    It is beautiful!!
    Kim

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Kim. I’m not sure why but I don’t have many weeds in this garden. My community garden is FILLED with them if that makes you feel better, lol. You literally cannot keep up with them. ~ karen!

  55. The earwigs ate my cabbage.
    I planted potatoes because of you. I’ve eaten like 4 potatoes in as many years so I get the gardeners illness. I was going to pester you about why the soil on them keeps getting mildew on the surface……

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Potato eater. I’m not sure why you’re getting mildew on the surface of your soil. My guess (and it’s a total guess) is it’s too damp, not getting enough sun and not getting a lot of air circulation for whatever reason. That’s my guess and I’m sticking to it. ~ karen!

  56. Buff Ramsey says:

    Best post eva! So funny and informative. Your garden is amazeballs! But, I have one very important questions, how in the heck do you trap a slug?

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Buff, lol. You must like gardens. And you trap slugs with well … with beer believe it or not, lol. (put it in a shallow dish and bury it so the lip is even with the soil. The crawl in for a drink (sluggishly) and never get out. ~ karen!

  57. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Wow lady..The garden looks like heaven for vegetarians..Those are some gorgeous heads of cabbage!

  58. gogothrift@etsy.com says:

    Hey….what happened to the “smuggled” seeds from Thailand? You make me feel like a slug!!!! You must not sleep because your house is amazing, your garden is amazing. I wish I had your energy or even just half of your energy. Love your blog!

  59. Karen O. says:

    Yes! This is totally what I want to do. I’m really not a fan of the rectangular standalone garden. I think they are quite ugly. I’d love to have a vegetable garden that is also ornamental like this. 🙂

  60. Ellen says:

    I don’t have any veggies in the front yard, but my backyard veggie garden is surrounded by flowers and really looks quite decorative. I built my raised bed from cinder blocks and plant herbs, nasturtiums and marigolds all around, with a big flower garden half surrounding it. Looks good all summer and attracts loads of pollinators. Boo on neighborhood associations that don’t allow veggies in front. Most lots do not have sun on every side, after all.

  61. Amy in StL says:

    So I have a question: I just harvested my carrots and I’m trying to figure out what to plant in that patch. I planted a rather large area of carrots so its a good size spot. What do you plant in mid summer? My tomatoes are going great, my beans are almost done and my kohlrabi is almost ready to harvest as well. Suggestions?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Amy! I’d probably plant more carrots! You may just have enough time to get more. You also may have time for beets, rutabaga and definitely lettuces/greens. ~ karen!

      • gloria says:

        What about potatoes? How late can you plant more? I’m getting ready to harvest mine because the plants are all dying. Not sure if it’s pest or poor soil conditions, or what. I’m in weather very similar to yours, maybe a bit longer season. Thank you, oh wise and all-knowing garden guru. (or like most gardeners, all-guessing)

  62. maria-TO says:

    Wow, your garden is a thing of beauty — it’s all nice and tidy with beautiful shades of green!

    I’m not too crazy about cabbage but do use it as the best soup flavouring you’ll come across. Make up your favourite pot of veggie soup and cut a cabbage into 4 and drop it into the pot after everything else is added and let it cook with the other ingredients, once done take it out and discard — or give to your chickens (they don’t get gas do they?)

    For even better flavour let everything sit overnight in the fridge and then discard the cabbage.

    • Karen says:

      I will give the extra (outer leaves and the ones slugs ate) leaves to the chickens. But I wish I knew the soup trick an hour ago! I just made broccoli soup for dinner! ~ karen (I’ll try to remember for the next time I make soup which is basically every other night, lol)

  63. I can’t believe you are almost ready to harvest???? WTH My beets are just wee! Do you have trouble with cabbage moths? They make a skeleton of cabbage here, so I don’t even try. Your garden is just amazing and you have totally proved that you can feed a family of eight from your front yard!

    • Karen says:

      Cabbage moths get my dinosaur kale more than anything else. It was slugs that got my cabbage! In 2 nights they decimated most of it. I had to pick most of it tonight so they didn’t ruin the rest of it. I already lost the outer 1″ layer to slug snacks! It’ll be a cabbage roll assembly line tomorrow! ~ karen

  64. KimS says:

    Ok I hope I can change your mind about cabbage-google kayln’s kitchen roasted cabbage with lemon….omgosh delicious…seriously!

  65. Barbie says:

    It is B E A U T I F U L!!!! I love your garden! Looks way better than mine and producing much sooner than mine as well. But I think you got a much earlier start!

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