Kitchen Garden

/Kitchen Garden
Kitchen Garden 2017-02-10T13:28:27+00:00

The beautiful heirloom kitchen garden supplies most of our herbs and vegetables. Based on French intensive methods and cyclical in nature, we utilize raised beds, close spacing, succession planting, rain water collection, and composted manure, eventually adding cold frames. Chemicals of any sort are never used. Gardening in harmony with the seasons enables us to prepare nutritional meals full of fresh flavor.

The gardens are still young and expanding but each year brings us closer to growing fresh food to fill our needs year-round, as well as the herbs used for health care. Let’s not forget the lovely flowers that brighten any day!WEB taters 2013

The varieties we cultivate were chosen because they perform well in our inter-mountain Northwest climate and short growing season. From either organic or untreated seed, most are heirloom (H) with some open-pollinated (OP) varieties and a hybrid here and there. All are definitely non-GMO! And then there are the naturalized wild plants (W), native perennials (NP), culinary and medicinal herbs (M).

*Growing List for 2015*

Vegetables:
Bean, bush- “Roma II” Romano type (H)
Beets- “Golden” (H), “Early Wonder Tall Top” (H)
Broccoli- “De Cicco” (H)
Brussels Sprouts- “Roodnerf” (H)
Cabbage- “Early Jersey Wakefield” (H)
Carrot- “Parisienne” (H)
Cucumber- “Double Yield” (H)
Fennel, bulbing- “Perfection” (H)
Garlic– “Inchelium Red” softneck (H), “Siberian” hardneck (OP)
Kale- “Improved Dwarf Siberian” (H)
Leek- “Lincoln” (OP)
Lettuce- “Little Gem” (H), “Merlot” (H), “Buttercrunch” (H), “Jericho Romaine” (OP)
Onion- “Ailsa Craig” (H); in fall- Yellow Multiplier (OP)
Pea, Sugar Snap- “Cascadia” (H)
Pepper, Bell- “Baby Belle Tricolor” (hybrid)
Potato- “Yukon Gold” golden-fleshed, “Sangre” red, “Rio Grande” russet
Radish- “Pink Beauty” (H), “Purple Plum” (H)
Rhubarb
Scallion- “Red Baron” (OP)
Spinach- “Amsterdam Prickly Seeded” (H)
Squash, summer- “Fordhook” zucchini (H), “Benning’s Green Tint” scallop (H)
Squash, winter- “Thelma Sanders’ Sweet Potato” acorn (H), “New England Sugar Pie” pumpkin (H)
Tomatillo- “Verde” (H)
Tomato- “Beaverlodge” slicer and plum (OP)
Fruits:
Choke/Wild Cherry (NP, M)
Currants (NP)
Elderberry, Blue (NP, M)
Melon- “Blacktail Mountain” watermelon (H), “Minnesota Midget” muskmelon (H)
Wild Raspberry (NP)
Saskatoon Berry, aka Serviceberry (NP)

Culinary/Medicinal Herbs:
Basil, “Emily”
Borage
Chives
Dandelion (W, M)
Dill, Dukat
Lemon Balm (M)
Nettle (NP, M)
Oregano, Greek (M)
Parsley, Single
Peppermint (M)
Spearmint (M)
Tarragon, French
Thyme, German Winter (M)

WEB borage2.08

Other Medicinal Plants:
Catnip (M)
Chamomile, German (M)
Hawthorn (NP, M)
Mullein (W, M)
Oregon Grape (NP, M)
Plantain, Broadleaf (W, M)
St. John’s Wort (W, M)
Valerian (NP, M)

Flowers:
Calendula, Orange (M)
Hollyhock- “Black Currant Whirl” (H)
Poppy- “Hungarian Blue Breadseed” (H)
Sunflower- “Hopi Black Dye” (H)

 

What is an “Heirloom”?

Quite simply, an ‘heirloom’ is an open pollinated (OP) plant that has been grown for at least 50 years, with a rich history all its own. Many are the old-fashioned vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers our grandparents grew in their gardens. Some use 1940 as the cut-off date because it is before the big push for hybridization began. But there were some great OP crops introduced in the 40’s and 50’s. Heirloom seeds are collected from all around the world. The very rare varieties date back to ancient Babylonian times!

So, why grow heirlooms? “Superb flavor” and “lovely appearance” are typical comments in comparison to their hybrid counterparts. Interest in heirlooms has increased remarkably. Many people want to protect our food heritage and don’t want to consume the genetically modified (GM or GMO) foods on the market these days. Natural foods are much better for us!