Central Virginia Organic Gardener

"And 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes." - William Wordsworth, 1798

Sunday, August 9, 2015

More food for thought

This is a good read, and helps explain why I don't have a lawn:


What to do with okra?

I am happily growing red burgundy okra from Pinetree Garden Seeds (red okra) and I am delighted with it.  It is an attractive plant, with red-veined leaves and red pods.  Here it is growing in a pot, it is so ornamental:

It seems to be fairly easy to grow, given enough sun and space.  The pods stay tender 
even when they get a little larger than typical.  So, how to cook it?  Okra is a star in soups 
and stews, as it acts as a natural thickener.  People sometimes complain about fried okra, 
which can get a bit...er...slimy, but it is great in tomato-based dishes.

So, I sautéed garden onions (1 large, diced), garlic (2 cloves, sliced), some quartered mushrooms
(1cup), and bell peppers (1, in chunks) in olive oil (2 T).  Then I  added chopped fresh basil and 
rosemary,  some dried marjoram, the okra (2 cups, sliced into 1 inch pieces) and a quart of crushed 
tomatoes.  I let it simmer for a half hour, then served it over polenta.  Salt and pepper to taste.  
Total yum!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Saving the Monarch

An article on some plants you can use to help the declining monarch butterfly:

Passion in the Garden

I finally have established passionflower in a place my garden where it won't smother nearby plants..   A few years ago, I was walking by a beautiful passionflower vine that would soon be torn out due to construction.  So, I gathered some ripe fruit and planted it next to a fence.  This is the lovely, native passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) and I have posted about it before.  Once established, it grows easily, though a very cold winter can kill off the plant.  In this case, the plant will likely have set seed to grow all over again.

See the immature, green fruit?  When ripe, it is orange, and full of gelatinous seeds.  Then, I can plant it near another fence! (I need to remove that morning glory vine that will compete with the passiflora!)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Prohibited Plants

Interesting list of prohibited plants in the state of New York.  Residents cannot transport, propagate, transplant, sell, etc, these plants.  Good list of plants to avoid in Virginia, too!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Warty Baby

My Galeux d'Eysines winter squash is getting warty! OhBoyOhBoyOhBoy!

And Pintree Garden Seeds (where I purchased the seed from) says it might get like this:


Should be good eating, too!  It is supposed to grow 10-15 pounds.

Plant Diseases

Gee, this is a depressing list for a gardener: