Gardens to Tables

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Welcome to Gardens to Tables

Bring Your Garden to the Table

From tiny patio herb gardens to larger community plots, this site is part of a movement, a movement back to growing and making our own fresh, delicious, healthy food. Our mission is to share gardening tips and recipes with others who share our passion for sustainable agriculture, even in the smallest urban settings.

We also feature travel ideas, classes, workshops and other great ways to learn about gardening and cooking from the experts, and publicize ways to support organic farms and farmers markets, and the restaurants and hotels that use local produce.

If there's anything you'd like to see or ideas you'd like to submit -- or just comments you'd like to make -- please send them to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Also feel free to check out our Facebook page, which features links to events and stories of interest to gardeners and cooks, in addition to those posted here.

 
Oxbow Produce Market's Fuju Persimmon and Avocado Salad Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   

oxbow marketOne of the most fun things for me to find in any city is the public market. The town of Napa, naturally, has a wonderful one. The Oxbow Public Market offers an array of goods -- from coffee to oysters to olive oil to spices. At the Oxbow Produce and Grocery, they not only offered fresh, local and organic produce that included currently-in-season persimmons and avocados and arugula but also a great recipe that brings them all together. Below is their recipe for Fuju Persimmon and Avocado Salad. Enjoy!

Ingredients
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp white miso
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil
3 firm ripe avocados, sliced
1 pound firm ripe Fuyu persimmons, peeled, halved, thinly sliced
2 bunches arugula

Dressing
Blend lemon juice, miso, salt and pepper until smooth. With motor running, add olive oil in a slow steady stream to create emulsion.

Toss gently the sliced avocados and persimmons with the miso dressing to coat evenly.

 
Keeping Pests at Bay Through Diversity Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   

Called the "eco-oracle" by Wine Spectator magazine, "Amigo Bob" Cantisano (below) is a legend in the organic gardening field. I had the opportunity to learn a ton from him during a recent workshop on the Heart of Organic Gardening up at Esalen.

Amigo Bob Cantisano

Amigo Bob started with a factoid: There are 70,000 different species of insects in the world and less than 100 are pests in the garden. The rest are our allies. That's pretty cool, huh? We have 69,900 allies! Yea!

So the question becomes: how do we get these allies into our gardens? The answer is through diversity. The greater the diversity, the more stability a garden has. So if you're growing mostly vegetables, you will want to add flowers and herbs and allium (onions, garlic, etc.) as they attract the beneficial insects (those allies we talked about) like ladybugs, which are predators and eat the pests, and wasps, which are parasites and love to lay their eggs within the little buggers.

Read more...
 
Keeping Your Back Strong When Gardening Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   

Yoga in the GardenThese yoga stretches for gardeners were first posted here in 2009 courtesy of the Ubuntu restaurant and yoga space in Napa. Ubuntu has sadly since closed but I think we can all agree that the tips themselves are timeless. Happy gardening!

If there is one thing that all gardeners share, it's a need to save their backs from all the lifting and bending that goes along with tending their gardens. Here are some tips from Ubuntu Yoga Instructor Courtney Willis on how to create a strong and flexible back through a some Yoga Flow for Gardeners.

  • Standing on your feet, reach the arms out and up bring the palms together way above the head, saluting the sun.
  • Slowly, bend the knees and bring your hands to the Earth, relax the head and breath here, working on extending the hips upward.
  • Lying on your back and bend the legs. Lift the hips and wiggle your shoulders under the back until you can clasp the hands. For a therapeutic variation. you can bring the hands to the hips, fingers facing outward.
  • This pose is an important counter pose for all the forward bending you do in the garden.
  • From here, release the spine to the Earth, create a 'T' with your arms and slowly drop your legs to one side and bring you gaze to the opposite arm.
  • Repeat on the other side.

This gentle sequence is accessible to every BODY and can be done before AND after a day in the garden.

 
A Chat with the Ocean House's Food Forager (Plus a Recipe From Their Kitchen!) Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   

Ocean House Chef Eric HaugenWith designated "food forager" on its staff, the newly re-opened Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, takes farm-to-table seriously. Pam Stone, whose full title is food forager and director of culinary education, not only serves as a liaison between local farmers and the Ocean House's chefs (headed by Executive Chef Albert Cannito) but, as a master gardener, also oversees the resort's private gardens and provides education and tours for visiting guests. To give us a taste of that partnership between garden and table, Pam Stone lets us in on what's going on in their gardens -- and then Chef Eric Haugen (pictured) offers a recipe that makes the most of the corn and tomatoes that are currently in season.

What is just being planted now (mid-August) in the garden?
We are beginning to plant Forono beets, Hakurei turnips and D' Avignon radishes, which we will harvest in September.

What are some tips for home gardeners planting those crops?
Be sure your dirt is good. It is also important that the soil is loose when planting root crops. Barely cover your future crop with soil, keep the soil moist and start thinning when it reaches two inches in height.

What are some of the things on your garden tours that guests seem to particularly enjoy?
Guests enjoy seeing things they buy in the market that they have never seen planted, like brussel sprouts. We also grow heirloom vegetables with seeds from “the Chefs Collaborative." Guests are also drawn to unusual things like Boothbay cucumbers and Gilfeather turnip.

When you go into the kitchen, what are you telling the chefs is ready for harvest?
Corn and tomatoes are in their prime and ready for harvest. Enjoy them while you can because they are only here for a short time! (Click "Read More" for Recipe)

Read more...
 
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