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Welcome to Gardens to Tables
Growing Lavender Print E-mail
Written by Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm   

Alii Kula LavenderThe Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm knows their stuff when it comes to growing lavender. Located in the cool hills of Kula in Maui’s Upcountry area, the farm has approximately 55,000 lavender plants in 45 different varieties. Here are some of their tips on growing lavender.  

Lavender requires few things to grow well. It likes full sun, needs very little water and is drought tolerant. Lavender likes porous soil preferably on a slope so that the roots do not sit in water.

Lavender likes to be planted facing south - west. Lavender does not require a lot of fertilizer. During the summer, when the temperature goes up and rainfall is less, plants are watered by hand. When growing for maximum essential oil content, the lavender must be given a warm sunny position. Mixing sand with the soil also improves the quality of the plant growth, due to the increased drainage potential.

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Alan's Loosey Goosey Pesto Recipe Print E-mail
Written by Alan Toy   

What to do with a bumper crop of basil? One word: pesto. Here's a great recipe from Alan Toy, one of the gardeners at the Park Drive Community Garden in Santa Monica:

Start with a whole bunch (that's figurative, not a literal bunch) of basil, including perennial types (I use three different varieties, but mostly the really green, annual kind), with the leaves picked from stems (including their own stems if they are large leaves) - at least six ounces or more of plucked leaves.

About a quarter that much cilantro leaves, also picked from their stems

About ten ounces of pine nuts, toasted  (just spread them on a cookie sheet and put in the oven at about 350 for a few minutes.  Don't forget them or they'll burn before you know it.

About 6 ounces of pumpkin seeds, shelled and also toasted  (same method as the pine nuts)

1 - 2 whole heads of garlic, depending on how much you like the stuff - I use two (peeled, of course)

A bottle of extra virgin olive oil, which you'll add throughout - the exact amount you'll use is up to you, but start with a bottle of least 12 ounces

4 - 6 ounces of grated Asiago cheese (Pavilions/Vons has it in bags, ready to go)

Some sea salt (a few pinches)

6 to 8 zip lock baggies

One gallon sized zip lock baggie

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The Tradewinds (with Watermelon) Print E-mail

This cocktail is as cool and refreshing as the prevailing winds.  Matusalem Platino Rum from the Dominican Republic, Marie Brizzard Watermelon, Soho Lychee liqueur, and freshly made sweet and sour.  Shaken and served over ice.

The Tradewinds Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Matusalem Platino
  • 1 oz Marie Watermelon
  • Splash of Soho Lychee Liqueur
  • 1 oz Fresh Sween ‘n Sour


Combine all ingredients into cocktail shaker and shake with ice.  Strain and serve into a chilled martini glass.  Garnish with a cube of watermelon and lemon zest.

 
Watermelon-and-Goat-Cheese salad Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   

If you've ever had to answer the question: what the heck do I do with a 30-pound watermelon when it's not the Fourth of July or another holiday where I'm going to have 10 people to help me eat it? Here's a great recipe for a salad that adds the tartness of onion and basil and the creaminess of goat or feta cheese to the sweetness of the watermelon. Yum.

Watermelon-and-goat-cheese salad

Put a large slice of salted watermelon on a plate, then top with some red onion, goat cheese, basil (I used a little of both lemon and Italian basil) and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and, voila, you’ve got a yummy salad.

There are a lot of variations on this salad. I’ve seen recipes that use lime, other citrus, mint, feta cheese. All are yummy so your favorites will depend on your tastes and, if you’re like me, what you’ve got in the house. 

If you're not into the stacking concept, you can also chop the ingredients and put them in a bowl. Just make sure you get the watermelon, onion, cheese and basil combined into each bite because . . . well, yum. 

 
Cooking with Lavender Print E-mail
Written by Joe Orcutt from the Hood River Lavender Farm   

Hood River Lavender is a collection of three organic lavender farms in the Columbia River Gorge area of Oregon. One of the farms is open to the public for tours and shopping, and hosts the annual Lavender DAZE Festival each July.

Here are some tips from Hood River Lavender's Joe Orcott on using lavender for cooking: Lavender is an herb, and one of the many members of the Mint family. Extremely versatile in cooking, it also adds nice color and garnish to a dish.

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