Six on Saturday-Feb 10

It’s another dreary Saturday, although yesterday our snow cover melted…again.  Temps are turning colder and more snow is on the way, so just losing our snow doesn’t mean winter is ending.  So I tend the indoor seedlings in the basement and dream of the luscious crops that will fill the potager this season.  There are six things I haven’t grown before that I’m excited to try.  The first is this French Baby Leek “Primor” from Renee’s Garden Seeds.  Leek Primor compressed  I view other blogger’s photos of huge, gorgeous leeks with envy.  Maybe with these earlier, smaller leeks I will be successful, too.  When we were in Florida recently, friends made a grilled leek dish that was delicious that I’d like to duplicate.  The second, also from Renee’s are these climbing Cannellini beans.  Cannellini packet compressed  I haven’t grown beans for drying since my homesteading days, so I’ve decided since cannellini are the beans I use most they will be perfect on the arch over the bench at the south end of the central path.  Hopefully they will provide lots of shade, and lots of beans, and not be covered in bean beetles.  Dream on…..isn’t that what winter is all about?  Number 3 is from Territorial Seeds, a beautiful heirloom eggplant.  Yes, I’ve grown eggplant before, although not often, but I’ve never grown this type so it still counts.  And, I’m going to try a new method, suggested on a blog I read (and I apologize I can’t remember which one) of growing them in large black pots that absorb the sun.  Eggplant Listada  If they are as beautiful as the photo, I’m already in love with them!  We don’t eat many eggplants, but when my vegetarian daughter who lives part of each year in Italy visits, I try to have some.  This one is Listada De Gandia, and since it will be the only eggplant variety I grow, I’ll be able to save seeds for future gardening seasons.  Now if I can just defeat the flea beetles…..

Also from Territorial are these gorgeous Italian Dandelions, for my daughter but also for me.  I love dandelions in salads and wilted just like my mother and grandmother always made them.  Italian Dandelion  Aren’t they pretty?  Upright for easy cleaning and harvest, and just look at those burgundy stems.  I can’t wait to taste them.  Yes, there are dandelions growing all over the lawn but we also get some run-off from the neighbor’s fields that have who-knows-what sprayed on them, so I’d rather grow my own.  From Baker Creek Seeds are these French “Savor” Charentais melons.  I love growing melons (this year I’m doing 7 cantaloupe types plus 3 watermelon varieties.)Melon Savor  I’ve never grown this French type before, and  I’ve read it’s a bit trickier, but I’m looking forward to the challenge and the learning experience.  I hope they taste as good as the ones I’ve had in France, and it seems almost mandatory to grow a few French things in my potager each season.   Finally,  #6 is the “All American” parsnip shown here.  Parsnip All American compressed  I’ve never attempted to grow parsnips but I love them, so I feel I should at least give them a try.  I only use them in a couple of recipes, so I won’t need lots, but I’m looking forward to having another vegetable that extends my season.  So, that’s my “Six on Saturday” for this week.  Thanks to The Propagator for hosting this meme.  Visit the link to see all the other “Six on Saturday” posts, and join in!

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About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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14 Responses to Six on Saturday-Feb 10

  1. cavershamjj says:

    A definite European theme to your Six this week! I’ve just harvested my last leeks. They were a bit pitiful to be honest. Soup-bound.

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  2. Island Time says:

    I am loving your blog, as always, again today! Good choices for the Six on Saturday. Last of my leeks, American Flag, are still in the ground waiting to be eaten. They never get very big, but are still delicious; my relatives in England grow huge ones; they need lots of rotted manure, and I think they prefer chalk soil; mine is very acid. Those melons look like the delicious ones I’ve eaten in the south of France; you are lucky to have enough heat to grow melons; maybe I will try some this summer. Parsnips! I am still digging mine out of the frosty ground; they survive all sorts of weather under a layer of mulch. They like compost and some lime. Soak your seeds, then dry them on paper, to make planting and germination easier and better. Parsnip seed is only viable for one season, so you can save your own seed by letting a couple of your overwintered parsnips go to seed. The dried seed umbels (?) are huge and pretty. Cut them when they turn golden to brown, dry and store as usual. Parsnips are delicious parboiled and roasted with a bit of butter/olive oil, salt and pepper. My grandmother used to add a splash of water and cover with paper/foil/lid until tender, then off with the lid to brown up a bit; this ensured mellow, sweet and tender root veg to accompany the Sunday roast. Roast plenty, the leftovers make a delicious soup with apple/pear and onion, also roasted if possible. Looking forward to the next installment, thanks again!

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    • carolee says:

      Ohhh! Thanks for all the tips. This is the kind of conversation blogging should generate, one gardener helping another or many. The Savor melon takes a loooonnnng (110 days) hot growing season. If you can find seeds for Minnesota Midget it takes only 60 days of heat and is very tasty..I’ll admit not quite matching those in the south of France, but pretty darn good. They don’t take a lot of space either. I have to go to the city to find parsnips, not available locally. I love them roasted with chicken, and the leftovers mixed with other veg in a pot pie. I doubt they will overwinter here, because we have weeks of zero or below and the ground freezes solid. Carrots turn to mush if left in the ground, even with a heavy mulch. I’ll be copying your seed-starting advice into my journal!

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      • Island Time says:

        Nice! Thanks for your reply. I love reading your post, and always find an interesting tip or two, so sharing info seems like a natural thing to do. You are probably right about leaving those root veggies in the ground, though things can turn to mush here too if we have a hard winter. I have had parsnips still in great shape after a month or more of -10 C. with frozen solid ground. Can’t remember what that is on the F. scale. In any case, they do store very well in root cellar-like conditions, especially if you bury them in a box of damp sand, as you might for carrots. I have not grown carrots for many years, due to rust fly problems, but the Gladiator parsnips seem very tolerant of these bugs as well. Last summer I invested in a bolt of Remay fabric and grew a few lovely carrots underneath that floating row cover, just as an experiment. I will do so again this coming season. I will be looking for some of the short season melon seed; my neighbour grew many delicious melons last summer, but her huge garden is on a full, south-facing, hot sunny slope, unlike mine which is surrounded by second growth forest, and not so great for heat-loving crops. Fun, fun, fun! Spring is on its way!

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  3. All of these varieties look yummy! I LOVE leeks and am trying to grow them for the first time this year. Someday I’d love to give the Italian dandelion a try too, but I have so many seeds for this season already, I’m not so sure I can justify getting more haha. God bless!

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  4. Lora Hughes says:

    Those are some special looking eggplants there.

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  5. chicu says:

    I love Renee’s seeds too..largely because those watercolour images are so very pretty. Good luck with all your veggies.
    Here’s one of my very favourite recipes for the type of brinjal you are growing- http://www.tigersandstrawberries.com/2008/09/02/eggplants-so-delectable-that-they-made-the-imam-faint/

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    • carolee says:

      Renee is a great gal and is really dedicated to finding the best seeds. Thank you for the link to your recipe. I’ve sent it also to my daughter, the vegetarian who loves eggplant. I hope I get some fruits on my plants so I can try it myself! Sounds delicious.

      Liked by 1 person

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