Saturday, August 6, 2016

Today in Our Summer Garden @birdsblooms #GardenCuizine #butterflies #gardenchat

Today in Our Jersey Summer Garden
August harvest
USDA Zone 7a (formerly zone 6b)

South Jersey caners have been busy canning tomatoes and sauce already.
We're about ready to join the fun. Our San Marzano's are beginning to ripen even though they are shaded somewhat beneath passion flower vines.  

Even without the San Marzano's, we finally have enough tomatoes to make our first pot of pasta sauce this weekend! We plan to use some of our heirlooms too: Cherokee Purple and Goldman's. 

Other veggies, herbs, harvests and updates in our garden include:
  • Italian Parsley (huge and blooming now too!)
  • heirloom Chocolate Cherry tomatoes
  • very small, current type, French tomatoes: Leslie's Petit Moineau
  • Rutgers Select
  • Pattypan Squash - picked one HUGE one so far (shown) - we plan on cooking it tonight
  • Oregano (let air dry and store in spice jars)
  • no onions this summer!! they were a bust
  • didn't see many grapes either this year... have to go look again 
  • Cow peas and Franchi Fagiolo Rampicante Anellino giallo climbing yellow French beans are coming along...
    Backyard birds and blooms have been spectacular. Hummingbirds are out in force, buzzing about. We have several water sources and native plants that attract lots of wildlife. 
    We could use some rain. This morning, chattering catbirds enjoyed cooling off under the garden sprinkler while perching on willow branches.
    In our garden, Bronze fennel gets it's own raised bed - just because we like it and so do cool looking caterpillars. They munch on the leaves to provide energy to turn into a chrysalis and then into beautiful butterflies like Black Swallowtails.
    Every garden needs a few unusual plants. This summer my favorites have been Fragrant Gladiolas (Peacock Orchid), Passion flower blooms/fruit and blooms on our Peanut Butter shrub in our beloved dog Aspen's memorial garden. The PB shrub has been growing for about 3 years and finally decided to bloom for us this summer!
    The PB shrub is really more like a small tree and doesn't look at all like a shrub. I was told the blooms would be a favorite for hummingbirds. And, friends from Dave's Garden were right! I've been watching hummingbirds (and butterflies) loving it. The blooms remind me of an azalea blossom.

    Happy Gardening!
    Photos and Blog post Copright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

    Friday, July 22, 2016

    The BEST tasting summer dressing for greens! #SesameTahini #GardenCuizine

    Summer Sesame 
    Tahini Dressing

    This dressing will get anyone to enjoy superfoods such as kale greens! It was inspired by Michele's Sesame Tahini Salad Dressing that we sold so much of, and used when we had our restaurant: Garden of Eden Natural Foods and Country Kitchen Inc

    4 Tablespoons Sesame Tahini
    1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons water
    2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
    1/8 teaspoon lite soy sauce
    1/8 teaspoon hot sesame oil
    1/4 teaspoon Nutritional Yeast*
    1/8 teaspoon sea salt
    pinch onion powder

    Putting it all together

    Combine all ingredients. Mix together with a small whisk.

    Serve over your favorite salad greens, kale, chicken, tofu or fish.


    *Nutritional Yeast adds Vitamin B12 and fabulous flavor to foods! You can find it at supermarkets such as ShopRite.

    GardenCuizine Nutrition data: coming soon - check back!

    Recipe and photo Copyright (C) Wind. All rights reserved.

    Sunday, July 17, 2016

    Quick Summer Slaw #cabbage #GardenCuizine #HealthyColeslaw #recipe

    Quick Summer Slaw
    High in Vitamin C 
    Visit your local farmer's market during the summer for great prices on veggies. Yesterday, we picked up a few heads of locally grown cabbage for under $5.00 at our local farmer's market. This recipe only uses half the whole green cabbage and a small portion of the red cabbage, leaving the rest to use for other recipes. Who says you can't eat healthy on a budget?

    Summer coleslaw is healthy and affordable and makes a great side dish for summer BBQ's and family summer meals. We enjoyed this homemade coleslaw with fried Flounder and brown rice! We have plenty of leftovers for sides with lunch and for toppings on sandwiches.

    Yields 2 lbs Coleslaw

    16, 2-ounce servings
    8 cups (712g) green Cabbage, shredded
    1 cup (89g) Red Cabbage, thinly sliced

    1/2 carrot (30g), peeled and thinly sliced
    1/2 cup lite mayo (60g) (for vegan, use soy mayo)

    1/4 cup (56g) plain Greek yogurt (or soy yogurt)
    2 Tablespoons capers (18g) (optional)
    2 Tablespoons pickle or caper juice
    2 Tablespoons (10g) apple cider vinegar
    1 Tablespoon chopped fresh dill
    2 teaspoons sugar (8g) (don't freak out about using real sugar! remember this makes many servings and 2 teaspoons is only 8 grams of sugar)
    1/4 teaspoon (1.5g) salt
    pinch ground black pepper
    Putting it all together
    • Wash cabbage and pull off outer leaves. Cut green cabbage in half. Put away and save one of the halves for use in other recipes. Cut half of the cabbage into wedges around the core. To save time, I used a food processor for chopping some of the cabbage wedges; be careful not to over chop. Thinly slice remaining green cabbage. Total shredded green cabbage should be about 8 cups. Place in a large mixing bowl.
    • Cut a small piece off the red cabbage. thinly slice 1cup and add to green cabbage bowl. Store the rest to add color to salads and for use in other recipes.
    • Wash and peel one carrot. Cut in half and thinly slice. Add to the cabbage bowl. Eat the other carrot half or save for other recipes.
    • Add the mayo and remaining ingredients and toss until well blended. cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
    Buon Appetito!

    GardenCuizine Nutrition Data Summer Slaw: 2-ounce serving (~62g)
    Diabetic Friendly: 3g net carbs 
    Excellent Source: Vitamin C
    Store bought coleslaw: higher in saturated fat and calories; often contains corn syrup and preservatives vs Homemade: only 31 calories, Total Fat: 1g; Saturated and Trans fats: 0g; Cholesterol: 2mg; Sodium 111mg (5% DV); Total Carbohydrate 4g; Dietary Fiber: 1g (5% DV); Sugars 2g; Protein 1g; Vitamin A: 457 IU (9% DV); Vitamin C: 19.9 mg (33% DV)

    Related Links
    Cabbage Health Benefits

    Photos and recipe Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

    Saturday, July 16, 2016

    Summer Kale Cooler! #GardenCuizine #nutritious #smoothie #proteinshake #healthysnack

    Summer Kale Cooler
    Vanilla - Peach - Kale
    yields 3-4 servings
    ~36 ounces total

    1 2/3 cups (almost 2 cups) Very Vanilla Soy Milk
    2 scoops Whey Protein Powder - vanilla

    1 banana
    1 large leaf kale; washed, stem removed
    2-3 Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
    8 ice cubes
    Putting it all together
    Peel banana. Wash and pit peach. Add all ingredients to a blender. 
    Blend until well mixed. 
    Pour into serving glasses and enjoy!

    GardenCuizine Nutrition Data: coming soon - check back!
    Photos and recipe Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved. 

    Friday, July 8, 2016

    Passion Flower vines - friend or foe in the veggie garden? #gardenchat #GardenCuizine

    Passion Flowers!
    Passiflora incarnata

    At first I thought we had volunteer cow peas popping up in the garden, until a gardening friend who was visiting early spring said, "Those look like purple Passion Flower vines." Well, sure enough, she was right! I should have realized it was Passion flower too because the seedlings popped up (hence the nickname Maypop) nearby where we had grown a plant in a whiskey barrel last year. What a nice surprise! 

    Passion flowers yield edible fruits. I remember making passion fruit sorbet when I worked at The White Dog Cafe; the flavor was well liked. Growing passion fruit would be a first for us since we've never had luck in the past growing plants from seedlings. Last years plant was started from seed and viola! This year the vines are everywhere. 

    We decided to let a few vines stay in the raised bed that Mom built. The vigorous vines have climbed to the very top of our tallest tomato supports already. Sunlight still trickles through to our sauce tomatoes below: San Marzano and Goldman's. Will we regret this? 
    Passion vines can grow to 20 feet. Ours are traveling along the garden fence with some plants growing alongside the tomatoes. They are casting some shade above the tomatoes; but, for now, we're letting them grow out of curiosity of the flowers and to see if they bear any fruit.

    The purple, artistic, blooms and spiral tendrils sure add interest and beautiful color to the garden. Stay tuned for updates and Passion Fruit nutrition data.
    Related Links
    Passion Fruit

    Photo and blog post Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

    Saturday, June 4, 2016

    NJDA to NJAND logo selected #eatright @EatRight_NJ

    NJDA to NJAND logo contest
    New Jersey Dietetic Association to 
    New Jersey Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
    Today, the new NJ Dietetic Associations logo was revealed. I am proud that mine was among the 6 logos that were submitted and featured for voting at the NJDA annual meeting. My design was not chosen by their Executive Board. Instead, they selected a submission that suddenly appeared (late due to an email error..?...). It was not any of the featured logos at the meeting that were voted on by the members.

    About me  
    My background includes owning a health food store and restaurant for over 10 years and working for many years as an entrepreneur in the printing and advertising business. I’ve created many corporate logos and designs in the past, including my own logo for Emco Printing and Advertising, Inc that featured a seagull in the center of EM and CO, which stood for Mehl Company, my maiden name. An EM is a unit of measurement in type. I loved that logo; we featured it while serving the tri-state region of NJ, PA and Delaware for over a decade. I always felt flattered when people asked us if we were a franchise (because of our professional corporate image). 

    MY NJ Dietetic Association DESIGN SUBMISSIONFor the NJAND logo I initially wanted to bring in an image featuring abundant produce to convey The Garden State. 
    My first rendition included a photo taken in our garden featuring an abundant harvest of Jersey veggies and sorghum grain. NJ is a national top 10 producer of fruits and vegetables (top 5: cranberries, bell peppers, spinach, peaches, blueberries). Fruits and Vegetables are under consumed by Americans and as dietitians we encourage eating adequate portions from all the food groups. In my submission, the 1, 2, 3 in the NJ State outline represent NJAND’s 3 Regions.

    As much as I really like rainbows it didn’t seem to represent the Association. The text didn’t seem to be strong enough so I reversed it to white and brought back the apple theme from their original logo (which, was established and unique with a bite off to the right side in the shape of the state of NJ; I really liked it and wonder why they wanted to abandon it). An apple is always a winning symbol for dietitians.My final version was to outline and enlarge the letters in NJAND so they were not lost in the apple. I used Photoshop 13. NJAND text: Century Regular. NJ text: Cooper Standard Black 

    Attendees at the NJAND annual meeting voted on their favorite logos. 

    Several weeks later, I received an email from the Association President informing me that the board received another design from someone who had email trouble getting it submitted by the deadline. Turns out the Board (not the members) voted on that one as their final selection. I like it too. Their new logo features a stock photo of a tomato - perhaps an heirloom Jersey tomato.

    I wonder what logo the members voted for?

    To see the new NJAND logo visit their Facebook page, website or Twitter.
    Blog post and photos Copyright (C) Wind. All rights reserved.
    Note: above designs were for 2016 logo contest submissions only. They are not the logo being used by NJAND.

    Saturday, April 23, 2016

    NJ #nativegardens "Bringing Nature Home" author Dr. Tallamy @WheatonArts @NWF #gardenchat

    Wheaton Arts ECO Fair
    Keynote Speaker
    Dr. Doug Tallamy

    Saturday, May 7th, 2016
    at 1:30 pm
    The presentation will be followed
    by his book signing: Bringing Nature Home

    Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center
    1000 Village Dr, Millville, NJ

    CU Maurice River invites anyone who gardens, would like to garden, and/or who would like to support local biodiversity to attend Dr Tallamy's presentation.

    Wheaton's ECO Fair will be open 10 am to 5 pm and will also feature local NJ Artists, Nature Walks and a Rain Barrel Workshop!
    photo Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

    Sunday, April 17, 2016

    How-to-Build Your Own Garden Raised Beds #GardenCuizine #gardenchat #doityourself

    How-to-Build Your Own 
    Garden Raised Beds

    Yesterday, Harry made another raised bed to replace the rotted ones that we ordered online. They are quick and easy to make; he is making more today. We could have saved money if we made our own in the first place. Well, we did make our first two, or I should say - Mom made them! She built two, really sturdy raised beds years ago and then as our garden grew we added several more raised beds that we ordered online. 

    We decided to keep the design simple and low cost using just one, single-panel on all sides. If you wanted your raised beds deeper, just increase the height of your corner pieces to allow for as many additional slats of wood desired.  

    Also, you could increase the thickness of the panels from 1x6 to 2x6 and use 4x4 corners; but beware, that increases the cost and the weight! You can make your raised beds any size you want. Here's how we built our 5-ft x 6-ft, single-panel raised beds:

    Supplies Needed to build one raised bed
    4, 1x6, 8-ft treated wood panels (cost: we paid $5.57 ea at Home Depot)
    1, 2x4,- 8 ft treated wood for the corners (we paid $4.17)
    16, 2-inch galvanized deck screws

    Equipment Needed
    Wood saw
    Electric screwdriver
    Drill and drill bit
    Clamps (optional- a handy tool if you want to build it alone)

    Putting it all together

    Saw the wood: 7-inches long for four corners; two, 5-ft long and two 6-ft long panels
    Drill 2 holes per panel on each corner
    Add screws to hold together
    Move to desired location and fill with soil

    Happy Gardening!
    Blog post and photos Copyright (C) Wind. All rights reserved.